Books about Self Exploration

  1. High Fidelity

    by Nick Hornby
    A man reflects on his past relationships while trying to understand the nature of love.

    Rob Fleming is a 35-year-old man who owns a record shop in London called Championship Vinyl. His lawyer girlfriend, Laura, has just left him and now he's going through a crisis. At his record shop, ... (Wikipedia)

  2. Keturah and Lord Death

    by Martine Leavitt
    A young woman's quest to find true love by outsmarting Death himself.

    Martine Leavitt offers a spellbinding story, interweaving elements of classic fantasy and high romance in this National Book Award Finalist. Keturah follows a legendary hart into the king's forest, ... (Goodreads)

  3. Winter Journal

    by Paul Auster
    A memoir of the author's life, exploring memories and experiences through the lens of winter.

    From the bestselling novelist and author of "The Invention of Solitude," a moving and highly personal meditation on the body, time, and language itself ""That is where the story begins, in your body, ... (Goodreads)

  4. Rule

    by Jay Crownover
    Shaw Landon, a rule follower, falls for bad boy, Rule Archer, and must navigate their tumultuous relationship while dealing with family drama.

    Opposites in every way . . . except the one that matters Shaw Landon loved Rule Archer from the moment she laid eyes on him. Rule is everything a straight-A pre-med student like Shaw shouldn’t ... (Goodreads)

  5. The Dharma Bums

    by Jack Kerouac
    A journey of self-discovery, fueled by a passion for Buddhism and nature.

    The character Japhy drives Ray Smith's story, whose penchant for simplicity and Zen Buddhism influenced Kerouac on the eve of the sudden and unpredicted success of, On the Road, . The action shifts ... (Wikipedia)

  6. The Sheltering Sky

    by Paul Bowles
    An exploration of the human condition, as a couple travel through the Sahara desert.

    The story centers on Port Moresby and his wife Kit, a married couple originally from New York who travel to the North African desert accompanied by their friend Tunner. The journey, initially an ... (Wikipedia)

  7. Henderson the Rain King

    by Saul Bellow
    A man's journey of self-discovery, finding his place in the world through travel and adventure.

    Eugene Henderson is a troubled middle-aged man. Despite his riches, high social status , and physical prowess, he feels restless and unfulfilled, and harbors a spiritual void that manifests itself as ... (Wikipedia)

  8. Walden

    by Henry David Thoreau
    A reflective journey into nature, exploring the power of contemplation and simplicity.

    Originally published in 1854, Walden; or, Life in the Woods, is a vivid account of the time that Henry D. Thoreau lived alone in a secluded cabin at Walden Pond. It is one of the most influential and ... (Goodreads)

  9. Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail

    by Cheryl Strayed
    A woman confronts her past and finds herself through a solo hike on the Pacific Crest Trail.

    Wild is Cheryl Strayed's memoir of her 1,100-mile solo hike along the Pacific Crest Trail . Strayed's journey begins in the Mojave Desert and she hikes through California and Oregon to the Bridge of ... (Wikipedia)

  10. Tomboy: A Graphic Memoir

    by Liz Prince
    A young woman's exploration of gender identity, and the challenges she faces growing up.

    Growing up, Liz Prince wasn't a girly girl, dressing in pink tutus or playing pretty princess like the other girls in her neighborhood. But she wasn't exactly one of the guys, either. She was ... (Goodreads)

  11. Dance Dance Dance

    by Haruki Murakami
    A man's journey through a surreal dreamscape in search of meaning and solace.

    The novel follows the surreal misadventures of an unnamed protagonist who makes a living as a commercial writer. He is compelled to return to the Dolphin Hotel, a seedy establishment where he once ... (Wikipedia)

  12. A Death in the Family

    by Karl Ove Knausgård
    Autobiographical account of a young Norwegian man's struggles with life.

    Romanen åpner med en svimlende beskrivelse av døden. Derfra fortelles det om forfatteren Karl Ove Knausgårds kamp for å mestre livet og seg selv og sine egne ambisjoner på skrivingens vegne, i møte ... (Goodreads)

  13. Notes from Underground

    by Fyodor Dostoevsky
    A portrait of the struggles of a troubled man, exploring his inner turmoil.

