Suggested Further Reading

Aside from the books and articles in my “Notes on Sources” in An infinity of Little Hours (and the books the monks themselves read), these publications may be helpful:
Selected Books by Carthusians:

  • Cloud of Unknowing
    (anonymous classic spiritual work — by a Carthusian?)
  • Meditations of Guigo I, Prior of the Charterhouse
    (short meditations by Guigo I, the Fifth Prior of the Grande Chartreuse)
  • Where Silence is Praise
    (short meditations by Dom Augustine Guillerand)

Transitions from Religious to Secular life:

  • Seminary: A Search
    (Paul Hendrickson’s superbly written autobiography of his seven years (age 14-21) in a Catholic seminary and what happened to the men he knew after Vatican II. — out of print, available in online bookstores).
  • The Spiral Staircase: My Climb out of Darkness
    (Karen Armstrong’s third autobiography which describes her life in the convent, her transition to secular life, and her life until 2004).
  • Unveiled: The Hidden Lives of Nuns
    (a 2004 investigative report on the lives of nuns since the modernizations of Vatican II).

Classic Autobiographies of Two Women Contemplatives:

  • The Story of a Soul: The Autobiography of Saint Thérèse of Lisieux
  • The Life of Saint Teresa of Âvila by Herself.


  • · Dakota, The Cloister Walk
    (Kathleen Norris – Norris’s introduction to and adoption of the Benedictine tradition)
  • · The Golden String
    (Bede Griffiths – a Benedictine monk’s autobiography which addresses the connections between Christianity and Hinduism)
  • · Beyond the Darkness: A Biography of Bede Griffiths(Shirley du Boulay)