Book Ish: The Canon Continues
#021: “The Wisdom of Insecurity” by Alan Watts (with guest host, Matthew J. Distefano)

#021: “The Wisdom of Insecurity” by Alan Watts (with guest host, Matthew J. Distefano)

December 29, 2020

Michelle and guest host, Matthew J. Distefano, explore The Wisdom of Insecurity: A Message for an Age of Anxiety by Alan Watts. Their conversation covers spiritual effort, deconstruction, and more.

From the back cover: "Spending all our time trying to anticipate and plan for the future and to lamenting the past, we forget to embrace the here and now. We are so concerned with tomorrow that we forget to enjoy today. Drawing from Eastern philosophy and religion, Alan Watts shows that it is only by acknowledging what we do not—and cannot—know that we can learn anything truly worth knowing."

About Matthew: "Matthew J. Distefano is the author of multiple best-selling books, co-host of two podcasts, a long-time social worker, and hip-hop artist. He lives in Northern California with his wife and daughter."

#020: “Who Do You Serve, Who Do You Protect?” A Truthout Collection (with guest host, Dallas Verity)

#020: “Who Do You Serve, Who Do You Protect?” A Truthout Collection (with guest host, Dallas Verity)

December 15, 2020

Michelle and guest host, Dallas Verity, tackle Who Do You Serve, Who Do You Protect?: Police Violence and Resistance in the United States, A Truthout Collection. Their conversation covers defunding the police, marginalized communities, injustice, and more.

From the back cover: "What is the reality of policing in the United States? Do the police keep anyone safe and secure other than the very wealthy? How do recent police killings of young black people in the United States fit into the historical and global context of anti-blackness?  This collection of reports and essays (the first collaboration between Truthout and Haymarket Books) explores police violence against black, brown, indigenous and other marginalized communities, miscarriages of justice, and failures of token accountability and reform measures. It also makes a compelling and provocative argument against calling the police.  Contributions cover a broad range of issues including the killing by police of black men and women, police violence against Latino and indigenous communities, law enforcement's treatment of pregnant people and those with mental illness, and the impact of racist police violence on parenting, as well as specific stories such as a Detroit police conspiracy to slap murder convictions on young black men using police informant and the failure of Chicago's much-touted Independent Police Review Authority, the body supposedly responsible for investigating police misconduct. The title Who Do You Serve, Who Do You Protect? is no mere provocation: the book also explores alternatives for keeping communities safe.  Contributors include William C. Anderson, Candice Bernd, Aaron Cantú, Thandi Chimurenga, Ejeris Dixon, Adam Hudson, Victoria Law, Mike Ludwig, Sarah Macaraeg, and Roberto Rodriguez."

About Dallas: "Dallas Verity is a podcaster, former pastor, husband, and father. He loves Jesus... he just hasn’t figured out any of the other stuff yet."

#019: “The End of Policing” by Alex S. Vitale

#019: “The End of Policing” by Alex S. Vitale

December 1, 2020

Michelle explores The End of Policing by Alex S. Vitale. She explores police brutality, the militarization of law enforcement, and much more.

From the back cover: "The problem is not overpolicing, it is policing itself. Why we need to defund the police and how we get there.

Recent weeks have seen an explosion of protest against police brutality and repression. Among activists, journalists and politicians, the conversation about how to respond and improve policing has focused on accountability, diversity, training, and community relations. Unfortunately, these reforms will not produce results, either alone or in combination. The core of the problem must be addressed: the nature of modern policing itself.

This book attempts to spark public discussion by revealing the tainted origins of modern policing as a tool of social control. It shows how the expansion of police authority is inconsistent with community empowerment, social justice— even public safety. Drawing on groundbreaking research from across the world, and covering virtually every area in the increasingly broad range of police work, Alex Vitale demonstrates how law enforcement has come to exacerbate the very problems it is supposed to solve.

In contrast, there are places where the robust implementation of policing alternatives—such as legalization, restorative justice, and harm reduction—has led to a decrease in crime, spending, and injustice. The best solution to bad policing may be an end to policing."

