100 books like The Wounded Healer

By Henri J. M. Nouwen,

Here are 100 books that The Wounded Healer fans have personally recommended if you like The Wounded Healer. 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 Wintering: The Power of Rest and Retreat in Difficult Times

Meg Arroll Author Of Tiny Traumas: When You Don't Know What's Wrong, but Nothing Feels Quite Right

From my list on helping you understand why you feel the way you fee.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a psychologist, yet I am also a human being with real, complex, and, at times, disturbing thoughts and feelings. I would say I’ve learnt more from my own experiences and those shared by others than any training or qualifications. I never tire of listening to these real-life narratives, which are full of more color and depth than our rudimentary single-word emotion labels describe. I gather these stories up to feed my emotobiome (our microscopic inner world of feelings) along with the books and learnings from my list. I hope you’ll join me on this rollercoaster ride through human feelings–I wouldn’t miss it for the world. 

Meg's book list on helping you understand why you feel the way you fee

Meg Arroll Why did Meg love this book?

I’m not sure I could love this book anymore–I often speak about the importance of accepting and working through negative emotions and that there are no inherently “bad” feelings, but this book expresses the importance of the difficult seasons we experience in life in an utterly breathtaking and encompassing way.

This is more of a memoir than a scientific book that wraps you in a warm embrace of personal narrative, like talking to a dear friend after a heartbreak. With the inclusion of historical and anthropological examples of “wintering,” this book beautifully takes a stance against toxic positivity and why it’s ok not to be ok. 

By Katherine May,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?


'A beautiful, gentle exploration of the dark season of life and the light of spring that eventually follows' RAYNOR WINN

'My favourite book of the last five years' CAITLIN MORAN

Wintering is a poignant and comforting meditation on the fallow periods of life, times when we must retreat to care for and repair ourselves. Katherine May thoughtfully shows us how to come through these times with the wisdom of knowing that, like the seasons, our winters and summers are the ebb and flow of life.

'Every bit as beautiful…

Book cover of The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry

Vered Neta Author Of Things We Do For Love

From my list on the light side of Alzheimer’s.

Why am I passionate about this?

Like the Bach sisters in my novel Things We Do For Love, my sisters and I have cared for our mother, who battles Alzheimer's. Witnessing her transformation from a vibrant powerhouse to someone resembling the Walking Dead has been heart-wrenching. Despite the emotional rollercoaster, this journey has deeply connected us with our mother. Delving into the depths of her being has been a privilege, offering profound insights into her true essence. This challenging experience has unfolded as a disguised blessing. In this journey, we've discovered the beauty of unconditional love that binds our family together. It reflects the central question of my novel: What truly makes a happy family?

Vered's book list on the light side of Alzheimer’s

Vered Neta Why did Vered love this book?

As a latecomer to long-distance hiking, this book is now one of my all-time favourites. It explores regrets and life's lessons, going beyond Alzheimer's.

One morning, Harold receives a letter from a long-lost woman, informing him of her impending death and wanting to bid farewell. Believing that walking the entire 600-mile journey and answering her in person could save her life, he embarks on this quest wearing only the clothes on his back.

With each step, Harold's past is peeled back, revealing deep wounds and losses that shaped his life and bringing him closer to healing. Along the way, he opens himself to the world, embracing not only others' vulnerabilities but also coming to terms with his own.

Driven by regret and the search for redemption, Harold's journey, both physically and emotionally, turns out to be a heartening one, narrated with a perfect blend of humour and pathos.

By Rachel Joyce,

Why should I read it?

6 authors picked The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

'Impossible to put down' TIMES
'Life-affirming delight. A comic pleasure' WOMAN AND HOME
'Profoundly moving' RICHARD MADELEY


When Harold Fry nips out one morning to post a letter, leaving his wife hoovering upstairs, he has no idea that he is about to walk from one end of the country to the other.

He has no hiking boots or map, let alone a compass, waterproof or mobile phone. All he knows is that he must keep walking. To save someone else's life.


Book cover of Falling Upward: A Spirituality for the Two Halves of Life

Jeff Bernier Author Of The Money and Meaning Journey: A Guide to Clarity, Financial Confidence, and Joy

From my list on financial peace in retirement.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a wealth advisor for over 37 years, I find many people reach retirement lacking clarity and confidence. Traditional financial advice often focuses on things that are unknowable, uncontrollable, and frankly don’t matter that much. While sound technical investment, estate, and tax planning are critical, the soul’s need for meaning and purpose are as important as sound financial plans. The path to true financial peace may be simpler than you think. These books can help you focus on the fewer, more critical things so that you can thrive in retirement and free yourself from financial media which is not in business to support your vision of a meaningful life.

