Death & Dying Books, Healing Books, Uncategorized

What to Do When I’m Gone – Charming New Book About Mortality and What We Can Mindfully Leave Behind

Here’s a book I wish I had written, collaborated on, or been the book shepherd or marketer for.  It is beautifully produced and illustrated. It has a fine (perfect) title and an ideal cover (cover brighter than in the photo below), and, just the right amount of content. It combines my love of literature (sharing about what’s meaningful and poignant in life), and my devotion as an end-of-life guide and planner. It also reminds me of another subject dear to my heart –  how I always miss my precious mother even though I’ve found ways to keep her by my side.

DSCN2986
Heart-centered, tender book about dying and transitions by Suzy Hopkins & Hallie Bateman

California-based mother-daughter duo Suzy Hopkins (former editor and reporter) and Hallie Bateman (illustrator) have written and designed an authentic, charming, sometimes humorous ode to mortality including memories we leave behind after we have made our physical departure.

The book is What to Do When I’m Gone – A Mother’s Wisdom to Her Daughter (Bloomsbury USA, April 2018)

I had the pleasure of meeting and engaging with the author mother and her illustrator daughter at Skylight Books in the Los Feliz area of Los Angeles in May 2018. Every seat was filled for this public chat and book signing. Attendees paid close attention to the subject.  The discussion also included the profound connections most mother and daughters have, and how such connections seem to endure for generations.

The concept for the book? Hallie shared how she suffered a nightmare about loosing her mother. Four years later, after much pleading, her mother was convinced to write how Hallie could survive without continuing earthly contact.

Author Suzy Hopkins & Illustrator Daughter Hallie Bateman
Author Suzy Hopkins & Illustrator Daughter Hallie Bateman at Skylight Books, Los Angeles, May 2018

 

Mother Suzy shared it wasn’t easy to write the book. She was overcome with emotion and cried, often.

Some might wonder… how could the subject of anyone’s passing be positive?

One possible answer: The subject contributes to the growing national and worldwide dialogue (at palliative care centers, hospitals, hospices, Death Cafes – see http://www.deathcafe.com – and more) about making friends with eventual death, asking ourselves what we wish to do before our demise. The book is suggesting… let’s talk about it.

When you read the endearing prose with instructions, and savor the sentimental graphics, you’ll get the picture, literally and subliminally. There is also a fair amount of humor as you can (barely) see in my photo shot of the cemetery below where the tombstone reads “I love the idea of people talking about me after I’m gone.”

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Tombstone reads “I love the idea of people talking about me after I’m gone.”  Art work by Hallie Bateman

 

We will all make our transitions one day. If we are mindful, we can assist by being good models for our children, godchildren, siblings, adopted families, friends, and other loved ones.

I recommend this book. As the back cover suggests, “it is a guide to daily living, both practical and sublime!!”

 

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Books, Bookstores, Uncategorized

NY’s Strand Bookstore Owner Passes Away January 2018, Daughter Continues Legacy

For Strand Bookstore fans via the NY Times and Shelf-Awareness…  a history of a bookstore, a book lover, and, news that the legacy continues thru three generations, thank goodness.

“Longtime owner of The Strand bookstore Fred Bass, 89, died on Wednesday(January 3) at home in Manhattan of congestive heart failure. He started working at the store, founded by his father, when he was 13, and just retired last November. During that time, he oversaw the store’s significant growth from its original home on Fourth Street with 70,000 volumes to “the largest used-book store in the world” on Broadway — where he bought the store’s building for $8.2 million in 1997 — with millions of volumes and a storage warehouse in Brooklyn.

“The NYT quotes a remark Bass made to New York Magazine in 1977: “It’s a disease. I get an attack, something like a panic, of book-buying. I simply must keep fresh used books flowing over my shelves. And every day the clerks weed out the unsalable stuff from the shelves and bins and we throw it out. Tons of dead books go out nightly. And bought ’em. But I just have to make room for fresh stock to keep the shelves lively.” His daughter Nancy Bass Wyden now owns the store.

