There are certain books you read for the fun of it, and there are others that trigger a “wow” moment in your life. You’re introduced to new knowledge that changes how you think and behave.
Here are my top 7 books that offer such profound, in-depth information that’s sure to make you reflect on Life.
1. The Alchemist by Paulo Coehlo
This is a beautiful narrative about discovering who we are. It tells the journey of Santiago, a shepherd boy who goes on a search for worldly treasures, but he finds something much more. Peppered with deep wisdom, The Alchemist is a timeless story that teaches us about the discovery of self and what truly matters in life.
From the book: “It’s the possibility of having a dream come true that makes life interesting.”
2. Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman
Daniel Kahneman is a Nobel Prize winner in Economics and this shows in his lengthy and technical take on behavioural science. It’s a challenging but worthwhile read that explains in detail how and why we make certain decisions. I discovered this book through a friend who wouldn’t stop raving about it and the insights she’d gotten about the way the mind works. A few pages in and you’ll know that it’s worth the hype.
From the book: “A reliable way to make people believe in falsehoods is frequent repetition, because familiarity is not easily distinguished from truth. Authoritarian institutions and marketers have always known this fact.”
3. 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey
Stephen Covey’s bestseller is a favourite on many ultimate to-be-read lists, and probably for good reason. This book teaches you how to be more effective personally and professionally. The 7 habits can be applied to every area of your life. It’s not only about being effective in business, but can help you be a better friend, parent, sibling, co-worker and so on. It’s an easy-to-read book with a wealth of practical information.
From the book: “Sow a thought, reap an action; sow an action, reap a habit; sow a habit, reap a character; sow a character, reap a destiny.”
4. Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill
This book is the result of 20 years of research carried out by the author to identify what made successful people succeed in life. Napoleon Hill interviewed a long list of wealthy people in order to draw out similarities and patterns that explained how they attained such riches. The book tells the “secret” to gaining anything you feel would enrich your life, not just money. Desire plays a key role in the formula.
From the book: “If you give up before your goal has been reached, you are a “quitter.” A QUITTER NEVER WINS AND A WINNER NEVER QUITS. Lift this sentence out, write it on a piece of paper in letters an inch high, and place it where you will see it every night before you go to sleep, and every morning before you go to work”
5. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
A compassionate and deeply moving story told through the eyes of a young girl in 1930’s American south. Harper Lee’s debut novel causes you to pause and question the roots of human behaviour. It’s a timeless classic that explores the traits of kindness, innocence, hate, cruelty, morals and courage. I never read this as a child but got interested when Oprah listed it as the one book that greatly influenced her life and it’s her all-time favourite book. It’s quite a compelling read.
From the book: “I wanted you to see what real courage is, instead of getting the idea that courage is a man with a gun in his hand. It’s when you know you’re licked before you begin, but you begin anyway and see it through no matter what.”
6. Unlimited Power by Anthony Robbins
This is another book that really challenges you to change your thought process. Tony Robbins is the modern day “Master of personal development”. For anyone who’s starting off on their journey to identifying their path, this is the book for you. It’s a practical book with exercises you can do which will further motivate you to learn to think differently.
From the book: “A real decision is measured by the fact that you’ve taken a new action. If there’s no action, you haven’t truly decided.”
7. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
The final book on my list differs quite a bit from the others. When I turned 16, I took a fun, holiday job working in a bookstore and those brief months introduced me to the wonders of Jane Austen. This book set the tone for how I view a lot of things in life, which is “Things are not always what they seem.” Whereas people tend to focus on spotting the obvious evil in others, our self-righteous cloaks often cause us to miss the fact that we are also spewing the less obvious evils of prejudice and presumption. A timely lesson for the current world we live in. Austen’s beautiful, witty and classic English writing style is an added advantage.
From the book:“And your defect is a propensity to hate everybody.”
“And yours,” he replied with a smile, “is willfully to misunderstand them.”
At the end of it all, I’ve called this list a “Life Changing” books list, but remember that nothing actually changes unless you act on it. So read them, learn all you can, and change something now.