We asked 28 experts “What are the Most Life Changing Books?”
Below are their top recommendations.
Lucio Buffalmano – The Power Moves
It’s crazy how few people know that you can take many concrete steps to radically improve their relationships.
We chase happiness and health spending hours a day in the gym and overworking ourselves to chase a goal that, most of the times, won’t even make us happy.
Investing half of that time and energy in our relationships will give us three times the same benefits.
And this book changes lives for the better with concrete steps to make our relationships a well of joy.
Some people think that because they’re not in sales or deal making they don’t need to learn the power moves of the top negotiators.
And then they buy a house. And maybe sell it in the future. And buy cars. And the furniture. And do repair work…. And they get cleaned.
Learn the game, stop leaving money on the table for the sharks of this world to take. Secrets of Power Negotiation will teach people what those power moves are.
If you want to be successful, then you need to adopt a growth mindset.
Toni Coleman, LCSW, CMC – Consummate
Psychotherapist, Relationship Coach, Divorce Mediator
This book is a paradigm shift in how we view and approach treating physical and mental health disorders.
It provides comprehensive information on the latest research and developments in how gut health impacts overall health and well-being. It is straightforward, comprehensive, easy to read, and in fact, impossible to put down. It offers easy to follow steps to remediating disease and improving mental health.
Melissa Drake – Brilliant Transformations
This newly released book is pivotal for those who’ve experienced suicide loss (or any other trauma or loss).
Like a good friend walking alongside you on the recovery journey reminding you that “you’ve got this,” R. Jade McAuliffe provides readers with compassionate, actionable steps to not only survive but thrive after losing a loved one to suicide.
Tara Geraghty – Making Cancer Fun
I heard once the difference between who you are today and who you will be one year from now is determined only by the people you meet, the experiences you have, and the books you read.
There are so many life-changing books it’s hard to select just a couple. I have spent 20+ years immersed in the world of personal development and leadership as a career, so books have become an essential part of my life.
The Success Principals by Jack Canfield is my go to book for personal development.
It is the Bible of introducing someone to the power of their choice and living a life they purposely create. I believe this should be required reading for everyone before they graduate high school.
What’s powerful about this book is it provides real tangible “to do’s” so you can implement the concepts you are learning into your life instead of just leaving you inspired.
This was a book given to me by my aunt when I was about 19 years old. I wasn’t married, but I was going through my first “heartbreak” – teenage love.
This book challenges both women and men to love themselves first and set appropriate healthy boundaries in order to have emotionally stable relationships. With divorce facing 50% of our families, this is a book for everyone who is in love or hoping to be.
Michael Alexis – Writer of Life Lessons
This is a 600+ page book of tiny, two-column print that shares many of the most significant moments in history in chronological order.
Asimov is an expert narrator which makes this long book easier to read. When you finish it, you will have a much stronger knowledge of how human society developed.
Similar to the history book, this is an extensive resource that focusses on the major scientific advancements and discoveries that humanity has made to date.
Asimov starts with the origins of technology, harnessing fire, and builds on this in such a way that you can see how we advanced until we could build rockets and send humans to outer space. This book is fascinating and will change the way you see the world.
Unlike the other books I mentioned, this guide doesn’t try to focus on ALL history; instead it tells the stories of 25 awesome females that made significant contributions to humanity.
This book will inspire both women and men toward equality, which I see as life changing.
A book for entrepreneurs who want to have it all: thriving business, fulfilling life, relationships, great health. A life where business success is achieved in balance, not at the cost of one of the other areas.
A guide to passion, practicality, and purpose. A shift in perspective. A voice of reason to not live in the confines of what the world suggests, but to dream up a full life and live it too.
This book is for anyone and everyone who has ever doubted their self-worth. It’s is based on over 3 decades the author has spent working as a therapist and is designed to help you increase your own sense of self-worth so that you like yourself, feel good about yourself and believe in yourself.
When this happens you are able to live a happy, motivated, and confident life, not just sometimes but all the time.
Alex Membrillo – Cardinal Digital Marketing
While author Nicholas Sparks is best known for his romantic fictions, his non-fiction book “Three Weeks With My Brother” is a must-read. The book, co-written by his brother, follows the brothers’ 3-Week trip around the world.
It weaves in vignettes of their experiences, often including deep loss. The book was extremely moving, offering a message of rediscovery that will stay with the audience forever.
Whether you’re looking to solve personal or professional problems, this book is a life-changer.
It ignores pop psychology and focuses on proven principles to improve your effectiveness. It doesn’t simply read like a self-help book, promising quick-fixes. 7 Habits of Highly Effective People guides you through effective patterns for steady improvement.
