30 Life-Changing Books You Need to Read This Year

Everyone has their “things”. These are the things that keep us motivated, strong, and true to ourselves. Things that make us feel and move us keep us centred and help us maintain a positive outlook and mindset. Things that challenge us keep us learning, thriving, and aspiring for more in our lives. These are the things that make us happy, remind us of what’s important and remind us who we really are.

These “things” for me are words. Since I was young, reading and writing were my constants. I didn’t know much beyond how books made me feel and the places they took me. Today, I read and compose with intention. I read books that improve my life and help me see the bigger picture. Every book that is good, and every book you are willingly to read, can spark change in your life.

Some books are more difficult than others. Some words stay with us for longer than others. These are the 30 most life-changing books that you should start reading right away!

Table of Contents

30 Life-Changing Books:

  • The Awakening

  • The Metamorphosis

  • The Colour of Water

  • Night

  • Middlemarch

  • Mrs. Dalloway

  • What the Living Do

  • All 30

These are my interests

Books

h/books * 4 Guides

The Awakening

The Awakening by Kate Chopin was read in just two days. The smell of homemade chicken noodles flooded every corner of my house. With my cats on my lap, I was able to explore the Cheniere Caminada and Grand Isle from the comfort of my couch. It was a fascinating experience, as I became immersed in 19th-century Louisiana culture and the Grand Isle. Because three centuries after Chopin’s death, The Awakening still resonated with me. Similar truths rang strong enough to draw me in, keep me focused, and help me think deeper about society’s expectations of women, relationships, and marriage.

Genre

  • Novel

  • 19th-Century Feminist Novel/Novella

  • Local Colour Fiction/Regionalism

  • Psychological Fiction

Summary

Edna Pontellier, who was never comfortable in the roles she was given, travels to Grand Isle with her husband. She finds that the relationships she makes on Grand Isle’s summer vacation don’t make her feel better, but instead bring out her true self. This sparks a multitude of life transformations her family, friends and community are not pleased with.

Life-Changing

The Awakening is both an accurate representation of the time and place it was set in (19th-Century Louisiana), and a thoughtful analysis of a novel that came long before its time. The book was banned for many years because it was controversial. The novel is a feminist one, with themes such as adultery and feminine power. It also depicts societal standards in an honest way. Although The Awakening might have been too much for 19th Century America, Chopin’s insights into a woman struggling to find herself in oppression are worth the read and will always be a favourite on my bookshelf.

Published

April 1899

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The Awakening

Amazon

The Metamorphosis

 

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Over the years, I have read Franz Kafka’s The Metamorphosis many times. It has been a constant curiosity of mine, a constant query mark in my head. It was both amusing and informative to finally discover the meaning of Kafka’s The Metamorphosis. This book is multilayered. This book is not one you just read once and then forget about. It wasn’t for my needs at least.

The Metamorphosis was my first read. I was astonished by its stark magical realism, all its tragedy, and I decided to delve deeper. I have read it at least five to six times since then. Each time I read The Metamorphosis, I find something new. I uncover symbolisms or depths or hidden meanings that I didn’t see the first time.

Genre

  • Novella/Short Story

  • Magical Realism

  • Fantasy

  • Fiction

Summary

Gregor Samsa is a man who has lived his whole life to provide for his family. One morning, he wakes up to discover that he has changed. He woke up to find that he had transformed into a huge beetle while he was sleeping. He no longer has the hands he used to have and has very short legs. His new, frightening body has made him immobile and he is unable to go to work. Gregor initially tries to hide his condition but he soon realises that he cannot continue to work. The Metamorphosis is the tragedy that unfolds.

Life-Changing

Kafka’s The Metamorphosis is undeniably life-changing. It will make you think hard about your human condition, including confinement, neglect and unconditional or conditional love. Although I’ve read the book many times, I always come away with something to add. Every time I leave this book, I feel like I’ve learned something new that I can apply to my own life.

Published

1915

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The Metamorphosis

Amazon

The Colour of Water

 

The Colour of Water by James McBride was my first ever memoir. My 6th grade English teacher pointed to a cart of biographies and memoirs, and asked the class to choose one to write about. I enjoyed reading, but I wasn’t excited about it. Memoirs? Biographies? Biographies? I was 6 years old when my mind tried to understand the title. But, it brought me a different kind of magic. It was my first encounter with a memoir that changed my life. I realised that each one had its own magic. Although my experiences were vastly different from McBride’s, it was still a profound experience. I realised that the real world and stories of real people had a different kind and power. This was quite a big deal for me when I was eleven years old. McBride is the reason I don’t think I would have written nonfiction.

