Books as Therapy


A writer friend recently told me about a project a past colleague of hers had developed in the UK – the use of books in therapy. It draws on the very real idea that whatever the malaise, there is a book that can be prescribed that if read by the client will provide some sense of insight or shift. I love this…

So it got me thinking about all the books that I have been blessed by in some way in my life – from before I could read until today.

Listing them seemed a natural next step.

Here they are  – fifty books in no apparent chronology or importance – each one has touched me in an indelible way to make me not only the writer, but also the person, I am today.

  1. The Tao of Equus – Linda Kohanov
  2. Ensouling Language – Stephen Buhner
  3. The Little Prince  – Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
  4. Inspiration Sandwich – SARK
  5. La Vita e Bella (screenplay)
  6. Cinderella 1940s pop up book that belonged to my mother
  7. Canyon Winter – Walt Morrey
  8. Folk of the Faraway Tree – Enid Blyton
  9. The pictorial book of Horses
  10. Black Beauty – Anna Sewell
  11. Little House on the Prairie series – Laura Ingliss Wilder
  12. Care of the Soul  – Thomas Moore
  13. Man and his Symbols  – Carl Jung
  14. The Red Book – Carl Jung
  15. A Woman’s Worth  – Marianne Williamson
  16. The Prophet  – Kalil Gibran
  17. The Essential Rumi – Colman
  18. Philosophy of Love  – Hafez
  19. Death Sentence  – Don Watson
  20. Infidel – Ayaan Hirsi Ali
  21. Gentle Birth, Gentle Mothering  – Sarah Buckley
  22. Women Who Run with the Wolves – Clarissa Pinkola Estes
  23. Memoir and Poetry  – Pablo Neruda
  24. Under the Tuscan Sun – Frances Mayes
  25. The Writer’s Journey – Christopher Vogler
  26. Callings: finding and following an authentic life – Greg Levoy
  27. Consolation of Joe Cinque – Helen Garner
  28. Art as Medicine  – Shaun McNiff
  29. To Kill a Mocking Bird  – Harper Lee
  30. The Mists of Avalon – Marion Zimmer Bradley
  31. The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying – Sogyal Rinpoche
  32. Approaching the Corporate Heart – Margot Cairnes
  33. Dad’s Bubbles the monkey stories
  34. The Hare and the Tortoise fable
  35. Consolations of Philosophy  – Alain de Botton
  36. The Invitation – Oriah Mountain dreamer
  37. Inferno – Dante
  38. Symposium – Plato
  39. The Tao of Pooh – Benjamin Hoff
  40. Yum – Terry Durack
  41. The Horse Boy – Rupert Isaccson
  42. Way of the Superior Male – David Deida
  43. The Story of my Life – Helen Keller
  44. The Unbearable Lightness of Being – Milan Kundera
  45. Siddharta – Herman Hesse
  46. The Divided Heart; Art and motherhood – Rachael Powers
  47. Princess Smartypants – Babette Cole
  48. Danny the Champion of the World – Ronald Dahl
  49. Little Women – Louisa May Alcott
  50. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe – CS Lewis
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