Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Place of Knowing: A Spiritual Autobiography” as Want to Read:
The Place of Knowing: A Spiritual Autobiography
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Place of Knowing: A Spiritual Autobiography

4.1 of 5 stars 4.10  ·  rating details  ·  61 ratings  ·  26 reviews

"Things happen. Early in the world you travel into them. One day you rise without prayer in a far camp and silently hurry away. Having slept under stars and still breathing the greyed fire, who would take time to suppose this the middle of a lifetime?"
-Emma Lou Warner Thayne

"In view of the terrifying event with which it begins, it is a wonderful surprise to find the tre

Paperback, 272 pages
Published January 21st 2011 by
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Place of Knowing, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Place of Knowing

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 189)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
I'm not a writer and have a difficult time expressing my feelings. But I feel I must try to do so about this book. The author is a gifted writer. She manages through this book to awaken others to their own spirit. I found myself reading her experiences and feelings and knowing I have experienced some similar feelings and moments in my life. Essentially she put words to my feelings in a way I never could.

Don't read this book if you don't want to think about what you read. This is a book about fe
Anne Stewart
Emma Lou is a remarkable writer and human being. I love the way she expresses herself. Even though this book starts with an account of her terrible accident, that event becomes the vehicle for a beautiful and personal account of "the place of knowing." I found this book to be inspiring and calming. She has a unique way of looking at every human being and appreciating them for what they are, no matter how diverse or different they are from her. I am actually reading this book for a second time. I ...more
She is an amazing lady and the quote I loved most was in the introduction:
Knowing is a process, not an arrival.

She said something interesting on page 21. She talked about "childness" where life is free an uncomplicated and it reminded me of something a friend said when she had lost her baby. She said the first activity she felt like doing, months later of course, was coloring with her child.
I wonder if she hasn't hit on something here, a key to unlocking grief. You go back to your roots and exp
Braeden Udy
"What we best can do is simply live by what we believe and let them do the same."

For the most part, I really enjoyed this book. I had no idea what to expect, but I certainly did not expect this mystical, tolerant book from a prominent and practicing Mormon. Emma Lou's life is fascinating and complex: she was a poetry professor and tennis instructor at UofU, a member of the board of Deseret News, a peace and anti-nuclear activist, a gay rights advocate, a working mom, survivor of a near-death-exp
A wonderful meditation on life, spirituality, womanhood, motherhood. Emma Lou Thayne is a poet and an all around fascinating person, who here shares stories from her life and how they have shaped her outlook on the world and her own being. Hard to describe, but gorgeous to read, complete with poems (her own and those of others) and photographs.
i had the honor and pleasure of listening to this book (read by the author) last summer as i drove from Arizona to Utah and back again. i can't really even explain the feelings i experienced during and after this process. i was literally transported to a different world and felt like i had found a kindred spirit in the author. my soul was so filled with each and every chapter.

the book does not read in any sort of traditional way, but then again emma lou thayne is not a traditional person. she i
Well, this is a very brave spiritual autobiography by Emma Lou Warner Thayne. It is brave because she openly reveals her dabbling, no diving into, the mystic, ie. from Indian Chokras and auras, to taro card readings, to late night-early morning dream vision. She amazingly opens her heart and love to those from the LDS Church where she serves on General Boards, writes hymns and poems that inspire the saints, but also befriends 2 men/lovers who die of aids, a native American mystic who takes her t ...more
I had the privilege of reading this book in a book club with some ladies who intimately know the author, Emma Lou, and so read it with different eyes. And then was treated to the author, herself, leading the book club discussion. What a rich experience and such a wonderful time spent. Emma Lou is a truthful, insightful, caring person with a sense of humor laced with nuance.

She shares a most tragic and personal experience when a six-pound iron rod smashed through a car windshield into her face. F
Emma Lou Thayne's spiritual autobiography is a beautiful exploration of God, community, compassion, and grace, as well as an inspiration for women - everyone, for that matter - to make the time to search for and develop their spiritual gifts and prioritize doing the things they love. It is a book that encourages both thought and feeling.

