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Spiritual Book Reviews

Every day, I devote a piece of time to reading books of a spiritual nature. When I come across books I think that others may enjoy, I review them on this page. If you like this list, please use the links below to share it with your friends!

Note: If you are an author and would like me to consider reviewing your spiritual book, please read this first.



The Unfolding Now A.H. Almaas
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Spiritual Book: The Unfolding Now  
One of my spiritual teachers recommended this to me shortly after it was published, but I didn't read it because I thought I already knew what it was about. I mistakenly identified with my "spiritual ego" that told me I was already living whatever was being taught in the book... and that it was only recommended to me to further illuminate that concept.

It turns out, I couldn't have been more wrong!

The first half of this book has been life changing for me. The insights Almaas shares about how we can naturally transform our lives if we are open to it comes as a stark contradiction to traditional self help approaches that suggest we must do more to experience change in our lives.

This book has changed some of the ways in which I live my life, and it has given me support, encouragement, and insight, to pursue real transformation with courage. If everybody in the world could fully live what Almaas teaches in just the first half of this book, our world would be a far more developed, compassionate, and transformed place.

The second half of the book lost me for a little bit. The concepts were fine, and I've heard them before; they just didn't connect with me where I am in my development. Still, Almaas acknowledges this limitation and trusts that simply "planting the seeds" will enable them to sprout when the time is right for each person's unique unfoldment.

While I can't say this book is for everybody where they are at in their lives right now, my wish is that everybody who has a passion for persional transformation reads this book. I also recognize that this is a book that I will read again and again over the years, and always get something new out of it to take me deeper and further into my development.
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The 9 Intense Experiences An Action Plan To Change Your Life Forever Brian Vaszily
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Spiritual Book: The 9 Intense Experiences An Action Plan To Change Your Life Forever  
This is one of the best books I've read in a long time, and it's quickly made my "Top 5 Books Of All Time." That's saying a lot given what it has to compete with... and given the times we live in, there isn't a better time for this book to be published.

It has brilliant, fun, engaging activities to help you transform your life in ways that make it easy to love your life more. Brian didn't always have it easy though, and in addition to sharing his profound wisdom and wonderful exercises, he shares about how he overcame a traumatically abusive childhood and the times (multiple) when he lived in total poverty.

At first I was skeptical of the title, "Intense Experiences." I figured it would be all about how the toughest, most brutal experiences (like many that Brian has had) are able to transform us. That's not at all what it's about though, and I'm grateful it isn't. :)

This book is about getting to the heart of each and every one of us... through the path of positive experiences that are intensely transformative. The 9 Intense experiences is also entertaining and you'll get several laughs, as well as great recommendations for other books and movies to read that will also help you transform your life.

As long as you do even a few of the delightful life-enriching exercises (and especially if you do them all), this book will absolutely help you transform your life for the better. And because of who you'll become, you'll also immediately transform other peoples lives and bring them more joy, peace, abundance, and laughter.
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The Neverending Story Michael Ende
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Spiritual Book: The Neverending Story  
Originally writtenas a children's book, this is really a deeply spiritual parable written for all of us. Your children will be dazzled by the imaginary creatures and fantasy lands, while you will discover deep spiritual messages and awe-inspiring symbolism that is prevalent in every single chapter.

Travel with Atreyu, Falkor and Bastian as they take on the journey into the heart of man. One of the best parts about this book is that just when you think it couldn't get any more entertaining or profound, it surprises you by being even more of both.

If you've paid attention throughout the book and learned the lessons it aims to teaches, then when all is said and done, you too may understand what exactly is "The Neverending Story."

Note: If you liked the movie, you will LOVE the book even more! The movie is only the first third of the book, which means there's so much more here for you to discover...
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Diamond Heart Book 1 A.H. Almaas
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Spiritual Book: Diamond Heart Book 1  
Of all the books I've read, this is the one which has transformed my life most significantly. It quite literally changed the way I engage with the world and opened the door for me to embark down a path of more peace, joy, and inner freedom than I could have ever imagined.

This book can be a challenge to digest because it
provides practical, meaningful direction about the
process of, and challenges with, understanding and
releasing aspects of the ego.

The author understands this so well, that sometimes
when a question came into my mind it would be
answered in the very next paragraphs. And though the reading can sometimes be a little bit content-heavy, I found it to be incredibly helpful in learning to accept and understand my thoughts, my ego, and ultimately be a happier and more peaceful individual.
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The Holographic Universe Michael Talbot
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Spiritual Book: The Holographic Universe  
Did you know that if a person with multiple
personality disorder gets drunk and switches to
another personality unaware of the drinking, then the
current personality will no longer be drunk?

If you've ever wondered what the limits to the mind
and our interconnectedness are, then this book will
help you set your sights more accurately. More specifically, through its true stories and cited studies, it demonstrates that the world is not as we see it.

The Holographic Universe clearly shows us that there is
a richness and depth that go to such far reaches of our mind that we can't even comprehend it, and it has the potential to radically alter your world view forever.
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Heaven Kimberly Brown Cain
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Spiritual Book: Heaven  
This book is definitely the most unique spiritual book I've ever read, if for nothing else, because of the nature of the story and the unorthodox way it tackles difficult spiritual topics. I also am concerned that the people who most need to read this book won't. I also feel that the people who least need to read this book will find it entertaining, and maybe even pick up a few new insights (or at least some leads to follow)... so that's definitely a good thing.

It's a book about spirituality and God through the eyes and experience of an exotic dancer. It's about exploring Truth in its many forms and contexts. It's about tackling difficult elements of our own spiritual development in potentially uncomfortable, revealing, and rewarding ways.

I particularly enjoyed how Heaven explores our common life experiences such as judgment and compassion, our inner drives and how they sometimes lead us into situations that conflict with our values, and a topic that is near and dear to my heart, how our own sense of self-worth can either set us free or lock us into a prison of our own making.

Those are just a few topics, and the way it explores them is interesting and unique because of the context... because it's through the eyes of a "spiritual stripper." I also really appreciated the weaving in of synchronicity and interconnection into the story, which gives it both a sense of mystery and familiarity.

That said, I do have some caveats you may want to consider before picking up Heaven...

