books for the journey: your suggestions

Reader book choicesTHE LATEST BOOK GIVEAWAY–which was a smashing success–ended at midnight Sunday, but there’s a “win” for everyone, it turns out. Collaborator and author Katrina Kenison and I asked commenters to tell us about books they’d relied on in times of transition…and wow, did they ever. Did you ever. Here’s a pdf of the list of books for the journey–the list you made with your comments. (I’ve also pasted it below, if the printable format doesn’t suit.) I was struck that Anne Morrow Lindbergh’s 1955 book “Gift From the Sea” was a runaway favorite (along with more expected ones like “Animal, Vegetable, Miracle” from Barbara Kingsolver, Elizabeth Gilbert’s “Eat, Pray, Love,” and Anne Lamott’s work in general).

Books for the Journey (Author: Title)

Adams, Richard: Watership Down
Albom, Mitch: Tuesdays with Morrie
Ali, Ayaan Hirsi: Infidel
Allen, James: As A Man Thinketh (essay)
Atkinson, Patricia: The Ripening Sun
Ban Breathnach, Sarah: Simple Abundance: A Daybook of Comfort and Joy
Bardsley, Barney: A Handful of Earth
Bateson, Mary Catherine: Composing a Life & Peripheral Visions
Beck, Martha: Expecting Adam
Berry, Wendell: The Unsettling of America
Berry, Wendell: The Three-Legged House
Beston, Henry: The Outermost House
Birks, Tony: biography of the potter Lucie Rie
Bombeck, Erma: The Grass Is Always Greener On The Other Side Of The Fence
Bourke, Dale Hanson: Embracing Your Second Calling
Braestrup, Kate: Here If You Need Me
Brett, Brian: Trauma Farm
Bridges, William: Transitions
Bronson, Po: What Should I Do With My Life?
Browning, Dominique: Around the House and In the Garden
Browning, Dominique: Slow Love
Buscaglia, Leo: Personhood
Byok, Ira: Dying Well
Byrne, Rhonda: The Secret
Caldwell, Gail: Let’s Take the Long Way Home
Cameron, Julia: Floor Sample
Capek, Karel: The Gardener’s Year
Cary, Joyce: To Be a Pilgrim & The Horse’s Mouth
Carpenter, Novella: Farm City: The Education of an Urban Farmer
Cather, Willa: My Antonia
Chodron, Pema: The Places That Scare You
Chopra, Deepak: The Third Jesus
Chotzinoff, Robin: People with Dirty Hands
Coelho, Paul: The Alchemist
Colon, Suzanne : Cherries in Winter
Corrigan, Kelly: The Middle Place
Cunningham, Elizabeth: Return of the Goddess
Davidson, Robyn: Tracks: A Woman’s Solo Trek Across 1,700 Miles of Australian Outback
Dederer, Claire Poser: My Life in 23 Yoga Poses
Desserich, Keith and Brooke: Notes Left Behind
Didion, Joan: The Year of Magical Thinking
Dillard, Annie: Holy the Firm
Dillard, Annie: Pilgrim at Tinker Creek
Dominguez, Joe and Robin, Vicki: Your Money or Your Life
Doerr, Anthony: Four Seasons in Rome
Dooley, Mike: Infinite Possibilities
Dyer, Wayne: Change Your Thoughts Change Your Life & The Power of Intention
Eggers, Dave: A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius
Gates, Rolf and Kenison, Katrina: Meditations from the Mat: Daily Reflections on the Path of Yoga
Gawain, Shakti: Living in the Light
Gibran, Kahlil: The Prophet
Gilbert, Elizabeth: Eat, Pray, Love
Gilman, Dorothy: A New Kind of Country
Giono, Jean: The man who planted trees
Goudge, Elizabeth: The Dean’s Watch
Hanh, Thich Nat: Peace is Every Step
Hamilton, Jane: The Book of Ruth
Handelsman, Judith: Growing Myself: A Spiritual Journey Through Gardening
Harder, Arlene: Letting Go of Our Adult Children
Harding, Paul: Tinkers
Haupt, Lyanda Lynn: Crow Planet
Hepburn, Katherine: Me
Hesse, Herman: Siddhartha
Hoff, Benjamin: The Tao of Pooh
Hubbell, Sue: A Country Year
Janzen, Rhoda: Mennonite in a Little Black Dress
Jaworski, Joseph: Synchronicity
Johnson, Jan: When the Soul Listens
Johnson, Wendy: Gardening at the Dragon’s Gate
Katz, Jon: A Dog Year
Kenison, Katrina: Mitten Strings for God
Kenison, Katrina: The Gift of an Ordinary Day
Kephart, Beth: Ghosts in the Garden
Kessler, Brad: Goat Song
Kidd, Sue Monk : When the Heart Waits: Spiritual Direction for Life’s Sacred Questions
Kidd, Sue Monk and Ann Taylor Kidd: Traveling with Pomegranates
Kilmer-Purcell, Josh: Bucolic Plague
Kimball, Kristin: The Dirty Life
Kingsolver, Barbara: Animal, Vegetable, Miracle
Knapp, Caroline: Pack of Two
Koller, Alice: An Unknown Woman
