Recommended Reading

Here is a list of books that I have read and would like to recommend.  I have included my own notes

as well as a summary of each book copied from GoodReads.com

This list will be ongoing, so be sure to check back again later.

I’m currently reading:

Currently I am devoting all of my attention to finishing my own book and preparing it for publishing

I just finished reading:

The Drama of the Gifted Child: The Search for the True Self  by Alice Miller

My comments: Alice Miller knows a lot about psychology and childhood trauma.  She writes like one who has studied Freud.  What I felt was missing in the two books I have read from her is a spiritual perspective.  I get the feeling that this author is angry at God and hasn’t yet dealt with that herself.

Summary from goodreads.com:

The bestselling book on childhood trauma and the enduring effects of repressed anger and pain.

Why are many of the most successful people plagued by feelings of emptiness and alienation? This wise and profound book has provided millions of readers with an answer—and has helped them to apply it to their own lives.

Far too many of us had to learn as children to hide our own feelings, needs, and memories skillfully in order to meet our parents’ expectations and win their “love.” Alice Miller writes, “When I used the word ‘gifted’ in the title, I had in mind neither children who receive high grades in school nor children talented in a special way. I simply meant all of us who have survived an abusive childhood thanks to an ability to adapt even to unspeakable cruelty by becoming numb…. Without this ‘gift’ offered us by nature, we would not have survived.” But merely surviving is not enough. The Drama of the Gifted Child helps us to reclaim our life by discovering our own crucial needs and our own truth.

Laugh it Up – Embrace Freedom and Experience Defiant Joy by Candace Payne

My comments:

I bought this book for some lighter reading.  She looks like Sadness but she has the voice of Joy — Candace Payne (known as the Chewbacca Mom) has clearly had her struggles in life but they have not stolen her joy. I enjoyed this book even more than I expected to.  I hope everyone can read Candace’s book to find and embrace the joy inside themselves to live in true spiritual freedom.  I am inspired by this woman.  (She also covered Michael Jackson’s Heal the World and I can’t stop singing it)  I’d love to interview her one day for my podcast.

Summary from GoodReads.com:

The world knows Candace Payne as “Chewbacca Mom,” the wife and mother of two from Dallas who captured the hearts of nearly 200 million people around the world with nothing but a toy Chewbacca mask, a smart phone, and infectious laughter.

Candace’s viral moment of simple joy became Facebook Live’s top video. But what the video doesn’t show is Candace’s storied journey of daunting obstacles on the way to the joy-filled life—extreme poverty, past trauma, and struggles with self-worth.

Laugh It Up! tells the rest of the story behind the woman in the mask. Like most of us, Candace has often felt overlooked, undervalued, and insignificant. But she has also discovered the secrets to unshakable joy that no circumstance can take away, and Laugh It Up! will help you discover and experience the same.

Join Candace to discover the gift God has given us all to experience life to the fullest. All you need to do is answer “yes” when joy, whom Candace personifies as a friend, calls you to come and play.

Do you feel tempted to give up on your dreams? Joy stays the course.
Do your knees knock when thinking about the future? Joy hopes for what can be.
Do you feel unseen and unnoticed? Joy is content whether backstage or center stage.
Do you feel crushed under the weight of regret? Joy loves you enough to weep with you, but also enough to help you move on.
When life punches you in the gut, it can be difficult to muster a smile—much less a laugh. But with humor and power, wit and wisdom, Candace lights the way forward to a life that is free indeed.

Books about Psychology and Self-healing

The Body Never Lies – The Lingering Effects of Cruel Parenting by Alice Miller

My comments:

On Goodreads, the title says “hurtful” parenting instead of cruel.  I was crying by chapter two.  On chapter 12 I realized that every time I think I shouldn’t put something in my book, my body responds.  I have to be honest when I tell my story.  I can’t leave anything out for fear of being judged or attacked.  I began paying close attention to my body’s reactions to everything after reading this book.  I realized that I had been disassociated from my body for my entire life, but I didn’t know how to listen.  I was too afraid to try.  Since I began reading this book after my father died, I felt safe to listen to what my body feels and says to me.  One of my customers died of cancer and when his wife came to tell me, we sat in my reading space and had tea.  Her husband was there and he could obviously see a problem I was having for he brought my attention to it and I felt it move through me.  It was my infant attachment to my father and in that very moment, it immediately released from me.  I’m grateful for this book.  I have now reconnected with my own body and now that we are working together, my body, mind and spirit, I have reached a new level of clarity.

