155 books directly related to spirituality 📚

All 155 spirituality books as recommended by authors and experts. Updated weekly.

A Path with Heart: A Guide Through the Perils and Promises of Spiritual Life

By Jack Kornfield,

Book cover of A Path with Heart: A Guide Through the Perils and Promises of Spiritual Life

Why this book?

This book by the revered Buddhist teacher was a balm to my soul at a time when I’d left all my previous religious beliefs behind and was searching for ways to think about good and bad, right and wrong. I did not become a Buddhist but here I discovered practical techniques, guided meditations, stories, and other gems of wisdom that eased my journey through the world.


Be Here Now

By Ram Dass,

Book cover of Be Here Now

Why this book?

I recall spending a few days with Ram Dass in Aspen, Colorado, several decades back and enjoying his fascinating stories and spiritual perspectives. Back in the sixties, Ram Dass traveled to India and found his trained intellect humbled when confronted with the powerful truths his teacher revealed. He found himself shifting from a mind-based orientation to a heart-based approach. 

I love this book because Ram Dass distills what he learned and shares it from his heart while breaking all the typical rules of what a book should look like. You’ll see it in every aspect: from the cover design to the layout and paper, the illustrations, and the timeless truths—all inspired high-vibe content.


The Divine Conspiracy: Rediscovering Our Hidden Life in God

By Dallas Willard,

Book cover of The Divine Conspiracy: Rediscovering Our Hidden Life in God

Why this book?

Thirty-five years after Coleman’s publication, the late USC philosophy professor and spirituality maven Dallas Willard wrote his most influential work. The Divine Conspiracy is nothing less than a sober attempt to turn upside down—or perhaps right-side up—everything most people, including Christians, think Christianity is.

Along the way, however, Willard composed a trenchant manifesto for making disciples as Jesus intended. This remark is typical: “The fact is that there now is lacking a serious and expectant intention to bring Jesus’ people into obedience and abundance through training. That would be discipleship as he gave it to us.”


The Essential Sangharakshita: A Half-Century of Writings from the Founder of the Friends of the Western Buddhist Order

By Urgyen Sangharakshita, Emily Stout,

Book cover of The Essential Sangharakshita: A Half-Century of Writings from the Founder of the Friends of the Western Buddhist Order

Why this book?

Buddhism is still misunderstood in the modern world. It can seem all fuzzy ‘being-in-the-moment’ meditation or a rather cold, analytical non-self philosophy. Sangharakshita is the founder of the Triratna Buddhist Order and my own teacher (I knew him personally). This book collects together some of his essential teaching and thought, illuminating ancient Buddhism wisdom for a modern world.


The Divine Romance: Collected Talks and Essays on Realizing God in Daily Life

By Paramahansa Yogananda, Yogananda,

Book cover of The Divine Romance: Collected Talks and Essays on Realizing God in Daily Life

Why this book?

This is part of an anthology of collected talks by the beloved Yogi, Paramahansa Yogananda, which also includes Man's Eternal Quest and Journey to Self-Realization. They are what I keep in my own nightstand and what I open during times of trouble. And this one is my favorite of the three.

Paramahansa Yogananda is direct and loving in tone. This is the kind of book that doesn’t need to be read at once—you can open up to any page and find solace for any plight. The theme revolves around the importance of dropping the self-sabotaging bad habits that keep us from true joy.


The Law of Divine Compensation: On Work, Money, and Miracles

By Marianne Williamson,

Book cover of The Law of Divine Compensation: On Work, Money, and Miracles

Why this book?

A beautifully written book on the spiritual side of wealth, money, and profit by the ever-stellar Marianne Williamson. She is one of my faves. I demand you see her speak if you ever get the chance.


Dreaming Me: Black, Baptist, and Buddhist — One Woman's Spiritual Journey

By Jan Willis,

Book cover of Dreaming Me: Black, Baptist, and Buddhist — One Woman's Spiritual Journey

Why this book?

Jan Willis is one of our most respected American Buddhist teachers and scholars. Like so many Americans who identify as Buddhists, Jan Willis’ story begins with a Christian background. Willis was raised in the Baptist church in Alabama where she endured Jim Crow racism and later marched with MLK, Jr. She writes about the obstacles she faced in her Ivy League education and how she eventually met her Buddhist guru in India. This story is so resonant for me because it reminds me that we can evolve and grow on our spiritual journey without rejecting any part of who we already are. I read this book when it was published in 2001 and it continues to inspire me as a Buddhist, an American, and a writer.


Autobiography of a Yogi

By Paramahansa Yogananda,

Book cover of Autobiography of a Yogi

Why this book?

One can’t put together a yoga memoir list without including this classic. So much has been written about it (including that it was George Harrison’s favorite book) but I’ll add my two cents, which is that this memoir helps one believe that there’s a greater force, source, being, or something out there orchestrating some of the uncanny stuff we meet up with in our lives. Yogananda was a revered spiritual teacher, but he was also a human being. When he couldn’t be with his mother at her death, he writes that the “Intervening Hand” arranged his absence because his presence would have been too painful to bear, a profound sharing that helped me face my own guilt about a similar experience. His story is wild, crazy, and so unbelievable that it makes you believe. 


Appreciate Your Life: The Essence of Zen Practice

By Taizan Maezumi, Eve Myonen Marko (editor), Wendy Egyoku Nakao (editor)

Book cover of Appreciate Your Life: The Essence of Zen Practice

Why this book?

We need to learn from our ancestors. Taizan Maezumi Roshi (1931-1995), was one of the first Japanese Zen masters to bring Zen to the West and founding abbot of the Zen Center of Los Angeles and Zen Mountain Center in Idyllwild, California. This inspiring collection of teachings explore zazen and Zen koans, how to appreciate your life as the life of the Buddha, and the essential matter of life and death. As Maezumi Roshi says, this book is a companion to "be intimate with your life."


A Return to Love: Reflections on the Principles of "a Course in Miracles"

By Marianne Williamson,

Book cover of A Return to Love: Reflections on the Principles of "a Course in Miracles"

Why this book?

This is probably my all-time favorite book, and it is one that I can rely on as a pick me up when my faith is low, or the road gets hard. It is based on A Course In Miracles which is a more elaborate spiritual text and not the easiest to read. Marianne has a talent for making convoluted spiritual principles relatable and personable. She has been teaching these principles for decades, and this is one of the first books that put her on the map as a spiritual teacher. It’s beautiful writing and a powerful message.


The Spirituality of Imperfection: Storytelling and the Search for Meaning

By Ernest Kurtz, Katherine Ketcham,

Book cover of The Spirituality of Imperfection: Storytelling and the Search for Meaning

Why this book?

Drawing upon stories from all the great spiritual traditions, Kurtz and Ketcham keep shocking us out of our assumptions about the spiritual life, and inviting us to abandon the pursuit of perfection that many of us identify with it. They pull the rug out from under us, telling us what we don’t expect to hear. There’s something comical about embracing imperfection. But if they’re right, it’s the only real alternative to living tragically. I suggest watching Chaplin’s City Lights and Laurel and Hardy’s The Music Box, as you make your way through the chapters of this book.


Anastasia (The Ringing Cedars, Book 1)

By Vladimir Megre,

Book cover of Anastasia (The Ringing Cedars, Book 1)

Why this book?

A fascinating series with many insights and inspirations for how to live more deeply aligned and in co-creation with nature. While the writing doesn't flow particularly well, the content and magic that is carried within have a palpable effect. It is worth the journey and will leave you inspired to connect in broader and deeper ways. 


Astrology: A Cosmic Science: The Classic Work on Spiritual Astrology

By Isabel M. Hickey,

Book cover of Astrology: A Cosmic Science: The Classic Work on Spiritual Astrology

Why this book?

This classic takes you to the next step of horoscope analysis, along with a more philosophical approach to how the heavens impact human behavior based on planets’ placements at the time of your birth. Detailed explanations about signs, planets, and houses are presented in almost a “cookbook” presentation that helps the reader make more sense of how horoscopes play a role in a person’s destiny. The language and descriptions may be a bit dated for some tastes, but the timeless message remains intact.


If Women Rose Rooted: A Life-Changing Journey to Authenticity and Belonging

By Sharon Blackie,

Book cover of If Women Rose Rooted: A Life-Changing Journey to Authenticity and Belonging

Why this book?

An unforgettable book about the power of women restoring themselves and each other and how that will also help us restore the Earth. Full of mythology, If Women Rose Rooted is about women seeking our roots and rootedness. While seeking a place to live, the author is also searching for the true place within herself. Blending memoir, the land, and folk stories, this book can help women everywhere come home to themselves. 


Care of the Soul: A Guide for Cultivating Depth and Sacredness in Everyday Life

By Thomas Moore,

Book cover of Care of the Soul: A Guide for Cultivating Depth and Sacredness in Everyday Life

Why this book?

I was immediately captivated by the refreshing, down-to-earth advice offered here. Put down the barbells (real and metaphorical), says the author, and stop beating yourself up for carrying more than the minimum body fat, and emotionally dependent, angry at your father after all these years, and less than perfect on the job or in a marriage. Stop trying to rid your existence of all its problems, which will never happen anyway, and relish life instead.

He laments that we try so hard to be healthy, to improve ourselves, to be something that we are not already, that we miss much of the pleasure found in the small details of everyday life. I found this to be too true!

 A vital message that I gleaned from Care of the Soul: our lives, families, marriages – however good or bad they are – don't require a complete, total reconstruction. There are ways to accept our lives even if they are not perfect. If we experience illnesses, divorces, losses, and failures of any type, and live through them without emotional denial, we can become people of some wisdom and deeper character. Life will be less superficial. And that's ultimately what will be most satisfying to us.

In business, Moore adds, focus on treating people better. Reexamine what the workplace is, what morale is. Take a look at the importance of architecture, the language, values, and ethics of business. Be concerned about the ‘poetics’ of the workplace and not just about the physical well-being of the individuals. These are words to heed.


There's a Spiritual Solution to Every Problem

By Wayne W. Dyer,

Book cover of There's a Spiritual Solution to Every Problem

Why this book?

Imagine being able to feel a peace so deep that you never knew existed; a love so profound that it transforms you and your whole life… Well, by reading the wonderful words of Dr. Wayne Dyer and by following his wise guidance, you will get to experience all of that and even more. In fact, at the end of the book you will have this profound feeling that you no longer are the same person you were when you first started reading this book and that you have become better, wiser, more peaceful, and far more loving and trusting than you used to be.

Chicken Soup for the Soul: All Your Favorite Original Stories Plus 20 Bonus Stories for the Next 20 Years

By Jack Canfield, Mark Victor Hansen, Amy Newmark

Book cover of Chicken Soup for the Soul: All Your Favorite Original Stories Plus 20 Bonus Stories for the Next 20 Years

Why this book?

As a parent of a child diagnosed with apraxia, you probably have heard, “what’s wrong with him?” at least once. If not, be prepared, because when you hear it and you aren’t ready for it, it can feel like someone knocked the wind out of you. I didn’t only love the Chicken Soup for the Soul books for me, but I also would share the stories I felt were of interest with my boys who both were diagnosed as young children with severe special needs. What these books brought me and my boys was pride, hope, and inspiration that from a rough beginning, there can be a bright future. Actually, in some cases, these stories share it’s due to a rough start that the person ended up becoming a better person.

While my son Tanner was little and I read stories to him from the Chicken Soup for the Soul book, I didn’t know how much he understood because back when he was little he was essentially nonverbal. In kindergarten, the public school said that Tanner due to their (inappropriate) testing, “wouldn’t make it” in a mainstream kindergarten class and needed to be schooled in a self-contained learning disabled placement. 

Due to my advocating for him, he attended a mainstream kindergarten class and remained there to go on to even being an honors student by the time he was in high school. Tanner attended and graduated from UCF in central Florida where he was on the Dean’s list. Currently, Tanner is taking the LSATs to attend law school where he wants to pursue his goal to become a special education attorney so he can help other children like himself. Tanner became my personal chicken soup for the soul.


A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose

By Eckhart Tolle,

Book cover of A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose

Why this book?

A New Earth is one of Tolle’s follow-up books to his immensely popular The Power of Now. Although The Power of Now may be more accessible for some readers, A New Earth goes into greater depths into some of Tolle’s core teachings, especially his thoughts on how the ego makes us suffer and distorts our understanding of reality.

