Top 12 Novels For Self Development

A man with a backpack.

Everyone is working hard day and night to develop themselves—many succeeded, and some are still working. Are you the one who faces challenges in developing yourself? Then you are at the right place. In this article, I will talk about twelve novels for self development that will help you in the long term.

My self-improvement journey is more like an on-and-off one. Who doesn’t like to hear some motivation, right? But the actual part of it lies in implementing it into your life, which I don’t win most of the time. Yet, whatever I have read about self-development, eliminating procrastination, and becoming a better me have all stuck on with me, helping me, at least here and there in my life.

We are all constantly evolving, yes. The moment you understand how you are evolving begins your self-development journey. And as much as everything, the best way to learn about this too is through books. I’m here to give you an idea of what books you should read to begin this journey.

This article brings 12 of the best books you can pick from to change your path to becoming a better version of yourself.

Top 12 Novels Recommended For Self Development

Self Development typically means taking baby steps towards anything and everything in your life through which you will see yourself becoming a better version in the next days, months, or so.

It begins with your quest to find your inner self but doesn’t end there. Finding and improving your inner self can be achieved in many ways, of which the first step lies in gaining good intellect about it.

1. Rich Dad, Poor Dad

Rich Dad, Poor Dad | Novels For Self Development

Full Title: Rich Dad, Poor Dad

Author: Robert T.Kiyosaki

Genre: Finance, Nonfiction, Self Help

Publishing date:  January 1, 1997

Description: Rich Dad Poor Dad is more like a financial independence notebook that compares the life choices and strategies of two people – A rich dad who is the author’s friend’s father here and a poor dad who is the father of the author himself.

The author asserts in all respects of the book that the lack of financial education is the principal reason why poor people tend to remain poor over generations. He insists all along the book to learn about the actual inside story of money and its management is fundamental to becoming financially successful in life.

2. How to Win Friends & Influence People

How to Win Friends & Influence People | Novels For Self Development

Full Title: How to Win Friends & Influence People

Author: Dale Carnegie

Genre: Self-Help, Nonfiction, Psychology

Publishing date: October 1, 1936


This book is categorised as one of the leaders in self-help books. ‘How to Win Friends & Influence People’ lays out a neat outline and brief on building relationships. It has four parts. The first one, ‘Fundamental Techniques in Handling People,’ is about understanding the people around you and being compassionate to them.

This is followed by the next part,’ Six Ways to Make People Like You, which talks about how to begin a relationship and connect to the people around you. The third part stretches into some ways of making people like you and your way of thinking, which is explained in ‘How to Win People to Your Way of Thinking’.

‘Be a Leader: How to Change People Without Giving Offense or Arousing Resentment’ is the last part, and it talks about the journey to become a leader. This book points out every healthy way to win people.

3. Thinking, Fast and Slow 

Thinking, Fast and Slow  | Novels For Self Development

Full Title: Thinking, Fast and Slow 

Author: Daniel Kahneman

Genre: Nonfiction, Psychology, Science

Publishing date: October 25, 2011

Description: We can only point to someone who is sometimes correct, right? We, humans, are prone to make mistakes. This book, ‘Thinking, Fast and Slow’ helps us better understand why we make poor judgements and illogical decisions now and then.

As the title suggests, the author Kahneman has developed two different functional systems of our brain – ‘fast thinking’ and ‘slow thinking’. This is more of a psychological eye-opener to people intrigued about why and how we make mistakes and how we ought to learn from them.

4. Think and Grow Rich

Think and Grow Rich | Novels For Self Development

Full Title: Think and Grow Rich

Author: Napolean Hill

Genre: Nonfiction, Psychology, Science

Publishing date: January 1, 1937


The author Napoleon Hill teaches us through his “Think and Grow Rich” book about the “Philosophy of Achievement.” He talks about some 13 elements or integral aspects of life, and the understanding of all these is what he bids on to be the nuts and bolts of success.

He defines every element and gives us a sense of how all these are intertwined with every action of our life. The book In a Line is about getting command over your subconsciousness and awareness of what is happening inside and around you. It is the combined intellect and the ways of thinking of more than 500 of America’s most successful individuals.

