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New Books: Enlightened Aging, Chant, and a Memoir of Darkness


Open your mind to a different way of seeing, with these selections from Spirituality & Health. Click the title to read the full review.

The December Project
An Extraordinary Rabbi and a Skeptical Seeker Take Aim at Our Greatest Mystery
By Sara Davidson
Harper One

On the day that Zalman Schachter-Shalomi pretended to be dead, his 87-year-old body lay nearly naked on a massage table, swathed in a white sheet. He had taken the unprecedented step of undergoing a “practice tahara” as part of his own December Project: striving to face mortality with love and fulfillment, not just sorrow and fear.

Sacred Sound
Discovering the Myth and Meaning of Mantra and Kirtan
By Alanna Kaivalya
New World Library

Using familiar western tales like Star Wars and The Matrix as reference points, Alanna Kaivalya presents easy-to-follow explanations of the meanings and myths behind several chants commonly used in kirtan and solo yoga practice.

Learning to Walk in the Dark
By Barbara Brown Taylor
Harper One

Theologian Barbara Brown Taylor, author of the best-selling An Altar in the World, challenges our negative associations with darkness and our attraction to light in this thought-provoking new book.

Keeping the Faith without a Religion
By Roger Housden
Sounds True

Growing your own religion is not easy. It can be a journey riddled with self-deluded spiritualism and self-serving narcissism. But as Housden points out in this inspiring yet levelheaded little book, “the era of absolute truth is over.”

How Our Genes Change Our Lives and Our Lives Change Our Genes
By Dr. Sharon Moalem
Grand Central Publishing

In this fascinating, deep dive into the gene pool, Moalem explains why our genes are more of a shifting tide than a crystal ball.

Alma Tassi has written for several magazines and edited books on spirituality, personal growth, and women's issues.

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