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22 Most Powerful Books About Moving Past Hardship

The lows in life can sometimes be astoundingly low. Resonate with the true and the fictional stories by these world class authors.

Now these are empowering books that will get you through anything. You might want to read them twice, they’re that good. Adversity always seems to find a way in, and we’ve discovered it’s best to have some techniques and activities to look towards when facing hard times. These books offer some ideas, and some of these stories really put you into a new perspective.

The go-ahead and dive on in, and use our handy description to find which story resonates most with you. Stories that are personal to your life experiences only make these books more powerful.

#1 Searching for God in the Garbage by Bracha Goetz

Searching for God in the Garbage by Bracha Goetz
Who recommended this book?
This was recommended by Bracha Goetz from Spiritual Books.

Experience what goes on inside the mind of a Harvard grad who broke the habits that were imprisoning her in this raw and candid memoir about overcoming food addictions. How did she fill the inner emptiness? By nourishing her soul. When we feed our souls, we become less needy. That’s what ends the desperate cravings and brings the deepest and most lasting kind of pleasure.

Before buying a book make sure to compare price and outlet, we have included links below to several large book outlets for different regions in the world:

#2 Conquer What’s Next by Bill McConnell

Conquer What's Next by Bill McConnell
Who recommended this book?
This was recommended by Stacey Greene from StaceyGreeneCoaching.

Bill suffered from depression and almost took his life. His journey from that day on into public speaking is profound.

Before buying a book make sure to compare price and outlet, we have included links below to several large book outlets for different regions in the world:

#3 Pinpoints of Light by April T Giauque

Pinpoints of Light by April T Giauque
Who recommended this book?
This was recommended by Stacey Greene from StaceyGreeneCoaching.

Pinpoints of Light is one woman’s journey through abuse by her husband and her way out. I have seen this woman speak and cannot fathom how she had the strength to take her 5 children to safety. She now has 9 children, a loving second husband, a new lease on life and so much joy.

Before buying a book make sure to compare price and outlet, we have included links below to several large book outlets for different regions in the world:

#4 Your Secret Name by Kary Oberbrunner

Your Secret Name by Kary Oberbrunner
Who recommended this book?
This was recommended by Stacey Greene from StaceyGreeneCoaching.

A young man, eager to serve God feels like a fraud when he is hiding his secret of being a self injuring cutter. Struggling through impostor syndrome, stuttering and cutting he uses a story from the Bible to discover what God really had in store for him.

Before buying a book make sure to compare price and outlet, we have included links below to several large book outlets for different regions in the world:

#5 Choosing a Way Out by Kirsten Samuel

Choosing a Way Out by Kirsten Samuel
Who recommended this book?
This was recommended by Stacey Greene from StaceyGreeneCoaching.

This woman’s life already had some bouts with depression but her discovery of her husband’s pornography addiction complicated the marriage and her own demons even more. This book will take you through the challenges of dealing with marital issues many couples must face head on.

Before buying a book make sure to compare price and outlet, we have included links below to several large book outlets for different regions in the world:

#6 12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos by Jordan B. Peterson

12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos by Jordan B. Peterson
Who recommended this book?
This was recommended by Adina Mahalli from EnlightenedReality.

Overcoming the adversities and the chaos that is involved in life and existence is no easy task, but Jordan Peterson lays out cutting edge ways to overcome these difficulties based on scientific research. Not only does Jordan Peterson rely on scientific research but also some ancient traditions to help guide people through the difficulties in life. It’s both vague enough to help anyone with any issue, but specific enough to easily be understood and implemented by everyone.

Before buying a book make sure to compare price and outlet, we have included links below to several large book outlets for different regions in the world:

#7 Out of the Shadow of 9/11 by Christina Ray Stanton

Out of the Shadow of 9/11 by Christina Ray Stanton
Who recommended this book?
This was recommended by Christina Stanton from ChristinaRayStanton.

They were average New Yorkers.But in the aftermath, they became American refugees . . . When the planes hit the Twin Towers, Christina Ray Stanton’s life changed forever. As the new dawn of terrorism began, the Manhattan resident and her husband fearfully witnessed the impact just six blocks away from Ground Zero. As toxic dust spread into the air, the Stantons boarded a boat off the island and into the unknown.

With a close friend dead and their beloved dog clinging to life, the Stantons’ faith in God was tested. But after months away from her home, Christina trusted in a higher purpose to claim a stronger future. This is their story.Out of the Shadow of 9/11: An Inspiring Tale of Escape and Transformation is a little-told story of the far-reaching collateral damage of September 11.

