12 books like Love Poems from God

By Daniel Ladinsky,

Here are 12 books that Love Poems from God fans have personally recommended if you like Love Poems from God. 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 Tao Te Ching

Neal Allen Author Of Better Days: Tame Your Inner Critic

From my list on books on spirituality for people who hate books on spirituality.

Why am I passionate about this?

Until my early 50s, I detested all things spiritual. These books showed up practically on their own, without dogma or jargon, mainly to convince me that the divine existed. They’re easy to read and open to interpretation. They tricked me into a spiritual life by making it seem logical and simply a place to explore at my leisure. I try to write things that are clear and simple, and these books persuaded me that the ineffable isn’t so hard to write about. Also, I could return to these books years later, and they still speak to me. Each is capable of opening something new to me later in life.

Neal's book list on books on spirituality for people who hate books on spirituality

Neal Allen Why did Neal love this book?

Most ancient wisdom texts require a lot of effort. I love the Bible, the Bhagavad Gita, the Buddhist Discourses, Dogen, Plato, Krishnamurti, and so on. But to read them, I have to take some time out of my day.

This book is a scroll of 81 aphorisms. I can pick any one, spend a little time with it, and get on with my day.

Plus, it starts with a bang: “The Way that you hear about is not the real Way.” I am invited to be confused! That takes all the pressure off me to figure it out. 

By Lao Tzu, Gia-fu Geng (translator), Jane English (translator) , Toinette Lippe (translator)

Why should I read it?

7 authors picked Tao Te Ching as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

For nearly two generations, this bestselling translation of the Tao Te Ching has been the standard for those seeking access to the wisdom of Taoist thought. Now Jane English and her long-time editor, Toinette Lippe, have refreshed and revised the translation, so that it more faithfully reflects the Classical Chinese in which it was first written, while taking into account changes in our own language and eliminating any lingering infelicities. This beautiful oversized edition features over a hundred new photographs by Jane English that help express the vast spirit of the Tao. Also included is an introduction by the well-known…


Book cover of Aimless Love: New and Selected Poems

Jennifer Read Hawthorne Author Of Life As a Prayer: Poems

From my list on poems about love, nature, and God.

Why am I passionate about this?

I love words! As a child, I learned the power of stories from my father, a master storyteller and creator of 480 original Brer Rabbit stories. I began writing myself at the age of seven, majored in journalism, and enjoyed a career that included everything from technical writing to several of the best-selling Chicken Soup for the Soul books. But only through poetry did I discover the beauty of getting to the essence of experience. I love how poetry takes both the writer and the reader to a deeper place, creating intimacy, giving us “ah-ha” moments, and touching heart and spirit.

Jennifer's book list on poems about love, nature, and God

Jennifer Read Hawthorne Why did Jennifer love this book?

There’s a reason Billy Collins served two terms as the Poet Laureate of the United States. His work is known to be both serious and playful, and he is able to take everyday moments and turn them into lessons for living. I always love what he calls “the turn” in his poem—the surprise direction a poem suddenly takes, seemingly departing from its original subject and taking your breath away or leaving you in complete surprise. Aimless Love is a beautiful compilation of fifty new poems and some of the best of four previous books.

By Billy Collins,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

“America’s favorite poet.”—The Wall Street Journal

From the two-term Poet Laureate of the United States Billy Collins comes his first volume of new and selected poems in twelve years. Aimless Love combines fifty new poems with generous selections from his four most recent books—Nine Horses, The Trouble with Poetry, Ballistics, and Horoscopes for the Dead. Collins’s unmistakable voice, which brings together plain speech with imaginative surprise, is clearly heard on every page, reminding us how he has managed to enrich the tapestry of contemporary poetry and greatly expand its audience. His work is featured in top…


Book cover of Swan: Poems and Prose Poems

Jennifer Read Hawthorne Author Of Life As a Prayer: Poems

From my list on poems about love, nature, and God.

Why am I passionate about this?

I love words! As a child, I learned the power of stories from my father, a master storyteller and creator of 480 original Brer Rabbit stories. I began writing myself at the age of seven, majored in journalism, and enjoyed a career that included everything from technical writing to several of the best-selling Chicken Soup for the Soul books. But only through poetry did I discover the beauty of getting to the essence of experience. I love how poetry takes both the writer and the reader to a deeper place, creating intimacy, giving us “ah-ha” moments, and touching heart and spirit.

Jennifer's book list on poems about love, nature, and God

Jennifer Read Hawthorne Why did Jennifer love this book?

