100 books like The Joy of Living

By Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche,

Here are 100 books that The Joy of Living fans have personally recommended if you like The Joy of Living. 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 Lands of Lost Borders: A Journey on the Silk Road

Maggie Shipstead Author Of Great Circle

From my list on female adventurers.

Who am I?

In my third novel, Great Circle, a fictional aviator named Marian Graves disappears while trying to fly around the world north-south in 1950. While researching and writing, I became a travel journalist, partly so I could follow my character into far-flung, rugged corners of the world. Traveling, I encountered people who lead truly adventurous lives, and I started to seek out riskier experiences myself. I swam with humpback whales, tracked snow leopards in the Himalayas, and journeyed across huge seas to Antarctica’s Ross Ice Shelf. I still don’t consider myself a full-fledged adventurer, but I love reading about women contending with the challenges of wild places and their own internal landscapes.

Maggie's book list on female adventurers

Maggie Shipstead Why did Maggie love this book?

I’m more of a spin class person than a “cycle thousands of miles through Central Asia” person, but I loved reading about Kate Harris’s months tracing the Silk Road by bicycle in 2011. She doesn’t sugarcoat the hardships of such an undertaking (rain, snow, mountains, traffic, logistics, bureaucracy, scary humans, forbidden Chinese border crossings, friction with the friend who’s riding with her), which makes her human as well as brave, tough, funny, and brilliant. Books like this make huge travel projects seem possible, and even if I’ll never do anything on this scale, I love imagining such epic experiences.

By Kate Harris,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Lands of Lost Borders as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

"Lands of Lost Borders carried me up into a state of openness and excitement I haven't felt for years. It's a modern classic."-Pico Iyer

A brilliant, fierce writer, and winner of the 2019 RBC Taylor Prize, makes her debut with this enthralling travelogue and memoir of her journey by bicycle along the Silk Road-an illuminating and thought-provoking fusion of The Places in Between, Lab Girl, and Wild that dares us to challenge the limits we place on ourselves and the natural world.

As a teenager, Kate Harris realized that the career she craved-to be an explorer, equal parts swashbuckler and…


Book cover of Mount Analogue: A Tale of Non-Euclidean and Symbolically Authentic Mountaineering Adventures

Jean Muenchrath Author Of If I Live Until Morning, A True Story of Adventure, Tragedy and Transformation

From my list on adventure, healing, and growth.

Who am I?

Jean Muenchrath wrote down her story to heal herself from the trauma of a life-threatening mountaineering accident, an epic survival incident, and decades of chronic pain. She then published her memoir to inspire readers to follow their dreams and to encourage them to overcome whatever challenges their life presents. Before she became an author, Muenchrath was a park ranger with the National Park Service for over thirty years. She’s led trekking tours in Nepal and Thailand and worked in Bhutan with the World Wildlife Fund. Jean enjoys traveling to foreign lands, exploring wild places and sitting quietly in meditation.

Jean's book list on adventure, healing, and growth

Jean Muenchrath Why did Jean love this book?

This book is one of my all time favorite reads. Mount Analogue is a short poetic novel. Daumal’s rich descriptions and symbolism engaged my imagination and made me think deeply about the story’s meaning. The author takes readers on a journey to a mystical place with an unusual set of characters and strange circumstances. The story revolves around an adventurous sailing and climbing expedition to a mystical mountain hidden from the world’s inhabitants which is believed to link the earth to a higher sphere of reality. It’s full of intrigue and packed with pithy philosophical statements worth pondering. Daumal’s words and descriptions are so thought-provoking, that I used a quote from this book as the opening to my memoir, If I Live Until Morning.

By René Daumal,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

This pataphysical journey up a mountain whose "summit must be inaccessible, but its base accessible to human beings" depicts an allegorical landscape akin to Alice in Wonderland

A beloved cult classic of surrealism, pataphysics and Gurdjieffian mysticism, René Daumal’s Mount Analogue is the allegorical tale of an expedition to a mountain whose existence can only be deduced, not observed. As its numerous editions (most now rare) over the decades attest, the book has been highly influential: Alejandro Jodorowsky's visionary 1973 film The Holy Mountain is a loose adaptation of the book, and John Zorn based an eponymous album on it.…


Book cover of Endurance

Ben Wiener Author Of Murder at First Principles

From my list on non-business reads that teach business strategy.

Who am I?

I am an experienced entrepreneur and venture capitalist and a voracious reader. My reading, particularly of non-business books, is motivated not just by a natural curiosity, but is also driven by a continuous search for metaphors and lessons from outside the traditional business genre that I can apply to situations and decisions in the business arena. My appreciation of the crossover benefit of non-business narratives to business contexts has motivated me to write my own Business Fiction works to “enlighten and entertain.” 