As a longtime local and veteran tour guide, author Christina Ray Stanton shares an intimate journey of the harrowing event. Through her long road to physical, emotional, and spiritual recovery, you’ll discover your own inspiration in tough times.If you like true stories, heart-wrenching journeys, and emotionally raw perspectives, then you’ll love Christina Ray Stanton’s honest perspective.–

Before buying a book make sure to compare price and outlet, we have included links below to several large book outlets for different regions in the world:

#8 The Old Man and The Sea by Ernest Hemingway

The Old Man and The Sea by Ernest Hemingway
Who recommended this book?
This was recommended by Timothy Carlson from Hike the Planet!.

In pre-revolution era Cuba, an old, down-on-his-luck fisherman finally hooks the biggest catch of his life, but not before the powers of nature threaten to steal it all away. To secure his catch and make it safely home, he must rely on the strength of his will to persevere against the ocean, the elements, and even hungry sharks.

Before buying a book make sure to compare price and outlet, we have included links below to several large book outlets for different regions in the world:

#9 Courage to Continue by Dr Ivan Hernandez

Courage to Continue by Dr Ivan Hernandez
Who recommended this book?
This was recommended by Melanie Musson from AutoInsuranceEZ.

If you’re looking for motivation, you’ll find it in this book. The author uses his own experiences to illustrate what he’s discovered about overcoming adversity and becoming a better person because of it. Dr. Hernandez takes what he’s learned and shows the reader that they, too, can not only survive but can thrive when they make the changes to improve themselves.

Before buying a book make sure to compare price and outlet, we have included links below to several large book outlets for different regions in the world:

#10 Be F*#%ing Amazing! by Deborah Lucero

Be F*#%ing Amazing! by Deborah Lucero
Who recommended this book?
This was recommended by Deborah Lucero from Live Your Full Life.

I am recommending this book because BE F*#%ING AMAZING is a step-by-step handbook to help you understand why you, like most people, are feeling stuck,limited, and disgusted. It will teach you to indulge in the power of the mind to heal your mind, body, soul, andspirit!

Itis an empowering book in a workbook format with activities,daily challenges, and meditation scripts. You will discover that when your body, mind, soul, and spirit are tuned into your thoughts,feelings, and actions, your life will change!

Before buying a book make sure to compare price and outlet, we have included links below to several large book outlets for different regions in the world:

#11 Rounding Third by Walter G. Meyer

Rounding Third by Walter G. Meyer
Who recommended this book?
This was recommended by Walter Meyer from WalterGMeyer.

Rounding Third shows how as two boys are outed to their high school in small-town Ohio, one boy crumbles under the abuse heaped upon him by his classmates and family. The other, with the support of his family, rises to the challenge and rapidly matures as he works to defend himself and his friend.

Before buying a book make sure to compare price and outlet, we have included links below to several large book outlets for different regions in the world:

#12 Finding Medusa by Donna F. Brown

Finding Medusa by Donna F. Brown
Who recommended this book?
This was recommended by Donna F. Brown from Write On Donna.

THIS STORY EMBODIES OVERCOMING ADVERSITY AND THE AUTHOR SERVES AS A ROLE MODEL OF COURAGE AND INSPIRATION IN OVERCOMING ADVERSITY WITH GRACE AND DIGNITY! This author is the poster child for pluck and fortitude in the face of adversity. As a survivor of an abusive childhood is adversity aplenty and it doesn’t end there.

At the young age of 17 she goes from the violence she endured at home to directly witnessing unimaginable police brutality at the ’68 Democratic National Convention in Chicago, and surviving to tell the tale. She eloquently describes the turmoil and turbulence of the ’60s, the legendary music, the drugs, and her struggles to put the pieces of her shattered life back together again. Dealing with even more adversity, she develops a challenging health problem known as tinnitus (aka: ringing in the ears).

Rather than fall into the depths of despair, she manages to crawl out of the black hole of depression and climb high mountain peaks to raise awareness and generate funds for continued research for a cure for tinnitus.

Before buying a book make sure to compare price and outlet, we have included links below to several large book outlets for different regions in the world:

#13 Boost Your Confidence Through Motorcycling by Alisa Clickenger

Boost Your Confidence Through Motorcycling by Alisa Clickenger
Who recommended this book?
This was recommended by Alisa Clickenger from alisaclickenger.

