What Book Changed Your Life?

What Book Changed Your Life?

At the 2019 Decatur Book Festival, we asked "What Book Changed Your Life?" and the community leapt at the opportunity to share! We wanted to document the experience and make the responses available to all book lovers. So take a peek below to see if your all time favorites made the list or if your next big read awaits.

If you're looking for more book ideas, be sure to check out our author programs lineup, which brings bestselling and award-winning authors to Atlanta all year long.

Titles are listed in alphabetical order by authors' first names.

  • Nancy Drew – Carolyn Keene
  • The Westing Game – Ellen Raskin
  • Winnie the Pooh – A.A. Milne
  • This is the Last Book I'll Ever Write, Part 1 – Adam Lauver
  • Randam Family – Adrian Nicole LeBlanc
  • And then There Were None – Agatha Christie
  • The Mysterious Affair at Styles – Agatha Christie
  • This Is It – Alan Waees
  • Brave New World – Aldous Huxley
  • The Count of Monte Cristo – Alexander Dumas
  • Little Blue Truck – Alice Schertle
  • The Color Purple – Alice Walker
  • Howl – Allen Ginsburg
  • Democracy and the Welfare State – Amy Gutman
  • The Hundred Secret Senses – Amy Tran
  • Call Me By Your Name – Andre Aliman
  • The Martian – Andy Weir
  • The Babysitter's Club – Ann M. Martin
  • One Thousand Gifts – Ann VosKamp
  • Autobiography of Red – Anna Carson
  • Black Beauty – Anna Sewell
  • The Diary of Anne Frank
  • Bird by Bird – Anne Lamott
  • Dragonflight – Anne McCaffrey
  • Interview with the Vampire – Anne Rice
  • All The Light We Cannot See – Anthony Doerr
  • Memoirs of a Geisha – Arthur Golden
  • Being Mortal – Atul Gawande
  • The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle – Avi
  • Audacity of Hope – Barack Obama
  • Miss Rumphius – Barbara Cooney
  • Animal Dreams – Barbara Kingsolver
  • The Poisonwood Bible – Barbara Kingsolver
  • Leah on the Offbeat– Becky Albertalli
  • Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda – Becky Albertalli
  • Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe – Benjamin Alire Saenz
  • The Tao of Pooh – Benjamin Hoff
  • Dopesick – Beth Macy
  • The Feminine Mystique – Betty Friedan
  • A Tree Grows in Brooklyn – Betty Smith
  • Everybody Always – Bob Goff
  • The First Conspiracy – Brad Meltzer
  • Daring Greatly – Brene Brown
  • Literally Everything – Brene Brown
  • American Psycho – Bret Easton Ellis
  • The Invention of Hugo Cabret – Brian Selznick
  • The Origins of the New South – C. Vann Woodward
  • The Fall – Camus
  • You Can Heal Your Life – Caroline Myss
  • Nancy Drew: The Hidden Staircase – Carolyn Keene
  • If You Could See Me Now – Cecelia Ahern
  • Don Quixote – Cervantes
  • Jane Eyre – Charlotte Bronte
  • Wild – Cheryl Strayed
  • Americanah – Chimamanda Adiche
  • The Fire Within – Chris D'Lacey
  • Eragon – Christopher Paolini
  • Killing Yourself to Live – Chuck Klosterman
  • Women Who Run with the Wolves – Clarissa Pinkola Estés
  • When We Rise – Cleve Jones
  • Before Women Had Wings – Connie Mae Fowler
  • The Road – Cormac McCarthy
  • The Hiding Place – Corrie ten Boom
  • The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe – CS Lewis
  • A Piece of Cake – Cupcake Brown
  • Mr. Nick is a Lunatic – Dan Gutman
