8 Books That Changed My Life

girl reads the book with river at background

Books are one of the most precious and valuable investments one can ever make. They can lighten your mood, bring you joy, wisdom, inspiration, motivation and a lot of comfort for your soul. Books can be your best friend, your most trusted companion and a a life-saving anchor in desperate times.

No matter how buys you are and how chaotic your life is, sitting down to read for half an hour to an hour a day will go a long way in balancing your emotional well-being and your personal growth in both your private and business life.

However, it’s often difficult to comb through the myriad of books available these days, isn’t it? We are bombarded with new book releases on a daily basis and it’s not surprising that we often feel lost.

Worry not as I have my recent and not-so-recent Top 8 books for you to browse through. They’re not the typical book recommendations you read on every blog, so don’t expect to find The Alchemist or similar favorites of the world on here. No, I’ve decided to talk about books that have deeply impacted me and that have left me changed forever.

From How-to books to beautiful and fascinating biographies and novels, they’ve all helped me to take charge of my life, my future and my past. They’ve helped me to become the person that I am today, strong, happy, brave and very action-oriented. They’ve helped me to see the world in a new light and my power as a unique individual on this planet as endless. They’ve taught me to let go of destructive thought patterns, feelings of inadequacy and a lot of issues I had with money and food.

I hope they inspire you at least as much as they’ve inspired me!

The Charge by Brendon Burchard

A motivating self-improvement book that will give you plenty of new ideas to take your personal growth to a whole new level. Burchard explains the ten human drives that make us feel alive, energized and ready to take on the world. Have a sharpie ready as you’ll be wanting to remember a lot of the lessons talked about.

The Gifts of Imperfection by Brene Brown

A very sensitive book about human longings and the quest to live and love fully. I love Brene Brown and I find her approach of creating a whole life with rest and play, authenticity and self-love, boundaries and gratitude not only immeasurably inspiring, but also eye-opening.

Desert Flower by Waris Dirie

A story of a true heroine who escaped her nomad life right before an arranged marriage with an older guy and slowly worked her way up to the top of the modeling business. Waris Dirie now speaks up against the female genital mutilation in Somalia. I read this book when I was 11 years old and it opened my eyes for the very first time to the realities of other children’s lives and their destinies. I can honestly say that I’ve never looked at the world the same way again after being drawn into this powerful biography and witnessing the immeasurable strength with which women deal with their fates in other parts of the world.

You Can Heal Your Life by Louise L. Hay

A powerful testimony of how every person, no matter the circumstances, no matter the past, can find his or her own path full of love, wealth and peace. Ever since I recovered from anorexia and experienced the power of positive affirmations, I’ve been convinced that we can be our own hero, no matter how sick we are. This book confirms what I’ve learned in a powerful and enlightening way. If you want to change your life, you have to change your thoughts first.

Pack Up the Moon by Anna McPartlin

The best novel I’ve read in my entire life. This novel makes you sit up and think about the fleeting nature of life in a more impacting way than anything else I’ve ever read. This novel captures you from the first word until the last page. It makes you laugh, cry, cheer, grieve and reminisce about your own life. Simply brilliant and good for your soul.

F*ck It – The Ultimate Spiritual Way by John C. Parkin

A book full of wisdom, insight and paradigm shifts. Parkin makes a strong case for letting go of placing so much meaning on every little nuance in life. It’s a great reminder for everyone to take a step back and focus on living instead of constantly planning, working, calculating, comparing and measuring up.

The Final Summit by Andy Andrews

Andy Andrews writes in a very simple way and I don’t always agree with what he’s saying, but this book has a very strong and oh so important call to action that this world needs more than anything right now. I’m not going to say what it is and spoil it for you, but it’s not as complex as you might believe. A great side-effect of reading this novel is the fact that you’ll learn some very interesting historical events and people. So, if you’re a sucker for history like I am, you’ll really enjoy this story.

Lost and Found by Geneen Roth

This is an amazing book that looks deep into the soul of, dare I say, most people on this planet. Roth talks about losing all of her money in the Bernard Madoff scheme and how this disaster completely changed her perception of herself. She makes a strong case for the relationship between having difficulties with money and having a very complicated relationship with food. She points out how this correlation reflects a lot of wrong and destructive beliefs we have about ourselves. If you’re ready for some very big revelations about your own issues with money and food, then this is the book to read. It’s definitely helped me to look at our finances in a more empowered way.

