You know that feeling when you put down an amazing book and just have to share it with everyone you know? Well, we’re about to do the same thing! We’ve put together this list of the most life-changing books we’ve ever read (because we’re those people who just can’t stop talking about our favorite reads). Whether you’re into fiction or nonfiction, spiritual journeys or money matters, our list includes a little bit of everything, but they have all changed how we think about our lives.

It was pretty hard narrowing down our choices, but the books we’ve picked are the ones we keep coming back to year after year, and the ones that we can’t wait to tell our friends all about. After all, the best part of a book is losing yourself in it, and we think these reads will have you doing just that…and when you’re done, maybe you’ll see the world a little differently. Keep reading to see our top 10 must-reads of all time…

10 books that have changed our lives | via laurenconrad.com

1. The Magnolia Story by Chip and Joanna Gaines
I think the whole world is obsessed with Chip and Joanna (myself included), and their book is just as charming as they are together! But charm aside, their story of how they met, became a family, and built their business through a lot of hard work and faith is truly an inspiring one that will have you smiling, laughing, and crying the whole way through. I love how candid they are about their struggles in this book, and their positive attitudes throughout the trials they experienced building their business and starting a family are so heartwarming. It’s an easy read, too, so there’s really no reason not to add this one to your must-read list! –Tessa, Editorial Assistant

10 books that have changed our lives | via laurenconrad.com

2. The Untethered Soul by Michael A. Singer
It’s hard to explain how impactful this book is in just a paragraph, as most of the concepts within its pages are abstract and complex. But reading this book helped me develop a sense of awareness about how much my thoughts control my mood an actions throughout the day. Most of us are unaware of how many thoughts—both positive and negative—are constantly going through our brains, and in turn, how much we let those thoughts control our mood and behaviors. This book walks you through how to make a major mental shift that allows you to become independent of those thoughts, therefore reaching a place of emotional freedom and enlightenment. Like I said… Hard to explain in a paragraph! You will just have to read it to see what I mean. –Allison, Managing Editor

10 books that have changed our lives | via laurenconrad.com

3. The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd
The Secret Life of Bees is one of the most beautifully written books I’ve ever read. It’s a story of a young girl, Lily, who loses her mother and searches for answers about what happened to her. It’s a story about mothers and daughters, female power and the bond that Lily has with the three black women who take her in in the deep south and help her learn about her mother. Just make sure you have a highlighter handy while you’re reading this book—there are so many incredible and insightful quotes in this one! –Rachel, Managing Editor

10 books that have changed our lives | via laurenconrad.com

4. Behind the Beautiful Forevers by Katherine Boo
This book will not only make you reconsider the privileges in your own life but will change the way you see the world around you. Katherine Boo, a Pulitzer Prize winning journalist, spent years documenting the community of Annawadi, a Mumbai slum perched on disputed land near the airport. The book follows the lives of several members of the community, from Manju, the “most-everything-girl” who could also be the first female resident to graduate from college, to Abdul, who will be falsely accused of a terrible crime, shaping the lives of those around him. As their stories overlap and intermingle, the constant threat of their land being bulldozed hovers, and you will find yourself hoping that somehow this community—full of unforgettable stories and unshakeable hope—can persevere even in an age of constant expansion. –Kiera, Editorial Intern

10 books that have changed our lives | via laurenconrad.com

5. One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
I was a college English major and my love of literature runs deep. But this book stands out to me as a true masterpiece and my personal all-time favorite work of fiction. Following several generations of the Buendia family, One Hundred Years of Solitude tells the story of the rise and fall, birth and death of a mythical town in South America called Macondo. It was stylistically so innovative for its time (magical realism was hadly a genre before Marquez), and is filled with the most lyrical, magnetic, truthful prose. The American novelist William Kennedy once said that One Hundred Years of Solitude is “the first piece of literature since the Book of Genesis that should be required reading for the entire human race.”–Ilana, Managing Editor

10 books that have changed our lives | via laurenconrad.com

6. My Story by Elizabeth Smart
In 2002, Elizabeth Smart was kidnapped at the age of 14 and spent almost a year enduring unthinkable horrors inflicted upon her by her captors. This book not only recounts what happened during those nine months she was held captive, (which is enough to change your world view alone) but what is honestly life-changing is the way she reacted to her experience. The resilience, faith, hope, and optimism that she showed even during the darkest moments in her life will make you cry and leave you in awe. Even years after finishing this read, I still remember how it made me feel and it brings tears to my eyes just thinking about it! –Tessa, Editorial Assistant

10 books that have changed our lives | via laurenconrad.com

7. Tiny Beautiful Things: Advice on Love and Life from Dear Sugar by Cheryl Strayed
Cheryl Strayed is one of my favorite authors of all time, and this book of advice columns that she wrote for The Rumpus has become the most important and most helpful book I’ve ever read. Cheryl gives readers raw, unfiltered and beautifully written advice on how to handle so many situations… from love to loss and everything in between. Whenever I’m having a tough time, I pull out this book and read a few chapters. My own copy of this book is filled with notes, highlighted lines and sections, and has probably been read through at least 15 times. I also give this book to any of my friends who are going through difficult times, as I feel that the advice is universal and can apply to a whole range of different situations. –Rachel, Managing Editor

10 books that have changed our lives | via laurenconrad.com

8. The Millionaire Next Door by Thomas J. Stanley
I listened to this book on tape during my drives to and from our office, and it has completely changed my outlook on money, spending, and saving. The entire premise of this informative book is based on the fact that some of the wealthiest people in our country are those who live within their means, make smart decisions with money, and save more than they spend. It goes into detailed accounts of the habits of these successful people, and how they view their own flow of income. It totally reframed how I think about spending money wisely, saving for the big-picture things, and putting money into retirement funds annually.  –Allison, Managing Editor

10 books that have changed our lives | via laurenconrad.com

9. Present Over Perfect: Leaving Behind Frantic for a Simpler, More Soulful Way of Living by Shauna Niequist
This book really came to me in a time where I needed to hear its message the most. I know I’m not the only one that idolizes the rush I get when I check things off of my to do list, but I quickly realized after working essentially two jobs that my busy lifestyle was not sustainable. This book invites its readers to leave behind busy and get back in touch with yourself and what you value the most. It might be a simple concept, but I needed to hear it nonetheless! –Jessi, Senior Editor

10 books that have changed our lives | via laurenconrad.com

10. A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini
This book is technically the follow-up to Hosseini’s first book, The Kite Runner (another must-read) but it easily stands on its own. The story follows the lives two Afghan women, Mariam and Laila, separated by years but brought together under the rule of the Taliban. Their love for each other and the family they form will lead to heart wrenching sacrifices and decisions that will change the course of their lives forever. The heroism and devotion shown by the women will make you cry, but the ultimate message of love as the most powerful form of memory will stick with you long after you’ve turned the final page. I can’t recommend this book enough, just be sure to have tissues ready—you’ll need them! –Kiera, Editorial Intern

What books have changed your life?

Tell us in the comments!

XO Team LC

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