So why is this helpful stuff to learn about for a more fulfilling, successful, and enjoyable creative life? Because the ego is the main thing getting in the way of actualizing your full creative potential. The more aware you become of your ego and how it’s interfering (and making you doubt, fear, procrastinate, and suffer) the easier it becomes to transcend your ego and participate more fully and blissfully in what Tolle calls “the dance of creation.”


Tarot for Your Self: A Workbook for the Inward Journey

By Mary K. Greer,

Book cover of Tarot for Your Self: A Workbook for the Inward Journey

Why this book?

This was the first book that ever taught people not only how to read for themselves, but also how to use the cards to attain personal insight. It will teach you how to develop a deep relationship with the cards, and it shows you how to use the cards for greater self-knowledge. Every book on this subject since has Mary K. Greer to thank. When I first came across it, it changed the way I read forever. And it gave me new tools to use the cards for my own.


The Celestine Prophecy

By James Redfield,

Book cover of The Celestine Prophecy

Why this book?

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. 


Illusions: The Adventures of a Reluctant Messiah

By Richard Bach,

Book cover of Illusions: The Adventures of a Reluctant Messiah

Why this book?

I wasn’t a reader in the early part of my life. When I started college, I had to take a remedial reading course. Illusions was one of the books we had to read, and it felt like a wall in my brain exploded, opening parts of my brain I’d never used. After that, I wanted more books that could make me feel that way. Because of that, Illusions is an important book to me. I can point directly towards it as the book that started me on a lifelong journey of growth that eventually made me the author of a book often compared to Illusions.


Emmanuel's Book: A Manual for Living Comfortably in the Cosmos

By Pat Rodegast, Judith Stanton,

Book cover of Emmanuel's Book: A Manual for Living Comfortably in the Cosmos

Why this book?

I saved the best for last. In the mid-’80s, I was in a meditation group, and though we were centered around the teachings of Edgar Cayce, we read every new age and self-help book that came along. Far and away our favorite, with the most inspiring viewpoint, was Emmanuel’s Book. It was written a bit like poetry and I think there’s a reason for that. Emmanuel had a way of bypassing the human mind and speaking to us on a level deeper. As he liked to say: “Your life is none of your mind’s business.” Emmanuel has a way of putting you in contact with a knowing place within. As to whether or not you stay there, well that’s your personal mystical problem. 


The Surrender Experiment: My Journey Into Life's Perfection

By Michael A. Singer,

Book cover of The Surrender Experiment: My Journey Into Life's Perfection

Why this book?

What I love about Michael A. Singer’s The Surrender Experiment is that it really shows us just how much life is serving up for us, every single day. In fact - that’s how I discovered it in the first place! A friend recommended one of Michael’s other books to me (The Untethered Soul) but I mistakenly read this instead. 

Michael is a professor turned spiritual teacher and author. The Surrender Experiment is all about his journey, having made the commitment to simply trust in the flow of life. He chronicles how he created the framework within his life to live this way, what unfolded for him as a result, and the beauty of it all. 

The reason why I recommend this book as being complementary to Stepping Beyond Intention and for anyone looking for guidance in personal development is that it opens your eyes up to just how much is out there for you. It’s about showing you how to get out of the way of what life is trying to give you. 

It’s very easy to get caught up in trying to dictate how something should show up for you. The Surrender Experiment reminds us that we need to be open to all of the ways something can happen for us.


One Day My Soul Just Opened Up: 40 Days and 40 Nights Toward Spiritual Strength and Personal Growth

By Iyanla Vanzant,

Book cover of One Day My Soul Just Opened Up: 40 Days and 40 Nights Toward Spiritual Strength and Personal Growth

Why this book?

This book I believe saved my life, I had just been discharged from Newcastle Royal Victoria Infirmary from the consequences of an alcohol relapse. I was broke spiritually mentally and physically. I was house-bound and needed to recuperate and recover and so I searched my little library and this book stood out on the shelf. I had purchased it only months before but had not yet read it, I was hoping it would keep my mind occupied whilst recovering. Wow, It not only kept my mind occupied but I believe it saved my life and my real recovery began. 

Again, a true story of resilience but with inspiring and motivating tools to tap into my being and make my own dreams come true. I can honestly say I have lived authentically ever since reading this book. The prayers and affirmations I printed my favourite and read them every day for 1 whole year. I found the courage to take back my power as Iyanla had and after I read her story, I wrote my own book. Such a gift. Opening up my own soul changed my world.


Awareness: Conversations with the Masters

By Anthony De Mello,

Book cover of Awareness: Conversations with the Masters

Why this book?

In Awareness, de Mello blends Christian spirituality, Buddhist parables, Hindu breathing exercises, and psychological insight into easily-read, bite-sized chapters designed for thoughtful reflection. As the title suggests, we need to wake up to the world around us as it actually occurs. Our mental, emotional, and spiritual health depends on this. I love how simple and practical he makes this concept. And for all of the examples of where I fall short, he never made me feel stupid or beyond hope for my previous unconscious choices. This book has inspired me to be more present more often and given me practical suggestions on how to do exactly that.

Mind, Body and Immunity: How to Enhance Your Body's Natural Defences

By Rachel Charles,

Book cover of Mind, Body and Immunity: How to Enhance Your Body's Natural Defences

Why this book?

This is a great book, which comprehensively explores the body's immune system. It provides great insights that I was not aware of the various factors that can cause the immunity to breakdown. It is full of information and is easy to read, yet very comprehensive on each area that is explored. I loved the individual exercises included in the book, for example around exploring how toxic your environment is and how this can affect your immunity, which provided great practical information for reflection

This book really helped me with my personal well-being. I am more aware of what can affect my immunity, and how I can live and eat better and enhance my natural defenses.


The Afterlife of Billy Fingers: How My Bad-Boy Brother Proved to Me There's Life After Death

By Annie Kagan,

Book cover of The Afterlife of Billy Fingers: How My Bad-Boy Brother Proved to Me There's Life After Death

Why this book?

This is an outlier book here, the “true” story about a man who led a rather messy life, was killed in an accident, and communicated with his sister from the other side. The core messages are uplifting: we never really die, and no matter the mistakes we make in our life here, we are always loved and on track with our soul’s journey and growth. 


Spiritual Emergency: When Personal Transformation Becomes a Crisis

By Stanislav Grof,

Book cover of Spiritual Emergency: When Personal Transformation Becomes a Crisis

Why this book?

Comprehensive in scope, deep in the accumulated experience and knowledge brought to bear on the issue of mental, emotional, and physical well-being; this amazing work played a crucial role in awakening me to the broader horizons of the healer’s work. Ranging from crises of psychic, spiritual, and kundalini awakening to the trauma of UFO encounters; this work seeks to chart a supportive path whereby spontaneous traumatic openings to that ‘something larger’ which lays beyond us can be viewed and responded to as susceptible to integration, rather than suppressive medical interventions, thereby opening unparalleled opportunities for profound personal and spiritual growth.  


Healing with Form, Energy, and Light: The Five Elements in Tibetan Shamanism, Tantra, and Dzogchen

By Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche,

Book cover of Healing with Form, Energy, and Light: The Five Elements in Tibetan Shamanism, Tantra, and Dzogchen

Why this book?

Cutting a tangent across the cultural background of most healers, this work is redolent of a worldview that was lost when the great tides of modernity swept away our native awareness of the depth and complexity of nature, natural processes, and how they affect our health and well-being. It is with something approaching joy, therefore, to encounter a tradition that counts its continuous, uninterrupted heritage by the millennia rather than the years! This work, above all others, has done more to help me to re-connect with and relate to nature, natural processes, and their healing potential than any other and served to illuminate a greatly expanded view of the healer’s path. Secure in its ageless worldview, strong on its metaphysics, filled with practical self-development exercises; and yet this work delivers all of this in a clear, easily understandable language. 


From the Finite to the Infinite

By Swami Muktananda,

Book cover of From the Finite to the Infinite

Why this book?

Baba Muktananda is surely the most entertaining – dare I say, “cool” — of all the great gurus. This book, a collection of Satsang, or Q&A sessions, with the Siddha Yoga Guru, is a very easy-going, unpretentious discussion of the most important things about finding yourself. As the title promises, you are not a finite being; you are infinite. It’s very convincing.


The Yoga of Discipline

By Gurumayi Chidvilasananda,

Book cover of The Yoga of Discipline

Why this book?

I don’t think that I am different from the majority when I say that for most of my life, the idea of “discipline” wasn’t that attractive to me. I wanted freedom. But in this book, as well as all her other books, the Siddha meditation master Gurumayi Chidvilasnanada convinced me that the means to a perfect existence must come through discipline. You cannot find yourself if you do not first sort yourself out. The goal isn’t recklessness; it’s improvisation within defined constraints. That’s where the magic happens. Gurumayi is one of the clearest thinkers and writers that I have ever come across. More importantly, everything she writes is infused with love.


One Minute Wisdom

By Anthony De Mello,

Book cover of One Minute Wisdom

Why this book?

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.


One-Liners: A Mini-Manual for a Spiritual Life Hardcover

By Ram Dass,

Book cover of One-Liners: A Mini-Manual for a Spiritual Life Hardcover

Why this book?

"Don't take yourself so personally" says Ram Dass. His humor, his insights, his ability to capture great lessons and truths in one line. This book made me think and laugh at the same time = quite a feat! I so appreciate his fun look at life with his deep sense of spiritual understanding. Fantastic read.


The Song of the Bird

By Anthony De Mello,

Book cover of The Song of the Bird

Why this book?

Short interesting titles to profound short stories. Each story offers a lesson to clearer soulful understandings. Humor, insights, simplicity – all the things I treasure and hope to be as a writer. Anthony deMello has influenced my world with new ways of looking at old things. I find this in children too – their new eyes looking at old things reminds me of how important fresh perspectives are to enjoying and appreciating life.


The Desert Fathers: Sayings of the Early Christian Monks

By Various, Benedicta Ward (translator),

Book cover of The Desert Fathers: Sayings of the Early Christian Monks

Why this book?

Here we have fragments of the lives of female and male hermits living in the Egyptian desert, trying to live the Christian life away from the temptations of cities. Colourful depictions of their relationships, experiences with angels and demons, and the techniques used to move closer to God and conquer human frailty. These accounts are a superb antidote to today’s mindfulness which feels rather mind-numbing compared to these accounts of meditation.    


Confession of a Buddhist Atheist

By Stephen Batchelor,

Book cover of Confession of a Buddhist Atheist

Why this book?

This book is both a memoir of Stephen Batchelor and a memoir of the Buddha himself. Batchelor integrates these two life stories with his journey through India which followed the footsteps of the Buddha. Batchelor teaches us what Buddha taught, but in a way that inspires as many questions as it provides answers. In this way, the reader goes on her own spiritual quest and perhaps, transformation, just as did Buddha and Batchelor. I love this book so much that it is a re-read for me, a wonderful well of inspiration and contemplation. This is also an easy read and a great way to begin dipping into the story and teachings of Buddha through a contemporary lens.


High Magick: A Guide to the Spiritual Practices That Saved My Life on Death Row

By Damien Echols,

Book cover of High Magick: A Guide to the Spiritual Practices That Saved My Life on Death Row

Why this book?

Reading High Magick, opened my eyes. Before my formal magickal training, I innately knew that Magick and Witchcraft open a path to access the divinity within. My Wiccan Elder High Priestess recognized this inner sight and chose me for private Magickal lessons with tailored parables in the oral, storytelling Goddess tradition. I didn’t realize I had been learning High Magick. Although structured in a linear, Divine Male perspective, this book offers the same endpoint: Magick is a direct connection to the Divine Source. I have always applied magick to transform trauma into wellbeing and Damien Echols, sentenced to death and later acquitted, did the same. By incorporating magickal practices, he preserved his humanity and safeguarded himself against negativity, thus elevating his awareness to envision his release from prison.


Falling Upward: A Spirituality for the Two Halves of Life

By Richard Rohr,

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

Why this book?

If you’re somewhere in midlife, feeling that life hasn’t quite delivered as expected, run and grab a copy of Falling Upward. Rohr explores the tasks of the two halves of life: first, the building of ego strengths, career, and relational skills, followed by the inevitable unraveling of some of these. Then, the second half – facing disappointment, recognizing how the simplistic, dualistic lens through which we’d viewed life has ultimately failed us. Rohr celebrates the humility that can be transformative if we have the eyes to see. This was a pivotal book for me when my 25-year marriage drew to an underwhelming end, empowering me to let go of a profound sense of failure, and open my heart to life-giving possibilities I’d never imagined.


