popular opinion Books That Changed Your Life  

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Originally by Ranker Community
123.3k votes 6.7k voters 291.3k views 913 items

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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1,709 706
To Kill a Mockingbird is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list Books That Changed Your Life
To Kill a Mockingbird 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

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The Lord of the Rings is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list Books That Changed Your Life
The Lord of the Rings 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

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1,468 383
Nineteen Eighty-Four is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list Books That Changed Your Life
1984 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

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1,061 761
The Catcher in the Rye is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list Books That Changed Your Life
The Catcher in the Rye 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

5
1,321 428
Animal Farm is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list Books That Changed Your Life
Animal Farm 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
930 442
Brave New World is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list Books That Changed Your Life
Brave New World 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

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989 505
Lord of the Flies is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list Books That Changed Your Life
Lord of the Flies 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

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913 352
Fahrenheit 451 is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list Books That Changed Your Life
Fahrenheit 451 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

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919 590
The Great Gatsby is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list Books That Changed Your Life
The Great Gatsby 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

10
693 339
Alice in Wonderland is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list Books That Changed Your Life
Alice in Wonderland Lewis Carroll, William Glennon

11
741 407
One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nes... is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list Books That Changed Your Life
One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest 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

12
1,149 452
The Hobbit is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list Books That Changed Your Life
The Hobbit 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

The Worst Qualities in a Woman

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912 354
Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list Books That Changed Your Life
Adventures of Huckleberry Finn 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

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685 396
Slaughterhouse-Five is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list Books That Changed Your Life
Slaughterhouse-Five 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

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1,302 490
Harry Potter and the Philosoph... is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list Books That Changed Your Life
Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone 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

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764 376
A Wrinkle in Time is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list Books That Changed Your Life
A Wrinkle in Time 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

17
665 326
The Grapes of Wrath is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list Books That Changed Your Life
The Grapes of Wrath 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

The Best Novels Ever Written

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Hamlet is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list Books That Changed Your Life
Hamlet 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
1,008 343
Of Mice and Men is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list Books That Changed Your Life
Of Mice and Men 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

20
523 354
Crime and Punishment is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list Books That Changed Your Life
Crime and Punishment Fyodor Dostoyevsky Crime and Punishment is a novel by the Russian author Fyodor Dostoyevsky. It was first published in the literary journal The Russian Messenger in twelve monthly installments during 1866. It was ...more

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666 352
The Little Prince is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list Books That Changed Your Life
The Little Prince Antoine de Saint-Exupéry The Little Prince, first published in 1943, is a novella and the most famous work of the French aristocrat, writer, poet and pioneering aviator Antoine de Saint-Exupéry. The novella is ...more

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552 322
Catch-22 is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list Books That Changed Your Life
Catch-22 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

The Conspiracy Theories You Believe Are True

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Great Expectations is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list Books That Changed Your Life
Great Expectations Charles Dickens Great Expectations is Charles Dickens' thirteenth novel and his penultimate novel; a bildungsroman which depicts the personal growth and personal development of an orphan nicknamed Pip. It is ...more

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529 176
The Adventures of Sherlock Hol... is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list Books That Changed Your Life
The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes Arthur Conan Doyle The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes is a collection of twelve stories written by Arthur Conan Doyle, featuring his famous detective, and illustrated by Sidney Paget.

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633 224
The Diary of a Young Girl is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list Books That Changed Your Life
The Diary of a Young Girl 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

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723 373
The Bible is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list Books That Changed Your Life
The Bible 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

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542 283
Les Misérables is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list Books That Changed Your Life
Les Misérables Victor Hugo Les Misérables is a French historical novel by Victor Hugo, first published in 1862, that is considered one of the greatest novels of the 19th century. In the English-speaking world, the ...more

The Most Heartbreaking Novels Ever Written

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Siddhartha is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list Books That Changed Your Life
Siddhartha Hermann Hesse Siddhartha is a 1922 novel by Hermann Hesse that deals with the spiritual journey of self-discovery of a man named Siddhartha during the time of the Gautama Buddha. The book, Hesse's ninth ...more

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586 261
Romeo and Juliet is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list Books That Changed Your Life
Romeo and Juliet William Shakespeare Romeo and Juliet is a play by William Shakespeare.

