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  • Books that Touched My Heart and Mind

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"We lose ourselves in books, we find ourselves there too."

 

There is almost nothing better than being curled up on the couch, with a cup of my favorite coffee or tea, enjoying a good book.  Books have been instrumental in my journey, whether it was to have a better understanding of myself or the world around me.  

I want to share some of the books I've read that have touched my heart, my mind, and my soul.  There are six categories to choose from: Inspirational,  Non-Fiction, Christian/Spiritual,  Personal Care, Historical Fiction, and Fiction.  I hope that you find a few that are of interest to you.

You will find a link after each of the books listed on this page.  Just click on the category for more titles in that genre.   Enjoy!

 


Waking The Spirit

A Musician's Journey Healing

Body, Mind, and Soul

by Andrew Schulman

Andrew Schulman, a fifty-seven-year-old professional guitarist, had a close brush with death on the night of July 16, 2009. Against the odds—and with the help of music—he survived: a medical miracle.

Once fully recovered, Andrew resolved to use his musical gifts to help critically ill patients at Mount Sinai Beth Israel’s ICU. In Waking the Spirit, you’ll learn the astonishing stories of the people he’s met along the way—both patients and doctors—and see the incredible role music can play in a modern hospital setting.

Waking the Spirit, is an inspiring story of hope, healing, and dedication. I have always believed that music was therapeutic in healing emotions.  This book is proving that music not only heals emotions, but aids in healing the human body. 

To purchase:  Amazon    Barnes & Noble     

 

           *Click Inspirational for more titles

 


When Breath Becomes Air

by Paul Kalanithi

At the age of thirty-six, on the verge of completing a decade’s worth of training as a neurosurgeon, Paul Kalanithi was diagnosed with stage IV lung cancer. One day he was a doctor treating the dying, and the next he was a patient struggling to live. And just like that, the future he and his wife had imagined evaporated. When Breath Becomes Air chronicles Kalanithi’s transformation from a naïve medical student “possessed,” as he wrote, “by the question of what, given that all organisms die, makes a virtuous and meaningful life” into a neurosurgeon at Stanford working in the brain, the most critical place for human identity, and finally into a patient and new father confronting his own mortality.

How quickly life can change for each one of us.  Death comes to all of us.  For some, life ends abruptly, for others, like Paul Kalanithi, there is the time to open our eyes and are our hearts to what is truly important.  I believe, in the end, it is the last gift we give ourselves and the ones we love.

To Purchase:  Amazon  Barnes & Noble

 

*Click Non-Fiction, for more titles

 


The Seven Storey Mountain

An Autobiography of Faith

by Thomas Merton

Thomas Merton (1915-1968) is arguably the most influential American Catholic author of the twentieth century. His autobiography, The Seven Storey Mountain, has millions of copies and has been translated into over fifteen languages. He wrote over sixty other books and hundreds of poems and articles on topics ranging from monastic spirituality to civil rights, nonviolence, and the nuclear arms race. 

After a rambunctious youth and adolescence, Merton converted to Roman Catholicism and entered the Abbey of Gethsemani, a community of monks belonging to the Order of Cistercians of the Strict Observance (Trappists), the most ascetic Roman Catholic monastic order.  

I read this book, some 10 years ago, with a curiosity to understand the the makings of a Trappist Monk.  In reading, The Seven Storey Mountain, I found myself wanting to experience just a small bit of what he talked about.  I booked myself, as a guest, at a monastery for a week-long solo retreat.  The experience was life-changing and plan to do it again!

To Purchase:  Amazon  Barnes & Noble

 

*Click Christian/Spiritual, for more titles

 


Self-Compassion

The Proven Power of Being Kind to Yourself

by Kristin Neff, Ph.D.

More and more, psychologists are turning away from an emphasis on self-esteem and moving toward self-compassion in the treatment of their patients—and Dr. Neff’s extraordinary book offers exercises and action plans for dealing with every emotionally debilitating struggle, be it parenting, weight loss, or any of the numerous trials of everyday living.  

Many of us show compassionate and caring towards the people we love, without much regard to our own needs.  We often have kinder words for strangers, than we do for ourselves.  For me, this book helped me to see that the words I have spoken internally, effect my self-esteem and the way I see myself in the world.

This is a great book, with exercises to help break old patterns and learn to nurture ourselves with love and self-compassion. This book was instrumental in two of my earlier blog posts, Self-Compassion and Be Kind to Yourself, with ideas on how to begin caring for ourselves.

To Purchase:  Amazon  Barnes & Noble

 

*Click Personal-Care, for more titles

 


The Nightingale

by Kristin Hannah

With courage, grace, and powerful insight, bestselling author Kristin Hannah captures the epic panorama of World War II and illuminates an intimate part of history seldom seen: the women's war. The Nightingale tells the stories of two sisters, separated by years and experience, by ideals, passion and circumstance, each embarking on her own dangerous path toward survival, love, and freedom in German-occupied, war-torn France―a heartbreakingly beautiful novel that celebrates the resilience of the human spirit and the durability of women. It is a novel for everyone, a novel for a lifetime.

The Nightingale is a book that every woman should read. It is disturbing, unnerving and heart-wrenching.  But it gives voice to the women who, not only lived through, but fought along side their men for freedom during WWII.   

When I finished the last page of the book, I found myself wondering that if I had been in their situation, would I have had the courage to do all that these two women were called to do.  I pray I never have to find out!

To Purchase:  Amazon   Barnes & Noble

 

*Click Historical Fiction, for more titles...

 


The Story of Arthur Truluv

by Elizabeth Berg

An emotionally powerful novel about three people who each lose the one they love most, only to find second chances where they least expect them

For the past six months, Arthur Moses’s days have looked the same: He tends to his rose garden and to Gordon, his cat, then rides the bus to the cemetery to visit his beloved late wife for lunch. The last thing Arthur would imagine is for one unlikely encounter to utterly transform his life. 

Eighteen-year-old Maddy Harris is an introspective girl who visits the cemetery to escape the other kids at school. One afternoon she joins Arthur—a gesture that begins a surprising friendship between two lonely souls. Moved by Arthur’s kindness and devotion, Maddy gives him the nickname “Truluv.” As Arthur’s neighbor Lucille moves into their orbit, the unlikely trio band together and, through heartache and hardships, help one another rediscover their own potential to start anew.

Wonderfully written and full of profound observations about life, The Story of Arthur Truluv is a beautiful and moving novel of compassion in the face of loss, of the small acts that turn friends into family, and of the possibilities to achieve happiness at any age.

I loved this book!  Arthur touched my heart with his love and tenderness.  I have read every book that Elizabeth Berg has written and her writing gets better and better!!

To Purchase:  Amazon   Barnes & Noble

 

*Click Fiction, for more titles...

 

"The more that you read, the more things you will know.
The more that you learn, the more places you'll go."
~ Dr. Seuss