    The novel is divided into two parts. Serving as an introduction into the mind of the narrator, the first part of Notes from Underground is split into nine chapters: The narrator observes that utopian ... (Wikipedia)

  14. The Idiot

    by Elif Batuman
    A young woman's journey of self-discovery, learning to navigate the complexities of life.

    Selin Karadağ is a freshman studying linguistics at Harvard University . She meets an older Hungarian mathematics student, Ivan, in a Russian language class and the two begin corresponding over ... (Wikipedia)

  15. Searching for God Knows What

    by Donald Miller
    A spiritual exploration of faith and identity, uncovering the divine in the mundane.

    In, Searching for God Knows What, , best-selling author Donald Miller invites you to reconnect with a faith worth believing. With humor, intelligence, and his trademark writing style, he shows that ... (Barnes & Noble)

  16. Afterworlds

    by Scott Westerfeld
    A young adult novel that alternates between the story of a teenage writer and the fictional world she creates.

    Darcy Patel has put college and everything else on hold to move to New York to rewrite and publish her teen novel, 'Afterworlds'. Arriving with no apartment or friends she wonders whether she's made ... (Wikipedia)

  17. How to Live: A Life of Montaigne in One Question and Twenty Attempts at an Answer

    by Sarah Bakewell
    A biography of Michel de Montaigne, exploring his philosophy and how it can be applied to modern life.

    How to get on well with people, how to deal with violence, how to adjust to losing someone you love–such questions arise in most people's lives. They are all versions of a bigger question: how do you ... (Goodreads)

  18. Awakening

    by Cate Tiernan
    A teenage girl discovers she is a witch and must navigate the complexities of magic, love, and family secrets.

    For now, Morgan is safe from the dark wave that has been attacking witches. Betrayed by her first love, she is trying to come to grips with her Woodbane heritage and with Wicca – its thorn and its ... (Goodreads)

  19. Wild Mind: Living the Writer's Life

    by Natalie Goldberg
    A guide to unleashing creativity and living a writer's life, with practical exercises and personal anecdotes.

    Natalie Goldberg, author of the bestselling, Writing Down The Bones, teaches a method of writing that can take you beyond craft to the true source of creative power: The mind that is “raw, full of ... (Barnes & Noble)

  20. Transit

    by Rachel Cusk
    A woman's journey of rediscovering herself after divorce, through encounters with others.

    The stunning second novel of a trilogy that began with, Outline, one of, The New York Times Book Review,’s ten best books of 2015 . In the wake of family collapse, a writer and her two young sons ... (Goodreads)

  21. One, No One and One Hundred Thousand

    by Luigi Pirandello
    A man's exploration of identity, uncovering the illusions of the external world.

    Vitangelo Moscarda discovers by way of a completely irrelevant question that his wife poses to him that everyone he knows, everyone he has ever met, has constructed a Vitangelo, persona, in their own ... (Wikipedia)

  22. The Conquest of Happiness

    by Bertrand Russell
    Philosophical exploration of the secrets to achieving true and lasting happiness.

    “Should be read by every parent, teacher, minister, and Congressman in the land.”―The Atlantic, In, The Conquest of Happiness, iconoclastic philosopher Bertrand Russell attempted to diagnose the ... (Barnes & Noble)

  23. Zorba the Greek

    by Nikos Kazantzakis
    A man embarks on a journey of self-discovery, learning to embrace life with gusto and joy.

    The book opens in a café in Piraeus , just before dawn on a gusty autumn morning. The year is most likely 1916. The narrator, a young Greek intellectual, resolves to set aside his books for a few ... (Wikipedia)

  24. The Valkyries

    by Paulo Coelho
    A spiritual journey of self-discovery, examining the power of faith and destiny.

    The book is written as a third-person narrative describing how Paulo and his wife embark on a 40 day journey through the Mojave Desert . There they meet the valkyries, a group of warrior women who ... (Wikipedia)

  25. Perahu Kertas

    by Dee Lestari
    A young woman's journey of self-discovery, uncovering the secrets of her past.

