Welcome to the Book Report! Included are books that are getting my attention, a selection about the magic of water; yoga as medicine for the mind, body, and spirit; some wonderful books for young readers; and two ‘Just Because’ offerings for help in putting the pieces together.
The month of September ushers in so much…back-to-school, a change of season and all that that heralds…and it’s got me thinking about the joy of being in a state of flow and how elusive it can feel at times. And then, as these things tend to go, I began to notice water itself...
From the animals who make the water their home, to the magical, legendary creatures of the depths, to the actual movement of water itself in the form of waves. What I began to realize was that being curious about this powerful elemental realm helped me to navigate and process the emotional and energetic cycles at play all around me and within me. May what you find here do the same for you.
“Woke up this morning with a terrific urge to lie in bed all day and read.”
A Place in the World: Finding the Meaning of Home by Frances Mayes, author of Under the Tuscan Sun, is a lovely and poetic testament to the power of place in our lives, from the earliest imprint of our earliest childhood memories to the startling discoveries of feeling the strange ease of homes abroad, friends’ homes, and even momentary homes that spark desires for other lives.
Touching Two Worlds: A Guide for Finding Hope in the Landscape of Loss from trauma psychologist Sherry Walling is a beautiful and insightful exploration of the inner workings of grief – serving as an invaluable guide for those seeking hope in the aftermath of loss. With much personal experience shared, the author brings us into the tender places of the heart and spirit as they are being called upon to walk a path of deep transformation and growth. I love this book.
Being a Human: Adventures in Forty Thousand Years of Consciousness by Charles Foster takes a deep dive into three pivotal moments in human history, asking what kinds of creature human were, are, and might yet become. Drawing on psychology, neuroscience, natural history, agriculture, medical law and ethics, this is one man’s ambitious attempt to feel a connection with 45,000 years of human development.
by Emma Farrell is a comprehensive guide to communicating and working with plant and tree spirits for personal development, spiritual connection, inner peace, and healing. Included are mediation journeys with specific spirits from these realms, such as Mugwort, Rosemary, Dandelion, Yew, Elder, and Wormwood. What a joy this is!
Beyond Fear: A Toltec Guide to Freedom and Joy by Don Ruiz teaches that in order to practice The Four Agreements, before we can achieve The Mastery of Love, we must move beyond fear. He shows us how fear is the source of all negative agreements we’ve made with life. It can alienate us from the joy that is our birthright. When we can look at our lives and our worlds without fear or judgments, we realize that this dream we are dreaming – reality – can be whatever we want it to be.
Roar Like a Goddess: Every Woman's Guide to Becoming Unapologetically Powerful, Prosperous, and Peaceful by Archarya Shunya is a rallying cry for women everywhere to break free of the shackles of patriarchy and awaken to their true nature, brought to life through India’s primary goddess archetypes – Durga, Lakshmi, and Saraswati.
Loki and Sigyn: Lessons on Chaos, Laughter & Loyalty from the Norse Gods by Lea Svendsen takes us into the legacy of the trickster Loki and the quiet power of his mate Sigyn, the goddess of loyalty and compassion. Here, we see how a marriage of apparent opposites thrives in a state of balance and mutual high regard.
You Grow, Gurl!: Plant Kween's Lush Guide to Growing Your Garden by Christopher Griffin is all about discovering the joys and self-nurturing benefits of plant parenthood – from learning how to begin building your own plant family to learning how to care for your garden with kindness, consistency, and patience. No matter what shade of green your thumb is, this book is for anyone open to learning from the beautiful world of plants.
Home by Natural Harry: DIY Recipes for a Tox-Free, Zero-Waste Life by Harriet Birrell is a modern reference for anyone who wants to ditch their current less-than-sustainable consumer practices, reduce plastic waste, and save money while saving the world.
The Rupi Kaur Boxed Set: milk and honey + the sun and her flowers celebrates the challenges and triumphs facing the modern woman. In personal, yet widely relatable poems accompanied by original illustrations, kaur challenges the idea that women should be quiet, gentle, and submissive and instead encourages women to be strong, powerful, and proud.
“There is magic on this planet, it is contained in water.”
Santa Barbara author and teacher Janet Lucy brings us her latest creation Makana is a Gift with illustrations by Alexis Cantu in this story of a newly hatched green sea turtle who embarks on a quest to understand his unique purpose, who and why he is, all while waiting to be given his name. Happily, this book comes in a Spanish language edition. The book is intended for young readers between ages 4 and 8 but is suitable for anyone who can appreciate the beauty of connection, interdependence, and the art of giving…and I’m confident that describes you perfectly!
Tarot of Mermaids from Lo Scarabeo features Sirens – fascinating creatures of the Imagination, evoking dreams and the subconscious with the classical symbolism of the Tarot.
Sea Soul Journeys Oracle by Pippa Best offers all seekers powerful pictures of the sea, divided into four themes – Letting Go, Self-Compassion, Moving Forward, and Gratitude. What messages does the sea have for you?
Myths & Mermaids: Oracle of the Water contains forty-two enchanting cards with the artwork of world-renowned artist Jasmine Becket-Griffith, paired with a guidebook channeling wisdom, advice, and an assortment of card spreads ranging from concise yes / no readings to more complex divinations.
