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10 Books that inspired these successful people [& changed their lives]

It is said that a man’s bookshelf reveals everything about his personality. So when we have so many inspirational personalities to look up to in every field, one wonders what kind of books they read. Are there some books that inspired our idols and favorite superstars? Which books do they recommend and why? What is that special thing about that particular book that changed their outlook in life and made them the person what they are now?


10 Books that inspired these famous people

Below I have listed some of the most famous persons of the world, be they actors, sports-persons, business tycoon or influencers, who have  revealed their most favorite book- book that inspired them and how it has helped them to evolve, become successful or to come out of a difficult situation.

So, if you are looking for some precious gems to add to your library, take this tour guided by your favorite superstars.

1. ‘Easy Way to Stop Smoking’ by Allen Carr – Mahesh Babu.

Mahesh babu is an Indian film actor and heartthrob of Telugu cinema. The superstar was once a chain smoker, until one day one of his friends gifted him this book which changed his life . He himself confessed that and even recommended this book in his official social media account.              

“I struggled to kick the habit – I would make a decision to give up smoking, but it was hard. I couldn’t resist the urge to steal a smoke. It was at that time that I was gifted Allen Carr’s book ‘ The Easy Way to Stop Smoking.’ After I read that book, I didn’t touch a fag again. Today, I don’t even want to smoke on screen as I will be sending a wrong message to my fans and the audience.”


About the book:

If you are one of those who is addicted to smoking and seriously want to get rid of this addiction or want to help any of your acquaintances who is addicted, Gift this book now.

2. ‘Autobiography of a yogi’ by Paramahansa Yogananda– Virat Kohli

Indian Cricket team Captain, Youth icon, the run machine, aggressive batsman, The style guru- the adjectives for Virat Kohli are endless.But here is one more aspect to his personality -spirituality. He once took to one of his social media accounts to tell about this book to his fans.

“I love this book. A must read for all those who are brave enough to let their thoughts and ideologies be challenged. The understanding and implementation of the knowledge in this book will change you whole perspective and life. Believe in the divine and keep marching on doing good deeds.”


About the Book:

This book is a spiritual classic. As the title reads, it is the autobiography of Indian guru and spiritual figure Yogananda. In this book he has narrated the chronicle of his life filled with knowledge , spiritual revelations, miracles in his spiritual path.                        

3. ‘The Power of Now’ by Eckhart Tolle – Oprah Winfrey

Oprah Winfrey– featured ten times on Time’s “100 most influential” list since 2004 and the power lady whom CNN have called the “world’s most powerful woman”- is one of the most influential ladies of the world. She is a well known face especially because of her popular talk-show ‘The Oprah Winfrey Show’. The lady, who has come out of a painful past and emerged victorious, considers this book as super-soulful book.

“Meg Ryan and Ellen DeGeneres gave me copies of this book, and it’s gotten me through more crises than I can count. It truly helped me discover how to live in the now—to not linger on past mistakes, but to learn from them and then let them go. For me, this is the Mama Jama of super-soulful books. At every moment, it keeps me in a state of awe and amazement.”


About the Book:

The subtitle of the book says-A guide to spiritual enlightment. The author has got the spiritual enlightment after a state of continuous anxiety and depression and he wrote this book to help others who according to him “are ready for such radical inner transformation” and the book will “act as a catalyst for it.” The best part of the book is that it is in question answer format. You might get the answer to your question about the reality if life; as The author says,”Let me show you how to go more deeply into what you already have.”

4. ‘Lights from many Lamps:A treasury of Inspiration’ by Lillian – A.P.J. Abdul Kalam .

A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, former president of India and an eminent scientist, was the storehouse of knowledge and wisdom. Fondly called as ‘People’s president’ has always been an inspiration to every Indian. Don’t you want to read the book that inspired ‘Missile man of India’? Kalam wrote that this book has..

“brought me solace in my hours of sadness, or uplifted me when I needed advice. If I am ever in danger of being swept away by my own emotions, this book brings about a balance in my thinking.”


About the Book:

The book is a collection of motivational stories, passages and biographies;  the source of inspiration behind writing those stories from world’s most inspiring personalities.

5. ‘The intelligent investor’ by Benjamin Graham- Warren Buffet

Warren Buffet, Berkshire Hathaway chairman and CEO, is the epitome of value investment. The investing community follows the footsteps of this great investor. It is quite obvious why every business enthusiast wants to know the name of the books recommended by Warren Buffet.

This book tops the list of books that inspired Warren Buffet. And if he says that the book ‘ The intelligent investor’ is by far the best book about investing ever written, its credibility increases even more.

“To invest successfully over a lifetime does not require a stratospheric IQ, unusual business insights, or inside information. What’s needed is a sound intellectual framework for making decisions and the ability to keep emotions from corroding that framework. This book precisely and clearly prescribes the proper framework. You must provide the emotional discipline.”


About the Book:

The book gives in-depth knowledge about value investment, risk management, what should be the margin of safety for every investment etc. It gives all the do’s and don’ts for an investor.

