My Top Nonfiction Book Choices
I love reading all kinds of books and have several that I have read over and over again. Most of these offer the read an opportunity to view the rise of the human over adversity and sometimes offer a catharsis for the reader through the experience of reading the piece.
Some of my favorites:
Man's Search for Meaning: Viktor Frankl. This is a must read for every single reader on the planet. Not only is it a story of survival, but it s tale that shows how a holocaust survivor beat the odds and how he used his mind in order to remain in a state of grace and beauty. Although it is not "fun" to read, it is full of insight and shows us how the human mind can break if there is no spiritual belief.
The Year of Magical Thinking: Joan Didion. One of my students recommended I read this one summer and let me borrow it. It did not take me long to find myself caught up in the life Didion was living and the way it changed within the space of one short year. Again, sad but well expressed.
Tuesday's With Morrie: Mitch Albom. The true story of a relationship with a man and his professor who is suffering with Lou Gehrig's disease. This work is full of aphorisms and loving gems of wisdom from a man who lived his life with determination and candor, not fear.
The Alphabet Vs The Goddess: Leonard Schlain. An absolutely fascinating study of how women ruled the world before the advent of the written word. Well written and tackles a subject we all do not know much about with panache.
Into the Wild: John Kraukauer. What if you went off to live in the wild by yourself and you made a mistake? Excellent account of a decision one man made that was fated to make the last days of his life painful.
Nickeled and Dimed in America: Barbara Ehrenreich. What is it like to live on minimum wage in America today? The author went undercover to find out and everyone needs to see exactly how she had to live.
The Professor and the Madman: Simon Winchester. How did the first dictionary get written? And by whom? And he did what?????
The Hot Zone: Richard Preston. Read this back in the mid nineties and it literally had me shaking in my boots. Viruses that spread how?
Emotional Alchemy: Tara Goleman. This book literally changed my life and the life of my daughter and my husband. when we read this book, we truly had a shift in our self-knowing.
Passionate Marriage: David Schnarch. Schnarch covers all aspects of emotional and sexual intimacy that needs to be caressed in any long term "marriage" or relationship. My number one choice of all sexual psychology books.
Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance: Robert Pirsig. I read this back in the early 1980's in my Critical Thinking class. Amazing. Simply wonderful insight into values.
The Power of Myth: Joseph Campbell. Or ANY book by Campbell. The man was a genius.
Sacred Contracts: Caroline Myss. Archetypes explained in layman's terms and the ability to track your own and the how you might sabotage your life.
Hiroshima: John Hersey. With the recent tsunamis in Japan it is a good time to see how much suffering the Japanese had to endure when they had an atomic bomb dropped on them. Haunting.
Any spiritual literature you have never read before. The Bhaghavad Gita, The Upanisads, Buddhist Scriptures, Talmud, Ramanyana, Mahabarata, Book of Mormon, Course in Miracles, Tao te Ching.
Edgar Cayce: The Sleeping Prophet. Jess Stern. If you have never heard of Edgar Cayce this book will intrigue and inform you about not only Cayce, but also the Center for Research and Enlightenment in Virginia Beach, Va.
Obviously this is not an exhaustive list, but it does reflect some of the books that have touched me over my lifetime. There are still many more I wish to read and would love your suggestions as well. All kinds of literature make for a well rounded individual. Enjoy!