Caleb Backe – Health & Wellness Expert for Maple Holistics
One of the most impactful books I have read is Mitch Albom’s The Five People You Meet in Heaven.
This book is a story full of twists in turns, with the overall message being that we never truly know the effect we have on this world and on other people, even strangers.
Yet the book challenges one to consider many aspects of life such as the notion that everything happens for a reason, that every life has a purpose, the significance of forgiveness, sacrifices people must make in life, and just how powerful love truly is.
Reading this book will get you thinking about life from a whole new perspective and the messages are sure to stay with you long after you put the book down.
Artem Volos – Clutch Prep
One of the best business books I read in a while. Successful companies tend to possess similar traits and approaches to their business that are fairly easy to notice. The book analyzed hundreds of companies and focused on a “winners” and “losers” and found what they had in common that made them the way there were.
This is a great book for any business major in college, entrepreneur, or even a person who wants to invest their money in the stock market and needs to understand the underlying fundamentals of a successful business.
Jill Nussinow, MS, RDN – The Veggie Queen
This book saved me many years ago and I have recommended it to hundreds of students to help them figure out their lives and why they may want to head in a particular direction.
It teaches you about yourself and what makes you tick so that you can have the best life possible.
Barking to the Choir or Tattoos on the Heart are both about changing lives of gang members which doesn’t apply to most people.
But at the heart of the books is the author Jesuit priest Father Gregory Boyle.
The stories in the books teach you about compassion and kindness and why kinship and community matter so much to each of this. The lessons help change lives as we can’t seem to have too much of these positive qualities in life these days.
This book is amazing for women who are seeking to know or obtain divine femininity and tap into their best selves. It’s easy to read and has an engaged Facebook community to discuss related topics and share transformative stories.
Milana Perepyolkina – Gypsy Energy Secrets
The numbers of things people are doing to get out of their heads grow every day. And not all of them are safe or effective.
This book offers alternatives to binge drinking and TV-watching. Some of them I bet you didn’t even know existed. As a healer, I use the techniques described in this book very successfully with my clients. Even if some of the techniques will appear too advanced to you at the moment, knowing about them will expand your consciousness and open your mind to new possibilities.
Certified Financial Planner and Blogger, The Ways to Wealth
The book that has made the biggest impact on my life has been The Four Hour Work Week. It expanded my view of what I thought about living a full life meant, and simply put, there was no going back after it.
As it’s been ten years since I read the book, it’s astonishing to look back and see the positive changes I’ve taken, in which the seeds of those changes were planted after reading The Four Hour Work Week.
Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, Wisdom Within Counseling
This is a great book for personal discovery and observing our own patterns around thinking, self-image, and self-exploration. In my graduate program, I read this book and it changed my life in such as positive and transformational way.
In this book, you’ll gain a greater understanding of building a positive, healing relationship with yourself, family members, and your partner.
A very old novel by now, but very relevant for today’s situation.
I read this during my teenage years and was heavily influenced by a lot of things: how war is so very terrible, how life can be so complicated and unfair, and especially about the term used as the title, catch-22, how rules and systems can often create illogical limitations and paradoxes. A must-read, paradigm-shifting novel for virtually anyone.
A very new book, but doesn’t mean it can’t be relevant. Homo Deus discussed what our species have achieved, and a very interesting -if not mind-blowing- yet realistic prediction of our future.
If you are religious, this book can definitely affect your theology. If you are not, you will instead question whether there is another meaning to this life, or we are just a small part of an evolving species. Will change your paradigm on history and how you should move forward.
Simon Sinek is probably one of the most influential writers and motivators especially for the millennials today.
The idea behind this book is simple: how we fare in life, in work, and in business are ultimately driven by our motivation. If we have a strong reason, we usually want to move forward, and vice versa. People say if we have the will, we will find a way.
Yet, where’s the way to the will? Apparently, the “why” is the way, our reason will provide the will.
A book that has really changed my life for the better has to be “The Magic of Thinking Big“ by David J. Schwartz.
Although it’s an old book, it’s time-tested words of wisdom make you view things in a whole new way. You start to see toxic thought patterns you use to have and the book is a true guide to ditching old ways of thinking to adopt new, profound ways of thinking that the most successful people adopt.
This book is a great aid in understanding how to sell and influence customers and leads. It covers many widespread areas – and gives some excellent tips on what differentiates poor from great salespeople.
This book went into detail on how you can make selling easier by using nudging and other influencing tactics prior to the sale. Some amazing anecdotes – such as how playing music in a wine shop can make you buy a French or German wine – just based on the tune!
