Books That Will Leave A Lasting Impression on Its Reader

Most people choose to read books for a variety of reasons. However, the act of reading and learning from what we read is something that can be shared by many. Why do people read? This is a question that has many different answers. Some read simply to pass time, others read because each book is seen as a self-contained world that people can go in and out of whenever they choose.

The answer to the question is just as important as the books we choose to read. Not all books that are read are going to be memorable, however, some books are and can stick with readers for a long time. Why did those books stick with us? What can be learned from them? How do they change people and readers? Do they get the reader to rethink differently? These are the questions that will be explored through five different books, spanning various genres and age groups. The reason that each of these five books has made this is list is because they are special reads. They span a variety of genres because it highlights how books from various genres can impact a reader differently.

The Happy Book By Andy Rash

The Happy Book Explores Anger.

Imagine this: it is storytime for a bunch of four-year-old children, and they see a brightly coloured book, which gets them excited. They ask what the title is, and they find out it’s called The Happy Book. They are all full of smiles. However, the title is misleading because the book tackles more than just happiness as an emotion, therefore exploring the gamut of emotions. This book is a great way for children to learn about various emotions, while also having the adult be able to reflect upon how they deal with emotions and discuss them. One of the things the book does incredibly well is using colours that are typically associated with its respective emotion. For example, the colour red is used to depict anger (as seen in the photo). For children, this is perfect because it allows them to have a visual image that corresponds to an otherwise abstract emotion. Also, there is some resonance with Disney’s Inside Out, which also talks about emotions and feelings cleverly. The book becomes such a valuable teaching tool. It removes some of the stigmas that might be associated with children and emotions. The tendency is to focus only on happiness that does not move the conversation forward enough. There is a wonderful overall message that allows children to understand that various emotions and feelings can co-exist inside of one person. This book will get you, as a reader, to explore the various ways in which kids are introduced to emotions, and how adults also process this. This book is truly a must-read and one that could help not just the child, but the adult that is reading it to them as well.

Why should you read this book? Firstly, adults can benefit from this book as much as kids can, and honestly, that is what leaves the biggest impact. This book, in many ways, can alter how emotions are discussed from adult to child. How this book tackles such abstract concepts, in a concrete way to reach the child audience can also help adults feel safer and more comfortable talking about emotions. Read this book if you have kids, to your kids, or even if you don’t have kids. We tend to live in a society that frowns upon emotions other than happiness, and the ones that make others comfortable, but this book opens up the conversation. Through reading this book, there is a lot that can be learned about how important it is to express different emotions. Also, it helps kids, and adults alike, to better understand and experience a wide range of emotions. The reason this book should be on this list is because the message is a universal one. Often, children’s books can be dismissed as nothing more than small tales, but the content of this book has mass appeal, no matter the age of its reader.

And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie

And Then There Were None

Mystery novels and Agatha Christie are two words that go together perfectly. However, in the contemporary age, she may not be as widely read as she used to be. If someone is looking for a place to start, And Then There Were None is the book that will do it for you. Aside from the content of the novel, the skills one can learn as a writer from it is also quite valuable. One of the things this book, and Agatha Christie, do is use twists and turns in the plot. The book keeps the reader on their toes. It also has the reader question every aspect of the book, and what details matter most to them. There will be many times where they think they know what is happening however, chances are they will be wrong. It is one of the reasons why this book is so great. The use of twists makes this a compelling read. Agatha Christie, as a writer, uses twists and reveals in such a way that any writer who wants to use this skill can improve. Mystery novels tend to get tossed to the side because they are “genre fiction” books. Often, this term is used to judge a book, which is a detriment because a gem such as And Then There Were None might be overlooked. This book is the epitome of mystery and is a book that ought to be read. A small warning must be present because chances are reading this book might lead the reader to a newfound love with Agatha Christie. The book, in some ways, taps into the psyche of the reader. Thus, allowing the reader to reflect on what matters to them most when trying to figure out a mystery. The book becomes an in-depth way of exploring the way we as readers have various lenses that filter the way we read.

Why should you read this book? This book will challenge perceptions and how we view the world. It leaves an impact on the reader because it allows for self-reflection. It gives the mystery genre a chance to be appreciated more and taken more seriously than it typically is. We can question how we view various elements of our lives and why we hold our respective views. If anyone reading this is a writer, it can help with learning how to reveal important details. It creates a guide, in some ways, to allow the reader to use the lack of details, as a means of causing intrigue for a reader. Also, it is a captivating mystery that creates a new world for the reader. It is a great introduction to the genre itself.

