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The 6 Books That Gave Me a Different Perspective on Life


  1. The 5 People You Meet In Heaven by Mitch Albom.

I loved everything about this poignant book. It’s not too long, so you can read it in just a few hours. The characters are lovely, the plot is bittersweet, and the message will leave you thinking about the bigger picture of your own life and everyone else’s.

  1. The Year of Yes by Shonda Rhimes.

Shonda Rhimes is one empowering lady. In case you didn’t know, she’s the creator, head writer, and executive producer of both Grey’s Anatomy and Scandal. Her book is about saying yes to things that make your life brighter and bring you out of your comfort zone–whether that’s saying yes to staying home and watching Netflix after an exhausting day, or saying yes to an invitation to go skiing when you haven’t hit the slopes in years. Her revelations are truly inspiring and helped me take a step back to think about how I was spending my time. 

  1. Wild by Cheryl Strayed

In Wild, Cheryl Strayed recounts her journey on the Pacific Crest Trail, a hiking trail that runs from Mexico to Canada along the West Coast. I loved reading about the struggles and joys of her grand adventure, and how the hike transformed her physically and mentally. It made me feel inspired to do something big, something out of the ordinary.

  1. Eat Pray Love by Elizabeth Gilbert

This book is one of the most comforting and soul-soothing stories I’ve ever read. Gilbert begins the story as her life is crumbling, and takes the reader along her healing process as she slowly picks up the pieces and reclaims her joy. When I’m feeling low, or lost, it reminds me that everything will be ok in the end–and if it’s not ok, it’s not the end.  

  1. The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin

I absolutely love reading about real-life experiences, if you can’t already tell, and in The Happiness Project, Gretchen Rubin uses her everyday life to explore a question that we’re all trying to answer. She designs her own project to maximize the joy in her days, after wondering “is this all there is to life?” one day on the subway. She encourages the reader to get the most out of life and not take anything for granted. 

  1. Alone on the Ice by David Roberts

This book tells the story of an Antarctic explorer named Douglas Mawson who survived against all odds on the planet’s harshest continent. Reading this book made me appreciate the fact that the temperature outside wasn’t -45 degrees and my toes were not, in fact, freezing off one by one.  Learning about what these brave explorers endured for months in Antarctica made my lab reports and reading assignments feel like a piece of cake. When you’re feeling overwhelmed by schoolwork, pick up this book to get a different perspective on things.

Ariana Infanti is a senior Nutrition major at Simmons University who loves learning and writing about food, fashion, and sustainability.
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