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For nearly 10 years before she owned the bookstore with her husband Dave, she’s been a bookseller here. Her previous gigs included serving as the Events Manager, management committee member, and becoming a journeyman book buyer. At least, almost one. She focuses on our body, mind, soul and religions collections. She’s been involved in hosting events, and becoming pals with all of the weird and wonderful people who make this community great. She loves nothing more than to be astonished by the latest brilliant novel. But buyer beware, stop her from telling you a book’s ending that you’re thinking about buying since she has somewhat of a problem controlling her blood/sugar balance when she gets excited about the book in question. That said, it’s nothing compared to her passion for all things relating to baseball.
Some of us may relate directly to the events of this memoir, others may not, but all of us can relate to the urgent need, first expressed by Plato, to live an “examined life.” No one does this better than Claire Dederer. In a unique essay format, loaded with both sensitivity and humor, Claire reflects on her sexually promiscuous youth and the profound, sudden and shocking sexual urges that have returned to her that confuse and threaten her carefully crafted role as a modern devoted mother and wife. Read it for the brilliant writing, or for the storytelling. This is a brave undertaking in every respect, and so well done.
After the mysterious loss of her mother, Turtle is raised by a powerful unpredictable father. He claims to love and adore her while treating her to horrendous physical and psychological abuse. She excels at survivalist tactics and wilderness skills, but is failing academically and socially. Despite such a desperate situation, and her course begins to change when she develops a friendship with two charismatic older boys. Turtle’s father will not give away his control easily, however. This is a tense tale, well told. You will be cheering for Turtle long after you turn the last page.
This is Rachel Carson at her best, and most personal. This is less a book about nature and its glories, but more of an exploration of Carson’s deep personal relationship with the natural world. It’s also a fine training manual on how to find and nurture that same devotion, not only for yourself, but more importantly, for the youngsters in your life. It turns out that it is easier than you might think. This lovely classic, with gorgeous photography, is good for the soul. It will be a cherished baby gift for new parents.
Young John Lewis lived on a small family farm in the rural South, where he took care of the chickens. John has a vision of becoming a preacher who would inspire people and change lives. He began to practice giving sermons to his captive audience, the chickens. The chickens seemed to like it, and so his career began. Today, he is known as the towering civil rights leaderJohn Lewis, Congressman from Georgia. This captivating story is illuminated with glorious watercolors from award-winning illustrator E.B. Lewis. Aimed for kids, but lots for adults to ponder and enjoy, this book is beautiful, compelling and quite special. Ages 5-8.
This deeply moving memoir concerns two sisters, one with advanced cancer and the other, her bone marrow donor. When it becomes clear that Elizabeth is the perfect genetic match for her younger sister, both patient and donor perform a detox regimen in preparation for the transplant. These sisters, however, also decide that they will detoxify themselves spiritually, particularly their relationship with each other. It takes tremendous courage and resilience to heal the issues in their past, especially in light of the physical challenges they face. Heartbreaking at times, this is a redemptive story, written exquisitely. It has the power to change lives.
With brilliant writing and astonishing storytelling, this debut novel is not to be missed. An unflinching, intimate tale of women both free and enslaved during the years surrounding the Civil War, it is narrated by the ghost of an escaped slave who hovers near her daughter throughout the story. Their parallel stories intertwine to capture the terrors, frustrations, injustices, and enduring hopes of the women in that era. Book groups will find much to discuss with this great novel for our times.
After the untimely death of his father, young Allen Kurzweil looks forward to attending a boarding school in the Swiss Alps, where his father was raised. He is attracted by the promise of fresh air, hiking, and the camaraderie of other boys. Once there, however, he is badly bullied by an older boy, with the unlikely name of Cesar Augustus. For years afterwards he is haunted by the memories. Decades later, when his own son is bullied, Ray decides to track down Cesar. What he encounters in his search can only be put in the category of “you can’t make this stuff up!” A substantive memoir with a whacky side, this is a book you will not want to put down. ~ Jane
Spiritual philosopher Mark Nepo has given us another gem for the nourishment of the heart and soul. By explaining that life’s glories, complexities, and difficulties are meant to be experienced and especially to be examined, we learn that everything has meaning, and everything contributes to the making of soul. Through Nepo’s clarity and prose, we are encouraged and guided to develop practices that will help address the universal longing for wisdom, truth, and love. ~ Jane
As this brilliant, Pulitzer Prize-winning novel opens, young Theo survives a New York City terrorist attack that kills his mother and leaves him tormented. In the next few years he journeys from the upper echelons of New York society to the suburbs of Las Vegas, and finally to Amsterdam. As he tries to adapt to each new situation, all the while shielding a secret from the day of the attack, the plot centers on his trauma, longing and regret. A frantic and tense climax creates a path of redemption for Theo. Unforgettable characters, great attention to detail, exquisite writing, and a grand scope combine to make this a rare literary treat. ~ Jane
Indie spiritualists experience what has been called a deep longing for a direct connection with spirit. It often involves finding meaning in the details of everyday life, from the most mundane to the blindsiding and sublime. A rock musician covered with tattoos and piercings, Grosso has delivered a stunning account of his own tough journey from self-destruction to wholeness, in a way that honors diversity and individuality. In these pages you will find profound truths, insights, and wisdom for your own spiritual explorations. The message is empowering and hopeful.
