The best books about change

35 authors have picked their favorite books about change and why they recommend each book.

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The Way Of Transition

By William Bridges,

Book cover of The Way Of Transition: Embracing Life's Most Difficult Moments

This is a poignant and beautifully written book filled with the wisdom and lived experience of the author. Major life transitions (like leaving a religion, job loss, or ending a relationship) throw us into the ‘neutral zone’ that can only be navigated with time and care.

Who am I?

Linda mentors individuals who are going through major life events to experience honorable closure and move into the future, unencumbered by the past. The best-selling author of Shunned – How I Lost My Religion and Found Myself  her work draws on contemporary neuroscience, wisdom traditions, social science, and her own life experience navigating ends large and small.

I wrote...

Shunned: How I Lost My Religion and Found Myself

By Linda A. Curtis,

Book cover of Shunned: How I Lost My Religion and Found Myself

What is my book about?

Linda Curtis was raised as a Jehovah's Witness and is an unquestioning true believer who has knocked on doors from the time she was nine years old. Like other Witnesses, she has been discouraged from pursuing a career, higher education, or even voting, and her friendships are limited to the Witness community.
Then one day, at age thirty-three, she knocks on a door--and a coworker she deeply respects answers the door. To their mutual consternation she launches into her usual spiel, but this time, for the first time ever, the message sounds hollow. In the months that follow, Curtis tries hard to overcome the doubts that spring from that doorstep encounter, knowing they could upend her "safe" existence. But ultimately, unable to reconcile her incredulity, she leaves her religion and divorces her Witness husband--a choice for which she is shunned by the entire community, including all members of her immediate family.

Shunned follows Linda as she steps into a world she was taught to fear and discovers what is possible when we stay true to our hearts, even when it means disappointing those we love.


By Dan Heath, Chip Heath,

Book cover of Switch: How to Change Things When Change Is Hard

This was one of the first books I read about behavior change, and to this day, it’s one of the best. The authors, Dan and Chip Heath, present a simple model consisting of a rider on top of an elephant traveling a path. The rider represents your rational side, the elephant is your emotional side, and the path is your environment. And by strategically influencing all three, you can create the behavior change you want much more effectively.

Who am I?

For the longest time, I was a big-time slacker. I assumed it was just who I was and that I couldn’t do much about it. But then, I stumbled across a few articles online claiming that you can develop your self-discipline. I wasn’t convinced, but I decided to give it a try. And to my surprise, some of the advice actually worked. That initial progress sparked a deep interest in self-discipline. I read tons of books on the topic, curated the best strategies, and taught them to others. And eventually, I wrote and published my best-seller, The Self-Discipline Blueprint.

I wrote...

The Self-Discipline Blueprint: A Simple Guide to Beat Procrastination, Achieve Your Goals, and Get the Life You Want

By Patrik Edblad,

Book cover of The Self-Discipline Blueprint: A Simple Guide to Beat Procrastination, Achieve Your Goals, and Get the Life You Want

What is my book about?

I’ve helped hundreds of coaching clients and thousands of readers beat procrastination and achieve their goals. In this book, I lay out the complete step-by-step guide to developing relentless self-discipline.

You’ll discover the four fundamental ”keystone habits” of self-discipline and 15 powerful strategies to achieve anything you set your mind to — without feeling overworked or overwhelmed!

The Choice

By Edith Eva Eger,

Book cover of The Choice: Embrace the Possible

The details were different, but the outcome was the same. Dr. Eger is a Jewish Holocaust survivor; I am a woman raised in a Christian family in Virginia. She danced for Josef Mengele on the night he sent her mother to the gas chamber; I spent my youth tiptoeing around a mother whose nerves were shot before her thirtieth birthday. Dr. Eger’s mother was murdered; my mother, despite her intelligence, beauty, and talents, chose to end her life before her fiftieth birthday. Despite the differences in our stories, Dr. Eger and I have one very important thing in common. Despite the fact that we were both victimized, we did not want to remain in a victim consciousness, and we chose not to do so. 

The Choice chronicles a sadly familiar story. She and her family were among the hundreds of thousands of European Jews imprisoned, tortured, raped, and killed…

Who am I?

When I was young, my mother became addicted to Valium. Following years of the inevitable traumas associated with living with addiction, my mother committed suicide six weeks before my wedding. I am an accidental writer, having chosen the law as my primary profession. On its face, my first book, Inflection Point: War and Sacrifice in Corporate America is a behind-the-scenes exploration of high-profile litigation in Big Pharma. However, it is really the story of my personal struggle to come to terms with my own feelings of loss and abandonment as a result of my mother’s passing. In writing this book, I not only healed, but found a second professional passion.

