Books Everyone Should Read to Know Thyself & Others – Booklist

Books Everyone Should Read to Know Thyself & Others
View from a friend’s house where I stayed last July. I share the story in the post, Phenomenal Story to Share about Our Move!

A list of the books that are being shared in the Facebook group, Books Everyone Should Read to Know Thyself & Others.

For members: Since it can take a while to read a book, please feel free to repost the book when you have finished it so you can add your thoughts. Also, please make sure to tag the original person who posted the book so they can be part of the new discussion!

This list will not include reposts.

If you are not a member yet, I hope you’ll join us! Find out more here!

1) Family Ties That Bind, Dr. Ronald W. Richardson
Family Ties That Bind was one of the first books that helped me find begin to find peace with a number of my personal relationships. Richardson addresses issues that include closeness and distance, being true to ourselves, distinguishing between thinking and feeling, under functioning and over functioning, triangles, birth order, and differentiating.
Posted by Ceejae Devine, 2/18/16

2) Evolution’s End – Claiming the Potential of Our Intelligence, Joseph C. Pearce
So much of what he says is SPOT ON & it will open your mind, as well as your heart. Posted by Tamara Poole, 2/19/16

3) The Key of Life, Randolph J. Rogers
He was looking for the most basic answer that all humans eventually ask. Why are we here? What is our purpose? Posted by Mirror Living 2/19/16

4) The Barbarian Way, Erwin Raphael McManus
Though I do not adhere to any of the Abrahamic traditions, The Barbarian Way, an eccentric Christian tome, captures some of the essence of my own spiritual walk. Posted by Hercules Invictus, 2/21/16

5) The Game of God: Recovering Your True Identity, Arthur B. Hancock
This is a simple explanation of how we as individuals, and indeed everyone and everything else, are actually God playing a game of hide-and-seek. This is a good way of looking at things at least once a year and it helps break down less helpful or empowering paradigms. Posted by Hercules Invictus, 2/21/16

6) Sugar Blues, William Dufty
Reading Sugar Blues was the first step in a long journey of making my way out of the mental and physical fog that I believe the powers-that-be want for the masses. From what I have seen, it’s beneficial in a number of ways to keep as many people as possible somewhat mentally handicapped, physically and intellectually. Posted by Ceejae Devine, 2/23/16

7) The First Mythology, A. W. Sylvester
The author studied, researched, developed, and experienced what he believes to be the true meaning of Genesis from the bible along with gnostic writings as well.

What’s interesting is that he experimented again and again and claims he’s made the stone (aka philosophers stone), but hasn’t the gall to test it out on himself.

This brought me a grand new perspective concerning (yes I meant grand lol) the soul. The revelation I came to, using the simplest explanation I can think of is that the soul without knowledge stays empty or can stay empty depending on our choice.

The soul with knowledge connects us with God regardless of if we know it or not.
Posted by Mirror Living, 2/25/16

8) The Great Cosmic Mother, Monica Sjoo & Barbara Mor
This book was a game changer for me – it opened my eyes to the old religion of the Goddess and explained how religion came into what it is now. From this book, I realized that how I saw God was okay

From this book, I have a better understanding of how ALL organized religions are related at the most basic of levels – the dogma is a little different, but most ideals are the same. I understand why we moved from a Matriarch to a Patriarch – which brings us to the present. It is a truly remarkable book & I look forward to my kids reading it one day.
Posted by Tamara Poole, 2/26/16

9) Too Good to Leave, Too Bad to Stay, Mira Kirshenbaum
While I imagine most people who read this book are looking for help with their marriages, understanding concepts like “off-the-table-itis,” “your needs are making me sick,” and “you say ‘tomayto,’ I say ‘tomahto’” have also been helpful to me in other relationships.

Too Good to Leave, Too Bad to Stay pushed me to ask myself questions that enabled me to more deeply define who I am and what is important to me, which included my priorities and my bottom line. I started to be able to sort through confusing interactions, to actually see the kind of things Kirshenbaum discusses in my relationships and decide whether or not they were things I felt I could, or should, tolerate, not because the other person was necessarily a bad person, the decisions we make sometimes are simply because we are so different.
Posted by Ceejae Devine, 3/2/16

10) The Five Love Languages, Gary Chapman
Even if everything is going smoothly in your relationship and you think that knowing how to love someone is kind of obvious, you still need to read this book.

