20 The Shawshank Redemption Quotes on Freedom and Hope

By | books, Food for thought, inspiring, movies, Quotes, stephen king

We can’t talk about great movies without mentioning The Shawshank Redemption. Released in 1994 and back then considered a noble disappointment, The Shawshank Redemption went on to become one of the most beloved movies of all-time.

Based on Stephen King’s novella Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption, and directed by Frank Darabont, the movie is an uplifting prison drama. If you haven’t seen it yet, stop whatever you’re doing and watch it! We promise you’ll love it.

The film tells the story of Andy Dufresne (Tim Robbins), a banker who is convicted of murdering his wife and her lover. He is given two life sentences and sent to the notorious Shawshank State Penitentiary, but maintains his innocence.

The harsh realities of prison life are quickly introduced to Andy. Luckily his fellow inmate Ellis “Red” Redding (Morgan Freeman) pulls some strings and helps the new recruit avoid more trouble.

Andy has a strong personality and doesn’t crack under pressure — his resilience and imperishable hope helped him prevail behind the bars.

The Shawshank Redemption is a masterpiece that became one of highest rated fan reviewed films of all-time and is still broadcast regularly.

Here are 20 The Shawshank Redemption quotes on freedom and hope:

Salvation lies within.

I have to remind myself that some birds aren’t meant to be caged. Their feathers are just too bright. And when they fly away, the part of you that knows it was a sin to lock them up does rejoice.

I tell you those voices soared higher and farther than anybody in a gray place dares to dream.

That’s where I want to live the rest of my life. A warm place with no memory.

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Hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things, and no good thing ever dies.

I find I’m so excited, I can barely sit still or hold a thought in my head. I think it’s the excitement only a free man can feel, a free man at the start of a long journey whose conclusion is uncertain.

That’s the beauty of music. They can’t get that from you. 

I was in the path of the tornado. I just didn’t expect the storm would last as long as it has.

The world went and got itself in a big damn hurry.

Every man’s got a breaking point.

I don’t have to listen to rumors about a man when I can judge him for myself.

Geology is the study of pressure and time. That’s all it takes really, pressure and time.

The funny thing is, on the outside I was an honest man. Straight as an arrow. I had to come to prison to be a crook.

These walls are funny. First you hate ’em. Then you get used to ’em. Enough time passes, you get so you depend on them. That’s institutionalized.

I look back on the way I was then: a young, stupid kid who committed that terrible crime. I want to talk to him. I want to try and talk some sense to him, tell him the way things are. But I can’t. 

I guess it comes down to a simple choice really. Get busy living or get busy dying.

Writing about yourself seems to be a lot like sticking a branch into clear river-water and rolling up the muddy bottom.

It goes back to what I said about Andy wearing his freedom like an invisibility coat, about how he never really developed a prison mentality. His eyes never got that dull look.

There are places in this world that aren’t made out of stone. That there’s something inside… that they can’t get to, that they can’t touch. That’s yours.

What was right with him he’d only give you a little at a time. What was wrong with him he kept bottled up inside.

23 The Great Gatsby Quotes on Dreams and Despair

By | author, books, f scott fitzgerald, Food for thought, Quotes

Written by F. Scott Fitzgerald and published in 1925, The Great Gatsby is considered a classic of American literature and has resulted in a number of film and television adaptations.

Sadly, the author didn’t live enough to see his book become such a success. The novel sold fewer than 20,000 copies in its first run and some critics called the author’s style “painfully forced” and the book “a dud.”

The Great Gatsby is about the efforts of this young man, Jay Gatsby, to reinvent himself. We see the whole story from the narrator’s perspective – Nick Carraway, which moved out to New York from Mid-west and now lives next door to Gatsby.

The main character is an everlasting dreamer with a really extravagant lifestyle. He lives in a gigantic Gothic mansion and throws glamorous parties every Saturday night. But his persona is a complete invention as Gatsby actually grew up poor and this isn’t even his real name. All his efforts to become rich are dedicated to winning back the woman he loves.

The Great Gatsby explores themes such as decadence, idealism, love, resistance to change, social status, and of course, excess.

Here are 23 The Great Gatsby quotes on glitz, glamour and despair.

Whenever you feel like criticizing any one… just remember that all the people in this world haven’t had the advantages you’ve had.

Let us learn to show our friendship for a man when he is alive and not after he is dead.

There are only the pursued, the pursuing, the busy and the tired.