I loved hearing Emma Lou read the audio version - but I will also be returning to my signed copy of the printed version as I need my spirit to be renewed. I am s
Emma Lou Thayne is as real in her writing as she is in person. Her spiritual experiences have shaped her outlook on life and people. They have made her open-hearted and curious about all spiritual learning. I like her poetry but I have to concentrate on her words. For me the experience of her poetry is feeling it instead of understanding it. I am very appreciative of her desire to share her inner world. She does not insist we agree but she invites me to find experiences we have in common.
I don't think I've had enough life experience (nor am I enough of a poet) to appreciate the true depths of this book. I think a lot of it went right through me, but there were parts I did find beautiful. I gained a much deeper understanding of the hymn "Where Can I Turn for Peace," which I had always loved, but now I love even more. I recommend this book, but keep in mind it has a lot of poetry, and even the prose is very flowery, but not necessarily in a bad way.
Louise Hartvigsen
This book was chosen for our Book Group to honor the author who recently passed away. Several people in our group knew Emma Lou Thayne and we had a guest who had worked for her. The book and our experiences made for the best discussion. There is so much to admire about Emma Lou. I wish I had known her. She will live on in her many writings. There is so much to savor in this book. I hope to come back and re-read it.
ALL THE STARS. This book was absolutely gorgeous, full of wisdom and insight. Emma Lou's thoughts on peace, both inner and global, are so beautiful and meaningful. She talks so much about living meaningfully - to really be connected and present in life, and to really pay attention to the things happening to us and around us. It's just beautiful. I'm sure I'll re-read this one several times.
There were things I loved about this book, mainly: the very open and loving mind and heart she brings to the people and the world around her.

There were things I really didn't love about this book, mainly: the awkward way she segued from one interesting character or event from her life to another. Also, not a big fan of all the poetry, although some I did like.
Cynthia Olson
What made this so fun was hearing it read in the author's voice, Emma Lou Thaynes. She has such a gift for the use of words and her poetry is so beautiful. I found myself purposely running errands just so I could listen to it. I loved it, and I highly reccomend it, so beautifully written, and I love her creativity and her out look on life!!!
Marie Hyde
This was such an interesting read. I am usually not a fan of spiritual women writers (too much fluff) but this was meaty and with such a unique approach (how many faithful LDS women do you know that seek guidance from palm readers?). Her poetry was beautiful and I loved reading it in the context of her life experiences.
Jan Strong
I really enjoyed listening to Emma Lou Thayne read her wonderful work.
She is a storyteller and poet. She is delightful, surprising and soothing to listen to all at once.
It is remarkable really and takes on through past, present and future without a blink.
It has enriched my life to have partaken of this jewel.
4.5 stars. I love Emma Lou Thayne and this book was a wonderful glimpse into her soul and thinking. I'll come back and write more once I digest it (and have time) but this book gave me a lot to think about. (In the meantime, Karajayne captures it well here:
Cynthia Sillitoe
I am lucky enough to have known the author my entire life. She is extraordinary and this book holds her voice, her heart, and her soul. Read it. Give it to your daughters and your sons, to anyone who creates and intuits, to those who have lost and must begin again, and to those who seek
I found this book surprisingly interesting because it contained information concerning my half-sister, Dr. Joyce Henrie's, death that I hadn't previously known. I felt the book was a bit disjointed at times but enjoyed the author's poetry, wisdom, and zest for living.
Wow. This woman is awesome. My good friend is her granddaughter, so I think it was more meaningful to me because I know a lot of the people she talked about and the places she went. If you are looking for wisdom, you'll definitely find it here.
I love this book so much. Emma Lou Warner Thayne is a thoughtful writer and has some insights that were, to me, very profound and that I continue to think about months and months after having read it. I'll read this one again for sure.
Emma Lou Thayne is a pillar in my neighborhood and church, she is as lovely and kind as she is funny and wise. I've been fortunate to have been included in her circle of friends, and to have spent a few minutes at her table of learning.
Janet Bernice
Jan 12, 2015 Janet Bernice marked it as to-read
Not a book for the faint of heart, Emma Lou writes deeply and profoundly. It is a slow read for me as there is much to ponder and meditate on. Tremendous story-telling - rather, life-telling... inspiring, moving and thoroughly engagin.
Fascinating woman. I love her insights into life and death.
Quite mystical. Some lovely passages.
Farrah marked it as to-read
Jul 08, 2015
Aswin marked it as to-read
Jun 11, 2015
Emilye marked it as to-read
May 15, 2015
Sara marked it as to-read
May 12, 2015
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
Emma Lou Thayne has written thirteen books of poetry, fiction, essays, and travel stories as well as the hymn, “Where Can I Turn for Peace?” She has been widely anthologized and has published internationally on kinship and peace among people and nations. She has received numerous honors and awards, including the David O. McKay Humanities Award, the Association for Mormon Letters award for poetry, ...more
More about Emma Lou Warner Thayne...
All God's Critters Got a Place in the Choir Never Past the Gate Hope and Recovery: A Mother-Daughter Story about Anorexia Nervosa, Bulimia, and Manic Depression The Place of Knowing As for Me and My House

Share This Book

“We are our stories - dozens, hundreds, thousands of them - sprayed across our memories, embedded in our identity. Calling them up for others or for ourselves or for God, can enlighten, crush, amuse, trap, or free us, depending on how we pay attention.” 0 likes
More quotes…