The Strand Book Store in 1938. Photo by The Strand Book Store

Book Covers, Book Fairs, Books, Guadalajara International Book Fair, Uncategorized

Book Covers – Creative Spanish-language Art Covers at Guadalajara Book Fair December 2017

Are you attracted to beautiful, eye-catching, original book covers? I know I am.

Every year at the Guadalajara Book Fair I make a point of stopping by the Libros del Zorro Rojo (Red Zorro Books) stand, a publishing house with offices in Barcelona, Buenos Aires, and Mexico City.  I invariably spend much longer than I had planned to, lured by the brilliance before me.

Here below is some eye candy witnessed at their colorful location in December 2017…

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2017-2018 unique book covers from Libros del Zorro Rojo
On the right, an Italian title translated into Spanish
On the right, an Italian title translated into Spanish – terrific colors, fonts, spacing, shading, visual effect
"dark" titles with unique art work, on the left a Spanish translation from a Franz Kafka German title
“Dark” titles with compelling art work; on the left a Kafka novel translated from the German
Emily Dickinson poetry in the mddle, Lewis Carroll's Alice in the Wonderland on the right
Emily Dickinson poetry in the middle; Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland on the right

The fine artwork for the Emily Dickinson book above is by international award-winning French-Canadian illustrator Isabelle Arsenault.  See http://www.isabellearsenault.com

Simplicity of design with La Vaca Independiente's Frida Kahlo art diary
Simplicity of design with La Vaca Independiente’s Frida Kahlo art diary

La Vaca Independiente is an educational foundation in Mexico City which promotes art as education.  See http://lavaca.edu.mx/Acerca.html

Book interior, reproduction of Frida Kahlo's art diary
Book interior, reproduction of Frida Kahlo’s art diary

Grupo Planeta, with offices in Mexico City, Spain, and satellite Latin American nations, offers a list of Mexican historical titles and recent book covers at the link below…

http://planetadelibrosmexico.com/10-libros-para-comprender-la-historia-de-mexico/

If you are interested in Spanish language book covers (English books translated into Spanish) from the 1930’s, see http://spanishbookcovers.blogspot.com/

Book Fairs, Guadalajara International Book Fair, Uncategorized, Wellness Books

Guadalajara International Book Fair 2017 – Notes from Book Shepherd Wendy

Over 700 authors participated in this year’s Guadalajara International Book Fair (FIL-Feria Internacional del Libro), considered the second largest book fair in the world following the world’s oldest literary gathering, the Frankfurt Book Fair.

Honored authors were Paul Auster of the U.S. (nominated for this year’s Booker Prize), and French born social justice journalist and author Elena Poniatowska of Mexico, now 88 years old but looking 50-60 years young.

French author and filmmaker Emmanuel Carrere received this year’s Premio FIL de Literature en Lenguas Romances (Literary Prize for Romance Languages), Latin America’s most important literary prize worth $150,000 USD.

Chilean author and actress Nona Fernandez won the Premio de Literatura Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz for her novel set during the Pinochet dictatorship which, according to the jury, expressed “emotions of an entire nation with respect to a dark and shameful past.”

I attended the FIL to view non-fiction Body/Mind/Spirit and wellness books, the area I devote myself to as a book shepherd. Again this year I represented Spanish language book rights for authors and met with various publishing houses.

Here below is a quick view of some stands and titles I saw for my work…

Yoga books from Prana (Lectorum), Mexico City
Yoga books from Prana (Lectorum) Mexico City
Nirvana Libros mindfulness titles
Nirvana Libros mindfulness titles
Ediciones Urano wellness titles
Ediciones Urano wellness titles

Dr. Paul Kalanthi’s poetic and memorable When Breath Becomes Air got a bashing when its Spanish title became The Good Doctor with a cover that doesn’t seem to match its sensitive and meaningful content.  Both title and cover are examples of cultural differences showing how much I have yet to learn. ?#@!!! See the Spanish version below which was well featured during the FIL.

The Spanish version of When Breath Becomes Air
The Spanish-language version of the NY Times best seller When Breath Becomes Air

I was pleased to see Zen Hospice founder Frank Osteseski’s The Five Invitations, a healing Buddhist approach to death and dying published by Oceano.