Summary from GoodReads.com:

“An examination of childhood trauma and its surreptitious, debilitating effects by one of the world’s leading psychoanalysts. Never before has world-renowned psychoanalyst Alice Miller examined so persuasively the long-range consequences of childhood abuse on the body. Using the experiences of her patients along with the biographical stories of literary giants such as Virginia Woolf, Franz Kafka, and Marcel Proust, Miller shows how a child’s humiliation, impotence, and bottled rage will manifest itself as adult illness―be it cancer, stroke, or other debilitating diseases. Never one to shy away from controversy, Miller urges society as a whole to jettison its belief in the Fourth Commandment and not to extend forgiveness to parents whose tyrannical childrearing methods have resulted in unhappy, and often ruined, adult lives. In this empowering work, writes Rutgers professor Philip Greven, ‘readers will learn how to confront the overt and covert traumas of their own childhoods with the enlightened guidance of Alice Miller.’ ”

The Tao of Fully Feeling: Harvesting Forgiveness Out of Blame by Pete Walker

My comments:

I can’t tell you how many times I have thought while reading this book that everyone should read it.  I see so many examples of people suppressing and bypassing their feelings and they have no idea how damaging this is emotionally.  They can’t even think about thinking about it.  Some people are not even aware that they have experienced trauma and they are confused about their suffering.

Summary from GoodReads.com:

“This book is a handbook for increasing your emotional intelligence. Moreover, if you are a survivor of a dysfunctional family, it is a guide for repairing the damage done to your emotional nature in childhood. As such it is actually a sequel to my later book: Complex PTSD from Surviving To Thriving. The Tao of Fully Feeling focuses primarily on the emotional healing level of trauma recovery. It is a safe handbook for grieving losses of childhood.
Whether or not you are a childhood trauma survivor, this book is a guide to emotional health. The degree of our mental health is often reflected in the degree to which we love and respect ourselves and others in a myriad of different feeling states. Real self-esteem and real intimacy with others depends on the ability to lovingly be there for oneself and others, whether one’s feeling experience is pleasant or unpleasant. Those who can only be there for themselves or another during the “good” times show no constancy, inspire little trust, and are only fair weather friends to themselves and others.
Without access to our dysphoric feelings, we are deprived of the most fundamental part of our ability to notice when something is unfair, abusive, or neglectful. Those who cannot feel their sadness often do not know when they are being unfairly excluded, and those who cannot feel their normal angry or fearful responses to abuse, are often in danger of putting up with it without protest.
Repressing our emotions creates anxiety and stress, and stress, like most of our emotions is often treated like some unwanted waste that must be removed. Until all of the emotions are accepted indiscriminately (and acceptance does not imply license to dump emotions irresponsibly or abusively), there can be no wholeness, no real sense of well being, and no solid sense of self esteem.
Thus, while it may be fairly easy to like oneself when feelings of love, happiness or serenity are present, deeper psychological health is seen only in the individual who can maintain a posture of self-compassion and self-respect in the times of emotional hurt that accompany life’s inevitable losses, disappointments and unforeseen difficulties.
Finally this book explores the nature and limits of real forgiveness – identifying behaviors and people who cannot authentically be forgiven.”

COMPLEX PTSD: From Surviving to Thriving by Pete Walker

(A best seller in neuropsychology on Amazon and available in Dutch)

My comments:

This book has helped me to reach the core of my emotional pain.  It has facilitated my understanding of the coping skills I developed in my childhood due to severe neglect, abandonment and mental & emotional abuse, and has shown me how to disagree with the critical voices that were created by the abusive parent I could never please.

Summary from GoodReads.com:

“Key concepts of the book include: managing emotional flashbacks; understanding the four different types of trauma survivors; differentiating the outer critic from the inner critic; healing the abandonment depression that comes from emotional abandonment and self-abandonment; self-reparenting and reparenting by committee; and deconstructing the hierarchy of self-injuring responses that childhood trauma forces survivors to adopt.

