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Life-changing nonfiction books

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Lucian Hodoboc
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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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DWill

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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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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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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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Re: Life-changing nonfiction books

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

Majora_T wrote:I recently read Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand.
I found that one a very moving and inspiring story as well. Kind of strange how the camp commander settled on the main character, Zamperini, as his designated victim, seemingly trying to prove his ideology that foreigners are weak. And it's unclear how Zamperini found the inner resources to endure, except that his time on the life raft, complete with a vision, seems to have changed him.
Majora_T wrote: 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.
Maybe all of us could benefit from a near-death experience to put things in perspective? Initiation rites used to serve that purpose. I don't think the suffering in each of our lives is trivial, (some more than others, of course), but a sense that it comes with the territory is part of getting ourselves together to overcome it, I think.
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Re: Life-changing nonfiction books

Two truly life changing books for me were The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg and The End of Dieting by Dr. Joel Fuhrman. These two combined enabled me to radically change my diet over a period of three years. But even more, I am using the principles of that success to improve other areas of my life.
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Re: Life-changing nonfiction books

Although I wouldn't say my skills as an author could achieve a life changing status, I try to believe that what I am writing matters enough to change the systems we live under. My book, although published on Kindle under the title Forty years of slavery: My enslavement, has been buried by search engines because it contains a philosophy that for example explains the truth about "The Atom". It speaks about the life choices we make and the consequences of them, the struggles for employment, drugs and children and so forth. It describes life under a ruling class, I call the Oligarchy, that dictates to us our lives. I think the book applies to the world but I have intentionally made some references to Australia because I don't want it to influence your politics. It was written in a day and edited for three days. I am a new author and the first edition contains some small, minor grammatical errors that are being revised for a re-upload sometime soon. It indicates the haste I felt in publishing and getting the word out. I hope that, if you do read it, that you show some leniency to this rushed attempt to speak the truth. The truth comes before the literary art-form doesn't it?
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Re: Life-changing nonfiction books

A Confession by Leo Tolstoy. It describes his search for the answer to the question:"What is the meaning of life?." I was impressed by how openly he writes about his innermost thoughts.
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Re: Life-changing nonfiction books

Published in 1903, The Autobiography of a Thief by Hutchins Hapgood is one of those books you really get something out of. The link provided is the audio version provided by LibriVox.
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Re: Life-changing nonfiction books

Faustina wrote:Leo Tolstoy
His short story, How Much Land Does a Man Need?, is a personal favorite.
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Re: Life-changing nonfiction books

So Late reply! :-D
Yes, I have got a life-changing book. It changes my views of my thinking, my life... I always keep the book with me and try to read. The book's name is "Warriors Life" and the author is Rohan G Money. He is not only an ordinary author, he is also a retired army.
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Re: Life-changing nonfiction books

And here's another late reply to an interesting question.
I feel sure there must be many books that can alter ones view in sometimes minor, sometimes major ways. However, James Harvey's My God: Welcome To The Reality is a definite candidate for causing a major change in one's view of life. This is not a religious book but the record so to speak of a personal search for an explanation of reality. The blurb on the cover reads:

"The author sets out to prove the reality of our worldly experience and how a Divine Being is absolutely essential to that experience. Along the way current proofs for the existence of God are examined and shown, in the light of huge advances in science, to be easily refuted by the sceptic; but then scientific theory and knowledge are put under the microscope and found to be based on a fundamental misconception. A 'Copernicus' moment in the philosophy of theology."

And Copernican it is. This is no text book but, if it doesn't make the reader at least question his own views, I'd be surprised. A critic with an alphabet of degrees after his name claims not to have followed the discussion, but then the thesis in this book is very much contrary to scientific thought.
Give it a try, it's available on Amazon in Kindle or book form.
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Re: Life-changing nonfiction books

These are the non fiction books that changed my life forever. Each one of them will change your life in certain way.

The power of now: A Guide to spiritual enlightenment. The book explains in detail about the living in the present moment, gratitude, and the importance of being in the now. It is a very powerful book.

The alchemy of thrusting: The race to create the first self-sustaining, nonpolluting, non-infringing, freely accessible energy source known to man, and how close we came. It is a very inspiring story. The book explains the details of fuel cell and the many obstacles the scientists had to overcome to get their invention to work. The book is a great example of the potential of human spirit. You are the place you are looking for: A Guide to personal transformation. It is a very powerful book and explains how your life can be better by taking responsibility for your actions. It is a life changing book. The book explains that, we can't get what we want in life if we are not willing to do what it takes to get it. It is a very motivating book. The book can change your perspective towards life. These are the books that changed my life and it can change your life too.
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