The Awakened Brain: The New Science of Spirituality and Our Quest for an Inspired Life

By Lisa Miller,

Book cover of The Awakened Brain: The New Science of Spirituality and Our Quest for an Inspired Life

Why this book?

As a professor of psychology and education at Columbia University, and a life-long researcher into psychology and spirituality, Lisa Miller is well-placed to write about the hard scientific data that validate the awareness of a deeper meaning. Her own pioneering study of the relationship between spirituality and mental health was the first to demonstrate that people with strong belief systems are less vulnerable to depression. In The Awakened Brain Miller builds on this discovery by exploring her own and others’ experiences of depression, synchronicity, premonition, and intuitive “knowing” in a sweeping, fascinating, and highly readable account of how spiritual awareness leads to a “visibly stronger brain.”   


Reason for Hope

By Jane Goodall, Phillip Berman,

Book cover of Reason for Hope

Why this book?

Goodall is part scholar and part saint, a scientist seer. When her husband Derek Bryceson died after a protracted battle with cancer, Jane was spiritually bereft. Following a bleak year of grief, she encountered a mystical moment of healing.  “It seemed to me, as I struggled afterward to recall the experience, that self was utterly absent: I and the chimpanzees, the earth and trees and air, seemed to merge, to become one with the spirit power of life itself.” In that window of altered understanding, time slowed. Perception sharpened. Space seemed more spacious. The forest and its wild creatures, she found, had given her the peace that passes understanding.


Love and Living

By Thomas Merton,

Book cover of Love and Living

Why this book?

This was one of the last pieces Merton wrote before his life was cut short in 1967 and I believe that he outlined both the problems with education in the modern world as well as a possible solution in an accessible way. I often go back to the first chapter in this work as a foundation for my own understanding of teaching and learning. It is truly inspiring!


This Here Flesh: Spirituality, Liberation, and the Stories That Make Us

By Cole Arthur Riley,

Book cover of This Here Flesh: Spirituality, Liberation, and the Stories That Make Us

Why this book?

I normally don’t read personal essays, but from the moment I cracked open this book, I was sucked in by the lyrical words. Each chapter had something I could personally relate to and brought me to tears. Riley weaves so much emotion into every sentence, highlighting very personal struggles and generational pain in such a poignant way that you have to slow down to savor every word. This is by far my favorite nonfiction book.


Peace Is a Practice: An Invitation to Breathe Deep and Find a New Rhythm for Life

By Morgan Harper Nichols,

Book cover of Peace Is a Practice: An Invitation to Breathe Deep and Find a New Rhythm for Life

Why this book?

Peace Is a Practice is the latest book from one of my favorite authors, Morgan Harper Nichols. I first met her last year when I interviewed her on my podcast, Support is Sexy, about her inspirational poetry and quotes going viral on social media. Her writing contextualizes the idea of letting go of regret and not fearing the future. Her writing is lovely and it teaches her audience to believe in themselves and the power of the Universe. 


No Mud, No Lotus: The Art of Transforming Suffering

By Thich Nhat Hanh,

Book cover of No Mud, No Lotus: The Art of Transforming Suffering

Why this book?

I have read almost 40 books from Thich Nhat Hanh and every time I read his books, I feel a deep sense of peace.

I recommend this book to deal with the inner critic because it is about transforming suffering. Instead of running away from our emotional pain, the book teaches us to be present with it. I love how the author uses lotus as an analogy to help us see the beneficial aspects of all things. 

In his book, he wrote “We need to have mud for lotuses to grow. Without mud, there can be no lotus.” This reminds me to not reject the inner critic, but use it as an excellent teacher for my own growth.


The Book of Awakening: Having the Life You Want by Being Present to the Life You Have

By Mark Nepo,

Book cover of The Book of Awakening: Having the Life You Want by Being Present to the Life You Have

Why this book?

I received The Book of Awakening in 2015 after my husband, Jamie, died of ALS. It collected dust on my bookshelf for far too long. Once I finally cracked it, I made up for lost time by returning time and again to this beautiful, inspiring collection of deeply personal essays — one for each day of the year. Among other things, Nepo is a poet, a teacher, and a cancer survivor. He brings his considerable literary skill to telling moving, high-impact stories about what really matters in life, along with sprinklings of wisdom from a variety of ancient traditions. God isn’t referenced as the Big White Guy in the Sky who’s pulling the strings, but rather as a beautiful, ineffable presence that connects the divine light in each individual. 


Song of the Cuckoo Bird: A Novel

By Amulya Malladi,

Book cover of Song of the Cuckoo Bird: A Novel

Why this book?

In addition to the fact that this story is set in another country and culture, I love that we meet the protagonist as a young, orphaned child, and a strong-willed one at that. She defies norms that would have her married at the age of eleven and remains in an ashram, where she builds a life her own way. I read this book over ten years ago and, though I cannot remember all the details, the story stayed with me for the descriptions of the characters and settings. I have always been drawn to Indian authors and stories about strong Indian women who often endure inequality and even abuse yet find their place and community. Just writing this recommendation makes me want to read it all over again!


Take and Read: Spiritual Reading An Annotated List

By Eugene H. Peterson,

Book cover of Take and Read: Spiritual Reading An Annotated List

Why this book?

The words and life of Eugene Peterson have been important to my own spiritual formation, so finding a book that shares the books he read that formed him was a must. He recommends classic books, a wide variety of theologians and Bible scholars, poetry, and contemporary and mystery novels. Eugene Peterson had a large and generous heart and a deep-thinking mind, and finding out that I had read many of his favorites already was an encouragement. And looking for more of his recommendations has proved useful. 


Sadhana, the Realization of Life

By Rabindranath Tagore,

Book cover of Sadhana, the Realization of Life

Why this book?

I stumbled onto the audiobook for this when I was commuting an hour and forty-five minutes one way. It was so powerful and deep that I ended up listening to it a second time. Tagore’s spiritual wisdom spans all the major religions. He talks about Christianity as passionately and profoundly as he talks about Buddhism or Hinduism and his wisdom resonates deeply at the core of who you are. 


Stitches: A Handbook on Meaning, Hope and Repair

By Anne Lamott,

Book cover of Stitches: A Handbook on Meaning, Hope and Repair

Why this book?

One of several Lamott non-fiction works that we love, you’ll return to this slim volume many times over for a witty, warming shot of wisdom. With a familiar mix of the philosophical, autobiographical, and anecdotal, Lamott provides a refreshing perspective on coping with hopelessness and suffering, both private and public. For Lamott, meaning comes from ‘living stitch by stitch' and protects us from being overwhelmed by the world’s problems (or our own). Through hard topics including her own addiction and losses, the author testifies to the power of hope and community. Like a therapist or forensic psychiatrist, Lamott talks of the import of bearing witness to the suffering of others, as a path to change.


Sacred Rhythms: Arranging Our Lives for Spiritual Transformation

By Ruth Haley Barton,

Book cover of Sacred Rhythms: Arranging Our Lives for Spiritual Transformation

Why this book?

I love Barton’s personal and practical approach to a key cluster of spiritual disciplines in this accessible overview. She explores how to encounter God in Scripture and in prayer, how to practice solitude, self-examination and discernment, how to honor the body and keep sabbath. Individual chapters are framed by an introduction to spiritual formation and book-ended by combining them into a single rule of life. Think of this book as a fresh update of Richard Foster’s classic, Celebration of Discipline. (See her Transforming Center website for more.)


Crafting a Rule of Life: An Invitation to the Well-Ordered Way

By Stephen A. Macchia,

Book cover of Crafting a Rule of Life: An Invitation to the Well-Ordered Way

Why this book?

This is the most “how-to” book on the list. Whether we are reflective about it or not, our character will be shaped and our lives transformed into something—the only question is In what way? and For what end? John Stott once said that “Spirituality is not a condition into which we can drift.” Steve’s book teaches you how not to drift through life. 

Steve’s ministry (Leadership Transformations) helps Christian leaders and laypeople live renewed and beautiful lives. This book walks you through a process of self-reflection and intentional choice to create a “rule of life”—an intentional rhythm or pattern of our days that primes us for spiritual growth and attentiveness to God.


A New Earth

By Eckhart Tolle,

Book cover of A New Earth

Why this book?

After being transformed by The Power of Now at a time when my whole world came unglued, I was delighted to go further into Eckhart’s work with this book. It’s done wonders to help me recognize and release ego when it shows up. I thought I’d “done” my ego work but realized how much my ego still controls my life. I come back to this book when I need tools to help me soften. I’m someone who likes being right (and believes I am most of the time!), but knowing this is just ego allows me to let others have their experiences without me correcting them! Every time I read this book, I feel a huge weight lifted off my shoulders, and experience more compassion for myself and others.


Become The Most Important Person in the Room: Your 30-Day Plan for Empath Empowerment

By Rose Rosetree,

Book cover of Become The Most Important Person in the Room: Your 30-Day Plan for Empath Empowerment

Why this book?

This book changed my life when one of my first holistic healers/life coaches I ever worked with recommended it to me. The practices blew me away and helped me to start cultivating an awareness of my sensitivities and subtle energetic perceptions. I can’t recommend this enough especially for someone just starting out on their path of empath empowerment. The simplicity in exercises is incredible – reminds me that the most simple practices can lead to the most potent transformation.


The Stormy Search for the Self: A Guide to Personal Growth Through Transformational Crisis

By Christina Grof,

Book cover of The Stormy Search for the Self: A Guide to Personal Growth Through Transformational Crisis

Why this book?

Stanislav Grof co-authored The Stormy Search For The Self with his then-wife Christina. It was a follow-up to his earlier work, Spiritual Emergency, which emphasised that this was a global transformation in the understanding of mental illness and included contributions from other professionals in the field. It also indicated that more primitive societies viewed this situation with more sympathy than Western medicine did at the time. It was also the start of inclusion about how other phenomena related to this subject, including drug-induced states and UFOs. Current thought in recent years has also brought into the near-death experience and understanding has linked them all under the umbrella of consciousness studies.


What the Bleep Do We Know!? Discovering the Endless Possibilities for Altering Your Everyday Reality

By William Arntz, Betsy Chasse, Mark Vicente

Book cover of What the Bleep Do We Know!? Discovering the Endless Possibilities for Altering Your Everyday Reality

Why this book?

This book accompanies the award-winning, cult film What the Bleep Do We Know? It discusses consciousness and perception of reality, taking us to a place where the lines between science and spirituality are blurred. It tells of paradigm-shattering, scientific breakthroughs, with input from scientists, medics, historians, philosophers, and spiritual leaders. It offers theories that explain paranormal phenomena; the stuff that many scientists are reluctant (or afraid) to discuss: telepathy, the eternal spirit, parallel universes, and the creation of reality. With insights from noted contributors, the book presents us with some thought-provoking (often uncomfortable) questions. For me, however, it simply confirms what I already know to be true: the Creator is not only a scientist; He is also a magician!


Hold that Thought: The Little Book of Healing and Empowerment

By Mark Bajerski, Paulo Goode (illustrator),

Book cover of Hold that Thought: The Little Book of Healing and Empowerment

Why this book?

Not everyone has the time, patience, or ability to read a complete book – so enter this enchanting volume! Mark Bajerski’s book is a treasury of uplifting quotes. Each day, you arbitrarily ‘choose’ a page, then read its spiritual message. Spirit guides your choice, so the message you receive is the most appropriate for you at that moment in time. Then, you simply Hold that Thought.

I have found that these uplifting spiritual truths reinforce my spirit no matter what circumstances I face, and so touched and delighted was I when a friend gifted a copy to me that I, in turn, gifted copies to my friends.

A gem of a book and a daily reminder that the Universe abounds with magic.


The Fruitful Darkness: A Journey Through Buddhist Practice and Tribal Wisdom

By Joan Halifax,

Book cover of The Fruitful Darkness: A Journey Through Buddhist Practice and Tribal Wisdom

Why this book?

I have to admit, part of me squarely into midlife, is still scared of my own shadow. This was the first book I read after my father passed away, and not only was it the perfect guide through the grief, loss, and rite of passage, but also a homecoming of sorts. Roshi Joan Halifax has clearly wandered the vastness of her own inner landscape and offers up treasures from the dark, mysterious depths. She makes it clear, that yes, darkness exists. And also, yes, evil and other unspeakable things may hide within it. But upon her travels and fearless exploration, she has found other luminous gifts that only the soul houses, and only a valiant seeker could discover. The Fruitful Darkness as she calls it is akin to the night sky filled with stars, the fertile soil with seeds, or the womb brimming with new life. It is alive, inviting our awakening, and reminds us that beyond the threshold of our fears, is a realm teeming with imagination, dreams, and Muses. What better allies to take with you into the inherent uncertainty of Life and whatever lies beyond it! 


