The best books on the history, mystery, and healing power of snakes

Why am I passionate about this?

I am an animal communicator and author of many books about our deeper connections with the animal world. A powerful dream featuring an archetypal Snake ignited my curiosity about snakes and inspired me to learn more. I immersed myself into the history, biology, and incredible diversity of snakes as well as their role in art, myth, medicine, and dreams. I also lived with two rescue snakes: a shy ball python named Carl and lively corn snake named Chloe. What I found was not only fascinating but life-changing. This book celebrates the mystery of Snake and the undeniable wisdom and healing that it offers our world.  


I wrote...

Awakening the Ancient Power of Snake: Transformation, Healing, and Enlightenment

By Dawn Baumann Brunke,

Book cover of Awakening the Ancient Power of Snake: Transformation, Healing, and Enlightenment

What is my book about?

From the shedding of its skin to the rising of kundalini energy in our spine, Snake speaks to healing and awakening. In ancient times, Snake served as protector and respected advisor to gods, goddesses, and royalty. But with the story of Adam and Eve, Snake became the enemy: a tempter and deceiver. How did this happen, and why do so many humans continue to fear and vilify snake today?

Embracing the many aspects of Snake—from its role in science and spirituality to myth and medicine—I wrote this book to explore how human consciousness has always been entwined with Snake, and how we can once again consciously access Snake’s wisdom and powerful ability to help us heal, transform and awaken. 

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The books I picked & why

Book cover of The Cosmic Serpent: DNA and the Origins of Knowledge

Dawn Baumann Brunke Why did I love this book?

Tracing Snake back to ancient times in its role as creator god, anthropologist Jeremy Narby follows both a scientific and shamanic approach to understanding our connection with Snake in its role as healer and mentor.

Why do life-creating, knowledge-imparting snakes appear in the visions, myths, and dreams of countless humans, Narby asks. Could this mythical serpent that created life be another way of perceiving the DNA molecule, which holds the organizing principle inherent in all life?

Highly recommended for a fascinating journey into the nature of reality and ourselves!  

By Jeremy Narby,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Cosmic Serpent as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This adventure in science and imagination, which the Medical Tribune said might herald "a Copernican revolution for the life sciences," leads the reader through unexplored jungles and uncharted aspects of mind to the heart of knowledge.In a first-person narrative of scientific discovery that opens new perspectives on biology, anthropology, and the limits of rationalism, The Cosmic Serpent reveals how startlingly different the world around us appears when we open our minds to it.


Book cover of Snakes: The Evolution of Mystery in Nature

Dawn Baumann Brunke Why did I love this book?

This very engaging, well-written (and weighty!) book shares Harry Green’s personal experiences with snakes, along with an overview of the history, biology, and wide range of snakes—from their unique lifestyles and diet to their behavior and amazing adaptations to living in so many different environments on land, under the earth, in the seas and water, and even gliding through the air.

The text is complemented by color images of many different snake species by internationally-known nature photographers Michael and Patricia Fogden. Overall, an excellent resource for all things Snake!  

By Harry W. Greene, Michael Fogden (photographer), Patricia Fogden (photographer)

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

This is a book about some of nature's most alluring and forbidding creatures, written by a man with an abiding passion for snakes, as well as for science, the fate of the planet, and the wonder of life. Harry Greene presents every facet of the natural history of snakes--their diversity, evolution, and conservation--and at the same time makes a personal statement of why these animals are so compelling. This book provides an up-to-date summary of the biology of snakes on a global basis. Eight chapters are devoted to general biology topics, including anatomy, feeding, venoms, predation and defense, social behavior,…


Book cover of Adam, Eve, and the Serpent: Sex and Politics in Early Christianity

Dawn Baumann Brunke Why did I love this book?

A thorough look at the origins of Christianity and how the once powerful role of serpent (along with the goddess) was undermined and cast as a tempter and deceiver.

Pagels details how a rigidly-patriarchal interpretation of Genesis perpetuates the myth of separation and disconnection from spirit, nature, and ourselves. While snakes as animals are not covered in any depth, this book does explore why negative perceptions of snake still figure so prominently in Western collective consciousness. 

