Book Reviews

When Awareness Becomes Natural: A Guide to Cultivating Mindfulness in Everyday Life

What is our relationship to reality? This profound and very sensible question gets the conversation rolling along another very powerful spiritual path in Buddhist monk Sayadaw U Tejaniya’s book. When Awareness Becomes Natural is an excellent introduction to his spiritual teachings, mainly, the awareness of attachment and aversion all humans wrestle with in everyday life.

Whose Mind Is It Anyway? Get Out of Your Head and Into Your Life

Whose Mind Is It Anyway?

This is a book about Universal Truth, or, rather, it’s a book of Universal Truths turned into usable information. (Are you ready?)

A Plant-Based Life: Your Complete Guide to Great Food, Radiant Health, Boundless Energy, and a Better Body

A Plant-Based Life

Hungering for change? Then consider a diet of whole foods that are plant based. In her new book, A Plant-Based Life, Miceaela Cook Karlsen will take you there, step by step.

The Little Book of Healthy Beauty: Simple Daily Habits to Get You Glowing

The Little Book of Healthy Beauty

Naturuopath and acupuncturist Pina LoGuidice's new book on complete health, The Little Book of Healthy Beauty has a decidedly feminine touch, but any reader will benefit from this easy-to-carry volume of wellness, which covers every topic—from the broad subject of sleep to the guts of healthy digestion, or inner peace of mind to inner strength of supplements.

Growing Up Mindful: Essential Practices to Help Children, Teens, and Families Find Balance, Calm, and Resilience

Growing Up Mindful

American school-age children and teens are "the most stressed-out age group in the country" according to a 2014 American Psychological Association survey of stress ... and they aren’t even paying the bills or voting for the next president!

Enter Growing Up Mindful, which centers around helping the parents of over-stressed children teach them the simple skills of being present.

Tears to Triumph: The Spiritual Journey from Suffering to Enlightenment

Tears to Triumph

Every few years, Williamson steps forward with her finger on the pulse of an emerging trend. Rather than predict, however, she defines, finding a new perspective from which to present the ideas that are blossoming in her mind. Tears to Triumph is an exceptional example of her skill.

Discover Your Authentic Self: Be You, Be Free, Be Happy

Discover Your Authentic Self

Dillard tells us true power and the ability to be fully present in our lives comes only when we are aware of our own truth. Living behind a mask is debilitating and limiting. The good news is truth does not go quietly into the night; it knocks on our door and rattles our chains until it gets our attention.

Aging Matters: Finding Your Calling for the Rest of Your Life

Aging Matters

“Man was placed in Paradise ... that he would till the land not in servile labor but with a spiritual pleasure befitting his dignity.” —St. Augustine

After a long and vital career as a professor of theology and leadership, Stevens moved into retirement with a questioning mind rather than passive acceptance of a predetermined role. The thoughts he shares with readers now are inspiring and particularly insightful in a world where the number of retired people increases more quickly everyday.

The Realities of Creation: Moving Beyond the Limitations of Our Beliefs

The Realities of Creation

The Realities of Creation, Moving Beyond the Limitations of Our Beliefs is a fantastic group effort led by editor Jean Adrienne that explores the mysticism of DNA and the theory that it holds knowledge, can manifest change, and has its own soul. DNA is a source of energy, and energy is love.

Tell Me Your Story: How Therapy Works to Awaken, Heal, and Set You Free

Tell Me Your Story

Tell Me Your Story: How Therapy Works to Awaken, Heal, and Set You Free is penned by therapist Tuya Pearl, who herself is an amazing storyteller. Pearl is an experienced therapist with her own family (translates into “issues”) and, like most healers, her foundation is solid from her own process. A quote from an early chapter “My decision to become a psychotherapist was made a long time ago, by a young girl hungry to bring some good out of a confusing reality” portrays her depth and sensitivity.

Life on Purpose: How Living for What Matters Most Changes Everything

Life on Purpose

“If you lose a child, your productivity never returns.” Not so, in the case of author Victor J. Strecher, who channeled the untimely death of his teenage daughter into his brilliant future. Strecher briefly recounts his existential journey as a man searching for answers in his very practical book Life on Purpose: How Living for What Matters Most Changes Everything.

