Let’s keep this simple. This is my reading list of books that have been most valuable in sorting out the chaos and damage; these are the building blocks of my ‘now’. Your results may vary. Caution: there are verbs involved.
[If you are in crisis, it could be that taking time to read an entire book is not quite the thing. There’s also this handy checklist.]
The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz
The Happiness Trap by Russ Harris
Mindfulness for Beginners by Jon Kabat-Zinn
Tiny Buddha: Simple Wisdom for Life’s Hard Questions by Lori Deschene
Emotional Intimacy: A Comprehensive Guide for Connecting with the Power of Your Emotions by Robert Augustus Masters
Just One Thing by Rick Hanson
How to Love by Thich Nhat Hanh
Vagina by Naomi Wolf [especially if you have a vagina, yourself, or love someone who does]
There are other amazing books that have served me well, and continue to guide me in the direction of becoming the human being I want most to be, and although I don’t consider them ‘building blocks’ in my foundation, I might not have gotten very far without them.
Five Elements of Effective Thinking by Edward Burger
Succeed: How We Can Reach Our Goals by Heidi Grant Halvorson
Coming to Our Senses by Jon Kabat-Zinn
Wherever You Go, There You Are by Jon Kabat-Zinn
Letting Everything Become Your Teacher by Jon Kabat-Zinn
The Art of Mindfulness by Thich Nhat Hanh
Buddhist Bootcamp by Timber Hawkeye
Get Some Headspace by Andi Puddicombe
Quantum Psychology by Robert Anton Wilson
One final observation; you’ll see a lot of books about mindfulness and mindfulness practices in my reading list. It’s no mistake. More than any one other thing I have undertaken to learn, mindfulness has been the most powerful Rx for my PTSD, and the most effective. More than any introspective rumination or pharmaceutical, practicing awareness and learning to treat myself truly well have been the things that matter most to healing and finding peace. Many of the books in my reading list are from a perspective of, or relate to, traditions and teachings of Buddhism; I am not a Buddhist, myself, and for me the information presented is far too valuable to look askance at the source. A great book about putting some of the great thinking and practices of Buddhism to use in an everyday secular life is After Buddhism: Rethinking the Dharma for a Secular World by Stephen Batchelor.
Good luck on your journey; may you find more than you seek, and also great contentment.