Books can take us to unfamiliar locations and into lives that are different from our own. Whether they are inspiring or simply appear when we need them the most, they have the power to change lives.

I’ve always been a big reader. On the bus trip home, I was that kid who always had a book in my school bag and curled up on the seat to lose myself in the stories’ characters’ worlds. As I became older, I discovered that personal development books were considerably better and more life-changing than I had anticipated.

I firmly believe in the power of the written word and how life-changing books can be. These books will transform your life.

When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi

This heartbreaking memoir documents the neurosurgeon Paul Kalanithi’s reflections on life, death, disease, and humanity as he copes with a cancer diagnosis. He died from stage IV metastatic lung cancer a few months after finishing the autobiographical book. However, this book is more about living than dying, and it explores how to rise above sorrow and make the most of the time you have left. Making the most of the time you have available is key.

Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail by Cheryl Strayed

In this raw memoir, a woman hikes the Pacific Crest Trail alone as she deals with the loss of her mother, her husband, and her sense of self. It will serve as a reminder that you are tougher than you may believe.

Tuesdays with Morrie: An Old Man, A Young Man and Life’s Greatest Lesson by Mitch Albom

Albom has a unique opportunity to learn some of the old man’s wisdom before it’s too late when he reconnects with Morrie, a professor from his former college, in the dying months of his life. There are teachings in this book that each and every one of you can pick.

Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear by Elizabeth Gilbert

This advice can add a little magic to your life, whether you believe yourself to be creative or just want to start thinking (and living) outside the box.

Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell

In his book, Malcolm Gladwell looks at some of life’s most astonishing phenomena and covers real-world case studies on social intelligence and the influence that decisions have on forging drastically different futures. Like his other two books, it’s a wonderful read, and you’ll definitely come away with some interesting anecdotes and details to share with your friends.

‘Educated’ by Tara Westover

In her memoir, Tara Westover recounts her previous life as a Mormon. Her desire for a Western education fuels her transformation of her traumatic experiences into self-revelation and rude awakenings. The timeless tale of growing up emphasises the value of education and is a motivating ode to anyone who comes from a troubled household. The fundamental message is that you don’t have to stay constrained by your situation.

What other book(s) would you add?