52 Small Changes for the Mind: Improve Memory, Minimize Stress, Increase Productivity, Boost Happiness

52 Small Changes for the Mind

One small change a week — that’s what wellness expert Blumenthal is espousing. She makes the case that, as opposed to a “change it all at once” approach, small changes are realistic and move the process of greater change along with consistent accomplishment achieved along a steady path. All-or-nothing approaches don’t work, but a consistent program of small change builds self-confidence and belief in one’s ability to eventually succeed.

The Activist’s Tao Te Ching: Ancient Advice for a Modern Revolution

The Activist’s Tao Te Ching: Ancient Advice for a Modern Revolution

William Martin has spent 40 years exploring the wisdom of Lao Tzu’s Tao Te Ching. He has dedicated himself to guiding people to apply that wisdom to different aspects of their lives. Now he is telling readers that sometimes the Tao rushes through our lives like a river, making sweeping changes. He believes we are currently living through one of those times and that the social dynamic is pushing us all to take action toward change. We are all feeling the urge to ride the wave of anger and frustration to a new dawn.

Emotional Rescue: How to Work With Your Emotions to Transform Hurt and Confusion Into Energy That Empowers You

Emotional Rescue

This book is based on the author’s personal journey in search of emotional balance and release from emotional pain. He chose a Buddhist path for his travels and has distilled what he learned along that path into The Three-Step Emotional Rescue Plan, comprised of Mindful Gap, Clear Seeing, and Letting Go. While he approached his emotional rescue from his traditional Buddhist training, he is presenting what he learned in an updated, easy-to-understand form that speaks to Western readers in language and context they can relate to.

The Book of Ho’oponopono: The Hawaiian Practice of Forgiveness and Healing

The Book of Ho’oponopono

Nine little words that can make miracles! That’s what this book is about. It’s an ancient Hawaiian shamanic ritual that was adapted to suit contemporary life 40 years ago and has been gaining popularity ever since. With steady application, order is restored to both the inner and outer environments and fears and negative memories are transmuted into love.

Witchy Mama: Magickal Traditions, Motherly Insights, and Sacred Knowledge

Witchy Mama: Magickal Traditions, Motherly Insights, and Sacred Knowledge

This is a new slant on the standard baby book. It’s perfect for non-traditional (or creative) mothers and mothers-to-be. First of all, these authors recognize that every reader is a unique individual. Instead of offering one-size-fits-all advice, they are sharing tools, practical tips, and techniques that can make a magical but bumpy road a little easier. In addition, they have designed this as a reference book so that readers can instantly look up whatever they are interested in at the moment and leave the rest behind.

Practicing the Tao Te Ching: 81 Steps on the Way

Practicing the Tao Te Ching

According to Lao Tzu, Tao is fluid and rooted in the natural world. The path of Tao is different for everyone and changes as we follow it. Lao Tzu’s master work of 81 verses, the Tao Te Ching, is the foundation text for practicing Tao. Those who follow its spiritual guidance are often called “the people of the secret formula.”

Facing Darkness, Finding Light: Life After Suicide

Facing Darkness, Finding Light

Barton tells us she is an accidental medium. In her teen years, she lost a close friend to a self-inflicted gunshot wound. Because of the residual effects of the suicide of her friend, she eventually discovered what she calls the “broadcast band on the Heavenly radio dial.” The result was she left her job as a registered nurse to become a “nurse for the soul.” As more and more people arrived to ask her to talk to their loved ones on the other side, she also began hearing, unprompted, from many souls who had taken their own lives.

The Book of What If ...? Questions and Activities for Curious Minds

The Book of What If ...?

A book of questions? For kids? YES ... and a great book it is. Containing more than 80 engaging questions on a variety of topics, this book is intended to get kids’ brains working at peak levels and talking to friends and family about ideas. Each question is followed by a reverie on the question, a suggested activity related to it, and comments on it from kids and adults (comments that include some terrific scientific information).

Be Your Own Herbalist: Essential Herbs for Health, Beauty, and Cooking

Be Your Own Herbalist

A rare and life-threatening illness caused Michelle Schoffro Cook to recognize the healing properties of natural plants and educate herself about those plants and their applications. She spent years researching the medicinal uses of herbs, eventually becoming a doctor of natural medicine. Her personal research library is extensive, and it was the many huge stacks of books she used in her work that made her aware of a need for a basic handbook for the home user.

How Would Buddha Act? 801 Right-Action Teachings for Living With Awareness and Intention

How Would Buddha Act?

