100 books like Catching the Big Fish

By David Lynch,

Here are 100 books that Catching the Big Fish fans have personally recommended if you like Catching the Big Fish. Shepherd is a community of 11,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of The Mysticism of Sound and Music: The Sufi Teaching of Hazrat Inayat Khan

Ib Vindbjerg Author Of The First Book I Wish I'd Had at Art College

From my list on creativity and consciousness.

Why am I passionate about this?

Having graduated as a teacher before undertaking an art degree has made me think that art is not just the kind of stuff we encounter in galleries, but it is about creativity in a much broader sense. Two decades in art education and galleries across London have taught me that as creatives and teachers, we do not only teach others, but we all teach each other on our journeys through life. Creativity is intricately woven into the fabric of our lives and the list of books here are some of my favourite books on the subject.

Ib's book list on creativity and consciousness

Ib Vindbjerg Why did Ib love this book?

The first time I came across this book was in the late '90s in the National Gallery bookshop in London. I worked part-time at the gallery while studying for my art degree and had watched Bill Viola set up work for an exhibition there. The bookshop had dedicated a table with Viola's book recommendations, and Hazrat Inayat Khan's The Mysticism of Sound and Music was one of the titles put on display. My memory of the book is tied to the excitement of being an art student watching an inspiring artist at work. Yet, it is probably one of the most important books I have read that beautifully interweaves creativity, the web of life, music, and the spiritual, which are all themes close to my heart.  

By Hazrat Inayat Khan,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The first teacher to bring Islamic mysticism to the West presents music’s divine nature and its connection to our daily lives in this poetic classic of Sufi literature
 
Music, according to Sufi teaching, is really a small expression of the overwhelming and perfect harmony of the whole universe—and that is the secret of its amazing power to move us. The Indian Sufi master Hazrat Inayat Khan (1882–1927), the first teacher to bring the Islamic mystical tradition to the West, was an accomplished musician himself. His lucid exposition of music's divine nature has become a modern classic, beloved not only by…


Book cover of The Eye of Spirit: An Integral Vision for a World Gone Slightly Mad

Ib Vindbjerg Author Of The First Book I Wish I'd Had at Art College

From my list on creativity and consciousness.

Why am I passionate about this?

Having graduated as a teacher before undertaking an art degree has made me think that art is not just the kind of stuff we encounter in galleries, but it is about creativity in a much broader sense. Two decades in art education and galleries across London have taught me that as creatives and teachers, we do not only teach others, but we all teach each other on our journeys through life. Creativity is intricately woven into the fabric of our lives and the list of books here are some of my favourite books on the subject.

Ib's book list on creativity and consciousness

Ib Vindbjerg Why did Ib love this book?

Wilber's book contains the essay, "Integral Art and Literary Theory" which was the inspiration for my own book. The essay first appeared in Andrew Wyeth: America's Painter and is sometimes characterised as a formal exercise in art analysis, although it is much more than that. With an integral approach, it seeks to look beyond the trenches of changing academic 'discourse' and aims to integrate fundamentally different vantage points in art. It was a real leap forward when published in 1996. 

By Ken Wilber,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

One of the most influential American philosophers of our time presents his vision for a fully integrated world—a world that includes body, mind, soul, and spirit
 
In this groundbreaking book, Ken Wilber uses his widely acknowledged “spectrum of consciousness” model to completely rewrite our approach to such important fields as psychology, spirituality, anthropology, cultural studies, art and literary theory, ecology, feminism, and planetary transformation. What would each of those fields look like if we wholeheartedly accepted the existence of not just body and mind but also soul and spirit?

In a stunning display of integrative embrace, Wilber weaves these various…


Book cover of 3x Abstraction: New Methods of Drawing by Hilma af Klint, Emma Kunz, and Agnes Martin

Ib Vindbjerg Author Of The First Book I Wish I'd Had at Art College

From my list on creativity and consciousness.

Why am I passionate about this?

Having graduated as a teacher before undertaking an art degree has made me think that art is not just the kind of stuff we encounter in galleries, but it is about creativity in a much broader sense. Two decades in art education and galleries across London have taught me that as creatives and teachers, we do not only teach others, but we all teach each other on our journeys through life. Creativity is intricately woven into the fabric of our lives and the list of books here are some of my favourite books on the subject.

