17 Books That Make You Think Differently

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Written By Ryan Patton

Adventurer, Tech Geek and Lover of Productivity Hacks. 

In need of a life-transformation and don’t really know where to start? Check out the following list of books that make you think differently, and see how one simple book can help you make the necessary changes you needed in your life.

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Reading is one of the best and most transformative methods of changing the human mind.

There is nothing like picking up a good book and developing the mind with new ideas that come from books.

Some of these are so interesting and so enriching that they can expand your mind and essentially change the way you live.

Books are meant to be enjoyed and some of them are so good that they are transformative and help a person to change entirely their perspective and way of living. They are the most effective way to learn something new, and for a reader to be introduced to a new subject. Books are very popular because of the power of transformation that words can have.

A book can be about a lot of things, it doesn’t have to be a specific subject in order to transform your mind, the important part here is picking up one of these Books That Make You Think Differently causes an impact on you, and changes the way that you see the world.

For that same reason, a book that expands your mind or even makes you think differently is a very powerful tool definitely.

These books are not only top recommendations because they are unique, but they are life-changing, as people who have read them claimed to have gained a deeper meaning of life.

Thinking differently means stepping out of your comfort zone and adventuring into a new area that makes you expand your mind, and incredibly enough books can do this for you.

If you are a reader then you definitely know how engaging a book can be, and therefore reading books that make you think differently is a must in your life.

Check out the following list to see which of these reads looks the most appealing to you, and choose one that will help you transform the way you think.

Table of Contents

  1. Books That Make You Think Differently
  2. Man’s Search For Meaning
  3. Walden
  4. The Art Of Thinking Clearly
  5. Lean In
  6. Algorithms to Live By
  7. The Story of the Human Body
  8. Astrophysics for People in a Hurry
  9. The Willpower Instinct
  10. Small Great Things
  11. The Road
  12. Thinking Fast and Slow
  13. Outliers
  14. The Shack
  15. Captivating: Unveiling the Mystery of a Woman’s Soul
  16. The Gift of Fear
  17. A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose
  18. The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom

Books That Make You Think Differently

Man’s Search For Meaning

Author: Victor Frankl

This is a story about the author himself and his experience in the concentration camps. The story is almost surreal and it almost feels like a fiction takes, however through his tough and complicated life-narrative, Victor Frankl is able to share what he learned through this difficult moment in his life.

He talks about changing this perspective on life, appreciating more what he had, and searching for the meaning behind everything he went through. His experience has inspired a lot of people and it is considered to be a book worth reading because of all the meanings behind it.


Author: Henry David Thoreau

This book is more like an essay that has numerous non-fiction texts, in which the author narrates his story living in the wilderness out in the woods in solitude near the lake Walden. The book is extremely engaging as you get a glimpse of Thoreau’s life in the woods over a course of two years, where he was there by himself alone with his thoughts.

The whole passage can be tricky to read, it has tons of sad and happy moments and a lot of reflections about life. It is a transcendental book from this amazing list of Books That Make You Think Differently that focuses on individual power and re-adapting the current meaning of life. 

The Art Of Thinking Clearly

Author: Rolf Dobelli

This book is claimed to be a “Recollection of 99 thinking errors” in which the author talks about how often people make mistakes based on decisions that are poorly thought out. This book isn’t just about decision making and learning how to think clearly, is about understanding what lies behind your process of thinking and changing your mind entirely in order to make better life choices.

This is one of the best Books That Make You Think Differently given that it is is very interesting and it will definitely have you question every decision you have made in life and whether it was well thought out, or if there was something you could have changed about it.

Lean In

Author: Sheryl Sandberg

This book is mainly directed for women, just because it touches on biased opinions that society has on their gender roles, however, men could also read this book as it is eye-opening and it teaches the reader a lot about how society has negatively placed judgments on women on society.

Aside from being quite informative, this reading is one of the top books that make you think differently given that it is one that will leave you as a reader thinking and considering what you have done or haven’t you done to help other women in society.

Sandberg offers her unique commentary on what she believes to be a great method to combat bias against women in society. The main point of this book is for it to be transformative in gender roles, and also as a society to be less judgemental and open-minded.

Algorithms to Live By

Author: Brian Christian

This book combines technology and psychology in a great way. This book is quite insightful as it talks about life as if it could be understood from a mathematical point of view.  Although this is the author’s idea of life, tons of things of what he writes in this book make sense, and there are tons of ideas or algorithms that can be applied in life in order to be happier and more productive.

The book is definitely something different and it can be very compelling to read about life from a different point of view, for that same reason it is a book that will make you think differently. 

The Story of the Human Body

Author: Daniel Lieberman

Learning about human evolution is extremely exciting, knowing how the body and the mind have evolved all together is quite engaging. Knowing how to appreciate what being a human means is just something that people don’t think about every day. This book touches on a lot of interesting questions and information that will definitely be life-changing for you to find out.

