{Reading} 6 Spiritual Books That Changed Their Lives

“A good book has no ending,” said author R.D. Cumming. The best books provoke, inspire and stay with us long after the last page. Here, FOFs share 6 life-changing spiritual books and the lessons they learned from them. Has a book profoundly impacted your life?

1. FOF Rosanne Henrickson: Be All That You Can Be by John C. Maxwell

“This book is about how to reach our potential and to help others. I’m on my fifth reading! We all have challenges on our journey toward our goals and dreams. This book has helped me to become a better person and to reach my God-given potential by helping me take positive action, have discipline, take risks, be committed, embrace challenges and help others pursue their goals and dreams.”

2. FOF Cheryl Savage: Conversations with God by Neale Donald Walsch

“Sometimes people are looking for a ‘sign’ from God. This book challenges that. It’s argues that communication with God can occur within yourself–your intuition. I am a very spiritual person. There is nobody else responsible for our journey in our life but us. My mother used to always say, ‘pull yourself up by your bootstraps and you get back on that horse.’ Conversations With God talks a lot about that.”

3. FOF Mary Nedvins: A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose by Eckhart Tolle

“The book is about how to live life to the fullest and to pay attention to everything around you. Tolle would say, next time you wash your hands, pay attention to the way the soap and water feel on your skin. Don’t just wash your hands. It’s life-changing.”

4. FOF Jan Melk: The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment by Eckhart Tolle

“This book teaches you to be aware of the present. It taught me not to spend a lot of time thinking about what happened yesterday or what might happen tomorrow, but to be really aware of what’s happening NOW. With that awareness you feel in control, peace and grounding.”

5. FOF Sherry DeRosa: The Biology of Belief: Unleashing the Power of Consciousness, Matter and Miracles by Bruce Lipton

“This book provides scientific evidence that our DNA is not determined at birth but instead, is determined by our belief system. In the past, I sought science as an alternative to accepting spiritual truths. The book revealed that life was not an issue of science OR spirituality, it was an amalgam of science AND spirituality.”

6. FOF Kathy Gheen: You Don’t Have to Be Wrong for Me to Be Right: Finding Faith Without Fanaticism by Brad Hirschfield

“This book is by an Orthodox Rabbi who was a fanatic as a young man and realized the peril of thinking that there is only one truth. Hirschfield shares his own personal insights regarding Judaism, Islamic and Christian perspectives and how we can learn to discuss our differences rather than clash over them. I believe his message that ‘conflict is an opportunity to learn and grow — and often to grow closer to one another’ can be life-changing and maybe one day world-changing. He has devoted his life to spreading the messages of inclusiveness, tolerance and peace.”

{Reading} Beach Book Bingo

7 FOF authors reveal their all-time favorite summer reads.


1. Where the God of Love Hangs Out by Amy Bloom (2010)

“Well-written stories of love that will make you read the entire book in one sitting. Order two glasses of wine and get going.”

–FOF Kris Radish, best-selling Bantam-Dell author who writes about friendship, sisters and celebrating life. Check out her just-released novel Hearts on a String.


2. Going to Extremes by Joe McGinnis (1980)

“This book was written during the building of the oil pipelines in Alaska in the ’70s, but is resonating now, especially since Joe, the author is currently renting the house next to Sarah Palin while he does research for a new book about her! One of my favorite books ever.”

–FOF Barbara Hannah Grufferman, author of The Best of Everything After 50: The Experts’ Guide to Style, Sex, Health, Money and More (2010), a compilation of expert advice on how to stay fabulous after fifty.


3. Gift From the Sea by Anne Morrow Lindbergh (1955)

“Ms. Lindbergh wrote this book 55 years ago. Amazingly, the messages are as pertinent to a woman’s life today as they were then. She wrote the book in a period of retreat by the sea, and she assigns a different seashell as a metaphor for each stage of a woman’s life. A few years ago, for the holidays, I gave it to each of my female clients along with a unique shell that I felt represented her.”

–FOF Jaki Scarcello, author of Fifty and Fabulous, a series of interviews conducted with women around the world who hit their stride after fifty.


4. Letters to Our Daughters by Kristin Van Raden & Molly Davis

“I lost my mom a year ago and it brings me great joy and comfort reading this gorgeous, gorgeous collection of letters and photos of mothers and daughters who share their courage and triumph, pain and loss, wisdom and love.”

–FOF Amy Ferris, author of the bare-it-all, Marrying George Clooney: Confessions from a Midlife Crisis, a book chronicling every one of her funny, sad, down-and-dirty stories about mid-life.


5. The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan and 6. The Women of Brewster Place by Gloria Naylor

“I love stories of women’s lives–friendship, family–and the relationships that are most critical to our well being and the ones that sustain us through the ups and downs of life and love.”

–FOF Virginia DeBerry, a New York Times best-selling author and former plus-size model. Her most recent book, What Doesn’t Kill You, came out in 2009. You can see all her books, here.


7. Mystic Grits: A Southern Girl’s Journey to Wisdom by Darelyn DJ Mitsch

“This book will make you laugh, cry, reflect and love your friends and family even more. It’s a fabulous journey through a southern girl’s life as she becomes an incredibly wise and successful woman. I can’t wait for the movie!”

–FOF Marcia Reynolds, PsyD, studies the factors the help and hinder high-achieving women in the workplace. Her latest book Wander Woman: How High-Achieving Women Find Contentment and Direction came out this June.


8. My Family and Other Animals by Gerald Durrell

“One of the most truly charming and hilarious books I’ve ever read. This is the memoir of writer/naturalist/zookeeper, Gerald Durrell, who writes about his family’s years in Corfu, where he began to collect local animals as pets. His brother was famous travel writer, Lawrence Durrell. I laughed out loud.”

–FOF Jill Jonnes, historian and author of Eiffel’s Tower about Belle Epoque Paris.


Images via Kris Radish, Barbara Hannah Grufferman, Fifty and Fabulous, FabOverFifty, Simon & Schuster, Outsmart Your Brain, and Jill Jonnes