Favorite Inspiring Books

Share your favorite uplifting books or add a review to vote for the ones already listed.

Guidelines

Books should be inspiring but need not be overtly spiritual. To know whether a book fits this criteria, ask yourself, “Did I feel more free, more expansive, more peaceful, or more joyful when I finished reading it?”

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  • What is the book about? Why did it inspire you?
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List of Books

Biographical / Historical

Autobiography of a Yogi
by Paramhansa Yogananda

 
2 reviews

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The story of Paramhansa Yogananda's life and encounters with saints as told by the master himself. One of the most popular spiritual books of the Twentieth Century

Reviews

  • Incredible book about yogic powers one can achieve. It has inspired deep spirituality, devotion, love and desire to merge back in God, the superconscious. "Samadhi" poem says it all. Reading it second time in 1.5 years. Words can't describe this book. Life changer. My Bow to the Param-Guru.
    —PS
  • This incredible book changed the spiritual trajectory of so many lives. I'm sure it will remain a spiritual classic for a long time to come.
    —Nabha
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Spiritual

Essence of the Bhagavad Gita
by Paramhansa Yogananda as remembered bySwami Kriyananda

 
2 reviews

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The Bhagavad Gita is the most popular and widely known Hindu scripture. Through his commentary, Swami Kriyananda reveals to us the deep spiritual teachings in this great work.

Reviews

  • This book has very useful practical advice for navigation the murky waters of the world to find the pearl of divine truth.
    —Radhika
  • The book is about the spiritual journey of each one us to higher understanding. The title means the "Song of God". I am inspired because it is helping me to grow as a disciple of Guruji.
    —Linda L Jenkins
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Spiritual

Proof of Heaven
by Dr. Eben Alexander

 
2 reviews

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Neurosurgeon Dr. Eben Alexander describes his near death experience during an E. coli meningitis-related seizure and seven-day coma and what it has taught him about the spiritual nature of the world.

Reviews

  • Amazing book! It was able to sooth any lingering doubts my rational mind might have had about the spiritual path and affirmed what my heart and soul already knew to be true. Well worth the read for believers and "skeptics" alike. Couldn't put it down.
    —Erin
  • This book is about experience of light and god during a life threatening illness with bacterial meningitis related coma. Author himself is a neurosurgeon who had this experience.
    —Sam
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Sci-Fi / Fantasy

Chronicles of Narnia (series)
by C.S. Lewis

 
1 review

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Four siblings step through a wardrobe door and into the land of Narnia, a land frozen in eternal winter by the White Witch. But when almost all hope is lost, the return of the Great Lion, Aslan, signals a great change.

Reviews

  • Very sweet stories about a group of children and their adventures in a magical world full of mythical creatures. Certain parts of the stories are meant to be symbolic of the spiritual path.
    —Radhika
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Biographical / Historical

Expecting Adam
by Martha Beck

 
1 review

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John and Martha Beck had two Harvard degrees apiece when they conceived their second child. And when she learned her unborn son had Down syndrome, she battled nearly everyone over her decision to continue the pregnancy.

Reviews

  • 2 Harvard phd candidates discover they are expecting a Downs Syndrome baby. They embark on a journey of self-discovery as they prepare for a baby that is the opposite of "Harvard values".
    —Lynn Lloyd
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Biographical / Historical

Left to Tell
by Immaculée Ilibagiza

 
1 review

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In 1994, Immaculee IlibagizaIn's world was ripped apart as Rwanda descended into a bloody genocide. During that time of unspeakable terror, Immaculee discovered the power of prayer, shedding her fear of death.

Reviews

  • This can be a hard book to read, but it is extremely inspiring to see the spiritual transformation that takes place in Immaculee during extreme suffering through the Rawanda genocide.
    —Sundara
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Sci-Fi / Fantasy

Many Waters
by Madeleine L'Engle

 
1 review

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Two teenage boys find themselves trapped in the time of Noah and the Ark. They get to know and love Noah's family, but have to find a way to get home before the flood comes.

Reviews

  • A beautiful story of love and loss. The twin boys almost die of sunstroke when they accidentally go back in time, but are healed by Noah's family assisted by a few Seraphim, a couple miniature wooly mammoths, and a unicorn. By the same author as A Wrinkle in Time.
    —Radhika
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Biographical / Historical

Memories, Dreams, Reflections
by Carl Gustav Jung

 
1 review

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The life story of Carl Jung, the founder of analytical psychology and the first modern psychologist to day that humans are religious by nature. Jung's radical approach has been influential in counter-cultural movements across the globe.

Reviews

  • A dive into the numinous mystery, as told through the life of the great mystic and psychologist Carl Jung. This book is his autobiography, and tells the journey of one who sought to know his true self
    —Leo
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Spiritual

Money Magnetism
by Swami Kriyananda

 
1 review

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Through numerous stories and examples from his own life and others', Kriyananda shows us how and why the principles of money magnetism work, and how you can immediately start applying them in your own life.

Reviews

  • This book is about prosperity consciousness and how to overcome poverty consciousness. It was the first book of Swami Kriyananda's that I read and it is really what helped me discover my path.
    —Dharmadevi
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Action / Adventure

Peace Like a River
by Leif Enger

 
1 review

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When his older brother flees a controversial murder charge, Reuben, along with his older sister and father, set off on a journey that will take them through a landscape more extraordinary than they could have anticipated.

