Welcome to the Book Report! Included are some New + Newly Discovered books; some works for young readers presenting a variety of takes on the Thanksgiving holiday traditions and historical context; and a wonderful ‘Just Because’ offering.
Recently I was talking with a friend about our relationships with the routines in our lives. We wondered how we can find comfort and stability in them and effectively negotiate with them if they lead to constraint and stagnation. How does tradition factor into the dynamics? How can we tell the differences between routines, practices, and ruts? And so on…
Of course, it’s all relative and dependent upon layers of subtleties, but nonetheless, there are meaningful conversations worth having on the subject - with others and within ourselves.
That said, the book choices that follow are connected to that inquiry. May they offer you insight and a light on your path forward.
“Zen is not some kind of excitement, but concentration on our usual everyday routine.”
How to Be Loving: As Your Heart is Breaking Open and Our World is Waking Up by Danielle LaPorte prompts us to explore what happens when we begin to identify as Love – as the Soul beyond our personality constructs. Throughout its pages, LaPorte guides us to creating conditions for healing our lives, learning how to accept ourselves and our circumstances ‘as is’ – thus freeing up our life force to grow in new directions.
Lighter: Let Go of the Past, Connect with the Present, and Expand the Future by yung pueblo is a radically compassionate plan for turning inward and lifting the heaviness that prevents us from healing ourselves and the world. As the burdens fall away, our minds will finally stop feeling constrained with tension and we’ll be better able to connect with the present. The book concludes with the teaching that in the process we can build a world that is no longer structurally harmful, but, instead, structurally compassionate.
Recovering You: Soul Care and Mindful Movement for Overcoming Addiction by Steven Washington is a uniquely holistic and joy-filled approach to breaking free from addiction and compulsion using meditation, movement, and motivational techniques. Beautifully and intimately told, Washington guides us to the truth that recovery of well-being, hope, peace, and most importantly, a sense of one’s own original self and potential is possible no matter what.
Reclaiming Body Trust: A Path to Healing & Liberation by Hilary Kinavey and Dana Sturtevant delineates an intersectional, social-justice-oriented path to healing in three phases: The Rupture, The Reckoning, and The Reclamation. Throughout, readers are anchored by the authors’ innovative and revolutionary Body Trust framework to discover a path out of a rigid, mechanistic approach to thinking about the body and into a more authentic, sustainable way to occupy and nurture our bodies.
How to Live: The Essential Mindfulness Journal from Thich Nhat Hahn with illustrations by Jason Deantonis is an inspirational, contemplative journal and guide for your mindfulness practice. A companion to the bestselling How To (Mindfulness Essentials) books from Thich Nhat Hanh, this guided journal contains quotes, lined pages for writing, and beautiful sumi-ink drawings to inspire your process.
Resurrection: A Channeled Text: Book One of the Manifestation Trilogy from renowned channel Paul Selig is composed of his guides’ raw, unedited words, as spoken by Paul. Here he shares a vision of a new manifestation of humanity; an alteration and elevation that will shift how we think and move through the world.
Inciting Joy: Essays by prize-winning poet and author Ross Gay is filled with gorgeously written and timely pieces inviting us to consider the joy that awakens when we care for each other, especially during life’s inevitable hardships. In an era when divisive voices take up so much air space, Inciting Joy offers a vital alternative: What might be possible if we turn our attention to what brings us together, to what we love?
Healing Through Words by Rupi Kaur is a guided tour on the journey back to the self with poetry writing exercises exploring themes of trauma, loss, heartache, love, family, healing, and celebration of the self.
Uplifting Prayers to Light Your Way: 200 Invocations for Challenging Times from intuitive guide and spiritual teacher Sonia Choquette reminds us that throughout the course of our lives there are occasions when we’re all invited to grow on a soul level. These transitions can be very challenging, even frightening. During these times we can use all the divine assistance available to help illuminate our next steps. Each of the prayers within this book are designed to give us strength and good humor to keep flowing with life.
All the Feelings Under the Sun: How to Deal with Climate Change by Leslie Davenport is a timely, thoughtful book that will help young readers work through their feelings of anxiety about climate change. Through informative text and activities, the book gives children age-appropriate information and tools they can use to manage their process and work toward making change.
Welcome to the Grief Club: Because You Don't Have to Go Through It Alone is based on the author Janine Kwoh’s own experience with grief after her partner died when they were both in their late twenties – and those of other Grief Club members. Within its pages you will find brief writings, illustrations, and creative diagrams to explore the wide range of emotions and experiences that grief can encompass.
Root and Ritual: Timeless Ways to Connect to Land, Lineage, Community, and the Self by Becca Piastrelli is a beautifully illustrated guide for connecting with the earth, your ancestors, and your communities as you come home to your whole self. Included are rituals, recipes, and ancestral wisdom. “Though we live in a radically different-looking world, the needs of our bodies and spirits are the same as the ancestors we came from.”
The Wisdom of Tao Oracle Cards by Mei Jin Lü presents the principles and essence of Tao, incorporating teachings from Taoist masters, the power of nature’s elements, the revelations of zodiac animals, and the dynamic interactions among them. The deck is comprised of 45 cards and a 187-page illustrated guidebook.
How the Swans Came to the Lake: A Narrative History of Buddhism in America by Rick Fields opens with the story of Asian Buddhism, including the life of the Buddha and the spread of his teachings. Coming to the modern era, the author discusses the development of Buddhism in the West through key moments such as Transcendentalist fascination with Eastern religions and philosophies, the writings of D.T. Suzuki, Alan Watts, and members of the Beat movement, and more.
Keepunumuk: Weeâchumun's Thanksgiving Story from Danielle Greendeer, Anthony Perry, and Alexis Bunten, illustrated by Garry Meeches, Sr. is told in a Native tradition about two kids from the Mashpee Wampanoag tribe learning the story of Weeâchumun (corn) and the first Thanksgiving.
T is for Thankful by Greg Paprocki is a sweet introduction to the spirit of the Thanksgiving holiday for your toddler and the rest of the family with 26 illustrations featuring things to be grateful for, holiday festivities, and accoutrements.
1621: A New Look at Thanksgiving by Catherine Grace counters the prevailing, traditional story of the first Thanksgiving with a lushly-illustrated photo-essay presenting a more measured, balanced, and historically accurate version of the three-day harvest celebration in 1621.
As we approach the fall + winter holiday season, our thoughts turn to what ‘home’ means for us. Where do we feel safe and held in good company? How can we cultivate a greater and more sustainable connection to those qualities we most treasure and value?
Right on cue comes this gorgeous book by Grammy award-winning singer Linda Ronstadt and writer Lawrence Downes - Feels Like Home: A Song for the Sonoran Borderlands – with photographs by Bill Steen.
Following her bestselling musical memoir Simple Dreams, this new offering seamlessly braids together Ronstadt’s recollections of people and their passions in a little understood region of the United States.