If you are offended by topics of sexuality, the use of profane language, discussion of drugs/alcohol use (or abuse), or might be resistant to honestly and intelligently exploring your own religious or spiritual faith in a way that brings you closer to God, then I highly recommend you read Heaven (and you can expect to feel uncomfortable in ways that help you grow as a person and closer to God).

If you're not offended by those things, you'll discover a fun and very different novel with a lot of heart and a wonderful exploration of Truth.
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Thank You For Leaving Me Farhana Dhalla
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Spiritual Book: Thank You For Leaving Me  
Since I'm currently going through a "no more memoirs" phase, it was a miracle that this book even got my attention to review. In fact it not only got my attention, I also thoroughly enjoyed it.

Why?

Part of it is the timing of when this book arrived in my life. I had recently divorced, and Thank You For Leaving me is a series of very raw and candid mini stories about the process Farhana goes through before, during, and after her own divorce. It is an authentic exploration into not just the experience of healing, but also into authenticity itself. She tackles difficult issues like the relationships her children have with her ex-husband's new girlfriend.

At many points in this book, Farhana could have chosen to stay quiet and play the "guru" role. What I mean by that is, after going through such a powerful and profound experience many people feel inspired, qualified, and encouraged to teach what they've learned as though they are now gurus or experts on the topic.

Farhana went the other route, and instead chose to share the real challenges and weaknesses she experienced during this difficult time in her life. This is a book in which the reader feels a true permission to be whoever he/she is, warts and all, and to know that the warts aren't just okay... they're required for our development.

For me, at that time in my life, no greater gift could have arrived unexpectedly in my mailbox. I've since written Farhana a testimonial that will be in the 2nd edition printing of her book... and my hope is that more people will read her work. Not just parents who are divorcing, but also anybody who is looking for permission to be more authentic in the world, and an example to follow from the darkness into the light.
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The Would Be Saint Jo Leonard
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Spiritual Book: The Would Be Saint  
Let me preface this by saying that I typically don't like memoirs, and have even decided to stop reviewing any future ones. There's nothing wrong with them, in fact many of the ones that come my way for review requests are wonderful stories, from wonderful people who have important messages to share. For some reason, memoirs aren't connecting with me at this phase in my life and spiritual development. Maybe they will another time, but for now you can assume I won't be reviewing any more for a while.

That said, if you like memoirs, short stories, and spiritual development, then you are probably going to just love this book because that's exactly what it is: several short story memoirs, and at the end of each story Jo shares some spiritual insights that may be helpful for your development. Some of the stories were funny, some sad, some heartwarming... you'll find a little bit of everything in this book which spans many decades of the life experiences of Jo Leonard.
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The Spiritual Significance of Music Justin St. Vincent
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Spiritual Book: The Spiritual Significance of Music  
This book takes an interesting look at the relationship between music and spirituality. More specifically, it is a compilation of over 100 different interviews with musicians from around the world, different walks of life, and different genres of music.

I personally did not find this book to be very interesting; however, that may be related to my also lack of experience and interest in the nature of music. I like to listen to music, to experience it, but the fundamentals elude me.

For the music lover who has a spiritual background, I believe this book will provide much more interesting and engaging reading. That's because the interviews reveal a side of musicians that is often not discussed publicly, if for no other reason, the typical outlets for music don't usually sway direct conversation in the direction of spirituality.
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The Shadow Effect Deepak Chopra, Debbie Ford, and Marianne Williamson
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Spiritual Book: The Shadow Effect  
The Shadow Effect provides much needed insight into the phenomenon that we've all experienced in our life: self-sabotage... and more specifically, why it is people seem to sabotage themselves right when they're on the brink of greatness.

Bringing together the wisdom of three of today's sages, Deepak Chopra, Debbie Ford, and Marianne Williamson, we're given a glimpse into the 'shadow' in different ways that all work together very well. What is the shadow? In a nutshell, these are the aspects of ourselves that we have cut off, hidden, repressed, or decided were not acceptable to show other people.

The shadow is the part of us that feels unsafe being authentic, and The Shadow Effect provides wonderful insight into how each of us developed our shadow, how we can learn to identify it in our lives, and what we can do to move through our shadow and into the light of our greatness.

In fact, at the core of this book are the themes of light and greatness... because the shadow is the one thing that stands in the way of us living the lives of our dreams. The Shadow Effect clearly communicates this core message that the shadow is not be feared, but rather, to be viewed as an essential aspect of ourselves that we must understand and transform into light if we are to move forward in the story of our lives.

The Shadow Effect gets my personal recommendation, and I feel that the world would be a more light-filled place if everybody read this book. Buy it, read it, live it, then share it with others you think may benefit from its message.
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The Wizard's Wish Brad Yates
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Spiritual Book: The Wizard's Wish  
"The Wizard's Wish" is, in my opinion, a revolutionary book because it introduces the power of tapping (EFT) to children in a fun, informational, and easy to understand way. It shows how children (and their parents) can quickly and easily work with their emotional states and bring more peace and happiness into their lives through a better understanding of tapping.

Fortunately the story isn't too long, nor too short, and the playfully colorful illustrations keep the subject matter lighthearted enough and engaging for children to stay focused. I particularly appreciate that there are deeper spiritual messages shared within this book, such as our ability to be conscious of and heal our emotional states, generosity and

If you're not already familiar with EFT / tapping, at the end of the book is a brief explanation and tutorial that will help you gain more clarity. Alternatively, you can also watch "The Tapping Solution" (though that's definitely not for kids).

I know I'll be reading "The Wizard's Wish" to my son as he grows older, so that wherever and whenever he goes, he can have advanced consciousness tools at his fingertips.
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Find A Quiet Corner Nancy O'Hara
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Spiritual Book: Find A Quiet Corner  
There is a square-yard space in my house that I avoid. It beckons to me. When I grow increasingly stubborn, it taunts me. I know what it's doing. And yet there is nothing in that space. Not a desk. Not a book. Not a word.

It is, what author Nancy O'Hara would call, my quiet corner. I've meditated there before, sat there silently while the ten-minute timer ticked away, felt better for it. So, why am I so resistant? O'Hara says several times in her book Find a Quiet Corner: Inner Peace: Anytime, Anywhere that there is great value to submitting. The pain of sitting still will slide away. The chatter in my mind will quell. The urgency to hurry up and finish will melt away.

