The most recommended parable books

Who picked these books? Meet our 40 experts.

40 authors created a book list connected to parables, and here are their favorite parable books.
Shepherd is reader supported. When you buy books, we may earn an affiliate commission.

What type of parable book?

Loading...
Loading...

Book cover of Nazaré

Kris Neri Author Of Magical Alienation

From my list on magic to make you feel happy and even enchanted.

Who am I?

Having heard Celtic legends as a kid made me want to either become a leprechaun or a goddess with the power to remake the world’s worst parts. Although I didn’t achieve either, I write about both, as well as other quirky people who march to the rhythm of delightfully offbeat drummers. I so adore eccentric people and jaunty environments, I’ve built a career out of writing them. That has allowed me to capture the sassy voice of the daughter of madcap Hollywood stars, the outrageous garments worn by a cheerfully fake psychic, and the journey of a brokenhearted chef who can’t quote an adage normally to save her life.

Kris' book list on magic to make you feel happy and even enchanted

Kris Neri Why did Kris love this book?

Nazaré is a charming fable, showcasing the pursuit of justice in an authoritarian world. Kin, a young homeless boy, originally accused of sorcery and forced to flee, eventually leads a band of revolutionaries pitted against their oppressive dictator. His army is made up of delightful misfits, along with a variety of wild animals.

I love the rebels in this parable for the modern world. How could any writer or reader not appreciate revolutionaries who, while living rough in the countryside, impose a reading hour on their members. There is such beauty in the author’s language, unexpected humor throughout, and the most appealing charm.

If you believe in magic, as well as the the power of right to prevail against tyranny, despite impossible odds, this is the novel for you.

By JJ Amaworo Wilson,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Nazaré tells the story of a peasants’ revolt in the polyglot city of Balaal. The story begins with a miracle. A homeless boy sees a whale washed up on the beach. He alerts the local fishermen, and soon the whole town is trying and failing to push it back into the ocean. With just the boy left to accompany the whale now in its dying throes, a freak wave pulls the creature back into the sea. This is an omen. Change is coming.

The boy and the washerwoman who adopts him cobble together a ramshackle army of fishermen, shopkeepers, lapsed…


Book cover of The Power of Stories: Nurturing Children's Imagination and Consciousness

Susan Perrow Author Of Therapeutic Storytelling: 101 Healing Stories for Children

From my list on the healing power of story and storytelling.

Who am I?

My name is Susan Perrow. I am an Australian whose ‘work’ passion is stories and storytelling. I am an author, storyteller, teacher trainer, and parent educator. For the last 30 years, I have been documenting stories from other cultures, writing stories, and telling stories to groups of children and adults – all this woven in with a career in teaching, lecturing, and consulting in Australia, Africa, Asia, China, Europe, and North America. I currently have four published story collections, in a total of 14 languages. Three of my collections are Healing Stories for Challenging Behaviour, An A-Z Collection of Behaviour Tales, and Stories to Light the Night: A Grief and Loss Collection for Children, Families and Communities.

I have chosen my fourth collection to introduce to you below.

Susan's book list on the healing power of story and storytelling

Susan Perrow Why did Susan love this book?

Why do we tell stories? What power lies within storytelling? From the great myths and legends to enchanting fairy tales, parables, fables, and folk tales, stories can have a great healing and educative power. They come from our subconscious and imagination, deep inside us. They have much to teach us about ourselves and the world we create around us.

Described as a manual for ‘soul ecology’, in his book Kornberger first explores this ‘story power’, then explains how to apply it to help a child develop, or to heal and transform a child with difficulties. He then discusses the art and practicalities of creating new stories to help children with particular needs.

This is a valuable and inspiring book for teachers, parents, creative writers, and students of literature.

By Horst Kornberger,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

From the great myths and legends to enchanting fairy tales, parables, fables and folk tales, stories can have a great healing and educative power. They come from our subconscious and imagination, deep inside us. They have much to teach us about ourselves, therefore, and the world we create around us.

Horst Kornberger, a writer, artist and Steiner-Waldorf teacher, first explores the power of particular stories such as Odysseus, Parsifal, Oedipus, Bible stories and fairy tales. He then explains how to apply that power to help a child develop, or to heal and transform a child with difficulties.

