books | history, spirituality, personal growth & lifestyle |

All of life is a journey, and outside of travel, there are multitudes of other paths one can follow in the search for enlightenment, fulfillment, or simply, curiosity.  The books below are books I have on my shelves that I hope to read in the coming years.  I hope to follow my curiosity wherever it leads.  If there is a link and stars, I have already read the book.


  1. The Beginner’s Guide to Zen Buddhism by Jean Smith ****
  2. Emergence: Seven Steps for Radical Life Change by Derek Rydall ****
  3. Meditations by Sylvia Browne **
  4. The Seven Storey Mountain by Thomas Merton (Kindle)
  5. The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying by Sogyal Rinpoche
  6. When Things Fall Apart: Heart Advice for Difficult Times by Pema Chödrön ****
  7. The Inner Camino: A Path of Awakening by Sara Hollwey, Jill Brierley
  8. The Call to the Soul: Six Stages of Spiritual Development by Marjory Zoet Bankson
  9. The Imitation of Christ by Thomas À Kempis
  10. The Joy Diet: 10 Daily Practices for a Happier Life by Martha Beck
  11. After the Darkest Hour: How Suffering Begins the Journey to Wisdom by Kathleen A. Brehony, Ph.D.
  12. Spiritual Literacy: Reading the Sacred in Everyday Life by Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat
  13. How Now – 100 ways to celebrate the present moment by Raphael Cushnir
  14. A Course in Miracles by Foundation for Inner Peace
  15. The Spiritual Activist: Practices to Transform Your Life, Your Work, and Your World by Claudia Horwitz
  16. A Beginner’s Guide to Meditation, Ed. by Rod Meade Sperry & the editors of the Shambhala Sun
  17. Eight Mindful Steps to Happiness: Walking the Buddha’s Path by Bhante Henepola Gunaratana
  18. The Best Buddhist Writing, Ed. by Melvin McLeod
  19. Mindfulness in Plain English by Bhante Henepola Gunaratana
  20. Living Faith Day by Day by Debra K. Farrington
  21. The Re-enchantment of Everyday Life by Thomas Moore
  22. Flourish: A Visionary New Understanding of Happiness and Well-being by Martin E.P. Seligman
  23. Autobiography of a Yogi by Paramahansa Yogananda
  24. Mind Over Matter: Conversations with the Cosmos by K.C. Cole
  25. Praying with Icons by Jim Forest
  26. The Tarot Dictionary by Annie Lionnet
  27. Indian Astrology by Komilla Sutton

Inspiration in midlife and in general:

  1. a big new free happy unusual life by Nina Wise ****
  2. Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear by Elizabeth Gilbert
  3. Setting Your Heart on Fire: Seven Invitations to Liberate Your Life by Raphael Cushnir
  4. Spilling Open: The Art of Becoming Yourself by Sabrina Ward Harrison
  5. If Not Now, When?  Reclaiming Ourselves at Midlife by Stephanie Marston
  6. LIFE Reimagined: The Science, Art & Opportunity of Midlife by Barbara Bradley Hagerty
  7. The Wisdom of Menopause: Creating Physical & Emotional Health and Healing During the Change by Christiane Northrup, M.D.
  8. Rules for Aging: The Wry and Witty Guide to Life by Roger Rosenblatt

Personal Growth / Self-Improvement/Mind-Body Connection:

