"Book Ish: The Canon Continues" is the podcast that's dismantling the sacred/secular divide, book by book.
#021: "The Wisdom of Insecurity" by Alan Watts (with guest host, Matthew J. Distefano)
Michelle and guest host, Matthew J. Distefano, explore The Wisdom of Insecurity: A Message for an Age of Anxiety by Alan Watts. Their conversation covers spiritual effort, deconstruction, and more.
From the back cover: "Spending all our time trying to anticipate and plan for the future and to lamenting the past, we forget to embrace the here and now. We are so concerned with tomorrow that we forget to enjoy today. Drawing from Eastern philosophy and religion, Alan Watts shows that it is only by acknowledging what we do not—and cannot—know that we can learn anything truly worth knowing."
About Matthew: "Matthew J. Distefano is the author of multiple best-selling books, co-host of two podcasts, a long-time social worker, and hip-hop artist. He lives in Northern California with his wife and daughter."
#020: "Who Do You Serve, Who Do You Protect?" A Truthout Collection (with guest host, Dallas Verity)
Michelle and guest host, Dallas Verity, tackle Who Do You Serve, Who Do You Protect?: Police Violence and Resistance in the United States, A Truthout Collection. Their conversation covers defunding the police, marginalized communities, injustice, and more.
From the back cover: "What is the reality of policing in the United States? Do the police keep anyone safe and secure other than the very wealthy? How do recent police killings of young black people in the United States fit into the historical and global context of anti-blackness? This collection of reports and essays (the first collaboration between Truthout and Haymarket Books) explores police violence against black, brown, indigenous and other marginalized communities, miscarriages of justice, and failures of token accountability and reform measures. It also makes a compelling and provocative argument against calling the police. Contributions cover a broad range of issues including the killing by police of black men and women, police violence against Latino and indigenous communities, law enforcement's treatment of pregnant people and those with mental illness, and the impact of racist police violence on parenting, as well as specific stories such as a Detroit police conspiracy to slap murder convictions on young black men using police informant and the failure of Chicago's much-touted Independent Police Review Authority, the body supposedly responsible for investigating police misconduct. The title Who Do You Serve, Who Do You Protect? is no mere provocation: the book also explores alternatives for keeping communities safe. Contributors include William C. Anderson, Candice Bernd, Aaron Cantú, Thandi Chimurenga, Ejeris Dixon, Adam Hudson, Victoria Law, Mike Ludwig, Sarah Macaraeg, and Roberto Rodriguez."
About Dallas: "Dallas Verity is a podcaster, former pastor, husband, and father. He loves Jesus... he just hasn’t figured out any of the other stuff yet."
#019: "The End of Policing" by Alex S. Vitale
Michelle explores The End of Policing by Alex S. Vitale. She explores police brutality, the militarization of law enforcement, and much more.
From the back cover: "The problem is not overpolicing, it is policing itself. Why we need to defund the police and how we get there.
Recent weeks have seen an explosion of protest against police brutality and repression. Among activists, journalists and politicians, the conversation about how to respond and improve policing has focused on accountability, diversity, training, and community relations. Unfortunately, these reforms will not produce results, either alone or in combination. The core of the problem must be addressed: the nature of modern policing itself.
This book attempts to spark public discussion by revealing the tainted origins of modern policing as a tool of social control. It shows how the expansion of police authority is inconsistent with community empowerment, social justice— even public safety. Drawing on groundbreaking research from across the world, and covering virtually every area in the increasingly broad range of police work, Alex Vitale demonstrates how law enforcement has come to exacerbate the very problems it is supposed to solve.
In contrast, there are places where the robust implementation of policing alternatives—such as legalization, restorative justice, and harm reduction—has led to a decrease in crime, spending, and injustice. The best solution to bad policing may be an end to policing."
#018: "Sex, God, and Rock 'n' Roll" by Barry Taylor (with guest host, Danielle Kingstrom)
Michelle and guest host, Danielle Kingstrom, discuss Sex, God, and Rock 'n' Roll: Catastrophes, Epiphanies, and Sacred Anarchies by Barry Taylor. Their conversation covers desire vs. love, psychedelics, personal growth, and more.
From the back cover: "Each of us experience moments that shift the axis of our lives, nudging us into new perspectives and sometimes altering our course completely. These are thread--threads that seem mundane, silly, or even trite but, woven together over the course of a life, bring us to places we never imagined. Sex, God, and Rock 'n' Roll is a story of such threads in one extraordinary life. Barry Taylor began adulthood on the road with a world-famous rock band, and there he found religion. He then became a theologian, priest, teacher, and a theist-non-theist-post-theist. Some of his stories will shock and others will provoke laughter and tears. Taken together, they will show just how poignantly the sacred moves in all of our lives."
About Danielle: "Danielle is a writer, podcaster, and home-school teacher. She lives in rural Minnesota on a farm with her husband and five children. When she is not reading, writing, or self-educating; she can be found outdoors in nature’s naked elements. Unafraid of sparking controversy, Danielle is a frequently published author, appearing regularly in her community’s local newspaper; writing about provocative issues and asking challenging questions that raise a few eyebrows. She is currently working on two books."
#017: "The Four Agreements" by Don Miguel Ruiz
Michelle explores The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom by Don Miguel Ruiz. She discusses self-limiting beliefs, personal suffering, and more.
From the back cover: "In The Four Agreements, bestselling author Don Miguel Ruiz reveals the source of self-limiting beliefs that rob us of joy and create needless suffering. Based on ancient Toltec wisdom, The Four Agreements offer a powerful code of conduct that can rapidly transform our lives to a new experience of freedom, true happiness, and love."
#016: "Untamed" by Glennon Doyle (with guest host, Laura Forehand)
Michelle and guest host, Laura Forehand, discuss Untamed by Glennon Doyle. Their conversation explores finding your voice, breaking out of self-limiting beliefs, and more.
From the back cover: "There is a voice of longing inside each woman. We strive so mightily to be good: good partners, daughters, mothers, employees, and friends. We hope all this striving will make us feel alive. Instead, it leaves us feeling weary, stuck, overwhelmed, and underwhelmed. We look at our lives and wonder: Wasn’t it all supposed to be more beautiful than this? We quickly silence that question, telling ourselves to be grateful, hiding our discontent—even from ourselves.
Soulful and uproarious, forceful and tender, Untamed is both an intimate memoir and a galvanizing wake-up call. It is the story of how one woman learned that a responsible mother is not one who slowly dies for her children, but one who shows them how to fully live. It is the story of navigating divorce, forming a new blended family, and discovering that the brokenness or wholeness of a family depends not on its structure but on each member’s ability to bring her full self to the table. And it is the story of how each of us can begin to trust ourselves enough to set boundaries, make peace with our bodies, honor our anger and heartbreak, and unleash our truest, wildest instincts so that we become women who can finally look at ourselves and say: There She Is.
Untamed shows us how to be brave. As Glennon insists: The braver we are, the luckier we get."
About Laura: "Laura Forehand is a teacher and the co-creator of The Desert Sanctuary podcast. She is married to her husband, Karl, of 32 years and has one dog named Winston. Her three children are grown and are beginning to multiply."
These women are amazing!! I have loved every moment learning from their perspectives and take-aways from each wonderful book they’ve reviewed! They are quite diverse in their selections while still staying relevant to important social topics. I leave each podcast episode with much needed clarity on the book’s subject and feel enlightened by their educated opinions! Love these “heretical” women!