46 books like Duino Elegies

By Rainer Maria Rilke, Edward Snow (translator),

Here are 46 books that Duino Elegies fans have personally recommended if you like Duino Elegies. 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 Siddhartha

Marc Lesser Author Of Finding Clarity: How Compassionate Accountability Builds Vibrant Relationships, Thriving Workplaces and Meaningful Lives

From my list on helping you live a meaningful and successful life.

Who am I?

I sometimes describe myself as a stealth Zen teacher working in the business world. I've founded and been CEO of three companies, including the Search Inside Yourself Leadership Institute, a company I helped create and launch inside of Google's headquarters. I'm an executive coach and consultant to CEOs and leaders in the corporate and non-profit worlds. Prior to my business career I was a resident of the San Francisco Zen Center for 10 years. I'm the author of 5 books.

Marc's book list on helping you live a meaningful and successful life

Marc Lesser Why did Marc love this book?

Siddhartha is a profound exploration of spirituality, self-discovery, and the pursuit of meaning in life.

It encourages readers to seek their own paths, embrace the present moment, and develop a deep sense of interconnectedness with the world around them. The books protagonist Siddhartha encounters various forms of suffering throughout his journey, and he comes to recognize the necessity and inevitability of pain and hardship in life.

The novel teaches that true wisdom and growth can arise from embracing and accepting suffering rather than trying to escape or avoid it.

By Hermann Hesse,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Here the spirituality of the East and the West have met in a novel that enfigures deep human wisdom with a rich and colorful imagination.

Written in a prose of almost biblical simplicity and beauty, it is the story of a soul's long quest in search of he ultimate answer to the enigma of man's role on this earth. As a youth, the young Indian Siddhartha meets the Buddha but cannot be content with a disciple's role: he must work out his own destiny and solve his own doubt-a tortuous road that carries him through the sensuality of a love…


Book cover of The Razor's Edge

Michael Golding Author Of A Poet of the Invisible World

From my list on accompanying you on your spiritual journey.

Who am I?

It took me awhile to understand that I was on a spiritual path. I started out as an actor, and working in the theater brought me joy. But as time passed, and I turned to writing novels, the same questions kept emerging: “Who am I?” “Why am I here?” I began to see that I was on a spiritual journey. With A Poet of the Invisible World, I finally felt ready to write about that journey. Nouri’s adventures chart the twists and turns—as well as the deep rewards—of the spiritual path. It’s a book that’s very close to my heart.

Michael's book list on accompanying you on your spiritual journey

Michael Golding Why did Michael love this book?

The hero of Somerset Maugham’s The Razor’s Edge, Larry Darrell, is a classic seeker. Crushed by his time in the war, he leaves his family and fiancé behind and heads to Paris—then Germany—and finally India. He’s not really sure what he’s looking for, but he knows that the answers lie down a path far different from the one he’s left behind. Larry’s friends back home feel sure that he’s lost his way; only when their own worlds begin to crumble do they start to realize what he’s attained. The Razor’s Edge makes it clear that the spiritual journey may lead you far from what’s familiar to you. But the journey is worth every sacrifice.

By W. Somerset Maugham,

Why should I read it?

5 authors picked The Razor's Edge as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Larry Darrell is a young American in search of the absolute. The progress of this spiritual odyssey involves him with some of Maugham's most brillant characters - his fiancee Isabel, whose choice between love and wealth have lifelong repercussions, and Elliot Templeton, her uncle, a classic expatriate American snob. The most ambitious of Maugham's novels, this is also one in which Maugham himself plays a considerable part as he wanders in and out of the story, to observe his characters struggling with their fates.


Book cover of The Complete Poems of Emily Dickinson

Michael Golding Author Of A Poet of the Invisible World

From my list on accompanying you on your spiritual journey.

Who am I?

It took me awhile to understand that I was on a spiritual path. I started out as an actor, and working in the theater brought me joy. But as time passed, and I turned to writing novels, the same questions kept emerging: “Who am I?” “Why am I here?” I began to see that I was on a spiritual journey. With A Poet of the Invisible World, I finally felt ready to write about that journey. Nouri’s adventures chart the twists and turns—as well as the deep rewards—of the spiritual path. It’s a book that’s very close to my heart.

Michael's book list on accompanying you on your spiritual journey

Michael Golding Why did Michael love this book?