  1. The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron *****
  2. Visioning: Ten Steps to Designing the Life of Your Dreams by Lucia Cappachione ****
  3. How to Think Like Leonardo da Vinci: Seven Steps to Genius Every Day by Michael J. Gelb ****
  4. The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment by Eckhart Tolle ***
  5. Personality Isn’t Permanent: Break Free from Self-Limiting Beliefs and Rewrite Your Story by Benjamin Hardy (audiobook) ****
  6. Braving the Wilderness: The Quest for True Belonging and the Courage to Stand Alone by Brené Brown ***
  7. Self-Compassion: The Proven Power of Being Kind to Yourself by Kristin Neff, Ph.D. ****
  8. Radical Acceptance: Embracing Your Life with the Heart of a Buddha by Tara Brach, Ph.D. ****
  9. Wintering: The Power of Rest and Retreat in Difficult Times by Katherine May ***
  10. The Way Out: A Revolutionary Scientifically Proven Approach to Healing Chronic Pain by Alan Gordon, LCSW with Alon Ziv
  11. Zen and the Art of Making a Living: A Practical Guide to Creative Career Design by Laurence G. Boldt
  12. The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business by Charles Duhigg
  13. Being in Balance: 9 Principles for Creating Habits to Match Your Desires by Dr. Wayne W. Dyer
  14. Who Am I? by Steven Reiss, Ph.D.
  15. Learned Optimism: How to Change Your Mind and Your Life by Martin E.P. Seligman, Ph.D.
  16. Authentic Happiness by Martin E.P. Seligman, Ph.D.
  17. There Must Be MORE Than This by Judith Wright
  18. Write It Down, Make It Happen: Knowing What You Want — and Getting It! by Henriette Anne Klauser
  19. The Magic Lamp: Goal Setting for People Who Hate Setting Goals by Keith Ellis
  20. The Pathfinder by Nicholas Lore
  21. The Complete Vision Board Kit by John Assaraf
  22. The Desire Map: A Guide to Creating Goals with Soul by Danielle LaPorte
  23. The Happiness of Pursuit by Christ Guillebeau
  24. You Can Be Happy No Matter What: Five Principles for Keeping Life in Perspective by Richard Carlson
  25. The Power of Partnership: Seven Relationships That Will Change Your Life by Riane Eisler
  26. Living in the Light: A Guide to Personal and Planetary Transformation by Shakti Gawain
  27. Creative Visualization: Use the Power of Your Imagination to Create What You Want in Your Life by Shakti Gawain

Al-Anon / Mental Health:

  1. Courage to Change by Al-Anon Family Groups ****
  2. Paths to Recovery: Al-Anon’s Steps, Traditions and Concepts by Al-Anon Family Groups ****
  3. One Day at a Time in Al-Anon by Al-Anon Family Groups ****
  4. I AM NOT SICK I Don’t Need Help! How to Help Someone with Mental Illness Accept Treatment by Xavier Amador, Ph.D.

General Exploration and Adventure:

  1. How to Visit a Museum by David Finn ***
  2. How to Be an Explorer of the World by Keri Smith
  3. Wanderlust: A History of Walking by Rebecca Solnit
  4. A Field Guide to Getting Lost by Rebecca Solnit


  1. How Proust Can Change Your Life by Alain de Botton
  2. The Consolations of Philosophy by Alain de Botton
  3. Socrates Café: A Fresh Taste of Philosophy by Christopher Phillips
  4. The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Eastern Philosophy by Jay Stevenson, Ph.D. ***

Pilgrimage & Labyrinths:

  1. The Art of Pilgrimage: The Seeker’s Guide to Making Travel Sacred by Phil Cousineau ****
  2. On Pilgrimage by Jennifer Lash (mostly in France, but ends in Santiago de Compostela) *****
  3. The Inner Camino: A Path of Awakening by Sara Hollwey, Jill Brierley
  4. exploring the labyrinth: a guide for healing and spiritual growth by Melissa Galye West
  5. Way of the Winding Path: A Map for the Labyrinth of Life by Eve Eschner Hogan
  6. The Way of the Labyrinth: A Powerful Meditation for Everyday Life by Helen Curry
  7. the singular pilgrim: travels on sacred ground by Rosemary Mahoney

Relationships / Friendships / Marriage:

  1. tiny beautiful things: Advice on Love & Life from Dear Sugar by Cheryl Strayed
  2. Heart to Heart: Deepening Women’s Friendships at Midlife by Patrician Gottlieb Shapiro
  3. Mars & Venus Together Forever by John Gray, Ph.D.
  4. addiction to love: Overcoming Obsession and Dependency in Relationships by Susan Peabody
  5. i love you, but… i’m not IN LOVE with you: 7 steps to saving your relationship by Andrew G. Marshall
  6. Passionate Marriage: Keeping Love and Intimacy Alive in Committed Relationships by David Schnarch, Ph.D.
  7. Daring to Trust: Opening Ourselves to Real Love & Intimacy by David Richo
  8. I’m Right, You’re Wrong, Now What? Break the Impasse and Get What You Need by Xavier Amador

Health & Fitness:

  1. The Pilates Body by Brooke Siler
  2. The Acid Watcher Diet: A 28-Day Reflux Prevention and Healing Program by Jonathan Aviv, MD, FACS ****
  3. Dropping Acid: The Reflux Diet Cookbook & Cure by Jamie Koufman, M.D., Jordan Stern, M.D., and French Master Chef Marc Bauer
  4. The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Yoga by Joan Budilovsky & Eve Adamson ***
  5. Living Yoga: Creating a Life Practice by Christy Turlington
  6. The Woman’s Book of Yoga & Health by Linda Sparrowe and Patricia Walden
  7. The Complete Yoga Book by James Hewitt
  8. The Beck Diet Solution: Weight Loss Workbook by Judith S. Beck, Ph.D.
  9. Wheat Belly Slim Guide: The Fast and Easy Reference for Living and Succeeding on the Wheat Belly Lifestyle by William Davis
  10. Essential Oils Handbook by Amy Leigh Mercree
  11. Total Immersion: The Revolutionary Way to Swim Better, Faster, and Easier by Terry Laughlin with John Delves
  12. Brain Maker: The Power of Gut Microbes to Heal and Protect Your Brain – For Life by David Perlmutter, MD
  13. Cutting: Understanding and Overcoming Self-Mutilation by Steven Levenkron
  14. The Body: A Guide for Occupants by Bill Bryson

Lifestyle or fashion:

  1. Bohemian Manifesto: A Field Guide to Living on the Edge by Larea Stover ****
  2. The Goddess Guide by Gisèle Scanlon
  3. Paris Chic & Trendy by Adrienne Ribes-Tiphaine
  4. How to Be Lovely: The Audrey Hepburn Way of Life by Melissa Hellstern
  5. Parisian Chic: A Style Guide by Ines de la Fressange

Household & Interior Design / Decor:

  1. The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up:The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing by Marie Kondō *****
  2. Unclutter Your Space with Feng Shui by Antonia Beattie & Rosemary Stevens
  3. The Practical Encyclopedia of Feng Shui by Gill Hale
  4. Lillian Too’s Easy-to-use Feng Shui
  5. Tricia Guild on Color
  6. The Simple Living Guide by Janet Luhrs
  7. Better House & Planet by Marjorie Harris
  8. The New Bohemians by Justina Blakeney
  9. A Room of Her Own by Chris Casson Madden
  10. Mexicasa: The Enchanting Inns and Haciendas of Mexico, Photos by Melba Levick, Text by Gina Hyams
  11. new Moroccan Style: The Art of Sensual Living by Susan Sully
  12. Moroccan Style by Alexandra Bonfante-Warren
  13. Moorish Style by Miles Danby
  14. Moroccan Interiors by Lisa Lovatt-Smith
  15. Safari Style, Ed. Angelika Taschen


  1. A Starter Garden by Cheryl Merser
  2. Perennial Garden: Color Harmonies through the Seasons by Jeff & Marilyn Cox
  3. Sunset Landscaping Illustrated
  4. Sunset Walks, Walls & Patio Floors
  5. The Backyard Landscaper by Ireland-Gannon Associates, Inc.

Arts & Crafts / Games:

  1. How to Make Origami: The Japanese Art of Paper Folding by Isao Honda
  2. Origami: Japanese Paper Folding by Florence Sakade
  3. Origami: Japanese Paper Folding Book 2 by Florence Sakade
  4. The Everything Crossword & Puzzle Book by Harold Cordry
  5. Beading with Brick Stitch by Diane Fitzgerald
  6. Netted Beadwork by Diane Fitzgerald
  7. The Beader’s Guide to Color by Margie Deeb
  8. Chic & Easy Beading by Alice Korach
  9. Creative Bead Jewelry by Carol Taylor
  10. Quick & Easy Beaded Jewelry by Elizabeth Gourley and Ellen Talbott

Starting a Business:

  1. Start Your Own Travel Business and More by Entrepreneur ****
  2. Start Your Own Business by Entrepreneur
  3. Seducing Strangers: How to Get People to Buy What You’re Selling by Josh Weltman

The Natural World/Environmental Issues:

  1. A Natural History of the Senses by Diane Ackerman
  2. For the Time Being by Annie Dillard
  3. Small Wonder (Essays) by Barbara Kingsolver
  4. An Obsession with Butterflies by Sharman Apt Russell
  5. Inside of a Dog: What Dogs See, Smell and Know by Alexandra Horowitz
  6. Climate of Hope by Michael Bloomberg & Carl Pope
  7. Sentient: How Animals Illuminate the Wonder of Our Human Senses by Jackie Higgins
  8. The Hummingbird’s Gift: Wonder, Beauty and Renewal on Wings by Sy Montgomery ***
  9. Falter: Has the Human Game Begun to Play Itself Out? by Bill McKibben
  10. The Bedside Book of Birds by Graeme Gibson

Social Justice / Societal problems:

  1. What Can One Person Do? Faith to Heal a Broken World by Sabina Alkire & Edmund Newell
  2. The Power Worshippers: Inside the Dangerous Rise of Religious Nationalism by Katherine Stewart
  3. Humankind: A Hopeful History by Rutger Bregman
  4. Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting By in America by Barbara Ehrenreich