Understanding love languages has given me the ability to stop hoping some relationships could be different than they are. It enabled me to take things less personally, and look for people who want to spend time together doing things that matter to me. Like me, you might find it hard to be around someone who expresses their love by giving and receiving gifts. I don’t like shopping and I am not interested in possessing a lot of things. It can also be really hard sometimes to figure out how to respond when someone gives us something we don’t like or want.

We’re led to believe everyone enjoys all of these things, and that everyone naturally appreciates everyone’s expressions of love, but The Five Love Languages shows us that even though we are giving things that represent love to us, others may not think we are very loving, and we may not feel like people appreciate what we are doing or that love is being reciprocated, so I imagine a lot of people are dealing with this kind of frustration.
Posted by Ceejae Devine, 3/8/16

11) Misogyny, Jack Holland
Finding out how long women have been boxed into two categories, either being thought of as a trustworthy, pure, good woman or a dangerous, repulsive, evil woman is pretty depressing, but it is important to understand where all of this originated if we are ever going to be able to change people’s views about all of the women who find themselves in the second one.

As I worked on this post, I stumbled upon another book, Feminism: The Ugly Truth, by Mike Buchanan that explained the beliefs of people who think that feminists are evil. They think that we are going to wreak havoc on society (exactly what they have been saying for millennia), that we are acting out of hatred (when as I see it, it is their hatred of us and attempts to stop us from being who we are that is the problem), and that they can identify us by our appearances. He actually covers the link between female attractiveness and feminism in his book.

Information from Buchanan’s book made me realize that the term, misogyny, isn’t working anymore. Too many men are now claiming that they can’t possibly be misogynists since they love their mothers, wives, and daughters. So I think it is time for some new words. I came up with “feminhate,” and I would love to hear your thoughts!
Posted by Ceejae Devine, 3/23/16

12) Mana: The Original Teachings by the Founder of Huna, Max Freedom Long
A psychologist who visited Hawaii found that the tribes there used techniques that were similar to the idea of the subconscious, conscious, and super conscious. However this technique or perspective they used toward healing by a Kahuna was ancient and way before any of those terms were used in psychology.

If that wasn’t enough he also found that when the missionaries came to preach about Christ and the trinity they said they already knew about these concepts even though Christianity at that point wasn’t present on the island yet.

Even if you find yourself not believing in the Huna concept, the information is absolutely fascinating and deserves to read by many others.
Posted by Mirror Living, 4/19/16

13) The G.O.D. Experiments, Gary E. Schwartz & William L. Simon
According to highly esteemed scientist Gary E. Schwartz, Ph.D., there is compelling scientific evidence that we no longer have to accept God on faith alone. Through a multidisciplinary approach, Harvard University-educated Dr. Schwartz blends psychology, quantum physics, and mathematics to examine the science of spirit. And since faith and science are not mutually exclusive, Dr. Schwartz gives a better understanding of their relationship, explaining how God operates in everything we do.

Scientifically rigorous and spiritually reassuring, The G.O.D. Experiments is a wake-up call for anyone who wonders about life’s true meaning and longs to believe in the existence of a universal intelligence.
Posted by Mirror Living, 4/20/16

14) Scripts People Live, Claude Steiner
The concepts Steiner developed, which spring from concepts developed by Eric Berne, author of Games People Play, are essential to understanding people.

Steiner divides the ego into three separate parts–The Adult, The Parent, and The Child—and if we look at our interactions with people with this perspective we can understand a lot more about who they are and how to engage with them.

