“Mass” by Leonard Bernstein

I heard Bernstein’s Mass on the radio as a kid and was hooked by both the words and the music. I bought the double CD set at some point, but hadn’t listened to it for years. I got it out recently, thinking about interfaith. It’s a theater piece of a full Latin mass, interspersed with […]

“Sea Change” by S. M. Wheeler

Recommended to me by: s.e. smith at this ain’t livin’

This wild fantasy felt true to me, true to inner journeys and struggles and transformations. It has violence in it, but not a lot compared to the modern fashion, and deaths are grieved instead of being passed over without comment. Heroes, villains, and monsters […]

“The Stone Lions” by Gwen Dandridge

Recommended to me by: Knowing the author and reading early drafts long ago

I expected this book to feel a little repetitive since I read so many early drafts. Instead, it was riveting! I found myself not wanting to stop to go to bed, and wanting to pick it up again the next morning […]

“What Every Singer Needs to Know About the Body” by Malde, Allen, Zeller

Authors: Melissa Malde, MaryJean Allen, Kurt-Alexander Zeller

I read this as a followup to What Every Musician Needs to Know About the Body, since I’m a singer, not a musician. I expected it to be similarly playful and filled with illustrations more than words. I also expected it to cover very similar material.

I […]

“Bloodchild and Other Stories” by Octavia Butler

Recommended to me by: Marissa Lingen

Octavia Butler wrote apocalyptic science fiction stories full of the rawness of humanity and survival. One story addresses how stranded humans could pay rent on a foreign planet. Another looks at a terrible disease that is genetically dominant. Another is a vignette from a future when an epidemic […]

“Pure” by Julianna Baggott

Recommended to me by: s.e. smith at this ain’t livin’

This is a layered, well-crafted dystopian science-fiction novel offering both entertainment and examination of modern issues. It has scientific advances and their consequences, predictable heterosexual teen romances, well-developed female characters, adventures, violence, nuances of interaction, and a detailed sense of place.

Where many books […]

“The Georgian Feast” by Darra Goldstein

Subtitle: The Vibrant Culture and Savory Food of the Republic of Georgia

In Georgian singing classes, we talked about the integral role of singing in Georgian feasts, or supras. However, this book only had a one-sentence aside about singing. The rest is a Georgian travelogue and recipe book. It seems that different travelers focus […]

“The Horse Boy” by Rupert Isaacson

Subtitle: A Father’s Quest to Heal His Son

Recommended to me by: Kristin Neff mentions her husband’s book about their journey to Mongolia in her book Self-Compassion.

Rupert Isaacson writes about how his intuition and determination (and privilege) bring him to Mongolia where horseback riding and shamans help his autistic son Rowan.

He […]

“99 Georgian Songs” by Edisher Garakanidze

Subtitle: A collection of traditional folk, church and urban songs from Georgia

Recommended to me by: Jen Morris

This is primarily a book of sheet music, so I have not read it cover to cover, but it contains a lot of background material on Georgian music, as well as useful nuggets of information with […]

“The Bear That Wasn’t” by Frank Tashlin

Recommended to me by: A client.

This children’s book was written in 1946 about a bear who emerges from peaceful hibernation to find that a factory has been built around his cave. The factory managers tell him to get to work. When he protests that he is a bear, one manager after another tells […]