In My Hands Today…

A Journey in Ladakh: Encounters with Buddhism – Andrew Harvey

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Now considered a classic among readers interested in Tibetan Buddhism and pilgrimages of the spirit of all kinds, A Journey in Ladakh is Andrew Harvey’s spiritual travelogue of his arduous journey to one of the most remote parts of the world–the highest, least populated region in India, cut off by snow for six months each year. Buddhists have meditated in the mountains of Ladakh since three centuries before Christ, and it is there that the purest form of Tibetan Buddhism is still practiced today.

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In My Hands Today…

A King’s Ransom – Sharon Kay Penman

18079806This long-anticipated sequel to the national bestseller Lionheart is a vivid and heart-wrenching story of the last event-filled years in the life of Richard, Coeur de Lion. Taken captive by the Holy Roman Emperor while en route home—in violation of the papal decree protecting all crusaders—he was to spend fifteen months chained in a dungeon while Eleanor of Aquitaine moved heaven and earth to raise the exorbitant ransom. But a further humiliation awaited him: he was forced to kneel and swear fealty to his bitter enemy.

For the five years remaining to him, betrayals, intrigues, wars, and illness were ever present. So were his infidelities, perhaps a pattern set by his father’s faithlessness to Eleanor. But the courage, compassion, and intelligence of this warrior king became the stuff of legend, and A King’s Ransom brings the man and his world fully and powerfully alive.

In My Hands Today…

My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She’s Sorry – Fredrik Backman, Translated by Henning Koch

23604559From the author of the internationally bestselling ‘A Man Called Ove’, a novel about a young girl whose grandmother dies and leaves behind a series of letters, sending her on a journey that brings to life the world of her grandmother’s fairy tales.

Elsa is seven years old and different. Her grandmother is seventy-seven years old and crazy, standing-on-the-balcony-firing-paintball-guns-at-men-who-want-to-talk-about-Jesus-crazy. She is also Elsa’s best, and only, friend. At night Elsa takes refuge in her grandmother’s stories, in the Land of Almost-Awake and the Kingdom of Miamas where everybody is different and nobody needs to be normal.

When Elsa’s grandmother dies and leaves behind a series of letters apologizing to people she has wronged, Elsa’s greatest adventure begins. Her grandmother’s letters lead her to an apartment building full of drunks, monsters, attack dogs, and totally ordinary old crones, but also to the truth about fairytales and kingdoms and a grandmother like no other.

In My Hands Today…

Kitchens of the Great Midwest – J. Ryan Stradal

23398625When Lars Thorvald’s wife, Cynthia, falls in love with wine–and a dashing sommelier–he’s left to raise their baby, Eva, on his own. He’s determined to pass on his love of food to his daughter–starting with puréed pork shoulder. As Eva grows, she finds her solace and salvation in the flavors of her native Minnesota. From Scandinavian lutefisk to hydroponic chocolate habaneros, each ingredient represents one part of Eva’s journey as she becomes the star chef behind a legendary and secretive pop-up supper club, culminating in an opulent and emotional feast that’s a testament to her spirit and resilience.

Each chapter in J. Ryan Stradal’s startlingly original debut tells the story of a single dish and character, at once capturing the zeitgeist of the Midwest, the rise of foodie culture, and delving into the ways food creates community and a sense of identity. By turns quirky, hilarious, and vividly sensory, Kitchens of the Great Midwest is an unexpected mother-daughter story about the bittersweet nature of life–its missed opportunities and its joyful surprises. It marks the entry of a brilliant new talent.

In My Hands Today…

Troubled Pilgrimage: Passage to Pakistan – Balwant Bhaneja

17865164Troubled Pilgrimage: A Passage to Pakistan is about a journey by the author, a retired Canadian diplomat, who is visiting his ancestral land of Sindh and Punjab in Pakistan, the first visit since he was five. Bhaneja’s Hindu family had to leave their homeland following the Partition of the Indian subcontinent in August 1947.

The author’s journey begins at the Birla House in New Delhi, India where Mahatma Gandhi was assassinated by a Hindu extremist over sixty years ago, from where he travels into Pakistan during the troubled and violent spring of 2006. The reader is taken through bustling Islamabad, the back streets of the author’s birthplace Lahore, and to the more remote, and mysterious towns of Sukkur, Rohiri, and Shikarpur in Upper Sindh, the ancestral land from which he and his family were exiled. After revelations about his past, his nation and his people he returns to Delhi for an audience with the “Refugee” Prime Minister I.K. Gujral.

The trans-cultural narrative deals with the universal theme of displacement and how it impacts mind and psyche of those involved. It is a thoughtful work about how our multiple identities shape and get played out in a globalized world. What makes some to leave their homelands while others to stay on despite fears and uncertainties of impending future?