Alisa Clickenger transformed her life and you can too. A shy, depressed housewife in the midst of a painful divorce, Alisa realized that she needed a drastic change in her life. She set out on a course of self-discovery in the most radical way she could imagine and learned how to ride a motorcycle. In the process of becoming a competent motorcycle rider, Alisa overcame numerous self-limiting beliefs that had affected her self-confidence.

Learning to operate the motorcycle was just the beginning. Alisa also learned to navigate unknown territories, think logically in the face of adversity, and stay calm during unexpected situations. Perhaps the most profound gift resulting from learning to ride a motorcycle is that she became a voice and a leader of other women during their journeys of self-exploration. Alisa is now a world traveler and entrepreneur living life on her own terms.

Through motorcycling, Alisa has found a community of like-minded women, rediscovered parts of herself that were long buried, and has discovered her life’s purpose. This book inspires how to build confidence through motorcycling and is aimed at new and seasoned riders alike. It is for anyone wanting to experience the freedom and personal transformation that two wheels can offer in order to gain confidence in all areas of their lives.

Before buying a book make sure to compare price and outlet, we have included links below to several large book outlets for different regions in the world:

#14 I Am Not Your SUPERWOMAN by JOLIE RASHAWN

I Am Not Your SUPERWOMAN by JOLIE RASHAWN
Who recommended this book?
This was recommended by Rashida Brown from JolieRashawn.

I recommend this book because it encourages and shows you that no matter how many things come up against you, there’s still hope and you can and will overcome it. The Odd’s May Be Stacked Against You Now, But You Will Make It.

Before buying a book make sure to compare price and outlet, we have included links below to several large book outlets for different regions in the world:

#15 Depression Hates a Moving Target by Nita Sweeney

Depression Hates a Moving Target by Nita Sweeney
Who recommended this book?
This was recommended by Nita Sweeney from NitaSweeney.

At 49 years of age, grief-stricken, chronically depressed Nita Sweeney takes up running with her dog in an attempt to find a way out of the darkness. Her memoir of pounding the roads with her canine companion will entertain and motivate any reader who has ever fallen into deep despair. Whether or not readers want to follow in her footsteps, they will enjoy reading about her journey.

Before buying a book make sure to compare price and outlet, we have included links below to several large book outlets for different regions in the world:

#16 Oh, the A**holes You’ll Meet! by Shwa Laytart

Oh, the A**holes You'll Meet! by Shwa Laytart
Who recommended this book?
This was recommended by Avantpop Books.

A Comic Book Poetry-Guide to Life First Edition Hardcover is a great book about overcoming adversity. The author, Shwa Laytart, originally wrote this poem for his daughter in High School as a witty lighthearted guide for navigating the many characters in the world, especially the not so tasteful ones. Alongside the poetry, this 28-page book includes full-page color illustrations by a graffiti artist that takes you on a visual journey.

Before buying a book make sure to compare price and outlet, we have included links below to several large book outlets for different regions in the world:

#17 Wounded Soul by Charles R. Myles II

Wounded Soul by Charles R. Myles II
Who recommended this book?
This was recommended by Courtney Vasquez from Lavidge.

Charles R. Myles II shares his life story of growing up as a young man drowning in hurt and pain in this memoir. In sharing the obstacles he’s overcome, he explores how focusing on the stigma of the past prevents us from moving forward. He also celebrates his love of the Lord, sharing how lessons from the Bible apply directly to our lives.

Throughout his journey, he encourages readers to reflect on questions such as: What are some instances where you have been wounded and not healed? What dark periods of your life have negatively shaped your thinking and actions? Have you ever wanted to cause pain or harm to someone because of what they did to you? Join the author as he shares the pain he’s overcome and how others can escape the darkness to find a path that leads to a better place.

Before buying a book make sure to compare price and outlet, we have included links below to several large book outlets for different regions in the world:

#18 The Unsuccessful Champion by Demario Davis

The Unsuccessful Champion by Demario Davis
Who recommended this book?
This was recommended by Courtney Vasquez from Lavidge.

Having grown up in an impoverished environment, Demario Davis found himself leading a life filled with drugs, alcohol, violence, and eventually, jail. With the odds against him at every turn, he continued to pursue his dream of making a name for himself in the NFL. But when given a divine warning that he was dangerously close to hitting his final strike, he began searching for something greater. Journey with him as he shares his story of finding what it means to become a true champion in the midst of what the world may deem defeat.

