The best books about dreams and dreaming

Why am I passionate about this?

As I’ve grown older I’ve become more and more interested in the spiritual aspect of life, believing that we are primarily a soul with a body rather than the other way round. I fell into teaching but have always found more fulfilment in extramural activities like learning about complementary therapies, former lives, and ancient spiritual practices, like dream therapy. I've never been sure which genre my novels fit into, just that they all have elements of romance, mystery, misdeeds, and good deeds, with the purpose of touching the reader’s soul. I believe words can be spells and inspired writing can cast magic.


I wrote...

Temple of Dreams: A Novel of Now and Then

By Carolyn Mathews,

Book cover of Temple of Dreams: A Novel of Now and Then

What is my book about?

Still grieving over the death of his parents, Sebastian enrols at a college of natural medicine, where he experiences sleep therapy in a sanctuary modelled on an ancient Greek healing temple. There he dreams of Apollos, a young Athenian suffering injuries sustained in a martial arts contest. More dreams follow, recorded by Sybil, a lecturer intent on using Seb as a case study. A budding relationship with fashion entrepreneur Fliss claims his attention in the 21st century, while in the 5th century BC, Apollos readies himself for the secret rites of his final initiation into the cult of the goddess Demeter and a potential reunion with a certain priestess.

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The books I picked & why

Book cover of The Alchemist

Carolyn Mathews Why did I love this book?

The theme of this book delights me because it endorses my belief that we have control over our lives. Early in the book an old king tells a shepherd boy that being at the mercy of fate is the world’s greatest lie. He says it’s up to each person to establish their own destiny, and then all the universe conspires to help them achieve it. He tells the boy to dream, to yearn for everything he’d like to see happen in his life. Discoveries made in the field of quantum physics suggest there are several possible outcomes in life and I believe in consciously declaring an intention and focusing on the desired outcome, accompanied by appropriate action. In achieving this transformation, we become the alchemists of our lives.

By Paulo Coelho,

Why should I read it?

26 authors picked The Alchemist as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A global phenomenon, The Alchemist has been read and loved by over 62 million readers, topping bestseller lists in 74 countries worldwide. Now this magical fable is beautifully repackaged in an edition that lovers of Paulo Coelho will want to treasure forever.

Every few decades a book is published that changes the lives of its readers forever. This is such a book - a beautiful parable about learning to listen to your heart, read the omens strewn along life's path and, above all, follow your dreams.

Santiago, a young shepherd living in the hills of Andalucia, feels that there is…


Book cover of Wuthering Heights

Carolyn Mathews Why did I love this book?

It was in my school English Literature class that I first read and fell in love with this Gothic novel. My classmates and I were fascinated by the all-consuming passion of Heathcliff and Cathy’s relationship. Little did we imagine that Mr. Lockwood’s nightmare of her spectre sobbing at the window, begging, “Let me in – let me in!” would be at the heart of a chart hit for Kate Bush well over a century after the book was published. Then, it was all about who ended up marrying whom, and to what depths of cruelty Heathcliff could sink. Now I’m equally interested in who was telling the story and how reliable that particular narrator might have been. 

By Emily Bronte,

Why should I read it?

13 authors picked Wuthering Heights as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

One of the great novels of the nineteenth century, Emily Bronte's haunting tale of passion and greed remains unsurpassed in its depiction of destructive love. Her tragically short life is brilliantly imagined in the major new movie, Emily, starring Emma Mackey in the title role.

Part of the Macmillan Collector's Library; a series of stunning, clothbound, pocket-sized classics with gold foiled edges and ribbon markers. These beautiful books make perfect gifts or a treat for any book lover. This edition of Wuthering Heights features an afterword by David Pinching.

One wild, snowy night on the Yorkshire moors, a gentleman asks…


Book cover of Dream Angus: The Celtic God of Dreams

Carolyn Mathews Why did I love this book?

My grandparents were Irish, which explains why Celtic mythology speaks to me. I hadn’t heard of Dream Angus (aka Aengus) until I read this book, by which time it was too late to quiz my ancestors on this impish Eros, golden-haired bearer of dreams. It was said that sometimes he kissed lovers and, when they parted, the kisses turned into songbirds who followed them home, serenading them with love songs. The author intersperses his telling of the legend with contemporary stories set in Scotland where one of the characters is especially influenced by an aspect of Dream Angus’s personality, sometimes good, sometimes quite the opposite. Angus lives on in a lullaby recorded, among others, by Barbara Dickson. It’s both haunting and sweet, just as love can be.

By Alexander McCall Smith,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Dream Angus as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Dream Angus comes to you at night and bestows dreams. Just the sight of him may be enough to make you lose your heart, for he is also the god of love, youth and beauty.

In this mesmerising retelling of the Celtic myth, Alexander McCall Smith unites dream and reality, leaving us to wonder: what is life but the pursuit of dreams?

