Books I'm Currently Reading (or re-reading)
Like many people, I read several books at once. Normally, I’m reading at least one non-fiction book, a new fiction book I’ve never read before, and a much-loved book from my keeper shelf that reminds me why I love to write and why certain books touch readers not just for the moment they’re reading but for many years after the book has been closed on the final chapter.
Here’s Looking at Euclid by Alex Bellos. My husband likes to read boring books about math and science and astronomy at night; it helps him fall asleep. So my holiday gifting always includes a likely-to-be-boring book I’ve found on Amazon specifically for that purpose.
This book, unfortunately for me, didn’t fill the bill. The writing is engaging and witty, so rather than falling asleep, my husband reads aloud to me about math at night, thus keeping us both awake. I have learned more than I’d like to know about math games, perfect numbers, number trains, and the like.
The book even tells about this one mathematician who has collected thousands of number sequences that follow some made-up rule or another. Interesting, huh? Well, at least it makes me wonder. It makes me wonder whether we can get that mathematician to come to our house and pull weeds because he is clearly thorough and meticulous and has nothing better to do.
Science and the Akashic Field: An Integral Theory of Everything by Ervin Laszlo. This book is on my bedside table, but like the math book my husband likes to read, this really isn’t great for nighttime reading. (Subjects that make your brain go “poof” aren’t conducive to relaxing and falling asleep.) We’ve all heard about the Akashic Records (the record of everything that has ever happened, is happening, or will happen), an “interconnected cosmic field at the roots of reality... from which all things arise.” Many psychics (and so-called psychics) claim to be able to tap into those records to reveal the past, present, and future for their clients. But does this virtual field of information really exist, and if so, how does it fit in with “true” science? Laszlo integrates modern scientific knowledge with spiritual mysticism, effectively taking the “woo-woo” out of the idea that we are all connected to each other and to the cosmos by an enduring field of intelligent conscious energy that is available to each of us, should we choose to connect with it.
Loving Animals: Conversations with an Animal Communicator by Jeannie Lindheim. This sweet little gem of a book is a fantastic introduction to animal communication for anyone who wants to know what it is, how it works, and how it can help them to better understand their animal companions. The first third of the book is written in simple Q and A format. The answers are brief, straightforward, and informative. The middle third of the book is a series of client testimonials—stories of animal communication experiences—written by Jeannie’s clients. The end of the book shows some of Jeannie’s personal photos and experiences, and includes a comprehensive list of animal communication books for those who want to learn more. If you’re wondering what animal communication is all about—or if you know someone who is—you will love this book!
Books I Recently Recommended
Practical Handbook of Veterinary Homeopathy: Healing Our Companion Animals from the Inside Out by Wendy Thacher Jensen, D.V.M. My dog Fred has chronic foot pain that several veterinarians have been unable to correctly diagnose or treat. On the advice of a knowledgeable client, I’ve been looking into homeopathy. When this book was sent to me for a review, it seemed like a sign from the Universe, and I couldn’t wait to dig in. I’ve already read several books on the subject, and most are so esoteric or unnecessarily detailed as to be inaccessible to the average reader who hasn’t been trained on the subject. This book immediately drew me in with its conversational, approachable style. Filled with real-life stories of the author’s clients and backed up with lists of reference materials for those readers who want to learn more.
A Place to Call Home by Deborah Smith. This is one of those books whose characters will live in your heart long after you’ve put the book down. It’s tender, sexy, southern, and it tells a compelling story of the treacherous pathways between one side of the tracks and the other. On my keeper shelf, this book has the mark of an unputdownable book: It has clearly been dropped into the bathtub.
Animal Talk: Interspecies Telepathic Communication by Penelope Smith. This is the first book I read about animal communication, way back when I experienced it for myself in such a memorable way that I decided it was time for me to learn to control my abilities instead of being blindsided by them. That was many years ago, and at the time, there were few books available on the subject. I have since read every one of Penelope Smiths books, and they are all still relevant and helpful to anyone who wants to learn about animal communication. Penelope Smith is credited with being the first pioneer to bring animal communication into the mainstream of human consciousness, and many of the best animal communicators practicing today were taught by Penelope (including me). I highly recommend this book and any others written by her.
The World is a Waiting Lover: Desire and the Quest for the Beloved by Trebbe Johnson. This book delves into the compelling connections that draw battle lines and love lines between ourselves, those we love, and those whose magnetic allure has the power to reel us in and reveal our unrealized potential. These people and possibilities can lift us out of the mundane and rip us up by the roots. Whether the seductive allure of the untapped unknown destroys our foundation or builds upon it depends on whether we have the courage to look these troublemaking possibilities in the face with honesty and integrity. A fantastic book I recommend for reading and re-reading.
Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens. I love books that are steeped-in and colored-by the dark muddy waters of the Deep South. I was talking about this book with a fellow writer, and she didn’t love it because she didn’t have the patience to read the detailed descriptions of the setting, the murky bogs, the mosquito-infested swamps, and the sucking quicksand of the past that can drag the unwary under before they know they’ve stepped wrong into a mud-patch that goes down forever. If you don’t like reading about a lush landscape sliced-through with sharp slivers of backstory, you might not love this one. I think that maybe this book didn’t call to my fellow writer friend because she isn’t from “around here.” But it is (so far) especially compelling to me because I grew up surrounded by the mystery of deep woods and even deeper swamps. Because it took me back to a time when I was free enough to embrace the danger and mystery of an unknown wild, and fearless enough to call it mine.
Practicing Peace in Times of War by Pema Chodron. This book is a tiny little bedside gem; I’ve been reading and re-reading it for years. Each chapter is only a few pages long, and it always seems that whatever chapter I open the book to at random has some nugget of wisdom about viewing whatever trouble or strife is going on in the world without absorbing it and allowing it to overtake me. I fail at this fairly often, but the book also shows me how to have compassion for myself and my failure to be the kind of person I strive to be.
Tending the Soul with Healing Ritual is a quick read, well-written and concise, packed with information about how to integrate healing rituals—described as embodied moments that allow us to open the windows of our inner being to let our soul expand, ventilate, and be refreshed—into daily life. Since starting this book, I’ve restructured my meditation space, and have nearly finished the labyrinth I’ve been creating in the yard for several years. If you need to jumpstart the creation of some healing rituals in your life, I think you’ll enjoy this book.
Natural Healing Techniquesby Joanne Klepal. As an energy healer, I’m always looking to add new modalities (or at least the understanding of them) to my toolkit. In Natural Healing Techniques, the author begins by relaying the fascinating story of her own journey of healing that began in Thailand and took her to many other parts of the world. In two years of traveling, she trained, practiced, and taught several healing modalities, some that I’m very familiar with—because I use them myself—and others that I didn’t know anything about. It’s a fascinating book, and I love the personal anecdotes and conversational tone that make the book accessible to anyone who’d like to learn more about alternative healing modalities.
Books on the Keeper Shelf
I loved this book by JoAnn Sky. Santa's Dog is a rhyming read-aloud children's book your kids will love. It's a sweet, touching story with bright, whimsical illustrations.
The Art of Racing in the Rain
This fantastic book is expertly told from a dog's point of view. A completely enthralling book from the first page to the last.