Books, especially good ones, have the power to transform people’s lives. If you let them, they can change your life, serve as a compass or guide, or give you a lift when you need it most. I’m sure you can think of at least one book that fundamentally changed you as a human being.

Reading is not just about pleasure. Books have the power to touch people profoundly, to open our eyes to injustice. And sometimes to act as a catalyst for social change.

Our favorite novels leave a lasting impression, a sense of awe that glows even after we’ve forgotten the details. There are times when I was bold enough to say, “That book changed my life.”

To Kill a Mockingbird – Grapes of Wrath – On The Beach – Roots – Shantaram: novels that fundamentally altered the way I saw the world.

We are far more likely to be motivated by works of nonfiction, by information, by exposé. For a novel to refashion our social, economic or political lives requires a kind of mainstream popularity that few works of fiction attain. And even then, a novel’s theme must be powerful enough and singular enough to push a significant segment of the population in a particular direction. Fiction writers, for the most part, don’t think in such polemical terms. But here are a dozen novels that changed the way we live.

Unleash the novel inside you

with compelling characters,

intricate worlds,

and fine-tuned prose.

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“Linda has published sixteen books. She blogs about the publishing world, posts useful tips on the challenges a writer faces, including marketing and promoting your work, how to build your online platform, how to get reviews and how to self-publish. She has mentored many authors and edited their work.” 

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