Judith Anne Barton is a novelist, actress, playwright and award-winning television journalist. The Angel Connection is her latest novel. After a successful career in broadcast journalism in Philadelphia that spanned more than a decade, she moved to Bucks County, PA where she worked with her mentor, the late JP Miller, author of the classic The Days of Wine and Roses. Her first play, Opening Night, received its world premiere at Philadelphia’s Lantern Theatre Company, and was named a finalist in the Sundance Film Lab competition. Judi now resides in Los Angeles where she also pursues an acting career in film and television. Her sons, William Wheeler (The Reluctant Fundamentalist) and Thomas Wheeler (Puss in Boots, Puss in Boots II) are successful screenwriters.
The books on my nightstand aren’t books that I’m currently reading—they are books that I read again and again, books marked with yellow and pink and orange highlighters, books whose proximity to my sleeping space guarantees that I’ll stay osmotically engaged with their content.
They are my spiritual and creative “bibles.”
In no order of preference they are:
The Autobiography of a Yogi by Paramahansa Yogananda
I’ve read this account of the first yogi to bring Eastern philosophy to the West three times. His devotional journey toward spiritual awareness is always a compelling read. Yogananda’s combination of childlike innocence, startling intellect, longing for God and experience of miracles never fails to inspire. I feel especially lucky that his Lake Shrine and former home—now a meditation garden dedicated to all religions of the world—is easily accessible from my home in Los Angeles.
Light on Yoga by B.K.S Iyengar
This paperback, dense with specific instructions and photographs of classical yoga asanas is dog-eared. It’s packed with so much information that it can be intimidating at first glance. But familiarity with this book breeds fascination for its wealth of information. For almost twenty years it’s been my go-to yoga “bible,” serving me throughout my personal practice and subsequent yoga teacher training.
How to Know God by Deepak Chopra
My first reading of this book in 2000 so seduced me that I plundered my IRA to finance a trip to Dr. Chopra’s How to Know God seminar in Agra, India.
Story by Robert McKee
Another “bible”—this one for writers. It’s an entire course in the substance, structure, and style of screenwriting, but I also use it as a reference for all kinds of storytelling.
The Life and Works of Monet by Edmund Swinglehurst
I never tire of paging through this book. From the artist’s growing up days in Le Havre to his water landscapes at Giverny and all of the paintings in between, this book is a source of ongoing pleasure.
Any personal “bibles” by your bed?