The best books to help you stay true to yourself and your calling

Who am I?

I am moved by the deepest potential in all of us. Having graduated from Harvard Law School and working as an unfilled attorney, I finally left everything to follow my true desire to write. So, I know how vital it is to have support for our inspiration instead of our fears. That’s why I’ve written 5 books to champion visionary minds, creative souls, freedom junkies, and more. And as a TEDx speaker and USA Today featured visionary career coach, I am always reading for my own growth and for my students. I recommend these books because they helped me to trust in greater possibilities. I hope they support your dreams. 

I wrote...

This Time I Dance! Creating the Work You Love

By Tama J. Kieves,

Book cover of This Time I Dance! Creating the Work You Love

What is my book about?

For anyone who has ever yearned to discover or live the true work within them  In This Time I Dance! you’ll find the inspiring story of how Harvard lawyer Tama Kieves left her corporate life to discover her buried creative self and develop the livelihood that stirred her soul and paid the bills. Going beyond the “5 easy steps” self-help formula, Kieves offers you an intimate mentor to map out the real process of realizing your wildest dreams. With her startling honesty and edgy humor, she will stir you to realize your own astonishing capacities. Kieves begins by asking the question she answers with her life: “If you’re this successful doing work you don’t love, what could you do with work you do love?” 

Shepherd is reader supported.
We may earn an affiliate commission when you buy through links on our website. This is how we fund the project for readers and authors. Please join our membership program to support our endeavor.

The books I picked & why

The Artist's Way

By Julia Cameron,

Book cover of The Artist's Way

Why this book?

I recommend this book because it’s a guidebook for recovering your creative self—and it advocates creativity as a source of strength for everyone. I had been wrestling with giving legitimacy to my own creative desires, and this book helped me to leave behind the ideas of a society (and my New York Orthodox Jewish family) that didn’t nurture, value, and promote genius. The biggest shift I’ve ever had in my life was realizing that a spiritual source supported my creativity—and my creativity deepened my connection to this source. The Artist's Way reinforced my own creative awakening with suggestions to stir and support our natural instincts to play, express, and heal.  

The Artist's Way

By Julia Cameron,

Why should I read it?

11 authors picked The Artist's Way as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

"With its gentle affirmations, inspirational quotes, fill-in-the-blank lists and tasks — write yourself a thank-you letter, describe yourself at 80, for example — The Artist’s Way proposes an egalitarian view of creativity: Everyone’s got it."—The New York Times 
"Morning Pages have become a household name, a shorthand for unlocking your creative potential"—Vogue

Over four million copies sold!

Since its first publication, The Artist's Way phenomena has inspired the genius of Elizabeth Gilbert and millions of readers to embark on a creative journey and find a deeper connection to process and purpose. Julia Cameron's novel approach guides readers in uncovering problems…

Book cover of A Course in Miracles: Combined Volume

Why this book?

I recommend this book because this spiritual text helped me—more than any other—to see and choose from love instead of fear in my own life. When I left my prestigious law job, I had a storm of fears weaken my creative dreams. This book helped me to find and trust my own inner authority. It also helped me to feel more secure in life, no matter what was going on. At first, I found the language off-putting because it “sounded” religious at times. But this path is not about any religion, other than the love and infinite power in all of us. There are gazillions of spiritual books on the market, but this one is a powerhouse, a classic, and a gamechanger.    

A Course in Miracles: Combined Volume

By Dr. Helen Schucman,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked A Course in Miracles as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This is the edition of "A Course in Miracles" ("the Course") that its two scribes, Drs. Helen Schucman and Bill Thetford, authorized for publication by the Foundation for Inner Peace in 1975. It is now available in translation in 27 languages and is widely used by students in thousands of Course study groups around the world.
"A Course in Miracles" is a unique spiritual self-study program—a course in mind-training—designed to undo the illusion that you are separate in any way from God or your fellow humans. At the level of the mind we are all united as one. When we…

Book cover of Making a Living Without a Job: Winning Ways for Creating Work That You Love

Why this book?

