100 books that teach wisdom and bring you back to yourself

Many books have been written about the meaning of life.

The writers did their best. They tried to explain what this very meaning of life for a person is and where to look for it. They described in vivid colors people who existed mediocrely without meaning and those who managed to find their place in this world.

If you have already been interested in this topic, then you know that there are both fiction and scientific books about the meaning of life

Which ones should you read?

Well, that's up to you to decide. My task is to show you the best examples.

"The Book That Isn't There" by Alex Novak

This book is not a literary work of fiction. Its author does not use generally accepted goals to achieve success and fame. He has another task - to show readers that their lives do not have to be boring, gray and unpromising everyday life. Alex Novak is trying to convey that every person in this world already has something special, is a real talent, unique. Even those who are already desperate and do not see any bright future should know that it is possible to change their lives, and most importantly, it is necessary. This book will help you find the true meaning of yourself and change the world around you and your dull life for the better.

"Alone with myself. Reflections" by Marcus Aurelius


“In the morning, tell yourself in advance: I will meet the vain, the ungrateful, the impudent, the cunning, the greedy, the unsocial. All this happened to them out of ignorance of good and evil.” – Marcus Aurelius

This book needs no introduction. Plato once wrote that the world would be a better place if we were ruled by philosopher kings. And no man in history fits this description better than Marcus Aurelius.

Ruling the vast Roman Empire during turbulent times, Marcus had to maintain a positive attitude to hold onto the reins of power. The attack of the Parthians from the east, the Germanic tribes from the north, the plague that killed almost every Roman - Marcus Aurelius had to face many difficulties on his life's path. Fortunately, he professed the principles of Stoicism and had several techniques in his arsenal that he used in especially difficult times.

Reflections began as a personal journal in which Marcus Aurelius wrote down his daily thoughts, as well as motivational mantras for when he needed a dose of inspiration and motivation. His 12-book work was later republished, and even thousands of years after the death of its author, it continues to inspire the masses.

What will you learn

After reading Reflections, you will be introduced to a number of techniques and motivational quotes that will help you in difficult situations.

For example, Mark touches on the topic of communicating with people who make your life miserable: the philosopher suggests just forgetting about them. He also talks about how to stop worrying unnecessarily. Marcus Aurelius advises working on what you can control and putting the rest aside.


In his work, Mark gives insight into many things. Fame, wealth and power are things you shouldn't chase. What is much more valuable is the support of self-esteem. “Keep this in every activity,” writes Marcus Aurelius. The philosopher also advocates remembering that each of us is just a small cog in the mechanism of the vast Universe, whose time will pass, as it did for billions of people before us.

Reflections is a book filled with nuggets of wisdom, each of which you can turn to when you need motivation. If these views helped the ruler of the largest empire in the ancient world, then they will probably work for you too.

The last thing you can take away from Reflections is the journaling method itself.
Writing down your thoughts day after day can have a healing effect and even significantly improve your mood by helping you gather your thoughts. see also

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Flowers for Algeron, Daniel Keyes

This book is written in the genre of science fiction and is one of the best and most popular works about the meaning of life in American literature. It is a diary in which the main character keeps his accounts. It shows the life of an adult mentally retarded man whose intelligence is improved through surgery. The author makes the reader think about whether it is worth changing people who do not fit generally accepted standards? Will introducing innovations into them be beneficial or will it only lead to death and self-destruction? Daniel Keyes is trying to convey to people that everyone in this life has their own purpose, to which they must always be faithful.

Fannie Flagg "Standing Under the Rainbow"

This is a work about a small town where all the residents know everything about each other. Moreover, this city is known throughout the country, because the woman who runs the city radio talks about it and its amazing life every day in her wonderful, seemingly smiling voice.

Through a whole cascade of human characters and their difficult destinies, the author shows that even in everyday life and routine you can find reasons for joy and happiness.