I would own this book for Mary Oliver’s poem “How I Go to the Woods” alone! Oliver’s love of nature, the way she notices the details of her surroundings, and the language she uses to describe her experiences are breathtaking. It’s easy to see why Mary Oliver won the Pulitzer Prize in Poetry.

By Mary Oliver,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

“Joy is not made to be a crumb,” writes Mary Oliver, and certainly joy abounds in her new book of poetry and prose poems. Swan, her twentieth volume, shows us that, though we may be “made out of the dust of stars,” we are of the world she captures here so vividly. Swan is Oliver’s tribute to “the mortal way” of desiring and living in the world, to which the poet is renowned for having always been “totally loyal.”


Book cover of Women in Praise of the Sacred: 43 Centuries of Spiritual Poetry by Women

Sheila Williams Author Of The Secret Women

From my list on about adventurous, brave, soulful women.

Why am I passionate about this?

I'm a storyteller whose daydreams begin with “once upon a time”. I worked as a corporate paralegal and always thought that legal pads could be put to better use by writing a novel. Someone said that women learn best by observing the lives of women. I'm inspired by women who have stepped off the path as well as by those who have maintained it. My learning began by observing the women in my family, African American women who walked their paths, chosen and unchosen, with grace, style, and courage, sometimes, in heels. The stories of women, fictional narratives as well as biographies, poetry, and historical accounts, illuminate these strong souls.

Sheila's book list on about adventurous, brave, soulful women

Sheila Williams Why did Sheila love this book?

Editor Jane Hirschfield writes that she is interested in “women who could not be held back from their chosen paths or spiritual practice.” And so am I. This collection includes writings by intrepid women over centuries and landscapes, representing an array of spiritual traditions stretching back to the beginning of recorded time. The canon of spiritual writings that have come down to us across cultures rarely includes the words of women. Hirschfield has taken steps to correct this omission. From the first entry – c. 2300 BCE – through a joyful poem of liberation from one of the earliest female Buddhist followers to Hildegard of Bingen and Emily Dickenson, Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz, Owl Woman, and Penny Jessye. And beyond. Women across cultures, religious traditions, and centuries have inner lives that provoke them to write, sing and shout.

By Jane Hirshfield,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Women in Praise of the Sacred as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

"Hirshfield's current collection brings together . . . an astonishing array of women writers from the 22nd century BC poet Enheduanna to Nelly Sachs and Anna Akhmatova."--Library Journal


Book cover of My Religion, What Shall We Do? & The Journal of Leo Tolstoi

Cheri Huber Author Of There Is Nothing Wrong with You: Going Beyond Self-Hate

From my list on Zen awareness practice.

Why am I passionate about this?

These books attempt to describe the indescribable, pointing to the unknowable, only the living of which makes living living. What they have in common is that they invite us to practice along with the author, not giving any answers, but inviting us to look. I fell in love with Awareness Practice in my youth and through the decades that love has only deepened. I continue to love this journey of exploration and I hope the books that I have written contribute to that same experience for others. There is nothing more magical than having a direct experience of encountering who we really are, beyond ego’s dualistic world of opposites.

Cheri's book list on Zen awareness practice

Cheri Huber Why did Cheri love this book?

When a clearly enlightened spiritual master speaks to us, our first reaction is often resistance because the message is designed to end the reign of egocentricity and return us to Authentic Being. To me, everything Leo Tolstoy wrote in his maturity offers the same possibility, but none so starkly as My Religion. As with reading Mahatma Gandhi, we have the opportunity to witness the deep practice of an aspirant grappling with transcending the suffering of the human condition, in much the same way John of the Cross describes the “dark night of the soul.” It illustrates every person’s spiritual journey and the uncompromising nature of the path to awakening.

By Leo Tolstoi,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked My Religion, What Shall We Do? & The Journal of Leo Tolstoi as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The Journal of Leo Tolstoi is a compilation of Tolstoy's journal entries. They entries range from 1895 through 1899.

Count Lev Nikolayevich Tolstoy (9 September [O.S. 28 August] 1828 - 20 November [O.S. 7 November] 1910), usually referred to in English as Leo Tolstoy, was a Russian writer who is regarded as one of the greatest authors of all time. He received multiple nominations for Nobel Prize in Literature every year from 1902 to 1906, and nominations for Nobel Peace Prize in 1901, 1902 and 1910, and his miss of the prize is a major Nobel prize controversy.


Book cover of Dark Night of the Soul

Luminita D. Saviuc Author Of 15 Things You Should Give Up to Be Happy: An Inspiring Guide to Discovering Effortless Joy

From my list on mental, emotional, and spiritual healing.

Why am I passionate about this?

