The most recommended wisdom books

Who picked these books? Meet our 24 experts.

24 authors created a book list connected to wisdom, and here are their favorite wisdom books.
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What type of wisdom book?


Book cover of Her

Maria Tzoutzopoulou Author Of something like

From my list on poetry where you can find pieces of you.

Who am I?

I have created art from an early age. Years later, my studies in civil engineering allowed me to combine my love for the arts with my belief in an orderly world. Meanwhile, reading and writing have always been my favorite pursuits. While collaborating as an editor with other authors, assisting them in their writing endeavors, in 2014, I wrote and published my first book. Sharing my writing on Instagram gave birth to the idea of my first poetry book, something like, published in 2018. Since then, two more poetry collections have been published: A TriAngle in 2019 and something like in reverse in 2020.

Maria's book list on poetry where you can find pieces of you

Maria Tzoutzopoulou Why did Maria love this book?

If there is a manual for men on how to treat women with love, care, and most importantly, respect, then this is it. 

Of course, it takes great courage for a man to read every page carefully and then generously give a woman what she deserves without selfishness. 

I love that Pierre Alex Jeanty shares his wisdom from a man's perspective, and I wish a substantial male audience would read Her.

By Pierre Alex Jeanty, TreManda Pewett (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Women are misunderstood. I’ve heard it many times, so have you. Fewer things are more frustrating than voicing concerns and not truly being heard. Or trying to express yourself, but not finding the right words.

“HER” is collection of poems that has become an inspiration for many women and a guide for many men. Women are praising this book because EVERY woman can see a reflection of herself and her heart on these pages. Originally written from the perspective of a man trying to help other men get a clue, this short and simple read has become a go-to for…

Book cover of Buddha's Brain: The Practical Neuroscience of Happiness, Love, and Wisdom

Maria Baltazzi Author Of Take a Shot at Happiness: How to Write, Direct & Produce the Life You Want

From my list on wellbeing that will make you feel happier.

Who am I?

My career began in television, and the demands wore on me over time. I started realizing that I cared just a little too much and too intensely. It was not emotionally or mentally healthy nor sustainable in the long run. Thus began my journey. Reading a few books turned into several courses, eventually leading to a PhD in Conscious-Centered Living. I realized I wanted to share with others what I learned along the way. However, coming from a creative background, I wanted to take a creative approach toward becoming happier and more content – and do it in a sustainable way. Thus, my book was created to help other seekers.

Maria's book list on wellbeing that will make you feel happier

Maria Baltazzi Why did Maria love this book?

Can I tell you how much I admire Dr. Rick Hanson?

This book is another one that I read early in my inner journey and one I still often refer to for its insight and wisdom on meditation, breathing, and how the brain works. While it is chock full of science, it is reader-friendly. I also took Rick’s Neurodharma training, some of the most useful training I have received as a "TV producer turned wellbeing teacher" and now author.

As you would expect from any esteemed academic, he thoughtfully laid out his book, offering good summaries of key points at the end of each chapter – along with exercises and meditations to try throughout the book. If you like the wellbeing science stuff, this is a worthwhile read. 

By Rick Hanson, Richard Mendius,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked Buddha's Brain as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Jesus, Moses, Mohammed, Gandhi, and the Buddha all had brains built essentially like anyone else's, yet they were able to harness their thoughts and shape their patterns of thinking in ways that changed history.

With new breakthroughs in modern neuroscience and the wisdom of thousands of years of contemplative practice, it is possible for us to shape our own thoughts in a similar way for greater happiness, love, compassion, and wisdom.

Buddha's Brain joins the forces of modern neuroscience with ancient contemplative teachings to show readers how they can work toward greater emotional well-being, healthier relationships, more effective actions, and…

Book cover of One Minute Wisdom

Joan Budilovsky Author Of Sages of Young Ages

From my list on new moms to listen and laugh with their children.

Who am I?

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

Joan's book list on new moms to listen and laugh with their children

Joan Budilovsky Why did Joan love 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.

By Anthony De Mello,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Through profound spiritual insights and his unique approach to the inner life, internationally acclaimed author Anthony de Mello points the way toward new levels of contemplation, happiness, love, wisdom, and enlightenment.

In more than two hundred parables and lessons about living life fully yet simply, de Mello gives examples filled with wisdom that cannot be conveyed in regular direct discourse. Rooted in the spirit of the Gospel and spanning the mystical traditions of East and West, this invigorating volume -- like all the author's previous books -- is intended to enliven our faith and free us from whatever imprisons our…

Book cover of Margarito's Forest

Carol Fisher Saller Author Of The Bridge Dancers

From my list on nature providing strength and healing.

Who am I?