Jeff's book list on financial peace in retirement

Jeff Bernier Why did Jeff love this book?

Bob Buford introduced me to this book at the Halftime Institute in 2013.

I found this book when I was going through a difficult season - a “falling". This book has helped me understand that much of what we judge as challenges or “falling” is the raw material for personal and spiritual growth. 

And that through the wisdom and insights of these challenges, the second half can be a time of great joy and excitement. I re-read it annually.

By Richard Rohr,

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked Falling Upward as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A fresh way of thinking about spirituality that grows throughout life In Falling Upward , Fr. Richard Rohr seeks to help readers understand the tasks of the two halves of life and to show them that those who have fallen, failed, or "gone down" are the only ones who understand "up." Most of us tend to think of the second half of life as largely about getting old, dealing with health issues, and letting go of life, but the whole thesis of this book is exactly the opposite. What looks like falling down can largely be experienced as "falling upward."…

Book cover of The Mantram Handbook: A Practical Guide to Choosing Your Mantram and Calming Your Mind

Barbara Mariconda Author Of After the Diagnosis...A Guide for Living

From my list on transforming suffering.

Why am I passionate about this?

From darkness, light. From death, life. I believe this, passionately. When emptied by love, by suffering, by life, it’s possible to fill that space with something greater than ourselves – and that something is God. None of us gets through life without suffering. For me, it was growing up in an alcoholic home and later going through a divorce. The question is, will our suffering destroy us or transform us? Co-author Fr. Tom Lynch and I started Journey of the Soul Ministry to help others transform their suffering into an ability to live more freely and love more deeply. That’s what our book explores, as do my other recommendations.

Barbara's book list on transforming suffering

Barbara Mariconda Why did Barbara love this book?

Feel bullied by thoughts, emotions, anxieties? Find yourself wallowing in past regrets or resentments, or projecting into a foreboding future? Eknath Easwaran shows how damaging thought patterns result in giving away the present - the only time we’re ever guaranteed, feeding a self-absorption that exacerbates our suffering. Easwaran explains the age-old spiritual tool known as mantra, demonstrating the ways we can use it to transform our pain. Using a sacred word as a pivot from negativity trains the brain to focus instead on the positivity we know as God. I found myself deeply grateful to Easwaran during the endless wait as my daughter-in-law struggled through the excruciatingly long and perilous delivery of my grandson. “Oh Sacred Heart…kept me afloat and held us all in the palm of God’s hand.

By Eknath Easwaran,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The mantram, or mantra, is a short, powerful, spiritual formula from the world's great traditions, repeated silently in the mind, anytime, anywhere. Examples of mantrams are Rama, Rama, used by Gandhi, or My God and My All, repeated by St. Francis of Assisi, or Om Mani Padme Hum. Easwaran taught the use of the mantram for over forty years as part of his passage meditation program. He explains how the mantram works, and gives practical guidelines for using it to focus our thoughts and access deeper resources of strength, patience, and love. The mantram can help us replenish our energy,…

Book cover of Sex, Priests, and Secret Codes: The Catholic Church's 2,000 Year Paper Trail of Sexual Abuse

Barbara Hand Clow Author Of Revelations of the Ruby Crystal

From my list on finding your soul and discovering ancient knowledge.

Why am I passionate about this?

I completed a Masters in Theology where I studied early Church theology (Patristics) and Jungian analysis. Next, I wanted to pursue a PhD in Patristics to discover how and why the Catholic Church had banished true spirituality for stifling dogma and randy sexual abuse, but I was the mother of four children and had to go to work. I became an acquisitions editor for a Catholic publishing house, which enabled me to continue my research on the building deviation from real spirit in Catholicism. I wrote the Revelations Trilogy instead of doing a thesis in graduate school. This trilogy is very hot and controversial because nobody could control me.

Barbara's book list on finding your soul and discovering ancient knowledge

Barbara Hand Clow Why did Barbara love this book?

The main author of this book, Father Thomas Doyle, served at the Vatican Embassy in the 1980s and became an expert in the canonical and pastoral dimensions of priestly sexual abuse.

He has worked with the victims and their families, the abuser priests, the bishops, and superiors, and has developed policies for dealing with cases of sexual abuse by the clergy.

His advocacy work for the victims has resulted in large settlements for many of them, and his exposure of this ugly problem has caused huge financial and psychological stress for the Catholic Church worldwide.

At this point, most people in the world realize priestly sexual abuse is a critical threat to the integrity of Catholicism, and this book is the best source on this deep-seated problem.

This deep book reveals the Church has grappled with this devastating internal problem from its earliest years.