The Complete Poems of Emily Dickinson is one of literature’s most intimate records of the struggle to know God. Emily Dickinson spent most of her life in Amherst, Massachusetts, in the Calvinist home where she grew up. But while she eventually drifted away from organized faith, she found God in other ways: “Some keep the Sabbath going to Church/ I keep it, staying at Home.” Like so many spiritual seekers, Dickinson experienced doubt: “Of Course—I prayed—/ And did God care?”  Yet her faith persisted: “I know that He exists/ Somewhere—in silence—”. The Complete Poems of Emily Dickinson reveals the seeker’s need to move beyond forms. And it shows how God, in the end, permeates everything.

By Emily Dickinson,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The Complete Poems of Emily Dickinson as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Though generally overlooked during her lifetime, Emily Dickinson's poetry has achieved acclaim due to her experiments in prosody, her tragic vision and the range of her emotional and intellectual explorations.


Book cover of In Search of the Miraculous

Mada Eliza Dalian Author Of In Search of the Miraculous: Healing into Consciousness

From my list on spirituality and self-discovery.

Who am I?

I was 5 when I saw my grandfather die. He drank morphene from a bottle, to stop his cancer pains, and soon after he stopped breathing. In the silent peace that followed, I realized that I too shall die one day, and life on earth will continue. The questions, Who am I? Where do I come from? What am I doing here? and Where will I go when I die? felt like the most important questions to find answers to before I die. The book, In Search of the Miraculous: Healing into Consciousness, was written fifty years later, and is the fruit of my search and discovery of answers to these questions.

Mada's book list on spirituality and self-discovery

Mada Eliza Dalian Why did Mada love this book?

I was 25 when I came across a well-known book by P.D. Ouspensky, In Search of the Miraculous: Fragments of an Unknown Teaching.

This book is based on the teachings of a spiritual teacher Georges Gurdjieff. Reading this book was a turning point in my life. It gave me hope and direction, and revived my quest in self-discovery.

This book is a delightful must-read for anyone who is searching to find life’s meaning and familiarize themselves with an esoteric understanding of life.  

Book cover of Rilke on Love and Other Difficulties: Translations and Considerations

Barbara L.B. Storey Author Of Finding Our Way

From my list on love poetry that aren't all hearts, flowers, and mush.

Who am I?

When writing my book, it seemed only natural for me to bring poetry into the love story I’d created. I fell in love with poetry in high school, and it has always felt like a more powerful, compact, and intense way of expressing deep emotions. And it’s so much more complex than hearts and flowers, hence my title for this list! I wanted to use a poem that summed up the intensity of a physical encounter between new lovers. And Rilke was perfect for that. The other books are favourites, books I’ve had for years, and they’ve been good background for my writing in general.

Barbara's book list on love poetry that aren't all hearts, flowers, and mush

Barbara L.B. Storey Why did Barbara love this book?

Rilke has been my favourite poet since I was in my 20s—the depth of emotion and the lack of sentiment is what attracts me to his work. In his mind, love is a very serious thing, as the title suggests. No hearts and roses—just the truth about human emotions. I use one of the poems (“The Seven Phallic Poems, IV”) in this book in my book—Jon reads it to Becca at a very intimate moment. I believe Rilke’s work in this book was my introduction to erotic poetry.

By Rainer Maria Rilke, John J.L. Mood (translator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Rilke on Love and Other Difficulties as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Here is a mini-anthology of poetry and prose for both aficionados and those readers discovering Rainer Maria Rilke for the first time. John J. L. Mood has assembled a collection of Rilke's strongest work, presenting commentary along with the selections. Mood links into an essay passages from letters that show Rilke's profound understanding of men and women and his ardent spirituality, rooted in the senses.

Combining passion and sensitivity, the poems on love presented here are often not only sensual but sexual as well. Others pursue perennial themes in his work-death and life, growth and transformation. The book concludes with…


Book cover of Letters on Cezanne

Richard Weston Author Of 100 Ideas that Changed Architecture

From my list on that formed my understanding of architecture.

Who am I?

