Advertising
Advertising

20 Books Which Will Surely Change Your Life

20 Books Which Will Surely Change Your Life

Reading the right book at the right time can have a profound effect on a human being. The best books leave a reader with a shifted perspective, about the world, society, or himself. Although many books on this list chronicle some awful and disturbing events in history, they all offer a glimmer of hope for humanity in some way, and act as guides to how we should live our life.

Catcher in the Rye, JD Salinger
51namOub2kL

    What it’s about: 16-year-old Holden Caulfield drops out of school, flees to New York City, and searches for a meaning to his life in a world in which it seems, to him, that nobody cares either way.

    Why it will change your life: For many high school students, it’s the first (and only) assigned book they can actually relate to. Salinger truly captures the nuances of being an adolescent, unsure of where his life will lead him. If you re-read the book in adulthood, you’ll find you can no longer relate to poor Holden, but you definitely still sympathize with the poor guy.

    The Perks of Being a Wallflower, Stephen Chbosky
    81pEVBiriDL._SL1500_

      What it’s about: 15-year-old Charlie tells the story of his freshman year: the friends he meets, the ups and downs, and a life-altering realization about his past.

      Why it will change your life: While it probably won’t ever be assigned reading, every high school student should read this book before they’re too old to relate to Charlie, because we’ve all felt happy and sad at the same time and wondered how that could be – because we all deserve to feel infinite.

      Make Lemonade, Virginia Euwer Wolff

      41Ts3TZu8XL

        What it’s about:

        14-year-old LaVaughn begins working as a babysitter for Jolly, a teenage high-school dropout who is barely scraping by while raising her two young children.

        Why it will change your life: Jolly’s transformation throughout the novel will inspire those from all walks of life, especially those who feel like they’ll never amount to much. Make Lemonade also teaches readers to recognize their accomplishments in life, no matter how small they may seem at the time.

        From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler, E.L. Konigsburg

        images

          What it’s about:

          Two children run away from home in New York, and find shelter in the Metropolitan Museum of Art. While there, they hope to uncover the mystery behind a sculpture of an angel believed to have been created by Michelangelo himself.

          Why it will change your life: The magic of The Big Apple is never quite the same as it was when you’re a child. The thought of two young children surviving on their own in New York, let alone figuring out a mystery that plagues even museum curators, is enough to keep that sense of wonder alive in even the most “grown-up” of adults.

          The Hobbit, JRR Tolkien

          Advertising

          6113XDPUrVL

            What it’s about:

            I would imagine anyone reading this knows what The Hobbit is about, but just in case you don’t: A loner hobbit who reluctantly goes on an adventure with thirteen dwarves and the magical Gandalf.

            Why it will change your life: Even those who aren’t into fantasy will be able to dive right into this prequel to the Lord of the Rings trilogy. It’s possibly the finest adventure tale ever written. Anyone who’s ever said “no” when propositioned with a day trip to parts unknown will surely think twice the next time they’re asked after reading this masterpiece.

            Atlas Shrugged, Ayn Rand

            51gfoUStvDL

              What it’s about:

              Professional businessmen and women fighting against government corruption that inhibits production in America, ultimately leading to the country’s downfall.

              Why it will change your life: No other novel (except maybe Rand’s The Fountainhead) captures the ideals of putting in a hard day’s work in such a blunt fashion. Warning: After getting through this massive novel, you’ll have a tough time dealing with idiocy in the workplace for a very long time. You won’t tolerate laziness, ineptitude, or the “not my job, not my problem” attitude that plagues many businesses throughout the country.

              First They Killed My Father, Loung Ung

              51A2ND4AP5L

                What it’s about:

                A first-hand account of the Cambodian genocide of the 1970s.

                Why it will change your life: When you hear the word “genocide,” you probably think “Holocaust.” This eye-opening novel reveals the atrocities of one of the most brutally calculated mass-murders in modern history, a topic your history teachers probably never even mentioned. The book is also a testament to the triumph of the human spirit, and to the idea that, although there will always be evil in this world, good will always prevail in some way.

                The Diary of a Young Girl, Anne Frank

                519HKX9M69L

                  What it’s about:

                  A personal journal kept during World War II by Anne Frank, a Jewish teenager who would ultimately be captured and killed by the Nazi regime.

