*Afterthought #68 – Fall Reading List

Here on the Salish Sea, signs of autumn appear every day—nippy early mornings and evenings, apples reddening, fog hovering in the bay, and sun and rain glinting on firs and cedars. I’ve pulled out sweaters and dug out my socks from the bottom of the drawer. Ahhhh, my favorite season. I’m looking forward to the slower pace and time indoors to delve into my fall reading list. This year, I’m building a stack of titles by writers who also are friends. They’re all published by smaller presses (including the one who published my memoir, Homebound Publications) and likely aren’t well-known to many readers, but their writing is top notch. So, if you’re looking for books to curl up with, I recommend these (all available now or soon, wherever books are sold):

Heidi-Barr-Cover-250Woodland Manitou: To Be on Earth by Heidi Barr is a collection of essays rooted in the rhythm of the natural world. Through the turn of the seasons, Heidi illustrates how the cycles of the earth have informed her everyday life from community to vocation to the food that finds its way to the dinner table. Through gardening, simple living, and prioritizing sustainability, she paints a picture of how remaining close to the earth provides a solid foundation even as the climate changes and the story of the world shifts. Part stories, part wonderings, and part call to act, this collection of meditations invites reflection, encourages awareness, and inspires action. For more information, read my interview with Heidi Barr.

Companions-on-the-Way-250In Companions on the Way, Gunilla Norris has given us all a magnificent gift: A simple book of wisdom so straightforward, so without jargon, and so comforting to read, that no one will want to be without it on the bedside table. Here is a lifetime of good sense. Here are beautiful sentences. And here is a book that is like Grandmother’s arms: entirely reassuring, safe, full of sweetness, and a deep sense of home.” –Stephen Cope, Senior Scholar in Residence, Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health, bestselling author of The Great Work of Your Life, and Soul Friends.


Drawing from sources ranging from the ancient apocalyptic traditions to contemporary science, The Great Re-Imagining by Theodore Richards explores the deep narratives that have brought us to the brink of apocalypse and invites us to re-imagine our place in the world.


paddlingInspired partly by her own spirit of adventure, and partly by the stories of her native coastal ancestors, Irene Skyriver celebrated her fortieth year of life with a solo kayak voyage, paddling from Alaska to her home on Washington’s Lopez Island. Paddling with Spirits interweaves the true account of Irene’s journey with generational stories handed down and vividly re-imagined. The book dips like a paddle itself between the stories of those who inspired her, and Irene’s own journey down a lonely coast.


tear in the soul

A Tear in the Soul by Amanda Webster – Born into privilege and wealth, Amanda is a sixth generation Australian descended from white settlers and the third generation to grow up in Kalgoorlie. When she turned five, Amanda became friends with Aboriginal children from the nearby Kurrawang Mission. Forty years later, she confronts her racist blunders, her cultural ignorance and her family’s secret past. And so begins her journey of reconciliation and friendship, taking her into a world she hardly knew existed.


Congratulations and thank you to all of these fine writers. Let the rains begin; I’m ready!

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