Reveal (A Sacred Manual for Getting Spiritually Naked) by Meggan Watterson

Date: 5/1/17REVEAL

Cost:  $1.15 used on amazon

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Goodreads Synopsis: Harvard-trained theologian Meggan Watterson marched out of her church at age ten. With little-girl clarity, she knew something tremendously crucial was missing…the voices of women. Watterson became a theologian and a pilgrim to the divine feminine to find the missing stories and images of women’s spiritual voices. She knew women’s voices had never been silenced, just buried. But what she truly sought was her own spiritual voice inside her—the one veiled beneath years of self-doubt. At a sacred site of the Black Madonna in Europe, Watterson had a revelation that changed her. Rather than transcending the body, denying or ignoring it, being spiritual for her meant accepting her body as sacred. Only then, Watterson realized could she hear the voice of unfaltering love inside her- the voice of her soul.   With passion, humor, and brutal honesty, Watterson draws on ancient stories and lesser-known texts of the divine feminine, like The Gospel of Mary Magdalene, making them modern and accessible to reveal the spiritual process she went through. She suggests that being spiritual is simply about stripping down to the truth of who we really are. Through her extensive work with women, Watterson found that she was not alone. There are countless women who long for a spirituality that encourages embodiment rather than denies it, that inspires them to abandon their fears but never themselves, and to be led by the audacious and fiercely loving voice of truth inside them. No matter where you rest on the spectrum of spirituality; religious or secular, devout believer or chronic doubter, freelance mystic or borderline agnostic, this story is about the desire in all of us to want to shed everything that holds us back. Reveal provides what religions have left out—the spiritual voice of a woman who has claimed her body as sacred—a woman who has found the divine insider her. In essence, this is a manual for revealing your soul. “I have spent the majority of my life gathering stories of the divine feminine. Each time before getting my masters degrees in theology and divinity, I went on a pilgrimage to sacred sites of the divine feminine throughout Europe. The first one was with a group and the second was on my own…
The stories of the divine feminine, of Christianity’s Mary Magdalene, Catholicism’s Black Madonna, Hinduism’s Kali ma, and Buddhism’s Green Tara for example, allowed me to begin to see that I wasn’t as much of a spiritual misfit as I had thought. There was a red thread that became visible to me that ran through so many of the world religions, especially through their mystics, relating that the way to find the divine is to go within. And, that our potential to be transformed by going inward is exactly the same whether we are a man or a woman. The real barometer of our spiritual potential is not our sex, but the commitment of our desire to want to encounter the divine.” Excerpt from Reveal

Response: This book took me some time to read because as I was reading it, I felt like I was on a spiritual adventure myself.

I recently graduated from University and have been struggling to find my place in the world and this book really helped me be okay with taking time to find whats best for me.

Watterson describes her many pilgrimages while trying to come in contact with her true meggan-wattersonspiritual identity. This book is stepping stone in the right direction of a lost soul. I loved the detail, the personality and the depth that this journey had.

It was just so spiritually heavy that I felt like I wanted to read it as slowly as possible so I could soak up every moment of it. I wanted to experience such closeness with other lost souls. I wanted to take every moment of Wattersons journey and experience it myself to the fullest extent. I wished to be seeing the Black Madonna by her side.

Anyone who is on a spiritual journey should take a look at Watterson’s adventures.

This book connected me to other women and lead me to more books that I want to experience. For more on Watterson, check out this article about Getting Spiritually Naked.

Mr. Splitfoot by Samantha Hunt

Date: 5/22/16

Cost: Buy it now on amazon Kindle for $3.49 MR. SPLITFOOT

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Pages: 336

Goodreads Synopsis: A contemporary gothic from an author in the company of Kelly Link and Aimee Bender, Mr. Splitfoot tracks two women in two times as they march toward a mysterious reckoning.

