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Books That Changed Your Life  

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Originally by Ranker Community
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The most life changing books, ranked by the wisdom of the crowd of hundreds of people. If you are looking for books that will change your life, these have the themes, characters and story-arcs to do it. From the courage and determination of Frodo as he ventures into Mordor to the conviction of Atticus as he defends a man a whole town has already condemned, there are countless books to add to your list of books to read to change your life.

From teens to adults, anyone can add their picks to this list of life changing novels, making it an accurate, real-time ranking of the best life changing books, as picked by the people who love them. Ask yourself the question "what are the most life-changing books?" and "which books have affected my life the most" and then vote for the books that you read cover to cover (maybe even multiple times), the novels that changed the way you see the world, and the stories you still can't stop thinking about. Share your favorites and see how your taste stacks up against other readers.
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list ordered by
1
The Lord of the Rings is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list Books That Changed Your Life
J. R. R. Tolkien
The Lord of the Rings is an epic high-fantasy novel written by English author J. R. R. Tolkien. The story began as a sequel to Tolkien's 1937 fantasy novel The Hobbit, but eventually developed ...more
2
The Catcher in the Rye is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list Books That Changed Your Life
J. D. Salinger
The Catcher in the Rye is a 1951 novel by J. D. Salinger. A controversial novel originally published for adults, it has since become popular with adolescent readers for its themes of teenage ...more
3
To Kill a Mockingbird is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list Books That Changed Your Life
Harper Lee
To Kill a Mockingbird is a novel by Harper Lee published in 1960. It was immediately successful, winning the Pulitzer Prize, and has become a classic of modern American literature. The plot and ...more
4
Nineteen Eighty-Four is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list Books That Changed Your Life
George Orwell
Nineteen Eighty-Four, sometimes published as 1984, is a dystopian novel by English author George Orwell published in 1949. The novel is set in Airstrip One, a province of the superstate Oceania ...more
5
Animal Farm is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list Books That Changed Your Life
George Orwell
Animal Farm is an allegorical and dystopian novella by George Orwell, first published in England on 17 August 1945. According to Orwell, the book reflects events leading up to the Russian ...more
6
Brave New World is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list Books That Changed Your Life
Aldous Huxley
Brave New World is a novel written in 1931 by Aldous Huxley and published in 1932. Set in London of AD 2540, the novel anticipates developments in reproductive technology, sleep-learning, ...more
7
The Hobbit is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list Books That Changed Your Life
J. R. R. Tolkien
The Hobbit, or There and Back Again is a fantasy novel and children's book by English author J. R. R. Tolkien. It was published on 21 September 1937 to wide critical acclaim, being nominated for ...more
8
One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nes... is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list Books That Changed Your Life
Ken Kesey
One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest is a novel written by Ken Kesey. Set in an Oregon psychiatric hospital, the narrative serves as a study of the institutional processes and the human mind as well ...more
9
Fahrenheit 451 is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list Books That Changed Your Life
Ray Bradbury
Fahrenheit 451 is a dystopian novel by Ray Bradbury published in 1953. It is regarded as one of his best works. The novel presents a future American society where books are outlawed and ...more
10
The Great Gatsby is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list Books That Changed Your Life
F. Scott Fitzgerald
The Great Gatsby is a 1925 novel written by American author F. Scott Fitzgerald that follows a cast of characters living in the fictional town of West Egg on prosperous Long Island in the summer ...more
11
Slaughterhouse-Five is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list Books That Changed Your Life
Kurt Vonnegut
Slaughterhouse-Five, or The Children's Crusade: A Duty-Dance with Death is a satirical novel by Kurt Vonnegut about World War II experiences and journeys through time of a soldier named Billy ...more
12
Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list Books That Changed Your Life
Mark Twain
Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is a novel by Mark Twain, first published in the United Kingdom in December 1884 and in the United States in February 1885. Commonly named among the Great American ...more
13
Lord of the Flies is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list Books That Changed Your Life
William Golding
Lord of the Flies is a 1954 dystopian novel by Nobel Prize-winning English author William Golding about a group of British boys stuck on an uninhabited island who try to govern themselves with ...more
14
A Wrinkle in Time is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list Books That Changed Your Life
Madeleine L'Engle
A Wrinkle in Time is a science fantasy novel by American writer Madeleine L'Engle, first published in 1962. The story revolves around a young girl whose father, a government scientist, has gone ...more
15
Harry Potter and the Philosoph... is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list Books That Changed Your Life
J. K. Rowling
Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone is the first novel in the Harry Potter series and J. K. Rowling's debut novel. The plot follows Harry Potter, a young wizard who discovers his magical ...more
16
The Grapes of Wrath is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list Books That Changed Your Life
Frank Galati
The Grapes of Wrath is a 1988 play adapted by Frank Galati from the classic John Steinbeck novel of the same name, with incidental music by Michael Smith. The play debuted at the Steppenwolf ...more
17
Of Mice and Men is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list Books That Changed Your Life
John Steinbeck
Of Mice and Men is a novella written by Nobel Prize–winning author John Steinbeck. Published in 1937, it tells the story of George Milton and Lennie Small, two displaced migrant ranch workers, ...more
18
Hamlet is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list Books That Changed Your Life
William Shakespeare
The Tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark, often shortened to Hamlet, is a tragedy written by William Shakespeare at an uncertain date between 1599 and 1602. Set in the Kingdom of Denmark, the ...more
19
Catch-22 is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list Books That Changed Your Life
Joseph Heller
Catch-22 is a satirical novel by the American author Joseph Heller. He began writing it in 1953; the novel was first published in 1961. It is frequently cited as one of the greatest literary ...more
20
Are You There God? It's Me, Ma... is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list Books That Changed Your Life
Judy Blume
Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret. is a 1970 book by Judy Blume, typically categorized as a young adult novel, about a girl in sixth grade who grew up without a religious affiliation. ...more
21
Alice in Wonderland is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list Books That Changed Your Life
Lewis Carroll, William Glennon
Alice's Adventures in Wonderland (commonly shortened to Alice in Wonderland) is an 1865 novel written by English author Charles Lutwidge Dodgson under the pseudonym Lewis Carroll. It tells of a ...more
22
The Diary of a Young Girl is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list Books That Changed Your Life
Anne Frank
The Diary of a Young Girl is a book of the writings from the Dutch language diary kept by Anne Frank while she was in hiding for two years with her family during the Nazi occupation of the ...more
23
The Bell Jar is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list Books That Changed Your Life
Sylvia Plath
The Bell Jar is the only novel written by the American writer and poet Sylvia Plath. Originally published under the pseudonym "Victoria Lucas" in 1963, the novel is ...more
24
Atlas Shrugged is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list Books That Changed Your Life
Ayn Rand
Atlas Shrugged is a 1957 novel by Ayn Rand. Rand's fourth and last novel, it was also her longest, and the one she considered to be her magnum opus in the realm of fiction writing. Atlas ...more
25
The Bible is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list Books That Changed Your Life
The Bible is a canonical collection of texts sacred in Judaism and Christianity. There is no single canonical Bible and various religious traditions have produced different recensions with ...more