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FICTION AND MEMOIR

What We’re Reading Now

Fiction – The story of Mari Magdalene in service of the Great Mother. “Mine is a story that must be told. I am Mari, the Magdalene, and I have set down truth in this manuscript, trusting that the Goddess will bring it to light when the time is ripe.” Although first published in 1989, now is the ripening. From the author: While this book is a work of fiction, its many departures from familiar tradition, like those consistent with it, are based on much more than my own imagination. Many will prefer to enjoy it simply as a love story, but for those who may be more curious, I have provided detailed notes showing the mythological and historical sources, and a complete bibliography of books that influenced my work.

Fiction. A hauntingly beautiful tale of the power and bond of women in both life and the afterlife.
On the morning of Eva McEwen’s birth, six magpies congregate in the apple tree outside the window–a bad omen, according to Scottish legend. That night, Eva’s mother dies, leaving her to be raised by her aunt. As a child, Eva is often visited by two companions–a woman and a girl–invisible to everyone else save her. As she grows, their intentions become increasingly unclear: Do they wish to protect or harm her? A magical novel about loneliness, love, and the profound connection between generations of women.

Memoir. Follow Barbara Brown Taylor on her journey to understand darkness, which takes her spelunking in unlit caves, learning to eat and cross the street like a blind person, discovering how “dark emotions” are prevented from seeing light from a psychiatrist, and rereading scripture to see all the times God shows up at night. With charm and wisdom, Taylor is our guide through a spirituality of the nighttime and shows us how to let darkness and the moon teach us what we need to know.

Fiction. From the start Susanna Owens sets down rules for her children. No walking in the moonlight, no red shoes, no wearing black, no cats, no crows, no candles, no books about magic. And never fall in love. But the Owens children don’t listen. Desperate to uncover who they really are, The Rules of Magic takes us on an unforgettable journey and reminds us that the only remedy for being human is to be true to yourself.

Memoir. BESTSELLER. Born to survivalists in the mountains of Idaho, Tara Westover was seventeen the first time she set foot in a classroom. Her family was so isolated from mainstream society that there was no one to ensure the children received an education, and no one to intervene when one of Tara’s older brothers became violent. When another brother got himself into college, Tara decided to try a new kind of life. Her quest for knowledge transformed her, taking her over oceans and across continents, to Harvard and to Cambridge University. Only then would she wonder if she’d traveled too far, if there was still a way home.

Memoir. Recruited by the U.S. Army and Navy from small towns and elite colleges, more than ten thousand women served as codebreakers during World War II. While their brothers and boyfriends took up arms, these women moved to Washington and learned the meticulous work of code-breaking. Their efforts shortened the war, saved countless lives, and gave them access to careers previously denied to them. A strict vow of secrecy nearly erased their efforts from history; now, through dazzling research and interviews with surviving code girls, bestselling author Liza Mundy brings to life this riveting and vital story of American courage, service, and scientific accomplishment.

Fiction. 7 Teachers, 7 Codes, 7 Secrets of Life. Discovery them all and learn to live them. The Life Codes holds the answers to the questions you aren’t asking, forges the path to places you aren’t seeking, and contains the key to finding yourself even when you sense that you already have everything you are searching for. An amazing, shamanic story of a woman’s quest.

Fiction. The #1 International Bestselling author of THE ALCHEMIST reveals in this deeply thoughtful novel that the great wisdom of life is that we can be masters of the things that try to enslave us.
1099. Jerusalem awaits the invasion of the crusaders who have surrounded the city’s gates. There, inside the ancient city’s walls, women and men of every age and faith have gathered to hear the wisdom of a mysterious man known only as the Copt.
As the wise man speaks of loyalty, fear, bravery and solitude, of love, sex, beauty and elegance, his words offer truth and guidance, and reveal the human values that have endured throughout time—then as now, his words reveal who we are, what we fear and what we hope for the future.

Fiction. How do we find the courage to always be true to ourselves—even if we are unsure of who we are?
That is the central question of international bestselling author Paulo Coelho’s profound new work, The Witch of Portobello. It is the story of a mysterious woman named Athena, told by the many who knew her well—or hardly at all. Like The Alchemist, The Witch of Portobello is the kind of story that will transform the way readers think about love, passion, joy, and sacrifice.

Fiction. Twenty-four-year-old Veronika seems to have everything—youth and beauty, boyfriends and a loving family, a fulfilling job. But something is missing in her life. So, one cold November morning, she takes a handful of sleeping pills expecting never to wake up. But she does—at a mental hospital where she is told that she has only days to live.
Inspired by events in Coelho’s own life, Veronika Decides to Die questions the meaning of madness and celebrates individuals who do not fit into patterns society considers to be normal. Bold and illuminating, it is a dazzling portrait of a young woman at the crossroads of despair and liberation, and a poetic, exuberant appreciation of each day as a renewed opportunity.

