100 books like The Story of a Soul

By Thérèse Of Lisieux, Michael Day (translator),

Here are 100 books that The Story of a Soul fans have personally recommended if you like The Story of a Soul. 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 Clinging: The Experience of Prayer

Jerry Windley-Daoust Author Of Imagine You Walked with Jesus: A Guide to Ignatian Contemplative Prayer

From my list on Christian prayer for beginners.

Why am I passionate about this?

Sometimes I wonder how I ended up writing so many books about spirituality and religion. I started out in journalism, after all, driven by an endless curiosity about people and the planet. I wanted to tell all the untold stories! Funny thing, chasing those stories deeper and deeper eventually led me to write about spirituality, and ultimately, prayer. I picked up an MA in pastoral ministry, spent a few years editing high school religion textbooks for Saint Mary’s Press, and then started writing my own books. Most of what I write is aimed at helping beginners learn to pray, which is why I made this list.

Jerry's book list on Christian prayer for beginners

Jerry Windley-Daoust Why did Jerry love this book?

This little book is my first love, the one that I revisit every few years. Griffin calls it an experiment because rather than describing a particular method of prayer, she sets out to paint a picture of what prayer is like, using the palette of her own experience, wise words from Scripture, and the long tradition of Christian mysticism. The resulting work is less like a map or a manual than the story of a single traveler exploring the far reaches of the known world; and in telling that story, she blazes a path for the rest of us. The book is only available in print, which is unfortunate for those of us who prefer ebooks; on my bookshelf, it sits right next to all the spiritual classics.

By Emilie Griffin,

Why should I read it?

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


Book cover of Meditation and Contemplation: An Ignatian Guide to Praying with Scripture (Crossroad Book)

Jerry Windley-Daoust Author Of Imagine You Walked with Jesus: A Guide to Ignatian Contemplative Prayer

From my list on Christian prayer for beginners.

Why am I passionate about this?

Sometimes I wonder how I ended up writing so many books about spirituality and religion. I started out in journalism, after all, driven by an endless curiosity about people and the planet. I wanted to tell all the untold stories! Funny thing, chasing those stories deeper and deeper eventually led me to write about spirituality, and ultimately, prayer. I picked up an MA in pastoral ministry, spent a few years editing high school religion textbooks for Saint Mary’s Press, and then started writing my own books. Most of what I write is aimed at helping beginners learn to pray, which is why I made this list.

Jerry's book list on Christian prayer for beginners

Jerry Windley-Daoust Why did Jerry love this book?

This is one of the first books I read about Ignatian meditation and contemplation, and my copy is well worn; in fact, I used it as a primary source for my own book on imaginative prayer. (Ignatian meditation is a way of prayerfully reflecting on the meaning of Scripture, while Ignatian contemplation is a way of entering the world of a Scripture passage through the imagination.) Gallagher closely follows the methods and terminology used by St. Ignatius in his Spiritual Exercises, but he “translates” that material for modern readers in a clear, simple way. I found it especially helpful that Gallagher includes lots of first-hand accounts from the experiences of ordinary people; these offer practical models for what each step looks like, and make the whole book more interesting, too.

By Timothy M. OMV Gallagher,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The cornerstones of Ignatius of Loyola's spiritual practice--meditation and contemplation--are clearly explained in this simple guide to the Ignatian method with examples from the experience of practitioners and quotations from Catholic spiritual teachers. In the process, the deeper structure of the spiritual practice is illuminated, and advice about adapting it to individual needs is offered. Topics include methods of praying, struggles and growth, and the importance and role of grace. Individuals who desire to pray with scripture, spiritual directors, and all who teach prayer with scripture will benefit from the counsel in this resource.


Book cover of Thirsting for Prayer

Jerry Windley-Daoust Author Of Imagine You Walked with Jesus: A Guide to Ignatian Contemplative Prayer

From my list on Christian prayer for beginners.

Why am I passionate about this?

Sometimes I wonder how I ended up writing so many books about spirituality and religion. I started out in journalism, after all, driven by an endless curiosity about people and the planet. I wanted to tell all the untold stories! Funny thing, chasing those stories deeper and deeper eventually led me to write about spirituality, and ultimately, prayer. I picked up an MA in pastoral ministry, spent a few years editing high school religion textbooks for Saint Mary’s Press, and then started writing my own books. Most of what I write is aimed at helping beginners learn to pray, which is why I made this list.