In this review, I share thoughts about how Steiner’s concepts helped me understand other people’s attempts to try to influence and convince people to be who they want them to be. Scripts People Live enabled me to see that some people are always going to try to control others and some of us are always going to reach a point where we say, “I have to be who I am,” and as we go through the process of making those decisions we become stronger and more capable of taking on increasingly difficult tasks. I also realized that it’s important to let everyone be who they are, no matter how much we might want them to be something else.
Posted by C. Devine, 5/19/16

15) Goddesses in Everywoman, Jean Shinoda Bolen
Goddesses in Everywoman doesn’t challenge anyone’s belief in God and it isn’t suggesting that women are literally goddesses, but when I read it for the second time, I realized that understanding the concepts Shinoda Bolen shares in the book, which focuses on understanding some of the things people believed as far back as the 8th century BC, can dramatically affect who we think we are and perhaps even change what many people currently believe.

After reading Goddesses in Everywoman, I was able to reach a place of peace regarding my relationships with a number of women in my life. I was able to stop wanting, expecting, hoping they would ever be anything else than who they are.

I was also able to see that aspects of myself that, throughout my life, I have been led to believe were undesirable in a woman are presented simply as facts, as normal parts of each goddess. It’s incredible to realize that the people so long ago understood the nature of humanity so clearly, and I believe people desperately need to understand it again.
Posted by C. Devine, 6/22/16

16) What Makes a Hero?, Matthew Winkler
This TEDTalk/YouTube video shares the idea developed by Joseph Campbell that heroes like Harry Potter, Catniss Everdeen, and Frodo are all variants of the same heroes from ancient history.

Winkler explains that the heroes journey, as Campbell and many others have shared, starts with a call to adventure, like an invitation or a message, then the hero usually gets some help from someone older and wiser. Then he crosses a threshold from his ordinary world to a special world where he faces trials, perhaps even death. The experience changes the hero. He outgrows his old life and nothing is quite the same. Winkler explains that the heroes journey exists in all cultures, that we all solve problems just as scary, and that we should all listen for our calls to adventure.
Posted by Robert Reister, 6/22/16

17) Creating Money, Sanaya Roman and Duane Packer / Intention Heals by Dr. Adam Mcleod
Posted by Renée Harrison, 6/24/16

18) 10-10-10, Suze Welch / Eat, Pray, Love, Elizabeth Gilbert
Eat, Pray, Love is an amazing read as you travel the globe with Elizabeth and find out what other cultures believe and customs. For me this book was captivating as you see her through her highs and lows. How she accepts herself has helped me to accept my journey. Since reading this book I have been learning Italian, purely because it is a beautiful language. I have reconsidered many of my beliefs, for the better.
Posted by Erika RK, 7/20/16

19) Care of the Soul, Thomas Moore / Women Who Run with Wolves, Clarissa Pinkola Estes
Thomas Moore’s spirit was so gentle I was able to let go & trust his teachings, primarily because he didn’t try to win me back to a male God. At that time I was deeply immersed in the spirituality of the divine Feminine. Estes offered me more of a meat & potatoes viewpoint about the God within. She accepted men & she taught me to return slowly to God the Father.
Posted by Nessa Smith, 7/20/16

20) The Will To Learn, Martin Covington
The Will To Learn helped me realize that an overly competitive learning environment is clinically proven to be detrimental to effective learning (as opposed to a cooperative learning atmosphere).
Posted by Toby Igor, 8/13/16

21) Why Does He Do That? Inside the Minds of Angry and Controlling Men, Lundy Bancroft
Why Does He Do That? Inside the Minds of Angry and Controlling Men clearly explains abusive behavior and in the process of understanding how I dealt with it, I developed some important perspectives about hate.

The abuses that Bancroft addresses include privilege, manipulation, coercion, distortion, depersonalization, domination, objectification, and the escalation of demands.

I hope that anyone who cares about making the world a safer place will take some time to learn more about the nature of abuse because anyone who takes a position of neutrality actually serves the interests of the abuser.

Please note: Bancroft does address the fact that women and partner relationships are sometimes abusive so the information he provides applies to those, as well, but he used this title because the majority of abusers are men.
Posted by C. Devine, 8/21/16

21) Living with a Wild God, Barbara Ehrenreich
Are people who experience events that are often described as mystical crazy? I certainly would never describe Barbara Ehrenreich like that. But she experienced events throughout her life that she ignored until 2001 when she slowly began to transcribe the contents of a remarkable journal that had survived move after move and even a devastating flood.