It was also the first book that I read about race and racism in America. This helped me become more aware and motivated me to continue learning more about racism and injustice throughout my life. This was the first step in the right direction to awareness. Any kind of awareness cannot and will not happen without that crucial first step.

Genre

  • Memoir

  • Autobiography

Summary

This Memoir and Autobiography by James McBride is a memoir and autobiography that focuses on James’s experiences with race and racism as a child in America. It also honours his mother, whose father was a Polish-American immigrant. McBride discusses the dualities of race, religion, and racism, as well as paying tribute to his mother.

Life-Changing

The Colour of Water covers topics such as race, racism and family (especially his mother), spiritual beliefs, growth, and finding yourself. It can either be something that you relate to personally or one you use to help you understand realities that you wouldn’t have to confront but feel a responsibility to attempt to understand. McBride’s language use is beautiful and effortless. Twenty years later, I still remember his mother’s illustrations and the vulnerability and openness with which he wrote.

Published

1996

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The Colour of Water: A Tribute to His White Mother

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Night

Every person should read this book at least once in their lives. Night by Elie Wiesel was my summer read on a late-night drive in the summer with the windows open. I read Night aloud to my friend while sitting on the dashboard with my feet up. The human spirit’s endurance, mental strength, and horror at the holocaust were all remarkable to us. Although I can’t help but feel that a book about genocide is not the most easy to swallow, I do have to wonder how we can make the present and future better if we don’t learn from the past.

Genre

  • Memoir

  • Autobiography

Summary

Elie and his family are taken into Auschwitz where they must survive the daily horrors of the Nazis. Elie struggles to survive Auschwitz and his family’s loss, as well as the trauma of daily genocide. He also feels doubt and loss about his only unflinching religious belief.

Life-Changing

This book has a scene that sticks with me the most. As Elie and his family are being transported to Auschwitz by Madame Schachter, another deportee begins to see visions of their fate. When she sees Auschwitz’s fires and ovens, Madame Schachter is shocked at what she is seeing. This scene was the turning point in my life. That scene stuck with me, and it still does. Night is a scene that reminds me of those terrifying moments.

We owe it to society to be aware of what Elie saw and how Night accounted for. It is life-changing to be aware of this terrible event in history and the suffering of those who were there, as well as what it means for humanity, religion, and life.

Published

1956

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Night

Amazon

Middlemarch

 

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A fellow student asked me, “You haven’t read Middlemarch?” I looked at him in dismay and amazement. My initial impulse reaction was defensiveness. But then, I thought, “How good can a book be to provoke that kind of reaction?” I read the book again and understood her reaction. “Go read it!” This is what she really meant.

Middlemarch, by George Eliot (Mary Ann Evans), is a Victorian novel that was ahead of its time. The Narrative is captivating, and I found myself promising myself that I would only read one chapter more, until the early hours of the morning.

Genre

  • Novel

  • Victorian Fiction

Summary

Dorothea Brooke is a middlemarch woman who wants to do something important but can’t because of Victorian society. She marries an old man in her attempt to accomplish her goal. However, her husband is not open to her helping him with his research and she ends up in an unhappy marriage.

Life-Changing

Reading Middlemarch will make you fall in love with books. Dorothea’s narration and actions reflect the realities of Victorian marriages and the limitations placed on women at that time. After reading, I was struck by the characters and the writing I brought with me. It made me wonder why I had not read Middlemarch sooner. She asked me, “You haven’t read Middlemarch?” Are you sure?

Published

1871-1872

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Middlemarch

Amazon

Mrs. Dalloway

It was a pleasant day of work reading Virginia Woolf’s Mrs. Dalloway in sweatpants, a t-shirt which could double as a dress and sweatpants. This book was not something I read, but I did eat it all in one go.  Woolf’s unique, lyrical style of writing and use of stream-of-consciousness is what makes the novel and what it’s still known for today.. This book is one you will reread to experience the same emotions and feel the same world as the first time.

Genre

  • Novel

  • Literary Fiction

Summary

Spent one day in Clarissa Dalloway (Mrs. Dalloway), leading up to the party that takes place that evening. This novel, which is void of plot, will allow you to experience the daily lives of London society. Mrs. Dalloway, on the other hand, examines her past relationships and current circumstances as well as the lives and people around her.

