We know that people can change the world, we know that natural events can change the world, but have you ever thought about how books can change the world too? There is a power in literature that can capture the imagination and change society and culture, the fact that we still talk about some fiction hundreds of years after it was published is testament to its lasting effect! There is no doubting, though, that some books rise above the rest to be seen in a completely different, elevated light. Here are 12 books that changed the world!
1. The Diary of Anne Frank by Anne Frank
Read and studied by children all over the world, The Diary Of Anne Frank is definitely a book that shook the population. Providing an intimate and unrivalled perspective of one of the darkest periods of history, you should read the real diary of this iconic little girl at least once.
2. The Diary of Samuel Pepys by Samuel Pepys
Another diary that gives us insight into a period in history, the writings of this 17th-century socialite provides glimpses of iconic moments in British history such as the coronation of Charles II, the Great Plague, and the Great Fire of London.
3. Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone by J.K. Rowling
The novel that began one of the most beloved and iconic book series in literary history. It is actually impossible to imagine a world without Harry Potter in it, and that is a testament to Rowling’s incredible imagination and writing.
4. Aesop’s Fables by Aesop
You might not think you know these 6th-century fables, but they pretty much make up the story arcs for all modern plots and narratives. A collection of interesting moral tales that you can apply to nearly every life situation.
5. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
Regarded as one of the best novels of the 20th century, this examination of racism and injustice in the American South through the eyes of a young girl is one of the best studied and beloved texts ever.
6. The Fellowship of the Ring by JRR Tolkien
Published in 1954, this was the first of a fantasy trilogy that would go on to rule not only the literary genre, but also spark three of the most successful fantasy films of all time.
7. A Dictionary of the English Language by Samuel Johnson
You might not think of a dictionary as being world changing, but I bet you can’t imagine a world without one! Samuel Johnson took eight years to compile this work, and it was considered the most influential of its kind until the Oxford English Dictionary nearly 200 years later.
8. The Iliad by Homer
This is an ancient Greek poem that features everything from family drama to gods to romance and war, and it is widely considered to be the most important and significant ancient Greek text of all time.
9. On the Origin of Species by Charles Darwin
This book literally changed the world; it helped to change the accepted way of thinking about how the world and humankind came to be, and Darwin’s major theories still hold up to this day.
10. 1984 by George Orwell
Dystopian fiction is of the most popular genres today, but in 1949 George Orwell was at the forefront of this kind of thinking, and 1984 is a true godfather and classic of its kind.
11. War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy
When you hear the words ‘epic’, War and Peace is something that always springs to mind whether you have read it or not, and that is a testament to its culture-changing effect on society!
12. Fifty Shades of Grey by E.L. James
Whether you like it or not, Fifty Shades definitely changed the world! It made erotic literature something that all women in the world started reading without shame. In a way, it was a positive liberator, regardless of what you think of the actual quality of the writing!