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12 books that people say are life-changing reads

Some books have the power to change how we see ourselves, the world, and each other.

Photo by Ben White on Unsplash

Books are powerful.

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Out of all human inventions, books might just be the greatest. That may be a bold statement in the face of computers, the internet and the international space station, but none of those things would be possible without books. The written recording of human knowledge has allowed our advancements in learning to be passed on through generations, not to mention the capturing of human creativity in the form of longform storytelling.

Books have the power to change our lives on a fundamental level, shift our thinking, influence our beliefs, put us in touch with our feelings and help us understand ourselves and one another better.

That's why we asked Upworthy's audience to share a book that changed their life. Thousands of responses later, we have a list of inspiring reads that rose to the top.

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Canva

The world is full of so many cool things.

This article originally appeared on 10.05.17


Ever wondered what goes on in a library's dark corners, where you aren't allowed to go?

Wonder no more, thanks to The Society of American Archivists' Ask an Archivist Day.

On Oct. 4, 2017, university, corporate, and museum archivists around the world dug out the coolest, rarest, and weirdest items in their collections, photographed them, and put the results on Twitter.

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Pop Culture

Awesome Twitter thread explains the surprising origins of Dr. Seuss and 'The Cat in the Hat'

It all started back in 1954 with a national quest to understand “Why can't children read?”

Wikipedia, @bpoppenheimer/Twitter

How exactly did Dr. Seuss come up with "Cat in the Hat?"

Dr. Seuss is one of the most enduring and endearing children’s books writers of all time. His work has been around for over sixty years, and while certain titles certainly fall short of today’s standards, kids continue to enjoy the unique use of wordplay, illustration style and abounding optimism of his beloved classics.

But how exactly did Dr. Seuss came up with such an impactful idea in the first place? That’s a story unto itself, and one that, much like his fictional works, still feels relevant today.

As explained in a Twitter thread by writer and research assistant Billy Oppenheimer, it all began when another award-winning author, John Hershey, started investigating the looming question of 1954: “Why can't children read?”
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Grace Linn, 100, speaks at a Martin County School Board meeting on March 21, 2023.

Four hundred years ago, copies of William Tyndale’s English translation of the Bible were publicly burned by the bishop of London, with church authorities insisting that the Bible should only be read in Latin (and only by the clergy). In the centuries since, many books we now consider classics such as Daniel Defoe's "Robinson Crusoe," Jack London's "Call of the Wild," Walt Whitman’s "Leaves of Grass," Victor Hugo’s "Les Misérables, Charles Darwin’s "Origin of Species"—even Beatrix Potter's "The Tale of Peter Rabbit" and "Benjamin Bunny"—have been banned or censored in one way or another in various countries.

Battles over books are nothing new, but once in a while, they become particularly ugly or absurd, prompting people to speak out against book bans.

People like 100-year-old Florida resident, Grace Linn, whose speech at a Martin County School Board meeting has gone viral.

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