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Life-changing nonfiction books 
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Post Life-changing nonfiction books
Have you ever come across a non-fiction book that you would call "life changing"? Has any non-fiction book had such a powerful impact upon your beliefs or principles that it made you see life in a different light (whether in a positive or a negative manner)? Feel free to share the title(s) in this thread and tell us a bit about the influence it had on you. :)



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Post Re: Life-changing nonfiction books
Without a doubt I'd choose Thoreau's Walden. It had anthem-like qualities for me as a teenager, and I think it still influences me. It's not that I model myself after HDT--in fact I push back at him to a degree--but I admire most of the values the book embodies. Most of all, I love the writing.



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Post Re: Life-changing nonfiction books
Of all the wonderful books I have read over the last years, one that had a significant impact on how I view life, health, ageing and mortality were Atul Gawande’s Being Mortal. In Being Mortal, Atul Gawande reveals the suffering that comes from the inescapable realities of how our society deals aging and death. It is a raw and important view into how doctors and family members, uncomfortable with dealing with our inevitable mortality, fall back on false hopes and treatments that are actually shortening lives instead of improving them.



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 Re: Life-changing nonfiction books
Tattoos on The Heart - The Power of Boundless Compassion by Gregory Boyle is a book that shows the struggle of gang life, and how it is difficult to break the cycle once you are in it. Boyle shows that when we show compassion without limits, we can move past a person's past decisions and provide avenues of hope for the future. I truly enjoyed the authors approach to life, sense of humor which permeates this book, and the message it conveyed.



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Post Re: Life-changing nonfiction books
My formative non-fiction books were providers of intellectual structure. It was interesting to read here about people who were changed or shaped by essays and expressions of values.

"Habits of the Heart" by Bill Bellah, et al, would not be life-changing for most, but it gave me words and concepts to express a deeply felt experience in my own life, that living for what we might call 'advantage' is cold and isolating, and that communities who can sustain warmth, mutuality and support depend on a vocabulary of purpose greater than the individual.

Likewise "I and Thou" gave me a vocabulary for understanding how the sacredness of other people taps my own deepest sense of how meaning works. The book is still waiting to be written that unpacks the neuropsychology of it, but I am convinced that instrumental thinking, in which others become means to an end, cuts us off from an otherwise immediate experience of the radiance of living.

"Getting to Yes" explained the "how to" of win/win negotiation. Everyone should read it.

I might tentatively add "Thinking, Fast and Slow." I have not even finished it, years after beginning it, but its implications for understanding mental processes are so far-reaching that I keep running into them in the most unlikely places.



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Post Re: Life-changing nonfiction books
For me it is "The Alchemist" From Paul Coehlo



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Post Re: Life-changing nonfiction books
I really enjoy reading memoirs and while life changing is a heavy concept, i do think If I Had to Tell it Again by Dr Gayathri Prabhu was very impactful for its stylistic choice and truth about alcoholic father and childhood abuse. It is a treatise which gives voice to conversations which could have been had. It does what Gail Honeyman's Eleanor Oliphant is Completrey Fine in fiction.



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Post Re: Life-changing nonfiction books
I recently read Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand. Seeing the hardships of war and how people came out beaten, battered and emotionally scarred and yet still managed to find forgiveness in their hearts inspires me to look past what suffering in my life is trivial by comparison.



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