These books are definitely NOT required. We are in no position to require anyone to do, well… anything of any kind. But, we do consider these full length books integral bookshelf material, at the very least, for all inquisitive minds operating outside the “normal” parameters of what is generally accepted in mainstream society in our world. We love the internet too – as if this isn’t obvious – but for those really elaborate and integral concepts, sometimes its best left to a publication made out of old fashioned paper. We accordingly recommend you pick up a physical copy of the following classics and new phenomenons in controversial literature.
The Chalice and the Blade, by Riane Eisler
Author Biography: Riane Eisler is internationally known for her bestseller The Chalice and The Blade – which is now translated into 26 foreign editions and just celebrated its 30th anniversary with a 2017 epilogue in its 57th US printing – as well as for other award-winning books. She is the keynote speaker at conferences worldwide, including at the United Nations General Assembly and the US Department of State. She is President of the Center for Partnership Studies and has received many honors, including honorary Ph.D. degrees, the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation’s 2009 Distinguished Peace Leadership Award, the Alice Paul ERA Education Award, and is featured in the award-winning book Great Peacemakers as one of the 20 most significant leaders for world peace, along with Mahatma Gandhi,Martin Luther King, and Mother Teresa.
Synopsis: The Chalice and the Blade tells a new story of humanity’s cultural origins. It demonstrates that both warfare and the war of the sexes are neither biologically nor divinely ordained. It provides an affirmation that a better future is indeed possible, and is actually firmly rooted in the haunting dramatic unfolding of our history.
Challenging conventional views about cultural evolution, the book introduces an alternate conceptual framework for studying social systems, one that pays particular attention to how a society constructs the relations and roles between the female and male halves of the human race. It proposes that underlying the long history of human cultural evolution is the tension between what Eisler calls the “dominator or domination model” and the partnership model. The book traces this tension in Western culture all the way from prehistoric times to the world of today, and closes with two contrasting scenarios for the future.
BUY HERE —> The Chalice and the Blade
Ecotopia Emerging, by Ernest Callenbach
Author Biography: Ernest Callenbach (1929 – 2012) was an American author, film critic, editor, and simple living adherent. He became famous due to his internationally successful semi-utopian novel Ecotopia (1975).
Synopsis: The prequel to Callenbach’s masterpiece Ecotopia, this is a story with multiple plots unfolding concurrently, all focusing around the events that led to the rise of a third political party in the state of California, called the Survivalist Party. The Party sought to preserve the earth as a safe, sustainable environment – in stark contrast with clear actions and intentions of the mainstream political actors of the day. The story springs from harsh realities: toxic contamination of air, water, and food has become a major problem for health. Nuclear war threatens us all. Military spending burdens the economy and twists people’s priorities. Politicians nitpick and argue over outdated historical agendas, while the country declines in the here and now. But then dedicated people begin to respond in their own ways to the crisis, and a fresh hope arises.
We recommend reading the prequel before the original!
BUY HERE —> Ecotopia Emerging
Ecotopia: 40th Anniversary Edition, by Ernest Callenbach
Synopsis: A fictional novel… with very real undertones. The country of Ecotopia came to be when northern California, Oregon, and Washington seceded from the United States to create a “stable-state” ecosystem: a society seeking and more importantly taking immediate action to strike the balance between human beings and the earth. At the time the novel starts, twenty years after this secession, this isolated mysterious country is welcoming its first officially sanctioned American visitor: a New York Times-Post reporter named Will Weston.
Skeptical yet curious about this green new world, Weston set out to report his findings objectively. But from the start, he finds himself both impressed and unsettled by the laws governing Ecotopia’s environmentally-friendly agenda: energy-efficient “mini-cities” to eliminate urban sprawl, zero-tolerance pollution control, tree worship, ritual war games, and a female-dominated government that has implemented peaceful revolutions such as a 24 hour work week and employee ownership of all farms and businesses. His old beliefs challenged, his cynicism replaced by hope and wonder, Weston meets a sexually forward and beautiful Ecotopian woman ,and undertakes a relationship whose intensity will lead him to a critical choice between two worlds that just don’t mix.
