Updated: Jan 13, 2021
I am 100% a self-proclaimed bookworm (though frankly I prefer book dragon), and nothing makes me happier than finding hidden gems in used book sales, libraries, or book shops! I've done the heavy lifting for you by reading through some great - and not so great - titles and compiled my all-time list of favorites perfect for light reading or deeper exploration. Enjoy!
Zen Confidential is as ridiculous as it is poignant. The short of it: a man decides to give up his fast-track American life and live in a monastery, hoping it'll make all of his problems disappear. What I love most about this book is Haubner's complete frankness when it comes to describing his experiences as a monk. He doesn't sugar coat the hard stuff, he doesn't pretend that everything is enlightenment and chanting and everything else people would expect of a Buddhist. His memoir is gritty, honest, and wildly entertaining. Bonus: this is also an Audible book!
A straight-laced, no-nonsense New Yorker gets duped into taking his New Age sister's guru on a road trip across the country. He considers himself a Christian and does not believe in anything his sister or her guru practice, and he's determined to keep it that way. Slowly, the boundaries of skepticism and fear turn to curiosity, and he discovers a whole new way of looking at life, and the answers to questions he's been asking for years. It's a very sweet and light-hearted story that left me smiling every time I picked it up. This would be a particularly wonderful books for those of us struggling to accept a lifestyle different than our own, or who is looking to bridge the gap that differences religion and ethnicity often leave between us.
An important book for any practitioner of yoga - teacher or student! We are in a tumultuous time of fast living and relatively little religious guidance or morality in our county, and Mr. Main eloquently establishes what our obligations are as peaceful beings. Our reach can far extend that of our yoga ma, if we take time to tune in. Mr. Main also challenges many contemporary ways of living that - I'll admit to being in this category - might inflame a few readers from time to time. But what a lesson to learn once I found that it was the ego becoming angry, not my heart, at Main's words, and what a powerful transformation lies at the end of this novel for those seeking deeper meaning. Also an Audible book.
If this isn't the most fun version I've ever read! We've all been there - trying to navigate through the Lord's Song, comprehend what's taking place and grasp at some spiritual wisdom. This version of the Bhagavad Gita may as well have been written by William Shakespear for it's level of drama and theatrics. It may not be the giant sacred tome you're looking to refer back to decade after decade in your spiritual journey, but there is something to be said about approaching this intimidating saga in such a light-hearted way. Excellent introduction for someone who is brand new to the Bhavagad Gita, or just looking to reread the sacred story from a very different point of view.
A beautiful, beautiful recollection of the cultural heritage of the women of the island of Jeju, set at the pivotal point in history of Japanese colonialisn, WWII, and the Korean War. I cannot begin to describe how beautiful transportive this novel is. Reading it, like all of Ms. See's works, is to completely immerse yourself in the world she writes about. This story is about the bonds of family and the strength of women to uphold their community, and the trials they face as individuals and a people. A stunning look into the history of a deeply spiritual and sea-centered society and their way of life.