Wisdom//

The Books That Changed These 8 Notable People’s Lives

Did your favorite make the list?

Whether they’re classics or the latest best-sellers, books allow us to learn, grow and explore the world from wherever we are. With that in mind, here are 8 successful people on the books that changed their lives.

Chelsea Handler, Author and Host of Chelsea on Netflix

From Handler’s Thrive Questionnaire

“Most recently, Indian Summer. I traveled to India for Season 2 of Chelsea and have devoured everything India since.”

Byron Pitts, Emmy Award-Winning Journalist

From Pitts’ Thrive Questionnaire

“Two books: The Power of Positive Thinking and Before The Mayflower. The first is a nice road map for life. The second helped inspire me to become a journalist. There can be an elegant nature to facts and history.”

Derek Thompson, Senior Editor at The Atlantic 

From Thompson’s Thrive Questionnaire 

“I wasn’t particularly interested in journalism or current affairs before 9/11 and high school. I wanted to be an actor. But September 11 and the ensuing wars really shook me and made me want to write about the world. The two books that made me want to become a journalist when I was in high school were The Future of Freedom by Fareed Zakaria and Longitudes and Attitudes by Thomas Friedman. They answered the questions I knew I had, and posed new questions I didn’t know I should ask. I think that’s what journalism should do.”

Maria Menounos, Best-Selling Author and Host of E! News

From Menounos’ Thrive Questionnaire

“So many! Many Lives, Many Masters. Tony Robbins: Money Master The Game. The Sleep Revolution.”

Nana Adae, Managing Director and Investment Specialist at J.P. Morgan 

From Adae’s Thrive Questionnaire 

“Richard Branson’s Losing my Virginity. I’m not a huge fan of biographies, so that is saying a lot! Drive and follow through are the keys to success — most people just give up, they never get to the intersection with luck.”

Kristen Ulmer, Fear and Anxiety Expert

From Ulmer’s Thrive Questionnaire

“The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle. I loved this book because it was the first time I experienced a higher state of awareness not from doing sports, but from just reading a book. Tolle calls it the Now. Every spiritual tradition has a name for this place. I call it Connected Self, or the Infinite. In sports, we call this place The Zone. In Zen, it’s called Enlightenment. It’s where you transcend your limited personal view of the world, and become part of the whole.”

Alexis Christoforous, Award-Winning Broadcast Journalist at Yahoo Finance

From Christoforous’ Thrive Questionnaire

“The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupery is a book that changed my life. This little book taught me big lessons; that happiness is not about possessions, but comes from within and that true happiness is loving and caring for someone or something outside of yourself.”

Kyle Walker, Category Leader and Creator of Amazon Exclusives

From Walker’s Thrive Questionnaire

One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. The way the story unfolded with multiple round characters and the story is a great example of how people can perceive the same event in dramatically different ways based on their experience and challenges. I also enjoyed reading Lone Survivor. It puts daily struggles in perspective when you see what people can be capable of when truly put to the test.”


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People look for retreats for themselves, in the country, by the coast, or in the hills . . . There is nowhere that a person can find a more peaceful and trouble-free retreat than in his own mind. . . . So constantly give yourself this retreat, and renew yourself.

- MARCUS AURELIUS

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