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Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Summer Reading 2011

Oh, I SO meant to get this up earlier! But if you are looking for a good read for the last precious weeks of Summer, I have some suggestions; a couple recent releases, as well as some old favorites.

Blood, Bones and Butter, by Gabrielle Hamilton. This is just a great read. It’s the biographical story of a woman who is the chef/owner of her own restaurant in New York City, and the life experiences that all brought her to where she is and who she is today. The stories are beautifully crafted and heart-breakingly honest. Family dynamics, food, addiction, obsession, food, struggle, triumph, food, intensity, love, loathing, food. Absorbing.

Yamas and Niyamas, by Deborah Adele. For those of you who are ready to start at the beginning of the yoga path, the first two limbs of a true yoga practice are the yamas and niyamas. Essentially the “don’ts” and the “do’s” of living. Deborah Adele breaks down these basic ways of living and being in the world and explains them in a modern context. I don’t know anyone who would not benefit from this book. We have it available for sale at Uttara if you want to buy it locally; it’s a slim little volume that will give you a lot of food for thought, and shine a bright light on your path.

American Prophet, by Sidney D. Kirkpatrick. A fascinating book about the life of Edgar Cayce, this very complete volume digs into all aspects of the Cayce readings and will be of particular interest to those who wonder about the years of Jesus Christ that are not spoken about in the Bible, and for those of you interested in past-life experiences.

The Alchemist, by Paulo Coehlo. I have heard of this book many times, but just like when the student is ready the teacher appears, I was finally ready and this book appeared. A profound read that helps you to understand how all truly is one; that love is a super-power; and that you should live every day in pursuit of your most beautiful dream.

The 13 Original Clan Mothers, by Jamie Sams. This book speaks to women, particularly if you attune at all to native American cultures. A beautiful description of the various steps of growing spiritually, as an individual and in context with our “tribe” and community. So much of our individual experience is tied into the Universal experience of woman. Adore this book.

Sastun: One Woman’s Apprenticeship with a Maya Healer, by Rosita Arvigo. Fascinating true story of a woman determined to learn the old ways of healing. The author became the last link in the ancient chain as an apprentice to the last known authentic Mayan Healer, Don Elijio. The stories of sickness, healing, spirituality, prayer, and the bounty of the rain forest are just amazing. Made me re-think my concepts of healing, health, the power of prayer, the destructive nature of spiritual dis-ease, and the commitment it takes to become an actual healer. Plowed through this book in two days, couldn’t put it down.

Rainforest Remedies, by Rosita Arvigo. If you decide you are not interested in Sastun and the story of Rosita Arvigo, you still will want to read this great little volume. Arranged so that you can look up specific issues and remedies, it is a wonderful resource for those interested in homeopathic remedies and natural healing. Gives everything from recipes to massage techniques; prayers and rituals; as well as specific herbs, teas and tinctures. Not just for illness, but for wellness. Amazing resource.

Where Men Win Glory, The Oddessy of Pat Tillman, by Jon Krakaur. Most of us prefer to turn our heads away from the sheer waste and tragedy that was the War in Iraq, and what is the War in Afghanistan. This book helps you to see Pat Tillman, someone’s child-brother-friend-husband, as a three-dimensional personality – flaws and all -- and dissects the propaganda that our Government has rained down upon us about what truly went down. The Jessica Lynch story is also critically researched and frankly re-told. This book will open your eyes, extract your head from the sand, and hopefully give you a more critical and discerning mind when you are spoon fed information. Prepare to be inspired, as much as your heart breaks.

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