Favorite Books

Don’t forget to check back here every month for new additions to my Favorite Books:

Books to Read With Your Kids

 


Moody Cow Meditates, by Kerry Lee MacLean

Use this wonderful book to introduce your family to the centering relaxation of peace jar practice. Click here to read how my daughter uses her peace jar at bedtime.

 

 

 
The Carrot Seed 60th Anniversary Edition, by Ruth Krause.

I discovered this story when my oldest child was 3 years old and am reading it now with my youngest. I love its message of perseverance. That little boy knows a carrot will come up. So he just keeps doing his thing – no matter what anyone else has to say about it. “Until one day, a carrot came up. Just as the boy had known it would.”

 

 

Because Brian Hugged His Mother, by David L. Rice.

Brian hugs his mother and everybody’s day gets a little bit better, even people he’s never met. Kindness is contagious and this book does a wonderful  job illustrating how even one small act of kindness can change the world.

 

 


The Listening Walk, by Paul Showers.

This read-aloud book for young children presents such interesting sounds that you can’t help but be inspired to take a listening walk of your own. It’s a wonderful way to introduce the practice of mindful listening to your family.

 

 

 

Just Like Heaven: A Mutts Children’s Book, by Patrick McDonnell

This simple story always reminds me of the joy that comes when we take the time to stop and notice the everyday blessings that surround us. Click here to read my post with more thoughts about this beautifully written book.

 

Pete the Cat: I Love My White Shoes, by Eric Litwin

This book was been the favorite of my daughter’s pre-school class two years running. No one can resist Pete’s positivity and enthusiasm for his shoes, no matter what mishaps may have caused their latest coloration.

 

 

The Gift of Nothing (Special Edition), by Patrick McDonnell.

This book is a welcome respite from the materialism that so often surrounds us. What do you get someone who has everything? A big box of nothing. Nothing, except peace and companionship and friendship.

 

Mindful Monkey, Happy Panda, by Lauren Alderfer.

I often recommend this book to adults who are looking for the simplest way possible to describe mindfulness to their kids. The difference between Monkey’s busy mind and Happy Panda’s is that when Panda plays, he is just playing. And when Panda eats, he is just eating. It doesn’t get any more simple than that.

 

Starbright–Meditations for Children, by Maureen Garth.

These wonderful, short, guided meditations are sure to help you help your child fall asleep, relax and connect to the quiet creativity in themselves.

 

Books for Older Kids

Jonathan Livingston Seagull, by Richard Bach.

This was one of my favorite books in high school. It may have been my first introduction to the idea that we are limited only to the extent we believe in our own limitations.

 

 

Siddhartha, by Hermann Hesse.

Modeled on the story of the Buddha, this tale of a young man’s spiritual journey teaches that true enlightenment comes not from following others, but only from the direct experience of our own spiritual path.

 

Sacred Hoops: Spiritual Lessons of a Hardwood Warrior, by Phil Jackson.

Young athletes will love reading this book by one of basketball’s greatest coaches in which he entertainingly describes using mindfulness to help his players keep their heads in the game and practice aggressive play without anger or violence. There are great lessons here for all of us, both on and off the basketball court. As Phil Jackson writes, “Not only is there more to life than basketball, there’s a lot more to basketball than basketball.”

 


The Little Prince, Antoine de Saint-Exupery

Another one of my favorite stories. Children of all ages enjoy reading the Little Prince’s stories of his adventures among the stars. Read this together with A Guide for Grown-ups: Essential Wisdom from the Collected Works of Antoine de Saint-Exupry to discover even more meaning in this classic fable.

 

Books For Adults

(Please don’t forget to check out my audio-book recommendations as well. Some of my favorite books are even better when spoken and I have listed those separately to encourage you to consider those versions instead.)

 

How to Talk So Kids Will Listen & Listen So Kids Will Talk, by Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish

This is on of my go-to parenting books. You won’t find the word “mindfulness” anywhere in its pages, but it’s basic premise – that the best way to parent is from a place of connection to our children and a deep understanding of their experience – is the heart of mindful parenting.

 

My Stroke of Insight: A Brain Scientist’s Personal Journey, by Jill Boalte Taylor.

Taylor didn’t choose to suffer the stroke that left her without access to the “thinking” part of her brain, but the story of her full recovery offers a glimpse of the happiness that comes from learning to live in connection to all that is without the “baggage” of incessant thinking.

 

Planting Seeds: Practicing Mindfulness with Children, by Thich Nhat Hanh.

This user’s guide to practicing mindfulness with children shares insights and activities that Thich Nhat Hanh developed through years of communal living with the children of Plum Village. The ideas presented in this book are applicable at home, at school, wherever adults interact with kids.

 

One-Minute Mindfulness: 50 Simple Ways to Find Peace, Clarity, and New Possibilities in a Stressed-Out World, by Daniel Altman.

I practice at least some of Altman’s suggestions every day. It’s amazing to discover how much your day can change in just 60 seconds.

 

 

Everyday Blessings: The Inner Work of Mindful Parenting, Jon Kabat-Zinn and Myla Kabat-Zinn.

This book by, one of the leading experts in mindfulness in collaboration with his wife, applies mindfulness to the art of parenting, reminding us of the deep bonds that are forged when we stay fully present with our children and practice unconditional love and acceptance.

 

 

Happiness Is an Inside Job: Practicing for a Joyful Life, by Sylvia Boorstein.

With tremendous compassion, wisdom and wit, in this book Buddhist teacher, Sylvia Boorstein, presents one of the most compelling arguments I have seen for the joy that arises when we use mindfulness practices and metta (loving-kindness) meditation to deepen our connection to the present moment and the people around us.