Best Books You Need To Read That Will Change Your Life: If you love reading and are in the age of 20s. Then it is a time for figuring out who you are and what you want from life. While the only way to learn is to survive the inevitable cycle of successes and failures. It is always useful to have some guidance along the way. To help you out, we’ve selected some of best books that likely never made your high school or college reading lists. It’s an eclectic selection that focuses on topics like identity. How you see the world and laying the foundation for a fulfilling career.
Here’s what we think best books you should read that will change your life.
List Of 20 Best Books To Read
The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien
Buy from here: The Lord of the Rings
The Lord of the Rings is an epic high fantasy trilogy written by English philologist and University of Oxford professor J.R.R. Tolkien. The story began as a sequel to Tolkien’s earlier, less complex children’s fantasy novel The Hobbit (1937), but eventually developed into a much larger work which formed the basis for the extended Middle-Earth Universe. It was written in stages between 1937 and 1949, much of it during World War II. It is counting among best books to read and it is the third best-selling novel ever written, with over 150 million copies sold.
‘Crime and Punishment’ by Fyodor Dostoyevsky
Buy from here: Crime and Punishment
Regardless of your personal philosophy, there will be times when the world pushes against you and you wonder why it’s worth trying to better yourself and help others.
Fyodor Dostoyevsky’s novel is not only a gripping story, it’s an argument against the nihilism that was popular among Russian intellectual circles in his time.
“Crime and Punishment” is the tale of a 23-year-old man named Raskolnikov who, acting on a nagging urge, murders two old women and then struggles with processing the act.
Dostoyevsky argues that rationalism taken to its extreme ignores the powerful bonds that connect humanity and give us responsibility on each other.
‘The Little Prince’ by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
Buy from here: The Little Prince
Essentially a book written for children, The Little Prince is more for grown-ups who remember being children. It is an ode to magic and innocence. As the Prince lands on the earth from his asteroid, a charming tale of love and loss unfolds, which will leave you feeling ecstatic and strangely heartbroken at the same time. Going back to The Little Prince as an adult will hit a spot, I promise.
‘The Power of Myth’ by Joseph Campbell
Buy from here: The Power of Myth
An American student of the psychologist Carl Jung, Joseph Campbell spent his life revealing the connections between the world’s faith and folk traditions. He developed the idea of the monomyth, which states that all myths have the same basic structure, from Moses to Odysseus to Luke Skywalker to Harry Potter.
“The Power of Myth” is a wide-ranging conversation between Campbell and the broadcast journalist Bill Moyers. Conducted at the end of a decades-long career, the interview format serves as an introduction to Campbell’s eye-opening perspective — that purposefully or not, we are living out myths in our lives.
‘The Bhagavad Gita’ — author unknown
Buy from here: The Bhagavad Gita (Penguin Classics)
Whatever you determine your calling to be, you’ll find there are times when it’s scary to answer it.
This ancient Hindu text tells the story of the prince Arjuna riding to battle and being overcome with doubt since his enemies include friends and members of his family. He turns to his guide, the “supreme deity” Krishna, for help. Krishna explains why it is his duty to rush into battle and emerge victoriously.
Though the tale is focused around warfare, Mahatma Gandhi said that it was the “Bhagavad Gita” that most inspired him in his peaceful quest for a free India.
The full depth of the text has been interpreted in countless ways over the past two millennia, but in simple terms, it serves as an inspiration to find one’s purpose in life and fearlessly push forward.
‘Siddhartha’ by Hermann Hesse
Buy from here: Siddhartha
Published in its original German in 1922, Herman Hesse’s “Siddartha” wouldn’t find an English translation until 1951.
A powerful story about the importance of life experiences as they relate to approaching an understanding of reality and attaining enlightenment. Written in spare and elegant sentences, the novella provides a model for the journey into adulthood.
‘The Essential Rumi’ by Jalal ad-Din Muhammad Rumi
Buy from here: Essential Rumi
Part of becoming a grown up is learning to like poetry.
