This article was written by Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat and was first published on Spiritual and Practice on January 1, 2017.
Every year from the more than 300 books we review on this website, we choose the Best Spiritual Books. In addition to 50 adult books, we also include 10 Best Spiritual Children's Books.
These are titles that have most impressed and inspired us. Since we only review books that we want to recommend to you for your spiritual journey, this selection actually represents the best of the best. Through diverse approaches, drawing upon the wisdom and practices of the world's religions, these titles explore the quest for meaning and purpose, wholeness and healing, commitment and community, contemplation and social activism.
We congratulate the authors and publishers of these exceptional contributions to today's spiritual renaissance. Click on the title link to read the full review.
by Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz and Dina Gilio-Whitaker
An expose about American ignorance and continuing prejudice against Native peoples and their cultures.
Altruism: The Power of Compassion to Change Yourself and the World
By Matthieu Ricard
An energetic, visionary, and enthusiastic paean to altruism, love, compassion, and human goodness.
America's Original Sin: Racism, White Privilege, and the Bridge to a New America
By Jim Wallis
A passionate plea for churches to move beyond racism to repentance and reconciliation with African-Americans.
The Attention Merchants: The Epic Scramble to Get Inside Our Heads
By Tim Wu
A survey of the ways that capitalists have used various technologies to steal our attention and privacy.
Becoming: A Spiritual Guide for Navigating Adulthood
By Kayla Parker
A wide-eyed and wonderful spiritual resource for young adults.
Becoming Wise: An Inquiry into the Mystery and Art of Living
by Krista Tippett
The radio's host's quest for wisdom through the spiritual practice of mystery.
Buddha U: 108 Mindfulness Lessons
By Victor M. Parachin
Practical advice from the Buddhist school of life for dealing with college stress.
Christian Mystics:108 Seers, Saints, and Sages
By Carl McColman
Refreshing and adventuresome profiles of visionaries, confessors, poets, soul friends, and wisdom keepers.
Clearing Emotional Clutter: Mindfulness Practices for Letting Go of What's Blocking Your Fulfillment and Transformation
By Donald Altman
More proof that Donald Altman is a master of mindfulness practices.
By Pope Francis
Authoritative and wide-ranging spiritual teachings from Pope Francis.
Conversations in the Spirit: Lex Hixon's WBAI "In the Spirit" Interviews - A Chronicle of the Seventies Spiritual Revolution
By Lex Hixon, Sheila Hixon
33 radio interviews with spiritual teachers by Lex Hixon, a pioneer of interspirituality.
Dropping the Struggle: Seven Ways to Love the Life You Have
By Roger Housden
A guide to a deeper response to the mystery of life than struggling to make things different than they are.
Finding Peace Through Spiritual Practice: The Interfaith Amigos' Guide to Personal, Social and Environmental Healing
By Ted Falcon, Don Mackenzie, Jamal Rahman
A top-drawer celebration of diverse spiritual practices for social activists in the growing interfaith movement.
The Five Elements: Understand Yourself and Enhance Your Relationships with the Wisdom of the World's Oldest Personality Type System
By Dondi Dahlin
An explanation of an ancient Chinese system useful for balancing mind, body, and emotions.
Free Medicine: Meditations on Nondual Awakening
By Pir Elias Amidon
An elegantly written collection of Sufi meditations on the open heart.
The Genocide Contagion: How We Commit and Confront Holocaust and Genocide
by Israel W. Charny
A thought-provoking tome on the human capacity to commit genocide.
Glow Kids: How Screen Addiction Is Hijacking Our Kids — and How to Break the Trance
By Nicholas Kardaras
A mind-stretching book about the outbreak of an epidemic of screen addictions to video games, smart phones, and other devices.
The Grace in Living: Recognize It, Trust It, Abide in It
By Kathleen Dowling Singh
A guide to the spiritual journey with testimonies and tools to help identify transformative experiences.
Grace Without God: The Search for Meaning, Purpose, and Belonging in a Secular Age
By Katherine Ozment
A timely and relevant overview of the quests of spiritually independent people to replace the rituals, values, and rich community life of religion.
The Great Spiritual Migration: How the World's Largest Religion Is Seeking a Better Way to Be Christian
By Brian D. McLaren
An inspiring and enlightening spur to movement, creativity, and activism within Christian communities.
Hidden in God: Discovering the Desert Vision of Charles de Foucauld
By Bonnie Thurston
A probing book that ponders the many meanings of deserts as places of grace.
Hildegard of Bingen: Essential Writings and Chants of a Christian Mystic —Annotated & Explained
By Sheryl A. Kujawa-Holbrook
An inviting and instructive overview of the writings, life, and ministry of the German medieval mystic.
The Hour of Land: A Personal Topography of America's National Parks
By Terry Tempest Williams
A tribute to America's parks and a prophetic call to reverence the wilderness as a sacred domain.
The Intelligent Heart: A Guide to Compassionate Life
By Dzigar Kongtrul
Wise and practical steps toward putting others ahead of yourself and seeking in all things to benefit them.
Interfaith Leadership: A Primer
By Eboo Patel
The founder of Interfaith Youth Core on the identity, mission, vision, and key skills of an interfaith leader.
