Kamante's Tales from Out of Africa
Author: Peter Beard
Publisher: Chronicle Books
Category: Body, Mind & Spirit
Isak Dinesen and the land and people she loved are nowhere so real and compelling as in Longing for Darkness, written by Dinesen's majordomo, Kamante, and now boasting a smart new cover. Readers familiar with Out of Africa may recognize many of the enchanting stories. These celebrated tales and others are retold here from Kamante's perspective and are enhanced with his own drawings and letters, Dinesen's words and snapshots, and photographs by Peter Beard. Writes Beard, "Over a period of 12 years, as if divesting himself of his possessions, Kamante put down the extra dimensions of truth which are at the heart of Out of Africa."
Unburying the Secret History of Slaves
Author: China Galland
Publisher: Harper Collins
By the eve of the Civil War, there were four million slaves in North America, and Harrison County was the largest slave-owning county in Texas. So when China Galland returned to research her family history there, it should not have surprised her to learn of unmarked cemeteries for slaves. "My daddy never let anybody plow this end of the field," a local matron told a startled Galland during a visit to her antebellum mansion. "The slaves are buried there." Galland's subsequent effort to help restore just one of these cemeteries—Love Cemetery—unearths a quintessential American story of prejudice, land theft, and environmental destruction, uncovering racial wounds that are slow to heal. Galland gathers an interracial group of local religious leaders and laypeople to work on restoring Love Cemetery, securing community access to it, and rededicating it to the memories of those buried there. In her attempt to help reconsecrate Love Cemetery, Galland unearths the ghosts of slavery that still haunt us today. Research into county historical records and interviews with local residents uncover two versions of history—one black, one white. Galland unpacks these tangled narratives to reveal a history of shame—of slavery and lynching, Jim Crow laws and land takings (the theft of land from African-Americans), and ongoing exploitation of the land surrounding the cemetery by oil and gas drilling. With dread she even discovers how her own ancestors benefited from the racial imbalance. She also encounters some remarkable, inspiring characters in local history. Surprisingly, the original deed for the cemetery's land was granted not by a white plantation owner, but by Della Love Walker, the niece of the famous African-American cowboy Deadwood Dick. Through another member of the Love Cemetery committee, Galland discovers a connection to Marshall's native son, James L. Farmer, a founder of Congress of Racial Equality (CORE) and organizer of the 1961 Freedom Riders. In researching local history, Galland also learns of the Colored Farmers' Alliance, a statewide group formed in the 19th century that took up issues ranging from low wages paid to cotton pickers to emigration to Liberia. By telling this one story of ultimate interracial and intergenerational cooperation, Galland provides a model of the kind of communal remembering and reconciliation that can begin to heal the deep racial scars of an entire nation.
Four Simple Questions That Reveal the Beauty and Meaning of Our Lives
Author: Wayne Muller
We all long to experience a sense of inner wholeness and guidance, but today's notions of healing and recovery too often keep us focused on our brokenness, on our deficiencies rather than our strengths. Wayne Muller's luminous new book gently guides us to the place where we are already perfect, already blessed with the wisdom we need to live a life of meaning, purpose and grace. He starts, as do so many spiritual teachers, with simple questions: Who am I? What do I love? How shall I live, knowing I will die? What is my gift to the family of the earth? He then takes us deeper, exploring each question through transformative true stories. We meet men and women--Wayne's neighbors, friends, patients--who have discovered love, courage, and kindness even in the midst of sorrow and loss. And through them we glimpse that relentless spark of spiritual magic that burns within each of us. Woven throughout are contemplations, daily practices, poems, and teachings from the great wisdom teachings. Page by page, we become more awake to the joy and mystery of this precious human life, and to the unique gifts every one of us has to offer the world.