The Great Work of Your Life: A Guide for the Journey to Your True Calling

By Stephen Cope,

Book cover of The Great Work of Your Life: A Guide for the Journey to Your True Calling

Why this book?

If I only had one book I could bring on a deserted island, The Great Work of Your Life, would be that book. It focuses on what is known in the Hindu tradition as one’s “dharma” or our soul’s unique duty or mission we are called to endeavor. Using The Bhagavad Gita—an epic Hindu folktale as an analogy, TGWOYL follows the lives of culturally known (Beethoven, Gandhi, Harriet Tubman, Susan B Anthony) and everyday characters from the author’s life, as an exploration of what it means (and requires) to live one’s dharma in the world. We all know the heroic and courageous sacrifices these well-known icons made, but often we don’t know that they too were faced with paralyzing doubt, setbacks, inner criticism, and a sense of purposelessness amidst their remarkable lives. The book brings these larger-than-life characters down to earth and in essence says, if they could do it, so can you. The book is not only historically nourishing but infectiously inspiring. As you read it, you’ll realize no matter how lonely the road you are walking feels, you are joined by a luminous procession of countless individuals who have humbly tread this path before you. 


After the Ecstasy, the Laundry: How the Heart Grows Wise on the Spiritual Path

By Jack Kornfield,

Book cover of After the Ecstasy, the Laundry: How the Heart Grows Wise on the Spiritual Path

Why this book?

“There is no such thing as enlightened retirement” states the book’s opening chapter. Taking a compassionate “chop wood, carry water” approach to life, After The Ecstasy, the Laundry reminds us that there is always work to be done and wisdom to gain. That after the honeymoon comes the difficult task of sustaining and nurturing a marriage, that after winning an elected seat in office, comes the hard part of governing an organization or political body. After the bliss of any ecstasy, comes the prosaic of the everyday – or the “laundry” as the title suggests. I particularly love this book because it grounds me in the menial, tedious task of the everyday. As an artist and a dreamer, I can be prone to escaping in my imagination, and this book serves as a loving and fierce reminder that our real work is always here and now.


The Art & Practice of Spiritual Herbalism: Transform, Heal, and Remember with the Power of Plants and Ancestral Medicine

By Karen M. Rose,

Book cover of The Art & Practice of Spiritual Herbalism: Transform, Heal, and Remember with the Power of Plants and Ancestral Medicine

Why this book?

As a child in Guyana, Rose was steeped in African, Caribbean, and Latin American healing traditions. Trained in Eastern and Western herbal medicine, she is a master herbalist and owner of Sacred Vibes Apothecary. Her first book brims with insights that guide her work to unite “plants, ancestral practices, and community.” Rose affirms that spiritual herbalism is based on “a relational vision of health, with the understanding that we cannot heal alone in a vacuum.” I love how her use of stories, recipes, and daily practices makes healing with herbs accessible and enjoyable. With chapters organized by major body systems, Rose builds the reader’s knowledge of how physical systems work, insight into the sources of imbalance, and confidence to embark on a path of transformative well-being. 


The Way of a Pilgrim: And the Pilgrim Continues His Way

By Helen Bacovcin (translator),

Book cover of The Way of a Pilgrim: And the Pilgrim Continues His Way

Why this book?

From the Russian Orthodox tradition comes the story of a man who loses his wife and all his possessions in a fire. He stops into a church one day and hears the words of St. Paul to pray unceasingly (I Thess 5:17). This sets him on a journey during which he discovers instruction on the repetition of the Jesus Prayer. I was captivated by the experiences he encounters, the people he meets, the challenges he overcomes, and the lessons he learns. The reader is introduced to the Philokalia—a collection of texts in the mystical Eastern Orthodox tradition, which offers instruction and guidance for monks practicing the contemplative life.


The Invitation

By Oriah,

Book cover of The Invitation

Why this book?

There is no other book that I have gifted as often to friends. In The Invitation Oriah challenges us to recognize what we ache for in this life. Her words encourage us to embrace our human experiences and be open to possibilities. She writes about finding hope in obstacles and connecting to the beauty in life. As a poet I was initially drawn to “The Invitation,” a poem Oriah wrote, which led to her writing this book. Her words inspire!


Pure Heart, Enlightened Mind: The Life and Letters of an Irish Zen Saint

By Maura O'Halloran, Beth O'Halloran (illustrator),

Book cover of Pure Heart, Enlightened Mind: The Life and Letters of an Irish Zen Saint

Why this book?

I read this book when it first came out in 1995 and have kept a copy of it for all those years, re-reading it again and again. This book is the journal and letters of Maura O'Halloran, a young Irish-American who went to Japan and joined a Zen Buddhist temple for monks at a time (the early 1980s) when few western women were admitted to such extremely arduous training. It tells of her three years in the temple in a heart-warming, honest way, with an abundance of humor. This book gives a brilliant look into life in a Zen temple, and Maura’s detailed observations and humble descriptions of her breakthroughs are a heartfelt reminder that no matter where we are on our spiritual path, we're human and there’s always hope.


The Book of Secrets: 112 Meditations to Discover the Mystery Within

By Osho,

Book cover of The Book of Secrets: 112 Meditations to Discover the Mystery Within

Why this book?

The next one on my list of the top 5 spiritual books is The Book of Secrets by Osho. He is my favorite spiritual teacher, and although he never wrote any books, the texts from his speeches were published in several compilations. Everything you read from him can be useful, but this book stands above the rest in its length, depth and practicality.

This book is based on a 5000 year old tantric scripture consisting of 112 meditations to achieve liberation. What Osho basically does is that he adds commentaries and his own experiences to each of the techniques, thereby making them understandable and practical for the modern seeker. If I had to recommend any book on meditation, it would definitely be this one.


Radical Acceptance: Embracing Your Life with the Heart of a Buddha

By Tara Brach,

Book cover of Radical Acceptance: Embracing Your Life with the Heart of a Buddha

Why this book?

Talking of the emotional dashboard, Tara Brach’s book on radical acceptance dives deeply into how we can better deal with the uncomfortable and threatening nature of much of our experience. “The way out of our cage begins with accepting absolutely everything about ourselves and our lives” she says. Really? Everything? Sorrow, shame, pain, inconvenient desire? Even accepting my non-acceptance? Yep: the lot. “Clearly recognising what is happening inside us, and regarding what we see with an open, kind and loving heart”: doesn’t that sound nice! Not wallowing or fighting or indulging; just telling ourselves the truth so we can deal with things on the basis of the full picture, not one occluded by denial. Highly recommended.


Jewish Meditation Practices for Everyday Life: Awakening Your Heart, Connecting with God

By Rabbi Jeff Roth,

Book cover of Jewish Meditation Practices for Everyday Life: Awakening Your Heart, Connecting with God

Why this book?

This approach to meditation includes the wisdom of Buddhism and Judaism as a way to learn from life experience. By combining these two traditions, Rabbi Roth presents a model that allows westerners―both Jews and non-Jews―to embrace timeless Eastern teachings and integrate them with Jewish practice as well.


Be Still and Get Going: A Jewish Meditation Practice for Real Life

By Alan Lew,

Book cover of Be Still and Get Going: A Jewish Meditation Practice for Real Life

Why this book?

Combining the teachings of Zen and Judaism Rabbi Lew creates a wonderful balance between stillness and activity. The book includes both Buddhist and Jewish teachings and addresses the pain and psychological issues we grapple with daily.


The Third Eye

By T. Lobsang Rampa,

Book cover of The Third Eye

Why this book?

A long time ago, I used to own part of a Jazz club. There was a jazz guitar player named Sunny Greenwich and he turned me onto this book. It is a compelling story of an English man who was a reincarnated Tibetan lama. This book changed my life and it gave me a vision of who we really are, why we are, and how we are. And, how we are all connected to our spiritual selves. When our bodies die they go back to their spiritual selves, and we are just out here to gain experience. This book sent me to some good places and helped open my eyes so I could see the next book on my path.


The Heart of the Buddha: Entering the Tibetan Buddhist Path

By Chögyam Trungpa,

Book cover of The Heart of the Buddha: Entering the Tibetan Buddhist Path

Why this book?

Moving from the Zen lineages over to another branch of this tradition, Tibetan Buddhism, Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche was famous for making the esoteric accessible. In this book he covers a wide variety of topics ranging from the four foundations of mindfulness over to advanced Buddhist views around taking vows and maintaining sacred outlook throughout one’s day. Bonus: there’s a section devoted to a number of modern day issues where he offers Buddhist teachings on relationships, art, and money.


Breathing Room: Open Your Heart by Decluttering Your Home

By Lauren Rosenfeld, Melva Green,

Book cover of Breathing Room: Open Your Heart by Decluttering Your Home

Why this book?

I love the concept of being able to breathe easier in life and at home. The first part of this book is about getting clear on the intention of decluttering each room. I appreciate that each chapter offers a blessing for that room as well. The second part of the book dives into spiritual decluttering: heart, mental and emotional clutter, relationships, roles, and responsibilities. I particularly love the concept of passing your clutter through the three gates of meaning: "Is it true to my intentions? Do I use it? Is it kind to my heart and spirit?" I enjoyed the gentle nature of this book.


Food for the Heart: The Collected Teachings of Ajahn Chah

By Ajahn Chah,

Book cover of Food for the Heart: The Collected Teachings of Ajahn Chah

Why this book?

Ajahn Chah was a Buddhist monk in the Thai Forest Tradition who taught and influenced a generation of Western Buddhist teachers, from Jack Kornfield to Ajahn Sumedho, Ajahn Amaro, and Ajahn Passano. Combining the commitment of an ascetic monk with the clarity of a Zen Master, Ajahn Chah’s teachings here are rich and alive. Far from the drier suttas of the Pali Canon, here we see Buddhism coming alive in practical and inspiring ways. Everything from how to meditate to how to be mindful in daily life is covered in stories and pithy teachings. Easy to pick up and read short passages.


The Knowing: 11 Lessons to Understand the Quiet Urges of Your Soul

By Serena Dyer Pisoni, Saje Dyer,

Book cover of The Knowing: 11 Lessons to Understand the Quiet Urges of Your Soul

Why this book?

This powerful book will return you to the remembrance of how to trust your own intuition and get into a most miraculous and co-creative space with the Divine. Filled with personal stories of growing up with their father, the late renowned spiritual teacher Dr. Wayne Dyer and their mother, Marcelene, The Knowing is a trusted ally in opening yourself up to remembering the spiritual wisdom within you. The book also clearly shares 11 lessons to understand the quiet urges of your soul, which provide a comprehensive pathway to reconnect to the power you’ve always had, but now know how to unlock.


I Am That: Talks with Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj

By Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj,

Book cover of I Am That: Talks with Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj

Why this book?

I don’t like rankings — I think we count and rank to our collective detriment – but if I had to make a list of the most important books I’ve ever read, this would probably be on top of the list. What is it about? It’s about finding your true self. On the one hand, the task couldn’t be simpler: You are what you are, so there’s hardly a Hardy Boys mystery to crack here. On the other, we cloud our own understanding with so much illusion that few of us have the capacity to see the truth about ourselves. Maharaj can be a bit prickly, but he’s more love than anything else. If you try this book and you can’t connect to it, put it down and return to it later. That’s what I did – the first time, it was impenetrable; the second time, it penetrated to the heart of me.


Made to Crave: Satisfying Your Deepest Desire with God, Not Food

By Lysa TerKeurst,

Book cover of Made to Crave: Satisfying Your Deepest Desire with God, Not Food

Why this book?

What would happen if you started listening to your cravings instead of trying to silence them? If you’re tired of the same old messages of eat less and move more, this book is what you’ve been missing. You know “how to” get healthy… but now there’s finally a book to help you find your “want to” - the lasting emotional and spiritual motivation to meet your goals and stay healthy.

The reality is we were made to crave. Craving isn’t a bad thing. But we must realize God created us to crave more of him. Many of us have misplaced that craving by overindulging in physical pleasures instead of lasting spiritual satisfaction. New York Times bestselling author of It’s Not Supposed to Be This Way, Uninvited, and The Best Yes, Lysa TerKeurst, invites you to find the missing link between a woman’s desire to be healthy and the spiritual empowerment necessary to make that happen.