6. Business Adventures, by John Brooks- Bill Gates

The principal founder of Microsoft Corporation is also an avid reader and author. In his blog Gates Notes, Bill Gates wrote about the best business book he has ever read. It was a gift to him from Warren Buffet. He wrote on his blog Gates notes that on his first meeting with Warren Buffet he asked him to recommend the best business book. “It’s Business Adventures, by John Brooks,” he said.

“Today, more than two decades after Warren lent it to me—and more than four decades after it was first published—Business Adventures remains the best business book I’ve ever read. John Brooks is still my favorite business writer.”        


About the Book:

The book comprises 12 case studies of Business adventures and the lessons learnt from these. It tells us how people should react to critical situations in business. Overall, a great guide to all the wannabe successful entrepreneurs.

7. ‘Mindset’ by Dr. Carol S. Dweck – Satya Nadella

After Satya Nadella taking over as CEO of Microsoft in 2014, the company’s stock prices have almost tripled. What has he done which has transformed the company culture to this extent?

The answer to this is: Adopting the growth mindset. In an interview he told why he was inspired by this book. Watch his full interview here.

“If you take two kids in school, one of them is a know-it-all. The other is a learn-it-all. Then You know what happens ultimately, even if the know-it-all has more innate capabilities, the learn-it-all will ultimately do better. And that, I think, is true for CEOs… for companies.”


About the Book:

The book , based on decades of research on success and achievement, tells about the Power of our Mindset. It compares two kinds of mindset and why it is important to have a growth mindset to approach our goals.

If an eminent person like Satya Nadella can embrace a growth mindset and adopt it in his working culture after reading this book, we can understand the amount of impact this book has. I am sure it is soon going to be in the list of the books that inspired you.

8. ‘Laws of the spirit world’ by Khorshed Bhavnagri – Shiamak davar.

Shiamak Davar, known as Guru of contempary dance in India is a well known face in the Indian film industry. He is a singer, choreographer, songwriter, director and the first to introduce contemprory jazz dance in India.

“Khorshed taught me all I know about spirituality — including karma, reincarnation, and divine justice. She opened my mind to the vistas of life by showing me that all you do, both good and bad, eventually comes back to you. Also that people who hurt other people end up hurting themselves  and that there is life after death.”


About the Book:

The book tells the real story of Mumbai based author Khorshed Bhavnagri and her husband, who lost their two sons in a car accident. How spirit of her two sons contacted her and the communication started between them through automatic writing. This book tells the laws of the spirit world as dictated and explained by the spirits of Author’s two sons.

If you are really interested in knowing the secrets of the unknown world and how we are connected to our angel spirits, the journey of the soul after death and the world beyond, then don’t miss this book.

9. ‘Bhagvad Gita’- Mahatma Gandhi

Mahatma Gandhi, the Indian freedom fighter and one of the most influential leaders of world history, has always preached and adopted truth and non-violence in his life. ‘The father of the nation’ was always inspired by people and books and the book that inspired him and his thoughts most, was Bhagvad Gita.

“When doubts haunt me, when disappointments stare me in the face, and I see not one ray of hope on the horizon, I turn to Bhagavad-Gita and find a verse to comfort me; and I immediately begin to smile in the midst of overwhelming sorrow. Those who meditate on the Gita will derive fresh joy and new meanings from it every day.”


About the Book:

Bhagvad Gita is the mother of all spiritual books. To say the least, Bhagvad Gita has been narrated by the Lord krishna himself to Arjun, his devotee. The book has all the answers to all the covert questions of a human soul. A must read for everyone.

10. ‘The Secret’ by Rhonda Byrne – Anushka Sharma

Anushka Sharma, an eminent Indian film actress and producer, once revealed in an interview that she was reading ‘The Secret’ when she auditioned for her first film ‘Rab ne bana di jode’. Watch the full interview here.

“I used to listen to this thing when the movie starts there is this logo of Yashraj that comes so I used to keep watching it again and again…. so when the film started and that logo played first and I was like wow… it actually happened. Shahrukh Khan introducing Anushka.” 

“There was a time when I was in Mumbai and RAB NE just happened. I was driving back from Yashraj studios; I got the news from Adi sir. I couldn’t drive anymore because I was crying. I stopped the car and called my mother and told her about the big news and you know what my mum told me. That there was this turtle that used to be there in my room I think it’s some Feng Shui thing you open the turtle and you put a wish in the turtle. And when it comes true you take it out. However she never told me about this. But when she came down after I got the film she opened that and she showed it to me that she had written it there that ‘I hope my daughter stars in a Yashraj film’. I swear. It’s unbelievable, I think somewhere she always wanted me to be an actress.” 

About the Book:

This best-selling self-help book discusses ‘The Law of Attraction’ and also recommends it to use in daily life for getting whatever you wish for. The book becomes interesting with many real-life examples of people adopting it and becoming successful.

Have a hearty read and be assured- If these books are recommended by your favorite superstars, then these are going to be real page-turners.

Did you read any of these books? Share your experience and views with me. If you want to suggest some books that inspired you and has brought a positive change in your life, please go ahead and share in the comment box below.

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Simply Myself


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