8 Enlightening Books that Will Change Your Worldview

October 28 2019
Share 8 Enlightening Books that Will Change Your Worldview

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.

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 Bookshop logo Libro.fm logo
The Island of Sea Women
Lisa See

THE NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

“A mesmerizing new historical novel” (O, The Oprah Magazine) from Lisa See, the bestselling author of The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane, about female friendship and devastating family secrets on a small Korean island.

Mi-ja and Young-sook, two girls living on the Korean island of Jeju, are best friends who 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 find it impossible to ignore their differences. The Island of Sea Women takes place over many decades, beginning during a period of Japanese colonialism in the 1930s and 1940s, followed by World War II, the Korean War, 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. 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 forces outside their control will push their friendship to the breaking point.

“This vivid…thoughtful and empathetic” novel (The New York Times Book Review) illuminates a world turned upside down, one where the women are in charge and the men take care of the children. “A wonderful ode to a truly singular group of women” (Publishers Weekly), The Island of Sea Women is a “beautiful story…about the endurance of friendship when it’s pushed to its limits, and you…will love it” (Cosmopolitan).

Amazon logo Audible logo Barnes & Noble logo Books a Million logo Google Play logo iBooks logo Indiebound logo Bookshop logo Libro.fm logo

MENTIONED IN:

10 Books Capturing the Complexities of Enduring Friendships

By Alice Martin | July 28, 2022

8 Deeply Affecting Novels Jodi Picoult Recommends

By Off the Shelf Staff | April 28, 2022

9 Historical Fiction Reads About Inspiring Women

By Holly Claytor | March 14, 2022

10 Must-Read Books by Asian American and Pacific Islander Authors

By Off the Shelf Staff | May 5, 2021

Hidden Histories: 10 Novels That Illuminate Lesser-Known Events

By Sharon Van Meter | April 27, 2021

5 World War II-Era Novels Featuring Brave Women Who Persevere

By Abby Zidle | January 21, 2021

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 Books I’ll Always Remember Reading in My 20s

By Jordyn Martinez | December 29, 2021

Staff Picks: The 10 Best Books We’ve Read This Year (So Far)

By Off the Shelf Staff | September 22, 2021

Readers’ Choice: 10 Books Sure to Spark Great Book Club Discussions

By Off the Shelf Staff | March 25, 2021

6 Powerful Lines from Literature That Deeply Resonate with Us

By Off the Shelf Staff | March 19, 2021

7 Books About Dysfunctional Families That Will Make You Appreciate Your Own

By Ana Perez | November 25, 2019

8 Enlightening Books that Will Change Your Worldview

By Off the Shelf Staff | October 28, 2019

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 Bookshop 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 Bookshop logo

MENTIONED IN:

7 Extraordinary Historical Fiction Books to Read Now!

By Alice Martin | May 10, 2021

Masterful Storytelling: 10 Novels Worth Savoring

By Alice Martin | March 4, 2021

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
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 Bookshop 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 Bookshop logo

MENTIONED IN:

6 Beloved Books We Cherish Because of Our Mothers

By Off the Shelf Staff | May 6, 2021

Influential Fiction: 9 Popular Books Our Readers Can’t Get Enough Of

By Off the Shelf Staff | May 14, 2020

Spark Conversation At Book Club With These 9 Remarkable Reads

By Off the Shelf Staff | March 10, 2020

Our Top 20 Books from the 21st Century (So Far)

By Off the Shelf Staff | January 15, 2020

6 Must-Read Books If You Love EDUCATED

By Off the Shelf Staff | January 8, 2020

7 Books About Dysfunctional Families That Will Make You Appreciate Your Own

By Ana Perez | November 25, 2019

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

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

Please log in or sign up now.