The book also functions as a map to help you understand the somewhat linear progression of recovery, to help you identify what you have already accomplished, and to help you figure out what is best to work on and prioritize now. This in turn also serves to help you identify the signs of your recovery and to develop reasonable expectations about the rate of your recovery.”

Healing the Child Within by Charles L. Whitfield

My comments:

As an adult child of an alcoholic, this book has helped me to understand the impact of my primary caregiver being addicted, emotionally unavailable and unpredictable.

Summary from GoodReads.com:

“This book offers a clear and effective introduction to the basic principles of recovery. Physician and therapist Charles Whitfield describes the process of wounding that the Child Within (True Self) experiences and shows how to differentiate the True Self from the false self. He also describes the core issues of recovery and more, and provides a strong introduction to recognizing and healing from the painful effects of childhood trauma.”

Psychic Self-defense by Dion Fortune

My comments:

Whether you believe in multi-dimensional reality or not, we are all affected in some way by beings and energies in the astral plane. As a psychic child who was unsupported and invalidated, never knowing that most of what I experienced as trauma was happening to me psychically, I benefited greatly from learning that I am not crazy, that psychic attack is very real and that I can protect myself from it.

Summary from GoodReads.com:

“This book is a detailed instruction manual for safeguarding yourself against paranormal malevolence. Dion Fortune explores the elusive psychic element in mental illness and, more importantly, details the methods, motives, and physical aspects of psychic attack, and how to overcome this energy.”

Becoming the Narcissist’s Nightmare: How to Devalue and Discard the Narcissist While Supplying Yourself by Shahida Arabi

My comments:

This book helped me to adopt no-contact skills and feel good about sticking with them.  It’s shocking to see how pathological people respond to boundaries when you stand firm without any emotion for them to feed on.

Summary from GoodReads.com:

“In this book, survivors will learn:

•The red flags of narcissistic behavior and covert manipulation tactics, including subtle signs many survivors don’t catch in the early stages of dating a narcissist.
•The motives behind narcissistic abuse and techniques to resist a narcissist’s manipulation.
•Why abuse survivors usually stay with a narcissist long after incidents of abuse occur.
•How our own brain chemistry locks us into an addiction with a narcissistic or toxic partner, creating cravings for the constant chaos of the abuse cycle.
•Traditional and alternative methods to begin to detach and heal from the addiction to the narcissist, including eleven important steps all survivors must take on the road to healing.
•Methods to rewrite the narratives that abusers have written for us so we can begin to reconnect with our authentic selves and purpose.
•How to rebuild an even more victorious and empowering life after abuse.”

The Sociopath Next Door by Martha Stout

My comments:

This book helped me to contextualize some of the most important relationships in my life.

Summary from GoodReads.com:

We are accustomed to think of sociopaths as violent criminals, but in The Sociopath Next Door, Harvard psychologist Martha Stout reveals that a shocking 4 percent of ordinary people—one in twenty-five—has an often undetected mental disorder, the chief symptom of which is that that person possesses no conscience. He or she has no ability whatsoever to feel shame, guilt, or remorse. One in twenty-five everyday Americans, therefore, is secretly a sociopath. They could be your colleague, your neighbor, even family. And they can do literally anything at all and feel absolutely no guilt.

How do we recognize the remorseless? One of their chief characteristics is a kind of glow or charisma that makes sociopaths more charming or interesting than the other people around them. They seem ‎more spontaneous, more intense, more complex, or even sexier than everyone else, making them tricky to identify and leaving us easily seduced. Fundamentally, sociopaths are different because they cannot love. Sociopaths learn early on to show sham emotion, but underneath they are indifferent to others’ suffering. They live to dominate and thrill to win.

The fact is, we all almost certainly know at least one or more sociopaths already. Part of the urgency in reading The Sociopath Next Door is the moment when we suddenly recognize that someone we know—someone we worked for, or were involved with, or voted for—is a sociopath. But what do we do with that knowledge? To arm us against the sociopath, Dr. Stout teaches us to question authority, suspect flattery, and beware the pity play. Above all, she writes, when a sociopath is beckoning, do not join the game.

It is the ruthless versus the rest of us, and The Sociopath Next Door will show you how to recognize and defeat the devil you know.

