100 books like Anam Cara

By John O'Donohue,

Here are 100 books that Anam Cara fans have personally recommended if you like Anam Cara. Shepherd is a community of 10,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of The Wall

Lisa Currie Author Of Guidebook to the Unknown: A Journal for Anxious Minds

From my list on journeying into the unknown.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m an Australian author and artist who is quite cautious and introverted by nature, but very curious and playful at heart. I make books that help people untangle what’s on their mind today and shift their thinking in creative ways, often using visual metaphors. My latest book, Guidebook to the Unknown, was created during the long lockdowns we had in Melbourne (and all over the world of course) during the pandemic. It was my way of exploring how to calm an anxious mind and find meaning in my daily life, right here and now, without knowing what tomorrow will bring.

Lisa's book list on journeying into the unknown

Lisa Currie Why did Lisa love this book?

This story has stayed with me for years. A woman takes a holiday in the Austrian mountains and wakes up to an inexplicable new reality—she’s totally alone in the world, so it seems, and has to learn to fend for herself. We journey into the unknown with her as she reports on the mental and physical challenges of her new daily life… and it stirs up so many interesting questions about who we are without connection and community, and where meaning can be found in the most stripped-back life.

By Marlen Haushofer,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

“I can allow myself to write the truth; all the people for whom I have lied throughout my life are dead…” writes the heroine of Marlen Haushofer’s The Wall, a quite ordinary, unnamed middle-aged woman who awakens to find she is the last living human being. Surmising her solitude is the result of a too successful military experiment, she begins the terrifying work of not only survival, but self-renewal. The Wall is at once a simple and moving talk — of potatoes and beans, of hoping for a calf, of counting matches, of forgetting the taste of sugar and the…


Book cover of A Gentleman in Moscow

Abdul Quayyum Khan Kundi Author Of Legacy of the Third Way

From my list on books to take you to the future.

Why am I passionate about this?

From a young age, I've been captivated by evolution and its implications for the future. I immersed myself in classical works of philosophy and literature that explored human emotions and our relentless drive to succeed against all odds, advancing human knowledge and shaping society. This fascination with understanding the future led me to write op-ed pieces on foreign policy and geopolitics for prominent newspapers in South Asia. My desire to contribute to a better future inspired me to author three nonfiction books covering topics such as the Islamic Social Contract, Lessons from the Quran, and Reflections on God,  Science, and Human Nature. 

Abdul's book list on books to take you to the future

Abdul Quayyum Khan Kundi Why did Abdul love this book?

Russia is once again in the headlines, sparking a geopolitical contest between her and the West.

The period immediately following the Second World War can be viewed as a romantic era, marked by new hope for peace and the rebuilding of the world. The establishment of the UN aimed to resolve power struggles at the negotiating table rather than on the battlefield. 

These elements are all found in this novel, which delves into the past to shed light on Russia's psyche and how it might shape the future. It effectively connects the past with the near future. House arrest is common in oppressive regimes across the developing world.

What intrigued me was that the protagonist was placed under hotel arrest and restricted, punished for a crime he didn't commit. It was a captivating read, especially given the ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine, which will undoubtedly have far-reaching consequences for…

By Amor Towles,

Why should I read it?

31 authors picked A Gentleman in Moscow as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The mega-bestseller with more than 2 million readers, soon to be a major television series

From the #1 New York Times-bestselling author of The Lincoln Highway and Rules of Civility, a beautifully transporting novel about a man who is ordered to spend the rest of his life inside a luxury hotel

In 1922, Count Alexander Rostov is deemed an unrepentant aristocrat by a Bolshevik tribunal, and is sentenced to house arrest in the Metropol, a grand hotel across the street from the Kremlin. Rostov, an indomitable man of erudition and wit, has never worked a day in his life, and…


Book cover of Peace Is Every Step: The Path of Mindfulness in Everyday Life

Lynda Allen Author Of Grace Reflected

From my list on life-changing world-rocking books.

Why am I passionate about this?

I think of myself as a listener and life in progress. As a poet and author, I’m always listening to the words that move through my heart. I’m also a spiritual seeker, always looking for the Divine in the world around me and almost always surprised by the ways it shows up when I’m paying attention. Yet, there’s another part of me that is a Jersey girl through and through, looking for humor or irreverence in the face of life’s challenges. All these aspects come together in an unusual harmony, creating an openness to being changed by the things that come into my life. Hence, a list of life-changing books.

Lynda's book list on life-changing world-rocking books

Lynda Allen Why did Lynda love this book?

Reading this book helped me change my life for the better. Putting Thich Nhat Hanh’s teachings into practice in my daily life helped me live a more mindful, more peaceful life at a time of great transition in my personal life.