Full: Food, Jesus, and the Battle for Satisfaction

By Asheritah Ciuciu,

Book cover of Full: Food, Jesus, and the Battle for Satisfaction

Why this book?

Have you ever felt stuck in a seemingly endless cycle of overeating, yo-yo dieting, and obsessive thoughts about food? Whether you feel defeated by your lack of self-control or overwhelmed by thoughts and longings for food, the answer to our food fixation does not lie in the $500 billion global diet industry.

This is not a diet book and it’s not a healthy eating plan. Because at the core, our problem is not really what we eat. It’s why we seek fullness in something that will never satisfy. Join Asheritah Ciuciu as she shares honestly about her own battles with food and reveals the path to freedom. You’ll discover the joy of living free from food fixation so you can experience deeper satisfaction in Christ, gain a renewed sense of purpose, and yes, even enjoy good food (without regret). A healthier relationship with food through a stronger relationship with Christ—that’s the goal of Full.


The Art of Stillness: Adventures in Going Nowhere

By Pico Iyer,

Book cover of The Art of Stillness: Adventures in Going Nowhere

Why this book?

Really, any book or essay (or scrap of paper!) by Pico Iyer, the master of flight and finding that quiet, blue place above any clouds. The first three books in this list were to make you want to take flight. This is the how-to manual. Start it on the plane, as the engine roars to life, the wheels begin to turn… and go.

Initiation

By Elisabeth Haich,

Book cover of Initiation

Why this book?

This may be my favourite book ever, apart from I Am Lilith. It shares lucid past life memories of the author in very ancient Egypt, as well as her experiences living through World War II in Eastern Europe, revealing purposeful links between souls incarnated in both lives. The spiritual knowledge is astounding, and the depth seems endless. I’ve read it multiple times and often randomly read a few pages, each time seeing something new. It’s very evocative, with fascinating descriptions of life and spiritual practices in very ancient Egypt while highly evolved beings were still active. It explains how the pyramids were made, and that a long era of separation and dense consciousness was due before a return to unity again would rise. It also explains the truth of passionate human love and sexual connection, through spiritual yet also very human eyes. It’s a mighty tome to take on, but if it speaks to you, you’ll be hooked. 


The Further Education of Oversoul Seven

By Jane Roberts,

Book cover of The Further Education of Oversoul Seven

Why this book?

This is a work of fiction written by Jane Roberts, famous as the writer of the Seth books. Through the novel form, Roberts gets across a plausible way to look at life, the fluid nature of time and some possible meaning and purpose to be found in reincarnation. It’s also pretty entertaining. Yay novels! There are three books in the Oversoul series. This, the second, is my favorite. 


Deep Fried Trouble

By Tyora Moody,

Book cover of Deep Fried Trouble

Why this book?

I am the girl who loves old people. I get a kick out of listening to their stories and wisdom on life. If you’re ever looking for me and can’t find me, go to the old person who I consider as my mentor. So, Tyora Moody in this five book series introduces the world to Mrs. Eugeena Patterson, a widow and retired teacher who knows almost everyone in her community and stays in their business. This book series will make you laugh and cry beginning with book one. I call her books my pick-me-up books.


Sacred Instructions: Indigenous Wisdom for Living Spirit-Based Change

By Sherri Mitchell,

Book cover of Sacred Instructions: Indigenous Wisdom for Living Spirit-Based Change

Why this book?

You’re probably seeing a theme by now: Addressing eco-anxiety is a much deeper, more complex, and nuanced approach than simply learning how to calm our nervous systems with mindful breathing (although that is a really helpful tool!). I appreciate the clear, grounded voice that Mitchell brings to the conversation, sharing some of the “original instructions” and Indigenous cultural values for being in a harmonious balance with the living world. She was born and raised on the Penobscot Indian Reservation, is an attorney, and promotes heart-based activism. She is perhaps the most articulate writer I have come across in describing the characteristics and impacts of a colonized mindset, with compassionate guidance for shifting to a more Earth-attuned way of life.

Ritual: A Guide to Life, Love, and Inspiration

By Emma Restall Orr,

Book cover of Ritual: A Guide to Life, Love, and Inspiration

Why this book?

We are all creatures of habit and many of our habits are akin to what the author calls rituals. This is heavy-duty stuff, and well worth reading. In our modern hectic work-a-day world, too often we lack rituals that could be sustaining and rewarding. Why is this important? Rituals can add richness and meaning to our daily lives. For example, the author says a walk in the park or lightning a candle at certain times of the day enables us to reconnect with others and with our inner self.

During a time when many of us live miles and miles from our families and might not even know our neighbors, rituals provide us with a feeling of belonging. They enhance our sense of who we are, personally and professionally, as well as individually and collectively. The great news is that rituals can easily be adapted to suit occasions and events within our own lifestyle. This includes rituals for marriage, the birth of a child, dealing with grief, heightening our sexuality, enhancing our mealtimes, and energizing our lives! As such this book is well worth exploring.


The Wisdom of Wilderness: Experiencing the Healing Power of Nature

By Gerald G. May,

Book cover of The Wisdom of Wilderness: Experiencing the Healing Power of Nature

Why this book?

The last book of a highly-respected psychiatrist and theologian, written as he was dying of cancer. It describes his solo camping trips into the Appalachian Mountains, where he found healing in what he called “the Power of the Slowing”. This spiritual practice taught him to welcome whatever the moment offered. When a growling bear brushes the fabric of his tent in the middle of the night, there’s nothing he can do to protect himself. But he can choose in that instant to enter the “slowing”, going into the quiet acceptance of his own terror. He can be present—“in a place beyond all coping”—to the immediacy of being alive, within the very fear that grips him.


The Pathwork of Self-Transformation

By Eva Pierrakos,

Book cover of The Pathwork of Self-Transformation

Why this book?

Mystical quests are all well and good, but most things, even our quests, can be fodder for self-delusion. That’s just how humans are built. Learning the particulars of how we’re built is a powerful way to lessen that delusion. Sooner or later, some actual self-work becomes necessary. I haven’t come across a more effective roadmap to the self than what’s found in the Pathwork Lectures of Eva Pierrakos. This is channeled work, the idea of which may make you punch your computer screen. But the information in these lectures, about the inner workings of the human psyche, seems spot on. This book contains a sampling from a few of the lectures, a sort of dim sum of psychological wisdom.


Dangerous Friend: The Teacher-Student Relationship in Vajrayana Buddhism

By Rig'dzin Dorje,

Book cover of Dangerous Friend: The Teacher-Student Relationship in Vajrayana Buddhism

Why this book?

Dangerous Friend is an Eastern wake-up call for Western ‘seekers’ and ’would-be spiritual teachers’. Drawing from Vajrayana teachers, Rig’dzin Dorje clarifies betrayal is a “final portal of freedom…in which we are able to question…our narcissistic determination to maintain the illusion of duality.” As a transpersonal psychologist, I’ve noticed sometimes Western seekers who hunger for enlightenment imagine devotion to their Spiritual Teacher will give them a ticket to ride a wave of bliss into nirvana.

A teacher must betray a student’s fantasies, attachments, and delusions, (including those about their teacher), in favor of devotion to the teachings. Despite a desire to have others be accountable to us, and responsible for us, this book confirms the necessity to cultivate Self-compassion and awareness—and to turn inward for liberation.


Praying Naked: The Spirituality of Anthony de Mello

By J. Francis Sj Stroud,

Book cover of Praying Naked: The Spirituality of Anthony de Mello

Why this book?

For over a decade, I traveled the globe giving “Awareness Seminars” with Fr. Stroud. This book is like going to one of those seminars. It’s filled with exercises and stories that enlighten and encourage. Every time I read this book a new memory and/or revelation in Awareness inspires me to continue with an open heart and mind on this beautiful path of discovery. Thank you with all my heart, Fr. Stroud.


Centering in Pottery, Poetry, and the Person

By Mary Caroline Richards,

Book cover of Centering in Pottery, Poetry, and the Person

Why this book?

This is a poetic masterwork with the potter’s wheel as a metaphor for creating our lives as “an ongoing process” in which every act integrates all of life. In our current era there is a tendency to cry cultural appropriation when we look beyond our immediate context and study art healing principles within the whole human community and find ourselves in others. Mary Caroline Richards offers good art medicine for this myopia in demonstrating how ideas are not the property of persons “but live in the world” as people and all of nature do. “The deeper we go” in the contemplative process of centering, the more separations “dissolve.”


The Myth of Freedom and the Way of Meditation

By Chögyam Trungpa,

Book cover of The Myth of Freedom and the Way of Meditation

Why this book?

I’ll be honest: I have only scratched the surface of this book and the questions it asks and answers. How to deal with suffering and remain open to joy and beauty? I understand the book’s content at only the most superficial level. I suspect it’s going to take years for me to go deeper with it. As a writer, I am blown away by Trungpa’s style, which is clear, simple, and relatable. As a psychologist, I am humbled to see how clumsy and awkward our modern approaches are. 


An American Exodus: A Record of Human Erosion

By Dorothea Lange (photographer), Paul Taylor (contributor),

Book cover of An American Exodus: A Record of Human Erosion

Why this book?

Photographer Dorothea Lange and her husband economist Paul Taylor traveled throughout the US documenting the Dust Bowl diaspora. They recorded what they saw and what they heard people say, in order to bear witness to an unfolding American tragedy. The result is a collaboration that is part art project, part sociological study, part tool to effect social change. The book feels modern and original. A spare and searing story of desperation. 


The Cure for Sorrow: A Book of Blessings for Times of Grief

By Jan Richardson,

Book cover of The Cure for Sorrow: A Book of Blessings for Times of Grief

Why this book?

In all of my reading after my husband died, I was looking for company. Someone who would share and reflect my experience. Not only the loss, but the toll it took on my faith. Jan’s book spoke to me for several reasons. She had lost her husband several years before writing the book. In her experience I saw someone who was a few years down the road from me, negotiating her own spirituality, and writing from a place of healing.  Her poetry was honest, yes, but more importantly pure comfort. Grief had ravaged my soul leaving me feeling raw and vulnerable. Jan’s words were gentle and soothing. When I couldn’t concentrate enough to read anything else, I could pick up Jan’s book and find a poem and a connection.


Wild Nights: Conversations with Mykonos about Passionate Love, Extraordinary Sex, and How to Open to God

By David Deida,

Book cover of Wild Nights: Conversations with Mykonos about Passionate Love, Extraordinary Sex, and How to Open to God

Why this book?

This book has to be first on my list. With his teacher Mykonos, David Deida explores the realm where sex meets spirituality in the Crazy Wisdom tradition. I’ve been following this path myself for decades as I find it the fastest way for cultivating a free mind and spiritual growth. Crazy Wisdom is a Buddhist concept that involves practices so unconventional, outrageous, and unexpected, that they shock you out of your normal ego behavior patterns. The sex you can experience from this deconditioned space is mind-blowing. Through a fascinating and entertaining story, Wild Nights inspires us to get out of our boring shells, take a leap of faith and explore our deeper longings and fantasies.


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

By Eknath Easwaran,

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

Why 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.


The Crystal and the Way of Light: Sutra, Tantra, and Dzogchen

By Chogyal Namkhai Norbu,

Book cover of The Crystal and the Way of Light: Sutra, Tantra, and Dzogchen

Why this book?

If you want a clear explanation of Tibetan spirituality, and gain a deeper understanding of sutra, tantra, and Dzogchen, this is your book! Namkhai Norbu Rinpoche’s direct and clear style of teaching is vibrant in this book. And like its title, this book is the crystal that with one’s awareness or rigpa, can bring light into your practice and everyday life.


First You Have to Row a Little Boat: Reflections on Life & Living

By Richard Bode,

Book cover of First You Have to Row a Little Boat: Reflections on Life & Living

Why this book?

Richard Bode’s pocket-sized memoir was given to me by a college friend, shortly after our graduation (as I write this, that was about three decades ago, and I still have this little book on my shelf within reach). It’s got water and sailing (both of which I love), but more importantly, it’s also chock-full of life lessons—without being preachy or overbearing. In the end, you realize that you can plot your own course, adapt to the shifts of wind and waves (Bode’s metaphor for life), and become your own hero.


Book Girl: A Journey Through the Treasures and Transforming Power of a Reading Life

By Sarah Clarkson,

Book cover of Book Girl: A Journey Through the Treasures and Transforming Power of a Reading Life

Why this book?

