The best parable books

1 authors have picked their favorite books about parables and why they recommend each book.

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By Karen S. Kingsbury,

Book cover of Divine

Best-selling author Karen Kingsbury brings to light the ugliness of child prostitution but in a contemporary setting. Experts say reading fiction, especially those books that deal with darker subjects, can boost your mental health. Kingsbury’s portrayal of her main character and the trials she goes through in order to heal from childhood trauma is one such book.

Who am I?

I am first and foremost an avid reader of a variety of genres, but women’s/romantic fiction is my favorite. I have a passion for God and His ability to pull us out of the deepest pit and transform a life of beauty from the ashes of our past. Although I write from a “Christian” viewpoint, I prefer characters with flaws and books that deal with women’s issues in a realistic way, not glossed over or hinted at. Which is why my tagline is “Inspirational with an Edge!” ™ In my opinion, the harder our characters fall from grace, the more powerful their redemption or testimony will be.

I wrote...

The Visionary

By Pamela S. Thibodeaux,

Book cover of The Visionary

What is my book about?

While most visionaries see into the future, Taylor sees the past. but only as it pertains to her work. Hailed by her peers as “a visionary with an instinct for beauty and an eye for the unique” Taylor is undoubtedly a brilliant architect and gifted designer. But she and twin brother Trevor, share more than a successful business. The two share a childhood wrought with lies and deceit and the kind of abuse that’s disturbingly prevalent in today’s society.

Can the love of God and the awesome healing power of His grace and mercy free the twins from their past and open their hearts to the good plan and the future He has for their lives?

The Richest Man In Babylon

By George S. Clason,

Book cover of The Richest Man In Babylon

I love how The Richest Man in Babylon lays out, chapter by chapter, a series of fables that reveal a simple truth that we can apply ourselves, for greater impact in our lives. 

Clason was born in 1874 and throughout his life he went from being a civil engineer in the Spanish War to growing one of the most profitable map companies in the USA. Observing the financial struggles of those around him, especially in depression-era America; he turned his hand to writing. Clason wanted to show others how to not only acquire wealth but to be wealthy. 

This is something I took very much to heart, and I use this lesson in my own teachings. If we want to be wealthy, we need to think beyond just money. Being a wealthy person is about living a different life to the one we live now. Simply having more money will…

Who am I?

Having brought myself back from the brink more than once, finally building a lasting, abundant life for myself; I know what it takes and I know how easy it is to lose your way. I am extremely passionate about helping others avoid the pitfalls, break through the self-imposed barriers and find their own version of abundance. It’s not just about money, though that’s certainly a component for a lot of people. It’s about bringing awareness to what your dream life actually looks like, getting precise about it, and then clearing you a path that leads inexorably towards it. I have walked that path myself and now, I want to help you do the same. 

I wrote...

Stepping Beyond Intention

By Daniel Mangena,

Book cover of Stepping Beyond Intention

What is my book about?

Stepping Beyond Intention is a best-selling guide to help you break through your mental blocks and take action. If you have dreams, goals, or aspirations but just can’t seem to get them off the ground: this will give you the tools to do so. 

Mixing the more esoteric elements of self-help with real, practical, and easy-to-follow steps: Stepping Beyond Intention is a strong transformational tool. This is about unlocking your own, unique power - not forcing a ‘cookie-cutter’ approach that doesn’t fit with you. Use this powerful four-step model to rediscover your true path. Let Stepping Beyond Intention help you to consciously choose a more abundant, joyful, and purpose-driven life. 

The Go-Giver

By Bob Burg, John David Mann,

Book cover of The Go-Giver: A Little Story about a Powerful Business Idea

The Go-Giver shows how giving and putting other's needs before your own can lead to success.

Such a beautifully written book discussing a simple truth that the majority of people miss about wanting to live, learn, and laugh more abundantly. When we stop thinking about I, me, myself, and my pleasures, problem, and pain and start focusing and working on caring, contributing, and concerning ourselves with improving our community... magical things will start to happen to you.

Who am I?

