“A Theory of Everything” by Ken Wilber

Subtitle: An Integral Vision for Business, Politics, Science, and Spirituality

Recommended to me by: David Mitchell

I read this book to learn about Spiral Dynamics, a classification of cultures that makes room for change and values all levels, from bare subsistence to military control to cooperative and aware. The levels are labeled with colors […]

“Core Awareness” by Liz Koch

Subtitle: Enhancing Yoga, Pilates, Exercise, and Dance

Recommended to me by: David Mitchell

I enthusiastically endorse this book’s focus on awareness, especially in core areas that we often learn to block out. The psoas muscles connects the front of the lumbar spine to the inside of the pelvis to the inner upper femur, all […]

“The Focusing Student’s and Companion’s Manual” by Barbara McGavin and Ann Weiser Cornell

Recommended to me by: Jael Emberley

I took Focusing classes I and II from Jael Emberley, and bought both parts of the manual, even though the second part is for classes III and IV. Both parts are written in clear, friendly language, and delightfully illustrated by Mary Ferris. Her expressive line drawings of anthropomorphized […]

“How to Learn the Alexander Technique” by Barbara Conable

Subtitle: A Manual for Students

Recommended to me by: reading Conable’s previous book, What Every Musician Needs to Know About the Body

This book is less playful and more dense than What Every Musician Needs to Know About the Body, but it is not at all the dry instruction manual I thought it would […]

“Marbles: Mania, Depression, Michelangelo, and Me: A Graphic Memoir” by Ellen Forney

The story and drawings quickly engaged me, despite the author’s sometimes bizarre, sometimes heavy journey through mania, depression, and eventually, balance. She has the fantastic support of her mom, friends, and psychiatrist, but still struggles for years before finding a set of meds that works for her.

In depression, she can barely get […]

“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 […]

“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 […]

“What Every Musician Needs to Know About the Body” by Barbara Conable

Subtitle: The Practical Application of Body Mapping and the Alexander Technique to Making Music

Recommended to me by: Rosi Goldsmith

This book is filled with detailed illustrations of the body’s structure and how the parts work together, presented in a playful, declarative way. “If you already have a very free neck, Celebrate!”

I was […]

“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 […]

“Unlimited…” by Ani Rose Whaleswan

This is a book of 18 poems and 13 paintings about Ani Rose Whaleswan’s healing from extreme abuse. From the back cover: “She believes too that art is healing, and healing is an art.”

The paintings are colorful, vivid, powerful. Each one is accompanied by a paragraph of background or interpretation.

The poems are concrete, […]