I wrote...

Unblinded: One Man's Courageous Journey Through Darkness to Sight

By Traci Medford-Rosow, Kevin Coughlin,

Book cover of Unblinded: One Man's Courageous Journey Through Darkness to Sight

What is my book about?

Unblinded is the true story of New Yorker Kevin Coughlin, who became blind at age thirty-six due to a rare genetic disorder known as Leber's Hereditary Optic Neuropathy. Twenty years later, without medical intervention, Kevin's sight miraculously started to return. He is the only known person in the world who has experienced a spontaneous, non-medically assisted, regeneration of the optic nerve. Unblinded follows Kevin's descent into darkness, and his unexplained reemergence to sight.

Get the Life You Want

By Richard Bandler,

Book cover of Get the Life You Want: The Secrets to Quick and Lasting Life Change with Neuro-Linguistic Programming

Richard Bandler is one of the founders of NLP. So, he knows what he is talking about. After an overview of basic NLP concepts and how the processes work, Bandler provides you with techniques to address what’s holding you back, for example, fears/phobias, bad memories, grief, and bad relationships. He then gives you ways and means to add fun, love, meet people and make money into your life.

Who am I?

I enjoy helping others get what they desire in life. As a long-time successful businessman, university professor, NLP trainer/coach, public speaker, and author, I have first-hand experience with the personal/professional balancing act required in these times. I believe each of us can achieve the success we desire by developing our authentic selves, mastering internal and external congruence, and taking charge of our lives. For over 30 years, I’ve been a student of personal development methodologies. I continue to transform my own life while assisting others from all walks of life and ages to learn, to address challenges at work and at home, and to get more of what they desire.

I wrote...

Live Your Dreams Let Reality Catch Up: NLP and Common Sense for Coaches, Managers and You

By Roger Ellerton,

Book cover of Live Your Dreams Let Reality Catch Up: NLP and Common Sense for Coaches, Managers and You

What is my book about?

No matter how old you are, your culture, or the beliefs you hold true, you are on a path of personal growth. At times you may experience excitement and joy, while other times you may be confronted by fear, unworthiness, and doubt as you do your best to bring your dreams to life. This book acknowledges your journey and provides insights, tips, and proven processes for you to get the most out of life. You are encouraged to look at yourself, identify the influence that you allow others to have, and to move forward to live your dreams.

Emergent Strategy

By Adrienne Maree Brown,

Book cover of Emergent Strategy: Shaping Change, Changing Worlds

So this might be my left field recommendation, and it's important; I begin the list with the individual - wellbeing. I end it with this groundbreaking text that helps me to feel connected to something bigger than me in my classroom with Sandra breaking Otis' pen - again...

Education is a social issue

Education is political

Education is powerful - and because of all of that, I need guidance with the daily battles I have (many in my own head) about behaviour, education, and the role I'm here to play within it. Emergent Strategy gives me guidance for this- it guides me to work with inevitable change- of our pupils, our education systems, and ourselves.

Who am I?

Adele Bates is a Behaviour & Education Specialist who empowers school leaders and teachers to support pupils with behavioural needs and SEMH to thrive with their education. She’s an International Keynote Speaker, a featured expert on teenagers and behaviour for BBC Radio 4, the author of "Miss, I Don't Give A Sh*t", Engaging with Challenging Behaviour in Schools, from Sage & Corwin Press, and is a fully-funded International Researcher on Behaviour & Inclusion, as well as teaching for nearly 20 years. For her tips and resources check out her website above.

I wrote...

"Miss, I Don’t Give a Sh*t" Engaging With Challenging Behaviour in Schools

By Adele Bates,

Book cover of "Miss, I Don’t Give a Sh*t" Engaging With Challenging Behaviour in Schools

What is my book about?

Do you want to be an inspiring teacher for everyone you teach, even the trickier cherubs in your class? Or maybe you just want to get through a lesson without a desk flying at you or a blazer being set alight?

In this down-to-earth book, Adele Bates shares practical approaches, strategies, and tips from the classroom on how to help pupils with behavioural needs thrive with their education. Packed full of real-life classroom scenarios, student voice and relevant theory, every chapter offers an Action Box helping you to implement these strategies - next lesson, next week, and long term.

Say Hello to Zorro!

By Carter Goodrich, Carter Goodrich (illustrator),

Book cover of Say Hello to Zorro!

