Becoming someone great is something that’s always on everyone’s mind. Many are finding ways to achieve this, but for bookworms reading great books is one possible way. We like to think that books have power to change people. As Vera Nazarian once said, “Whenever you read a good book, you are opening doors to allow in more light.” A good book can spruce up your heart and mind, making you kinder, cleverer, more productive, and a whole lot more. From inspiring memoirs to thought-provoking nonfiction, these books to make you become someone great are worth a read.

Beyond Barriers by Anne Davey Koomans

We tend to think that we’ll never be great because everyone, even fate, is against us. However, David “Dave” Davey proves otherwise. Anne Davey Kooman’s narrates in Beyond Barriers how her husband, despite his indisposition, become a great person. Polio is not the end of his purpose; rather, it is a challenge that built him into the man he is known to be today. He was but a twelve-year-old boy struck by polio. He fought so hard for his life for nine months in the hospital. After recovering, this did not stop him from living. David is the epitome of a strong, mighty person who never allowed challenges to stop him. David’s legacy may not be as great as other figures, but his service is something that widely recognized in his line of work and forever be remembered in Beyond Barriers by Koomans.

Tuesdays with Morrie by Mitch Albom

What if we could receive lessons on how to live? Well, Tuesdays with Morrie does just that. Mitch Albom chronicles on the life of his professor Morrie Schwartz, who he lost touch after graduation. Morrie was a person who guided and became a friend to the author. And in his last stages of his life, Albom shares the lessons he received from Morrie, although this time the lessons are not academic in nature, but life itself. Morrie’s anecdotes will help you see the world as a more profound place. His sound advice have the power to help you make your way through it all. Tuesdays with Morrie is Morrie’s lasting gift to the world.

Tiny Beautiful Things by Cheryl Strayed

Life can be hard, but it is up to you to allow this predicament to continue. Tiny Beautiful Things is a realistic and poignant compilation of intricacies on love and life. Reading through the pages will enlighten you to embrace yourself and not be afraid of asking life’s complex questions. After all, we are ignorant of the inner workings of life, everyday is a learning process. Themes of affairs, loss, self-acceptance, and understanding of existence are tackled in this book. Tiny Beautiful Things offers insight into the world through the collection of letter sent to her once-anonymous column for the online magazine The Rumpus.

Awaken the Giant Within by Tony Robbins

What is success? What does it take to be successful? Tony Robbins will show you that to be successful you have to master your emotions, body, relationships, and belief; in other words your whole life. Awaken the Giant Within puts forward: capture your dreams. Tony also started from the bottom and now he’s here. He will show to you that the first step to success is your decision. His expert knowledge will enable you to discover your true purpose and harness the forces that shape your life and your destiny. With Awaken the Giant Within, you’ll be able to wake up and take control of your life.

The Autobiography of Malcolm X by Malcolm X and Alex Haley

We all have the power to harness change and Malcolm X is proof of it. In The Autobiography of Malcolm X, this recounts his transformation from a self-destructive petty criminal into an articulate political activist that till to this day is a relevant figure in black culture. His life was filled with thorns due to his color and religion. He lived during the most rabid racist time, even his father fell victim of violence by predominantly white hands. It was in prison when he found Allah, Islam, and Elijah Muhammad; and then forward, he became one of Muhammad’s militant disciples and seared his way across the national scene. The book records the revelatory as well as testamentary impact.