Mussar books are a great way to begin or expand your Mussar knowledge.
True, Mussar is a practice and as such how we behave is key. However, book learning is important in order to teach us the key concepts and behaviors we should focus on. Here are some of the key Mussar books to help you on your journey. Note: this is a page in progress. We’ll be adding images, links, and reviews over time.
Mussar books for beginners
These are great first Mussar books. They are also very good for ongoing Mussar practice.
The Spiritual Practice of Good Actions: Finding Balance Through the Soul Traits of Mussar by Greg Marcus, Llewellyn 2016. Learn More
Modern Mussar books for ongoing study
Specialized Modern Mussar Books
Classic Mussar Books
Duties of the Heart (Chovot HaLevavot) by Rabbi Bahya ibn Paquda (11th century)
Path of the Just (Mesillat Yesharim) by Rabbi Moshe Chaim Luzzatto translated by Yosef Liebler. I also like the version with commentary by Rabbi Ira Stone
The Ways of the Righteous (Orchot Tzaddikim), by an anonymous (probably female) author
The Palm Tree of Deborah (Tomer Devorah) by Rabbi Moses ben Jacob Cordovero
Accounting of the Soul (Cheshbon HaNefesh) by Rabbi Menachem Mendel Lefin of Satanov (19th century)
Mussar Books About Key People
Sharing the Burden: Rabbi Simhah Zissel Ziv and the Path of Musar by Geoffrey D. Claussen SUNY Press, 2015