Ben's book list on non-business reads that teach business strategy

Ben Wiener Why did Ben love this book?

Another book about seafarers with deep business lessons.

Lansing’s riveting account of Ernest Shackleton and his wayward crew teaches much about when and how to “pivot.”

W. Brian Arthur wrote, “Entrepreneurship in advanced technology, is not merely a matter of decision-making; it is a matter of imposing cognitive order on situations that are repeatedly ill-defined.”

Few situations in history were as “ill-defined” as the one the Endurance and its crew encountered, and the story highlights how Shackleton maintained discipline, loyalty, motivation, and perseverance among his crew as they “pivoted” to a radically different strategy and planned under intense pressure and with minimal resources.

Basically, a classic true-life startup parable.

By Alfred Lansing,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

In August 1914, polar explorer Ernest Shackleton boarded the Endurance and set sail for Antarctica, where he planned to cross the last uncharted continent on foot. In January 1915, after battling its way through a thousand miles of pack ice and only a day's sail short of its destination, the Endurance became locked in an island of ice. Thus began the legendary ordeal of Shackleton and his crew of twenty-seven men. For ten months the ice-moored Endurance drifted northwest before it was finally crushed between two ice floes. With no options left, Shackleton and a skeleton crew attempted a near-impossible…


Book cover of The Healing Power of Mind

Jean Muenchrath Author Of If I Live Until Morning, A True Story of Adventure, Tragedy and Transformation

From my list on adventure, healing, and growth.

Who am I?

Jean Muenchrath wrote down her story to heal herself from the trauma of a life-threatening mountaineering accident, an epic survival incident, and decades of chronic pain. She then published her memoir to inspire readers to follow their dreams and to encourage them to overcome whatever challenges their life presents. Before she became an author, Muenchrath was a park ranger with the National Park Service for over thirty years. She’s led trekking tours in Nepal and Thailand and worked in Bhutan with the World Wildlife Fund. Jean enjoys traveling to foreign lands, exploring wild places and sitting quietly in meditation.

Jean's book list on adventure, healing, and growth

Jean Muenchrath Why did Jean love this book?

I have given this book as a gift to friends and acquaintances who were struggling with health issues, trauma, depression, anxiety, or loss. Recipients of this book have told me how much it has benefited them—they found peace and renewed energy on their path of healing physical and emotional pain. It’s a short book packed with easy-to-practice meditations that are simple, yet profound. It is suitable for reader’s of all backgrounds and belief systems.

By Tulku Thondup,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The true nature of our minds is enlightened and peaceful, as the depth of the ocean is calm and clear. But when we mentally grasp and emotionally cling to our wants and worries with all our energy, we lose our own enlightened freedom and healing power, only to gain stress and exhaustion, suffering and overexcitement, like the turbulent waves rolling on the surface of the ocean.

Our minds possess the power to heal pain and stress, and to blossom into peace and joy, by loosening the clinging attitudes that Buddhists call "grasping at self." If we apply the mind's healing…


Book cover of Dhammapada: The Sayings of the Buddha

Bertrand Jouvenot Author Of Managing Softly

From my list on Buddhist philosophy and mindfulness.

Who am I?

Bertrand Jouvenot is a French marketing influencer and prominent writer on business, management, marketing, branding, and digital. He has spent over twenty years in a variety of senior marketing roles. He now teaches at several business and fashion schools for Chinese and European students as well as consulting to various businesses. Bertrand lives in Paris, France, and writes for Le Monde, The Harvard Business Review, Forbes, Mediapart, Stratégies, le Journal du Net, Les Echos, and Influencia, the prestigious French quarterly print magazine spotting trends in marketing, communication, and creation. 

Bertrand's book list on Buddhist philosophy and mindfulness

Bertrand Jouvenot Why did Bertrand love this book?

Start with the beginning. The Dhammapada is the Buddhism inaugural book. In it are the words of the Buddha himself, teaching that all suffering stems from desire and that the way to attain freedom is to purify the heart and follow the way of truth. Very accessible, the words used in this ancient book capture the Buddha's original intuitions, thoughts, and teachings with great simplicity.

By Thomas Byrom,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The Dhammapada is one of the most popular and accessible books in all of Buddhist literature. In it are the words of the Buddha, teaching that all suffering stems from desire and that the way to attain freedom is to purify the heart and follow the way of truth. Thomas Byrom's verse rendering of the Dhammapada uniquely captures the Buddha's original teachings with simplicity and lyricism.


Book cover of The Diamond Sutra

Bertrand Jouvenot Author Of Managing Softly

From my list on Buddhist philosophy and mindfulness.

