Must Read Inspirational Books of All Time

There are some books that make you feel good, there are some books that grip you and have you turning page after page in fervor, and then there are some that profoundly impact upon you and change your outlook on life. Reading in and of itself is one of the single most important things we can do for ourselves on the quest for improvement and knowledge, but some books leap out from the library more than others when it comes to considering which have the most direct impact on your life. That’s why we’ve put together a list of some of what we believe to be the best must-read inspirational books of all time.

The Art Of War – Sun Tzu

Ask any CEO or entrepreneur which books are at the top of their recommended reading list, and this title will be within the top 10 every single time. The philosophy and guidance contained within can be of great comfort in times of hardship and for those inclined to treat business and work as a battlefield, the sage advice can help you build your brand and corporate identity. It may seem a little cut-throat at times and it’s certainly not a book to be read in one innings but keeping it close by for when things get tough would be a great idea.

The Four Agreements – Miguel Ruiz

Standing at almost the polar opposite end of the spectrum to The Art Of War, The Four Agreements is still essential to any must-read inspirational books of all time list. Whereas both books focus on belief in oneself and how to be a little selfish with one’s time and appreciation of oneself, one comes from a place of diligence and grit, whereas the other is a little more meditative. The Four Agreements is like a bubble bath for the mind, it’s cleansing and utterly inspiring.

Catching A Miracle – Mark Spinicelli

The first fiction book on our must-read inspirational books of all time list, Catching A Miracle tells the thrilling and engaging story of a doctor literally fighting for her life and those of the human race as a whole as she goes up against all the odds to find the cure for cancer. Overcoming physical, political and spiritual hurdles at every step of the journey this book is one that deftly displays the power of determination.

Waking Up: A Guide To Spirituality Without Religion – Sam Harris

Sam Harris is a respected and accomplished scientist who prides himself on his intellectualism. In this book, he carefully outlines his meditative technique and the reasons that contemplative mental hygiene is not something reserved for Buddhists and monks. The book goes into the practices of all the major religions and how each form of meditation came about and precisely why it is something that should not be ignored by those outsides of organized religion. Through meditation and mindfulness he has achieved so much more and his brain functions much better than before and he wants to share those “secrets” with the entire world.

I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings- Maya Angelou

In this inspiring autobiography, Angelou describes how her character is strengthened despite racism and trauma and tells her life story up until the birth of her child. Her hardships inspire readers to not give up as she shows how moments of despair guided her to the top. And although her life was hard, Angelou’s determination to overcome her circumstances and find peace and success is an inspiration.

The Five People You Meet in Heaven-Mitch Albom

The unknown is the most haunting element in our lives. On Eddie’s journey, he meets five incredible people who fundamentally change him. The tale also reminds us to hold our loved ones close as Eddie experiences firsthand the fleeting nature of life – it can end without any warning. Although the book might not be the happiest, it is a profound read that emphasizes the importance of living well.

For One More Day- Mitch Albom

From the same writer who brought us The Five People You Meet in Heaven comes another inspirational story for us to enjoy. His words of wisdom speak volumes as they explore how death comes to us in all shapes and sizes. In the story, a retired baseball player is faced with his past – namely, his dead mother of ten years. The heart-wrenching tale captures the hearts and souls of its readers.

The Art of Happiness- 14th Dalai Lama and Howard C. Cutler

Happiness isn’t just an art form or the state of the mind – it is a way of life. That’s because happiness and what leads to it goes beyond the mind to the external environment and conditions. As readers move through the book, they realize that happiness is in their own hands.

The Shack- William P. Young

In The Shack, faith is tested through trials and tribulations as grief and forgiveness go hand in hand. Through the pages of the book, there are many lessons to be learned. Forgiving is an internal battle that we all face in our lives, for example, and the book explores this idea quite thoroughly. William P. Young expresses tragedy and eternity perfectly as crisis hits home and changes everyone’s lives.

Life isn’t an easy or straightforward experience, and the authors of the books listed above understand that. They have explored the human psyche and illustrate how inspiration is and motivation are born from both happy experiences and deeply tragic ones. They might not always be the easiest reads, but they are undeniably inspiring and will help readers form a new perspective on life. If you’re looking for something to help boost your own motivation or change your perspective, give one of the titles above a shot.