A Memoir of Dublin in the 1950s
Author: Martha Long
Publisher: Seven Stories Press
Category: Biography & Autobiography
"Not for the faint of heart, Long's story is a gritty, grueling, and heartbreaking testament to one girl's unbreakable spirit."—Publishers Weekly, starred review When Martha Long's feckless mother hooks up with the Jackser ("that bandy aul bastard"), and starts having more babies, the abuse and poverty in the house grow more acute. Martha is regularly sent out to beg and more often steal, and her wiles (as a child of 7, 8) are often the only thing keeping food on the table. Jackser is a master of paranoid anger and outburst, keeping the children in an unheated tenement, unable to go to school, at the ready for his unpredictable rages. Then Martha is sent by Jackser to a man he knows in exchange for the price of a few cigarettes. She is nine. She is filthy, lice-ridden, outcast. Martha and Ma escape to England, but for an itinerant Irishwoman finding work in late 1950s England is a near impossibility. Martha treasures the time alone with her mother, but amazingly Ma pines for Jackser and they eventually return to Dublin and the other children. And yet there are prized cartoon magazines, the occasional hidden penny to buy the children sweets, the glimpse of loving family life in other houses, and Martha's hope that she will soon be old enough to make her own way. Virtually uneducated, Martha Long is natural-born storyteller. Written in the vernacular of the day, the reader is tempted to speak like Martha for the rest of a day (and don't let me hear yer woman roarin' bout it neither). One can't help but cheer on this mischievous, quick-witted, and persistent little girl who has captured hearts across Europe. From the Trade Paperback edition.
Believing God Is Good When Life Is Not
Author: Craig Groeschel
“I want to believe, I want to have hope, but…” Pastor and bestselling author Craig Groeschel hears these words often and has asked them himself. We want to know God, feel his presence, and trust that he hears our prayers, but in the midst of great pain, we may wonder if he really cares about us. Even when we have both hope and hurt, sometimes it’s the hurt that shouts the loudest. Can God be good when life is not? In Hope in the Dark, Groeschel explores the story of the father who brought his demon-possessed son to Jesus, saying, “I believe! Help my unbelief!” In the man’s sincere plea, Jesus heard the tension in the man’s battle-scarred heart. He healed not only the boy but the father too, driving out the hopelessness that had overtaken him. He can do the same for us today. As Groeschel shares his pain surrounding the current health challenges of his daughter, he acknowledges the questions we may ask in our own deepest pain: “Where was God when I was being abused?” “Why was my child born with a disability?” “Why did the cancer come back?” “Why are all my friends married and I’m alone?” He invites us to wrestle with such questions as we ask God to honor our faith and heal our unbelief. In the middle of your profound pain, you long for authentic words of understanding and hope. You long to know that even in overwhelming reality, you can still believe that God is good. Rediscover a faith in the character, power, and presence of God. Even in the questions. Even now.
Author: Anya Seton
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
“The theme of this book is reincarnation, an attempt to show the interplay—the law of cause and effect, good and evil, among certain individual souls in two periods of English history.” Green Darkness is the story of a great love, in which mysticism, suspense, and mystery form a web of good and evil forces that stretches from Tudor England to the England of the twentieth century. The marriage of the Englishman Richard Marsdon and his young American wife Celia slowly turns tragic as Richard withdraws into himself and Celia suffers a debilitating emotional breakdown. A wise mystic realizes that Celia can escape her past only by reliving it. She journeys back four hundred years to her former life as the servant girl Celia de Bohun during the reign of Edward VI - and her doomed love affair with the chaplain Stephen Marsdon. Although Celia and Stephen can’t escape the horrifying consequences of their love, fate (and time) offer them another chance for redemption.
The Exploitation of Our Longings for Connectedness
Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers
Category: Political Science
From gated communities to Heaven's Gate, the idea and practice of community in America have not only declined but mutated. In the process, Americans' longing to be connected to something greater than themselves has intensified. This longing, coupled with an absence of genuine community alternatives, opens the way to counterfeit claims by those promoting economic rather than social agendas. This book examines 'counterfeit community' as it has become manifest throughout contemporary American society-in housing, as it shapes our public spaces; in the workplace; in politics; in religion; and most recently, in cyberspace.
Author: Joseph Conrad
In this pair of literary voyages into the inner self, Joseph Conrad has written two of the most chilling, disturbing, and noteworthy pieces of fiction of the twentieth century. Heart of Darkness is a devastating commentary on the corruptibility of humanity. Based on Conrad’s own 1890 trip up the Congo River, the story is told by Marlow, the novelist’s alter ego. It is a journey into darkness and horror—both literally, as the narrator descends into a sinister jungle landscape, and metaphorically, as he encounters the morally depraved Mr. Kurtz. The Secret Sharer is the tale of a young sea captain’s first command as he sails into the Gulf of Siam—and into an encounter with his mysterious “double,” the shadow self of the unconscious mind. Joseph Conrad boldly experimented with the novella and novel forms, filled his writing with the exotic places he himself had traveled, and concerned himself with honor, guilt, moral alienation, and sin. Heart of Darkness and The Secret Sharer encapsulate his literary achievements—and his haunting portrayal of the dark side of man. With an Introduction by Joyce Carol Oates and an Afterword by Vince Passaro From the Paperback edition.