Life-Changing

Woolf’s style in Mrs. Dalloway will change your life. It is her unique style. It is refreshingly lyrical and beautifully written. There are many topics covered, including suicide, life-long regrets, mental illness and suicide. It’s impossible to learn from Mrs. Dalloway.

Published

1925

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Mrs. Dalloway

Amazon

What the Living Do

 

Marie Howe’s What the Living Do is my favourite collection of poetry. It was my first time reading it, and I have been referring to it numerous times since. Howe sees beauty and meaning in everyday things, memories, and objects. She has experienced many difficult traumas and events throughout her life, but she manages to find beauty in these moments. This is something that really struck me. It is impossible to read What the Living Do without finding it beautiful.

Genre

  • Poetry

Summary

Howe’s brother, who was killed by complications of AIDS in his later years, recalls Howe, their childhood, traumas, their structure and their daily life. He also finds comfort in the mundane, everyday moments that make life worthwhile.

Life-Changing

This collection is about life. It’s the small, often unnoticeable moments that make it beautiful, that give us hope when we are in trouble, and that help us deal with the impossible. The collection addresses difficult topics such as abuse, death, trauma, loss, and AIDS. It also encourages us to have the conversations and thoughts we need with each other. Howe’s ability not to overlook the ordinary will make it easier to see the little things that are more important than we think.

Published

1997

 

The Alchemist

 

I was sceptical when I ordered The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho. Although it was a bestseller, and celebrities considered it “trending”, I was sceptical about its merits. The Alchemist shares many similarities to The Epic of Gilgamesh, 1001 Arabian Nights, and The Epic of Gilgamesh. Once I started to read it, mythology and other classically allegorical literature were also common themes. It was obvious to me immediately how appealing it was. It’s a book which teaches, it is a book which teaches and it reminds us of the importance of perspective in our lives.

Genre

  • Novel

  • Fantasy/Adventure Fiction

  • New information about the coming of age

Summary

Santiago, a poor shepherd, has a recurring dream about treasure. It is a dream he believes to be prophetic. Santiago follows the advice of a Gypsy woman to find his way to his destiny. Santiago sets out on a quest to find the treasure hidden in his dreams. There’s a twist. Santiago does not believe there is any treasure.

Life-Changing

The Alchemist is an original novel that aims to provide perspective and teach lessons.

Published

1988

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The Alchemist

Amazon

Frankenstein

 

Mary Shelley was my first introduction to Frankenstein before I started reading it. It’s a book I wish I could have read as a child. My Papa Wally was Digger on Sir Graves Ghastly. This popular show is a hit with both Ohioans and Michiganders. It was also a horror. We visited his home and saw old horror films, like Frankenstein: The Man Who Made The Monster (1931).

I was transported back to the sweet, simple times that Papa Wally used to take me when I read Frankenstein. As I read the pages, I felt the urge to share all the wonderful details in Frankenstein with Papa Wally.

Genre

  • Novel

  • Gothic Fiction

  • Science Fiction

  • Horror Fiction

Summary

Scientist Victor Frankenstein uses science and technology to create new life from parts of dead men. Frankenstein is the product of his creations. He is so stunned by it all, he decides to abandon the man he made.

Life-Changing

This is not a book about a monster. Yes, it is. It is also so much more. Frankenstein is all about creation. It is about creation and death. It’s about loneliness and isolation as well as the revenge Victor Frankenstein’s creation seeks against his creator. Every human should read Frankenstein to understand its central themes and their place in our lives.

Published

1818

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Frankenstein

Amazon

The Old Man & The Sea

 

Santiago, Hemingway’s old man from The Old Man and The Sea is still vivid in my memory. He was a character that I had once met but he is still etched in my mind.  You are your best character if they stay with you. My brain holds Santiago and other characters I’ve loved over the years. I was nineteen when I experienced the tragic loss of a loved one. The Old Man and The Sea was the first book I read. It helped me see the beauty and sadness of life.

Genre

  • Novel

  • Fiction

  • Allegory

Summary

Santiago has not had much luck lately with catching fish. Santiago has worked as a fisherman for his entire life and now he is fighting to catch the largest marlin he can. Santiago’s fight to catch the marlin is a battle that has resulted in The Old Man and The Sea.

Life-Changing

It is hard to ignore the main themes of The Old Man and the Sea. Hemingway’s The Old Man, The Sea contains major themes like loss of youth, loneliness, hardship, perseverance, nature’s effects on the human body, spirit, and soul. These themes are important to understand and apply to your own life. It is difficult to read The Old Man, The Sea.