                  Why it will change your life: Though the Holocaust is well-documented and understood as one of the most atrocious events in human history, Anne’s diary puts a name, face, and reality to the horrors that occurred during World War II at the hands of Adolf Hitler. However, we can also find solace in Anne’s words: “In spite of everything I still believe that people are really good at heart.”

                  Night, Elie Wiesel

                  Advertising

                  41kkT0WKkXL

                    What it’s about:

                    A young man’s struggle to survive while also protecting his father after being captured by the Nazi regime and sent to Auschwitz.

                    Why it will change your life: In less than 100 pages, Wiesel paints a vivid picture of the horrors of a Nazi concentration camp, as well as his internal struggle of becoming caretaker to his father, his coming to terms with the loss of God, and his disgust with humanity. His words articulate what it is to be a true victim of war.

                    A Higher Call, Adam Makos and Larry Alexander

                    815fSFkGxPL

                      What it’s about:

                      The historical novel recounts interweaving stories from two World War II pilots from opposing sides of battle.

                      Why it will change your life: We tend to see the two sides of a war as “good” and “bad.” This historical account shatters that image, as it sheds light on the life of a typical German man who was forced to fight for his country, regardless of whether or not he supported the cause. The heroic actions taken by both men exemplify courage at its finest.

                      To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee

                      715VLP6M-OL

                        What it’s about:

                        The events leading up to, and the fall-out from, the trial and conviction of an innocent African American during Depression-era Georgia, as seen through the eyes the six-year-old daughter of the man’s attorney.

                        Why it will change your life: One of the most important novels in American history, To Kill a Mockingbird sheds light on the realities of race relations before the Civil Rights movement, as well as the injustices and corruption of our judicial system. Seeing all of this through the eyes of a young child who doesn’t quite understand everything makes the events of the novel that much more poignant.

                        Oh! The Places You’ll Go!, Dr. Seuss

                        51Fnoqj1veL

                          What it’s about:

                          Life. Period.

                          Why it will change your life: Whether you’re 5, 18, or 50, this book resonates with you in some way. Think of all that you’ve accomplished, all you hope for; all the time you’ve wasted, all the time you’ve spent working hard; all the times you were scared, and all the times you were elated. Everything you’ve ever felt and known is touched on in this silly book full of made-up words.

                          The Giving Tree, Shel Silverstein

                          Advertising

                          91MD7TSh8tL

                            What it’s about:

                            A boy lives his life, always coming back to the tree he had climbed, swung on, and eaten apples from as a child. The tree is always eager to provide whatever she can to help the boy as he grows.

                            Why it will change your life: The way the boy’s needs and wants change as he grows simplifies societal life changes, and how, too often, we take, take, take, without ever appreciating what we have, or what we’ve been given. There are many interpretations of this short children’s story, but it’s well-agreed that it is not just for children.

                            The Last Lecture, Randy Pausch

                            last lecture

                              What it’s about:

                              Based on Randy’s “last lecture” to students at Carnegie Mellon University upon his diagnosis of terminal cancer, the book relates all the knowledge and wisdom the professor wishes to pass along to his children after his death.

                              Why it will change your life: His lessons revolve around one central theme: Have fun with life. Don’t let anyone, or anything, stop you from enjoying every precious second you have on Earth. You never know when it could all be taken away from you.

                              One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, Ken Kesey

                              61LN-oRrCXL

                                What it’s about:

                                Life inside an insane asylum in 1950s America, as told through the eyes of one of the institution’s patients, “Chief” Bromden.

                                Why it will change your life: Kesey sheds light on the atrocious conditions of asylums in the 1950s, as well as the horrific treatment of the patients within them. The novel also portrays the characters as they are (human), rather than how they are perceived by the nurses and general public (crazy humans). Kesey also works his commentary on the inhumane practices of electroshock therapy and lobotomies as “treatment” for mental patients.

                                The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, Stephen R. Covey

                                51CC2kaccLL

                                  What it’s about:

                                  The popular self-help book discusses approaches to all aspects of life that will lead to a person to success.

                                  Why it will change your life: Covey offers advice that pertains to friendships, relationships, personal goals, and professional careers in such a way that makes everyone involved a winner. The book discusses the importance of continuous improvement; once a goal is reached, a person must set another goal, therefore guaranteeing constant growth. A great book for those who feel stagnant in life and in need of improvement.