  • comment-avatar
    Ralph January 28, 2019 (12:09 pm)

    Cool Post! Pretty much what I like! I think you forgot to include The Road Less Traveled by M. Scott Peck.

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    Justin Tryff February 19, 2019 (12:10 pm)

    Have you heard of Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff by Richard Carlson? Add it into your list. But I like your post though.

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    Timothy February 19, 2019 (12:12 pm)

    There is nothing more satisfying to see but a list of inspirational books. You might want to add The Seven Paths by the Anasazi Foundation.

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    Dan Figgs March 1, 2019 (12:14 pm)

    I suggest that you read The Secret by Rhonda Byrne. It’s so inspiring that I had to apply it to my daily routine. It applies to business or personal life.

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    Gregg April 26, 2019 (12:16 pm)

    Great post! You might want more inspirational books? Read Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill

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    Tyff Loves April 30, 2019 (8:06 am)

    Have you heard of Julia Alvarez – In the Time of the Butterflies

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    Kate Howards May 10, 2019 (6:05 pm)

    I like Mindy Kaling – Why Not Me?

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    Clarice Dawring May 21, 2019 (7:04 pm)

    I would consider a must read inspirational book would be Zora Neale Hurston – Their Eyes Were Watching God

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    Bert Tawside May 29, 2019 (4:03 pm)

    You must read Alice Walker – The Color Purple

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    Anne Taguprey June 12, 2019 (2:01 pm)

    Michelle Obama – Becoming

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    Jeff Edwards August 7, 2019 (12:04 pm)

    You must add “A Tale of Three Kings” by Gene Edwards, It’s my favorite inspirational book.

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    Jerry Bluhm September 10, 2019 (3:27 pm)

    Please add When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi in your list.

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    Samuel Stewart September 13, 2019 (5:30 pm)

    Looks a great list! You can add “Man’s Search for Meaning” by Viktor Frankl

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    Stanley Martin October 22, 2019 (1:56 pm)

    This list is great. May I suggest, Tesla SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future by Elon Musk.

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    Larry October 25, 2019 (2:05 pm)

    Don’t forget to add “The Life of Pi” by Yann Martel is one you should not miss out. It’s a great book for anyone.

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    William Fuller October 26, 2019 (4:14 am)

    I too have a list of inspirational books to read. It includes “The Checklist Manifesto” by Atul Gawande. You should check it out.

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    Devin McMillian October 28, 2019 (2:13 pm)

    Why is “Crossing the Chasm” by Geoffrey Moore not in your list? I think you should have it.

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    Jackie Bundy October 30, 2019 (8:53 am)

    I like how detailed your list is. May I suggest adding “Invisible Monsters” by Chuck Palanhiuk to it. It helped me get rid of self-doubt, enabling me to lead a better life.

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    Pauline Larson November 1, 2019 (11:24 am)

    It’s hard to believe you don’t have “Screw It Lets Do It: Lessons in Life” by Richard Branson on your list. Changing your ways is not easy but with this book, you will be able to do it step-by-step.

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    Michael Platt November 3, 2019 (3:33 pm)

    I don’t know if you have read “A Tale of Three Kings” by Gene Edwards. This should be on your list. I would love to see it here.

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    Terrence November 5, 2019 (5:53 am)

    You should check out “The Power of Broke” by Daymond John. This will be a good addition to your list.

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    Lawrence December 9, 2019 (6:52 pm)

    I would love to see ‘Everything Is Illuminated’ by Jonathan Safran Foer included in this list of yours. It’s one of those masterpieces that many people don’t know of.

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    Jeffrey Wright December 10, 2019 (3:53 am)

    I was so inspired by “The Widow Cliquot” by Tilar J. Mazzeo that I wake earlier than usual just to read it. I consider it a perfect way to start the day!

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    Joann Leibowitz December 10, 2019 (6:16 am)

    The Varieties of Human Experience by William James taught me a lot about persistence. Pushing yourself is hard but with the right mindset and inner belief, you can do things you never thought you were capable of.

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    Thomas December 13, 2019 (1:57 pm)

    With so many books out there, it can sometimes become hard to find a good one that you’ll read again and again. Good thing my recommended me “Are You Fully Charged?: The 3 Keys to Energizing Your Work Life” by Tom Rath. It has become my habit to read this book and apply what’s in it.