Published

1952

Here

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The Old Man & The Sea

Amazon

We are Shortly Amazing

 

Ocean Vuong’s book On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous, was my first purchase. It was my first purchase. I read it while I had terrible flu symptoms. One leg resting on a wall. One leg resting on the wall with the head hanging off the edge. Arms extended, book in hand. There is only one pillow. There are not many pillows. Five pillows. To get to bed, I brought a stack of tissues. It took me several days to read the book, and then I crawled into bed to find a comfortable spot. Vuong’s poetry, relevant subject matter and wit drew my attention. I was even in a flu fog.

Genre

  • Novel

  • Literary Fiction

  • New information about the coming of age

Summary

Little Dog sends his mother a loving letter called “On earth We’re Briefly Glamorous”. Little Dog uses his love of storytelling to explore his painful past, share his emotions and heal it.

Life-Changing

The poignant documentary, On Earth We’re Briefly Beautiful, examines the America that we live in today. Today many people are struggling with issues like poverty, trauma, abuse, mental illness, and broken family structures. As I write this, someone is struggling with trauma, mental illness, abuse, poverty, or loss. After being expelled from their home, someone is trying to find a new place in America. One person is learning, growing up and discovering their body and sexuality.  This allows them to be a better person. As the title implies, this book reminds us that we are all only briefly beautiful on this planet.

Published

2019

Here

All available

The Novel: On Earth, We’re Briefly Beautiful:

Amazon

Wild

 

Just in time, Wild by Cheryl Strayed was finished just as I needed. The book came with plenty of notes and page markers so that I could bring it to work during my lunch break as well as during 15-minute breaks. I broke the cardinal rule and folded the edges at the lines that I liked, highlighted them, then read Strayed’s Pacific Crest Trail story again. It was easy to see how similar our lives were.

Genre

  • Memoir

  • Autobiography

  • Travel Literature

Summary

Cheryl Strayed, who survived her mother’s sudden passing, struggles with drug addiction. She eventually spirals into self-destruction and ultimately ends up divorcing. Strayed set out to hike the Pacific Crest Trail to seek peace for herself and others. Strayed spent many months hiking the Pacific Crest Trail after her mother’s death. Strayed also changed her identity and looked back at her past in order to find peace.

Life-Changing

Strayed’s extraordinary ability to rebuild and refine her life after a life-changing experience is inspiring. Think about what happens when you lose your parents and then yourself. You decide to make a bold move and purchase boots and trek the Pacific Crest Trail for several months. This life-changing decision inspires readers to step out of their comfort zones and live in the moment.

Published

2012

Here

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 Wild: From Lost to Found along the Pacific Crest Trail

 

Amazon

One Hundred Years of Solitude

 

One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez was a book I didn’t expect to like at first. Marquez was an exceptional writer, and the book was highly regarded for its magical realism style. However, I wasn’t interested in the subject matter. It was not something I expected I would enjoy.  It is not worth reading books that you don’t love..

I was wrong. I already had a list of classics I wanted to conquer. I then added One Hundred Years of Solitude to my list. I found the subject matter pertinent as a human being who was a descendant of a long line of relatives whose stories I would be repeating.

Genre

  • Novel

  • Magical Realism

  • Tragic

Summary

One Hundred Years of Solitude tells the story of seven generations of Buendia families, or more than 100 years of Macondo history. They are a repeat of history and the time is not theirs.

Life-Changing

Are you able to recall feeling that you were following a family tradition, making a move, or taking a step? Do you ever feel stuck on a ferris wheel? Have you ever wondered what your parents did right or wrong compared to yours? We all make mistakes, no matter how small. This book provides a rich, thoughtful and simple way to view history and time.  It’s worth spending a few minutes reading it.

Published

1967

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One Hundred Years of Solitude

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7 Habits of Highly Effective People

 

Once I was a case manager in a behavioural unit. It was hard for me to leave my job every day. What can I do to help? What gifts could I give them to support their next steps? Serving others is not an easy task. I tried to give literature as a way to help others. Stephen Covey’s 7 Habits of Highly Effective People was a book I used frequently. Each chapter was explained and I wanted them each to read at least one line that could make a difference in their lives. This self-help classic has magical chapters. We all need some magic from now on.

