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30 Classic Books That May Change Your Life

30 Classic Books That May Change Your Life
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A classic novel need not be one that was penned a hundred years ago: rather, some of the traits that define the classic genre are timelessness, universality, truthfulness. Will this work remain relevant as time goes by? Can the reader learn something heartfelt from the story? Does the narrative flow beautifully? Does it resonate with the reader?

If these questions can be answered with a hearty “yes!”, then the book can indeed be considered a classic.

Universality is usually the most appreciated aspect of a book, in the sense that people of all different ages, social status, etc. can all relate to it, somehow. Being able to glean some measure of wisdom or insight from a book is invaluable, and it’s likely that every dedicated bibliophile out there can give you a list of the books that have greatly influenced their lives. Below is a list of 30 such books—if you haven’t read them yet, you might enjoy delving into them.

1. Ishmael, by Daniel Quinn

Ishmael

    Purposely didactic, this book forces us to re-examine what we believe to be Truth, and reinforces the fact that wisdom can come from the most unlikely sources.

    2. The Alchemist, by Paulo Coelho

    Alchemist

      Sometimes, when we follow our dreams, we end up where we need to be, rather than where we think we want to be.

      3. Lord of the Flies, by William Golding

      Lord of the Flies

        Our feral natures are never far from the surface, as illustrated by what happens when a group of supposedly well-mannered young men gets shipwrecked on a tropical island.

        4. 1984, by George Orwell

        1984

          Many would say that issues addressed in this (prophetic?) book are coming into play now. You might wish to judge that for yourself.

          5. When Things Fall Apart, by Pema Chödrön

          Pema Chodron

            Pain is inevitable: suffering is optional. Tibetan Buddhist nun and teacher Pema Chödrön takes the reader through the different stages of grieving when life throws a curveball, giving gentle, compassionate advice on how to accept, acknowledge, and move beyond difficulty.

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            6. The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying, by Sogyal Rinpoche

            Tibetan Book

              One of the most powerful books of Buddhist life philosophy, this tome guides people through the magnificent journey that is their own life and transition into death, and gives advice on how to care compassionately for others who are nearing death. In our modern world, where aging and death are verboten topics that terrify the average person, this is a refreshing perspective that softens aspects of life’s journey that may cause fear and anxiety for many.

              7. Lost in the Barrens, by Farley Mowat

              Mowat

                This isn’t your standard “coming of age” novel, but rather a tale of bravery, intercultural friendships, and respect of the natural world. It just happens to centre around two teenage boys. An alternate title for this book is Two Against the North.

                8. The Catcher in the Rye, by J.D. Salinger

                Salinger

                  People tried to stifle Holden’s uniqueness, and he refused to acquiesce. Those who prefer to dwell outside dominant ideology may find an affinity with this tale.

                  9. To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee

                  Mockingbird

                    Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it, and this book takes into account massive injustices based on race and age.

                    10. Meditations, by Marcus Aurelius

                    Meditations Aurelius

                      Marcus Aurelius was one of the greatest Roman emperors, and this collection of meditations was written solely for his own use as he tried to make sense of the universe, and to create a standard of ethical behaviour to hold himself to.

                      11. The Trial, by Franz Kafka

                      Kafka Trial

                        A very telling illustration of the nightmare that is bureaucracy, injustice, and the powerlessness felt by a man in the face of all of it.

                        12. Anna Karenina, by Leo Tolstoy

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                        Anna Karenina

                          Poignant and heartbreaking, it’s a tale of intense passion and love, and also details the repercussions of infidelity and jealousy.

                          13. The Beauty Myth, by Naomi Wolf

                          Beauty Myth

                            A must-read for anyone identifying as female, this book argues that modern ideals of beauty are mostly driven by the advertising industry, and that the “myth” of feminine beauty is a political and economic weapon used by a male-dominated world to undermine women’s advancement in society. Whether you agree or disagree with the premise, it’s worth a read, and a ponder.

                            14. The Giver, by Lois Lowry

                            Giver

                              A dystopian tale about a young boy growing up in a commune of sameness that is devoid of colour, emotion, or individuality. This young man has the ability to experience what the others are missing out on, and he selflessly sets out to bring that experience to others at the cost of his own life. An interesting exploration of living outside a norm of “safety”, and what beauty and havoc that may wreak.

                              15. His Dark Materials Trilogy, by Philip Pullman

                              Pullman

                                Shows the heroism and bravery that young people can possess, the possibility of multiple worlds and dimensions, as well as the dangers that can occur when a dominant ideology/religion gains too much power.

                                16. A Christmas Carol, by Charles Dickens

                                Xmas Carol

                                  Most of us were forced to study Great Expectations in high school, thus ruining our appreciation for Dickens forevermore, but this novel really does make us pause to consider the consequences of our actions. Every stone cast into a pond causes ripples, as Ebenezer Scrooge learned during his time spent with ghosts of past, present, and future.

                                  17. A Brief History of Time, by Stephen Hawking

                                  History of Time

                                    This is a very readable, accessible, and entertaining introduction to recent developments in physics and cosmology, as written by one of the most brilliant minds of our time.

