13 Life Changing Novels

You ever have one of those books that sticks with you? The kind you start to see yourself emulating? Maybe you tell all your friends about it. Maybe it’s the kind you get really excited about the movie coming out. Whatever that feeling is, these are the best of it.

1. The Magicians by Lev Grossman

Magic. Depression. Friendship. No matter who you are, a chord will be struck.

“If there’s a single lesson that life teaches us, it’s that wishing doesn’t make it so.”
― Lev Grossman, The Magicians

2. Dune by Frank Herbert


Knife Fighting? Check. Sand-worms? Check. Emotional roller coaster and political intrigue set to a backdrop of space and philosophy? Hell ya.

“The mystery of life isn’t a problem to solve, but a reality to experience.”
― Frank Herbert, Dune

3. The Wee Free Men by Terry Pratchett

Sure, it might be written for children. But it was also written by one of the greatest authors to ever live. Funny, moving, and thoughtful.

“If you trust in yourself. . .and believe in your dreams. . .and follow your star. . . you’ll still get beaten by people who spent their time working hard and learning things and weren’t so lazy.”
― Terry Pratchett, The Wee Free Men

4. Fool by Christopher Moore

NOT FOR CHILDREN(?). Moore spins a tale that will have your sides aching from laughter, and a new light on the fine art of cursing.

“He always had a problem with the purity of others. Never his own.”
― Christopher Moore, Fool

5. The Gunslinger by Stephen King


What happens when you take Clint Eastwood, The Lord of the Rings, and frightfully good writing? A fantasy novel that will change your mind on Stephen King.

“A coward judges all he sees by what he is.”
― Stephen King, The Dark Tower

6. The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch


Thieves and bastards and gentlemen all the way. A story of friendship with these aspects digs deep at your heart and may even encourage you to explore your more dishonorable side. The paper cuts from how fast you turn the page will hurt less than being finished with this novel.

“If reassurances could dull pain, nobody would ever go to the trouble of pressing grapes.”
― Scott Lynch, The Lies of Locke Lamora

7. Rogues by G.R.R. Martin

An anthology themed around the rogue archetype, edited by a genius, and containing short stories from the best writers of this century.

“’No, she won’t,’ Bast said smugly. ‘Because I’m all grown, and I can do whatever I want with my pants. I could light them on fire and I wouldn’t get in any trouble at all.’”
― Patrick Rothfuss, Rogues

8. The Lost Years of Merlin by T.A. Barron

The early years of Merlin laid out in a wonderful story. Wisdom permeates this book.

“My constellations are not made from the stars, but from the spaces between the stars. The dark places. The open places, where your mind can travel forever and ever.”
― T. A. Barron, The Lost Years

9. Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card


A decent movie, but the true meat of Ender’s Game comes out in the pages. Determination and resourcefulness are only a few of the thing you’ll learn here.

“I think it’s impossible to really understand somebody, what they want, what they believe, and not love them the way they love themselves.”
― Orson Scott Card, Ender’s Game

10. Good Omens by Terry Pratchett & Neil Gaiman

Pratchett makes the list again, this time with Gaiman’s help. A unbelievably funny book with more than a few lessons for those who can pick them out.

“Many people, meeting Aziraphale for the first time, formed three impressions: that he was English, that he was intelligent, and that he was gayer than a treeful of monkeys on nitrous oxide.”
― Terry Pratchett, Good Omens

11. The Warded Man by Peter Brett

A new-ish author compared to the rest on this list, but a truly exciting work none-the-less. Learn to go against the grain. Learn to stand up.

“Let others determine your worth and you’re already lost, because no one wants people worth more than themselves.”
― Peter V. Brett, The Warded Man

12. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling

A book that has changed the lives of millions of readers. This is the book that started many down the path of literature. If you haven’t read Harry Potter yet, you are doing yourself a grave disservice.

“It takes a great deal of bravery to stand up to our enemies, but just as much to stand up to our friends.”
― J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone

13.The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams

Fun to read, fun to quote, and fun to suggest. If a book can shift paradigms, this one will definitely make you see the world in a different light with its motley group of space faring survivors of earth’s destruction.

“I’d far rather be happy than right any day.”
― Douglas Adams, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy


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  1. Get Yo’ Self An Urban Bug Out Bag | Harketh

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