Fiction. Warrior of the Light: A Manual is an inspirational companion to The Alchemist, an international bestseller that has beguiled millions of readers around the world. Every short passage invites us to live out our dreams, to embrace the uncertainty of life, and to rise to our own unique destiny. In his inimitable style, Paulo Coelho helps bring out the Warrior of the Light within each of us. He also shows readers how to embark upon the way of the Warrior: the one who appreciates the miracle of being alive, the one who accepts failure, and the one whose quest leads him to become the person he wants to be.

Fiction. Combining magic, mysticism, wisdom and wonder into an inspiring tale of self-discovery, The Alchemist is a modern classic.
Paulo Coelho’s masterpiece tells the mystical story of Santiago, an Andalusian shepherd boy who yearns to travel in search of a worldly treasure. His quest will lead him to riches far different—and far more satisfying—than he ever imagined. Santiago’s journey teaches us about the essential wisdom of listening to our hearts, of recognizing opportunity and learning to read the omens strewn along life’s path, and, most importantly, to follow our dreams.

Fiction. Internationally bestselling author Paulo Coelho returns with a journey of self-discovery. Like the main character in his much-beloved The Alchemist, Paulo is facing a grave crisis of faith. As he seeks a path of spiritual renewal and growth, his only real option is to begin again—to travel, to experiment, to reconnect with people and the landscapes around him.
Setting off to Africa, Europe and Asia via the Trans-Siberian railroad, he initiates a journey to revitalize his energy and passion. Then he meets Hilal. A gifted young violinist, she is the woman Paulo loved five hundred years before—and the woman he betrayed in an act of cowardice so far-reaching that it prevents him from finding real happiness in this life. Together they will initiate a mystical voyage through time and space, traveling a path that teaches love, forgiveness, and the courage to overcome life’s inevitable challenges. Beautiful and inspiring, Aleph invites us to consider the meaning of our own personal journeys.

Fiction. Brida, a young Irish girl, has long been interested in various aspects of magic but is searching for something more. Her search leads her to people of great wisdom. She meets a wise man who dwells in a forest, who teaches her to trust in the goodness of the world, and a woman who teaches her how to dance to the music of the world. As Brida seeks her destiny, she struggles to find a balance between her relationships and her desire to become a witch.
This enthralling novel incorporates themes that fans of Paulo Coelho will recognize and treasure. It is a tale of love, passion, mystery, and spirituality from the master storyteller.

Memoir. A a poignant, richly poetic story that reflects the depth of love and life.
What happens when two young lovers reunite after eleven years? Time has transformed Pilar into a strong and independent woman, while her devoted childhood friend has grown into a handsome and charismatic spiritual leader. She has learned well how to bury her feelings . . . and he has turned to religion as a refuge from his raging inner conflicts.
Now they are together once again, embarking on a journey fraught with difficulties, as long-buried demons of blame and resentment resurface after more than a decade. But in a small village in the French Pyrenees, by the waters of the River Piedra, a special relationship will be reexamined in the dazzling light of some of life’s biggest questions.

Memoir. BESTSELLER. In This is Me, Chrissy Metz shares her story with a raw honesty that will leave readers both surprised but also inspired. Infused with the same authenticity she brings to her starring role, Chrissy’s This is Me is so much more than your standard Hollywood memoir or collection of personal essays. She embraces the spirit of Shonda Rhimes’ Year of Yes, and shares how she has applied the lessons she learned from both setbacks and successes. A born entertainer, Chrissy finds light in even her darkest moments, and leaves the reader feeling they are spending time with a friend who gets it.

Memoir. After years of unfulfilling work, Bronnie Ware began searching for a job with heart. Despite having no formal qualifications or previous experience in the field, she found herself working in palliative care. During the time she spent tending to those who were dying, Bronnie’s life was transformed. Later, she wrote an Internet blog post, outlining the most common regrets that the people she had cared for had expressed. The post gained so much momentum that it was viewed by more than three million readers worldwide in its first year. At the request of many, Bronnie subsequently wrote a book, The Top Five Regrets of the Dying, to share her story.

Fiction. Offred is a Handmaid in the Republic of Gilead. She may leave the home of the Commander and his wife once a day to walk to food markets whose signs are now pictures instead of words because women are no longer allowed to read. She must lie on her back once a month and pray that the Commander makes her pregnant, because in an age of declining births, Offred and the other Handmaids are valued only if their ovaries are viable. Offred can remember the years before, when she lived and made love with her husband, Luke: when she plays with and protected her daughter; when she had a job, money of her own, and access to knowledge. But all of that is gone now.