Jerry's book list on Christian prayer for beginners

Jerry Windley-Daoust Why did Jerry love this book?

This is the book that I would recommend for older teens and adults who are just getting going with their own Christian prayer practice. Thirsting for Prayer is brief (just over 100 pages in the print edition), but only because Fr. Philippe is the sort of writer who has mastered his subject so thoroughly, it’s easy for him to explain its essence to the beginner. There’s nothing faddish or gimmicky here, just a straightforward presentation of why prayer matters, the conditions that help it to be fruitful, and practical advice. Reading it feels like sitting down with a wise but kindly spiritual director—which isn’t surprising, given Fr. Philippe’s extensive experience in that role.

By Jacques Phillippe,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

"What the world most needs today is prayer. It is prayer that will give birth to all the renewals, healings, deep and fruitful transformations we all want for society today.... I am more and more convinced that everything comes from prayer and that, among the calls of the Spirit, this is the first and most urgent one we should respond to."

Many have already benefited from Fr. Jacques’ best-selling book on prayer, Time for God. In Thirsting for Prayer Fr. Jacques revisits some of the themes covered in that book and develops new insights that are both profound and practical.…


Book cover of I Heard God Laugh: A Practical Guide to Life's Essential Daily Habit

Jerry Windley-Daoust Author Of Imagine You Walked with Jesus: A Guide to Ignatian Contemplative Prayer

From my list on Christian prayer for beginners.

Why am I passionate about this?

Sometimes I wonder how I ended up writing so many books about spirituality and religion. I started out in journalism, after all, driven by an endless curiosity about people and the planet. I wanted to tell all the untold stories! Funny thing, chasing those stories deeper and deeper eventually led me to write about spirituality, and ultimately, prayer. I picked up an MA in pastoral ministry, spent a few years editing high school religion textbooks for Saint Mary’s Press, and then started writing my own books. Most of what I write is aimed at helping beginners learn to pray, which is why I made this list.

Jerry's book list on Christian prayer for beginners

Jerry Windley-Daoust Why did Jerry love this book?

If all the other books I’ve recommended are like going on a good spiritual retreat, I Heard God Laugh is like hanging out at a backyard barbecue with your favorite neighbor. That’s not to say that Matthew Kelly isn’t a spiritual master (he is), but he writes in a colloquial, friendly style, preferring personal anecdotes and homey little parables over explicit callbacks to Scripture and other Christian mystics. That’s not to say his approach isn’t solidly rooted in the Christian tradition; it is, but here his aim is to encourage the reluctant pray-er by stripping away anything that might get in the way and offering lots of encouragement. Kelly’s approach is most similar to my own; we both have a heart for helping people to begin their conversation with God. As he says, “Once the conversation has begun, it can lead anywhere.”

By Matthew Kelly,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked I Heard God Laugh as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Is Your Life Working?

Most of us are trying to put together the jigsaw puzzle we call life without a very important piece. Over time this becomes incredibly frustrating. In this extraordinary book, Matthew Kelly powerfully demonstrates that we cannot live the life we have imagined, or experience the joy we yearn for, unless we learn to tend the soul. From there, with his classic style of practical wisdom, he teaches us how to remedy this problem.

When our bodies are hungry, our stomachs growl. When our souls are hungry, we become irritable, restless, confused, overwhelmed, exhausted, anxious, discontent, and…


Book cover of Voices: The Final Hours of Joan of Arc

Megan E. Freeman Author Of Alone

From my list on to introduce readers to novels in verse.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a poet and author living and writing in Northern Colorado. I love reading (and writing) novels in verse because they invite the reader into an active relationship with the author-poet. The story is co-created through mutual trust and imagination: the reader has to trust the author to provide enough language to reveal the narrative, and the author has to trust the reader to fill in details left by the white space on the page. Through this mutual effort and creative collaboration, dazzling stories emerge.

Megan's book list on to introduce readers to novels in verse

Megan E. Freeman Why did Megan love this book?

In Voices, David Elliott uses formal verse to explore the last hours that Joan of Arc lived. Told from multiple points of view, including the voice of the flame that will burn Joan at the stake, Elliott chooses specific poetic forms to reflect fundamental truths about the different characters. All forms of verse in the book were popular during Joan’s actual lifetime, and Elliott provides an interesting author’s note at the back of the book. Aside from being a poetic tour de force, Voices is a true page-turner, and readers will root for Joan to triumph over her enemies, even as they dread the inevitable outcome.

