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The Best Inspirational Books Based On True Stories

This article showcases our top picks for the Inspirational Books Based On True Stories. We reached out to industry leaders and experts who have contributed the suggestions within this article (they have been credited for their contributions below). We are keen to hear your feedback on all of our content and our comment section is a moderated space to express your thoughts and feelings related (or not) to this article This list is in no particular order.

Over, Under, Around and Through by Elinor Greenberg EdD

This product was recommended by Jill Tietjen from JillTietjen

Everyone loves to read stories about overcoming obstacles. *Over, Under, Around, and Through: How Hall of Famers Surmount Obstacles *contains fifty 350-450 word stories of how women inducted into halls of fame in Colorado, across the U.S. and internationally overcame significant obstacles in their lives. They used ten skills either singly or in combination to overcome murder, murder-suicide, death of a parent, bigotry, discrimination, prejudice, incest, illness, divorce of their parents, abusive environments and much more. A diverse group of women is included across many fields of endeavor so there is someone that everyone can relate to. The ten skills include mental intelligence, emotional intelligence, social support, moral compass – spirituality, determination – perseverance – persistence, creativity, optimism, resilience, action-orientation and passion. Everyone has these skills and can surmount obstacles in their lives whether they know it or believe it or not. As one reader said “I have read a few stories. They are inspiring. So this morning I said to myself, you can overcome this. I needed to read this book. It has already helped me.” People need this book. Particularly now. Everyone faces obstacles in their lives. Absolutely everyone. The book provides in the words of readers – inspiration. One reader said “Reading the stories of the women in this book has reminded me that I have a deep well of experience and critical thinking skills that will help me solve anything. It is a newly found handbook for me! It gives me a boost when I wonder about my next decision!” Although all 50 stories come from women and their experiences, the stories of overcoming obstacles are universal. One of the men who read the book said “An easy read. Both uplifting and inspirational.”

Yippie Girl by Judy Gumbo

This product was recommended by Kat Georges from Three Rooms Press

In Yippie Girl, lifelong activist Judy Gumbo details her true story of being one of the only women in the original Yippies, a 1960s and 70s antiwar protest group best known for actions that led to the Chicago 7 conspiracy trials. With her honest writing, humor, and deep reflections on both successes and mistakes, she provides inspiration for contemporary political activists tp draw from—especially necessary in these highly-charged times. The memoir offers both political and intimate personal revelations on how individuals can effect change to end war, achieve gender equity, save the environment, and fight injustice in all its forms.

God Owns My Business by Stanley Tam

This product was recommended by Tim Connon from ParamountQuote Insurance Advisors

This story is inspirational because of the tremendous amount of faith the author took to build his business empire. His resilience and persistence are the best kind of inspiration.

Chasing Chickens by Rachel Neff

This product was recommended by Rachel Neff from Rachel Neff Author

So, you have your PhD, the academic world’s your oyster, but teaching jobs, it turns out, are as rare as pearls. Take it from someone who’s been there: your disappointment, approached from a different angle, becomes opportunity. Marshaling hard-earned wisdom tempered with a gentle wit, Rachel Neff brings her own experiences to bear on the problems facing so many frustrated exiles from the groves of academe: how to turn “This wasn’t the plan!” into “Why not?” Fully expecting to be Doctor or Professor Neff someday, Neff instead found herself in the company of the 66 percent of doctoral graduates—more than 35,000 a year—who cannot find a full-time, tenure-track teaching job. In Chasing Chickens, she retraces the steps that took her from her moment of reckoning (aka “failure”) to a new way of seeing and grasping success. Each chapter in her pilgrim’s progress along an unlikely career path—whether revealing how she ended up chasing chickens on New Year’s Eve or explaining what happens when a PhD becomes an executive assistant (The Devil Wears Prada with a dash of Portland plaid? Yes, please!)—comes with the benefit of hindsight, lessons as practical as they are entertaining. How to face a fear of “No”; how to see the bigger picture; how to find your next career, ace an interview, and stick the landing: with every step, Neff takes the uncertainty and stress out of reinventing yourself, suggests fresh approaches along new directions, and provides the tools for finding, and making, your own way.