BUY HERE —> Ecotopia: 40th Anniversary Edition
The Fifth Sacred Thing, by Starhawk
Author Biography: Starhawk is one of the most respected voices in modern Goddess religion and earth-based spirituality. She is the author or coauthor of twelve books, including the classic The Spiral Dance. She is a veteran of progressive movements, and deeply committed to bringing the techniques and creative power of spirituality to political activism. She travels internationally teaching magic, the tools of ritual, and the skills of activism. She directs and teaches Earth Activist Trainings (http://earthactivisttraining.org), which combine a permaculture design certificate course with a grounding in spirit and a focus on organizing and activism. Her web site can be found at (starhawk.org), and her blog “Dirt Worship” at (starhawksblog.org). She is a co-founder of Reclaiming, an influential branch of modern Pagan religion (reclaiming.org).
Synopsis: An epic tale of freedom and slavery, love and war, and the potential future of humankind if we don’t get our priorities straight. The story tells of a twenty-first century California clan caught between two clashing worlds, one in the north based on tolerance, and the other in the south based on repression. San Luis Obispo is the border city caught between these very different states. San Francisco is the biophilic city of our wildest dreams. Los Angeles, meanwhile, is a completely different horror story of environmental destruction. A must-read for all Californians!
BUY HERE —> The Fifth Sacred Thing
Mycelium Running: How Mushrooms Can Help Save the World, by Paul Stamets
Author Biography: Paul Stamets has been a dedicated mycologist for over twenty years. Over this time, he has discovered and coauthored four new species of mushrooms, and pioneered countless techniques in the field of edible and medicinal mushroom cultivation. He received the 1998 “Bioneers Award” from The Collective Heritage Institute, and the 1999 “Founder of a New Northwest Award” from the Pacific Rim Association of Resource Conservation and Development Councils. He has written five books on mushroom cultivation, use, and identification. His books Growing Gourmet and Medicinal Mushrooms and The Mushroom Cultivator (coauthor) have long been hailed as the definitive texts of mushroom cultivation. He is the founder of the super popular medicinal mushroom supplement company Fungi Perfecti.
Synopsis: Mycelium Running is a manual for the mycological rescue of the planet. That’s right: growing more mushrooms may be the best thing we can do to save the environment. The basic science goes like this: Microscopic cells called “mycelium”–the fruit of which are mushrooms–recycle carbon, nitrogen, and other essential elements as they break down plant and animal debris in the creation of rich new soil. What Stamets has discovered is that we can capitalize on mycelium’s digestive power and target it to decompose toxic wastes and pollutants (mycoremediation), catch and reduce silt from stream beds and pathogens from agricultural watersheds (mycofiltration), control insect populations (mycopesticides), and generally enhance the health of our forests and gardens (mycoforestry and myco-gardening).
In this comprehensive guide, you’ll find chapters detailing each of these four exciting branches of what Stamets has coined “mycorestoration,” as well as chapters on the medicinal and nutritional properties of mushrooms, inoculation methods, log and stump culture, and species selection for various environmental purposes. Heavily referenced and beautifully illustrated, this book is destined to be a classic reference for myco-generations to come.
The Humanure Handbook: A Guide to Composting Human Manure, by Joseph C. Jenkins
Author Biography: Joseph Jenkins is an internationally recognized slate roofing expert with a penchant for environmental and social justice issues. The Humanure Handbook was something of an accidental literary phenomenon. Jenkins began writing the book as a master’s thesis while attending Slippery Rock University’s Master of Science in Sustainable Systems program in northwestern Pennsylvania in the early 90s. Not content with academic convention, but fascinated with the topic of humanure composting, Jenkins decided to convert his thesis into a self-published book. The intention was to learn how to “self-publish,” using a book that probably no one would ever read. As expected, every possible publishing mistake was made on the first edition of the book, which was published in January 1995. Yet, an unbelievable 10,000 copies sold. Clearly there was more interest in this topic than Jenkins had expected, so he revised the book and published the 2nd edition in 1999. This edition sold another 15,000 copies and won several awards.
The 3rd edition was published in 2005, sold out its first 10,000 copies, sold out its next 10,000 copies, and is working on the next 15,000 copies, most of which have already been sold. The book and topic receive regular coverage in the news and have been mentioned on Howard Stern, BBC, CBC, NPR, the New Yorker Magazine, Grist, Seoul Broadcasting (SBS), Playboy, Wall Street Journal, Mother Earth News, and many others. Jenkins maintains a business in northwestern Pennsylvania, where he resides on 143 acres with a large garden, an orchard, several family members, and at least a few compost piles. Jenkins speaks at special events, provides consulting services, and maintains a publishing business and two online stores.