Tomas Veres is a European novelist and poet. He is primarily known for his memoirs in which deep characters and a wide range of emotions are beautifully and painfully depicted. They come from a point in his life when he felt lost, uncertain, and uncompromised soul exhaustion from dirty jobs and the abnormal flow of creative thinking, energy, and satisfaction.

I wrote...

Before I Won

By Tomas Veres,

Book cover of Before I Won

What is my book about?

Before I Won tells the story of a young man fighting toxic thoughts inside his head. Bullying. School. Graduation. Parents. A period causing cold sweat was over. Now, the period he always dreamt of – adulthood. Freedom. Independence. The power to live your own life.

But instead of calming happiness only hurting darkness. Depression emerging randomly. Uncontrollable anxiety. Lack of self-confidence. Feeling lost. Lack of money.  All of the ordinary things in society keep young Tom outside of society. Relationships, career, life – they bring questions without answers. Who am I? What do I want?

The Tale of Genji

By Murasaki Shikibu, Edward G. Seidensticker (translator),

Book cover of The Tale of Genji

Jump ahead four hundred years, spin the globe a quarter turn, and we come to what most literary taxonomists will call the first ‘novel,’ The Tale of Genji by Murasaki Shikibu, who was herself a lady of court during the Heian period. While not as jaw-dropping as the Procopius, Murasaki’s tale likewise functions as a window into a world so distant and exoticfrom both a moral and aesthetic perspectivethat its abiding and underlying familiarity consoles. And isn’t that the point? The supernatural influence is more subtle, but definitely there; witness the several instances of Mononokei.e., evil spirits given to possessing innocent minds. Murasaki provides two notable twists on the idea; first that such invasive spirits can originate either from this life or the afterlife (one of the prince’s courtesans does both). Relatedly, when the evil spirit travels from a living person into the psyche…

Who am I?

I like history. I also like myth. And I revere the imagination, the liberal use of which can lead to what many call “fantasy.” Though the portions change, almost all the fiction I’ve written—from The Chess Garden to John the Baptizer to my latest, The Unknown Woman of the Seine—is the product of this recipe. Some moment from the past captures my attention, digs its hooks in, invites research, which begets questions, which beget answers that only the imagination can provide, informed both by experience and by the oldest illustrations of why we are the way we are. Dice these up, let simmer until you’re not sure which is which, and serve.

I wrote...

The Unknown Woman of the Seine

By Brooks Hansen,

Book cover of The Unknown Woman of the Seine

What is my book about?

In the late 1880s, the body of a young woman washed up on the banks of the Seine, was taken directly to the morgue and publicly displayed in hopes that someone would recognize her. None did, but her face was thought to be so beautiful and enigmatic, a mask was made that grew quite famous, first for being an artist’s study tool, then a writer’s muse, then the template for the first CPR dummy.

That is the story we know. Set during the final three days of the World Exposition, 1889, The Unknown Woman of the Seine tells the story we don’t—not just of the life that led to the expression on that young maiden’s face, but even more mysteriously, the death.

The Celestine Prophecy

By James Redfield,

Book cover of The Celestine Prophecy

This book opened my mind and planted a quality seed that took a long time to germinate. When I read it so long ago, I was oblivious to the realms of energy and consciousness, and it was incredibly exciting to feel the resonance of truth in the pages… to know there’s something more. Nowadays it’s very simplistic because of how consciousness has moved on, but it was groundbreaking at the time. It carries real power to have rocked human consciousness to the extent it did, and bump us along the road of awakening. The story and writing are simple but does the trick as a vehicle to share understandings on how the world of energy and human consciousness works. 

Who am I?

As well as a novelist, I’m an astrologer who’s intrigued that 6,000 years ago - when Lilith apparently existed, alongside Adam and Eve - marks a point in an astrological cycle when a matriarchal era became a patriarchal one, followed by a fated reunion of the feminine and masculine energies. That era of unification begins now, and I call it the New Earth. I Am Lilith shares these big-scale and hopeful understandings about human evolution in a wildly luscious story. It is for those who are ready for unity and sense that the time has come for a New Earth.

