The Book Report by Rebecca Traver - Our Online Bookshop Curator

“For what good is knowing unless it is coupled with caring?”~Robin Wall Kimmerer | Included in this report is a selection of New + Newly Discovered titles; a special group of Books for Young and Young at Heart Readers; and a couple of Just Because + Just for Fun offerings. 

Welcome to the Book Report! While I was pondering what to write in this introduction I was reminded of these words from the poet D. Simone and realized that I couldn’t express what I’m feeling right now for myself and for you any better than this:

May Light always surround you;
Hope kindle and rebound you.
May your Hurts turn to Healing;
Your Heart embrace Feeling.
May Wounds become Wisdom;
Every Kindness a Prism.
May Laughter infect you;
Your Passion resurrect you.
May goodness inspire
your Deepest Desires.
Through all that you Reach For,
May your arms Never Tire.”
~D. Simone

Included in this report is a selection of New + Newly Discovered titles; a special group of Books for Young and Young at Heart Readers; and a couple of Just Because + Just for Fun offerings. 

I hope you enjoy what you find here and know that, as always, I am honored by the privilege of taking up space in your inbox.

Please visit our selection of 2024 calendars by clicking here!
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“For what good is knowing unless it is coupled with caring?”
~Robin Wall Kimmerer

New + Newly Discovered

In A Year in Practice: Seasonal Rituals and Prompts to Awaken Cycles of Creative Expression author and poet Jacqueline Suskin writes, “The seasons and cycles of nature have incredible power to affect everything in our lives – especially our creativity. The Earth shows us when our creative reserves might wax and wane. When we listen and follow nature’s lead, we tune in to an inexhaustible source of imagination, inspiration, and beauty.” With A Year in Practice, this inspiring teacher shares holistic practices to help creatives of all sorts access the limitless potential that flows with the rhythms of nature.

With Healing Pluto Problems: An Astrological Guide by Donna Cunningham we learn how Pluto functions in the birth chart and how Plutonian issues can manifest throughout one’s life. Cunningham presents her material with warmth and empathy, without avoiding the tough lessons that Pluto has to offer, including guilt, resentment, and fear; emotional secrets and the psychology of being a victim; death and transformation, and much more. Let’s be brave together and learn how to face our fears with honesty and compassion.

Predictive Astrology: Tools to Forecast Your Life and Create Your Brightest Future by Bernadette Brady shows the reader how to use Time Maps to approach the fate of the transits, and includes new methods for calibrating and filtering progressions, returns of all kinds, eclipses, and planetary areas. By combining these techniques, you can reveal glimpses of possible futures and put various aspects of your life into perspective.

Into the Mirror: A Buddhist Journey Through Mind, Matter, and the Nature of Reality from Andy Karr with a foreword by Matthieu Ricard examines the materialism of the modern world through the profound teachings of Mahayana Buddhism and offers an accessible, powerful method for investigating the ways in which our minds construct our worlds.

Yoga Life: Habits, Poses, and Breathwork to Channel Joy Amidst the Chaos by Brett Larkin helps us design an adaptable, personalized practice, and cut to the chase with quick yoga habits that soothe your soul. With the support of quizzes and 30 book-exclusive companion videos you’ll learn a 5-step method to design a practice that works for your schedule; how to adapt your practice to meet your physical, mental and emotional needs; and more than a dozen yoga habits that will support you even if you never manage to make it to the mat.

Divine Might: Goddesses in Greek Myth by Natalie Haynes is a female-centric look at Olympus and the Furies, focusing on goddesses whose prowess, passions, jealousies, and desires rival those of their male kin. Infused with Haynes’s engaging charm and irrepressible wit, this is a refreshing take on the legends and stories we thought we knew well.

Words That Free You: What You Say Is What You Become from Jacques Martel is a guide to how the right choice of words can liberate, strengthen, and heal us. Included is insight around how each word carries an energy that increases or decreases our energy level and how our choice of words creates our reality; tables for converting the negative to the positive; shares healing words in mantras, guided relaxation, and chants as well as a writing technique that brings emotional healing. As we become more comfortable communicating how we feel, our words truly become the mirror of our heart and the authentic reflection of our thoughts.

