Although I’ve been focusing primarily on visual media within this “Media That Matters,” I have noticed, as have many other people, that books can also change lives. Do you recall books that turned you on to new ideas or a new direction in life? I recall encountering Thoreau’s Walden and Cervantes’ Don Quixote when I was a teen and then seeing life differently after reading each.
Later during and following college, I was inspired by quite a parade of literary classics, poetry collections, and inspirational books such as Rick Warren’s, Purpose Driven Life and Martin Exeter’s, On Eagle’s Wings. I recommend them.
If you have never sampled the website called “Publisher’s Marketplace” (www.publishersmarketplace.com), you might wish to have a look because it describes new books long before they are published. Following are a couple of books with spiritual themes to be printed next year that caught my eye as described on the PM website.
MIRACLES WE HAVE SEEN: Pediatrician and parenting expert Dr. Harley Rotbart’s is writing Miracles We Have Seen, a collection of essays from leading physicians, describing medical events they can’t explain, from extraordinary awakenings and cures, to spectacular serendipity, to silver linings in otherwise tragic circumstances, reminding us that what we don’t know isn’t necessarily cause for fear, and can even be reason for hope. (published by HCI.)
LIVING LIFE TO THE FULLEST; NO EXCUSES: Military hero, motivational speaker, Men’s Health Ultimate Guy and Dancing With the Stars personality Noah Galloway’s Living Life to the Fullest; No Excuses, in which the author shares his inspirational life story and how losing his arm and leg to an IED attack during Operation Iraqi Freedom forced him to relearn how to live and how to live to the fullest, against all odds. (Published by Center Street ).
Publisher’s Marketplace lists perhaps twenty to forty new titles each day. Each month I usually find one or two that promises to elevate the reader such as the two above.
The book I am most looking forward to seeing in print is David Karchere’s Becoming a Sun. If you are finding this primal spirituality website a match for your own aspirations, then read this book! A highly inspiring speaker and workshop leader worldwide, David is also the spiritual leader of a group called The Emissaries of Divine Light who are headquartered in Colorado. David is also a great musician, poet, and long-time friend.
Becoming a Sun (approximately 250 pp.) includes both David’s prose and poetry and lets readers know how we may each ‘become a sun’ by which David means to become a source of warmth, gravity, constancy, and atmosphere in which others are “held.” His book is a great introduction to how our primal spirituality is known and expressed. Becoming a Sun is scheduled to be published by Bestseller Publishing this November.
When I was in college the saying that “he wrote the book on it”often proved literally true. I was able to study with professors who were leading experts in a field so their books were often seen as definitive on a topic students wished to study. You would hear students say “he wrote the book” and they would mean the required book for that course.
But the phrase “he wrote the book on it” also has a less literal meaning which is “he is the last word on…” or “she speaks with great authority on …” In this sense, it is great to sense that books such as those referenced above are written not only by those with expertise but also those who “walk the walk.”
In such cases, you can tell a book by its cover since the title is backed by decades of authentic living. Books championed in this “Media that Matter” blog are written by authors who mean what they say.
In that light, I recommend that we not think of messages in print as increasingly obsolete or ineffectual. Rather, from the standpoint of primal spirituality, obsolescence must be reserved for fake living. Millions of people continue to read books that change lives. It is books like Becoming a Sun which, unlike coca-cola, are the real thing.
TOM COOPER is currently guest scholar at the East-West Center, University of Hawaii, Stanford and Berkeley and professor at Emerson College (Boston). Musician, black belt, and playwright, he has written eight books and two hundred published articles, been advisor to the Elders Project (with Nelson Mandela, Kofi Annan, Jimmy Carter and others), co-nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize, and is co-publisher of MEDIA ETHICS magazine.