On to you. What are your favorite books and how have they changed your life forever?

Some Amazing Comments


About the author

Anne-Sophie Reinhardt

Anne-Sophie Reinhardt is a body image expert, self-love advocate and the author of Love Your Body The Way It Is. Join her newsletter and receive your free 3-part video series helping you to break free from your obsession with food and your body.


  • John Maxwell’s book The 15 Invaluable Laws of Growth is an amazing book to read, study and digest. This book has had a major impact on my life and thinking.

  • I am a traveler at heart and I’ve been pretty much travel free for almost two years now (beginning to wear on me..) Everything about travel gets me excited and energized! The problem is…the money and the time needed to do so! I lived in London for two years where I was able to travel and see the world! I am back in the states now, working and living…and not traveling. The book that just piqued my desire to get back out there in the world and make travel happen is “Until Brazil” by Bethe Lee Moulton and the feeling is back! It’s about a married woman, in a steady job looking for a little excitement! She goes on a business trip to Brazil hoping for a promotion and instead gets immersed in a culture and an experience that she will never forget! –recommend 100% – It has given me the little escape that I so desperately need! It’s so wonderful to get inspiration and that much needed push from a book you love. Time to make things happen, time for a change :) Thanks so much for this posting, looking forward to reading more!

    • Kellie, that sounds like a brilliant book and as a fellow travel addict, this is right up my alley. I’ve never been to Brazil, but have always wanted to go. Definitely adding it on my list.

  • I haven’t read most, but I have read Louise Hay. It is actually a reference book for me because I am a healer and it is amazing. I have watched Brenden Bouchard and he is absolutely amazing, exciting, authentic and the passion that he passes on is contagious. I really like Anthony Robbins but have to admit his was one of the first self development books I read 25 years ago and I have kept them. I appreciate all the new books people have recommended I know what I will be doing for the next week. Book gifting because after they are finished they always share LOL.

    • Hehe Books are the best gifts in the world. Have fun reading and then giving the books away. I know you’ll share tons of wisdom with this small action.

  • Anne-Sophie,

    Thanks for this list. I thought I was well read, but I did not recognize a single one of these. And that’s a compliment, BTW! I love it. Some new titles to add to my reading list!


  • Why Don’t You Have Kids? by Leslie Lafayette changed my life. I thought I was the only person who had ever thought to skip parenting. Then the bright pink cover of this book jumped out at me from the shelf at the bookstore.
    It not only helped me make a decision about having children, it also made me realize that I have more control over my own life than I had ever imagined.

  • The best book I ever read is “How to use your God Power to get everything you ever wanted and live the life of your dreams”. By Richard Lee McKim. It is the most important and powerful message I have ever come across. Experiencing this book has been absolutely life -altering and really resonated with me immediately as truth. It is the clearest explanation of how we create our own realities I have ever come across. I just got it on Amazon Kindle for $2.99.
    It comes with the full audio book and the special features in this kindle book are as unique as the author’s perspective. It’s in video/audio and text-Amazing!!!!

  • I haven’t read these either… lol. but they sound great! My favs are “Think and Grow Rich” (of course), “The Slight Edge”, and “Outwitting the Devil”

    • I have to confess that I started reading Think and Grow Rich, but never finished it. Must do that soon. I haven’t heard of the latter two though. Uff, my reading list is growing faster than I can look. :)

    • Hmmm, that’s a difficult question. I guess that it depends on what you need right now. If you need a boost of motivation, go with The Charge. It really is brilliant and a great way to transition into the new year, I think.

  • Hi Anne-Sophie

    Just wanted to thank you for writing this post for CYT.

    You have listed a few books I haven’t heard of and are now on my ‘get list’ :)

    Loved ‘The Charge’ from Brendon Burchard

    I would definitely add Bruce Lipton’s book – ‘The Biology of Belief’ as one of my top books.

    • Thank YOU, Steven for sharing your platform with me once again. I have never heard of The Biology of Belief, but it sure sounds interesting. Hope you enjoy the books once you get a chance to read them.