Ib's book list on creativity and consciousness

Ib Vindbjerg Why did Ib love this book?

An inspiring book about how three artists explore the creative process at the intersection of drawing, consciousness, and healing. Hilma Af-Klint's approach to drawing I can best describe as transpersonal, Agnes Martin's drawings to me appear as visual representations of stillness and Emma Kunz's use of drawing to make healing mandalas are all incredibly inspiring.  

By Catherine de Zegher (editor), Hendel Teicher (editor),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked 3x Abstraction as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

3x an Abstraction presents the extraordinary work of three important women artists whose innovative ideas and approaches to drawing had a significant impact on the history of modern abstraction. Hilma af Klint (Sweden, 1862-1944), Emma Kunz (Switzerland, 1892-1963) and Agnes Martin (Canada, b. 1912; U.S. citizenship 1950) approached geometric abstraction not as formalism, but as a means of structuring philosophical, scientific, and spiritual ideas. Using line, geometry and the grid, each of these artists created diagrammatic drawings of their exploration of complex belief systems and restorative practices. Noteworthy among the 150 illustrations in the volume are a large number of…


Book cover of Dharma Art

Ib Vindbjerg Author Of The First Book I Wish I'd Had at Art College

From my list on creativity and consciousness.

Why am I passionate about this?

Having graduated as a teacher before undertaking an art degree has made me think that art is not just the kind of stuff we encounter in galleries, but it is about creativity in a much broader sense. Two decades in art education and galleries across London have taught me that as creatives and teachers, we do not only teach others, but we all teach each other on our journeys through life. Creativity is intricately woven into the fabric of our lives and the list of books here are some of my favourite books on the subject.

Ib's book list on creativity and consciousness

Ib Vindbjerg Why did Ib love this book?

History has had mixed perceptions of Chogyam Trungpa, yet as is implicit in this book, one should not mistake great art for the artist. It is often said that to make it commercially as an artist, you need to be very assertive, yet Trungpa argues that as we insist on asserting our expectations to what we want from ourselves and others in the creative process we become blind to inspiration. He calls such a mindset one of aggression and instead advocates the creative process as being one of non-aggression. 

By Chögyam Trungpa,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

"Dharma art" refers to creative works that spring from the awakened meditative state, characterized by directness, unselfconsciousness, and nonaggression. Trungpa Rinpoche shows that dharma art provides a vehicle to appreciate the nature of things as they are and express it without any struggle or desire to achieve.


Book cover of Light the Dark: Writers on Creativity, Inspiration, and the Artistic Process

Beth Kephart Author Of We Are the Words: The Master Memoir Class

From my list on for truth wranglers.

Why am I passionate about this?

The first memoir I ever read—Road Song by Natalie Kusz—pierced me in ways I did not know were possible. Kusz had written, in this elegantly crafted book, of an Alaskan childhood, a life-changing accident, early motherhood, and family love. She had written, I mean to say, of transcending truths. I have spent much of my life ever since deconstructing the ways in which true stories get told, and writing them myself. I’ve taught memoir to five-year-olds, Ivy League students, master’s level writers, and retirees. I co-founded Juncture Workshops, write a monthly newsletter on the form, and today create blank books into which other writers might begin to tell their stories.

Beth's book list on for truth wranglers

Beth Kephart Why did Beth love this book?

Sometimes we just want to know how it feels to be someone else living the writer’s life. In this collection, forty-six writers ranging from Roxane Gay and Billy Collins to Edwidge Danticat and Amy Tan answer one single question: What inspires you? My favorite response comes from Marilynne Robinson, who writes “I’m drawn to that movement toward essentials, away from all secondary definitions, all extraneous props, and ornaments.” What about you? What inspires you? Why are you writing in the first place? You’ll ponder that question while you read these short pieces by writers who shine a light in dark places.

