The Tiger Ladies


Sudha Koul - 2002
    . . casts its quiet spell over the reader. The writing is so evocative that you feel you are there, seeing, tasting, touching, and smelling this once enchanted place." -Scotia W. MacCrae, Philadelphia Inquirer Sitting in her grandmother Dhanna's kitchen, surrounded by the aromas of mint and the smoke of a hookah, warmed by the kangri tucked beneath her thighs, young Sudha Koul listened to tales of She Who Fears Nothing: The Tiger Lady, stories Sudha would repeat to her own daughters in time, though in a kitchen many thousands of miles away from her beloved Kashmir. This is a magical memoir of a land now consumed by political and religious turmoil, a richly detailed story of a girl's passage into maturity, marriage, and motherhood in the midst of an exquisite and fragile world that will never be entirely the same. "The Tiger Ladies is immensely, gracefully sad, an elegy for the customs and the courtliness of an irrecoverable civilization. Yet there is a sensuality running through her story . . . provided by Ms. Koul's devotion to Kashmiri cuisine and her description of how she has, through her kitchen, sought to keep alive the old Kashmiri ways." -Tunku Varadarajan, The Wall Street Journal "For those who only associate Kashmir with the violence that has claimed tens of thousands of lives, Koul's lovely, elegiac memoir The Tiger Ladies shows that the isolated vale in the Himalayas was a heaven before it became a hell." -Bryan Walsh, Time ASIA "Sudha Koul's writing is transportive, evoking beautifully the Kashmir we keep in our hearts. Her book is at once a history, memoir, and lesson; the author is both to be congratulated and thanked." -Indira Ganesan, author of Inheritance and The Journey Sudha Koul, like Indira Gandhi and her father, Jawaharlal Nehru, was born a Kashmiri Brahmin, in 1947, the year of the partition of India and Pakistan by the British and the first stirrings of fundamentalism in Kashmir. She completed her graduate education and become a magistrate in India before emigrating with her husband to the United States. Koul is the author of Curries without Worries and Come with Me to India: On a Wondrous Voyage through Time. She lives in New Jersey with her family.

Gold Cord


Amy Carmichael - 1957
    Shows the loving heart of God at work in thirsting human hearts.

Peanut Butter and Naan: Stories of an American Mom in the Far East


Jennifer Hillman-Magnuson - 2014
    But when her husband was offered a position in India, she saw it for what it was: the perfect opportunity for her family to unplug from their over-scheduled and pampered lives in Nashville and gain some much-needed perspective. What she didn t realize was how much their time in India would transform her as well. A combination of Eat, Pray, Love and Modern Family, with a dash of Chelsea Handler thrown in for good measure, Peanut Butter and Naan is Magnuson s hilarious look at the chaos of parenting against a backdrop of malaria, extreme poverty, and no conveniences of any kind and her story of rediscovering herself and revitalizing her connection with those she loves the most. In India, after years of parenting under a cloud of anxiety, Magnuson found a renewed sense of adventure and fearlessness (a discovery that was totally worth the many months of hiding anti-malarial medication in her kids morning oatmeal), and started to become the mother she d always hoped to be. Hers is a story about motherhood that will not only make you laugh and nod with recognition it will inspire you to fall in love with your own family all over again."

The Dance of 17 Lives


Mick Brown - 2004
    Fascinated by this charismatic young figure, Mick Brown traveled to meet him, and found himself drawn into the labyrinthine web of intrigue surrounding the 17th Karmapa's recognition and early life.

In the Shadow of the Buddha: Secret Journeys, Sacred Histories, and Spiritual Discovery in Tibet


Matteo Pistono - 2011
     For nearly a decade, Matteo Pistono smuggled out of Tibet evidence of atrocities by the Chinese government, showing it to the U.S. government, human rights organizations, and anyone who would listen. Yet Pistono did not originally intend to fight for social justice in Tibet- he had gone there as a Buddhist pilgrim. Disillusioned by a career in American politics, he had gone to the Himalayas looking for a simpler way of life. After encountering Buddhism in Nepal, Pistono's quest led him to Tibet and to a meditation master whose spiritual brother is Sogyal Rinpoche, bestselling author of The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying. Pistono not only became the master's student but also couriered messages to him in Tibet from the Dalai Lama in India. This began an extraordinary, and ultimately vital, adventure. In the Shadow of the Buddha is a book about Tibet through the eyes of a devotee-a stranger hiding in plain sight. It's about how a culture's rich spiritual past is slipping away against the force of a tyrannical future. It's about how Tibetans live today, and the tenacity of their faith in the future in spite of dire repression and abuse. It's also about Pistono's own journey from being a frustrated political activist to becoming a practicing Buddhist mystic, a man who traveled thousands of miles and risked his own life to pursue freedom and peace. Watch a Video

