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Tori's Bookshelf
Books Tori Amos Has Recommended

Tori's bookshelf, July 1995

Addiction to Perfection: The Still Unravished Bride
by Marion Woodman
Published: 1982

Tori said: "We're taught how to balance our checking accounts but not how to scream at the teller. This teaches us how to handle our emotions." [Seventeen - November 1999]

Tori also said: "There are books out there that I recommend for people that want to go into the psyche. Anything by Marion Woodman, powerful stuff." [AOL chat - September 29, 1999]

Alice In Wonderland
by Lewis Carroll
Published: 1951
American Gods
by Neil Gaiman
Published: 2001

Tori said: "Neil Gaiman is one of my favorite writers and has been a huge influence in my life. His book American Gods is right on the money as far as I'm concerened. Gods from other cultures that were brought over by the settlers and then abandoned and ended up as morticians somewhere, or gas station attendants (laughs)." [Performing Songwriter - January 2002]

Animal-Speak: The Spiritual & Magicial Powers of Creatures Great & Small
by Ted Andrews
Published: 1993

Tori said: "I'm currently reading Animal-Speak: The Spiritual & Magicial Powers of Creatures Great & Small by Ted Andrews. I got this book when I was in South Dakota, and it's very popular with the Native American community. Whichever page you turn to, there's help and inspiration to keep your life in balance." [Sunday Express - November 23, 2003]

Balancing Heaven and Earth: A Memoir
by Robert A. Johnson
Published: 1998

Tori said: "Robert A. Johnson's Balancing Heaven & Earth. He s a Jungian mystic. I call him mystic because he's about the age of Dalai Lama now, and he's, to me, like Joseph Campbell. He's one of our great thinkers." [Performing Songwriter - January 2002]

Bloodline of the Holy Grail:
The Hidden Lineage of Jesus Revealed

by Laurence Gardner
Published: 1996

Tori said: "I've always been fascinated with bloodlines: family trees. I think of music this way and instruments this way. Like this book that I think is really stimulating, not just because of the content but because of the family tree, is Bloodline of the Holy Grail by a guy called Laurence Gardner. He's quite the respected genealogist, and it's the bloodline of Jesus and Mary Magdalene." [All Music zine - October 1999]

Breaking Ground:
Pioneering Women Archaeologists

Edited by Getzel M. Cohen and Martha Sharp Joukowsky
Published: 2004
Bringers of the Dawn:
Teachings from the Pleiadians

by Barbara Marciniak
Published: 1992

Tori said: "And there's one more book that is an absolute, absolute, absolute must. Bringers of the Dawn. It's a must." [BAM - March 11, 1994]

Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee:
An Indian History of the American West

by Dee Brown
Published: 1971

Tori said: "All these lost voices in our history -- this book was so important in rediscovering them. I used the book as a reference work while I was writing my album Scarlet's Walk." [The Mercury News - April 3, 2003]

The Collected Poems
by Sylvia Plath
Published: 1981

Tori said: "That's the level I'm striving for." [The Mercury News - April 3, 2003]

Tori also said: "...The people who influence on a personal level, who turned you on to what artist, maybe that person is out of your life. Like, there are people I don't really know anymore who turned me on to, say, Sylvia Plath. It's strange how I have no idea where this person is, but my life would have taken a different turn if I didn't have it." [Allmusic - October 1999]

The Collected Works
by Edgar Allen Poe
Published: 1902

Tori said: "My mother would read 'The Raven' from her well worn collected works of Edgar Allan Poe to send me off to the land of dream." [The Guardian - May 15, 2020]

The Creation of Health
by Caroline Myss and C. Norman Shealy
Published: 1998

Tori said: "It's about seeing your body as a special instrument and how to look at is as not a thing, but a gift." [Seventeen - November 1999]