Oceano featured Ostaseski's The Five Invitationss
Oceano featured Ostaseski’s The Five Invitations
Wendy Jane Carrel at Oceano stand meeting with Editorial Coordinator Guadalupe Ordaz
Wendy Jane Carrel at Oceano stand meeting with Editorial Coordinator Guadalupe Ordaz

The fair took place Saturday, November 25 thru December 3.  The nine days will included more than 750,000 visitors (several days are open to the public at minimal cost), 1,900 publishing houses from 41 countries, and 700+ hours of cultural programming.  This year’s honored guest was the City of Madrid with exhibits and activities sharing its art, cinema, literature, music.

See http://www.fil.com,mx  or https://www.fil.com.mx/ingles/i_info/i_info_fil.asp   The FIL is held at the Guadalajara Expo.

 

Books, Bookstores, Los Angeles, Uncategorized

Amazon Opens Brick & Mortar Bookstore in Los Angeles; Bodhi Tree LA On-Line Instead

Amazon.com opened its first brick & mortar store at Century City’s Westfield Mall in Los Angeles on October 3, 2017. The over 5,000 square foot wood-floored space is at 10250 Santa Monica Blvd. Tel. (310)734-5949  Hours are 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.

I managed to visit the store October 7 to scout for psychology and social science books as comps for a book I am shepherding that will be published in late spring 2018.

Amazon bookstore Century City, Los Angeles
Amazon bookstore Century City, Los Angeles

It was quiet for a Saturday. Young guides asked if it was my first visit and then prompted me to use an Amazon.com app to identify book prices as no costs are marked.

New books were promoted  beside long-time best sellers in spaces organized by genre – fiction, psychology, etc.

Once you’ve chosen your merchandise – books, cards, coloring books, knickknacks, you proceed to the cashier.

Check-out line Amazon Books, Century City
Check-out line Amazon Books, Century City

I have only been to the Century City store once. I find I’m still ordering from Amazon on-line even if I have to pay for postage.

Note: Amazon recently hired Steve Kessel as VP in charge of all brick and mortar operations including Amazon Books, Whole Foods, etc. with the goal of re-inventing how customers shop in stores.  Let’s see how this will evolve in a space currently without much eye candy.  Or do we absolutely have to have eye candy and more choices?!!

I still miss my all-time favorite LA bookstore, the Bodhi Tree, formerly housed on Melrose Avenue. It closed five years ago.

The Bodhi Tree first opened in 1970 and quickly became a haven for spiritual seekers. Over the years it hosted well-known writers and thought leaders from the Body/Mind/Spirit world.

The new venture, incubating since the store closure, is completely on-line with new and antiquarian books.  The experience is not quite the same without incense burning and hot cinnamon tea to sip. But let’s see how this will evolve. Every new invention requires time.

The on-line store also offers sacred Buddhist and Hindu treasures for the home, wellness beauty products, and healing items. You can find the metaphysical mercantile at http://www.BodhiTree.com  or by writing  hello@bodhitree.com.

 

Antiquarian Book Dealers, Asian art books, Books, Bookstores, Rare Book Dealers, rare books, scholarly books, Uncategorized

San Francisco Rare Book Dealer Talks About How He is Going Out of Business – Asian, European, and American Art Collections

Here below you will find a link to an article from the Rare Book Hub with commentary by its editor Bruce McKinney about Marc Sena Carrel, an antiquarian book dealer based in the San Francisco Bay Area who is divesting of his business – Chinese and Japanese arts and antiquities books, Asian art prints, European and American art books, and other collectibles on art, archaeology, and design.

The November 1, 2017 article includes Marc Sena Carrel’s story about how he plans to exit the bookseller business.

http://www.rarebookhub.com/articles/2319 

Artistotle Volumes I-IV
Aristotle Volumes I-IV

The carefully curated collection of scholarly books is currently on view at http://www.bookcarrel.com.