5. The Monk Who Sold The Ferrari 

The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari: A Fable About Fulfilling Your Dreams and Reaching Your Destiny | Novels For Self Development

Full Title: The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari: A Fable About Fulfilling Your Dreams and Reaching Your Destiny

Author: Robin S Sharma

Genre: Self-Help, Fiction, Spirituality

Publishing date: January 1, 1996

Description: “The Monk Who Sold the Ferrari” is set out as fiction. The title puts out the storyline. There was a rich businessman who became a monk searching for his inner self through the enlightenment of spirituality.

After gaining some real understanding of life and the universe, he decides to give up all his possessions to become a monk. The story also has another lead., the monk’s disciple. The book puts forth some real-life examples and situations, helping us understand what the monk did – the meaning of life.

It is only possible for some to accept the entity of the book’s contents. Still, it gives us some genuine perspective and life techniques laying out some basic insights on spirituality, psychology, and personal development.

6. Tuesdays With Morrie 

Tuesdays With Morrie  | Novels For Self Development

Full Title: Tuesdays With Morrie 

Author: Mitch Albom

Genre: Nonfiction, Memoir, Biography

Publishing date: August 18, 1997

Description: This book has two main characters – Morrie, the professor and his student, Mitch. “Tuesdays With Morrie” is a highly impactful book that deals with the conversations between Morrie and Mitch, all about which he reminisces during his deathbed. It is a collection of wisdom, perceptions and understanding of life.

It’ll make us cry and realize the real purposes around which we revolve. There are very few selective classics in the genre of fictional self-help books, and this cult classic is among those. This is one of my personal favorites though it is heart-rending at times.

7. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change | Novels For Self Development

Full Title: The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change

Author: Stephen R Covey

Genre: Self-Help, Nonfiction, Business

Publishing date: January 1, 1988

Description: This book is about the effective techniques and ways of life followed by successful people who made them. It all takes only some genuine effort at the end of the day. The book “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People” drills this realisation deep into our brains along with the tangible ways to live life like an achiever to become one.

It is a culmination of truths about life and the universe that helps us better understand what life expects from us.

8. Mindset

Mindset: The New Psychology of Success

Full Title: Mindset: The New Psychology of Success

Author: Carol S Dweck

Genre: Psychology, Self-Help

Publishing date: January 1, 2006

Description: As the title says, the book, ‘Mindset: The New Psychology of Success talks about how our mindset is the backbone of everything. No matter your efforts, you need more confidence that the efforts will bear fruit to avoid it being a success.

This is what the author explains very clearly in this book by dividing the types of mindsets of people into two – ‘Fixed’ and ‘Growth’. The author differentiates the two and explains why having a growth mindset is a positive approach to life.

9. Man’s Search for Meaning

Man's Search for Meaning

Full Title: Man’s Search for Meaning

Author: Viktor E Frankl

Genre: Psychology, Philosophy

Publishing date:  January 1, 1959

Description: This is also a classic book that has lived through decades. The book’s first part narrates the author’s real-life experiences, and the last part talks about what the author tried to understand from all his experiences about human life, behaviour and conditions.

He also emphasises that every man should search for meaning in life, and to do so is not selfish but rather a purpose.

10. The Power of Habit

The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business

Full Title: The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business

Author: Charles Duhigg

Genre: Nonfiction, Self-Help

Publishing date: April 25, 2012

Description: We all know if something good is made a habit, it will bring us better things in one way or another. The Pulitzer-prize-winning author Charles Duhigg explains the powers and the impacts that habitual actions may bring into our life.

11. Outliers

Outliers: The Story of Success

Full Title: Outliers: The Story of Success

Author: Malcolm Gladwell

Genre: Nonfiction

Publishing date: November 18, 2008

Description: Outliers is more like a detailed insight into the lives of successful people and what stood with them beyond their hard work, discipline and self-done efforts.

It is not an exclusive approach to the ideas of success; instead, it tells us that there are things beyond hard work and dedication, which is like a pat on our backs in times of distress.

12. The Four Agreements

The Four Agreements

Full Title: The Four Agreements

Author: Miguel Ruiz

Genre: Self-Help

Publishing date: January 1, 1997

Description: This book ‘The Four Agreements,” focuses on the four sentences or principles the author believes could be the guiding light in everyone’s life. He also insists that we are made by our choices, and understanding how we are bound to our life will drive us in the right paths.

Conclusion | Top 12 Novels For Self Development

You’ve come so far, making at least a genuine effort to know and refine your inner self. But it is not just it. And most importantly, it is not about just reading the book. The crucial part is realising the facts and understanding how the universe works around you and what it wants out of you. Know it! Live it!

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