The Four Agreements By Miguel Ruiz

The Four Agreements
The agreements that you make with yourself throughout reading the book.

The Four Agreements is a book that can easily change the reader’s life if they embrace the words and agreements. While it might be short in length, there is much power and impact behind the words. There are four agreements that each person should make with themselves. While this might seem daunting the agreements are manageable. They do, however, require the act of self-reflection. The Four Agreements can be a guide and help the reader make the necessary changes to find the self-improvement they may be looking for. The constant pressures that people put on themselves to be perfect help become alleviated when reading the book. Another thing that stands out is that it does not prioritize a single religion. Therefore, it allows people of all faiths or no faith to be able to find meaning through their reading. This book can change the reader’s life in many ways, and get people to see themselves in a different light. This is because The Four Agreements allows the reader to reflect on their lives, and to better understand themselves. In reading this, be prepared to become a better communicator, listener and to improve on self-reflection skills.

Why should you read this book? The book has the power to transform even the most mundane daily actions into transformative moments. This book, in a lot of ways, can become the foundation in which a reader may choose to base their lives on. This book is meant for anything struggling, or someone interested in self-help. A lot of the time, self-help books can come across as condescending, or expect its reader to have a whole skill set already, but this book doesn’t have those presuppositions. The final agreement, especially, becomes the best one, which is (as seen in the photo) to try one’s best. The idea that all one must do is try your best helps remove the pressure we tend to place upon ourselves. Also, these agreements are broad enough that they can apply to any facet of a reader’s life, and can be used as a means of improving everywhere. Sometimes wanting change is hard, but this book is a great way to start and is written in such a way that people of so many ages can enjoy it as well.

Break It Down by Lydia Davis

Break It Down

Initially, this book was not going to make the list however, this book contains two reasons why it is an impactful read, which is why it’s on this list. This book will teach the reader about the nuances of the writing process and storytelling. If you are a writer, then this book is a must-read. If you are not a writer, then there is still room for a mass amount of appreciation that can happen through its reading. Lydia Davis is wonderful at capturing how life happens and using fragmentation as a tool to create deeper meaning within a narrative. The book is also a creative example of the importance of editing a fictional story. Some of the short stories in this book are no more than a paragraph. In reading this book, there is the potential for an appreciation of the bare-bones way of telling a given story. Break It Down challenges the conventions of how a short story is categorized. The writing style allows the reading to focus more on the structure of the story they are reading. Title and content is another important element in the book. The title is an exact reflection of what Lydia Davis is doing in her work, and that is breaking down the story, and breaking down how we as writers can tell stories.

Why should you read this book? If you are a writer or are considering becoming one, then this book will leave a lasting impact on how you write and approach the short story genre. Davis’ style works well for emulation exercises, which allows the reader/writer to connect better with the story. Learning to appreciate nuance and simplicity is something that leaves a lasting impact on the reader. This book leaves an impact on the value of snapshot views of lives. Art imitating life is what this book does, and how it leaves the greatest mark on the reader. Often, our lives take a trajectory that is not a perfectly cohesive narrative, better yet, it is fragments that make a whole. This book allows the reader to explore that, while not being robbed of a whole story.

The God Dare: Will You Choose To Believe The Impossible? by Kate Battistelli

The God Dare: Will You Choose To Believe The Impossible

The book is written from a Chrisitan perspective and is about the process of giving everything up to God. The process will not be easy, and the book highlights that. However, the act of giving things up to God becomes accessible through reading this book. One of the things that the author does well is use examples from the Bible, which in turn makes the Bible in and of itself a much less abstract book. The book is designed for those who do believe in God already, or who are actively seeking Him. The language used is simple, and the read goes by quickly. The author is also very candid with her struggles and experiences by giving it up to God. So, anyone looking for a book that will bring them close to God, this is a wonderful place to start.

Why should you read this book? If you are someone who already believes in God, then this book has all the elements to bring you closer to him. The book will take you through different scenarios that allow you to reflect upon how your relationship with God is, and how it can improve. If you are someone who is just seeking out God, then this book will help ground your beliefs. There are so many reflection questions that are present that allow the reader to let the book sit with them for hours after reading. The book almost becomes a roadmap for giving it up to God, and the sheer guidance in this book makes it so easy to connect with God. There is very much a call and response formula to this book that makes it unique from other books that discuss similar subjects. The book is not just about the author, but rather about the reader, and the way the reader’s life can change through reading it.