"Illusions", Richard Bach

Richard Bach managed to create one of the most soulful and at the same time profound works in his work. “Illusions” is an excellent book about life and its meaning, in which the author tries to convey to readers that everyone can perform a miracle. It doesn't matter what size it is. The main thing is that we can do it if we really want to. The book has already helped many readers to know themselves, their capabilities and look at this world with different eyes. It is more than just a literary work. It is often perceived as a starting point, an inspiration that helps to change one’s life and discover its true meaning. The book is very popular both among teenagers and among people who have already experienced this life. Therefore, everyone, without exception, needs to read it.

Joanne Harris "Five Quarters of an Orange"

What should you do if you only inherited from your mother an album in which her culinary recipes were recorded? Despite the fact that much greater wealth passed into the hands of the remaining children. Of course, study it, and in great detail!

After all, a seemingly simple trinket can open the door to the past, can give the key to its mysteries and secrets.

"The Power of Now" by Tolle Eckhart

This book has already become a real cult among people who have lost self-confidence and live in constant questions about their future. Its author conveys to the reader the fact that absolutely all life’s difficulties are generated exclusively by our brain, which does not allow us to live happily and calmly. But life goes on. And it must be appreciated right now, today, at this moment. According to Tolle Eckhart, everything pales in comparison to our present. Neither the future nor the past should worry a person as much as his real life, because only in it can one learn the true meaning of existence. The author says that you can feel the whole integrity of life and its perfection only at the moment; he teaches you to live for today and get true pleasure from it.

David Mitchell "Cloud Atlas"

Six different people, six different stories, only one common feature - the same birthmark. In the novel there is a place for fatal accidents, connecting destinies, good and evil, heroism and betrayal, and much more.

And as a result, the author’s reflection on humanity and its future comes out. And also about what the essence of people themselves is.

"Veronica Decides to Die" by Paulo Coelho

The main character of the book completely wastes the meaning of her life and decides to commit suicide. However, her attempt becomes futile and fails. At the same time, after a suicide that did not happen, the girl ends up in a mental hospital. And even there she tries to find pills to accomplish her plan. She learns from the doctors that the previous attempt caused quite a lot of damage to her heart and she only has a short time to live. And so, a girl who saw no meaning in this life suddenly realizes that she does not want to leave this world. A real threat to her life forces her to escape from the hospital and live her remaining days, so to speak, to the fullest.

"The Glass Bead Game" by Hermann Hesse

“The Glass Bead Game” is the very book that became the starting point in the development of postmodernism. It is thoroughly permeated with various symbols and philosophical entries. Even the purpose of the main character is understood in two ways - as “game master” and “school teacher”. Hermann Hesse created a rather difficult, but at the same time very significant and important work. Its plot and characters are reminiscent of many famous literary characters. And in the main character, many readers see themselves. This book will help you understand why it is so important to develop correctly and find that ideal middle ground between the thirst for life and stability.

When the psyche fails

Sometimes it happens that the brain doesn't work the way it should. Mental disorders and diseases appear: bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, depression, panic attacks and anxiety. A person needs to somehow live with all this, and the people around him need to understand him. Here are books that will help with this.

More about the book

Daria Varlamova, Anton Zainiev


"A City Resident's Guide to Mental Disorders"

The book contains the most common mental illnesses that an ordinary big city resident faces: depression, anxiety disorder and panic attacks, attention deficit disorder, sociopathy. The authors of the book themselves encountered clinical depression, the negative reaction of the environment to it and the lack of objective information on the topic of mental health. Having recovered, they created a unique book that will help you not go crazy when you find out that you or your loved ones have a mental disorder.

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Kay Jamieson

Restless Mind

"My victory over bipolar disorder"

This is a frank account of the life of a person with bipolar disorder. A life in which there are incredible emotional peaks - and equally incredible lows. A life in which feelings are acute to the limit, and failures lead to black depression. Kay Jamison has experienced it all herself - depression, mania, attempted suicide. As a psychiatrist, she devoted herself to the study of mood disorders in general and bipolar disorder in particular.

More about the book

David Burns

Mood therapy

“Clinically proven way to beat depression without pills”

How our thoughts determine our feelings and how to use cognitive behavioral therapy to cope with anxiety, guilt, low self-esteem and other “black holes” of depression. The author does not call for giving up antidepressants. On the contrary, he says that in some cases medication cannot be avoided. Dr. Burns's Mood Questionnaire can help you identify the presence and severity of depression, and determine whether you need professional help.