By Thomas P. Doyle, A.W. Richard Sipe, Patrick J. Wall

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Sex, Priests, and Secret Codes as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Sexual abuse of minors and vulnerable adults by Catholic clergy burst onto the American scene in 1984. Revelations about such abuse since then have confirmed that this tragedy is not limited to the U.S. Catholic Church, nor is it a new phenomenon that grew out of so-called secularizing trends of the late twentieth century. The Doyle-Sipe-Wall report clearly demonstrates a deep-seated problem that spans the Church's history. This collection of documents from official and unofficial sources begins its survey in 60 CE and concludes with the contemporary scandal. It reveals an institution that has tried to come to grips with…

Book cover of Priest Under Fire: Padre David Rodríguez, the Catholic Church, and El Salvador's Revolutionary Movement

Theresa Keeley Author Of Reagan's Gun-Toting Nuns: The Catholic Conflict Over Cold War Human Rights Policy in Central America

From my list on Catholics who joined revolutionary movements in Central America.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am fascinated by the relationship between people’s religious and political identities. As a kindergartner, I heard about the hunger strikers at our local Irish Center, I was taught anti-communist songs at my Catholic Ukrainian school, and I listened as my dad explained Cesar Chavez and the United Farm Workers as we passed by the grapes while grocery shopping. Catholicism was not something I saw as just happening inside the walls of a church. It was about how one related to the world and was part of a global community. Those early experiences inspired me to become a human rights lawyer and activist, and later, a U.S. foreign relations historian.

Theresa's book list on Catholics who joined revolutionary movements in Central America

Theresa Keeley Why did Theresa love this book?

What persuaded a priest to join El Salvador’s largest guerilla organization, the FPL (Popular Liberation Forces)?

This biography explains the metamorphosis of “Padre David,” as he was known. The book also places his experience within the larger context of the role progressive priests and nuns played in helping the poor to realize their worth, which inspired many to then demand change in society. Because the state crushed all peaceful opposition, especially through violence, many Salvadorans concluded that the only way to work for change – and to simultaneously protect themselves – was to join an armed movement. Padre David was no different. He felt an added sense of responsibility because he trained catechists to work for change who were later killed because the state saw them as threats to the status quo.

By Peter M. Sánchez,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

David Rodriguez, or Padre David as he is known throughout El Salvador, is a diocesan priest who followed the Second Vatican Council's doctrinal mandate to advocate for the poor and oppressed. Along with other progressive clergy committed to liberation theology,Padre David helped drive forward the country's popular movement.

In the 1970s, Padre David joined the largest guerilla organization in El Salvador, the FPL (Popular Liberation Forces). At first, he supported the FPL clandestinely, helping to organize Christian Base Communities, autonomous religious groups dedicated to spreading liberationist ideas and to giving the Salvadoran poor a clear understanding of why their lives…

Book cover of Priest

Julia Whelan Author Of Thank You for Listening

From my list on gateway romance for literary readers and writers.

Why am I passionate about this?

Although I currently write romantic women’s fiction, because I came up in the Literary Fiction community, I frequently have writer friends ask me to recommend well-written Romance. Leaving aside the subjectivity of well-written and the snobbery inherent in the suggestion that Romance—a category they’ve admitted to never having read—isn’t generally well-written, I first have to explain that Romance has rules: While we often associate Romance with sex on the page, technically, it’s not a requirement. There are only two requirements, according to the Romance Writers of America: the love story has to be the central storyline of the book; and there has to be a happily ever after (HEA). 

Julia's book list on gateway romance for literary readers and writers

Julia Whelan Why did Julia love this book?

Look. I could tell you it’s a modern-day gothic. I could tell you it wields its heresy to illuminate the true meaning of God. I could tell you she writes with the clarity of an imprisoned martyr watching the pyre being assembled outside her window. But, really, I just want you to know that I read Sierra Simone with a goofy smile on my face, marveling at how she makes the bonkers believable. She’s a surreal realist. There’s an energy here that’s simply unmatched. The book vibrates. And if you make it through Priest, might I suggest her New Camelot trilogy, which tackles the only thing more sacred than the Catholic church: the American presidency.

By Sierra Simone,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

There are many rules a priest can't break. A priest cannot marry. A priest cannot abandon his flock. A priest cannot forsake his God.

I've always been good at following rules.

Until she came. Then I learned new rules.

My name is Tyler Anselm Bell. I'm twenty-nine years old. Six months ago, I broke my vow of celibacy on the altar of my own church, and God help me, I would do it again.

I am a priest and this is my confession.

Book cover of The Power and the Glory

Scott Turow Author Of Suspect

From my list on thrillers powered by an eccentric hero.

Why am I passionate about this?