Genre

  • Self-help

Summary

Stephen Covey’s 7 Habits of Highly Successful People emphasises the importance of interpersonal effectiveness and personal success. You can achieve this by looking within and using techniques to improve one’s motivations and behaviour to be more productive.

Life-Changing

Stephen Covey’s 7 Habits of Highly Effective People is the best-selling self-help book. To live a happier and better life, it is important to look within. This book is full of valuable information that will guide you to take the next step towards inner peace and external success.

Published

1989

Here

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7 Habits of Highly Effective People

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There are infinite parallel universes

 

Randy Ribay’s An infinite Number of parallel universes is my favourite YA novel. An Infinite Number of Parallel Universes is all about acceptance of our common humanity and the need for us to grow together. It also highlights friendship, unity and coming of age.

I was very moved by the book. It was an emotional rollercoaster ride through senior year of growth, love, loss, and learning. It was a very cathartic experience. I hope you do too.

Genre

  • Novel

  • Young Adult (YA) Fiction

  • Bildungsroman

Summary

Four of their friends are going through daily struggles and the growing pains of senior year. They meet weekly to play Dungeons and Dragons. To escape their problems, they decide to take a road trip. As they confront life’s challenges, a seemingly innocent escape turns into a life-changing adventure.

Life-Changing

The life-changing power of YA novels is also possible. The most loved books among book lovers are YA novels. Many YA novels can spark a lifetime of love for reading. They encourage us to be critical and ask difficult questions about our lives and relationships. It helps us come to terms with our own maturing. There are an infinite number of parallel universes that illustrate the importance of friendship, support, and unity on our journey to become who we were meant for.

 

Published

2015

Here

All available

There are infinite parallel universes

on Amazon

The Age of Innocence

 

Edith Wharton’s The Age of Innocence was on my TBR list for many years. I waited patiently to return it and give it the attention that it deserved. The Winter of 2019 was marked by The Age of Innocence, which was read with a cup of tea. The Age of Innocence is a classic because of Wharton’s meticulous attention to details and the social structure of 1870 New York’s elite Society.

Genre

  • Novel

  • Fiction

Summary

Newland Archer has his whole life planned out for him after he is engaged to May Welland. He falls in love with Ellen Olenska just as he is about to get married to May Welland, creating a scandal that threatens both his life and his place within society.

Life-Changing

How can you fit into society? How important is society in your life? What amount of space does it take up? You will be transported to another “age” or time through the 19th-century novel. Wharton’s analysis of the 19th century brings back many disturbing parallels in today’s society. Although we may believe the past is behind us, and we don’t have any of it with us today, it is actually with us. The Age of Innocence is a book that will help you reflect on where you are today and how it affects your actions and thoughts. What can you do to influence others? What can you do to influence others? What societal rules are you following? What does this all mean for your everyday life?

Published

1920

Here

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The Age of Innocence

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Invisible Man

 

Ralph Ellison’s Invisible Man was my first impression. It changed the way I view race and identity in America, and also how I perceive other people. The “invisible man” is another character I treasure over the years. Images of him in his underground chamber fighting in the terrible battle royal, and then navigating through the difficulties of his life as an invisible person have been a part of my college experience since that first year. This recommendation and the lessons it taught me, as well Ellison’s realistic, but surrealist writing will be part of my life forever.

Genre

  • American Novel

  • Literary Fiction

  • Bildungsroman

Summary

Unnamed, unidentified man confronts America’s realities about race after he is allowed admission to an all-black college at an outrageously high cost. He realises that society isn’t ready to accept him as he makes his way from the south to Harlem, New York.

Life-Changing

Invisible Man is an American literary masterpiece. It is a masterpiece because of its writing, gritty, disturbing imagery, themes about racism, American race, and the combination that realism and surrealism make it great. Every American should read this novel. Every scene in Invisible Man will expose the reality of racism, even the ones that appear most bizarre.

Published

1952

Here

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Invisible Man

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 True love: A practice that awakens the heart

 

When I was 18, my boyfriend surprised me with True Love by Thich Nhat Hanh. Twelve years later, this book remains a favourite of mine. I still treasure its pages for the mantras and ideas it contains about how to love yourself better, how to show appreciation and communicate with others, and how you can be a better person.

As a modified version from the method in the book, I still try to say “I appreciate” today. It is possible to express gratitude with the powerful word “I appreciate”. Everyone wants to feel valued. This simple statement can be used by others to let them know that I appreciate all that they have done for us and that we are valued as individuals.

