Books to Read That Will Change Your Life

There are some books that tell a story, some that educate and inform, and then there are some that do both. A good book sticks with you, for years and years after you have finished reading it. It connects with its audience and tells them something about themselves and the world around them that they didn’t know before. Whether through fiction or non-fiction, when you put down a life-changing book after finishing the last page a cool calm comes over you and a sense of enormous well-being.

There are many books that have changed lives for the better and the list is endless and depends on taste or personal preference. There are some books that will resonate more with the ideals and ideas of the reader than others, then there are others that are universally applauded. We’ve put together a short list of some of the titles that we believe should be on any bookshelf, here’s our list of books to read that will change your life.

Catching A Miracle

By Mark Spinicelli

Another example of how a truly great fiction can connect with the energy and spirit inside us all and nurture it to grow. Catching A Miracle is a thrilling story of a doctor and her quest to cure cancer, this is a story about true grit, determination, and heart. How no matter what the odds are stacked against you, you just have to dig your heels in and keep fighting for what you believe in. Part of a trilogy this first installment works as a standalone novel but in reading the series you will get so much more, these are all books to read that will change your life, in the story they tell and the characters they use, they teach you about yourself.

A Prayer for Owen Meany

By John Irving

Ask any bibliophile what their favorite books are and 9 times out of 10 an Irving title will be in their top tiers. He is an author with a frankly staggering back catalog of truly unforgettable novels. Which book is the personal favorite will differ depending on who you ask with The World According To Garp, Hotel New Hampshire, and Cider House Rules all equally wonderful entries. It’s A Prayer For Owen Meany that really resonates and changes your perception of the world around you though. The book centers on an almost impossibly challenged young boy who believes he has a destiny far greater than anyone else would attribute to him, and against all the odds he chases and lives up to that dream. It’s inspiring, heartwarming and full of life, definitely, a book to read that will change your life for the better.

Waking Up

By Sam Harris

This book is a fascinating account diving deep into the world of spirituality and religion to emerge, brimming with the knowledge that they have gleamed pertaining to mindfulness and meditation. Harris is a scientist himself and not religious at all, but he fiercely champions the benefit and usefulness of these meditative practices and explains their importance and place in society going forward. It’s incredibly well written with humor and care and doesn’t come across too preachy or arrogant in its message. If you are looking for a way to improve your mind and become a better functioning individual this is a must read.

The Bell Jar

By Slyvia Plath

The fig tree metaphor in The Bell Jar is quite simply one of the most beautiful and transformative pieces of writing that I’ve ever read. It’s sumptuously well written and no matter what age you arrive at the roots of this rich piece of wisdom it’s equally nourishing for the mind and soul. The book itself is also an extended metaphor for the feeling of confinement or being trapped in one’s head and teaches how extricating yourself and allowing yourself into the heads of others can be a freeing and humbling experience. This is a semi-autobiographical novel from one of the world’s greatest poets and its reflecting in the prose and the message. Stunningly well crafted and impossible to forget.

The Alexandria Quartet

By Lawrence Durrell

Understanding your fellow man, their motivations, and the drives that bring them to do what they do is and always will be the biggest mystery in life. In The Alexandria Quartet, Durrell weaves a rich tapestry from four different perspectives and we learn more about each of the protagonists from each of their understanding of the others than we do from their understanding of themselves. The narrative and story at the core of the work are a relatable one but it’s in the prose and writing itself that this masterpiece of literature truly shines, with each of the characters having a unique style of writing and voice of their own.

The Catcher In The Rye

By J. D. Salinger

Rereading The Catcher In The Rye as an adult is a completely different experience to when you first likely read it in school or as a teenager. We’re including it in this list of books to read that will change your life because of its shapeshifting ability to impact not once, but twice. As a teenager you can relate to Holden Caulfield, even if you don’t like him, there is an empathy and a kinship with is flawed and arrogant worldviews. As an adult, Holden becomes a stand-in for your younger self. In both instances, it’s a humbling experience that can teach you to look into your brothers and sisters a little deeper than what is offered on the surface and consider their struggles and narratives.