Grief 2 Hope by Hope Reger

This product was recommended by Hope Reger from Grief 2 Hope

My name is Hope Reger, creator and founder of Grief 2 Hope, a 7 week long virtual grief support program, I started in 2020 in honor of my son who was murdered at age 19 in 2016 here in Greene County Ohio where I currently reside. I also recently became a published author of my memoir Grief 2 Hope which is now available through Amazon. It has been my life’s mission after my tragedy to provide hope and support for those dealing with grief to know they can still experience joy and happiness even after the greatest pain of losing a child or a loved one. To live in honor of their loved ones life, to share the value of the day, and to share our story to create a ripple effect of hope and kindness.

Adventures With Dad by Lee Gale Gruen

This product was recommended by Lee Gale Gruen from Lee Gale Gruen’s Books

After retiring at age 60 from my 37-year career as aprobation officer, I mistakenly enrolled in an acting class for seniors. A fewweeks later, my mother died, and I invited my grieving, 85-year-old father tocome to class with me.. This is the true story of our magical journey attendingthat class together for three years, bonding more than ever. I wrote thecomedy scenes we performed onstage twice a year in the acting classshowcases, and all six scenes are included in the book. I eventuallytransitioned into the world of professional acting. As my fledgling, secondcareer started going uphill, my dad’s health started going downhill. I wouldrecount to him each of my new experiences while I sat beside his bed at thenursing home where he resided in his final years.

5 Simple Steps to Manifesting Your Life Partner by Julia Storm

This product was recommended by Julia Storm from Julia Storm Author

Based on the inspiring true story of how a single, broke 40-year-old Australian woman, Julia Storm, manifested the life of her dreams by consciously harnessing the power of intention and the Law of Attraction. Practical lessons can be applied to the reader to manifest their goals, not just romantically but financially. Adding to that, it’s an introduction to three of the most inspiring women in the field of personal development. How do I know the guidance works? Because I wrote it and can continue to attest to the miracle that is the application of these 5 simple steps.

Beyond Pronouns by Tammy Plunkett

This product was recommended by Tammy Plunkett from Tammy Plunkett Consulting

Beyond Pronouns is the go-to resource for parents with trans or gender-questioning children, authored by the parent of a trans child. If your child or teen recently told you they are transgender, non-binary or genderfluid, you’re bound to have questions. You may wonder how best to support your child’s transition and doubt whether you are making the right decisions. When her son came out as transgender, Tammy Plunkett had the same worries. In Beyond Pronouns, she shares her candid experiences learning to navigate her child’s transition and provides clear and practical guidance to help you do the same.

Can’t Hurt Me by David Goggins

This product was recommended by Sandeep Bhandari from AskAnyDifference

Going from a child who faced racism, poverty, and a dysfunctional family to one of the most famous Navy Seals, Can’t Hurt Me: master your mind and defy the odds, by David Goggins shows how* persistence and resilience *can help you achieve all goals you set for yourself. David Goggins goes on to tell his incredible story of becoming one of the fittest people on the earth and how he developed the mentality for overcoming obstacles he faced. He takes us through each of the times he faced a hindrance, and how he not only overcame but came out stronger. These qualities are a must for every young adult as they go through life and encourage them to never stop working towards their dreams.

The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho

This product was recommended by Staci Holweger from LifePatches

The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho – At first glance, the story seems like a simple tale of a young boy, Santiago, in search of worldly treasures. But the deeper meaning is something that many readers have found to be life changing. Paulo Coelho weaves a story of spirituality and self-discovery into a tale of a boy who travels to the pyramids of Egypt to find treasure. Many have read this book and been inspired to travel, make dreams into realities, or simply to look at the world a little differently. Readers everywhere have found that this book is a gift that keeps on giving, and can change the way you view the world forever.

