Books Lola Jones Has Enjoyed
-- Lola rarely reads spiritual books anymore; she's not seeking, she's busy living and creating, so she finds most of them b-o-r-i-n-g or too full of New Age myths and cliches. There are a few exceptions, which you'll see below. Once you're free, books are pleasantly confirming and expansive, rather than a way to grasp for answers. Self help becomes more about going within than seeking outside!
-- We at Divine Openings read for entertainment and enjoyment, or just a little inspiration.
-- If you want serious spiritual answers, practice Divine Openings, or be in silence, and look within.
Fast Company, innovative ideas and leading edge thought. Just reading spiritual stuff makes us narrow-minded, so add some diversity.
Vanity Fair, good variety of topics.
Mindfulness, good articles about mindfulness!
Novels and non-fiction books we've enjoyed:
4 books by Brad Steiger and Sherry Hansen Steiger: Animal Miracles, Horse Miracles, Dog Miracles, and Cat Miracles
The Universe vs. Alex Woods by Gavin Extence - Brilliant, riveting story, really gets you thinking about how you can create your reality even if you didn't believe in God.
Great Ocean: The Dalai Lama, An Authorized Biography by Roger Hicks and Ngakpa Chogyam, fascinating true facts about the entire line of Dalai Lamas and this the 14th one.
My new favorite author is Alexander McCall Smith. His No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency series of novels is set in Botswana, Africa, and follows the adventures of a woman who makes her way as a detective, when such a thing is unheard of in her country. This is brilliant stuff. The insight, the depth, and the innocent wisdom arising out of sometimes gritty situations, and the inner musings of Mma Ramotswe will bring tears to your eyes, and smiles to your lips every other page. There is nothing like this anywhere.
Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man by Steve Harvey. If you're dating, this book is fun and insightful. You'll get some great tips. The movie is GREAT, even better than the book, actually.
Momo by Michael Ende. This book is delightful, magical, fancifully metaphysical, heart-opening, and spiritually wise. Although it could be called a children's book, it's far more than that. Gabriele Kingwill, our German liason, gave it to me as a gift, and I was crying tears of delight by chapter three.
The Rosie Project. The most original novel I've ever read. Funny, insightful, heart-warming, romantic.
The Signature of All Things by Elizabeth Gilbert. Epic, with incredibly real characters and accurate settings, with flights of the mystical amid strict science. You know her as the Eat Pray Love author, but this book dwarfs that one.
The Three Marriages by David Whyte, poet and corporate lecturer. David's voice recordings are my favorite, but this book has some great stories. David gets a little enamored of the hardships of life, so I skim those parts.
Life After Life by Kate Atkinson. It's essentially about alternate realities, and what would happen if you could keep redoing pivot points in your life until you got it just right. Highly recommend it--stretches your sense of possibility. Metaphysical in a creative way, and (warning) quite graphic in the war scenes.
Just Kids by rock star Patti Smith. It's about her early days with Robert Maplethorpe. She had an innate spiritual connection that led her through events far more remarkable than fiction.
Beautiful Ruins by Jess Walter. Spans Italy and Hollywood and it all rings so true to human nature in all its contrasts and extremes.
Take Me With You by Katherine Ryan Hyde, author of Pay It Forward.
The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, Rebecca Skloot. Historical fiction about a woman who gave her cells to science without knowing, and her cells are still living long after she died.
Russell Martin's books. Some are out of print but you may find them used on Amazon. Boxing For Cuba, Beethoven's Hair, Picasso's War are my favorites.
Seabiscuit - Fiction could not be any more amazing than this historically accurate book.
It's even better than the movie, and the movie was great. You don't have to be into horses to love this.
The Host by Stephenie Meyer. Brilliant work of psychological fiction that will have you thinking about all the things we talk about in Divine Openings from a new perspective. What if aliens took over the bodies of all humans, except a few who had evaded them? What if the aliens created a peaceful society, with no war, crime, or disease, but no individuality or free will? Would that be "good" or "bad"? You won't want it to end. Her Twilight book series are also addictive page-turners, although the movies have failed to do them all justice. I read all four Twilight books and enjoyed them.
Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurtry. My favorite epic story and movie of all time. Dead-on insight into people, set in the old west, with the most believable and beloved set of characters ever. I've watched the movie 7 times.
Nora Roberts novels. Anything from the late eighties onward is good. My favorites are the supernaturally fun and exciting Circle trilogy, The Three Fates. Also liked the modern Brides Quartet, and all the ones set in Ireland. I don't like her murder mysteries - too dark. Read the liner notes first.
