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The Books That Have Changed My Life

In honour of World Book Day, I thought that it would be fitting to write a post featuring some of my top reads of all time.

I’m a thriller kind of girl, so I very much like to be kept on the edge of my seat. But sometimes the stories that we remember forever, aren’t the exciting, adventure-filled ones. They’re the simple ones that touch your soul.

Here are the books that have changed my life, or should I say, they have made an impact on me.

The Five People You Meet In Heaven

This book may be fictional, but it touched my soul. I ugly cried at the ending.

Repairman, Eddie, passes away. But once he gets to heaven, he meets five different people who have already passed away that affected his life in some way. Some of them he knew well, and some of them he didn’t even know at all. But they all have a story as to how they impacted his life in one way or another.

It is the story of an unextraordinary life, and how it still had purpose. The ways he knows all of the people he meets may not have all been positive, but they all served a purpose and a life lesson.

It’s one of those stories that is simple, but breaks you. But in a good way!

The Chimp Paradox

This book is a scientific one so I wouldn’t say it’s the easiest of reads. But I love a bit of psychology and my dad lent me the book as he had heard good things about it.

The Chimp Paradox is a mind-management guide. So it teaches you how your brain reacts to events in life, and then teaches you how to control ‘your inner Chimp’ that reacts in unproductive and destructive ways.

I could actually benefit from reading this book again because it’s very easy to fall into old habits and let your Chimp take over when you are stressed. After all, training the mind is an ongoing project, not one you can master once and never have to check in with again.

For anyone who struggles with anger issues, anxiety or just generally reacting emotionally (like with road rage), then this book will teach you some great methods to calm yourself, in an easy, relatable way.

It truly helped me to identify when I was reacting to things irrationally or emotionally and taught me how to react in a much calmer way. It totally changed the way I approached things and had such a benefit to my life.

I definitely need to re-read this book…

Angus, Thongs And Full-Frontal Snogging

The confessions of Georgia Nicholson series were my preteen favourite books. Whenever I had a birthday, went on holiday or got a book token, I would nip to the local book shop and get the next in the series.

I’m sure lots of girls read these books. They were funny and wacky, and they were relatable to the thought processes and dynamics of us gawky preteen girls discovering boys for the first time.

I’m sure if I read the books now, I would be irritated most of the time by the cringiness of Georgia’s character. But a big part of that would probably be cringing and realising that “oh god, that was ME when I was that age too!”

I class these books as the first books I actually enjoyed and wasn’t forced to read as a part of the school reading curriculum.

Heaven Is For Real: A Little Boy’s Astounding Story Of His Trip To Heaven And Back

Well, it pretty much tells you the plotline in the title.

The book was written by the three-year-old boy’s father, who happened to be a Priest. He recounted the events and stories of the things young Coulton said after a near-death experience when he was three-years-old.

Because this book is a sort-of autobiography, it left me shook because the story was allegedly real. Reading the book, I felt like my world had been turned upside down and my upbringing as a Christian was proven to be truth. I felt like my faith had been confirmed and restored fully.

Sadly, just after I finished the book and felt like my eyes had been opened to the world for the first time, my bubble was burst. My friend said that the book was allegedly a fake and the child had claimed that his father had made it all up.

However, researcing on the web, I can’t actually see anything that says that. There are just some websites that question it.

I can understand why people are sceptical as to how such a young child could know so much that fits in line with the bible’s interpretations of Jesus and God. And the fact that his father is a priest makes it seem a bit biased. However, as far as I know, the story hasn’t been proven fake, so for all we know, this three-year-old boy could have actually said all these things.

The book was beautifully written and, if you are a Christian, it is a life-affirming, warm read.

I’ll Be Gone In The Dark: One Woman’s Obsessive Search For The Golden State Killer

It wouldn’t be right if I didn’t include a thriller in this list.

Although this one isn’t a fictional thriller; it is the notes and findings of a woman who was researching the Golden State Killer before he was caught just last year! Sadly the author, Michelle McNamara passed away before her book was published so she was never able to see how successful it would become, or live to find out who the Golden State Killer actually was.

Now, I haven’t actually finished reading this book. The reason why is that it affected me and upset me too much to continue reading on vacation (because when I’m sat by a pool, I don’t want to be reading about horrific murder and grief).

But the few chapters of the book that I did manage to read (and I intend to finish the rest eventually) really struck a chord. I’ll be gone in the dark humanises the crimes of the Golden State Killer. When we hear about these murders and attacks in the news, we feel detached. But in this book, it focuses on the families left behind. And it is bloomin’ heartbreaking!

Life can be swiped away so quickly, and for some extremely unlucky people, in the most horrific of ways. You never know when will be the last time you see someone, and somebody’s seemingly perfect life can be snatched away in an instant. Be grateful, treasure those you know and love, and always lock all your doors and close your windows.

So those are the books that have changed my life, or at least made an impact on it in some way.

Have you read any books that have touched your soul and changed your outlook for the better? I’d love to hear your recommendations, so feel free to leave them in the comment section below.




  • Claire

    The five people in heaven is the one book I recommend to everyone.

    I gave it to my fiancé to read and he lost it! I’ve just shown him your blog and said ‘seeeeeeee I’m not the only person that thinks it’s life changing!’

  • ElishaAinsley

    Hahaaa that’s so good to hear! It honestly had me blubbering like a baby; it’s such a beautiful book.

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