#018: “Sex, God, and Rock ‘n’ Roll” by Barry Taylor (with guest host, Danielle Kingstrom)

#018: “Sex, God, and Rock ‘n’ Roll” by Barry Taylor (with guest host, Danielle Kingstrom)

November 3, 2020

Michelle and guest host, Danielle Kingstrom, discuss Sex, God, and Rock 'n' Roll: Catastrophes, Epiphanies, and Sacred Anarchies by Barry Taylor. Their conversation covers desire vs. love, psychedelics, personal growth, and more.

From the back cover: "Each of us experience moments that shift the axis of our lives, nudging us into new perspectives and sometimes altering our course completely. These are thread--threads that seem mundane, silly, or even trite but, woven together over the course of a life, bring us to places we never imagined.  Sex, God, and Rock 'n' Roll is a story of such threads in one extraordinary life. Barry Taylor began adulthood on the road with a world-famous rock band, and there he found religion. He then became a theologian, priest, teacher, and a theist-non-theist-post-theist. Some of his stories will shock and others will provoke laughter and tears. Taken together, they will show just how poignantly the sacred moves in all of our lives."

About Danielle: "Danielle is a writer, podcaster, and home-school teacher. She lives in rural Minnesota on a farm with her husband and five children. When she is not reading, writing, or self-educating; she can be found outdoors in nature’s naked elements. Unafraid of sparking controversy, Danielle is a frequently published author, appearing regularly in her community’s local newspaper; writing about provocative issues and asking challenging questions that raise a few eyebrows. She is currently working on two books."

#017: “The Four Agreements” by Don Miguel Ruiz

#017: “The Four Agreements” by Don Miguel Ruiz

October 20, 2020

Michelle explores The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom by Don Miguel Ruiz. She discusses self-limiting beliefs, personal suffering, and more.

From the back cover: "In The Four Agreements, bestselling author Don Miguel Ruiz reveals the source of self-limiting beliefs that rob us of joy and create needless suffering. Based on ancient Toltec wisdom, The Four Agreements offer a powerful code of conduct that can rapidly transform our lives to a new experience of freedom, true happiness, and love."

#016: “Untamed” by Glennon Doyle (with guest host, Laura Forehand)

#016: “Untamed” by Glennon Doyle (with guest host, Laura Forehand)

October 6, 2020

Michelle and guest host, Laura Forehand, discuss Untamed by Glennon Doyle. Their conversation explores finding your voice, breaking out of self-limiting beliefs, and more.

From the back cover: "There is a voice of longing inside each woman. We strive so mightily to be good: good partners, daughters, mothers, employees, and friends. We hope all this striving will make us feel alive. Instead, it leaves us feeling weary, stuck, overwhelmed, and underwhelmed. We look at our lives and wonder: Wasn’t it all supposed to be more beautiful than this? We quickly silence that question, telling ourselves to be grateful, hiding our discontent—even from ourselves.

Soulful and uproarious, forceful and tender, Untamed is both an intimate memoir and a galvanizing wake-up call. It is the story of how one woman learned that a responsible mother is not one who slowly dies for her children, but one who shows them how to fully live. It is the story of navigating divorce, forming a new blended family, and discovering that the brokenness or wholeness of a family depends not on its structure but on each member’s ability to bring her full self to the table. And it is the story of how each of us can begin to trust ourselves enough to set boundaries, make peace with our bodies, honor our anger and heartbreak, and unleash our truest, wildest instincts so that we become women who can finally look at ourselves and say: There She Is.

Untamed shows us how to be brave. As Glennon insists: The braver we are, the luckier we get."

About Laura: "Laura Forehand is a teacher and the co-creator of The Desert Sanctuary podcast. She is married to her husband, Karl, of 32 years and has one dog named Winston. Her three children are grown and are beginning to multiply."

#015: What’s Happening and What’s Coming Up

#015: What’s Happening and What’s Coming Up

September 22, 2020

Michelle pays tribute to Ruth Bader Ginsburg, gives a sneak preview of upcoming books and cohosts, and requests book suggestions from listeners.

#014: “Real Power” by Janet O. Hagberg

#014: “Real Power” by Janet O. Hagberg

August 25, 2020

Michelle delves into Real Power: Stages of Personal Power in Organizations by Janet O. Hagberg. She explores the power continuum, the dark side of each stage, and more.

