John Green once wrote great books help you understand and they help you feel understood. Naturally, reading is a subjective process, but whether it’s learning how to live your best life, facing adversity to striving for success, here are ten books that will change the way you think.
The Power Of Now | Eckhart Tolle
Mindfulness is now a way of life for many, but it owes much of its popularity to Eckhart Tolle’s The Power Of Now, published in the late ‘90s. Ultimately, his message is simple: living in the moment is the fastest, best way to happiness—although it can be harder to do than you’d think. It’s an unpretentious book about life, relationships, happiness and is wholly inspirational.
Man’s Search For Meaning | Viktor E. Frankl
Held captive through one of the most horrific periods in humanity’s history—the Holocaust— Viktor Frankl discovered that he could find meaning and survival in his suffering.
“Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms—to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way,” he says.
Surviving the death camps, he argues that the goal in life is not happiness, but meaning. Named one of the most influential books of all time, Man's Search For Meaning is a must-read.
The Choice | Edith Eger
A more recent book with a similar theme is The Choice by Edith Egar. She also suffered atrociously under the Nazi regime and was later mentored by Viktor Frankl. Published late last year, it is raw, honest and an ultimately hopeful read. She chose forgiveness as a way to move forward and now dedicates her life to those suffering from depression, PTSD and other mental health issues. Her experiences have led her to be highly empathetic and insightful and she shares ways to make life more meaningful—no matter what it throws at you.
I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings | Maya Angelou
From the poverty of America’s south, Maya Angelou rose to become one of the world’s most famous voices. With the likes of Obama and Oprah huge admirers, her autobiography, I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings is a must-read. At a young age, she is attacked by a man who was later killed and she became an elective mute. During these years she devoured literature and when she later began to speak, she did so with her pen, too.
“Words mean more than what is set down on paper. It takes the human voice to infuse them with shades of deeper meaning,” she says.
Incredibly powerful, I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings will touch the hearts and minds of all who read it.
Big Magic | Elizabeth Gilbert
Elizabeth Gilbert shot to fame with her book Eat, Pray, Love when she travelled the world finding herself. With Big Magic, Elizabeth Gilbert provides insights into finding inspiration, attitudes and habits to help people live their fullest, creative lives. It’s a motivating read for those who want to foster their creativity and find the impetus to start that long-dreamed-of project.
The Sleep Revolution: Transforming Your Life, One Night at a Time | Ariana Huffington
Founder of the Huffington Post, Ariana Huffington, was doing what most people do in modern life: burning the candle at both ends. In our 24/7 lives, the ethos of ‘sleeping is cheating’ has become a reality. But, in The Sleep Revolution, Huffington argues that as a society, we need to redefine our relationship with this valuable part of our lives. Pulling on both her personal experiences as well as scientific evidence, she explores how a lack of sleep can profoundly impact our emotional and intellectual well-being. A rallying cry for change, this book will make you rethink the night hours.
Outliers: The Story Of Success | Malcolm Gladwell
Following the success of Blink, Tipping Point and David and Goliath, Malcolm Gladwell’s Outliers: The Story of Success seeks to answer what makes high achievers different. Always looking for alternative ways of thinking, Gladwell challenges traditional beliefs by exploring anecdotal stories of success. Most famous for his idea that 10,000 dedicated hours is what is needed to become an expert in any field, there is plenty in this book to change the way you think about success.
Quiet: The Power Of Introverts In A World That Can’t Stop Talking | Susie Cain
In a world that celebrates extroverts, Susie Cain’s Quiet argues that introverts have a lot more to offer than people give them credit for. Unlikely to self-promote and with a preference for working on their own, they are often overlooked as employees. Delving into the rise of the extrovert ideal in the twentieth century, Quiet will change the way extroverts think of introverts and introverts of themselves.
So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed | Jon Ronson
In this era of keyboard warriors and social media, So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed will transform the way you read and write comments on various platforms. With words such as ‘outraged’ and ‘shame on you’ and ‘boycott’ a daily occurrence, Jon Ronson explores the resurgence of public shaming and mob mentality in a way that is horrifying, well-researched and entertaining.
When Breath Becomes Air | Paul Kalanithi
When Breath Becomes Air is a book that is equally about living and dying. Facing his own mortality, Dr Paul Kalanithi decided to document his experiences in this thought-provoking book. He explores the age-old question: what makes life worth living?
"I began to realise that coming face to face with my own mortality, in a sense, had changed nothing and everything,” he writes. Brave, poignant and deeply moving, When Breath Becomes Air will change how you think about life itself.