Empire of the Summer Moon by S.C. Gwynne – Recently I listened to a short book called Freedom, by Sebastian Junger (Also a book I liked and would recommend). He and a small group of men (he didn’t provide much background) took up backpacks and walked over 400 miles of railroad track on the East Coast. He didn’t seem to have much purpose other than to explore the freedom he seemed to be lacking in his life at the time (I think maybe he was going through a divorce at the time). He reflected on things such as wealth discrepancy, safety and security, big guy vs little guy, among others. He strongly challenges the idea that most Americans have – that we are the most free country in the world. Very thought-provoking. During his discussion he made multiple references to westward expansion and interactions with the American Indians, which intrigued me. I really know nothing on that topic. Within a week of finishing the book two separate people recommended Empire of the Summer Moon, a book about the rise and fall of the Comanche Indian tribe. Felt like a sign, so I picked it up.


Believing is Seeing by Michael Guillen, PhD – We live in a world that is becoming more and more secular, with many abandoning religion and a belief in God. Michael Guillen is one of the few moving in the opposite direction. As a graduate from Cornell University with a PhD in Physics, Mathematics, and Astronomy, Dr Guillen was an ardent Atheist. Initially he was introduced to metaphysical belief systems – Hinduism, Buddhism, Chinese mysticism, Islam, and even Judaism. Eventually he began to explore the Bible and Christianity. He asked the question: Is it possible to reconcile what today’s science says is true with what a book thousands of years old says about reality?Although much of what he talks about is over my head scientifically, his answer is: a resounding Yes! I’ve just been so interested in reading and hearing about the spiritual journeys of others lately. I’m a few chapters in and have been intrigued by his story and convictions.


The Creative Act by Rick Rubin – Rick Rubin was interviewed on last week’s Honestly Podcast with Bari Weiss. I’ve never heard of this guy but he has produced some of the most popular and influential music albums of all time, across all genres. Rick Rubin’s genius is in helping others to find their individual creativity, rather than producing something meant to please others. He advocates that we should trust our gut. And he’s insistent that every person has a responsibility to find that creativity within. In doing so we can better understand ourselves and our relationship to the world we live in.


As Bright as Heaven by Susan Meisner – Unfortunately this book didn’t arrive before spring break. Two friends from work (and supporters of the blog :)) gave me their unequivocal thumbs up on this one and I’ve been in need of a great novel. I try to always read books that people are passionate about so I’m looking forward to it. This novel is set at the time of the Spanish influenza in Philadelphia in 1918. On the heals of our own recent pandemic, it will be an interesting comparison.