I believe it is incredibly important to hear about the kinds of questions Ehrenreich asked when she was a young woman and to follow the amazing life journey that enabled her to analyze the events she’d experienced with so much depth.
For years I have been trying to accept a reality I never imagined could exist. Like Ehrenreich, I spent years feeling like I couldn’t tell people everything and I’ve only just begun to connect with people who are open-minded and understand the importance of all of this.

I hope you will continue to join me in my ongoing journey of discovery about life, God, and a new view of reality–one that isn’t always “passively obedient to the ‘laws,’” but is actually full of incredible surprises.
Posted by C. Devine, 10/24/16

22) Eat Pray Love, Elizabeth Gilbert
This is one of the hardest posts I have ever written. I found an article written by Gilbert that shows that she is not the person she is claiming to be in this book. I have researched and been directed to information that also enabled me to challenge many of the spiritual claims she makes.
Posted by C. Devine, 8/17/17

23) Sasha (A Trial of Blood & Steel #1) by Joel Shepherd
This book is my biggest inspiration as a writer. It has some confusing names at the beginning which like in many epic fantasy books can be hard to grasp at first, but this series was the first one I read with a really strong female character. Sometimes a book or series just grips hold of your heart and won’t let go well after the beautiful smell of a new books leaves, this series was one of these for me.
Posted by M. Connor, 1/15/18

24) Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, Robert M. Pirsig
A comment in a writer’s critique group inspired me to re-read Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance. As I did, I began to see that it revolves around influences from the past and a vision of a better future that may have even influenced my life path. It also includes a vision that goes beyond anything I was expecting.
Posted by C. Devine, 7/2/18

25) When God Talks Back, T. M. Luhrmann
Most of us know that when someone talks about this kind of thing, some people will accuse the person of being crazy and cause others to believe that their views are irrelevant. Luhrmann was obviously aware of this issue, and I appreciated the way she addressed it, so I focused this review on two chapters that clarify the difference between a person’s belief that they have experienced God and psychosis.
Posted by C. Devine, 11/12/19

26) People of the Lie, M. Scott Peck
Because this book was written many years ago, some of the ideas are challenging to read. I have focused on concepts that are timeless and apply to many things we are seeing today. They apply to individuals and groups. People of the lie “usually appear quite ordinary to the superficial observer”…and the evil they perpetuate rarely manifests itself in obvious ways…“it is seemingly ordinary, superficially normal, and even apparently rational. Those who are evil are masters of disguise.”
Posted by C. Devine, 4/19/20

3 Responses to Books Everyone Should Read to Know Thyself & Others – Booklist

  1. I love this groups conceptual intention. There’s already so much to look into and discuss and the group was only recently launched. I hope all of you will join in on the discussions along with book sharing as well!

    • Thank you! I have high hopes for it! I think a lot of people think of themselves in very limited ways. As I have read different books, they’ve enabled me to see that there are many levels to who we are, starting with the physical and going deep into our beliefs about who we are in relation to a creator. As I learned more about myself, I started to feel more confident about the decisions I was making. It seemed to give me courage, simply knowing that because of who I am, of course I would be making those decisions no matter how hard they were.

      The things I have learned have revolved around the importance I place on motherhood, education, writing, and trying to understand God, and I have found myself in many groups that don’t care about those things. So getting to know myself has involved the difficulty of walking away from many relationships, but I am so much happier.

      I think this is the journey most people make because there are 16 personality types that the psychologists Myers & Briggs have identified and the other people who have the ones we have aren’t necessarily in our families or in groups we choose when we are young, so we want to connect with at least a few of them so we can have someone to relate to and perhaps that is where a lot of people stop, but I have seen that understanding those aspects about ourselves and others goes far beyond that, and that is the focus of a lot of my writing.

      Since I just hadn’t seen any place where people were talking about the books that helped people deeply understand themselves, I decided to create one, so I hope it becomes a helpful resource!

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