The Book Report by Rebecca Traver - Our Online Bookshop Curator

Welcome to The Book Report…

I’m so happy you could join us! Before we get into it I would like to bring your attention to a book my Paradise Found newsletter colleague Rebecca Zendejas recently told me about and is using as a resource for her Fall Equinox article. It’s called An Altar in the World: A Geography of Faith by Barbara Brown Taylor.

Sometimes, regardless of how accomplished or experienced we may be on any given subject, it’s valuable to return to the basics from time to time. One of the key points the author makes is the importance of noticing and discovering altars everywhere we go and in nearly everything we do as we aspire to live with purpose and revere the world we live in…one moment at a time.

“To make bread or love, to dig in the earth, to feed an animal or cook for a stranger – these activities require no extensive commentary, no lucid theology. All they require is someone willing to bend, reach, chop, stir.

Most of these tasks are so full of pleasure that there is no need to complicate things by calling them holy. And yet they are the same activities that change lives, sometimes all at once and sometimes more slowly, the way dripping water changes stone.

In a world where faith is often construed as a way of thinking, bodily practices remind the willing that faith is a way of life.”
~Barbara Brown Taylor

Ahead, I’ve put together a selection of terrific new + newly discovered titles, some books for the young and young at heart readers among us, a couple of just because + just for fun works, and this link to 2024 calendars…yeah, it’s that time of year!

Please enjoy and know that, as always, I am honored to find a welcome place in your inbox.

New + Newly Discovered

Renunciation: A Game of Capitalism and Karma is the latest offering from visionary artist Kim Krans. This is a board game that requires the winner to lose it all!! How brilliant is that? It is as fun a game as it is thought provoking. Along the path toward enlightenment the players find ‘Adventure Guides’, a winding path up a mountain full of tricks, slips, backstabs, and sticky fingers. Put fate and free will to the test, avoid the ‘karmic loop’, and make decisions carefully, considering the cosmic effect you’ll have on your allies, enemies, and all humankind. Let’s play, shall we?! For more from Kim Krans, click here

The Little Book of Zen Healing: Japanese Rituals for Beauty, Harmony, and Love from Paula Arai with a foreword by Pico Iyer is a lovely collection of accessible and adaptable Japanese Buddhist rituals to infuse your life with purpose, healing, and gratitude when you need it the most.

A Tree a Day by Amy-Jane Beer is a lovely way to spend every day of the year with one of the world’s most fascinating trees. From the strength of Alder trees to the biology behind the autumn colors of New England; from folkloric medicines in tree sap to Shakespeare’s Birnam Wood; from the giant Sequoias of California to Kilmt’s Birch trees, this is a sweet way to make every day a memorable one.

She Recovers Every Day: Meditations for Women by Dawn Nickel, one of the founders of the international movement and nonprofit organization SHE RECOVERS Foundation, presents a daily meditation book that acknowledges the specific needs of all women in any type of recovery process – including substance use, codependency, workaholism, eating disorders, and more.

The Beginner's Guide to Ayurvedic Home Remedies: Ancient Healing for Modern Life from Susan Weis-Bohlen is a modernized and accessible guide to this ancient system of health and well-being. Free from esoteric information that you don’t want or need, this guide gives you simplified, need-to-know information on determining your dosha and the best ayurvedic approach for you.

Build the Life You Want: The Art and Science of Getting Happier by Oprah Winfrey and Arthur C. Brooks invites you to begin a journey toward greater happiness no matter how challenging your circumstances. The authors recommend practical researched-based practices to build what they call the four pillars of happiness: family, friendship, work, and faith.

This is Woman's Work: Calling Forth Your Inner Council of Wise, Brave, Crazy, Rebellious, Loving, Luminous Selves from award-winning poet, educator, and activist Dominique Christina makes the point that, “A woman’s work is to define herself.” And while this task is important for everyone, there is an urgency for women. Each chapter is devoted to a different archetype, delving into the magic and gifts of our inner world in all its forms, such as Willing Woman, the Rebel, the Beggar, the Shapeshifter, and the Warrior.

Healthy Conflict, Happy Couple: How to Let Go of Blame and Grow Stronger Together by Lisa Gray breaks down the neuroscience of conflict, examines family origin learnings – beliefs, attitudes, or habits we learn in childhood from our caregivers – and provides practical methods which can be employed in any situation to help you put an end to unproductive arguments.

Magdalene Manifestation Cards: Create Abundance Through Love by Danielle Rama Hoffman with illustrations by Christine Lucas is a deck of 44 cards, each featuring a Magdalene Code of Love to empower you, open your ability to receive, and awaken your innate tendencies toward prosperity. Building on the Magdalene Code manifestation techniques, Hoffman explains how to expand your energy field and love body to contribute to the evolution of consciousness with the energies of surplus and abundance.

