Someone suggested I write about the Top 5 Books written about the Camino de Santiago. I haven’t read all of the well over 100 books written about the Camino (yet). But I have read close to two dozen of them and I’ve learned something from each of them. These books helped me prepare for the Camino Frances in 2018, logistically, mentally, and spiritually.
So, I have chosen 5 of these to tell you a little about and share the impact each one had on me as I prepared to walk the Camino de Santiago. If you’re thinking about walking the Camino de Santiago, or already have, these five books are must-reads. Of course, not all of us can make it to Spain this year though. In that case, enjoy these books while you accomplish the 2021 Walk for Good Virtual Camino Challenge at your own pace.
Walking Home: A Pilgrimage from Humbled to Healed – Illustrated, September 30, 2014 by Sonia Choquette
This is the first book about the Camino de Santiago that I read and will always be one of my favorites. Sonia shares how her life was in shambles and she decided to walk the 480-mile trek to regain her sense of peace and spiritual footing. She shares her internal struggles as well as her physical challenges.
After reading this, I knew I was going to make this pilgrimage.
The Way, My Way Paperback – January 2, 2014 by Bill Bennett (Author, Photographer), Jennifer Cluff (Editor)
This book is fun and entertaining. Here is how it starts: “I’d never done anything crazy like this before – a pilgrimage walk. I was not a hiker, and I wasn’t a Catholic. In fact, I wasn’t even sure I was a Christian. On the last government census when I had to state my religion, I’d said I was a Buddhist, mainly because they’ve had such a hard time in Tibet and I felt they needed my statistical support. I was also not an adventure traveler. For me, adventure travel was flying coach. All this backpacking and wearing of heavy boots and flying off to France to walk ancient pilgrimage routes was a new experience, and not one that made me feel entirely comfortable.”
This book encouraged me to accept my fears and schedule my trip anyway. This was going to be My Camino, My Way.
Camino de Santiago: To Walk Far, Carry Less – November 16, 2011 by Jean-Christie Ashmore
This is the book I used to decide what to take on my journey. One of the main lessons is that we carry our fears in our backpacks. Ashmore encourages us to trust the Camino to supply our needs when we have the need. He suggests we don’t pack “stuff” (our fears) for every possibility.
I followed his advice and I was so glad I did. The Camino does provide.
Pilgrim Strong: Rewriting my story on the Way of St. James 1st Edition by Steve Watkins (Author), Annie O’Neil (Foreword)
Steve had returned from his first Camino, written this book, and was speaking at my local REI. I had my date set so I was anxious to talk with this author and hear him talk about his experiences. I was not disappointed.
Steve shared many of his personal experiences and emphasized how the Camino really does provide. I was ready.
Walking Alone: A Pilgrim’s Guide to the Inner Journey Paperback – November 18, 2017 by Ms. Mony Dojeiji (Author), Mr. Alberto Agraso (Illustrator)
This is the book I needed to prepare myself for the Spiritual Journey. As Mony writes, “Information abounds to help the pilgrim prepare for the physical aspects of their pilgrimage – what to wear, how to get there, what to carry – but little to no attention is paid to the mental, emotional and spiritual elements that make the Camino, or any other sacred walk, a pilgrimage rather than a hike.”
She provided great ideas on making this my personal spiritual pilgrimage.
What books did you read that impacted you? If you would be willing to share your list and how and why they impacted you, please contact me.