Shame Travels: A Family Lost, a Family Found


Jasvinder Sanghera - 2011
    One day, he promised to take her there so she could meet her half-sister, Bachanu, who had stayed behind. But at the age of sixteen - as she so vividly related in her bestseller Shame - Jasvinder ran away from home to escape a forced marriage. Her parents disowned her. 'Shame travels...' her father told her. Although her mother took all her other daughters to meet the extended family in the Punjab, Jasvinder was never allowed to go. With her own daughter about to marry, Jasvinder decides to challenge thirty years of rejection by going to India herself. She wants to explore her roots and to see for herself the place her parents called home until the day they died. What Jasvinder finds in India and what she learns changes the way she sees the world, and has important lessons for all of us. SHAME TRAVELS is not only a gripping and revealing quest, but also an inspirational journey of the heart.

Journey of a Thousand Storms: A Refugee's Story


Kooshyar Karimi - 2016
    Until he was kidnapped by the Intelligence Service.Behind his professional success, Kooshyar was a rebel on several fronts. Marginalised since boyhood as a Jew in a fundamentalist Islamic state, he was a member of a political group that opposed the government. He'd also been using his medical skills illegally, to save unmarried pregnant women from death by stoning.Snatched from the street, he was jailed and tortured and then forced to spy for the regime, before finally escaping to Turkey. There he faced a whole new struggle to keep his family safe while awaiting refugee status from the UN. He was forbidden to work and at the mercy of corrupt police, con men and red tape. Then life became more dangerous still, when the Intelligence Service tracked him down and used his mother, back in Iran, as blackmail.Kooshyar's inspiring story of how he managed to forge a new life in Australia is heightened by his largeness of heart, strength of character, and insight into human behaviour, from the unfathomably evil to the selflessly kind. With the skill of a natural storyteller, Journey of a Thousand Storms recounts a life of endurance, compassion and gritty determination.

Phra Farang: An English Monk in Thailand


Phra Peter Pannapadipo - 1999
    But the new path he had chosen was not always as easy or as straightforward as he hoped it would be.In this truly extraordinary memoir, Phra Peter Pannapadipo describes his ten-year metamorphosis into a practicing Buddhist monk, while being initiated into the intricacies of an unfamiliar Southeast Asian culture.Phra Peter tells his story with compassion, humour and unflinching honesty. It's the story of a 'Phra Farang' - a foreign monk - living and practicing his faith in an exotic and intriguing land.

Billy Graham: A Biography of America's Greatest Evangelist


W. Terry Whalin - 2014
    His faithful witness is testimony to his great love of God and passion to serve Him. This easy-to-read biography tells Billy Graham s story, including his humble beginnings as a southern farm boy, his calling to the ministry, the start of the crusades, his service to America s leaders, and his later years preaching around the globe. As you read these details of a life dedicated to the cause of Christ, you will be encouraged. Also these stories will inspire anyone who desires to give their life in service to God. Here s a fresh look at a contemporary man of God and giant of the faith."

Balancing Heaven and Earth: A Memoir of Visions, Dreams, and Realizations


Robert A. Johnson - 1998
    His masterful works--including the best selling He, She, Inner Work, and Owning Your Own Shadow-are known and loved as much for their beautiful retellings of timeless myths and folktales as for their deep wisdom and profound insight.Balancing Heaven and Earth reveals, for the first time, Johnson's own fascinating and mystical life-from his near-death experience at the age of eleven to the lifelong soul journey that has informed his writing and taught him how to live a spiritual life in the endlessly challenging modern world. Full of compelling, humorous, and surprising stories of encounters with an assortment of "sages, saints, and sinners," it lays bare Johnson's own inner world and its dazzeling landscape of powerful dreams, mystical visions, and synchronistic events.Beginnning with a vivid retelling of the childhood accident that claimed the lower part of his right leg, Johnson describes the life-defining moment when he was transported by a mystical vision to a realm that exists just beyond ordinary consciousness-a realm he calls the "Golden World." With this experience, described as "both my curse and my blessing," Johnson is launched on a spiritual quest that leads him in search of Eastern wisdom, to encounters with such wise men as J. Krishnamurti and D.T. Suzuki, and finally to Carl Jung, who shows him his destiny revealed in a dream. Johnson's experiences lead him to a unique understanding and acceptance of the slender connecting threads at work in all our lives, guiding us and shaping who we are-"call it fate, destiny, or the hand of God."As much a personal guide as a memoir, Balancing Heaven and Earth teaches us to follow , as Johnson has, the subtle influences of dreams, visions, and even our deepest sufferings in order to live attuned to our spiritual selves. A pure delight for Johnson's many fans and a splendid example of his trademark blend of illustrative myth and psychological insight, this is a work of incomparable beauty and inspiration showcasing the wisdom of a lifetime.

