Favorite Books

– Posted in: Miscellaneous

Alot of us who blog often mention or recommend our favorite gardening books. I have frequently wondered what other types of books gardeners enjoy reading. So, I decided to pull out a few of my faves (that are not gardening books) and share them with you. I chose three that I consider to be ‘friends’: those books that I return to time and again. Here’s the list:

The Four Agreements, by Don Miguel Ruiz







This book was given to me by my brother who said that if I read it and really tried to follow the behavioral changes it suggests that it could make a significant difference in my life. I am always suspicious when someone makes a statement like that, but how right he was. The Four Agreements is an easy read: yet it is filled with wisdom and advice that you will return to time and again as a reminder of how to live with integrity within yourself and towards others. I have given a copy of this book to several of my friends.

Man’s Search For Meaning by Viktor Frankl

Now considered a classic written by a psychiatrist who was a prisoner in a Nazi concentration camp. Frankl often quoted Nietsche who said: ” He who has a why to live can bear with almost any how”. Frankl is a first rate writer whose words will leave an indelible imprint on your consciousness. He weaves in his personal circumstances within the concentration camps along with his philosophies of the potential of an individual’s transformation in such a situation. Man’s Search For Meaning is heartwarming, courageous and a great philosophical and psychological treatise.

Tao Te Ching  by Lao Tsu






This is a book of ancient Chinese wisdom believed to be written around 500 B.C. by Lao Tsu. When you first open its pages, you may find the words to be simple. But if you continue to read the verses within, its timeless poetic beauty and wisdom will be revealed to you. It is the second most widely read book after the Bible. There are dozens and dozens of translations of the Tao Te Ching. This version is one I that I particularly like. it is a wonderful gift to give to anyone.

Would love to hear from you with a list of your non-gardening favorite books. It will be fun to see who is drawn to what books!! Send links to your blog if you want to display photos.

Fran Sorin

Fran is the author of the highly-acclaimed book, Digging Deep: Unearthing Your Creative Roots Through Gardening, which Andrew Weil, M.D., recommends as "a profound and inspiring book."  

A graduate of the University of Chicago with Honors in Psychology, she is also a gardening and creativity expert, coach, inspirational speaker, CBS radio news gardening correspondent, and Huffington Post Contributor.

Learn more about Fran and get free resources that will help you improve your life at www.fransorin.com.

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Fran Sorin
9 Comments… add one

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our friend Ben December 16, 2008, 1:10 pm

Gads, Fran! Please don’t ask for a blanket book recommendation like that unless you want the internet to crash! But if we limited our responses to books such as you yourself have listed, here are some favorites: Eckhart Tolle’s A New Earth; Hermann Hesse’s Siddhartha; Thomas Merton’s The Seven Storey Mountain; anything by Eknath Easwaran or Carlos Castaneda; John Neihardt’s Black Elk Speaks; and anything by or about Mother Teresa or Saint Francis. I realize this is a superficial and simplistic list, but it’s a start, anyway…

Boy do we ever overlap in our tastes for books! I love Tolle’s New Earth…have underlined and returned to it several times. Siddharta (from college) is yellowed and dog eared. Thomas Merton is one of my ‘spiritual guides’. And what can anyone say about Carlos Castenada? His books still stand as classics after all of these years. The other authors and titles you mention, I will check out. You sound like you are quite a reader! Thanks so much for sharing. Fran

Matriarchy December 16, 2008, 1:37 pm

LOL… I may garden, can jam, and make yogurt, but I like my books full of sex, violence, and aliens.

Hey Matriarchy-
That’s cool. Books can serve alot of different purposes. And I love the fact that you were laughing when you wrote that note. You sound like one terrific lady! Fran

Xris (Flatbush Gardener) December 16, 2008, 2:10 pm

I first encountered Victor Frankl in that book when it was given to me over 30 years ago by a high school teacher, who recognized better than I that I was living in pain. My favorite quote of his: “To give light, one must endure burning.”

Thanks so much for sharing your ‘first meeting’ with Viktor Frankl. And how lucky you were that you had a high school teacher that not only recognized your emotional condition but who was familiar with Frankl. That was a gift. And what a great phrase from Frankl. Fran

Pam/Digging December 17, 2008, 3:09 am

I love Updike’s “Rabbit” series, anything by Jane Smiley, and “Into Thin Air,” especially during a hot Austin summer.

I’ve only read John Updike’s book of short stories…he’s an incredible writer. And everyone tells me that Jane Smilery is a ‘must read’. I just need to make time to get to all of the books that I am dying to read. Fran

Gail December 18, 2008, 12:48 am

Fran, The Four Agreements is a fantastic book..we have the letter 4 in various spots about the house! Sometimes we need reminders! I have been enjoying Nora Ephron’s I Feel Bad About My Neck and I do like a good mystery and suspense book to pass the time. Gail

Am glad to hear that there is another loyal fan of Four Agreements and think it’s cool that you have the number 4 placed around your house. I’ve heard great reviews about Nora Ephron’s book. Aahh…isn’t is wonderful to make the time to read? Fran

jer December 18, 2008, 5:12 pm

Allow me to submit for your approval, if not an antidote to stressful times, at least an escape in humor and adventure. Four books to make you laugh-Milagro Beanfield War, John Nichols; A Confederacy of Dunces, John Kennedy Toole; The Gold Coast and The Gate House, Nelson DeMille; For grand escape-The Fellowship of the Rings, J.R.R. Tolkien; Dune, Frank Herbert

You are certainly a prolific reader. I have read none of them…you have whet my appetite to check them out. Thanks for letting us in on some of your favorites! Fran

pam December 20, 2008, 4:54 pm

Good list – I have always like the four agreements. He says a lot of wise and comforting things in it.

Couldn’t agree more. And believe it or not, as little a book as it is, I am constantly returning to Four Agreements to read over the wisdom he so simply and elegantly offers his readers. Fran

Benjamin December 20, 2008, 9:44 pm

Refuge (memoir) by Terry Tempest Williams; The Branch Will Not Break (poems) by James Wright; A River Sound (poems) by W.S. Merwin; The Things They Carried (fiction) by Tim O’Brien; Turning Bones (memoir) by Lee Martin; Spell of the Sensuous (nonfiction / essay) by David Abram; The Star Thrower (nonfiction / essay) by Loren Eiseley; Dakota (memoir) by Kathleen Norris; Indelible Marks (poems) by Benjamin Vogt.

Thanks to you, I couldn’t resist buying Refuge. Your other recommendations will have to wait but I will keep them tucked away. Thanks so much for turning us on to some of your favorites. Fran

gina December 31, 2008, 4:36 pm

by Anthony De Mello

It changed my life.

I know i’m so late responding to this post! I’m really backed up on blog reading! (and posting for that matter)

It’s never too late to respond to any post on GGW. We appreciate it. And now, because I’m an avid reader, I’ll have to check out
Awareness on Amazon. Thanks for sharing. Fran

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