Do Hope: Why You Should Never Give Up by Gail Muller is an inspiring memoir and guide for anyone who has been told that they will never be able to experience or accomplish their heart’s desires because of an imposed limitation given by a supposed ‘expert’ in any given field. Here, the author shares her own story of survival and what she has learned: that hope is not just a platitude, it’s a powerful and energizing catalyst toward better, more fulfilling days. A light in the dark. But, even for the most emotionally mature of us, hope can fade – and when that happens, how do we find our way back to it? That, my friends, is what this book is all about.

Natural Remedies for Mental and Emotional Health: Holistic Methods and Techniques for a Happy and Healthy Mind by Brigitte Mars, A.H.G. and Chrystle Fielder is a self-care guide to exploring common mental health concerns and stress-related issues such as anxiety, depression, anger, insomnia, brain fog, and trauma and shares remedies and practices to address and heal their root causes. Presenting a wealth of holistic self-care therapies for mental well-being, emotional balance, and neurological health, this guide enables each of us to heal the mind and nurture the soul – two essential keys to a happy, joyful life.

The Risk It Takes to Bloom: On Life and Liberation from writer Raquel Willis is a powerful memoir by a trailblazing Black transgender activist, tracing her life of transformation and her work towards collective liberation. The author recounts with passion and candor her experiences straddling the Obama and Trump eras, the possibility of transformation after tragedy, and how complex moments can push us all to take necessary risks and fully bloom.

Taking Up the Runes: A Complete Guide to Using Runes in Spells, Rituals, Divination, and Magic from Diana L. Paxson is an accessible, in-depth exploration of the runes as a living spiritual tradition. Readers will learn the historical meaning of each individual rune and its use and meaning now, in contemporary culture. But, as Paxson also reveals, the real power of the runes comes from internalizing them and using their symbols as sources of wisdom and power.

The Hermetic Tree of Life: Elemental Magic and Spiritual Initiation by William R. Mistele is a guide to realizing your highest magical and spiritual potential, presenting a wealth of practices and initiatory wisdom, structured around the Tree of Life, to help you develop a vast spiritual world within.

The Self-Forgiveness Workbook: Mindfulness and Compassion Skills to Overcome Self-Blame and Find True Self-Acceptance by Grant Dewar is a workbook to help you learn effective skills that integrate self-forgiveness with acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT), compassion-focused therapy (CFT), functional analytic therapy (FAP), and relational frame theory (RFT). That may sound like too much to learn, but Dewar presents the work with kindness and supportive insight.

Past Forward: How Nostalgia Can Help You Live a More Meaningful Life by Clay Routledge shares compelling science and valuable practices for mindfully using nostalgia to live a more grounded, connected, and purposeful life. As Dr. Routledge puts it, “By engaging in nostalgia, we are not moving toward the past. We are bringing the past forward to the present to help us build a more fulfilling future.”

How Am I Doing?: 40 Conversations to Have with Yourself by Corey Yeager is an invitation onto a series of conversations with yourself to improve your mental health as you discover your purpose, honor your story, and explore who you want to be. So, join the conversation; nothing is off limits here. Come check in with yourself and take these small, simple steps to journey toward a more honest and harmonious way of living – from the inside out.

The Upcycled Self: A Memoir on the Art of Becoming Who We Are from Tariq Trotter, one of the most powerful voices in hip-hop and incisive storyteller, comes a brilliantly crafted work about the art – and war – on becoming who we are. Here, the author explores the vital questions we all have to confront about our formative, early years: How can we see the story of our own young lives clearly? How do we use that story to understand who we’ve become? How do we forgive the people who loved and hurt us? How do we rediscover and honor our first dreams? And, finally, what do we take forward, what do we pass on, what do we leave behind?

Grow a New Body Cookbook: Upgrade Your Brain and Heal Your Gut with 90+ Plant-Based Recipes by Alberto Villoldo and Conny Andersson is rooted in shamanic wisdom that will help you go back to an ancient way of eating that promises to help you on the road to lifelong health. Yum!

Remember Love: Words for Tender Times by Cleo Wade is a collection of prose and poetry that explores how we can find light in periods of lostness, love for ourselves after heartbreak, okay-ness in the midst of change, and strength in letting go. Who among us can’t use more of that?

