Books that had a major impact on my life and heart. Although every book does, don't you think? Read more on Riffle
Holy Bible: King James Version by American Bible Society
It's the poets of the Bible who got me--raised a Baptist, the lovely cadences of the King James version color my childhood with wonder. (We won't go into the brimstone. )Psalms, Isaiah, John, and even Paul--for all his faults, the man who said that if you had every gift of life but love, it matters nothing--that man is a poet.
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The Chronicles of Narnia by C. S. Lewis
Things are larger on the inside than the outside. The god you worship is shown through your deeds, not the name of your religion. The idea that there are parallel realities is beautifully expressed in these coming-of-age, magical tales by Lewis. Science is far behind mystics in the perception of reality. Though Lewis is limited by his 19th century Englishman's upbringing, finally, it's being true to love that matters
2 / 11
The Secret Garden (Oxford World's Classics) by Frances Hodgson Burnett
Read the annotated version, and you'll discover how true to the Transcendentalists this little gem is. The Secret a century early, in a children's book. Love and sunshine and fresh air, good food, and daring, are the keys to triumph and a wonderful life.
3 / 11
The Prophet by Kahlil Gibran
Gibran's poetic prose reveals a philosophy of love and wonder in this meditation on all aspects of life: On Children, Wisdom, Work, Truth, etc. "For you & I are the sons of one religion, and that is Spirit." "Life without love is like a tree without blossoms or fruit."
4 / 11
Letters to a Young Poet (Shambhala Pocket Classics) by Rainer Maria Rilke
“Be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves, like locked rooms and like books that are now written in a very foreign tongue. Do not now seek the answers, which cannot be given you because you would not be able to live them. And the point is, to live everything. Live the questions now. " And other great advice.
5 / 11
Tao Te Ching by Lao Tzu
Chinese philosophy. Advice on living drawn from examples in Nature, again in poetic prose that, like a poem, strikes a chord within your heart that you then must wrestle with your mind to truly "get."
6 / 11
IDIOT by Fyodor Dostoevsky
Far wider in scope than the much-read Crime and Punishment, Dostoevsky's story of a prince with epilepsy is an exploration of sainthood (meaning being good and kind and honest) in a modern world. His descriptions of the mystical experiences his hero goes through before his seizures are masterful. The body electric, indeed. It's as depressing as you could ever wish.
7 / 11
Reality Therapy: A New Approach to Psychiatry (Colophon Books) by William Glasser
Best self-help book ever! Pointing out that understanding "why" does not actually change you, Glasser lays out his approach to behavioral therapy, called Choice Theory. It works.
8 / 11
The Scent of Water by Elizabeth Goudge
This book, on the outside about a woman who inherits a house she once visited as a child, is much bigger on the inside. It's an exploration of the redemption of suffering through prayer. many of Goudge's books have this theme. They are shot through with joy as well. I've read them all and recommend them. Like Narnia and the Secret Garden, they show the steel beneath the sweetness of the English character.
9 / 11
Ordinary People As Monks and Mystics: Lifestyles for Self-Discovery by Marsha Sinetar
If you are interested in how people are living as monks and mystics in the contemporary world, mostly outside the confines of a church, this is the book for you! Shows the wide array of ways that people have adapted their lives to make solitude and/or prayer their main occupation.
10 / 11
The Spell of the Sensuous: Perception and Language in a More-Than-Human World by David Abram
Abram's attempt to describe how "primitive" peoples have not only a different language than "moderns", but a completely different context. Ours, the written word and the reality of the mind, theirs, the spoken word and the reality of the sensual world, the world of the senses. perception is reality, but what is truth? Very provoking and wonderful.
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