Universal Vision: Soul Evolution And The Cosmic Plan by Scott Mandelker

Scott also has a YouTube channel where he expounds on deeper spiritual topics – you can check it out here!

Summary from GoodReads.com:

Universal laws behind UFOs and ET contact. Self-healing and the body/mind/spirit system. Earth changes and global shift through 2013 A.D. Practical advice for working with emotions. New teachings on Buddhism and meditation. Dozens of Q & A and personal stories. Special charts on Cosmic Plan, ET/Earth History. Advice for counselors, healers, and ET contactees.

Scott also has a YouTube channel where he expounds on deeper spiritual topics – you can check it out here

Vibe-raising books & books to help you change your mindset

Reality Shifts: When Consciousness Changes the Physical World by Cynthia Sue Larson

My comments:

I interviewed Cynthia in 2021 – you can watch it here) This conversation really delves into the way that the western scientific method has some blind spots, such as the way that the Hypothesis step sets limits that can then act as filters by which scientists miss key possible observations that fall outside those narrow constraints.  And then a whole cycle of stagnation can begin for individuals who seek positive signs and indicators, yet viewpoints steeped in empiricism will often become cycles of self-fulfilling beliefs.  These chaotic times present us with great opportunities to accept change in all that is not eternal.  They also present us with opportunities to see the heroic qualities in the cartoon character, Mr. Magoo, who faces all manner of dire situations and circumstances without succumbing to feeling victimized, anxious, or angry.

Summary from GoodReads.com:

Cynthia has a degree in physics from UC Berkeley, an MBA degree, and a Doctor of Divinity. Cynthia reminds us to ask in every situation, “How good can it get?”  She is the best-selling author of six books, has been featured on the Discovery Channel, the History Channel, Coast to Coast AM, and the BBC, and has presented papers at international conferences on science, spirituality, and consciousness, Cynthia has shared findings from scientific research in the fields of quantum physics, quantum biology, the placebo effect, positive psychology, sociology, and alternative medicine, and she hosts Living the Quantum Dream on the DreamVisions7 radio network.

“Have you noticed things mysteriously move around? Keys don’t stay put, wallets transport to different places, and socks go missing from the laundry. We observe reality shifts when things appear, disappear, transform or transport and when we experience changes in time. Reality shifts range from the sublime (missing socks and synchronicity) to completely astonishing (the dead seen alive again; objects appearing out of thin air; spontaneous remission; traveling far in a very short time). Learn how to live lucidly to create a life you love, positively influence the future and the past, and transform sabotage into strength.”

The Science of Miracles: RE-Membering the Frequency of Love by Dr. Sharnael Wolverton Sehon

My comments:

I interviewed Dr. Sharnael in 2021 – you can watch it here

In the video she answers the following questions:

What kind of minister were you and how did you expand from limited Bible beliefs to understanding the message of consciousness in the scriptures?

With your expanded perspective, how do you now view the dogmatism and judgement that many people have due to religious teachings?

Let’s talk about the biofield, which you discuss often in your book. How can we understand our connection with the planet, other people and experiences on this planet and our part in creating or manifesting those experiences?

Many people don’t understand the practical way that the phrase “be the change you want to see in the world” applies to us or how our own frequency contributes to the world we see. Could you give us an example of how we are creating the very things in the world that we see and practical ways to change our reality?

In your book you mention trauma loops such as 9/11 and how memorializing such events keeps the loop alive. How do our individual traumas relate to or connect to the grander scale of the global traumas?

Are we feeding the global trauma loops due to our personal trauma loops?

How can we recognize and begin to heal our own personal trauma loops?

Finally, based on your knowledge, what advice would you give to those who are suffering from anxiety, fear and low self-worth?

Summary from GoodReads:

Dr. Sharnael is a Naturopathic Doctor, Speaker, Author, and Teacher on Divine Health and the Human Body. She is passionate about reconciling all people to an integrative life: mind, body and soul.

