Compiled with respect, gratitude and love
Rev. Susan Moran

* denotes a fabulous author (of course all the poets are fabulous and not just the book I mention)
(UU) denotes a Unitarian Universalist author.
These categories are my own and some books are probably addressing more than one topic.
The books are in no particular order and some are a bit more scholarly than others (this is especially true in the bible/theology category). Don’t be scared off! I listed very few books of fiction although I read more fiction than anything else. May all your spirits grow and gleam.

Pondering the Important Questions

  • The Heart is a little to the Left, by William Sloan Coffin
  • Kitchen Table Wisdom, by Rachel Naomi Remen
  • My Grandfather’s Blessings, by Rachel Naomi Remen
  • What Really Matters, by Tony Schwartz
  • A Hidden Wholeness, by Parker Palmer
  • Let Your Life Speak, by Parker Palmer
  • Cycles of Reflection, by Rev. Robert Senghas (UU)
  • Waking up the Karma Fairy, by Rev. Meg Barnhouse (UU)
  • Morning Watch, by Rev. Barbara Pescan (UU)
  • Instructions in Joy, by Nancy Shaffer (UU)
  • Travelling Mercies, by Annie Lamott
  • Plan B, by Annie Lamott
  • For the Time Being, by Annie Dillard*
  • Eat Pray Love, by Elizabeth Gilbert
  • Telling Secrets, by Frederick Buechner
  • Holy Listening, by Margaret Guenther
  • Living A Life That Matters, by Lawrence Kushner
  • How, Then, Shall We Live, by Wayne Muller
  • The Sabbath, by Wayne Muller
  • Anger: Wisdom for Cooling the Flame, by Thich Nhat Hanh
  • Peace is Every Step: The Path of Mindfulness in Everyday Life, by Thich Nhat Hanh
  • The Places that Scare You: A guide to Fearlessness in Difficult Times, by Pema Chodron
  • Deep in the Familiar: Four Life Rhythms, by Joan Cannon Borton


  • Primary Speech: A Psychology of Prayer, by Barry and Ann Ulanov
  • Talking to God, by Naomi Levy
  • Simply Pray, by Erik Walker Wikstrom (UU)
  • Prayer: A History, by Philip Zaleski and Carol Zaleski
  • A book of Psalms, by Stephen Mitchell, translator
  • With Open Hands, by Henri J M Nouwen*
  • The Heart of God: Prayers of Rabindranath Tagore, edited by Herbert Vetter (UU)
  • A Grateful Heart: Daily Blessings for the Evening Meal, edited by M.J. Ryan
  • Being Home: A Book of Meditations, by Gunilla Norris


  • New and Selected Poems (Vols 1 & 2) and Thirst, by Mary Oliver
  • Strike Sparks (a broad collection), by Sharon Olds
  • Anything You Can Find, by E.E. Cummings
  • The Captain’s Verses (the Love Poems), by Pablo Neruda
  • Refusing Heaven, by Jack Gilbert
  • The Trouble with Poetry, by Billy Collins
  • Killing Floor, by AI
  • The complete Works, by Jane Kenyon
  • The Painted Bed, Without, by Donald Hall
  • Selected Poems, by William Carlos Williams
  • Ararat, by Louise Gluck
  • The Continuous Life, by Mark Strand
  • Love Poems from God: Twelve Sacred Voices from East and West, translated by Daniel Landinsky
  • The Gift, Poems by Hafiz, translated by Daniel Landinsky
  • The Essential Rumi, translated by Coleman Barks
  • Selected Poems, by W.S. Merwin

The Holy

  • The God We Never Knew, by Marcus Borg
  • God and Other Famous Liberals, by Rev. Forrest Church*(UU)
  • A History of God, by Karen Armstrong*
  • Stories of God, by Ranier Maria Rilke
  • Living Buddha, Living Christ, by Thich Nhat Hahn*
  • How Do you Spell God: Answers to the Big Questions from Around the World, by Rabbi Marc Gelman and Monsignor Thomas Hartman
  • The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying, by Sogyal Rinpoche
  • Bhagavad Gita, translated by Stephen Mitchell
  • I and Thou, by Martin Buber
  • God In Search of Man, by Abraham Heschel
  • The Sabbath, by Abraham Heschel
  • Letter to a Man in the Fire, by Reynolds Price

The Bible/Theology

  • Genesis: A living Conversation, by Bill Moyers, moderator and editor
  • Book of J, by Harold Bloom and David Rosenberg
  • In the Beginning: A new Interpretation of Genesis, by Karen Armstrong*
  • Wrestling with Angels, by Naomi H. Rosenblatt and Joshua Horwitz
  • The Five Books of Miriam: A Women’s Commentary on the Torah, by Ellen Frankel
  • The Bible with Sources Revealed, by Richard Elliott Friedman
  • The Book of Job, translated by Stephen Mitchell
  • The Women’s Bible Commentary, edited by Carol Newsom and Sharon H. Ringe
  • Proverbs of Ashes, by Rev. Rebecca Parker* (UU) and Rita Nakishima
  • The Essential Jesus, by John Dominic Crossan*
  • Hear then the Parable: A commentary on the Parables of Jesus, by Bernard Brandon Scott
  • The Gnostic Gospels, by Elaine Pagels
  • The Soul of Christianity: Restoring the Great Tradition, by Huston Smith*
  • The Good Book, by Rev. Peter Gomes*
  • Jesus and Yahweh, by Harold Bloom
  • Why Christianity Must Change or Die, by John Shelby Spong
  • The Birth of Christianity, by John Dominic Crossan
  • Desire of the Everlasting Hills: the World Before and After Jesus, by Thomas Cahill

Acquainted with Grief

  • The Painted Bed, by Donald Hall (poet)
  • In the Midst of Winter, edited by Jane Moffat
  • Prayers for Healingb edited by Maggie Oman
  • Disturbances in the Field, by Lynn Sharon Schwartz (fiction)
  • Becoming A Man, by Paul Monette (memoir)
  • Sophie’s Choice, by William Styron (fiction)
  • When Things Fall Apart: Heart Advice for Difficult Times, by Pema Chodron
  • How Can I help?, by Ram Dass and Paul Gorman
  • Life Lessons, by Elisabeth Kubler Ross and David Kessler
  • Learning to Fall: The Blessings of an Imperfect Life, by Phillip Simmons
  • Living When A loved one Has Died, by Earl A. Grollman
  • When Bad Things Happen to Good People, by Harold Kushner
  • Night, by Elie Wiesel

The Natural World

  • Small Wonder, by Barbara Kingsolver*
  • High Tide in Tucson, by Barbara Kingsolver
  • The Moon by Whale Light, by Diane Ackerman
  • A Slender Thread, by Diane Ackerman
  • A Natural History of the Senses, by Diane Ackerman
  • The Hidden Life of Dogs, by Ellen Marshall Thomas
  • The Emperor’s Embrace: Reflections on Animal Families and Fatherhood, by Jeffrey Moussaieff Masson