The books on the following list have been chosen because they have inspired many people. Here are 50 Inspirational Books That Can Change Your Life
All it takes is a well-crafted phrase or a real life inspirational story to invoke a powerful feeling within, make us see things from a different perspective, or spur us into action.
Reading is an enjoyable way in which we can continue to learn and open our minds to a world of endless possibility and wonder. The books on the following list have been chosen because they have inspired many people and continue to have a positive impact on those that read them. Enjoy.
1. The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari – Robin Sharma
The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari (via www.flickr.com)
This wonderful story told as a fable includes simple but effective lessons for improving your life. It tells the story of an attorney who finds himself on a life changing odyssey, and is worded in a way you are unlikely to forget. This absolute gem of a book is enlightening, enjoyable, and profound as well as inspirational.
2. Tuesdays with Morrie – Mitch Albom
A beautiful and life affirming nonfiction novel which recounts the story and teachings of a dying man as told to a former student in his final weeks. This inspirational book and memoir covers the conversations between the two men and Morrie’s thoughts and philosophy on life. This book makes you reflect on what is important in life and can provide you with a whole new perspective on everyday encounters.
3. The Alchemist – Paulo Coelho
This allegorical novel by Paulo Coelho is an inspirational bestselling classic which projected Coelho and his work into the limelight. Since then he has penned many other inspirational books. However, this is the first of the genre and acts as a metaphor of life as the narrative take us on the journey of a shepherd boy’s quest for treasure. A must read for anyone’s library.
4. The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success – Deepak Chopra
In this book Chopra offers a life altering perspective on the attainment of success. Based on seven natural laws and ancient Vedic wisdom this book can put you on the path to eternal happiness. Quintessential Deepak Chopra at his best.
5. Man’s Search for Meaning – Viktor Frankl
Man’s Search for Meaning (via www.flickr.com)
This inspirational book chronicles the experiences of Viktor Frankl during his time as an inmate at Auschwitz concentration camp during the Second World War. Despite the suffering and horror he witnesses, in this book Frankl shares the lessons he learned for spiritual survival. This truly is a remarkable work, and is to this day still a hugely influential book.
6. The Magician’s Way – William Whitecloud
A modern day tale full of wisdom and insight, this extraordinary and entertaining book is a modern day inspirational fairy tale for the open minded. Simple to read and understand it is a guide to weaving magic into your own life.
7. Chicken Soup for the Soul – Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen
Now a series of inspirational books, Chicken Soup for the Soul is a brilliant collection of inspirational stories for the dark times in your life. Brought to you by two of America’s best loved inspirational speakers; heartwarming and motivational stories don’t get much better than this.
8. The Seat of the Soul – Gary Zukav
Apparently this is one of Oprah Winfrey’s all-time favorite books, and if that’s not reason enough to read it then I don’t know what is. It covers transformation in our everyday lives and claiming our authentic power within. Once you have read it, it’s unlikely you will forget the message; this book really will make you look at your life from a different perspective.
9. No Ordinary Moments – Dan Millman
This book provides insights and inspirations on how to live the life of a peaceful warrior. Following on from Millman’s international best seller ’The Way of the Peaceful Warrior’, this inspirational book takes the teachings in the classic novel one step further.
10. Still Me – Christopher Reeve
Christopher Reeve (via drvaleriegalante.wordpress.com)
The remarkable story of the life of Christopher Reeve, known for his on screen role of Superman, and how he had to become his own superhero after being thrown from a horse and breaking his neck. This incredible book follows him on his journey as he rebuilds his life. Moving, courageous and inspirational; Reeve deserves the title of Superman based on the challenges he faced in his real life.
11. The Prophet – Kahlil Gibran
No library is complete without the wisdom of The Prophet. You can read this book a hundred times over and still learn something new and wonderful each time you read it. The Prophet is a collection of teachings brought together in 26 prose poetry essays covering life and the human condition. One of the best spiritual and inspirational books of all time.
12. The Power of Positive Thinking – Norman Vincent Peale
Written by the champion of positive thinking, this inspirational book is a hard to beat timeless classic which helped spark a whole new genre of self-help philosophy. Peale’s ‘think positive’ teachings have enabled people to apply these concepts into daily situations and helped change their lives for the better.