                                  Gratitude: A Daily Journal, Jack Canfield
                                  51olTDueDyL

                                    What it’s about: A journal focused on seeing the beauty in everything around you, and appreciating what you have.

                                    Advertising

                                    Why it will change your life: Gratitude allows readers to take stock in their surroundings: What do they have? What do they need? Do they actually have too much? Am I as appreciative as I should be? In our daily life, it’s easy to get caught up in “how awful our week’s been” or how we don’t have the perfect job, house, etc., but by looking at what we do have, we gain an appreciation for all of it, and realize that our happiness is not something defined by others, but by ourselves.

                                    Steal Like an Artist, Austin Kleon

                                    51B3zEFka3L

                                      What it’s about:

                                      Kleon’s message to the world that “nothing is original,” and that writers, authors, poets, and musicians must free themselves from the idea that they must reinvent the wheel with every piece they create, and instead use influential works to create their own voice.

                                      Why it will change your life: Especially in the digital age, in which almost anything a person can think of has already been done, Steal Like an Artist allows artists get past the idea that their idea is not original, and move on to the realization that, since it is their idea, it surely is original. It also helps artists realize that sometimes simply going through the motions is the best inspiration for that creative break they’ve been looking for.

                                      Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking, Susan Cain

                                      41m0N7IIcsL

                                        What it’s about:

                                        A celebration of introverted people, from the everyday college student to successful actors, authors, musicians, and businessmen.

                                        Why it will change your life: American society often celebrates the extroverts who flaunt their accomplishments and make themselves known to the world, overlooking the accomplishments of those who did so quietly with little fanfare. Cain examines this phenomenon and why it persists, and also celebrates the lives of many self-proclaimed introverts, many of whom are household names.

                                        Ishmael, Daniel Quinn

                                        718o1eBXibL

                                          What it’s about:

                                          A man and a gorilla converse about the preconceptions of modern society based on the mythological beliefs of religion, and the effect these preconceptions have had on humanity and the planet.

                                          Why it will change your life: Ishmael will absolutely shatter any preconceived notion you may have had about why we humans are here, where we have been, and where we will be in the future. It challenges the notion that we’re number one, top of the food chain, the Supreme Being that the planet was waiting for billions of years for, and warns us as to what will come if we continue to think this way. If any book on this list will change the way you see the world, this is the one.

                                          Featured photo credit: Pixabay via pixabay.com

                                          More by this author

                                          7 Public Speaking Techniques To Help Connect With Your Audience 20 Little Signs You’ve Found The One 8 Signs of a Man Who Will Never Ever Stop Loving You 8 Things To Remember When Dating Someone With A Guarded Heart 14 Signs You’re Not Drinking Enough Water

                                          Trending in Communication

                                          1 What Makes People Happy? 20 Secrets of “Always Happy” People 2 How To Be Happy Alone and Enjoy Life 3 10 Warning Signs of Low Self-Esteem and a Lack of Confidence 4 10 Ways To Step Out Of Your Comfort Zone And Overcome Your Fear 5 The Lifehack Show Episode 3: Why Validation is Key to Lasting Relationships

                                          Read Next

                                          Advertising
                                          Advertising
                                          Advertising

                                          Last Updated on July 18, 2019

                                          What Makes People Happy? 20 Secrets of “Always Happy” People

                                          What Makes People Happy? 20 Secrets of “Always Happy” People

                                          Some people just seem to float through life with a relentless sense of happiness – through the toughest of times, they’re unfazed and aloof, stopping to smell the roses and drinking out of a glass half full.

                                          They may not have much to be happy about, but the simplicity behind that fact itself may make them happy.

                                          It’s all a matter of perspective, conscious effort and self-awareness. Listed below are a number of reasons why some people are always happy.

                                          1. They Manage Their Expectations

                                          They’re not crushed when they don’t get what they want – or misled into expecting to get the most out of every situation. They approach every situation pragmatically, hoping for the best but being prepared for the worst.

                                          2. They Don’t Set Unrealistic Standards

                                          Similar to the last point, they don’t live their lives in a constant pursuit towards impossible visions of perfection, only to always find themselves falling short of what they want.

