The Latest from Carolina Book Beat

The Human Gospel of Ramana Maharshi  as shared by V. Ganesan (broadcast 4-25-2011)  This is a discussion with guest John Troy about sharings from V. Ganesan, Ramana Maharshi’s grand nephew, and other stories on Easter Monday. From talks freely shared by Ganesan at AHAM in Asheboro, NC as well as in India at the AHAM Ashram in Tiruvannamalai, Tamil Nadu. These sharings are about the 63 devotees of Ramana Maharshi that Ganesan attracted back to Ramanashram and that he personally served and listened to their stories about their time with Ramana Maharshi until their death. This was his spiritual sadhana. A human gospel; this is not a book but rather a sharing.  Find out about a free sharing download at

Pauli and Jung: The Meeting of Two Great Minds by David Lindorff, Ph.D. (broadcast 9-27-2010)  The author offers us an intriguing biographical and psychological commentary on the work concerning dreams that the Nobel Prize winning physicist Wolfgang Pauli engaged in with the eminent psychologist Carl G. Jung.  In so doing, Lindorff makes a major contribution to understanding how these two great thinkers approached the relationship between science and spirituality in the search for wholeness.  Find out more at Quest Books.

The Aardvark’s Wife by Carolynn Woods (broadcast 8-23-2010) In this personal narrative Woods presents her observations, experiences, thoughts and conclusions reached after 25 years of marriage to a husband with  Asperger’s Syndrome; for 20 years of which it was an unidentified and relentless specter in her life.  She shares her story in the hope it will provide support to those who have been on the same journey.  Find out more at TheAardvark’

Between a Church and a Hard Place by Andrew Park (broadcast 7-26-2010) When Andrew Park’s son asks about God, this faith-free dad tries to find the answer somewhere in the middle ground.  In the search he touches on the hot-button questions surrounding faith and freedom and explorers the polar regions of religion in America.  Along the way he engages in an ongoing process of discovering what it means to embrace faith – or not – while being a worthy role model to his children.  Written with honesty and humor Park offers a clear and thoughtful approach to the issue.  Find out more at

Memories of Muhammad: Why the Prophet Matters by Dr. Omid Safi (broadcast 7-19-2010) This is a well written presentation of Muhammad before and after he became The Prophet, of the world he was born into and the world as it was altered by his presence.  Dr. Safi provides the reader with the means to achieve a deeper understanding of Islam and the almost third of the world who call themselves Muslim.  Excellent both as an introduction to Muhammad and those who revere him and as an expansion of what might already be known, the book helps build a foundation for having productive and insightful interaction across religious and cultural divides.  Find out more at

Grandma always said “Hell’s Too Good for Some People” by Dr. Larry Ivan Vass (broadcast 7-12-2010) This is a moving and often humorous account of two boys who grew up working on a hundred acre family farm in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia.  Filled with stories of adventure and misadventure this memoir offers a colorful introduction to a way of life rich with challenges and  joys that don’t necessarily include money.  Find out more at The Cypress Times.

George Herbert’s Pastoral:New Essays on the Poet and Priest of Bemerton, Christopher Hodgkins, Ed. (broadcast 6-28-2010)  Hodgkins has gathered together fourteen leading international scholars to offer an intriguing look into the life and work of George Herbert, the 17th century poet whose work has inspired many to the present day.  For those who are familiar with his work this is a wonderful broadening of their existing appreciation.  For those new to the name of George Herbert this is a thorough and well-rounded introduction to an extraordinary poet.  Find out more at

Betty Smith: The Life of the Author of A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Valerie Raleigh Yow. (broadcast 5-3-2010) In this first published biography of Betty Smith,  real-life stories are told. The heroes in Smith’s novels develop as self-directed, confident, strong women. These novels present an insider’s view of a blue collar world, of complex characters and psychological dynamics.  Smith’s vision in her fiction was an unusual combination of no-holds-barred realism and hope, an attitude that guided her life. This tale of three cities—Brooklyn, Ann Arbor, and Chapel Hill—is wise, funny, and also sad.  It is the story of a writer’s life but also the life of a daughter, lover, mother, and grandmother.  Find out more at

The Law of Forgivenessby Connie Domino, MPH, RN (broadcast 3-5-2010)  This book explores the concept of forgiveness and its importance from every angle, from scientific to religious, individual to societal.  Domino provides readers with clearly written guidelines and simple affirmation-based techniques to dispel the burdens that we carry when holding on to anger, pain or guilt.   She also describes the surprising benefits that occur when we unclog our emotional arteries.  Find out more at

By the Side of the Buffalo Pasture byKathleen Buerer (broadcast 2-8-2010) After working with the Environmental Protection Agency in Washington DC for ten years Kathleen felt challenged to find a better way to live a more meaningful life.  When she read in the Washington Post about the birth of a white buffalo that held significance in ancient Native American legend she went as a tourist to see.   Years of visiting to sit by the buffalo pasture led her to a believer in things unseen and unspoken words heard as a truth from within.  Clearly and with simple honesty she tells the story of searching for her center and her path in life.  Find out more at

