100 books like Loose Ends

By James Hillman,

Here are 100 books that Loose Ends fans have personally recommended if you like Loose Ends. 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 Man’s Search for Meaning

Ricardo Sunderland Author Of The Energy Advantage: How to Go from Managing Your Time to Mastering Your Energy

From my list on non fiction mastering your energy.

Why am I passionate about this?

My purpose is to help leaders connect to and manage their energy. I help them bring coherence to how they lead and reach their full societal impact. For more than a  decade, I have coached 300 of the most senior leaders at some of the largest and most recognizable companies in the world. My recommended to-read book list represents crucible moments in my life and my calling to learn about human energy. Representing different lenses, which are key to adding to a mix of ingredients, allows the reader to drink a potion that will exalt all your buckets (physical, mental, emotional & spiritual) of energy holistically. 

Ricardo's book list on non fiction mastering your energy

Ricardo Sunderland Why did Ricardo love this book?

Besides being one of the best psychologists in mankind's history, Viktor is a masterful storyteller. It's as if I was transported to Auschwitz at the time, where Viktor was imprisoned along with thousands of Jews; in a very compelling way, he leaves no hint of a doubt that it was thanks to his meaning in life that he was able to survive, and the minute that others let go of theirs, they let go of life itself.

In addition, Viktor also shares his logotherapy framework and how it was updated after his terrible experience. If you doubt the power of doing the work to search for your life’s meaning, this book is a must-read. 

By Viktor Frankl,

Why should I read it?

42 authors picked Man’s Search for Meaning as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

One of the outstanding classics to emerge from the Holocaust, Man's Search for Meaning is Viktor Frankl's story of his struggle for survival in Auschwitz and other Nazi concentration camps. Today, this remarkable tribute to hope offers us an avenue to finding greater meaning and purpose in our own lives.


Book cover of The State of Affairs: Rethinking Infidelity

Julie Metz Author Of Perfection: A Memoir of Betrayal and Renewal

From my list on for women recovering from betrayal or divorce.

Why am I passionate about this?

Though I’ve been a great reader since childhood, I sometimes describe myself as an accidental writer—I came to this work later in my life, following the events that I write about in my first memoir Perfection. Before I became a writer, I did spend many years in the publishing business designing book covers, so I appreciate all sides of the work of bringing books to readers. My favorite books help me enter new worlds for a time and re-reading favorites is like visiting a faithful friend. My recommendations here are a mix of both memoir and fiction and include some of my “desert island” favorites. I hope you enjoy them!

Julie's book list on for women recovering from betrayal or divorce

Julie Metz Why did Julie love this book?

This book was published years after mine, but I wish it had been around when I was going through my life upheaval. The author writes about relationships and has an intelligent and thoughtful take on marriage. You might not agree with her philosophy, but her book is eye-opening, will challenge your assumptions, and shares information that might help people as they rebuild their lives after widowhood, infidelity, and divorce.

By Esther Perel,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The State of Affairs as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

***NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER***

Is there such a thing as an affair-proof marriage? Is it possible to love more than one person at once? Why do people cheat? Can an affair ever help a marriage?

Infidelity is the ultimate betrayal. But does it have to be? Relationship therapist Esther Perel examines why people cheat, and unpacks why affairs are so traumatic; because they threaten our emotional security. In infidelity, she sees something unexpected - an expression of longing and loss.

A must-read for anyone who has ever cheated or been cheated on, or who simply wants a new framework for…


Book cover of Myths, Rites, Symbols: A Mircea Eliade Reader, Volume 1

Beth Hedva Author Of Betrayal, Trust and Forgiveness: A Guide to Emotional Healing and Self-Renewal

From my list on betrayal.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a psychologist and university professor teaching internationally, I’ve had opportunities to listen to people’s stories globally, and impart wisdom gleaned from my own cross-cultural experiences. Invitations to share ranged from teaching others inner and spiritual healing methods to being Reader’s Digest’s “Online Ask an Expert about Infidelity”, to training local recovery workers during the two deadliest disasters of this century. Therefore, I cannot say I ‘chose’ to become an expert on betrayal. It chose me. From childhood on, betrayal gave me opportunities to personally experience and learn from interpersonal infidelities, health crises, social injustice, and mass trauma. The school of hard-knocks tests us first—then we get the teaching.

Beth's book list on betrayal

Beth Hedva Why did Beth love this book?

