Share 8 Enlightening Books that Will Change Your Worldview

8 Enlightening Books that Will Change Your Worldview

We are passionate readers who love nothing more than discovering fantastic books and sharing them with friends. We recommend books that move us to laughter and tears—and everything in between. Trust us when we say, "You've got to read this!"

Books are bridges to disparate worlds, whether they’re fantastical worlds teeming with magical beings or the hidden but very real worlds in our own backyards. It only takes one story to change your entire outlook about a person or place in history. We asked you on Facebook and Instagram about the books that changed your worldview. You came up with novels and memoirs set in different parts of the world and taking place in different moments in time, demonstrating how powerful reading can be.


The Glass Castle
by Jeannette Walls

Jeannette Walls grew up with parents whose stubborn nonconformity was both their curse and their salvation. In this astonishing memoir, Walls recounts how her family’s dysfunction left her and her siblings to fend for themselves, weather their parents’ betrayals, and finally find the resources and will to leave home.

Amazon logo Audible logo Barnes & Noble logo Books a Million logo Google Play logo iBooks logo Indiebound logo
The Glass Castle
Jeannette Walls

Jeannette Walls grew up with parents whose stubborn nonconformity was both their curse and their salvation. In this astonishing memoir—the basis of the forthcoming film starring Brie Larson—Walls recounts how her family’s dysfunction left her and her siblings to fend for themselves, weather their parents’ betrayals, and finally find the resources and will to leave home.

Read a review of THE GLASS CASTLE here.

Amazon logo Audible logo Barnes & Noble logo Books a Million logo Google Play logo iBooks logo Indiebound logo

MENTIONED IN:

8 Enlightening Books that Will Change Your Worldview

By Off the Shelf Staff | October 28, 2019

Readers’ Choice: The Top 25 Most Shelved Books of All Time

By Off the Shelf Staff | March 29, 2019

Readers’ Choice: The Top 10 Books on Off the Shelf Right Now

By Off the Shelf Staff | May 16, 2017

Happy Birthday to Us, Happy Reading to You: 13 Books We’re Giving Away

By Off the Shelf Staff | March 20, 2017

You’ll Want to Read This Book Before You See the Movie

By Lauren Fern Watt | March 6, 2017

11 Books That Remind Us There’s No Place Like Home

By Off the Shelf Staff | March 3, 2017

Close

Homegoing
by Yaa Gyasi

Two half-sisters are separated by forces beyond their control: one sold into slavery, the other married to a British slaver. HOMEGOING traces the descendants who follow, as their destinies lead them through two continents and three hundred years of history, each life indelibly drawn.

Read the full review of HOMEGOING.

Amazon logo Audible logo Barnes & Noble logo Books a Million logo Google Play logo iBooks logo Indiebound logo
Homegoing
Yaa Gyasi

Two half-sisters are separated by forces beyond their control: one sold into slavery, the other married to a British slaver. HOMEGOING traces the descendants who follow, as their destinies lead them through two continents and 300 years of history, each life indelibly drawn.

Amazon logo Audible logo Barnes & Noble logo Books a Million logo Google Play logo iBooks logo Indiebound logo

MENTIONED IN:

8 Enlightening Books that Will Change Your Worldview

By Off the Shelf Staff | October 28, 2019

14 Bold Novels About Women Everyone Should Read

By Off the Shelf Staff | August 26, 2019

11 Historical Novels That Will Enlarge Your Worldview

By Sarah Jane Abbott | March 26, 2019

9 Groundbreaking Women in Fiction

By Carrie Cabral | March 21, 2019

14 Remarkable Immigrant Stories You Can Find in a Favorite Museum’s Gift Shop

By Sarah Jane Abbott | January 29, 2018

6 Recommended Reads from a Small Town Library

By Allison Tyler | January 24, 2018

Close

The Island of Sea Women
by Lisa See

In Lisa See’s latest novel, ISLAND OF SEA WOMEN, female divers take center stage. Mi-ja and Young-sook are best friends growing up on the Korean island of Jeju. In a story taking place over many decades, we get to see these young girls grow into brave women divers, leading lives of excitement and danger.

Amazon logo Audible logo Barnes & Noble logo Books a Million logo Google Play logo iBooks logo Indiebound logo
The Island of Sea Women
Lisa See

A new novel from Lisa See, the New York Times bestselling author of The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane, about female friendship and family secrets on a small Korean island.

Mi-ja and Young-sook, two girls living on the Korean island of Jeju, are best friends that come from very different backgrounds. When they are old enough, they begin working in the sea with their village’s all-female diving collective, led by Young-sook’s mother. As the girls take up their positions as baby divers, they know they are beginning a life of excitement and responsibility but also danger.

Despite their love for each other, Mi-ja and Young-sook’s differences are impossible to ignore. The Island of Sea Women is an epoch set over many decades, beginning during a period of Japanese colonialism in the 1930s and 1940s, followed by World War II, the Korean War and its aftermath, through the era of cell phones and wet suits for the women divers. Throughout this time, the residents of Jeju find themselves caught between warring empires. Mi-ja is the daughter of a Japanese collaborator, and she will forever be marked by this association. Young-sook was born into a long line of haenyeo and will inherit her mother’s position leading the divers in their village. Little do the two friends know that after surviving hundreds of dives and developing the closest of bonds, forces outside their control will push their friendship to the breaking point.

This beautiful, thoughtful novel illuminates a world turned upside down, one where the women are in charge, engaging in dangerous physical work, and the men take care of the children. A classic Lisa See story—one of women’s friendships and the larger forces that shape them—The Island of Sea Women introduces readers to the fierce and unforgettable female divers of Jeju Island and the dramatic history that shaped their lives.