The Book of Innocence: A Channeled Text by Paul Selig is the second book of his Manifestation Trilogy, in which he shares the words of his guides as they offer a glimpse of a world that transcends our own limited understanding. Within its pages we are invited to explore new visions of ourselves and the lives we lead. Instead of being blinded by spiritual and physical distractions, the guides offer a return to the primal simplicity of deeper knowing.

The Calling: 3 Fundamental Shifts to Stay True, Get Paid, and Do Good from entrepreneurial coach Rha Goddess offers a six-step approach on how to find and follow  your true calling and, in the process, redefine success. Here, we are given a road map via 3 fundamental shifts: Recognizing, Accepting, and Forgiving. Already living your true calling? Great! How do you make the most of it? Struggling to find and follow yours? Rha has a host of meaningful suggestions and teachings.

Owning Our Struggles: A Path to Healing and Finding Community in a Broken World by Minaa B. helps us to discover and cultivate the power of collective healing in this research-based, real-world guide to moving past trauma and adversity – together. Included are therapeutic tools, client stories, and actionable insights to help you on your healing journey, along with reflections from her own personal experiences. Here, we learn how to face our struggles, get unstuck, and transform our thinking – to claim agency in our own lives and circumstances, and to use that power to help heal a troubled world.

The Perfection Trap: Embracing the Power of Good Enough from Thomas Curran reminds me of Brené Brown’s classic work The Gifts of Imperfection in that it explores how the pursuit of perfection can become a dangerous obsession that leads directly to burnout and depression – keeping us from achieving our goals. If you’ve ever felt overwhelmed by the soul-crushing need to not just compete, but compete to a level beyond reason, this book is for you.

Proof of Life After Life: 7 Reasons to Believe There Is an Afterlife by Raymond Moody and Paul Perry is a groundbreaking work, combining nearly five decades of afterlife and near-death experience research to provide proof of the existence of the soul and life after death. Here, Moody and coauthor Paul Perry reveal that consciousness survives after the death of the body. Dear reader, prepare to be inspired and fascinated by this one!

Wellness Witch: Healing Potions, Soothing Spells, and Empowering Rituals for Magical Self-Care from Nikki Van De Car with illustrations by Anisa Makhoul adds magic to your self-care practices with sacred rituals, crystal spreads, aromatherapy blends, yoga sequences, and intention-casting spells. With chapters on the internal, the external, and the home, readers will learn how to harness the power of healing herbs, charged crystals, and sacred spaces as they cultivate the art of mystical self-care.

Sacred Seasons: Nature-Inspired Rituals, and Self-Care for Every Day of the Year by Kirsty Gallagher teaches us to embrace the gifts and mysteries within the cycles of the seasons of the year. Organized by season, the chapters in this beautiful book offer opportunities to check in, catch up with ourselves, review our lives, make any necessary nature-inspired changes, and move forward into a new season with renewed clarity and purpose.

Enchanted Foraging: Wildcrafting for Herbal Remedies, Rituals, and a Magical Life by Ebony Gheorghe invites us to embark on our foraging journey and cultivate a more meaningful, magical relationship with nature. We learn tips for foraging correctly, mindfully, and sustainably; create teas, balms, decoctions, and other herbal remedies made out of foraged ingredients and materials; how to use wildcrafts for rituals that usher in the new season inspired by mystical folk practices around the world, and more.

For more New + Newly Discovered titles, click here!

Books for Young Readers + the People Who Love Them

The Otherwoods is a middle-grade novel by Justine Pucella Winans which tells the story of young River Rydell, a ‘chosen one’ – born with the ability to see monsters and travel to a terrifying spirit world known as The Otherwoods. This is a strong hero’s journey tale perfect for this time of year.

Things in the Basement by Ben Hatke is a young readers graphic novel about Milo, a young boy who discovers a portal to a secret world in his basement.

The Story of a Book from Joy McCullough with illustrations by Devon Holzwarth is a gorgeous, joyful picture book following the lifespan of a book as it comes across different readers – and creates a kind of magic along the way.

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

Just Because + Just for Fun

Why We Love Middle-Earth: An Enthusiast's Book About Tolkien, Middle-Earth, and the Lotr Fandom is a perfect companion for any Tolkien fan from Alan Sisto and Shawn E. Marchese, of The Prancing Pony Podcast. Included is an easy-to-digest guide map; a brief history of each of the major books and adaptations of Middle-earth, how to read, watch, or play them; and a manual for fandom niches – where they are, how to find them, and how to get started. Newcomers and existing fans of Tolkien will revel in the dragon’s hoard of information inside.

Strange Planet from Nathan W. Pyle is a sweet and hilarious look at a distant world not all that unlike our own. 

“Don’t adventures ever have an end? I suppose not. Someone else always has to carry on the story.”
~Bilbo Baggins from The Fellowship of the Ring by J.R.R. Tolkien
For more gift ideas to inspire, delight & amuse click here.

Please visit our online Bookshop to see our full selection of lists and titles.
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