Who have you read that transformed you? Sometimes people are different.
For me personally, I'm more transformed by non-fiction over fiction.
Since this discussion is about fiction writing, I'd compare something like The Brothers Karamazov to a book like The Life of Pi. Both are filled with imagery, metaphors and religious allusions. The Life of Pi was slightly more accessible because I didn't also have to deal with the different cultural references that related to that specific time period. Both had the ability to make people think differently about religion and man's place in the scheme of things.
I think that can be done without those books as well. People who are curious will find their ways to those issues. Those who aren't will probably take those books too literally.
I've been in several books clubs with people discussing The Life of Pi. The people who saw the metaphors were those people who were already questioning and curious. For the people who thought the book was about a tiger in a boat, it wouldn't matter what they read.