                                    18. A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose, by Eckhart Tolle

                                    Tolle

                                      Transcend your ego and leave behind jealousy, anger, and unhappiness. Life in the moment, get back in touch with your inner stillness, and stop listening to the nay-saying of that obnoxious inner voice.

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                                      19. A Thousand Splendid Suns, by Khaled Hosseini

                                      1000 Suns

                                        Part historical fiction, part social commentary, and part kick-in-the-throat storytelling, this novel is a story of intense beauty and strength buried under the surface of the cruel and capricious life imposed upon two Afghani women. Ideal for those in the West who have preconceived notions about the lives of those living in the Middle East.

                                        20. The Gnostic Gospels, by Elaine Pagel

                                        Gnostic Gospels

                                          Many deeply religious Christians aren’t aware that there were several gospels removed from what is now known as the Bible. The gospels of Mary Magdalene, Thomas, and Judas are among them, and may be very eye-opening; both to the devout, and to those of other religions as well. It’s interesting to delve into writings that were suppressed by the Church for so long, especially since they contain philosophical ideas that don’t exactly mesh with established doctrine…

                                          21. The Unbearable Lightness of Being, by Milan Kundera

                                          Unbearable Lightness

                                            This “mad myth” cannot be categorized, and forces the reader to contemplate all manner of ideas: concepts of freedom, loyalty, love, betrayal, social responsibility, and what it means to be truly alive.

                                            22. The Little Prince, by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry 

                                            Petit Prince

                                              Wonder, beauty, love, and loss, all viewed with the childlike innocence of a little Prince who lives on a small planet and is in love with a rose.

                                              “Goodbye,” said the fox. “And now here is my secret, a very simple secret: It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye.”

                                              23. Island of the Blue Dolphins, by Scott O’Dell

                                              Blue Dolphins

                                                Most people shy away from solitude, fearing they couldn’t survive on their own, but this story of a young girl’s life on an Aleutian island (based on a true story) shows the strength of human resilience, and the bonds that can form between us, and animal companions.

                                                24. Cat’s Cradle, by Kurt Vonnegut

                                                Cats Cradle

                                                  This cult tale of global destruction preys on our deepest fears of witnessing Armageddon and, worse still, surviving it. Vonnegut’s classic use of sarcasm, irony, and absurdity helps to weave a tale that is as plausible as it is fantastical, showing how humanity’s juvenile idiocy can so easily bring about the destruction of the Earth.

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                                                  25. Brave New World, by Aldous Huxley

                                                  Brave

                                                    From the Alpha-Plus mandarin class to the Epsilon-Minus Semi-Morons, designed to perform menial tasks, man is bred and educated to be blissfully content with his pre-destined role. Except one. Like Holden’s character in The Cather in the Rye, a young man who wasn’t wired to be “normal” lives outside societal expectations, and is celebrated for his differences. At first…

                                                    26. Dune, by Frank Herbert

                                                    Dune

                                                      An intricately woven commentary about ecology, family dynamics, politics, religion, technology, and overcoming fear to attain one’s potential.

                                                      27. We Wish to Inform You That Tomorrow We Will Be Killed With Our Families, by Philip Gourevitch

                                                      Wish to Inform

                                                        This is not an easy book to read. This is a book that will tear your heart out and leave you sobbing as you learn about the atrocities that were visited upon the Tutsi people by the Hutu majority, a topic most people in the West haven’t even heard about it. Delving into this book requires great bravery, and no reader will remain unscathed… but reading stories from other human beings who have survived great hardship can only serve to make us more compassionate.

                                                        28. Man’s Search for Meaning, by Viktor Frankl

                                                        Frankl

                                                          Frankl, a Holocaust survivor, penned this book after recovering from his time in Auschwitz, where he lost his entire family (including his pregnant wife). He maintains that people can survive anything as long as they have reason to do so. “Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms—to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.”

                                                          29. The Teachings of Don Juan, by Carlos Castaneda

                                                          Castaneda

                                                            The most serious and most truthful of Castaneda’s work, it opened countless people’s minds to the mysteries that lie beyond the mundane everyday experience we’re all accustomed to.

                                                            30. The Artist’s Way, by Julia Cameron

                                                            Artists Way

                                                              The perfect “bible” for any creative soul, this book cheers you on when you feel like you can only look longingly at your creative passion (writing, painting, drawing…) because life’s stresses and responsibilities have gotten in the way. It can lead you through the aching fatigue that comes from working a job that takes you from home and back to it again without a glimpse of the sun, and help you rekindle your creativity, even in the smallest of ways.

                                                              All book cover images via Goodreads.com, except the Lord of the Flies, created by Nathaniel Winter-Hébert (published with permission by the artist).

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                                                              Catherine Winter

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                                                              Last Updated on July 12, 2021

                                                              100 Incredible Life Hacks That Make Life So Much Easier

                                                              100 Incredible Life Hacks That Make Life So Much Easier
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                                                              Want to learn some quick and easy life hacks that are easy to do, low cost and saves you time?

                                                              By tweaking little things in your daily life, it can make your life much more convenient!

