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.

"All the Real Indians Died Off" and 20 Other Myths About Native Americans

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.

The Complete Encyclicals, Bulls, and Apostolic Exhortations: Volume 1

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.

The Soul of Christmas

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.

Textbook Amy Krouse Rosenthal

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.

Children's Books

Before Morning

By Joyce Sidman

A beautifully illustrated children's book that reveals the value of an invocation.

A Child of Books

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.

Good Morning, City

By Pat Kiernan

A picture book that celebrates all the ways a city wakes up each day.

Good Night, Bat! Good Morning, Squirrel!

By Paul Meisel

A timely book which shows the good things that can happen when strangers open to each other.

I Am a Story

By Dan Yaccarino

An edifying look at the variety of ways stories have been enjoyed and shared down through history.

The Journey

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.

What Is a Child?

By Beatrice Alemagna

A beguiling celebration of the enchantments, setbacks, delights, and hopes of childhood.

Why Am I Here?

By Constance Ørbeck-Nilssen A compelling case for empathy as a bridge that can draw people together.