I love an inspirational book; I always have. I enjoy reading authors who lift my spirits and help me see the world in a whole new light. I love reading inspiring books that help elevate my thinking and lead me to living a a happier and more fulfilling life. Yes, there are a handful of thought-provoking books have done that for me; has a book ever done that for you?
I LOVE Reading Books that Inspire Me. Do You?
If you’re looking for an amazing book to read that will help you see your life through a whole new set of eyes, I have 35 recommendations for you that are sure to be thought-provoking, entertaining, and inspiring!
The list may seem a bit quirky, as I didn’t focus on “what’s new.” Sure, new books get all the attention, but I don’t think we should forget the goodies that have been published over the years.
In all likelihood, you’ve already read some of these, but I thought they were worth mentioning anyway as they’re all still insightful and inspiring rereading. I know I like to read The Alchemist every year; it’s my absolute favorite on this list. Paulo Coehlo certainly knows how to write stories that entertain while they enlighten. His writing never fails to give me goosebumps.
I’m also a huge Anne Lamott fan; I don’t know another author who can weave stories of pain, struggle, hope and healing together as beautifully as she does. It doesn’t really matter which Lamott book you read, you’ll always end up feeling a little more hopeful about yourself and the world when you finish it.
Whatever you read, I hope the books you select take you to new worlds, make you think, bring a smile to your face, and touch your heart.
My Top Ten Inspiring Books that Could Change Your Life
1. The Alchemist by Paulo Coehlo
First published in 1998 and originally written in Portuguese, The Alchemist has been translated into more than 65 languages and after 25 years, it still remains on the New York Times Best Seller list. Yes, that’s a record. There are few things more enjoyable than spending time with Santiago as he sets on a journey to discover his treasure. This allegorical novel is one of my very favorites. It definitely introduces the reader to goosebump-worthy material as it unfolds with the beautiful messages it offers about life, love, adventure, happiness, and fulfilling one’s destiny.
2. The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom by Don Miguel Ruiz.
Drawn from ancient Toltec Wisdom, Ruiz takes you through 4 basic ‘agreements” that will guide you in every decision and action you need to take in life. The book has sold over 5 million copies, which is a testament to not only its popularity but the far-reaching benefits of its message. The first agreement is to be impeccable with your word. I’ll let you read the book to learn agreements two, three, and four!
3. The Power of Less by Leo Babauta
Before everyone got all excited about adopting a minimalist mindset (the trend started by Marie Kondo’s The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up), Leo Babauta was teaching us the exquisite beauty of focusing on the essential and eliminating the extraneous in our lives. Babauta’s work focuses on how to spend your time and energy, and eliminate wasted, unnecessary effort. He advocates slowing down, paying attention, and adopting small new habits to reduce the stress in your life, increase your success, and multiply your happiness.
4. The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch and Jeffrey Zaslow
Begin with the end in mind – that’s how you’re told to do things at work, but do we apply that to our lives? Often not. Randy Pausch had no choice, though; he was dying and he wanted his last days on earth to provide direction and meaning for his children whom he would not live to see grow up. Of course, they were too young to understand his messages at the time so Randy wanted to give his words of wisdom in a way that would be remembered long after he was gone. He used the opportunity to give a “last lecture” … a speech about what he felt were the most important lessons in life (that speech would later become this book). Pausch just wanted a record of these lessons for his kids, he never expected the lessons to touch millions of people. The teachings in this book are so rich and endearing and offer important reminders worth revisiting.
If you’re not familiar with Byron Katie’s work, it’s time to introduce yourself to her books. Wayne Dyer called Katie “one of the truly inspiring teachers of our time.” You’ll learn why he gave her such great praise when you read this book that teaches you how to stop struggling with things you cannot change so you can experience more joy in your life.
6. Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff by Richard Carlson
I think the title on this one pretty much sums up the value of listening to the advice in this little treasure. We lost Richard Carlson too soon, but his work lives on and keeps inspiring. If you haven’t revisited this book lately (or if you’ve NEVER read this book), add it to your summer reading list.
7. Help, Thanks, Wow: The Three Essential Prayers by Anne Lamott
Anne could describe the contents of my recycling bin and make it sound beautiful and interesting while bringing subtle yet deep meaning to its existence in my life. Yup, she’s that good. In addition to this book being penned in Anne’s famously glorious writing style, her message in Help, Thanks, Wow is spot-on, too. (Do yourself a favor: check out all of Anne’s books and start following her on Facebook!)
8. Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes
Because if you’re in the mood to read a classic, why not read a classic among all classics, right? Keep tilting at windmills Don Quixote!
What if that thing you’ve been fighting with is actually trying to teach you something? What if you’ve been looking at your challenges all wrong? A rather mind-blowing thought, isn’t it? This book is chock-full of insights that seem counter-intuitive, making it a mind-blowing read that can truly change your life.
10. The Seekers’ Guide: Making Your Life a Spiritual Adventure by Elizabeth Lesser
I just love Elizabeth Lesser and if you haven’t had a chance to get acquainted with her work yet, The Seekers’ Guide is a great place to start. Lesser invites you to reframe how you view your life, encouraging you to see it as a “spiritual adventure.” If you’re a seeker like me, Elizabeth Lesser’s words will resonate with you and hug you like a silk-edged blanket. This is such a good book!