Ghosts of the Triangle: Historic Haunts of Raleigh, Durham and Chapel Hillby Richard and William Jackson (broadcast 10-26-2009) The Research Triangle is a place where the past can linger in historic sites a little too closely.  Join the authors as they trace the history behind some spine-tingling stories and tell us that we might be unknowingly in the company of ghosts in places we’re very familiar with.  Find out more at

Undaunted Heart: The True Story of a Southern Belle & a Yankee General by Susan Barile. (broadcast 10-19-2009) tells the story of Ella Swain – daughter of the UNC president – who shocked citizens across the state when she fell in love with and married the Union general whose troops occupied Chapel Hill. Barile draws on Ella’s never-before-published letters.  Find out more at

Remembering Chapel Hill (NC): The Twentieth Century as We Lived It by Valarie Schwartz. (broadcast 8-10-09)  In this collection, local newspaper columnist Valarie Schwartz celebrates many of Chapel Hill’s most notable residents, from the World War II veteran who came to law school after the war and ended up as president of the UNC system for thirty years to the couple from the Midwest who arrived in 1935 and spent their careers building the North Carolina Symphony Orchestra. Featuring stories of struggle and success from all walks of life, “Remembering Chapel Hill” is a tribute to the twentieth-century citizens who made the town what it is today: ‘the Southern part of heaven.’ Find out more at

A Broom of One’s Own:Words on Writing, Housecleaning, and Life by Nancy Peacock. (broadcast 8-3-2009)  In her most recent book local author Nancy Peacock  discusses the writer’s life,  what it means to be a writer and provides advice on subjects such as inspiration, craft, and criticism. Through hilarious anecdotes about the houses she cleans, Peacock also offers insight into issues of class and stereotypes, and describes how her job affects her acceptance of herself as a writer.  Find out more at

Thank God for Evolution by Michael Dowd. (broadcast 7-13-2009) “The universe took 13.7 billion years to produce this amazing book. I heartily recommend it. I am often asked how science and religion can co-exist. This is a wonderful answer.” John Mather NASA Senior Astrophysicist, 2006 Nobel Prize in Physics.  Find out more at

101Ways to Love Your Job by Stephanie Goddard Davidson. (broadcast 5-11-2009) People expect more out of their work now – not just a steady paycheck but satisfaction and an opportunity to make a difference with others. Stephanie Goddard Davidson, author of 101 Ways to Love Your Job,  shows you how to take your job and love it!  “If you want things (at work) to be different, perhaps the answer is to become different”  Find out more at

Expanding Architecture: Design as Activism Bryan Bell and Katie Wakeford, Editors.  (broadcast 4-27-2009) Local editors Bell and Wakeford present a new generation of creative design carried out in the service of the greater good. Questioning how design can improve daily lives, this book maps an emerging geography of architectural activism with more than thirty essays by practicing architects and designers, urban and community planners, environmental designers, and members of other fields from around the world.  Find our more at

Positivity: Groundbreaking Research Reveals How to Embrace the Hidden Strength of Positive Emotions  by Barbara L. Frederickson, Ph.D. (broadcast 4-13-2009) The author is Kenan Distinguished Professor of Psychology and principal investigator of the Positive Emotions and Psychophysiology Lab at UNC-CH. “Barbara Frederickson is the genius of the positive psychology movement.” Martin E. P. Seligman, PH.D.  Find out more at

An Historical Atlas of the Haw River by Mark Chilton (broadcast 3-16-2009) Carrboro Mayor Mark Chilton is doing more than oversee town operations these days.   Marc has finished this atlas after a year and a half of deep research.  “It’s a very local project,” Chilton said. “I think it will be a great interest to people who like to spend time on theHaw River and those who are interested in local history.” Daily Tar Heel  Great maps  and fascinating accounts of the life of this river.  Find out more at

Knitting for Good! A Guide to Creating Personal, Social, and Political Change Stitch by Stitch by Betsy Greer. (broadcast 2-2-2009) Every time we knit, we have the opportunity to create positive change in ourselves, our community, and in the world. That’s Betsy Greer’s fervent belief, and in this book she shows us how. Betsy explores the ways we can use knitting to slow down in a fast-paced culture, while using the craft to benefit charities in our communities, to advocate for worthwhile causes, and to support individuals and communities across the globe. Filled with insights from knitters and crafters on how they use craft to benefit others, Knitting for Good! will get you thinking about knitting in a whole new way.  Find out more

How to Live: A Search for Wisdom from Old People by Henry Alford.  (broadcast 1-19-2009) Part family memoir, part Studs Terkel, Henry Alford considers some unusual sources – deathbed confessions, late-in-life journals – to deliver a highly optimistic look at our dying days. By showing that life after 70 is the fulfilment of, not the end to, life’s questions and trials, How to Live delivers that most unexpected punch: it makes you actually ‘want to get old’. Find out more at

The Doctor and the Psychic by Leon E. Curry, M.D. (broadcast 9-08-2008)  The true story of an Illinois housewife who is struck by lightning, and soon afterward discovers that she has psychic abilities.   After a chance meeting, she places her talents into the hands of  Georgia physician, Leon Curry.    Dr. Curry has spent more than three decades researching the link between psychic phenomena and medical diagnosis, while maintaining a healthy scientific curiosity and scholarly skepticism.  He makes a powerful argument for continued study of this under-explored field of medical research.  Find out more at

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