The Willpower Instinct

By Kelly McGonigal

The Willpower Instinct is a book about self-control by Kelly McGonigal, a research psychologist, and lecturer at Stanford University. It is based on her findings, talks, and lectures and dives deep into the science behind willpower and how we can break free of the myths and harmful thought patterns that can cripple us and leave us shackled in bad behaviors. Whilst other books on this list can change your life in a spiritual or soulful way through the story and wonderous writing. This is a non-fiction title with actionable advice that can make a stark and staggering impact on your day to day life.


  • comment-avatar
    Craig March 25, 2019 (11:29 am)

    I suggest that you add The Righteous Mind: Why Good People are Divided by Politics and Religion by Jon Haidt in the list. Pretty good book if you ask me.

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    Cloe March 27, 2019 (8:24 am)

    A Prayer for Owen Meany By John Irving made a very big impact in my life. I would never forget it!

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    Lana Winter-Hébert March 27, 2019 (2:14 pm)

    The Alchemist, by Paulo Coelho changed my life.

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    Branden March 30, 2019 (1:27 am)

    If you’re curious, there is no better book for you to get your hands on than The Portable Nietzsche.

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    Kyle May 6, 2019 (11:26 am)

    Have you heard of The Undiscovered Self: The Dilemma of the Individual in Modern Society by Carl Jung? That’s a book that changed my life.

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    Lester Dreimount May 10, 2019 (2:05 pm)

    Love these books! You should have The Willpower Instinct by Kelly McGonigal in the list!

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    Stephen Tealts May 15, 2019 (2:04 pm)

    Thinking Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman a great book to add to your list!

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    Jessie Frowneph May 18, 2019 (2:03 pm)

    My life journey won’t be the same without Walden by Henry David Thoreau. The book changed my life!

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    Bennie Green May 23, 2019 (2:01 pm)

    You need to add Man’s Search For Meaning by Victor Frankl. It’s really a great book!

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    Craig Simms May 28, 2019 (1:59 pm)

    Wow! Great list! My Favorite is A Prayer for Owen Meany By John Irving

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    Ziva July 4, 2019 (6:30 pm)

    Hi, very nice website, cheers!

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    Arthur Peachey August 8, 2019 (3:03 pm)

    How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie could be a good choice.

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    Mark Sadler September 12, 2019 (10:24 am)

    If you seriously want to improve your life read The Richest man in Babylon by George S. Clason.

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    Todd October 24, 2019 (1:09 pm)

    Your list will be better if you add “Year of Yes” by Shonda Rhimes. Not only it is a great read, it’ll give you an important lesson as well.

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    Elizabeth October 25, 2019 (3:11 pm)

    Your list could use another entry. “If You Leave Me” by Crystal Hanna Kim is perfect for it.

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    John October 27, 2019 (8:38 am)

    I admire your list. Perhaps you can add “Start with Why” by Simon Sinek. This book will help you craft a purpose-driven life and business.

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    Benjamin October 29, 2019 (6:25 am)

    I learned a lot from reading “The Millionaire Fastlane” by M. J. DeMarco. Now I wake up each morning, ready to take on the challenges of life.

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    Kevin Thomas October 31, 2019 (5:24 am)

    One of the books that changed my life is “Better Than Before” by Gretchen Rubin. This book has become my guide on how to overcome daily challenges.

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    Joshua Thomas November 3, 2019 (9:44 am)

    Have you considered adding “The War of Art” by Steven Pressfield? Not to be confused with the famous book by Sun Tzu, this book also has a guide on how to take control of your thinking and turning your thoughts into action.

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    Larissa Keith November 4, 2019 (4:23 am)

    For your list of life-changing books, I suggest having ‘Expert Secrets’ by Russell Brunson on it.

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    Michael December 9, 2019 (8:05 am)

    I was moved with ‘Quiet’ by Susan Cain. I actually didn’t expect it to be that good but here I am, changing my ways one step at a time.

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    Katherine December 9, 2019 (7:52 pm)

    You have to add ‘The Witch’s Book of Self-Care’ by Arin Murphy-Hiscock. It’s unlike any other book. It’s a stress-reliever.

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    Brian Thomas December 10, 2019 (4:35 am)

    I’ve always wanted to change the way I deal with things. After reading “Can’t Hurt Me” by David Groggins, I understood that I must take action and persevere through it all. This book is a true account of the author and none is as detailed as this one.

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    Michelle Evans December 12, 2019 (6:09 am)

    Please add “Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear” by Elizabeth Gilbert. It’s a great book I can guarantee because I read it myself.