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Anam Cara: A Book of Celtic Wisdom Paperback – Oct 8 1998


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Anam Cara: A Book of Celtic Wisdom + To Bless the Space Between Us: A Book of Blessings + Eternal Echoes
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Harper Perennial; 1st Edition edition (Oct. 8 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 006092943X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060929435
  • Product Dimensions: 20.3 x 13.5 x 1.8 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 181 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (37 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #14,785 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)


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"If you have ever had occasion to be out early in the morning before the dawn breaks, you will have noticed that the darkest time of night is immediately before dawn." Read the first page
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Becky Flesher on May 9 1998
Format: Hardcover
Anam Cara: A Book of Celtic Wisdom is truly a work of art. Over the past three years, I have been working on discovering myself through self-help books, 12-step programs, religious study, and personal introspection. This book summed up everything I have learned (the hard way) during this time, and presented it in a beautiful package that was invigorating and thought-provoking to read. It was a pure joy. I began reading it in January, and have only just finished it last night, because each sentance was a ponderable morsel. Sometimes I would read a phrase five times over in order to fully grasp and apply it's meaning to my life. This is not a 70 mph trip through the McDonald's drive-thru, this is a seven course meal in Vienna, and every bite demands that you hold it in your mouth to savor it.
Anam Cara is one of the best non-fiction books I have ever read. I plan to read it again in a year or so, because I know I will get new things out of it. I am already loaning it to a friend, and have a couple of others in mind I'd like to loan it to. I can't keep this from the ones I love.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Steven R. McEvoy HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWER on Nov. 27 2008
Format: Paperback
This was a wonderful book. I am very thankful to both Fr. Jim Link and Fr. Paul Quinon for recommending it to me. I must admit that I did not get it all, but much of the Celtic Spirituality presented touched my spirit, my mind, my intellect and my soul.

It is a book about the Celtic worldview and way of life. It has made me even more homesick for the land of the Celts; it aroused a desire to return to Ireland or Scotland. Yet I realized that I would need to learn to live the Celtic way/mode here before I could even consider going back across the pond.

The book made me realize how much I needed to simplify my life, and prompted me to take a semester off school to help establish a new pattern of living and of being. It prompted me to reestablish a stronger pattern of work, bible study, prayer, reading and pursuing God and his will above all else, to try to live each day to the full, to live to be a good and true friend, and to learn to be better at being.

As an aside there are two more books by O'Donohue that follow the same spirit: Eternal Echoes and To Bless the Space Between Us both of which I attempted to read on a number of occasions but was unable to make it through. One of his books of poetry Conamara Blues ' I ended up reading a number of times.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a book brimming with wisdom expressed with words of beauty that ignite the soul. Reading it is a source of deep delight and reading it once is not enough. Finding this book has been a precious discovery!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 26 2003
Format: Paperback
Powerful, insightful and incredibly thought provoking. I have read many books on celtic wisdom and spiritual enlightenment, and have come across nothing like this. It opens the mind and body to the heart and soul, it encourages you to look within, not without, to improve yourself, and although this books does not make you do anything, it almost forces you to take a damn good look at yourself and really assess everything you think you are. You will be surprised at the results you get!
There are so many self help books out there, but none come close to this! Well worth every penny, and please take time to read it, and read it over and over again, each time will show you something new. My copy is full of notes in the margin, underlined phrases or paragraphs, and serves as a useful place to turn when life gets you down!
I think the only thing I didn't like was the slightly Christian accent from the author's point of view, especially as it relates to the Celts. This is not a big deal and can be overlooked for the quality and insight of the writing itself.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By David Starr-Glass on Feb. 16 2002
Format: Paperback
In the Prologue, the author describes this book as "a phenomenology of friendship in a lyrical-speculative form." That is exactly what it is. It is one of the most compelling and lyrical works that I have read. It describes the "soul-friend" but more significantly it actually suggested the possibility of me becoming my own soul's friend. It is a powerful book, weaving Celtic mystical thought with a very accessible form of approaching self and soul -- all done in a rich, poetic language. It reads very well and John O'Donohue's erudition, poetic language and abiding compassion radiate every page.
This book gave me strength and deep insight at a time when I was searching for both of these. I greatly appreciate this book's contribution to my own understanding of self and highly recommend it to you if, like me, you recognize that you are on a spiritual journey.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Joan M. Cormier on June 19 2009
Format: Paperback
For those with a Celtic background as well as a soul who looks for spiritual guidance in a noisy and busy world, this is the book to be absorbed and cherished. John O'Donohue explores Celtic beliefs and spirituality so deeply that I had to read and re-read, take notes even,
and finally place this book within my personal reference library as a staple for daily encounter. A must read for the searching Celtic soul.
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By Brian Griffith TOP 500 REVIEWER on Jan. 5 2012
Format: Paperback
This book is not an explanation about Celtic wisdom. It is the author's own expression of Celtic wisdom -- about friendship and love, our bodies and souls, inner growth, aging, and death. O'Donohue rambles through these subjects with a propensity for poetic flight. He addresses you directly, in a voice so tender it made me uncomfortable. He sounds roughly like a cross between Celtic bard and Jungian psychotherapist.

Is this wisdom particularly Celtic? The illustrative quotes and poems come from almost anywhere -- Aristotle, Cicero, Pablo Neruda, Kahlil Gibran, Meister Eckhart, Yeats, or Irish poets such Yeats or Brian Merriman. Maybe multi-culturalism is a time-honored Celtic tradition. But woven through the background are themes of Irish folklore, with pagan and Catholic heritage assumed to be one. O'Donohue makes no contrast between the old Celtic church and Roman Catholic orthodoxy. There's no church history, or any history. He just addresses the reader's life, drawing on whatever seems good and beautiful from every corner of his Ireland-based world community.
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