This is the perfect book of books lists for me, as Sarah Clarkson is a kindred spirit but also more well-read than I am. I loved reading about her life of reading and her journey of discovering books. She loves many of the books I have loved, and because of this, I could then find books I had to discover. This is a cozy, happy read, with a list of books I was glad to agree with or search for at the local library. 


The Astral Traveler's Handbook & Other Tales

By David Michie,

Book cover of The Astral Traveler's Handbook & Other Tales

Why this book?

David Michie’s collection of short, fictional stories beautifully illustrates the ways in which the Universe grants treasure to the spiritual adventurer. Rooted in the gentle traditions of Buddhism, each story delivers a lesson – something to make you think. How do I view life? How do others see me? When the Universe sends a sign, do I recognize it? If I recognize it, do I react? If I react, am I selfish, or do I work to benefit others as well as myself? Do I accept that the Universe is filled with magic? And, crucially, do I have the right mindset to tap into that magic?

You don’t need to be a quantum physicist to accept the truths in this book – you need only a little faith.


Conversations with God: An Uncommon Dialogue, Book 1

By Neale Donald Walsch,

Book cover of Conversations with God: An Uncommon Dialogue, Book 1

Why this book?

It transformed my life and shared concepts, ideas, wisdom and so much more that I had felt for so many years. It is what I call this book, “My Spiritual Bible.” It is my guide in this lifetime and helps me see the spiritual side of life and how to be a positive influence in this world and not allow for the little things to get in the way of my big vision for myself.


H Is for Hawk

By Helen MacDonald,

Book cover of H Is for Hawk

Why this book?

In glittering prose, this British author writes how she came apart after her father’s sudden heart attack, and how his death broke her. I was struck by the intensity and darkness of her grief, and how she coped with it. Captivated by falconry since childhood, Macdonald grieves by buying a young goshawk, naming her Mabel, and going through the painful training of Mabel. The bird changes, growing into an adult hawk that returns to Helen after flying free. And so did Macdonald change. She wrote that, as time passed, it worked its careful magic: her grief gave way to love, to loving memories of her father. This gave me the idea for my last chapter where I write that, with time, grief can alchemize into joy and happiness can return.


I Am That

By Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj,

Book cover of I Am That

Why this book?

I love this book!  I’ve returned to it many times over the years. It’s my rock. It contains a series of questions and responses of students in dialogue with the well-known Indian sage Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj. His teachings are direct, down-to-earth, and very timely, in that they address matters of continued importance to all of us: the nature of reality, suffering, mind, body, agency, fear, happiness, peace…and pretty much every truth you can think of!  It’s 550 pages of unadulterated wisdom.   


The Experience of God: Being, Consciousness, Bliss

By David Bentley Hart,

Book cover of The Experience of God: Being, Consciousness, Bliss

Why this book?

Deep ideas, indeed some of the deepest ideas possible. This is state-of-the-art theology by one of the greatest living theologians who brings together essential insights from the Hindu, Christian, Sufi, Buddhist, and other religious traditions showing how all have much more in common than separates them. Essential reading for anyone interested in the nature of consciousness, because the fundamental subject matter of theology is none other than ultimate consciousness, the source of all other forms of consciousness in the universe, including our own. Hart’s writing is lively and engaging.


Start Where You Are: A Guide to Compassionate Living

By Pema Chodron,

Book cover of Start Where You Are: A Guide to Compassionate Living

Why this book?

I vacillated wildly on which of Pema Chödrön’s books to include here, as many of them cover Buddhism in such a way that the teachings are made modern and relevant to whatever readers are going through. This book, for example, covers the ancient lojong, or mind-training, slogans of the Buddhist master Atisha and shows how this very old text has a lot to say about how we can live a life based in mindfulness and compassion. I don’t think you can go wrong by picking up any of her books (or any books written by any of these authors, frankly), but this one fits best for our purposes for a strong introduction to the fundamental teachings of Buddhism.


A Long Way from Paris

By E.C. Murray,

Book cover of A Long Way from Paris

Why this book?

Written in an engaging style, A Long Way from Paris centers on a young women's experiences living with a small family and working as a goat herder in southern France in 1980.  Elizabeth soon discovers that it is hard work dealing with the animals, especially during the frigid winter months. The language barrier between her and the family adds an unwelcome layer of complexity to an already challenging experience.


From Coach to Awakener

By Robert Dilts,

Book cover of From Coach to Awakener

Why this book?

If you are a coach or student of NLP, add this book to your library. Dilts notes that, in the past, coaching has been focused mainly on improving behavior performance through careful observation and feedback. More recently personal, executive, and life coaching has evolved to provide support on a number of different levels. Each level has a different focus and requires a different approach and set of tools. Dilts clearly explains how your coaching style must adapt to each level (environment (caretaker or guide), behaviors (coach), capabilities (teacher), beliefs and values (mentor), identity (sponsor), and spirituality (awakener)), and provides a suggested set of tools and techniques.


You Are the One: A Bold Adventure in Finding Purpose, Discovering the Real You, and Loving Fully

By Kute Blackson,

Book cover of You Are the One: A Bold Adventure in Finding Purpose, Discovering the Real You, and Loving Fully

Why this book?

Kute has been a dear friend of mine and has made a huge impact on my life. He is one of the wisest, most spiritual men I know, and he guided me through India as my life coach, teaching me more about myself and the world than I had ever known. I love the idea that to be kind, first, you have to be kind to yourself, and this book really helped me learn that. Reading You Are the One was a vital part of my journey to feeling less alone.


Sadhana of the Heart: A Collection of Talks on Spiritual Life

By Gurumayi Chidvilasananda,

Book cover of Sadhana of the Heart: A Collection of Talks on Spiritual Life

Why this book?

Uplifting, inspired, essential—in this volume of timeless wisdom, my guru Gurumayi teaches students about Siddha Yoga sadhana, the spiritual study and practices that lead to liberation.

Siddha Yoga is a spiritual path. It feels important to understand that it is a philosophy, not a religion, and it includes people from many different faiths. For myself, at its heart, Siddha Yoga sees the highest reality as divine Consciousness that dwells equally in all people. On the Siddha Yoga path, seekers come to recognize this, their innermost Self, experientially.


How to Starve Cancer

By Jane McLelland,

Book cover of How to Starve Cancer

Why this book?

I recommend this award-winning book written by a woman who fought cancer successfully 3 times. In this book, she demonstrates bravery and expertise in this subject. This book is exceptionally written with a lot of research within and outside the medical field. Despite her own challenges, her compassion shines through. From reading this book, I found it very healing to understand cancer and how following certain protocols can help the disease to remission.  I love how this book helped my friend affected by cancer and many other people, and I sense the author has saved many lives

The value I got from the book was an understanding of how cancer works and whether affected by cancer or not, how making changes in our everyday life can help aid remission and aid healing of the body.


Lucky-Child: The Secret

By Chelinay Gates,

Book cover of Lucky-Child: The Secret

Why this book?

I was drawn to this award-winning fiction book because of my interest in the aboriginal culture. From reading this book I was taken through the challenging emotional journey that was faced by the aboriginal Lucy, challenges which are still faced in modern-day Australia by peoples from the aboriginal culture. I feel it is good to understand different cultures which this book shows, and the inherent challenges, along with reading this fascinating story.

I loved the beautiful drawings in the book by the author which helps invoke a connection to the story and the emotional journey through the book. The value I got from the book from a deeper understanding of the culture and the breath of the trauma that has been experienced.


The Practice of the Wild: Essays

By Gary Snyder,

Book cover of The Practice of the Wild: Essays

Why this book?

A Buddhist activist and Pulitzer Prize-winning beat generation poet, Snyder celebrates “wildness” as a moral principle. It gives value to the living world and invites us to the wild places within, the inner wilderness that carries us beyond the comforting assurances of the mind. He cautions against looking for metaphorical and spiritual meanings “beyond and through” the natural world. This risks our not “seeing what is before our very eyes: plain thusness” … which in itself is more than enough to astound!


Mudras for Healing and Transformation

By Joseph Le Page, Lilian Le Page,

Book cover of Mudras for Healing and Transformation

Why this book?

Mudras is the only book you will ever need if you want to explore using a mudra practice, which I highly recommend. Mudras describes the physical, energetic, psycho-emotional, and spiritual properties of over 100 mudras and explains how they are performed and their mind/body effects. Mudra practice is a great addition to a breath and meditation practice and this book is a treasure trove of the inner workings of mudras.

The Power of Intention: Learning to Co-Create Your World Your Way

By Wayne W. Dr Dyer,

Book cover of The Power of Intention: Learning to Co-Create Your World Your Way

Why this book?

Dr. Dyer takes a different approach to achieving your goals and desires. His years as a Psychologist and spiritual seeker led him around the globe. The infusion of the best of Eastern and Western approaches to wellness and fulfillment are masterfully woven in stories, poems, and examples. When he gets to the personal power of the energy that comes to life in our intentions, I was left smiling and speechless at its wisdom. 


The Heart of the Goddess: Art, Myth and Meditations of the World's Sacred Feminine

By Hallie Iglehart Austen,

Book cover of The Heart of the Goddess: Art, Myth and Meditations of the World's Sacred Feminine

Why this book?

There are hundreds of good books on Goddess spirituality. This one presents a heart-centered approach that blends beautiful color plates of historical Goddess art and artifacts from around the world with an accessible explication of each Goddess’s mythology and cultural significance—as well as Hallie Iglehart Austen’s invitation to join her in a brief guided mediation for each Goddess. Her stated goal is that readers might “come into balance, reclaiming the lost feminine deep within ourselves and sharing that wisdom and power with the world.” Here’s the opening to a preface entitled “A Millennial’s Initiation”: “Every book is a teacher, yet some books reveal truths that flow into your deepest roots and stay with you forever. Reading The Heart of the Goddess was, truly, a rite of passage for me.” 


Britain's Pilgrim Places

By Nick Mayhew-Smith, Guy Hayward,

Book cover of Britain's Pilgrim Places

Why this book?

This is a truly wonderful guide, lavishly illustrated to hundreds of holy places in Britain, together with pilgrim routes on foot that connect them. This book includes ancient sacred sites, holy wells and springs, sources of rivers, cathedrals, medieval village churches and ancient trees. This is a book that literally opens new horizons and magical doorways, complete with practical details on how to get there.


When Things Fall Apart: Heart Advice for Difficult Times

By Pema Chodron,

Book cover of When Things Fall Apart: Heart Advice for Difficult Times

Why this book?

I learned in my grief that the experience of loss can open the door wide for personal growth and transformation. Pema Chodron’s book brings the possibility of gentle healing through the lens of Buddhist practice. After the first year of loss, as I was beginning to regain some stability, this book helped me find my way into new spiritual practices. I used it to expand beyond old beliefs that no longer served me and into new ways of thinking and being. It grounded me in the context of suffering, helping me to see that I wasn’t alone; that suffering was nothing to be ashamed of. And her stories offered some practical ideas that I hadn’t found in my Christian spiritual practice.


Living Druidry

By Emma Restall Orr,

Book cover of Living Druidry

Why this book?

Many people feel a spiritual connection with nature and plants, but they don’t have a framework for understanding it. This book will help readers connect with plants on a spiritual level by following the author through her own nature-based practices. It may or may not be for you, but it will certainly give you a new perspective on nature and the outdoors.


Still Here: Embracing Aging, Changing, and Dying

By Ram Dass,

Book cover of Still Here: Embracing Aging, Changing, and Dying

Why this book?

An icon of the 60's spiritual revolution, Ram Dass, 30 plus years later, reveals the wisdom of his elder years following his stroke as he faced radical self-birthing. With sharp insight, humor, and humility he shares his fears of living and dying and the spiritual beliefs that sustain him. His chapter on “Learning to Die” is exceptionally poignant as he addresses three major questions: How do I deal with the process of dying, what happens at the moment of death and what will happen after death? As an elder woman myself, I treasure this as a truly comforting beacon for elders and for anyone who knows and loves them.

The Gift of Nothing

By Patrick McDonnell,

Book cover of The Gift of Nothing

Why this book?

The Gift of Nothing, written and illustrated by Patrick McDonnell, happens to be one of my absolute favorite books. Nestled like a rare bird in between Captain Underpants and Star Wars at a book sale in an elementary school cafeteria, I made a gift of it to my wife, Seana, and in time the story of Mooch and Earl grew into a cherished part of ours as well.