Reviews

  • A beautiful book of miracles, divine guidance, outlaws, and poetry. The mood of the title is maintained very consistently throughout the book: peaceful, but ever flowing.
    —Tandava
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Biographical / Historical

Play of Consciousness
by Swami Muktanada

 
1 review

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This best selling spiritual autobiography of Swami Muktananda tells the story of his journey to self-realization under the guidance of Bhagawan Nityananda, candidly describing his extraordinary experiences.

Reviews

  • Swami Muktananda introduced the Siddha Yoga path all over the world, creating what he called a "meditation revolution."
    —Praveen Sharma
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Action / Adventure

Ramayana
by Veda Vyasa as retold by William Buck

 
1 review

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A classic Hindu epic, the Ramayana tells the story of Prince Rama, his banishment from the kingdom, his years wandering through the forest, and his heroic rescue of his wife Sita from the evil Ravana.

Reviews

  • A novelization of the epic that feels majestic and noble, without getting quaint or archaic. It has such a powerful bhav of devotion all throughout it that it's just a joy to read.
    —Tandava
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Sci-Fi / Fantasy

So You Want to Be a Wizard (series)
by Diane Duane

 
1 review

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Kit and Nita are two young wizards who embark on a mission to take back a powerful book that has been stolen by a fallen god. Through their journey they learn the importance of right action and power of friendship.

Reviews

  • A series that gets better with each book, and revolves around principles such as honesty, integrity, sacrifice, and selflessness. I enjoyed these books a lot.
    —Nabha
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Biographical / Historical

Swami Kriyananda As We Have Known Him
by Nyaswami Asha

 
1 review

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In this biography told by many of his students and compiled by Nayaswami Asha, Swami Kriyananda's remarkable qualities are revealed through personal reminiscences and become universal life lessons for us all.

Reviews

  • Charming and powerful stories of life with Swami Kriyananda.
    —Radhika
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Sci-Fi / Fantasy

The Alchemist
by Paulo Coelho

 
1 review

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The Alchemist is the magical story of a shepherd boy who yearns to travel in search of worldly treasure. The story of the treasures he finds along the way teaches us about listening to our hearts and, above all, following our dreams.

Reviews

  • A profound spiritual fable of one boy's inner and outer quest to follow his destiny, The Alchemist is has provided guidance and inspiration to countless people throughout the world.
    —Leo
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Spiritual

The Ballad Divine
by Dev Bhattacharyya

 
1 review

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The Bhagavad Gita tells the story of the conversation between the warrior Arjuna and his charioteer, Krishna, who is actually an incanation of God, as they stand on the brink of a battle for Arjuna's kingdom.

Reviews

  • A very simplified and yet contextual Bhagavad Gita translation. Like people find renunciation of the ancient not the most acceptable in this day, this book comes with the freshness of the times.
    —Chandralekha
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Biographical / Historical

The Essential Rumi
by Jalal al-Din Rumi (Author), Coleman Barks (Translator), John Moyne (Translator)

 
1 review

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A collection a poems from the famous Sufi poet Rumi. Also included is a brief biography of his life, with more information about him at the beginning of each chapter.

Reviews

  • Very sweet, devotional poems along with information about Rumi's life.
    —Radhika
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Sci-Fi / Fantasy

The Fifth Force
by Joseph Selbie

 
1 review

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Although set in the modern world, the heroes operate on a level far above the usual good and evil power struggles. The stakes for the Protectors are nothing less than the future evolution of the human race.

Reviews

  • Super fun with a deep spiritual message. Written by a long-time Ananda member. It's like an action movie from Treta Yuga.
    —kalidas
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Spiritual

The Happiness Advantage
by Shawn Achor

 
1 review

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Shawn Achor uses seven tried and tested principles to show us how we can capitalize on the Happiness Advantage to improve our performance and maximize our potential.

Reviews

  • Achor's research shows we've got it wrong about happiness. The most successful people are those who are happy all the time; not those who grind out success with the expectation that they'll be happy.
    —Nayaswami Rambhakta
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Spiritual

The Power of Now
by Eckhart Tolle

 
1 review

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From Amazon.com: Much more than simple principles and platitudes, this book takes readers on an inspiring spiritual journey to find their true and deepest self and reach the ultimate in personal growth and spirituality: the discovery of truth and light.

Reviews

  • The power of now teaches one how to be fully present throughout life's circumstances. Meditation can be achieved with having one's mind single pointedly focused even in activity (karma yoga)!
    —Joyful
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Spiritual

The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam Explained
by Paramhansa Yogananda; edited by Swami Kriyananda

 
1 review

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Omar Khayyam's famous poem, The Rubaiyat, is a deep allegory of the soul’s romance with God, and now after eight centuries Paramhansa Yogananda gives us a clear concise explanation of each passage.

Reviews

  • Soul-stirring, luminous poetry of the mystic, Omar Khayyam, with the spiritual meaning clearly explained by the great master, Paramhansa Yogananda, and brought to life by Swami Kriyananda.
    —Latika Parojinog
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Spiritual

The Untethered Soul- The Journey Beyond Yourself
by Michael A. Singer

 
1 review

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What would it be like to free yourself from limitations and soar beyond your boundaries? The Untethered Soul offers simple yet profound answers to these questions.

Reviews

  • It is about Soul's relationship with thoughts and emotions helping to uncover the source of inner energy and how one can free oneself from habitual thoughts, emotions and energy patterns.
    —Sam Patel
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You Can Heal Your Life
by Louise Hay

 
1 review

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Reviews

  • Release negative emotions, habits, tendencies to achieve unconditional love, trust and faith in your being. The book uses affirmations and is structured as a course. Very helpful and freeing.
    —Satyasrikant Vutha
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