    Namanya Kugy. Mungil, pengkhayal, dan berantakan. Dari benaknya, mengalir untaian dongeng indah. Keenan belum pernah bertemu manusia seaneh itu. ... Namanya Keenan. Cerdas, artistik, dan penuh ... (Goodreads)

  26. Loving What Is: Four Questions That Can Change Your Life

    by Byron Katie
    An exploration of the power of thought and how it shapes our lives.

    Out of nowhere, like a breeze in a marketplace crowded with advice, comes Byron Katie and “The Work.” In the midst of a normal life, Katie became increasingly depressed, and over a ten-year period ... (Goodreads)

  27. Bee Season

    by Myla Goldberg
    A family's unraveling as a daughter discovers an unexpected gift for language and wordplay.

    Eleven-year-old Eliza Naumann is the only "ordinary" member in a family of gifted people living in Abington Township, Montgomery County, Pennsylvania . Her father Saul is a cantor at the local ... (Wikipedia)

  28. Genevieve

    by Eric Jerome Dickey
    A young woman's journey to self-discovery and love, navigating through family secrets and personal struggles.

    Genevieve is brilliant and beautiful. Her husband has a thriving career. Together, they have a beautiful home in Los Angeles. Together, they're crazy in love. Then one day a family tragedy brings ... (Goodreads)

  29. The Te of Piglet

    by Benjamin Hoff
    A whimsical exploration of the Eastern philosophy of Taoism through the eyes of Winnie the Pooh's friend, Piglet.

    In which a good deal of Taoist wisdom is revealed through the character and actions of A. A. Milne's Piglet. Piglet? Yes, Piglet. For better than impulsive Tigger... or gloomy Eeyore... or ... (Goodreads)

  30. Love & Gelato

    by Jenna Evans Welch
    A young girl's summer journey to Italy, where she discovers treasured family secrets and a newfound appreciation for life.

    A summer in Italy turns into a road trip across Tuscany in this sweeping, New York Times, bestseller filled with romance, mystery, and adventure. Lina is spending the summer in Tuscany, but she isn’t ... (Barnes & Noble)

  31. Seven Years in Tibet

    by Heinrich Harrer
    Exploration of Tibet, told through the story of a man who escapes internment and lives in the region for seven years.

    The book covers the escape of Harrer and his companion, Peter Aufschnaiter , from a British internment camp in India. , Harrer and Aufschnaiter then traveled across Tibet to Lhasa , the capital. Here ... (Wikipedia)

  32. Wasted: A Memoir of Anorexia and Bulimia

    by Marya Hornbacher
    A personal account of the author's struggles with eating disorders and her road to recovery.

    Why would a talented young woman enter into a torrid affair with hunger, drugs, sex, and death? Through five lengthy hospital stays, endless therapy, and the loss of family, friends, jobs, and all ... (Goodreads)

  33. Self-Made Man: One Woman's Journey Into Manhood and Back Again

    by Norah Vincent
    A woman disguises herself as a man and lives among them, exploring the differences in gender roles and expectations.

    Having gone where no woman (who wasn't an aspiring or actual transsexual) has gone for any significant length of time, let alone eighteen months, Norah Vincent's surprising account is an enthralling ... (Goodreads)

  34. Reckoning: A Memoir

    by Magda Szubanski
    Actress Magda Szubanski's memoir explores her family's history, her own struggles with weight and sexuality, and her journey towards self-acceptance.

    Winner, Book of the Year and Biography of the Year, Australian Book Industry Awards, 2016, Heartbreaking, joyous, traumatic, intimate and revelatory,, Reckoning, is the book where Magda Szubanski, ... (Barnes & Noble)

  35. Tropic of Capricorn

    by Henry Miller
    A controversial and candid look into the author's tumultuous personal life in 1920s and 1930s New York.

    The novel covers Miller's growing inability and outright refusal to accommodate what he sees as America's hostile environment. It is autobiographical but not chronological, jumping between Miller's ... (Wikipedia)

  36. Pandora

    by Anne Rice
    A young woman's journey of self-discovery, unlocking the secrets of her past.

    Pandora was born with the name Lydia in the Roman Republic in the year 15 BC to a Senatorial family. She is tall, with rippling brown hair and gold-brown eyes. Like many Patrician Roman females of ... (Wikipedia)

  37. The Art of Memoir

    by Mary Karr
    A guide to writing memoirs, exploring the art of storytelling and the complexities of memory.