One of the things I love the most about this book is how simple it is to incorporate its practices into daily life. There are sections on how to be mindful about washing dishes or answering the phone! There are also sections that went much deeper, which dealt with how to be mindful of my emotions, which I have found so valuable in dealing with anxiety, difficult situations, and fear.

One of my favorite experiences related to this book was guiding a group of middle school-age kids through a discussion inspired by the “Tangerine Meditation.” Instead of a tangerine, we considered a piece of paper and talked about the…

By Thich Nhat Hanh,

Why should I read it?

6 authors picked Peace Is Every Step as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

'This is a very worthwhile book. It can change individual lives and the life of our society.' The Dalai Lama

Lucidly and beautifully written, Peace is Every Step contains commentaries and meditations, personal anecdotes and stories from Nhat Hanh's experiences as a peace activist, teacher, and community leader. It begins where the reader already is - in the kitchen, office, driving a car, walking in a park - and shows how deep meditative presence is available now. Nhat Hanh provides exercises to increase our awareness of our own body and mind through conscious breathing, which can bring immediate joy and…


Book cover of Skinny Legs and All

Lynda Allen Author Of Grace Reflected

From my list on life-changing world-rocking books.

Why am I passionate about this?

I think of myself as a listener and life in progress. As a poet and author, I’m always listening to the words that move through my heart. I’m also a spiritual seeker, always looking for the Divine in the world around me and almost always surprised by the ways it shows up when I’m paying attention. Yet, there’s another part of me that is a Jersey girl through and through, looking for humor or irreverence in the face of life’s challenges. All these aspects come together in an unusual harmony, creating an openness to being changed by the things that come into my life. Hence, a list of life-changing books.

Lynda's book list on life-changing world-rocking books

Lynda Allen Why did Lynda love this book?

What a world-rocking, mind-blowing journey reading Skinny Legs and All was! I read it in my twenties, and it truly was life-changing. It is imaginative and thought-provoking. It expanded my perspective on life and what might be happening right in front of my eyes that I’m missing with my limited imagination.

It’s wickedly funny and irreverent and yet addresses difficult issues that are relevant today, such as the conflict between Israel and Palestine. The storytelling is so unique, I’ve never read another book like it. It’s a book that leaves me envying someone else’s first read of it.

It also served as a source of inspiration for me as an author many years later. There was a scene in the movie Finding Forrester, where a young writer (Rob Brown) is facing writer’s block. His instructor (Sean Connery) suggests he start typing the content of a book he loves word for…

By Tom Robbins,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked Skinny Legs and All as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

An Arab and a Jew open a restaurant together across the street from the United Nations....

It sounds like the beginning of an ethnic joke, but it's the axis around which this gutsy, fun-loving, and alarmingly provocative novel spins, in which a bean can philosophizes, a dessert spoon mystifies, a young waitress takes on the New York art world, and a rowdy redneck welder discovers the lost god of Palestine-while the illusions that obscure humanity's view of the true universe fall away, one by one, like Salome's veils.

Skinny Legs and All deals with today's most sensitive issues: race, politics,…


Book cover of The Diving Bell and the Butterfly: A Memoir of Life in Death

Lisa Currie Author Of Guidebook to the Unknown: A Journal for Anxious Minds

From my list on journeying into the unknown.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m an Australian author and artist who is quite cautious and introverted by nature, but very curious and playful at heart. I make books that help people untangle what’s on their mind today and shift their thinking in creative ways, often using visual metaphors. My latest book, Guidebook to the Unknown, was created during the long lockdowns we had in Melbourne (and all over the world of course) during the pandemic. It was my way of exploring how to calm an anxious mind and find meaning in my daily life, right here and now, without knowing what tomorrow will bring.

Lisa's book list on journeying into the unknown

Lisa Currie Why did Lisa love this book?

This fascinating and charming book was written by a French magazine editor after he suffered a massive stroke and was locked inside his own body, unable to speak or move. Incredibly, he wrote this book in his mind throughout the day and then each letter was slowly transcribed by blinking his eyes. I kept thinking about this book long after I read it. It’s a nightmare scenario, but he leads us all the way through it. We’re with him as he survives and even finds meaning when almost everything else is lost.

By Jean-Dominique Bauby, Jeremy Leggatt (translator),

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked The Diving Bell and the Butterfly as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Whilst suffering from a condition whereby he was unable to speak and his only movement was the blinking of an eyelid, Jean-Dominique Bauby devised a code for each letter of the alphabet and dictated this book about his experiences and feelings. He died just after it was published.


