Welcome to the Book Report! I hope you enjoy this report’s selection with books featuring a sampling of what’s been getting my attention; some wonderful pairings of decks + companion journals, a few sweet reads for the young bibliophile who is going back to school (and is maybe feeling just a little bit enormously anxious about it); and two ‘Just Because’ books.
Here we are past the mid-point of August! How in the world did that happen? As I connect with my own desires and directions and those of my community, I sense a subtle shifting. Is it seasonal – or something more? Who knows how this will evolve.
What I do know is that times such as these are well served by paying extra attention to what’s getting our attention…in other words, to notice what we notice. With that in mind, I begin this report with a varied assortment of titles that have crossed my path and made an impact these past few weeks.
I hope you find something resonant and supportive below…
“Do stuff. Be clenched, curious. Not waiting for inspiration’s shove or society’s kiss on your forehead. Pay attention. It’s all about paying attention. Attention is vitality. It connects you with others. It makes you eager. Stay eager.”
If you’ve ever been curious about the Akashic Records, The Line: A New Way of Living with the Wisdom of Your Akashic Records by Ashley Wood would be a good place to start. In it she shares a new way of accessing your Akashic Records by aligning with the frequency of your Line – an energetic connection with your soul’s Akashic Records. Included are practical tools and teachings channeled from a spiritual group of beings known as The Pinnacle to help you activate your Line for clarity, guidance, and soul insight.
Burnout: The Secret to Unlocking the Stress Cycle by sisters Amelia and Emily Nagoski is a groundbreaking book explaining why women experience burnout differently than men and provides a simple, science-based plan to help women minimize stress, manage charged emotions, and live a more joyful, satisfying life. Refreshingly, this book’s approach doesn’t preach the broad platitudes of expensive self-care or insist that we strive for the impossible goal of ‘having it all’. Instead, it helps us to see that we are enough, just as we are – and that wellness, true wellness, is within our reach.
The Revolutionary Love Training Course: How to Love Others, Our Opponents, and Ourselves by Valarie Kaur is a cd format training in love-centered practices for transforming ourselves and our world. In it, Kaur addresses such complex questions as: How do we show up with love in a time of turmoil?, How can love flourish in the face of fear and oppression?, How do we find longevity and joy and beloved community in a world becoming more and more polarized? How indeed? Let’s explore this together, shall we?
Journal of Radical Permission: A Daily Guide for Following Your Soul's Calling from Sonya Renee Taylor and Adrienne Maree Brown brings together everything wonderful about radical self-love, emergent strategy, and pleasure activism to support our journey toward loving ourselves deeply – just as we are in any given moment. Included are daily prompts for self-inquiry and words of wisdom from the authors. This is balm for the weary soul, dear reader – balm for the weary soul.
Let's Talk About Hard Things by Anna Sale is all about having that conversation. You know the one, the one you’ve been avoiding or putting off, maybe for years. The one that you’ve thought “they’ll never understand” or “do I really want to bring that up?” or “it’s not going to go well, so why even try?”. Along the way we learn that listening may be the most important part of a tough conversation – that the end goal should be understanding without the pressure of reconciliation, and that there are some things that words cannot fix (and why that’s actually okay).
Forged in Darkness: The Many Paths of Personal Transformation by Joanna Laprade encourages readers to work with archetypes in mythology to stop rejecting the darkness within our psyches and instead learn to embrace it.
After being struck by lightning, author Ya’acov Darling Khan took a 30-year journey into the heart of shamanism to seek his own healing and to learn how to serve others through the wisdom he acquired through his experiences. Jaguar in the Body, Butterfly in the Heart: The Real-Life Initiation of an Everyday Shaman tells his story.
Soundings: Journeys in the Company of Whales by Doreen Cunningham is a blend of nature writing, whale science, and memoir, interweaving two stories: tracking the extraordinary northward migration of the grey whales with a toddler in tow and living with an Iñupiaq family in Alaska seven years earlier.
Phosphorescence: A Memoir of Finding Joy When Your World Goes Dark by Julia Baird recounts her experiences of surviving a difficult heartbreak and a battle with cancer, reflecting deeply about how we, as people, persevere through the most challenging of circumstances. She started to wonder, when we are overwhelmed by illness, loss or pain, or a tragedy outside of our control: How can we keep putting one foot in front of the other? Staying open to wonder and awe is part of what she learns along the way and shares so generously with us.
“Divination is not seeing the future; it’s looking at the present from a different perspective and seeing connections that were otherwise invisible.”
I’ve been a fan of the work of Maia Toll for years and I’m so pleased to announce her latest offerings she calls The Night School: Lessons in Moonlight, Magic, and the Mysteries of Being Human… the book, the deck, and the journal. Here we are invited to slow down and contemplate our dreams, our relationship to the natural world, and the ancient traditions of mystical thinking – all by the light of the moon.