  • Emotional Intelligence – Daniel Goleman
  • Ishmael – Daniel Quinn
  • Rebecca – Daphne DuMaurier
  • Dog Man – Dav Pilkey
  • What is the What – Dave Eggers
  • Getting Things Done – David Allen
  • A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius – David Eggers
  • Sleeping Freshmen Never Lie – David Lubow
  • Cloud Atlas – David Mitchell
  • Dogtripping – David Rosenfelt
  • Bunnicula – Deborah + James Howe
  • Chup: Breaking the Silence About Women in India – Deepa Narayan
  • Where the Crawdads Sing – Delia Owens
  • Infinite Jest – DFW
  • Outlander – Diana Gabaldon
  • Archy and Mehitabel – Don Marquis
  • The Four Agreements – Don Miguel Ruiz
  • The Secret History – Donna Tartt
  • Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy – Douglas Adams
  • Godel, Escher, Bach – Douglas Hofstadter
  • The Pig Can Jig Dr. – Donald Rasmussen
  • The Obesity Code – Dr. Jason Fung
  • The Road Less Traveled – Dr. Scott Peck
  • Cat in the Hat – Dr. Seuss
  • 50 Shades of Gray – E. L. James
  • Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls – Elena Favilli
  • The Witch of Blackbird Pond – Elizabeth George Speare
  • Code Name Verity – Elizabeth Wein
  • The Road Home – Ellen Emerson White
  • The Devil in the White City – Erik Larson
  • The Night Circus – Erin Morgenstern
  • The Sun Also Rises – Ernest Hemingway
  • The Great Gatsby – F. Scott Fitzgerald
  • The Secret Garden – Frances Hodgseu Burnett
  • Under the Tuscan Sun – Frances Mayes
  • Ruby Francesca – Lia Block
  • Redeeming Love – Francine Rivers
  • He Is There and He Is Not Silent – Francis Schaeffer
  • Crime and Punishment – Fyodor Dostoyevsky
  • The Brothers Karamazov – Fyodor Dostoyevsky
  • 100 Years of Solitude – Gabriel Garcia Marques
  • Five Love Languages – Gary Chapman
  • 1984 – George Orwell
  • The Happiness Project – Gretcen Rubin
  • The Little Mermaid – Hans Christian Anderson
  • A Little Life – Hanya Yanagihara
  • To Kill a Mockingbird – Harper Lee
  • The Wind Up Bird Chronicles – Haruku Murakami
  • Being and Time – Heidegger
  • The Family Nobody Wanted – Helen Doss
  • Jeg Vil Ha Disko – Helena Bross
  • Siddhartha – Herman Hesse
  • Moby Dick – Herman Melville
  • Private Parts – Howard Stern
  • A People's History of the United States – Howard Zinn
  • All Out of Pretty – Ingrid Palmer
  • I, Robot – Isaac Asimov
  • The Hobbit – J. R. R. Tolkein
  • Lord of the Rings J. R. R. Tolkien
  • Harry Potter – J.K. Rowling
  • Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince – J.K. Rowling
  • Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone – J.K. Rowling
  • See You in the Cosmos – Jack Chong
  • The Color of Water – James McBride
  • Mangas Machina – Jan Cox
  • I'll Give You the Sun – Jandy Nelson
  • Pride & Prejudice – Jane Austen
  • The Death and Life of Great American Cities – Jane Jacobs
  • Franny & Zooey – JD Salinger
  • The Catcher in the Rye – JD Salinger
  • My Side of the Mountain – Jean Craighead George
  • Middlesex – Jeffrey Eugenides
  • Resistance – Jennifer A. Nielson
  • The Goddess Within: A Guide to the Eternal Myths that Shape Women's Lives – Jennifer Barker Woolger and Roger Woolger
  • To All the Boys I've Loved Before – Jenny Han
  • Stargirl – Jerry Spinelli