Banker to the Poor by Muhammad Yunus

This product was recommended by Christopher Andrew from 420 Expert Advisers

Muhammad Yunus is an uncommon man of visionary. His vision is for the world to be free of poverty. Yunus founded Grameen, a bank dedicated to offering small loans to Bangladesh’s poorest, despite the advice of banking and government officials, in 1983. Grameen Bank, which believes that credit is a basic human right rather than a privilege for a select few, today offers over 2.5 billion dollars in microloans to over two million people in rural Bangladesh. This book is about his journey and the idea of making his vision come true.

Beautiful on the Mountain by Jeannie Light

This product was recommended by Mimi Paul from SR22 Insurance

Loved reading the book about a single woman on a private adventure. She is well educated, grew up rich and now having to leave the affluent life for raising sheep on the mountain in the Blue Ridge part of Virginia. She felt like an outsider to the community that had seen better days. She gets inspired to do something good and help the people and their little inactive church. She goes through trials and tribulations and asks God to direct her out of it. Little did she knew thar the ‘sheep’ she would shepherd turns out to be the community of Graves Mill. This makes an excellent read for someone in their spiritual journey.

Dandelion Wine by Ray Bradbury

This product was recommended by Tatiana Gavrilina from DDI Development

Together with the main characters of the book, Douglas (the prototype of Ray Bradbury) and Tom, you walk through a small town, go down into the depths of a damp and dark gully, overcome your childhood fears and learn that you are alive. But it’s not just children’s worldviews that are described in the pages of the book. Here you will find little stories about the other inhabitants of Greentown, the name of the town. The story of unfulfilled love, the story of an unrealized inventor, the story of the old lady sisters in the green wonder car, and the magical junk salesman. And did you know that you can bottle and inhale the smells of the wind as healing syrup? There is so much in this book that can inspire and breathe life into the reader! And it’s not fiction, it’s exactly what happens in life. I am completely captivated by Bradbury’s talent for being able to paint a world in my imagination with words that looks exactly like mine. I wholeheartedly recommend that everyone read Dandelion Wine so that your life will be brighter and kinder, so that you will notice life in every moment, and so that you will find it easier and more interesting to overcome any difficulties you may face.

iWoz: Computer Geek to Cult Icon by Steve Wozniak

This product was recommended by Morgan Lilker from Watches of Today

One of my favorite autobiographies is iWoz by Steve Wozniak, the co-founder of Apple. It is full of fascinating stories told from the man who is said to have invented the personal computer and the Apple empire. The main inspiration from this book is to be patient, and if you stick with something that you want to do, then you will be successful in doing it.

The Collected Autobiographies of Maya Angelou Modern Library Hardcover by Maya Angelou

This product was recommended by Sergei Lugovskoy from Luxury Pianos

I have said this time and time again, that Maya Angelou is one of the most inspiring and phenomenal women I have had the pleasure of learning about. Ever since I read her poem, I know why the caged birds sing, I have become immensely inspired by her. There is no other person who has had this big of an impact on me. Maya has a way with words that is just so emotional and inspiring at the same time. Her life story was tragic and I was truly humbled by everything I learnt about her life. But I also learnt to appreciate the blessed life that i had and to never give up. Maya was a strong and beautiful lady who keeps inspiring the young even today. I just wish that everyone read this set of books once and make their interpretation and learn and grow through her hard work and dedication.

The Choice by Edith Eger

This product was recommended by Peter Erlandsson from All Guitar Stuff

This is a true story about extraordinary heroism, and about living through unspeakable horror but still coming out of it a stronger person, finding both freedom and forgiveness and the resolve to help others heal.

This Is Going To Hurt, by Adam Kay

This product was recommended by Christel Oerum from Diabetes Strong

This book was a real eye-opener for me. Because I’ve spent so much time in my life working out how I need to navigate my diabetes (and the health issues that come from this), reading an account of a doctor who is on the other end of these types of health issues was such an interesting and inspiring narrative! Kay’s experience is unflinchingly real, and his exploration of hospital life is something everyone should read if they want to feel empowered to make a change in the world.

The Secret History of Food by Matt Siegel

This product was recommended by Michael East from Griddle King

If you’ve ever wondered where some of the more popular snacks, treats and traditional meals that we take for granted come from, then this could be the book you’re looking for. This secret history reveals the strange truth, which is oddly inspiring and made me, and hopefully will make you want to be a better chef.

