POPSUGAR Smart Living

40+ Life-Changing Books to Read This Year

Jul 22 2014 - 11:15am

Knowledge is king. The first step to creating change in your life is to know what you're doing wrong or why you need to change. I've picked out over 40 books that will better your life in a dramatic way. Whether it's figuring out how to get out of debt, learning how to be happier, or trying to find ways to get a job, reading just one of these books this year is guaranteed to change your life for good.

Source: Shutterstock [1]

I Will Teach You to Be Rich

If you're in your 20s and making a decent salary, I Will Teach You to Be Rich [2] ($14) will be perfect for you. Ramit Sethi, a Stanford grad and a New York Times bestselling author, dishes out practical personal finance advice in a fun and easy read.

Spontaneous Happiness

There are a lot of wellness books out there, but Spontaneous Happiness [3] ($11) takes the cake, because it has the right balance of scientific evidence to back up its theories.

Contrary to what you might think, this book isn't just for the clinically depressed — it's just a great tool to better peoples' minds and bodies. If something has got you down or if you are feeling stressed, Dr. Weil will give you very doable strategies to overcome those feelings.

The Spectrum: A Scientifically Proven Program to Feel Better, Live Longer, Lose Weight, and Gain Health

If you're ready for a drastic health overhaul and have enough self-discipline to do all the right things for optimum health, pick up a copy of Dean Ornish's The Spectrum: A Scientifically Proven Program to Feel Better, Live Longer, Lose Weight, and Gain Health [4] ($20). Although his methods work, they can be tough to follow.

Imagine Life With a Well-Behaved Dog

If you're a dog owner, you'll know that having a disobedient pup makes life more stressful. Nip those behavioral problems in the bud with Imagine Life With a Well-Behaved Dog [5] ($18).

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People [6] ($2) is a good read for anyone, but especially for those who have recently lost jobs. This book will help you be in the right place emotionally.

Chicken Soup For the Volunteer's Soul

One of the biggest keys to happiness is volunteering, because it makes you think beyond yourself and your worries. When you're helping those who need it, you'll gain a new appreciation for the life you have.

Read Chicken Soup For the Volunteer's Soul [7] ($4) to inspire you in your volunteering journey! Resolve to make a difference in someone else's life this year.

Gratitude: A Daily Journal

It's easy to get caught up in life's petty issues and forget that there is so much to be grateful for.

Get Gratitude: A Daily Journal [8] ($17) to remind yourself of the things you appreciate. You'll be surprised by how positive you'll become. Another good gratitude journal is The Happiness Project One-Sentence Journal [9] ($17), which only requires you to write one sentence per day about what you're grateful for. How simple is that?

What Color Is Your Parachute?

What Color Is Your Parachute? [10] ($19) is a classic manual for job hunters and career changers. It has remained on bestseller lists for over three decades. Fortune magazine even called it "the gold standard of career guides."

The book is updated annually, so it will always be relevant to the times. This is extremely helpful because the face of job hunting has changed ever since the Internet came into the equation.

The Total Money Makeover

The Total Money Makeover [11] ($25) is the perfect book for people who are trying to get out of debt. The author speaks from personal experience as well — Dave Ramsey built a $4 million business in his 20s, but later went bankrupt. There are a lot of references to Christianity, but you can just ignore them if you're not religious.

The Willpower Instinct

Harness the power of self-control with tips from The Willpower Instinct [12] ($17), and train your brain for success.

The Omnivore's Dilemma

The Omnivore's Dilemma [13]($15) will bridge the disconnect many of us face with the food we eat and will remove the veil on the alarming realities on how our food is produced. 

E-Squared

Perform these energy experiments from E-Squared [14] ($16) that may result in life-altering changes. This book takes the law of attraction and helps us put it into practice. 

The Five Love Languages

Find out what languages of love you and your spouse are speaking with the help of The Five Love Languages [15]($15), and you will gain a deeper understanding of each other and what fuels your love and insecurities. 

The Last Lecture

The Last Lecture [16] ($33) is a book written by the late Randy Pausch, a professor at Carnegie Mellon, who was diagnosed with terminal cancer and passed away in 2008. The book reiterates the idea of living life to the fullest in an extremely personal way, as the author takes readers into his life and shares his thoughts and feelings on dealing with his terminal diagnosis. 

Steal Like an Artist

Juice up your creativity by reading Steal Like an Artist [17]($11). The book embraces the idea that nothing is original, so we shouldn't be afraid of being inspired by what's already out there. After all, imitation is the greatest form of flattery!

Cat Sense

Finally understand the mysterious workings behind your feline friend's mind with Cat Sense [18] ($28). You'll be a better slave . . . er, owner after reading this book. 

Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking

If you're sick and tired of the bad rap introverts get in a society that celebrates extroverts, take comfort in the strengths you have as an introvert with Quiet [19] ($16).

Salt Sugar Fat: How the Food Giants Hooked Us

Salt Sugar Fat [20] ($28) will change the way you think about processed food and make you think twice about buying that bag of chips.

Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion

Figure out what gets people to say "yes" and what pushes them away with Influence [21] ($18).

Anger

Any book by Vietnamese monk Thich Nhat Hanh is worth reading, and Anger [22] ($16) is one of his most popular books. It will give readers insight into their anger and help them realize where it is coming from — a place of suffering. Let Hanh's teachings show you how to turn anger into compassion. 

Origins: How the Nine Months Before Birth Shape the Rest of Our Lives

Whether you are expecting or not, Origins [23] ($15) is a great read for anyone who plans to have children. Find out how the decisions you make during your pregnancy can impact your kids for life. This may even inspire you to live a healthier and more optimal life right now in preparation for the future. 

Find Your Focus Zone

Feeling a little unfocused lately? Grab and devour Find Your Focus Zone [24] ($20) so you can finally finish what you started. Let 2014 be the year of finished projects and fulfilled promises. 

Linchpin: Are You Indispensable?

Become a sought-after employing by turning into a linchpin, someone who is indispensable to any company or organization. Seth Godin's Linchpin [25] ($16) may help you grow into a valued employee. 

Love Is Never Enough

Love Is Never Enough [26] ($15) takes the psychotherapy approach to cognitive behavioral therapy and applies it to relationships. 

Getting Things Done

Get productive without the stress by reading David Allen's Getting Things Done [27] ($16).

Mindfulness

A top self-improvement seller on Amazon, Mindfulness [28]($16) shares tools to help us in the vicious cycles of anxiety, stress, unhappiness, and exhaustion. Looking for a happier, more content life in 2014? This may the book that will make that happen. 

How We Do It

How We Do It [29] ($28) offers a fascinating look into the history and science of sex and reproduction. Find out what's really "natural" when it comes to making and raising babies. 

Why We Get Fat

Heralded as one of the most important books on nutrition, Why We Get Fat [30] ($15) may possibly change the way you think about dieting and losing weight. 

The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work

Dr. John Gottman is a premier relationship expert who spent decades researching and studying couples. The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work [31] ($15) is the culmination of that research, and in it you'll find valuable ways to mend or strengthen your relationship. 

The Hoarder in You

From chronic hoarders to those need a little help with mess, The Hoarder in You [32] ($15) has applicable advice for everyone. Start decluttering today!

The Tao of Pooh

Follow Winnie the Pooh as the bear and his famous friends teach us the greatest lessons of simplicity in the Tao of Pooh [33] ($14).

The Gifts of Imperfection

Vulnerability is the key message in The Gifts of Imperfection [34] ($15). This book will help you overcome the fears that keep you from moving foward. 

Think and Grow Rich

Think and Grow Rich [35] ($2) was written by Napolean Hill after the Great Depression and continues to grow in popularity today. It is one of the most well-known self-improvement books on success. 

Twelve Steps to a Compassionate Life

We often lose sight of our compassion, which causes more strife in our lives and makes us more judgmental of other people. Karen Armstrong's Twelve Steps to a Compassionate Life [36] ($15) rights us back to our path to evolving into a more loving, forgiving, and understanding person.

Your Money or Your Life

Your Money or Your Life [37] ($16) is a classic book on the topic of money management. It talks at length about the emotional connection we have with money and how to be concious of your spending. 

The Secret

An acclaimed book, The Secret [38]($24) is based off the theory of the law of attraction.

The Wisdom of Menopause

When a woman goes through menopause, inexplicable changes happen to her body and mental state that she may not be prepared for. Even if you've decades to go before you hit menopause, The Wisdom of Menopause  [39]($22) is still a great read, as it will help you better understand your loved ones who are going through this.

The Power of Now

The Power of Now [40] ($15) is a book written by Eckhart Tolle that came highly rated by Oprah Winfrey [41]. The spiritual book gives readers insight on living in the present and letting go of the past. 

Mindless Eating: Why We Eat More Than We Think

Mindless Eating [42] ($8) may change the way you think about about eating and dieting. Dr. Brian Wansink is a food psychologist who delves into the psychology of overeating and retraining your brain and its approach toward food.

The 4-Hour Workweek

In this bestseller The 4-Hour Workweek [43] ($22), author Timothy Ferriss talks about how he went from a 80-hour workweek while making $40,000 to making $40,000 a month in just four hours a week.

The Power of Habit

The best book on forming habit. Backed up by scientific research, The Power of Habit [44] ($28) will teach you how to create lasting habits.


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