Koller, Alice: The Stations of Solitude
Kotzwinkle, William: The Bear Went Over the Mountain
Krakauer, Jon: Into the Wild
Krasnow, Iris: Surrendering to Marriage, Surrendering to Motherhood, and Surrendering to Yourself
Krauss, Nicole: A History of Love
Kunitz, Stanley: The Wild Braid
L’Engle, Madeleine: Two-Part Invention & The Crosswick Trilogy
Lamott, Anne: Operating Instructions
Lamott, Anne: Bird by Bird
Lamott, Anne: Grace, Eventually
Laskas, Jeanne Marie : Fifty Acres and a Poodle
Lebovitz, David: The Sweet Life In Paris
LeClaire, Anne: Listening Below the Noise
Lee, Harper: To Kill a Mockingbird
Leopold, Aldo: Sand Country Almanac
Lesser, Elizabeth: Broken Open
Lewis, C. S.: Surprised By Joy
Lindbergh, Anne Morrow: Gift From The Sea
Linnea, Ann: Deep Water Passage
Lippi, Roseanne: Homestead
Lipsky, Laura Vandernoot: Trauma Stewardship
Littauer, Florence: Personality Profiles
Lobenstine, Margaret: The Renaissance Soul
London, Jack: Call of the Wild
Loomis, Susan Hermann: On Rue Tatin: Living and Cooking in a French Town
Lucado, Max: Next Door Savior
Madson, Patricia Ryan: Improv Wisdom
Manion, Jeff: The Land Between
Manning, Brennan: Ragamuffin Gospel
Mayle, Peter: A Year in Provence
Merullo, Roland: Breakfast with Buddha
Moran, Victoria: Living a Charmed Life
Miller, Karen Maezen: Hand Wash Cold
Mitchell, John Hanson: The Wildest Place on Earth
Morgan, Marlo: Mutant Message Down Under
Munson, Laura: This is Not the Story You Think It Is
Nearing, Helen & Scott: The Good Life
Nearing, Helen & Scott: Loving and Leaving the Good Life
Nepo, Mark: The Book of Awakening
Newell, Patrice: The Olive Grove
Norris, Kathleen: Amazing Grace & Cloister Walk
Norris, Kathleen: Dakota
O’Reilly, Mary Rose: The Barn at the End of the World
Palmer, Parker: Let Your Life Speak: Listening for the Voice of Vocation
Pausch, Randy: The Last Lecture
Peacock, Nancy: A Broom of One’s Own
Peck, Caitlin: Bread Body Spirit
Pipher, Mary: Seeking Peace
Powers, John: Do Black-Patent Leather Shoes Really Reflect Up?
Proulx, Annie: The Shipping News
Quindlen, Anna: Being Perfect
Radish, Kris: Annie Freeman’s Fabulous Traveling Funeral
Raeburn, Nancy: Mykonos: A Memoir
Raskin, Andy: Ramen King and I
Ray, Janisse: Ecology of a Cracker Childhood (The World as Home)
Rich, Louise Dickinson: We Took to the Woods
Roberts, Monty: The Man Who Listens to Horses
Rosenblatt, Roger: Making Toast
Rubin, Gretchen: The Happiness Project
Ruoff, Fr. Lou: For Give: Stories of Reconciliation
Rupp, Joyce: Open the Door
Sanford, Matthew: Waking
Schwartz, Dr. David: The Magic of Thinking Big
Scott-James, Anne: Gardening Letters to My Daughter
Shapiro, Dani: Devotion
Sharma, Robin: The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari
Shetterly, Caitlin: Made for You and Me: Going West, Going Broke, Finding Home
Skomal, Lenore: The Secret Life of Girlfriends (quotes and affirmations)
Smith, Betty: A Tree Grows in Brooklyn
Stearns, Richard: The Hole in our Gospel
Stein, Sara : Noah’s Garden: Restoring the Ecology of Our Own Backyards
Stewart, Amy: From The Ground Up: The Story Of A First Garden
Stewart, Martha: The Martha Rules
Stewart, Rory: The Places in Between
Stovall, Jim: The Ultimate Gift
Strawbridge, Dick and James: Self Sufficiency for the 21st Century
Strout, Elizabeth: Olive Kittredge
Swift, Vivian: When Wanderers Cease to Roam
Taylor, Barbara Brown: An Altar in the World
Taylor, Barbara Brown: Leaving Church
The Brothers Grimm: Grimms’ Fairy Tales
Thomas, Susan: Farmgirl Fare (blog)
Toibin, Colm: Brooklyn
Tolle, Eckhart: A New Earth
VanZant, Iyanla: Faith in the Valley
Verghese, Abraham: Cutting for Stone
Walls, Jeanette: The Glass Castle
Waters, Alice: Edible Garden
Weiner, Jennifer: Good in Bed
Wharton, Edith: Italian Villas and Their Gardens
Wiesel, Elie: Night
Wilkinson, Bruce: The Dream Giver
Williams, Bunny: An Affair with a House
Wilson, Rainn: SoulPancake
Woginrich, Jenna: Made From Scratch
Wood, Amy: Life Your Way: Refresh Your Approach to Success and Breathe Easier in a Fast-Paced World
Woolf, Virginia: A Room of One’s Own
Yancey, Philip: Soul Survivor
Young, William: The Shack
Zaslow, Jeffrey: The Girls from Ames