Finally he discusses…


Book cover of You Are Special: Volume 1

MelindaJoy Mingo Author Of The Colors of Culture: The Beauty of Diverse Friendships

From my list on capturing how we learn to celebrate diversity.

Who am I?

I’ve been fascinated by different cultures since I was 14 years old growing up in inner-city Chicago. My passion has given me a curious quest to travel the world and learn about different cultures. My friends have a tagline for me which is ‘From the Hood to Hanoi and All the Stops In Between’ because of my international teaching in Vietnam. As an adult who is now an international professor, sought-out global trainer, and cultural subject matter expert, my passion has increased for bringing an awareness to a broader audience about the beauty of diverse friendships. 

MelindaJoy's book list on capturing how we learn to celebrate diversity

MelindaJoy Mingo Why did MelindaJoy love this book?

I recommend this children’s book because the theme of learning how to value yourself is relevant for not only young people but also adults.

This great fictional story centered in a tiny city where people spend the day putting either dots or stars on each other depending on what they or don’t like about the person.

There is one fictional character who doesn’t allow anything to stick on her because she knows her own value and worth.

By Max Lucado,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Follow the young Wemmick Punchinello as he discovers the source of his worth-his Creator. This beautifully illustrated tale communicates to children that God loves them regardless of how the world evaluates them. The first in Max Lucado's Wemmicks series.


Book cover of The Art of Possibility: Transforming Professional and Personal Life

Kimberly Wiefling Author Of Scrappy Project Management: The 12 Predictable and Avoidable Pitfalls Every Project Faces

From my list on achieve what seems impossible.

Who am I?

In 1995 I was challenged to declare my purpose in life. In the absence of any evidence that it was possible, and without knowing HOW to do it, I declared the possibility that I would transform Planet Earth by creating community everywhere. As ridiculous as it sounded at the time, the amazing breakthroughs that I’ve encountered on my journey since then have been even more incredible. After decades of experience helping myself and others achieve what initially seemed “impossible” possible, I’m delighted to be able to help myself and support others in making progress on pretty much any “impossible” project aside from changing the gravitational constant of the Universe. (I’m a physicist, so I’m going to leave that to greater minds than mine!) Looking forward to hearing what seems impossible for you, but if it WERE possible, would transform your life for the better!

Kimberly's book list on achieve what seems impossible

Kimberly Wiefling Why did Kimberly love this book?

Perception is not reality. Neuroscience has clearly shown that our human brains are subject to plenty of self-sabotaging patterns. The practices in this book form a powerful framework that enables the reader to imagine and create possibilities that initially seem highly unlikely or even impossible. The wisdom in this book encourages people to reject being “realistic”, ignite hope, and pursue dreams and goals that inspire and spark our passion. As our courage to dream big grows, so does our capacity to achieve those dreams together.

By Rosamund Stone Zander, Benjamin Zander,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Presenting twelve breakthrough practices for bringing creativity into all human endeavors, The Art of Possibility is the dynamic product of an extraordinary partnership. The Art of Possibility combines Benjamin Zander's experience as conductor of the Boston Philharmonic and his talent as a teacher and communicator with psychotherapist Rosamund Stone Zander's genius for designing innovative paradigms for personal and professional fulfillment.
The authors' harmoniously interwoven perspectives provide a deep sense of the powerful role that the notion of possibility can play in every aspect of life. Through uplifting stories, parables, and personal anecdotes, the Zanders invite us to become passionate communicators,…


Book cover of The Pearl

Robert Desiderio Author Of The Occurrence: A Political Thriller

From my list on inspiring thought in the creation of fiction.

Who am I?

My first memory of storytelling was as a kid reading Jules Verne’s, The Mysterious Island in the basement of my house in The Bronx where I grew up. It transported me to a  world of magic and mystery. The effect of that experience wouldn’t seriously take hold for decades when I realized the acting career I’d pursued for twenty years wasn’t where I was meant to be. Fascinated with mysteries and metaphysics and studying the world of past lives and reincarnation led me to incorporate this vast realm into what I write. The Occurrence, my first novel, took these ideas and thread them through a story of politics and spirituality. 

Robert's book list on inspiring thought in the creation of fiction

Robert Desiderio Why did Robert love this book?

I’ve always felt the story of my book was more parable than anything else. And Steinbeck’s The Pearl is one of the best.

