Have you ever had a ‘Book Hangover’? You are probably wondering what that is.
Sometimes you read a book and put it down and are done with it.
Other times, you read a book, and even days after finishing that book you cannot stop thinking about it.
And if you have read quite a few books then some of them are bound to leave an impact on your mind.
There are a few books that make you think, books that change the way you look at the world, and how you perceive certain things.
That is what you call a book hangover.
Reading is the best way to develop your mind. It is the most effective way to learn something.
Not every book makes you wonder about the world, not every book changes the way you think.
There is a quote that says:
Some books should be tasted, some devoured, but a few should be chewed and digested thoroughly.
Everybody has a different taste and it is not necessary that a book that changed your life will do the same for another person.
You can always find someone with a similar reading taste and might want to consider their recommendations or might consider recommending a few of your favorites as well.
I have compiled a list of few thought-provoking books that made me think and literally changed the way I look at the world and perceive things.
List Of Books That Change Your Outlook on Life
The best books are those that hit you in the head with bricks and reconfigure your entire understanding of reality, people, life, and even yourself.
If you are into self-help books, we would recommend you check 0ur list of books to read in your 20s.
The following are some of the books we compiled that will make you THINK!
Candide by Voltaire
Candide is a satirical novel that was published in 1759. It is known as Volitaire’s best work.
Even though this book was published ages ago, this book still has the power to change the way you think.
This book tells us that no matter what generation it is, people have similar emotions and thoughts.
This eighteenth-century classic is actually a satiric, savage thrust at the philosophical optimism that proclaims that all disasters and human suffering are a part of a bigger plan.
The French philosopher narrative takes Candide around the world and he finally realizes that contrary to his beliefs and teachings, not everything happens for the best.
This book makes you look at the world with a new perspective and certainly changes the way you think about the problems and disasters in this world.
The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch
This book might actually make you cry. It is a non-fiction book about Randy Pausch who was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.
He found out that that he only had a few months to live so he decided to write a book on how to make a positive change even when you are stuck with life’s horrific realities.
Dealing with something terrible does not mean that you cannot make a change in the world.
Randy Pausch was a computer science professor at Carnegie Mellon.
He was asked to deliver a lecture after when he was diagnosed with cancer but surprisingly, that lecture was not about dying.
It was actually about living. It was about the importance of overcoming obstacles, seizing every moment trying to achieve your lifelong childhood dreams.
This book gives you a new outlook on life, it changes your perspective of the world and it motivates you to achieve your dreams and never take any opportunity for granted.
Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell
This book perfectly explains that there is no ‘prodigy’ behind success.
This book tells us that there is a combination of hard work and availing the perfect opportunities involved in being successful.
It is one of those books that get you thinking about how much culture, upbringing, and luck play in your life.
Gladwell uses examples and statistics to explain the relationship between success and hard work.
Gladwell explains that it is utterly important to seize the perfect opportunities when on a road to success.
This book will inspire you to work harder and will make you think what makes the high achievers different from the average people in the world.
Middlesex by Jeffry Eugenides
It is a prize-winning novel by Jeffry Eugenides that was published in 2002. This book is going to make you question tradition.
This book explains that it is not always okay to go with the norms of society and it is okay to challenge them sometimes.
The story is about a hermaphrodite and the struggles that he faced to find his own identity of the world. It tells the breathtaking story of Calliope Stephanides, and the three generations of her family.
This book helps you explain to understand why Calliope is not like other girls. She uncovers a guilty family secret and the astonishing genetic history that turns Calliope into Cal.
This book is different from its age, as people go through similar traditional chaos that makes you question the realities and norms of society.
Slaughterhouse Five by Kurt Vonnegut Jr.
It is selected by the modern library as one of the 100 best novels of all time.
This book gives us the message that terrible things happen to all of us throughout life, and sometimes it gets really hard to move on.
We all know no matter what happens in life, it never stops for anyone. It goes on and it should!
The book is about the second world war and the tragedies that struck people in those times.
It explains that we should accept the bitter realities of our lives and try to look at the future with a positive outlook.
The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
This book revolves around the era of 1939 and the narrator of this book is ‘death’.
It tells you that you got only one life and you need to spend the time in the right way that you have been given on earth.
This book is about a girl Liesel whose life is changed when she picks up a single object, partially hidden in the show and it is her first act at book thievery.
Indeed everything is upside down in Zusak’s Nazi Germany. Sounds are tasted, visions are heard, the strong do not survive and your best chance at living may be concentration camp.
This book burns with intensity and it gives the most enduring stories of our time.
This book teaches you to utilize your time in this world and you should learn that time is precious and you need to put it to good use.
