As I mentioned yesterday, these last two days are books in the category of learning to live from the inside out. Yesterday was titled Self Development, as it contained the more practical side of things. Today’s side of the spectrum trends toward the more intangible side of things.
The Essential Rumi
translated by Coleman Barks
If you already know Rumi, you know exactly why this is on the list. If you don’t, I’ll tell you that Rumi is a beautiful soul who writes poems that connect me with the magic and mystery of being alive and human. My personal favorites are Story Water and The Guest House.
Love Poems from God: Twelve Sacred Voices from the East and West
translated by Daniel Ladinsky
This is poetry I love to read before bed at night, or in the tub when I’m not in the mood to dig deeply into a story, but rather feed my brain with bite-sized nuggets of light and love and wisdom. These poems were written by mystics of many different backgrounds. Hafiz might be my favorite, because his poems are surprisingly, delightfully funny. I put stars on my favorite poems so I can go through and read the ones that resonate most often.
The Tao of Pooh
by Benjamin Hoff
The essentials of Taoism, taught with playfulness, simplicity and Winnie the Pooh. This book is one of my favorite things to read in the bathtub when I need to counter anxiety and worry but am having a hard time breaking the cycle. “While Eeyore frets, and Piglet hesitates, and Rabbit calculates, and Owl pontificates, Pooh just is.”
Tao Te Ching: A New English Version
by Lao Tzu translated by Stephen Mitchell
Related to the above. My brother got me hooked on Stephen Mitchell translations, and this book is a favorite to flip through when I need a new perspective or an interesting thought to meditate on, like a mind vitamin. I like to keep it next to my bed or near the bathtub.
I recommend this book to so many friends. It was my first introduction into the Hindu pantheon. Read it to learn about the archetypal goddesses and learn how to embody their strengths and gifts in your own life. (Plus, there’s a super fun “which goddess are you?” section at the back. I resonate with Durga, Lakshmi and Saraswati. In case you were wondering.) I come back to this book often when I need to borrow some powerful goddess energy.
Sue Monk Kidd also showed up in the fiction section for The Secret Life of Bees. This one is her own personal spiritual memoir, and I related to it so very much. I discovered it on a weekend retreat in the retreat center’s library, and couldn’t put it down.
Prayers of the Cosmos: Meditations on the Aramaic Words of Jesus
by Neil Douglas-Klotz
If you’ve ever prayed the “Our Father” at church, you’ll be interested to read this little book. You’ll find that the words we all know so well are just one interpretation of the layers of meaning behind the original words Jesus spoke in Aramaic. The translations, and explanations behind them about the context and the history, will give you a whole new understanding of the words.
by Andy Weir
This isn’t actually a book, it’s a short story that you can read right this very minute. I’m sharing it here because I can’t begin to tell you how many times I’ve passed the link on to friends, because of how it blew my mind wide open. It’s delectable food for thought.
The Power of Myth
by Joseph Campbell with Bill Moyers
If you’re interested in mythology and archetypes—or even if you’re not—Joseph Campbell breaks down metaphors of the stories we’ve been telling for millennia and what they can tell us today and in the future. It’s absolutely fascinating, and I’ve highlighted the shit out of this book.
Well, friends, this concludes my 10 Days of Reading series! I hope you enjoyed it, and perhaps put a few new books on your “to read” list, and got some gift ideas. Happy reading!
Now it’s your turn…comment or email me with your top 3 books in your favorite category (or any category at all!).