Oracle of the Mermaids: Magical Messages of Healing, Love & Romance by Selina French overflows with Mermaid magic, legends, and lore, all designed to help us tap into the vast reservoir of the Feminine Divine.
Whispers of the Ocean Oracle by Angela Hartfield and Ekaterina Golovanova serves to connect us with the wisdom of playful dolphins, patient seahorses, regenerative starfish, and other fascinating marine beings.
Messages from the Mermaids by Karen Kay, illustrated by Linda Olsen brings us in touch with Mermaids - elemental guardians of the sea, masters of the heart and emotions who wish to share their insights and inspirations with the human realm.
Clark Little: The Art of Waves is a wild ride of a book, with over 150 amazing images, including crystalline breaking waves, the diverse marine life of Hawaii, and mind-blowing aerial photography. With a foreword by eleven-time world surfing champion Kelly Slater and an afterword by the author on his photographic practice and technique, this book offers a rare view of the wave for us to enjoy from the safety of the land.
I have included Blue Mind: The Surprising Science That Shows How Being Near, In, On, or Under Water Can Make You Happier, Healthier, More Connected, and Better at What You Do by marine biologist Wallace J. Nichols in a previous report, but since it’s so perfectly suited for this section, I decided to bring it in again.
“Remember, it doesn’t matter how deep into a posture you go. What does matter is who you are when you get there.”
A Life Worth Breathing: A Yoga Master's Handbook of Strength, Grace, and Healing by Max Strom teaches us how mindful breathing, in tandem with the physical practice of yoga and the spiritual practice of meditation, raises us to a more powerful level of awareness.
The Cat on the Mat: All About Mindfulness by Bonnie Worth, illustrations by Aristides Ruiz is for beginning readers, helping them learn how to cultivate calmness and focus through simple rhymes and delightful illustrations.
Yoga for Motherhood by Naomi Annand shows us how yoga can help us navigate the emotional highs and lows of parenthood, how to tap into the creativity of motherhood, and how to nurture ourselves so that we might nurture others.
Adapting Yoga for People Living with Cancer by Jude Mills is a practical guidebook explaining how to adapt physical poses and breathing exercises for people dealing with cancer. Within its pages, we learn about scope of practice, boundaries, and appropriate language - all geared toward helping yoga teachers hold cancer-inclusive classes.
The Complete Guide to Yin Yoga by Bernie Clark includes detailed descriptions and photographs of over 30 Yin Yoga asanas. This is an updated version of the original with comprehensive information of how to do the practice, including how to get into and out of the pose, contraindications and warnings for those who may have trouble with particular aspects of the posture, and other relevant information.
Threads of Yoga: Themes, Reflections, and Meditations to Weave Into Your Practice by Pamela Seelig serves to enliven your yoga practice with 30 themes based on Pantajali’s Yoga Sutras that can inspire both on and off the mat. Each short chapter introduces a foundational yogic them, such as letting go, the breath, the yamas and niyamas, and the chakra system. This is an ideal guide for both practitioners and teachers who want to connect with the spiritual wisdom of yoga, deepen their personal practice, and / or develop and support a theme for yoga class.
Time to Fly by George Ella Lyon, illustrated by Stephanie Fizer Coleman tells the story of Baby Bird as he learns to overcome his fear of leaving the nest…with the help of his Mama, of course!
A Garden of Creatures by Sheila Heti with illustrations by Esmé Shapiro is a lovely picture book about loss, the big questions it leaves behind, and how the sweetness of friendship can be a warm embrace even in the darkest of times.
What Feelings Do When No One's Looking by Tina Oziewicz, translated from the original Polish by Jennifer Croft, illustrated by Aleksandra Zajac, brings an unruly cast of emotions to life in this romping dreamworld. Prepare to be charmed, people!
Berry Song by Caldecott Medalist Michaela Goade is a beautiful celebration of the land and the powerful wisdom of elders. Through the seasons, a young girl and her grandmother sing to the land as the land sings to them. Brimming with joy and gratitude, they forge a deeper kinship with both the earth and the generations that have come before, joining in the song that connects us all.
Hello Goodbye Dog by Maria Gianferrari, illustrated by Patrice Barton tells the sweet tale of Zara and her loyal dog and best friend Moose.
In Something About Grandma by Tania de Regil we meet a young girl named Julia who makes her first solo visit to her Grandma at her home outside of Mexico City. This is a tender and playful story of the magic of intergenerational love and wisdom.
Wheel of the Year: 1000-Piece Puzzle with artwork by Anne Stokes is a Pagan representation of the year’s chief solar events and the midpoints between them – Winter Solstice, Imbolc, Spring Equinox, Beltane, Summer Solstice, Lughnasadh, Autumn Equinox, and Samhain.
The Illuminated Tarot Puzzle by Caitlin Keegan is a 1000-piece puzzle, bringing tarot archetypes to life with intricate detail and a moody color palette. Included is a 20 x 27-inch reference poster with descriptions of each card’s meaning on the back.