It is with the heart that one sees rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye.

Antoine de SaintExupery, from The Little Prince

Recommended Reading PDF Print E-mail

Here is a list of great books to try. If you click on a book, you will be routed to the Amazon.com online book store.

The Lord of the Rings (Collector's Edition)
 

THE LORD OF THE RINGS. by J.R.R. Tolkien
One of the great classics of all time. Even the movie trilogy is worth watching. If think that fairy stories and myth are only for children then it is time you grew up.

 
 

 


 

 

 

 

The Coming Race
 

THE COMING RACE by E. G. E. Bulwer-Lytton
Another fairy tale. One of the very early sci-fi stories that is very much more than that. Read carefully and with an open mind.

   
Spiral Dynamics: Mastering Values, Leadership and Change
 

SPIRAL DYNAMICS by D. E. Beck and C. C. Cowan
Interestingly Dr. Beck had a lot to do with South Africa and the 1994 transition. This book has nothing to do with that per se and is a fascinatingly interesting development of a practical tool for measuring human development. Check where you stand.

   
Starmaker: The Autobiography of Hal Wallis
 

STARMAKER by Olaf Stapledon
Arthur C. Clarke regards this book as probably the most powerful work of imagination ever written. This little known work is the base for much of sci-fi, which is so rapidly becoming fact.

   
In the Beginning: A New Interpretation of Genesis
 

IN THE BEGINNING by Karen Armstrong
A more than refreshing re-look at the Genesis fable and our relationship with God and ourselves. Karen Armstrong served as a nun in a teaching order and increasingly came to battle with the dogma she was required to teach. She eventually left and has written a number of stimulating books. Look out for her work.

   
The Journey to the East
 

JOURNEY TO THE EAST by Hermann Hesse
One of the great thinkers of the age and responsible for a number of vast books such as STEPPENWOLF and the GLASS BEAD GAME. Journey to the East is a profound tale of self-exploration and development. It introduces the concept of servant-leadership which has come a kind of business buzz-word.

   
An Introduction to Jung's Psychology (Penguin Psychology)
 

DR. CARL GUSTAV JUNG
Anything you can get your hands on will be valuable. Much of the Collected Works can be quite dense so if you are exploring him for the first time it might be an idea to start with some of the writers who write ABOUT his work and ideas. A good start is AN INTRODUCTION TO JUNG by Frieda Fordham. Works by Jolande Jacobi are excellent.

   
Waiting for Godot: A Tragicomedy in Two Acts
 

WAITING FOR GODOT by Samuel Beckett (a play)
See which tramp, Pozza, Lucky, Vladimir or Estragon YOU identify with. All ? I had a small part many years ago and it is still with me, pushing buttons.

   
Man, the grand symbol of the mysteries,
 

MAN. GRAND SYMBOL OF THE MYSTERIES by Manly Palmer Hall
One of the great esoteric writers who has produced a prodigious body of valuable and stimulating work. Stretch your mind!

   
Paracelsus
 

PARACELSUS
An altogether fascinating man who lived during the 15 th century. There have sad and misguided attempts over the centuries to belittle the incredible legacy he left us. Explore. There is quite a lot. His biography by Frans Hartmann is a good place to start.

   
Women Who Run With the Wolves: Myths & Stories About the Wild Woman Archetype
 

”Women who run with the wolves” Clarissa Pinkola Estes.
Was a sensation when it appeared a few years ago. Estes collected a series of very powerful myths about the nature of woman that give a very different slant to the conventional picture that we all hold. Required reading for women and their men.

   
Dirk Bogarde: The Authorised Biography
 

DIRK BOGARDE
Some of you will remember some of the very good films he made. He also made some real dogs. What he also did was write a very delicate autobiographical series starting with his very early childhood in the 20’s and following through the Second World War to the 60’s and 70’s. A delightful window on an important part of our history.

   
The New Shorter Oxford English Dictionary (2 Vol. Set; Thumb Indexed Edition)
 

THE SHORTER OXFORD DICTIONARY
One the more fascinating books available. Full of everything. Go on - try it!