13. The Secret – Rhonda Byrne
The success of this book means it’s certainly not a secret anymore. Based on the law of attraction and positive thinking, this book shows you how applying these concepts into your life can bring about life changing health wealth and happiness.
14. The Noticer – Andy Andrews
This inspirational book is chock full of wisdom. It follows the story of a mysterous old man known as ‘Jones’ who turns up in people’s lives and notices stuff that they miss, and then gives them the best gift of all; perspective. Trust me; you won’t be able to put this book down.
15. Invisible Acts of Power – Caroline Myss
Caroline Myss (via www.mishkaproductions.com)
This magical and original work covers spiritual grace, acts of kindness, gratitude compassion and empowerment. The book itself was inspired by two small acts of kindness to the author, and it goes deep into the implications such actions have. Wonderful stuff.
16. The Desiderata of Happiness – Max Ehrmann
This is a wonderful and uplifting collection of poems that you can dip into time and time again. It includes the world famous ’Desiderata’ which has to be one of the most inspiring poems of all time.
17. 59 Seconds.Think a little.Change A lot – Richard Wiseman
Uplifting, inspirational and incredibly practical. This book has the power to transform the way you think; forever. It exposes self-help myths and provides scientifically proven and quick techniques to help you achieve your goals.
18. Think and Grow Rich – Napoleon Hill
Napoleon Hill’s 1937 classic has certainly stood the test of time, it is not just about growing materially rich, but you can also apply the teachings in this book to be successful in other areas of your life. One of the first in the self-help and inspirational books genre.
19. You Can Heal Your Life – Louise L Hay
This is one of those books which you will always want to have around so that you can dip into time and time again. Full of powerful information it also includes the inspirational story of the author’s life and how she cured herself from cancer. ‘You Can Heal Your Life’ shows you how to heal all areas of your life from the emotional to the physical.
20. Life without Limits: Inspiration for a Ridiculously Good Life – Nick Vujicic
Nick Vujicic (via www.lifewithoutlimbs.org)
Despite being born with no arms or legs, Nick Vujicic lives an incredible life, inspiring and motivating people around the globe. This book tells his story of how he came to live a rich and fulfilling life and became a role model for those seeking true happiness. In this book he encourages the reader to accept what you cannot control in life and focus instead on what you can, in the same way he has had to.
21. Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway – Susan Jeffers
This internationally acclaimed best seller has literally inspired millions to ’feel the fear and do it anyway’. There isn’t much that you can add that Susan Jeffers has not already covered in this motivational master piece. If you are fearful of anything, this book will provide you with the courage to just ’do it anyway’ and reap the reward.
22. The Road Less Traveled – M Scott Peck
Self- understanding, fulfillment and spiritual growth are the order of the day for this classic which has been known as the self-help book for people who don’t read self-help books. Starting with the words ’Life is difficult’ this book takes you on a profound journey. Old fashioned inspiration at its best.
23. Awaken The Giant Within – Anthony Robins
Written by the giant of motivation and inspirational books himself, this books acts as a powerful tool to help you achieve your goals. The book includes self-development techniques which actually work that you can effectively apply to your own life. But watch out, as the results will be transformational. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.
24. Better Than Good – Zig Ziglar
Stay motivated and inspired for your whole life with this cracking inspirational volume. Being the author of many inspirational books, nobody does motivation better than Zig Ziglar. Prepare to be inspired.
25. The Art of Exceptional Living – Jim Rohn
Jim Rohn (via www.jimrohn.com)
’Do ordinary things exceptionally well’ is the message behind this inspirational study, it’s all about making your life a work of art. You don’t need to be a super achiever to live an exceptional life either; this book tells you all you need to know. Splendid stuff.
26. Long Walk to Freedom – Nelson Mandela
We really are into heavy weight territory of inspiration and amazing real life stories when it comes to Nelson Mandela. This remarkable book is the autobiography of the former South African President’s life including his 27 years in prison under the apartheid regime. Incredible and powerful reading.
27. The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas – John Boyne
This novel is the story of a 9 year old German boy growing up during World War II, it tells the sad and poignant story of the son of a high ranking SS officer who forms a friendship with a Jewish boy of the same age, who is an inmate at Auschwitz. It provides a unique perspective on prejudice, hatred and violence, while at the same time portraying a powerful story of innocence and hope.
28. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings – Maya Angelou
This hugely influential autobiography about the early years of African-American writer and poet Maya Angelou describes the struggles she endures from an early age and her passage into growing into a young woman. It can be an uncomfortable read at times but it also takes you beyond the darkness as the book also instills a powerful sense of hope in the reader. Who can fail to be inspired by the life of Maya Angelou?
29. The Celestine Prophecy – James Redfield
When this book first came out it caused a storm. Nobody had ever read anything quite like this before. More of a parable than a story, the novel follows the main character as he undertakes a quest to find and understand a series of nine spiritual insights on an ancient manuscript in Peru.
30. How to Win Friends and Influence People – Dale Carnegie
How to Win Friends and Influence People (via www.davidairey.com)
This book put self-help on the map. One of the first of its kind this book was hugely influential in shaping the self-help genre going forward. The advice given in this book is solid and just as relevant today as it was when it was first published, and that is why it is one of the best known motivational and inspirational books in history.
31. The Power of Now – Eckhart Tolle
No list of inspirational books is complete without a work by this generation’s master of spirituality. And where better to find such inspiration than Tolle’s first and most famous book which became a word of mouth phenomenon when first published. Since then he has written other excellent books, but this one is the daddy of them all. Read it, leave your ego behind, and you will find out why. Now.
32. Black Beauty – Anna Sewell
Written initially to promote the welfare of horses, this incredibly brave, beautiful and heart wrenching book tells the story of a horse’s life as seen through the eyes of a horse. Sewell herself was an invalid since the age of 14 and therefore relied on horses for her own transportation. The book teaches about love and respect for all beings. The novel was not originally written for children (although it has since become a children’s classic) and at the time it was published it led to a public outcry at the way horses were treated. You can’t get more inspirational than that.
33. Change Your Thoughts – Change Your Life. – Dr. Wayne W. Dyer
This book will change the way you look at your life and truly make you feel blessed for every day. Dr Dyer has a way of making the reader feel like the most important person in the world and as if he is personally right there with you, guiding you every step of the way. An interpretation of the Tao Te Ching, it’s difficult to find a more powerful or inspirational guide to self-improvement than this.
34. The Tao of Pooh – Benjamin Hoff
This book, which is an introduction to the Eastern belief system of Taoism for Westerners, uses A. A. Milne‘s Winnie-the-Pooh fictional characters to help explain the basic principles of philosophical Taoism. Pooh the bear is used to embody simplicity and is depicted as a bear who is in tune with his natural inner self, Pooh ’just is’. A simple yet profound work, captivating, cute and fun.
35. Siddhartha – Hermann Hesse
Siddhartha (via www.penguin.com.au)
This is a beautiful inspirational book about self-fulfillment and enlightenment, the book takes you on a spiritual journey to seek the meaning of life as it tells the story of a young man who sets out to find a deep inner happiness and wisdom, but not without first experiencing suffering.
36. Jonathan Livingston Seagull – Richard Bach
This fable is about a seagull who is bored with the daily squabbles over food and decides he will learn to fly. He puts his passion into the pursuit of flying above all else and eventually his unwillingness to conform results in his expulsion from his flock. Ultimately it is a truly inspirational tale about people following their hearts, striving for perfection, reaching their goals and making their own rules.
37. To Kill a Mockingbird – Harper Lee
This American classic explores the effects of prejudice and intolerance, courage and compassion perhaps more than any other. Told through the eyes of a child, it tells the story of Atticus Finch, an attorney, who tries to prove the innocence of a black man accused of rape in the segregated southern United States of the 1930s. Since this book was first published Atticus Finch has served as a moral hero for many over the years, and in one book poll the book has been considered more inspirational than the Bible.
38. A Christmas Carol – Charles Dickens
Oh yes, I am afraid that this Christmas classic gets a firm place in the inspirational books list. If you don’t think that Ebenezer Scrooge’s transformation from a bitter miserly and greedy recluse to a renewed man with joy and love in his heart who treats his fellow men with kindness, generosity and compassion is anything less than inspirational; then shame on you.
