50 Fiction Books That Might Just Change Your Life

Is there a book that changed your life?

You may never forget the first “grown-up” book you read –– When a reader is at a pivotal age of adolescence, a coming-of-age story somehow can empower you to come into your own. Sometimes a work of fiction can teach you some truth about yourself. For some, a life-altering book might be the one that set you on a new course for the future, or helped you heal from your past.

From a poll of Half Price Books staff of Bibliomaniacs, here is list of 50 fiction books that just might change your life. Hopefully, you will find them as inspiring as we did.

One bookseller told us, “I am a first generation immigrant to America, and grew up with very little family. The Phantom Tollbooth, a tale about a lost boy, made me feel like I could fit, somewhere, even if it was only in the imagination of my own mind.”


LEFT TO RIGHT: 1. Life of Pi by Yann Martel, 2. A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini, 3. To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee, 4. The Best American Short Stories by Tom Perrotta (editor), 5. Little Women by Louisa May Alcott

6. The Queen’s Gambit by Walter Tevis, 7. The Last Leaf by O. Henry, 8. So Long, See You Tomorrow by William Maxwell, 9. Les Misérables by Victor Hugo, 10. The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath

11. Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf, 12. Atonement by Ian McEwan, 13. Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer, 14. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain, 15. The Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro

16. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon, 17. White Oleander by Janet Fitch, 18. Dandelion Wine by Ray Bradbury, 19. The Fault in Our Stars by John Green, 20. Foster by Claire Keegan,

21. The Bluest Eye by Tony Morrison, 22. The Moviegoer by Walker Percy, 23. The Prince of Tides by Pat Conroy, 24. The Beautiful and the Damned by F. Scott Fitzgerald, 25. Ishmael by Daniel Quinn

26. One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel García Márquez, 27. The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho, 28. A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens, 29. Without Feathers by Woody Allen, 30. No One Belongs Here More Than You by Miranda July

31. The Unbearable Lightness of Being by Milan Kundera, 32. Cat’s Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut, 33. Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck, 34. Sophie’s World by Jostein Gaarder, 35. The Call of the Wild by Jack London

36. The Good Earth by Pearl S. Buck, 37. Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand, 38. The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton, 39. Blindness by Jose Saramago, 40. The Giver by Lois Lowry

41. The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky, 42. A Wrinkle in Time by Madeline L’Engle, 43. The Killer Angels by Michael Shaara, 44. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith, 45. The Phantom Tollbooth by Norman Juster

46. Brave New World by Aldous Huxley, 47. 1984 by George Orwell, 48. On the Road by Jack Kerouac, 49. One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest by Ken Kesey, 50. Little Big Man by Thomas Berger.

What book changed your life? We’d love to hear about it in the comments below.

Meredith is Associate Creative Director at Half Price Books Corporate.
You can follow her on Twitter at @msquare21.

3 thoughts on “50 Fiction Books That Might Just Change Your Life

  1. A book that opened my eyes and thoroughly engrossed me in it (and the subsequent editions) is The Celestine Prophecy by James Redfield Warner Books, 1993. Excellent book! The search for inner strength, peace, happiness and fulfillment is a very intriguing subject for me, and for countless others in search of that something missing. I highly recommend James Redfield and the entire series of books.

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