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13 Books That Changed My Life March 11, 2011

Posted by nrhatch in Books & Movies, Happiness, Less IS More.

Today’s WordPress Prompt:

Name A Book That Changed Your Life.

Books have been friends, companions, teachers, guides, and mentors since I first learned to decipher characters on the printed  page.  Books have entertained, educated, and encouraged me.

 In the past decade, many of the books I read reinforced my desire to live a more spiritual and peaceful life ~ one focused more on internal wisdom, and less on external gratification.  These books added joy to my life by teaching me to shift my perspective from old ways of thinking (centered on ego) to a new way of viewing the world (focused on spiritual strength).

Here are 13 Books that Changed My Life.  Each added to my inner peace and happiness by encouraging me to master my thoughts:

1.  Simplify Your Life ~ Elaine St. James

2.  The Art of Happiness ~ The Dalai Lama

3.  Zen & The Art of Happiness ~ Chris Prentiss

4.  The Serenity Principle ~ Joseph V. Bailey

5.  Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff ~ Richard Carlson

6.  The Happiness Trap ~ Russ Harris

7.  Awakening to the Sacred ~ Lama Surya Das

8.  The Last Lecture, Randy Pausch

9.  Present Moment, Wonderful Moment ~ Thich Nhat Hanh

10.  Take Time For Your Life ~ Cheryl Richardson

11.  Way of the Peaceful Warrior ~ Dan Millman

12.  Power, Freedom, Grace ~ Deepak Chopra

13.  The Happiness Makeover ~ M.J. Ryan

Aah . . . that’s better!

What about you?  What books have enabled you to see the world more clearly and love it more dearly?

Related posts:  The Clean (Book)Plate Club * 100 BooksThe Courage to Be Free * Bring One Fictional Character To Life * 365 Nirvana Now (Blue Lotus Cafe) * WP Daily Prompt ~Bookworm


1. kateshrewsday - March 11, 2011

That’s quite some reading list, Nancy. Some life changing stuff.

nrhatch - March 11, 2011

Aah, that’s just the tip of the iceberg. But Simplify Your Life is the book that got the ball rolling.

Most of the work is done inside, anyway.

Reading books will only take one so far . . . we must practice what is preached. 😎

2. Debra - March 11, 2011

I am sure this will be funny…but I will put it anyway:

‘A Wrinkle in Time’, by Madeleine L’Engle was the first ‘eye-opener’ book for me…read to our class by my 6th grade teacher. I still have a copy and try to re-read it every 3 years.:) I read it to my son and he has his own copy now….and he loves it as I did.

And as an adult…whew! I will have to think deeply for there have been many books that have touched my heart. In fact, I am reading one now.! hehe

thanks Nancy…:)

nrhatch - March 11, 2011

Thanks, Debra. I think A Wrinkle In Time is a life changing book.

I didn’t consider fiction books in creating this list ~ that list would be much, much longer.

3. therunninggarlic - March 11, 2011

Wow … fantastic list! Thank you – I will have to check into these! The book that changed my way of thinking is The Power of Your Subconscious Mind by Dr. Joseph Murphy – have read it several times.
Debbie 🙂

nrhatch - March 11, 2011

Thanks, Debbie.

Clicking on the name of any of the 13 books will give you more information about why the book has to offer.

We are far more powerful than we realize.

4. barb19 - March 11, 2011

Your list is very interesting Nancy, and I will be checking some of those books out, as they are the type of books I like to read, so thanks for the list!
I do have a particular book that changed my life, and will write a post on it shortly.

nrhatch - March 11, 2011

Excellent. Thanks, Barb. I look forward to reading your post.

5. Maggie - March 11, 2011

The Giver – Lois Lowry (I have never thought the same way about anything since reading that book in the 7th grade.)

nrhatch - March 11, 2011

I need to check that out. I’ve definitely heard of it. Maybe I even read it.

Thanks, Maggie.

6. oldancestor - March 11, 2011

Wow, tough question. Off the top of my head, no less. I’ll try not to list favorites that didn’t necessarily change my life.

Randomly ruminated results:

Tao Te Ching by Lao Tzu
Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie
How to Write Killer Fiction by Carolyn Wheat
Godless by Dan Barker
Don’t Believe Everything you Think by Thomas Kida
Gardner’s Art Through the Ages – various
Unweaving the Rainbow by Richard Dawkins

I’m sure as soon as I post this I’ll think of others.

nrhatch - March 11, 2011

Thanks, OA. If you think of more, feel free to add them.

I’ve never read “don’t believe everything you think,” but it is one of my favorite quotes.

When we hear ourselves think a thought, we need to ask first, “is it true?” before investing it with any additional energy.

We often think things that are NOT true. Shocking but true. 😯

7. oldancestor - March 11, 2011

That book is a brain changer. I consider myself a fairly intelligent person, but the author offers the six most common errors in human reasoning, and I was guilty of all of them.