By David Elliott,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Told through medieval poetic forms and in the voices of the people and objects in Joan of Arc's life, (including her family and even the trees, clothes, cows, and candles of her childhood), Voices offers an unforgettable perspective on an extraordinary young woman. Along the way it explores timely issues such as gender, misogyny, and the peril of speaking truth to power. Before Joan of Arc became a saint, she was a girl inspired. It is that girl we come to know in Voices.


Book cover of Saint Joan

Paul Camster Author Of Apocalypse, Third Edition

From my list on females overcome evil opponents to save the world.

Why am I passionate about this?

As Rebecca Roberts in Apocalypse was an ancestor whose achievements have been largely ignored-maybe because of gender-it seemed to be time to redress the balance. A female author may have done the job better, but none stepped forward at the time and Hollywood screenwriter K.Lewis was keen to write a screenplay, requiring a concept screenplay outline as a guide. It was that which later became the 1st Edition of Apocalypse.

Paul's book list on females overcome evil opponents to save the world

Paul Camster Why did Paul love this book?

Although written as a play, it has a foreword detailing its subject—the life of Joan of Arc. Joan was the inspiration and much-admired heroine of Rebecca Roberts in my own book. Based closely on the Inquisition records, it has very moving moments, whether read or performed as a play.

By Bernard Shaw,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

'What other judgment can I judge by but my own?' Charting the meteoric rise and fall of Joan of Arc and her mission to drive the English from France, Shaw's Saint Joan draws directly on the medieval records to cut through the sentiment that characterized previous literary treatments of her story. A powerful example of a new kind of history play, its staging of dissent and social constraint, personal responsibility and female assertion, as well as fervent adherence to a cause, gave it a powerful modernity in its own day and continuing resonance in ours. Acclaimed internationally, this instant modern…


Book cover of Joan of Arc: A Military Leader

Sarah Percy Author Of Forgotten Warriors: The Long History of Women in Combat

From my list on women in combat.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m an academic, writer, and broadcaster, and I’ve always been fascinated by the big questions of who fights wars and why. A puzzle caught my eye: the only profession (short of maybe priest) where women were actively banned in the 1980s and as late as the 2010s, was combat. How could Western democracies ban women from an entire profession? This was especially odd, given that the plentiful historical evidence that women were perfectly capable of combat. So I wrote a book explaining how women in combat fit into the broader sweep of military history, and how the suppression and dismissal of their stories has had a profound social and cultural impact. 

Sarah's book list on women in combat

Sarah Percy Why did Sarah love this book?

We all think we know the story of Joan of Arc – she’s possibly one of the world’s most famous women. But what Kelly Devries’ book does is to put Joan’s military accomplishments into the spotlight.

By focusing on Joan as a military leader, the book reminds us that women’s military experience was often dismissed. In Joan’s case, the only explanation people had for the military capacity of a teenage girl was magic. The British thought Joan was a witch, the French that she was divinely inspired – but no one thought that she may just have been a good fighter and a good leader.

Devries unpacks some of the more prosaic explanations behind Joan’s military success, explanations that indicate that Joan (like other women) may have had military talents rather than magical ones. 

By Kelly DeVries,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Where previous works have concentrated on the religious and feminist aspects of Joan's career, this title addresses the vital issue of what it was that made her the heroine she became. Why did the soldiers of France follow a woman into battle when no troops of the Hundred Years War had done so before, and how was she able to win? The English called her whore, and believed her to be possessed, but her own troops trusted her without any proof of her abilities. And she did have very great abilities - in particular her remarkable prowess as a military…


Book cover of Rooftoppers

Natasha Lowe Author Of The Courage of Cat Campbell (Poppy Pendle)

From my list on quirky fantasies with feisty “take charge” girls.

Why am I passionate about this?

I write books about feisty girls who follow their dreams and don’t let fear stand in their way. Growing up in London I was an extremely shy child with a full-blown fantasy life, but at eighteen decided it was time to channel my inner “feisty girl”, take charge of my destiny, and travel to America to pursue my dream of becoming a writer. Now, many years later I am the proud author of five middle-grade novels, and the mother of four amazing children who are all off following their own dreams. When I’m not writing books about feisty girls, I’m reading other people's. Here are some of my favorites.

Natasha's book list on quirky fantasies with feisty “take charge” girls

Natasha Lowe Why did Natasha love this book?