Raised in a fearful and toxic environment where love was completely absent and terror was always at home, I had to learn to let go of my many programs, fears, and traumas so that I could avoid making the mistake of thinking and believing that the story of my past was going to become the story of my life. Through a long journey of letting go, getting lost in order to be found, I realized that who I Am, and who we all are, is far greater and far nobler than what we are programmed to believe. And now my mission is to teach people from all over the world how to let go so they can thrive.

Luminita's book list on mental, emotional, and spiritual healing

Luminita D. Saviuc Why did Luminita love this book?

The Dark Night of the Soul can feel like a frightening experience for those who don’t know what is happening to them and why things look so dark, cold, and empty. This book takes you back to a place of inner peace and comfort, helping you realize that you aren’t crazy and depressed, nor are you all alone on this path you are now walking. You are always guided, safe, loved, and protected. And even though things may look dark now, they won’t be dark forever. The darkness will eventually turn into light and when it does, you will see that everything happened for your cleansing, healing, freedom, and purification.

By St. John of the Cross,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

St John of the Cross was a 16th century Spanish mystic who wanted to reform Catholicism and encourage the integration of meditative practices by its followers. Because of this, he was locked up by other monks and during his imprisonment he wrote one of the world's most famous spiritual poems Dark Night of the Soul. After his escape, he then wrote a commentary to the poem to explain how to deal with any period when one feels completely cut off from God, and totally uninspired by anything. This is the first time the poem and its commentary have been translated…


Book cover of Wild: An Elemental Journey

Jules Pretty Author Of Sea Sagas of the North

From my list on stories and place since writing began.

Why am I passionate about this?

Alienation from nature has contributed to environmental problems in today’s world. Until recently in human history, our daily lives were intertwined with living things. I've always been keenly interested in the intersection between people and nature, between ecology and society. How should we live, what have we done lately? Observation today can bring much-needed respect, and if we are lucky, we will find that animals, birds, and places intercept us in our wanderings, helping to bring forth distinctive and personal stories. There is danger, the seas are mighty, many monsters lurk in the dark. But can be silence too. Pull up a chair by the blazing fire, come listen to those voices.

Jules' book list on stories and place since writing began

Jules Pretty Why did Jules love this book?

This is the most intense nature-writing and storytelling, as if written by bear or tiger, by the rainforest tree or tropical sea itself. Jay Griffiths becomes Joseph Campbell’s hero with a thousand faces, as we travel out in life, across the threshold and leaving behind ordinary world. Myth is story, and it is also how we live, battling against personal and historical limitations. Jay finds the secret openings and weaves an Odyssey to the wildness of earth and sea, water and fire. On the heroic journey, we are repeatedly tested, and come back with an elixir. Story itself becomes currency and guide. The monk and mystic, Meister Eckhart of Thuringia, wrote in the early 1300s, “There are many ways, Some are crowded, others less travelled, But every way, is the right one.”

By Jay Griffiths,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

WINNER OF THE ORION BOOK AWARD

Part travelogue, part manifesto for wildness as an essential character of life, Wild is a one-of-a-kind book from a one-of-a-kind author

'Undefinable, untameable, profound and extraordinary' Observer
_________________________

'I took seven years over this work, spent all I had, my time, money and energy. Part of the journey was a green riot and part a deathly bleakness. I got ill, I got well. I went to the freedom fighters of West Papua and sang my head off in their highlands. I met cannibals infinitely kinder and more trustworthy than the murderous missionaries who evangelize…


Book cover of Wild Mercy: Living the Fierce and Tender Wisdom of the Women Mystics

Parvati Markus Author Of Love Everyone: The Transcendent Wisdom of Neem Karoli Baba Told Through the Stories of the Westerners Whose Lives He Transformed

From my list on by Westerners on Eastern mysticism.

Why am I passionate about this?

I've devoured books ever since learning to read. Now I am an author and a professional substantive book editor, particularly for spiritual memoirs. I am indeed fortunate to be able to combine my love of books with my love of the mystic realms, spiritual transformation, and beloved gurus. The first book I ever helped to edit was the first part ("Journey") of Be Here Now. Then I lived in India for a year, spending much of it with Neem Karoli Baba, Ram Dass's (and my) guru, absorbing his unconditional love. That state of real love, and the pathway leading to it, are the focus of the books I have recommended.

Parvati's book list on by Westerners on Eastern mysticism

Parvati Markus Why did Parvati love this book?

Mirabai Starr weaves together the threads of feminine mysticism from many different spiritual traditions with a poetic sensibility, yet her feet are planted firmly on Mother Earth as she validates women's wisdom throughout the ages.