Every time I read this one I can hear the voice of Emmanuelle Beulque, my French publisher, while she’s reading it to me. I was in Paris, in Sarbacane’s bureau and this was a new book they were about to translate from the USA. She was so excited about it that she read it to me. Making someone read a book is one of the best things, even when you’re a grown-up.

Zorro is a lovely dog who lives a lovely life. He has his own armchair, his own toys, his own food bowl, and, most important of all, his own time for everything: morning wake up, a morning stroll, nap after lunch. But one day, it comes home a new dog…

Who am I?

I’m a children's books author and a cartoonist. I’ve published more than 160 books, most of them are picture books but I’ve also published comics and novels. I work for many French magazines, writing comics and short tales. I usually travel the world to see kids at school or give lessons. I’m also an art director for a literary factory based in London. I play the electric guitar and sometimes I write songs.

I wrote...

Where the World Ends: A Zip, Trik, and Flip Adventure

By Davide Calì, Maria Dek (illustrator),

Book cover of Where the World Ends: A Zip, Trik, and Flip Adventure

What is my book about?

Do you ever ask yourself where the world ends? Zip, Trik, and Flip did an decide to go to find it. But it’s not that easy. 

An ordinary day turns into an extraordinary adventure for three friends lying in the grass watching the clouds pass by as Zip, Trik, and Flip set off to find where the world ends. The trio journeys across fantastical landscapes—a lakeside city on stilts, a mysterious and magical forest, a snowy mountaintop—with countless delightful details for young readers to discover. Along the way, they encounter helping hands and discouraging doubters, and each time they think they have reached the end of the world, it seems to move further away. The three friends maintain their spirit and determination, enjoying the journey as much as the destination before returning home again.

From What Is to What If

By Rob Hopkins,

Book cover of From What Is to What If: Unleashing the Power of Imagination to Create the Future We Want

Most nonfiction books on social issues begin—in fact, some go on for about half the book—on the theme of what’s so bad about the problem being addressed. Most authors want you good and scared before they start talking about the good stuff. This book doesn’t do that. It opens, in fact, with a short story set in The World That Turned Out Okay.

And then it backs it up with real-world examples. Transition Town Totnes. Transition Streets. All sorts of projects, from all around the world. And throughout the books, it asks the same question again and again: why is it so hard to imagine a better future? How can we work on that? And then it answers it. The book is a toolbox of research, ideas, and techniques at both the personal and community level. Narrated first-person by the author, reading it is like chatting with a very clever,…

Who am I?

I come from a reservation town in Wisconsin, and make my livelihood as a horticulturist in the water-strapped state of Colorado. I’m mix-race and LGBT. These influences have shaped what I look for in stories. I write and seek to read about communities in which the person creating medicine and the person growing food is just as important as the fighter, because let me tell you: if you don’t have the means to make food and heal wounds, all the guns in the world won’t save you. I particularly appreciate stories that explore ecology, agriculture, and plant science in innovative ways. These make my little horticulture-geek heart sing.

I wrote...

The Hands We're Given (Aces High, Jokers Wild)

By O.E. Tearmann,

Book cover of The Hands We're Given (Aces High, Jokers Wild)

What is my book about?

It's 2155, and seven corporations call the shots on the land that was the United States of America. Democracy is dead. The Corporations run the City Grids for a profit and own their worker's bodies and souls.

But there are people fighting for a change. There’s a unit in the resistance, nicknamed the Wildcards. Officially Democratic State Force Base 1407, the Wildcards are fighters in the war to bring democracy back. They're everything the Corporations despise: dreamers and fighters, punks and freaks and geeks who won't be told what to be or who to love. They've come up every walk of life to become the best unit the Democratic State Force has and the family every one of them needs. And they are taking the Corps down, one day at a time. Strap in for a series that's been called 'Firefly for the cyberpunk genre'. Hang on tight.

Breaking the Habit of Being Yourself

By Joe Dispenza,

Book cover of Breaking the Habit of Being Yourself: How to Lose Your Mind and Create a New One

This is a groundbreaking book on the power of your mind, thoughts, and habits. It is rich in scientific studies that illustrate what we know about why and how we do what we do. I personally had a huge shift in my understanding of the science of well-being and achievement. It moved me significantly to realize and learn about the innovations in manifesting the life you desire. This is one serious and ironically light-hearted journey of self-discovery.

Who am I?

I'm a Greek mom and entrepreneur at heart. Growing up, we cherished spirited conversations, ideas, and researching topics we loved. The whole goal was to really push each other to higher states of intellectual rigor that would improve the quality of life. Ideas and communication rival great food and Greek dancing fun. I share my passion for Philotimo (Greek imperative of love of honor and working for the greater good) through my books, brands, and marketing agency. I'm a fierce advocate for women and small businesses and have been featured in USA Today, Small Business Journal, Amazon Entrepreneurs, and enjoy being a weekly guest on national radio shows. 