Genre

  • Self-help

Summary

Thich Nhat Hanh teaches four elements of love: loving kindnesses, compassion, joy, and compassion. Thich Nhat Hanh can recite these essential elements in many ways, including mantras and affirmations.

Life-Changing

This book is not intended to be read by Buddhists or people with any religious knowledge. This book is about how to use Buddhist techniques to improve communication and build supportive, loving relationships. This book is about showing love and appreciation to your partner as a person. This book is not meant to convert you to Buddhism, or any other religion.

This book helped me see the mistakes I made as a young person and to understand what it meant to love. No matter your religious background, there are simple mantras and affirmations that can be used to increase love. This book can be used to help you love your partner more, to love yourself better, and to love all people.

Published

1997

Here

All available

 True love: A practice that awakens the heart

Amazon

 Four Agreements: A Practical Guide for Personal Freedom

 

Miguel Ruiz’s Four Agreements, A Practical Guide for Personal Freedom helped me when I was jumping to conclusions about other people’s actions and the reasons behind different events. I learned to trust my instincts, to listen to others’ thoughts and not jump to conclusions.

Genre

  • Self-help

Summary

Miguel Ruiz presents these four agreements in The Four Agreements. A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom: 1. Be true to your word. Don’t take anything personally 3. Don’t make assumptions. 4. Always do your best. These four agreements can transform your life and help to bring happiness, peace, fulfilment, and joy.

Life-Changing

Ruiz employs simple principles that are based on ancient Toltec wisdom to address complex issues and bad habits. These principles will help you make important life changes. These four agreements can serve as a guideline and mantra for your life. The  Four Agreements: The Practical Guide to Personal Freedom

can help break bad habits, eliminate negative thoughts, and make positive changes.

Published

1997

Here

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Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom

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My Body is a Book of Rules

From college, this book was a favourite of mine. It was the first time I read it, and then two more times. It was a year later that I discovered it again, and began to look through its pages. When you turn 18. Mental illness. Psychotropic medication. Identity. Ethnic Identity. Sexuality. This book challenges and examines the rules and boundaries of sexuality. Elissa Washuta’s My Body is a Book of Rules explores the ways we should be able talk about and express all of those things that aren’t allowed. You don’t need to apologise. Shame is not an option. There is no shame when Washuta tells the truth in meaningful and clever ways.

Genre

  • Memoir

  • Autobiography

Summary

Washuta has bipolar disorder and trauma. She must adapt to adulthood. She must also explore her sexuality, and deal with the psychotropic medication’s side effects.

Life-Changing

This truth is for you if you have ever struggled with your mental health, sexuality, trauma, coming of age, ethnic identity, religion, or simply love to hear women shout from the rooftops. It is beautiful and valid.  Washuta’s book My Body Is A Book of Rules, is a must-read. It will amaze you at Washuta’s clever organisation of the hybrid memoir, her word choice and the themes that run through the whole memoir.

Published

2014

Here

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My Body is a Book of Rules

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How to do the work

 

Current reading: How to Do the Work by Nicole LePera. Audiobooks are what I listen to while I walk. I was tired of reading novels and memoirs so I decided to give up my books in order to read a self-help book. Although I didn’t expect much, I have been reading How To Do The Work every day for the past several weeks. Anyone can benefit from its simplicity and holistic approach. It’s a big hit on social media.

After only ten minutes of walking, I realised that even though I was nervous, there was something tangible in How To Do The Work. LePera emphasises simple, effective healing techniques, making it less overwhelming, less stressful, easier, and more manageable. LePera is like having a good teacher. The assignments were fun and provided practical advice.

Genre

  • Self-help

Summary

Dr. Nicole LePera draws from her experience as a psychologist and research in holistic psychology to provide a fresh approach to helping people manage their mental health. LePera explains the steps she took to overcome trauma and find inner peace.

Life-Changing

LePera employs holistic psychology to help with pattern recognition, emotional treatment and healing, as well as coping and breaking bad habits that can lead you to feeling stuck. How To Do The Work is for you if you feel stuck, unhappy, or traumatised in your mental health. This is a simple, life-changing method that will help you take control over your mental and/or emotional health.

Published

2021

Here

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How to do the work

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Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Changes Our Lives, Loves and Parenting.

 

Dr. Brene Brown’s Daring Greatly is a self-help guide that helps us find the courage to be our best selves. It transformed the way I see vulnerability. It is not a weakness to be vulnerable. It is a strength.