By Joe Fassler,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A stunning masterclass on the creative process, the craft of writing, and the art of finding inspiration from Stephen King, Elizabeth Gilbert, Amy Tan, Khaled Hosseini, Roxane Gay, Neil Gaiman, and more of the most acclaimed writers at work today

"For artists in need of a creative fix, Light the Dark is as good as a visit from the divine muse." -Bookpage

What inspires you? That's the simple, but profound question posed to forty-six renowned authors in LIGHT THE DARK. Each writer begins with a favorite passage from a novel, a song, a poem—something that gets them started and keeps…


Book cover of Upstream: Selected Essays

Deirdre Heekin Author Of An Unlikely Vineyard: The Education of a Farmer and Her Quest for Terroir

From my list on wine, love, and landscape.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a winegrower, farmer, writer, photographer, and pop-upeuse. I fell in love with food and wine while living and working in Italy, then returned stateside to create an homage to the people and place that embraced us and taught us so much. That endeavor--the restaurant osteria pane e salute opened with my chef husband Caleb Barber—was where I curated the wine program and became passionate about wines farmed artfully. I began working as a winegrower in 2007, a personal landscape experiment that led me down the rabbit hole of growing and making wine from hybrid varieties focused on regenerative viticulture and low intervention winemaking.

Deirdre's book list on wine, love, and landscape

Deirdre Heekin Why did Deirdre love this book?

Mary Oliver, as a poet and an essayist, writes with a lyric sword. Upstream is a collection of essays that reflect her willingness to lose herself in the mysteries and intricacies of the natural world. In this work, Oliver contemplates the joy of her work, her passionate eye for observation, her ability and responsibility to write and think about the flora and fauna, the flowers, the grass, the water, the sky, and how they connect us to the natural world, to each other, and to ourselves.

The sheer power of her writing and command of language has always drawn me in, what pushes me as a person, a farmer, and a writer to give into the “stream” of our consciousness, to stop and observe, but to also keep moving forward with the power of words and my experience of the world around me.

By Mary Oliver,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

One of O, The Oprah Magazine's Ten Best Books of the Year

The New York Times bestselling collection of essays from beloved poet, Mary Oliver.

"There's hardly a page in my copy of Upstream that isn't folded down or underlined and scribbled on, so charged is Oliver's language . . ." -Maureen Corrigan, NPR's Fresh Air

"Uniting essays from Oliver's previous books and elsewhere, this gem of a collection offers a compelling synthesis of the poet's thoughts on the natural, spiritual and artistic worlds . . ." -The New York Times

"In the beginning I was so young and such…


Book cover of My Life in Middlemarch: A Memoir

Diane Charney Author Of Letters to Men of Letters

From my list on offbeat memoirs.

Why am I passionate about this?

I taught at Yale for 33 years and I hold advanced degrees from the Sorbonne. I am interested in literature as lessons for life, but I am mostly a passionate letter writer, especially to the great authors who have marked me. They are never really dead. I carry them around with me. I selected the category of Offbeat Memoirs because I have written one. I also have an Italian alter-ego, Donatella de Poitiers, who authors a blog in which she muses about how a lifelong Francophile could have forsaken la Belle France for la dolce vita in the Umbrian countryside, where the food and fresh air are way better than the roads.

Diane's book list on offbeat memoirs

Diane Charney Why did Diane love this book?

What do the writers you are drawn to reveal about you? Why at certain points in our lives do we become “attached” to certain authors? The process of attachment is mysterious. As we age (and change) some things remain constant. Our attachment to a particular author may have begun in our youth, but evolved as we have. To reconnect with a favorite author can put us in touch with our younger self in unexpected ways. Mead shows how much Middlemarch has “spoken” to her throughout her life. This book is perhaps more in harmony with my own than any on the list. I have come to love books that underscore how what we read can be inseparable from the person we become.

By Rebecca Mead,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked My Life in Middlemarch as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A New Yorker writer revisits the seminal book of her youth--Middlemarch--and fashions a singular, involving story of how a passionate attachment to a great work of literature can shape our lives and help us to read our own histories.

Rebecca Mead was a young woman in an English coastal town when she first read George Eliot's Middlemarch, regarded by many as the greatest English novel. After gaining admission to Oxford, and moving to the United States to become a journalist, through several love affairs, then marriage and family, Mead read and reread Middlemarch. The novel, which Virginia Woolf famously described…


Book cover of Essential Art Therapy Exercises: Effective Techniques to Manage Anxiety, Depression, and PTSD

C. Becker Author Of Saving Euphoria

From my list on that have a connection with trauma.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have a B.S. degree in Medical Technology and connect my stories with science. The more I began researching problematic issues in our society for the subject matter of my trilogy, the more I began to empathize with the different kinds of suffering that people endure. I’ve incorporated traumas in all of my Euphoria trilogy stories, from illicit drugs, illnesses, loss, burns, skin regeneration, and human trafficking. Societal awareness is my passion; presenting issues to people who don’t realize these problems are as widespread as they actually are. 