I’ve been fascinated by architecture and landscape architecture since discovering the work of Le Corbusier at the age of sixteen. Most of my life has been spent teaching and writing about it - fifteen books and numerous articles - with occasional forays into designing and building. I took early retirement as a Professor of  Architecture in 2013, the year after enjoying ‘Fifteen Minutes of Fame’ on a BBC TV series featuring the development of my ‘mineral scarves’ for Liberty of London. This led to a creative app and website for children called Molly’s World (to be launched in 2024) and on my seventieth birthday in 2023 I launched an architectural and garden design studio.

Richard's book list on that formed my understanding of architecture

Richard Weston Why did Richard love this book?

This short book is not about architecture, but about the supremely ‘architectural’ painter, Paul Cézanne, who almost literally ‘built’ his paintings brushstroke by brushstroke.

The author, Rilke, was a great poet and the book consists of a series of letters he wrote home to his wife after almost daily visits to the great memorial exhibition of Cézanne’s work held in Paris 1907, the year after his death. At first he struggled to understand Cézanne’s work, but by the end he offers one of the most profound meditations on aesthetic values I know.

His discovery of Cézanne was, Rilke declared, the most important influence on his poetry and changed his life. These letters changed mine, and I cannot recommend them too highly. 

By Rainer Maria Rilke, Joel Agee (translator),

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Rilke's prayerful responses to the french master's beseeching art

For a long time nothing, and then suddenly one has the right eyes.

Virtually every day in the fall of 1907, Rainer Maria Rilke returned to a Paris gallery to view a Cezanne exhibition. Nearly as frequently, he wrote dense and joyful letters to his wife, Clara Westhoff, expressing his dismay before the paintings and his ensuing revelations about art and life.

Rilke was knowledgeable about art and had even published monographs, including a famous study of Rodin that inspired his New Poems. But Cezanne's impact on him could not be…


Book cover of Letters to a Young Poet

Mark David Gerson Author Of Writer's Block Unblocked: Seven Surefire Ways to Free Up Your Writing and Creative Flow

From my list on unlikely books to help you through creative blocks.

Who am I?

Ask successful authors how they started writing, and many will tell you that they always wanted to write. Not me! In fact, through most of my first 35 years, I resisted engaging with anything even remotely creative. I wouldn’t have called it “writer’s block” back then because, having no conscious desire to be a writer, how I could I be blocked? Yet writer’s block is what it was. That I was ultimately able to recognize it as such and get past it has given me a unique perspective on others’ writing challenges, as well as the skill and compassion to help them free up their innate creative potential.

Mark's book list on unlikely books to help you through creative blocks

Mark David Gerson Why did Mark love this book?

There’s nothing in Letters to a Young Poet about craft, writer’s block, or any of the recognizable challenges faced by twenty-first-century writers. Yet this slender volume published more than a century ago speaks to writers everywhere and in every era, who so often work in isolation and, if they are to be true to their art and authentic within themselves, must rip open their souls and spill the contents onto the page without regard for others’ judgment and criticism. In fact, it speaks to anyone, non-writer as well as writer, whose sensitivity and feelings of not belonging make it sometimes feel impossible to express themselves out in the world. In the end, isn’t that what writer’s block is all about. It certainly was for me!

By Rainer Maria Rilke, MD Herter Norton,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Letters to a Young Poet as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Born in 1875, the great German lyric poet Rainer Maria Rilke published his first collection of poems in 1898 and went on to become renowned for his delicate depiction of the workings of the human heart. Drawn by some sympathetic note in his poems, young people often wrote to Rilke with their problems and hopes. From 1903 to 1908 Rilke wrote a series of remarkable responses to a young, would-be poet on poetry and on surviving as a sensitive observer in a harsh world. Those letters, still a fresh source of inspiration and insight, are accompanied here by a chronicle…


Book cover of You Must Change Your Life: The Story of Rainer Maria Rilke and Auguste Rodin

Michael Findlay Author Of Seeing Slowly: Looking at Modern Art

From my list on making modern art exciting.

Who am I?

I have spent an exciting half-century in the New York art world as a dealer and an author and while my passion is to encourage people to enjoy art for art’s sake (rather than money or prestige) my many close friendships with artists demonstrate how much their life informs their art. The authors of these five books bring the art as well as the artists to life.

Michael's book list on making modern art exciting

Michael Findlay Why did Michael love this book?