“Be careful what you wish for” is a powerful theme, and The Pearl answers it with a moral wallop in less than a hundred pages. This is a constant reminder that not only is less more, but in the hands of a master, a parable can be a complete, compelling, and life-changing experience. Something I aspire to every day. 

By John Steinbeck,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

"There it lay, the great pearl, perfect as the moon."

Like his father and grandfather before him, Kino is a poor diver, gathering pearls from the gulf beds that once brought great wealth to the Kings of Spain and now provide Kino, Juana, and their infant son with meager subsistence. Then, on a day like any other, Kino emerges from the sea with a pearl as large as a sea gull's egg, as "perfect as the moon." With the pearl comes hope, the promise of comfort and of security....

A story of classic simplicity, based on a Mexican folk tale,…


Book cover of The Tale of Genji

S.E. Sasaki Author Of Welcome to the Madhouse

From my list on sci-fi/fantasy historically written by women.

Who am I?

I've been reading science fiction since the age of seven, when I first read Madaleine L’Engle’s A Wrinkle in Time. Then it was Podkayne of Mars by Robert Heinlein, A Rite of Passage by Alexei Panshin, Dune by Frank Herbert, The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien, etc. My list is in honour of Women’s History Month and to recognize the gifted female writers of the past who faced discrimination in the publishing world and yet still triumphed. When I started writing fiction, with my medical background, it had to be about medicine. Thus The Grace Lord series was born. My protagonist, Dr. Grace Lord, is a fearless and compassionate combat surgeon.

S.E.'s book list on sci-fi/fantasy historically written by women

S.E. Sasaki Why did S.E. love this book?

Murasaki Shikibu was a lady of the Heian Court of Japan in the eleventh century and has been credited with creating the first novel ever written.

The Tale of Genji has stood the test of centuries. It reveals a world of political machinations, danger, passionate intrigue, and forbidden love in an exotic setting of a time long forgotten. Genji is the son of an emperor and, once you read him, you will understand why his tale is still so popular today.

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

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

 

In the early eleventh century Murasaki Shikibu, a lady in the Heian court of Japan, wrote what many consider to be the world’s first novel, more than three centuries before Chaucer. The Heian era (794—1185) is recognized as one of the very greatest periods in Japanese literature, and The Tale of Genji is not only the unquestioned prose masterpiece of that period but also the most lively and absorbing account we have of the intricate, exquisite, highly ordered court culture that made such a masterpiece possible.

 

Genji is the favorite son of the emperor but also a man of dangerously…


Book cover of The Prodigal God: Recovering the Heart of the Christian Faith

Tom Rudelius Author Of Chasing Proof, Finding Faith: A Young Scientist’s Search for Truth in a World of Uncertainty

From my list on why a scientifically-minded person can believe in God.

Who am I?

I am a theoretical physicist and a practicing Christian. I was raised in a very loving but nonreligious household, and I didn’t seriously consider the possibility of God’s existence until I was a college student, when my twin brother came to faith and started to talk with me about it. In my subsequent journey to faith and the years thereafter, I read a number of books that changed my perspective on religion and convinced me that I could believe in God without compromising on my scientific view of the world. Chasing Proof, Finding Faith is the story of the journey I took, and the strange new world of faith I found on the other side.

Tom's book list on why a scientifically-minded person can believe in God

Tom Rudelius Why did Tom love this book?

Growing up as an outsider to religion, most of what I knew of Christianity came from other outsiders.

When I started investigating the faith, guided by my twin brother, I came to realize that Christians had a very different conception of their faith than I did. In The Prodigal God, Pastor Tim Keller masterfully explains the heart of the Christian faith through the lens of one of Jesus’ most famous parables.

There is a reason why the social outcasts and “sinners” came flocking to Jesus whereas the religious leaders plotted to kill him, and when we understand that, we begin to understand that Jesus’s table has room for even the most ardent skeptic.

By Timothy Keller,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Prodigal God as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 14, 15, 16, and 17.

What is this book about?

The New York Times bestselling author of The Prodigal Prophet uncovers the essential message of Jesus, locked inside his most familiar parable.

Newsweek called renowned minister Timothy Keller "a C.S. Lewis for the twenty-first century" in a feature on his first book, The Reason for God. In that book, he offered a rational explanation of why we should believe in God. Now, in The Prodigal God, Keller takes his trademark intellectual approach to understanding Christianity and uses the parable of the prodigal son to reveal an unexpected message of hope and salvation. 