This is a historical novel based on the ancient battle of the Masada. In Herod's palace high on a clifftop, a community of Jews gathered for protection against the Roman army. They lived for years in security until the Romans devised a plan of attack. This is the story of four Jewish women who arrive at the palace from different directions and different backgrounds, who become as close as sisters. Together they serve as caretakers of the doves of the palace, which holds a place of importance in this fragile community. The story is filled with mysticism, magic, and beauty, alongside the horrors of battle and persecution. ~ Jane
A rollicking modern-day interpretation of the classic Greek tragedy, Oedipus Rex, this story will leave you in stitches. It has the cynicism of Tom Wolfe mixed with the absurdity of Carl Hiassen. The novel begins with a slow dangerous seduction then picks up speed as each new character and plot twist is introduced. This story is wickedly funny, fearlessly taking on many contemporary societal themes as it builds to a thrill-ride climax of an ending. Featured in the story is a cadre of rather despicable but entertaining characters who are caricatures of the 1980’s “Me Generation.” The writing is superb and the story is fantastic. I recommend it to everyone!
In one of the most imaginative plots ever conceived, many themes take turns on center stage to produce a lively and engaging story. An intricate plot leads a simple country boy, Wheeler Burton, from his early goals of trying to perfect a killer spit ball on his little league team, to becoming an iconic rock star and then a successful author. But it seems that Wheeler, this magical hero, has more to accomplish, when at the age of forty-seven he mysteriously finds himself back in time in turn-of-the-20th-century Vienna. An accurate depiction of this time and place is woven into the story: Change is in the air, modern society is emerging, and young intellectuals from around the world—many of whom will become famous—are all together practicing café politics. This book is destined to become a classic. ~ Jane
Ricard is both a cellular geneticist from the Pasteur Institute and a Buddhist monk, living and working with the most enlightened spiritual masters of our times. He combines twenty-first century science with the thousands of years of spirituality to develop and encourage a compelling plan for realizing happiness. ~Jane
In a society where the distance between the haves and the have-nots grows every day, this book is a timely and inspiring resource. It attempts to help us align the soulful intentions that we all have with the way we direct the flow of money through our lives. Twist is both a fundraiser and a consciousness raiser, speaking from her heart to bring about dramatic change in the relationship between people and their money. Her goal is to alter the view of money as a scarcity, which produces toxic results, and to see it instead as a carrier of our finest aims and as an opportunity to nourish the things we most care about. This book is filled with stories of individuals, organizations and corporations already practicing this approach. Whether we have a little or a lot of money, the author's words can help us live with integrity and be happier doing it. ~ Jane
What could be called a memoir is more like a wild adventure, so fasten your seat belts! A spiritual journey of nearly 20 years takes Jessica Maxwell from a dubious skeptic, to a believer, to a healing holy woman. Along the way she attracts many spiritual characters including an enlightened pig farmer and a golf-loving Indian mystic. She connects a past life with her present situation, experiences energy bodies of several ascended masters, and has visitations from departed friends. Maxwell tells her story with great humor, joy, and compassion—and without proselytizing. We learn from this rollicking ride is that there is an amazing and powerful spiritual aspect to life if you are willing to show up, and are paying attention. ~ Jane
This haunting and beautifully written story is set in Ceylon in the mid-1800's during a time of civil unrest between peasants and colonialists. The land and people are vividly depicted; the lushness of the lifestyles, even the smells of the place come through the writing. A complex and powerful relationship develops between a colonial governor's wife and her Tamil servant, as together they work to capture images on glass in the earliest days of photography. A mounting civil war adds suspense and drama to this incredible story. ~ Jane
In her role as an NPR host, Tippett has forged an enviable career of interviewing thinkers and visionaries of our time, all in the pursuit of wisdom. Through insightful discussions with philosophers, poets, scientists, theologians, activists, and many others, she teases out unique and profound perspectives on life’s most perplexing issues. In this time of intense societal change, Krista gently and gracefully explores how to recognize the basic philosophical tenets of love and understanding that make us uniquely human. Beautifully written, this book is a must-read.
This novel is wild! In order to escape from a 100-year birthday party planned for him, protagonist Allan climbs out the window of his old folks home, and thereafter has adventures, misadventures, and narrow escapes. In his earlier years, he has brushes with fame, lunching with Truman, annoying Mao, and being sent to Siberia by Stalin. Somehow, he always seems to come out on top. This book has drawn comparisons to Forrest Gump, but I think it is much, much better! ~ Ann, Jane