Book cover of Daily Rituals: Women at Work

Lisa Currie Author Of Guidebook to the Unknown: A Journal for Anxious Minds

From my list on journeying into the unknown.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m an Australian author and artist who is quite cautious and introverted by nature, but very curious and playful at heart. I make books that help people untangle what’s on their mind today and shift their thinking in creative ways, often using visual metaphors. My latest book, Guidebook to the Unknown, was created during the long lockdowns we had in Melbourne (and all over the world of course) during the pandemic. It was my way of exploring how to calm an anxious mind and find meaning in my daily life, right here and now, without knowing what tomorrow will bring.

Lisa's book list on journeying into the unknown

Lisa Currie Why did Lisa love this book?

As it says on the packet, this is a collection of quick peeks into how 140 brilliant women lived (or are living) their version of a creative life. I loved reading a few pages each morning. It helped to soothe the perfectionist in me, being reminded of the endless ways a life can be lived, in both circumstance and choice. Also to read how the messiness of life is sort of ironed out with hindsight made me feel more welcoming to the current unknown of it all.

By Mason Currey,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

'That word, "vacation," makes me sweat.' Coco Chanel on taking a break
'You must do it irregardless, or it will eat its way out of you.' Zora Neale Hurston on writing
'One has to choose between the Life and the Project.' Susan Sontag on choosing art

From Vanessa Bell and Charlotte Bronte to Nina Simone and Jane Campion, here are over one hundred and forty female writers, painters, musicians, sculptors, poets, choreographers, and filmmakers on how they create and work.

Barbara Hepworth sculpted outdoors and Janet Frame wore earmuffs as she worked to block out noise. Kate Chopin wrote with…


Book cover of Many Miles: Mary Oliver reads Mary Oliver

Lynda Allen Author Of Grace Reflected

From my list on life-changing world-rocking books.

Why am I passionate about this?

I think of myself as a listener and life in progress. As a poet and author, I’m always listening to the words that move through my heart. I’m also a spiritual seeker, always looking for the Divine in the world around me and almost always surprised by the ways it shows up when I’m paying attention. Yet, there’s another part of me that is a Jersey girl through and through, looking for humor or irreverence in the face of life’s challenges. All these aspects come together in an unusual harmony, creating an openness to being changed by the things that come into my life. Hence, a list of life-changing books.

Lynda's book list on life-changing world-rocking books

Lynda Allen Why did Lynda love this book?

I have found so many of Mary Oliver’s poems to be inspirational and thought-provoking that I could call any of Mary Oliver’s poetry collections life-changing. Her ability to be present in nature, to hold both the beauty and the sorrow found in nature in a few lines of a poem and invite me as the reader to hold them both in my heart, is astounding.

Hearing her read “When I am Among the Trees” from this collection makes my heart sing! Listening to “At the Pond” makes my heart ache for one small goose every time. One of my favorite lines from any of her poems, “Sometimes I need only to stand wherever I am to be blessed,” is found in this collection as well, in “It Was Early”. 

I chose this one specifically because it is an audio recording rather than a book. There is something so heart-opening about…

By Mary Oliver,

Why should I read it?

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


Book cover of I am The Rage: A Black Poetry Collection

Lynda Allen Author Of Grace Reflected

From my list on life-changing world-rocking books.

Why am I passionate about this?

I think of myself as a listener and life in progress. As a poet and author, I’m always listening to the words that move through my heart. I’m also a spiritual seeker, always looking for the Divine in the world around me and almost always surprised by the ways it shows up when I’m paying attention. Yet, there’s another part of me that is a Jersey girl through and through, looking for humor or irreverence in the face of life’s challenges. All these aspects come together in an unusual harmony, creating an openness to being changed by the things that come into my life. Hence, a list of life-changing books.

Lynda's book list on life-changing world-rocking books

Lynda Allen Why did Lynda love this book?

This book was released at a time of great personal reflection for me. I was involved with an organization called Coming To the Table, through which I was learning more about the legacy of enslavement in the United States. Dr. McGowan’s book provides an opportunity for deep listening to the experiences of a Black woman in America. The words and experiences were challenging to sit with because of the depth of the pain, but that is what deep listening is about, being able to be still with what I am hearing and do my best to be with it. 

