9 Books to Read for Inner Peace and Joy

Happy Book Lover’s Day!

Book Lover’s Day is celebrated every year on August 9th to honor one of the most incredible creations of all human history… Books! Beginning with carvings into stone tablets to the bound, printed books and digital tablets we have today, the history of books is so important to the lives we live.

We are totally book lovers at The Qi, so to express our gratitude for how much we've learned through reading and to celebrate book lover’s day, we wanted to share some of our favorite books that help us feel inner peace and joy. So grab a cup of flower tea, get comfy in your favorite spot, and let's get to reading!

9 Book Recommendations for Inner Peace and Joy

 no mud, no lotus: The Art of Transforming Suffering by Thich Nhat Hanh book cover

No Mud, No Lotus: The Art of Transforming Suffering

By Thích Nhất Hạnh

Most people are afraid of suffering. But suffering is a kind of mud to help the lotus flower of happiness grow. There can be no lotus flower without the mud.” ― Thích Nhất Hạnh (No Mud, No Lotus: The Art of Transforming Suffering)

No Mud, No Lotus teaches us that the secret to happiness is to acknowledge and transform suffering, rather than running away from it. The author, Thich Nhat Hanh, is a Vietnamese spiritual teacher who became a Zen Buddhist monk at age 16. In this book, Thich Nhat Hanh, recognizes that our suffering can feel so bad, that we try to run from it or cover it up through consumption. Through reading this book, he teaches practices of mindful breathing and deep concentration to generate positive, mindful energy in our daily lives. 

the Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz Book Cover

The Four Agreements 

By Don Miguel Ruiz 

"Every human is an artist. The dream of your life is to make beautiful art." — Miguel Ruiz (The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom) 

The Four Agreements is a book written by Don Miguel Ruiz, a Mexican surgeon and author who turned from science to spirituality after a bad accident. It draws from the tradition of the Toltecs, ancient, indigenous people of Mexico and is outlined by 4 guiding principles: 

  1. Be impeccable with your word. 
  2. Don’t take anything personally. 
  3. Don’t make assumptions. 
  4. Always do your best. 

Just stating the 4 agreements, they seem simple enough. Through reading this book, we have learned that the most simple things can actually be what we need to put more of our focus into to live a balanced and fulfilling life.

Awareness by Anthony De Mello Book Cover 

Awareness: The Perils and Opportunities of Reality

By Anthony De Mello

"Don't ask the world to change....you change first." — Anthony de Mello (Awareness: The Perils and Opportunities of Reality)

Anthony De Mello was a member of the Jesuit province of Bombay, India and was widely known for his retreats, workshops, and seminars around the world, leaving a rich legacy of spiritual teachings with his passing in 1987. Awareness: The Perils and Opportunity of Reality expresses that the fundamental skill of living a satisfying life is an awareness of our emotional states and inner voice. A few things that we learned are that what we resist will persist and we musk let out identity go to find the truths that we seek. This book takes a humorous approach to helping us understand ourselves and the world in order to improve our quality of life.

 Haroun and the Sea of Stories by Salman Rushdie Book Cover

Haroun and The Sea of Stories 

By Salaman Rushdie 

"He knew what he knew: that the real world was full of magic, so magical worlds could easily be real." — Salman Rushdie (Haroun and the Sea of Stories)

Haroun and The Sea of Stories is a children’s book that is full of fun and whimsy with talking animals and magic people, and also carries important lessons. Haroun Khalifa is the son of a famous storyteller and doctor, named Rashid. He lives in a city that is so sad, it has forgotten its own name. While on a trip with his father, he confronts ‘Iff, the Water Genie’, who has been tasked with disconnecting his fathers connection to the ‘Story Water Supply’, which gives him the power of beautiful storytelling. This leads him on the journey to restore the poisoned source of the sea of stories. The story in this book deals with balance and opposites. It shows how good struggles with evil, absurdity struggles with logic, and the need for balance within every aspect.