The key to a great contemporary thriller—as opposed to older novels about say, Sherlock Holmes or James Bond—is that solving the mystery reveals something essential about the protagonist. In other words these are character investigations as well as whodunits, where the same action provides revelations in both arenas. It’s what I discovered I wanted to do, when I veered from “serious fiction” to the books I began to write, starting with Presumed Innocent.

Scott's book list on thrillers powered by an eccentric hero

Scott Turow Why did Scott love this book?

Set in Mexico in the 1930s when the revolutionary government engaged in an active campaign against the Catholic Church, Greene’s hero, the so-called Whiskey Priest, is a drunk who has also failed to adhere to his vow of chastity, but his kindness and commitment to worshippers make him an intensely sympathetic figure, as he is hunted by the local police chief determined to put him behind bars.

The book was a revelation to me when I first read it in college. I did not realize that the Mexican government had engaged in this war against the Church so recently. Nor did I realize that a novel so gripping could be told with such literary grace. 

By Graham Greene,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked The Power and the Glory as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

During an anti-clerical purge in Mexico, a priest is hunted like a hare. Too human for heroism, too humble for martyrdom, the little worldly priest is nevertheless impelled towards his squalid Calvary as much by his own compassion for humanity as by the efforts of his pursuers.

Book cover of Heartbreaker

Bobbi Smith Author Of The Lady & the Texan

From my list on great hunks for heroes.

Why am I passionate about this?

I love romances because the stories always end happily, and also because of the heroes! They are my ideal men—handsome, of course, but always strong and honorable. They always do the right thing, even if it requires hardship and sacrifice, and at the end of the story, when they pledge their love to the heroine, we know that love will be forever. I sold my first book back in 1982, and in every one of my stories I feature this kind of hero.

Bobbi's book list on great hunks for heroes

Bobbi Smith Why did Bobbi love this book?

I got soooo hooked on Julie’s contemporary suspense books. In Heartbreaker, as the story opens, we learn our hero agent Nick Buchanan has just saved a young boy’s life by taking out a serial killer who held him captive. Nick then gets to take some time off for a vacation, and as he’s on the plane waiting to depart, he stops an armed man from trying to free a prisoner another lawman has on the plane. He is definitely the white knight showing up at just the right time. When he meets up with his best friend, he learns a serial killer is after his friend’s sister. I couldn’t wait to see how he was going to protect the heroine, Laurant, from the psychopath and bring him in. This is my kind of hero—courageous, up for anything, never afraid to put his life in danger to right a wrong.

By Julie Garwood,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

When a serial killer reveals the identity of his next victim--a beautiful woman named Laurant Madden--FBI agent Nick Buchanan steps in to protect her, but quickly finds his mission complicated by his feelings for her. Reissue.

Book cover of The Small House at Allington

Alice McVeigh Author Of Harriet: A Jane Austen Variation

From my list on for readers who like a varied book diet.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve been “big-five-published” in contemporary fiction, Indie-published in speculative thrillers and I – only last year – rejected several publishers in favour of self-publishing books Jane Austen herself might have loved. A Jane Austen fanatic from an early age, I know most of the novels by heart, and appear to have succeeded (to some extent) in understanding her style. My Susan – a unique imagining of Austen’s Lady Susan as a young girl – is both award-winning and bestselling and my Harriet – an imaginative “take” on Austen’s Emma, has just been selected as "Editor's Pick - outstanding" on Publishers Weekly.   

Alice's book list on for readers who like a varied book diet

Alice McVeigh Why did Alice love this book?

The delight of this book is in the characters of the two sisters, and the character development/coming-of-age arc of the hero.

We have two sisters in a little village (living in the Small House at Allington). They are very different, but both delightful - one sought by a cousin she can't care for, the other jilted by a casual gallant.

As I've written elsewhere, the plot is Austenesque and the writing not far inferior - the dialogue instantly transports one to the period, to the village, and every character is cleverly drawn. It was first published in serial form, so there are no boring bits. There's a satirical portrait of high society, too, and the men are much better-developed than is generally the case in the period. There's a HEA, but not necessarily the one expected!! Highly recommended!

By Anthony Trollope,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

'She had resolved to trust in everything, and, having so trusted, she would not provide for herself any possibility of retreat.'

Lively and attractive, Lily Dale lives with her mother and sister at the Small House at Allington. She falls passionately in love with the urbane Adolphus Crosbie, and is devastated when he abandons her for the aristocratic Lady Alexandrina de Courcy. But Lily has another suitor, Johnny Eames, who has been devoted to her since boyhood. Perhaps she can find renewed happiness in Johnny's courtship?

The Small House at Allington was among the most successful of Trollope's Barsetshire novels,…

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