                                                              Here’re 100 of the most practical life hacks so you can just pick up any of them right away!

                                                              83 tie a small piece of bright colored fabric

                                                                84 write random letter

                                                                  85 use a rubberband

                                                                    86 dorm smell bad

                                                                      87 lean your phone on your sunglassess

                                                                        89 how to waterproof your shoes

                                                                          90 take a picture of the name card

                                                                            91 iron inside out

                                                                              92 old newspaper

                                                                                93 tumble try shoes

                                                                                  keep a card like this

                                                                                    SONY DSC

                                                                                      94 soap bar

                                                                                        95 make a hole

                                                                                          96 drop the battery

                                                                                            97 use a coozie

                                                                                              98 when taking a picture

                                                                                                use a clean dust pan

                                                                                                  try a pants hanger

                                                                                                    use your cellphone light

                                                                                                      use a spring from an old pen

                                                                                                        quick and easy iphone speaker

                                                                                                          user binder clips

                                                                                                            wrap a wet paper towel around your beverage

                                                                                                              put pancake mix in a ketchup bottle

                                                                                                                clean out an old lotion bottle for your beach

                                                                                                                  use a muffin tin to serve condiments at a bbq

                                                                                                                    doritos are great for kindling

                                                                                                                      use nail polish to identify different keys

                                                                                                                        use a hanging shoe rack to store cleaning supplies

                                                                                                                          freeze grapes to chill white wine without

                                                                                                                            use paper clips to organize your cables

                                                                                                                              almost finished your jar of nutella

                                                                                                                                sick of having a box full of tangled

                                                                                                                                  unroll the rim to increase the capacity

                                                                                                                                    cut open toilet paper rolls and use as a cuff

                                                                                                                                      remove the stem from strawberries

                                                                                                                                        turn an old bottle into a simple little cord holder

                                                                                                                                          for iced coffee and iced cappuccino, use frozen coffee cubes

                                                                                                                                            how to fold a fitted bed sheet

                                                                                                                                              tired of snoozing past your alarm

                                                                                                                                                place a rubber band around an open paint can to wipe your brush on

                                                                                                                                                  ut a wooden spoon across a boiling pot

                                                                                                                                                    use bread clips to save flip-flops

                                                                                                                                                      take pictures of friends holding items

                                                                                                                                                        how i always know which headphone is the left one

                                                                                                                                                          put a stocking over the end of a vacuum

                                                                                                                                                            How to make sure you drink enough water

                                                                                                                                                              user a can opener to open blister

                                                                                                                                                                good sandwich guide

                                                                                                                                                                  turn your muffin pans upside down

                                                                                                                                                                    50 pounds of groceries and living on the 5th floor

                                                                                                                                                                      the right way to make a blt

                                                                                                                                                                        add one teaspoon of baking soda

                                                                                                                                                                          38

                                                                                                                                                                            hair straighteners equals to collar irons

                                                                                                                                                                              stack your clothes vertically to see them all

                                                                                                                                                                                the right way to make cookies in the summer

                                                                                                                                                                                  how to clean a blender

                                                                                                                                                                                    the right way to eat a popsicle

                                                                                                                                                                                      use bread clips to label and organize power cords

                                                                                                                                                                                        to get the built up residue off of your shower head

                                                                                                                                                                                          user a hair clip to orgainize long wires

                                                                                                                                                                                            a frozen saturated sponge in a bag

                                                                                                                                                                                              rub stuck zipper teeth with a graphite pencil

                                                                                                                                                                                                use a soda pop tab

                                                                                                                                                                                                  50

                                                                                                                                                                                                    51 How to multiply large numbers in your head.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      52 How to open a bottle if you dont have a corkscrew.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        rub a walnut on damaged wooden furniture

                                                                                                                                                                                                          kids fall out of bed

                                                                                                                                                                                                            use toothpaste to clear up hazy car

                                                                                                                                                                                                              58

                                                                                                                                                                                                                59 keep pizza out while driving home

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  60 put your straw through the tab to keep it from rising

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    hold oreos with a fork so your fingers

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Never lose your remotes again

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        hiding your emergency money

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          use a bread tab to hold your spot on a roll

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            if you are at a hotel and run out of chargers

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              keep a square of cardboard in a ziplock bag

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                If you need to pee or smoke at a bar

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  drill holes in the bottom of your garbage

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    use an accented letter as your passcode

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      use a squeeze ketchup bottle top with your shopvac

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        do something unusual when locking the door

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          when heating leftovers space out a circle in the middle

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            dont burn yourself in those hard to reach candles

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              put a small amount of water in a glass when you microwave your pizza

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                75 use a piece of paper to organize

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  use half a pool noodle

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    pencil case to store cables

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      78 clothespin to hold nail

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        79 make blts

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          80 take a picture of your fridge

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            81 fill plastic water bottles

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              82 right ways to eat chips

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                99 if your plug keeps failing

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  100 put the banana on the wire

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    88 before you throw away a post it

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Source: Reddit LifeProTips

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      There you go, 100 awesome life hacks that you can try right now to make your life a lot easier!

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