I’m not an expert in gardening, forestry, or herbal medicine. But like everyone else, I have a growing awareness that our planet Earth is entirely dependent on thriving forests and insects and even weeds. We owe it to our children and future generations to learn about and protect our precious resources. Although I live in the big city of Chicago and have a tiny backyard, last year I turned my little grass lawn into prairie! I have creeping charlie, dandelions, creeping phlox, sedge grass, wild violets, white clover, and who knows what else. (Luckily, my neighbors are on board.) I’ve already seen honeybees and hummingbirds. It’s not much, but it’s something I can do.

Carol's book list on nature providing strength and healing

Carol Fisher Saller Why did Carol love this book?

This extraordinary book (bilingual in English and Spanish, with excerpts in the Mayan language K’iche’) tells the true story of Don Margarito Esteban Álvarez Velázquez, a Maya farmer who planted trees instead of clearing land for corn and beans.

His vision and foresight came partly from his relationship with the village holy man, who taught him reverence for nature and ways to use native plants for food and medicine.

In creating and defending his forests, Don Margarito was ahead of his time in preventing erosion and preserving the soil for generations to come, even as his village was ravaged by government forces in the long-lasting genocide of indigenous peoples during the second half of the twentieth century. (This part of the story is treated very briefly and sensitively for younger readers.) 

Allison Havens’s bright collage illustrations incorporate drawings made by children from the present-day Central Guatemalan village where Don Margarito…

By Andy Carter, Allison Havens (illustrator), Omar Mejia (translator)

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Margarito's Forest as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 4, 5, 6, and 7.

What is this book about?

Margarito’s Forest is a story of Maya culture and wisdom passed from one generation to the next. This beautifully illustrated bilingual book in English and Spanish, with excerpts in K’iche’, is based on María Guadalupe’s memories of her father, Don Margarito Esteban Álvarez Velázquez. As the devastating effects of climate change become clear, Don Margarito’s life and the ways of the Maya offer timely wisdom for a planet in peril.

Book cover of Labors of the Heart: Stories

Shann Ray Author Of American Masculine: Stories

From my list on short stories for love, justice, and wisdom.

Who am I?

Alongside writing poems and short stories, I am a clinical psychologist focusing on the psychology of men. People echo the vastness of the stellar expanse in which only 1% is matter like the planets and stars, our bodies, days in which we love and hate, moments we embody healthy intimacy or enact violence, the light that gives the face radiance. 19% of the universe is dark energy, and 80% dark matter-- less than 1% is light, and yet light is the foundation of life. "God is light," the ancient text intones, and though the words resound, what that light means in the despair of this world is a beloved mystery.

Shann's book list on short stories for love, justice, and wisdom

Shann Ray Why did Shann love this book?

The title story of this collection is a miracle of human relations, ecstatic prose cut to perfection, and the multivalent understandings that arise when we give ourselves freely, openly, and yes brokenly to the will to love. There is nothing so sweet as the kind of development and shaping of humanity found in  Davis’ short stories. An author whose work has appeared in Best American Short Stories and won a Pushcart Prize, Davis is an author who has not received the kind of national following she deserves.

By Claire Davis,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Claire Davis's novels have won acclaim from reviewers, readers, and booksellers alike. In "Labors of the Heart", she offers a stunning first collection of stories, some of which have been honoured by the Pushcart and Best American Short Stories anthologies. Adultery presents the quandary of a middle-aged man whose mother is cheating on her husband by keeping company with her ex-husband. In Grounded, a mother follows her teenage son as he attempts to run away along Montana's highways. And in Labors of the Heart, a lonely man - enormous and virginal - is literally struck by love for a woman…

Book cover of Compassionate Leadership: How to Do Hard Things in a Human Way

Tina Kuhn Author Of The E Suite: Empathetic Leadership for the Next Generation of Executives

From my list on leadership during a transition.

Who am I?

As I moved up in leadership, I found I was not prepared to manage people during uncertain and difficult times. Transitions bring about the worst in people. They get fearful and that causes bad behavior by triggering defense mechanisms. The books I listed are a progression of books that helped me to understand how transitions and change affect people and gave me a framework to continue to learn and increase my leadership skills. I then decided to write about new insights I gained in leadership to help others and have published two books and am writing articles on Medium.

Tina's book list on leadership during a transition

Tina Kuhn Why did Tina love this book?

I like this book because of the real-life examples of big company CEOs balancing empathy, compassion, and caring with good business acumen. During uncertainty and change, it is harder but even more important to have empathy and compassion for employees. The authors show that leaders with empathy and compassion foster much higher levels of employee engagement, performance, and loyalty in their employees. Authors Hougaard and Carter also provide tools to help managers at all levels.

By Rasmus Hougaard, Jacqueline Carter, Marissa Afton , Moses Mohan

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Leadership is hard. How can you balance compassion for your people with effectiveness in getting the job done?

A global pandemic, economic volatility, natural disasters, civil and political unrest. From New York to Barcelona to Hong Kong, it can feel as if the world as we know it is coming apart. Through it all, our human spirit is being tested. Now more than ever, it's imperative for leaders to demonstrate compassion.

