Words from a Wanderer

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March 2017 Book of the Month

Words from a Wanderer, version two, is a timeless and beautiful collection of #anote2self affirmations. This book of gems was first published in 2013 as a collection of notes and love poems. For the three year anniversary, WFAW has been redesigned, re-edited and rereleased. It is now a book of 62 #anote2self daily affirmations that readers can carry with them easily. This edition can serve as a resource for daily meditation, mantra guidance, and encouragement to its reader. Author, Alexandra Elle, created this book to shed light on the fact that indeed not all who wander are lost; some are simply still finding their way.

www.alexelle.com

Guided Meditation

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Rather than offer a book club pick this month, we thought we’d suggest students check out a new website:  www.bigwavesstrongboat.com.

Social worker and TTSM friend, Mary Waldon, has put together an outstanding resource for individuals looking for a “taste” of meditation.  One of the quandaries of integrating meditation into daily routine is finding the time to sit.  This collection of guided meditation allows for an active mindful practice.  And, seriously, why not use your shower time to develop mindful awareness?  Besides it’s FREE, it’s ONLINE, it’s FRIENDLY and EASY to use.  Honestly, Mary may have eradicated all valid excuses for putting off the exploration of self.  Enjoy!

Sacred Contracts

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January 2017 Book of the Month

New York Times bestselling author and medical intuitive Caroline Myss has found that when people don’t understand their purpose in life the result can be depression, anxiety, fatigue, and eventually physical illness—in short, a spiritual malaise of epidemic proportions. Myss’s experience of working with people led her to develop an insightful and ingenious process for deciphering your own Sacred Contract—or higher purpose—using a new theory of archetypes that builds on the works of Jung, Plato, and many other contemporary thinkers.

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The Invention of Wings

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December 2016 Book of the Month

It’s winter break! Thought we’d pick an old favorite novel of ours to dive into…

The Invention of Wings, a powerful and sweeping historical novel by Sue Monk Kidd, begins, fittingly, with an image of flight: Hetty “Handful”, who has grown up as a slave in early nineteenth century Charleston, recalls the night her mother told her that her ancestors in Africa could fly over trees and clouds. That day, Handful’s mother, Charlotte, gave her daughter the gift of hope— the possibility that someday she might regain her wings and fly to freedom.  Throughout Kidd’s exquisitely written story, Handful struggles, sometimes with quiet dissidence, sometimes with open rebellion, to cultivate a belief in the invincibility of her spirit and in the sacred truth that one does not need actual wings in order to rise.”

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Habits of the Heart

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November 2016 Book of the Month

First published in 1985, Habits of the Heart continues to be one of the most discussed interpretations of modern American society, a quest for a democratic community that draws on our diverse civic and religious traditions. In a new preface the authors relate the arguments of the book both to the current realities of American society and to the growing debate about the country’s future. With this new edition one of the most influential books of recent times takes on a new immediacy.

Brain On Fire

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September 2016 Book of the Month

You’re just getting back to your studies, and you may find it hard to pick up yet another book, but I promise this one will have you completely captivated from the first sentence. You may even finish it in a weekend!

“An award-winning memoir and instant New York Times bestseller that goes far beyond its riveting medical mystery, Brain on Fire is the powerful account of one woman’s struggle to recapture her identity.

When twenty-four-year-old Susannah Cahalan woke up alone in a hospital room, strapped to her bed and unable to move or speak, she had no memory of how she’d gotten there. Days earlier, she had been on the threshold of a new, adult life: at the beginning of her first serious relationship and a promising career at a major New York newspaper. Now she was labeled violent, psychotic, a flight risk. What happened?

In a swift and breathtaking narrative, Susannah tells the astonishing true story of her descent into madness, her family’s inspiring faith in her, and the lifesaving diagnosis that nearly didn’t happen.

Think on These Things

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August 2016 Book of the Month

You know when someone gives you a book and insists on you reading it and then it sits on your book shelf for weeks, months or even years? Well… this is one of those books on my shelf.

I looked at it yesterday as I was weeding out the books I would take to my local used book store, and I did what I often like to do, which is to open to a random page and read the first sentence I find.

Here’s what it said:

“The moment you criticize, you are not in relationship, you already have a barrier between yourself and them; but if you merely observe, then you will have a direct relationship with people and with things. If you can observe alertly, keenly, but without judging, without concluding, you will find that your thinking becomes astonishingly acute. Then you are learning all the time.”

Think I’ll start from the beginning now.

Five Smooth Stones

Five Smooth Stones

July 2016 Book of the Month 

I read Five Smooth Stones a few years ago at the recommendation of my boyfriend’s mom. She sent us two of these huge books in the mail so that we could all read it at the same time. When I saw it on my shelf today, it brought back so many memories of learning about the civil rights movement in a way that was engaging and beautiful. I couldn’t wait to return to it night after night to see what was happening in David’s life.

I can’t help but think that this is the right time to re-visit this alluring novel.

“This gripping bestseller, first published in 1966, has continued to captivate readers with its wide-ranging yet intimate portrait of an America sundered by racial conflict. David Champlin is a black man born into poverty in Depression-era New Orleans who makes his way up the ladder of success, only to sacrifice everything to lead his people in the civil rights movement. Sara Kent is the white girl who loves David from the moment she first sees him, and who struggles against his belief that a marriage for them would be wrong in the violent world he has to confront.”

Prodigal Summer

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June 2016 Book of the Month

Prodigal Summer is one of those books you dive into head first and later find yourself trying to limit how much you read in a day so that it is never over. In fact, that is where I am with this book; half way through, and starting to read only a couple pages before bed so that it may last all summer.

If you enjoy being in nature; if you love being enveloped in the twists and turns of personal stories — please join me in this perfect read for summer.

“Barbara Kingsolver’s fifth novel is a hymn to wildness that celebrates the prodigal spirit of human nature, and of nature itself. It weaves together three stories of human love within a larger tapestry of lives amid the mountains and farms of southern Appalachia. Over the course of one humid summer, this novel’s intriguing protagonists face disparate predicaments but find connections to one another and to the flora and fauna with which they necessarily share a place.”

Love,
Chelsea

Backwoods Ethics

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May 2016 Book of the Month

As we near the summer months, I always like to revisit this book. Backwoods Ethics not only touches on environmental issues for hikers and campers and how to help solve those issues, it also serves as an inspiration for getting outside and being a steward of our precious land.

“When Backwood Ethics was first published in 1979, the Watermans’ “new ethic” was enthusiastically received by environmentalists, hikers, and wilderness managers. This expanded edition brings the basics of low-impact hiking, camping and cooking, and alpine management into the 21st century. Here the authors take a fresh look at ways to protect the physical environment of our mountains and backcountry.”

 

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