Words I love... by others

I love to read and I'm always reading a book or two... or three. I read across a few genres, but my favorites are spirituality (all beliefs), fantasy, leadership and, I suppose you could say, self-help. The following are some of my favorite books and why I'd recommend them. I've also included a section reviewing what I just finished reading and whether I'd recommend it or not.

Please note: the following are all my personal viewpoints and don't represent any organizations I'm affiliated with.

Immortal Diamond: The Search for Our True Self
Richard Rohr
Genre: Spiritual Guidance
Rohr is my favorite author on spirituality. He is a Franciscan priest "bearing witness to the universal awakening within Christian mysticism and the Perennial Tradition." He speaks like no other Christian leader I've heard before, and yet, in the tradition of St. Francis of Assisi. If you're looking for great theology combined with tradition and a personal reason to experience mystical Christianity, look no further than Rohr. He beautifully combines the head, heart and soul in a safe, "non-dual" holding that will have you wondering, "Why have I never heard Christian spirituality explained like this before?"
House of Light
Winner of the 1984 Pulitzer...
Mary Oliver
Genre: Poetry
The Alchemyst:
The Secrets of the Immortal...
Michael Scott
Genre: Fantasy
This collection of poems by Mary Oliver won the 1984 Pulitzer Prize for poetry, so you know it's good. Of course, poetry is personal and, in my opinion, highly subjective. Honestly, not all of her poems do it for me, but, when I run across one that does, it breaks open my heart, like this one:
Still, what I want in my life
is to be willing to be dazzled
to cast aside the weight of facts
and maybe even to float a little
above this difficult world
I want to believe I am looking
into the white fire
of a great mystery
I want to believe that the imperfections are nothing
that the light is everything
that it is more than the sum
of each flawed blossom rising and fading
And I do.
Getting lost in a great fantasy series is one of life's greatest pleasures. This first book of the series will draw you in from the beginning and have you looking for the next book in the series right away. Scott is a smart author who ties together historical facts with fantasy, making for a fun adventure with characters you love and, love to hate. My favorite part of this book is that there are five more to follow in the series. It's like taking the first bite of a yummy dessert, knowing there's more to come.
Just Finished

Here's a quick review of the book I just finished reading:

Jesus and Muhammad

Author, Dr. Mark Gabriel, was a practicing Muslim for more than 30 years in Egypt. Not only was he born and raised in the Islam faith, he earned his doctorate in Islamic history and culture from the most well-respected Islamic university in the world. He also holds a master's in world religion and a PhD in Christian education. I found these facts alone to be fascinating.


Gabriel shares his extensive academic knowledge and personal experience of both the Islamic and Christian faiths. While it is clear early on that he has converted to Christianity, the content is still very interesting. Gabriel compares and contrasts the lives and teachings of both Muhammad and Jesus on a variety of topics.


Recommendation: moderate to high for those interested in examining the lives of these two highly influential, religious-spiritual men; realize he writes with a bias toward conservative Christianity.

7 Habits of Highly Effective People
Stephen R. Covey
Genre: Leadership
Still a classic. I was "strongly encouraged" to read this in 1990 while working for Quality Stores as part of their leadership training. It has stuck with me because it is full of timeless wisdom and principles. Covey uncovers a fundamental truth in leadership, you have to start from within first (character ethic) before you can have success externally (personality ethic). This book is filled with some of my favorite stories and quotes. I still use it in my 100-level class at Ferris because it is the best practical, foundational leadership book I've found.
A Darkness at
Raymond E. Feist
Genre: Fantasy
The bad news is, it's the third book in a series. The good news is, it's worth it! Feist creates a masterpiece trilogy in The Rift War Saga. In his first book, you are introduced to two young boys who start on a journey to fulfill their destiny: one a struggling young magician, the other a promising young warrior. The paths they take in the series of three books keeps you on the edge of your seat and makes this final book a treat you won't want to put down.
The Power to Change Anything
Multiple Authors
Genre: Leadership
Many of my 300-level students will recognize this because it was required reading for a few years in my PR strategy course. I was first introduced to it in my doctoral readings and I've found it to be pretty helpful. Through several cases studies and stories, the authors make an interesting and compelling case for influencing change. They basically use a 2x3 grid of key categories, which creates six influence factors; the more factors you use, the greater your chances of success. It's quite an entertaining read and, I have found it to be rather helpful in affecting change.
Karen Armstrong
Genre: Spiritual Guidance
If you're serious about spiritual awakening, whether you're a Christian, Muslim, Jew, Hindu or of any another discipline, you owe it to yourself to explore the life and teachings of Buddha. While this book isn't a "fun" read, or even a very easy read, if you want to know more about the life of Buddha, you'll appreciate it. Armstrong was a Catholic nun for many years, but she left the order and began a search for greater religious understanding. She has written many books including A History of God (1993) and others on the history of the Bible, Islam, and Muhammed.
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