While almost any reading will improve your mind, in a world where there is so much to do, you should be selective in the books you read. So, we suggest you spend much of your time reading what Henry David Thoreau referred to as ‘The Heroic Books’ – those books that contain “the noblest recorded thoughts of man.”

Let your mind drink deeply from the works of the great philosophers, such as Epictetus and Confucius. Study the poems of the wisest poets, such as Alfred Lord Tennyson, Emily Dickinson and John Keats, and the novels of Leo Tolstoy, Hermann Hesse and the Brontes. Read the writings of Mahatma Gandhi, Albert Einstein and Mother Teresa.

Connecting with such works for even a few minutes a day will keep you centered on what life is really about and will ultimately profoundly affect your character. Asked in an interview what his biggest regret in life was, talk show superstar Larry King replied, “I should have been better rooted in the great books.”

The following are some of the ‘heroic’ books that helped us change our own lives and given us the wisdom and inspiration to live more deliberately and completely. If you read all of them, and act on the lessons contained within their pages, you cannot help but improve your circumstances profoundly.


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