If you know me by now, you know that I love to read and that I’m rarely spotted without a book!
Ever since I was a kid, I’ve loved diving into a book to explore and get lost in a new world.
But reading is about so much more than that, especially for entrepreneurs. Reading has so many amazing benefits …
Now, I’ve been reading steadily since I was about 5 years old, so narrowing this list down of books that changed my life was tricky. However, I considered the question… which genuinely changed my life? These 5 were the answers.
This will forever be my all-time favourite book. Believe it or not, but I never actually read this in high-school English class, as many I know did. This was a book that I read all on my own volition, and have re-read numerous times. Harper Lee published the novel in 1960, and it went on to win the Pulitzer Prize in 1961. To Kill A Mockingbird was praised for Lee’s sensitivity in displaying how a child was awakened to the racism and prejudice in the American South. The novel follows Scout, a young girl growing up in rural Alabama with her brother Jem, father Atticus, and close friend Dill. The story digs into the daily life of Scout and her friends, while also telling the story of her father, an attorney, who defends a black man accused of rape.
Lee’s work has faced significant controversy over the years, regularly being banned from various school curriculums. Generally, concerns have boiled down to the challenges of the book’s strong language and its discussion of sexuality and rape. In today’s complex and polarized world, novels like Lee’s are more critical than ever before.
At once haunting and romantic, it’s dark nature and setting left me completely enwrapped. The novel centres around Jane’s arrival at Thornfield Hall as a caregiver to Adèle, the ward of the broody Edward Rochester, who Jane falls in love with. Trust me, this is just the beginning, as you’re thrown into the fascinating, haunting story of the book! The setting is almost mythic in my mind and plays wildly with the overall imagery and symbolism of the novel. It truly is a masterpiece.
Probably my most recommended book of all time, One Hundred Years of Solitude is nothing short of a masterpiece. In this work, Gabriel García Márquez developed an entirely new genre, ‘magical realism,’ a style he employed in other books to follow.
The book follows seven generations of one family, covering a hundred years of Latin American history from the 1820s to the 1920s. It tells the story of a fictional utopian city, and how it is impacted over that massive period of critical history.
I studied Latin American history throughout University and fell in love with it, and this book brought that history to life in such a brilliant, poignant, beautiful way.
This tremendous book tells the incredible true story of Lale Sokolov, a Slovakian Jew who was imprisoned for almost 3 years in Auschwitz-Birkenau. Upon his arrival, Lale’s captors learn he speaks several languages and put him to work as the tattooist who would have to mark his fellow prisoners. Here, he meets and tattoos fellow prisoner Gita, and vows to survive the war to marry her.
This book broke my heart in the atrocities that occurred in this and numerous other concentration camps during WWII. It was especially challenging to read the horrors that Lale personally witnessed. Though tragic, the book still manages to be inspiring in its tale of how true love can get us through the most awful times.
I honestly debated whether to include this one, as up to now, this list has encompassed fiction works that genuinely changed my life. However, this book holds immense importance to me and probably changed my life the most, so I had to include it.
Dr. Brené Brown is a leading expert in shame, belonging and authenticity. This was the first of her works that I got into, and it inspired me to continue reading through all of her other books. I will tell you, my life has only changed for the better since finding Brown’s work.
The meat of this book is Brown’s 10 guideposts, which she uses to engage us to cultivate courage, compassion and connection in our everyday lives. Her method shows us we are all imperfect and vulnerable, but that doesn’t take away from our being worthy of love and belonging.
What books changed your life? I want to know! Connect with me on social to tell me what you’re reading, what’s changed your life, and what books I need to read! If you’d like to start reading more, I encourage you to join my book club, The Power of Positivity.