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I was within and without, simultaneously enchanted and repelled by the inexhaustible variety of life.

Reserving judgments is a matter of infinite hope.

It occurred to me that there was no difference between men, in intelligence or race, so profound as the difference between the sick and the well.

So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.

Every one suspects himself of at least one of the cardinal virtues, and this is mine: I am one of the few honest people that I have ever known.

No amount of fire or freshness can challenge what a man will store up in his ghostly heart.

It’s a great advantage not to drink among hard drinking people.

Life starts all over again when it gets crisp in the fall.

Tomorrow we will run faster, stretch out our arms farther….

Once in a while I go off on a spree and make a fool of myself, but I always come back, and in my heart I love her all the time.

Life is much more successfully looked at from a single window.

I like large parties. They’re so intimate. At small parties there isn’t any privacy.

As I walked on I was lonely no longer. I was a guide, a pathfinder, an original settler.

People disappeared, reappeared, made plans to go somewhere, and then lost each other, searched for each other, found each other a few feet away.

Human sympathy has its limits, and we were contented to let all their tragic arguments fade with the city lights behind.

Their eyes met and they stared together at each other, alone in space.

I couldn’t forgive him or like him, but I saw that what he had done was, to him, entirely justified.

They’re a rotten crowd… You’re worth the whole damn bunch put together.

It takes two to make an accident.

She was feeling the pressure of the world outside and she wanted to see him and feel his presence beside her and be reassured that she was doing the right thing after all.

24 A Tale of Two Cities Quotes That Are Simply Incredible

By | author, books, charles dickens, Food for thought, introspective, Quotes

A Tale of Two Cities is a historical fiction novel written by prolific author Charles Dickens. In a departure from his other works, Dickens chose for this story fewer characters and a less complicated plot.

The novel is set in the 18th century (before and during the French Revolution), where France and England were ruled by oppression, fear and torture. The upper class enjoyed all the luxury, while common people died of starvation.

A Tale of Two Cities tells the story of Dr. Alexandre Manette, who was unjustly imprisoned for 18 years in the Bastille in Paris, and then released to live in London with his daughter, Lucie.

This “Dickensian” masterpiece explores themes that are still relevant today -– revenge and its consequences, honor versus dishonor, and the negative effects of a corrupt ruling system.

With over 200 million copies sold, A Tale of Two Cities is one of the best-selling novels of all time. The book is a dense classic and an excellent choice of reading material for senior high school students that has also been adapted for film, radio, and the stage.

Here are 24 A Tale of Two Cities quotes that are simply incredible:

A Tale of Two Cities quotes

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times…

A wonderful fact to reflect upon, that every human creature is constituted to be that profound secret and mystery to every other.

I wish you to know that you have been the last dream of my soul.

I see a beautiful city and a brilliant people rising from this abyss. I see the lives for which I lay down my life, peaceful, useful, prosperous and happy. 

Detestation of the high is the involuntary homage of the low.

Nothing that we do, is done in vain. I believe, with all my soul, that we shall see triumph.

There is prodigious strength in sorrow and despair.

Crush humanity out of shape once more, under similar hammers, and it will twist itself into the same tortured forms. Sow the same seeds of rapacious licence and oppression over again, and it will surely yield the same fruit according to its kind.

He knew enough of the world to know that there is nothing in it better than the faithful service of the heart.

Tell the Wind and the Fire where to stop; not me.

A day wasted on others is not wasted on one’s self.

Remember how strong we are in our happiness, and how weak he is in is misery!

Death may beget life, but oppression can beget nothing other than itself.

Into his handsome face, the bitter waters of captivity had worn; but, he covered up their tracks with a determination so strong, that he held the mastery of them even in his sleep.

But we common dogs are proud too, sometimes. They plunder us, outrage us, beat us, kill us; but we have a little pride left, sometimes

We’ll start to forget a place once we left it.

Vengeance and retribution require a long time; it is the rule.

Is it possible! Yes. And a beautiful world we live in, when it IS possible, and when many other such things are possible, and not only possible, but done

I am sure that he is capable of good things, gentle things, even magnanimous things.

It is a far, far better thing that I do, than I have ever done; it is a far, far better rest that I go to than I have ever known.

That glorious vision of doing good is so often the sanguine mirage of so many good minds.

Not knowing how he lost himself, or how he recovered himself, he may never feel certain of not losing himself again.

Perhaps second-hand cares, like second-hand clothes, come easily off and on.