The book – which is actually two of O'Hara's books, Find a Quiet Corner and Serenity in Motion – possesses an eloquent quietude. Its words slip easily in – never bossy or arrogant – a hot knife through butter. The first book is about breathing, and I found myself breathing deeply just at the suggestion. I journal every morning, and blog every night – but I never thought of O'Hara's idea of having a journal right at the quiet corner, to write right after the calm, centering exercises. AKA breathing. This patch of carpet where I've meditated before is against the wall, cuddled between a cylindrical wicker laundry basket I bought right out of college in NY and the end of my treadmill.

The other half of her book explores times in our life, like bathing, celebrations, money, change, and what she calls broken shoelaces – when things go wrong. There's waiting, too. I have great joy in my life, because I do love the simple things. I immerse my hands in warm, soapy water and enjoy it, I dance always like no one is watching, I connect in conversation. But, waiting, uh-oh. There's my Achille's Heel. Hoping, too. Basically, my mind constructs elaborate fantasies about what will happen when this certain guy sees me again, when this agent receives my manuscript, when my older son gets out of the hospital. O'Hara recommends simply sinking into the truth of the moment.

It occurs to me that the writerly part of my brain might appreciate that inclination to fantasize, and that draws a smile. I'll say yes tomorrow morning to that burgundy patch of carpet, snuggle in next to the old wicker basket, and see what comes out of my pen.

This guest review is brought to you in partnership with Diana Page Jordan who also does interviews with authors at her website, in addition to her book reviews like this one.
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That's Why We Don't Eat Animals Ruby Roth
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Spiritual Book: That's Why We Don't Eat Animals  
Wonderfully illustrated and inspiring for children of all ages, author Ruby Roth has tackled the complex moral and ethical issue of choosing to be a vegetarian, distilling it into a compassionate and informative snapshot of the emotional lives of animals in their natural state. That's Why We Don't Eat Animals is a timely reminder to look inside our hearts and reconsider the choices we make – and their impact on our fellow creatures and the well-being of the planet.

This guest review by Julie Clayton is brought to you in partnership with New Consciousness Review.
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Writing Down Your Soul Janet Conner
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Spiritual Book: Writing Down Your Soul  
If you are feeling lost, or looking for answers and don’t know where to turn, this is the book for you. More than simply journal writing, Writing Down Your Soul is a profound process for psycho-spiritual growth: a method for connecting with a source of inner wisdom. This is more than theory: the connection between mind, body, and spirit has been scientifically substantiated and author Janet Conner draws from some of this research to explain how by consistently writing down our deepest thoughts, we too can activate the voice of inner wisdom that lives within each of us.

Conner writes from first-hand experience, having cultivated this soul-stirring process over a period of years in the wake of a tragic personal situation—and with life-changing results. She identifies four basic steps to writing down your soul: show up, open up, listen up, and follow up, and guides us through each step, giving specific examples and questions that walk us through the process of speaking with and listening to our own voice.

Writing Down Your Soul is a warm, inviting, and inspiring book that you won’t want to put down and that will rouse you to begin the conversation of your life.

This guest review by Julie Clayton is brought to you in partnership with New Consciousness Review.
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7 Day Back Pain Cure Jesse Cannone
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Spiritual Book: 7 Day Back Pain Cure  
If you or somebody you know has back pain, this is an extremely important book to read. Jesse expertly shares why conventional medicine, surgeries, and medications, are generally ineffective at relieving back and neck pain. He also explains why many unconventional methods, such as accupunture, massage therapy, and chiropracty are equally as ineffective for long-term results when used alone.

Continuing on, if conventional medicine doesn’t have the answers, and neither do most alternative therapies, then what actually works? Simply put, Jesse shows how almost all back pain is the result of one of three things: Excess, deficiency, or stagnation. He also explains how these can appear in many different aspects of our lives, ranging from physical posture and repetitive activities, to diet and even the way that we think.

Jesse uses a great metaphor: If you have a leak in the roof, the first thing you do is get a bucket to catch the water. The problem is, most approaches to fixing back pain try to just keep replacing the bucket when it gets full, instead of trying to find the true source of the pain and plug the hold in the roof.

On that note, Jesse shares that back pain falls into two categories: neurological and muscular. A big challenge is that most people are not trained to differentiate the -source- of those kinds of pains, and as a result, people with back pain keep trying new and different approaches with minimal long-lasting relief. What works to resolve muscular pain may be the exact opposite of what’s needed to help with neurological pain, so often times people chase the wrong solutions and sometimes even end up with more pain than before they sought treatment.

In fact, Jesse even goes on to say that to truly experience long-lasting and significant relief from back pain problems, the back is actually the -last- place that people should be looking...

and after reading his book, I believe him.

Jesse writes everything in such simple terms and illustrates is points with stories and metaphors we all can relate to. After reading this book you’ll wonder why anybody even goes to doctors to try and fix their back pain. The book is aptly titled because once you understand the true causes of your back pain, whether it be mental or physical, it won’t take long to experience significant.

Lastly, one thing I appreciate about this book is that Jesse makes it a point to discuss how several different approaches such as EFT / Tapping, hypnosis, visualization, reiki, and rolfing, can be integrated with chiropracty, massage therapy, and accupuncture, can all work together with his "Muscle Balance Therapy™" approach.
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Confusion to Clarity: The Twentysomething's Guide to Finding Your Calling Ann Elizabeth Grace
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Spiritual Book: Confusion to Clarity: The Twentysomething's Guide to Finding Your Calling  
The first thought I had when I picked up this book - but hadn't yet opened it — was "been-there-done-that," and as some say, "got-the-tee-shirt-in-the-seventies." Happily I was very, very wrong.

Grace's book inspires with its universal appeal. Any age reader will find the book intelligent and spiritual. And, certainly, those who are impacted by our double-digit jobless figures would do well to read Grace's well-researched book. Inspiring stories live in these pages, of twentysomethings who drop everything and move to Africa, or quit banking jobs to become English teachers, or who chase after their childhood love of baseball and find employment in that field, if not on the baseball diamond.