Mooch (a cat) is looking for the perfect gift for her best friend, Earl (a pooch). She wonders, What do you get someone who has everything? It dawns on her. Nothing! So, after looking everywhere for nothing and not finding it, she finally gets a really big empty box (because it was a lot of nothing). When Earl opens it, he declares, “There’s nothing here!” “Yesh!” says Mooch. “Nothing ... but me and you!”


Your Faith is Your Fortune

By Neville Goddard,

Book cover of Your Faith is Your Fortune

Why this book?

Our confidence in ourselves, says Neville Goddard, is determined by our faith in the God-power present within each and every one of us. If we happen to fail in life, it’s only because of a lack of faith - in ourselves. But faith can be taught. And all throughout this book, you are taught how to strengthen your faith so that, through the power of your faith, you can create the life of your dreams with ease, love, and grace.

A Nation of Unwell: What's Gone Wrong?

By Kristine L. Gedroic, Valerie A. Latona,

Book cover of A Nation of Unwell: What's Gone Wrong?

Why this book?

I was inspired by this book which was written by a medical doctor, now working as an integrative doctor due to her own journey of healing a personal illness. Her knowledge of medicine is evident in this book, and she shows how integrative medicine can make a difference to help heal illness. I love that she shares real-life stories of client work and her integrative practices, and the success stories of people getting better.

From reading this book, I understood more why people in modern society are getting more unwell and the importance of more awareness of the integrative practices that are available. I found it valuable that the author also shares individual practices in the book that everyone can do to improve their health.


The Numinous Tarot Guide: A New Way to Read the Cards

By Rashunda Tramble,

Book cover of The Numinous Tarot Guide: A New Way to Read the Cards

Why this book?

This is a very recent book that I love for its deceptive simplicity. The explanations are easy, the language is conversational, and each card is described in contemporary terms so that you’ll recognize yourself or people you know on every page. And for each card, there are a series of questions and journal prompts that on the surface seem simple, but that takes you on a deep inner journey. The subtitle of this book is “Know the cards to know yourself” and it’s a promise this book will help you keep.  


Soulcraft: Crossing Into the Mysteries of Nature and Psyche

By Bill Plotkin,

Book cover of Soulcraft: Crossing Into the Mysteries of Nature and Psyche

Why this book?

A depth psychologist and wilderness guide, Plotkin is director of the Animas Valley Institute in Durango, CO. Building on the work of Joseph Campbell and others, he proposes various exercises, rituals, and disciplines to use in nature wandering as a soulful practice. These include dream-work and drumming, vision quests, and cross-species dialogue. His later book, Nature and the Human Soul (2007), offers a nature-based pattern for understanding stages of human development.


The Abbey

By Dan Dobos,

Book cover of The Abbey

Why this book?

Having read this as a teenager, I found the intricate plot mesmerizing and I was intrigued by the deeper themes approached in the book. I read it in my mother tongue, Romanian. Humanity, religion, good and evil, smoke and mirrors. Everything is wrapped up in a science fiction context and a multi-layered fantasy filled with spirituality and insight.

I don't want to give any spoilers, but I loved how one person, fairly regular, always becomes the Messiah, no matter how many times the experiment is repeated.


Thirsting for Prayer

By Jacques Phillippe,

Book cover of Thirsting for Prayer

Why 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.


A Grace Disguised: How the Soul Grows Through Loss

By Jerry L. Sittser,

Book cover of A Grace Disguised: How the Soul Grows Through Loss

Why this book?

Jerry’s book was recommended to me by a friend who had lost her husband three years earlier. I found that there were times in my grieving when I gained perspective by holding up the gravity of my loss against that of someone else’s. Jerry’s loss was so monumental and potentially devastating, I found myself drawn to his words again and again to encourage myself that if he could find his way through and still be grounded in faith, maybe I could too. His story shows the possibility of leaning into community and finding the internal strength to trust in healing.


Grieving Mindfully: A Compassionate and Spiritual Guide to Coping with Loss

By Sameet M. Kumar,

Book cover of Grieving Mindfully: A Compassionate and Spiritual Guide to Coping with Loss

Why this book?

This was the first book I read about grief after my husband died. It was recommended by my therapist and I immediately purchased a copy for each of my adult children. It was the beginning of my search for finding meaning in my suffering. This book includes mindfulness practices which opened me to believing that I had the power to transform my experience of suffering into a deepening wisdom in my life. As I was challenged to lean into the faith of my past, I found solace in this new way of practicing spirituality in my life. It opened out a path for me to the healing which inspired my own book.


How to Use the Power of Prayer

By Dr. Joseph Murphy,

Book cover of How to Use the Power of Prayer

Why this book?

This book is a “granddaddy” of the New Thought movement. Murphy writes clearly and concisely, with principles in easy-to-follow steps for many issues. Examples: self-healing, fulfilling one’s desires, and happy marriage. I love this book and return to it repeatedly because of its clarity and many pertinent examples with “regular” people Murphy helped. The anecdotes help encourage the reader to do the steps Murphy recommends. The book teaches me that often the simplest prayer or affirmation is enough and the immense value of constancy. Most recently, this book helped me strengthen my prayer practice in healing a leg injury and gave me renewed confidence in spiritual healing. 


Invitation to a Journey: A Road Map for Spiritual Formation

By M. Robert Mulholland Jr.,

Book cover of Invitation to a Journey: A Road Map for Spiritual Formation

Why this book?

This book on spiritual formation is introductory but still rich enough to reread again and again. Mulholland seamlessly weaves together pastoral theology and psychological insight, but he keeps things accessible and focused on practice. You will see yourself clearly in the mirror with the guided reflection-and-practice exercise at the end of each chapter. Follow this up with A Deeper Journey, which peels away our performances and false pictures of ourselves to find a place of rest in the loving presence of God. Mulholland is a wise and gentle teacher who reveals what we need to know about ourselves to step into a better way to live.


Taking the Quantum Leap: The New Physics for Non-scientists

By Fred A. Wolf,

Book cover of Taking the Quantum Leap: The New Physics for Non-scientists

Why this book?

I was so impressed by What the Bleep… that I wanted to learn more, so turned to one of its contributors: theoretical physicist, Fred Alan Wolf. In Taking the Quantum Leap, the quirky Dr. Wolf waltzed me through the history of physics, until I arrived (breathless with anticipation!) at the biggie: the ‘new science’ of the 20th century; the science that practically threw the scientific community into turmoil. Dr. Wolf not only linked this plethora of knowledge to consciousness, but also equipped me, as a layperson, with the mental tools required to indulge in some deep scientific, philosophical, and spiritual discourse. Without a doubt, casually throwing his subject into conversation leaves me looking very impressive intellectually. Only problem: no one invites me to parties anymore….


The Last Rainbow

By Parke Godwin,

Book cover of The Last Rainbow

Why this book?

This is a novel about Saint Patrick and the end of an age of magic in Great Britain. What made St. Patrick so effective, spreading his faith where others failed? Might it be that he was first tutored by the mysterious “people of the hollow hills,” north of Hadrian’s Wall? When Patrick went to Ireland, was his brand of Christianity infused with a pagan spirituality based on the wisdom gleaned from Mother Earth herself? Did he combine two systems of religion into a faith that was universal in scope and effectiveness? Did that spirituality manage to make its way to America, long before the voyages of Columbus? And is that the Christianity we so need to recapture today?   


Memories of a Sufi Sage: Hazrat Inayat Khan

By Sirkar van Stolk, Daphne Dunlop,

Book cover of Memories of a Sufi Sage: Hazrat Inayat Khan

Why this book?

This engrossing and inspiring book portrays the author’s wondrous encounters with Sufi master, Hazrat Inayat Kahn, first as a beginning student and then as his assistant. He witnesses the experiences of this sage as he moves through the stages of illumination, dark night of the soul, and unitary consciousness. Interspersed throughout the book are the essential teachings of Sufism as taught by Inayat Khan, its message of love, harmony, and beauty, the Ten Sufi Thoughts, meditation, and the workings of the inner life. Memories of a Sufi Sage is a great introduction to Sufism and one of its great mystics. 


The Universe in a Single Atom: The Convergence of Science and Spirituality

By Dalai Lama XIV,

Book cover of The Universe in a Single Atom: The Convergence of Science and Spirituality

Why this book?

I fell in love with the Dalai Lama while reading this book. While telling his own story, he makes it clear that the most important knowledge a human being can have is not amenable to the usual idea of scientific inquiry, which typically involves analyzing external phenomena. I learned about how inner awareness yields to contemplative investigation in the Buddhist tradition, enabled by the development of refined attention through meditation. As I read this book, I could feel the love that remains when all judgment about ourselves and others is finally released.  


Goddesses in World Mythology

By Martha Ann, Dorothy Myers Imel,

Book cover of Goddesses in World Mythology

Why this book?

If you try to learn about the cultural history of the sacred female cross-culturally, you are likely to encounter the attitude in our patriarchal society that Goddesses couldn’t really have been widespread or ever been very important. A handy refutation can be found in this book, which contains information on over 11,000 Goddesses, nymphs, demons, and deified women around the world. Grouped according to geographic regions, each entry gives you not only the translation of the Goddess’s name but also her story. That is, it’s a biographical dictionary because it gives the characteristics and the mythology associated with each Goddess. If you read through the entries for any one region, you will become immersed in a deeply poetic sense of the resonant cultural history underlying later developments.


Goddess of the Americas: Writings on the Virgin of Guadalupe

By Ana Castillo (editor),

Book cover of Goddess of the Americas: Writings on the Virgin of Guadalupe

Why this book?

Christianity is a syncretic religion, incorporating elements from earlier religious traditions, not only in the eastern Mediterranean basin but also in the lands where it spread. In each of the national shrines to the Virgin Mary in Europe, for instance, she is depicted with indigenous symbols or elements. Nowhere is the presence of the preChristian, indigenous sacred female stronger in such syncretic blendings than in Mexico with the Virgin of Guadalupe. The editor of this anthology refers to her as Guadalupe-Tonantzin, one of the variations of her name in the indigenous Nahautl language. These essays are scholarly, cultural, and engagingly personal. Don’t miss the brilliant essay by the late Gloria Anzaldua, as well as other memorable pieces by several well-known Mexican-American authors. This is lived religion.


Reality at Dawn

By Ram Chandra,

Book cover of Reality at Dawn

Why this book?

A comprehensive and illuminating read that covers the promise and necessity of the spiritual search, the problems encountered along the journey, and the ways and means to successfully transcend them. Reality at Dawn is an answer to the spiritual seeker of the modern world. Authored by my Guru, Shri Ram Chandra of Shahjahanpur, this book still inspires me today—even after countless readings, I still find something new in it every time I go through its pages.


Double Blind

By Edward St Aubyn,

Book cover of Double Blind

Why this book?

I read very few novels, but Edward St Aubyn is my favourite contemporary novelist. His writing is brilliant, funny and always intelligent. Of all his books, this new novel is my favourite because it not only tells a good story but also explores the very frontiers of contemporary science and of the paradigm shift going on within it. And it is amazingly well informed scientifically. In some cases it may be anticipating scientific advances that will occur in coming years; it does not simply describe what has already happened.


The Infinite Way

By Joel S. Goldsmith,

Book cover of The Infinite Way

Why this book?

The Catherine Ponder book really helped me and I had done what she said. Now I needed more and I put that out in the cosmos - and boy did it deliver. I was walking to the gym after a movie shoot in New York and I felt my entire body turn. The next thing I knew I was in front of a Harper Collins bookstore. Something took me into that store and I just followed it, something took my hand and put it around a biography of Joel Goldsmith. It was freaky and it still gives me chills to think about it. This book has so much and it gave me a deep love for what a miracle life is. When you are ready to read this book, you won’t be disappointed.


The Death Of Ivan Ilych

By Leo Tolstoy,

Book cover of The Death Of Ivan Ilych

Why this book?

Though written 150 years ago, Tolstoy’s novella describes the life of an intensely goal-oriented person who is very much like many of our contemporaries—perhaps very much like us. Intent on marrying well, ascending to the top of social order, achieving wealth and power, he is marvelously successful—until he begins to have a pain in his side that turns out to be world-shattering. This may seem to be too dark for a “best book on spiritual breakthrough.” But perhaps such breakthroughs happen differently from how we imagine them.


Synchrodestiny : Harnessing the Infinite Power of Coincidence to Create Miracles

By Deepak Chopra,

Book cover of Synchrodestiny : Harnessing the Infinite Power of Coincidence to Create Miracles

Why this book?