Before buying a book make sure to compare price and outlet, we have included links below to several large book outlets for different regions in the world:

#19 Pedal Pushers Coast-To-Coast by Marianne Worth Rudd

Pedal Pushers Coast-To-Coast by Marianne Worth Rudd
Who recommended this book?
This was recommended by Courtney Vasquez from Lavidge.

Pedal Pushers Coast-to-Coast is Marianne Worth Rudd and her husband Terry’s story of their 2012 cycling quest from the Pacific to the Atlantic, chronicling the challenges, joys, and surprises of their 4500-mile, twelve-week bicycle journey. Pain and grief unexpectedly seized the trip mid-way with a car collision and broken arm for Terry, but three months later, their quest resumed-on a snowy October day in northern Minnesota.

From one coast to another, Marianne (Mari) and Terry experienced not only the changing terrain and state borders, but an elation far more gratifying than just reaching destinations-they discovered the curiosity and kindness of strangers, and the lasting impact. From simple gifts of root beer and oranges on a hot day, to shelter from a lightning storm and random invitations countrywide for meals and lodging, strangers offered unexpected generosity and care throughout their travels.

Before buying a book make sure to compare price and outlet, we have included links below to several large book outlets for different regions in the world:

#20 Chocolate Robin by Robert Bradley

Chocolate Robin by Robert Bradley
Who recommended this book?
This was recommended by Robert Bradley from Austin Macauley Publishers.

This story follows the adventures of a young boy who is sent to live in a town he’s never heard of with an aunt and uncle he never knew existed. Fred strikes up a friendship with an Old English Sheepdog that happens to be passing the house and they become inseparable. Starting school mid-term, Fred is picked on and bullied.

He deals with it by winning over the bullies with the incredible sweets he makes. The sweets are so good, the leader of the bullies sells some of them in the school but when caught, puts the blame on Fred. An encounter with the local butcher and a number of strange happenings change Fred’s life. He is sure the dog is at the center of everything.

Before buying a book make sure to compare price and outlet, we have included links below to several large book outlets for different regions in the world:

#21 Bald Tire by Tommy James Gothard

Bald Tire by Tommy James Gothard
Who recommended this book?
This was recommended by Tommy James Gothard from Austin Macauley Publishers.

This story follows Skinner Lincoln; a boy who falls into a deep depression at the age of 12, after witnessing the death of his brother. The book follows his life as he grows into a 50 year-old man, and follows his happiness and hardships as he goes on a quest for peace.

Before buying a book make sure to compare price and outlet, we have included links below to several large book outlets for different regions in the world:

#22 Transformist of the Heart and Soul by Melinda George

Transformist of the Heart and Soul by Melinda George
Who recommended this book?
This was recommended by Melinda George from Austin Macauley Publishers.

Transformist of the Heart and Soul is a book with a combination of beautiful poems and a self-empowerment journal. This book was inspired by my journey of discovering self-love, self-permission, bravery, and self-celebration. I used my love for poetry as the catalyst to outpour my true emotions.

This book was written with the anticipation of touching the lives of many people who feel discouraged, frustrated, worn out, and alone every time they encounter hurdles. The self-empowering exercises will guide you in making positive and confident steps toward embracing and appreciating your existence on this Earth. The disappointments, hurt, and setbacks from personal relationships have a way of transforming us, but we have the power to stop being a victim of our circumstances and instead embrace the opportunities that lie ahead. Life is full of struggles, but everyone has a true purpose.

We have the opportunity to make tomorrow another day with meaning; however, the journey can only start with SELF. The survival tools provided in this book will hopefully become useful in fighting your own internal self-battles today, tomorrow, and every other day.

Before buying a book make sure to compare price and outlet, we have included links below to several large book outlets for different regions in the world:

Contributors to this article
Bracha Goetz from Spiritual Books

Stacey Greene from StaceyGreeneCoaching

Adina Mahalli from EnlightenedReality

Christina Stanton from ChristinaRayStanton

Timothy Carlson from Hike the Planet!

Melanie Musson from AutoInsuranceEZ

Deborah Lucero from Live Your Full Life

Walter Meyer from WalterGMeyer

Donna F. Brown from Write On Donna

Alisa Clickenger from alisaclickenger

Rashida Brown from JolieRashawn

Nita Sweeney from NitaSweeney

Sugar Laytart from Avantpop Books

Courtney Vasquez from Lavidge

Robert Bradley from Austin Macauley Publishers

Tommy James Gothard from Austin Macauley Publishers

Melinda George from Austin Macauley Publishers

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Written by Zak Parker

Journalist, writer, musician, professional procrastinator. I'll add more here later.

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