I am a book junkie.  I currently have approximately 40 books checked out of my local library.  I also buy used and new books.  I obeyed the oft-repeated national demand that everybody must declutter, and a couple of months ago I donated boxes and boxes to a charity.  I also donated a whole U-Haul truck worth to National Write A Novel In A Month in Chicago when they had this great book drive where they had volunteers coming to your house to pick them up. 

Now I am trying to sell them, auction them on Listia (that Web site is a gas),  gave a new one to the library,  and I am throwing more in the new donation boxes I have set up.  Still, you can't walk through this place without falling over books.  I love my books so much I sleep with them.  I have a full size bed but it is so completely covered by the books I'm reading that I nearly fall on the floor at night trying to fit my body onto the very edge of the mattress.

Anybody else out there addicted to reading? 

Anyhow, I have to share titles and authors of some of the extraordinary books the Universe has put in my path to help me grow.  I am expecting Enlightenment soon but am trying not to seek it or be attached to that outcome or, I've read, it doesn't happen.   The following come with my heartfelt hope that you will see a title or two that makes you go to your library, auction, swap or thrift store and look for them.  I am not going to write reviews of each because I'd be up until the sun comes up and also I'd lose what readers I have.  (And I am amazed how many readers I still have considering that I haven't posted in this blog for a while now.  Thank you my favorite, sweet readers for being so patient with me, and I am not speaking to the large worldwide contingent that comes to see the "Naked Hitchhiking" post after searching for God knows what and finding it.)

I'll just give a brief description and perhaps try to entice you into reading these mostly spiritual and inspirational books that are not religious.  There's a big difference, isn't there?

1.  The Simple Faith of Mister Rogers: Spiritual Insights From the World's Most Beloved Neighbor, by Amy Hollingsworth.  Fred was more than my neighbor while I sat in front of the TV with my kids and frowned on their disturbing me while I was getting my calm, wise and good fix for the day.  He was my counselor, spiritual teacher, role model and psychiatrist among other roles.  Just to hear his slow, sincere from the heart voice made all my negative thoughts and feelings vanish for a half hour. 

"Dear God, let some word that is heard be Yours," he would pray before each show, but he never mentioned God or religion on the show.  The book has many testimonials from adults who wrote him to say that he helped them in diverse ways from getting off cocaine to helping them find the motivation to write a long-procrastinated Master's Thesis.  In trying to help improve and grow the self-esteem of children, many adults found that they needed to be told too that he "liked them just the way you are."  Amazing highly evolved human being. 

2.  Herman Hesse My Beliefs:  Essays on Life and Art.  I had been a big fan of Hesse since my teenage years when I was blown away by Steppenwolf and Siddhartha, perfect gifts for the teenager you are or love, BTW.  One of the books I was reading quoted from his essay, "Concerning the Soul," and indicated it was in this collection of which I was not aware.  If you don't read anything else in this book, and, believe me, you'll want to, read this mind-blowing, spiritually transforming work that is right on time for today's human being evolution into a higher stage of consciousness and compassion and love.  (But you really must read his book review of J.D. Salinger's Catcher In the Rye.)


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