#BlackLivesMatter, Racism, and Immigration in America:

  1. I’m Still Here: Black Dignity in a World Made for Whiteness by Austin Channing Brown ****
  2. How to Be an Antiracist by Ibram X. Kendi
  3. Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents by Isabel Wilkerson
  4. The 1619 Project: A New Origin Story by Nikole Hannah-Jones (Creator)
  5. Sundown Towns: A Hidden Dimension of American Racism by James W. Loewen
  6. My Grandmother’s Hands: Radicalized Trauma and the Mending of Our Bodies and Hearts by Resmaa Menakem
  7. Citizen: An American Lyric by Claudia Rankine
  8. A Sin by Any Other Name: Reckoning with Racism and the Heritage of the South by Robert W. Lee
  9. Devil in the Grove: Thurgood Marshall, the Groveland Boys, and the Dawn of a New America by Gilbert King
  10. Beneath a Ruthless Sun: A True Story of Violence, Race, and Justice Losts and Found by Gilbert King
  11. Tell Me Who You Are: Sharing Our Stories of Race, Culture, & Identity by Winona Guo, Priya Vulchi
  12. Blood Done Sign My Name: A True Story by Timothy B. Tyson
  13. Democracy in Black: How Race Still Enslaves the American Soul by Eddie S. Glaude Jr.
  14. We Cast a Shadow by Maurice Carlos Ruffin
  15. Between Everything and Nothing by Joe Meno
  16. Thick: And Other Essays by Tressie McMillan Cottom
  17. White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism by Robin DiAngelo, Michael Eric Dyson (Foreward)
  18. Stony the Road: Reconstruction, White Supremacy, and the Rise of Jim Crow by Henry Louis Gates Jr.
  19. A Black Woman’s History of the United States by Daina Ramey Berry
  20. One Person, No Vote: How Voter Suppression Is Destroying Our Democracy by Carol Anderson
  21. What Doesn’t Kill You Makes You Blacker: A Memoir in Essays by Damon Young
  22. Hood Feminism: Notes from the Women That a Movement Forgot by Mikki Kendall
  23. How We Fight For Our Lives by Saeed Jones
  24. When They Call You a Terrorist: A Black Lives Matter Memoir by Patrisse Khan-Cullors, Asha Bandele, Angela Y. Davis (Foreword)
  25. Barracoon: The Story of the Last “Black Cargo” by Zora Neale Hurston, Deborah G. Plant (Editor)
  26. The Sun Does Shine: How I Found Life and Freedom on Death Row by Anthony Ray Hinton, Lara Love Hardin, Bryan Stevenson (Foreword)
  27. So You Want to Talk About Race by Ijeoma Oluo

Popular Culture:

  1. Is This Anything? by Jerry Seinfeld

Pandemics/Pandemic well-being:

  1. Phosphorescence: On Awe, Wonder & Things that Sustain You When the World Goes Dark by Julia Baird
  2. The Great Influenza: The Story of the Deadliest Pandemic in History by John M. Barry


  1. The Man Who Tasted Shapes by Richard E. Cytowic, M.D.
  2. Prescription for Natural Cures by James E. Balch, M.D. and Mark Stengler, N.D.


  1. It’s What I Do: A Photographer’s Life in Love & War by Lynsey Addario *****
  2. On All Fronts: The Education of a Journalist by Clarissa Ward
  3. You Don’t Belong Here: How Three Women Rewrote the Story of War by Elizabeth Becker
  4. Gellhorn: A Twentieth Century Life by Caroline Moorehead

Current Events/Politics:

  1. Betrayal: The Final Act of the Trump Show by Jonathan Karl
  2. Age of Anger: A History of the Present by Pankaj Mishra
  3. Unthinkable: Trauma, Truth, and the Trials of American Democracy by Jamie Raskin


  1. The Mathews Men: Seven Brothers and the War Against Hitler’s U-boats by William Geroux ****
  2. The Ghost Ships of Archangel: The Arctic Voyage That Defied the Nazis by William Geroux
  3. Undaunted Courage: Meriwether Lewis, Thomas Jefferson, and the Opening of the American West by Stephen E. Ambrose *****
  4. 1968: The Year that Rocked the World by Mark Kurlansky
  5. The Seventies: The Great Shift in American Culture, Society and Politics by Bruce J. Schulman
  6. The Nineties by Chuck Klosterman
  7. Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand
  8. No Ordinary Time: Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt: The Home Front in World War II by Doris Kearns Godwin
  9. Leadership in Turbulent Times by Doris Kearns Goodwin
  10. Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln by Doris Kearns Goodwin
  11. A Good American Family: The Red Scare and My Father by David Maraniss
  12. The Heartbeat of Wounded Knee: Native America from 1890 to the Present by David Treuer
  13. Madame Fourcade’s Secret War: The Daring Young Woman Who Led France’s Largest Spy Network Against Hitler by Lynne Olson