I was thrilled with the way this book shows that touching the earth—with all its human pain and suffering, death and loss, even the grief over losing a child as happened to Mirabai in her own journey—is a pathway to the divine, often moreso than meditation and breath work.

The women mystics proudly proclaim that everything is holy, and lead us into surrender to the mystery of the Great Mother. Women reading this book will feel seen and heard.

By Mirabai Starr,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Wild Mercy is essential reading for anyone ready to awaken the feminine mystic within and birth her loving, creative, and untamed power into the world.

"Mystical brilliance at its best." -Caroline Myss

"No one can take us into the fiery and tender depths of the sacred feminine with more skill, humor, clarity, and vibrant naked honesty than Mirabai Starr." -Andrew Harvey, author of The Hope and The Return of the Mother

We live in a world that has suffered the abuses of an unbalanced masculine rule for thousands of years-but the feminine is rising. "Seeds of feminine wisdom that have…


Book cover of The Italians

Dominic Smith Author Of Return to Valetto

From my list on armchair travel through Italy and Italian history.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve just spent the last few years writing Return to Valetto, about a nearly abandoned village in Umbria and the last ten people who live there. In 2018, I received an NEA grant to conduct research in Italy and I visited about a dozen abandoned and nearly abandoned towns all across Italy. While I was traveling, I immersed myself in books about Italy—from history and biography to memoir and fiction. The books on my list were stepping stones in my education about all things Italian and I hope you find them as transporting as I did!

Dominic's book list on armchair travel through Italy and Italian history

Dominic Smith Why did Dominic love this book?

In many ways, this sort of book has gone out of style since it was published in the 1960s.

It’s an opinionated and ambitious portrayal of the Italian psyche and culture. Barzini looks at his fellow Italians with a dispassionate eye and a healthy sense of irreverence, uncovering their foibles, hidden beliefs, superstitions, and great strengths as a culture.

For me, Italy is an eternal paradox. Just when you think you’ve worked it out, something happens that makes you do a double-take. This book helps you understand that paradox has been part of Italy’s identity since the very beginning.

By Luigi Barzini,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

In this consummate portrait of the Italian people, bestselling author, publisher, journalist, and politician Luigi Barzini delves deeply into the Italian national character, discovering both its great qualities and its imperfections.

Barzini is startlingly frank as he examines “the two Italies”: the one that created and nurtured such luminaries as Dante Alighieri, St. Thomas of Aquino, and Leonardo da Vinci; the other, feeble and prone to catastrophe, backward in political action if not in thought, “invaded, ravaged, sacked, and humiliated in every century.” Deeply ambivalent, Barzini approaches his task with a combination of love, hate, disillusion, and affectionate paternalism, resulting…


Book cover of The Devil is Dead

Donnally Miller Author Of The Devil's Workshop

From my list on fantasy that features the devil.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve been a lover of fantasy fiction ever since as a 12-year-old boy I lived in Oxford near the great J. R. R. Tolkien and read The Lord of the Rings and loved it so much I wrote to the author and he wrote back to me. I have no interest in the current commercialized fantasy genre. When I came to write a novel I wanted to write one that was actually imaginative, that had some philosophical heft, that an intelligent adult could enjoy. I wanted to write a book that mattered, that had some of my ideas about the nature of God and – yes – the devil.

Donnally's book list on fantasy that features the devil

Donnally Miller Why did Donnally love this book?

Anything by Lafferty is well worth reading. This was intended as the second book of a trilogy, but got published on its own. This tells primarily of Finnegan, an astonishing hero who is searching for the devil. If you haven’t made the acquaintance of R.A. Lafferty, this would be a good place to start. Imagine a cartoon world modeled on the Summa Theologica of St. Thomas Aquinas. Lafferty writes in a tall tale mode that disguises much of his literary ambition. It’s hard to describe Lafferty’s writing. It might be described as Calvino with no pretension. Or maybe, just read a sample:

A night-dune imaginary: there was a world full of people with pumpkin-heads for heads, and candles burning inside. Then Seaworthy and the Devil and their spooky crew came along, lifted the top off each head, blew out the candles inside and put the tops back. The pumpkin-headed people…

By R. A. Lafferty,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Paperback, 1971 First Avon Printing..."This is the first publication of The Devil is Dead in any form."--from the copyright page. This copy is a 1st Edition, First printing, Out off Print. Now the book:Triangle cut across top right corner, dog ear on lower right corner. Cover front and back well rubbed, artwork is intact but not as bright due to rubbing.Printed number on bottom end . The spine is tight and very intact ,but the paper cover on the spine is broken and peeling. Spine paper has been glued where possible, this copy needs a clear cover or it will…


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