    • Hi Steven
      I really enjoy your articles -The book I mentioned above “How to use your God Power to get everything you ever wanted and live the life of your dreams” By Richard Lee McKim explains exactly how we create reality and uses “video examples” from different outside sources all over the internet to back up and prove each point as he goes through the process step by step and teaches you how to to create the reality you want. He uses a video by Bruce Lipton the author of “The Biology of Belief” as a “video example”. I hope you will read /watch /listen to this book. I would love to get your take on it. I think it will become the new “Thinking Persons Bible”! It even has a “SHARE” feature so you can share the video segment of any section you want with someone you think would benefit! Never seen this feature anywhere in any book! Check it out! On Amazon Kindle-I guarantee it will be the best $2.99 you ever spent!!!

  • Thanks for putting this list together Anne-Sophie! I love finding new books to read and some of them on this list I have never heard of. Thanks for the introduction.

    I have three off the top of my head other than Brene Browns book “the Gift of Imperfection” that have changed my life:

    1) In Pursuit of Excellence by Terry Orlick – as an athlete – growing up it made me really think about the benefits of mental training and how changing our thoughts and attitude can influence our performance. It lead my to pursue the career I have.

    2) The Last Lecture – Randy Pausch – love it such a beautiful account of the lessons he learned over his life. Wrote it for his children before he passed away. Made me realize life is short and go after your dreams. Amazing book.

    3) Always Looking Up – the adventures of an incurable optimist – Michael J. Fox – such a wonderful read about one of my favourite actors. Doesn’t let his disease stop him from being happy.

    I have more that I love but these three really stick out to me :)

    • Hi Adrianna, thanks for sharing your top 3. I loved the Last Lecture too. It’s such an incredibly powerful book. We share so many interests that I know I’ll benefit from reading the other 2 books. They’re on my list now. :)

  • Love it Anne-Sophie. Back in the early 2000’s I began reading books on personal and spiritual growth. I absolutely loved going to the bookstore, getting a coffee or tea and just sit there and read for hours.

    Since I started blogging I have cut way back on reading books but your post totally inspired me to check out some of the books you recommended. :)

    • Justin, I’m just like you, ever since I started blogging, I forgot about reading books. But every time I sat down to devore a new book, I was reminded of the power of good literature. I think it’s important to make it a point to not only write and read blogs, but actually be inspired by other forms of writing. I’d also say that this would help you stand out even more from other blogs.

  • Hi Anne-Sophie,

    Thanks for the great intro to these books, I’ve read Louise Hay’s book and it’s wonderful but the rest of your selections were new to me. Brene Brown’s book sounds great, and is definitely on my list for the future.

    The most life changing book I’ve ever read is Michael A. Singer’s – The Untethered Soul. Amazing stuff.

    • Dave, thanks for sharing The Untethered Soul. I hadn’t heard of it, but I’ve hopped over to amazon and read the short description: it sounds awesome. This is definitely a book I’ll want to check out. Hope you enjoy Brene Brown’s book. It’s truly amazing.

  • Just picked up The Secret Life of Plants… This book has blown me away more than The Alchemist, Way of the Peaceful Warrior, The Art of Zen and Motorcycle Maintenance or any other eye-opening philisophical/spiritual/scientific based book I’ve read to date! I haven’t even finished it yet but I am amazed at what he’s discovered and surprised the world isn’t up in arms and excited as I am! I guess the world doesn’t read much these days…

    • Rachael, to be frank, the title doesn’t sound too compelling, but your description most certainly does. I’ll really need to check it out and at least read a sample chapter on the kindle. Thanks for sharing.

  • Hi Anne-Sophie, I’m glad you shared your list. I’ve only read one but I plan to read Geneen Roth’s book this year.
    No one book has had a huge profound impact on me, but one authors words helped me to crystalize my views on life, past lives, and our soul.
    Once I read her words I had a feeling of “wow…this feels so right…”

  • I haven’t read a single one of the books listed above. I’ve been reading a book a week since I stopped watching TV or viewing mainstream media of any sort. I think I’ll start at the top with “The Charge”. New ideas are such a blessing. They keep me charged and refreshed.


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