                                          3. They Don’t Take Anything for Granted

                                          Happiness rests with feeling fulfilled – those who fail to stop and appreciate what they have every now and again will never experience true fulfillment.

                                          Advertising

                                          4. They’re Not Materialistic

                                          There are arguing viewpoints on whether or not money can really buy happiness; if it can, then we know from experience that we can never be satisfied because there will always be something newer or better that we want. Who has ever had enough money?

                                          5. They Don’t Dwell

                                          They don’t sweat the small things or waste time worrying about things that don’t really matter at the end of the day. They don’t let negative thoughts latch onto them and drain them or distract them. Life’s too short to worry.

                                          6. They Care About Themselves First

                                          They’re independent, care for themselves and understand that they must put their needs first in order to accommodate the needs of others.

                                          They indulge, aim to get what they want, make time for themselves and are extremely self-reliant.

                                          7. They Enjoy the Little Things

                                          They stop to smell the roses. They’re accustomed to find serenity when it’s available, to welcome entertainment or a stimulating discussion with a stranger when it crosses their path. They don’t overlook the small things in life that can be just as important.

                                          8. They Can Adapt

                                          They’re not afraid of change and they work to make the most out of new circumstances, good or bad. They thrive under pressure, are not overwhelmed easily and always embrace a change of pace.

                                          Advertising

                                          9. They Experiment

                                          They try new things, experience new flavors and never shy away from something they have yet to experience. They never order twice from the same menu.

                                          10. They Take Their Time

                                          They don’t unnecessarily rush through life. They work on their own schedule to the extent that they can and maneuver through life at their own relaxing pace.

                                          11. They Employ Different Perspectives

                                          They’re not stuck in one perspective; a loss can result in a new opportunity, hitting rock bottom can mean that there’s no where to go but up.

                                          12. They Seek to Learn

                                          Their constant pursuit of knowledge keeps them inspired and interested in life. They cherish information and are on a life-long quest to learn as much as they can.

                                          13. They Always Have a Plan

                                          They don’t find themselves drifting without purpose. When something doesn’t go as planned, they have a plan for every letter in the alphabet to fall back on.

                                          14. They Give Respect to Get It

                                          They are respectful and, in turn, are seen as respectable; the respect they exude earns them the respect they deserve.

                                          Advertising

                                          15. They Consider Every Opportunity

                                          They always have their eyes open for a new road, a new avenue worth exploring. They know how to recognize opportune moments and pounce on them to make the most of every situation. Success is inevitable for them.

                                          16. They Always Seek to Improve

                                          Perpetual self-improvement is the key towards their ongoing thirst for success. Whatever it is they do, they take pride in getting better and better, from social interactions to mundane tasks. Their pursuit at being the best eventually materializes.

                                          17. They Don’t Take Life Too Seriously

                                          They’re not ones to get offended easily over-analyze or complicate matters. They laugh at their own faults and misfortunes.

                                          18. They Live in the Moment

                                          They don’t live for tomorrow or dwell on what may have happened yesterday. Every day is a new opportunity, a new chapter. They live in the now, and in doing so, get the most out of every moment.

                                          You can learn how to do so too: How to Live in the Moment and Stop Worrying About the Past or Future

                                          19. They Say Yes

                                          Much more often than they say no. They don’t have to be badgered to go out, don’t shy away from new opportunities or anything that may seem inconvenient.

                                          Advertising

                                          20. They’re Self-Aware

                                          Most important, they’re wholly aware of themselves. They self-reflect and are conscious of their states of mind. If somethings bothering them, they fix it.

                                          We’re all susceptible to feeling down every now and again, but we are all equipped with the necessary solutions that just have to be discovered.

                                          Lack of confidence, inability to feel fulfilled, and susceptibility to stress are all matters that can be controlled through the way we handle our lives and perceive our circumstances.

                                          Learn about How Self-Reflection Gives You a Happier and More Successful Life.

                                          Final Thoughts

                                          The main philosophy employed by the happiest includes the idea that life’s simply too short: life’s too short to let things get you down, to take things for granted, to pursue absolute and unrealistic perfection.

                                          For some, employing these characteristics is a second nature – they do it without knowing. For others, a conscious effort must be put forth every now and again. Self-Awareness is key.

                                          More About Happiness

                                          Featured photo credit: Charles Postiaux via unsplash.com

                                          Read Next