And the Mountains Echoed by Khalid Hosseini
Khalid Hosseini is a fabulous writer. Hosseini wrote some of the most thought-provoking books of all time.
This book teaches us that the choices we make can affect our lives and everyone around us in the long run. The main story centers on a poor family that struggles to make ends meet in Afghanistan in 1952.
Sometimes we have to endure small hardships so that we can save ourselves from the bigger ones. The siblings, Pari, and Abdullah make choices that change their lives.
Hosseini writes about the relationships that define us and shape our lives, the choices we make always have an impact on our lives in the long run and how are we often surprised by the people closest to us.
Thinking Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman
In this book, Kahneman tells us that we should not really place so much confidence in our judgment. Sometimes we regret our decisions and wonder why did we even make those decisions in the first place.
Kahneman explains the two types of systems that drive the way we think. One is fast, intuitive, and emotional thinking.
The other one is slow and logical thinking. Engaging the readers in an interesting conversation about how we think, the writer reveals where we can and cannot trust our judgment.
This book offers practical and enlightening choices into how we make decisions in our personal as well as professional lives. This book will transform the way you think about thinking.
Black Like Me by John Howard Griffin
Nowadays racism in the U.S is the most highlighted topic. This book will make you think about race relations in the United States.
This book was published in the 1950s and even though a lot has changed since then you will be shocked to read, how much has unfortunately stayed the same.
Journalist John Howard Griffin decided to medically darken his skin to look like a black man.
He wandered across the deep south giving up his white privilege. He witnessed some still chillingly relevant events about race and humanity.
This book is a must-read if you are trying to understand the racial struggle the world is currently in.
The Caine Mutiny by Herman Wouk
Herman Wouk’s prize-winning World War II novel will definitely make you think.
This novel was written only 6 months after the war ended.
It is known as one of the first serious works of American fiction to grapple with the moral complexities and human consequences of world War II.
It has achieved the status of a modern classic.
The story of the novel is mostly based on the author’s own experience during the war.
It explains the complexities of war and the difficult decisions that had to be made during those horrific times.
The Stranger by Albert Camus
This is one of the most interesting books I have ever read. This book will question what really matters in your life.
It can make you stop feeling confined by traditional paths and it motivates you to start living the way you want to.
It is the story of a man who is drawn into a senseless murder on an Algerian beach.
The one important question that this book makes you think about is ‘what is the meaning of life?’.
Other than this the book makes you think about a lot of other philosophical aspects of life.
It will surely change your outlook on life and you will actually think about what is important in life.
Beloved by Toni Morrison
It is the novel about an African-American slave in the 1800s. it will change the way you think about that period in history.
It is a spellbinding portrait of a woman haunted by her past.
Sethe was born a slave who escaped to Ohio.
Even after eighteen years, she is still not free. She has survived the unthinkable and not gone mad yet she is held captive by her disturbing memories.
This book makes you think about slavery times in America.
Man’s Search for Meaning by Victor Frankl
This book will make you wonder about a world 70 years ago.
What happened to Jews 70 years ago is so horrific. We often forget that this was only a few decades ago, not centuries.
Based on his own experience and stories of his parents, Frankl argues that we cannot avoid suffering but we can always choose how to cope up with it, and move forward with a new purpose.
Man’s search for meaning has become one of the most beneficial books in America.
It continues to inspire us and find significance in the act of living.
The Art of thinking clearly by Rolf Dobelli
This is the most practical book on decision making.
This book is an excellent collection of a lot of thinking errors- from intellectual decisions to social decisions.
We make a lot of choices in our lives and not every decision that we make is a rational one.
We make some cognitive biases and simple errors in our everyday thinking.
If we are able to spot these errors, we can try to avoid them and make better decisions.
This book will surely change the way you think and will transform the way you think in your personal as well as professional life.
Paradox of Choice by Barry Schwartz
This book beautifully explains how less is more.
Decision making is the most mentally draining thing that you have to do every day.
The writer explains why too much of a good thing has mostly proven detrimental to our psychological and emotional well being.
This book will certainly change the way you make decisions in your everyday life.
Frequently asked questions
- Are all these books available online?
All these books are available online in the form of e-books. You can purchase and download these books.
- Considering the difficulty level of these books, how old would you expect someone that reads them to be?
Not all these books are an easy read, they shape the way you think and look at the world, so I would suggest that someone who reads these books is at least 15 years old.
- How can fiction books change the way you think about life?
Fiction books can really affect your thinking by their storyline. The stories are designed and depicted in a way that changes the way you look at different things in life and you might be able to relate to some of them.
We hope you enjoyed our list of all the books that make you think, let us know if you come across any other such thought-provoking books!