I wrote...

I Am Lilith: An epic reimagining of the story of Lilith

By Melanie Dufty,

Book cover of I Am Lilith: An epic reimagining of the story of Lilith

What is my book about?

In a female-ruled society, she's trapped in an ancient struggle between the sexes. Will she be the spark to restore unity? 6,000 years ago, the mighty High Priestess Lilith is torn between her sacred duty and following the truth in her heart. Haunted by the injustice she oversees, Lilith yearns to set men and boys free from her temple's tyranny. But with a secret prophecy of masculine domination threatening chaos, Lilith is forced to quell a mounting male-led revolt. She finds herself falling for the one man who inspires her trust. But his growing ambitions and a rising war trigger events that demand a starry destiny plays out.

A mystical story based on a real astrological cycle that sees Her on top, then Him, before we unite equally. That time is now.

One Minute Wisdom

By Anthony De Mello,

Book cover of One Minute Wisdom

I love the simplicity of the stories with the catchy one-word titles. Short and sweet. They need not be read in any specific order. Each story stands on its own and each has a depth of meaning so that every time I read it I see something new in the story. This book was a model for me in my writing of Sages of Young Ages.

Who am I?

I’ve taught yoga and meditation for decades to children from ages 3 to 93. My Doctorate is in Education from the University of Illinois at Chicago. I love to experience personal development and child development has a very special place in my heart. I learn so much from them! It is particularly fun to watch children discover and explore life. Everything old is new again! Sages of Young Ages can open our eyes if we simply open our ears to each child’s unique spoken truths.

I wrote...

Sages of Young Ages

By Joan Budilovsky,

Book cover of Sages of Young Ages

What is my book about?

In a fun new twist on child development, Sages of Young Ages features the itty bitty yet witty words of wisdom from children ages 3-8. Covering over 90 subjects ranging from war and peace to butterflies and baseball. Simple breaths of sweetness in complicated times. The humorous young sages on these pages are sure to put a smile on your face and in your heart.

Death in Venice

By Thomas Mann, Stanley Appelbaum (translator),

Book cover of Death in Venice

There are so many amazing books set in Venice, but no list is complete without Thomas Mann's Death in Venice. It’s a literary classic from 1912 that not only stands the test of time, it exceeds the hype. Death in Venice follows Gustav von Aschenbach, a famous author who travels to Venice in search of inspiration. Instead, he finds obsession. Death in Venice is erotic and dark, but what I love most about this book is how it captures the city’s bewitching personality. 

Who am I?

As an author of a dual-timeline thriller series set in Venice in the present-day and 16th century, I’ve spent countless hours researching the world’s most mesmerizing city. I’ve been there three times, including on a research trip. I’ve worked with historians and experts on various aspects and have explored the ancient streets and buildings first-hand. I’ve also read dozens of books set in Venice.

I wrote...

The Prisoner of Paradise

By Rob Samborn,

Book cover of The Prisoner of Paradise

What is my book about?

The Prisoner of Paradise is a dual-timeline thriller about Nick & Julia O'Connor, an American couple who travel to Venice, Italy on vacation. After a head injury, Nick comes to believe he can hear a woman speaking to him from Tintoretto's 'Paradise,' located in the Doge's Palace. Though Julia thinks he's suffering from delusions, Nick is adamant the voice was real. He believes it belongs to Isabella Scalfini, a woman who was murdered in 1589. 

On a quest to learn the truth, Nick discovers an ancient religious order that has developed a method of extracting people's souls from their bodies. They imprison those souls in Paradise--the world's largest oil painting--and claim that the thousands of people in it are all evil.

Raving Fans

By Ken Blanchard, Sheldon Bowles,

Book cover of Raving Fans

This is another book that uses the business fable motif. But within the storyline, you'll find a boatload of insights as to what a leader and a team needs to understand regarding the difference between producing a superior product and producing raving fans - - which is something that I've found most leaders and teams fail to intuitively grasp.

Who am I?