  • Slouching Towards Bethleham – Joan Didion
  • The Year of Magical Thinking – Joan Didion
  • Plain Truth – Jodi Picoult
  • Small Great Things – Jodi Picoult
  • The Brother Band – John Flanagahn
  • East of Eden – John Steinbeck
  • Grapes of Wrath – John Steinbeck
  • A Monster at the End of this Book – Jon Stone
  • Everything is Illuminated – Jonathan Safran Foer
  • Rich in Love – Josephine Humphries
  • Sophie's World – Jostein Gaarder
  • White Mare's Daughter – Judith Tarr
  • Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret – Judy Blume
  • Deenie – Judy Blume
  • Otherwise Known as Sheila the Great – Judy Blume
  • Just South of Home – Karen Strong
  • Capital – Karl Marx
  • The Awakening – Kate Chopin
  • Geek Love – Katherine Dunn
  • Bridge to Terabithia – Katherine Paterson
  • Jacob Have I Loved – Katherine Paterson
  • The Great Gilly Hopkins – Katherine Paterson
  • The Help – Kathryn Stockett
  • Awaken – Katie Kavinsky
  • The Girl Who Drank the Moon – Kelly Barnhill
  • Pillars of the Earth – Ken Follett
  • One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest – Ken Kesey
  • Salt and Storm – Kendall Kulper
  • The Kite Runner – Khaled Hosseini
  • The War That Saved My Life – Kimberly Brubaker Bradley
  • The Nightingale – Kristin Hannah
  • The Crossover – Kwame Alexander
  • Like Water for Chocolate – Laura Esquivel
  • The Coming Plague – Laurie Garrett
  • Anna Karenina – Leo Tolstoy
  • Almanac of the Dead – Leslie Marmon Silko
  • Alice in Wonderland – Lewis Carroll
  • Gabby Grape Meets Junk Food Junkie – Linda Hodge-McLoud
  • Smartphone, Dumb User – Lisa R. Schoolcraft
  • Anne of Green Gables – LM Montgomery
  • The Giver – Lois Lowry
  • Sleepers – Lorenzo Carcaterra
  • Little Women – Louisa May Alcott
  • Harriet the Spy – Louise Fitzhugh
  • Daddy was a Number Runner – Louise Merriweather
  • Circe – Madeleine Miller
  • The Song of Achilles – Madeleine Miller
  • A Wrinkle in Time – Madeline L'Engle
  • Bluets – Maggie Nelson
  • The Raven Cycle – Maggie Stiefvater
  • The Tipping Point – Malcolm Gladwell
  • Kids These Days – Malcolm Harris
  • The Autobiography of – Malcolm X Malcolm X
  • The Apothecary Trilogy – Malie Meloy
  • Turning Stories – Marc Parent
  • The Handmaid's Tale – Margaret Atwood
  • Gone With the Wind – Margaret Mitchell
  • Palace of Mirrors – Margaret Peterson Haddix
  • The Absorbent Mind – Maria Montessori
  • The Man Who Corrupted Hadleyburg – Mark Twain
  • The Mysterious Stranger – Mark Twain
  • Bridge of Clay – Markus Zusak
  • The Book Thief – Markus Zusak
  • Frankenstein – Mary Shelley
  • Fool on the Hill – Matt Ruff
  • The Betsy-Tacy Series – Maud Hart Lovelace
  • Galactic Hot Dogs – Max Brallier
  • I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings – Maya Angelou
  • Life Doesn't Frighten Me – Maya Angelou
  • Codependent No More – Melody Beattle
  • Terminal Man – Michael Crichton
  • Momo – Michael Ende
  • The Other America – Michael Harrington
  • Now's the Time for Running – Michael Williams
  • The Dictionary – Michelle Li
  • Pachinko – Min Jin Lee
  • Good Talk – Mira Jacob
  • The Five People You Meet in Heaven – Mitch Albom
  • The Recipe for Ecstasy: What Women Want: Sexual and Relationship Satisfaction – Myrtle Means, Ph.D.
