Books hold a wealth of knowledge, but they can also inspire readers to make bold choices and enact change in their own lives. Powerful stories and insightful ideas open people’s eyes to unimagined possibilities. Here are 6 books that can challenge anyone to achieve greatness.


1. Miracle in the Andes – Nando Parrado

This inspiring read describes how an amateur rugby team crashed into the Andes in 1972. Parrado, one of the two survivors, recounts his harrowing, courageous hike out of the mountains. These extraordinary feats of human strength and perseverance can inspire greatness in all of us.


2. The Magic of Thinking Big – David J. Schwartz

Schwartz teaches his readers to plan big, bold dreams with methodical, practical advice. His program nurtures creative thinking for both personal life and business.


3. Down and Out in Paris and London – George Orwell

Orwell is semi-autobiographical in this novel which follows his search for work as a young man in Paris and London. Despite the struggle, he maintains a tone of wry humor that is sure to entertain and motivate.


4. I am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by The Taliban – Malala Yousafzai and Christine Lamb

At only fifteen, Malala Yousafzai demanded her right to education and was shot in the head by the Taliban. Miraculously, she survived, becoming a symbol of peaceful protest at the United Nations. Her story is a truly inspirational one.


5. Cancer Ward – Alexander Solzhenitsyn

This moving story about cancer patients is simultaneously an allegory of the Soviet Union. Despite being banned by Soviet authorities, Solzhentisyn’s novel movingly bears witness to the lasting damage caused by Stalin’s Purge.


6. The Fire Starter Sessions: A Soulful + Practical Guide to Creating Success on Your Own Terms – Danielle LaPorte

Most self-help books tell readers to set goals. LaPorte replies that goals are useless, and instead, what truly matters is defining and achieving desired feelings. Her approach is unusual, engaging, and profoundly helpful.


These books are only a few examples. Hundreds of books have helped readers maximize their potential, testifying to the power of good reading.