And what do YOU like to read?

Here’s something just for fun — that sheds some light on the reading habits of those who visit my humble website.

Scattered throughout this blog and website are links to various books — books I’ve written, books written by people I’ve interviewed (like John O’Donohue), or books that I’ve reviewed, recommended, or otherwise mentioned once or twice. These links take you to Amazon where you can purchase the book — and if you do so, I get a small commission in the form of a credit that I can use at Amazon (to feed my own book habit).

I thought it might be fun to see which books sell the best through the links on this site. Amazon actually has records back to the beginning of 2005 — so here is a look at over five years’ worth of books that people who like to read my blog, like to buy. The list is ranked by number of copies ordered (when different editions of the same book sold through my site, I combined the numbers to rank the work rather than the edition, but on this list I’ve only included the best-selling edition of each work).

The list does contain a few surprises. While I am humbled by the fact that the number one title is not by me (!), I am gratified that the second position is held by my forthcoming book, on the strength of pre-orders alone. I’m not surprised that the author aside from myself who appears most often is the aforementioned John O’Donohue, for several reasons — he would naturally appeal to both my “Celtic” and my “Christian mysticism” readers; his bestselling Anam Cara is, despite the Irish versus Anglicized spelling, the same as the URL of my blog; and ever since his untimely death, my interview of him (and my brief tribute) have been among the most heavily visited pages on this site.

So, here you go: the Website of Unknowing’s bestselling books, from January 2005 to June 2010:

  1. Anam Cara: A Book of Celtic Wisdom by John O’Donohue
  2. The Big Book of Christian Mysticism: The Essential Guide to Contemplative Spirituality by Carl McColman
  3. The Cloud of Unknowing and The Book of Privy Counseling by Anonymous
  4. The Aspiring Mystic: Practical Steps for Spiritual Seekers by Carl McColman
  5. 366 Celt: Year And A Day Of Celtic Wisdom And Lore by Carl McColman
  6. The Revelation of Divine Love in Sixteen Showings by Julian of Norwich
  7. The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Celtic Wisdom by Carl McColman
  8. The Naked Now: Learning to See as the Mystics See by Richard Rohr
  9. Mysticism: The Nature and Development of Spiritual Consciousness by Evelyn Underhill
  10. Embracing Jesus and the Goddess: A Radical Call for Spiritual Sanity by Carl McColman
  11. The New Jerusalem Bible : Saints Devotional Edition edited by Bert Ghezzi
  12. To Bless the Space Between Us: A Book of Blessings by John O’Donohue
  13. Spirituality: A Post-Modern and Interfaith Approach to Cultivating a Relationship with God by Carl McColman
  14. Beauty: The Invisible Embrace by John O’Donohue
  15. Eternal Echoes: Celtic Reflections on Our Yearning to Belong by John O’Donohue
  16. Centering Prayer and Inner Awakening by Cynthia Bourgeault
  17. The Essential Writings of Christian Mysticism edited by Bernard McGinn
  18. Bulletproof Faith: A Spiritual Survival Guide for Gay and Lesbian Christians by Candace Chellew-Hodge
  19. The Mist-Filled Path: Celtic Wisdom for Exiles, Wanderers, and Seekers by Frank MacEowen
  20. Beginning Contemplative Prayer: Out of Chaos, Into Quiet by Kathryn J. Hermes
  21. Magic Of The Celtic Gods And Goddesses by Carl McColman and Kathryn Hinds
  22. Punk Monk: New Monasticism and the Ancient Art of Breathing by Andy Freeman and Pete Greig
  23. The Mysticism of the Cloud of Unknowing by William Johnston
  24. Listening for the Heartbeat of God: A Celtic Spirituality by J. Philip Newell
  25. The Interior Castle by Teresa of Àvila

Faith, Doubt and Perseverance
Pentecost and Ecstasy
Is Mysticism Genetic?
Busting the "Goody Two Shoes" Stereotype of Saints
About Carl McColman

Author of Befriending Silence, The Big Book of Christian Mysticism, Answering the Contemplative Call, and other books. Retreat leader. Speaker. Professed Lay Cistercian.

  • brazenbird

    Well you can tally one more sold; I bought 366 Celt in a B&N in AZ back in March when I was visiting. I had *just* started reading your blog and happened to see this lonesome copy on the bottom of the shelf and thought, “I recognize that!” I really enjoy it.

  • paganmonastic

    Its a measure of how out of touch I now am with the world of religion that I didn’t even realise John O’Donahue had died, but i still remember hearing him speak in my then home ‘town’ of Catford, South East London in the late 1990s, and he was a wonderful, wonderful man ho will be greatly missed.

    I am going to precis the Church Times obit and post it via my own blog at – I trust that the Church Times will indulge what will most likely constitute a breach of copyright on the basis that I think the more people who know about John and his writings, the better this world will be.

    He was a great man, a true Christian and a true Celt, who will be very sadly missed.