I very much enjoy the diversity of perspectives/resources available in the printed form to folks in recovery. I don’t buy into a single canonical document, whether the Talmud, New Testament, Qu’uran, AA Big Book, or Magna Carta as a be all source for living. Within the addiction field, the Hazelden Bookstore aims to be a one-stop place for all of your recovery needs. But there are many other resources that I find integral to my recovery. Some of my favorites include:
- The Spirituality of Imperfection and the more recent publication Experiencing Spirituality, both by Ernest Kurtz and Katherine Ketcham. These volumes consist of themed chapters that use short quotes from classic Eastern, Abrahamic, and other faith traditions to illustrate the message. Both books help me put a useful thought or concept in my head to think about for the day.
- Living Buddha, Living Christ by Thich Nhat Hanh is a classic along the same lines of the above. Hanh draws essential and universal truths from both the Abrahamic and Eastern traditions.
- I first came to know of James Hollis through the Studies in Jungian Psychology by Jungian Analysts series. More recently he has written a set of “lay” books including What Matters Most: A Life More Considered, Finding Meaning in the Second Half of Life: How to Finally, Really Grow Up, and Why Good People Do Bad Things: Understanding Our Darker Selves. I enjoy that Hollis does not fall into a feel good pop psychology but does offer a relevant and readily understandable discussion that is based in a solid discipline of psychology.
- and for nothing but pure enjoyment for being on life’s road, there is Jayber Crow by Wendell Berry. He tells the fictional story of a former ministry student who becomes the town barber in Port William, Kentucky who goes about exploring life’s questions. One of my all-time favorite novels.
What books do you find enhance your recovery?