I have had the weakness, and have still the weakness, to wish you to know with what a sudden mastery you kindled me, heap of ashes that I am, into fire.

25 Pride and Prejudice Quotes on the Impact of First Impressions

By | books, Food for thought, jane austen, Quotes

Written by Jane Austen and first published in 1813, Pride and Prejudice is easily one of the author’s greatest novels and her most popular one. 

Set in rural England in the early 19th century, the book is filled with humor and depicts manners, education, money, and marriage as they were perceived in the past.

Pride and Prejudice tells the story of witty, stubborn, and enchanting Elizabeth Bennet – the character we’ve all fallen in love with. Moreover, it centers on the conflicted relationship between Elizabeth and Fitzwilliam Darcy, a rich aristocratic landowner.

The protagonist of the book despises Darcy at first for being arrogant and self-absorbed. Later on, she learns a few things about the repercussions of hasty judgments and what it actually means to be a genuinely good person. She finally realizes she has been prejudiced against Darcy and his wealth, and that their pride hurt them both.

With more than 20 million copies sold, Pride and Prejudice has been adapted for drama, sequels, and film. In the 2005 movie adaptation, Keira Knightley played the perfect Elizabeth Bennet.

Here are 25 Pride and Prejudice quotes on first impressions:

Vanity and pride are different things, though the words are often used synonymously. A person may be proud without being vain. Pride relates more to our opinion of ourselves, vanity to what we would have others think of us.

Nothing is more deceitful… than the appearance of humility. It is often only carelessness of opinion, and sometimes an indirect boast.

Pride and Prejudice quotes 1 option 1

People themselves alter so much, that there is something new to be observed in them forever.

We are all fools in love.

It is very often nothing but our own vanity that deceives us.

There is a stubbornness about me that never can bear to be frightened at the will of others. My courage always rises at every attempt to intimidate me.

Do anything rather than marry without affection.

To yield without conviction is no compliment to the understanding of either.

Those who do not complain are never pitied.

You must learn some of my philosophy. Think only of the past as its remembrance gives you pleasure.

Angry people are not always wise.

It is particularly incumbent on those who never change their opinion, to be secure of judging properly at first

The distance is nothing when one has motive.

Do not give way to useless alarm… though it is right to be prepared for the worst, there is no occasion to look on it as certain.

Follies and nonsense, whims and inconsistencies, do divert me, I own, and I laugh at them whenever I can.

There is nothing so bad as parting with one’s friends. One seems to forlorn without them.

Do not consider me now as an elegant female intending to plague you, but as a rational creature speaking the truth from her heart.

My affections and wishes are unchanged; but one word from you will silence me on this subject for ever.

There certainly was some great mismanagement in the education of those two young men. One has got all the goodness, and the other all the appearance of it.

The more I see of the world, the more I am dissatisfied with it; and every day confirms my belief of the inconsistencies of all human.

I am only resolved to act in that manner, which will, in my own opinion, constitute my happiness, without reference to you, or to any person so wholly unconnected with me.

I have been used to consider poetry as the food of love.

I cannot fix on the hour, or the spot, or the look or the words, which laid the foundation. It is too long ago. I was in the middle before I knew that I had begun.

where other powers of entertainment are wanting, the true philosopher will derive benefit from such as are given.

They walked on, without knowing in what direction. There was too much to be thought, and felt, and said, for attention to any other objects.

What We Can Learn About Trauma From IT’s Creepy Clown

By | books, challenging, Food for thought, mental health, movies, self, stephen king

It’s no secret that Stephen King is a master of the horror genre, and It (1986) is by far one of his scariest novels.

In 2017, director Andy Muschietti, has successfully turned the first part of it It into a hit movie. Two years later, a sequel covering the second half of the story followed.

While the first movie deals more directly with bullying, fear, and grief, the second, It – Chapter Two, addresses the consequences of an unaddressed childhood trauma.

What is It?

In It, the clown many of us have come to fear is an ancient demonic entity from a dimension containing and surrounding our world. It first arrived to Earth during prehistoric times causing a massive cataclysmic event similar to an asteroid impact in the area which would later become known as Derry, Maine.

It remained dormant until the arrival of mankind. This evil being is a shapeshifter who uses its ability to transform into each of one’s greatest fears, but the shape it uses to lure children is that of a clown – Pennywise.

Unresolved childhood trauma is a clown?