By Elaine Pagels,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Adam, Eve, and the Serpent as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A National Book Award winner and New York Times bestselling author deepens and refreshes our view of early Christianity while casting a disturbing light on the evolution of the attitudes passed down to us. 

"Confirms her reputation as both a scholar and a popular interpreter.... Continuously rewarding and illuminating." —The New York Times

How did the early Christians come to believe that sex was inherently sinful? When did the Fall of Adam become synonymous with the fall of humanity? What turned Christianity from a dissident sect that  championed the integrity of the individual and the idea of free will into…


Book cover of Insights Into the Consciousness of Snake Remedies

Dawn Baumann Brunke Why did I love this book?

Homeopath Sadhana Thakkar helps to dispel the negative image of snakes by revealing how profoundly snake remedies can help humans heal and awaken.

The author offers an introduction to the physiology, temperament, lifestyle, and survival strategies of many snakes, and reveals how homeopaths match these patterns to effective venom-based remedies.

Homeopathy itself is a fascinating study, and Thakkar does an excellent job of deepening our understanding of how and why it works through her many stories of humans successfully treated with snake remedies. I found this book super informative and fascinating to read!  

Book cover of The Lizard King: The True Crimes and Passions of the World's Greatest Reptile Smugglers

Dawn Baumann Brunke Why did I love this book?

While this book is less about snakes and more about the people who are obsessed with snakes, I recommend it for a fascinating perspective on the dark intrigue and alluring mystery inherent in our relationship with snakes.

Why are some individuals (and institutions!) willing to pay exorbitant amounts of money to possess a rare snake? Why do wildlife traffickers go to incredibly dangerous lengths to find, capture and smuggle snakes on trucks, trains, and planes across international borders? And why do others make it their personal mission to stop these illegal activities?

An engaging book that is difficult to put down! 

By Bryan Christy,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Lizard King as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

When Bryan Christy began to investigate the world of reptile smuggling, he had no idea what he would be in for. In the course of his research, he was bitten between the eyes by a blood python, chased by a mother alligator, and sprayed by a bird-eating tarantula. But perhaps more dangerous was coming face to face with Michael J. Van Nostrand, owner of Strictly Reptiles, a thriving family business in Hollywood, Florida. Van Nostrand imports as many as 300,000 iguanas each year (over half the total of America's most popular imported reptile), as well as hundreds of thousands of…


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We Had Fun and Nobody Died: Adventures of a Milwaukee Music Promoter

By Amy T. Waldman, Peter Jest,

Book cover of We Had Fun and Nobody Died: Adventures of a Milwaukee Music Promoter

Amy T. Waldman

New book alert!

What is my book about?

This irreverent biography provides a rare window into the music industry from a promoter’s perspective. From a young age, Peter Jest was determined to make a career in live music, and despite naysayers and obstacles, he did just that, bringing national acts to his college campus atUW-Milwaukee, booking thousands of concerts across Wisconsin and the Midwest, and opening Shank Hall, the beloved Milwaukee venue named after a club in the cult film This Is Spinal Tap.

Jest established lasting friendships with John Prine, Arlo Guthrie, and others, but ultimately, this book tells a universal story of love and hope – about figuring out where you belong, finding your way there, and living a life that matters.

We Had Fun and Nobody Died: Adventures of a Milwaukee Music Promoter

By Amy T. Waldman, Peter Jest,

What is this book about?

The entertaining and inspiring story of a stubbornly independent promoter and club owner 

This irreverent biography provides a rare window into the music industry from a promoter’s perspective. From a young age, Peter Jest was determined to make a career in live music, and despite naysayers and obstacles, he did just that, bringing national acts to his college campus at UW–Milwaukee, booking thousands of concerts across Wisconsin and the Midwest, and opening Shank Hall, the beloved Milwaukee venue named after a club in the cult film This Is Spinal Tap.

This funny, nostalgia-inducing book details the lasting friendships Jest established…


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Interested in snakes, Christianity, and God?

10,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about snakes, Christianity, and God.

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