28 Books That Changed Your Life

Posted by Catherine on September 1, 2016
Sometimes we read a book and its effect is so profound it's like a switch has been thrown. We see things slightly differently, or we adopt a new approach to old problems. We're inspired, comforted, challenged, motivated, encouraged, even bowled over—and that book stays with us. We asked you on Facebook and Twitter to name the books that prompted a positive change in your life. Readers described eye-opening and unforgettable books that helped them become more compassionate, appreciative and positive, as well as books that, as one reader puts it, "get into a person's heart and soul." Take a look at the top picks below.


The Last Lecture
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The Gifts of Imperfection
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The Alchemist
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Eat, Pray, Love
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The Shack
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The Prophet
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Why Me, Why This, Why Now?
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The Four Agreements
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The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up
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The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People
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Gift from the Sea
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The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari
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Quiet
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Who Moved My Cheese?
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The Secret
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Your Erroneous Zones
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The Happiness Project
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The Purpose Driven Life
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10% Happier
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Tuesdays with Morrie
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Illusions
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On Fear
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Ishmael
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Way of the Peaceful Warrior
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The Highly Sensitive Person
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When Bad Things Happen to Good People
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Man's Search for Meaning
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Siddhartha
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Tell us the book that changed your life in the comments! Then strip away stress with Goodreads' guide to relaxation.


Comments Showing 1-50 of 118 (118 new)


message 1: by Bekah (new)

Bekah Porter-Sandy "Tiny Beautiful Things: Advice on Love and Life from Dear Sugar" absolutely gutted me, in the best possible way.
Definitely one of my top recommendations.


message 2: by Jane (new)

Jane Jago Schindler's Ark. Gutting


message 3: by Bailey (new)

Bailey Howe "Shantaram" by Gregory David Roberts


message 4: by Taz (new)

Taz Shaikh I would have loved if these were also included in a list, so I can "like " the list and get back to it when I want. Maybe create a list like that?
Thx!


message 5: by Cal (new)

Cal Littlehales John Irving's A Prayer for Owen Meany. Such a poignant book and one which touched my heart and remains my favourite.


message 6: by Alexandra (new)

Alexandra Lukáči J.R.R. Tolkiens Hobit and Lord of the Rings.


message 7: by Tammie (new)

Tammie Hemm The Last Lecture by Randy Prausch was AWESOME!!!!!!! May read again sometime!!!! I highly recommend it!!!


message 8: by Ann (new)

Ann Cal wrote: "John Irving's A Prayer for Owen Meany. Such a poignant book and one which touched my heart and remains my favourite."

One of my all time favourites


message 9: by Morgan (new)

Morgan I liked the Prophet, but I wouldn't say it changed my life. Girl Interrupted (not listed here) had a big impact on me. Mrs. Dalloway and Orlando as well. Those books kind of helped me figure out who I was as a soul.


message 10: by Hayley (new)

Hayley I Am Malala definitely gave me a greater sense of what I care about and helped me understand the struggles of many people in their everyday lives, along with The Breadwinner Trilogy.


message 11: by Ann (new)

Ann Fagley The Places That Scare You by Pema Chodron


message 12: by Cindy (new)

Cindy The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up


message 13: by Kathleen (new)

Kathleen Haselden Man's Search for Meaning. Was so intense to my soul that I could only digest a few pages a day. Fortunately it's not a large book. It set me on the path to a better relationship with God.


message 14: by Jen (new)

Jen Zun Time Keeper by Mitch Albom :)

Actually, all of Mitch Albom's books!!! <3


message 15: by Mkittysamom (new)

Mkittysamom The messenger by Marcus Zuzak


message 16: by S (new)

S Lofton Make the Bread, Buy the Butter. Showed me how easy it is to make some foods that we pay WAY too much for when pre-made.


message 17: by Mackey (new)

Mackey Morgan wrote: "I liked the Prophet, but I wouldn't say it changed my life. Girl Interrupted (not listed here) had a big impact on me. Mrs. Dalloway and Orlando as well. Those books kind of helped me figure out wh..."
It did mine and obviously many other lives as well. Everyone has different tastes and influences. Girl Interrupted is one of my least favorite books ever.


message 19: by Teri (new)

Teri Eat Pray Love had a huge impact on my life. It gave me permission to make much-needed changes, and I'm a better person for making those changes.


message 20: by Lorna (new)

Lorna At different times in my life several of these books made an impact, caused me to reflect, think deeply and make changes. A Bridge Across Forever, Ishmael, Mans Search For Meaning. Most recently I've reflected on my being a fence-rider after reading Virgin Earth...I can so identify with J.


message 21: by Daniela (new)

Daniela Messere "Never let me go" by Kazuo Ishiguro - a little great book who teached me the most difficult think in life: the Accepting


message 23: by Max (new)

Max Really, I should list 7. But at the top of the list is "Surely You're Joking Mr. Feynman." It taught me to be comfortable w. being different in the way I was. It also helped me in learning to get along in a world I felt out of place in.


message 24: by Ann (new)

Ann Bury my heart at wounded knee by Dee Brown, forever changed my image of the history of the USA.


message 25: by Cath (new)

Cath Cole Testament of Youth Vera Brittain. It woke me up, as a young woman, to the impact of wars.


message 26: by Jocelyn (new)

Jocelyn Brene Brown definitely changed everything.


message 27: by Caroline (last edited Sep 02, 2016 05:39AM) (new)

Caroline Teri wrote: "Eat Pray Love had a huge impact on my life. It gave me permission to make much-needed changes, and I'm a better person for making those changes."

