Experts > Sara Maitland

Sara Maitland's Top Book Recommendations

Want to know what books Sara Maitland recommends on their reading list? We've researched interviews, social media posts, podcasts, and articles to build a comprehensive list of Sara Maitland's favorite book recommendations of all time.

Combining accounts of legendary mountain ascents with vivid descriptions of his own forays into wild, high landscapes, Robert McFarlane reveals how the mystery of the world’s highest places has came to grip the Western imagination—and perennially draws legions of adventurers up the most perilous slopes.
His story begins three centuries ago, when mountains were feared as the forbidding abodes of dragons and other mysterious beasts. In the mid-1700s the attentions of both science and poetry sparked a passion for mountains; Jean-Jacques Rousseau and Lord Byron extolled the sublime...
Recommended by Sara Maitland, and 1 others.

See more recommendations for this book...

In 1937, Adam Nicolson's father answered a newspaper ad—"Uninhabited islands for sale. Outer Hebrides, 600 acres. . . . Puffins and seals. Apply."—and thus found the Shiants. With a name meaning "holy or enchanted islands," the Shiants for millennia were a haven for those seeking solitude, but their rich, sometimes violent history of human habitation includes much more. When he was twenty-one, Nicolson inherited this almost indescribably beautiful property: a landscape, soaked in centuries-old tales of restless ghosts and Bronze Age gold, that cradles the heritage of a once-vibrant world of... more
Recommended by Sara Maitland, and 1 others.

Sara MaitlandNicolson inherited these tiny islands called the Shiants, which are in the Hebrides in Northwest Scotland. This is the book he wrote about them. (Source)

See more recommendations for this book...

This sparkling collection of Dharma teachings by Tenzin Palmo addresses issues of common concern to Buddhist practitioners from all traditions. Personable, witty, and insightful, Tenzin Palmo presents an inspiring and no-nonsense view of Buddhist practice. less
Recommended by Sara Maitland, and 1 others.

Sara MaitlandPalmo is a contemporary Buddhist who has spent a great deal of time, including a solid three-year stint, in complete silence. (Source)

See more recommendations for this book...


The Desert Fathers

By the fourth century A.D., devout Christians--men and women alike--had begun to retreat from cities and villages to the deserts of North Africa and Asia Minor, where they sought liberation from their corrupt society and the confining shell of the social self. The Desert Fathers is the perfect introduction to the stories and sayings of these heroic pioneers of the contemplative tradition. Selected and translated by Helen Waddell, The Desert Fathers opens a window onto early Christianity while presenting us with touchingly human models of faith, humility, and compassion. With a... more
Recommended by Sara Maitland, and 1 others.

Sara MaitlandWhat the desert travellers were up to is very similar in a way to what the Buddhists do: seeking inner peace and love of God. (Source)

See more recommendations for this book...


Pilgrim at Tinker Creek

An exhilarating meditation on nature and its seasons—a personal narrative highlighting one year's exploration on foot in the author's own neighborhood in Tinker Creek, Virginia. In the summer, Dillard stalks muskrats in the creek and contemplates wave mechanics; in the fall she watches a monarch butterfly migration and dreams of Arctic caribou. She tries to con a coot; she collects pond water and examines it under a microscope. She unties a snake skin, witnesses a flood, and plays 'King of the Meadow' with a field of grasshoppers. less
Recommended by Laura Dassow Walls, Sara Maitland, and 2 others.

Laura Dassow WallsShe’s enacting Thoreau, but in a 20th-century context: she takes on quantum physics, the latest research on DNA and the nature of life. (Source)

Sara MaitlandThis book, which won the Pulitzer literature prize when it was released, is the most beautiful book about the wild. (Source)

See more recommendations for this book...

Don't have time to read Sara Maitland's favorite books? Read Shortform summaries.

Shortform summaries help you learn 10x faster by:

  • Being comprehensive: you learn the most important points in the book
  • Cutting out the fluff: you focus your time on what's important to know
  • Interactive exercises: apply the book's ideas to your own life with our educators' guidance.