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.

Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail by Cheryl Strayed

An inspiring memoir by American author Cheryl Strayed, Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Trail quickly became Oprah’s pick for the resurgence of her book club in 2012. The memoir tells a story of profound self-discovery surrounded by nature. From the Mojave Desert to the green trails of Washington State, Strayed travels physically forward and mentally back in time to reexamine turbulent periods in her life that included death, divorce, drug abuse and more. Throughout her journey, she realizes how far she has come and how far she has yet to go. The book takes a close look at events that could easily defeat a person, how to manage them, and ultimately overcome them.

The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch and Jeffrey Zaslow

The Last Lecture is the recalling of a powerful moment in time. Randy Pausch, a professor of computer science at Pittsburg’s Carnegie Mellon University gave his final lesson “Really Achieving Your Childhood Dreams” to a packed room who was aware of his terminal condition at the time of it. In the lesson, Pausch examines the importance of setting goals, of monitoring one’s life, and of living in the moment. The book is co-authored by The Wall Street Journal’s Jeffrey Zaslow and is a reminder of the importance of living life to the fullest. Pausch died in 2012 but his book in an inspiration to us all.

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.

The Achievement Habit by Bernard Roth

Bernard Roth takes no excuses as he lays out a guideline to tackling life’s complexities. Forcing readers to look at their everyday language, habits, and current endeavors, Roth advocates for a pro-active attitude. The book is meant to inspire those individuals who have been thinking of starting a project, a journey or a hobby to act. Procrastination withers away page after page, and by the end of the book, the reader should be feeling motivated and most importantly empowered. Bernard Roth has crafted a book worthy of being part of our “Inspiration Books Everyone Should Read” list.

You Are Enough by Mandy Hale

Self-appreciation is the theme of Mandy Hale’s book You Are Enough which explores love and relationships beyond the standard confines. A well-regarded author and an inspirational voice for single women everywhere, Hale sends a universal message in the book that one must first love themselves before spreading love to others. The book stands out due to its modern tinge that reflects the challenges all are facing with social media, dating apps, and more. Hale’s book is meant to show that in a world of technology and uncertainty, you are still enough.

The Power of Moments by Chip Heath and Dan Heath

The Power of Moments by Chip and Dan Heath begs readers to take a closer look at events in their lives. As far as inspirational books everyone should read though, this one falls under a modern umbrella and is quite urgent. Because today’s world has become so fast-paced, people simply don’t take the time to examine pivotal moments in their lives. The book not only explains how these moments can jolt us to success but also details how to recreate these experiences. For individuals looking for inspiration, The Power of Moments should be a top-choice.


  • comment-avatar
    Paul April 2, 2019 (2:00 pm)

    Have you read Screw It Lets Do It: Lessons in Life by Richard Branson? This guy is amazing!

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    Ruel April 20, 2019 (11:58 am)

    Be inspired! Read Awaken The Giant Within by Anthony Robbins

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    Bart May 15, 2019 (1:58 pm)

    Land of Lost Souls: My Life on the Streets by Cadillac Man has inspired me several times!

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    Jacque Lomies May 18, 2019 (7:47 am)

    Read The Giver by Lois Lowry. By far the most inspirational book I ever read!

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    Willord Fryber May 22, 2019 (10:46 am)

    Have you ever considered the inspirational book Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert?

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    Jeff Woods May 27, 2019 (9:45 am)

    Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck, you should have this book. Inspiration to the maximum level.

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    Emma Watts June 8, 2019 (1:43 pm)

    Can you please add Left to Tell: Discovering God Amidst the Rwandan Genocide by Immaculee Ilibagiza

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    Lue Blitts June 12, 2019 (2:43 pm)

    Inspiration you say? You should read Let the Great World Spin by Colin McCann

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    David Fife August 7, 2019 (12:22 pm)

    One book you guys would like to add into the list would be, “Do the Work” by Steven Pressfield

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    Corey Hankins August 10, 2019 (12:53 pm)

    Mindset: The New Psychology of Success by Carol S. Dweck is also a good inspirational book.

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    David Denny September 12, 2019 (10:15 am)

    You are talking about inspiration and missed the great inspirational book “A Tale of Three Kings” by Gene Edwards

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    Latasha Lagasse September 14, 2019 (7:06 am)

    Great selection! The One Thing by Gary Keller would be a good choice too!

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    Frances Housman October 25, 2019 (2:22 pm)

    Life Is So Good by George Dawson would be a perfect addition to your list. A true masterpiece on its own.

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    Michael October 26, 2019 (4:37 am)

    This should be in your list as well, “The Four Agreements” by Don Miguel Ruiz. The author says it’s his code for life.

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    Patrick October 29, 2019 (3:49 am)

    I don’t know if you have read this already but “Things Fall Apart” by Chinua Achebe is highly-recommended by most readers.

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    Yvonne October 31, 2019 (5:16 am)

    I like how your list contains most of the inspirational books I read before. The Art of War by Sun Tzu is the only one I did not find here. Please add it.

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    Joseph November 3, 2019 (9:36 am)

    I think your list is great. “The Varieties of Human Experience” by William James should be on your list too. It’s one of those self-help books that really made an impact to me.

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    Dana November 4, 2019 (3:35 am)

    I think everyone should read ‘The Greatest Salesman In The World’ by Og Mandino. Your list will look even better with it.

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    Harry Hubbard December 9, 2019 (7:53 am)

    I used to feel down emotionally. Reading books has been my outlet. I still remember reading ‘Designing Your Life’ by Bill Burnett and Dave Evans. Just the title itself makes me calm.

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    Logan Lloyd December 9, 2019 (7:43 pm)

    I have read most of the books on your list. You have great taste when it comes to books. Perhaps you can add ‘I Love You All the Time’ by Jessica Elin Hirchman and Jennifer Elin Cole. It’ll be a nice addition.

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    Robert December 10, 2019 (4:26 am)

    I’ve had read a fair amount of inspirational books in the past but I always get amazed by how good “Insanely Simple: The Obsession that Drives Apple’s Success” by Ken Seagall at making me take action each day. It has become my daily routine to read it.

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    Felisha December 11, 2019 (5:04 pm)

    One of the many books I have read in the past is ‘Crossing the Chasm’ by Geoffrey Moore. It has become my goal to change the way I think, all thanks to this great book.

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    Phillip Holmes December 13, 2019 (2:47 pm)

    What a great list you have here but I don’t see “Battlefield of the Mind: Winning the Battle in Your Mind” by Joyce Meyer. I highly recommend this one.