But in hard times like these, leaders need to make hard decisions-deliver negative feedback, make difficult choices that disappoint people, and in some cases lay people off. How do…

Book cover of In Every Life

Dianne White Author Of Dark on Light

From Dianne's 3 favorite reads in 2023.

Who am I?

Author Poetry lover Writing teacher

Dianne's 3 favorite reads in 2023

Dianne White Why did Dianne love this book?

I’ve long admired the way picture books tap into our universal experiences, the skillful marriage of words and illustrations having the power to immerse us in memories, hopes, and dreams.

In Every Life, beautifully illustrated by Marla Frazee, does just this. Inspired by a call-and-response, baby-naming blessing, Frazee’s exquisite text is a stunning meditation of the various moments in life, from the ordinary to the extraordinary.

Opening the book, my heart quiets, and a gentle peace settles in. I find myself slowing down to pore over the pages, savoring each image. In Every Life is about birth and wonder, smiles and light, hope, and mystery.

By Marla Frazee,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A simple and profound meditation on the many wonders of life from two-time Caldecott Honor recipient Marla Frazee.

In every life, there is love and loss, hope and joy, wonder and mystery. With glowing art and spare, powerful text, Caldecott Honor-winning creator Marla Frazee celebrates the moments, feelings, and experiences, both big and small, that make up a life.

Book cover of The Echo Within: Finding Your True Calling

Ethan D. Bryan Author Of A Year of Playing Catch: What a Simple Daily Experiment Taught Me about Life

From my list on memoirs that inspire you to live a great story.

Who am I?

I’m a writer, a storyteller, and a dreamer of absurdly ridiculous dreams. I’m an empath who feels big feelings and trusts my intuition as I make my way in this world. I know full well the power and importance of encouraging words, of being a friend, of looking for hope when nothing seems to be going your way. These are the books I turn to when my soul, the truest part of what makes me “me,” needs a reminder of why I write, why I tell stories, and what it means to be human. These are the books that dance across my synapses whenever I sit down to write and tell my own stories.

Ethan's book list on memoirs that inspire you to live a great story

Ethan D. Bryan Why did Ethan love this book?

Several years ago, I read this book and was amazed by its humor, its wisdom, and the place other people have in helping us discover our place on this planet. After reading the book, I reached out to the author, who responded and met me for dinner. At that dinner, I asked Benson if he thought I could be a writer. He said, “This world is desperate for good sentences, for good stories, and for those who are willing to do the hard work necessary to bring them to life.”

This book is exactly like sitting down with a good friend and finding yourself in a conversation so good that you completely lose track of time.

By Robert Benson,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

“I can remember the words people said that meant so much to me and my own sense of who I was and who I might become…. You know you have heard such a sentence when you hear inside a corresponding Yes. The Yes is an echo of sorts, or at least it is the same voice as is the Echo that you have come to count on. Such a sentence takes your breath away…. It tells you something about yourself that you suspected or hoped, something you glimpsed but were too shy or uncertain to name aloud.”

To Hear and…

Book cover of Discovering Hope: Beginning the Journey Toward Hope in Chronic Illness

Christopher Martin Author Of Finding Joy with an Invisible Chronic Illness: Proven Strategies for Discovering Happiness, Meaning, and Fulfillment

From my list on chronic illness for Christians on wisdom and joy.

Who am I?

I am a school psychologist and Christian who has lived with multiple debilitating chronic illnesses for 25 years. As a result, I am all too familiar with how disruptive and life-changing they can be to our daily lives. Yet few books exist that offer practical guidance for living with chronic illness. And even fewer of these books are for Christian readers. Written with different areas of expertise and angles, my book and the books below fill this gap. I hope you enjoy these books as much as I have!

Christopher's book list on chronic illness for Christians on wisdom and joy

Christopher Martin Why did Christopher love this book?

As part of the Chronic Joy Thrive Series, President and Co-founder of Chronic Joy Ministry Cindee Snider Re offers a very useful book that consists of part devotional and part workbook. This is not a book to be simply read and passively absorbed; it is a book in which you will fill in the blanks on Bible verses, journal your thoughts, and answer reflection questions as they relate to your chronic illness and walk with Christ. Whether you use this alone or in a group setting, I found it comforting that Cindee walks alongside you, sharing experiences, scriptural insights, and pointing you to whom you can trust. No doubt this will strengthen your faith while dealing with the challenge of chronic illness.  

By Cindee Snider Re,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Discovering Hope is a 10-chapter study inviting you to embrace a new perspective, celebrate the small victories, wrestle with difficult questions, and learn to laugh again. Often.No matter how dark the days, how wild the storm, how deep the valley or how long with winter, there is hope. There is always hope.

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

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

From my list on financial peace in retirement.

Who am I?

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

Jeff's book list on financial peace in retirement

Jeff Bernier Why did Jeff love this book?

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

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

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

By Richard Rohr,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

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