Dark Money:
The Hidden History of the Billionaires Behind the Rise of the Radical Right

by Jane Mayer
Published: 2016

Tori said: "The book I give as a gift is Dark Money: The Hidden History of the Billionaires Behind the Rise of the Radical Right by Jane Mayer -- a light read for anyone's Happy Birthday." [The Guardian - May 15, 2020]

The Drama of the Gifted Child:
The Search for the True Self

by Alice Miller
Published: 1983
by Tara Westover
Published: 2018
Finding the Mother Tree:
Discovering the Wisdom of the Forest

by Suzanne Simard
Published: 2021
Giving Up the Ghost
by Hilary Mantel
Published: 2003

Tori said: "Giving Up the Ghost by Hilary Mantel cracked me wide open. Her memoir filled with ghosts, from unfinished stories to unborn children, cut straight to my heart and rattled my bones." [The Guardian - May 15, 2020]

The Gnostic Gospels
by Elaine Pagels
Published: 1979
God Is Red:
A Native View of Religion

by Deloria Vine, Jr.
Published: 1973
Goddesses In Everywoman:
A New Psychology of Women

by Jean Shinoda Bolen, M.D.
Published: 1984

Tori said: "It's great to see how archetypes exist in each of us. You'll begin to see yourself as part of a lineage." [Seventeen - November 1999]

Gods In Everyman:
A New Psychology of Men's Lives and Loves

by Jean Shinoda Bolen, M.D.
Published: 1989
The Gospel of Judas
by Bart D. Ehrman, Rodolphe Kasser, Marvin Meyer and Gregor Wurst
Published: 2006
The Gospel of Mary Magdalene
by Jean-Yves Leloup
Published: 2002

Tori said: "The Gospel of Mary Magdalene, in a translation of the original Coptic Gospel of Mary by Jean-Yves Leloup, was the gospel that my mother Mary and I read together. We found another layer of Jesus's teachings through her. My father, the Rev Dr Amos, was not so keen on my mum being so inspired by this gospel, so we kept it sacred and close to our hearts and between us." [The Guardian - May 15, 2020]

The Greek Myths
by Robert Graves
Published: 1955

The Hero with a Thousand Faces (and other books)
by Joseph Campbell
Published: 1949

Tori said: "I was a big fan of Joseph Campbell and reading his works, and reading different mythologies, Celtic mythologies, Native American mythologies, Greek mythologies..." [Westwood One - February 27, 1992]

Christopher Smith, writing for Performing Songwriter magazine said: "Tori would appreciate the comparison to another intellectual rebel of whom she is an avid reader, Joseph Campbell, the brilliant, scoffed at, and eventually respected anthropologist who saw universal threads in the timeless world tapestry of narrative." [Performing Songwriter - September 1998]

Hiding in Plain Sight:
The Invention of Donald Trump and the Erosion of America

by Sarah Kendzior
Published: 2020

Tori said: "Sarah Kendzior has been studying Central Asian autocrats for decades. She has a podcast called Gaslit Nation with Andrea Chalupa that has been exposing the ties of the Trump administration to the Russian mafia. Currently, I am reading her new book Hiding in Plain Sight." [The Guardian - May 15, 2020]

Holding the Tension of the Opposites (audio)
by Marion Woodman
Published: 1991
Holy Blood, Holy Grail
by Michael Baigent, Richard Leigh, and Henry Lincoln
Published: 1982

Tori said: "Past the Mission is about a girl who refuses to be a victim anymore. But she has to face a lot of thought patterns to do that. I wrote this when I was reading the book Holy Blood, Holy Grail. It talks about different theories on Christ. It talks a lot about Mary Magdalene. It's an underlying theme about how the church, the mission, has suppressed all this truth down through the years -- the Goddess energy. They refer to Mary Magdalene as the Black Madonna. She had this cult following in France. They believe that she came to the shores pregnant. When they say the Holy Grail, they mean the Holy Blood, the Blood Royal in her body, Jesus baby. And some scholars believe this. The other parts don't necessarily ring right, but there have been these secret societies. That's what I'm talking about also in Space Dog. There are loads of secret societies, this is only one of them." [Really Deep Thoughts - Winter 1995]