Deepak Chopra gives us a lovingly personal and spiritual perspective of synchronicity. On the practical side, it offers a variety of exercises to help the reader discover the power of synchronicity in his or her own life. In essence, however, it is simply about noticing the organizing intelligence seen through synchronistic events and inviting it into your life. In Chopra’s own words, “You don’t have to assign a specific meaning or interpretation to the coincidences, just … gently appreciate the cosmic coordination of your life with everything else.” This is a book that has changed the lives of its readers.


Destiny of Souls: New Case Studies of Life Between Lives

By Michael Newton,

Book cover of Destiny of Souls: New Case Studies of Life Between Lives

Why this book?

A few years ago when my wife suddenly died, on the second day I spoke to a dear friend who also happens to be a longtime monk on my spiritual path. He mentioned a book by a psychologist who took people to see the greater arc of their soul’s journey—their ‘lives between lives’. That doctor was Dr. Michael Newton, and this is my favorite of his series.

At the time, reading it had a profound effect on my growing understanding of the greater arc of the human soul and provided an immense sense of peace. Above all, it soothed my tattered mind at a moment when life felt incomprehensible and helped me make sense of our larger purpose for being here even while still grieving. Through 70 case histories of real people who were regressed into their ‘lives between lives,’ Dr. Newton reveals life continuing on the other side, ways that spirits connect with and comfort the living, and much more.


The Spiral Staircase: My Climb Out of Darkness

By Karen Armstrong,

Book cover of The Spiral Staircase: My Climb Out of Darkness

Why this book?

The Spiral Staircase is the book I’ve read the most number of times as an adult. It is the autobiography of Karen Armstrong who was a Catholic nun for six years in the 1960s in the UK. The book picks up after she leaves her convent and is studying English literature at Oxford University. She is also suffering from mysterious episodes of fainting and memory loss, and so we are taken into her struggles with both academia and the psychiatry of the 1970s. She then spirals through other careers and eventually returns to God – not now as a person of faith but as a writer about religion – its beauty and its tension.

This is perhaps the most honest book I’ve read, as it unflinchingly describes the experience of making terrible mistakes – as we almost all do – without blame or self-flagellation. Karen Armstrong learns, in the end, that it is in focusing on compassion to the other that we become most truly ourselves.  


Mysticism

By Evelyn Underhill,

Book cover of Mysticism

Why this book?

This is sometimes heavy slogging, and irritating for the absence of her personal spiritual stories, but it remains a seminal work. Her lifelong quest was a source of private angst, provoking her to research and write novels, poems, and this psychological exploration of how the mystic fits into both worlds with joy. It includes a valuable appendix of mystics over centuries.


Highland River

By Neil M. Gunn,

Book cover of Highland River

Why this book?

I choose this book because it gives me the most haunting sense of landscape and place. The author was from the northeast corner of Scotland and it was in his blood. I find it incredible that he’s able to capture it so deeply. We can feel these things, but to put them on paper is something else, a different skill. But somehow he manages to take you with him and to bring that landscape to life in the most incredible and powerful way. I suppose my greatest compliment to this book is that I wish I’d written it myself.

Dream Again

By Ann Marie Bryan,

Book cover of Dream Again

Why this book?

There’s is nothing more calming than a book that brings hope. In this awesome book by Author Ann Marie, you’ll find such a mixture of life, struggles, and love. This book is definitely one of those second-chance books that will cause a reader to understand that your past was never meant to define your future. If you have never read a book by this author, you should definitely try one.


Magical Herbalism: The Secret Craft of the Wise

By Scott Cunningham,

Book cover of Magical Herbalism: The Secret Craft of the Wise

Why this book?

This is a classical book on magical herbalism that has a prominent position on my bookshelf and which I always refer to when exploring plants and herbs. I love the unique way that this book connects you to the magical properties of herbs and plants, by exploring for example their astrological connections.

I have obtained so much value from this book, not only from the knowledge gained of herbs and plants but also from learning how you can use plants and herbs in different ways for healing, for example by making incenses, which is explained so clearly in the book. 


Tarot for Troubled Times: Confront Your Shadow, Heal Your Self & Transform the World

By Shaheen Miro, Theresa Reed,

Book cover of Tarot for Troubled Times: Confront Your Shadow, Heal Your Self & Transform the World

Why this book?

One of my gripes about so much “new age” teaching is that it can be very Pollyanna-ish. Everything is light. Except that’s what the authors call “woo woo psychobabble”. And they’re right. This book is the cure for spiritual bypassing. It recognizes that we all have neuroses—old behavior patterns and beliefs that limit our growth and development. And it can be very difficult to look at these patterns, much less work through them. This book gives you powerful exercises that will build your personal insight into your shadow, to heal your relationship with it. 


High Weirdness: Drugs, Esoterica, and Visionary Experience in the Seventies

By Erik Davis,

Book cover of High Weirdness: Drugs, Esoterica, and Visionary Experience in the Seventies

Why this book?

Davis’ style is analytical swank and this excavation of the 1970s is his odyssean opus. High Weirdness is a fascinating trip of a book in which the psychedelic epiphanies and freak experiences of Terence McKenna, Robert Anton Wilson, and Philip K. Dick are each explored and compared for their extraordinary contributions to “consciousness culture,” and for their entrees on the radical form of realism Davis calls “weird naturalism.” The book serves as a remarkable introduction to each of the trio upon whom Davis has made extensive study, from the epicenter of the weird that was the 1971 Experiment at La Chorrera, to the origins and impact of the Discordian “mindfuck,” to Dick’s “perturbations in the reality field,” notably the 1974 events he named “2-3-74.” In the literature, philosophy, and practice of each we see “freak bricoleurs cobbling together their own technologies of the self.” Across this extensive freakography, we have a remarkable analysis, superbly illustrated, persistently rich in texture and synthesis, and never boring. 


The Gift

By Hafiz, Daniel Ladinsky,

Book cover of The Gift

Why this book?

The poems of Hafiz delight me. I go to this book when I tire of heady prose descriptions of spiritual teachings. His skillful and playful use of metaphor makes the wisdom teachings about our true nature immediately accessible. I feel as though this book invites me into a dance with the author and with life’s mysteries and dares me to let go of my analytic mind. What a relief!


Myths, Rites, Symbols: A Mircea Eliade Reader, Volume 1

By Mircea Eliade,

Book cover of Myths, Rites, Symbols: A Mircea Eliade Reader, Volume 1

Why this book?

Among the proliferation of contemporary self-help books, Myths, Rites and Symbols elucidated what I consider to be a 'missing link’. As Eliade described ancient and indigenous initiatory rites of passage I discovered there are specific stages of transformative growth after the shock of betrayal. Initiation ceremonies often begin with isolation and separation—an existential crisis designed to train a novice (and the reader) to confront symbolic death and embrace the unpredictable vicissitudes of life’s ordeals as spiritual tests. The process awakens self-discovery and inner wisdom, which inspires a spiritual rebirth, renewed creativity, and a purpose-driven return to life.

Eliade planted a seed in my imagination: reframe separation as a ‘sacred separation’—and use the shock of betrayal (and its many ordeals) as part of a grand, personal ceremony of initiation.


Walking on Water: Reflections on Faith and Art

By Madeleine L'Engle,

Book cover of Walking on Water: Reflections on Faith and Art

Why this book?

I was in my mid-thirties in the midst of a spiritual and creative awakening when I discovered Madeleine L’Engle’s classic young adult fantasy, A Wrinkle in Time, and from that moment I was hooked on her writings—nonfiction as well as fiction. I suppose I could have chosen any of L’Engle’s books to recommend here, as I have read and been inspired by all of them. Yet Walking on Water seemed most appropriate because it addresses the connection between spirituality and creativity more directly than any of her other books, and it was that connection that helped unblock my longstanding creative blocks. 


The Negotiator

By Dee Henderson,

Book cover of The Negotiator

Why this book?

Henderson was the first romantic suspense author I read who nailed the romantic thread without relying on tired cliches to keep the couple apart until the end of the book. Add to that her signature, page-turning suspense that takes Kate O’Malley on a terrifying fight for her life, and a compelling and bold hero, and you have the perfect combination of what I look for in romantic suspense.


A Grief Observed

By C.S. Lewis,

Book cover of A Grief Observed

Why this book?

He talks about the death of his wife in such a relatable way to anyone who has experienced grief. He speaks about his faith which I was less interested in but some people may be as death and spirituality are so closely linked. It describes the pain and emotions we experience with grief in detail and in a way to make us feel less alone


Your Erroneous Zones: Step-By-Step Advice for Escaping the Trap of Negative Thinking and Taking Control of Your Life

By Wayne W. Dyer,

Book cover of Your Erroneous Zones: Step-By-Step Advice for Escaping the Trap of Negative Thinking and Taking Control of Your Life

Why this book?

This book was originally published in 1976. It was the first time I internalized the concept that we may not be able to control what happens to us, but we can control how we react to things. This simple thought was – and is – transformational. It’s something that guides my actions to this day. Dyer provides readers with the tools to identify faulty thinking and to change our behavior to become happier and more successful. 


Four Letters of Love

By Niall Williams,

Book cover of Four Letters of Love

Why this book?

This beautiful book is possibly the most important book of my writing career. I found it in a second-hand bookstore in Dublin on a rainy afternoon and, like the plot, I felt that my finding it was a stroke of providence. I was so moved by the story that I immediately signed up for a writing workshop with the author. That workshop was a defining moment in my life – after it, I knew I wanted to be a writer. Although this story is not directly about art, it shows how a man’s calling, his compulsion to paint, plays a key role in the lives and the destinies of others. The novel has a fairytale-like quality to it, a poetic timelessness that captures the essence of spirituality and love.


Quantum Revelation: A Radical Synthesis of Science and Spirituality

By Paul Levy,

Book cover of Quantum Revelation: A Radical Synthesis of Science and Spirituality

Why this book?

Another wonderful examination of the foundational nature of Consciousness in the universe. Levy makes the subject matter easy to understand. In many ways, this book is an imploration for the public to comprehend the quantum discoveries of the past century since such mass awareness can fundamentally change our world. Reality is not as it appears and the public deserves to know the truth.


Self Love and Spiritual Alchemy: Transform your mindset, strengthen your self-worth and manifest the life you desire.

By Dani Watson,

Book cover of Self Love and Spiritual Alchemy: Transform your mindset, strengthen your self-worth and manifest the life you desire.

Why this book?

This book was such a great read. One of the main goals of this book is for readers to understand what, and how much, they deserve and how this contributes to an increase in self-love. Just like Vex, Dani emphasises the importance of the Law of Attraction and manifestation. She uses examples from her experiences to shed light on the various tools she adopted over the years to build her confidence and create the life she deserves. I love a good self-help book filled with personal examples and what worked/didn’t work in the author’s life, and Watson does that really well. Maybe, I’m nosey, or maybe it's because that’s the way I write my own books and I enjoy diving into other people’s experiences to see how similar we can all be in our healing. 

This book is for anyone spiritual, or readers who believe in the law of attraction, vibes, and the universe making things happen for us, but it also presses on individual responsibility and taking action to make a positive change in your life. Self-love isn’t just theoretical, it’s not just about affirmations and the way that you speak to/about yourself. Self-love is about taking control. Making changes. Acting in a way that betters your life. If you’re looking for a book that’s not ‘all talk’ and provides you with daily practices to incorporate in your life, then this book is for you.


The Seven Lives of Grace

By Elena Shelest,

Book cover of The Seven Lives of Grace

Why this book?

This charming contemporary romance with a touch of magical realism totally hit the spot. It’s all about Grace’s transformation from an overworked, underpaid, unappreciated individual into a person who achieves her potential and flourishes. It’s one of those beautiful allegorical tales about finding your true self so you can become who you were meant to be. Totally uplifting and left me with all the warm and fuzzies.


Sacred Rest: Recover Your Life, Renew Your Energy, Restore Your Sanity

By Saundra Dalton-Smith,

Book cover of Sacred Rest: Recover Your Life, Renew Your Energy, Restore Your Sanity

Why this book?

If you desire to be well this is the first step on the journey. Dr. Saundra is a truly kind and compassionate doctor. She guides us through the tough issues of not taking proper care of ourselves and offers inspiration on how to give us a soft place to rest. She gives us action steps we can do every day to reclaim our emotional, physical, and spiritual health. I was thrilled to be an invited guest on her ground-breaking I Choose My Best Life podcast to talk about resilience and recovery from addiction. I hope you love this book as much as I did!