39. LEAP!: Ditch Your Job, Start Your Own Business & Set Yourself Free – Ian Sanders
All about jacking in your job and taking control of your life. This inspirational book is a mega fun read and full of great advice from someone who has been there, done that and worn the tee shirt. If you are thinking about leaving your job, this book will inspire you to take the leap.
40. The Strangest Secret – Earl Nightingale
The Strangest Secret (via www.successories.com)
In this book Earl Nightingale shares the key difference why some people succeed and some don’t. Hailed by some as one of the greatest motivational and inspirational books of all time, the book’s simple but powerful message has turned many people’s lives around.
41. Mad, Bad and Dangerous to Know – Ranulph Fiennes
This is the inspirational book which tells the true and incredible life story of a man who knows no limits. Ranulph Fiennes is known as the ’world’s greatest living explorer’ and in this book you will find out why. His many exploits include being the first person ever to visit both the north and south poles by surface means, and the first to cross Antarctica on foot; on top of all this at the age of 65 he also climbed Mount Everest. This man has set the benchmark very high when it comes to inspirational lives.
42. Fear, the friend of exceptional people – Geoff Thompson
The author of this book was once a doorman at some of Britain’s roughest nightclubs. Now a world-renowned martial artist and prolific writer, in this book he shares his secrets for overcoming fears in order to enable others to live their life to the fullest. Written in a ’tell it like it is’ fashion, it certainly punches way above its weight in the ranks of inspirational books.
43. The Art of Happiness – Dalai Lama and Howard Cutler
A well-loved classic and of course the title gives away what this book is all about; in short it covers the Dalai Lama’s views about happiness and human nature. As far as inspirational books go, you cannot get someone more qualified to author such a work.
44. Zero Limits – Joe Vitale and Dr. Hew Len
This book is about the ancient Hawaiian practice of reconciliation and forgiveness known as Hoʻoponopono. This book is a real life changer and incorporates teachings about love, forgiveness and breaking away from mental constraints.
45. A Fortunate Life – A B Facey
A Fortunate Life (via myporchblog.blogspot.com)
An inspiring, poignant and moving autobiography of a remarkable man who saw himself as ordinary. A tale of endurance and triumph, this book will have you hooked from start to finish as Facey takes you through his life which includes two World Wars. Despite the hard times he faced, this incredible man never let it stop him from moving on and improving his life, this book makes you thankful for all you have.
46. Gandhi – An Autobiography – Mahatma Gandhi
One of the most inspiring figures in history, this book tells the story of Gandhi’s life in his own words. It explains how he developed his concept of active non-violent resistance which propelled the Indian struggle for independence. A thought provoking and interesting read which provides an insight into the mind of this truly remarkable man.
47. The Last Lecture – Randy Pausch and Jeffrey Zaslow
When Randy Pausch, a computer science lecturer at Carnegie Mellon, was asked to give a lecture entitled ’The Last Lecture’, he didn’t need to use his imagination much because he had just been diagnosed with terminal cancer. The incredible lecture he delivered was to become a phenomenon and this book captures his humor, and courage as well as providing inspiration and principles to live by which makes it such a great read.
48. Back from Heaven’s Front Porch – Danny Bader
Following an accident which claimed the life of his friend, and nearly his own, Danny Bader found himself thrust back into his own life where he struggled to find purpose and meaning in his day to day life. This experience leads him to uncover five principles necessary to live a full life which she shares in this wonderful and inspiring novel.
49. Impossible is Stupid – Osayi Osar-Emokpae
This great and sassy book challenges people to live the fabulous lives they have always wanted. Although written with single women in mind, everyone can benefit from the brilliant insights in this fun to read and fast paced book. The book teaches that there is always hope, no matter what and rightly deserves a place in anyone’s list of inspirational books.
50. Rita Hayworth and the Shawshank Redemption – Stephen King
Stephen King (via www.fanpop.com)
This story was originally a novella from a collection called ’Different Seasons’, which went on to be made into a fil, which was nominated for seven academy awards. Hailed as one of King’s greatest stories it is the story of a banker who is wrongly imprisoned for his wife’s murder. It is a brilliant portrayal of the indomitable nature of the human spirit and one of the most inspirational stories of our time.
What’s your favorite inspirational book? Add to this list in the comment section below. (youqueen.com)