    Credited with sparking the current memoir explosion, Mary Karr’s The Liars’ Club spent more than a year at the top of the New York Times list. She followed with two other smash bestsellers: Cherry ... (Goodreads)

  38. A Mango-Shaped Space

    by Wendy Mass
    A girl discovers her unique ability to see colors associated with time, space, and emotions.

    As long as she can remember, Mia Winchell has seen words and numbers as colors. However, Mia has kept this a secret from everyone, including friends and family. In the year since her grandfather's ... (Wikipedia)

  39. On Becoming a Person: A Therapist's View of Psychotherapy

    by Carl R. Rogers
    A comprehensive guide to the art of psychotherapy, exploring the science and philosophy behind it.

    The late Carl Rogers, founder of the humanistic psychology movement, revolutionized psychotherapy with his concept of "client-centered therapy." His influence has spanned decades, but that influence ... (Goodreads)

  40. Your Story, My Story

    by Connie Palmen
    A fictionalized account of the tumultuous love affair between two literary icons, Ted Hughes and Sylvia Plath.

    From the award-winning author of, The Friendship, comes a shattering, brilliantly inventive novel based on the volatile true love story of literary icons Sylvia Plath and Ted Hughes. In 1963 Sylvia ... (Goodreads)

  41. Planetfall

    by Emma Newman
    A group of colonists on a distant planet are visited by a stranger, who brings to light secrets that threaten to tear their community apart.

    Planetfall is set in the future in a colony on an unnamed planet. It is narrated by Renata Ghali (Ren), the colony's 3D printer engineer. The expedition to the planet on the ship Atlas was led by Lee ... (Wikipedia)

  42. The Right to Write: An Invitation and Initiation Into the Writing Life

    by Julia Cameron
    A guide to help aspiring writers overcome their fears and self-doubt, and to develop a writing practice that is both fulfilling and productive.

    What if everything we have been taught about learning to write was wrong? In The Right to Write , Julia Cameron 's most revolutionary book, the author of the bestselling self-help guide The Artist's ... (Goodreads)

  43. Lady Oracle

    by Margaret Atwood
    A woman's journey of self-discovery, exploring her identity and place in the world.

    The novel's protagonist , Joan Foster, is a romance novelist who has spent her life running away from difficult situations. The novel alternates between flashbacks from the past and scenes from the ... (Wikipedia)

  44. The Ambassadors

    by Henry James
    A wealthy American is sent to Paris to convince his friend's son to return home, but he becomes entangled in the city's social scene.

    Graham Greene and E.M. Forster marvelled at it, but F.R. Leavis considered it to be 'not only not one of his great books, but to be a bad one.' As for the author, he held The Ambassadors as the ... (Goodreads)

  45. The Spectator Bird

    by Wallace Stegner
    A retired literary agent reflects on his life and marriage while on a trip to Denmark.

    This tour-de-force of American literature and a winner of the National Book Award is a profound, intimate, affecting novel from one of the most esteemed literary minds of the last century and a ... (Goodreads)

  46. Someday This Pain Will Be Useful to You

    by Peter Cameron
    A coming-of-age story of a teenage boy struggling to cope with change and life's struggles.

    James Sveck, 18, is an isolated young adult caught in the summer before he is to begin college at Brown University . The only person in his life with whom he is able to successfully relate is his ... (Wikipedia)

  47. The Mixed-Up Chameleon

    by Eric Carle
    A chameleon's journey of self-discovery, exploring diversity and developing self-confidence.

    From Eric Carle, the New York Times bestselling author of The Very Hungry Caterpillar and The Grouchy Ladybug , comes a colorful and inventive book about a changing chameleon that wants to be a ... (Goodreads)

  48. One Tiny Lie

    by K.A. Tucker
    A college student's lie spirals out of control, leading to a web of deceit and unexpected love.

    In this follow-up novel to the top-selling, Ten Tiny Breaths, Livie Cleary faces a new set of challenges as she navigates freshman year at Princeton, wild parties, and the gorgeous rowing team ... (Barnes & Noble)

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