Alive in 13th century Persia, Jalal ad-Din Muhammad Rumi wrote verses that reveal the most profound of human emotions — awe, grief, longing.
With a new translation from the American poet Coleman Barks, “The Essential Rumi” is a vital introduction to the philosopher-saint.
Feeling Good: The New Mood Therapy– David D. Burns
Buy from here: Feeling Good: The New Mood Therapy
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is the most effective therapy used by psychologists today; it consists of identifying thought patterns that have a detrimental effect on your self-image and mood and deconstructing these in order to break out of these destructive cycles. If you want to know how this works, which moods are central in your life, what thought patterns are causing your depression. How to overcome self-judgment and guilt, how to defeat approval and love addiction and how your self-perfectionism is hindering you, then don’t look further; Cognitive Behavioral Therapy has helped millions of people and it can help you, and this is one of the best books for the job. Packed with scientific research exercises and examples, this is the best improvement yourself is going to get.
‘The Year of Magical Thinking’ by Joan Didion
Buy from here: The Year of Magical Thinking
The thing about life is that people die.
And when people die (or we lose jobs or go through breakups or move cities), we need to grieve.
But there are very few instructions on how to grieve.
In “The Year of Magical Thinking,” journalist Joan Didion unpacks the story of the death of her husband, the author John Dunne. But to take it as simply therapy on the page would be reductive — the book is also a portrait of a remarkable marriage.
‘The God of Small Things’ by Arundhati Roy
Buy from here: The God of Small Things: Booker Prize Winner 1997
Published in 1997, “The God Of Small Things” became one of the most-read books by an Indian author — and turned Roy into a literary celebrity.
Partway through, Roy defines a great story in an aside:
…the secret of the Great Stories is that they have no secrets. The Great Stories are the ones you have heard and want to hear again. The ones you can enter anywhere and inhabit comfortably. They don’t deceive you with thrills and trick endings. They don’t surprise you with the unforeseen. Also, they are as familiar as the house you live in. Or the smell of your lover’s skin. You know how they end, yet you listen as though you don’t. In the way that although you know that one day you will die, you live as though you won’t. In the Great Stories, you know who lives, who dies, who finds love, who doesn’t. And yet you want to know again.
That is their mystery and their magic.
Therefore it’s a description the book fits — a novel that reflects the complex interactions between adults, children, and children who become adults.
‘The Secret’ by Rhonda Byrne
Buy from here: The Secret
This is one of the best books and fragments of a Great Secret have been found in the oral traditions, in literature, in religions and philosophies throughout the centuries. For the first time, all the pieces of The Secret come together in an incredible revelation that will be life-transforming for all who experience it.
In this book, you’ll learn how to use The Secret in every aspect of your life—money, health, relationships, happiness, and in every interaction you have in the world. You’ll begin to understand the hidden, untapped power that’s within you, and this revelation can bring joy to every aspect of your life.
The Secret contains wisdom from modern-day teachers—men and women who have used it to achieve health, wealth, and happiness. By applying the knowledge of The Secret, they bring to light compelling stories of eradicating disease, acquiring massive wealth, overcoming obstacles, and achieving what many would regard as impossible.
‘You Can Heal Your Life’ by Louise L. Hay
Buy from here: You Can Heal Your Life
Louise L. Hay’s You Can Heal Your Life was published in 1984. After being promoted on the Oprah Winfrey Show, the book’s sales skyrocketed, making Hay one of the highest-earning female authors in history. The premise of the text is that the body and mind are inextricably linked, to the extent that negative thinking is seen as the root of physical disease, and loving and forgiving yourself can cure everything from a headache to cancer. Though the book has many followers, it has also been denounced for its victim-blaming and hokey claims. Particularly in the section which blames each ailment of the body on a particular mental or emotional issue. According to the author, toothache is caused by indecision, and nosebleeds by a need for recognition. Who knew?
‘Fun Home’ by Alison Bechdel
Buy from here: Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic
Another part of growing into yourself is finding the meaning in the various emotional episodes that define our childhoods.
In “Fun Home,” the graphic novelist Alison Bechdel investigates the complex relationship she had growing up with her father — his closeted homosexuality, her coming out as gay, and their isolation in rural Pennsylvania.
