Great Reads

A Year by the Sea: Thoughts of an Unfinished Woman, by Joan Anderson

My Sister's Keeper by Jodi Picoult

My Sister's Keeper Anna is not sick, but she might as well be. By age thirteen, she has undergone countless surgeries, transfusions, and shots so that her older sister, Kate, can somehow fight the leukemia that has plagued her since childhood. The product of preimplantation genetic diagnosis, Anna was conceived as a bone marrow match for Kate - a life and a role that she has never questioned... until now. Like most teenagers, Anna is beginning to question who she truly is. But unlike most teenagers, she has always been defined in terms of her sister - and so Anna makes a decision that for most would be unthinkable... A great read for those interested in the rights of children in health care decision-making...

Becoming HumanBecoming Human by Jean Vanier

Dark Age Ahead by Jane Jacobs

Dark Age Ahead

The Wisdom of Forgiveness
by His Holiness The Dalai Lama

Becoming Human

Anne of Green Gables
by Lucy Maud Montgomery

Anne of Green Gables

Animals Make us Human by Temple Grandin

Becoming Human

Bones Would Rain from the Sky
by Suzanne Clothier

Anne of Green Gables

Annabel by Kathleen Winter

AnnabelDestined to be one of the biggest novels out of Newfoundland this year, this is a story of isolation and a communication breakdown that breaks a family down, and breaks the reader down along with them. Annabel's strength lies in probing the dilemma of sexuality and self-knowledge. I have never read such an intimate portrait of a person struggling to live inside a self that the world sees as a dreadful mistake. -... it's a story told with sensitivity to language that compels to the last page, and read it because it asks the most existential of questions. Stripped of the trappings of gender, [Kathleen] Winter asks, what are we? --The Globe & Mail, June 25, 2010

Ishmael: An Adventure of the Mind and Spirit by Daniel Quinn

Ishmael A man answers an ad in the newspaper for a student who wants to learn how to save the world. He finds a very unique teacher. What kind of teacher would be able to see the lies that everyone else has missed? Who would have both the perspective and the ability to communicate necessary? A telepathic gorilla.

Ishmael is a half ton silverback gorilla. He is a student of ecology, life, freedom, and the human condition. He is also a teacher. He teaches that which all humans need to learn -- must learn -- if our species, and the rest of life on Earth as we know it, is to survive.

A telepathic gorilla is certainly a wonder, but why would a gorilla be an expert on the problems of the human race? The answer is simple: Captivity. Any animal in a zoo is an expert on this subject, although unable to communicate his/her knowledge. How does this relate to the human race? All of the humans in our civilization are captives, too. We're captives of the lies that are causing us to destroy the world and ourselves.

In 1989 Ted Turner created a fellowship to be awarded to a work of fiction offering positive solutions to global problems. The winner, chosen from 2500 entries worldwide, was a work of startling clarity and depth: Daniel Quinn's Ishmael, a Socratic journey that explores the most challenging problem humankind has ever faced: How to save the world from ourselves.

The book opens with a deceptively ordinary personals ad: "Teacher seeks pupil. Must have an earnest desire to save the world." Seeking a direction for his life, a young man answers the ad and is startled to find that the teacher is a lowland gorilla named Ishmael, a creature uniquely placed to vision anew the human story.

No Time to Lose by Pema Chödrön

No Time to LoseBuddhist Nun Pema Chödrön teaches us about compassion and fearlessness, where fear is "a natural reaction when moving closer to the truth". She tells us that " ...feelings like disappointment, embarrassment, irritation, resentment, anger, jealousy, and fear, instead of being bad news, are actually very clear moments that teach us where it is that we're holding back. They teach us to perk up and lean in when we feel we'd rather collapse and back away. They're like messengers that show us, with terrifying clarity, exactly where we're stuck. This very moment is the perfect teacher, and, lucky for us, it's with us wherever we are."

"Hope and fear come from feeling that we lack something; they come from a sense of poverty. We can't simply relax with ourselves. We hold on to hope, and hope robs us of the present moment. We feel that someone else knows what is going on, but that there is something missing in us, and therefore something is lacking in our world."

She seeks to cultivate openess......

There comes a time when the bubble of ego is popped and you can't get the ground back for an extended period of time. Those times, when you absolutely cannot get it back together, are the most rich and powerful times in our lives.

A further sign of health is that we don't become undone by fear and trembling, but we take it as a message that it's time to stop struggling and look directly at what's threatening us.

The Courage to Teach by Parker Palmer

The Courage to Teach

It's a Book by Lane Smith, 2011

It's a book