   
Banished Knowledge: Facing Childhood Injuries
 

”Banished Knowledge” by Alice Miller.
Miller writes graphically and disturbingly about he abuse that we all suffer and have suffered and how this affects both us and the society we all live in. If you like to avoid the more unpleasant aspects of what goes to make us tick then don’t read these books. However if you want to get a handle on perhaps and unexplored aspect of your own life and why certain aspects of society are very much with us then these books are for you.

For Your Own Good: Hidden Cruelty in Child-Rearing and the Roots of Violence  Thou Shalt Not Be Aware: Society's Betrayal of the Child  Prisoners of Childhood: The Drama of the Gifted Child and the Search for the True Self

   
Iron John: A Book About Men
 

”Iron John” by Robert Bly.
Required reading for both man and women who are wrestling with the concept of what it means to be a man. Bly is an American poet and he has brought this talent to bear in his uncovering of the essence of what it means to be a man.

   
Conversations with God : An Uncommon Dialogue (Book 1)
 

CONVERSATIONS WITH GOD by Neal Walch
In three volumes. Fascinating, witty and wise. After all, these are conversations with God!

   
Alice's Adventures in Wonderland: A Pop-up Adaptation
 

ALICE’S ADVENTURES IN WONDERLAND by Lewis Carroll
Much, much more than a children’s story. This is life with all its wonder. Time to read it if you haven’t. Time to read again if the last time was when you were young.

   
Red Moon
 RED MOON by Miranda Gray
About the miracle of the menstrual cycle and the cyclic nature of women. For men too! 
   
Gangs of America: The Rise of Corporate Power and the Disabling of Democracy (Bk Currents)
 Gangs of America” by Ted Nace.
The “gangs” are not the mafia or other thugs, they are the giant corporations. What I like most about this book is that he pretty much agrees with my thinking! This is a very urgent message for us to re-look at the nature of the organisations that we create so easily. Nace emphasises the very real danger of what have done and are doing and we are rapidly losing control. Did you ever see any of the “Terminator” movies? Read this book and then watch the movie and substitute the machines with organisations.
   
Foundation (Foundation Novels)
 

”Fondation” by Isaac Asimov
Almost a pity he chose to write science fiction as the means of getting what he wanted to say across. I am sure that some will dismiss his work because of that. Their loss! All his stuff which I have listed below is worth a read. The stories are good yarns and what underpins them is more than valuable in its profoundness. The Robot stories in particular has some very disturbing messages for us today in our relationship with our organisations.

Second Foundation (Foundation Novels) I, Robot Foundation and Empire (Foundation Novels) Foundation and Earth Foundation's Edge (Foundation Novels) Forward the Foundation (Foundation Novels)

   
A World Waiting to Be Born: Civility Rediscovered
 

A World Waiting to Be Born: Civility Rediscovered

One word “Inspiring” with great relevance for the world of business.

   
Love: What Life Is All About
 

”Love” by Leo Buscaglia.
Absolutely one of my favourite writers. Witty, sharp as a razor and just plain funny. At the same time with lots of pertinent an valuable observations about us as humans – both our frailties and our strengths. This little book explores what we don’t know about love and how we need to wrestle with it.

   
Servant Leadership: A Journey into the Nature of Legitimate Power and Greatness 25th Anniversary Edition
 

”Servant Leadership” by Robert Greenleaf.
The seminal work on this subject. He took a lot of his ideas from “Journey to the East” by Herman Hesse (see below). Required reading if you are a member of a board of directors or have any leadership role in the world of business. The others listed should also be on your shelves. (The Servant-Leader Within: A Transformative Path, The power of servant leadership)

The Servant-Leader Within: A Transformative Path The Power of Servant Leadership

   
Loving Each Other
 ”Loving Each Other” by Leo Buscaglia.
Here he takes a long hard (still witty and funny) look at how we deal with each other and our relationships.
   
Seven Stories of Christmas Love
 ”Seven Stories of Christmas Love” by Leo Buscaglia.
Beautifully sentimental. Christmas is coming up and this would make a lovely present.
   
Born for Love: Reflections on Loving
 ”Born for Love” by Leo Buscaglia.
By now you should be getting the idea that I like this guy’s work. I do! More of the same really and worth the read.
   
The Road Less Travelled
 ”The Road less Travelled” by M. Scott Peck.
This is the book that brought this man well deserved recognition. He is sometimes to locked into his faith for my liking by the power of his thinking cannot be denied or ignored. The books I have listed here are the ones I found especially valuable both from a business and personal point of view.
   