At a closer look, Pennywise is not your average scary clown – he is a metaphor for unaddressed childhood trauma, worst nightmares, individual demons and everything in between.

It is the worst our mind can put us through if we let it.

It – Chapter Two addresses the price paid for repressed or long-forgotten trauma

The group of children in the first chapter were all outsiders, “losers” as they deliberately call themselves. All of them were bullied by Henry Bowers and his gang and suffered their own share of childhood trauma.

Now, all of them have grown to become successful adults, but not everything is as great as it seems.

All of those who left the town gradually forget the events of their childhood, except Mike who remained in Derry. He is the one who calls everyone to return to their hometown when It resurfaces.

Even if the characters seem to have forgotten about It, the trauma of past events is projected into their adult lives.

When forgetting isn’t enough:

Grief and loss

In the first Chapter, Bill grieves over the loss of his little brother and is constantly bullied for his speech disorder – stuttering.

After 27 seven years, Bill is a successful writer who is now able to speak correctly, but as soon as Mike calls him, he reverts to a state where he is not able to physically communicate properly.

He realizes that he is still mourning the disappearance of his brother for which he also feels guilty.

Mike, on the other hand, is an orphan whose parents burned alive, an event he witnessed first-hand. As the only character that chose to remain in Derry, he hasn’t forgotten a single detail of his past trauma.

Physical abuse

Beverly used to live with her abusive father and has earned an unjust reputation as the town slut. She is the strongest in the group and she proves it when she confronts and defeats her father – she faced her biggest fear and won.

But even after leaving Derry and becoming an adult, Bev couldn’t get out of the cycle of abuse, so she married a violent husband who, despite the appearances of their chic life, controls and abuses her.

Emotional abuse

Eddie was regarded as a fragile individual who was a hypochondriac. He had an extremely overprotective mother who made him believe he was constantly sick and even gave him fake medicine.

Later in life, Eddie marries a woman who is very similar to his mother in personality and looks, controlling him and keeping him afraid.


Richie is the club’s “trashmouth” who uses his sense of humor as a coping mechanism. Richie’s biggest secret is that he is gay, and his story becomes clearer in Chapter Two, where as an adult, Richie is not over how virulently homophobic Derry was — and still is.

He instantaneously pukes upon receiving “the call” from Mike in a physiological reaction to remembering the traumatic event — a symptom of PTSD.

Body image

Ben is the “new kid” bullied for his obese appearance. After 27 seven years, he comes back as a confident, built, handsome man.

It later reveals that although Ben’s body drastically changed, inside he’s still a fat boy with a low self-esteem.  

How does our brain cope with trauma?

Our brains automatically stores our experiences into a form of memory. Some of those memories are held indefinitely (long-term memory), and some we forget quite fast, but can still access (short-term memory). However, there are times where your brain “walls off” the memory of a painful experience, for its own good (repression).

The original concept of repression was proposed back in 1824 by Johann Friedrich Herbart, but was later popularized by Sigmund Freud. The father of psychoanalysis has made a clear distinction between repression and suppression. He believed the first one to be an unconscious way for the mind to act against trauma, while suppression is a conscious decision to block out memories.

Experts state that when we experience intense stress or trauma, actual neurological changes happen in the brain to enable us to survive the event. These changes help us cope by pushing the memory out of our consciousness

According to Darlene McLaughlin (MD, psychiatrist), if the brain registers an intense trauma, then it can essentially block that memory in a process called dissociation — or detachment from reality.

The impact of repressed memories

Your brain is doing its best to protect you, but as it turns out, the process is not a perfect defense mechanism.

At the time of the painful event, repressing the memory might be the only way that keeps us from a severe breakdown, but if the memory is left repressed, many psychologists believe that it will lead to mental problems further down the line. 

PTSD, or Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, is proof that memories can find their way back into the conscious and hit us as hard as the first time we experienced them.

When someone buries a particularly painful event to protect themselves, PtSD results in them suddenly and without warning reliving it. Certain environmental cues can trigger traumatic flashbacks of the event.

When someone experiences a negative or traumatic event in childhood, their brain records the specific sensations (sights, sounds, smells, etc.) and brings that negative experience to memory when similar stimuli is encountered in the future.


Address and confront your fears

Young Losers in It Chapter two

Dealing with trauma in any way can be an overwhelming and scary experience, and we don’t have to face it on our own. We need to understand that the struggle to overcome it does not make us weak, it just means that the trauma is powerful and its roots have grown deep.