Good stuff.

nrhatch - March 11, 2011

The more mindful we become . . . the more easily we move through life.

Master your thoughts, master your life.

I’m definitely going to check it out. Thanks, OA

8. Carol Ann Hoel - March 11, 2011

I’ve read many books that influenced the direction of my life. Joyce Meyer wrote one that I think was entitled “Simplify your Life”. Something like that. It was full of great suggestions, many of which I heeded. “You Were Born for This” by Bruce Wilkinson was earth shattering. I read it and it enlarged my world. Written words have power. Blessings, Nancy…

nrhatch - March 11, 2011

Thanks, Carol Ann.

Simplify Your Life is at the top of my list ~ but the one I read was written by Elaine St. James. She also wrote Inner Simplicity, another good one.

I’ll check out Joyce Meyer and Bruce Wilkinson.

9. eof737 - March 11, 2011

I wrote on this for a followup to a NY Times article… Great readings. You were on a blogging roll today!

nrhatch - March 11, 2011

I did a post this morning that would normally have been my only post for the day.

Then heard about the tsuanami.
Then, loved the WP challenge about books.
Then, came the photo challenge.

Tomorrow, it shall be back to one post. 😀

10. libraryscene - March 11, 2011

Great list, Nancy! I may have to ponder and post mine on blog. If you’ve not read, check out Pema Chodron, I think you would enjoy ~ angela

nrhatch - March 11, 2011

Thanks, Angela. Hope you will post your list of faves. I’ll check out Pema Chodron.

11. Cindy - March 11, 2011

Impressive list!

nrhatch - March 11, 2011

I have few regrets in life. One regret, that I have not kept better track of books (and movies) that impacted me for the good.

Even if I’d only kept a list of title and author, it would be such a powerful reminder.

12. Alannah Murphy - March 12, 2011

The Artist’s Way was one. Bikram’s Beginning Yoga Class another, as yoga really helped me get in shape (even mentally) and lastly, I know it sounds odd but as I said in my blog, another book that really affected me was The Picture of Dorian Gray. It changed how I see the world as a writer. Thanks for that lovely list, have always wanted to read the Dalai Lama (13 lovely number…)

nrhatch - March 12, 2011

Oh, good thoughts, Alannah. The Artist’s Way is terrific and yoga is great for mind, body, and spirit.

I read The Picture of Dorian Gray so long ago that it’s definitely due for another read.


13. Julie - March 13, 2011

Along these lines, The Power of Now and A New Earth by Eckhart Tolle would be at the very top. I also enjoyed The Last Lecture.

nrhatch - March 13, 2011

I expect that Eckhart Tolle and some of these others share the same truths.

I know that living in the NOW gives me a freedom and power that I never imagined I could have ~ a recognition that the what is, is.

How we relate to the issue is the issue.

It is not what happens TO us that determines our happiness and peace of mind. It’s how we relate to what happens that allows us to maintain a smile and positive outlook on the externals . . . no matter the turmoil around us.

Thanks, Julie.

14. Tokeloshe - March 14, 2011

Great list!

Thank you.

“Understanding Creativity” by Jane Piirto

nrhatch - March 14, 2011

Thanks, Toke. I’ll check out the link!

15. nantuckettiechic - March 15, 2011

I am an avid reader and never thought a single book could actually change my life. but a couple of years ago…I got hold of this little book; the Dangerous Duty of Delight by John Piper. It made me-rethink everything I thought I knew about living joyfully.

nrhatch - March 15, 2011

Thanks for the addition to the list.

Glad to see someone challenging the idea that life should be centered on sacrifice. ;D

16. Greg Camp - March 15, 2011

“The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy”–that book showed me the craziness of reality, and I’ve been off-kilter ever since.

nrhatch - March 15, 2011

I need to read “The Hitchhiker’s Guide” again (or finish it for the first time). I know I started it, but my recollection of Adams’ words is so vague and hazy that I’m not sure that I completed the journey.

Thanks, Greg.

17. Pocket Perspectives - October 14, 2011

Here I am…wandering around in posts from March…. : ) …Another wonderful book…The Untethered Soul, by Michael Singer….I’d say it’s one of the best books I’ve read, and I read a lot. He also has a wonderful cd collection that parallels what he writes about. CD’s 2, 3 and 4 were remarkable. You can get them on Amazon or on his website http://www.untetheredsoul.com/author.html
And MJ Ryan has many other wonderful books too… I went to her for some “coaching” 2 summers ago…she is wonderful…very bright, warm, funny, and caring.

nrhatch - October 14, 2011

Thanks, Kathy. I’ll check them out.

When we want to be inspired anew, finding authors that resonate with where we are helps us become more fully who we want to be. 😀

18. The Man Behind The Curtain | Spirit Lights The Way - October 15, 2013

[…] If you are looking for advice to live a more peaceful and happy life, you can find links to some of my favorite books here ~ 13 Books That Changed My Life […]

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