In Search of Stones
 

”In Search of Stones” by M. Scott Peck.
On the face of it an account of a holiday he and his wife took in England during which they searched for the great standing stones that litter the UK countryside (remnants of the Atlantean time, though he does not touch on that), like Stonehenge, Avebury and lots of others less well known. It in fact turns out to be a delicate exploration of masculinity, relationships and humanity. Lovely!

   
I And Thou
 ”I and Thou” by Martin Buber.
I first encountered this remarkable thinker some 30 years and when I recently dipped into his work once again I found it as pertinent as ever. He has much to offer in the way you lokm at you relationship with yourself, others and God. All his stuff is worth a read.
   
The Art of Loving
 ”Art of Loving” by Erich Fromm.
Another inspiring look at this subject that so confuses us. We talk about love probably just about every day of our lives – in one way or another. Yet it is quite apparent that we have little or no idea what we are actually saying or talking about! Perhaps the only way to get at least of an idea of this enigmatic subject is to explore, explore and then explore some more. Fromm has some wonderful tings to say. Go explore.
   
Loving What Is: Four Questions That Can Change Your Life
 

”Loving what is” by Byron Katie.
A remarkable woman who has now written a few books. This is without doubt her “magnum opus”. Nothing new if you have done the Foundation work and she puts a refreshing slant on it which makes it worth a read.

   
The Different Drum: Community Making and Peace
 The Different Drum: Community Making and Peace by M. Scott Peck.
Well worth the read unless you don’t want your mind stretched!
   
Love, Sex & Tragedy: How the Ancient World Shapes Our Lives
 ”Love Sex and Tragedy” by Simon Goldhill.
A fascinating window in to the world of then Greeks and Romans and how their ideas on life an relationship still have profound effect today. Also how far we have moved from their ideas and not always to our benefit!
   
Man's Search for Meaning
 ”Mans Search for Meaning” by Victor Frankl.
Frankl survived the Nazi death camps of World War II. This extraordinary book draws on his experiences of those days from which he distilled a philosophy that has huge relevance for us in these times. It was also the ground for what he came to call logotherapy” which was a new way of dealing with and looking at the human psyche and its difficulties.
   
The Descent of Woman
 

”The Descent of Woman” by Elaine Page.
The first of a series of very interesting books that are listed below, that give women a role in the evolution of humanity far removed from the usual male-centric tradition. It also explores our aquatic heritage. There seems to be little doubt that we spent a lot of time in the water before finally committing ourselves to being land mammals. Makes lot of sense.

   
The Descent of the Child: Human Evolution From a New Perspective
 

”The descent of the child” by Elaine Morgan.
Fascinating follow on from the above.

   
Aquatic Ape Hypothesis (Condor Indep Voices)
 ”The Aquatic Ape Hypothesis” by Elaine Morgan.
She gives a ver y neat explanation about many aspects of our humanity that are otherwise very difficult to explain. Will make you think.
   
Pay It Forward
 ”Pay it Forward” by Catherine Hyde.
A neat take on the aphorism of “pay it back”. This was made into a delightful movie a few years ago that is likely on DVD – worth a watch. The idea behind the thinking is why not do something BEFORE it happens. Don’t wait for something good to happen to you and then attempting to pay it back. Pay it forward and MAKE something good happen to you.
   
King, Warrior, Magician, Lover: Rediscovering the Archetypes of the Mature Masculine
 ”King Warrior Magician Lover” by Robert Moore and Douglas Gillette.
One of a series where the authors explore the underlying power and nature of man and how this has been buried in our modern society. Without men coming to grips with their essential nature we are all in trouble. Women need to read this as well if they are to get some understanding of what it means to be man.
   
We: Understanding the Psychology of Romantic Love
 

”WE” by Robert A Johnson.
A Jungian who comes from a Jungian point of view as he explores the nature of man, woman and relationships. Excellent stuff.

She: Understanding Feminine Psychology He: Understanding Masculine Psychology (Perennial Library)

   
The Surrendered Wife : A Practical Guide to Finding Intimacy, Passion, and Peace with Your Man
 

”The Surrendered Wife” by Laura Doyle.
In my opinion one of the more important raltionship books that has been written. One could argue that it should NOT be this way and there can be little or nor argument that it IS this way. This book gives valuable pointers on how to deal with what IS in our relationships. Get past your prejudices and your mother’s point of view and read with an open mind!