Between The Bridge And The River, by Craig Ferguson. My favorite late night TV talk show host is an amazing fiction writer! It's pretty raunchy, but funny! I'm also going to read his book American on Purpose.
The Life of Pi, better even than the gorgeous film, but much more raw and challenging at times. The film actually toned it down!
Enslaved by Ducks, Bob Tarte, for animal lovers.
Passionate Marriage, and Intimacy and Desire, by David Schnarch (and any of his audio tapes) Brilliant work, whether you're married or not. It's a great primer for self-validation and teaches how relationships are designed to grow and evolve us.
Health and Body
Alignment Matters, Katy Bowman and Pain Free by Pete Egoscue. Both these books get us back into alignment with how our bodies are naturally designed to function. I was so blessed to get an injury that caused me to find these books. I'm better than ever and will keep my body in better alignment forever because of it.
Favorite humor books (a few of these authors had spiritual insights.) Notes by Lola.
Dad Is Fat, by Jim Gaffigan. I'm not usually a fan of parenting humor books, but this one is hilarious even if, like me, you don't have kids.
Bossypants, by Tina Fey (of the TV show 30Rock) Her hilarious memoirs and career reminisces.
A Girl Walks Into A Bar, by Rachel Dratch, of Saturday Night Live fame. The synchronicities finally convince this classically cynical New Yorker that life has an order to it, and that maybe she does have a spiritual life after all.
Happy Accidents, Jane Lynch. The improvisational comic from Glee, the Christopher Guest films, and The 40 Year Old Virgin also finds the softer side of life, and conquers her lifelong challenges.
All of Betty White's books. She is so funny and genuine, and is still working at 91 (as of 2013).
All of the Spencer Quinn "Chet and Bernie Mysteries." Humor and mystery double treats. Start with A Cat Was Involved, and move on to the others in order if you can. Dog On It, Thereby Hangs a Tail, To Fetch a Thief, The Dog Who Knew Too Much, A Fistful of Collars. ChetTheDog.com tells you more. It's not just for dog lovers. This guy can write a story.
Shatner Rules, by William Shatner, actor. He's funny and incredibly happy at 80 years old! He was the star of one my favorite ever TV shows, Boston Legal. He wrote 29 other books, so I'll read those too.
The Guinea Pig Diaries by A.J. Jacobs. An all time favorite I revisit often. This is his funniest one. A. J. takes on various experiments, each for one month, like Radical Honesty, living strictly rationally, impersonating a movie star, oursourcing everything to India including fights with his wife, then, last, to thank his wife for putting up with all this--doing everything his wife wants for a month. It's surprisingly wise as well as outrageously funny, and he learns unexpected things. He has a real desire to live a better life that comes out here.
The Year Of Living Biblically by A.J. Jacobs. Having grown up as a Secular Jew, he realizes he has a God shaped hole in his heart, so he decides to explore religion, and it turns out to be hilariously entertaining. What better way than to live the Bible literally for one entire year. He lives it to the letter, from don't eat fruit from a tree planted less than five years ago, to "not shaving the edges of his beard" to stoning adulterers (with a pebble). He grows his beard and wears robes. He stops at the ones that are illegal, like kill magicians, destroy idols, and sacrifice oxen. I laughed right out loud at this book.
Anything by humorist Dave Barry - hilarious. My favorites are Dave Barry Slept Here, Dave Barry Is Not Making This Up, Dave Barry's Money Secrets, and Dave Barry Talks Back.
Anything by Ellen Degeneres
All Janet Evanovich's scores of novels. If you like to laugh out loud and can handle some raunchy language and violent situations at times, here's your girl. Her numbered Stephanie Plum series (Start with One for the Money) has kept me up late many a night, and made airline flights fun. People wonder why I am laughing uncontrollably in public places, but is that due to Janet or Divine Openings?
I Shouldn't Even Be Doing This, Bob Newhart. Real life stories from his experiences as a comedian.
Let's Pretend This Never Happened, Jenny Lawson, The Bloggess. She's a bit cynical, but no denying she's funny.
I put the R and X rated ones at the end of the humor section:
God, If You're Not Up There, I'm F***ked, Darrell Hammond, had the longest tenure at Saturday Night Live TV of anyone in its history. Explicit and raw, but gets more insightful and redemptive by the end.
Sh*t My Dad Says, by Justin Halpern. If you can handle some serious cussing and gross potty humor, you will laugh out loud and have to run and read some of his dad's outrageous quotes to your friends. His dad is a nice guy and a loving father, but is always no-holds-barred honest.