Who am I?

Bertrand Jouvenot is a French marketing influencer and prominent writer on business, management, marketing, branding, and digital. He has spent over twenty years in a variety of senior marketing roles. He now teaches at several business and fashion schools for Chinese and European students as well as consulting to various businesses. Bertrand lives in Paris, France, and writes for Le Monde, The Harvard Business Review, Forbes, Mediapart, Stratégies, le Journal du Net, Les Echos, and Influencia, the prestigious French quarterly print magazine spotting trends in marketing, communication, and creation. 

Bertrand's book list on Buddhist philosophy and mindfulness

Bertrand Jouvenot Why did Bertrand love this book?

This book is told to be the offering of no mind, born of compassion for all suffering beings. The diamond Sūtra takes the form of a dialogue between the Buddha and his disciple Subhūti. The central theme of emptiness is a pillar in Buddhism. It relates to the non-existence of the bodhisattva's self (buddha‘s self), the merits, stages of spiritual progression, marks, and characteristics of a Buddha in the perspective of universal emptiness. It plays a particularly important role in meditative currents such as Zen.

By Red Pine,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Zen Buddhism is often said to be a practice of mind-to-mind transmission without reliance on texts --in fact, some great teachers forbid their students to read or write. But Buddhism has also inspired some of the greatest philosophical writings of any religion, and two such works lie at the center of Zen: The Heart Sutra, which monks recite all over the world, and The Diamond Sutra, said to contain answers to all questions of delusion and dualism. This is the Buddhist teaching on the perfection of wisdom and cuts through all obstacles on the path of practice. As Red Pine…


Book cover of Search Inside Yourself: The Unexpected Path to Achieving Success, Happines

Eric Holsapple Author Of Profit with Presence: The Twelve Pillars of Mindful Leadership

From my list on mindful leaders.

Who am I?

I experienced early success in the business world, but I found myself feeling empty. This led to a decades-long exploration of mindfulness, meditation, and yoga. Now, I combine my expertise in business and my passion for mindfulness to make a greater impact on individuals and the world at large. By making mindfulness techniques accessible and relevant to professionals and executives, I teach others to transform their affluence and success into positive influence in their organizations and communities. 

Eric's book list on mindful leaders

Eric Holsapple Why did Eric love this book?

This book highlights not only theory, but how Google implemented mindfulness via a program with the same name “Search Inside Yourself,” which the author instituted and ran. I was impressed with the depth of the presentation, its simplicity, and the overall theme of mindful business to act as a catalyst to save the world.

The book starts out by emphasizing a focus on breath as access to mindfulness, and that mindfulness is a practice on – and off – the cushion. Tan shows that mindfulness is in sync with running a business and making a profit and can go beyond to make a greater impact on the world. He showcases how emotions can be mastered, empathy is not a weakness, and compassion is possible for the most stoic members of our teams. 

By Chade-Meng Tan,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Search Inside Yourself as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

With Search Inside Yourself, Chade-Meng Tan, one of Google’s earliest engineers and personal growth pioneer, offers a proven method for enhancing mindfulness and emotional intelligence in life and work.

Meng’s job is to teach Google’s best and brightest how to apply mindfulness techniques in the office and beyond; now, readers everywhere can get insider access to one of the most sought after classes in the country, a course in health, happiness and creativity that is improving the livelihood and productivity of those responsible for one of the most successful businesses in the world.

With forewords by Daniel Goleman, author of…


Book cover of Mahayana Buddhism: The Doctrinal Foundations

Graham Priest Author Of The Fifth Corner of Four: an Essay on Buddhist Metaphysics and the Catuṣkoṭi

From my list on learning about Buddhist philosophy.

Who am I?

Initially trained as a mathematician, I have now been an academic philosopher for well over four decades—in the UK, Australia, and currently at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. About halfway through this time I was shocked to discover that I knew nothing of half of the world’s philosophy: that developed in the Eastern traditions. I set about educating myself—reading, travelling to India and Japan to teach and study, working with those who were specialists in the relevant areas. Nowadays in my philosophical writing and research I am able to draw on a much richer and deeper understanding of philosophy.

Graham's book list on learning about Buddhist philosophy

Graham Priest Why did Graham love this book?

Mahāyāna Buddhism is a form of Buddhism that emerges in India around the turn of the Common Era, and is the form that spreads into East Asia. (Only one of the earlier forms of religious Buddhism is still extant, Theravāda, which can be found in South East Asia.) Williams’ book traces the development of Mahāyāna philosophy from its beginnings in India into China, where Buddhist thought is influenced by the indigenous philosophies, in particular, that of Daoism (道家).