Memoir. Ranya Tabari Idliby, co-author of the post 9/11 book The Faith Club: A Muslim, A Christian, A Jew – Three Women Search for Understanding, shares the story of an American Muslim family. The story of how through our lives, our schools, our friends, our neighbors, we end up living the challenges, myths, fears, hopes, and dreams of all Americans.

Memoir. Nadia Bolz-Weber takes no prisoners as she reclaims the term “Pastrix” (pronounced “pas-tricks, a term used by some Christians who refuse to recognize female pastors) in her profanity-and-prayer-laden narrative about an unconventional life of faith. Heavily tattooed and loud-mouthed, Nadia, a former stand-up comic, sure as hell didn’t consider herself to be religious leader material – until the day she ended up at a friend’s funeral in a comedy club. Surrounded by fellow alcoholics, depressives, and cynics, she realized: These were her people. maybe she was meant to be their pastor.

Fiction. They carried malaria tablets, love letters, 28-pound mine detectors, dope, illustrated Bibles, each other. And if they made it home alive, they carried unrelenting images of a nightmarish war that history is only beginning to absorb. This book has become an unparalleled Vietnam testament, a classic work of American literature, and a profound study of men at war that illuminates the capacity, and the limits, of the human heart and soul. This book is a reminder that war and hate is never the answer.

Fiction. Let the Grandmother’s gentle wisdom wrap around you like a blanket, and experience the relief and love your heart needs. In twenty stories, you’ll meet the loving, powerful wise woman who touches you with her calm and compassion. She will share the wisdom of the ancient ones (the basis of Toltec tradition) in a way that it will effortlessly sink into your consciousness. With the Grandmother by your side, you’ll find the courage to stand up for what is right, the inspiration to make wise choices, and the confidence to leave worry behind.

Fiction. What if . . . you were handed a ticket that could magically start your life anew? In what is sure to become a classic, Brendon Burchard has crafted a triumphant tale of personal growth and change that will inspire any reader who has ever wished for a second chance.

Memoir / Commentary. While imprisoned in a Nazi concentration camp, Simon Wiesenthal was taken one day to the bedside of a dying member of the SS. Haunted by the crimes in which he participated, the soldier wanted to confess and to obtain absolution from a Jew. Faced with the choice between compassion and justice, silence and truth, Wiesenthal said nothing. But years later he wondered: Had he done the right thing? What would you have done in his place? In this important book, 53 distinguished men and women respond to the question.

Fiction. Akira Kumo survived the mushroom cloud over Hiroshima, only to reinvent himself as a man twenty years younger. Now an eccentric couturier in Paris, he has acquired the world’s largest collection of literature on clouds. He hires Virginie Latour to catalogue his library and as they work he tells her stories about those devoted to clouds culminating with a definite catalogue that was known to exist, but never seen. Kumo sends Virginie to track it down and a quest both surprising and wondrous, where love, like clouds, forms and transforms lives.

Memoir. Nadia Bolz-Weber takes no prisoners as she reclaims the term “Pastrix” (pronounced “pas-tricks, a term used by some Christians who refuse to recognize female pastors) in her profanity-and-prayer-laden narrative about an unconventional life of faith. Heavily tattooed and loud-mouthed, Nadia, a former stand-up comic, sure as hell didn’t consider herself to be religious leader material – until the day she ended up at a friend’s funeral in a comedy club. Surrounded by fellow alcoholics, depressives, and cynics, she realized: These were her people. maybe she was meant to be their pastor.

Fiction. They carried malaria tablets, love letters, 28-pound mine detectors, dope, illustrated Bibles, each other. And if they made it home alive, they carried unrelenting images of a nightmarish war that history is only beginning to absorb. This book has become an unparalleled Vietnam testament, a classic work of American literature, and a profound study of men at war that illuminates the capacity, and the limits, of the human heart and soul. This book is a reminder that war and hate is never the answer.

Fiction. Let the Grandmother’s gentle wisdom wrap around you like a blanket, and experience the relief and love your heart needs. In twenty stories, you’ll meet the loving, powerful wise woman who touches you with her calm and compassion. She will share the wisdom of the ancient ones (the basis of Toltec tradition) in a way that it will effortlessly sink into your consciousness. With the Grandmother by your side, you’ll find the courage to stand up for what is right, the inspiration to make wise choices, and the confidence to leave worry behind.

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