Ruth and Nat are orphans, packed into a house full of abandoned children run by a religious fanatic. To entertain their siblings, they channel the dead. Decades later, Ruth’s niece, Cora, finds herself accidentally pregnant. After years of absence, Aunt Ruth appears, mute and full of intention. She is on a mysterious mission, leading Cora on an odyssey across the entire state of New York on foot. Where is Ruth taking them? Where has she been? And who — or what — has she hidden in the woods at the end of the road?

In an ingeniously structured dual narrative, two separate timelines move toward the same point of crisis. Their merging will upend and reinvent the whole. A subversive ghost story that is carefully plotted and elegantly constructed, Mr. Splitfoot will set your heart racing and your brain churning. Mysteries abound, criminals roam free, utopian communities show their age, the mundane world intrudes on the supernatural and vice versa.

Response: For some reason, I never posted this review, but here it is now! (apology’s for my lack of reviews lately)

I originally bought this book because I liked the idea of psychic kids making their way in the world. It turns out this book was so much more than I anticipated.

A story that leads you both forward and backward at the same time, Mr. Splitfoot crosses time, experiences and lifetimes together in one spectacular conglomeration.

I have to be honest, it took me a while to get into and there were a lot of things I didn’t quite understand right off the bat, but once I sat back and took the time to let everything sink it, it hit me pretty hard.

Three women who are thinly connected cross paths on several occasions, though not in the way you might expect.  Although this book focuses on adventure, taking chances, and exploring what life could be, it also centers around what it means to be a woman and the responsibility one carries whilst bringing life into this world.

Samantha Hunt touches on religion as much as the thin veil between life and death. This book really deals with human connection and is one of those books that will stay in your mind for years to come. It will alter the way you view people and their experiences.

It rough, raw and beautifully written.

I recommend it to anyone who loves ghost stories or sad stories.

Samantha Hunt

 

After You by Jojo Moyes

After YouDate: 4/3/17

Cost: I bought it used for $1.38 on Amazon

Rating: 3 out of 5 Stars

Goodreads Synopsis: 

A NOTE FROM JOJO MOYES ABOUT HER EXCITING NEW NOVEL, AFTER YOU:

Dear Reader,

I wasn’t going to write a sequel to Me Before You. But for years, readers kept asking and I kept wondering what Lou did with her life. In the end the idea came, as they sometimes do, at 5:30 in the morning, leaving me sitting bolt upright in my bed and scrambling for my pen.

It has been such a pleasure revisiting Lou and her family, and the Traynors, and confronting them with a whole new set of issues. As ever, they have made me laugh, and cry. I hope readers feel the same way at meeting them—especially Lou—again. And I’m hoping that those who love Will will find plenty to enjoy.

—Jojo Moyes

Response:  The thing that I truly love about Jojo Moyes writing is that above all, it is honest. I love that Louisa Clarke, like many of us, is just a lost soul looking for guidance. Everyone is always asking her what she wants to be and what she wants to do with her life. She always gets embarrassed and flustered, and replies by saying she doesn’t know.

HoJojo Moyesw much more honest can you get?
Too often in our lives we are held to these standards. We are asked to be more than we are, under the pretense that whatever we are isn’t good enough.

I’m not saying that we shouldn’t have goals, but I am saying we should all be a little more like Louisa Clarke and start accepting ourselves for who we are and not trying to pretend we are something different.

I fell in love with Moyes work after reading Me Before You and sobbed like a baby along with my mother and sister while watching the movie when it came out.

Yes, this read is light. No, it is not meaningless.

Somehow Moyes has captured the perfect balance (in my mind, anyway) of cheeky conversation and intense inner debated. Although, while reading this book you wont feel as if you’re working very hard, the subject matter at the center of this book is very important.

 

Conversations with the Other Side by Sylvia Browne

Date: 2/4/17

Cost: Free, my mom had it.

conversations-with-the-other-side
Instagram: @Jacquee11

However, Amazon does offer the paperback used for $0.99 

Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

Goodreads SynopsisA dissertation on life, afterlife, and reincarnation given by the author’s spirit guide, Francine. It presents a ‘gnostic’ view of the world and the reason for life.