The Strange Science of Immortality
Author: Jonathan Weiner
Publisher: Harper Collins
“[A] searching and surprisingly witty look at the scientific odds against tomorrow.” —Timothy Ferris Jonathan Weiner—winner of the Pulitzer Prize, the National Book Critics Circle Award, and the Los Angeles Times Book Prize, and one of the most distinguished popular science writers in America—examines “the strange science of immortality” in Long for This World. A fast-paced, sure-to-astonish scientific adventure from “one of our finest science journalists” (Jonah Lehrer), Weiner’s Long for This World addresses the ageless question, “Is there a secret to eternal youth?” And has it, at long last, been found?
A Modern Mystic's Guide to Spiritual Power
Author: Ron Roth,Peter Occhiogrosso
Prayer is the key to tapping into the healing energy of the Divine. Yet for many people, prayer has been reduced to a rote practice that has lost its basic meaning and efficacy. In his long-awaited first book for an ecumenical readership, internationally renowned spiritual healer Ron Roth teaches his unique approach to prayer as energy medicine. The Healing Path of Prayer explains in detail the connection between healing, faith, and prayer. Roth shows you how to find your own path to prayer in a way that connects with God's healing energy. As Roth explains, you can use this energy not only for physical healing but also, perhaps more significantly, for healing emotional and spiritual wounds that may be at the root of physical maladies. The Healing Path of Prayer gives you specific guidance in setting up a daily healing prayer practice. Through a series of simple but effective exercises and rituals, Roth shows you how to celebrate your own sacraments and become a mystic in the course of your everyday life. Each chapter offers a new, higher level of prayer, enabling you to acquire more advanced techniques of focus, intention, and insight. As Roth revitalizes many tired, traditional prayers with his fresh and inspiring reinterpretations from original scripture, he also recounts the dramatic story of when he discovered his healing abilities, as well as true cases of healing in which he has participated. The Healing Path of Prayer is a blueprint for a truly democratic spirituality. Roth's instruction on how to pray and establish a daily practice of meditation will lead readers into a vital path of everyday mysticism and personal power. From the Hardcover edition.
Four Seasons in Kyoto
Author: Pico Iyer
When Pico Iyer decided to go to Kyoto and live in a monastery, he did so to learn about Zen Buddhism from the inside, to get to know Kyoto, one of the loveliest old cities in the world, and to find out something about Japanese culture today -- not the world of businessmen and production lines, but the traditional world of changing seasons and the silence of temples, of the images woven through literature, of the lunar Japan that still lives on behind the rising sun of geopolitical power. All this he did. And then he met Sachiko. Vivacious, attractive, thoroughly educated, speaking English enthusiastically if eccentrically, the wife of a Japanese "salaryman" who seldom left the office before 10 P.M., Sachiko was as conversant with tea ceremony and classical Japanese literature as with rock music, Goethe, and Vivaldi. With the lightness of touch that made Video Night in Kathmandu so captivating, Pico Iyer fashions from their relationship a marvelously ironic yet heartfelt book that is at once a portrait of cross-cultural infatuation -- and misunderstanding -- and a delightfully fresh way of seeing both the old Japan and the very new. From the Trade Paperback edition.
Tradition and Transformation
Author: Malgorzata Oleszkiewicz-Peralba
This richly illustrated study examines how the Black Madonna has become a symbol of national identity, resistance against oppression, and empowerment for the female populations of such diverse cultures as Poland and Cuba.