‘First They Killed My Father’ by Loung Ung
In this powerful memoir, Loung Ung recounts her experience in Cambodia of having her family destroyed by Pol Pot’s Khmer Rouge in the late 1970s. The way she has dealt it serves as an extreme example of how to deal with whatever random event shakes us to the core.
Loung narrates the horrors of being forced to train as a child soldier and witnessing the worst of what mankind is capable of.
The book’s true power comes from Loung’s expression of how love can allow someone to survive even the greatest tragedies. And how to find the strength to contribute to society after emerging on the other side.
‘The Tipping Point’ by Malcolm Gladwell
The tipping point is that magic moment when an idea, trend, or social behavior crosses a threshold, tips, and spreads like wildfire. Just as a single sick person can start an epidemic of the flu, so too can a small but precisely targeted push cause a fashion trend, the popularity of a new product, or a drop in the crime rate. This widely acclaimed bestseller, in which Malcolm Gladwell explores and brilliantly illuminates the tipping point phenomenon, is already changing the way people throughout the world think about selling products and disseminating ideas.
‘The Miracle of Mindfulness’ by Thich Nhat Hanh
Buy from here: The Miracle of Mindfulness
Cognitive science research is confirming that the ancient practice of mindfulness meditation has a ridiculous amount of benefits, from stress reduction to increased cognitive flexibility to a boost to working memory.
The Vietnamese Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh’s “The Miracle of Mindfulness” is probably the best introduction to the practice.
Originally a set of letters written to a friend, the book can be read in a single afternoon.
‘Think and Grow Rich’ by Napoleon Hill
Buy from here: Think and Grow Rich
With its life-changing thirteen-step process, Think and Grow Rich has been a blueprint for countless many on their road to riches. Now, for the first time, readers and students of this powerful program will have this beautifully designed and user-friendly volume for use alongside the classic.
Napoleon Hill was a journalist who developed a friendship with the industrialist Andrew Carnegie, who was the world’s richest man at one point in history. Carnegie spent days with Hill explaining all of the lessons he learned from his rise from extreme poverty to the pinnacle of wealth, and Hill then spent his career writing about those ideas.
“Think and Grow Rich” is a collection of timeless advice on building meaningful relationships and exhibiting leadership that anyone can practice immediately.
‘Tiny Beautiful Things’ by Cheryl Strayed
Tiny Beautiful Things brings the best of Dear Sugar in one place and includes never-before-published columns and a new introduction by Steve Almond. Rich with humor, insight, compassion—and absolute honesty—this book is a balm for everything life throws our way.
“The useless days will add up to something. The shitty waitressing jobs. The hours writing in your journal. The long meandering walks. The hours reading poetry and story collections and novels and dead people’s diaries. Also wondering about sex and God and whether you should shave under your arms or not. These things are your becoming.”
‘How Will You Measure Your Life?’ by Clayton Christensen
Buy from here: How Will You Measure Your Life?
How Will You Measure Your Life? is full of inspiration and wisdom, and will help students, midcareer professionals, and parents alike forge their own paths to fulfillment.
There’s a mystery at the center: When Christensen graduated from Harvard Business School in 1979. He and his classmates were on top of the world. But by their 25-year reunion, many of his peers were in crisis. Whether it be private in the case of estrange children, or public in the case of Jeffrey Skilling, the head of Enron.
The book investigates why some of those incredibly privileged people leave their lives in ruins, while others flourish.
‘Anna Karenina’ by Leo Tolstoy
Buy from here: Anna Karenina
Anna Karenina is a masterpiece not only because of the unforgettable woman at its core and the stark drama of her fate but also because it explores and illuminates the deepest questions about how to live a fulfilled life.
As the main plotline of a doomed affair between Anna Karenina and Count Vronsky unfolds. Tolstoy explores the strife present in nearly every aspect of human existence, like love, family, social class also, and what it means to be happy.
We recommend the excellent English translation by Richard Peaver and Larissa Volokhonsky.
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