‍The Book Report by Rebecca Traver - Our Online Bookshop Curator

Included in this report is a mix of New + Newly Discovered books chosen to support + inspire you; some wonderful books for Young + Young at Heart readers, and a couple of ‘Just Because + Just for Fun’ offerings.

“If you love the sacred and despise the ordinary, you are still bobbing in the ocean of delusion.” 

Lately I have found myself a bit caught up in a ‘compare + despair’ cycle and it’s taking a lot of practice and resolve to acknowledge it with compassionate awareness and set it down on the path…without turning back to pick it up again. Sound familiar?

And so, with that in mind, I have scattered a few titles in the report below to help remind us all of the great beauty, wisdom, and power held within the most ordinary aspects of our human experiences.

New + Newly Discovered

The Magick of Physics: Uncovering the Fantastical Phenomena in Everyday Life from award-winning Oxford physicist Felix Flicker is an interesting take on how “doing science” aligns with what we commonly think of as “making magic”. Without a single equation or mathematical chart in sight, Flicker’s book is full of owls and mountains and infinite libraries, staffs and wands, and martial arts and mythical islands ruled by sage knot makers. All in all, The Magick of Physics opens our eyes to the miracle, the magic that surrounds us.

In The Key to Creativity: The Science Behind Ideas and How Daydreaming Can Change the World author Hilde Østby takes readers on a deep dive into why we are creative and what conditions enhance our abilities to bring forward our best work; whether that be a painting, a piece of writing, a delicious meal, or simply a good email.

Unbroken: The Trauma Response in Never Wrong. And Other Things You Need to Know to Take Back Your Life from Mary Catherine McDonald shows us how many of our understandings of what trauma is and how it works could use an upgrade. McDonald writes, “The body’s trauma response is designed to save our lives – and it does. It’s not a sign of weakness, but of our function, strength, and amazing resilience.” I found this book full of helpful and accessible tools for reframing our relationships with traumatic experiences and how we can better integrate them into our lives.

In Opening to Darkness: Eight Gateways for Being with the Absence of Light in Unsettling Times author Zenju Earthlyn Manuel writes, “In darkness, we become devoted to clarity, courage, peace, and harmony. We discover the basic goodness of all humanity when we experience darkness together. Life itself is a dark experience – a magical experience.” This book is an offering of deep soul relief and collective strength to embrace the dark – so that we may reunite with the sacred process of darkness that flows through the course of our lives.

Women of Myth: From Deer Woman and Mami Wata to Amaterasu and Athena, Your Guide to the Amazing and Diverse Women from World Mythology by Jenny Williamson and Genn McMenemy with illustrations by Sara Richard shows us fascinating and complex women from mythology and folklore with 50 stories of powerful female figures from around the world. 

Where We Meet the World: The Story of Our Senses by Ashley Ward is a lovely read, telling the story of how our senses evolved and how they impact and shape our experiences in life. Full of warmth and humor, the book explores how new insights in biology transform our understanding of the relationship between ourselves and the environment, revealing the vibrancy – and strangeness – of both.

Intraconnected: Mwe (Me + We) as the Integration of Self, Identity, and Belonging by noted neuropsychiatrist Dan Siegel is both a personal and a general meditation on identity and belonging - about how the mind, brain, and our relationships impact our senses of identity. 

The Art of Chilling Out for Women: 100+ Ways to Replace Worry and Stress with Spiritual Healing, Self-Care, and Self-Love by holistic health specialist Angela D. Coleman teaches women to learn how to better seek self-awareness, self-love, happiness, peace, and health. If you feel yourself on the edge of or in the midst of burning out, this one’s for you.

Books for Young Readers + The People Who Love Them

Remember by former U.S. Poet Laureate Joy Harjo with illustrations by Michaela Goade is a sweet invitation to pause and reflect on the wonders in the world and the importance of one’s place within it.

Something Wild by Molly Ruttan brings us the story of Hannah, a young girl who loves to play her violin – as long as no one is watching. This is a story about how amazing it can be to take a chance and how just the right kind of support can come our way when we least expect it.

The Knowing by Grammy award-winning singer-songwriter Ani Di Franco with illustrations by Julia Matthew guides young readers to ponder the distinction between outer forms of identity and the inner light of consciousness that is even more central to our being.

The Fantastic Bureau of Imagination by Brad Montague, illustrated by Kristi Montague bring us a story about a top-secret official agency whose task it is to keep the world’s creativity flowing. It’s special figment agent Sparky’s responsibility to help those of us who tend to hold onto big ideas learn how to share their dreams, songs, and stories with the world.

Just Because + Just for Fun

I Am a Book. I Am a Portal to the Universe from Stefanie Posavec and Miriam Quick is a lovely look at how books have the power to open us up to new experiences, perceptions, information, and more.

Edward Gorey: Verse Advice Boxed Notecards is a delightful collection of the wit and wisdom of Edward Gorey, whose characters regularly find themselves in odd – even disastrous circumstances. Includes 20 blank notecards with envelopes; four sets of five images.

The helpful thought for which you look is written somewhere in a book.”
~ Edward Gorey
Please visit our online Bookshop to see our full selection of lists and titles. 
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