Playing the Enemy By John Carlin

This product was recommended by Alex Maynard from PARCLL

The greatest statesman of all times is shown in a unique way by John Carlin, a former South Africa bureau chief for the London Independent, who masterfully combines the explosive mix of race, sport, and politics. He draws on in-depth interviews with Mandela, Desmond Tutu, and numerous other South Africans who were involved in Mandela’s historic campaign and the Springboks’ improbable victory. He makes it movingly obvious that their success went beyond the simple thrill of victory to bury long-buried animosities and unite a nation.

What Makes Us Stronger by Freya Lewis

This product was recommended by Christian Velitchkov from Twiz LLC

Freya Lewis, who was 14 at the time of the assault, was one of the Manchester Arena victims. Her friend Nell, who tragically passed away that evening, had joined her at the Ariana Grande event. This lovely book, which Amisha Desai, a journalist ghost wrote, follows Freya’s physical and psychological rehabilitation while delivering a stirring message of love, peace, and hope that will speak to anybody going through a difficult period..

The Art of Happiness by the Dalai Lama

This product was recommended by Erin Mastopietro from Dope Dog

The entire pattern of our life is towards happiness, says the Dalai Lama. Even yet, getting there can be more difficult stated than done. Fortunately, there is this thoughtfully crafted manual available to serve as a road map. Since it was written by a Nobel Peace Prize laureate, it is only fitting that The Art of Happiness emphasizes empathy for others as the secret to finding personal contentment.

Through the Banks of the Red Cedar by Maya Washington

This product was recommended by Maya Washington from Running Water Entertainment

Gene Washington’s football career ended long before his daughter Maya was born. She never saw the legendary powerhouse as anything but her dad. She didn’t yet grasp the impact he’d had on the sport―and on America. To understand his historic role in the integration of college football, witness his influence on generations that followed, and fully appreciate his legacy, Maya had a lot of catching up to do. Maya retraces her father’s journey from the segregated south to Michigan State during the peak of the Civil Rights Movement and his journey as an NFL pioneer after the 1967 draft. She reflects on how her father’s childhood―and the racism he faced―shaped her upbringing and influenced his expectations of her. She also discovers how unbreakable the emotional bond between teammates can be. But above all, Maya and her father get to know each other. As their own bond deepens, so does Maya’s connection to the sport that changed the trajectory of her father’s life…and hers.

F*ck You, Watch This by Tylar Paige

This product was recommended by Tylar Paige from TylarPaige

Many people are taught false beliefs of love in early childhood, and as a result, lack self-love in their adult relationships. This book takes readers on the author’s journey through abuse, trauma, narcissism, domestic violence and heartache before finally discovering self-love and traveling the world solo. It has inspired thousands of readers to find their own self-love and healing.

Room by Emma Donoghue

This product was recommended by Joshua Tibando from Find Storage Fast

Room is a shocking but inspiring book. Emma Donoghue, inspired by the 2008 Fritzl case, wrote this book. The story is narrated by a five-year-old Jack, who lives with his Ma in a Room. The room is all he’s ever known. It is a nerve-wracking tale of a very real horror that can happen to anyone. Donoghue brilliantly describes the world from the point of view of a child that appears less disturbing. After escaping from their captor, it depicts Ma and Jack’s transformation. The book will make you feel grateful for your freedom while showing the importance of being patient. Whatever may happen, you can get through if you are resilient.

Three Thousand Stitches by Sudha Murty

This product was recommended by Alexandra Cotes from FlowerCompany

Three Thousand Stitches is a collection of 11 true short stories. Sudha Murty recollects her life’s journey and the various instances that made her who she is. The stories seem simple but cover topics like discrimination, exploitation, conservatism, and more. Murty is a brilliant writer, and it is apparent throughout the book. Even as she narrates such intense issues, the writing is light and even funny at times. The stories form the bond we have with our society. It highlights the humanity that stays regardless of our circumstances. It makes you look at your own life and appreciate all there is. We do not always need big, scary experiences to learn. Small everyday activities can inspire us just the same.

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