I love a wide range of books from Hans Christian Anderson’s fairy stories to cookery to women’s fiction and autobiography.
Here are some of my favourites.
Chocolat by Joanne Harris is one of my all time favourites, and the following two Blackberry wine and Five Quarters of the Orange are by the same author .
Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert (translated by Lydia Davis).
Having read several different translations of this wonderful book, I believe Davis does justice to Flaubert’s reputation as one of the best Western novelists of all time.
Labyrinths by Jorge Luis Borges
A book of fictions, essays and parables, all presented in a short story format. Film maker Edmund Yeo says of Labyrinths “The reader gets to see Borges forming a work of fiction from a philosophical premise and then dissecting that premise analytically. If that sounds like a magician giving away his tricks, it’s not – since the essays include some of Borges’ most personal and autobiographical writing, and any possible ‘explanation’ is always filled with as many paradoxes and points of thought as the fiction.”
Susan Seddon Boulet, A Retrospective
The late Susan Seddon Boulet, a Brazilian Shamanic artist painted stunning pictures of the Goddesses from various Mythological traditions. Susan was a keen aficionado of Jungian psychology, employing many of Carl Jung’s principles to her art.
Celestial Gallery [Hardcover] by Romio Shrestha (Author) & Ian A. Baker (Author), with a foreword by Deepak Chopra. The price varies from $20 to $200, depending on availability, so shop around for value over the net.
This is a stunning book, standing 62 cm (2ft) tall. From it, I chose three mandalas and handed the book into a framing studio to have them transformed into pieces of art. This justified the initial price I paid for the book as I now have beautiful mandalas hanging on my walls. There’s also a new edition titled ‘Goddesses of the Celestial Gallery’.
Goddesses in Everywoman by Jean Shinoda Bolen
This books explores Carl Jung’s theory of identification with archetypes. Jean Shinoda Bolen, M. D, is a psychiatrist, Jungian analyst, author and activist. An internationally known speaker who draws from spiritual, feminist, Jungian, medical and personal wellsprings of experience. She is a Distinguished Life Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association, UCSF clinical professor, and a former board member of the Ms. Foundation for Women.
For all her qualifications, she is an extremely down to earth wise woman. This book had been translated into 22 different languages. It is a very empowering book for women of all ages.
The Power of the Crone by Clarissa Pinkola Estés
I have this on audio because I love listening to Clarissa Pinkola Estes’s beautiful lyrical voice and hearing her laugh between reading. Clarissa is mischievous in urging women to be true to themselves. For any woman fearful of the ageing process, this will change your outlook forever.
Clarissa Pinkola Estés, PhD, is an internationally recognized scholar, award-winning poet, diplomate senior Jungian psychoanalyst, and cantadora (keeper of the old stories in the Latina tradition). She is the author of the bestseller Women Who Run With the Wolves (Ballantine, 1996) and The Dangerous Old Woman audio series (Sounds True, 2010).
Borges by Edwin Williamson.
Since I’m enthralled by Borges, I love this autobiography for an insight into the mind of the great Argentinian writer and poet.
Carl Jung: Wounded Healer of the Soul by Clare Dunne
Another visually stunning book, this autobiography is by Irish woman Clare Dunne who travels the world lecturing on Jung. It features wonderful art and is incredibly easy to comprehend, even as an introduction to Jung.
It’s now out of print but you may pick up a copy on eBay or Amazon at a good price.
All Will be Well by John Mc Gahern
Available from www.amazon.com. This is a beautifully written, evocative memoir. I was privileged to attend a reading of this book seven months prior to Mc Gahern’s death.
Writing Down the Bones by Natalie Goldberg
For anyone who wants to be a writer or free the artist within, I recommend this book. I also have it on audio and listen to it in the car, especially if my ability to express myself gets blocked.
Natalie is inspirational and funny and best of all gives us permission to freely express ourselves, while ousting the inner critic.
On Writing by Stephen King
Not only a memoir with fascinating insights into the mind of Stephen King, this is also a great book for anyone hoping to become a writer.
The French Laundry Cookbook by Thomas Keller
Thomas Keller is not only chef to the stars in L.A., he’s a cook’s cook:- The Cappo di Tutti Cappo of chefs. This wonderful book is rated as one of the best cookery books ever compiled. Artistic and elegant, it is an absolute treasure.
Make Bake Love by Lilly Higgins
On a very different theme to Keller’s no fuss streamlined presentation, I love the exact opposite when it comes to baking.
Artsy, homey books like Lilly Higgins ‘Make bake love’ along with the following by Angel Adoree
The Vintage Tea Party by Angel Adoree
These two cookbooks are so girly with an emphasis on home baking. Angel Adoree brings you on a whirl wind tour of living the vintage life in London replete with tips on vintage dressing. Her book is a divine experience. Even Aphrodite would approve.
Love Poems by Pablo Neruda
What is it about South American writers and poets? Neruda, a Chilean poet knew how to express his love for a woman. For me, he is one of the greatest love poets of all time.
Love Poems by Pedro Salinas
It must be the Spanish language and temperament that moves the heart so intensely. More wonderful love poetry by Spanish poet Pedro Salinas
The Poems of W.B. Yeats
Yeats, a mystic and nature lover (like Carl Jung) is my favourite Irish poet.
Fairy Tales by Hans Christian Anderson
This recent edition was originally published in 1916. It contains 24 of Hans Andersen’s most famous tales illustrated by many of Irish man Harry Clarke’s enchanting colour plates and his fascinating black and white line drawings.
I must be Hans Christian Anderson’s number one fan. Yes… at my age! I also love his lesser known fairy stories as they pay homage to nature along with offering a depth of philosophical meaning. For the lesser known stories, seek out versions of his complete works. Sometimes if you’re lucky you will find them in second hand book stores.
Treasury of Greek Mythology by National Geographic
This is an excellent introduction to Greek mythology. Read it to your children, nieces or nephews and learn as you go along.