Amazon logo Audible logo Barnes & Noble logo Books a Million logo Google Play logo iBooks logo Indiebound logo

MENTIONED IN:

8 Enlightening Books that Will Change Your Worldview

By Off the Shelf Staff | October 28, 2019

The 5 Best Books for Your Beach Bag

By Carrie Cabral | July 10, 2019

A Conversation On Lisa See, Female Friendships, and Dumplings

By Off the Shelf Staff | March 5, 2019

Close

The Stranger
by Albert Camus

A must-read classic, THE STRANGER tells of an ordinary many who murders a Arab man on an Algerian beach. When the man is tried for murder, he soon realizes his murderous act was the least of his offences.

Amazon logo Audible logo Barnes & Noble logo Books a Million logo Google Play logo iBooks logo Indiebound logo
The Stranger
Albert Camus

Amazon logo Audible logo Barnes & Noble logo Books a Million logo Google Play logo iBooks logo Indiebound logo

MENTIONED IN:

8 Enlightening Books that Will Change Your Worldview

By Off the Shelf Staff | October 28, 2019

Close

Educated
by Tara Westover

Tara Westover’s EDUCATED is a remarkable memoir of a young woman raised in a survivalist family in Idaho who strives for education while still showing great understanding and love for the world she leaves behind.

Amazon logo Audible logo Barnes & Noble logo Books a Million logo Google Play logo iBooks logo Indiebound logo
Educated
Tara Westover

Amazon logo Audible logo Barnes & Noble logo Books a Million logo Google Play logo iBooks logo Indiebound logo

MENTIONED IN:

8 Enlightening Books that Will Change Your Worldview

By Off the Shelf Staff | October 28, 2019

What Book Should You Read Based on Your Zodiac Sign?

By Lara Blackman | October 1, 2018

The Ultimate Barack Obama Summer Reading List

By Off the Shelf Staff | August 22, 2018

Summer Reading Recommendations from Off the Shelf

By Off the Shelf Staff | June 21, 2018

9 Books That Completely Blew Our Minds

By Off the Shelf Staff | June 19, 2018

13 of the Most Powerful Memoirs I’ve Ever Read

By Taylor Noel | June 7, 2018

Close

In the Shadow of the Banyan
by Vaddey Ratner

A coming-of-age story and a heart-wrenching portrait of the Cambodian killings under the Khmer Rouge regime, IN THE SHADOW OF THE BANYAN tells the story of seven-year-old Raami and her family who are swept up in the chaos of revolution and forced to leave their home.

Amazon logo Barnes & Noble logo iBooks logo Indiebound logo
In the Shadow of the Banyan
Vaddey Ratner

Told from the tender perspective of a young girl who comes of age amid the Cambodian killing fields, this searing novel is also an extraordinary celebration of strength, survival, and the transcendent power of imagination.

Amazon logo Barnes & Noble logo iBooks logo Indiebound logo

MENTIONED IN:

8 Enlightening Books that Will Change Your Worldview

By Off the Shelf Staff | October 28, 2019

Listen to the Kids! 12 Memorable Novels With Child Narrators

By Off the Shelf Staff | November 10, 2015

Enter to Win These 12 Fall Book Club Favorites

By Off the Shelf Staff | September 29, 2015

Close

Black Like Me
by John Howard Griffin

A midcentury classic on race, BLACK LIKE ME is the true account of the author’s six-week experience traveling on Greyhound buses (occasionally hitchhiking) throughout the racially segregated states of Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and Georgia, passing as a black man. He trudged Southern streets, searching for a place where he could eat or rest, looking vainly for a job other than menial labor, feeling the “hate stare.”

Amazon logo Barnes & Noble logo iBooks logo Indiebound logo
Black Like Me
John Howard Griffin

A mid-century classic on race, Black Like Me is the true account of the authors' six-week experience travelling on Greyhound buses (occasionally hitchhiking) throughout the racially segregated states of Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and Georgia passing as a black man. He trudged southern streets searching for a place where he could eat or rest, looking vainly for a job other than menial labor, feeling the "hate stare". Black Like Me is a groundbreaking and controversial book.

Amazon logo Barnes & Noble logo iBooks logo Indiebound logo

MENTIONED IN:

8 Enlightening Books that Will Change Your Worldview

By Off the Shelf Staff | October 28, 2019

Black Lives Matter: 6 Books to Read in the Wake of #Ferguson

By Off the Shelf Staff | December 2, 2014

Close

Beneath a Scarlet Sky
by Mark Sullivan

When his home in Milan is destroyed by Allied bombs, charming Italian teenager Pino joins an underground railroad to help Jews escape. After a enlisting as a German soldier to escape combat and getting injured, Pino is somehow recruited to be the personal driver of a Nazi general. A spy on the inside, Pino secretly fights against the most powerful commanders of the Third Reich.

Amazon logo Audible logo Barnes & Noble logo Books a Million logo Indiebound logo
Beneath a Scarlet Sky
Mark Sullivan

Amazon logo Audible logo Barnes & Noble logo Books a Million logo Indiebound logo

MENTIONED IN:

8 Enlightening Books that Will Change Your Worldview

By Off the Shelf Staff | October 28, 2019

Close

Thank you for joining our email list!

If you create an Off the Shelf account, you'll be able to save books to your personal bookshelf, and be eligible for free books and other good stuff.

Click here to create your free account.

You must be logged in to add books to your shelf.

Please log in or sign up now.