One of the best teachers we have is serendipity — there are others, Grace mentions, from goosebumps to inner voice. So I'm wondering why two days in a row, I'm pulled to the word calling. Serendipity at work. Yesterday, Anne Lamott discussed our shared calling to writing. Today, I read Ann Elizabeth Grace describing how to connect with your calling. And, my friend Kami Gray, who today came over to finish re-designing my closet — pulling out clothes and rearranging so I can update my image — mentioned how she loved to organize and declutter and clean out closets beginning as a young kid. Calling. Gotta listen. Mine became crystal-clear when I was around seven. My calling was my search for Truth, and communicating what I discovered to whomever would listen. I used to read voraciously, to help myself out of the dark pit of my violent family, and now healed and living in the Light, I read to inspire others.

I'll pass along one lovely tip from the dozens in the book. To connect with your calling, and begin — or fuel — your unique journey, make two lists every night or so. One is Gratitude. The other is Goals you can accomplish in thirty days.

Grace says either you survive or you thrive. Love that.

This guest review is brought to you in partnership with Diana Page Jordan who also does interviews with authors at her website, in addition to her book reviews like this one.
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Conversations With Millionaires Mike Litman
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Spiritual Book: Conversations With Millionaires  
The first half of Conversations With Millionaires focuses on the mindset needed to become a millionaire... to become a person who serves others so much, that they receive a million dollars in return for their service. Conversations With Millionaires is a series of interviews with people like Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen who share their best abundance SECRETS alongside lesser known millionaires like the founder of 1-800-Flowers and the Wally "Famous" Amos.

There is a variety of backgrounds... not just people who earned their millions from writing books, but also people who wanted to share their love of flowers with the world or wanted to just bring JOY to peoples' lives by making the best tasting chocolate chip cookie.

(I must admit, I think that my mom's cookies are better! :)

I love stories, and I love the ideas behind developing myself to become abundant from the inside out, so the first half of Conversations With Millionaires was by far my favorite part of the book. It's the kind of information that everybody can use to empower themselves... even if you don't care about being a millionaire, and just want to live a better life. I also like how each success mentor shares very specific actions that you can apply immediately to start living a more abundant live.

The second half of the book is more helpful for people who either already have a business (even just a website or blog), or if you are about to start one. It contains lots of powerful strategies from some the greatest marketing and business minds of our time. There are a lot of little nuggest of gold in this book, and it's not only quick and enjoyable, it's a great place to start on your path to beocming a millionaire, both inside and out.
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Get High Now (Without Drugs) James Nestor
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Spiritual Book: Get High Now (Without Drugs)  
Middle-aged and silver-streaked hippies definitely notice this title and I can state from personal experience that it arouses curiosity. (It's true that the more things change, the more they remain the same.) The cover jacket describes Get High Now as containing “over 175 sensory trips and tricks for visual stimulation, compressing time, lucid dreaming, meditation, and more.” And indeed it does. Some of them are more mundane, such as self-hypnosis and some are quite bizarre, such as sungazing; many are quick and simple and can be done almost anywhere. The author has compiled these methods from many eras and sources around the world, and with a group of volunteers, tested all of those that have no undesired effects, which the majority of these entries are. There are a few methods that the author does not recommend but has included for their intrigue—anthropological oddities, he calls them.

Although it is unlikely that I would sit down and “read” this book, it makes a great travel book, bathroom book, or for reading any time you have a few minutes to spare. It could also be fun to experiment with some of these methods in groups. Get High Now also offers an audio-visual web component if you want to expand your repertoire. I love this book just because it stimulates perception and thought processes—like having a portable jungle gym for your mind on hand. Groovy.

This guest review by Julie Clayton is brought to you in partnership with New Consciousness Review.
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Jesus: A Story of Enlightenment Deepak Chopra
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Spiritual Book: Jesus: A Story of Enlightenment  
Entranced, immediately, I fell into this book, and into the gentleness of Deepak Chopra’s writing. I’ve read probably a dozen of his books, and I have never perceived this quality to this degree. A soft reverence. But bold.

It is quite bold to novelize the story of Jesus between the ages of twelve and thirty. And - huge - caveat here. I grew up Unitarian, which means I have never had to read the Bible, only flipped through its pages now and then. And, another admission. I have a Bible by my bedside, stamped with the name of a former (?) lover. I imagine I’ll know the answer to that question if and when he asks for his Bible back.

This reminds me, somehow, of Jesus’ treatment of Mary Magdalene. He encountered her first as a teenager in this novel, when they were both on a troubled path where angry bedeviled people walked, and could take anyone hostage in their ways. Mary’s heart shone with a purity, then, and later, although she was a prostitute the moment they met. Jesus, in this book, ultimately takes her kiss of passion, which fires into a gorgeous white light of Love, and he loves all women through loving her. He knows her.

Deepak Chopra finishes off his book with a Reader’s Guide, and he refrains from calling Jesus a “guru,” and then admits that the word guru is Sanskrit for “dispeller of darkness,” which Jesus certainly was. I have only one wish for the book – that it had been much more explicit and colorful about that moment that Jesus was transformed from a teenager wandering in the company of Judas and Mary, to being called Master by others, which Chopra’s Jesus tolerates with sweet humility.

This guest review is brought to you in partnership with Diana Page Jordan who also does interviews with authors at her website, in addition to her book reviews like this one.
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Finding Heaven Here John C. Robinson
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Spiritual Book: Finding Heaven Here  
Finding Heaven Here is a guidebook to the universal teachings of spiritual practice and transformation—achievable in everyday life. This is a passionate book that shines a light on the most inspiring of human qualities: our capacity to perceive and experience “heaven on earth.” What the author means by experiencing heaven on earth is our ability to mindfully shift our way of being in the world, so that we continually attune to what is beautiful, sacred, omnipresent, conscious, present, and divine. When we do this consciously and gratefully, we discover the world around us in its goodness, creativity, and love: the infinite possibilities of divine life.

This is a well-researched book, punctuated with quotes from mystics, poets, and religious/ spiritual leaders past and present. The author’s personal descent into darkness and resurrection is a compelling anecdote that twinges our own ego-based suffering—or our desire for a more meaningful life. From the author’s dark experience emerged “Heaven’s Compass:” Robinson’s contemplative method for finding heaven on earth. We get generous helpings of this process of transformative self-inquiry throughout the book, guiding us through our own spiritual practice and divine encounters. Succinct while being comprehensive, Finding Heaven Here is a little bit of, well, heavenly delight.