Within that parable Jesus reveals God's prodigal grace…


Book cover of The Present: The Gift That Makes You Happier and Successful at Work and in Life

Angie Clarke Author Of Sh*t Creek to Somewhere Else: The options to change even when all the odds are against you

From my list on how to instigate professional and personal change.

Who am I?

Helping others and getting help has been an integral part of my life and career. Over 30 years in the mental health world allowed me to explore many books, individuals and the simple ones are the best. They get to the core of change quickly which is vital sometimes to keep people alive. Supporting others is my passion and the truth is reading has allowed me to continue without burnout and some of my reading list are my go to books when this feels like it maybe coming.

Angie's book list on how to instigate professional and personal change

Angie Clarke Why did Angie love this book?

I was taught many years ago to live a day at a time this book cements the principles of this in a lovely story something that attracts me. I give this book to everyone I know and never had a bad review oh that’s a lie one person said it wasn’t long enough.

By Spencer Johnson,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

This concise and brilliantly readable parable can teach you how to live in the present and reset your approach to life to achieve happiness and contentment.

From the multimillion-bestselling author of WHO MOVED MY CHEESE? and perfect for fans of Derren Brow, Mark Manson and Glennon Doyle.

What Readers are saying:
***** - 'A wonderful book which makes you appreciate life and what we have.'
***** - 'I have certainly found a way that might help me to find my purpose in life and regain my enthusiasm again.'
***** - 'What a great little book... makes you feel good all…


Book cover of The Complete Tales of Uncle Remus

Alex Beard Author Of The Lying King

From my list on parables that teach us valuable lessons.

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.

Alex's book list on parables that teach us valuable lessons

Alex Beard Why did Alex love this book?

This recommendation might be construed by some as dated and possibly insensitive, but the wisdom of the trickster derived from African folktales in the Antebellum Deep South are worth consideration. The story of the Tar Baby is ubiquitous, and teaches to respect brains over brawn…“What ever you do, don’t throw me in the briar patch!”

By Uncle Remus,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Complete Tales of Uncle Remus as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A classic book compiling the complete tales from eight books, with the original illustrations. 

It’s been more than a hundred years since the publication of the first Uncle Remus book, and it was in 1955 that all of the delightful and inimitable tales of Brer Rabbit, Brer Fox, Brer Bear, and Brer Wolf were gathered together in one volume. All of the animal tales from eight books are here, along with the illustrations which originally accompanied them.

Any fan of folklore and mythology will treasure this edition.


Book cover of The Latte Factor: Why You Don't Have to Be Rich to Live Rich

Justine Crowley Author Of Saving Money Is Awesome

From my list on to save money, no matter what the economy is doing.

Who am I?

Since engaging in my own personal development since 2006, and in buying my first investment property at the time; I have always had an interest in saving money and building wealth. We live in an abundant universe, and it is our birthright to have money to enjoy, and to achieve our goals. In high inflationary times, having ample amounts of cash in the bank is a source of comfort. Writing books also came from my passion for writing, and from also working in therapy, where many patients experienced financial difficulties. Regardless of the current rate of inflation, you can stay on top of it with the right tools and knowledge. 

Justine's book list on to save money, no matter what the economy is doing

Justine Crowley Why did Justine love this book?

There is a quote that truly resonates, and inspires people to save money, regardless of what the economy is doing.

The author is not implying that you need to cut out a latte a day in order to become wealthy; yet he illustrates the value of your savings over time, if you just cut one latte a week. The power of compounding. The idea of fixing your finances has a creative angle here. Even buying his latte factor mug is a timely reminder that saving money feels really good. 

“When you fix your finances, you fix your life.” - David Bach

By David Bach, John David Mann,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES, USA TODAY, WALL STREET JOURNAL, AND INTERNATIONAL BESTSELLER

Discover #1 New York Times bestselling author David Bach's three secrets to financial freedom in an engaging story that will show you that you are richer than you think. Drawing on the author's experiences teaching millions of people around the world to live a rich life, this fast, easy listen reveals how anyone-from millennials to baby boomers-can still make his or her dreams come true.

In this compelling, heartwarming parable, Bach and his bestselling coauthor John David Mann (The Go-Giver) tell the story of Zoey, a twenty-something woman…