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The Books We Read to Reconnect with Ourselves

There are occasions when a book is our best companion. It can provide the opportunity to get lost in another person’s story or to fine-tune our own; to make time pass more quickly or to rest our overactive mind for a moment.

As a sequel to (our popular) How to Get a Good Night’s Sleep blog post, we’ve put together a list of our go-to books to pack when headed for a hospital stay or any medical treatment when there will be time to read or the desire to reflect. You may also find some of these titles fitting to take with you when visiting someone else in the hospital, either as a gift or to read to them.

In the words of Our Artisans of Empathy, we offer the following suggestions...


Rhoda, Our Relationship Builder

Anxious for Nothing: Finding Calm in a Chaotic World by Max Lucado

I find this book very inspiring. The title says it all.

The Soul in Balance: The Gardens of Washington National Cathedral by Heddy F. Reid and Isabelle Scott with Alexandra K. Scott

I turn to this book again and again. It was written by two women who were dealing with tremendous loss in their lives. It is divine inspiration full of gorgeous photographs and encouraging quotes. And it is especially meaningful to me because the Gardens at the National Cathedral were my go-to when I lived in DC.


Meredith, Our Poet

The Peace of Wild Things: And Other Poems by Wendell Berry

I'd love to recommend this book of poetry. In it, the author writes:

I come into the peace of wild things
who do not tax their lives with forethought
of grief. I come into the presence of still water.
And I feel above me the day-blind stars 
waiting with their light. For a time
I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.

This whole book is a beautiful, timeless meditation on life, the natural world, our role in it, and the beauty and meaning of existence. He sees the world with such tenderness and clarity, and every single page is like a painting. Reading this book is like a nature walk with a good friend whose deep perspective is both a comfort and a gift.


Tammera, Our Founder and Gown Inventor

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

There is nothing quite like this classic love story.

A Gentleman in Moscow: A Novel by Amor Towles

A life of moments—beautifully crafted—woven into a remarkable story.



Glynis, Our SEO Pro

The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment by Eckhart Tolle

This book is one of my favorites because it teaches you the importance of living in the present moment. It helped me to overcome a lot of my anxiety.

Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear by Elizabeth Gilbert

To me, this is one of the best inspirational books I've read about overcoming fears to live a more creative life.


Mallory, Our Creative Guide

Man's Search for Meaning by Viktor E. Frankl

Victor Frankl's perspective made a huge impact on me when I read this book for the first time at around age 16. (I’ve picked it up a handful of times since to reconnect with his point of view.) At the heart of his writing is the concept of "logotherapy," the idea that at the core of human drive is not a desire for pleasure, but rather of meaning. I agree, and find myself fulfilled not during seasons full of pleasure and lacking hardship, but rather those seasons of feeling like I'm connected to what I am alive to do—and am doing it! The takeaway from Frankl's personal experience, as well as my own (although on a much less brutal level), is that suffering and joy can co-exist, and sometimes suffering even amplifies joy.

A Paris All Your Own: Bestselling Women Writers on the City of Light by Eleanor Brown

This is a vicarious trip through one of my favorite cities in bite-sized essays so you can dip in and out of it. Each tale is written by a different woman culminating in a multi-faceted view of the city of light and love.


Nancy, Our Editorial Curator

84, Charing Cross Road by Helene Hanff

A slim book of correspondence between, initially, two strangers—a New York writer and an English bookseller—whose collective love of books turns into a love affair across the pond all through the written word of letters. I tend to pull this quick read off the shelves on gloomy days—it always picks me up!

We are faithful readers at Arkeras, and we hope you find exactly the right book to join you on your current journey.

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