Alt-Kutscha
Alt-Kutscha by Albert Grunwedel, 1920

 

Marc Sena Carrel, rare book dealer
Marc Sena Carrel, rare book dealer

*The last name of Mr. Carrel is the same as mine. That is no mere coincidence. He is my brother and I am proud to mention his life long passion for collecting fine books and his decision to sell what he so efficiently and diligently has found for appreciative readers.

 

 

Books, Uncategorized

The Atlas of Beauty – New Photography Book Featuring Authentic World Beauty

Mihaela Noroc, a young Romanian photographer, traveled to 50 countries and found 500 unique women of all ages to pose as her subjects. She has compiled the photos into a book, The Atlas of Beauty.

The women are of all ages.

Mihaela shares a brief story about each one.

Engaging, dazzling photography, appealing subject matter. Remarkable faces.

Natural beauty speaks for itself and seems far more interesting than “created” glamour beauty. Well, that’s my take on it. The women also seem healthy. In the interests of all around wellness and wholesomeness, I support Mihaela’s inspirational project.

The web site for the book is http://www.theatlasofbeauty.com

Forbes magazine has published a fine piece about Mihaela’s talent with photo examples – a Syrian mother with two daughters in a refugee camp, a North Korean female museum guard, a lone woman on a train in Rajasthan, India.  https://www.forbes.com/sites/guymartin/2017/09/30/photographer-mihaela-noroc-explores-the-worlds-great-faces-in-the-atlas-of-beauty/#456eeb3d4eac

The link to the book on Amazon.com is https://www.amazon.com/s/?ie=UTF8&keywords=mihaela+noroc&tag=mh0b-20&index=aps&hvadid=77790480037028&hvqmt=e&hvbmt=be&hvdev=c&ref=pd_sl_8qaahut94q_e

Here is a You Tube book trailer for you to view:

Books, Uncategorized

PBS Launches Great American Read in Spring 2018

 

Here is something I, and probably you, am looking forward to…

Found the announcement today on my http://www.ShelfAwareness.com newsletter.

The Great American Read launches in spring 2018 with a multi-platform digital and social campaign leading up to the reveal of the 100 books selected by the American public and an advisory panel of literary professionals. Beginning with a two-hour kick-off event in May, the documentary special will feature appearances by celebrities and everyday Americans passionately advocating for and explaining their personal connections to their favorite books.”

Hurrah for books and any program which may promote reading. Excellent!!

http://www.pbs.org/about/blogs/news/pbs-celebrates-the-joy-of-reading-with-the-great-american-read-wt/

Posted by noodlesabout four years ago
Book Clubs, Book Clubs Around the World, Books, Healing Books, Health Books, Uncategorized, Wellness Books

Book Clubs Around the World, Even for Americans Abroad

How do you find a book club?  Where are book clubs? What are the possible benefits?

Goodreads.com lists 710 groups with diverse interests in countries as far flung as Malaysia and as close as Mexico.

Clubs are focused on innumerable subjects – business, feminism, films based on books, gardening, LGBT, memoir, politics, romance novels, science fiction, Japanese thrillers, YA (Young Adult fiction), those that have won awards, etc.

There used to be clubs on radio and TV you could listen to, participating only as a reader – The Oprah Winfrey Show, Good Morning America Book Club, NPR’s Book Club of the Air with Ray Suarez, and even a “Wake-Up Reading” Club in Spanish hosted by Jorge Ramos on Univision. 

Now, there are special book news reports on TV (mostly PBS), as well as podcasts that stream 24/7 on on-line radio programs.

In June of this year the American Library Association inaugurated, with actress Sarah Jessica Parker, a new book club, a national book club.  See http://www.bookclubcentral.org as well as the live video link from ABC News in the reference section below.  The Book Club Central link will show you how to register for the newsletter and club if interested. I imagine most of the recommended reading will be similar to Oprah or Costco picks, award-winning fiction with original voices.

But for those of you who love reading, AND those of you who enjoy social engagement and dialogue over listening to radio or TV reviews/interviews, there are book clubs, probably in your own community.

