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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
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    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
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      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

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        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

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          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

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            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

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              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

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                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

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                  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

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                    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

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                      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

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                        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

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                          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

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                            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

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                              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

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                                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

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

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                                    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

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                                      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

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                                        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

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                                          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

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                                          Last Updated on September 12, 2019

                                          12 Things You Should Remember When Feeling Lost in Life

                                          12 Things You Should Remember When Feeling Lost in Life

                                          Even the most charismatic people you know, whether in person or celebrities of some sort, experience days where they feel lost in life and isolated from everyone else.

                                          While it’s good to know we aren’t alone in this feeling, the question still remains:

                                          What should we do when we feel lost and lonely?

                                          Here are 12 things to remember:

                                          1. Recognize That It’s Okay!

                                          The truth is, there are times you need to be alone. If you’ve always been accustomed to being in contact with people, this may prove difficult.

                                          However, learning how to be alone and comfortable in your own skin will give you confidence and a sense of self reliance.

                                          We cheat ourselves out of the opportunity to become self reliant when we look for constant companionship.

                                          Learn how to embrace your me time: What Your Fear of Being Alone Is Really About and How to Get over It

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                                          2. Use Your Lost and Loneliness as a Self-Directing Guide

                                          You’ve most likely heard the expression: “You have to know where you’ve been to know where you’re going.”

                                          Loneliness also serves as a life signal to indicate you’re in search of something. It’s when we’re in the midst of solitude that answers come from true soul searching.

                                          Remember, there is more to life than what you’re feeling.

                                          3. Realize Loneliness Helps You Face the Truth

                                          Being in the constant company of others, although comforting sometimes, can often serve as a distraction when we need to face the reality of a situation.

                                          Solitude cuts straight to the chase and forces you to deal with the problem at hand. See it as a blessing that can serve as a catalyst to set things right!

                                          4. Be Aware That You Have More Control Than You Think

                                          Typically, when we see ourselves as being lost or lonely, it gives us an excuse to view everything we come in contact with in a negative light. It lends itself to putting ourselves in the victim mode, when the truth of the matter is that you choose your attitude in every situation.

                                          No one can force a feeling upon you! It is YOU who has the ultimate say as to how you choose to react.

                                          5. Embrace the Freedom That the Feeling of Being Alone Can Offer

                                          Instead of wallowing in self pity, which many are prone to do because of loneliness, try looking at your circumstance as a new-found freedom.

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                                          Most people are in constant need of approval of their viewpoints. Try enjoying the fact that  you don’t need everyone you care about to support your decisions.

                                          6. Acknowledge the Person You Are Now

                                          Perhaps you feel a sense of loneliness and confusion because your life circumstances have taken you away from the persona that others know to be you.

                                          Perhaps the new you differs radically from the old. Realize that life is about change and how we react to that change. It’s okay that you’re not who you used to be.

                                          Take a look at this article and learn to accept your imperfect self: Accept Yourself (Flaws and All): 7 Benefits of Being Vulnerable

                                          7. Keep Striving to Do Your Best

                                          Often those who are feeling isolated and unto themselves will develop a defeatist attitude. They’ll do substandard work because their self esteem is low and they don’t care.

                                          Never let this feeling take away your sense of worth! Do your best always and when you come through this dark time, others will admire how you stayed determined in spite of the obstacles you had to overcome.

                                          And to live your best life, you must do this ONE thing: step out of your comfort zone.

                                          8. Don’t Forget That Time Is Precious

                                          When we’re lost in a sea of loneliness and depression, it’s all too easy to reflect on regrets of past life events. This does nothing but feed negativity and perpetuate the situation.

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                                          Instead of falling prey to this common pitfall, put one foot in front of the other and acknowledge every positive step you take. By doing this, you can celebrate the struggles you overcome at the end of the day.

                                          9. Remember, Things Happen for a Reason

                                          Every circumstance we encounter in our life is designed to teach us and that lesson is in turn passed on to others.

                                          Sometimes we’re fortunate enough to figure out the lesson to be learned, while other times, we simply need to have faith that if the lesson wasn’t meant directly for us to learn from, how we handled it was observed by someone who needed to learn.

                                          Your solitude and feeling of lost, in this instance, although painful possibly, may be teaching someone else.

                                          10. Journal During This Time

                                          Record your thoughts when you’re at the height of loneliness and feeling lost. You’ll be amazed when you reflect back at how you viewed things at the time and how far you’ve come later.

                                          This time (if recorded) can give you a keen insight into who you are and what makes you feel the way you feel.

                                          11. Remember You Aren’t the First to Feel This Way

                                          It’s quite common to feel as if we’re alone and no one else has ever felt this way before. We think this because at the time of our distress, we’re silently observing others around us who are seemingly fine in every way.

                                          The truth is, we can’t possibly know the struggles of those around us unless they elect to share them. We ALL have known this pain!

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                                          Try confiding in someone you trust and ask them how they deal with these feelings when they experienced it. You may be surprised at what you learn.

                                          12. Ask for Help If the Problem Persists

                                          The feeling of being lost and lonely is common to everyone, but typically it will last for a relatively short period of time.

                                          Most people will confess to, at one time or another, being in a “funk.” But if the problem persists longer than you feel it should, don’t ignore it.

                                          When your ability to reason and consider things rationally becomes impaired, do not poo poo the problem away and think it isn’t worthy of attention. Seek medical help.

                                          Afraid to ask for help? Here’s how to change your outlook to aim high!

                                          Final Thoughts

                                          Loneliness and a sense of feeling lost can in many ways be extremely painful and difficult to deal with at best. However, these feelings can also serve as a catalyst for change in our lives if we acknowledge them and act.

                                          Above anything, cherish your mental well being and don’t underestimate its worth. Seek professional guidance if you’re unable to distinguish between a sense of freedom for yourself and a sense of despair.

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                                          Featured photo credit: Andrew Neel via unsplash.com

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