1000 Words: A Writer's Guide to Staying Creative, Focused, and Productive All Year Round edited by Jami Attenberg is a writer’s guide featuring encouraging essays on creativity, productivity, and writing from acclaimed authors, including Roxane Gay, Lauren Groff, Celest Ng, Meg Wolitzer, and Carmen Maria Machado.

The Book of Animal Secrets: Nature's Lessons for a Long and Happy Life by visionary physician and biomedical researcher David B. Agus, MD explores the ways many ways we can harness the wonders of the animal kingdom in our own, very human lives. Filled with lovely storytelling and astonishing practical takeaways, this revelatory guide will have you rethinking what’s possible for your health and well-being – now and for years to come.

For more New + Newly Discovered books click here!

Books for Young Readers + the People Who Love Them

Tomfoolerly Randolph Caldecott and the Rambunctious Coming-of-Age of Children's Books by Michelle Markel with illustrations by Barbara McClintock is the fascinating true story picture book of the man who redefined children’s books, transforming the reading experience of people all around the world! Not just for adults, this book is for anyone who loves children’s literature, and, trust me, you are virtually guaranteed to be charmed by the extraordinary life of Randolph Caldecott.

Zen for Kids: 50+ Mindful Activities and Stories to Shine Loving-Kindness in the World by Laura Burges, illustrated by Melissa Iwai, has engaging Zen-inspired stories and activities to help kids (ages 4 – 8) learn about patience, kindness, honesty, sharing, and forgiveness.

Ink Girls by Marieke Nijkamp with illustrations from Sylvia Bi tells the story of 11 year old printer’s apprentice with a crippled leg named Cinzia who, with another young girl named Elena, follows a trail of clues to right a wrong and change history for the better along the way. This is a vibrant story about finding and using your voice and being advocates for truth.

Yellow Butterfly: A Story from Ukraine by Oleksandr Shatokhin is a wordless picture book portrayal of war seen through the eyes of a young girl who finds hope in the symbolism of yellow butterflies against the background of a pure blue sky. A portion of the sale of this book will be donated to the Universal Reading Foundation who supply children’s books to Ukraine. Included are notes on sharing a wordless picture book and how to talk the children about war.

Angela's Glacier from Jordan Scott, illustrated by Diana Sudyka, is a love story about a girl growing up in the shadow of a glacier that’s always there to listen to her. Within its pages we are embraced by the lessons young Angela learns about growing up without losing yourself, loving nature, and allowing it to love you in return.

A Stone Is a Story by Leslie Barnard Booth with illustrations by Marc Martin tells the tale of a stone’s journey through time as it faces ice, water, wind, and scorching heat. Complete with additional information about geology and the rock cycle, this lyrical and captivating story invites readers to experience the wonder of the natural world around us and to see – in every cliff, pebble, and stone – a window into Earth’s deep past.

When the Stars Came Home from Brittany Luby, illustrated by Natasha Donovan, is a heartwarming look at how the comfort of tradition and story can create a true sense of belonging.

If I Were a Fish by musicians Corook and Olivia Barton with art by Mike Curato is a picture book adaptation of the authors’ viral TikTok silly song conveying a serious message for everyone who’s ever had to navigate the highs and lows of the internet. The book’s inspirational power is that it’s important to surround yourself with the people that make you the happiest and that it’s always best to be yourself.

For more books for young readers click here!
Para libros para lectores jóvenes en Español haga clic aqui!

Just Because + Just for Fun

One Zentangle a Day: A 6-Week Course in Creative Drawing for Relaxation, Inspiration, and Fun by Beckah Krahula takes your doodles to a whole new level! Drawing Zentangles is a relaxing and replenishing diversion that can be enjoyed by people of all ages and skill capacities. In addition to its soothing benefits, a Zentangle practice can also help with self-image, phobias, addictions, pain management, conflict resolution, and coping with grief.

Tiny Planetarium: See the Stars! from Nick Perilli brings the mystery and wonder of the night sky to your office or home with this charming miniature constellation projector.

This Year
Break a Bad Habit
Learn a New Skill
Do a Good Deed
Visit a New Place
Read a Difficult Book
Write and Send a Letter
Try a New Food
Take a Risk

“You do not become good by trying to be good, but by finding the goodness that is already within you.”
~Eckhart Tolle

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