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Rory Gilmore reading
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In case you missed it, November 4th was National Book Lovers Day 2017, and it’s one of our favorite days of the year. There are few things more beautiful than losing yourself in the pages of a well-written book. Words are powerful, and when strung together on pages to tell stories, books can be life changing. Most of us can probably think of a book that has left an impact on our lives — an inspiring memoir or novel or collection of poetry that left us with a new perspective and ultimately contributed to making us the person we are today.

Some books will literally change your world view — in a good way.

And those are the ones we’re talking about today. The books that inspire growth; the ones that let us journey into new worlds without having to leave our couch; the ones that help us to better understand ourselves and each other — those are the books you’ll find on this list.

In honor of National Book Lovers Day, here are 12 books that are sure to change your life…or at least leave you with a good story.

1Sister Outsider by Audre Lorde

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We would definitely suggest that you read everything Audre Lorde has ever written, and Sister Outsider is the perfect place to start. In essays and speeches, our Lorde sheds light on issues like, homophobia, racism, and sexism in a way that makes you want to go out and change the world.

2A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith

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Betty Smith’s A Tree Grows in Brooklyn is set in Williamsburg, Brooklyn and tells the story of little Francie Nolan and her family. Francie is an “avid reader, penny-candy connoisseur, and adroit observer of human nature.” This story — and this character — will stick with you for life.

3The God of Small Things” by Arundhati Roy

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Arundhati Roy managed to weave a story about loss and transgression in a way that makes reading it an absolute delight. The God of Small Things is the story of young twins being raised by their single mother in Kerala, India. Roy’s tale will change your perspective on the small things.

4Bad Feminist by Roxane Gay

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Through super relatable essays, Roxane Gay’s book will change the way you see the world.

5The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business by Charles Duhigg

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Duhigg argues that the key to success is understanding how habits work. According to this book, if you’re mindful of the logic behind your habits, you’ll have the ability to change any bad ones…which can ultimately change your life.

6The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath

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The Bell Jar follows Esther Greenwood’s descent into mental illness, as well as her journey back to health. It’s based on Sylvia Plath’s real-life experiences, and gives readers tremendous insight into depression.

7A Return to Love” by Marianne Williamson

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A Return to Love is a self-help guide to creating your best life by choosing heart over ego. Williamson breaks down the principles in an easy to digest way while sharing personal experiences. We could all use a miracle or two, right?

8Quiet” by Susan Cain

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Introverts often get a bad rap (which is utterly unfair, btw), and many introverts don’t even know they’re introverted. Quiet is a book about getting to know yourself. And that simple awareness can change the outcome of your life.

9A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini

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Hosseini tells the story of two Afghan women who find their lives intertwined forever. It’ll teach you about immense struggle, the importance sisterhood, and maybe even make you a more compassionate human being.

10The Gifts of Imperfection” by Brené Brown

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From the author: “Owning our story can be hard but not nearly as difficult as spending our lives running from it. Embracing our vulnerabilities is risky but not nearly as dangerous as giving up on love and belonging and joy — the experiences that make us the most vulnerable. Only when we are brave enough to explore the darkness will we discover the infinite power of our light.” Enough said.

11You Are a Badass by Jen Sincero

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This is the confidence boost you’ve been looking for. Jen Sincero drops gem after gem of wisdom about how to overcome self-doubt that you can easily apply to your work and personal life.

12The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

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This one might technically be for teens, but you’ll laugh, you’ll cry, and come away inspired to live every day as if it were your last.

Now that you’re armed with all the life-changing book power you need, go forth and live your best lives.