I have just added this to my to read list Teri.


message 28: by Martin (new)

Martin What a great list!


message 29: by Kay (new)

Kay The alchemist is one of the books that changed my life.


message 30: by Cat (new)

Cat totally agree about Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking, it helped me a lot to understand myself :)


message 31: by Martin (new)

Martin Cat wrote: "totally agree about Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking, it helped me a lot to understand myself :)"

Is that your favorite non-fiction book?


message 32: by Stephen (new)

Stephen Ann wrote: "Bury my heart at wounded knee by Dee Brown, forever changed my image of the history of the USA."

Should read In the Spirit Of Crazy Horse by Peter Matthiessen, tells the story of the U.S. government's continued war on Native Americans in the 1970s and 1980s.


message 33: by Fadwa (new)

Fadwa I would add: Letters to my son by Kent Nerburn, Forty Rules of Love by Elif Shafak, Wild by Cheryl Strayed and Committed by Elizabeth Gilbert.


message 34: by Ingrida (new)

Ingrida Kuznecova Ann wrote: "Cal wrote: "John Irving's A Prayer for Owen Meany. Such a poignant book and one which touched my heart and remains my favourite."

One of my all time favourites"

Mine too!


message 35: by Utkarsh (new)

Utkarsh Secret by Rhonda Byrne is a joke!


message 36: by Rakesh (new)

Rakesh M. The kite runner, And the mountains echoed, Fahrenheit 451


message 37: by Mike (new)

Mike I recently read a new release called 'Candles on The Ganges' which should be right up here with the best of these books. Such a beautiful book full of love and spiritual wisdom.'


Erin *Proud Book Hoarder* Kathleen wrote: "Man's Search for Meaning. Was so intense to my soul that I could only digest a few pages a day. Fortunately it's not a large book. It set me on the path to a better relationship with God."

By which author?


message 39: by Kireja (new)

Kireja Erin ☕ *Proud Book Hoarder* wrote: "Kathleen wrote: "Man's Search for Meaning. Was so intense to my soul that I could only digest a few pages a day. Fortunately it's not a large book. It set me on the path to a better relationship wi..."

It's by Viktor Frankl.


message 40: by James (new)

James Hartley For me it´s The Wasp Factory by Iain Banks, The Rainbow by D.H. Lawrence, Post Office by Charles Bukowski, Night by Eli Wiesel, The Crime of Father Amaro by José Maria de Eça de Queiroz, Autobiography of a Yogi by Paramahansa Yogananda and Under The Volcano by Malcolm Lowry.


message 41: by Ann (new)

Ann Stephen wrote: "Ann wrote: "Bury my heart at wounded knee by Dee Brown, forever changed my image of the history of the USA."

Should read In the Spirit Of Crazy Horse by Peter Matthiessen, tells the story of the U..."

This book looks great. I have just ordered it. Thank you for the wonderful recommendation.


message 42: by Aline (last edited Sep 02, 2016 09:07AM) (new)

Aline From this list it's definitely The Gifts of Imperfection, The Four Agreements and Eat, Pray, Love for me too.
Also I'd be The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle, which every person should read in their lifetime!


message 43: by Pat (new)

Pat The Four Agreements and The Mastery of Love by Don Miguel Ruiz
Beauty: The Invisible Embrace by John O'Donohue
If the Buddha Dated by Charlotte Kasl


message 44: by Cindy (new)

Cindy Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston is my life-changing book.


message 45: by Martha (new)

Martha The Great Divorce by C. S. Lewis The Great Divorce
I was struggling with what to do about/with my alcoholic younger brother. Nothing I had done had "helped." C. S. Lewis did.


message 46: by Elizabeth (last edited Sep 02, 2016 09:46AM) (new)

Elizabeth Barter May I add 3 more:
1.Cry,The Beloved Country Alan Paton
2.Fall On Your Knees Anne Marie MacDonald
3.Rockbound Frank Parker Day


Angélique (Angel) Blessed Bi Spirit: Bisexual People of Faith edited by Debra Kolodny which completely altered the way I looked at the intersection of my faith and sexuality, This Is All: The Pillow Book of Cordelia Kenn by Aidan Chambers which I think prepared me for the mix of self-reflection and bigger picture thinking I would be doing in a college a year or so after I finished this book and also changed the way I thought about writing a YA protagonist, and The Hunger Games Trilogy by Suzanne Collins especially Mockingjay which solidified my politics and opinions around war and justice.


message 49: by Marco (new)

Marco Esteves where's aristotle and dante discover the secrets of the universe?


message 50: by Lytton Bell (new)

Lytton Bell Everything by D.H. Lawrence, Anais Nin and the Bronte sisters.


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