From the back cover: "Janet O. Hagberg has written a dynamic book about power—real, personal power for forward-looking people in organizations who want to harness their own power for the common good. "I wrote this book," says Hagberg, "to transform the way we think about power and leadership. It takes people on a journey beyond achievement and success to a stance in which power comes from their inner core and they lead from their souls."

There is no doubt that the world is ready for a new model of leadership. In this third edition, Janet Hagberg addresses much that she has learned from her readers. The result is a deepening of the descriptions of each stage, a new way to think about the dark side of each stage, new stories of each stage derived from her readers, a connection to the spirituality expressed at each stage, as well a description of "The Wall" between Stages Four and Five. Throughout the book, the author adds more of her personal story to illustrate her experiences and observations of each of the stages of power."

#013: “Ditching Imposter Syndrome” by Clare Josa

#013: “Ditching Imposter Syndrome” by Clare Josa

August 11, 2020

Michelle explores Ditching Imposter Syndrome: How To Finally Feel Good Enough And Become The Leader You Were Born To Be by Clare Josa. She explores self-limiting beliefs, the "internal editor", gratitude, and more.

From the back cover: "Leading is hard enough without lying awake at 3 a.m. worrying that ‘they’ might find out you’re not good enough. Or that you don’t know as much as you should. Or that they might suss you’re a fraud, you don’t belong and got to where you are by accident or luck. There’s a name for this: Imposter Syndrome - and it’s time to ditch it! In this ground-breaking book, Clare Josa guides you through the revolutionary five-step strategy she has created over the past fifteen years of mentoring women in leadership roles, so that you can set yourself free from Imposter Syndrome, for good. In Ditching Imposter Syndrome you’ll discover why mindset-based, cognitive approaches haven’t worked for you in the past and exactly how Imposter Syndrome affects your performance and causes so much stress - and worse. Clare's inspirational, practical exercises bring you the best from the worlds of practical psychology, NLP, Leadership Development, the neuroscience of performance, and demystified ancient wisdom. This is blended into simple steps that mean you can spot and release Imposter Syndrome's deeply subconscious drivers, in a way that’s fast, fun and forever. If you’re hungry to move from the fear of being found out as a ‘fraud leader’ to becoming the ‘thought leader’ the world needs you to be, the practical strategies in Ditching Imposter Syndrome will help you to create breakthroughs in minutes, not months."

#012: “Stamped from the Beginning” by Ibram X. Kendi (with guest host, Dillon Naber Cruz)

#012: “Stamped from the Beginning” by Ibram X. Kendi (with guest host, Dillon Naber Cruz)

July 28, 2020

Michelle and returning guest host, Dillon Naber Cruz, discuss Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America by Ibram X. Kendi. Their conversation explores racism, segregation, white privilege, and more.

From the back cover: "The National Book Award-winning history of how racist ideas were created, spread, and deeply rooted in American society.

Some Americans insist that we're living in a post-racial society. But racist thought is not just alive and well in America—it is more sophisticated and more insidious than ever. And as award-winning historian Ibram X. Kendi argues, racist ideas have a long and lingering history, one in which nearly every great American thinker is complicit.

In this deeply researched and fast-moving narrative, Kendi chronicles the entire story of anti-black racist ideas and their staggering power over the course of American history. He uses the life stories of five major American intellectuals to drive this history: Puritan minister Cotton Mather, Thomas Jefferson, abolitionist William Lloyd Garrison, W.E.B. Du Bois, and legendary activist Angela Davis.

As Kendi shows, racist ideas did not arise from ignorance or hatred. They were created to justify and rationalize deeply entrenched discriminatory policies and the nation's racial inequities.

In shedding light on this history, Stamped from the Beginning offers us the tools we need to expose racist thinking. In the process, he gives us reason to hope."

About Dillon: "I am a tattooed theologian who currently resides in Lancaster, PA. I am also the author of the book Go Golden: Applying a Universal Religious Teaching and the Ethics of Permaculture to Create a Sustainable, Just, Happier World, published in 2018 by Wipf and Stock Publishers. My theological interests include ecological sustainability, living into the kingdom of God, reflecting on the social and historical contexts of Jesus’ life and ministry, and deconstructing from fundamentalism. My theological education was undertaken at Lancaster Theological Seminary where I received an M.A. in religion in 2018. My B.A. in history and I have multiple Permaculture Design Certifications including an Advanced Design Practicum from Oregon State University."

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