Astrophysics for People in a Hurry

Author: Neil deGrasse Tyson

Why are humans in such a hurry and such a rush in life? This book is definitely going to leave you thinking about the meaning of life, and what you are doing with yours. Although this book is short, it touches on a lot of intense subjects and it is going to take you more than one read to understand numerous points that are being discussed here.

This is another Books That Make You Think Differently given that it has the intention for its readers to wrap their head around everything that is life, who we are, what is our purpose, and how we can transform what we are going today in order to slow down and enjoy living.

The Willpower Instinct

Author: Kelly McGonigal

Kelly McGonigal is recognized for being a great writer, one that at the end of each book, inspires their readers to take hands on the matter. His book on willpower is very well written and it definitely inspires his readers to make changes in their life, to do things out of self-love, to find control in their decisions, and to be as strong as one thinks that they can be.

Learning about willpower is almost like learning about self-love, making decisions that are good for you, and beneficial is key. This book will open your eyes when it comes to trusting your instinct and learning to know when something is good or bad for you.

Small Great Things

Author: Jodi Picoult

This book was inspired by true events, as the author explains its readers, it talks about events that can be quite relatable to his readers, and for this same reason, it has become such a popular read. This book is considered to be “eye-opening” because of the story about racism and prejudice that it talks about.

Not everyone considers the difficulties that others might deal with in life, and people are often selfish and think about themselves, which is why this reading from the list of Books That Make You Think Differently, is extremely important to be read. People need to understand the society in order to make positive changes and impact the future in a great way.

This novel, aside from being eye-opening, is honest, engaging, and it will leave you thinking about things that you might have never thought about.

The Road

Author: Cormac McCarthy

The Road is a very profound story, and deeply moving as it is a story about a father and a son, and all they have in this life is each other. The story teaches the reader how to value things in life, especially your loved ones.

The book gives people a great sense of hope in this world, and it will leave people thinking about life, fatherhood, and the endless possibilities of what life could be.

Thinking Fast and Slow

Author: Daniel Kahneman

One of the top seller books when it comes to books about thinking and decision making. This book is about learning how to use your mind by dividing it into two, the fast and intuitive one that is regularly guided by emotions, and then the second one, which is more logical, well thought out, and even a little slower as it is more rational.

Learning about how to use these two minds is life-changing as people are able to think things clearly and make more rational decisions in life. Also, it is important to evaluate and assess the current decisions that we are taking, and determine if they are meant for our greater good, this means that everything that you do has to be for the same goal, making you happy, and this is something that this amazing book will explain to their readers.


Author: Malcolm Gladwell

Gladwell writes a book that talks about the difference between a successful person and one that isn’t. Talking about what differences us as humans are interesting and captivating. This book definitely gets you thinking about life, upbringing, opportunities, and how some people were able to get where you want to be.

Learning about opportunity and timing is something that will transform your life and your way of thinking. Whenever you start questioning if your decisions and actions have been all based on luck or if everything about the way that you were raised has to do with where you are today.

The Shack

Author: William Paul Young  

This book is quite life-changing, it involves the theme of religion and searching for hope, which at the end of the day it leaves you thinking about the real meaning of life.

The Shack is a tough story that touches on loss and grief, and especially questions things that people have always thought about, where is God in situations of grief and pain? This book is about a tough life lesson, but it is definitely one that will change the way you see things today. 

Captivating: Unveiling the Mystery of a Woman’s Soul

Author: John Eldredge, Stasi Eldredge

This book is extremely captivating and one could even say beautiful. The book talks about finding purpose in life and leaving aside the thought of what people are expected to be compared to what they want to be.

The book will definitely leave you wondering how many times you have failed to achieve your ultimate-life dream and then question yourself in order to understand what you can do in order to find that life you deserve. The essence of the book tries to share the main idea that at the end of the day, what your heart desires is by far the most important thing in all creation.

The Gift of Fear

Author: Gavin de Becker

This book is a page-turner, one you can’t put down as you get to understand a lot of aspects of human behavior and where our gut goes wrong. This book has a great life lesson regarding trusting your intuition, as the more you pay attention to it, the clearer it becomes.

This book helps you understand how to determine a bad situation from a good one, and essentially protect you at all costs throughout life. The book is a bit dark, but it leaves the reader thinking about a lot of things that they might not have considered previously. 

A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose

Author: Eckhart Tolle

Eckhard Tolle does a great job in his books at explaining the importance of awareness and becoming more open-minded to receive lessons from the universe itself.

The author gives numerous life lessons that are important for readers to adopt in their life like, letting go, being present, and enjoying the now, to even learning about acceptance and life’s purpose. The book will leave the reader thinking about how to let go of control and change who are today in order to become the best versions of yourself. 

The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom

Author Don Miguel Ruiz

Clear and concise, this book talks about four agreements as a principle of life. Being impeccable with your world, stop making assumptions, don’t take anything personally, and always do your best.

It is essentially a life guide to make drastic changes in your life. This book is definitely popular because of its life-transformation advice in order to create better and healthier habits that lead you into a more positive path.

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17 Books That Make You Think Differently

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