  • Shameless – Nadia Bolz-Weber
  • The Deepest Well – Nadine Burke Harris
  • A Long Walk to Freedom – Nelson Mandela
  • The Fifth Season – NK Jemison
  • The Foxhole Court – Nora Sakavic
  • Clifford's Puppy Days – Norman Bridwell
  • Mating – Norman Rush
  • The Phantom Tollbooth – Norton Juster
  • Le Petit Prince – Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
  • Kindred – Octavia Butler
  • The King of the Skies – ohn Coltrane
  • Enders Game – Orson Scott Card
  • Pastwatch: The Redemption of Christopher Columbus – Orson Scott Card
  • Spezher for the Dead – Orson Scott Card
  • The Violence of Love – Oscar Romero
  • Pedagogy of the Oppressed – P. Frei Re
  • Black Feminist Thought – Patricia Hill Collins
  • My Reading Life – Pat Conroy
  • The Prince of Tides – Pat Conroy
  • The Verbally Abusive Relationship – Patricia Evans
  • The New Odyssey: The Story of Europe's Refugees Crisis – Patrick Kingsley
  • Just Kids – Patti Smith
  • The Alchemist – Paulo Coelho
  • Brazen Rebel Ladies Who Rocked the World – Penelope Bagieu
  • The Golden Compass – Phillip Pullman
  • Wonder – R. J. Palacio
  • Drama – Raina Telgemeier
  • Ghosts – Raina Telgemeier
  • Guts – Raina Telgemeier
  • Smile – Raina Telgemeier
  • The Invisible Man – Ralph Ellison
  • Farenheit 451 – Ray Bradbury
  • Something Wicked This Way Comes – Ray Bradbury
  • Mother Mary Speaks: Beloved I Want to Tell You My Story – Rev. Elizabeth Alder
  • Sacred Resistance: A Practical Guide to Christian Witness and Dissent – Rev. Ginger Gaines-Cirelli
  • The Reformed Pastor – Richard Baxter
  • The Overstory – Richard Powers
  • Native Son – Richard Wright
  • Percy Jackson – Rick Riordan
  • Percy Jackson & the Olympians – Rick Riordan
  • Charlie and the Chocolate Factory – Roald Dahl
  • Rich Dad Poor Dad – Robert Kiyosaki
  • A Day No Pigs Would Die – Robert Newton Peck
  • All the King's Men – Robert Penn Warren
  • Hammer and Hoe – Robin Kelley
  • The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari – Robin Sharma
  • A–Z Mysteries – Ron Roy
  • Aru Shah – Roshini Chokshie
  • Bad Feminist – Roxanne Gay
  • Long Live Dead Reckless – Safari Spell
  • Conversations with Friends – Sally Rooney
  • Normal People – Sally Rooney
  • Water for Elephants – Sara Green
  • Acotar Series – Sarah J Maas
  • Throne of Glass – Sarah J Maas
  • D-Day Girls – Sarah Rose
  • So. B. It – Sarah Weeks
  • 7 Habits of a Highly Effective Teen – Sean Covey
  • Hamlet – Shakespeare
  • Twelfth Night – Shakespeare
  • Enna Burning – Shannon Hale
  • The Giving Tree – Shel Silverstein
  • Caliban & The Witch – Silvia Federici
  • The Second Sex – Simone de Bouvoir
  • The Coldest Winter – Sista Soulja
  • The Perks of Being a Wallflower – Stephen Chbosky
  • 11.22.63 – Stephen King
  • A Brief History of Time – Stephen King
  • The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon – Stephen King
  • Spy School – Stuart Gibbs
  • A Mother's Reckoning – Sue Klebold
  • The Secret Life of Bees – Sue Monk Kidd
  • Quiet – Susan Cain
  • The Sea Island's Secret – Susan Diamond Riley
  • The Hunger Games – Suzanne Collins
  • Threads of Blue – Suzanne Lafleur
  • The Bell Jar – Sylvia Plath
  • Between the World and Me – Ta–Nehisi Coates
  • Shatter Me – Tahereh Mafi
  • Wild Magic – Tamora Pierce
  • Educated – Tara Westover
  • The Glass Menagerie – Tennessee Williams
  • The Silver Chalice – Thomas B. Costain
  • Tess of the D'Urbervilles – Thomas Hardy
  • Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead – Tom Stoppard
  • Beloved – Toni Morrison
  • Song of Solomon – Toni Morrison
  • Mountains Beyond Mountains – Tracy Kidder
  • Hope for the Flowers – Trina Paulus
  • The Dragonet Prophecy – Tui T Sutherland
  • The Jungle – Upton Sinclair
  • A Darker Shade of Magic – V.E. Schwab
  • Man's Search for Meaning – Victor Frankl
  • A Room of One's Own – Virginia Woolf
  • Mrs. Dalloway – Virginia Woolf
  • The Waves – Virginia Woolf
  • Lolita – Vladmir Nobokov
  • The Souls of Black Folk – W.E.B. DuBois
  • Leaves of Grass – Walt Whitman
  • Sophie's Choice – William Styron
  • Home Going – Yaa Gyasi
  • Life of Pi – Yann Mortel
  • White Teeth – Zadie Smith
  • Their Eyes Were Watching God – Zora Neale urston
  • Pokemon Encyclopedia
  • The Bible

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