Thanks to all who chimed in–and don’t be shy, we can always publish Volume 2 if you have more to add. By the way, the photo up top is just some of the ones you named that I found on my shelf. Since I took it I found a few more; apparently great minds think alike.

Remember, if you want to print it, click this link for a pdf.

And a late-breaking PS: Author Dominique Browning, who commented on the original post (and whose books, including “Slow Love,” were suggested by you for the list) had never “met” Katrina Kenison before, or read her books. Well, this little collaboration changed all that. In Dominique’s lovely words.

  1. susan says:

    I am an avid books on tape listener, this is a great list to search from. I see some that I have read and a good amount I have not. Thank you for such resource.

  2. Dee says:

    Thank you! When I was at home caring for my first born, who is almost 30, I read a book that greatly influenced my world view and how I wanted to live my life, which was also full of practical knowledge for everyday living and self-sufficiency. I’ve been trying to remember the title or author, but haven’t been able to, until I came across it on this list: “The Good Life,” by Helen and Scott Nearing.

    @ Joanna — this list could get expensive!

  3. Kim says:

    . . . I’m sure someone has mentioned Erma Bombeck’s book is titled “The Grass is Always Greener over the Septic Tank,” not “on the other side of the fence.” She’s one of our Ohio daughters (Dayton?) and I think she was a neighbor of Phil Donohue (yes, that one) pre-Marlo.

  4. Wendy says:

    Abigail Thomas’ “A Three Dog Life” was very helpful to me after my husband suffered an accident that left him paralyzed eight years ago. Hers is the story of how she coped following her husband’s traumatic brain injury from a hit and run accident.

    I’ve also read Amy Stewart’s “From the Ground Up,” and learned more than a few things about myself from her experience.

    1. Margaret says:

      Thank you, Wendy; I am sorry that you have had to share such a challenging experience, but glad to hear that Thomas’s book was a comfort. Amy Stewart is great…good choice! Hope to see you soon again.

  5. Laguna Dirt says:

    this is a treat! thank you! i just wrote down “a gift from the sea,” since you said that was THE fave. i would love to know, say, the top 5, or even top 10, as well. this list is so long, i could use some help prioritizing!

    1. Margaret says:

      Hi, Mimi…and not missing her any longer, since you just added her. I loved “Home Cooking.” I need to publish my own list by comparison, as many of these books are unfamiliar to me (which made it fun!) and I have many on my personal favorites list that aren’t on here. Wrote it down as a to-do…hoping to get to it soon!

      @Laguna Dirt: “Eat Pray Love,” and various things by Anne Lamott, Barbara Kingsolver (esp. “Animal, Vegetable, Miracle”) and Annie Dillard (“Tinker at Pilgrim Creek”) rated very highly, if that helps.

  6. Jane in CT says:

    How could I have forgotten ANY of the Chicken Soup for the Soul iterations, but most especially the original one? Mark Victor Hansen and Jack Canfield, authors, always had the best stories to uplift and move me out of funks.

  7. Daisy Marshall says:

    Wow! What have I been missing? Printing the list right now, quite a few I’ve read, but I’m a good re reader who never parts with life changing books. Speaking of which, and, on the subject of my retirement, which was my reason for buying you book. I’m thinking about what you said on the subject of the timing (the space in between the thought and the action) and how long it actually took you to choose Your Garden for keeps. My mind flashed back to where I’ve been on this long road when I read some of these books and I think it was when I first read Gift of the Sea, when I was a very young mother, that I first started planning my retirement. Oh! well! I have a list to print. Thank you Margaret! Daisy

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