Response:  This book took me a while to get into if I’m being honest. I started it probably a year ago, hoping that it would clear some things up for me.

I did not understand at first that essentially, Sylvia Browne’s spirit guide was writing the book through her.

Now that I have grasped the concept, I find it very interesting.

If you’re like me, and interested in the spiritual side of literature and life, this book is a must read. I did have a hard time getting into it.

The writing is very interesting and presents a wondrous view of this “other side,” but it was very straight forward facts and I found it a little hard to read sometimes.

This was less about a woman learning how to communicate with the other side as it was a description of the other side.

sylvia-browneVery interesting.

If you’re searching for more spiritual information, this book is a go to for sure. I just wouldn’t go so far as to call it one of my favorites.

I will be reading more of Sylvia Browne’s books. I find her ideas compelling and would love to learn more.

Check out Sylvia Browne’s website for more info.

Light Is The New Black: A Guide to Answering Your Soul’s Callings and Working Your Light by Rebecca Campbell

Date: 1/29/17light-is-the-new-black

Cost: Paperback $10.87 or Kindle $8.50

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Goodreads Synopsis: Light Is The New Black is a guidebook for a new breed of women who are here to be bright lights in the world. These women are modern day light-workers, who agreed at soul level to be here at this time in history, to bring us into the Age of Light (lead by spirit and the divine feminine).
 
At the Peace Conference in Canada in 2009, when the Dalai Lama said ‘The world will be saved by the western woman’, it was a call to action for women throughout the West. Light Is The New Black is a response to that call. It guides these women to come back home to who they are at soul level, and embrace their uniqueness so they can light up the world in a way that only they can. Gone are the days of following someone else’s well-trodden path. In order to succeed in this new age, everything must be an authentic expression of who we truly are. A down-to-earth, relatable mix of one girl’s journey, channeled messages from The Universe, practical tools, and metaphysical marketing for this new social age, this book will reconnect you to the core of your being, so that you can use it to change the world.

Response: Are you a feminist? Are you into spirituality? Do you have questions about your Soul Purpose? Do you need guidance?

If you answered any of the above questions with a yes, then you need to stop what you’re doing and go buy this book.

Whatever your confusion may be, I can promise this book is going to help.

I was first introduced to Rebecca Campbell through Sonia Choquette.

I was looking for some guidance and decided to delve deeper into the idea of spirituality.

Campbell is a wonderful writer who has incorporated today’s world into all of her books. Her stories are spot on and really resonated with me, as I’m sure they will with many women.

If I had the money I would purchase one of these books for every single one of my female friends.

Amazing, inspiring and honest. Rebecca Campbell makes us all understand that you don’t need to feel alone in the world.

When I read her books, I feel myself become a little lighter and try a little harder. Her work puts a smile on my face before I even realize it.

I do not know Campbell personally, but this book made her feel like a sister to me.

If you don’t understand that statement, then you simply need to read it yourself!

I will be on the lookout for more by this author, without a doubt.

rebecca-campbell#RiseSisterRise

Follow Rebecca Campbell:

@Rebeccathoughts

Skinny by Diana Spechler

Date: skinny1/20/17

Cost: $4.10 Used Paperback 

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Goodreads SynopsisAfter her father’s death, twenty-six-year-old Gray Lachmann finds herself compulsively eating. Desperate to stop bingeing, she abandons her life in New York City for a job at a southern weight-loss camp. There, caught among the warring egos of her devious co-counselor,Sheena; the self-aggrandizing camp director, Lewis; his attractive assistant,Bennett; and a throng of combative teenage campers, she is confronted by a captivating mystery: her teenage half-sister, Eden, whom Gray never knew existed. Now, while unraveling her father’s lies, Gray must tackle her own-self-deceptions and take control of her body and her life.

