The Power of Stones

There is a little shop near my neighborhood in Tacoma that is such a magical place. As soon as you walk in you are transported to another world. I took a close friend of mine who suggested burning some sage after moving into a new home since smudging as a ritual has been said to be a spiritual cleansing and blessing — and luckily I knew right where to find that. She ended up getting pulled in by their assortment of stones and crystals and together we read about the qualities each one had. She purchased a small bag of stones and crystals that called to her and I got my sage. Having both gone through a roller coaster of a year, it was nice to have this time together to do something that felt very therapeutic for both of us. 

Interested in the power of stones? Here are a few books in our collection to get you started (book descriptions courtesy of the publishers): Continue reading “The Power of Stones”

#BookBingoNW2018: History

Looking for something to fill in that “history” box on your Summer Book Bingo card?  Fortunately, the days of dry history tomes are, well, history.  There are currently lots of great authors who are writing fascinating nonfiction history books that have the page-turning quality of a good story.

Book cover for Ivory VikingsHere are some of my favorites:

Nancy Marie Brown – Brown has written several intriguing books about medieval Viking history, with an emphasis on the overlooked stories of women.

Vine Deloria Jr. ­– Deloria was a noted Native American historian whose writing and activism helped the American Indian Movement gain momentum in the 1960s and 1970s.  His book Indians of the Pacific Northwest, originally published in 1977 and recently reissued, is still considered a definitive account of Native history in the Northwest.  Continue reading “#BookBingoNW2018: History”

Read This: The Misfit’s Manifesto, by Lidia Yuknavitch

Quote: “You are not nothing. You are vital to your culture. We misfits are the ones with the ability to enter grief. Death. Trauma. And emerge. But we have to keep telling our stories, giving them to each other, or they will eat us alive. Our suffering is not the Christ story. Our suffering is generative of secular meaning. We put ordinary forms of hope into the world so that others, scruffy or graceful, might go on.”
– The Misfit’s Manifesto, by Lidia Yuknavitch

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What’s it about? Yuknavitch expands her TED Talk into a compelling account of how she and other misfits have struggled to be in the world, and how the world is a better place for it. It is about the lie that suffering makes you stronger; about the misleading myth of the hero’s journey; about making mistakes and making art and making it through the day; about surviving, and not surviving. This is a different kind of self help book, without a dash of sentiment, schmaltz or feel-good glibness. Continue reading “Read This: The Misfit’s Manifesto, by Lidia Yuknavitch”

#BookBingoNW2018: About Travel or Read While Traveling

Whether you’re an intrepid or an armchair traveler, visiting an unfamiliar place is an enriching experience. From Albania to Zimbabwe, there are no shortage of travel books to transport you to other locations. But how we travel is just as important as where we go, and here some books to make you a smarter traveler — an earn a square on Book Bingo!

How do you determine what’s essential to take with you? Forgetting essential items can be a drag, and overpacking and lugging overstuffed suitcases is equally frustrating. Those seeking advice should check out How to Pack by Hitha Palepu, who has traveled half a million miles and knows of what she speaks. Lonely Planet has their own guide, How to Pack for Any Tripwhich includes illustrations the whole family can enjoy.

It’s no secret that traveling can be expensive. In How to Be the World’s Smartest Traveler from National Geographic, Christopher Elliott covers all aspects of travel, including how to obtain discounts, decide on travel insurance, book a car overseas, and more. If you’re cost conscious, look no further than How to Travel the World on $50 a Day to find alternatives to expensive hotels, get into attractions for free, and other ways to make sure your trip is fun and frugal. Continue reading “#BookBingoNW2018: About Travel or Read While Traveling”

New Nonfiction Roundup: June 2018

What’s new in June? A bevy of biographies and memoirs, travel guides to places near and far, and so much more!

6/5: Alone Time – Stephanie Rosenbloom. Consider the pleasures of traveling solo through the author’s visits to Paris, Istanbul, Florence and New York.

6/5: Bruce Lee: A Life – Matthew Polly. An authoritative biography of the prominent Asian American actor and martial arts expert who died at 32.

6/5: First in Line – Kate Andersen Brower. The author of The Residence looks at the modern vice-presidency by looking at 13 men who have occupied the role. Continue reading “New Nonfiction Roundup: June 2018”