Sometimes we remember what hurt us, and sometimes we just find ourselves in a chaos that we have no explanation for. Either way, once we realize something is “off,” we should get professional help in order to move forward.

By confronting our fear, we rise above it, we take away its power, reduce it, and finally get rid of it.

This is what the characters do in their final battle with It – they face their biggest fears one last time when they realize they have full control over the situation. They destroy the evil from their past by realizing its limitations, facing it head on, and conquering their fears.

24 To Kill a Mockingbird Quotes on Understanding People and Life

By | books, Food for thought, Quotes

Harper Lee’s novel To Kill a Mockingbird was published in 1960 and quickly became a best-seller. To Kill a Mockingbird is considered standard reading for millions of young people.

The book is about a girl named Scout growing up during the Depression in Alabama, and the things she learns about people and life over the course of two years.

The little girl had a quick mind so she grasped most lessons from her father, Atticus, and the rest from her own experience. The book is filled with life lessons and it brilliantly depicts how people can develop ugly behaviors towards others, because of a series of misconceptions they get exposed to while being young.

Scout sees for herself that even the justice system is tainted by unfairness and at only 8 years she grasps a valuable lesson about empathy — we can only understand others by putting ourselves in their shoes.

The novel won the Pulitzer Prize and it inspired a generation of young lawyers during the civil rights movement.

In 1962, the book was made into a memorable movie, with Gregory Peck winning an Academy Award for his portrayal of Atticus.

Here are 24 To Kill a Mockingbird quotes that you’ll love:

People generally see what they look for and hear what they listen for.

Things are never as bad as they seem.

It’s never an insult to be called what somebody thinks is a bad name. It just shows you how poor that person is, it doesn’t hurt you.

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You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view. Until you climb inside of his skin and walk around in it.

The one thing that doesn’t abide by majority rule is a person’s conscience.

Mockingbirds don’t do one thing except make music for us to enjoy. They don’t eat up people’s gardens, don’t nest in corn cribs, they don’t do one thing but sing their hearts out for us. That’s why it’s a sin to kill a mockingbird.

Things are always better in the morning.

You just hold your head high and keep those fists down. No matter what anybody says to you, don’t you let ’em get your goat. Try fightin’ with your head for a change.

Atticus told me to delete the adjectives and I’d have the facts.

You can choose your friends but you sho’ can’t choose your family, an’ they’re still kin to you no matter whether you acknowledge ’em or not, and it makes you look right silly when you don’t.

I think there’s just one kind of folks. Folks.

I wanted you to see what real courage is, instead of getting the idea that courage is a man with a gun in his hand. It’s when you know you’re licked before you begin anyway and you see it through no matter what. You rarely win, but sometimes you do.

They’re certainly entitled to think that, and they’re entitled to full respect for their opinions… but before I can live with other folks I’ve got to live with myself. 

Bad language is a stage all children go through, and it dies with time when they learn they’re not attracting attention with it.

You see they could never, never understand that I live like I do because that’s the way I want to live.

It was times like these when I thought my father, who hated guns and had never been to any wars, was the bravest man who ever lived.

It’s not time to worry yet.

When a child asks you something, answer him, for goodness sake. But don’t make a production of it. Children are children, but they can spot an evasion faster than adults, and evasion simply muddles ’em.

We’re paying the highest tribute you can pay a man. We trust him to do right. It’s that simple.

Until I feared I would lose it, I never loved to read. One does not love breathing.

There are just some kind of men who – who’re so busy worrying about the next world they’ve never learned to live in this one, and you can look down the street and see the results.

There’s a lot of ugly things in this world, son. I wish I could keep ’em all away from you. That’s never possible.

The one place where a man ought to get a square deal is in a courtroom, be he any color of the rainbow, but people have a way of carrying their resentments right into a jury box. 

People don’t like to have somebody knowing more than they do. It aggravates them.

25 The Picture of Dorian Gray Quotes on Beauty and Corruption

By | author, books, challenging, Food for thought, oscar wilde, Quotes

Oscar Wilde’s life was all about art, beauty, morality, and love. The Picture of Dorian Gray is one of his most controversial works that blends all these aspects into one classic novel, narrated with incisive wit.

The book depicts the story of a young, handsome man that didn’t reflect too much on beauty and youth until a famous artist painted a large portrait of him that immortalized the two things that he would later value above all else.

