Great inspirational books can impart wisdom, new knowledge, or simply helping you escape your worries and relax. Here are some great reads you should consider adding to your reading list.
13 Best Inspirational Books To Add To Your Reading Queue
1. Tiny Beautiful Things by Cheryl Strayed
Cheryl Strayed wrote for the literary website The Rumpus as “Sugar”. Under this pen name, she had an advice column where she answered letters of people experiencing different challenges in life.
In Tiny Beautiful Things, Strayed compiles the best of her pieces, including some of the unpublished ones, to deliver an emotionally charged book filled with empathy and compassion. It’s honest, funny, and insightful, which makes it a great read for people looking for ways on how to make lemonade out of life’s lemons.
2. Man’s Search for Meaning by Victor Frankl
This memoir of psychiatrist Victor Frankl details his experience in the Nazi death camps and offers spiritual survival lessons.
He worked in four different camps between 1942 and 1945, including Auschwitz. During this time, his brother, parents, and pregnant wife all died.
Based on what he’d been through and the experiences of his patients, Frankl concludes that, while suffering may be inevitable, how to cope with it is in our control. Through it, we can find meaning and move forward with a brand new purpose.
3. Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind by Yuval Noah Harari
Yuval Noah Harari, a renowned historian, narrates humanity’s creation and evolution in this #1 international bestseller. Sapiens provides a deeper understanding of what it means to be “human” by exploring the ways of how history and biology have defined us.
4. Confessions of a Buddhist Atheist by Stephen Batchelor
Stephen Batchelor’s Confession of a Buddhist Atheist is an emotionally detailed and compelling account of his 38-year personal Buddhist practice. It’s an honest, insightful book drawn from his own challenges and doubts throughout his spiritual journey.
A deeply personal book with doctrine-free views and anecdotes, it’s a great read for people interested in Buddhism.
5. The Rational Optimist by Matt Ridley
Humankind has a history of tragedy and suffering. The horrors we, as a society, see understandably breed pessimism and lack of hope for the years to come.
Matt Ridley, in The Radical Optimist, offers a refreshing and delightful look at how great we’re turning out as a civilization. His arguments will take you into a fun dive into economics, archaeology, world history, philosophy, evolutionary biology.
At the root of it all, Ridley wants to make his point that our chances of solving our problems lie in what we’ve always done — change.
6. Zero to One: Notes on Startups, or How to Build the Future by Peter Thiel
Aspiring entrepreneurs have so much to learn from the legendary Peter Thiel and this book is a great starting point. This is a well-written 200-page read that aims to revitalize imagination and inventiveness and deliver ideas on how to create value in the world.
7. On Writing by Stephen King
This memoir/writing masterclass by the great Stephen King is a must-read for every aspiring writer. King uses his vivid childhood memories and his journey as a writer to provide practical advice about writing as a craft.
A brilliantly structured and inspiring book, On Writing takes us to the life and mind of one of our generation’s greatest authors.
8. Antifragile: Things that Gain from Disorder by Nassim Nicholas Taleb
A standalone book in Nassim Nicholas Taleb’s Incerto series, Antifragile explores how many things in life can benefit from stress, disorder, and volatility. This book is an investigation of luck, human error, risk, and opacity, in an ever-confusing and challenging world.
Taleb argues that an “antifragile” is a thing that not only thrives from chaos, but it also needs it to survive. This read offers a life-changing perspective on embracing randomness, uncertainty, and our mistakes.
9. Outliers: The Story of Success by Malcolm Gladwell
Bringing his trademark engaging prose and rich storytelling, Malcolm Gladwell enters the realm of the best and the brightest, the cream of the crop in Outliers. This time, he brings in inventive theories and anecdotes to answer the question of what makes high-achievers different.
Gladwell shifts the spotlight away from just the brilliant people themselves and also shines a light on their families, culture, generations, idiosyncrasies, and upbringing to explain how they came to be the geniuses they are.
Science, entertainment, and self-help book, all in one — it couldn’t get any Gladwellian than this.
10. 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love that Lasts by Gary Chapman
Practical as it’s insightful, Dr. Gary Chapman’s 5 Love Languages teaches a proven approach to showing and receiving love. It gives couples the tools they need to stay in love and experience a richer, deeper level of intimacy.
The new edition reflects on the complexities of modern relationships, offering valuable truths and relevant, actionable wisdom. If you want to improve your views on affection and intimacy, Dr. Chapman does not disappoint.
11. Mindset: The Psychology of Success by Carol Dweck
Mindset is a product of Carol Dweck’s decades of research. This book delves on the power of mindset and how our views about our talents and abilities can dramatically affect success in almost any interest.
Packed with science-backed practical advice on fostering accomplishments, this is a must-read for coaches, teachers, parents, and those who want to improve their feelings of fulfillment and success.
12. Purple Cow by Seth Godin
This cult classic by Seth Godin’s has already been translated into 36 languages and is getting a massive global impact and reach. All because of his revolutionary insights on marketing.
Using stories of great brands like Apple and Starbucks, partnered with his signature in-your-face style, he urges marketers to rethink what their tactics are saying about their product. For Godin, to be successful is to stand out — it’s time to be the purple cow in this monochrome world.
13. Mastery by Robert Greene
In Mastery, Robert Greene tells us that we all have the potential to be a master of something. This book studies the behaviors of Albert Einstein, Leonardo Da Vinci, Charles Darwin, and Leonardo da Vinci, to come up with tips to help readers find the brilliance within them.
It also contains interviews from nine contemporary masters of our time.
According to Greene, the keys to being a master are:
- Learning the secrets of one’s chose field
- Rigorous apprenticeship
- Learning the hidden knowledge of masters
- Fighting established intrinsic patterns and habits
Mastery is a guide for anyone who wishes to unlock their passion within and become one of the masters of their field.
Freeing up a few hours of your day to read inspirational books is a great habit to have. Pick any of the titles mentioned above and start your way to becoming one percent better every day.
Which of these motivational books have you read already? Are there other inspirational books you’d recommend? Let us know your thoughts about them in the comments section below!
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