The poems in this collection allowed me to take a glimpse into Dr. McGowan’s life for a short time and feel the darkness she is surrounded by in our country simply because of the color of her skin. It was not an easy or comfortable experience to read i am the…

By Martina McGowan, Diana Ejaita (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

I am the Rage is not just a poetry book. It is a call-to-action.
This evocative collection of thirty poems puts readers in the position of feeling, reflecting, and empathizing with what it means to be Black in America today. Dr. Martina McGowan, a doctor and grandmother who has been a victim of and an advocate against social, racial, and sexual injustices, uses powerful free verse poetry to express the range of emotions, thoughts, and grief she had following the deaths of Breonna Taylor and George Floyd, the subsequent Black Lives Matter protests, and the ongoing attacks against the Black…


Book cover of Pure Heart, Enlightened Mind: The Life and Letters of an Irish Zen Saint

Elles Lohuis Author Of A Pilgrim's Heart

From my list on biographies of Western Buddhist women.

Why am I passionate about this?

I write novels that enthrall, enrich, and enliven you. I've been student of Buddhism for more than thirty years and spend long periods of time with the most generous Tibetan Buddhist nuns in their monasteries in the remote Himalayas, relishing the solitude and contemplative life. Their tales of resilience are an enormous inspiration to me. The biographies of Western Buddhist women I’ve selected are everything I look for in ‘great writing’. The stories are engaging and entertaining, but also make us pause and reflect to appreciate the astonishing opportunities of the privileged times we live in, and challenge us once again to be and do better—every moment of this precious life.

Elles' book list on biographies of Western Buddhist women

Elles Lohuis Why did Elles love this book?

I read this book when it first came out in 1995 and have kept a copy of it for all those years, re-reading it again and again. This book is the journal and letters of Maura O'Halloran, a young Irish-American who went to Japan and joined a Zen Buddhist temple for monks at a time (the early 1980s) when few western women were admitted to such extremely arduous training. It tells of her three years in the temple in a heart-warming, honest way, with an abundance of humor. This book gives a brilliant look into life in a Zen temple, and Maura’s detailed observations and humble descriptions of her breakthroughs are a heartfelt reminder that no matter where we are on our spiritual path, we're human and there’s always hope.

By Maura O'Halloran, Beth O'Halloran (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Pure Heart, Enlightened Mind as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

One of the most beloved Buddhist books of all time-having inspired popular musicians, artists, a documentary film, and countless readers-is now in an expanded, new edition, loaded with extras. Absolutely absorbing from start to finish, this is a true story you might truly fall in love with.

At only 24, Maura O'Halloran left her Irish-American family stateside and traveled to Japan, where she began studying under an inscrutable Zen master. She would herself become recognized as a Zen master-in an uncommonly brief amount of time. Pure Heart, Enlightened Mind is Maura's beautifully-written account of her journey. These journal entries and…


Book cover of The Dance of the Dissident Daughter: A Woman's Journey from Christian Tradition to the Sacred Feminine

Margie Lukas Author Of The Broken Statue

From my list on heroines who inspire.

Why am I passionate about this?

I grew up watching my mother suffer under a strict patriarchal religion. She never felt she had a choice in her life, and yet she always remained a dreamer, collecting newspaper articles about events in history that interested her. They piled up in a box and I’ve no idea what she thought to do with them. She would thumb through them between bouts of standing over a ringer washer or hanging wet clothing outside in freezing weather. There were 15 of us, you can imagine the laundry. I never saw her cry…despite working like a mule. I admire her and women like her for getting through. 

Margie's book list on heroines who inspire

Margie Lukas Why did Margie love this book?

The book chronicles Kidd’s evolution from a patriarchal religion into a spirituality that honors her as a woman. She’d built her reputation and made her livelihood as a Christian writer and speaker, and she risked everything: career, marriage, family, and friends in leaving that behind. I was making a similar journey when I found the book, leaving behind the organized religion I’d grown up with and significantly, married into. Fighting broke out when I quit attending services, and I received a lot of condemnation for seeking to free myself from a religion thousands of years old. How dare I! I was letting my immediate, and not so immediate, family and community down. I was headed for damnation. Kidd’s book uplifted and supported my decision. It’s honest, too, in addressing one’s internal conflicts about change. The book gave me the courage to face my fears, my guilts, and keep following my…

By Sue Monk Kidd,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Dance of the Dissident Daughter as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

"A masterpiece of women’s wisdom."—Christiane Northrup, M.D.

"The journey to capture her feminine soul and live authentically . . . makes a fascinating, well-researched and well-written story."—Publishers Weekly

In celebration of the twentieth anniversary of its publication, a newly reissued edition of the bestselling author’s classic work of feminine spiritual discovery, with a new introduction by the author.

"I was amazed to find that I had no idea how to unfold my spiritual life in a feminine way. I was surprised, and, in fact, a little terrified, when I found myself in the middle of a feminist spiritual reawakening."—Sue Monk…


5 book lists we think you will like!

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