Fresh Living

enlightenidiot.jpgWith Holly asking for some good summer reading, I put together a little list of some new and perennial favorites in the spiritualish-but-not-religious realm. Herewith:

1) “Enlightenment for Idiots”  by Anne Cushman

I keep re-reading this funny, moving novel about an American woman’s spiritual journey in India. Out in paperback on July 9th.

2) “Holy Cow” by Sarah MacDonald

A smart, engaging non-fiction tale of a journalist’s tumultuous travels through India.

3) “The Year of Magical Thinking” by Joan Didion

Not exactly a knee-slapper, but if you haven’t read this exquisitely rendered, excruciating story of loss, you must.

4) “When You’re Falling, Dive” by Mark Matousek

This narrative weaves memoir with interviews from well-known and everyday people about how they cope with life’s butt-kicking travails–from a blind photographer to poet Stanley Kunitz to Joan Didion.

5) “The Compassionate Life” by Marc Ian Barasch

I haven’t finished this one yet, but I’ll tell you that the first quarter is a tight, persuasive, poetic case for being more kind. Not sappy-kind, but genuinely compassionate.

(Bonus: “Eat, Pray, Love” by Elizabeth Gilbert. Ok, you’ve probably already read this obvious choice, but if not, it’s a silky, fun ride through divorce, God, food, sex, enlightenment, and love.)

Any favorites to add?


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