Best Mindfulness Books

I have developed an interest in mindfulness and meditation, from a scientific perspective. For this reason, I did a bit of research on GoodReads to discover which are the best mindfulness books. Unsurprisingly, I found a lot religious works among these books. Those were not what I was looking for. In my not-so-humble opinion, religion is spiritualy for the ignorant mind, while enlightenment is spirituality for the curious mind.

And thus, for my own reading list, I only pick the books with a strong scientific foundation, usually written by atheists. I recently read 10% Happier, by Dan Harris, and I’m now reading Waking Up, by Sam Harris. For the religious-averse, such as me, I can recommend both books. They are all about mindfulness, but without the Buddha-hugging. Of course, feel free to pick any book you like. 🙂

This list is created from the books on GoodReads tagged with “mindfulness“, sorted using an algorithm that favors number of reviews, average rating, and recent availability.

Nr Title – Author Year Amazon
1 True Refuge: Finding Peace and Freedom in Your Own Awakened Heart – Tara Brach 2013
2 Planting Seeds: Practicing Mindfulness with Children – Thích Nhất Hạnh 2011
3 You Are Here: Discovering the Magic of the Present Moment – Thích Nhất Hạnh 2009
4 Mindfulness: An Eight-Week Plan for Finding Peace in a Frantic World – Mark Williams, Danny Penman 2011
5 Taking the Leap: Freeing Ourselves from Old Habits and Fears – Pema Chödrön 2009
6 Comfortable with Uncertainty: 108 Teachings on Cultivating Fearlessness and Compassion – Pema Chödrön 2002
7 Real Happiness: The Power of Meditation – Sharon Salzberg 2010
8 Radical Acceptance: Embracing Your Life With the Heart of a Buddha – Tara Brach 2003
9 Start Where You Are: A Guide to Compassionate Living – Pema Chödrön 2001
10 Search Inside Yourself: The Unexpected Path to Achieving Success, Happiness (And World Peace) – Chade-Meng Tan 2012
11 The Wisdom of No Escape: How to Love Yourself and Your World – Pema Chödrön 1999
12 Self-Compassion: Stop Beating Yourself Up and Leave Insecurity Behind – Kristin Neff 2011
13 The Joy of Living: Unlocking the Secret and Science of Happiness – Yongey Mingyur 2007
14 The Places That Scare You: A Guide to Fearlessness in Difficult Times – Pema Chödrön 2002
15 True Love: A Practice for Awakening the Heart – Thích Nhất Hạnh 2004
16 Waking Up: A Guide to Spirituality Without Religion – Sam Harris 2014
17 The Mindful Path to Self-Compassion: Freeing Yourself from Destructive Thoughts and Emotions – Christopher K. Germer, Sharon Salzberg 2009
18 10% Happier: How I Tamed the Voice in My Head, Reduced Stress Without Losing My Edge… – Dan Harris 2014
19 Mindsight: The New Science of Personal Transformation – Daniel J. Siegel 2010
20 The Miracle of Mindfulness: An Introduction to the Practice of Meditation – Thích Nhất Hạnh 1996

Image credit: (c) 2011 Moyan Brenn, Creative Commons 2.0.

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  • Patrick

    Great. Despite the Buddha-hugging, I tend to like mindfulness books written by (or on behalf of) buddhists. Mostly because they are not at all about religion, but much more about enlightenment. Check out some work by Ajahn Chah, Ajahn Brahm, Thich Nhah Hanh or even Tenzo the dalai lama himself.

  • David Germain

    You can also take a look at the books from Jon Kabat-Zinn. If you can read in French, I suggest “Méditer jour après jour” by Christophe André.

    The Eight-week plan by Williams/Penman (#4) is a good one, and was my introduction to mindfullness.

    Now I’m in the mix of running and meditation with the book from Sakyong Mipham (Shambhala):Running with the Mind of Meditation.
    Mindfulness: An Eight-Week Plan for Finding Peace in a Frantic World
    – Mark Williams, Danny Penman – See more at:

  • Team PLS

    Thank you for putting together this list. Another book that I have found extremely helpful for learning about mindfulness is Mindfulness for Beginners in Plain English (

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