Dr. Larry Osborne is a leadership mentor and practitioner with a rare mix of both theological and leadership expertise. He's been a mentor and major influencer for many of the largest and fastest-growing churches in the US while providing leadership to North Coast Church as it grew from 125 to over 13,000 in weekend attendance.

I wrote...

Sticky Teams: Keeping Your Leadership Team and Staff on the Same Page

By Larry Osborne,

Book cover of Sticky Teams: Keeping Your Leadership Team and Staff on the Same Page

What is my book about?

Most books on leadership focus on the principles of team building without offering concrete and transferable strategies for removing the landmines and roadblocks that sabotage healthy teams. In many ways, it’s simply the book I wish I'd had in my early and formative days of leadership and team building to help me avoid paying my own dumb taxes.

Aesop’s Fables

By V.S. Vernon Jones (translator),

Book cover of Aesop’s Fables

There is no better teller of parables than Aesop. Each of his stories carries the weight of its moral in an easily understood and digestible manner. Just because they were written millennia ago doesn’t mean they aren’t relatable and relevant today. I also love Aesop’s Fables because they inspire and activate my imagination. Being a full-time artist, looking for inspiration around every corner, that’s important!

Who am I?

The role of the parable is an important one to help understand the roots of right and wrong. We live in such a fractured and untrusting world, that I think it’s important to rediscover the simple truths of honesty and integrity over-ambition, and the pursuit of power for its own sake. And so, I have an interest in the topic because I am a citizen hoping for a better world, and an expertise in the subject because I’m a father raising two children in that same fractious environment.

I wrote...

The Lying King

By Alex Beard,

Book cover of The Lying King

What is my book about?

The Lying King is a fable about an ambitious warthog, who lies his way to the top of the animal kingdom only to fall from grace caught in the web of his own lies. The book is a modern parable about what happens to those who tell lies to advance their own nefarious purposes, and while not overtly political, it does take a clear stand against those who deceive and divide.

Blue Blood

By Craig Unger,

Book cover of Blue Blood

Rebekah Harkness, the protagonist of Swift’s song "the last great American dynasty," once starred in a real-life fairytale, playing the role of “wealthiest American woman.” Blue Blood is a biography written about her, and it was hard to get my hands on. When I finally got access, I was intrigued by what I found within: the ultimate parable of the “American Dream.” Famous friends, impactful work, scandalous headlines, philosophical musings, epic tragedy, and so many surprising parallels to Taylor Swift and her art. Only one edition of Blue Blood was ever printed. I knew more were interested in the story of Rebekah Harkness than who had access to the book—so I transcribed the stories collected and told by Unger into my novel!  

Who am I?

Kristina Parro is a long-time Taylor Swift fan who dove deep into the stories and lyrics of folklore to help her overcome the tumultuous period she spent as a front-line healthcare worker during the pandemic. She discovered layers of deep meaning and surprising connections in the album, as well as throughout Taylor’s entire collection, that led her down a rabbit hole of her own. A quest that brought her to a more enlightened state of being. Lucky is Parro’s first novel. She's currently working on another adult-fiction manuscript. You can also find her hosting a live, weekly show on Instagram, during which she has insightful conversations with authors, artists, thinkers, creatives, and Taylor Swift fans! 

I wrote...

Lucky: A Novel

By Kristina Parro,

Book cover of Lucky: A Novel

What is my book about?

Calling all Swifties, we found a must-add to your TBR! folklore is a collection of songs and stories from singer-songwriter Taylor Swift. In the album’s primer, Taylor urges fans, “now it’s up to you to pass them down.” Kristina Parro did just that in her novel, Lucky, which was inspired by folklore and the incredible true story of Standard Oil heiress Rebekah Harkness. In Lucky, readers join Rhea Harmonía, America’s favorite pop star, as she learns the story of Rebekah Harkness and tumbles down the rabbit-hole, on a journey through history, philosophy, math, music, mythology, and time. Keep your eyes peeled for “Easter Eggs” and allusions to Swift’s entire discography hidden throughout the novel!

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