Staff Book Recommendations!
August 8, 2016
Reading is essential to brain development and mental stimulation for all ages. Books help us make sense of the world around us, and offer new insights on our experiences. Reading increases our vocabulary, imagination and creativity. Plus reading is one of the best ways to reduce stress, offering a mini escape into a new world of ideas and possibilities. New studies even show that regular readers have a 23% of living longer than non-readers!
So dive into a good book! We’ve made it easy for you with these awesome book recommendations from Epiphany Center’s staff!
1. In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts: Close Encounters with Addiction
Writing with compassion as his foundation, Hungarian-born Dr. Gabor Maté, M.D., explores the psychological and clinical root causes of addiction, including early adversities that lead one to substance use. Introducing us to his most dire patients in Vancouver’s notorious Eastside, Dr. Mate provides a new way of looking at addiction and treating addicts. "Those whom we dismiss as 'junkies' are not creatures from a different world, only men and women mired at the extreme end of a continuum on which, here or there, all of us might well locate ourselves."
2. Free Play: Improvisation in Life and Art
This book serves as a philosophical guide for how to tap into one’s own inner source of creativity. Steven Nachmanovitch shows us that the flow of creative energy is joyful and limitless. Being creative can be a form of therapy, helping us to heal trauma and emotional wounds. How do we find inspiration? How does our inspiration get blocked? And what can we do to liberate it? Read this book, find out, and embrace spontaneous, playful creation. Get inspired!
3. Tattoos on the Heart: The Power of Boundless Compassion
Father Gregory Boyle is a priest who has spent over 25 years serving gang members in Los Angeles. He founded Homeboy Industries in 1986, which provides services like mental health counseling, free tattoo removal, a charter school, job placement and training, and a curriculum that offers everything from anger management to parenting, to gang members and formerly incarcerated men and women. Much like Epiphany Center, Homeboy Industries is offering resources to the most vulnerable populations, and transforming pain into hope for the future. This book is a collection of parables about kinship and the sacredness of life based on his service work in L.A.
4. All Souls: A Family Story from Southie
In this memoir, Michael Patrick MacDonald gives us an intimate and tragic portrayal of growing up in poverty as an Irish American in crime-infested South Boston in the 1970’s and 80’s. Written from a child’s perspective, MacDonald exposes the mob violence, rampant racism, death, and cold-blooded fear he experienced in Southie. This tear-jerker is not for the faint of heart, but remains a critical piece of American history. MacDonald is now a leading figure in Boston’s anti-violence movement, working with survivors of violence.
5. Mutant Message Down Under –Marlo Morgan
Originally self-published, this underground best seller is a fictional tale of one woman’s spiritual odyssey through the Australian outback. Witness her trials and tribulations as she learns to persevere and find harmony in nature, with a nomadic Aboriginal tribe to guide her. "This incredible adventure story offers us an opportunity to discover the wisdom of an ancient culture and hear its compelling message.” Broaden your horizons with Morgan’s account of personal transformation.
6. The Secret Lives of Bees –Sue Monk Kidd
This coming of age story is set in South Carolina during the Civil Rights Movement and addresses themes like race, loss, betrayal and the ability of love to heal our wounds and transform our lives. The story follows young teen Lily, whose life has been scarred by the memory of her mother being killed as a child. With an abusive father, Lily goes on to find family and a sense of home with eccentric beekeeping sisters who teach her about divine female power. This book reminds us that “stories have to be told or they die, and when they die, we can’t remember who we are or why we’re here.” This is the kind of story to pass on to the young women in your life.
Last but not least, here are our favorite children’s books:
Got a book recommendation for us? Drop us a line, we'd love to read your favorite book too!