Visceral, poignant, and often wickedly funny, Skinny illuminates a young woman’s struggle to make sense of the link between hunger and emotion, and to make peace with her demons, her body, and herself.

Response: I wasn’t very far into this book when I realized I was going to cry. A lot.

I laughed, I cried, I banged the book against the wall.

So why then only 4 stars?

I felt decidedly empty when I finished this book.

The entire time it lead up to the promise of this self-realization but  the ending just left me wanting more. diana_spechler

I know there’s this thing that authors do, where they stop in the middle of a story because it’s supposed to resemble the never ending turn of events that occur in real life, but I have to say, I wanted Gray to find so much more!

I needed more closure!

Skinny was a truly inspiring book that looks at our relationship with food and how we, as humans, sometimes turn to it as a coping mechanism when we don’t know how to deal with our emotions.

Easily  relatable to any young woman who’s struggled with body image.

I love that at the end of the book, Spechler writers something about how this book is based partly on personal experience, making it that much more interesting.

This book will definitely stick with me and I intend to seek out Spechler’s other writings as soon as possible.

Twitter: @DianaSpechler

Instagram: @dianaspechler  

Facebook 

Website

The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood

Date: 1/15/17

Cost: $9.99 Kindle Edition  (Free on Kindle Unlimited) handmaids

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Goodreads Synopsis: Offred is a Handmaid in the Republic of Gilead. She may leave the home of the Commander and his wife once a day to walk to food markets whose signs are now pictures instead of words because women are no longer allowed to read. She must lie on her back once a month and pray that the Commander makes her pregnant, because in an age of declining births, Offred and the other Handmaids are valued only if their ovaries are viable. Offred can remember the years before, when she lived and made love with her husband, Luke; when she played with and protected her daughter; when she had a job, money of her own, and access to knowledge. But all of that is gone now..

Response: When I came to the end of this book, I must admit, I felt confusion more than anything else.

I knew I had just consumed some significant, highly important literature but I had a hard time absorbing it all. The ending left me wanting so much more.

I immediately began re-reading. Searching for more details in online chat forums. What was it people were saying about this book? How did it strike everyone else?

The title to this book, although familiar to me, was really brought to my attention by all of the buzz about the Hulu adaption coming out this spring. I got goosebumps the moment I saw the trailer and knew it was the next book I needed to read.

hmt

I love the detail  that Atwood goes into and how easy it is to relate to the main character, Offred.

A major part of this book is focused on the importance of the use of words and Atwood crafts hers so finely. The government takes away names and identities, leaving women to be divided and become property, essentially.

This book focuses on religion, politics and women’s rights. The Handmaid’s Tale is so spot on and necessary it’s almost frightening.

If you appreciate dystopian novels, or women’s literature, I highly recommend this novel.

Now, excuse me while I delve back into the world of Gilead, which seems so peculiar and yet so recognizable.  I suspect this book is different every time you read it, and the more you scrutinize, the more layers you will uncover.

More on Margaret Atwood here.

Bad Feminist: Essays by Roxane Gay

bad-femDate: 1/10/17

Cost: $12.99 Kindle Edition 

Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars

Goodreads Synopsis: In these funny and insightful essays, Roxane Gay takes us through the journey of her evolution as a woman of color while also taking readers on a ride through culture of the last few years and commenting on the state of feminism today. The portrait that emerges is not only one of an incredibly insightful woman continually growing to understand herself and our society, but also one of our culture.

Bad Feminist is a sharp, funny, and spot-on look at the ways in which the culture we consume becomes who we are, and an inspiring call-to-arms of all the ways we still need to do better.

Response:  Covering a wide variety of topics and facts that every person-not just women-should know, Roxane Gay inspires a new kind of feminism that isn’t defined by social norms.