Synopsis: The most comprehensive, up-to-date and thoroughly researched book on the topic of composting human manure available anywhere. It includes a review of the historical, cultural and environmental issues pertaining to “human waste,” as well as an in depth look at the potential health risks related to humanure recycling, with clear instructions on how to eliminate those dangers in order to safely convert humanure into garden soil. Written by a humanure composter with over thirty years experience, this classic work now includes illustrated, step-by-step instructions on how to build a “$25 humanure toilet,” a chapter on alternative graywater systems, photos of owner-built humanure toilets from around the world, and an overview of commercial composting toilets and systems.
Fingerprints of the Gods, by Graham Hancock
Author Biography: Graham Hancock is a British writer and reporter. Hancock specializes in “alternative” historical theories involving ancient civilizations, stone monuments (ie. megaliths), altered states of consciousness, ancient myths, and astronomical and astrological data from the past. One of the main themes running through many of his books is a posited global connection with a “mother culture” from which he believes all ancient historical civilizations sprang. Technically an example of “pseudoarchaology,” his work has neither been peer reviewed nor published in academic journals. But that doesn’t mean he’s not right. Read some of his books, and take the leap to decide for yourself.
Synopsis: This is a 1995 book by Graham Hancock in which the author echoes 19th century writer Ignatius Donnelly, author of Atlantis: The Antediluvian World (1882), in contending that some enigmatic, ancient but highly advanced civilization had existed in what’s commonly regarded as prehistory, one which served as the common progenitor civilization to all subsequent known ancient historical societies that we know of factually. The author proposes that sometime around the end of the last Ice Age, this civilization ended in cataclysm, but passed on to its inheritors profound knowledge of such things as astronomy, architecture, and mathematics. Hancock’s theory is based on the idea that mainstream interpretations of archaeological evidence are flawed or incomplete. A necessary read for anyone who feels there is likely more to human origins than they tell you in school or that any of the current world religions will consider, nevermind admit as possible to be true, since this would likely destroy the foundations on which they were built and lead to a new era of spirituality on Earth.
BUY HERE —> Fingerprints of the Gods
The Ancient Secret of the Flower of Life, Volume 1, by Drunvalo Melchizedek
Author Biography: Drunvalo Melchizedek’s love for all life everywhere is immediately felt by anyone who meets him. For some time, he has been bringing his vast vision to the world through the Flower of Life program and the Mer-Ka-Ba meditation. He is the author of The Ancient Secret of the Flower of Life (Volumes 1 & 2) and Living in the Heart.
Synopsis: Once, all life in the universe knew the Flower of Life as the creation pattern – the geometrical design leading us into and out of physical existence. Then, from a very high state of consciousness, we fell into darkness and forgot who we were. For thousands of years, the secret was held in ancient artifacts and carvings around the world and encoded in the cells of all life.
Now we are rising up from that sleep, shaking old, stale beliefs from our minds and glimpsing the golden light of this new dawn streaming through the windows of perception. This book is one of those windows. Here, Melchizedek presents in text and graphics the first half of the Flower of Life Workshop, illuminating the mysteries of how we came to be, why the world is the way it is, and the subtle energies that allow our awarenesses to blossom into its true beauty. Sacred Geometry is the form beneath our being and points to a divine order in our reality. We can follow that order from the invisible atom to the infinite stars, finding ourselves at each step. The information here is one path, but between the lines and drawings lie the feminine gems of intuitive understanding.
The Four Agreements: A Toltec Wisdom Book, by Don Miguel Ruiz
Author Biography: Don Miguel Ruiz is a renowned spiritual teacher and internationally bestselling author of the “Toltec Wisdom Series,” including The Mastery of Love, The Voice of Knowledge, The Four Agreements Companion Book, The Circle of Fire, and The Fifth Agreement. The Toltec Wisdom books have sold over 10 million copies in the United States, and have been published in 40 languages worldwide.