Library room with comfy places to sit and read in the sun. Maybe a bay window and window seat
 photo from livebreathedecor.com

(If the home above were mine, I would invite book club members to meet. I’d add comfy pillows to the wicker love seat, another club chair, a sofa. I’d distribute books, serve tea, and delight in the company and the exchange).

The easiest ways to learn about local clubs are to ask local writers, writers groups, and librarians; look on-line for book groups at http://www.MeetUp.com (search by city, state, country); search community bulletin boards and activities listed in newspapers; or, Google what you wish to find. And if there isn’t a club that matches your preferences, perhaps you can start one.

In August of 2016 an enterprising Canadian accountant, retired, decided to start a non-fiction book club at Lake Chapala, Mexico, about an hour south of Guadalajara, the country’s second largest city.  His plan was to discover and read engaging English-language books, and, attract members of the community who represented diverse nationalities, experiences, and opinions.

“In a world of growing polarization and conflict, the members of the Ajijic Book Club, in a spirit of celebrating the oneness of humanity, seek to engage in civil dialogue with each other especially when confronted by deeply held opposing views,” states the founder.

Even though some of the residents at the lake are snowbirds, living only six months a year in Mexico, others reside full-time, up to and including residents who are published authors.

To discuss various subjects the Ajijic Book Club has gathered psychotherapists (one an author), a lawyer, an American MD (also author) who worked for the World Health Organization, a businessman (also author) who started a hospice in Canada, a non-profit administrator from the states who became a yoga teacher, a Canadian English literature professor born and raised in Germany, a retired Canadian foreign service officer, an American hospice nurse, and the founder, Dutch born but raised in Nova Scotia and Calgary, among other members.

See http://www.AjijicBookClub.com for a list of books recently read and reviewed. The book scheduled for January 2018 discussion is:

  A Disappearance in Damascus by Deborah Campbell journalist, winner of the prestigious Hilary Weston Writers’ Trust award for 2016. The book video can be viewed at this link https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZSl5BqSfbmI

Benefits of book clubs?     Meeting people in your community, exchanges on subjects you are passionate about, a way to expose your book if you are an author, a way to keep your mind sharp no matter where you are living on the planet.

Ex-pat (not a term I favor) book clubs around the world, which include not only Americans but Aussies, Brits, Canadians and other nationalities, can be found in Abu Dhabi, Australia, Hong Kong, Istanbul, London, Paris, Singapore, The Hague, Tokyo, and a myriad of other places. The Paris meetup calls itself the Paris Anglophone Book Club. It has over 2,000 members.

References

http://abcnews.go.com/Entertainment/sarah-jessica-parker-picks-1st-reading-selection-national/story?id=48237959

http://www.meetup.com

https://mmlafleur.com/mdash/types-of-book-clubs   (humorous)

http://www.oprah.com/omagazine/New-Book-Clubs-A-Different-Kind-of-Book-Club   new book clubs on the horizon

The Paris Anglophone Book Club

Paris, FR
2,486 Book lovers

If you love reading, live in Paris, but don’t feel up to discussing the finer points of Proust in French, welcome to an English-speaking book club.We’ll meet once a month to …

Next Meetup

Conservative Meetup – Mr. Sammler’s Planet by Saul Bellow

Monday, Nov 19, 2018, 8:00 PM
13 Attending

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Best-Selling Books, Books, Libraries, Uncategorized

Most Popular Books 2016 New York Public Library System

 New York Public Library, New York City    Photo by and from srg85.wordpress.com

 

Shelf-Awareness.com just posted the post popular books list from the 2016 New York Public Library System.

There are 92 New York Public Libraries in the New York City area. According to the article, 25 million items (books, tapes, etc.) were circulated in 2016.

I am pleased to see that my favorite title, for personal and professional reasons, When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalinthi, M.D., was no. 1 in its non-fiction area. It was followed by high readership of Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters by Atul Gawande. M.D.  (See my comments in previous blog about best-seller book lists for 2016). Both books are about quality of life at the end-of-life.

Here is the NY Public Library list…

https://www.nypl.org/blog/2016/12/22/nypls-most-popular-checkouts-2016