"There are things you can't reach. But
you can reach out to them, and all day long.
The wind, the bird flying away. The idea of God.
And it can keep you as busy as anything else, and happier."
-- "Where Does The Temple Begin, Where Does It End?," by Mary Oliver
A growing number of Americans -- young people especially -- are unaffiliated with any organized religion. But that doesn't mean they aren't spiritual. There's always a part of the soul that's yearning for something greater, seeking answers to life's biggest questions: What is sacred? Why are we here? How should we live?
HuffPost Religion has created a book list for these spiritual seekers. Nearly every genre is represented here, from memoirs to mysteries. Some books might introduce you to faiths you've never experienced before. Others will challenge you to think about what it really means to be alive.
Whether you've left your childhood faith, you're just starting to question or you've happily settled into a permanent state of open-mindedness on the subject of God or gods, these are the books for you.
- The Phantom Tollbooth, by Norton JusterAmazon
- The Opposite of Loneliness: Essays and Stories, by Marina KeeganAmazon
- Sophie's World, by Jostein GaarderAmazon
- Thirst: Poems, by Mary OliverAmazon
- Tiny Beautiful Things: Advice on Love and Life From Dear Sugar, by Cheryl StrayedAmazon
- The Little Prince, by Antoine de Saint-ExupéryAmazon
- The Year of Magical Thinking, by Joan DidionAmazon
- The Alchemist, by Paulo CoelhoAmazon
- The Red Tent, by Anita DiamantAmazon
- Mortality, by Christopher HitchensAmazon
- The God of Small Things, by Arundhati RoyAmazon
- Mother Night, by Kurt VonnegutAmazon
- The Shack, by Wm. Paul YoungAmazon
- The Dude and the Zen Master, by Jeff Bridges and Bernie GlassmanAmazon
- How Should a Person Be?, by Sheila HetiAmazon
- The Book: On the Taboo Against Knowing Who You Are, by Alan WattsAmazon
- Persepolis: The Story of a Childhood, by Marjane SatrapiAmazon
- The Time Machine, by H.G. WellsAmazon
- The Last Lecture, by Randy Pausch with Jeffrey ZaslowAmazon
- Letters to a Young Poet, by Rainer Maria RilkeAmazon
- Long Day's Journey into Night, by Eugene O'NeillAmazon
- Autobiography of a Yogi, by Paramahansa YoganandaAmazon
- A Guide to the Bodhisattva Way of Life, by SantidevaAmazon
- A Gift of Love: Sermons from Strength to Love and Other Preachings, by the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.Amazon
- Man's Search for Meaning, by Viktor E. FranklAmazon
- Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead, by Brené BrownAmazon
Also on The Huffington Post