This guest review by Julie Clayton is brought to you in partnership with New Consciousness Review.
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Infinite Possibilities Mike Dooley
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Spiritual Book: Infinite Possibilities  
Mike Dooley is a popular and affable inspirational author and speaker who embraces life as an adventure. Infinite Possibilities is an invitation for each of us to join him on the greatest quest of all—living and manifesting our dreams. His roadmap for achieving this begins with understanding the terrain: “thoughts become things.” From this perspective and principle, all roads lead to Rome (so to speak) and it is a fun, easy ride with Dooley as our enthusiastic guide.

Dooley manages to distill complex ideas about human nature, spiritual growth, and our place in the Universe into plain language that is equal parts sincerity and inspiration. He assures us that life is to be lived joyously and fully, and so the first step toward living our dreams is to get up and do something! What and how we “do something” are what follows in Infinite Possibilities, always held within the context that loving life itself, with all of its ups and downs, is the greatest secret to happiness. We are spiritual beings with infinite potential, says Dooley, and the art of living our dreams is only limited by our ability to imagine and act on them.

This guest review by Julie Clayton is brought to you in partnership with New Consciousness Review.
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Money and the Law of Attraction Esther and Jerry Hicks
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Spiritual Book: Money and the Law of Attraction  
The second book in a series of four, Money, and the Law of Attraction delves into the most prevalent of human concerns affected by the law of attraction: health and finances. Filled with practical teachings channeled from Abraham (the group of non-physical entities/spirits that communicate through Esther Hicks), this book is a fundamental guide to learning how to attract and manifest financial abundance and physical well-being.

According to Abraham, the law of attraction is based on the concept of everything, both material and non-material, as a vibration. In our natural state, we resonate perfectly with all other vibrations and can only be in accord with abundance or well-being, or any other desirable state. How do we achieve our natural state? This book tells you, offering both the practical details and the big picture for learning new ways of looking at life and manifesting your desires. As with most spiritual teachings, this book doesn’t offer anything we don’t already know—at some level. The key is to activate that level of knowing and being, so that we can achieve harmony and balance with the vibrational well-being that surrounds us.

Even if you’ve read other books on the law of attraction, you’ll find yourself returning to Esther and Jerry Hicks’ salient guidance for reactivating that harmonic state where whatever experience we desire, we can create. Thousands (hundreds of thousands?) of people attest that the powerful teachings in this book work!

This guest review by Julie Clayton is brought to you in partnership with New Consciousness Review.
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Alphatudes MIchele Wahlder
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Spiritual Book: Alphatudes  
When I first picked up this book, I wasn't quite sure what the title was about. The subtitle says "The Alphabet of Gratitude" which really left me more confused than curious. However, when I opened it I was delightfully surprised by the beautiful pictures, pleasant design, and of course the content. :)

This book shares 26 spiritual lessons that are focused on how we can use gratitude to understand the lesson. For example, "F" is for "Forgiveness," and Michele shows how we can be gratelful for Forgiveness. Each lesson also has a short prayer and a beautiful picture, both intended to help move the wisdom deeper within us in different ways.

The thing I like about the book most is its simplicity. Most spiritual truths are both timeless and timely, as well as simple yet deeply complex. This book captures all of those essences effectively, and also reads not like a preacher telling us how to be, but rather, a friend sharing her wisdom with us heart to heart.

To be honest, the only disappointing aspect of this book for me is that there's not a hardcover version. I really think that having it in hardcover would make it a definite "Coffee Table" book... you know the kind of book you leave on the coffee table and it catches somebody's eye and starts a conversation. Maybe that's just my prejudice against softcover books on coffee tables, though. :)

Last but not least, I believe this is a book that you can read more than once, at different times in your life, and gain different benefits from. I wouldn't recommend reading it in one sitting, but rather, one lesson per day and just cycling through the book. Many spiritual teachers note the importance of starting your day off with gratitude, and Alphatudes provides a delightfully simple way to do that.
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The Gift of Story: A Wise Tale About What Is Enough Clarissa Pinkola Estes
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Spiritual Book: The Gift of Story: A Wise Tale About What Is Enough  
I decided to get this book after reading a great quote from it, and was surprised when the book that arrived seemed smaller than the smallest children's book! So as I'm sure you can imagine, whatever review I write here will barely be able to do the book justice without revealing too much of what it is about.

What I will say is this: I thoroughly enjoyed this Gift of Story, and am grateful to own it. I will revisit this story periodically, to glean its wisdom once again, and I will share this book with others. Sometimes what we need most is not a new story, but rather, the wisdom from a story passed down through many voices and generations.

This is the kind of book that can be passed along to others easily, and by doing so, we continue to share the Gift of Story. In doing so, we experience the wisdom contained within the title of this book: about what is "enough."
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Soul of the Heart Catherine VanWetter
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Spiritual Book: Soul of the Heart  
This is one of those perfect "Coffee Table" books. You know, the kinds that you sit in the middle of the coffee table because it has pretty pictures, great quotes, and short passages that can be enjoyed while finishing off a cup of coffee. Catherine clearly understands the simplicity of the truths that apply to the world we live in - and how to truly be fulfilled and happy in this life, all we need to do is listen to, honor, and commune with our heart authentically.

There is much spiritual wisdom packed into the pages of this short and sweet book, yet at the same time, it will be easy for most readers to miss much of it. This is partly a challenge among all spiritual books - how can one ever truly communicate the wisdom we've discovered through our own experiences? However, the simple nature of this book makes it an even greater challenge because it skips the explanations and goes straight to the Soul of the Heart.

While it's unlikely this book will change your life (as so few books ever do), it is guaranteed this book will put a smile on your face and shine some light in your heart. This book isn't trying to be a massive tome of all the spiritual insights of all time, in fact it's not even trying to be anything other than what it is - simple, insightful, authentic, enjoyable, and transformative if you open your heart to its simple yet profound wisdom.
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Wild Attraction Paul and Patricia Richards
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Spiritual Book: Wild Attraction  
On the surface, "Wild Attraction" looks like just another relationship manual. It could easily be mistaken for a "How To Have a Spiritual Relationship" book, and that's what I thought before I started reading.

The more I dug into the material though, the more I realized that the concepts presented turn our current view of "successful relationships" upside down. Some of the ideas directly contradicted what I believed was required for a relationship to be successful. This was initially difficult for me to digest, and even still some concepts I still am juggling and not quite sure how they fit in with my own ideas and experience.