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Wuthering Heights is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list Books That Changed Your Life
Wuthering Heights Emily Brontë Wuthering Heights is Emily Brontë's only novel. Written between October 1845 and June 1846, Wuthering Heights was published in 1847 under the pseudonym ″Ellis Bell″; Brontë died the ...more

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571 609
Atlas Shrugged is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list Books That Changed Your Life
Atlas Shrugged 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

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418 170
Odyssey is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list Books That Changed Your Life
Odyssey Homer The Odyssey is one of two major ancient Greek epic poems attributed to Homer. It is, in part, a sequel to the Iliad, the other work ascribed to Homer. The poem is fundamental to the modern ...more

The Worst Things You Can Make Jokes About

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357 221
The Picture of Dorian Gray is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list Books That Changed Your Life
The Picture of Dorian Gray Oscar Wilde The Picture of Dorian Gray is an 1891 philosophical novel by writer and playwright Oscar Wilde. First published as a complete story in the July 1890 issue of Lippincott's Monthly Magazine, the ...more

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456 237
The Scarlet Letter is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list Books That Changed Your Life
The Scarlet Letter Nathaniel Hawthorne The Scarlet Letter is an 1850 romantic work of fiction in a historical setting, written by Nathaniel Hawthorne, and is considered to be his magnum opus. Set in 17th-century Puritan Boston, ...more

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The Metamorphosis is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list Books That Changed Your Life
The Metamorphosis Franz Kafka The Metamorphosis is a novella by Franz Kafka, first published in 1915. It has been cited as one of the seminal works of fiction of the 20th century and is studied in colleges and universities ...more

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424 133
Winnie-the-Pooh is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list Books That Changed Your Life
sheilas816 added Winnie-the-Pooh A. A. Milne Winnie-the-Pooh is the first volume of stories about Winnie-the-Pooh, by A. A. Milne. It is followed by The House at Pooh Corner. The book focuses on the adventures of a teddy bear called ...more

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515 190
The Adventures of Tom Sawyer is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list Books That Changed Your Life
The Adventures of Tom Sawyer Mark Twain The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain is an 1876 novel about a young boy growing up along the Mississippi River. The story is set in the fictional town of St. Petersburg, inspired by ...more

Things You Miss Most About College

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The Bell Jar is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list Books That Changed Your Life
The Bell Jar 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

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472 285
The Stand is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list Books That Changed Your Life
The Stand Stephen King The Stand is a post-apocalyptic horror/fantasy novel by American author Stephen King. It expands upon the scenario of his earlier short story, "Night Surf". The novel was originally ...more

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452 221
A Midsummer Night's Dream is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list Books That Changed Your Life
A Midsummer Night's Dream William Shakespeare A Midsummer Night's Dream is a comedy play by William Shakespeare, believed to have been written between 1590 and 1596. It portrays the events surrounding the marriage of the Duke of Athens, ...more

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527 162
Where the Sidewalk Ends is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list Books That Changed Your Life
Where the Sidewalk Ends Shel Silverstein Where the Sidewalk Ends is a collection of children's poetry written and illustrated by Shel Silverstein and published by Harper and Row Publishers. The book's poems address many common ...more

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552 256
The Giver is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list Books That Changed Your Life
The Giver Lois Lowry The Giver is a 1993 American social science fiction children's novel by Lois Lowry. It is set in a society which is at first presented as a utopian society but then has the reader question ...more

Awesome Superpowers We'd Give Anything to Have

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The Old Man and the Sea is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list Books That Changed Your Life
The Old Man and the Sea Ernest Hemingway The Old Man and the Sea is a novel written by the American author Ernest Hemingway in 1951 in Cuba, and published in 1952. It was the last major work of fiction to be produced by Hemingway and ...more

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535 266
Frankenstein is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list Books That Changed Your Life
Frankenstein Mary Shelley Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus, is a novel written by English author Mary Shelley about the young student of science Victor Frankenstein, who creates a grotesque but sentient creature ...more

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Are You There God? It's Me, Ma... is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list Books That Changed Your Life
Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret. 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

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433 173
The Hitchhiker's Guide to the ... is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list Books That Changed Your Life
The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy Douglas Adams The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy is the first of five books in the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy comedy science fiction "trilogy" by Douglas Adams. The novel is an adaptation of ...more

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589 224
The Cat in the Hat is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list Books That Changed Your Life
The Cat in the Hat Dr. Seuss The Cat in the Hat is a children's book written and illustrated by Theodor Geisel under the pen name Dr. Seuss and first published in 1957. The story centers on a tall anthropomorphic cat, who ...more

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618 216
Harry Potter and the Deathly H... is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list Books That Changed Your Life
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows J. K. Rowling Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows is the seventh and final novel of the Harry Potter series, written by British author J. K. Rowling. The book was released on 21 July 2007 by Bloomsbury ...more

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The Stranger is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list Books That Changed Your Life
The Stranger Albert Camus L'étranger is a novel written by Albert Camus.

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Dracula is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list Books That Changed Your Life
Dracula Bram Stoker Dracula is an 1897 Gothic horror novel by Irish author Bram Stoker. Famous for introducing the character of the vampire Count Dracula, the novel tells the story of Dracula's attempt to move from ...more