“The Dance of the Dissident Daughter” by Sue Monk Kidd

Subtitle: A Woman’s Journey from Christian Tradition to the Sacred Feminine

Recommended to me by: Donna Smith

Sue Monk Kidd describes her awakening to the patriarchal values of the Baptist Church and Christianity in general. She describes her transformation in parallel with the myth of Ariadne as she claims the Sacred Feminine instead of […]

“Belonging Here” by Judith Blackstone, Ph.D.

Subtitle: A Guide for the Spiritually Sensitive Person

Judith Blackstone helps people get more present in their bodies to realize their spiritual goals. She specifically helps spiritually sensitive people. I hadn’t encountered that phrase before, but it fits with my ideas about sensitivity in general: permeability and attentiveness to the environment and surrounding people.

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“A Lamp in the Darkness” by Jack Kornfield

I remember a feeling of exclusion when I read Kornfield’s The Wise Heart, so I read this one warily, and indeed, it did not resonate with me.

Perhaps it’s a target market problem. The writing is clear and kind and detailed, aimed at someone who has never thought about these issues before. I’ve been […]

“What We Talk About When We Talk About Anne Frank” by Nathan Englander

Subtitle: stories

Recommended to me by: KBOO interview with Nathan Englander

These beautifully crafted stories are rich, in the sense that I can’t read too many of them at a time. They are heavy with the everyday pain we cause each other, and with the specific pain of Jews and Judaism.

I didn’t read […]

“Unlimited…” by Ani Rose Whaleswan

This is a book of 18 poems and 13 paintings about Ani Rose Whaleswan’s healing from extreme abuse. From the back cover: “She believes too that art is healing, and healing is an art.”

The paintings are colorful, vivid, powerful. Each one is accompanied by a paragraph of background or interpretation.

The poems are […]

“Alchemy of Illness” by Kat Duff

Subtitle: A woman explores the transforming – and, paradoxically, healing – experience of being ill

Recommended to me by: a client

Alchemists strive to turn lead into gold by heating it alone in a sealed container, a crucible. In the crucible of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Kat Duff turned inward and found healing in the […]

“Seeking Peace” by Mary Pipher

Subtitle: Chronicles of the Worst Buddhist in the World

Recommended to me by: Bay Area Spirituality Bookgroup

Mary Pipher didn’t expect to become famous for writing “Reviving Ophelia” and she fell into despair after years of touring and speaking engagements. The book covers her despair, her parents, her childhood, and then her healing. She […]

“CrowHeart” by Keelin Anderson

CROWHEART: becoming unwounded, a memoir of transformation

Recommended to me by: Keelin Anderson

To tell her story of healing from incest and emotional abuse, Keelin Anderson weaves together daily narrative, fiction, quotes, tarot readings, and dreams, all in present tense.

As I read, I saw places where our paths have overlapped, and places where […]

“Leaving the Saints” by Martha Beck

Subtitle: How I Lost the Mormons and Found My Faith

Recommended to me by: Reading Martha Beck’s older books

I first read this years ago and loved it. I came back to it while writing a (forthcoming) article about spiritual abuse and faith. Since I last read it, I read her newer book “Steering […]

“Traveling Mercies” by Anne Lamott

Subtitle: Some thoughts on faith

I stumbled across this book while looking for a quote about forgiveness. I usually find Anne Lamott’s books laugh-out-loud funny, reassuringly insightful, or disturbingly insightful. This book, a series of autobiographical essays about faith and religion, left me cold.

Maybe it was the large daily consumption of alcohol and […]