No one loathed the idea of getting old more than Dorian, so he wanted to experience everything, constantly reflecting on questions of morality and sin. His biggest wish was that his portrait would age instead of himself.

Besides indulging in all number of vices in his pursuit of pleasure, Dorian Gray was also looking for love and passion in their purest form.

Gray becomes a corrupted soul, and the book ends like it begins — with the portrait and its natural state of beauty.

We’ve revealed some highlights, but there’s so much more left for you to read. Still not curious?

Here are 25 The Picture of Dorian Gray quotes on beauty and corruption:

The books that the world calls immoral are books that show the world its own shame.

You will always be fond of me. I represent to you all the sins you never had the courage to commit.

Humanity takes itself too seriously. It is the world’s original sin. If the caveman had known how to laugh, history would have been different.

Live! Live the wonderful life that is in you! Let nothing be lost upon you. Be always searching for new sensations. Be afraid of nothing.

An artist should create beautiful things, but should put nothing of his own life into them.

I know what conscience is, to begin with […] It is the divinest thing in us […] I want to be good. I can’t bear the idea of my soul being hideous.

Beauty, real beauty, ends where an intellectual expression begins. Intellect is in itself a mode of exaggeration, and destroys the harmony of any face.

Experience is merely the name men gave to their mistakes.

Each of us has heaven and hell in him.

There are many things that we would throw away if we were not afraid that others might pick them up.

I don’t want to be at the mercy of my emotions. I want to use them, to enjoy them, and to dominate them.

Children begin by loving their parents; as they grow older they judge them; sometimes they forgive them.

The only way to get rid of a temptation is to yield to it. Resist it, and your soul grows sick with longing for the things it has forbidden to itself, with desire for what its monstrous laws have made monstrous and unlawful.

Nowadays people know the price of everything and the value of nothing.

Sin is a thing that writes itself across a man’s face. It cannot be concealed.

I loved you because you were marvelous, because you had genius and intellect, because you realized the dreams of great poets and gave shape and substance to the shadows of art.

There is only one thing in the world worse than being talked about, and that is not being talked about.

Behind every exquisite thing that existed, there was something tragic.

Some things are more precious because they don’t last long.

I have grown to love secrecy. It seems to be the one thing that can make modern life mysterious or marvelous to us. The commonest thing is delightful if only one hides it.

I want the dead lovers of the world to hear our laughter, and grow sad. I want a breath of our passion to stir dust into consciousness, to wake their ashes into pain. 

Always! That is a dreadful word. It makes me shudder when I hear it. 

There is a luxury in self-reproach. When we blame ourselves, we feel that no one else has a right to blame us. It is the confession, not the priest that gives us absolution.

Laughter is not at all a bad beginning for a friendship, and it is far the best ending for one.

They get up early, because they have so much to do, and go to bed early, because they have so little to think about.

5 Life-Changing Books That Inspired Leonardo DiCaprio’s Passion

By | actors, books, challenging, Food for thought, leonardo dicaprio, studying, success

You know him from his performances on the big screen for the past few decades — but there’s more to this suave actor than his career.

Academy Award-winning actor, producer and philanthropist Leonardo DiCaprio has built a legacy through his impressive character work and his investment within the Hollywood community. He’s also a passionate activist for the environment and often speaks out vocally about global warming.

Though he’s never married or had children, his big abode is full of… books!

Before beginning any on-screen gig, he always reads the text that inspired the scenes first. Of course, he also reads just for fun and inspiration, depending on the season.

Here are a few books you can steal from DiCaprio’s bookshelf:

The Garden of Eden by Ernest Hemingway 

Garden of Eden by Ernest Hemingway

When it came out in the mid-80s, The Garden of Eden was a best-seller, and happens to be the last book the iconic author Ernest Hemingway ever penned.

According to an interview with America Reads Spanish, DiCaprio raved about this masterpiece — alongside a few other Hemingway novels, including The Old Man and the Sea and A Farewell to Arms.

He likes them so much he would page through them in his second language. “One of my favorite authors is Ernest Hemingway… he is not Spanish but he was in love with the Spanish culture. Many things I learn from your country [Spain] are through his eyes,” he shared.

The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

Unless you’re a megafan of F. Scott Fitzegerald (like me!), you probably haven’t read this legendary tale since high school. Maybe DiCaprio’s fascination with it could persuade you to give The Great Gatsby another go as an adult.

Especially since he had a starring role in the film, it makes sense that he would have added it to his own library.

