Reading can be a great way to open up your mind and challenge the way you think. Whether it’s a fiction book or a nonfiction book, reading is the best way to gain different perspectives and see the world from new angles.
Nonfiction books can be just as engaging and exciting as any fiction book, but there are many additional benefits associated with reading nonfiction books.
Improve Your Knowledge Base
The most obvious reason to read nonfiction is to enhance your knowledge base. With each book you read, you will learn something new about the topic being discussed.
Whether it’s history, science, literature, philosophy, or another subject entirely, reading nonfiction will help to improve your understanding of the world around us.
Plus, if there is a particular subject that interests you then reading related nonfiction books can give you more insight into that field of study.
Gain New Perspectives
Nonfiction often offers readers a chance to gain new perspectives on various topics and issues.
For example, if you were to read a biography about someone who lived during World War II then that would provide an entirely different perspective than what may already be widely known about the war itself.
In addition, by getting into the mindset of someone from that era can be both eye-opening and insightful for readers today.
Finally, reading nonfiction can help keep readers abreast of current events and news stories making headlines around the world. This is especially true for news publications such as magazines and newspapers that update their content regularly with up-to-date information pertaining to current events in politics and culture.
Keeping up with current events through nonfiction sources is one way of staying informed about what is relevant today without having to rely solely on television news outlets or social media sites for news updates.
18 Best Books to Make You Think Differently
Here is a list of 18 books that will make you think differently about yourself, life, and the world around you.
1. Atomic Habits: An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones by James Clear
This is a great book and it is one of my favorite books. That’s why I’m starting this list of powerful books with it.
No matter your goals, Atomic Habits offers a proven framework for improving–every day.
If you’re having trouble changing your habits, the problem isn’t you. The problem is your system. Atomic Habits will reshape the way you think about progress and success, and give you the tools and strategies you need to transform your habits.
2. Braving the Wilderness: The Quest for True Belonging and the Courage to Stand Alone by Brene Brown
With her trademark mix of research, storytelling, and honesty, Brown will again change the cultural conversation while mapping a clear path to true belonging.
Brown argues that we’re experiencing a spiritual crisis of disconnection, and introduces four practices of true belonging that challenge everything we believe about ourselves and each other. She offers us the clarity and courage we need to find our way back to ourselves and to each other. And that path cuts right through the wilderness.
3. The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho
This classic novel tells the story of a shepherd boy on a journey to fulfill his destiny. Along the way, he learns valuable lessons about life, love, and fate.
The book is full of philosophical musings about self-discovery and living an intentional life. It encourages readers to take risks and follow their dreams no matter what obstacles they may face along the way.
4. Untamed by Glennon Doyle
There is a voice of longing inside each woman. We strive so mightily to be good: good partners, daughters, mothers, employees, and friends. We hope all this striving will make us feel alive.
Instead, it leaves us feeling weary, stuck, overwhelmed, and underwhelmed.
Untamed is both an intimate memoir and a galvanizing wake-up call. It is the story of how one woman learned that a responsible mother is not one who slowly dies for her children, but one who shows them how to fully live.
It is the story of how each of us can begin to trust ourselves enough to set boundaries, make peace with our bodies, honor our anger and heartbreak, and unleash our truest, wildest instincts so that we become women who can finally look at ourselves and say: There She Is.
5. Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl
Viktor Frankl was an Austrian neurologist who survived the horrors of Nazi concentration camps during World War II.
In this book, he shares his wisdom on how to find meaning in suffering. He discusses how people can find purpose in even the most difficult circumstances and offers insight into how we can live more meaningful lives in our own daily struggles.
6. You Are a Badass®: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life by Jen Sincero
In this refreshingly entertaining how-to guide, bestselling author Jen Sincero serves up 27 bite-sized chapters full of hilariously inspiring stories, sage advice, easy exercises, and the occasional swear word.
This is the most practical book for helping you to understand why you are how you are, how to love what you can’t change, how to change what you don’t love, and how to use The Force to kick some serious ass.
7. The Righteous Mind: Why Good People Are Divided by Politics and Religion by Jonathan Haidt
In this book, Jonathan Haidt examines why we have such strong opinions about politics and religion—and why those opinions often divide us so fiercely from one another.
He argues that moral reasoning isn’t as objective as we might think it is. Instead, it’s often driven by our emotions and instincts rather than our logical thought processes.
This book will help readers understand why people disagree so vehemently over controversial topics like politics and religion—and how we might be able to bridge some of these divides in spite of our differences.
8. The 5-Second Rule: Transform your Life, Work, and Confidence with Everyday Courage by Mel Robbins
Using the science of habits, riveting stories, and surprising facts from some of the most famous moments in history, art, and business, Mel Robbins will explain the power of a “push moment”. Then, she’ll give you one simple tool you can use to become your greatest self.
It takes just five seconds to use this tool, and every time you do you’ll be in great company. The 5 Second Rule is a simple, one-size-fits-all solution for the one problem we all face – we hold ourselves back.
The secret isn’t knowing what to do – it’s knowing how to make yourself do it.
9. Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind by Yuval Noah Harari
This sweeping history of humanity takes readers through all major historical events — from prehistory to modern times—and offers insights into how we got where we are today. Through its exploration of themes like evolution, religion, economics, technology, and globalization,
Sapiens encourages readers to look at humanity from a larger perspective than they normally would. It challenges them to consider what makes us different from other species—and how that difference impacts both our successes and failures as a species.
10. The Obstacle Is The Way by Ryan Holiday
This book explores ancient Stoic philosophy as applied to modern life challenges like stress management, relationships with others, career success, personal growth, creativity, failure—you name it!
Each chapter focuses on one particular obstacle or challenge that could arise in life—but then shows readers how these obstacles can actually become opportunities if viewed from the right angle. It helps readers reframe their problems into manageable tasks which can ultimately lead them closer to achieving their meaning of life.
11. The Black Swan by Nassim Nicholas Taleb
A black swan is a highly improbable event with three principal characteristics: It is unpredictable; it carries a massive impact; and, after the fact, we concoct an explanation that makes it appear less random, and more predictable than it was.
For Nassim Nicholas Taleb, black swans underlie almost everything about our world, from the rise of religions to events in our own personal lives.
Humans are hardwired to learn specifics when they should be focused on generalities. We concentrate on things we already know and time and time again fail to take into consideration what we don’t know.
12. Understanding the Human Mind The Pursuit of Consciousness by Jason Browne
Ever since humans acquired the ability to think and understand, we have been looking for answers to the meaning of our existence–we knew that we could make sense of what’s around us, but we never managed to fully grasp how and why that was possible.
Despite great progress in that direction in recent studies of neuroscience where researchers were able to associate various higher mental functions to different parts of the brain, the question of whether consciousness is actually in the brain, or if it’s an experience outside our body, remains as elusive as ever.
In Understanding the Human Mind, you will discover the fundamental functions of what makes us human is the ultimate power we can achieve.
13. Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman
In this book, renowned psychologist and winner of the Nobel Prize in Economics takes us on a groundbreaking tour of the mind and explains the two systems that drive the unique way we think.
System 1 is fast, intuitive, and emotional. System 2 is slower, more deliberative, and more logical.
The impact of overconfidence on corporate strategies, the difficulties of predicting what will make us happy in the future, and the profound effect of cognitive biases on everything from playing the stock market to planning our next vacation―each of these can be understood only by knowing how the two systems shape our judgments and decisions.
14. The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment by Eckhart Tolle
In The Power of Now, Eckhart Tolle describes his transition from despair to self-realization soon after his 29th birthday. Tolle took another ten years to understand this transformation, during which time he evolved a philosophy that has parallels in Buddhism, relaxation techniques, and meditation theory but is also eminently practical.
In The Power of Now he shows readers how to recognize themselves as the creators of their own pain, and how to have a pain-free existence by living fully in the present.
15. Outliers: The Story of Success by Malcolm Gladwell
In this book, Malcolm Gladwell takes readers on an intellectual journey through the world of “outliers”– the best and the brightest, the most famous and the most successful. He asks the question: what makes high-achievers different?
His answer is that we pay too much attention to what successful people are like, and too little attention to their culture, their family, their generation, and the idiosyncratic experiences of their upbringing. Along the way, he explains the secrets of software billionaires, what it takes to be a great soccer player, why Asians are good at math, and what made the Beatles the greatest rock band.
16. The 48 Laws of Power by Robert Greene
In this bestselling book, Robert Greene and Joost Elffers have distilled three thousand years of the history of power into 48 essential laws by drawing from the philosophies of Machiavelli, Sun Tzu, and Carl Von Clausewitz and also from the lives of figures ranging from Henry Kissinger to P.T. Barnum.
Every law has one thing in common: an interest in total domination. In a bold and arresting two-color package, The 48 Laws of Power is ideal whether your aim is conquest, self-defense, or simply to understand the rules of the game.
17. How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie
In today’s world, where more and more of our communication takes place across wires and screens, Carnegie’s lessons have not only lasted but become all the more critical. Though he never could have predicted technology’s trajectory, Carnegie proves a wise and helpful teacher in this digital landscape.
Carnegie’s advice on how to communicate, lead, and work efficiently remains priceless across the ages.
18. Secrets of the Millionaire Mind by T. Harv Eker
We all have personal money blueprints ingrained in our subconscious minds and these blueprints will determine our financial lives.
You can know everything about marketing, sales, negotiations, stocks, real estate, and the world of finance, but if your money blueprint is not set for a high level of success, you will never have a lot of money – and if somehow you do, you will most likely lose it! The good news is that now you can actually reset your money blueprint to create natural and automatic success in one of my favorite books. In my opinion, this is one of the best nonfiction books on the list!
Finding a good book is a great way to expand your mind and challenge your existing beliefs about yourself and the world around you. One of the best things you can do is find something to expand your horizons through reading.
So grab one (or two!) of these interesting books today —and get ready for some thought-provoking reads.
Please let me know what your favorite self-help books are on Instagram at @ChristinaAllDay. Any other book recommendations of the most thought-provoking books?
Let me know which ones are worth reading that make for an easy read, will teach you life lessons, and help you live a better life.