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The Search: Books about Personal Pilgrimages

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A million steps
by Kurt. Koontz Details
Kurt Koontz thought he was well prepared for his 490-mile walking trip on the historic Camino de Santiago pilgrimage route in Spain. He was fit and strong. He had a good guidebook and all the right equipment. His pilgrim passport would grant him access to the shelter of hostels along the way. But all that, however helpful, did not begin to encompass the grandeur of his external or internal adventure. A Million Steps climbs over the high meadows of the Pyrenees, quests through the unceasing wind of the Meseta, and dances in the rains of Galicia. While following the yellow arrows that mark the route, Koontz also navigates through his personal history of addiction, recovery, and love. With outgoing humor and friendliness, he embraces the beauty of the countryside and joyful connections to other pilgrims from around the world. Part diary, part travelogue, A Million Steps is a journey within a journey all the way to the Cathedral de Santiago de Compostela and beyond.
A sense of direction : pilgrimage for the restless and the hopeful
by Gideon. Lewis-Kraus Details
Offers accounts of the author's pilgrimages to three holy sites in search of personal direction, describing the hundreds of miles trekked and the people encountered along the way.
Astonished : a story of evil, blessings, grace, and solace
by Beverly Donofrio Details
Beverly Donofrio had already lived two lives, first as a scrappy young mother on the streets of the East Village and later as the bestselling author of Riding in Cars with Boys. By the time she reached her fifties, she thought she had seen it all. Now, even though she was living in a vibrant, picturesque Mexican town, where she practiced yoga, drank margaritas in her backyard, and took salsa lessons, she felt lost and was searching for monasteries to visit. The religious practice that had nourished her for several years had faded. She missed God. Then one night she woke to find a rapist holding a knife to her throat. So begins the memoir that charts Donofrio's journey--a long and twisting road through denial, mourning, anger, vulnerability, and retreat at five very different monasteries.
In the body of the world : a memoir
by Eve Ensler Details
The author of The Vagina Monologues describes being diagnosed and treated for uterine cancer and how her illness forced her to reconnect with her own body and gave her a better understanding of the resilience of humans.
Mecca : The Sacred City
by Ziauddin Sardar Details
Sardar unravels the meaning and significance of Mecca. Tracing its history from its origins as a barren valley in the desert to its evolution as a trading town and sudden emergence as the religious center of a world empire, Sardar examines the religious struggles and rebellions in Mecca that have significantly shaped Muslim culture in a blend of history, reportage, and memoir.
Paris to the Pyrenees : a skeptic pilgrim walks the way of Saint James
by David Downie Details
Driven by curiosity, wanderlust, and health crises David Downie and his wife set out from Paris to walk across France to the Pyrenees. Starting on the Rue Saint-Jacques then trekking 750 miles south to Roncesvalles, Spain, their eccentric route takes 72 days on Roman roads and pilgrimage paths a 1,100-year-old network of trails leading to the sanctuary of Saint James the Greater. It is best known as El Camino de Santiago de Compostela The Way for short. The object of any pilgrimage is an inward journey manifested in a long, reflective walk. For Downie, the inward journey met the outer one: a combination of self-discovery and physical regeneration. More than 200,000 pilgrims take the highly commercialized Spanish route annually, but few cross France. Downie had a goal: to go from Paris to the Pyrenees on age-old trails, making the pilgrimage in his own maverick way.
Persian pilgrimages : journeys across Iran
by Afshin Molavi Details
Afshin Molavi, a young journalist and writer born in Iran and educated in the West, traveled his homeland for more than a year, encountering every facet of Iranian society--students of the right and left, bazaar merchants, Islamic clerics, pro-democracy journalists, Islamic hard-liners, reformist politicians, grumbling taxi drivers, urban slum dwellers, partying teenagers, village farmers, handicapped war veterans, and kids hooked on anything western.
Roman pilgrimage : the station churches
by 1951- Weigel Details
Theologian and papal biographer George Weigel, art historian Elizabeth Lev, and photographer Stephen Weigel explore the annual Lenten pilgrimage to dozens of Rome's most striking churches, which for many faithful is a sacred tradition dating back almost two millennia, to the earliest days of Christianity.
Sacred journeys [videorecording]
by  Bruce Feiler Details
Retraces some of the world's most ancient, meaningful and challenging religious pilgrimages. Viewers travel alongside contemporary seekers as they explore breathtaking locations, fascinating history, and ancient religious traditions.
Updated 04/01/2015
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