The best thing about books is that they give us differing perspectives of looking at the world. At the same time, there are a few extraordinary ones that transform us inside out. Each one leads us to a new world that becomes an inseparable part of us and our subconscious.
With every book we read, our relationship with people changes. We start seeing things differently and understanding ourselves and others better. In the end, a story is a bunch of characters going through different life situations. In real life, we are not patient enough to understand people, their lives and their perspectives, but when it comes to a character in the book, we are more accepting and trusting. So the more books we read, the more open minded we become in real life as well. Similarly, when we read books on psychology and philosophy, we become aware of our own biases and filters that we have on our mind’s eyes through which we look at the world and at times misjudge it.
So, here’s a list of 10 books that will help you look at the world and its people more objectively, and alter your relationship with the world, and yourself.
The Republic by Plato
I will be frank here. I didn’t read the whole book from start to end. But even the 70% book that I read really makes me appreciate the wise man that Plato must have been. While writing the book he sure was on the debating mode. As soon as you start reading the book, you will unwittingly put on the thinking cap and start wondering about every single philosophical reference that Plato makes.
Though it was written in ancient Greece this epic book continues to influence the lives of readers. Plato broadly set a stage for deliberation on understanding justice, the theory of universals and dialectal forms of government. The book effectively connects the reader to the deeper questions of the world order.
Games People Play By Eric Berne
It’s one of the most influential books, if you’d ask me. The book deep dives into why we behave the way we behave. More importantly, it helps us understand the way relationships and social interactions work. If this book fails at changing your relationship with the world, then everything else will too. After decades of being published, this book stays relevant and well liked.
The Forty Rules of Love by Elif Shafak
When you are looking for the spiritual definition of love here comes The Forty Rules of Love. The book takes the reader to another level of love and spirituality by questioning the myths of society. The book is truly magical and comforting, and it is to your mind what blanket is to your body on a cold winter night.
This book is a personal favorite and reading this will make you a better person you know.
The Alchemist By Paulo Coelho
This book is to be treasured. I am not a fan of Paulo’s other works but this one I revere. Every time I read this book, the light within me shines one notch brighter and the doubts in my mind dim out. The book has a magnificent message and it gives meaning to your life journey. How comforting it is when you know whatever happens, how many hurdles you face in your road to success, if your intention is in the right place, you’re going to find your way to wherever you intend to be. Your relationship with yourself transforms and makes way for self-love. So does your relationship with the world around.
How To Win Friends And Influence People by Dale Carnegie
The book is a good starting point to begin understanding our-self, our behavior with people and how to manage our relationships with others. I think Dale Carnegie has put out some very practical advice which remains useful till this day and age. This book gives basic tenets of understanding the most common behavioral patterns and how to break out of the recurring cycles of negative interactions . I don’t know if by reading this, you’ll be able to better yourself at social interactions, but at least you’ll become aware and more conscious. And gradually it will help you reprogram parts of your attitude and behavior that you identify as counter productive. Eventually, this change will reflect in how people behave with you. Someone wise has said “Be the change you wish to see in others”.
The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
This book is a beautiful yet painful story about how life sometimes brings injustice and pain to you without any promise of happy ending . Two teenagers with different types of cancers cross path and together realize how valuable life is. Reading this you will know, it is never too late to be happy, to be thankful, to feel lucky that you have a life that is full of possibilities. It nudges you into wanting to live a meaningful life, to clear the slate of all the grudges you may be withholding and begin living.
The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank
War is the worst catastrophe that humans cast on themselves. The book gets the reader closer to the hardships and emotional roller coaster people living in war zones have gone through. Even during war times not everyone is thinking just about the war. People do search for love and peace and this search is even more triggered during these deadly times. The book is deeply moving and will make you despise every war that’s ever happened.
Sapiens By Yuval Noah Harari
This book is beautiful and tells how human life has evolved with time in the most literary sense. It gives a summary of mankind’s journey till now and and shines a light on human psychology. You will also get a serving of all that we are as people and our deeply ingrained realities. The book gives us a better understanding of the world that we’ve created not just in physical sense but also culturally, and where we might be heading. No doubt there are some unnerving truths, nevertheless reading the book is the need of hour.
The Moral Animal By Robert Wright
This book is going to give a great understanding of human behavior. It will make your understanding of your co-humans less biased. You cannot understand the basics of human nature without having knowledge of the evolution of humans which this book discusses in detail. Though a little bit depressing, it enlightens us about the astounding enigma that life is. Depressing because from a feeling human you become a predictable human, unavoidably bound to certain basic instincts.
A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khalid Hosseini
We read about what is happening around the world but never truly get to feel the intensity of pain and the depth of adversities that people in the distant parts of the world might be facing. This book gives a glimpse of that. For me this is the most touching and overwhelming book in the list. Amid the turbulence that the protagonists are going through, they didn’t fail to find hope, love and understanding.
Did you like this list? Do you think I missed out on any book that you think falls in this category? Then kindly comment. In case the list resonates well with you, please like, share and subscribe.
Keep Reading. Chao!