According to recent research, reading- especially among young people- continues to decline. Some will pin the blame on the proliferation of cheap popular culture. Others may point to social networks and cat videos on YouTube while those of a less cynical disposition might only see it as a phase.
One can only hope the latter is correct. After all, many books can leave a lasting impression on you for years to come.
Here are ten of them.
1. The Wealth and Poverty of Nations: Why Some Are So Rich And Some So Poor- David S. Landes
Have you ever wondered why the world is the way it is? Why a continent as large as Africa, rich in natural resources, is still poverty-stricken and confined to crippling debts? Or why America, a nation less than 300 years old, continues to reign supreme as the world's superpower?
Well, as the author will inform you, cultural traditions and historical circumstances play a significant role. Ambitious, original and crammed full of insight, Landes' book is a fascinating insight into geopolitical structures.
2. The Alchemist- Paulo Coelho
Read by over 65 million people, Paulo Coelho's narrative is one which offers hope to individuals who believe in the beauty of their dreams. And with a beautifully written spiritual prose, you may realize by the ending that your life can be whatever you want it to be.
A simple story, but also an empowering one, Coelho's turbulent past life lends itself superbly to this autobiographical novel, letting us believe that so long as we "believe in the beauty of our dreams," anything is possible.
3. The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari- Robin Sharma
As far as self-help books go, ‘The monk who sold his Ferrari’ is not that dissimilar to the many others out there. What makes Sharma’s book interesting, however, is the corporate world from which it begins.
His boss- who as the title suggests, is very wealthy, and indeed once owned a Ferrari, has a heart attack, and after traveling the world, decides to spread enlightenment through the teachings of Yogi Raman, a person who lives high up in the Himalayas. And like the fictional work of Coehlo’s The Alchemist, one of the best-selling non-fiction books of the 21st century will have you questioning what it truly means to be happy.
4. The Intelligent Investor- Benjamin Graham
Warren Buffet, the famed American investor, cited Graham's book as "the best book on investing ever written."
And that's hardly surprising when you read the contents of this easy-to-read guide on how best to profit from any sized investment.
5. Outliers: The Story of Success- Malcolm Gladwell
The New Yorker journalist and bestselling author hit the big time when his book about what brings people success became a worldwide bestseller.
Based largely on the 10,000 rule that Gladwell came up with, (anyone can achieve success if they practice their craft for over 10,00 hours, he argues) Outliers: The Story of Success takes a sociological approach when analyzing the primary determinants of inequality and interviews successful people across a broad range of industries
6. The Fault in Our Stars- John Green
Granted, it's a teen tearjerker. And yes, it's quite popular, but that shouldn't discourage you, (especially men) from reading this life-changing novel!
In sum, and without giving too much away, the novel's essence is centred around what a good life truly means, regardless of one's timespan. It's utterly compelling.
7. Beloved- Toni Morrison
Toni Morrison is a shrine to African- American literature, and it was probably Beloved, more than any of her other enduring works, which cemented Morrison's status as one the most significant storytellers of her time. The story, based on a freed slave, follows her journey as she tries to move on from years of pain and distress that never seems to abate.
Beloved is a novel that will make you think about the power of childhood, and how it shapes us into adulthood.
8. How to Win Friends and Influence People- Dale Carnegie
We could all do with improving our social skills and get better acquainted with pitching and persuading people to give us a chance.
Thankfully, Carnegie's book has you covered and is filled with tips and advice on how better people-skills can lead to a better life.
9. The Artist's Way- Julia Cameron
Cameron's book is more like a textbook but takes you on a journey that feels almost novel-like.
As the title suggests, the book is for anyone wanting to tap into that artistic creativity that many of have, but few tap into or have the time to.
10. Brave New World- Aldous Huxley
Like Orwell's masterpiece, 1984, Brave New World sets itself in a dystopian feature where man is a passive consumer, high only on what they perceive to be a life filled with everything. Yet one person see's it differently. This novel is perfect for anyone, especially those who value the importance of going against the tide and challenging authority.
So it's over to you. Don't keep books waiting any longer. Scour your shelves and find yourself a gem that you can't put down. Search on Amazon for the latest bestsellers. But first, read at least one of these books. Not only are they life-changing in their messages, but they are also written with such flair and panache you'll soon find yourself reading till the cows come home.,