  1. Feed the Hungry: A Memoir with Recipes by Nani Power ****
  2. Inheritance: A Memoir of Geneaology, Paternity, and Love by Dani Shapiro
  3. An Unquiet Mind by Kay Redfield Jamison
  4. Undaunted: My Fight Against America’s Enemies, at Home and Abroad by John O. Brennan, Former Director of the CIA
  5. A Three Dog Life: A Memoir by Abigail Thomas
  6. American Seoul by Helena Rho
  7. Know My Name by Chanel Miller
  8. Maid by Stephanie Land
  9. The Source of Self-Regard: Selected Essays, Speeches, and Meditations by Toni Morrison
  10. The End of the World as We Know It: Scenes from a Life by Robert Goolrick


  1. Bringing Your Family History to Life through Social History by Katherine Scott Sturderant
  2. Unpuzzling Your Past by Emily Anne Croom
  3. The Unpuzzling Your Past Workbook by Emily Anne Croom
  4. Secrets of Tracing Your Ancestors by W. Daniel Quillen


  1. Emily Post on Etiquette by Elizabeth L. Post
  2. The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Etiquette by Mary Mitchell with John Corr

Stamp Collecting:

  1. The Postal Service Guide to U.S. Stamps
  2. A First Stamp Album for Beginners by Robert Obojski
  3. The 2003 Commemorative Stamp Yearbook by the United States Postal Service
  4. Stamp Collecting: Discover the Fun by Stephen R. Datz
  5. stamp it! the ultimate stamp collecting activity book by Leslie Jonath
  6. Stamp Collecting for Dummies by Richard L. Sine


These are books on my bookshelf that I acquired during my Master’s program in International Commerce and Policy at George Mason University, which I completed over the period of September, 2006 to May, 2008.  I would like to eventually read these books:

Economics & International Relations:

  1. The World is Flat: A Brief History of the Twenty-First Century by Thomas L. Friedman
  2. The Sorrows of Empire: Militarism, Secrecy and the End of the Republic by Chalmers Johnson
  3. The Commanding Heights: The Battle for the World Economy by Daniel Yergin and Joseph Stanislaw
  4. The Wealth and Poverty of Nations: Why Some Are So Rich and Some So Poor by David S. Landes
  5. TRUST: The Social Virtues and the Creation of Prosperity by Francis Fukuyama
  6. The Right Nation: Conservative Power in America by John Mickletwait and Adrian Wooldridge
  7. Common Wealth: Economics for a Crowded Planet by Jeffrey D. Sachs
  8. Water Wars: Privatization, Pollution, and Profit by Vandana Shiva
  9. Water Wars: Drought, Flood, Folly, and the Politics of Thirst by Diane Raines Ward
  10. America’s Inadvertent Empire by William E. Odom and Robert Dujarric
  11. Overthrow: America’s Century of Regime Change from Hawaii to Iraq by Stephen Kinzer
  12. Backstabbing for Beginners: My Crash Course in International Diplomacy by Michael Soussan
  13. Economic Gangsters: Corruption, Violence, and the Poverty of Nations by Raymond Fisman and Edward Miguel
  14. Plan B 2.0: Rescuing a Planet Under Stress and a Civilization in Trouble by Lester K. Brown
  15. The Fifth Risk by Michael Lewis

Middle East:

  1. The Wisdom of Islam by Robert Frager, Ph.D. ***
  2. The Looming Tower: Al Qaeda and the Road to 9/11 by Lawrence Wright (Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Afghanistan, New York) *****
  3. Price of Honor: Muslim Women Lift the Veil of Silence on the Islamic World by Jan Godwin
  4. Resurrecting Empire: Western Footprints and America’s Perilous Path in the Middle East by Rashid Khalidi
  5. The Everything Understand Islam Book by Christine Huda Dodge
  6. The Punishment of Virtue: Inside Afghanistan After the Taliban by Sarah Chayes
  7. The Persian Puzzle: The Conflict Between Iran and America by Kenneth M. Pollack
  8. Waiting for an Ordinary Day: The Unraveling of Life in Iraq by Farnaz Fassihi
  9. The Arabs: Journeys Beyond the Mirage by David Lamb