The Book Report by Rebecca Traver - Our Online Bookshop Curator

Included in this report are few of my favorite books from Black authors in celebration of Black History Month, 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.

“Maybe community creates courage. What if courage creates community? Maybe empathy creates courage. How can you express empathy towards others if you cannot empathize with your own self? Is the core of healing empathy and courage?”
~Tarana Burke

“The function of art is to do more than tell it like it is –
it’s to imagine what is possible.”
~bell hooks

In Celebration of Black History Month

you are your best thing by tarana burke and brene brown | paradise found santa barbara

You Are Your Best Thing: Vulnerability, Shame Resilience, and the Black Experience, edited by Tarana Burke and Brené Brown, is a collection of dynamic works from Black writers, organizers, academics, and cultural figures to discuss the topics Burke and Brown have dedicated their lives to understanding and teaching: vulnerability and shame. 

All About Love by bell hooks | Paradise Found Santa Barbara

All About Love: New Visions by bell hooks holds the position that the word ‘love’ is most often defined as a noun, yet we would all be able to love better if we used it as a verb. Challenging the cultural paradigm that the ideal love is infused with sex and desire, she opens a new path to love that is sacred, redemptive, and healing for individuals and for a nation so often at odds with itself.

black and buddhist | paradise found santa barbara

Black and Buddhist: What Buddhism Can Teach Us About Race, Resilience, Transformation, and Freedom edited by Pamela Ayo Yetunde and Cheryl A. Giles brings together the writings of leading African American Buddhist teachers – offering lessons on racism, spiritual freedom, and the possibility of a truly representative American Buddhism. With contribution by Archarya Gaylon Ferguson, Cheryl A. Giles, Gyōzan Royce Andrew Johnson, Ruth King, Kamilah Majied, Lama Rod Owens, Lama Dawa Tarchin Phillips, Sebene Selassie, and Pamela Ayo Yetunde.

black girl call home by jasmine mans | paradise found santa barbara

Black Girl, Call Home from spoken word poet Jasmine Mans is a strong, intimate, and beautiful collection of poetry about race, feminism, and queer identity. I promise that you will be moved.

art of being by danielle allen | paradise found santa barbara

The Art of Being from Danielle Allen is a collection of inspirational words and motivational messages designed to empower, inspire, and encourage. Personal and relatable, the collection is centered on the principle of being your best self is how to live your best life.

light we carry by michelle obama | paradise found santa barbara

The Light We Carry: Overcoming in Uncertain Times by Michelle Obama is an inspiring and intimate follow-up to her bestselling memoir Becoming. Here, she shares practical wisdom and powerful strategies for staying hopeful and balanced in these often turbulent times.

New + Newly Discovered

8 rules of love by jay shetty | paradise found santa barbara

8 Rules of Love: How to Find it, Keep it, and Let it Go by Jay Shetty is a revelatory guide to every stage of romance, drawing on ancient wisdom and new science. Here are insights on how to win or lose together, how to define love, and why you don’t break in a break-up.

chase you by elizabeth kendig and monica lawson | paradise found santa barbara

Chase You: How to Connect with the Other Side to Find the Clarity and Confidence to Be Yourself by Elizabeth Kendig and Monica Lawson is a wonderful manual of sorts on how to connect with and learn from the wisdom of our team of spiritual allies dedicated to giving us the strength and vision to live out our mission on Earth.

our book of awesome by neil pasricha | paradise found santa barbara

Our Book of Awesome: A Celebration of the Small Joys That Bring Us Together by Neil Pasricha is a terrific affirmation about the power of noticing the simple things, the awesome things, all around us…if only we take a moment to truly see them.

BFF by christie tate | paradise found santa barbara

B.F.F.: A Memoir of Friendship Lost and Found is a moving and heartwarming memoir from Christie Tate in which she explores her struggles to sustain female friendship and the one friend who helps her find the human connection she seeks.

joy of saying no by natalie lue | paradise found santa barbara|

The Joy of Saying No: A Simple Plan to Stop People Pleasing, Reclaim Boundaries, and Say Yes to the Life You Want by Natalie Lue is a practical look at how and why we become people pleasers and how we can transform from people pleasing to authentic being.

basic witches by jaya saxena and jess zimmerman | paradise found santa barbara

Basic Witches: How to Summon Success, Banish Drama, and Raise Hell with Your Coven by Jaya Saxena and Jess Zimmerman is full of DIY projects, ritual, and spells – along with fun historical sidebars – summon the best trends of the modern witchy lifestyle blended with the time-trusted traditions of the hell-raising women of the past.

modern witchcraft book of astrology | paradise found santa barbara

The Modern Witchcraft Book of Astrology: Your Complete Guide to Empowering Your Magick with the Energy of the Planets by Julia Halina Hadas is a guide to astrology written just for witches, with information to help you understand how the positions of the celestial bodies can affect your magic and spellcraft – and how to use a deeper understanding of the zodiac to strengthen your magic by becoming in tune with the planets.

Books for Young Readers + The People Who Love Them

gray fox in the moonlight by isaac peterson | paradise found santa barbara

Gray Fox in the Moonlight from Isaac Peterson features simple two-color illustrations overflowing with light in this timeless story about a parent’s love for their child.

just like grandma by kim rogers | paradise found santa barbara

Just Like Grandma by Kim Rogers with illustrations by Julie Flett is a lyrical picture book about a young girl name Becca who loves to watch her grandma create, play, and dance – and knows that someday she wants to be just like her.

smallest spot of a dot by linsey davis and michael tyler | paradise found santa barbara

The Smallest Spot of a Dot: The Little Ways We're Different, the Big Ways We're the Same by Linsey Davis and Michael Tyler, Illustrated by Lucy Fleming, is a playful picture book explaining how genetics make each person unique and celebrates how we are more alike than different and are all part of the human race.

Just Because + Just for Fun

anxiety is my sidekick journal | paradise found santa barbara

Anxiety is My Sidekick: A Journal for Feeling All the Feelings is a calming companion for managing anxiety and releasing stress…filled with soothing mantras paired with enough blank space for processing your toughest experiences and setting positive intentions.

how to survive a garden gnome attack by chuck sambuchino | paradise found santa barbara

How to Survive a Garden Gnome Attack: Defend Yourself When the Lawn Warriors Strike (and They Will) by Chuck Sambuchino is full of reliable strategies for gnome-proofing the average dwelling, recognizing and interpreting the signs of a gathering hoard, and – in the vent that a secure perimeter is breached – confronting and combating the attackers at close range.

“Laughter is wine for the soul – laughter soft, or loud and deep, tinged through with seriousness – the hilarious declaration made by man that life is worth living.” 
~Sean O’Casey
Please visit our online Bookshop to see our full selection of lists and titles. 
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