I’ve read a number of books focusing on personal growth and discovery over the last 20 years or so and have developed a mental reading list of my choice selections. Almost all focus on a some like of spiritual path, but are non-denominational and many address the void many of us feel when someone passes… Or any kind of loss–a relationship, a long-held belief etc.
I highly recommend all of these depending on ones personal situation. If you have tomes you particularly love, please share. I’m always looking to diversify my list. Here goes…
The Artists Way, Julia Cameron:
This is a fantastic book about uncovering your own creativity and becoming aware of your existing blocks. I love Ms. Cameron’s contention that anyone can be creative: so artists, musicians, writers and accountants, corporate execs… Truly anyone. There is an element of work involved–it’s a 12 week program and commitment– but all in the name of progress (not perfection).
A Return To Love, Marianne Williamson
This was the first MW book I ever read and I found it made material difference to my outlook and perspective on a difficult situation. Nothing was “fixed” and nothing changed, but I had a new outlook.
Loving What Is: Four Questions That Can Change Your Life, Katie Byron
I’ve seen Katir Byron speak and that was actually where I bought this book. She has an amazing story and her four questions can change your perspective on everything and forgiveness, acceptance, empowerment and closure are all within reach:
– Is it true?
– Can you absolutely know it to be true?
– How do you react, what happens when you believe that thought?
– Who would you be without that thought?
Lost & Found, Geneen Roth
Who knew food and money are connected? Geneen Roth! Had I not read her first book, When Food is Love, I never would have picked this one up because I didn’t see the connection (or didn’t want to see it). As always, she tells her story of enlightenment drawing from her own experiences. It’s not only full of insights, but has a narrative that is a page-turner.
Conversations With God (v.1), Neale Donald Walsh
Ok, so you need to suspend your disbelief a bit–I was able to do this in the first few pages–and I found the first one was the best (they were initially positioned as a series of 3). Worth checking out of you’re seeking some kind of answers to the big questions of the universe. Up to you to decide if it speaks to you.
The Last Lecture, Randy Pausch
Beautiful, honest, life affirming and heartbreaking all at once. Randy Pausch shares his wisdom as he faces terminal cancer in this Last Lecture that will have you laughing one moment and crying the next.
These works of fiction are also books I have loved for their message:
The Way of the Peaceful Warrior, Dan Millman
The Color Purple, Alice Walker
The Lovely Bones, Alice Sebold
Leaves of Grass, Walt Whitman
The Giving Tree, Shel Silverstein
Tuesdays With Morrie, Mitch Albom
Truth & Beauty: A Friendship, Anne Patchett
Oh, The Places You’ll Go, Dr Seuss
- 25 Best Books on Self-Improvement You Need to Read Before You Turn 25 (highexistence.com)
- The Last Lecture (buzzfeed.com)