Atlas Shrugged. I read it with an open mind and it changed the way I saw the world. I was leaning fairly left at the time but didn't ask myself why or if it made any sense. The book made me realize that there are more than two political views. I realized after reading it that it made the most sense to me and I was only leaning liberal because of the religious views of the conservative party. I learned that just because you don't lean right doesn't mean you lean left. This world is not a world of opposites. I always thought I was less of a good person for honestly not caring about certain things in the world that a lot of people care about, especially the left. Ayn Rand helped me realize that it's perfectly okay not to care. It's okay to believe in the ideal of personal responsibility.
The Bell Jar. I read this book when I was in high school. I've always been kind of a wallflower and I look at the world in a weird way. I don't always function normally in social situations and tend to have less fun in certain social situations. I identified with the main character in this book in the beginning. Because of her struggle, I learned from her mistakes. I think it broadened my mind a little.
The Harry Potter series. To this day, I still don't care much for the first 2 or 3 books in the series. I think it's because Harry is young and doesn't have the conflicts that he has later in his journey. I love these books because he grows in them. I think it takes a lot of talent to build such an amazing series and have the plot and the characters grow up and mature throughout.
1984. I first read this book in school and didn't enjoy it. I think most high school students don't understand the world enough to really get what this book is about and what it's trying to say. Once you are in the real world and face problems like politics, the economy, etc, you realize the dangers of certain philosophical and political beliefs. I think Orwell is a fantastic writer who conveyed the dangers of certain social and political ideals perfectly in a fiction setting.
The Giver. I read this book in 5th grade, I believe. I loved it then and love it even more as an adult. There are so many struggles, so many problems in a perfect utopian society. There is just something about books of this nature like The Giver, Utopia, Anthem, 1984, Animal Farm, etc that speak to me. And they are all best read once one reaches adulthood. They are beautiful and powerful novels even to a teenager or child, but one doesn't really understand them until later in life.