“On the morning of its first birthday, a baby was found floating in a cello case in the English Channel.” From the opening line this is a story you will fall in love with!  Sofie, the orphaned baby in the cello case, is rescued from a shipwreck by an elderly gentleman called Charles who decides to raise her himself. He does an excellent job and I adore Sofie’s bravery, her love of knowledge, and her passion for adventure. Certain that her mother is still alive, Sofie and Charles set off for Paris to look for her, believing that you “never ignore a possible.” This is a fabulous book about pursuing your dreams and the power of hope. Plus the writing is just gorgeous!  

By Katherine Rundell, Terry Fan (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Rooftoppers as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 8, 9, 10, and 11.

What is this book about?

Go on an adventure with Katherine Rundell... _______________ Winner of the Waterstones Children's Book Prize and the Blue Peter Book Award Shortlisted for the CILIP Carnegie Medal From the winner of the Costa Children's Book Prize _______________ 'I enjoyed it tremendously ... The next time I go to Paris I will be looking up at the rooftops' - Jacqueline Wilson 'A writer with an utterly distinctive voice and a wild imagination' - Philip Pullman 'Read everything she writes' - Daily Mail _______________ Everyone tells Sophie that she was orphaned in a shipwreck - found floating in a cello case on…


Book cover of Down and Out in Paris and London

Patrick Bringley Author Of All the Beauty in the World: The Metropolitan Museum of Art and Me

From my list on bringing you deep inside fascinating workplaces.

Why am I passionate about this?

I worked for ten years as a guard at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, as narrated in my memoir, All the Beauty in the World. I’ve found that readers are fascinated by the art in the Met but also by the “living museum,” which includes five hundred security guards keeping watch over millions of visitors each year. I’ve read a variety of workplace memoirs to study how authors depict the rhythms of work and the feel of particular workplaces. I’m especially passionate when there are larger themes at play and thus clear reasons why we should care.

Patrick's book list on bringing you deep inside fascinating workplaces

Patrick Bringley Why did Patrick love this book?

Orwell is my favorite nonfiction writer.

This is a workplace memoir in part because of the engaging, disgusting scenes where he labors as a plongeur (dishwasher) in a grimy French restaurant. But in a broader sense, it’s a book about the hard work of being poor.

Every sentence is intelligent and the overall thrust is deeply moral—Orwell’s calling card.

By George Orwell,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked Down and Out in Paris and London as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

From the author of 1984, the classic semi-autobiographical story about the adventures of a penniless British writer in two cities.

Down and Out in Paris and London follows the journey of a writer among the down-and-out in two great cities. Without self-pity and often with humor, this novel is Orwell at his finest-a sobering, truthful protrayal of poverty and society.


Book cover of Sentimental Education

Anton Gill Author Of The Journey Back from Hell

From my list on the best I have read so far.

Why am I passionate about this?

I think Zoroastrianism got it right: there's a constant knife-edge balance between good and evil, with neither quite winning; but we shouldn't be overconfident that one day that balance will tip to the bad side because that is always more dominant. Art in all forms has served dictators and tyrants as well as criticised them; few works have ever actually changed anything. If they have, it's been through literature most of all. Zola's 'j'accuse' and Sinclair's 'the jungle' are two obvious examples, but all the books I have chosen are powerful tools for self–examination, and as someone who is particularly interested in man's inhumanity to man I have found them useful. 

Anton's book list on the best I have read so far

Anton Gill Why did Anton love this book?

I think this is a better book than MME Bovary. It's quite in the tradition of Marivaudage but Flaubert has such a light though ruthless touch that at times you just don't know where your sympathies lie. If Flaubert has been a surgeon he's have been an expert with the smallest, finest scalpels! His technique stands in great contrast to the work of Hugo and Zola, and he certainly outmanoeuvres Balzac! I often wish he'd written more, but what he's left us is pure gold. You might like to compare this book with Fontane's Effi Briest – another stunning novel–of–manners. I was hard put to it to make a choice between these two novels for my 4th choice.

By Gustave Flaubert,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

"I want to write the moral history of the men of my generation—or, more accurately, the history of their feelings," declared Gustave Flaubert, who envisioned "a book about love, about passion; but passion such as can exist nowadays—that is to say, inactive." First published in 1869, this novel fulfills Flaubert's conception with a realistic, ironic portrait of bourgeois lives played out against France's tumultuous revolution of 1848 and the founding of its Second Empire.
Frédéric Moreau, a law student in Paris, dreams of achieving success in art, business, journalism, and politics. His aspirations take a romantic turn upon a chance…


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