Sharon Salzberg

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Meditation teacher Sharon Salzberg readily admits she has stacks of unread books scattered throughout her house. She hasn't had much time for them while working on her latest writing project: Faith, which was published in August. "Now that I've finished writing my own book, I've vowed to read all the books in my house," she says. For those looking for real-life inspiration, Salzberg recommends Healing Lazarus, Zen practitioner Lewis Richmond's memoir of his journey through a near-fatal illness, as well as Sorrow Mountain, Ani Pachen's gripping account of her difficult life in Tibet, including two decades of imprisonment by the Chinese government. She also recommends Miracle of Love, stories about Neem Karoli Baba compiled by his longtime student Ram Dass, Words Under the Words: Selected Poems by Naomi Shihab Nye, and Going on Being by fellow Buddhist Mark Epstein. Salzberg, a cofounder of the Insight Meditation Society, admits to having a special penchant for suspense novels, such as The Gun Runner's Daughter by Neil Gordon.