Tender is the Night, Francis Scott Fitzgerald

The main idea of ​​this novel is the loss of oneself, the transformation of one’s life into a boring and extraordinary existence. Its main characters, the gifted surgeon Dick and the wealthy patient Nicole, even with sufficient funds, position in society, and constant travel, do not represent anything truly worthwhile. They simply spend their lives in inactivity, laziness and relaxation. At the same time, the book also contains those heroes who are trying to change their lives. However, is it possible to do this, and most importantly, is it worth it if a person does not want it at all? This is exactly what Francis Scott is talking about.

"The Burden of Human Passion", Somerset Maugham

This book is one of the most popular among the writer’s works. It is a combination of the author's autobiography and fictional fragments. There is a lame orphan who during his life had to endure a large number of all kinds of difficulties. He goes through many tests before finding his true “I” and understanding his personal meaning in life. In the book, Somerset Maugham reveals all the features of human essence, its light and dark sides. At the same time, he does not hesitate to bare his own soul to the reader.

Essays on Montaigne

Montaigne was heavily influenced by some of the philosophical books mentioned above. He was the embodiment of Heraclitus' line about "torture from within." So much so that he spent basically the entire latter part of his life asking himself (and other people) all sorts of interesting questions and then exploring the answers in the form of short, provocative essays.

These essays are always good for a useful thought or two - be it about death, about people, about animals, about sex or anything else.

"Spark of Life" Erich Maria Remarque

Perhaps every book by Remarque is an answer to the question “What is the meaning of life?” But not everyone reveals this the way “Spark of Life” does. In this book, the author describes the difficult and terrible life of the concentration camp inhabitants: a raped young girl; a boy who saw nothing but the walls of the concentration camp; torture and torment that gave pleasure to the Nazis. It not only shows the difficulty of those times. This is a good book about the meaning of life, which teaches us to love and appreciate what we have today.

Works of great thinkers that will change your life.

Are you looking for guidance to help answer life's big questions? Are you feeling stagnant and can't decide on the right direction? Or do you lack the inspiration and motivation to take a big step forward or overcome an obstacle that is stopping you from moving forward? Recently, the Internet and bookshelves have been overflowing with literature aimed at solving numerous life problems. However, only a small portion provides truly valuable solutions.

In order not to waste time, the surest way is to turn to the classics. Believe me, many problems of the present can be solved with the help of the wisdom of the past.

We have selected for you 5 ancient books by Roman and Greek thinkers that will help you put everything in life in its place.

Fortunately for us, some of the works have been preserved from ancient times (although, unfortunately, others have been lost), so choosing just five of them is quite difficult. However, some works still stand out from the rest with their wise lessons and life stories.

"Citadel", Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

This book is the latest novel by a popular and world-famous writer. It was compiled by the author from a large number of notes, letters, and parts of diaries. It clearly shows the author’s opinion about man’s unshakable relationship with God, nature and other people. Thanks to his extensive life experience, Antoine de Saint-Exupéry came to the conclusion that the meaning of life lies in one’s home, homeland and loved ones. This is exactly what he writes about in his latest work, which is included in the list of the best books about the meaning of life.

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Mark Williams, Denny Penman "Mindfulness. How to find harmony in our crazy world"

The authors of this book are Doctor of Biochemistry and science journalist Danny Penman and Professor of Psychology at Oxford University Mark Williams. Both of them are engaged in the issues of mindful meditation as an effective way to prevent and combat depression and suicidal tendencies.

People become depressed because they are no longer the main characters in their own lives. They are constantly running somewhere, busy with something, owing something to someone. Their life resembles the endless running of a squirrel in a wheel from which there is no way out. They miss themselves.

The authors call for breaking the system - “breaking patterns”, stopping mechanically following habits, getting out of the routine, and offer an eight-week course in mastering mindful meditation for different occasions and themselves as mentors. “Your mind will calm down and become smooth like the mirror surface of a lake. ...Let life lead you by the hand,” they write.

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