The books that made this list were carefully selected on their own merits. These books are not meant to be compared to one another. They span a variety of subjects, which suggests that having a diverse set of books to read can impact the reader in different ways. Often, people stick to one genre of literature or non-fiction, however, sometimes hesitancy to leave our comfort zone is the only reason we do not branch out to read new things. The books that made this list offer a guide to books that are important reads, depending on what a reader is looking for. Of course, this list could not be an exhaustive one because there are just too many books in the world for that.

What do you think? Leave a comment.

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Rhea is twenty six and holds a Bachelor's in English Literature and Religions and Cultures. She loves to read, write, watch movies, and take care of her husband and cat.

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  1. Some of the pieces are so intense and relatable in Break it Down that I can barely read them without reliving my own similar experiences.

    • RheaRG

      Oh yes! It’s why the book made this list. It’s truly a tough book with the amount of reflection you end up doing, but such a worthwhile read.

    • Brandon

      Call me old fashioned, but I like stories. That means I like scenes, dialogue, characters and perhaps a dash of plot. All of these stories are written in first person and they go absolutely nowhere.

  2. Very few books truly deserve the label, “life-changing.” The Four Agreements is certainly one of them.

    • Brilliant book that makes you think about everything you do.

    • A book to show you how we are often our own worst enemy due to our mistaken perceptions.

  3. earl grey

    Recently read And Then There Were None. I am probably not that good at working out who the killer is in a mystery novel (not that I have read all that many, and this is the first ever Agatha Christie novel that I have read) but I was convinced that the bulter was the culprit right up until he landed up with an axe in his head.

  4. I love the Happy Book. Really great exploration of emotions, emotional processing, and how friendship is both complicated and supportive.

    • This was fun to read aloud with my daughter. We both took characters and it was fun to act out the emotions as we read.

    • Washington

      I liked this book against my will, and I’m not sure how I feel about that.

  5. Clarence

    I have not read one single one, so thank you for the recommendations!

  6. I love Agatha Christie’s writing. Which is your favorite?

    • Ambrose

      For me, the best Agatha Christie is “Crooked House”, closely followed by “Ordeal by Innocence”. She was a master at capturing the seamy underside of families. The best book written by Agatha Christie, was, in my humble opinion, “Absent in the Spring” published under her pseudonym of Mary Westmacott.

    • How about the worst Christie novel?

      I nominate “Passenger to Frankfurt,” which is truly full of disdain for youth.

    • And Then There Were None was one of my first Agatha Christie novels and remains a favourite. She really didn’t pull her punches.

    • Amyus

      Mine would be ‘Five Little Pigs.’ I like that story so much that I took my non de plume from one of the characters, although I changed the spelling a little.

  7. Synthia Stauffer

    Just read my first Christie the other day – “Evil Under the Sun.” Bloody good laugh. Looking forward to reading a load more.

  8. Samantha Leersen

    I have never read any of these texts, but your explanations make me feel as though I want to read them. ‘Break it Down’ in particular sounds like a book worth reading. A great article! 🙂

  9. Some of the short stories in Break It Down seemed really pretentious to me. It was as if Lydia Davis was writing because she loved the way the words looked on paper, and not because she actually had something to say.

    • Alberto

      I agree. There are three excellent stories in here, and none of the others are even okay.

    • This was recommended to me by a number of people. I thought it was okay. Three of four of the stories were really good; my heart got pumping (which is not normally something I look for, or find, in the books I read) over some of the situations- just emotionally tense and vulnerable situations and feelings I could relate to and feel pained about and laugh at at the same time.

  10. The Good Dare encourages us to step out into our God given destiny.

    • This book is like a compilation of my favorite things: Godly bits of wisdom, poetic phrases, stirring Biblical stories, and challenging questions!

    • It challenges the reader to believe what God would have us believe, taking into account where our passion lies, even if it currently lies dormant.

  11. I already love And then there were none book with all my heart. It’s one of my mom’s favorites and one of mines too. It’s Christie’s greatest masterpiece (in my humble opinion).

  12. Hannan Lewsley

    The capacity to incorporate various perspectives is one of the central tenets of narrative. As this article illustrates, arbitrary genre distinctions are futile and if anything, narrow the reader’s experience. I steered clear from fantasy for so long because of some pretentious idea about low- and high-brow literature, The Lord of the Rings is now my favourite literary work.

  13. Very interesting topic but needs further drafting and editing. I found it to be a clumsy article.

    ‘rethink differently’ is a tautology.

    The following paragraph has an extra ‘is’ and other grammatical errors.

