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Natural Awakenings Atlanta

Favorite Books!: Gift Ideas for the Holidays

Dec 01, 2019 01:23AM ● By Candace Apple
As warm evenings turn to chilly winter nights, what’s better than curling up with a good book? And, while the holidays approach, what could be more thoughtful than to gift others with a good book that you have read and enjoyed or that has inspired life changes?

Here are a few book gifting ideas—gleaned from submissions by Natural Awakenings’ readers listing the books that have impacted and inspired their lives. You might also want to add some of these to your own library. Self-gifting is certainly allowed!

New Thought Classics

Wherever there’s a list of New Thought classics, Be Here Now by Ram Dass is inevitably at the top of that list. Having started his career as an esteemed academician and therapist, the author began to explore psychedelics in 1971 and travelled to India to explore Eastern religions and study with gurus—and it changed his life. His book encapsulates the truisms he learned in whimsical, accessible fashion with art, poetry, quotes and more.

The Celestine Prophecy: An Adventure by James Redfield was a classic of the 90s and is still a great introduction to metaphysical ideas. Topics like past lives and reincarnation may have been in many people’s thoughts at the time but were still considered way out of the norm. The book became a conversation-starter for like-minded people to discuss some of the topics of the blossoming New Age movement.

Published in 1999, The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment by Eckhart Tolle might be the most successful New Thought book in history, having sold more than 5 million copies worldwide and having been translated into 33 languages. Deepak Chopra has said, “Every sentence rings with truth and power.” The book emphasizes a path of being present and provides profound insights into how to let go of the fear-based machinations of the personal identity.


As the time for planning holiday parties, feasts and celebration approaches, The Forest Feast: Simple Vegetarian Recipes from My Cabin in the Woods by Erin Gleeson is one of the most inspiring and beautifully illustrated cookbooks on the shelf. Its illustrations of vegetables are helpful in the grocery store and images of completed dishes are enticing in and of themselves. The book brings beauty and delight to a vegetarian diet.

True Food: Seasonal, Sustainable, Simple, Pure includes more than 125 seasonal, sustainable and delicious recipes from Dr. Andrew Weil’s True Food restaurants. The book offers a way for people to create healthy, delicious meals at home—from breakfast to soups and salads to dinners and desserts. It is hard to feel deprived eating healthy food when it is so satisfying to the eye and the stomach.

Inspiration for the New Year

Modern Ayurveda: Rituals, Recipes & Remedies for Balance by Ali Cramer shares recipes that help to create more balance and health by implementing Ayurvedic principles. Ayurveda is an ancient holistic healing practice that emphasizes self-care through sleep, exercise, healthy eating, harmonizing with the seasons and the five elements. While the practice offers great depth, the book is an easy, meaningful and practical tool to begin integrating the principles into one’s lifestyle and reaping the benefits.

An Altar in the World by Georgia author Barbara Brown Taylor looks at the state of mindfulness from a unique perspective—as an Episcopal priest who left the ministry to become a fulltime professor at Piedmont College in North Georgia.  Her book speaks to people who self-define as “spiritual” but not “religious,” as she shares how she learned to encounter God far beyond the walls of the church.

Radical Acceptance: Embracing Your Life with the Heart of a Buddha by Tara Brach, Ph.D., explores the trance of unworthiness and shame in which many get lost as they search for perfection. Brach suggests a gentle way of letting go of shame through Buddhist practices such as mindfulness, the sacred pause, not doing, facing fear and awakening the heart of compassion.

Revolution of the Soul: Awaken to Love Through Raw Truth, Radical Healing and Conscious Action by celebrated yoga teacher and activist Seane Corn is a raw and gritty memoir describing the author’s journey of utilizing the body, mind and spirit to heal, evolve and save the world. She invites us to join her on the journey as she shares her joys, pain, wonder and humor.

Candace Apple is owner of Phoenix & Dragon Bookstore in Atlanta, which offers a broad selection of holistic and spiritual merchandise as well as classes, workshops, readings and more. Reach Candace at [email protected]

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