C.'s book list on that have a connection with trauma

C. Becker Why did C. love this book?

I really like how Essential Art Therapy Exercises focuses on creativity through art, photography, and writing, helping people work through their traumas, anxieties, or concerns. The creative projects in this book are so entertaining that it’s easy to forget there is more to therapy than just sharing the artwork. I enjoyed doing some of the paintings and drawings, and also trying one of the collage projects.

By Leah Guzman,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Essential Art Therapy Exercises as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Creating art is a wonderful way to reconnect with yourself while cultivating new skills for navigating life. Author Leah Guzman, a board-certified art therapist and mixed media artist, has put together simple yet powerful art therapy exercises drawn from cognitive behavioral therapy methods. You’ll express your thoughts and emotions by creating art pieces using a variety of mediums, including drawing, painting, and sculpting.You don’t need to be an artist to create art, and no experience is necessary. If you’re experiencing anxiety, depression, or PTSD, Essential Art Therapy Exercises will inspire you to practice mindfulness and self-compassion using:Healing art therapy exercises—Making…


Book cover of Adorning the Dark: Thoughts on Community, Calling, and the Mystery of Making

Luke Italiano Author Of Hollow Heart

From my list on Christians struggling with depression.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a pastor, I thought I had to be a put-together person. Sure, I was allowed to have problems, but I wasn’t really allowed to struggle. Then I was diagnosed with clinical depression. I thought I was alone. I thought I’d have to leave the ministry. I was wrong. I needed to find other people who struggled, though. Through other books, I was able to find them. These books have helped me in my journey so, so much, and if you struggle with depression, I hope it helps with your journey, too! 

Luke's book list on Christians struggling with depression

Luke Italiano Why did Luke love this book?

I bought this book, thinking it would be about Andrew Peterson’s creative process as he writes songs. Well, yeah, it’s about that. It’s also about his struggle with depression. He talks candidly about how he hid from others, wept, and thought he was worthless. And as I read his descriptions of his depression… I knew I was not alone. This is an intimate look at a singer and the darkness he battles. Thankfully, it’s not only brutal about depression, but also points to the light we have in Jesus. 

By Andrew Peterson,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

From the bestselling author of The Wingfeather Saga and award-winning musician and storyteller, Andrew Peterson. 
Christianity Today, The Gospel Coalition, WORLD Magazine each named Adorning the Dark as one of their books of the year. 

Making something beautiful in a broken world can be harrowing work, and it can’t be done alone.
 
Over the last twenty years, Andrew Peterson has performed thousands of concerts, published four novels, released ten albums, taught college and seminary classes on writing, founded a nonprofit ministry for Christians in the arts, and executive-produced a film—all in a belief that God calls us to proclaim the…


Book cover of On Creativity

Tom McLeish Author Of The Poetry and Music of Science: Comparing Creativity in Science and Art

From my list on creativity in science and art.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have worked in scientific research and teaching for over 30 years, and maintained a love of art and music as well, but am saddened when I hear statements, especially from high-school pupils, that ‘there is no room for creativity or imagination in science.’ Like all working scientists, I know that imagination is the most important faculty for a scientist. The Poetry and Music of Science is my project to tease out the creative threads in the scientific process, and also to find the buried pathways that link science with the arts and humanities. The journey of discovery has been full of surprises and delights for me.

Tom's book list on creativity in science and art

Tom McLeish Why did Tom love this book?

David Bohm is celebrated for creating a completely different theory of quantum mechanics, equally adept and accounting for experiments but conceptually irreconcilable from those of Schrödinger and Heisenberg. Put that together with his broad and deep understanding of culture, and you have a uniquely sensitive and original take on creativity. I particularly like his sharp critique of superficial ‘creativity’ which he claims is mostly reflex. Bohm helps his readers to see that ‘discovery’ and ‘creation’ cannot easily be disentangled.

By David Bohm,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Creativity is fundamental to human experience. In On Creativity David Bohm, the world-renowned scientist, investigates the phenomenon from all sides: not only the creativity of invention and of imagination but also that of perception and of discovery. This is a remarkable and life-affirming book by one of the most far-sighted thinkers of modern times.


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