Rilke, a shy young Austrian poet goes to Paris in 1902 to write a book about Rodin, a famous and famously difficult sculptor twice his age. Not only do they become friends but the ideas they shared about art and creativity are influential to this day. Guest appearances by Paul Cézanne, Henri Matisse, George Bernard Shaw, and many other notable artists and writers.

I am an art dealer who is also a writer so I was fascinated to learn about the relationship between Rodin, a great sculptor whose work I know very well, and the young poet Rilke, whose work I knew little about. Art and poetry come from the same wellspring of imagination and both artist and poet were inspired by each other despite the difference in their age and practice.

By Rachel Corbett,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked You Must Change Your Life as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In Paris in 1902, Auguste Rodin had just completed The Thinker; visiting from Prague was Rainer Maria Rilke, broke and with writer's block. When Rilke was commissioned to write a book about Rodin, everything changed. You Must Change Your Life tells one of the great stories of modern art and literature: Rodin and Rilke's years together as master and disciple, their heartbreaking rift and finally, their moving reconciliation. Rachel Corbett reveals how Rodin's friendship led Rilke to write his most celebrated poems and inspired his Letters to a Young Poet. She captures the dawn of Modernism amid the characters that…


Book cover of Agents of the Apocalypse

Randy C. Dockens Author Of Mercy of the Iron Scepter

From my list on biblical prophecy in fiction format.

Who am I?

I’ve always been fascinated by science fiction and by Biblical Scripture. That may seem dichotomous to some, but not to me. I have a passion for science and for Scripture because both bring understanding about our world from the microcosm to the macrocosm. My writings are a mixture of science and mystery with a science fiction feel and a Christian perspective. I like stories that show how truth arises even from the dark, confusing, and ambiguity of life to help one discover something about God they may not have considered before, and at the same time enjoy a fun, fast-paced, and exciting journey as they read.

Randy's book list on biblical prophecy in fiction format

Randy C. Dockens Why did Randy love this book?

I found this book interesting from the perspective that it is almost the flip side of the book Left Behind. While Left Behind deals with the inner circle battling the evil world leader, this book is more about the people in the periphery who are not close to the action. It shows how the acts of the evil world leader affect the average person and reveals their view of what is taking place around them.

By David Jeremiah,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Who Will Usher in Earth’s Final Days?
Are we living in the end times? Is it possible that the players depicted in the book of Revelation could be out in force today? And if they are, would you know how to recognize them?

In Agents of the Apocalypse, noted prophecy expert Dr. David Jeremiah does what no prophecy expert has done before. He explores the book of Revelation through the lens of its major players—the exiled, the martyrs, the elders, the victor, the king, the judge, the 144,000, the witnesses, the false prophet, and the beast.

One by one, Dr.…


Book cover of Kingdom Come

Randy C. Dockens Author Of Rebellion in the Stones of Fire

From my list on stories about angels and heaven.

Who am I?

I’ve always been fascinated by science fiction and by Biblical Scripture. That may seem dichotomous to some, but not to me. I have a passion for science and for Scripture because both bring understanding about our world from the microcosm to the macrocosm. My writings are a mixture of science and mystery with a science fiction feel and a Christian perspective. I like stories that show how truth arises even from the dark, confusing, and ambiguity of life to help one discover something about God they may not have considered before, and at the same time enjoy a fun, fast-paced, and exciting journey as they read.

Randy's book list on stories about angels and heaven

Randy C. Dockens Why did Randy love this book?

One could say there are different stages of heaven. This book talks about how wonderful things will one day be on earth but shows that paradise is not paradise just because the devil doesn’t exist anymore. A plot develops to go against the king who has brought wonderment to the earth. It is the story of how peacefulness meets mankind at its selfish core. There are more Bible quotes that I would think would be necessary to go into a fiction story, but overall it is a good presentation to show what this future world will look like and function.

By Tim LaHaye, Jerry B. Jenkins,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The sequel to the best-selling Christian fiction series that has sold over 63 million copies!

Reunite with all your favorite characters and see how they fare in this capstone final title of the Left Behind saga.

The horrors of the Tribulation are over, and Jesus Christ has set up his perfect kingdom on earth. Believers all around the world enjoy a newly perfected relationship with their Lord, and the earth itself is transformed. Yet evil still lurks in the hearts of the unbelieving. As the Millennium draws to a close, the final generation of the unrepentant prepares to mount a…


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