Inspire Me

Books that may speak to you if you’re going through a rough patch.

  • This Star Won’t Go Out: The Life and Words of Esther Grace Earl

    Book Dumpling Recommends For: Fans of touching, real-life stories. Readers looking for a collection of essays, journal entries and stories by and about a talented young girl who passed away at the age of 16. Anyone with a heart who’s looking to use it.


  • When Breath Becomes Air

    Book Dumpling Recommends For: Fans of philosophic medical memoirs. Readers interested in the story of a young neurosurgeon and how he deals with his terminal cancer diagnosis. Fans of learning about what makes a life worth living. And who have a tissue close by.


  • Let the Elephants Run: Unlock Your Creativity and Change Everything

    Talented Canadian singer-songwriter, David Usher, gets in touch with his inner 3-year-old in this quirky book that examines how creativity rests within everyone’s grasp. Perfect for: Anyone looking for sound inspiration regarding how to devote time to a creative project. Business executives interested in tapping into his / her inner creativity....


  • Waking Up: A Guide to Spirituality Without Religion

    As a well-known atheist, Sam Harris devotes much of his time writing about the ills of religion and the veil of illusion that doctrines cast over us. In this book on the benefits of mediation, Harris separates Eastern philosophies from religion, offering a solid guide to contemplative activity and the...


  • Breakfast with Buddha: A Novel (Breakfast with Buddha series #1)

    In this joyous book about a spiritual road-trip, Otto Ringling is initially unenthusiastic about driving his sister’s guru, Volvo Rinpoche,across the country. He’s pretty sure his sister’s making a big mistake by donating half of their inheritance to Rinpoche. As the miles go by, Otto discovers that he has a...


  • Pitch Perfect: How to Say It Right the First Time, Every Time

    How to say something, albeit say it properly, is no easy feat. How to present yourself to an audience, while leaving a lasting impression, while conveying your main ideas concisely and effectively, is most certainly one of the more difficult and fear-inducing undertakings we are all faced with at one...


  • Resilience

    Wener - a two-time cancer survivor and present-day therapist to those coping with illness - reveals her incredible personal growth in this touching, poignant and – at times – humerous memoir that reveals the necessity of a positive spirit and the reality of facing life head on. Perfect for: Those...


  • The Examined Life

    Levinson offers generous advice (including personal anecdotes) in this accessible, beautiful and reflective book about how to get out of your own way. A respected yoga teacher and workshop leader, Life manages to pull off the double feat of offering both deep insight and spiritual guidance, along with maintaining readability....


  • Leave No Doubt: A Credo for Chasing Your Dreams

    Respected hockey coach, Mike Babcock, and his friend, Rick Larson, offer inspirational advice – using hockey as a platform – about succeeding in any field and the rewards of real determination. An interesting read. Great for: • Reluctant readers • Sports fans • Those looking for the proverbial kick in...


  • Breaking Night: A Memoir of Forgiveness, Survival, and My Journey from Homeless to Harvard

    To put it mildly, Liz Murray did not have an easy childhood. In her fast-paced, honest and generous memoir, Murray describes growing up with addicts as parents, living on the streets of New York City and transitioning into the world of the Harvard elite. She never asks us to pity...


  • The Five People You Meet in Heaven

    When ‘Maintenance’ Eddie tries to rescue a little girl at the amusement park at which he works – he is killed instantly. When he opens his eyes to see that he has arrived in heaven, he meets the five people (yup, the title gives it all away) who influenced him...


  • The Happiness Project: Or Why I Spent a Year Trying to Sing in the Morning, Clean My Closets, Fight Right, Read Aristotle, and Generally Have More Fun

    In this accessible read (which readers either adore or strongly dislike), Rubin chronicles her year devoted to finding equilibrium. With each month of her year devoted to a theme – Rubin comes to some interesting conclusions regarding what happiness is – and if it’s attainable. Great for: • Anyone going...


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

    In her generous collection of advice, taken from her feverishly followed Dear Sugar column on rumpus.net, Cheryl Strayed (author of the popular memoir, Wild), offers her poetic bursts of inspiration and empathy pertaining to the pain, joy, suffering and redemption that accompany us along humankind's journey. Great for:  Anyone experiencing a difficult time...


  • The Jew in the Lotus: A Poet’s Rediscovery Of Jewish Identity In Buddhist India

    A fascinating account of a colorful group of Jewish delegates (from across the spectrum of the religion) who travel to Dharamsala, India, to meet with the Dalai Lama and discuss the secret to survival. A touching story about the power of dialogue. Great for: Religious-studies aficionados Those interested in an...


  • A Hope in the Unseen: An American Odyssey from the Inner City to the Ivy League

    The intriguing book about Cedric Jennings’ struggles to get himself out of his violent neighborhood in Washington D.C. and into the Ivy League. This remarkable – and disturbing – story covers the imbalances in the American education system, and one boy’s tremendous effort to give himself the same opportunities that...


  • Wherever You Go, There You Are

    If you’re open to meditation (without needing any New Age mumbo-jumbo), meet Jon Kabat-Zinn, one of the leading experts on mindfulness. As a founder of the Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Clinic in Boston, Kabat-Zinn uses accessible practices and examples to introduce you to the simplest (and most complex) way of dealing...


  • Little Princes: One Man’s Promise to Bring Home the Lost Children of Nepal

    When Conor Grennan decides to travel the world to impress girls, he can never imagine how much his life will change: while volunteering at an orphanage in Nepal, he comes to understand the human trafficking problem in the country and its horrific consequences. On a mission to reunite these orphans...


  • Lovingkindness: The Revolutionary Art of Happiness

    Another practitioner of mindfulness-based meditation, Salzberg offers her teachings of metta (or lovingkindness) to enable readers (and listeners) to develop compassion for oneself and others in an often fragmented and anxiety-producing world. Great for: Beginners to meditation Readers who are extremely self-critical A cool way to try something new without the hocus-pocus 


  • Man’s Search for Meaning

    Viktor E. Frankl’s generous memoir offers readers a chance to read about his experience as an Auschwitz-survivor, and how he learnt to cope with life’s horrific tragedies with an always-inspiring change-of-perspective. A must-read for everyone.Great for:Anyone going through an existential crisisThose looking to connect with life on a more meaningful...


  • The Art of Possibility: Transforming Professional and Personal Life

    Zander and his wife co-wrote this beautiful book that contains nuggets on how we get in our own way: ranging from how to deal with difficult situations to creative ways of adopting a new perspective, Possibility is a must-read for anyone looking to develop practical skills for appreciating the moment....