I Feel Bad About My Neck:
And Other Thoughts on Being a Woman

by Nora Ephron
Published: 2006

Tori said: "Laughing is sometimes the only medicine that pulls me from the gloom. Nora Ephron's I Feel Bad About My Neck: And Other Thoughts on Being a Woman is pure gold." [The Guardian - May 15, 2020]

I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings
by Maya Angelou
Published: 1969
Iron John: A Book About Men
by Robert Bly
Published: 1990
Just Kids
by Patti Smith
Published: 2010
The Kiss: A Memoir
by Kathryn Harrison
Published: 1997
by Robert Macfarlane
Published: 2015

Tori said: "The definition of comfort for me is inspiration. Robert Macfarlane's Landmarks has been my travelling companion on more than one journey." [The Guardian - May 15, 2020]

The Light Princess
by George MacDonald
Published: 1864
The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe
by C.S. Lewis
Published: 1950

Tori said: "I'm reading this to my daughter Natashya -- she's 2½ -- and she seems very much drawn to the story and the pictures. If there's a scary lady involved anywhere, my daughter is right there with it." [The Mercury News - April 3, 2003]

The Little Prince
by Antoine de Saint-Exupery
Published: 1943
Making the Gods Work for You
by Caroline W. Casey
Published: 1999
Manuel Alvarez Bravo:
Photographs from the J. Paul Getty Museum

Published: 2001

Tori said: "Alvarez Bravo (1902-2002) was a great Mexican photographer. I surround myself by his photographs when I sit at the piano and compose." [The Mercury News - April 3, 2003]

Men Explain Things to Me
by Rebecca Solnit
Published: 2014

Tori said: "Rebecca Solnit's Men Explain Things to Me not only underscored my experience as a female singer-songwriter in the music industry but probably rang true for most women globally. I wish I could have written any of her books." [The Guardian - May 15, 2020]

The Moon Under Her Feet
by Clysta Kinstler
Published: 1989
by Edith Hamilton
Published: 1942

Tori said: "As a teenager I was required to read Mythology by Edith Hamilton. Little did I know that would spark a passion for all myths." [The Guardian - May 15, 2020]

by Neil Gaiman
Published: 1997

Tori said: "I didn't ever want this book to end... Hunter, Islington, Door--these characters are part of my life now... I'm over the moon about this book." [from the Neverwhere book sleeve]

The Owl Was a Baker's Daughter:
Obesity, Anorexia Nervosa, and the Repressed Feminine - A Psychological Study

by Marion Woodman
Published: 1980
Owning Your Own Shadow:
Understanding the Dark Side of the Psyche

by Robert A. Johnson
Published: 1991

Tori said: "Strange how we sometimes raise our hands when we're a part in achieving something because we can't see our value. Also strange how we can't raise our hand when there's an argument because of course we would never argue, we would never stir it up. We would never say something oh so subtly below the belt that nobody picked up on. Jung calls this working with your shadow. There are books out there that I recommend for people that want to go into the psyche. He's a Jungian. Robert Johnson, he wrote a book called Owning Your Own Shadow which I think is powerful." [AOL chat - September 29, 1999]

Tori also said: "This is about how not to put your monsters on other people or take on other people's monsters. It's about power." [Seventeen - November 1999]

Possessing the Secret of Joy
by Alice Walker
Published: 1992
Samson Agonistes
by John Milton
Published: 1671

Tori said: "In high school, I was assigned Milton's Samson Agonistes. Which meant, to my mum's disappointment, that I never got around to Paradise Lost." [The Guardian - May 15, 2020]

The Sandman
by Neil Gaiman
Published: 1989-1996

Tori said: "In 1990 I discovered Neil Gaiman's comic book series The Sandman and wrote a song that references the Dream King and Neil. He called me up saying he really liked it, and we've been pals now for almost 30 years." [The Guardian - May 15, 2020]

A Brief History of Humankind

by Yuval Noah Harari
Published: 2011
The Shamanic Way of the Bee
by Simon Buxton
Published: 2004
She's Come Undone
by Wally Lamb
Published: 1992
Sitting By the Well (audio)
by Marion Woodman
Published: 1998

Tori has recommended to many people this 6-cassette set, which is about 9 hours of talks from Marion Woodman.

