Please explore and enjoy this report’s book selection beginning with a warm welcome to Rebecca Zendejas, the newest member of the Paradise Found newsletter team; a Special Offer for Pre-Orders of Matt Kahn’s New Book; some Father’s Day Gift Ideas; Tools for the Art + Practice of Divination; Self-Care + Self-Help; A Celebration of Pride Month; and a few delightfully inspiring books for younger readers
“And so with the sunshine and the great bursts of leaves growing on the trees…
I had that familiar conviction that life was beginning all over again with the summer.”
In the spirit of that great Fitzgerald quote I would like to welcome Santa Barbara artist, woodworker, and altar enthusiast Rebecca Zendejas to the Paradise Found newsletter team as she shares articles timed for the Solstices and Equinoxes throughout the year. Her theme for this year’s Summer Solstice is creating outdoor altars, drawing inspiration, in part, from the book Morning Altars: A 7-Step Practice to Nourish Your Spirit Through Nature, Art, and Ritual by Day Schildkret.
Matt Kahn, one of our favorite contemporary spiritual authors has a beautiful new book coming out on June 21sttitled All for Love: The Transformative Power of Holding Space. For those who pre-order there will be a special online launch party and healing event, as well as access to stream a documentary film created by Matt Kahn. Click here for the details.
And now, without further ado, let’s proceed to the Report…
Reading the Water by Mark Hume is an eloquent memoir conveying the joy and wisdom to be found in fishing. As soon as his daughters were old enough, Mark taught them how to read the water and see the patterns in nature. He showed them how to cast, how to catch fish and release them, and – only when needed – how to kill and clean them. In the process he discovered that fly fishing and fatherhood require many of the same skills: patience, flexibility, and the knowledge of when to reel in and when to let go.
Home Game: An Accidental Guide to Fatherhood by Michael Lewis is a treasure. When he became a father, he decided to keep a written record of what actually happened immediately after the birth of each of his three children. This book is that record. It’s funny, wise, candid, and a joy to read.
Chris Erskine’s Daditude: The Joys & Absurdities of Modern Fatherhood is a charming, well-written, and concise collection of stories about fatherhood. This is a perfect gift for both new and seasoned dads everywhere.
A Man Walks into a Barn: Navigating Fatherhood in the Flawed and Fascinating World of Horses by Chad Oldfather is a smart and funny memoir exploring the evolution of a man and his relationship with his daughters as they grow up in the equestrian life.
Because I'm Your Dad by Ahmet Zappa, illustrated by Dan Santat is a wonderful celebration of the silliness and sweetness of what being a dad can be.
Divine Tea Time Inspiration Cards is all about how tea drinking makes us feel…uplifted, soothed, cleansed, and calmed. Each card includes a beautiful watercolor image, an affirmation, and a recipe in support of incorporating nurturing rituals into your daily life.
Spiritsong Tarot by Paulina Cassidy is such a lovely deck, melding two traditions of divination; one in which animals are seen as guides between our material world and the world of Spirit, and one that uses the cards as a tool to connect with our highest self.
Dreams of Gaia Tarot from Ravynne Phelan embraces the simple yet profound philosophy that we are here to seek, to feel, to grow, and to heal. With this deck as your ally, you are invited to embark on an extraordinary journey of being and becoming.
Mermaid Tarot by Leeza Robertson with illustrations by Julie Dillon offers us entry into the magical, mystical world of the mer-folk. Now more than ever, the songs of the mermaids are calling to the people of the land. Shall we answer that call? I’m in – how about you?
Young Oracle Tarot: An Initiation into Tarot's Mystic Wisdom by Suki Ferguson with illustrations by Ana Novaes is for readers ages 11 and up, offering insight into the history, secrets, and practice of tarot. This magical guide will initiate readers into a time-honored tradition and empower tweens and teens to trust their intuition and process situations and problems that are important to them.
Another deck created for young practitioners is Tarot for Kids by Theresa Reed with illustrations by Kailey Whitman. It is based on the traditional Rider-Waite-Smith tarot deck, with modifications for this age group; for example, the “Death” card is “Change” and the “Lovers” card is “Friends”. The guidebook has everything kids need to begin to craft a practice of their own.
Pull Yourself Together: How to Connect to a Life You Love by Caroline C. Barney is a powerful call to build lives we love by becoming more present, more deeply connected. So much of the time, we feel frozen, numb, and unable to find a path forward. Caroline understands this struggle and shares the steps she took to go from being stuck to being empowered – more confident and living a life of purpose and joy.
Ready: How to Know When to Go and When to Stay by David Richo is a guide to finding your perfect timing for life’s big decisions – whether to stay or go in relationships, jobs, locations, and everything that matters most.
Don't Worry: 48 Lessons on Relieving Anxiety from a Zen Buddhist Monk by Shunmyo Masuno invites us to think of a time when we were worried about something, but then suddenly realized how insignificant it was. Isn’t it amazing how much lighter you felt? The key is to focus on the here and now…easier said than done, of course, but that’s what books like this are for.
For the entrepreneurs amongst us, Radical Healership: How to Build a Values-Driven Healing Practice in a Profit-Driven World by Laura Mae Northrup helps us to navigate the complexities of being a healer today while staying true to our calling. Written for healers of all modalities, including therapists, functional practitioners, Reiki workers, bodyworkers, and more.
How We Do Family: From Adoption to Trans Pregnancy, What We Learned About Love and LGBTQ Parenthood by Trystan Reese is one LGBTQ family’s inspiring, heartfelt story of the many alternative paths that lead to a loving family, with lessons for every parent, regardless of orientation or identification.
Award-winning Latinx author Tomás Prower brings us Queer Magic: LGBT+ Spirituality and Culture from Around the World and its invitation to explore fascinating insights into queer relationships and spiritual practices from different parts of our world. Learn about deities, heroes, and historical figures who embody the power of the queer spirit.
Jacoby Ballard’s A Queer Dharma: Yoga and Meditations for Liberation provides an empowering and affirming guide to embodied healing through yoga and dharma, grounded in the brilliance, resilience, and lived experience of queer folks.
Queering the Tarot by Cassandra Snow takes a deep dive into the world of archetypes and the tarot from a queer point of view. Here is a brilliant deconstruction of the meanings of the 78 cards, explaining the ways in which each card might be interpreted against the norm.
Julián Is a Mermaid by Jessica Love is a children’s picture book that tells the story of young Julián who comes across a book featuring beautiful mermaids at play. He is captivated by what he sees which inspires him to create a mermaid costume for himself.
Free at Last: A Juneteenth Poem by Santa Barbara poet and educator Sojourner Kincaid Rolle, illustrated by Alex Bostic, is a lyrical celebration of Juneteenth, a commemoration of freedom and strength, deeply rooted in Black American history with enduring relevance.
Wild Mindfulness by Laura Larson is intended to teach, guide, and allow children (and adults!) to experience mindful moments through guided imagery and breathing techniques as they follow along a young girl’s adventures camping and exploring in the wild.
Akiko Miyakoshi’s I Dream of a Journey explores how an innkeeper who spends his days at the crossroads of others’ journeys secretly longs for adventures of his own. The story captures the feeling of wanderlust, of being curious about the world, and wanting to connect with other places and people.