   
Why Men Don't Iron: The Fascinating and Unalterable Differences Between Men and Women
 ”Why men don’t iron” by Anne and Bill Moir.
A lighthearted and serious exploration of the different behaviour patterns of men and women and how many of these appear to be hard-wired into our psyches. Easy to read an a valuable guide for the minefield of relationships. Does not attempt to make anything right – just says this is the way that it is.
   
The Book of Mirdad: The Strange Story of a Monastery Which Was Once Called the Ark
 

”The Book of Mirdad” by Mikhail Naimy.
A very very very profound book about life and how we fit into it.  Read it!

   
Fire in the Belly: On Being a Man
 ”Fire in the Belly” by Sam Keen.
By a man for men – and women who want to get a handle on their men.
   
Change Your Thoughts - Change Your Life: Living the Wisdom of the Tao
 

”Change your life” by Wayne Dwyer.
There is quite a lot of controversy about this man does he really has a PhD? Frankly who cares. Despite the relative superficiality of his work what he says is pertinent and relevant.

   
Sacred Contracts: Awakening Your Divine Potential
 ”Sacred Contracts” and other listed below by Caroline Myss.
A remarkable psychic healer who is able to both diagnose and heal from afar as well as close up. Rubbish? Well not according to the many, many people who have benefited from her ministrations. A very different look at what we are and how we function.
   
   
The Prophet
 

”The Prophet” by Khalil Gibran.
A Christian mystic with so much to say about all aspects of our lives. I find myself reading, analysing, quoting from and then goin back to the beginning and finding more and more depth. Remarkable stuff. He has written a lot and this little book seems to sum it all up.

   
Care of the Soul : A Guide for Cultivating Depth and Sacredness in Everyday Life
 

”Care of the Soul” by Thomas Moore.
A fascinating exploration of how we are a lot more that our physicality. All of his works are worth exploring if you are beginning to take your emotional and spiritual self in the least seriously.

   
Dark Nights of the Soul
 "Dark Nights of the Soul" by Thomas Moore
“Every human life is made up of the light and the dark, the happy and the sad, the vital and the deadening. How you think about this rhythm of moods makes all the difference.”

Our lives are filled with emotional tunnels: the loss of a loved one or end of a relationship, aging and illness, career disappointments or just an ongoing sense of dissatisfaction with life. Society tends to view these “dark nights” in clinical terms as obstacles to be overcome as quickly as possible.
   
The Seat of the Soul
 

”The Seat of the Soul” by Gary Zukav.
An investigation of re-incarnation, evolution and a host of human topics. An essential read if you a beginning to explore what it means to be human.

   
Working the Soul
 ”Working the Soul” by Charles Ponce.
An unusual take on on that “other” side of us. More than interesting. Poncé has grasped the essential psychological insight of the masters he evokes—Paracelsus, Jung, Kerényi, Eliate—and the traditions he joins—astrology, alchemy, mythology, kundalini.
   
Mutant Message Down Under
 ”Mutant Message from Down under” by Marlo Morgan.
An extraordinary tale of a western woman who was very gently abducted by a band of Australian Aborginees and taken into the outback on a walk-about that lasted several months. The message for us as we go about our 21st century lives is profound.
   
Jung and Tarot: An Archetypal Journey
 

”Jung and the Tarot” by Sallie Nichols.
The Tarot from a Jungian point of view. There is a lot of rubbish written about both the origins of the Tarot and the Tarot itself. The Tarot has little or nothing to do with fortune telling. It is a profound way of exploring the archetypal influences on your life that are there whether you like it or not. This is one of the better expositions on the subject.

   
The Tenth Insight: Holding the Vision (Celestine Prophecy)
 

”The Tenth Insight” by James Redfield.
A follow on to the above and worth a read as it explains some of the ideas that were not fully explored.