I recommend this book because it’s a crayon box of creative and practical ideas and insights. This is a great read for someone who wants to be entrepreneurial, l but isn’t yet in the I-have-to-dominate-the-market-and-own-Silicon-Valley- stage. I guess I’d call it approachable entrepreneurship. The author gives you ideas for how to be “joyfully jobless” including multiple profit centers and marketing on a shoestring. I love authors who can give you creative hope, no-nonsense ideas, and specific creative ideas like “find all the ways to put raspberry and chocolate together.”    

Making a Living Without a Job: Winning Ways for Creating Work That You Love

By Barbara Winter,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Making a Living Without a Job as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

For all of the millions of Americans who are out of work, soon to be out of work, or wishing to be freed from unrewarding work—here is the must-have book that will show you how you can make a living by working when, where, and how you want.

Newly revised and updated, Barbara J. Winter’s guide to successful self-employment is now more relevant than ever before. Drawing on the techniques and ideas of her popular seminars as well as her own thirty years of business expertise and that of other successful entrepreneurs, Winter offers the practical, proven way to launch…

Book cover of Epitaph for a Peach: Four Seasons on My Family Farm

Why this book?

I’m obsessed with the theme of living your calling to pay your bills, rather than exclusively chasing money. When I write books, I write to shift readers, rather than writing according to formulas that could sell more copies. So, I love Masumoto’s book on growing peaches that burst with flavor and sensual magic, even when others suggest he grow peaches that offer more sturdy shelf life. An artist-farmer, he takes the stand for one-of-a-kind quality and reveals a truly abundant life. Taking us directly into his intimate thoughts and decisions, this book is about living your destiny, choosing to work with natural forces, being insanely tenacious, and transforming your own life in the process. He “listens to his farm” and his writing is so beautiful we listen to it, too.  

Epitaph for a Peach: Four Seasons on My Family Farm

By David M. Masumoto,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Epitaph for a Peach as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A lyrical, sensuous and thoroughly engrossing memoir of one critical year in the life of an organic peach farmer, Epitaph for a Peach is "a delightful narrative . . . with poetic flair and a sense of humor" (Library Journal). Line drawings.

Book cover of Writing Down the Bones: Freeing the Writer Within

Why this book?

When I read this book, I felt as though I’d come home somehow. Goldberg has such a natural, conversational voice while sharing life-changing truths. She shared in a way that embodied her message and I realized I wanted to do that with my calling. While writing about writing, she is also offering instruction that is valuable for anyone who wants to work on any art, craft, or business. Using her years of Zen meditation as a backdrop, she instructs the reader on going beyond self-judgment, training yourself to be excellent, and staying present. It’s a powerful book for anyone who wants to use writing to uncover their truth, and for anyone who wants to dive into practice of any kind, and not get their identity wrapped up in the outcome.

Writing Down the Bones: Freeing the Writer Within

By Natalie Goldberg,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked Writing Down the Bones as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Experience a modern classic on writing as you've never heard it before. With nearly one million copies of Writing Down the Bones in print, Natalie Goldberg has helped change the way writing is practiced in homes, schools, and workshops across America. Through her heartfelt personal reflections and her ingenious Zen-based exercises, Goldberg makes writing available to you as a tool for personal expression, self-exploration, and healing.

In this enhanced reading of her seminal work, Goldberg offers new commentary about the creative, spiritual, and practical dimensions of writing. Join her as she looks back on her life, sharing the story of…

5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in spirituality, creativity, and writer's block?

8,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about spirituality, creativity, and writer's block.

Spirituality Explore 218 books about spirituality
Creativity Explore 99 books about creativity
Writer's Block Explore 20 books about writer's block

And, 3 books we think you will enjoy!

We think you will like The Alchemist, Be Here Now, and Bird by Bird if you like this list.