Author: Patrick Downes
Category: Young Adult Fiction
A book that challenges the word "powerful" and obliterates it Written in searing prose, this is the story of two boys: Erik, who performs miracles, and Thorn, who hears voices. The book chronicles their lives as their minds devolve into hallucinations, and shows the way their worlds intersect, culminating in a final stand-off. This debut novel offer a raw, insightful look at the forces that compel us to act against our will. Even more so, it captivates and dares us to look away, knowing full well we can't. Praise for FELL OF DARK: * "Downes brilliantly plays with language and metaphor, and explores the dualities of sanity/insanity, beauty/ugliness, voice/voicelessness in a chilling echo of real incidents of school violence. A stunning debut novel that offers sophisticated readers a glimpse into the psychological disintegration of two distinct characters."--Kirkus Reviews *STARRED* * "For many readers, this will be an impersonal but impressive work of literary art. But for some, serendipity will strike, whether in an image or in a confused, despairing reaction to an incomprehensible world, and Downes’s vision will connect into an epiphany."--Publishers Weekly *STARRED* * "Readers willing to sink into the depths of two unstrung teens and their frantic individual struggles to understand the cruelties and redemptions of the universe will be rewarded by this disarming, thought-provoking, and entrancing story."--Booklist *STARRED* "Readers who are up for a literary challenge will find this dual narrative provocative, beautiful, and deeply sad."--BCCB “Here is a book built of darkness and gleam, of raw emotion and shattering poetry, of harrowing compulsions and zero compromise. Patrick Downes possesses blazing, beautiful, terrifying talent. His characters walk the shadows. His language bursts like sky.”—Beth Kephart, National Book Award nominee and author of Small Damages “Luminous and pure. A masterwork of astonishing authority and beauty.”—Julie Berry, author of All the Truth That’s In Me From the Hardcover edition.
Remembering the Things I Drank to Forget
Author: Sarah Hepola
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Category: Biography & Autobiography
*A NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER* For Sarah Hepola, alcohol was "the gasoline of all adventure." She spent her evenings at cocktail parties and dark bars where she proudly stayed till last call. Drinking felt like freedom, part of her birthright as a strong, enlightened twenty-first-century woman. But there was a price. She often blacked out, waking up with a blank space where four hours should be. Mornings became detective work on her own life. What did I say last night? How did I meet that guy? She apologized for things she couldn't remember doing, as though she were cleaning up after an evil twin. Publicly, she covered her shame with self-deprecating jokes, and her career flourished, but as the blackouts accumulated, she could no longer avoid a sinking truth. The fuel she thought she needed was draining her spirit instead. A memoir of unblinking honesty and poignant, laugh-out-loud humor, BLACKOUT is the story of a woman stumbling into a new kind of adventure--the sober life she never wanted. Shining a light into her blackouts, she discovers the person she buried, as well as the confidence, intimacy, and creativity she once believed came only from a bottle. Her tale will resonate with anyone who has been forced to reinvent or struggled in the face of necessary change. It's about giving up the thing you cherish most--but getting yourself back in return. *Includes Reading Group Guide*
Author: Saint John of the Cross,Wyatt North
Publisher: Wyatt North Publishing, LLC
St. John of the Cross is widely considered one of the most prolific and important poets of his time. In fact, in Spanish poetry, the Spiritual Canticle and Dark Night of the Soul are two of the most important works of all time. He is known for his rich use of symbolism and imagery within his poetry. Dark Night of the Soul is the title of a poem written by 16th-century Spanish poet and Roman Catholic mystic Saint John of the Cross, as well as of a treatise he wrote later, commenting on the poem.
Author: Ursula K. Le Guin
The Left Hand of Darkness tells the story of a lone human emissary's mission to Winter, an unknown alien world whose inhabitants can choose--and change--their gender. His goal is to facilitate Winter's inclusion in a growing intergalactic civilization. But to do so he must bridge the gulf between his own views and those of the completely dissimilar culture that he encounters. Exploring questions of psychology, society, and human emotion in an alien world, The Left Hand of Darkness stands as a landmark achievement in the annals of science fiction.
The Extraordinary Story of the Last True Hermit
Author: Michael Finkel
Many people dream of escaping modern life, but most will never act on it. This is the remarkable true story of a man who lived alone in the woods of Maine for 27 years, making this dream a reality—not out of anger at the world, but simply because he preferred to live on his own. A New York Times bestseller In 1986, a shy and intelligent twenty-year-old named Christopher Knight left his home in Massachusetts, drove to Maine, and disappeared into the forest. He would not have a conversation with another human being until nearly three decades later, when he was arrested for stealing food. Living in a tent even through brutal winters, he had survived by his wits and courage, developing ingenious ways to store edibles and water, and to avoid freezing to death. He broke into nearby cottages for food, clothing, reading material, and other provisions, taking only what he needed but terrifying a community never able to solve the mysterious burglaries. Based on extensive interviews with Knight himself, this is a vividly detailed account of his secluded life—why did he leave? what did he learn?—as well as the challenges he has faced since returning to the world. It is a gripping story of survival that asks fundamental questions about solitude, community, and what makes a good life, and a deeply moving portrait of a man who was determined to live his own way, and succeeded.