   
The Complete Conversations with God (Boxed Set)
 ”Conversations with God” by Neale Donald Walch.
Did he actually talk to God? Dunno and frankly it simply does not matter! What Walch has given us is more than worth the trouble of submerging your disbelief and taking the message that he has for us on every aspect of life. I sometimes think that he must have snuck into a Harlequin room as I was teaching this stuff long before he wrote about it! If you have done my work you will recognise a lot of what he writes about.
   
The Alchemist (Plus)
 

”The Alchemist” by Paulo Coelho.
I am not a particular fan of Coelho and having said that the three listed here are very valuable indeed. Read them

   
The Indigo Children: The New Kids Have Arrived
 

”The Indigo Children” by Lee Carrol and Jan Tober.
There is, for me, very little doubt that a new kind human started appearing in reasonable numbers on the planet a few years ago. The children WERE different, they ARE different. They had and have a very different value system to the one we follow. They asked and ask for different things and the ideas that we attempted to and still foist on them they simply would and do not accept. The war continues today. Parents would make everyone’s life a lot easier if they would simply accept that things, including their children have changed – radically. As usual I don’t agree with everything the authors have to say and this does not diminish the value of the book in any way. Essential read if you have children. Also don’t forget you were once a child – you will get a different idea of how and what makes you tick.

   
Beyond Supernature: A New Natural History of the Supernatural
 

”Supernature” by Lyall Watson.
The book was a sensation when it appeared some years ago because it turned upside down some of the ideas about our world that we have been holding onto for such long time. He has since written a whole series of books that explore our world from a very different point of view. Some of these are listed below. All are , for me, essential readfing if you are to get a glimmering of what life on our planet is about. Again is he right all the time? Almost certainly not!

   
Dark Nature: Natural History of Evil, A
 ”Dark Nature” by Lyall Watson.
A thought provoking exploration of the nature of what we call our dark side. Fascinating. “Every human life is made up of the light and the dark, the happy and the sad, the vital and the deadening. How you think about this rhythm of moods makes all the difference.”
   
The Dreams of Dragons: An Exploration and Celebration of the Mysteries of Nature
 ”Dreams of Dragons” by Lyall Watson.
Are dragons really only figments of our imagination? Prowling the edges of science with insight and sensitivity, Lyall Watson maintains that there is a truth to be found behind every seemingly impossible legend. The best-selling author of Supernature and Gifts of Unknown Things, Watson takes us on a journey through prehistoric burial sites on the beaches of South Africa, ancient ritual iron mines in Swaziland, and present-day villages in Indonesia and New Guinea inhabited by man-eating dragons and headhunters. In these and other extraordinary travels we encounter phenomenon that defy traditional scientific explanation. Watson looks beyond the scientific "facts" and helps us--through his own remarkable discoveries--to see the poetry and wonder of the natural world.
   
The Atlantis Enigma
 ”The Atlantis Enigma” by Herbie Brennan.
With all the evidence it is actually more difficult to dismiss the tales of Atlantis than believe in them. I mean was Plato really that gullible? This, for me is one of the better ones on the subject. Atlantis was an era not a place.
   
The Turning Point: Science, Society, and the Rising Culture
 

”Turning Point” by Fritjof Capra.
One of the early explorations into the quantum world.  Still more than relevant and fascinating stuff.

   
Dancing Wu Li Masters: An Overview of the New Physics (Perennial Classics)
 

”The Dancing Wu LI Masters” by Gary Zukav.
Don’t be put off by the title – this is an early exploration into quantum physics. The cover says “new physics”. What is should have said was “very old physics”! It certainly opened my eyes very wide indeed. Still very relevant and a wonderful guide if you are just starting.

   
The Secret Life of Plants
 ”The Secret Life of Plants” by Christopher Tompkins.
You will never look at a plant in the same way again – ever! Plants are sentient, have emotions and feelings and it is more than time that we started to respect these if we are to establish any kind of meaningful relationship with Mother Earth. Opens the door to some fascinating experiments that you can do.
   
Secrets of the Soil : New Solutions for Restoring Our Planet
 ”The Secrets of the Soil”  by Christopher Tompkins.
So you thought that soil was just soil? Think again. The companion volume to the one above. If you garden or farm you need to read both these books.
   
Holism And Evolution
 HOLISM by J.C. Smuts
Not everyone associates this great South African with original philosophical thought. This seminal work traces the linkages between everything. Remarkable.
   
 
< Prev   Next >