Barbara Ann Kipfer is the author of 60 books (wow!), most relating to communications. This incredible and prolific author holds numerous degrees, including an M.A. and a Ph.D. in Buddhist Studies. Her Following Buddha Series is eight stand-alone titles that correlate to the Noble Eightfold Paths of the Buddha. How Would Buddha Act? is her second release of the eight.

You Are Not What You Think

You Are Not What You Think

Ego is a word that gets tossed around a lot in the body-mind-spirit world. Teacher and psychotherapist Richo is offering your customers an in-depth discussion of the subject, seeking the appropriate balance between confidence and selflessness. He draws on the spiritual realm, especially Buddhism, coupled with his psychological background, to guide readers through the “me-first” rapids without crashing on the rocks of self-neglect, encouraging them to surrender their entitlements without giving up their rights.

Blame Your Planet: A Wicked Astrological Tour Through the Darkside of the Zodiac

Blame Your Planet

If your customers cling to their daily horoscope for hope and motivation, tell them to put this one back on the shelf. But, if you’re talking to a bad-girl or bad-boy wannabe who takes pride in being able to access and acknowledge their Shadow Self, let them know this is an answer to their prayers.

The Missing Element: Inspiring Compassion for the Human Condition

The Missing Element: Inspiring Compassion for the Human Condition

The wisdom of the four directions/elements dates back to ancient times. It shows up in society after society in slightly different form but always with the same underlying message. Every living thing in the material world contains a combination of four primary elements, which must work together in balance in order for existence to thrive. This is the foundation on which Debra Silverman has built her clinical practice, which combines psychology and astrology.

Silence: The Power of Quiet in World Full of Noise

Silence: The Power of Quiet in World Full of Noise

In his newest book, beloved Vietnamese monk Thich Nhat Hanh espouses silence as the antidote for our over-stimulating world. He tells readers it is only in silence that we find our authentic self and our real power. When we allow our minds to be distracted by the outer noise of media and mindless chatter or by the inner world of a constant chain of unfettered thoughts, we lose our connection to the world, to the Divine, and to ourselves.

The Disconnected Kids Nutrition Plan

The Disconnected Kids Nutrition Plan

For more than two decades, and with 75 Brain Balance Achievement Centers across the country, Dr. Melillo has researched childhood neurological disorders and worked to create a solution to this ever-increasing challenge. Known as Functional Disconnection Syndrome, the category he’s zeroing in on includes autism, ADHD, oppositional conduct disorder, and OCD. Dr. Melillo asks readers to take a close look at the part sensory dysfunction plays in these disorders and the role nutrition plays in recovering from them.

Heavenly Hydrangeas: A Practical Guide for the Home Gardener

Heavenly Hydrangeas

Everything your customers ever wanted to know about hydrangeas can be found in this one book. From common and lesser-known species to the effects of different soils, climate, and sun tolerance, your customers will find the secrets to growing these brilliantly colored, cloud-like puffs in their own yards.

A Long Letting Go: Meditations on Losing Someone You Love

A Long Letting Go

A Long Letting Go is Marilyn Chandler McEntyre’s gift to the caregivers of people in the end-stage of life.

She outlines the stages of impending death: Setting the House in Order, Facing Fear, The Long Letting Go, A Generous Dying through mourning and comfort and relating death to the cycles of nature. Each simple chapter begins with a tone-setting quote from the Bible or a poet. McEntyre handles the dense and heavy subject matter very skillfully.

Mala of Love: 108 Luminous Poems

Mala of Love

The creators of Mala of the Heart bring the same format of 108 poems—one for each bead in a traditional mala—to their new collection of reveries about love. The word “love” is so pervasive in the world that we use it frequently without devoting much time to understanding what exactly it is. Nathwani and Vogt gently urge us to observe love in our lives and take a closer look at the layers of meaning contained within it.

Live Happy: Ten Practices for Choosing Joy

Live Happy

Deborah K. Heisz, the COO, co-founder, and editorial director of Live Happy LLC, presents the latest must-have in self-help tomes. Her lovely book Live Happy not only addresses the “truth” about happiness but how it enhances our basic health and well-being while enriching the lives of those around us. It’s a total win-win!

Don’t Be a Jerk: And Other Practical Advice From Dogen, Japan’s Greatest Zen Master

Don’t Be a Jerk

Brad Warner, the acclaimed author of the best-selling Sit Down and Shut Up, unmasks Buddhism and goes completely rogue in Don’t Be a Jerk, his version of Dogen’s Shobogenzo, a classic of Japanese Zen philosophy.

