Inspirational Books Everyone Should Read

 

We all need some encouragement or uplifting from time to time. No matter what difficulty you’re facing or how dark things may be, the right book at the right time can change your trajectory and your life. Here’s a list of five books that have proven themselves to be incredibly inspirational to readers from all walks of life.

Catching a Miracle by Mark J. Spinicelli

Spinicelli’s multi-faceted novel of finding a cure for cancer shows hope on different levels. When Shelly White was only 8 years old, she was diagnosed with cancer, but miraculously recovered and eventually dedicated her life to finding a cure. Motivated by those who didn’t survive the same disease, she discovers a man who may be able to unlock the secrets to a cure—only to realize that big pharmaceutical corporations would never let such a thing reach the public. Her story then becomes one of tremendous courage as she prepares for the fight of her life. Though fiction, Catching a Miracle is deeply human and incredibly comforting, especially to those whose lives have been impacted by cancer.

Steal Like An Artist by Austin Kleon

The book’s title reflects the first of ten ideas Kleon presents: that all creativity takes inspiration from something else. In advocating for utilizing your influences, Kleon sets the theme for the remainder of the book: embracing the world around you, rather than creating with a list of what not to do, to truly tap into your creativity. Steal like an Artist is unique in its positive approach and practical exercises, all presented in a casual, conversational tone.

Resilient by Rick Hanson

There are a lot of books out there that describe the practice of mindfulness or living in the present moment. It’s certainly an incredible, life-changing mindset, but as it’s often presented by authors mindfulness is a survival tactic, something to adapt when you find yourself at your lowest points. Ph.D. Rick Hanson frames mindfulness differently. Basing his arguments in pseudoscience as well as psychology, Hanson shows mindfulness practiced every day—not just when things are bad—is the greatest way to enrich your life.

Land of Lost Souls: My Life on the Streets by Cadillac Man

A detailed look into the lives of New York’s homeless isn’t the first thing that comes to mind when you think of inspirational books, but through his extensive journals the anonymous Cadillac Man documents how, after the deterioration of his marriage, found himself living under a bridge and what he and others did to survive. Sometimes his writings are deeply troubling, other times they reveal an incredible sense of humor and ingenuity. Ultimately, though, Cadillac Man’ story is one of hope.

Tuesdays with Morrie by Mitch Albom

This memoir is a collection of conversations between the author and his dying professor. Albom credits him with teaching him the most valuable lessons that shaped his life, but the focus of the book is the idea of what dying well and living well mean. Through heart-wrenching realizations and difficult dialog, the reader is given many chances to reflect on what it means to lead an enriching life and how to start walking that path before it’s too late.

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