No Saints Around Here: A Caregiver's Days


Susan Allen Toth - 2014
    Forcing food on an increasingly recalcitrant spouse. Brushing his teeth. Watching someone you love more than ever slip away day by day. As her husband James’s Parkinson’s disease with eventual dementia began to progress, writer Susan Allen Toth decides she intensely wants to keep her husband at home—the home he designed and loved and lived in for a quarter century—until the end.No saint, as she often reminds the reader, Toth found solace in documenting her days as a caregiver. The result, written in brief, episodic bursts during the final eighteen months of James’s life, has a rare and poignant immediacy. Wrenching, occasionally peevish, at times darkly funny, and always deeply felt, Toth’s intimate, unsparing account reflects the realities of seeing a loved one out of life: the critical support of some friends and the disappearance of others; the elasticity of time, infinitely slow and yet in such short supply; the sheer physicality of James’s decline and the author’s own loneliness; the practical challenges—the right food, the right wheelchair, the right hospital bed—all intricately interlocking parts of the act of loving and caring for someone who in so many ways is fading away.“We all need someone to hear us,” Toth says of the millions who devote their days to the care of a loved one. Her memoir is at once an eloquent expression of that need and an opening for others. No Saints around Here is the beginning of a conversation in which so many of us may someday find our voices.

Desert Places


Robyn Davidson - 1996
    Sleeping among five thousand sheep and surviving on goat's milk, flatbread, and parasite-infested water in a landscape of misery and haunting loveliness, she endured exhaustion, malnutrition and disease. But she gained an understanding and the trust of a fiercely courageous people with a disappearing way of life.Displaying a writer's acute eye for detail and a traveler's keen appreciation for the beauty to be found in the earth's most desolate landscapes, Davidson explores with ruthless honesty her own desert places even as she immortalizes these "keepers of the way" and a culture about to die. Fans of Bruce Chatwin, Peter Mathiessen, and Mary Morris will find themselves enthralled by the passion and beauty of this account by a woman traveler who "may be one of the great adventurers of our time" (The Boston Globe).

Finding Home: An Imperfect Path to Faith and Family


Jim Daly - 2007
    In this deeply personal memoir, he relives horrors no child should endure. A bloodcurdling neighborhood murder merely serves as the backdrop to the abuse and alcoholism within the four walls of his own home, a cycle broken only by the cancer that leaves him motherless. Orphaned by twelve, he somehow managed to catch enough glimpses of grace that he knew he wanted more, both from himself and from a God he had to believe existed.Download the discussion questions for Finding Home.

Mother Teresa of Calcutta: A Personal Portrait: 50 Inspiring Stories Never Before Told


Leo Maasburg - 2010
    The Albanian girl who entered an Irish order to go to India as a missionary and became an "Angel of the Poor" for countless people. She was greatly revered by Christians as well as Muslims, Hindus and unbelievers, as she brought the message of Christian love for one's neighbor from the slums of Calcutta to the whole world. Fr. Leo Maasburg was there as her close companion for many decades, traveling with her throughout the world and was witness to countless miracles and incredible little-known occurrences. In this personal portrait of the beloved nun, he presents fifty amazing stories about her that most have never heard, wonderful and delightful stories about miracles, small and great, that he was privileged to experience at Mother Teresa's side. Stories of how, without a penny to her name, she started an orphanage in Spain, and at the same time saved a declining railroad company from ruin, and so many more.They all tell of her limitless trust in God's love, of the way the power of faith can move mountains, and of hope that can never die. These stories reveal a humorous, gifted, wise and arresting woman who has a message of real hope for our time. It's the life story of one of the most important women of the 20th century as it's never been told before.

Crying Wind: Beaten, Deserted, and Afraid of Both Death and Life, a Young Indian Girl Finds Life


Crying Wind - 1977
    Simply and sensitively written, Crying Wind's true story gives insights into American Indian culture and the cultural barriers an Indian must hurdle when he accepts Christ.