Among the proliferation of contemporary self-help books, Myths, Rites and Symbols elucidated what I consider to be a 'missing link’. As Eliade described ancient and indigenous initiatory rites of passage I discovered there are specific stages of transformative growth after the shock of betrayal. Initiation ceremonies often begin with isolation and separation—an existential crisis designed to train a novice (and the reader) to confront symbolic death and embrace the unpredictable vicissitudes of life’s ordeals as spiritual tests. The process awakens self-discovery and inner wisdom, which inspires a spiritual rebirth, renewed creativity, and a purpose-driven return to life.

Eliade planted a seed in my imagination: reframe separation as a ‘sacred separation’—and use the shock of betrayal (and its many ordeals) as part of a grand, personal ceremony of initiation.

By Mircea Eliade,

Why should I read it?

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


Book cover of Dangerous Friend: The Teacher-Student Relationship in Vajrayana Buddhism

Beth Hedva Author Of Betrayal, Trust and Forgiveness: A Guide to Emotional Healing and Self-Renewal

From my list on betrayal.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a psychologist and university professor teaching internationally, I’ve had opportunities to listen to people’s stories globally, and impart wisdom gleaned from my own cross-cultural experiences. Invitations to share ranged from teaching others inner and spiritual healing methods to being Reader’s Digest’s “Online Ask an Expert about Infidelity”, to training local recovery workers during the two deadliest disasters of this century. Therefore, I cannot say I ‘chose’ to become an expert on betrayal. It chose me. From childhood on, betrayal gave me opportunities to personally experience and learn from interpersonal infidelities, health crises, social injustice, and mass trauma. The school of hard-knocks tests us first—then we get the teaching.

Beth's book list on betrayal

Beth Hedva Why did Beth love this book?

Dangerous Friend is an Eastern wake-up call for Western ‘seekers’ and ’would-be spiritual teachers’. Drawing from Vajrayana teachers, Rig’dzin Dorje clarifies betrayal is a “final portal of freedom…in which we are able to question…our narcissistic determination to maintain the illusion of duality.” As a transpersonal psychologist, I’ve noticed sometimes Western seekers who hunger for enlightenment imagine devotion to their Spiritual Teacher will give them a ticket to ride a wave of bliss into nirvana.

A teacher must betray a student’s fantasies, attachments, and delusions, (including those about their teacher), in favor of devotion to the teachings. Despite a desire to have others be accountable to us, and responsible for us, this book confirms the necessity to cultivate Self-compassion and awareness—and to turn inward for liberation.

By Rig'dzin Dorje,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Although Tibetan Buddhism continues to grow in popularity, the crucial relationship between teacher and student remains largely misunderstood. Dangerous Friend offers an in-depth exploration of this mysterious and complex bond, a relationship of paramount importance in Tibetan Buddhist practice.

According to Tibetan Buddhist tradition, the student must have complete trust in the teacher (the "dangerous friend") if he or she is to achieve any understanding. It is the teacher's responsibility to uphold the integrity of the tradition, the basis of which is compassion for all beings, by transmitting it properly to an appropriate student. Likewise, it is the student's responsibility…


Book cover of The Myth of Analysis: Three Essays in Archetypal Psychology

Shaun McNiff Author Of Art Heals: How Creativity Cures the Soul

From my list on art healing.

Why am I passionate about this?

By chance, just over 50 years ago, I became an art therapist in a state hospital on the Northshore of Boston where I have always lived. With support from Rudolf Arnheim at Harvard University and others, I committed myself to furthering personal and community well-being through art. In my mid-twenties I established a graduate program at Lesley University which spawned an international community of expressive arts therapy. I have worked worldwide in advancing art healing and art-based research. Now University Professor Emeritus, and for the first time without a full-time position, I am trying to embrace the unpredictable ways of creation, and as I wrote, Trust the Process.

Shaun's book list on art healing

Shaun McNiff Why did Shaun love this book?

James Hillman called for the revisioning of psychology based on art, culture, and imagination. Of his many books, The Myth of Analysis, offering three essays on psychological creativity, language, and femininity, is the one that I reference most, especially his position that “the language of psychology insults the soul.” Social science and the therapy jargon of the “establishment” are not getting better, and as Hillman says, we become ill in sync with it. He said to me that art therapists can “be the carriers of imagination into the culture at the grassroots level. I really do want to encourage them with all my heart.”

By James Hillman,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

In this work, acclaimed Jungian James Hillman examines the concepts of myth, insights, eros, body, and the mytheme of female inferiority, as well as the need for the freedom to imagine and to feel psychic reality. By examining these ideas, and the role they have played both in and outside of the therapeutic setting, Hillman mounts a compelling argument that, rather than locking them away in some inner asylum or subjecting them to daily self-treatment, man's "peculiarities" can become an integral part of a rich and fulfilling daily life.