The Amazing Age of John Roy Lynch

The Amazing Age of John Roy Lynch

This book captures an important piece of pre- and post-Civil War history, both visually and in narrative form. Extremely educational at a core level, it is a story that needs to be told more often.

Patrick Lynch was an Irish overseer on a southern plantation. The law of the land allowed him to buy and own his wife Catherine and their children but not to set them free. John Roy was still a toddler when his father died and he was sold to a plantation owner in Louisiana.

Men With Cats: Intimate Portraits of Feline Friendship

Men With Cats

“I went out to buy an iPhone and came back with two kittens.” Thus says Alain of Chester and Pongo. It’s only one of the surprises this heartwarming book has to offer. Let’s get real. Men are sitting ducks for these stand-offish yet purring little balls of fur. Now David Williams has made it a matter of record.

The photography in the book is state of the art. The cat attitudes he captures are even better. The men? Well, they keep up, and the quotes they provide make this a one-of-kind treasure for anyone with a heart and a sense of humor.

Swimming Upstream: Parenting Girls for Resilience in a Toxic Culture

Swimming Upstream

Parenting is a tough job in today’s media-driven, ever-changing culture. The challenge for parents of girls is even tougher. Where do parents draw the line? Choate, who specializes in counseling, tells parents they need to start by shoring up their own inner core of strength. She offers readers three key components for achieving that: getting solid information about the culture and its effect on daughters, being clear about parenting values, and creating specific strategies for developing resilience in daughters.

Edgar Wants to Be Alone

Edgar Wants to Be Alone

Edgar had a bad temper. He liked to be left alone. Most of the animals in the barnyard were used to it and gave him a wide berth. Then, one day, a gutsy earthworm decided to invade his territory. The earthworm began following Edgar, slipping into hiding when Edgar attempted to catch him. Edgar tried everything he could think of—running furiously, diving into ponds, and enlisting the aid of moles and woodpeckers. Nothing worked! But ... aha! ... the surprise ending will send the young people in your customers’ lives into waves of laughter.

Energy Healing for Animals: A Hands-On Guide for Enhancing the Health, Longevity, and Happiness of Your Pets

Energy Healing for Animals

For 20 years, Joan Ranquet has been connecting with animals and acquiring energy healing tools to use with them. If she’s learned anything, it’s that just when you think you’ve learned/seen it all, something new appears on the horizon. In the end, as extensive and well organized as the information in this book is, her final words to readers are that she’s knows they will be able to find the solution that is required if they just tune into the animals and their inner awareness and remember that anything is possible when we find harmony with other living beings.

Hope, Make, Heal: 20 Crafts to Mend the Heart

Hope, Make, Heal

This is a beautifully written book about the power of making things with our own hands in order to heal our wounded hearts. Donenfeld tells readers she wrote the book she wishes someone had given her when her 16-year marriage fell apart and she was plunged into the fearful abyss of confusion and despair. Her journey taught her that crafting is a way to use creativity as self-care and as a way to reconnect with the sacred in the midst of pain.

Baby Care Anywhere: A Quick Guide to Parenting on the Go

Baby Care Anywhere

Baby Care Anywhere is the centralized field guide for a new generation of first-time parents facing a mountain of information overload. As the name implies, it’s more about the baby and less about the parents.

Paradise Gardens: Spiritual Inspiration and Earthly Expression

Paradise Gardens: Spiritual Inspiration and Earthly Expression

In this standout coffee-table book, Dr. Musgrave takes us on a visual tour of the history of religio-inspired gardens and idealized natural spaces. Ornamental gardens date back to at least the third millennium BCE. Archeological evidence shows that from very early times, humans used plants and formal landscapes to connect with the deities that populated their belief systems.

Start Here Now: An Open-Hearted Guide to the Path and Practice of Meditation

Start Here Now

Everything your customers need to know to start and, more importantly, sustain a meditation practice is contained within the pages of this pint-sized book. Susan Piver has been practicing Buddhist meditation for decades and is a trained Buddhist meditation teacher. While she tells readers that lineage does matter, she also makes it clear she is reaching out non-denominationally. Let your customers know she dispels common misconceptions early in the book, for example, meditation is not religious, you don’t have to stop thinking, and meditation is much more than self-improvement.