Favorite Spiritual or Metaphysical Books
Note: none of these books contributed to Lola's awakening, (Divine Openings accomplished that.) These books were merely inspiring, enjoyable, maybe lightly helpful at the time, expanded upon some specific area, or gave a sense of what was possible next.
Tantric Sex for Men, The Heart of Tantric Sex, and Tantric Orgasm for Women, by Diana Richardson and Michael Richardson. Great stuff for those who want ecstatic, spiritual sex, even into their nineties.
Love Dance, Deborah Maragopoulos. This woman lives here in Ojai, and channelled this novel about how Jesus and his wife Mary taught and evolved each other, and the interplay of their humanity and Divinity. Set in an accurate background of the challenging politics of the time, it brings the uptight, dogmatic Bible version of the story to human scale in passionate, full-color. It rings pretty true.
Proof of Heaven, a true story by Eben Alexander, M.D. Eben goes into a long coma from which he should not have recovered, and tells of his spiritual journey.
The Book on the Taboo Against Knowing Who You Are, Alan Watts. Lola read this book long after she'd already gotten these insights from within with Divine Openings. But it was fun to see how far ahead of his time Alan Watts was, and that big truths are eternal and that the same insights come to many people independently.
The Doors of Perception, Aldous Huxley. He needed drugs to blast him out of his strong intellectual mind, but you don't. Divine Openings will do it.
The Gospel According to Jesus, by Stephen Mitchell
This man is very awake, and is now married to Byron Katie. He confirms what many of us have always known: that the Bible has gone through too many translations and political/religious distortions. He pares all that away, leaving only Jesus's most authentic teachings and a wealth of commentary from other ancient traditions.
The Field, by Lynn McTaggart. We use this one in Jumping The Matrix. When you read it without taking Jumping The Matrix, you'll get a flavor for what is possible, but the book alone won't tell you how to DO those things. Read it, then come Jump The Matrix with us after you've done L1 and L2.
The Holographic Universe, by Michael Talbot
Also recommended in Jumping The Matrix. Read at your leisure, lightly. You don't have to "learn it". Just be inspired and expand your sense of what is possible. Then come Jump The Matrix with us.
My Stroke of Insight, by Dr. Jill Bolte Taylor. A scientific spiritual book. She had a stroke and became enlightened. This is fabulous. She contacted Lola to trade books right before she got really famous and busy and appeared on Oprah.
These Lola read long ago:
Journey Into Nature and Journey Into Oneness, by Michael Roads (Australian). Lola read them about 8 times over 12 years. They're the only books Lola can say that about. Animal lovers will absolutely adore Journey Into Nature. Those who like \cosmic experiences will delight in Oneness. He's the real deal. Lola knows another famous teacher who knows him. But don't expect to have his experiences--Lola never did--and it didn't help her journey to wish for his. Each of us has unique experiences that are perfect for us.
Ask And It Is Given by Jerry and Esther Hicks
This couple and their channeling of Abraham were some of Lola's most important teachers. Divine Openings adds an element of Grace to it that means we don't have to do it all ourselves, but the Abaraham work really is fabulous. It's some of the most accurate, high vibration, and clear stuff out there.
Pronoia Is The Antidote To Paranoia by Rob Breszny
Funny, smart, genius Rob is wildy wise, and completely original. It's a bit racy and raunchy, so this is not for the conservative. The Televisionary Oracle is fun, but never completely jells at the end.
Anything by Richard Bach: Jonathan Livingstone Seagull, One, The Bridge Across Forever
You Can Heal Your Life by Louise Hay
A classic handbook to understand how your feelings and thoughts affect your body. But then you want to move beyond using someone else's dictionary and learn to "read" your own body intuitively. (We don't like the term "heal" for anything except physical healing. Your LIFE doesn't need healing, you just need to remember who you really are. But perhaps your body does need your help in allowing it to relax and heal.)
Her latest one is All Is Well, in collaboration with an MD.
The Gift, the work of Hafiz, the Great Sufi Master, translated by Daniel Ladinsky. A must have book for your coffee table or night stand. Hafiz was enlightened, funny, wise, and irreverent. He was a 13th century mystic, poet, teacher, and drunk-on-God lover of The Divine. Any of Hafiz's other works is good, but this is the best, and Daniel's translations make it very accessible to us with modern language.
Lola rereads her own books a lot since it was her Largest Self writing.