For example, what do you mean relationships aren't supposed to require work??? :)

Maybe if I had read the book cover, "A Ruthlessly Practical Guide to Extraordinary Relationship" then that wouldn't have been as much of a surprise. :) And in that light, Wild Attraction is definitely not for everybody. If you are comfortable in your ways, or are content with having a "good enough" relationship then don't waste your money on this book.

On the other hand, if you're drawn to a path of challenge and growth, and what it takes to experience a truly "extraordinary" relationship then give this book a read. Wild Attraction is not a 'quick fix' to relationships, but rather, the book takes a long view of first making ourselves 'extraordinary' so that we can be ready and available for relating with other 'extraordinary' people. In this context, it may take a year or years to grow enough to even consider yourself a truly viable candidate for 'extraordinary relationship.'

There are some very wise insights and practical exercises within "Wild Attraction" that I have already begun to apply in my life; I can feel some differences shifting within me that I know will manifest in the outer world as these latent gifts mature. I know in my heart of hearts that an extraordinary relationship is what I want, and I will continue to explore this book and it's exercises.

This isn't a book to be read once, but rather, a book to be read over and over until the concepts are no longer ideas to practice, but rather, ways of being.
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Living a Charmed Life Victoria Moran
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Spiritual Book: Living a Charmed Life  
Although "Living a Charmed Life" is targeted towards women as a followup to "Creating a Charmed Life: Sensible, Spiritual Secrets Every Busy Woman Should Know" it really is a book for both men and women. Her insights are as practical as they are genuine, and Moran shares her own experiences which help bring a personal tone to the book.

As a writer, my favorite piece of advice she gave which is so simple, yet so easy to dismiss, is chapter 36, "Claim a Cafe." It serves as a gentle reminder that we all need a metaphorical "home away from home" to enliven and enrich our souls - specifically, our creative souls. In fact, I'm writing this review from the Laughing Planet Cafe, which I believe will become my newly adopted cafe here in Portland OR. I am looking forward to writing more from here, and sharing it with you, as I sink into my new life as a writer like relaxing into the deep cushions of a favorite recliner.

In a similar vein, "Living a Charmed Life" is a book that the more you read, the more these simple ideas will seamingly sift into your heart and mind to find a resonant new home. If you're looking for totally brand new ideas, this book isn't for you. Her ideas aren't new - they're just presented in a personal and empowering way that connects these simple things with experiencing more joy and peace in your life.
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Imagine That Rosemary Holmes-Gull
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Spiritual Book: Imagine That  
Imagine That! is definitely targeted for younger kids around the 3-6 age range. One thing that's great about this book is it uses tangible real-world examples from nature that younger children can relate to, and these examples show the magic, mystery, and power within nature... and ultimately within each and every one of us.

Imagine That is a book that encourages children to believe in their inner power, and ultimately, to live by it.
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The Wave Leah Chelius
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Spiritual Book: The Wave  
The Wave is as much a children's story as a clear message to teens and adults that there is usually more to life than we see with our limited vision. It also helps plant an early seed in childrens' minds that spirituality isn't just something we seek or find, but rather, it's a part of us all the time and every place -- all we need to is become aware. This book is probably better suited for older children, perhaps ages 5-10, due to its more mature and deeper content.

The Wave also makes an excellent coffee table book since the pages are large and the illustrations have a very panoramic feel to them. I also find it difficult to write a review for a children's story because children's books are short already, which means that if I write much more than my review will be nearly as long as the book itself!

My recommendation is to check out the website and see for yourself the delights in this book, and then pick up a copy for your kids or as a gift for people you know who have kids.
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You Can\'t Get It \'Cause You\'ve Already Got It Stash Serafin and Ruth Ann Wood
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Spiritual Book: You Can\'t Get It \'Cause You\'ve Already Got It  
What would life be like if you realized that everything you could ever want, you already had? In a nushell, that's the theory this book not only proposes is possible, it says is true and can be experienced anytime and anyplace. Coauthors Stash Serafin (blind figure skater, life and skating coach) and Ruth Ann Wood (author, life coach, playwrite) share their autobiographies as a means for practical insight into how this has been true in their own lives.

I found their stories to be enjoyable, insightful, and very resonant with my own spiritual path. Their conversational approach to this book makes it very tangible and brings their characters to life. Also, if you've ever thought "I can't do it" or "It's too hard," then Stash's experience provides the simplest, yet most powerful dose of inspiration you'll probably ever need.

One area I felt this book was lacking was in the "how to" area. The book gave some overviews of the process by which a person can realize they already have that which they want; however, the details aren't there. Although disappointing, I do believe there is a practical reason for this - although the process is the same for each person, the details truly are different... and the process is an iterative one in which people work together to find what works for each individual. Fortunately, the book does refer readers to the primary website Scripting For Success for those people who do want to dig into this process in more details.

Since this is a quick read, definitely check it out and if what you read resonates, then also check out their website to discover how to make the process more personalized for your unique self, life experiences, and dreams.
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Rich Brother Rich Sister Emi and Robert Kiyosaki
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Spiritual Book: Rich Brother Rich Sister  
At first I didn't plan to read this book, but when I saw it was about spiritual development I figured I'd give it a try. What I found was some excellent background on Robert Kiyosaki's path to success. The candor that he and his sister Emi share is heartwarming and enjoyable, and it really helps to see them in a more authentic light.

Since I have already done a lot of reading and working with my own spiritual development, the concepts presented were not new to me. As a result, I didn't personally get much out of this book. I also noticed several errors that got past editing - perhaps because this book was 'shotgunned' through the process.

(what I mean is, the process from writing to publishing was very quick, as is evidence by some of the topics discussed and the very recent date of publication)

However, for people who are just beginning (I mean really just beginning...) to think about spirituality in their lives, or who want to get to know more about Robert Kiyosaki as a person, this book could be enjoyable reading.
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The Traveler\'s Gift Andy Andrews
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Spiritual Book: The Traveler\'s Gift  
The Traveler's Gift is a terrific blend of not just practicality and spirituality, but also of fiction and non-fiction. The story begins as David Ponder, who just got laid off, feels he's a total failure in life. In a bizarre chain of events (which I won't share so I don't ruin part of the plot), he travels through time to meet 7 of the most influential people in world history. Each one of them has a piece of wisdom for him that will help him shift from the mindset of failure to success.

