April 2017

The Great Spring:
Writing, Zen, and This Zigzag Life

Natalie Goldberg
Trade Paperback $16.95

Here, Natalie Goldberg, "a writer both energized and enlightened" (Julia Cameron), shares those vivid moments that have wakened her to new ways of being. We follow alongside her mapless meanderings in the New Mexican desert and her pilgrimages to Bob Dylan's birthplace and to Larry McMurtry's dusty Texas ghost town of rare books. We feel her deep hunger while she sits zazen in a monastery in Japan, and her profound loss when she hears of the passing of a dear friend while teaching in the French countryside. Through it all, she remains grounded in a life informed by two constants: the practices of writing and of Zen. With humor and insight, Natalie encircles around the essential questions these paths compel her toward: Where does this life lead? Who are we?


The Benedict Option:
A Strategy for Christians in a Post-Christian Nation

Rod Dreher
Hardcover $25.00

As Rod Dreher describes it, American churches are hollowed out from the inside by the departure of young people and by an insipid pseudo-Christianity. From the outside, they are beset by challenges to religious liberty in a rapidly secularizing culture. Keeping Hillary Clinton out of the White House might have bought a brief reprieve from the state's assault, according to this view, but it will not stop the West's slide into decadence and dissolution. Dreher argues that the way forward is actually the way back—all the way to St. Benedict of Nursia. This sixth-century monk, horrified by the moral chaos following Rome's fall, retreated to the forest and created a new way of life for Christians. He built enduring Christian communities based on principles of order, hospitality, stability, and prayer. His spiritual centers of hope were strongholds of light throughout the Dark Ages, and saved not just Christianity but Western civilization. Today, a new, post-Christian barbarism reigns. Many believers are blind to it, and their churches are too weak to resist. Politics offers little help in this spiritual crisis. What is needed is the Benedict Option, a strategy that draws on the authority of Scripture and the wisdom of the ancient church. The goal: to embrace exile from mainstream culture and construct a resilient counterculture.


The Shepherd's Life:
Modern Dispatches from an Ancient Landscape

James Rebanks
Trade Paperback $17.99

The Shepherd's Life the story of a deep-rooted attachment to place, modern dispatches from an ancient landscape that describe a way of life that is little noticed and yet has profoundly shaped the landscape over time. In evocative and lucid prose, James Rebanks takes us through a shepherd's year, offering a unique account of rural life and a fundamental connection with the land that most of us have lost. It is a story of working lives, the people around him, his childhood, his parents and grandparents, a people who exist and endure even as the culture - of the Lake District in England, and of farming—changes around them.


Scatterlings: Getting Claimed in the Age of Amnesia
Martin Shaw
Trade Paperback $18.95

In "Scatterlings" Martin Shaw walks the myth-lines of seven stories based in and around his homeland of Dartmoor, England. Rather than the commentaries on such tales being primarily balanced against other literary sources, Shaw uses what actually occurs on these walks as the main source of information on the tales. The swoop of raven, the swamp, the thinking that moves through him, all form a knot of relationship between the land and the story. As he walks he tells the story of the place back to itself. This is a highly unusual move for a mythologist, an aspiration to use speech as form of animistic relationship, of binding, of praise to a place. In a time of rapid migrations and climatic movement, Shaw asks: how could we be not just from a place but of a place? When did we trade shelter for comfort? what was the cost of that trade? What are the stories the west tells itself in private? "Scatterlings" also takes us on a wonder through the wild edges of British culture, a story of secret histories: from the ancient storytelling of the bardic schools to medieval dream poetry, from the cunning man to animal call words, to Arabian and steppe Iranian influence on English dialect. Through its astonishing journey, Shaw reveals to us that when you gaze deep enough into the local you find the nomad, and when you look deep enough into the nomad you find the local. "Scatterlings" is a rebel keen, a rising up, to bend your head to the stories and place that claim you.


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