“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 […]

“The Not So Big Life” by Sarah Susanka

Subtitle: Making Room For What Really Matters

Sarah Susanka is a renowned architect, author of the “Not So Big House” series. This book is beautifully architected with parallels between life remodeling and house remodeling. For the target audience of people with plenty of money and a shortage of time, the book offers substantial, detailed […]

“The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down” by Anne Fadiman

Subtitle: A Hmong child, her American doctors, and the collision of two cultures

Recommended to me by: Emily Ross

This is a beautifully written history of the Hmong people from Laos in the 20th century, interwoven with the story of one Hmong family who took refuge in Merced, California. Their daughter Lia Lee had […]

“Hereville: How Mirka Got Her Sword” by Barry Deutsch

Subtitle: Yet Another Troll-Fighting 11-Year-Old Orthodox Jewish Girl

Recommended to me by: Barry Deutsch’s Alas, A Blog

A graphic novel set in an Orthodox Jewish town called Hereville, in a blended family with many girls and one little brother. The facial expressions and other details in the drawings are captivating – I read the […]

“Mastering Life’s Energies” by Maria Nemeth, PhD

Subtitle: Simple Steps to a Luminous Life at Work and Play

Recommended to me by: Aubrie De Clerck

Maria Nemeth offers step-by-step instructions on how to move from a fog of confusion to living with “clarity, focus, ease, and grace.”

I do want to live with clarity, focus, ease, and grace, but I didn’t […]

“The Mindful Path to Self-Compassion” by Christopher K. Germer, PhD

Subtitle: Freeing Yourself from Destructive Thoughts and Emotions.

This “un-self-help” book by a clinical psychologist shows how to stop fighting uncomfortable emotions and accept them with self-compassion instead. Step by step, Germer shows how to be kind to ourselves, listen to our bodies, and bring in difficult emotions.

I liked his analysis of the […]

“Riding Between the Worlds” by Linda Kohanov

My response to The Tao of Equus doesn’t begin to express the impact it had on me. I immediately looked for Kohanov’s next book.

Riding Between the Worlds contains less abstract theory and more stories from clients and from her own life. It also contains a helpful adaptation of Karla McLaren’s work with emotions […]

“Hand Wash Cold” by Karen Maezen Miller

Subtitle: Care Instructions for an Ordinary Life

Recommended to me by: Shambhala Sun excerpt.

Miller is a Zen Buddhist priest and teacher. This memoir is organized around three household tasks as metaphors for Zen living – laundry, dishes, and gardening. I enthusiastically agree with the premise that household maintenance is an integral part of […]