Monday, June 15, 2009

Dearly Beloved

Brilliant how the right book at the right time
can get into our blood –
shape who-we-are.
Introducing a few of my little shape-shifters...

(in order of appearance - CLiCK to see better)

Kinship with all Life – J.Allen Boone
Do you have empathy with animals, would you like to communicate with them? Written in 1954, this book is easy to read, wise, informative and astonishing!

The I Ching – Brian Brown Walker
A little book of ancient Chinese magic! Play with pennies and let the universe speak to you through this easy to use oracle. Plus it looks nice on the desk.

Education of Little Tree – Forest Carter

Cry-Cry-Cry! This gem tore my heart open. It comes with a disclaimer: Apparently the author was not who he claimed to be and wrote this “true story” under an alias nothing close to who he really was. But I was SO moved by this (actually not-so-true) story, that I decided to forgive him, I do feel he redeemed himself by opening a tenderness in me.

Eat, Pray, Love – Elizabeth Gilbert
Well, I assume everyone has heard of this book by now. If you don’t know what it is…go ask Oprah.

Joan of Arc – Mark Twain

OKAY this was a SURPRISE!!! I reclaimed it from a give-away box many years ago. Mark Twain is a genius of a writer! (I know, duh). He really did write this version of Joan of Arc – the best available - I’m positive. He spent 12 years researching this baby, his best-loved work (by him and me). Every page is a morsel. Great for Men and Women and Coming-of-Agers. Get it!

A Joseph Campbell Companion – Joseph Campbell
This is a compilation of some of the best and juiciest of JOE’s work. I love to flip this book open and start reading from anywhere.

Medicine Cards – Sams & Carson
I’m not gonna say that these are the best “Tarot” style cards in the world, because they’re probably not. I do believe in animal medicine and used these cards heaps in my twenties. Nice illustrations and simple explanations. If you are down with nature’s wisdom or were like, a Native American in your past life or something - check these out.

Crow with No Mouth – Ikkyu
Oh god-bless me! Stumbled across this little shocker recently. I can only say a few things about it: I want to wear it under my shirt. I have tried wiping it on my arms to see if the words will fall off. I carry it in the car for good luck. BUT – Enter at your own risk.

Helen Keller – Wendy Watson
Ya’ll know the story. Opened-my-eyes…ahem, so to speak. Read it back to back when I was in third grade. Love the heart and soul of this woman. The strength. Read or give to any child 7 on up.

Island of the Blue Dolphins – Scott O’Dell
Another one I scoured back-to-back-to-back in third/fourth grade. (And I did NOT like to read when I was a kid, so that should tell ya something). Based on a true story of a young Native American girl who gets stranded on an island for 18 years with a pack of wild dogs.

Sunburst Farm Family Cookbook – Sunburst Farm
Just an old hippie cookbook put together by some 1970’s hippies who lived in a commune in California. It’s probably been out of print for years - and most of the recipes are incorrect so you always have to adjust measurements, but I lived out of it in early motherhood. Relished it actually.

Summerhill – A.S. Neill

This dude is RADICAL, (way ahead of his time) I like them like that. After being tormented by adults as a child – he opened his own super FAR OUT boarding school for troubled kids of all ages. This is not for everyone and I certainly have not applied all of his principals in my own child rearing, but I will say, it altered my perspective on how things can be done and gave me confidence in parenting and great respect for the little beings among us.

Le Petite Prince – Antoine de Saint Exupéry
No I didn’t read it in French – but I think it sounds better so I’m faking it. I am also faking it that I can ever remember what this story is about. I do remember wisdom woven between words and fanciful images that get stuck under skin. Actually I think I “stuck” this book in the mix, because I thought I was supposed to, but I can’t guarantee it has actually changed my life.

Women Who Run With the Wolves
-Clarissa Pinkola Estés, Ph.D.


Animal-Speak – Ted Andrews
I want to marry symbolism. Teddy breaks it down. Dissecting animal behavior, mythology and using historical references, he offers the reader a way to relate to oneself through creatures we may encounter in life or in dreams. Shake hands with “you” by attuning to the ones who have walked before.

Mutant Message – Marlo Morgan
True story I read when I was 18. I don’t remember the details, but I remember CRYING and LAUGHING. This is a fascinating account of an American woman who goes to live with aboriginals down under and learns old secrets, wisdom and TRUST.

The Mists of Avalon – Marion Zimmer Bradley
Really FAT Book. It will consume your life – but let it. If you have any interest in Ancient Mystery Schools, Priestesses, Wizards, King Arthur, Faeries, Herbs, Rituals, Love Stories, or Unseen Powers…indulge. Not quite Harry Potter for grown ups, but it’s a little bit Harry Potter for grown ups. Sexier though.

A Woman’s Worth – Marianne Williamson
Good quickie fix. EMPOWERMENT style. Easy-to-read. Nice-to-look-at. Clear – straight-to-the-point bathtub book.

Play of Consciousness – Swami Muktananda

This is the true story of enlightenment - a Yogi’s journey. I have never read this book cover-to-cover, but I know it by heart. More than magical…a living entity, an umbilical cord to the eye of the universe. But don’t be surprised if it sits on your bookshelf for many years, only to one day pop off the shelf and hit you on the head. Just saying…

Deep in Thought.less.ness.


  1. Dear Akka, you gave me some pretty nice ideas for purchasing new books. For sure I'll buy myself as a great gift Women who Run with Wolves. Only the title itself is great...I'll keep you informed.

  2. Loooooveee it, I can't believe there's so much stuff I haven't read on your list. I'll send you mine as soon as completed. But please, don't be a tease, Crow with No Mouth?? What kind of surprises am I in for?? Sometimes I wish I could eat books, you know, to properly digest them...Am I weird? And if I am should I really be asking you if I am weird?? HA. Oh did I say I L O V E dissa one? Tooda, ER

  3. Missa ~ you are NOT weird for wanting to eat books, well not according to my standards so I don't know how much that says. ;-)

    And Barefoot def get the "WOLVES" book, I promise you will not be disapointed.

    Oh there are so many more that come to mind, that I will share over time...A few good ones I must have given away because I could not find in bookshelves and secret nooks. But they remain in my heart.

  4. aaah, Joseph Campbell is the bomb! And I had totally forgotten about 'Island of the Blue Dolphins', but I also read it in gradeschool and loved it. I didn't remember it being a true story, though....even cooler!
    The other's have no experience to speak of...yet.

  5. I read Mists of Avalon one summer in SF every night doing switchboard/security, totally awesome book that really drew me in...
    Eat Pray Love was really great a very sweet perspective on Grace and kids tease me cause I loved it so much and it's not your typical macho CSI / Soprano drama...

    Hey how 'bout Men who run with llama's...? Hmmm...:):):)


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