Originally published by Northwestern University Press in 1972, this work had…


The Perfume of Silence

By Francis Lucille, Rupert Spira (editor),

Book cover of The Perfume of Silence

Elizabeth Reninger Author Of Taoism for Beginners: Understanding and Applying Taoist History, Concepts, and Practices

From my list on change who you think you are in the best way.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve long been fascinated by how we know what we know, how objective knowledge differs from subjective knowing, and how we can validate knowledge as reliable vs. deceptive or distorted. These questions eventually led to encounters with nondual spiritual traditions such as Advaita Vedanta, Taoism, and the Dzogchen and Mahamudra lineages of Tibetan Buddhism. These teachings bring feelings of happiness and joyful contentment—a sense of “coming home.” I love how they fiercely and compassionately challenge some of my most cherished assumptions about myself and the world. Like a skilled surgeon expertly repairing a broken bone, the nondual teachings dissolve mistaken beliefs and reveal my unbounded wholeness. 

Elizabeth's book list on change who you think you are in the best way

Elizabeth Reninger Why did Elizabeth love this book?

I love how Francis Lucille’s teaching stays rooted in the most essential question—“Who am I, really?—in ways that are, in turn, serious and playful, gentle and fierce. Love and Beauty and Truth are deeply honored throughout this lovely book, which presents a series of dialogues between Francis and students asking questions about him.

As Francis is fond of saying, “A true answer dissolves not only the question but also the questioner.” I appreciate the opportunity to witness this process, again and again, as Francis so skillfully points (like the proverbial finger to the moon) to “that which can’t be spoken”—but can be most intimately known. 

The Perfume of Silence

By Francis Lucille, Rupert Spira (editor),

What is this book about?

This book is about enlightenment, spiritual awakening, self realization, meditation, awareness, consciousness, happiness, love, relationships, psychological suffering and human predicament. Based largely on actual dialogues between Francis Lucille, a spiritual teacher of non-duality, and some of his disciples, the music of freedom that it conveys resonates between the words, and gives the reader an inkling of the peace and happiness that are experienced in the presence of an authentic master. Francis Lucille was for over twenty years a close friend and disciple of Jean Klein, a well recognized French teacher of non-duality. They both belong to a lineage of Advaita…


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Book cover of Western Sufism: From the Abbasids to the New Age

Alexander Knysh Author Of Sufism: A New History of Islamic Mysticism

From my list on teaching you how to be a Sufi.

Why am I passionate about this?

My exploration of Sufism began in the unlikely environment of the Soviet Union where Sufism was considered a relic of the past to be replaced by the atheist, world-asserting ideology. The fact that my Muslim academic advisor assigned this topic to me, an active customs officer, was nothing short of a miracle. It was the beginning of a chain of miracles that punctuated my teaching and research career in the USSR, UK, US, EU, and the post-Soviet republics of Eurasia, especially Tatarstan and Kazakhstan. Having observed Sufism in various shapes and forms for over thirty years, my knowledge of its precepts and rituals is of great help to me in everyday life.  

Alexander's book list on teaching you how to be a Sufi

Alexander Knysh Why did Alexander love this book?

While the author of my second recommended book sought Sufi wisdom in the “Muslim Orient,” this wisdom has become an integral part of intellectual, cultural, and spiritual life in “Occidental”  societies. A peculiar mixture of Neoplatonic emanationism, Sufi poetry, music and rituals, perennialism, pantheism, esotericism, and New Age religiosity, it has captivated the minds and souls of Western academics, anarchists, artists, architects, faith healers, physicians, and psychiatrists, who rearranged these diverse elements to create their own distinctive versions of Sufi spirituality and lifestyle. Lively and witty, the author’s narrative guides us through several “cultural transfers”—premodern, modern, and New Age—from the Muslim world to the West,  culminating in the emergence of “Western Sufism” represented by the major public figures, celebrities, and charismatic teachers.       

By Mark Sedgwick,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Western Sufism is sometimes dismissed as a relatively recent "new age" phenomenon, but in this book, Mark Sedgwick argues that it actually has very deep roots, both in the Muslim world and in the West. In fact, although the first significant Western Sufi organization was not established until 1915, the first Western discussion of Sufism was printed in 1480, and Western interest in some of the ideas that are central to Sufi thought goes back to the thirteenth century.
Sedgwick starts with the earliest origins of Western Sufism in late antique Neoplatonism and early Arab philosophy, and traces later origins…


Book cover of The Book of Longings

Kristin Durfee Author Of Shot

From my list on historical fiction books featuring strong women.

Why am I passionate about this?

I adore historical fiction but find that it is often (like many things) still centered around male experiences. I love getting to read stories and recommend ones that bring to light women’s roles is moving society forward or the un-sung contributions women have made throughout history. 

