100 books like Sufis of Andalusia

By Muhyiddin Ibn 'Arabi, R.W.J. Austin (translator),

Here are 100 books that Sufis of Andalusia fans have personally recommended if you like Sufis of Andalusia. 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 Falling Sky: Words of a Yanomami Shaman

Miguel Farias Author Of The Oxford Handbook of Meditation

From my list on religious experience.

Why am I passionate about this?

From about the age of 14, I have been exploring how unusual ideas and experiences might change a person’s life. This led me to become an author and experimental psychologist studying the effects of religious beliefs, rituals, and meditation exercises on our minds and bodies. I have spent a good part of the last 4 years putting together a book which tries to answer many of my questions on the varieties of meditation practices around the world.   

Miguel's book list on religious experience

Miguel Farias Why did Miguel love this book?

Imagine a Martian landing on planet Earth, meeting with people in Europe and the USA, and writing about it. Part of this book is filled with such freshness of vision and its cuts through the problems and vices of our civilization; the other part is no less of an extraordinary tale of a religious leader brought up in the Amazon who seems to move effortlessly between the natural and supernatural realms.

By Davi Kopenawa, Bruce Albert, Nicholas Elliott (illustrator) , Alison Dundy (illustrator)

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The Falling Sky is a remarkable first-person account of the life story and cosmo-ecological thought of Davi Kopenawa, shaman and spokesman for the Yanomami of the Brazilian Amazon. Representing a people whose very existence is in jeopardy, Davi Kopenawa paints an unforgettable picture of Yanomami culture, past and present, in the heart of the rainforest--a world where ancient indigenous knowledge and shamanic traditions cope with the global geopolitics of an insatiable natural resources extraction industry.

In richly evocative language, Kopenawa recounts his initiation and experience as a shaman, as well as his first encounters with outsiders: government officials, missionaries, road…


Book cover of The Desert Fathers: Sayings of the Early Christian Monks

Miguel Farias Author Of The Oxford Handbook of Meditation

From my list on religious experience.

Why am I passionate about this?

From about the age of 14, I have been exploring how unusual ideas and experiences might change a person’s life. This led me to become an author and experimental psychologist studying the effects of religious beliefs, rituals, and meditation exercises on our minds and bodies. I have spent a good part of the last 4 years putting together a book which tries to answer many of my questions on the varieties of meditation practices around the world.   

Miguel's book list on religious experience

Miguel Farias Why did Miguel love this book?

Here we have fragments of the lives of female and male hermits living in the Egyptian desert, trying to live the Christian life away from the temptations of cities. Colourful depictions of their relationships, experiences with angels and demons, and the techniques used to move closer to God and conquer human frailty. These accounts are a superb antidote to today’s mindfulness which feels rather mind-numbing compared to these accounts of meditation.    

By Various, Benedicta Ward (translator),

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The Desert Fathers were the first Christian monks, living in solitude in the deserts of Egypt, Palestine, and Syria. In contrast to the formalised and official theology of the "founding fathers" of the church, the Desert Fathers were ordinary Christians who chose to renounce the world and live lives of celibacy, fasting, vigil, prayer and poverty in direct and simple response to the gospel. Their sayings were first recorded in the 4th century and consist of spiritual advice, anecdotes and parables. The Desert Fathers' teachings and lives have inspired poetry, opera and art, as well as providing spiritual nourishment and…


Book cover of The Forged Coupon: and Other Stories

Miguel Farias Author Of The Oxford Handbook of Meditation

From my list on religious experience.

Why am I passionate about this?

From about the age of 14, I have been exploring how unusual ideas and experiences might change a person’s life. This led me to become an author and experimental psychologist studying the effects of religious beliefs, rituals, and meditation exercises on our minds and bodies. I have spent a good part of the last 4 years putting together a book which tries to answer many of my questions on the varieties of meditation practices around the world.   

Miguel's book list on religious experience

Miguel Farias Why did Miguel love this book?

Tolstoy describes and plays with religious experiences across various of his novels. He doesn’t take them for granted: the initial enthusiasm and prospect of personal change seldom leads to real transformation. Here, though, in one of his last writings, we follow the contagious spell of true conversion of heart. When a serial murderer meets a pure soul his self is transformed and goes on to change the life of others. 

By Leo Tolstoy,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Leo Tolstoy (September 9, 1828 – November 20, 1910) was a Russian writer who earned fame and global renown for his novels War and Peace and Anna Karenina. Writing during the late 19th century, Tolstoy lived during a literary period in which Realism flourished, and today his two novels are considered the apex of realist fiction. Tolstoy is also known for his complex and somewhat paradoxical persona, holding both moralistic and ascetic views during the final decades of his life.