Because the book is mostly well-written fiction, it reads quickly and easily. I was continually curious as to what crazy situation would David Ponder be thrown into, and which influential person would he meet next. Though I didn't find this book taught me anything I didn't already know, I did feel that it served as a wonderful reminder of the innate power we all already have within each and every one of us.
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Happy Soul Industry Steffan Postaer
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Spiritual Book: Happy Soul Industry  
This is not your typical spiritual book. The plot begins with God realizing she is in trouble because the world has lost its "goodness." As a result, God sends an angel to start an advertising campaign to help the world become more good. Be forewarned, however, if you're offended by swear words, sex, or drugs, or the suggestion that God is female, then this book is not for you.

I did find the book to be a rather quick and sometimes enjoyable read. There are some meaningful messages in the story that are about as obvious as getting hit in the head with a brick. That's mostly because characters and/or the narrator explicitly state most of (not all) the messages rather than inferring them for the reader to gain personal insight from. In that way, I wish the messages were less obvious and the book allowed the reader to discover them on their own.

Though I wouldn't recommend this book for the general spiritual seeker, for those people who like to read spirituality with a debaucherous twist then this book is probably a good fit.
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Kiss of a Dolphin Tom Tuohy
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Spiritual Book: Kiss of a Dolphin  
This book will tug at your heartstrings, and just when you think it's tugged enough it tugs just a little bit more. This story is actually a compilation of stories leading up to creating the "Dreams for Kids" non-profit organization.

What started out helping children in the Chicago ghetto eventually became an organization giving to all disadvantaged kids, including the disabled. Just as importantly, this book is about all of the volunteers and the gifts that they receive as they help these kids live their dreams... dreams that many of them didn't think were even possible in this lifetime.

Reading this book begs the question: If some of these kids can accomplish what they have, not despite their disabilities, but because of them... what could everybody in this world accomplish with just a bit of help and a lot of heart?

Also note, all profits from the sale of this book go to supporting "Dreams for Kids."
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Return of the Prophet Hajjar Gibran
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Spiritual Book: Return of the Prophet  
In reading this book, I couldn't figure out if it was trying to be fiction or non-fiction, biography, poem, or something else entirely. I found it difficult to engage with this book due to its lack of focus.

For example, the book talks about some of the challenges Hajjar went through. But it doesn't go into enough detail to feel like we truly know the author... by trying to be poetic, the book ends up staying just on the surface of what are timeless wisdoms.

Speaking of which, the wisdoms presented are timeless - but again due to the poetic nature, and the lack of focus, they are lost in a sea of missed messages.

One bonus is that the book is short - but even then it took me much longer to finish this book than it takes me of books twice and three times as long.

The book also seemed like it was trying to share timeless truths, but again the effort to be poetic overshadowed the truths in a way that makes everything sound good but difficult to really figure out what is being said.

This book is probably best suited for somebody who enjoys reading poetic beautiful words and isn't necessarily concerned about "learning" something new. Now that I think about it, the previous sentence sums up my review pretty well: I like to learn stuff from spiritual books, and I like to enjoy the process. In this case, I didn't enjoy the book nor learn anything I could apply to my own spiritual path.

On the bright side, the poetic nature of the book lends itself to some delightful quotes that are well-worth sharing.
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Personal Development for Smart People Steve Pavlina
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Spiritual Book: Personal Development for Smart People  
Due to the unique nature and unusual length of this review, please click the below:



Review of Personal Development for Smart People
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Harmonic Wealth James Arthur Ray
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Spiritual Book: Harmonic Wealth  
For some people, driving an expensive car makes them feel "wealthy" while for others it can be a a used Hyundai. Either way, James Ray encourages the reader to find what makes them *feel* wealthy to help align themselves with the Law of Attraction.

Harmonic Wealth is a book that I know I'll reference several times throughout my life. It offers practical advice in finding harmony within the chaos of different aspects of our lives, and there's a wealth of content to help make that a reality.

James Ray really connects with the reader through his candid conversational style and truthful account of his experiences. He shares moments in his life he's not so proud of, and he shares what he's learned.

There are a few ideas in this book which I didn't resonate with, and a couple comments he makes where I don't think James is even aware he's contradicting himself. I don't think that matters though because James is also up-front about the fact that he doesn't know everything about spirituality, and so he only gives insight and advice about what he does know. He also encourages people to only take the advice which resonates with them, and to discard the rest.

For those reasons, I liked this book even more. It's honest, not perfect, and encouraging to live a wealthier life in whatever ways feel right. In other words, James is human just like you and I and he doesn't try to be anybody other than somebody who's figured out a few things and wants to share them to help shortcut the pains many people feel in their path of spiritual growth.
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A Champion Lives Within Boyd C. Matheson
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Spiritual Book: A Champion Lives Within  
My father gave this book to me as a teenager, and though I enjoyed it I didn't truly appreciate its wisdom until I read it again recently. Is it possible to become a champion in all of life in just 6 short months?

In this parable, that possibility is real and the author even provides a workbook at the end to help focus your energy. This truly is a 'David and Goliath' tale... with David being you, me, or anybody else, and Goliath being the doubts and fears keeping us from reaching our true potential.

Be forewarned, this book was a limited self-published printing. Getting ahold of it is difficult (notice I couldn't even find an image of it online!) and the book now costs significantly at least 4 times more than the original price.

Even then, it's still well worth the money to buy and effort to find.
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Dream Giver Bruce Wilkinson
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Spiritual Book: Dream Giver  
This parable is about a person, 'Ordinary' who decides to leave his hometown of 'Familiar' to follow his dream. He is presented with many obstacles, which anybody pursuing their dream will encounter, and the book is written in an easy-to-follow and quick-to-read style.

Though the author writes from a Christian perspective, the only time this is apparent is for a little while mid-way through the book. Generally speaking, you can replace 'God' with any other universal energy that resonates with you and the words will still feel right... because having dreams is universal to all people.