If you’ve ever tried to forge your own path in life but have wondered if you were doing the right thing, this book might have some interesting insights for you.
Life can throw up some interesting challenges, but this book written by Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius offers insights on handling them. It’s a short book (really a collection of letters and notes), so it’s worth a reread once in a while.
This is a classic – almost 80 years old but still one of the best business and motivational books ever.
I was so powerful that within a few weeks of reading – both my wife and I had quit our jobs to start businesses! Very powerful indeed and seems to really resonate with people year after year.
This book is AMAZING. I finished the first half and before I knew what was coming out of my mouth I was telling everyone that I was quitting my corporate job (14 years) to go all-in on my side gig.
Four years later I’ve never been so energized, so fulfilled. Truly, anything is possible when you are living in your element.
Pause is THE message we need in a world on auto pilot. Whether you are stressed, overwhelmed or burned out this is a must read to get your life back on track and aligned with the impact you want to make in the world.
It’s great content, stories, and statistics from the first-time author (and Google exec) Rachael O’Meara.
Founder and CEO, Cereset
For daily inspiration, one of my favorite books is Global Chorus, featuring 365 daily readings on the future of mankind from noteworthy contributors including writers, environmentalists, spiritual leaders, doctors, humanitarians, and more.
This book has given me inspiration and hope not only as a reader but as a contributor as well. I was blessed to share my thoughts in which I discuss the collective impacts of trauma on our brain functions, our relationships, and our society as a whole. As a survivor of a physical attack, I am dedicated to finding a solution to mitigate trauma for humanity.
There’s also a lot of incredible insight into learning from failures and how to avoid overreacting to setbacks that I think every entrepreneur will find relatable.
An oldie but a goodie, this one is frequently on the entrepreneur’s must read list. While running a business is about a little more than winning friends, employees can be one of the most difficult tasks a business owner faces. Dale Carnegie can aid you in getting what you want out of people (in a good way!).
This book is life-changing. It will show you the power of integrating small but good habits into your daily life and show you how powerfully transformative it can be for you. It can literally turn your life around.
This book is not about not caring about anything, but caring about the right things.
It will show you how to prioritize the things you give a F*** about and not give a F*** about the things that provide no benefit for you. It will help you liberate yourself from playing the games of the world that we get caught in and help you move forward in an effective and productive way.
Quick read. I read it on an airplane and payed it forward to another passenger.
It’s about personal accountability for your own behavior, actions, and feelings. Stories about how self-limiting beliefs cause negative outcomes and those beliefs can be changed. Empowering. Nothing happens to you. You happen to it. Remember that and your life changes. These Four Agreements are ones you make to yourself to be that which you expect of others, such as keep your word.
This is another gem I give to people as gifts because it stays with you throughout your life.
Once again, personal accountability comes into play. Too many people blame others for perceived failings when the only thing you can control is your own behavior and how you react. It teaches people to follow the same laws as nature because those same laws apply to humans.
The Law of Pure Potentiality. The Law of Giving. The Law of Karma. The Law of Least Effort. The Law of Intention and Desire. The Law of Detachment. The Law of Dharma. If you want peace of mind pick up this gem to find out a description of each law and how to apply it in your life.
How did we get to where we are today?
Bill Bryson spent three years asking dozens of experts that very question to produce this awe-filled masterpiece of everything we know and don’t know about the world.
Unlike other “science” books, Bryson turns astronomical numbers into metaphors you can not only understand but gain inspiration from.
I literally gulped and gasped for air while reading this gripping true account of bravery, loyalty, and beating all odds.
A tad dense a times, but the most empowering research on how to think smarter.
Water is an essential to life on earth yet usable fresh water only accounts for one percent of it.
Many issues regarding this precious resource aren’t talked about, this book sheds light on questions such as: “should fresh water be a human right” and so much more.
There is so much I didn’t know about water prior to reading this book, this book made me look at bottled water differently and now I barely drink it. I highly recommend people read this book, the earth is counting on you!
For anyone looking to start simplifying their life, this is the place to start.
The method Marie Kondo presents is easy to understand and covers every aspect of tidying. Not only does it allow you to live a tidier life but it targets the root. It provides techniques for dealing with objects and changes your perception of material things.
Project Manager and Sports Blogger, Catchers Home
This is a great book and can be a life changer – especially if you tend to fall on the introverted side, like me!
I like the book because it provides actionable tips and strategies that you can do to… well… win friends and influence people! In addition to being actionable, it’s also inspirational, written in such a way as to encourage you to act and to maximize your leadership potential. I’d highly recommend it.
In our age of on-demand information and multi-tasking galore, it can be hard to get organized and to work effectively.