The Tao of Happiness: Stories from Chuang Tzu for Your Spiritual Journey

The Tao of Happiness

These parables, dating back 24,000 years, speak as clearly today as they ever have. Master Chuang spins these intriguing tales to teach his followers that the Tao is a spiritual journey, one defined by the person who is traveling that journey. The destination, as well, is created by the traveler and the traveling. There is no map, just gentle guidance about how to proceed without one.

His wisdom is woven together with the theme of “carefree wandering” and laced with humor. To take it all too seriously is as limiting as underestimating its power.

Warren the 13th and the All-Seeing Eye: A Novel

Warren the 13th and the All-Seeing Eye: A Novel

Psycho meets Home Alone in this highly energetic tale of a 12-year-old fighting off his evil aunt in an isolated hotel. Warren is the 13th in a long line of owners of the eerie hotel. In addition to the evil aunt (who practices witchcraft) and the miscellaneous odd staff members, there is a coded journal, a garden labyrinth, strange guests, and, of course, a hidden treasure that everyone wants to find.

Making a World of Difference One Quilt at a Time: Inspiring Stories About Quilters and How They Have Touched Lives

Making a World of Difference One Quilt at a Time

Most people associate quilts with family, memories, and loving care. A lot of us also associate them with community and charity. There is a long tradition of making quilts in groups and also of giving quilts away to people in need. As the artisanal movement expands, quilting is expanding with it, and the idea of making quilts to give to people in distress is a growing phenomenon. The power of handcrafting with care and donating with love is thriving around the world, and quilting is a key component.

Dare to Bake! Cupcake Recipes to Awaken Your Sweet Tooth

Dare to Bake!

Ady Abreu is on a mission to let people know that, while baking does require a certain amount of structure, it doesn’t mean you can’t be creative. She’s been proving her point for a long time. In 2007, after years of experimentation in her home kitchen, she opened her main-street Pennsylvania bake shop. Cupcakes were her trademark, and she quickly learned that the key to success was to be daring. Her risks paid off and now she’s sharing her recipes with readers.

The Dog That Nino Didn’t Have

The Dog That Nino Didn’t Have

The extraordinary illustrations in this book make Nino’s tale a story to be read, pondered, reread, and embraced. The imaginary animals “that Nino doesn’t have” take center stage as they fill Nino’s life and the pages of the book.

Catify to Satisfy: Simple Solutions for Creating a Cat-Friendly Home

Catify to Satisfy

Galaxy (whose foundation champions the fate of rescued animals) and Benjamin (whose website provides cat-friendly, cutting-edge design for cat owners everywhere) have parlayed the success of their first book, Catification, into a celebration of the viral-like spread of their innovative, feline-empowering ideas. This new book was created with input from lots of fans and includes photographs of luxury-level “catified” homes, as well as photos of the state-of-catification-art adoption center for the Humane Society in Boulder, Colo.

One Thousand Things: Learn Your First Words With Little Mouse

One Thousand Things

In this boldly illustrated tale, young people are asked to follow Little Mouse through a series of learning experiences. The journey takes them through colors, numbers, shapes, activities, family members, body parts, vegetables, and wildlife. In the end, they will have explored 100 different things, as Little Mouse gets smaller and smaller and more challenging to find in each subsequent illustration. The last spread shows readers what 1,000 things look like all in one place. (How many of your customers will have the patience to help them count that high?)

Simple Giving: Easy Ways to Give Every Day

Simple Giving

Giving is trending—it’s the newest status symbol. As with everything that lands in the spotlight, it’s becoming a competition to search for the biggest, best givers. Simple Giving debunks the hype and returns readers to the basics. Intent matters, and if the intent is self-glorification, it negates the innate benefits that compassion and generosity offer humanity.

Little Big

Little Big

The pint-sized protagonist in this thoughtful tale takes young readers on a lively journey of comparing and contrasting. Aided by giraffes, alligators, and gorillas, he gives careful consideration to the advantages and disadvantages of being smaller than his older brother. The treasure that he has set his sights on is a jar of chocolate chip cookies, easily accessible to his big brother but a major challenge for him due to his small stature.

Dreams of Freedom: In Words and Pictures

Dreams of Freedom

Particularly timely in today’s disrupted world, this collection of quotes about the freedoms that should be every child’s birthright speaks with the authority of people such as Nelson Mandela, Anne Frank, Harriet Tubman, and Chief Standing Bear. The diverse illustrations move the quotes to an even more powerful level of motivation and creativity, as a child in a wheelchair sprouts wings and Harriet Tubman steps out from under the chains of slavery and into the sun.


Subscribe to Book Reviews