New at Peter White Public Library

Currently I am finishing the last book, “Empire of Gold,” in the Daevabad Trilogy by S. A. Chakraborty. The series, which reads like any classic fantasy, is set in the Muslim world. The main characters are Djinn or Daeva and represent factions of a magical subculture with settings that range from Eastern Africa to parts of India. These factions maintain a history of conflict and atrocities. The main character is a healer. So the themes are universal and appropriate for the end of 2020. Or any time.

The following titles, all released in the last year or two, are concerned with healing.

“Wintering: the power of rest and retreat in difficult times” by Katherine May explores the ways we can care for and repair ourselves when life knocks us down. Unforeseen circumstances like an abrupt illness, the death of a loved one, a break up, or a job loss can derail a life. These periods of dislocation can be lonely and unexpected. For May, her husband fell ill, her son stopped attending school, and her own medical issues led her to leave a demanding job. Wintering explores how she not only endured this painful time, but embraced the singular opportunities it offered. A moving personal narrative shot through with lessons from literature, mythology, and the natural world, May’s story offers instruction on the transformative power of rest and retreat. May models an active acceptance of sadness and finds nourishment in deep retreat, joy in the hushed beauty of winter, and encouragement in understanding life as cyclical, not linear.

“Hamnet: a Novel of the Plague” by Maggie O’Farrell is about the death of Shakespeare’s 11 year old son Hamnet–a name interchangeable with Hamlet in 15th century Britain — and the years leading up to the production of his great play. England, 1580. A young Latin tutor — penniless, bullied by a violent father — falls in love with an extraordinary, eccentric young woman — a wild creature who walks her family’s estate with a falcon on her shoulder and is known throughout the countryside for her unusual gifts as a healer. Agnes understands plants and potions better than she does people, but once she settles with her husband on Henley Street in Stratford she becomes a fiercely protective mother and a steadfast, centrifugal force in the life of her young husband, whose gifts as a writer are just beginning to awaken when his beloved young son succumbs to bubonic plague. This story of grief and loss inspires one of the greatest masterpieces of all time.

“All of sudden and forever: Hope and healing after the Oklahoma City Bombing” by Chris Barton is a moving nonfiction picture book about tragedy, hope. Sometimes bad things happen, and you have to tell everyone. Sometimes terrible things happen, and everybody knows. On April 19, 1995, something terrible happened in Oklahoma City: a bomb exploded, and people were hurt and killed. But that was not the end of the story. Those who survived — and those who were forever changed — shared their stories and began to heal. Near the site of the bomb blast, an American elm tree began to heal as well. People took care of the tree just as they took care of each other. The tree and its seedlings now offer solace to people around the world grappling with tragedy and loss. Released to coincide with the 25th anniversary of the Oklahoma City bombing, this book commemorates what was lost and offers hope for the future.

“In Love Big: The Power of Revolutionary Relationships to Heal the World,” leadership coach Rozella Haydée White introduces readers to the power of revolutionary relationships. Modeled after the image of God as a lover, these relationships can heal the brokenness of our lives by crossing over the dividing lines of race, gender, religion, orientation, ability, identity, and class to provide relief and inspiration.

“The Clean Plate: Eat, Reset, Heal” by Gwyneth Paltrow. Delicious food can heal the body. Reset and rebalance with clean recipes that are flexible and easy for busy weeknight meals or lunches on the go, and healthy enough for more intensive, doctor-supported cleanses. Paltrow’s recipes focus on delicious flavors and clean ingredients. This collection contains over 100 recipes and customizable meal plans that offer taste, simplicity, and targeted health benefits. Choices range from smoothies and soups to bowls, entrées, snacks, and desserts. Highlights include instant staples like Turkey Meatball Pho, Sheet Pan Chicken Broccolini, and Butternut Squash Tacos, and sweet treats like Cashew Turmeric Iced Lattes and Chocolate Chia Pudding. Beyond the appealing recipes, The Clean Plate has meal plans, detoxes, and cleanses to address the reader’s specific needs and desired results. Supported by Paltrow’s team of nutrition experts and doctors, the book offers specific eating plans focused on: Adrenal Support, Heart Health, Candida, Heavy Metal Detox, and Veg-Friendly Ayurveda.

By Ellen Moore

Peter White Public Library


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