At least it has been for me. Getting Things Done does a great job of helping to tame the chaos by giving a simple 5 step framework to follow to help get your arms around your work with the goal of getting stuff done! It’s one of the best books on personal effectiveness that I can think of.
This is such a powerful book because it reveals so much that we were taught in school that has been proven wrong, how it got into the classroom and what we can do to make sure that real history and science are known.
This book has been instrumental in the building of my business and my brand.
What she was able to achieve prior to social media is amazing, and the tips she gives are something that you can easily start applying today to build and grow. I’ve been using the book for 10 years now, and there is so much value for all entrepreneurs.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do I know if a book is life-changing for me?
The impact of a book is subjective and varies from person to person. A book that may be life-changing for one person may not have the same effect on another. To determine if a book is life-changing for you, consider the following factors: does the book challenge your beliefs or inspire new ways of thinking? Does it provoke deep reflection or spark curiosity about the world? Have you found yourself discussing the book’s ideas with others or considering its implications long after reading? If you answer yes to these questions, the book probably impacted you significantly.
Can life-changing books help me overcome personal challenges or obstacles?
Life-changing books can help you overcome personal challenges or obstacles. These books often offer insights, strategies, and stories from people who have faced similar problems and come out stronger. While no book can single-handedly solve all your problems, it can provide guidance, support, and motivation and help you develop the attitude and resilience you need to overcome your challenges. In addition, life-changing books can give you new perspectives that allow you to look at your problems from a different angle and possibly find creative solutions.
Can I read life-changing books at any age or stage of life?
Absolutely! Life-changing books are appropriate for readers of all ages and stages of life. The impact of these books can be even more significant when read at different times as our perspectives and experiences change. For younger readers, life-changing books can serve as a foundation for developing a growth mindset and a better understanding of the world. For adults, these books can inspire reflection, self-improvement, and pursuing new goals or passions. For seniors, life-changing books can offer valuable insights into aging, relationships, and finding fulfillment later in life.
Can reading life-changing books help boost my career?
Reading life-changing books can certainly contribute to professional growth and success. These books can provide valuable skills, insights, and knowledge you can apply in the workplace. Books on leadership, communication, or productivity can help you become a more effective and efficient employee.
In addition, books that encourage personal development, self-awareness, and emotional intelligence can improve your ability to maintain workplace relationships and collaborate with colleagues. By incorporating life-changing lessons and strategies from books into your career, you can improve your professional skills, increase your job satisfaction, and potentially move up in your chosen field.
Can reading life-changing books make me more creative or innovative?
Reading life-changing books can definitely stimulate creativity and innovation. These books often present new ideas, perspectives, or thought-provoking ideas that can inspire you to think outside the box and look at problems from different angles.
In addition, by reading books in various genres and topics, you can build a broad body of knowledge that can serve as a rich source of inspiration for creative thinking. By exploring the ideas and experiences of others, you can expand your horizons, cultivate your curiosity, and improve your ability to come up with new ideas and solutions for your personal and professional life.
Can I expect immediate life-changing results from reading a book?
Although some readers may experience immediate epiphanies or insights after reading a life-changing book, lasting change usually takes time and effort. It’s important to recognize that the true transformative power of a book isn’t in what you read but in how you apply the lessons and insights to your life. Be patient with yourself and understand that personal growth is an ongoing process. Commit to integrating the book’s teachings into your daily life, and you’ll likely realize the positive impact these life-changing books can have in time.
How can I maintain the momentum of change after reading a life-changing book?
Maintaining the momentum of change after reading a life-changing book requires constant effort and endeavor. Here are some suggestions to help you stay on track:
Read the book periodically to refresh your memory and reinforce the key messages.
Keep a journal to track your progress, document insights, and reflect on your personal growth.
Connect with like-minded people who share your interests and can support and encourage you.
Set achievable goals based on the lessons from the book and create a plan to work toward those goals.
Continue seeking new books, articles, and resources to enhance your personal growth and development.
By consistently applying the lessons you have learned from life-changing books and integrating them into your daily life, you can sustain the momentum of change and continue your journey of personal growth.
How are life-changing books different from typical self-help books?
Although life-changing books and self-help books may overlap in some aspects, the two have key differences. Life-changing books often encompass various genres and topics, including memoirs, biographies, psychology, philosophy, and even fiction. These books offer insights and inspiration that can lead to personal growth and transformation, regardless of whether they are specifically marketed as self-help books.
Self-help books, on the other hand, are usually designed to offer practical advice, tools, and techniques to help readers overcome challenges, improve their lives, or achieve personal goals. Although many self-help books can change lives, not all life-changing books fall into the self-help category.
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