Book cover of South from Granada

Alice Leccese Powers Author Of Spain in Mind

From my list on ex-pat life in Spain.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am passionate about the written word and effective communication. My articles and reviews have been published in major newspapers and magazines and for two decades I taught writing on the university level. Travel writing is a subset of my experience as editor of the best-selling In Mind literary anthologies and editor and writer for more than a dozen guidebooks. In addition, I have been “first reader” and editor for prospective authors and shepherded several books to publication, the most recent Red Clay Suzie by first-time novelist Jeffrey Lofton (publication January 2023). 

Alice's book list on ex-pat life in Spain

Alice Leccese Powers Why did Alice love this book?

Like many World War I veterans, British Gerald Brenan left the army depressed and dispirited. He moved to Spain and settled in Andalusia, specifically the small village of Yegen. Like many ex-pats, he wanted a simpler life.

He had a small house and humble furnishings but brought his entire library—2000 books—from England. Although he was isolated, Brenan had many visitors, including Virginia Woolf, Lytton Strachey, and Hemingway. He died at 92 in Spain, of course. Brenan’s book is one of the first “ex-pat” Spanish memoirs and sets the standard for the genre.

By Gerald Brenan,

Why should I read it?

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


Book cover of Lonely Planet Spain 12

Alan Cuthbertson Author Of Fiestas and Siestas Miles Apart

From my list on emigrating to Spain.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a child, I suffered very badly from asthma, and consequently, I missed a lot of schooling. When I left school at 15 I had no qualifications and could hardly read or write. I had a lot of catching up to do. I was married at the age of 19 and in partnership with my wife Heather, we started the family business. After retiring, I now live in a small Andalusian villageI in the south of Spain. It was here where I began my writing career. At first it was just contributing to local magazines and newspapers, then I wrote my first book, Fiestas and Siestas Miles Apart.

Alan's book list on emigrating to Spain

Alan Cuthbertson Why did Alan love this book?

This book is the equivalent of Google for Spain. Any expat, holidaymaker, or even if you're just passing through, you need this book. No matter where you are, or going to in Spain, this book will have everything you need to know, from opening times, fiesta dates, accommodation, even directions.

By Anthony Ham, Stuart Butler, Anna Kaminski , John Noble , Miles Roddis , Brendan Sainsbury , Regis St Louis , Andy Symington

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Lonely Planet Spain 12 as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Lonely Planet's Spain is your passport to the most relevant, up-to-date advice on what to see and skip, and what hidden discoveries await you. Marvel at Modernista masterpieces in Barcelona, enjoy beachside Basque cuisine in San Sebastian, and taste sherry and flamenco in Andalucia - all with your trusted travel companion. Get to the heart of Spain and begin your journey now!

Inside Lonely Planet's Spain:

Colour maps and images throughout Highlights and itineraries help you tailor your trip to your personal needs and interests Insider tips to save time and money and get around like a local, avoiding crowds…


Book cover of The Queen's Vow: A Novel of Isabella of Castile

Bárbara Mujica Author Of I Am Venus: A Novel

From my list on historical novels featuring strong, feisty women.

Why am I passionate about this?

A professor of 16th- and 17th-century Spanish literature and culture at Georgetown University with a focus on women’s writing and the mystics, I am also the author of four bio-novels, all of which feature indomitable female protagonists. Whether queens, saints, or not-so-ordinary housemaids, the protagonists of the books I have chosen (and my own) demonstrate the power and vulnerability of women in early modern Europe. Fiction and scholarship overlap in my work, as I am often able to bring my academic research into my fiction. Two of my latest scholarly books are Teresa de Ávila, Lettered Woman and Women Religious and Epistolary Exchange in the Carmelite Reform

Bárbara's book list on historical novels featuring strong, feisty women

Bárbara Mujica Why did Bárbara love this book?

Isabella of Castile is one of Spain’s most controversial and complicated queens. I have been teaching Spanish history for decades, so it was particularly thrilling for me to see how C.W. Gortner brings this dynamic woman to life. Having engineered her own marriage to Fernando of Aragon, Isabella contrived to back the voyages of Christopher Columbus and took an active part in the war against the Moors in Granada. She resists and finally succumbs to the demands of the fanatical inquisitor Torquemada, who urges her to rid the realm of Jews. Gortner recreates the climate of intrigue, the bloody battlefields, and the lush gardens of Andalusia so beautifully that you feel as though you were there.  

By C. W. Gortner,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

“A masterwork by a skilled craftsman . . . Make a vow to read this book.”—New York Journal of Books
 
Isabella is barely a teenager when she becomes an unwitting pawn in a plot to dethrone her half brother, King Enrique. Suspected of treason and held captive, she treads a perilous path, torn between loyalties, until at age seventeen she suddenly finds herself heiress of Castile, the largest kingdom in Spain. Plunged into a deadly conflict to secure her crown, she is determined to wed the one man she loves yet who is forbidden to her—Fernando, prince of Aragón. As…


Book cover of Between Two Fires: Guerrilla War In The Spanish Sierras

Joan Fallon Author Of Spanish Lavender

From my list on the Spanish Civil War through oral history and narrative.