Alana Fairchild has created so many wonderful decks over the years, many of which have companion journals. The following are some of my favorites:
White Light Oracle: Enter the Luminous Heart of the Sacred and its associated journal show us that white light holds all the frequencies needed for healing ourselves, each other, our planet, and all her precious creatures. It is divine medicine for the soul, empowering the heart, clarifying the mind, and awakening higher consciousness.
One of my all-time favorites is the Sacred Rebels Oracle: Guidance for Living a Unique & Authentic Life and journal which serve as a brilliant and wise support for living a unique and inspired life and sharing your light with the world as a sacred offering.
Earth Warriors Oracle pairs beautifully with its journal and is a perfect source of guidance for feeling our way into the evolving world in which we live. Earth Warriors are the guardians, guides, and way-showers for the new world, inspiring its people to prosper and thrive in harmony with the wisdom of life.
Mother Mary Oracle brings us the unconditional love and support of Mother Mary. Through this oracle, she shares her guidance and wisdom and connects us with the knowledge of our own spiritual potency and divinity – that we may experience ever greater peace and love on our life journey. It even comes in a pocket edition! and its own lovely journal and book of sacred practices.
Kuan Yin Oracle: Blessings, Guidance & Enlightenment from the Divine Feminine and journal connect us deeply with the love and compassion of the Buddhist Goddess Kuan Yin. Inspired by her divine wisdom, this beautifully illustrated deck is designed to guide us toward a more loving and enlightened life.
Isis Oracle and journal help us to apply the Ancient Mystery teachings of Isis in practical ways to assist us in navigating the challenges of our every day lives. Allow this sacred priestess, initiate, magician, and healer to help you reactivate your own soul talents of healing, magic, and more as you journey with her from darkness and uncertainty into love and power.
“You’re mad, bonkers, completely off your head. But I’ll tell you a secret. All the best people are.”
The Kissing Hand by Audrey Penn tells the story of Chester Raccoon who is about to start school in the forest, but he absolutely does not want to go. To help ease Chester’s fears, his mother shares a family secret called the Kissing Hand to give him the reassurance of her love any time his world feels a little scary. The book very wisely includes stickers at the back to help parents make the story more real for their little students. I’m delighted to report that this book comes in a Spanish language version as well.
Donut Feed the Squirrels by Mika Song is a graphic novel about two squirrel best friends who meet their match – a donut food truck! This is a sweet and fun story full of madcap action, problem-solving, and the power of cooperation.
For First Grade:
A Hundred Thousand Welcomes by Mary Lee Donovan with illustrations by Lian Cho brings us the invitation to travel to homes around the world to observe a variety of ways to experience hospitality and acceptance. To welcome another is to give that person and yourself a chance at a new connection, a new friendship, and maybe even new eyes through which to view the world.
Sideways Stories from Wayside School by Louis Sachar, illustrated by Adam McCauley, is about a terrible construction mistake in which Wayside School was supposed to be built with thirty classrooms all next to each other in a row. Instead, the school was built with all of the classrooms on top of one another…thirty stories tall!!
For Second Grade:
Linus the Little Yellow Pencil by Scott Magoon is a kid-friendly tale of two ends of the same pencil learning how to get along!
This edition of E.B. White’s classic beloved tale Charlotte's Web comes with a foreword by two-time Newberry winning author Kate DiCamillo.
For Third Grade:
The Tea Dragon Society is the first of a trilogy by K.O’Neill and follows the story of Greta, a blacksmith apprentice, and the people she meets as she becomes entwined in the enchanting world of tea dragons. The sequel The Tea Dragon Festival features a young dragon named Aedhan who was appointed to protect the village but fell asleep in the forest eighty years ago! And the final volume The Tea Dragon Tapestry shows us how the more we open our heart to others, the more clearly we can see our own next steps on the path.
A Bad Case of Stripes by David Shannon is a story about the magic of nonconformity featuring young Camilla Cream who is very, very worried about what other people think of her. In fact, she’s so worried that she’s about to breaks out in a bad case of stripes!
Just Because…Two Books About Books
The Yellow-Lighted Bookshop: A Memoir, a History by Lewis Buzbee is a celebration of the unique experience of being in a bookstore – the smell and touch of books, the joy of getting lost in the deep canyons of shelves, and the silent community of readers. Full of terrific anecdotes, this is the perfect choice for those who relish the enduring pleasures of spending an afternoon finding just the right book.
A Career in Books is a wonderful graphic novel by Kate Gavino for everyone who’s ever wanted to work with books and had NO idea what it entailed. It’s for those who were taken aback by that first paycheck. It’s for those who wanted a literary career even in the face of a world growing increasingly divided. Within its pages we follow the paths of three Asian-American women trying to break through the world of books with hilarious, incisive, and sometimes heartbreaking results.