Great literature always gives us insight on some of life’s most profound lessons. That being said, reading is one of the most critical ways we can grow as human beings. Through the experience of other characters or delving deep into the mind of a narrator, our outlook on life can be changed. So, what are some of the most inspirational books of all time? Here’s a list derived from one of the Huffington Post’s article on life-changing books:
The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho – This book gets to the core of self-exploration and finding out who we really are by chasing the things we want most. The main theme of this novel is finding one’s destiny. As Coelho writes, “There is only one thing that makes a dream impossible to achieve: the fear of failure.”
Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl – Set in an Auschwitz concentration camp, Frankl goes deep into what it means to live a meaningful life. According to the author, the way a prisoner imagined his or her future would change how long he or she lived – heavily influenced on how our thoughts influence our lives. From the book: “When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves.”
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee – One of the most popular books to this day, Atticus Finch sets the bar of being one of the noblest characters ever created. Southern at its core, honor and conduct pave the way for what it means to be truly good. Quote 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.”
As a Man Thinketh by James Allen – Though this book is small, its words are breathtakingly beautiful and powerful beyond measure. Heavily influenced by the notion of karma, the possibilities of human beings’ capacity for both good and evil are explored throughout the book. Words like these make it one of literature’s most influential: “A man’s mind may be likened to a garden, which may be intelligently cultivated or allowed to run wild; but whether cultivated or neglected, it must, and will, bring forth. If no useful seeds are put into it, then an abundance of useless weed seeds will fall therein, and will continue to produce their kind.”
Les Miserables by Victor Hugo – Following the life of a reformed convict, Jean Valjean, this book delves into the wonders of redemption and the nature of law and grace. The urban design of Paris and the history of France are also two important elements of the novel that reflect certain politics, aspects of religion, and moral philosophies. From the book: “To love another person is to see the face of God.”
The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis – Filled with enduring knowledge about sin, guilt, addiction, and the overall nature of mankind, this fictional series is way more than a tale of adventure. From the book: “Now at last they were beginning Chapter One of the Great Story which no one on earth has read: which goes on for ever: in which every chapter is better than the one before.”
There you have it – a list of some of the most inspirational books of all time that leave you questioning who you really are as a person, and will hopefully inspire you to make the right decisions throughout your life. Haven’t read one in a while? It might be time for a trip to the library or a local book store.