While not all of these are my favourite books, here’s my list of 10 books that changed my life in some way.
In no particular order:
1. On Writing by Stephen King
This book showed me the importance of reading not just for enjoyment but to learn as a writer. It got me reading a lot more and reading more widely across genres. It got me reading books I normally wouldn’t read and I’m loving being exposed to different writing styles.
2. Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott
This book helps me in my writerly struggles. It reminds me it’s okay to struggle, that lots of writers struggle with simply putting words on a page. When I doubt myself as a writer, Anne reminds me to write because only I can write my perspectives and experiences.
3. The War of Art by Steven Pressfield
This book encouraged me to write and create for the sake of writing and creating without worrying about how people will respond. My job is simply to write and create and put it out into the world, not to control people’s responses. And that’s okay because no matter how people respond it doesn’t affect my worth. This book encourages me to push through fear and reminds me to simply put myself in the arena and give it my best; that’s all I can do.
4. Eat Pray Love by Elizabeth Gilbert
It got me through an identity crisis and helped me heal through depression and anxiety.
5. The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin
It showed me about my own personality and nature which helped me to embrace who I am and what I love. I’m a goal-setter, list-maker, and love to have a project.
6. I Thought it was Just Me but it Isn’t by Brene Brown
This was the book that stopped me from feeling shame and seeing myself as a bad person. It showed me that shame stops me from being able to change behaviours I feel ashamed about, because a bad person can only do bad things. So now I forbid myself from feeling shame and only feel guilt instead. This changes my behaviour because instead of seeing myself as a bad person, I’m just a person who did a bad thing.
7. The Life You Can Save by Peter Singer
This book got me donating to charity every month ever since 2014. I’d wanted to donate for a long time but didn’t know where to start. This book showed me it was better to donate anywhere than do nothing at all. So each year month I donated at least $50 a month to a different charity, cause, or person. Each year I increase the amount by a $1 and I hope to keep doing this until I’m giving at least half my income.
8. The Last Lecture by Randy Pauch
A gem of a book that shows me how I want to live and write: with kindness, respect, originality, and following my dreams. It’s full of insights I love and inspires me to write a book like this one day with all the insights I’ve learnt from life that I want to pass on to help others in their own lives.
9. Blue Like Jazz by Donald Miller
It felt like it was written to me. I connected so much with this book and it’s the book that influences me as a writer the most. It’s largely the reason I’m a life writer and it shows me I want to write vulnerably, openly, and honestly.
10. The Belgariad by David Eddings
This series of five books is the only fiction entry on my list but I include them because these books made me fall in love with writing. The awe and wonder and magic these books made me feel made me appreciate the power of written word and they’re a big reason why I wanted to be a writer. I want to work with the magic of words.