The Jewish Book of Grief and Healing: A Spiritual Companion for Mourning
By Stuart M. Matlins, Editor, The Editors of Jewish Lights
A handy and helpful anthology featuring Jewish writers on practices, rituals, and perspectives on grief.
Joy on Demand: The Art of Discovering the Happiness Within
By Chade-Meng Tan
A practice-packed book designed to help us cultivate happiness within ourselves and for others.
Light When It Comes: Trusting Joy, Facing Darkness, and Seeing God in Everything
By Chris Anderson
Ways to be taken out of ourselves and filled with joy from a master of everyday spirituality.
Liturgy of the Ordinary: Sacred Practices in Everyday Life
By Trish Harrison Warren
A winsome tribute to the everyday spirituality of chores, maintenance, small moments, and unheralded acts of kindness.
Living and Dying with Confidence: A Day-by Day Guide
By Anyen Rinpoche, Allison Choying Zangmo
A daily companion of meditations on death from a Buddhist perspective.
The One Life We're Given: Finding the Wisdom That Waits in Your Heart
By Mark Nepo
A luminous gift of wisdom by a sensitive spiritual teacher who is aroused by life and a master of the practice of zeal.
The Path: What Chinese Philosophers Can Teach Us About the Good Life
By Michael Puett, Christine Gross-Loh
Ancient Chinese philosophers on change and the good life.
Play Anything: The Pleasure of Limits, the Uses of Boredom, and the Secret of Games
by Ian Bogost
A salute to deep and focused play as a healing and helpful force in our lives.
Sacred Ecstatics: The Recipe for Setting Your Soul on Fire
By Bradford Keeney, Hillary Keeney
A revved up and revelatory account of a variety of ecstatic divine-filled experiences.
Senior Moments: Looking Back, Looking Ahead
By Willard Spiegelman
Well-written essays by an elder who is very skilled at weaving together the experiences of his life.
By Thomas Moore
A guide to pondering and incarnating the soulful meanings of Christmas.
A Sense of Wonder: The World's Best Writers on the Sacred, the Profane, and the Ordinary
By Brian Doyle
A collection of 37 essays, stories, and reflections that show us how everyday spirituality serves as a seedbed for wonder.
The Spiritual Practice of Good Actions: Finding Balance through the Soul Traits of Mussar
By Greg Marcus
A substantive Jewish spiritual curriculum on 13 soul traits.
By Amy Krouse Rosenthal
A snappy nonlinear memoir filled with short memories, charts, exercises, facts, and insights.
Uncommon Prayer: Prayer in Everyday Experience
By Michael Plekon
A rich and substantive work on the lived experience of prayer.
Unspeakable: The Most Forbidden Topics in America
By Chris Hedges, David Talbot
A hard-hitting vision of what lies around the corner by two radical journalists.
Upstream: Selected Essays
By Mary Oliver
A pensive and enlightening collection of 19 spiritual essays.
The Vitality Map: A Guide to Deep Health, Joyful Self-Care, and Resilient Well-Being
By Deborah Zucker
An exploration of a holistic and energized way of full-spectrum living.
Voices in the Stones: Life Lessons from the Native Way
By Kent Nerburn
A very special sketchbook that shines and shimmers with stories, insights, and epiphanies about Native American spirituality.
Way of Love: Recovering the Heart of Christianity
By Norman Wirzba
An enlightening work on the four movements of love in our world.
The Way of Rest: Finding the Courage to Hold Everything in Love
By Jeff Foster
Over 200 essays brimming over with humour, humanity, and humility.
The Way of Silence: Engaging the Sacred in Daily Life
By David Steindl-Rast
A rich and robust examination of practices, insights, and meditations to spiritualize all of life.
The Way Under the Way: The Place of True Meaning
By Mark Nepo
A spiritual teacher's conversation with the Universe through tough and tender poems.
Whole Detox: A 21-Day Personalized Program to Break Through Barriers in Every Area of Your Life
By Deanna Minich
A top-notch guidebook to full spectrum living.
Word by Word: A Daily Spiritual Practice
By Marilyn McEntyre
A creative and soulful collection of 15 key spiritual words to savour in our days and doings.
By Joyce Sidman
A beautifully illustrated children's book that reveals the value of an invocation.
By Oliver Jeffers, Sam Winston
A fresh and creative reading experience about two children who roam the world of stories.
The Four Questions: For Henny Penny and Anybody with Stressful Thoughts
by Bryon Katie and Hans Wilhelm
A retelling of the folktale Chicken Little to teach children the Work, a method of spiritual inquiry into thoughts and emotional responses.
By Pat Kiernan
A picture book that celebrates all the ways a city wakes up each day.
By Paul Meisel
A timely book which shows the good things that can happen when strangers open to each other.
By Dan Yaccarino
An edifying look at the variety of ways stories have been enjoyed and shared down through history.
By Francesca Sanna
An honest and engaging portrait of what a refugee family goes through to get to a safe place to live.
King Calm: Mindful Gorilla in the City
By Susan D. Sweet, Brenda S. Miles
A good case for mindfulness as a spur to calm, wonder, and an appreciation of all the little things in life.
By Beatrice Alemagna
A beguiling celebration of the enchantments, setbacks, delights, and hopes of childhood.
By Constance Ørbeck-Nilssen A compelling case for empathy as a bridge that can draw people together.