I read this book by chance, because it was mentioned by Rebecca Campbell in her novel Rise Sister Rise

There were times that I struggled with this book. It’s like the best form of dark chocolate. So sweet, so rich, so full that you want to stop, but at the same time it just makes you desire more. This book was wordy, but in the best, most meaningful and important way.

Roxane Gay has a unique way of both criticizing and explaining her opinions while also complimenting simultaneously. Gay is made up of contradictions, which I so truly loved and felt was the most honest thing about reading a book like this.

roxane-gay

A plethora of writers I’ve experienced pretend to be more than human. They pretend they know everything beyond a doubt and there is no second guessing the words that they put to paper. Gay has a very different, sincere way of explaining that she is no expert, but simply someone who has an opinion that is worth sharing.

I also greatly appreciated her pop culture references and the amount of current news stories she put into this novel. It brings the reader into the story as we recall our own reactions to each event.

I gave this book 5 stars not because I felt it changed my life. I did not read it in a flurry or without pause.

I gave this book 5 stars because I think the words will stick with me for years to come. I think Roxane Gay has not only given me, as well as many other women, a good example but she has also made me long to be a better writer.

The whole time I sifted through these pages, my fingers itched to fly across a keyboard. There is a lot to be said about a writer who can inspire and draw forth more thought.

Rise Sister Rise: A Guide to Unleashing the Wise, Wild Woman Within by Rebecca Campbell

Date Read: 12/25/16 rise-sister-rise

Cost: $9.99 Kindle Edition 

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars 

Goodreads Synopsis: Rise Sister Rise is for the women who agreed at soul level to be here at this stage in history to lead this global shift that the mystics of all of the ages have predicted: the return of the mother and the rise of the feminine. It is essentially a call to arms for women to rise up, tell their truth, and lead.
Most women have spent much of their working lives “making it” in a man’s world, leaning on patriarchal methods of survival in order to succeed, dulling down their intuition, and ignoring the fierce power of their feminine. They have ignored the cycles of the feminine in order to survive in a patriarchal linear system – but now the world has changed.

Rise Sister Rise is a transmission that calls the innate feminine wisdom to rise. It is about healing the insecurities, the fears, and the inherited patterns that stop women trusting the Shakti (power) and wisdom (intuition) that effortlessly flows through them. It’s about recognizing all of the ways we have been keeping ourselves contained and restrained in effort to fit into a certain archetype of woman. It’s about co-creating a whole new archetype of woman – a woman who does not keep herself small in order to make others feel more comfortable. A woman who knows like she knows like she knows that she is not her body weight, her sexual partners, or her career. A woman who deeply respects the wise woman in her life and cultivates her own wisdom every single day

Full of tools, calls to action, contemplative questions, rituals, and confrontational exercises, this book teaches women that it is safe to let Shakti rise, safe to trust their intuition, and safe to take leaps of faith – because in healing ourselves we are healing the world.

Response: Although a bit repetitive at times, Rise Sister Rise is a book I would recommend every woman read once in her life.

Besides connecting to yourself as well as every other woman in your life on a spiritual level, this book really inspires the reader to want more. Whether it be reading another one of Rebecca Campbell’s books, or venturing out into the literary world, Rise Sister Rise makes readers expect more out of women’s literature.

Honest and personal, Campbell connects with her audience closely.

Deeply motivating and beautiful, Rise Sister Rise inspires it’s readers to look deep within themselves for happiness instead of to outside sources.

I felt this book found me at precisely the right time in life and lead me to explore other literature, and myself, more deeply. It’s chucked full of amazing advice, insightful experiences and a level of connectivity that is hard to find.

I also enjoyed that this book was very connected to social media, and left it’s readers with a hashtag and a website to find out more.

If you’re interested in awakening your spiritual side, I would highly recommend this book.

#RiseSisterRise

Follow Rebecca Campbell:

hello@rebeccacampbell.me

@Rebeccathoughts