The Sun and the Serpent
by Hamish Miller and Paul Broadhurst
Published: 1989
Their Eyes Were Watching God
by Zora Neale Hurston
Published: 1937

Tori said: "Yes. I have it right here. Zora Neal Hurston: Their Eyes Were Watching God, a novel. [Reads from back] 'There's no book more important to me,' says Alice Walker, who wrote Possessing the Secret of Joy." [BAM - March 11, 1994]

Tiny Beautiful Things:
Advice on Love and Life from Dear Sugar

by Cheryl Strayed
Published: 2012
The Truths We Hold
by Kamala Harris
Published: 2019
The Untouched Key:
Tracing Childhood Trauma in Creativity and Destructiveness

by Alice Miller
Published: 1990
The Virgin Suicides

by Jeffrey Eugenides
Published: 1993

Tori said: "I've read one recently I can't put down. It's called The Virgin Suicides. It's twisted, but it opened my eyes a lot. It brings me back to a time I remember really, really well ." [Take to the Sky - May 1996]

Way of the Peaceful Warrior:
A Book That Changes Lives

by Dan Millman
Published: 1980
The White Goddess:
A Historical Grammar of Poetic Myth

by Robert Graves
Published: 1948
White Teeth
by Zadie Smith
Published: 2000
Wild Swans:
Three Daughters of China

by Jung Chang
Published: 1991
A Woman's Worth
by Marianne Williamson
Published: 1993
The Woman with the Alabaster Jar:
Mary Magdalen and the Holy Grail

by Margaret Starbird
Published: 1993
Written On the Body
by Jeanette Winterson
Published: 1993

misc writings
by Anne Sexton

misc writings
by Pablo Neruda

misc writings
by Emily Dickenson

Pippa Passes
by Robert Browning

Tori said: "...My mother was such an influence. Through her, I was exposed at an early age to Emily Dickenson and other writers she loved. She would always read Pippa Passes to me, by Robert Browning, that whole love story. She'd have tears in her eyes, and I'd be with her before kindergarten, crying. She worked in a record store, and she'd bring me home her favorites, like Nat 'King' Cole." [Rolling Stone - October 31, 2002]

misc writings
by William Faulkner & Tennessee Williams

Tori said: "I'm like a big Faulkner fan, Tennessee Williams fan. How I would get taken into the story, there are so many levels of a story. There are so many levels of a dinner conversation that's happening, with the smells against what's being said, the rhythm of the shuffled feet. Because you're dealing with the unconciousness as well as the conciousness at every moment." [Really Deep Thoughts - #10, Summer 1996]

On Loveline on December 3, 2003, Tori mentioned certain Jungians she had read: James Hollis and James Hilburn.

Early in 1998 Tori did a Yahoo chat and mentioned
a few of the books she was taking on tour with her

The Paperboy
by Pete Dexter

An Underachiever's Diary
by Benjamin Anastis

History of the World
by JM Roberts

An Egyptian Hyroglyphic Dictionary
by Wallis Budge

The Code Of Kings:
The Language of Seven May Temples and Tombs

by Linda Schele and Peter Matthews

In the Land of Winter
by Richard Grant

The Antelope Wife
by Louise Erdrich

by Jim Earce

An Ocean in Iowa
by Hedges

Girlfriend in a Coma
by Douglas Copeland

A Spiritual Tourist:
A Personal Odyssey Through The Outer Reaches of Belief

by Mick Brown

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