I wrote...

The Balance Between Hustle & Flow: Knowing When to Make Things Happen and When to Let Them Happen

By Theo Prodromitis,

Book cover of The Balance Between Hustle & Flow: Knowing When to Make Things Happen and When to Let Them Happen

What is my book about?

Entrepreneurs, intrapreneurs, and all those on a personal growth journey face two key questions: Should I hustle more to get greater results? Should I go with the flow and let serendipity unfold? Theo offers a powerful, intuitive roadmap for tapping into the sweet spot between hustle and flow - one that will change your business and your life. What do I really want? How can I serve?

By challenging readers to dig deep into their own souls and inner wisdom, Theo unlocks the potential of each and every human she touches. She shares immediately actionable tips for doing the most with the precious time you have here on Earth. The balance between hustle and flow is available to all of us. Are you ready? You’re ready.

Resilience from the Heart

By Gregg Braden,

Book cover of Resilience from the Heart: The Power to Thrive in Life's Extremes

While this book is not written for artists or even about art, I found it very helpful for me as a painter. To achieve the best for my paintings, I realize I need to trust my intuition over intellect. If I get too intellectual about any of my ideas for a painting, the end result is not as fulfilling if instead, I follow my intuition or inner voice. Braden goes into depth in this book about having two sources of intelligence – the brain and the heart. I like his take on this which can also be thought of as right and left brain or intellect vs intuition. By thinking about Braden's ideas on our powerful heart-brain connection, I am able to tap into deeper modalities on what it is that I am painting about. Very interesting read that sticks with you for a long time and easily becomes a…

Who am I?

When I was nine years old, I saved enough allowance money to buy a big box of oil pastels. I was mesmerized by its amazing display of gorgeous colors. Never could figure out why my girlfriends played with dolls when it was more exciting to paint. It wasn’t until high school, and time to apply to colleges that I made the decision to go to art school. Another key moment for me was after graduating from art school and landing in New York City. It was then that I made a brave decision to never waitress again, and instead do whatever it takes to stay in the arts. 

I wrote...

Create Perfect Paintings: An Artist's Guide to Visual Thinking

By Nancy Reyner,

Book cover of Create Perfect Paintings: An Artist's Guide to Visual Thinking

What is my book about?

Learn Nancy’s comprehensive and systematic critique method to improve and enhance your paintings. These groundbreaking concepts will help you create your fine art paintings quicker, with more ease, and better results. Shape your artistic vision, add inspiration to your work, and find perfect solutions to resolve any painting issue. Discover how to quickly move forward when you get stuck. Enjoy watching your paintings progress from good to great. These painting concepts, rarely taught in art schools, will bring more attention to your paintings and expand your audience. Realistic or abstract – all painting mediums and styles will benefit. 

Down to Earth

By Betty Culley,

Book cover of Down to Earth

Betty Culley writes the most beautiful books. Down to Earth is about a boy named Henry who watches a meteor fall from the sky. It crashes onto the land owned by his family and causes some magical changes in his community. Some people fear it, others want to use the meteor for profit. As I read the book, I learned so much about meteors and nature, but also about love, family, and friendship.

Who am I?

I’ve been an elementary school teacher for 14 years. In that time, I’ve read a lot of children’s books. In my classroom, science is one of my students’ favorite subjects. Though they love fantasy and magic, they are inspired by the power of science. Each of the books I’ve recommended is part of my classroom library, is used in a read-aloud or as a mentor text in writing lessons. My students connect with the characters and experience the marvels of science along with them. These books are some of their favorites.

I wrote...

What the Wind Can Tell You

By Sarah Marie Jette,

Book cover of What the Wind Can Tell You

What is my book about?

Isabelle is fascinated by wind. And this year, she's determined to win the middle school science fair with her wind machine. She's just as determined to have her brother, Julian, who has a severe form of epilepsy and uses a wheelchair, serve as her assistant. But after Julian has a grand seizure, everything changes. Isabelle is suddenly granted entry into Las Brisas, a magical world where Julian's physical limitations disappear, and one, she discovers, that he visits every night. The more Isabelle explores Las Brisas, the more possibilities she sees―for Julian, and for herself―and the more she finds herself at odds with her parents.

Debut author Sarah Marie A. Jette has told, with remarkable insight and humor, a powerful story of a family struggling to love without fear.

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