“You can’t pee in the pool and hope it doesn’t get everywhere! With energy it is the exact same way. Issues in one area of your life affects everything. Tired of cycling the merry-go-rounds of negative patterns in your life? Join Dr. Sharnael and understand the simplified beautiful marriage of Quantum Physics and Spirit. Apply her easy formulas to your own life and experience your personal quantum leap miracles today. You deserve a Super-natural life every moment of every day. Start today! “What a beautiful harmony of science and Spirit! Dr. Sharnael has taken the mystification and superstition out of many misunderstood realities and made it in an easy to understand book based in the spiritual and physical laws of God.” -David Stewart, PhD”Read this book and be divinely timed for your highest good and waking up to a new future of reserve manifestation!” -Dr. Marcella Vonn Harting, PhD”The hallmark of a good author and teacher is to present complex information in a simple way. Dr. Sharnael skillfully unmasks the Spirit and Light in us so we can have the necessary shift within ourselves and process the miracles we desire. Dr. Sharnael is a leader who knows the way, shows the way and goes the way!” -Thomas Lucky MD, P(MD)”Dr. Sharnael is the “Real Deal.” I consider Dr. Sharnael a Master Teacher, Inspirer, Leader, Doer and Servant of our Creator on every level. Her vast study of Scripture, Science, Quantum Physics and life raise others!” -Robert Tennyson Stevens”

You Are a Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life by Jen Sincero

My comments:

I read this book at the very beginning of my awakening around 2013 or 14.  It may have been what inspired me to create a vision board, which completely changed my life.

Summary from GoodReads:

“In this refreshingly entertaining how-to guide, #1 New York Times Bestselling Author and world-traveling success coach, Jen Sincero, serves up 27 bite-sized chapters full of hilariously inspiring stories, sage advice, easy exercises, and the occasional swear word. If you’re ready to make some serious changes around here, You Are a Badass will help you: Identify and change the self-sabotaging beliefs and behaviors that stop you from getting what you want, blast past your fears so you can take big exciting risks, figure out how to make some damn money already, learn to love yourself and others, set big goals and reach them – it will basically show you how to create a life you totally love, and how to create it now.

By the end of You Are a Badass, you’ll understand why you are how you are, how to love what you can’t change, how to change what you don’t love, and how to use The Force to kick some serious ass.”

12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos by Jordan B. Peterson

My comments:

I like Jordan Peterson’s psychological and spiritual approach to life.  He is intelligent, inspiring and thought provoking.  This book is a result of someone asking him what is his advice for life.  It’s a good book for everybody.

Summary from GoodReads.com:

What does everyone in the modern world need to know? Renowned psychologist Jordan B. Peterson’s answer to this most difficult of questions uniquely combines the hard-won truths of ancient tradition with the stunning revelations of cutting-edge scientific research.

Humorous, surprising, and informative, Dr. Peterson tells us why skateboarding boys and girls must be left alone, what terrible fate awaits those who criticize too easily, and why you should always pet a cat when you meet one on the street.

What does the nervous system of the lowly lobster have to tell us about standing up straight (with our shoulders back) and about success in life? Why did ancient Egyptians worship the capacity to pay careful attention as the highest of gods? What dreadful paths do people tread when they become resentful, arrogant, and vengeful? Dr. Peterson journeys broadly, discussing discipline, freedom, adventure, and responsibility, distilling the world’s wisdom into 12 practical and profound rules for life. 12 Rules for Life shatters the modern commonplaces of science, faith, and human nature while transforming and ennobling the mind and spirit of its listeners.

 Books about the Esoteric & Occult

Sane Occultism by Dion Fortune

Summary from GoodReads.com:

A collection of articles written by Dion Fortune complied and published as a book in 1920.

Contents: What is Occultism? Is Occultism Worth While? Deeper Issues of Occultism; Credulity in Occult Research; Meditation & Psychism; Use & Abuse of Astrology; Records of Past Lives; Numerology & Prophecy; Group Karma; Authority & Obedience; Secrecy in Occult Fraternities; Left-hand Path; Occultism & Immorality; Psychic Pathologies; Mental Trespassing; Occultism & Vegetarianism; Eastern Methods & Western Bodies; Standards of Judgment; Ideals of Occultism.

Books about Religion and Spirituality

Autobiography of a Yogi by Paramahansa Yogananda

My comments:

I listened to this on Audible, narrated by Ben Kingsley.  This book was “activating” for me.  I began focusing on Kriya yoga, just from what was read and as I focused on the energy it produced in me, I could feel it working, even though I don’t know Kriya yoga.  Simply focusing on it worked for me.  My favorite part was the introduction to Babaji, whom I reached out to and saw his face in my dream.  I asked him for help and received a catalyst immediately.  It was on January 15, 2024.  But that’s another story.

