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One of our favorite ways to discover new books is by checking out staff recommendations at local independent booksellers, so we thought it would be fun to create an ongoing blog series that features recommendations from the New World Library publishing team. Senior Editor Jason Gardner kicks it off with this glowing recommendation of And There Was Light by Jacques Lusseyran.
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I was thrilled to acquire publication rights last year to And There Was Light, a classic but little-known memoir originally published in 1963. I was wowed by Jacques Lusseyran’s brilliant voice and his buoyant embrace of life, no matter the challenges he faced.
Here are five reasons you should read it:
As the world continues to move forward after learning that one of its most beloved performers died by his own hand, the collective ripple effect begins to spread and the energetic ramifications begin to take shape.
In the days following the announcement of Robin Williams’s passing, along with many others around the globe I found myself feeling washed over with a sense of shock, bewilderment, deep sadness, and grief, as though I had lost a dear and intimate friend. I was stopped at random moments throughout the day by spontaneous tears, weeping for a person I had not known personally. I know that I am not alone in this sentiment — that people from all walks of life have also been dealing with the emotions brought up by this powerful heart squeeze.
Meister Eckhart was a late-thirteenth- and early-fourteenth-century preacher and mystic, yet, like Rumi and Hafiz, he remains relevant today. His work speaks to so many and touches people’s hearts. In this short excerpt from his new book, Meister Eckhart: A Mystic-Warrior for Our Times, bestselling author Matthew Fox shares Eckhart’s insights on letting go.
Last night I saw the new movie Heaven Is for Real, and I was very touched by it. It’s the story of a four-year-old boy named Colton Burpo who went to heaven when his body was being operated on and came back to share his experiences with his family. This may sound sweet and innocent, like a child with a great imagination, but this young boy actually had this experience, and it turned quite a few lives upside down.
His father just happens to be the pastor of a local church, and watching his struggles with Colton’s accounts of heaven reminded me of the consciousness of our planet. The reaction of the parishioners compounded the confusion and anger about this little boy’s experience. It was eye-opening for me because I’ve become so ingrained in the belief that there is life after death and that heaven is the most beautiful safe place that we will ever experience. That was one of Colton’s comments: “No one will hurt me here.”
New World Library author Matthew Fox created the Cosmic Mass in 1996 as a way to “reinvent worship.” The event falls somewhere between an interfaith worship service and a rave, and in fact its purpose is to bring together elements of both, using ritual and dance to reawaken joy, transform grief, spark creativity, and support compassionate action. Sunday, December 1, 2013, marked the first Cosmic Mass in five years, and I volunteered to help, along with New World Library Assistant Editor Jonathan Wichmann and a team from all over the country.