Reading has always been one of my greatest passions. A good book can transport you to new worlds, introduce you to unforgettable characters, and leave you with insights that stay with you for a lifetime. Not long ago I wrote a blog post highlighting some of the most impactful books I’ve come across so far on my reading journey. That post seemed to really resonate with people, being shared thousands of times. So I’ve decided to re-share that list here again in hopes that it may inspire you to pick up one or two new reads. Having these stories enter your life can be truly transformative. I invite you to browse the list of 77 books that changed my life, and please feel free to share with fellow bookworm friends as well! I’d also love for you to reply with 1-2 books that have made a difference for you. Here’s to the power of books and the magic of reading!

Make sure you download the free PDF copy of this list so you can refer back to it! Click here to get your copy.

77 Books That Changed My Life Allyson Lewis

77 Books That Changed My Life and 3 Recommendations to Help You Read More by Allyson Lewis

As originally posted on LifeHack.

If you want your life to be different… READ!

Words are thoughts that when shared are accepted as good ideas or bad ideas. Every single word you hear or read consciously or subconsciously shapes your beliefs and therefore they shape your life. Below you will find seventy-seven books from my personal recommended reading list. These books have changed my life. I am grateful to each author whose words shaped my soul. If you want your life to be different… read!

My Top 10 Must Read Books

  1. Lone Survivor: The Eyewitness Acct of Operation Redwing & the Lost Heroes of SEAL Team 10 by Marcus Lutrell
  2. Man’s Search for Meaning by Victor Frankle
  3. Endurance: Shackleton’s Incredible Voyage by Alfred Lansing
  4. The Brain That Changes Itself: Stories of Personal Triumph from the Frontiers of Brain Science by Norman Doidge
  5. Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi
  6. How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie
  7. Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill
  8. The Go-Giver: A Little Story About a Powerful Business Idea by Bob Burg and John Mann
  9. The Richest Man in Babylon by George S. Clason
  10. Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption by Laura Hillenbrand


Who do you admire? Imagine what you can learn from reading the biographies of some of the best and worst men and women in history.

  1. Einstein: His Life and Universe by Walter Isaacson
  2. Endurance: Shackleton’s Incredible Voyage by Alfred Lansing
  3. Beyond Band of Brothers: The War Memoirs of Major Dick Winters by Major (Ret.) Dick Winters & Cole C. Kingseed
  4. Undaunted Courage: Meriwether Lewis, Thomas Jefferson, and the Opening of the American West by Stephen Ambrose
  5. D-Day: June 6, 1944: The Battle for the Normandy Beaches by Stephen Ambrose
  6. Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln by Doris Kearns Goodwin
  7. Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption by Laura Hillenbrand
  8. John Adams by David McCullough
  9. Theodore Rex by Edmund Morris
  10. Abraham Lincoln (Pocket Biographies) by H. G. Pitt
  11. Escape from Camp 14: One Man’s Remarkable Odyssey from North Korea to Freedom in the West by Blaine Harden
  12. Benjamin Franklin: An American Life by Walter Isaacson
  13. Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank
  14. The Story of My Life by Helen Keller

Attention / Neuroplasticity

Neuroplasticity: the brain is plastic or changeable. Do not miss this section! Yes, some of these books read like text books.   The brain science of neuroplasticity has fascinated me since the moment I first read about how you can re-wire your brain to increase your attention span and sharpen your concentration and ability to focus.

Personal Development

You can be different tomorrow than you are today. Reading books is one of the best ways to learn from the wisdom of others.


Happiness, sadness, creativity, logical thinking, planning, dealing with anxiety, stress, depression, courage, motivation, new challenges. This set of books will inspire and educate you.


The business world changes at the speed of light… but, some of these books are decades old.


What novels will you read to sweep you away?


We all believe something. These are books that have inspired hundreds of thousands. Slow down and enjoy a book to reconnect with your soul.

3 Recommendations to Help You Read More

As a time management strategist, I offer three recommendations to help you find the time to read more books.

1. Read 10 Pages a Day

Books are not usually intended to be read in a single setting. Create a daily reading strategy, set a time where you will read ten pages of a book every day. If you want to learn more about leadership, read ten pages of a biography a great leader. I you want to be inspired, read ten pages of an inspirational book.

2. Listen to Books

Some people have difficulty sitting and reading.  Therefore, my second recommendation is for you to download books to your smart phone or to your computer and list to books as you exercise or clean house or while you are waiting in a doctor’s office.  Many libraries now allow you to download books electronically for a couple of weeks at no charge.  And, there are several other great ways to download books like

3. Read Books Aloud

This is one of my favorite recommendations to help you read more books.  This idea came from a friend of mine, Lindsay Penn, who said when she and her husband go on a trip she will pick a book and read it aloud. I have strong memories of my elementary teachers reading books aloud to our class and when reading time was over we would collectively beg for her not to stop reading.

Learn more about how you can build a daily habit of reading to become a high achiever in the blog post “Mastering Your Daily Routine: 7 Proven Habits of Successful High Achievers.”

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