A good book is one you can’t put down.
A life-changing book is one that resonates with your soul and expands your consciousness, forever shifting your perspective.
Here are best life-changing books of all time.
I also provided the “Preview option”.
1. ‘Meditations’ by Marcus Aurelius
Roman emperors are known for many things such as military triumphs, massive buildings having their name, but not for their philosophical insights.
An exception of this rule was Marcus Aurelius. He ruled the Roman Empire from 161 AD to his death 25 years later.
His thoughts have come down to us in the book Meditations and put together over a ten-year period while he was on military campaigns in Eastern Europe.
While the Meditations were composed to provide personal consolation and encouragement, he also created one of the best works of philosophy.
2. ‘David and Goliath’ by Malcolm Gladwell
The Title tells you exactly what this book is about. How little guys defeat giants?
We all know the story of David and Goliath. And our first impression is that David got lucky.
But, in this book, Gladwell told us that the sheer strength someone has, can also, be its greatest weakness.
Malcolm tells different stories in the book about people who turned their hardships into advantages.
Combine that with high storytelling abilities of Malcolm and the product is… a masterpiece.
3. “Man’s Search For Meaning” by Victor Frankl
Victor Frankl was born in 1905 in Vienna. He earned an M.D. and a PhD from the University of Vienna.
Between 1942 and 1945 he was held on different Nazi death camps, including Auschwitz. Besides his sister, his whole family perished.
This book contains his own experiences and the experiences of those he treated in his practice.
Frankl argues that we cannot avoid suffering but we can choose how to cope with it, find meaning in it, and move forward with renewed purpose.
He died in 1997, at that time “The Man’s Search for a Meaning” sold 10 million copies in 24 languages.
A 1991 survey by the Library of Congress asked the readers to name a “book that made a difference in your life”.
“The Man’s Search for a meaning” was among the ten most influential books in America.
4. “A Brief History of Time” by Stephen Hawking
Stephen Hawking was probably the most famous scientist in the world.
From 1979 to 2009 he has been Lucasian Professor of Mathematics at Cambridge- a position once held by Sir Isaac Newton.
He has been at the forefront of attempts to combine two great achievements of modern physics (quantum theory and relativity)– into one grand theory.
The book “A Brief History of Time” brought him the greatest fame and public recognition.
After its publication, jokes were made about the volume and inability some people had to finish it. But the jokes were unfair.
It’s a book elegantly written. And gives you the advanced answers that scientists are giving to the questions about the origin, nature and the eventual destiny of the universe.
5. “The Story of My Life” by Helen Keller
The Story of my life accounts of her triumph over deafness and blindness. Her story has become a symbol of hope for all people all over the world.
Helen Keller was born in Atlanta.
At the age of 19 months, she was struck down by a mysterious illness that left her deaf and blind.
Her devastated parents wanted to find a way to help her. They met Alexander Graham Bell, the inventor of the telephone, and a pioneer on the education of deaf people.
Alexander introduced to them with a 20-year-old teacher called Anne Sullivan.
She agreed to take care of Helen. Eventually, the relationship between Anne and Helen lasted for 50 years.
With astonishing patience and determination, and a teaching program led Helen Celler to become the first deafblind person graduate from college.
Then, the best selling author and social activist.
The first years of this collaboration were recorded in this book.
6. “The Autobiography of Malcolm X” by Alex Haley
Malcolm was born in Omaha, Nebraska. He was the son of an African-American Baptist preacher. When he was only six, his father was found dead.
And some years later, his mother, who had never recovered from her loss, was detained on a mental hospital where she spent the rest of her life.
Malcolm drifted into crime and addiction and was imprisoned for ten years in 1946.
There he becomes a Muslim, and once released, he reinvented himself as a powerful advocate of black power and black separatism.
In 1964, after a pilgrimage to Mecca, he announced his rejection of his separatist beliefs and his newfound conviction that good men of all races could join together to combat discrimination and injustice.
On 25 February 1965, Malcolm X was speaking at the Audubon Ballroom in New York when he was shot several times.
Even though three people were convicted of this assassination, controversy about who really shot Malcolm X continues to this day.
Whoever was guilty, had killed one of the most remarkable Americans of his generation.
7. “A testament of hope” by Martin Luther King
Martin Luther King Jr was born in Atlanta, Georgia.
He was the son of a Baptist preacher. He went on to become a pastor himself in Montgomery, Alabama.
Martin accepted the leadership in one of the first great campaigns for black equality in the USA.
He was the heart of the civil movement, delivering hundreds of speeches.
In 1964, Martin became the youngest person ever to win a Nobel Peace Prize.
Unfortunately, 4 years later, Martin L. King was assassinated as he stood on the balcony of a hotel room in Memphis.
“A testament of hope” includes the most inspiring words that King gave to the world.
8. ‘The Road Less Traveled” by Scott Peck
He was born in New York City, studied at Harvard and then served for a decade as a psychiatrist in the US Army, and in private practice.
The book was published in 1978, but it became a best-seller after 1980.
What I like about this book is that his communication is direct, especially the opening lines…
“This is a great truth, one of the greatest truths. It is a great truth because once we truly see this truth, we transcend it.
Once we truly know that life is difficult–once we truly understand and accept it–then life is no longer difficult”.
9. “Fight Club” by Chuck Palahniuk
It follows the experience of the narrator struggling with insomnia.
He finds relief by impersonating a seriously ill person and going to several support groups.
Then his world changes after meeting a mysterious man called Tyler Durdan. Together they create an underground fighting club.
As Tyler says, “What you see at fight club, is a generation of men raised by women”. Men that didn’t have a father figure that could help shape their masculinity.
The fightings aren’t about winning or making money.
Fight Club is a way for the members to feel alive.
As the “Club” begins to grow, Tyler uses it to spread his anti-consumerism ideas.
He gathers the most devoted members and plays pranks on different corporations.
10. ‘Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance’ by Robert Pirsig
It’s one of the most influential books of the past half-century.
This book is powerful, moving, and penetrating examination of how we live and a meditation on how to live better.
The narrative of a father on a summer motorcycle trip across America’s Northwest with his young son, it becomes a profound personal and a philosophical odyssey into life’s fundamental questions.
11. ‘How To Stop Worrying and Start Living’ by Dale Carnegie
Dale Carnegie offers a set of practical formulas you can put to work today, so you can experience a worry-free life.
I personally found the techniques in this book very helpful. And I’m sure it will help you to.
More Great Books
12. ‘The Alchemist” by Paolo Coelho
13. ‘The Diary of a Young Girl” by Anne Frank
14. ‘Anna Karenina’ by Leo Tolstoy
15. ‘The Stranger’ by Albert Camus
16. ‘Love Is a Mix Tape’ by Rob Sheffield
17. ‘The tipping point’ by Malcolm Gladwell
18. “Zero to one” by Peter Thiel
19. ‘The Defining Decade” by Meg Jay
20. “GÖDEL, ESCHER, BACH” by Douglas Hofstadter
21. “I Shouldn’t Be Telling You This” by Kate White
22. “The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck” by Mark Manson
23. “A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose” by Eckhart Tolle
24. ‘The Untethered Soul: The Journey Beyond Yourself’ by Michael A. Singer
25. ‘The Power of Positive Thinking’ by Norman V. Peale
26. ‘Think and Grow Rich’ by Napoleon Hill
27. ‘I Am the Word’ by Paul Selig
29. ‘A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose’ by Eckhart Tolle
30. ‘The Untethered Soul: The Journey Beyond Yourself’ by Michael A. Singer
31. “100 Life-changing books” by Nick Rennison