Suggested Readings

The following reading list consists of books that relate to the spiritual, relational, and creative strands of a “triple helix” of midlife renewal.Picture 14

It contains works of both fiction and non-fiction. The books were chosen because they address issues, provide perspectives, or stimulate new thinking related to the triple helix.

The list is not intended to be exhaustive, but rather a current guide which will be updated periodically. Books of the “how to,” advice-giving genre, are generally excluded. Most of those provide superficial and simplistic formulations that embrace, rather than penetrate through or critique the values and cultural attitudes which block human development.

Reading List Categories:





These books, both non-fiction and fiction, address issues regarding meaning and purpose in human life. They raise questions, provide perspectives, and portray the struggles that men and women must deal with in order to transcend the short-term, self-oriented concerns that block or distort moral vision and principled action.

Erich Fromm

  • To Have or to Be
  • The Art of Being

Peter Matthiessen

  • The Snow Leopard
  • Nine-Headed Dragon River

Jack Kornfield

  • A Path With Heart


  • Tao-Te-Ching (Stephen Mitchell’s translation)

Philip Kapleau

  • The Three Pillars of Zen

Idries Shah

  • The Sufis
  • The Way of The Sufi

G. I. Gurdjieff

  • Meetings With Remarkable Men

Thomas Merton

  • Mystics and Zen Masters

The Dalai Lama and Howard C. Cutler

  • The Art of Happiness

Shunryu Suzuki

  • Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind

Thich Nhat Hahn

  • The Miracle of Mindfulness
  • Peace is Every Step

Viktor Frankl

  • Man’s Search For Meaning

Herman Melville

  • Moby-Dick

Fritjof Capra

  • The Tao of Physics
  • The Web of Life

Gary Zukav

  • The Seat of the Soul

Chinua Achebe

  • Things Fall Apart

Frederick Douglass

  • The Life and Times of Frederick Douglass

Kobo Abe

  • Woman of the Dunes

Shosaku Endo

  • Deep River

Pir Vilayat Inayat Khan

  • Awakening: A Sufi Experience
  • That Which Transpires Beneath That Which Appears
  • In Search of the Hidden Treasure
  • Call of the Dervish

Hazrat Inayat Khan

  • The Art of Being and Becoming
  • The Inner Life
  • The Wisdom of Sufism
  • Spiritual Dimensions of Psychology

Paramhansa Yogananda

  • Autobiography of a Yogi (Edition by Crystal Clarity Publishers)

Swami Rama

  • Living With The Himalayan Masters


These are works of both fiction and non-fiction, both classic and contemporary. They offer vision, insights, and wisdom regarding the tasks of creating mutuality and awakening to truth in relationships, particularly in the face of family, cultural, and gender distortions. These distortions underlie the self-deception, betrayal, and false intimacy so prevalent in relationships.

Jane Austen

  • Persuasion

Charlotte Bronte

  • Jane Eyre
  • Villette

Emily Bronte

  • Wuthering Heights

Alice Munro

  • Open Secrets
  • Friend of My Youth
  • Hateship, Friendship, Courtship, Loveship, Marriage

E .M. Forster

  • Howard’s End
  • Room With a View

Doris Lessing

  • Children of Violence series (the 4 “Martha Quest” novels and TheFour-Gated City)
  • The Marriage Between Zones Three, Four and Five

Fyodor Dostoevsky

  • Crime and Punishment (the Pevear & Volokhonsky translation)

Virginia Woolf

  • To The Lighthouse

Peter Taylor

  • The Collected Stories of Peter Taylor
  • A Summons To Memphis
  • In The Tennessee Country

Graham Greene

  • The Heart of the Matter
  • The Human Factor

Erich Fromm

  • The Art of Loving
  • The Art of Listening
  • The Anatomy of Human Destructiveness

Judith Jordan, et al.

  • Women’s Growth In Connection

Jean Baker Miller

  • Toward a New Psychology of Women

Harriet Jacobs

  • Memoirs of a Slave Girl


These books address, directly and indirectly, the cultivation of creative, flexible, mindsets and perspectives regarding daily life and problem-solving. They do this from a diverse base, including everyday life practice; business and leadership issues; the evolution of consciousness; and the interrelatedness of all phenomena in the natural world.

Ellen Langer

  • Mindfulness

Warren Bennis

  • On Becoming A Leader

Robert Rosen

  • The Healthy Company
  • Just Enough Anxiety

Tony Buzon

  • Using Both Sides of the Brain

Charlotte Joko Beck

  • Everyday Zen

Max DePree

  • Leadership Is an Art

Daniel Goleman

  • Emotional Intelligence

Humberto Maturana and Francisco Varela

  • The Tree of Knowledge

Francisco J. Varela, et al.

  • The Embodied Mind

Jane Jacobs

  • The Nature of Economies

Idries Shah

  • The Commanding Self
  • Learning How To Learn
  • Knowing How To Know