Reading: Courageous Pursuits
Annie Bloom's welcomes authors Donna Cameron, Lisa Reddick, Barbara Stark-Nemon, and Cathy Zane to discuss their latest books.
In Donna Cameron's A Year of Living Kindly--using stories, observation, humor, and summaries of expert research--she shares her experience committing to 365 days of practicing kindness. She presents compelling research into the myriad benefits of kindness, including health, wealth, longevity, improved relationships, and personal and business success. She explores what a kind life entails, and what gets in the way of it. And she provides practical and experiential suggestions for how each of us can strengthen our kindness muscle so choosing a life of kindness becomes ever easier and more natural. An inspiring, practical guide that can help any reader make a commitment to kindness, A Year of Living Kindly shines a light on how we can create a better, safer, and more just world--and how you can be part of that transformation.
In Lisa Reddick's novel The Same River, a childhood tragedy bonded Jessica Jensen to Oregon's mighty Nesika River. Ever since, she has seen herself as its guardian. Now a courageous field biologist, she has just finished gathering scientific evidence that could bring about the dismantling of the massive hydro dam that threatens to destroy her river. But then she discovers that her boss is suppressing her scientific evidence―leaving the dam's fate at the mercy of a far-reaching corporate conspiracy--and she falls into a current of loss and desperation. As Jess's life spirals out of control, she mysteriously starts to make contact with Piah, a member of the Native American Molalla tribe who lived on the riverbanks of the Nesika two hundred years before Jess. Piah, too, faces a terrible threat that could destroy all that's left of her world. As the veil between their two worlds begins to lift, each woman learns important lessons from the other about how to love, and to rekindle their faith in the future--even in the face of tragic loss and uncertainty.
In Barbara Stark-Nemon's novel Hard Cider, Abbie Rose Stone's acquired wisdom runs deep, and so do her scars. She has successfully navigated the shoals of a long marriage, infertility, challenging children, and a career. Now it's her turn to realize her dream: producing hard apple cider along the northern shores of Lake Michigan that she loves. She manages to resist new versions of the old pull of family dynamics that threaten to derail her plan--but nothing can protect her from the shock a lovely young stranger delivers when she exposes a long-held secret. In the wake of this revelation, Abbie must overcome circumstances that severely test her self-determination, her loyalties, and her understanding of what constitutes true family.
In Cathy Zane's novel Better Than This, Sometimes the most enviable life is really a private hell. On the surface, Sarah Jenkins appears to have it all: a handsome, wealthy and successful husband, a precocious five-year-old daughter, and a beautiful home in an affluent Seattle neighborhood. Her quirky best friend and fellow high school teacher, Maggie, marvels at her luck--and envies her happiness. But Sarah is far from happy. She feels empty and on edge, harangued by a critical inner voice--and as the truth about her marriage and details of her past emerge, her "perfect" life begins to crumble. But just when it seems all is lost, a long forgotten, unopened letter changes everything, and with the support of friends, Sarah begins to rebuild her life. Can she quiet the critical voice in her head and learn to value herself instead?