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14 Books About Real Life Everyone Should Read At Least Once

Most of us know about the power and magic that a good book can hold. Whether it’s a fantasy world or a romance novel, books have the ability to transport us to different places and allow us to experience new perspectives.

But sometimes, the best books reflect our own lives and struggles, whether they’re categorized as historical, autobiographical, or self-help. They can offer insight, empathy, and understanding in ways we may not have thought possible in the real world.

In this list, we have compiled 14 books about real life that everyone should read at least once. These books cover various topics, from economics and business to parenting and adventure.

1. Freakonomics, by Stephen J. Dubner and Steven Levitt

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Freakonomics is a fascinating book that examines the hidden side of everything.

Authors Stephen J. Dubner and Steven Levitt use economic principles to uncover surprising truths about various aspects of our society, from cheating in sumo wrestling to the impact of legalized abortion on crime rates. This thought-provoking read challenges readers to question their assumptions and think critically about the world around them.

2. Far from the Tree: Parents, Children, and the Search for Identity, by Andrew Solomon 

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This book is a breathtaking realization of what it truly means to be a parent and a child. It deeply discusses the lives of families facing extraordinary challenges, from deafness to schizophrenia.

The book will move you to the core as it unravels the intricate threads of identity, love, and acceptance, painting a portrait of resilience that will forever change your view of parenthood. 

3. The Omnivore’s Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals, by Michael Pollan 

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“The Omnivore’s Dilemma” by Michael Pollan is a gripping read about our complex choices about what to eat. With impeccable storytelling, the author takes you through the industrial food complex, the organic movement, and even foraging for your own dinner.

This eye-opening adventure will forever change how you think about your meals, revealing the impact of our food choices on our health and the environment. If you are big on mindful eating, you will thoroughly enjoy this masterpiece. 

4. Pilgrim at Tinker Creek, by Annie Dillard

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This book will keep you mesmerized in the heart of nature forever. This Pulitzer Prize-winning masterpiece is a poetic exploration of the beauty and wonder that exists in the most ordinary of places.

Dillard observes the intricacies of life in a Virginia valley, from the smallest insects to the grandeur of the seasons. Read the book to discover the profound mysteries of the natural world like never before. What a great way to build mindfulness and appreciation for the little things.

5. Grand Canyon, by Jason Chin

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With stunning illustrations and storytelling, the book guides readers on an educational adventure that transcends the mere geography of the Grand Canyon.

As you flip through the pages, you’ll gain a deeper understanding of its geological history and appreciate the profound wonder and beauty that this magnificent landscape inspires. It’ll have you dreaming of your next National Park trip or booking a trip to the iconic Grand Canyon as soon as possible.

6. The Second Sex, by Simone de Beauvoir 

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This is not just a book; it’s a call to action and a catalyst for change.

In this groundbreaking feminist work, Simone de Beauvoir examines the role of women in society and challenges traditionalist perspectives on gender. This book is a must-read for anyone interested in feminism, philosophy, or social justice.

7. Unnatural Selection, by Mara Hvistendahl

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In a world where technology has made it possible to choose the sex of a child, Hvistendahl explores the alarming trend of choosing boys over girls and its far-reaching implications. The book discusses the ethical dilemmas, social disruptions, and demographic challenges that arise from this unanticipated consequence of modern science.

As technology rapidly evolves, this book illustrates how to tread carefully with the ethics of engineering many part of our lives.

8. The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference by Malcolm Gladwell

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In this book, you’ll explore how small actions can spark big transformations. Gladwell’s storytelling genius makes complex ideas easy to grasp, and you’ll see everyday phenomena in a whole new light.

From the spread of ideas to crime rates, this book will help you understand the patterns that underlie our world and how we can use them to create change, big and small, in our own lives.

9. The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, by Rebecca Skloot

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Step into the extraordinary world of science and ethics with ‘The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks.’ Based on a true story, this book unveils the incredible legacy of a woman whose cells changed medicine forever.

A virtual journey that’s both heartbreaking and inspiring, shedding light on the ethical questions surrounding medical research.

10. The Warmth of Other Suns, by Isabel Wilkerson

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This epic tale covers the untold stories of the Great Migration, where millions of African Americans sought a better life in the North.

The book brings this monumental shift to life, offering a deeper understanding of the racial and social dynamics that shaped a nation.  A must-read for anyone seeking to understand the history of race in America.

11. The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing, by Marie Kondo

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Who doesn’t love the vibe of a clean and organized space?

This book is all about simplifying your surroundings and finding joy in the process. With practical tips and a touch of magic, Kondo will show you how to create an organized and harmonious space that sparks joy in your life. Say goodbye to clutter and welcome a new chapter of peace and order into your home!

12. Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, by John Berendt 

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This captivating true crime story will transport you to a place where Southern charm meets mystery and intrigue. Set in Savannah, Georgia, this book delves into the case of a wealthy antiques dealer accused of murder.

A riveting blend of history, culture, and true crime that will keep you on the edge of your seat until the very end.

13. The Miracle Morning

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Want to be more productive and start your day like a rock star? This simple yet life-changing book can get you started with actionable steps, data, and research. Author Hal Elrod is an positive inspiration, sharing his own journey and guiding readers to transform their lives through a powerful morning routine.

Whether you are a night owl or an early bird, this book will inspire you to make the most of your mornings and transform your life. Rise and shine! With tips on how to create a morning routine, set goals, and boost productivity, this book will help you take control of your day and achieve your dreams.

14. The ONE Thing, by Gary Keller

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In a world full of distractions, it’s easy to lose sight of our goals and spread ourselves too thin. This book will teach you the power of focus and how honing in on one thing can lead to extraordinary results.

Filled with actionable tips and real-life examples, “The ONE Thing” is a game-changer for those seeking to make progress in their personal and professional lives.

16 Timeless Tales: Why These Books Are Reader Favorites

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Have you ever stumbled upon that remarkable book, the one that leaves an indelible impression, prompting the thought, “This has the power to captivate and profoundly change lives”? Just recently, an inquisitive individual in an online forum posed the compelling query, “Which book should be a must-read for everyone in their lifetime?” In response, fervent bibliophiles gathered to unveil the literary gems that have not only touched the souls of countless readers but have also left enduring imprints in myriad ways.

16 Timeless Tales: Why These Books Are Reader Favorites

61 Growth Mindset Quotes to Live By

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Our mindset plays a crucial role in how we see ourselves and other people around us. Also, it shapes our beliefs regarding whether we can accomplish some things in our lives. This is why it matters which type of mindset we have.

61 Growth Mindset Quotes to Live By

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