 Books about Science and Spirituality

My husband, who has a PhD in Mathematics from Berkley, has read the books below and they contributed to his spiritual awakening.  If you are more academically minded and scientifically skeptical and looking for hard scientific evidence that spirituality is real, you might want to have a look at these authors.

Supernormal: Science, Yoga, and the Evidence for Extraordinary Psychic Abilities by Dean Radin

You can learn more about Dean Radin’s books and events here.

The Sense of Being Stared At: And Other Unexplained Powers of the Human Mind by Rupert Sheldrake

You can find a bio of Rupert Sheldrake and a list of books by him here Rupert Sheldrake

Summary from GoodReads.com:

Most of us know it well–the almost physical sensation that we are the object of someone’s attention. Is the feeling all in our heads? What about related phenomena, such as telepathy and premonitions? Are they merely subjective beliefs? InThe Sense of Being Stared At, renowned biologist Rupert Sheldrake explores the intricacies of the mind and discovers that our perceptive abilities are stronger than most of us could have imagined.

Sheldrake argues persuasively in this compelling book that such phenomena are, in fact, real. He rejects the label of “paranormal” and shows how these psychic occurrences are in fact a normal part of human nature. Combining the tradition of pragmatic experimentation with a refusal to accept the conventional answers to explain such phenomena, Sheldrake pioneers an intriguing new inquiry into the mysteries of our deepest nature. Rigorously researched yet completely accessible, this groundbreaking book provides a refreshing new way of thinking about ourselves and our relationships with other people, animals, and the world around us.

There are 4 parts:
Part 1: Telepathy
Part 2: The Power of Attention
Part 3: Remote Viewing and Foreshadowings of the Future
Part 4: How does the 7th Sense Work?

The book begins by explaining how the “Sixth Sense” has already been claimed by biologists working on the electrical and magnetic senses of animals. Eels use electrical fields to sense objects around them, sharks and rays use similar fields to hunt, migratory birds and fish have a magnetic senses (biological compass), snakes have heat-sensing abilities, spiders detect web vibrations, etc.

Mr. Sheldrake explains how the 7th sense is biological, not supernatural. It extends beyond the body, though how is not exactly known. “To brush aside what people have experienced is not to be scientific, but unscientific. Science is founded on empirical method…” (experience and observation). “But despite an impresssive accumulation of evidence, psychic research has never been accepted within institutional sciences. It has been kept on the margins as a result of powerful taboos against the “paranormal.”

“In the background lurks the archaic fear of witchcraft.”

Books about Jehovah’s Witnesses

Crisis of Conscience by Raymond Franz

My comments:

I was deeply affected by this book.  Brother Franz is clearly a very loving and spiritual person.  He writes about his own experiences as a governing body member of Jehovah’s Witnesses.  He was assigned to write “Aid to Bible Understanding” as a study aid for JWs.  During his deep research of the scriptures, he began to have questions about certain teachings that were not founded on the scriptures.  He was essentially seen as a threat to the organization just because he discussed his perspective among his close friends and he was eventually disfellowshipped.  I wish I had read this book when I was 19.  I think anyone who is considered joining Jehovah’s Witnesses should read this book first.  I also think that any lawyers who are involved in holding JWs accountable for their actions should read this book for insight on the inner workings kf this corporation disguised as a religion.

Summary from GoodReads:

The tendency of religious authority to seek to dominate rather than serve, and the struggle of those who wish to prevent the erosion of their God-given freedom of conscience — these form the heart of the very personal and candid account in Crisis of Conscience. The scene of struggle is within the membership of a distinctive Jehovah’s Witnesses. The same fundamental issues that mark this account, however, could arise within any of the world’s religions. Starting in the 1870’s as an independent Bible study group composed of a handful of persons in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Jehovah’s Witnesses today number more than five million in some 200 lands. When their publishing agency, the Watch Tower Society, puts out a new book, the normal initial printing is one million copies, with other millions following. In countries where they are active, few people have not had contact with the Witnesses as a result of their intense door-to-door activity.

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