Sometimes you need a little something extra to get you inspired for the future – whether that’s finishing your latest assignment or working toward a long-term career goal.
We’ve compiled a list of six books to pick you up when you’re feeling low on inspiration. They range from works of fiction to essays on every day people making a difference to yes, even a kid’s book to help kick you back into gear.
The Tipping Point: How little things can make a big difference – Malcolm Gladwell
The Tipping Point is a book that explores how ideas, trends or behaviours become social phenomena, using examples like the success of Sesame Street and New York City’s approach to combating crimes in the city. Malcolm Gladwell, a journalist who has written for The New York Times, compares these social changes to the spread of a virus and puts them down to the involvement of a few people with a rare set of social gifts: the power to connect people; the power to consume and share knowledge and information; and the power to persuade others to get involved. Written in an engaging style, this book will get you thinking about the way ideas and trends take off in a whole new way.
The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy – Douglas Adams
This is a cult classic and before you skip the book to watch the movie, consider this: what is the answer to the ultimate question of life, the universe, and everything? The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy is a very easy to read book as it was originally a radio play so there is a lot of sharp, funny dialogue. It follows Englishman Arthur Dent through a series of galactic adventures and hilarity ensues with each character he meets on his hitchhiking endeavors. If you have ever pondered life’s many questions, this book will help you see the lighter side to it all and maybe even inspire you to come up with a few answers yourself!
The Power of One – Bryce Courtney
The Power of One is a classic by Australia’s Bryce Courtney that explores the story of racism in South Africa through the eyes of a young white man named Peekay. Raised by a Zulu woman, race and color is not something that Peekay has thought about until he reaches school. The book tells his story of resilience and friendship that gives him the strength he needs to survive and win. An inspirational story that tackles personal endurance, societal divides and the power that one person can give another through believing in them to succeed.
Think you don’t have it takes to make a difference? This book will make you believe anyone has that in them.
Freakonomics - Stephen J. Dubner, Steven D. Levitt
If you’ve found economics intimidating in the past, this could be the book to get you inspired to try it out in the future! Freakonomics takes a look into the quirkier side of microeconomics and behavioural economics, exploring the underlying forces that drive certain behaviours within society. The subtitle “a rogue economist explores the hidden side of everything” sums this book up pretty well, with the co-authors looking at topics like the commonalities between school teachers and sumo-wrestlers, the inner workings of a crack gang, and the question of how much parents really matter.
Sophie’s World – Jostein Gaarder
Always thought philosophy would be a good thing to study but never had the time? This page turner will give you insight into some of the great philosophical concepts of our time through the eyes of fourteen year old Sophie. When she comes home one day to two notes in her letterbox - "Who are you?" and "Where does the world come from?" – Sophie begins a letter exchange and learning of philosophy that takes her outside of her regular existence. There’s nothing like looking at the world through a different perspective to help inspire some new ideas!
The Cat in the Hat – Dr. Seuss
If you haven’t been back to your childhood bookshelf recently we recommend doing so and pulling out Dr. Seuss’ classic The Cat in the Hat for some valuable life lessons. The Cat in the Hat is flashy, funny and fun, but as the children in this book quickly learn, excitement doesn’t always lead to great outcomes. This book might remind you of the importance of getting down and studying, rather than chasing the latest and greatest thing!