A friend recommended this book to me at a pivotal time in my life... a time when I am pursuing my dream to help people grow spiritually. I am grateful to have found it when I did, and I am sure that one of you reading this right now will also find it to be the right book at the right time in your life.
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Essential Laws of Fearless Living Guy Finley
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Spiritual Book: Essential Laws of Fearless Living  
If you've been having challenges taking ownership of your spiritual growth and really expressing your inner courage, then this is a book well worth the read.

It's not for everybody, however, so I recommend you read the summary or book jacket, or flip to a random page and see whether Guy's writing calls to you.

I will say that one of my personal favorite aspects of this book is that Guy shares several spiritual stories and then discusses, in-depth, the wisdom contained within each of them.
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The Spontaneous Healing of Belief Gregg Braden
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Spiritual Book: The Spontaneous Healing of Belief  
This book will be very helpful for some very specific people - those who find themselves having undesired negative emotions, but whose emotions aren't completely overwhelming. The exercises on understanding your conditioning and beliefs can be helpful and powerful, if you take them seriously.

That said, I think that's because the title is somewhat misleading because it implies that we can heal the idea of 'belief' itself. While that may be true, more than likely you will be left with a new set of "better" beliefs to replace the old ones.

Also, the authors' voice comes across as presumptuous at times as he compares our reality to that of a computer. He's so excited about his analogy, and so convinced, that his 'voice' doesn't leave the impression that there is room for the possibility that his model of reality might not be accurate.

The ending also left me unfulfilled and seems like it was thrown on there to get more pages into the book. The book's potentially reality-shattering and life-changing climax goes almost unnoticed because it is so subtle, and so the last part of the book feels like filler instead of really bringing the reader into a new awareness and state of being.
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Diving Bell and the Butterfly Jean-Dominique Bauby
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Spiritual Book: Diving Bell and the Butterfly  
I have mixed feelings about this book. On one hand, it is insightful and inspiring to read the true story of the editor of Elle Magazine who had a stroke, became unable to movie anything except for his left eye, and still managed to write this book. Some parts of the book may move you to tears if you're able to connect with the author's own anguish.

On the other hand, the book as a whole seems rather bland and seems to be missing the spark that so many people said the movie had. It is a quick read, and if you keep in mind that the book was written by a completely immobile person, it serves as a powerful inspiration that we truly are much more than our bodies.
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The Knight in Rusty Armor Robert Fisher
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Spiritual Book: The Knight in Rusty Armor  
This book was recommended to me by my friend John Manley over at MetaphysicalStories.com after we talked about what it really means for a book or movie to be "spiritual." John's recommendation was right on the money, too.

This movie was one of the few books where the character truly is on a spiritual path of self-discovery... of becoming one with his true nature. As a parent, my favorite element of this book was that it uses relatively simple language and easy metaphors, and is also a short quick read.

Not only did I enjoy it thoroughly, I look forward to reading it to my son when he gets older. For anybody who has children that enjoy being read to, this is a must-have.
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To Bee Or Not To Bee John Penberthy
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Spiritual Book: To Bee Or Not To Bee  
Once I picked up this delightful fictional story, I couldn't put it down until I finished it. Though it feels like a mixture of Jonathan Livingston Seagull and Way of the Peaceful Warrior, this book absolutely stands on its own among the best spiritual books in recent years because it can be enjoyed by both adults and children alike.

I found that this story not only provided answers to some of the greatest spiritual questions of all time, more importantly, it also served as a pointer towards finding some of my own answers. Still, it wasn't until hours after putting the book down that I realized how profoundly this book had impacted me.

And if you have children, then To Bee or Not to Bee is a perfect bedtime story that your children will beg you to read to them again and again.
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Home With God Neale Donald Walsch
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Spiritual Book: Home With God  
This is the final book in the Conversation with God series that is most certainly a climactic ending. Everything you've ever wanted to know about what occurs after we leave our bodies can be found here amidst the pages.

What does it mean to return home with God? Is it something we can do anytime or do we have to wait for it? Can anyone do this or is it only for the privileged? These questions and more will be answered as Neale Donald Walsch once again takes pen to paper and lets the words flow from deep within him.
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The Way of the Peaceful Warrior Dan Millman
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Spiritual Book: The Way of the Peaceful Warrior  
Dan Millman will take you on a spiritual journey by telling you the story of a young man and a gas station attendant. It sounds ordinary, but as Dan will show you there are no ordinary moments. This story will warm your heart, challenge your soul, and inspire you to take out the trash.
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True Stories of Messages from Beyond Julie Mucha-Aydlott
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Spiritual Book: True Stories of Messages from Beyond  
This page turner, which is filled with stories written by those who've experienced encounters by their departed loved ones, will soften even the hardest skeptics. The first story is, by far, the most heart warming and captivating. Some of the later stories will make you seriously question your beliefs about life after death, if you haven't done so already. Many of the experiences the writers have had will give you goosebumps for there is often no logical explanation for what they describe. We recommend this book for those who love tales of encounters from the "other side" as well as those who enjoy expanding their mind and heart.
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Voyages into the Unknown (Exploring the Afterlife Series, Vol. 1) Bruce Moen
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Spiritual Book: Voyages into the Unknown (Exploring the Afterlife Series, Vol. 1)  
Bruce is an ordinary guy with extraordinary curiousity. After participating in programs at The Monroe Institute, he learned to communicate with the spirits of people who had died. As an engineer, he knew this wasn't possible and continually fought within himself and his beliefs to try and reject what he was experiencing. However, with each and every time he was able to verify his afterlife explorations, he began to accept that there is life after death. Like Bob Monroe, he strongly urges you to not take his word for it but to explore and experience the afterlife yourself.
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Zen Entrepreneurship Rizwan Virk
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Spiritual Book: Zen Entrepreneurship  

This book could be classified in any number of categories, whether it be spirituality, business, adventure, or even autobiography. The author pulls you into his world where all of those topics are merged seamlessly and, just as grapes become wine, what some may see as unbelievable becomes unmistakably tangible.

If you've ever wondered what spirituality has to do with business, this book answers not only that question, but its opposite - how does growth in business reflect and manifest itself in the spirit world? The answer may seem simple, but this book makes it clear through the author's own true experiences, that there's much much more to those questions than we realize. So much in fact, that I intuitively know this book will be one I read over and over throughout different times in my life, and each time I suspect I'll learn even more new and invaluable lessons.

Zen Entrepreneurship is a must-have for any spiritual library.
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