The youngest of thirteen children, don Miguel was born in rural Mexico to parents who were healers and practitioners of ancient Toltec traditions. As a young adult, he graduated from medical school in Mexico City and practiced neurosurgery with his older brother in Tijuana. A near-fatal car crash forever changed the direction of his life, however, causing him to leave medicine and to examine the essential truth about life and humanity. With his mother’s help, and through her ancestral teachings, he discovered his own path to awareness, which evolved into a deep understanding of the physical universe and the virtual world of the mind. Combining Toltec mythology and scientific perspectives, don Miguel has been able to merge ancient wisdom with modern physics and practical common-sense, forging a new philosophy for seekers of truth and personal authenticity.
Synopsis: In The Four Agreements, 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 book offers a powerful code of conduct that can rapidly transform our lives to a new experience of freedom, true happiness, and love.
Light on Yoga, by B.K.S. Iyengar
Author Biography: Bellur Krishnamachar Sundararaja Iyengar (1918-2014), better known as B.K.S. Iyengar, was the founder of the style of yoga known as “Iyengar Yoga” and was considered one of the foremost yoga teachers in the world. He was the author of many books on yoga practice and philosophy including Light on Yoga, Light on Pranayama, Light on the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, and Light on Life. Iyengar was one of the earliest students of Tirumalai Krishnamacharya, who is often referred to as “the father of modern yoga”. He has been credited with popularizing yoga, first in India and then around the world. In 2004, Iyengar was named one of the 100 most influential people in the world by Time magazine.
Synopsis: The definitive guide to the philosophy and practice of Yoga – the ancient healing discipline for body and mind – by its greatest living teacher. Light on Yoga provides complete detailed descriptions and photographic illustrations of all the positions (ie. asanas) and breathing exercises (ie. pranayama). Features a foreword by Yehudi Menuhin. Illustrations are provided for each asana. This book is the definitive guide to improve upon one’s yoga practice, whether you are a beginner looking for guidance, or an advanced practitioner seeking to work out the finer details of your practice.
BUY HERE —> Light on Yoga
The Bookie’s Daughter, by Heather Abraham
Synopsis: A provocative and candid memoir spanning the first nineteen years of the author’s life, The Bookie’s Daughter resonates with elements of Sopranos and Running with Scissors—zany, violent, dysfunctional, and oh-so-human.
A darkly comedic family saga, The Bookie’s Daughter is a wild ride through a childhood dominated by Big Al, the author’s larger-than-life bookie father, and Bonnie, her trigger-happy alcoholic mother. Devoted to their family yet in thrall to their prodigious addictions, they recklessly plunged their daughters into a dangerous life of crime.
Join The Bookie’s Daughter in a perfect storm of adolescent angst, crime, and shocking adventures. Follow along as the author and her sister transverse a childhood where gambling, police raids, trials, public scorn, spitting Studda Bubbas, hitmen, IRA gunrunners, pedophiles, bodyguards, and midnight runs for illegal goods were considered routine.
Read Taboo Jive’s book review here: The Bookie’s Daughter, book review
BUY HERE —> The Bookie’s Daughter
Driving in the Rain, by Rachel Hockett
Synopsis: Two lives, two coasts, two destinies: Widowed in her prime, with two young children, Lucy Marks considers herself immensely fortunate to find true love again, with dapper attorney Nick Norton. Across the country, Nathan Grunwald plies his trade as a CPA to the wealthy, and tries every way he can to provide a safety net for his stunning but volatile wife, Charlotte, and his darling daughter, Cassie.
“An engaging, deceptively pleasant journey into psychological mayhem. You know something’s not right nearly from the start, but Hockett’s straightforward, elegant writing style keeps you recalculating right to the moment you pull up to your final destination. Perfect summer reading!” – Trude Penn
“This is a very fast and very fun read, with a compelling twist. I liked the characters, especially Lucy and her children. The author drew me in. I couldn’t wait to find out what happened next. Highly Recommended; hope Hockett has another one up her sleeve.” – Kimby Klater
BUY HERE —> Driving in the Rain
illogical thoughts by someone too young to think, by Robert Mynatt
Synopsis: A chapbook of 100 word flash fiction stories. There’s no concrete theme or style, just a random assortment of flash fiction composed haphazardly for no deep or meaningful reason. Just stories for stories’ sake.
BUY HERE —> illogical thoughts by someone too young to think