In discussing the experience with Time, he shared he was attracted to the role of Gatsby because he liked “the idea of a man who came from absolutely nothing, who created himself solely from his own imagination. Gatsby’s one of those iconic characters because he can be interpreted in so many ways: a hopeless romantic, a completely obsessed wacko, or a dangerous gangster, clinging to wealth.” 

Revolutionary Road by Richard Yates

This provocative book rings a little too true to home for some American households. So does the movie, which DiCaprio starred in alongside talented actress (and his good friend) Kate Winslet.

In an interview with GQ, he said Revolutionary Road was a classic for a reason: “The conversations that each character has in his or her head… While I’m sitting here kissing my wife and telling her how much I love her, and how everything is gonna be okay, there’s this inner voice that just detests her and detests my life and knows I’m lying about everything. That inner dialogue in the book was fabulous for all of us.”

This Changes Everything by Naomi Klein

This Changes Everything by Naomi Klein

DiCaprio had a conversation with Naomi Klein after reading her take on how climate change impacts everything — including our financial picture.

In an effort to argue that the more we invest in the planet, the more we build our stability, many people say This Changes Everything one of those books you can’t put down and that keeps you thinking for long after you turn the last page.

In an interview with Wired, DiCaprio revealed what he thought: “I once was talking to Naomi Klein, who to me is one of the most powerful voices in the climate movement. She wrote a book called This Changes Everything, and it’s about capitalism versus the environment. And look, everyone loves money, I love money — we live in the United States. This is a capitalist country. But ultimately we’ve locked ourselves, through capitalism, into an addiction to oil that’s incredibly hard to reverse.”

The Last Hours of Ancient Sunlight by Thom Hartmann

DiCaprio produced The Eleventh Hour and the HBO special, Ice on Fire, Last Hours of Ancient Sunlight both of which discuss environmental issues.

With the hope of provoking urgency and inspiring others to do the same, he developed these programs after reading this comprehensive book that doesn’t just talk about the bad stuff, but gives solutions on what to do.

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5 Life-Changing Books to Help Prince Harry Mature Into a Dad

By | books, Food for thought, inspiring celebs, weekly column

Prince Harry, the roguish, red-haired royal, has been front and center of the limelight lately for the many changes in his personal life. A newlywed of a year to American-born actress Meghan Markle and a new dad to an infant heir, Archie, his once heavily-reported bachelor life has come to an end.

These days, he’s palling around with his family and learning the ropes of parenthood, all while contributing to various causes near-and-dear to his heart. These include, but are not limited to, the HALO Trust, the London Marathon Charitable Trust, and Walking With the Wounded.

Since his marriage, he’s taken on the title of Duke of Sussex, Earl of Dumbarton and Baron Kilkeel, all in the Peerage of the United Kingdom.

Much as Prince Harry’s likes and dislikes are usually speculated by the tabloids, his favorite reads are, well, sort of the same. Based on various reports and experts, these are a few items you might find on his bookshelf.

Here are 4 life-changing books to turn Prince Harry into a dad:

Commando Dad by Neil Sinclair 

Did you know Prince Harry served three military tours? One in Norway, one in Belize, and a six-month stint in Iraq, as part of the Operation Desert Storm mission. He retired in 2015, but it’s rumored he still abides by some of the principles learned in his training.

That’s why some think Commando Dad, written by an ex-commando and father of three is part of Prince Harry’s collection. It details how to survive the first 24 hours, along with logical and helpful tips, which hopefully has already come in handy for the new papa.

Plus, Prince William was said to use this book when Prince George was born after it was recommended by a friend — so his little bro probably took the advice, too.

My Life In Pieces By Will Kevans

In an interview Prince Harry gave when he visited the Field of Remembrance at Westminster Abbey, he revealed how much he loves comics. And when talking about this series particular, he shared “I might read that.” With his military background, it could resonate with him, since artists depict their own visions of the Battle of Hastings, the fall of Baghdad and other history-making moments. Some of the illustrators served in wars themselves, making that much more touching and riveting. Alongside the creations, you’ll find writings and interviews, giving life to the impactful stories and masterpieces. 

Archie 1000 Page Party by Archie Superstar 

Plenty of experts believe Archie Comics are part of the inspiration behind his son’s name, Archie. This legendary, iconic, and long-lasting series is beloved by many worldwide, and if he’s a comic fan, it could make sense that the Duke would pick it up himself.