The Myths series brings together some of the world's finest writers, each of whom has retold a myth in a contemporary and memorable way. Authors in the series include Karen Armstrong, Margaret Atwood, A.S. Byatt, David Grossman, Natsuo…


Book cover of How to Catch a Dream: 21 Ways to Dream (and Live) Bigger and Better

Carolyn Mathews Why did I love this book?

To some, lucid dreaming (realising you’re in a dream while still dreaming), might come naturally. But if it hasn’t, and you’re willing to spend three weeks practising the techniques, the benefits are well worth it. These include: learning to banish nightmares; developing one’s powers of choice and control; healing and restoring aspects of one’s personality that are limiting personal growth. I used to keep a dream journal, mainly to check whether any dream had been predictive, but lucid dreaming is a completely different ball game, aimed at transforming one’s everyday life. As a writer, I am particularly interested in the benefit of boosting creativity. This is a book for really serious dreamers.

By Theresa Cheung,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked How to Catch a Dream as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

How to Catch A Dream is the ultimate toolkit to become a lucid dreamer to create a happier and more fulfilling waking life.

'Theresa Cheung shows us that the way forward is to understand that consciousness/spiritual awareness is the fundamental ground of all experience.' DEEPAK CHOPRA

Dream expert Theresa Cheung gives you everything you need to dream bigger and better in just three weeks.

Week One: Dream Seeker Everybody dreams, but not everybody remembers them. Not only will week one help you to recall your dreams, it will also help boost your creativity and encourage healthier sleep hygiene for a…


Book cover of Cornell University, Cornell Studies in Classical Philology, No. III. The Cult of Asklepios

Carolyn Mathews Why did I love this book?

When I was researching my own book I had a bit of difficulty finding more detailed information on the Asklepions (Asklepiea)—healing sanctuaries named after Asklepios, Greek god of medicine. So I was overjoyed to come across this book, which satisfactorily fleshed out the information I already had. The practice I was interested in was known as dream incubation, or temple sleep. The patients slept in the temple with the specific intention of experiencing a healing dream, the cure effected by awakening a healing instinct in the sleepers themselves. Dogs and serpents roamed the temple floor where the sleepers lay, the dogs even licking the patients’ wounds. I’ve included this book for anyone interested in this practice which is still discussed today, especially in the field of Hypnotherapy.

By Alice Walton,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Cornell University, Cornell Studies in Classical Philology, No. III. The Cult of Asklepios as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

About the Book

Texts dealing with language study are designed to facilitate the learning (or teaching) of a first or second language. Language skills include speaking, public speaking, reading, writing, translating and interpreting. Also in this Book

Professional writing is any form of written communication produced in a workplace environment or context. Professional writing involves the use of precise language to convey information in a manner that is easily understood by the intended audience. In general, professional writing is aimed at informing, persuading, instructing, stimulating debate, or encouraging action of some kind. The range of professional writing includes journalism, marketing,…


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Mindleap: A Fresh View of Education Empowered by Neuroscience and Systems Thinking

By Jim Brown,

Book cover of Mindleap: A Fresh View of Education Empowered by Neuroscience and Systems Thinking

Jim Brown Author Of Mindleap: A Fresh View of Education Empowered by Neuroscience and Systems Thinking

New book alert!

Why am I passionate about this?

I have spent my entire professional life quietly patrolling the frontiers of understanding human consciousness. I was an early adopter in the burgeoning field of biofeedback, then neurofeedback and neuroscience, plus theory and practices of humanistic and transpersonal psychology, plus steeping myself in systems theory as a context for all these other fields of focus. I hold a MS in psychology from San Francisco State University and a PhD from Saybrook Institute. I live in Mount Shasta CA with Molly, my life partner for over 60 years. We have two sons and two grandchildren.

Jim's book list on brain, mind, and consciousness

What is my book about?

In this thoroughly researched and exquisitely crafted treatise, Jim Brown synthesizes the newest understandings in neuroscience, developmental psychology, and dynamical systems theory for educators and others committed to nurturing human development.

He explains complex concepts in down-to-earth terms, suggesting how these understandings can transform education to engender optimal learning and intelligence. He explores the nature of consciousness, intelligence, and mind.

Brown then offers a model of optimal human learning through lifelong brain development within a supportive culture--drawing on the work of Piaget, Erickson, Maslow, Kohlberg, and Steiner--and how that work is being vastly expanded by neuroscience and dynamical systems thinking.

Mindleap: A Fresh View of Education Empowered by Neuroscience and Systems Thinking

By Jim Brown,

What is this book about?

In this thoroughly-researched and exquisitely crafted treatise, Jim Brown synthesizes the newest understandings in neuroscience, developmental psychology, and dynamical systems theory for educators and others committed to nurturing human development. He explains complex concepts in down-to-earth terms, suggesting how these understandings can transform education to truly engender optimal learning and intelligence. He explores the nature of consciousness, intelligence, and mind. Brown then offers a model of optimal human learning through life-long brain development within a supportive culture--drawing on the work of Piaget, Erickson, Maslow, Kohlberg, and Steiner--and how that work is being vastly expanded by neuroscience and dynamical systems thinking.


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