Kristin's book list on historical fiction books featuring strong women

Kristin Durfee Why did Kristin love this book?

This is the first book that I’ve read that’s taken a women-centric view of the time when Jesus was alive. Ana was such a likable character and strong woman, I mean, to go toe-to-toe with the son of God and his followers takes some guts! The supporting female characters were also so vibrant; my heart broke for them several times, and the audiobook narrator really added extra depth to an already immersive story.

By Sue Monk Kidd,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

"An extraordinary novel . . . a triumph of insight and storytelling." -Associated Press

"A true masterpiece." -Glennon Doyle, author of Untamed

An extraordinary story set in the first century about a woman who finds her voice and her destiny, from the celebrated number one New York Times bestselling author of The Secret Life of Bees and The Invention of Wings

In her mesmerizing fourth work of fiction, Sue Monk Kidd takes an audacious approach to history and brings her acclaimed narrative gifts to imagine the story of a young woman named Ana. Raised in a wealthy family with ties…


Book cover of Lectures on Ancient Philosophy

Keefe R.D. Author Of Royal Arcanum

From my list on veracious fantasy and strange reality.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m an Indonesian writer who loves the idea of supernatural fantasy. I’ve always liked daydreaming. It started when a story suddenly kept playing inside my head like a movie. And that story now became my first fantasy book, Royal Arcanum. Never I imagined I’ll be a full-time writer now. I feel blessed that my family supported my writing career.

Keefe's book list on veracious fantasy and strange reality

Keefe R.D. Why did Keefe love this book?

Hey, this non-fiction book I’ve read has a lot to offer. Great study for those who wants to understand more about metaphysical world!

This is his fourth book that I’ve read besides Reincarnation, The Secret Teaching of All Ages, and The Wisdom of the Knowing Ones. I love his books, because can I learn a lot of mystical things which is related to the fantasy series that I’ve been working on. And it has a great impact on my writing for the first book in my series.

It taught me that we are not alone in this world. There are a lot that we don’t know about spiritual dimension that can’t be seen with our mundane eyes. As within, so without. Our inner wisdom creates the reflection of our reality.
I feel contented with the knowledge shared in this book. It helped me to enlighten my perspective…

By Manly P. Hall,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Complete in itself, this volume originated as a commentary and expansion of Manly P. Hall's masterpiece of symbolic philosophy, The Secret Teachings of All Ages.
In Lectures on Ancient Philosophy, Manly P. Hall expands on the philosophical, metaphysical, and cosmological themes introduced in his classic work, The Secret Teachings of All Ages. Hall wrote this volume as a reader's companion to his earlier work, intending it for those wishing to delve more deeply into the esoteric philosophies and ideas that undergird the Secret Teachings. Particular attention is paid to Neoplatonism, ancient Christianity, Rosicrucian and Freemasonic traditions, ancient mysteries, pagan rites…


Book cover of The Tarot: History, Symbolism, & Divination

Kirsten Weiss Author Of The Mysteries of Tarot: A Work of the Imagination

From my list on how to read Tarot.

Why am I passionate about this?

When I joined the Peace Corps in the early nineties, I wasn’t allowed to take much luggage. I decided to bring a Tarot deck, figuring I’d finally have time to learn it while parked in an Estonian forest. That Tarot deck opened up a world of Renaissance mysticism and magic, and I’ve been hooked ever since. Tarot cards and readings feature prominently in many of my cozy mystery novels, not the least of which are the Tea and Tarot mysteries. Now my imaginary Tarot reader from that series, Hyperion Night, has recently written his own Tarot guidebook, The Mysteries of Tarot.

Kirsten's book list on how to read Tarot

Kirsten Weiss Why did Kirsten love this book?

Robert Place is my favorite Tarot historian and artist.

What I love about this book is that he writes it in such a way that his discussion of the history of the cards makes it easier to understand and remember their symbolism (always useful when you’re trying to read Tarot). It also has detailed descriptions of different spreads.

But to my mind, it’s just a fun, interesting read, and a book I’ve turned to many a time for research and reading purposes.

By Robert Place,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The Tarot is one of the few books that cuts through conventional misperceptions to explore the Tarot deck as it really developed in the Middle Ages and Renaissance Europe-not, as some would suggest, in the far reaches of Egyp-tian antiquity. Mining the Hermetic, alchemical, and Neoplatonic influences behind the evolution of the deck, author Robert M. Place provides a historically grounded and compelling portrait of the Tarot's true origins, without overlooking the deck's mystical dimensions.

Indeed, Place uncommonly weds reliable historiography with a practical understanding of the intuitive help and divinatory guidance that the cards can bring. He presents techniques…


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