The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho Book Cover

The Alchemist 

By Paulo Coelho

When we love, we always strive to become better than we are. When we strive to become better than we are, everything around us becomes better too.” ― Paulo Coelho (The Alchemist)

The Alchemist only took Paulo Coelho two weeks to write, because, he says, the book was 'already written in my soul'. It is about a boy named Santiago from Spain, who takes on a journey of seeking treasure in the Egyptian pyramids after having recurring dreams about it. This book explores the meaning of 'living the dream' and encourages the reader not to delay the living of your story and legend. 

Someone Who Will Love you in All Your Damaged Glory by Raphael Bob-Waksberg Book Cover

Someone Who Will Love You in All Your Damaged Glory 

By Raphael Bob-Waksberg

But if there's a silver lining here (and you're not sure there is one), it's the assurance that what you had, whatever it was, had weight. It made an impact.” ― Raphael Bob-Waksberg (Someone Who Will Love You in All Your Damaged Glory)

Someone Who Will Love You in All Your Damaged Glory is a collection of 15 short stories all about love in different forms. From the perspective of a dog's love for their owner, to the 65 year love between two people who have never spoken, this book covers humor, romance, vulnerability, heartbreak, and more. The author of this book is also the writer for the cartoon, adult comedy BoJack Horseman, which can be understood through the jokes and strange universes created in each story. This book is amazing for people that are struggling to see that love exists everywhere in so many different forms. 

Tiny Beautiful Things: Advice on love and life from Dear Sugar Book Cover

Tiny Beautiful Things: Advice on Love and Life from Dear Sugar

By Cheryl Strayed

Whatever happens to you belongs to you. Make it yours. Feed it to yourself even if it feels impossible to swallow. Let it nurture you, because it will.” ― Cheryl Strayed (Tiny Beautiful Things: Advice on Love and Life from Dear Sugar)

Tiny Beautiful Things is a collection of letters and essays from the author's two years as 'Sugar', an anonymous advice columnist. She acknowledges that nothing we feel is unique, and yet we each experience pain as strongly as another person, and each person may see their own path as insurmountable. The book outlines three main themes: Acknowledge. Accept. Act. We like to come back to this book when we might be losing perspective. 

Just Kids by Patti Smith Book Cover

Just Kids

By Patti Smith

Where does it all lead? What will become of us? These were our young questions, and young answers were revealed. It leads to each other. We become ourselves.” ― Patti Smith (Just Kids)

Just Kids is a story about two people who formed an unbreakable bond during an innocent and vulnerable time in both of their lives. It begins as a love story, but fades into something much different as the story goes on. This is a true story from the life of artist Patti Smith, where she shows two artists approach to fame and the obsession and ambition that can come with it. 

 Peace is Every Step by Thich Nhat Hanh Book Cover

Peace is Every Step

By Thích Nhất Hạnh

Peace is present right here and now, in ourselves and in everything we do and see. Every breath we take, every step we take, can be filled with peace, joy, and serenity. The question is whether or not we are in touch with it. We need only to be awake, alive in the present moment.” ― Thich Nhat Hanh (Peace Is Every Step: The Path of Mindfulness in Everyday Life)

In Peace is Every Step, Thích Nhất Hạnh shares how mindfulness can help us to manage our negative feelings and bring us true peace and happiness. The book covers 3 main points:

  • Cultivating Awareness & Mindfulness
  • Transformation & Healing
  • Mindful Living

This book has helped us learn the importance of mindfulness in every moment, and taught us ways include these practices in our lives. The author tells us that peace and happiness are available in every moment and helps us to see peace in every step! 

the qi organic edible blue lotus flower tea cup on book in bed 
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We hope that reading these books will help you on your journey of mindfulness, inner peace, and joy. We'd love to hear what you think of them, and to hear some of your favorite books in the comments below! 

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