Considering a friend of Markle’s shared she’s also an Archie Comics fan — perhaps the comic book pages aligned: “She would spend her weekends going to vintage stores to buy the comics. This could be a little nod to her dad. It was him who instilled that hobby into her, that was their activity together. He would drive her around and also surprise her with vintage volumes. She had at least 100. This may be a way to reach out to her dad, even after all that’s happened.”

The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein

During a rapid-fire question-style interview with the British TV channel Dave, Markle was asked about the books she wanted to share with her son.

Her first pick was this classic from renowned writer, Silverstein. Though this interview was a while ago — even before she met Prince Harry — it’s probably safe to say they have a copy of The Giving Tree in their cottage.

The Gruffalo by Julia Donaldson

Another children’s book? If you’re a new parent, you know how it goes: your life becomes your child’s once you welcome them to the world.

Prince William shared that The Gruffalo was a “big hit”with his kids at home, and it’s speculated he gave his kid brother a copy. You’ll follow along a mouse, a hungry fox, an owl, a snack — and all sorts of creatures in this creative tale.

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4 Life-Changing Books That Inspired Madonna to be Fearlessly Different

By | books, Food for thought, inspiring, inspiring celebs, Madonna, musician

You hear her name — and you instantly hear her voice. Then her face. And then you sigh in admiration of this legend who has changed the way women are viewed in the music industry.

Madonna has been the “Queen of Pop” since the 1980s, as she’s challenged gender norms and given women permission to be their most authentic selves, with no apologies. In her tenure, she’s sold more than 300 million records worldwide, earning her the title of “The Best-Selling Female Recording Artist Of All Time: by Guinness World Records.

In addition, she was named the second highest-certified female artist in the United States, with 64.5 million album unit, and Billboard deems her the most successful solo artist in its hot 100 chart history. To date, she’s amassed a $1.4 billion fortune from concert tickets. This Rock and Roll Hall of Fame honoree has an estimated net worth of $590 million — and counting since she’s still making music and touring.

When she isn’t performing, wowing audiences, dedicating her time to charitable efforts she believes in, or serving as a mentor, the one-and-only Madonna is also a major fan of… reading!

Though she hasn’t said much about what’s on her bookshelf, she did reveal her favorites to pal Gwyenth Platrow in a Goop newsletter.

Here’s what you can expect from Madonna’s favorite books:

The Bad Girl by Mario Vargas Llosa

She may be the Material Girl, but one of Madonna’s beloved reads leans more toward the darker side.

In this page-turner set in the 1950s and 60s, you’ll follow the tangled web of Ricard Somocurcio who is in love with — you guessed it — a bad girl. He met her in Lima, Peru in the 1950s, where he knew her as Lily before he she disappeared. They meet again in Paris, where she’s married to a wealthy Englishman. Their paths cross again in Tokyo, where she’s the mistress of a Japanese businessman. Even though she doesn’t treat him well, he can’t get enough of her.

Find out what happens with this lifelong romance that teeters on the side of obsession.

Shantaram by Gregory David Roberts

It seems as if Madonna has a taste for mystery since this debut novel from Gregory David Roberts makes her list.

Shantaram is set in the darker side of modern Bombay, where a man who was convicted with a fake passport manages to escape a maximum security prison. A faithful friend is by his side throughout the adventure, and they come across the underbelly of the destination, meeting prostitutes, soldiers, actors, gangsters, and more. As the police try to find him, he lives in the worst possible conditions as an apprentice for the mafia, taking him through war, torture, murder and lots of other gut-wrenching experiences. Along the way, two characters help him to freedom.

Like Madonna, you won’t be able to put this down since, hey, it’s based on the life of the author himself.

The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger

You’ve probably cried in the movie portrayal of this untraditional love story but have you paged through the book? Madonna thinks you should, since it makes her must-reads.

In The Time Traveler’s Wife, you’ll follow Henry and Claire who fall in love throughout various stages in their lives, thanks to Henry’s ability to time travel. It’s an impossible relationship from day one but love doesn’t ask questions — it only demands you to feel the same.

Just try not to cry as you obsess over every last page.

The Quran 

In an interview with Harper’s Bazaar, Madonna shared: “I am building schools for girls in Islamic countries and studying the Holy Quran. I think it is important to study all the holy books.”

Though she hasn’t outwardly said she’s read it herself, she finds to to be one of the most influential books in the history of literature.

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