    The reason that each of these five books has made this is list is because they are special reads. They span a variety of genres because it highlights how books from various genres can impact a reader differently.

    ‘it’ is too far from the singular ‘list’, and appears to incorrectly refer to the plural ‘genres’.


    The reason that each of these five books made the list is that they are special reads. They span a variety of genres and highlight how books from various genres can impact a reader.

    I suspect English is the writer’s second language?

    • RheaRG

      English is my first language. And the piece was edited and I addressed all the comments that were left. So while I appreciate the feedback, calling an article clumsy doesn’t really help.

  14. The Happy Book might be the best book about feelings EVER. Legitimately lol-funny while acknowledging all our messy human feelings! Yes!

  15. I didn’t expect The Happy Book to take the turn that it did, and it was fabulous! An excellent way for children to identify their emotions and understand that it’s okay to feel them.

    • Joe Robinson

      This one reminded me of Inside Out as each page showed the color of the emotion.

  16. And Then There Were None left me feeling scared as shit, yet always thrilled and excited. Although I had formed a similar theory regarding the killer (and completely drowned myself in that vision, as in seriously hoping I was right because that would have been awesome), in the end it made so much sense for having the killer be who they are now.

    • Jessica

      This book is the ultimate Mystery book. I am so lost honestly.

  17. The Four Agreements is a solid reminder of the ways in which we suffer. I don’t agree with it fully, but it helps to identify where we can get stuck and how we can make positive change in our lives.

  18. Jennifer

    I recently lost my Agatha Christie virginity and damn was it a good one.

  19. Amyus

    An interesting list of books. I can’t count the amount of times ‘And Then There Were None’ has been adapted for film. It’s probably once the earliest (in modern day terms) examples of the ‘death game’ concept. Still, you’ve given me a number of other titles to consider, so thanks.

  20. I like the book which is full of mystery.

  21. Love how there isn’t much canon in your list! I appreciate that, some people like including the canon just to feel good but this feels incredibly authentic.

  22. In many ways, Agatha Christie has that literary tendency of self-examination and hyper-realism generally, which makes her someone that often is underrated in literary circles. To me, I think her stock will rise as her works age.

  23. Although I admittedly have not read any books on this list I definitely look forward to adding them to my shelf. I’m particularly interested in “The Four Agreements.” I’m definitely excited! Wonderful post!

  24. I adore the diversity of this list, proving that good literature is good literature. It doesn’t matter that its meant for kids or is limited to one genre, any book can meet you where you are and impact you deeply and profoundly.

  25. LadyAcademia

    I really appreciate the diversity of the list, proving that good literature is good literature no matter the age or genre. Any book can be used as an example and guide for good writing or as a balm in crisis, or as an inspiration.

  26. For the Irishman who no longer lives on that historic island, Ulysses. My fourth and most serious attempt to read, finish and hopefully grasp! The characters and scenes bring back memories of growing up, the thoughts of each character put into words by the brilliant Joyce. What else but to travel there through his writing when the pages are opened. This is why we read!

  27. Just finished ‘Murder on the Orient Express’, seeing Christie on this list is a sign to read more of her.

  28. The Four Agreements is such a powerful little book! I appreciate how, for all their simplicity, the agreements also offer great depth, and how, as you note, they can apply to many aspects of a person’s life.

    The fact that the last agreement is to try one’s best also offers a model of sustainability in shaping the self. Instead of viewing failure to follow an agreement as, well, failure, we’re encouraged instead to see it as part of the process; in essence, it’s less about reaching a point of success, and more about cultivating a practice.

  29. Enjoyed this article. I like how you attempt to break down genre and get readers to explore pieces that are outside their comfort zone. From the comments above it seems your suggestions are well-informed. I am going to read The Four Agreements and I am hoping it gives me the enlightenment that you outlined.

  30. I love the idea that you outlined in your first example that children’s books can be just as impactful on adults, and that there is just as much to learn there. It reminds me the LoTR franchise, especially The Hobbit, and how Tolkien’s books have so much appeal to children and to adults.

  31. And Then There Were None is one of the most formative novels from the genre. Simple and easy enough to read, but with an elegance that is rarely expected from a mystery novel. A must read.

  32. Joseph Cernik

    A good essay. Break It Down sounds like an interesting book, I like that idea of nuances in writing–something I think we all want to enjoy.

  33. This looks like a unique list, one I’ll have to add to my own ever-growing—and never ending—list of books to read! I appreciated your unique choices.

  34. What an eclectic list.

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