By Paul Williams,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Originating in India, Mahayana Buddhism spread across Asia, becoming the prevalent form of Buddhism in Tibet and East Asia. Over the last twenty-five years Western interest in Mahayana has increased considerably, reflected both in the quantity of scholarly material produced and in the attraction of Westerners towards Tibetan Buddhism and Zen.

Paul Williams' Mahayana Buddhism is widely regarded as the standard introduction to the field, used internationally for teaching and research and has been translated into several European and Asian languages. This new edition has been fully revised throughout in the light of the wealth of new studies and focuses…


Book cover of In Love with the World: A Monk's Journey Through the Bardos of Living and Dying

Eyal Shifroni Author Of The Extended Chair for Yoga: A Comprehensive Guide to Iyengar Yoga Practice with a Chair

From my list on essential to the study of yoga.

Who am I?

I've always been fascinated by yoga and the wonderful stories about yogis. When I was in the fourth grade, studying the subject of 'India', I taught myself to stand on my head and fold my legs in the lotus position. I love practicing yoga – every morning, I thank the Gurus and teachers from whom I learned! I've taught yoga for almost 40 years now and strongly believe that the practice and teaching of yoga, done with devotion and love can transform one's life for the good. I wrote 7 books about yoga (the last, Yoga in Nature is forthcoming) I regularly write articles on yoga and have translated two of B.K.S. Iyengar's books into Hebrew.

Eyal's book list on essential to the study of yoga

Eyal Shifroni Why did Eyal love this book?

This is an extraordinary journey book of a yogi who was identified at a very young age as a Tulku - reincarnate custodian of a specific lineage of Tibetan Buddhism. Mingyur Rinpoche was taken at a very young age to a monastery to receive a Buddhist education. Since his childhood, he was fascinated by the wandering yogis of his tradition (like Naropa and Milarepa). At the age of 34, when he was a respected authority of Tibetan Buddhism and a renowned master who was teaching around the world, he decided to become a wandering yogi and embark on a solitary journey. He soon encountered many difficulties, including life-threatening situations which he describes with an amazing sincerity. His story shows how even a master encounters mental and emotional upheavals like all of us but then is able to apply his skill in meditation to restore his peace and equanimity.

By Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche, Helen Tworkov,

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked In Love with the World as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A rare, intimate account of a world-renowned Buddhist monk’s near-death experience and the life-changing wisdom he gained from it

“One of the most inspiring books I have ever read.”—Pema Chödrön, author of When Things Fall Apart

“This book has the potential to change the reader’s life forever.”—George Saunders, author of Lincoln in the Bardo

At thirty-six years old, Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche was a rising star within his generation of Tibetan masters and the respected abbot of three monasteries. Then one night, telling no one, he slipped out of his monastery in India with the intention of spending the next four…


Book cover of Mutual Causality in Buddhism and General Systems Theory: The Dharma of Natural Systems

Yuha Jung Author Of Transforming Museum Management: Evidence-Based Change through Open Systems Theory

From my list on encouraging readers to question the status quo.

Who am I?

My areas of expertise are museum management and arts administration. More specifically, I study structures of arts organizations and how they are connected or disconnected to their communities and larger societies using the systems theory and concept of mutual causality. In the process, I point out where the systems (i.e., museums) become stagnant and find a leverage point to address that stagnation by bringing in new input and different ways of thinking about the culture and structure of the organization. In most of my research, I try to find blindspots of following or doing “what was just there (i.e., status quo)” instead of evaluating what it did and how it can be improved. 

Yuha's book list on encouraging readers to question the status quo

Yuha Jung Why did Yuha love this book?

This book spoke to me as a scholar of systems theory and due to my upbringing in Buddhist culture. Macy discusses how core teachings of interdependence in Buddhism and the mutual causation concept of general systems theory are similar. This book emphasizes the interdependent relationships among different people, things, societies, and ecosystems as mutually affecting and not unidirectional, leading to and encouraging collective action toward mutual benefits. I also love this book because it can introduce readers to philosophical thoughts that are other than Western, which we tend to be bombarded with in academic publications and education in the US. 

By Joanna Macy,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Mutual Causality in Buddhism and General Systems Theory as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This book brings important new dimensions to the interface between contemporary Western science and ancient Eastern wisdom. Here for the first time the concepts and insights of general systems theory are presented in tandem with those of the Buddha. Remarkable convergences appear between core Buddhist teachings and the systems view of reality, arising in our century from biology and extending into the social and cognitive sciences. Giving a cogent introduction to both bodies of thought, and a fresh interpretation of the Buddha’s core teaching of dependent co-arising, this book shows how their common perspective on causality can inform our lives.…


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