Daring Greatly was the book which made me realise that my natural instinct to be vulnerable was the right one, and that I should embrace that vulnerability.

Genre

  • Self-help

Summary

Dr. Brene Brown inspires readers with Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms Our Lives, Love, and Parenting

Life-Changing

Many people struggle with being honest, being themselves, expressing their feelings and being authentic. Daring Greatly is self-help and motivational. Daring Greatly can help you discover your true self, and make brave decisions in your life.

Published

2012

Here

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Greatly

Amazon

Between the World and Me

 

This book is impossible to read without feeling every emotion. Ta-NehisiCoates’ Between the World and Me is so intimate and raw that you can’t help but be enveloped in a host of pertinent, enveloping emotions. Between the World and Me was the book that I read in the morning over a cup of hot coffee. With the exception of a brief, but necessary, break, I didn’t put it down until bedtime. It is obvious that Coates is vulnerable. His words and emotions, as well as the meaning and intent of them, are profoundly moving. Coates shared many lessons with his son and readers about the American race. All of them are a blessing to me.

Genre

  • Autobiography

  • Memoir

Summary

Ta-Nehisi Coates, in a touching and heartbreaking letter to his son, examines the realities of being black in America. Coates shares his past experiences and historic events in Between the World and Me, helping his son and readers to understand American life as a black man.

Life-Changing

Toni Morrison was simply the best. On the cover of Between the World and Me, you can see her comment. This will allow you to understand the feelings and emotions of Coates and Between the World and Me.  This book will make you feel connected to the characters.. It will transform your life. It’s a wonderful book that you can read, and will help to grow. You will feel empowered and united. It will teach you a valuable lesson. This book can help you heal, and be more aware of your own race, history, or personal experiences.

Published

2015

Here

All available

Between the World and Me

on Amazon

The Hobbit

 

The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkien is a book that I have read twice. The first was when I was twenty one, while taking a break from college academic reading. The second time was after I graduated. The Hobbit is a tale of escape and a world full of enchanting characters. It’s alive and well, even before its time. Tolkien was the creator of worlds and languages we still use today. The Hobbit has a large fanbase and many movies and adaptations.

Genre

  • Novel

  • Fantasy

Summary

Bilbo Baggins, “the hobbit”, has led a quiet life. Thorin hired Bilbo Baggins and invited him on a much more important mission: To break into Thorin’s mountain crested home, guarded by a dragon, to retrieve the treasure (his birthright).

Life-Changing

Staycations can be life-changing escapes. This book is for exploration. Follow the characters on their adventures. Meet the treasure-hoarding Dragon. You can take a break from the reality of life and enjoy Tolkien’s world. It will change your life.

Published

1937

Here

All available

The Hobbit: Or, There and Back Again

Amazon

The transformation of human beings: Selections from poems 1975-2001

 

Joy Harjo’s How We Can Be Human gave me the chance to read the poems. Each one was a treasure trove of emotions and words. I took the time to read them all and then sat down to process them. It is possible to feel both the pain and patience. You can feel the injustice and the peace that goes with it. How We Become Human shows the dual nature of human nature, while also preserving the beauty and vibrancy of indigenous life.

Genre

  • Poetry

Summary

This collection includes poetry from Joy Harjo’s almost 30-year-long career. It explores the revival of indigenous culture and its resilience to injustice.

Life-Changing

What is it that makes us human? What makes us human? What makes us culturally powerful? These questions are addressed in Harjo’s How we become Human poems. Each poem reflects an element of indigenous culture, and sheds light on the injustices happening to indigenous peoples.

Published

2002

Here

All available

Select poems about how we became humans

Amazon

The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle

 

If you haven’t read Haruki Murakami’s books, I recommend that you start with The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle. One of my friends once said that he was her favourite author. Her writing style and general disposition intrigued me. It feels as if someone is saying “This author’s my favourite,” because it feels like they are saying “These books are part” of themselves. She was a writer and I knew her work so I was interested in what Murakami’s writings had influenced her writing. I didn’t tell her but I did get the book and realised that it was the power Murakami gave to his readers that attracted me to him. His books are accessible to everyone. Every person who has read one of his books has also read the other. The power lies in the reader’s perception and control over the book.

Genre

  • Novel

  • Science Fiction

  • Psychological Fiction

Summary

Toru Okada is on the hunt for his missing cat but ends up searching under Tokyo to find his wife. During his search for his missing cat, Toru meets many people in this strange new place. Some are beneficial, some are dangerous.