Why am I passionate about this?

Joan Fallon is a Scottish novelist who has lived in the province of Málaga, in southern Spain, for almost thirty years. She has a great passion for all aspects of Spanish history and culture. While writing a book about the lives of Spanish women after the Civil War, she learned about the unbelievable massacre of thousands of innocent people as they left their homes and fled to Almería in 1937. Women, children and old men were gunned down by cruising gunboats. A historian, teacher and now an author, Joan wanted to know why nobody ever spoke about this tragedy.

Joan's book list on the Spanish Civil War through oral history and narrative

Joan Fallon Why did Joan love this book?

This book takes a different look at the Spanish Civil War. It looks at the history of the guerrilla war in the Spanish sierras, where poorly armed men waged a drawn out battle against the Nationalist troops for years. It is also in the province of Málaga.

By David Baird,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

SPAIN'S FORGOTTEN WAR
This book reveals:*  how the USA secretly trained Spanish Communists to engage in a guerrilla war*  how a brutal crime was covered up for more than 50 years
Spain's Civil War did not end in 1939. Guerrillas determinedto oust Franco's ruthless military dictatorship fought on in the mountains in awar that went virtually unreported.
In Andalusia a legendary chieftain named Roberto led the"people of the sierra". Caught in the middle, torn by family and politicalallegiances, were the countryfolk . . . unknowing victims of decisions taken inMoscow, Paris, London and Washington.
This book relates what happens when…


Book cover of Beauty and Light: Mystical Discourses by a Contempoary Female Sufi Master

Omid Safi Author Of Radical Love: Teachings from the Islamic Mystical Tradition

From my list on Rumi’s path of radical love.

Why am I passionate about this?

I fell in love with Rumi when I was 15. My parents introduced me to him, and lines of his poetry show up in daily conversation with them. Rumi had insights about life put much more eloquently than I could have expressed myself. I have devoted myself to studying this path of Radical Love for over 35 years now, and have the great joy to share these teachings with people in both academic and communal settings. I lead spiritually oriented tours to Turkey and Morocco through Illuminated Tours. I also teach online courses on Rumi and spirituality through Illuminated Courses and courses on Islam and Islamic spirituality at Duke University.

Omid's book list on Rumi’s path of radical love

Omid Safi Why did Omid love this book?

Cemalnur Sargut, whose own first name literally means Beauty-Light, thus the title of this volume, is a reminder that this Path of Love is a living tradition. She is a living Sufi female teacher in Istanbul, who offers brilliant insights into the Qur’an, Rumi, and Ibn ‘Arabi with effortless grace. To listen to Cemalnur or read her book is a reminder of the gates to heaven are still open.   

By Cemalnur Sargut, Tehseen Thaver (editor), Cangüzel Zülfikar (translator)

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

One of the first memories I have from sitting with Cemalnur is from a magical night in Istanbul, where we were treated to a night of her sohbet, mystical discourse. Hour after hour went by, and Cemalnur was sharing stories, anecdotes, Sufi aphorisms, commentary on the Qur’an, and more. It all seemed so… effortless. These were not her stories. They were pouring through her. It was as if she had simply emptied herself of her own ego, and she was a channel of grace to the magical Beyond.

There’s something about experiencing a sohbet with her that is a reminder…


Book cover of The Sufi Path of Knowledge: Ibn Al-Arabi's Metaphysics of Imagination

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?

This book was a revelation for me when it came out, and I continue to use it as both reference and a source of new ideas and inspiration. The author felicitously combines a deeply personal perspective on Sufism’s greatest thinker Ibn ‘Arabi (1165–1240) with academic rigor and precision in translation. His comments on Ibn ‘Arabi’s teachings are unobtrusive and helpful in navigating the Sufi master’s breathtaking exploration of the universe that he presents, paradoxically, as a giant reflection of the [self-]image and imagination of the Divine Absolute. The subtle interaction of mundane and divine imaginations determines how we ourselves imagine the world. After reading this book, you will understand why Ibn ‘Arabi looms so large in Eastern and Western imaginings of Sufism and why he is compared to Plato in the Western intellectual tradition.    

By William C. Chittick,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

"For the first time in the history of Orientalism, a thorough study of Ibn al-'Arabi's thought is now available. William Chittick has given us a translation of numerous passages from the work of the Magister Magnus and placed them in their theological context, thus removing many misunderstandings that have prevailed both among Muslims and in the West when interpreting Ibn al-'Arabi's mystical worldview. Chittick has done this with admirable clarity, and his book will always remain a most important milestone in the study of Islamic mystical theology." -- Annemarie Schimmel, Harvard University

Ibn al-'Arabi is still known as "the Great…


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in Sufism, religious experiences, and Spain?

11,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about Sufism, religious experiences, and Spain.

Sufism Explore 35 books about Sufism
Religious Experiences Explore 9 books about religious experiences
Spain Explore 194 books about Spain