10 Surprising Books that Will Change Your Worldview

Recently I was challenged by some friends to do a “10 of” post.  A post describing ten things that have had an impact in my life, and I think will have an impact on my reader’s lives.  Since I read a lot of books, I decided I would do a post on 10 books.  I didn’t want to rehash the same books that everyone will tell you to read. I wanted to talk about some of the ones you may have never heard of, or give you a new take on a classic. 


10 suprising books that will change your worldview

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Black Beauty by Anna Sewell

I read this book for the first time when I was in kindergarten and have read it several times since.  Sure this book is great as a horse book, but through Black Beauty’s life, Anna Sewell illustrates a life from birth to retirement.  She illustrates learning, fear, fun, hard work, hard times and enjoying the simple things in life all through the life of this one horse.

This book was originally written as propaganda for the British humane society, but it was so well written it has become a classic.

* Available free for Kindle

Pride and Prejudice by  Jane Austen

I was the only girl in a house full of boys and I heard a lot of things like “you throw like a girl” or “that makes you look like a girl”.  In other words, being a girl was something to be looked down upon, although I don’t think my family did this intentionally.

This book was so much fun and celebrated women in a way that I loved.  It celebrated their femininity and their brains and charms in a time of the world where women were not allowed to open a bank account without the permission of their husbands.  This book helped me be proud of the fact that I am a women. Recently Amazon had the audio version available free on Kindle Unlimited and I laughed and enjoyed the book just as much as an adult as I did as a teenager.

*Available free for Kindle

12 Years a Slave by Solomon Northrop

Although my parents may not have been great at raising a girl in a house full of boys, they were excellent at keeping us from the racial prejudices of the world.  When I got out into the real world I was pretty shocked to realize racial prejudice does still exist.  So I went looking for answers as to how it happened in a country based on freedom.

12 Years a Slave is written by a free black man from the north who was kidnapped and forced into slavery.  It is the most well written honest account of slavery from the slave’s point of view I have ever read.

Uncle Toms Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe

This book was also in the group of books I read when I was trying to learn more about slavery in the US. This book is on a lot of must-read book lists but I think it sometimes gets passed over because Ms. Stowe was an activist and many people look at this book as an extension of that.

This book is passionate, real and although a fictional story, it draws the reader in and gives the reader a good picture of what slavery was like, and the lengths people would go to escape it.

*Available free for Kindle


My So-Called Life as a Proverbs 31 Wife by Sara Horn

If you have ever read the verse in Proverbs 31 about the perfect wife you may have thought it is a lot to live up to.  Sara Horn felt the same but decided to take on the challenge anyway.  This book details the year she spent trying to live up to Proverbs 31 standards.

It is honest, fun and gives the reader an unabashed look at her life through the ups and downs we all face.  Lighthearted in places and very serious in others, this book gave me a new way to look at Proverbs 31.  This book inspired me without weighing me down.  If you are a wife of any kind, I encourage you to read this book


Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson

I read this book recently when Amazon was running a special on New York Times best sellers.  There is a reason this book is on the best sellers list and I think it will become a classic work.

Written by a death row lawyer, this book is an incredibly intimate look at our criminal justice system.  Honest, heartbreaking and sometimes amusing this book will change your worldview on crime and punishment in America.


Team Rodent  by Carl Hiaasen

Carl Hiaasen is one of my favorite authors. I own everything he has written and have read many of his Miami Times articles as well.  All of his books make you think a little differently about vacationing in Florida but this one focuses on Disney.

Disney has a lot of it’s own rules and this book is a look at some of the more bizarre ways Disney has bought and paid for the luxuries available at it’s parks.  If you are into environmental concerns, this a book you need to read.


Quiet Strength by Tony Dungy

If you have ever watched Tony Dungy coach, you can see why this book is called “Quiet Strength”.  Mr. Dungy does not yell and scream at players or officials, he is not on the sidelines waving his arms in a fit of rage, yet he got more out of his players than the players themselves thought they had to give.

Quiet Strength is a powerful look at true leadership.  A man who takes his cue from the Bible and truly tries to employ the teachings within.  I was so impressed by this book I read his next two books even though they were aimed at men.  If you want to know how to be a leader, read this book


Lone Survivor by Marcus Luttrell

This book was recommended to me by one of my colleagues.  He isn’t much on reading so I figured it must be a pretty good book to make a non-reader rave about it.  I wasn’t wrong.  This book was action packed.

If you have never been in a situation where you had to make a choice between your life and the life of another, be thankful.  If you want to know the pain and anguish of the situation, and the results of making those kinds of choices, read this book.  I could not put it down.  It gave me such respect for the soldiers who fight for this country.  Worldview changing.


The Big Short by Michael Lewis

A book all about the stock market, and the insanity that lead to the fall in 2008.  I learned things I wish I hadn’t about the way the stock market runs.  I do still have a 401k, but this changed my worldview on how money operates this country and the disgusting lengths people are willing to go to make a buck.

This one is worldview changing, but if you suffered a great amount of damage during the stock market crash in 2008, you might not want to read this one.  It will make you angry beyond belief.


These 10 books changed my worldview in one way or another.  I hope you enjoy these books as much as I did.  





  1. Joleisa

    September 14, 2016 at 2:34 am

    Great list and I guess I’m missing out as I’ve only read two or three of your list. I like the way you mention what’s free on Amazon too! Great post.

    1. Michele Cook

      September 14, 2016 at 4:35 pm

      Your welcome 🙂 I read so much I forget about a lot of books, but these 10 are unforgettable.

  2. Julie @ Filling the Jars

    September 20, 2016 at 7:09 am

    Love this list! I put several of these on my “someday” list — you know, when I’ve made it through a few more of my huge TBR pile. 🙂

    1. Michele Cook

      September 20, 2016 at 5:58 pm

      LOL Julie! I hope you get through that pile before you retire!

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