Life-Changing

The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle, a psychological thriller, is designed to stimulate the mind and provoke deep thought. The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle takes you to a cerebral and strange place few books can take.  I found this book to be a life-changing experience. Anyone who loves science fiction, philosophy, or psychological fiction should read this book.

Published

1994

Here

All available

A Novel

Amazon

Americanah

 

Americanah is Chimamanda’s love story, coming-of-age, and story of displacement. It also tells the story of identity, being an African immigrant in America, and how it all came together. It also addresses race and separation. Americanah is a Nigerian term that refers to people who are so Americanized they cannot recognize their culture. Americanah is Chimamanda Nagozi Adichie’s favourite book. Chimamanda is one of the most important activists, writers, and minds of our time.

Genre

  • Novel

  • Fiction

Summary

Ifemelu, a Nigerian girl, moves to America to attend college. Obinze, whom she loves so deeply, is also removed from her. These are people who have fled their homeland to start new lives elsewhere. They go through hardships and grow, but they always return home to a different place.

Life-Changing

Americanah ends a beautiful love story and is now able to identify with her race, identity, displacement, as well as her identity. They are both trying to make a new life and leave behind their cultures. The two of them travel to other countries and experience the wonders and horrors of different cultures before reuniting. Americanah has so many themes about identity, displacement, and culture that it was a life-changing read that provided me with valuable perspective.

Published

2013

Here

All available

Americanah

Amazon

The God of Small Things

 

At any given time, I have a few books in my house. A few novels, poetry and self-help books are my usual readings. I also enjoy a few audiobooks. Arundhati Ray’s The God of Small Things, is currently my favourite. It makes me think more about what it is like to be seen in all the things we experience in life as I get closer and closer to its end.

Genre

  • Novel

  • Psychological Fiction

Summary

Rahel, Esthappen, and their family have a strong connection that helps them deal with the growing pains of childhood. They are content with the things they know until an unimaginable happening occurs, which changes everything.

Life-Changing

You should think about the God of Small Things. Discrimination. Love laws. Forbidden love. Closeness. Being seen by another person. Roy’s The God of Small Things will challenge your thinking about love, understanding other people, regrets, as well as how small life events can lead to great changes.

Published

1997

Here

All available

The God of Small Things – A Novel

Amazon

The Blazing World and Other Writings

 

It’s hard to believe that The Blazing World, and Other Writings by Margaret Cavendish were published in 1616. The Blazing World and Other Writings was an amazing experience. It is something that I will always remember. Just a few pages in, I noticed that someone else was also having a moment. Moments are when you realise that you are having literary epiphanies. It makes you wonder why you haven’t read it before or why it is only now that you are reading it. Or the story of how the author made it. You feel alive because of the magic and physical manifestations that the author’s works create. Books are magic. Reading The Blazing World and other works further strengthened this belief.

Genre

  • Novel

  • Science Fiction

  • Utopian Novel

  • Feminist Literature

Summary

In a strange land, a woman is made empress. The empress uses her power to conquer the new world she created with the help of the strange creatures she can control as an empress.

Life-Changing

Did I mention this book was published in 1616? Margaret Cavendish stated, “Hey! “I feel like the first woman in sci-fi writing.” It is possible that she did not say it this way, but it was 1616. The Blazing World and Other Writings transcends all time and limits in a magical way that’s absolutely magical.

Published

1666

Here

All available

The Blazing World and Other Writings

Amazon

The Year of Magical Thinking

 

Joan Didion has held a special place for me ever since I bought an old yellowed copy of The Last Thing he Wished from a used bookstore. I started reading it while eating tomatoes and toast. I was completely absorbed in her voice and her simple words, and the meaning of her words. The Year of Magical Thinking is like all her books. It’s a work of existentialism. It is a look at grief and how it can take on strange forms while your brain struggles desperately to cope.

Genre

  • Memoir

  • Autobiography

Summary

Didion is concerned with both the death of her husband and that of her adopted child. She attempts to find meaning and rationality from the deaths of her husband and her adopted daughter. She can’t imagine how grief would fill her.

Life-Changing

Didion’s personal assessment of grief can prove to be extremely helpful for people who have lost a loved one. As a society, there are some emotions and events we all share. Most people experience grief. It is something that we all experience. Although we each experience it in our own way and in our own circumstances; it is something that unites all of us. The Year of Magical Thinking tells the story of her disillusionment, denial, shock, and other emotions she experienced after her series of traumas.

Published

2005

 

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