Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Holiday Gift Guide: Book Lovers Round-Up #3

ABCD Diaries was given samples for review purposes only. We were in no other way compensated. The opinions expressed in this post are ours and ours alone.

It's that time of year again!  Time to start making those holiday gift lists.  Here at ABCD Diaries we'd like to make that process a little less painful:)  We will bringing you our annual Holiday Gift Guide in which we hand pick the coolest gifts for the whole family and everyone else on that gift list this year.  From now until mid-December we will be highlighting these wonderful gifts.

Today, we are bringing you another round-up of great books for the book-lovers on your list!


"Saying grace is one of our loveliest traditions and one that has stood the test of time for a good reason -it simply feels wonderful. Whether you hold hands and pray to the heavens above or wax poetic about the bounty of food, these blessings turn any group of people into a family, connected by the power of gratitude. Compiled by the editor of and collaborator on the runaway bestseller Attitudes of Gratitude, Brenda Knight has employed the practice of gratitude for years. Grateful Table is not your grandmother's book of graces - but she would like it too! Filled with fresh voices and contemporary expressions of thankfulness in a gorgeously giftable hardcover, this book of blessings will make every occasion more meaningful.

Brenda Knight is a publisher and editor who writes about women's history and issues affecting women's lives today. The author of Sheroes, The Poetry Oracle, Wild Women and Books, and the American Book Award-winning Women of the Beat Generation, Brenda also does volunteer work with women newly diagnosed with breast cancer. Brenda believes everyone does have the inalienable right to the pursuit of happiness and lives in one of the happiest places on earth, the San Francisco Bay Area."


"There is a quiet revolution going on, wherein people are choosing to “live the handmade life.” As our world has become increasingly dependent on technology, artisans and everyday crafters are finding a renewed satisfaction in making something with their own hands. Leagues of people are also finding physical and mental health benefits in handwork, framing it as a spiritual practice. Rev. Maggie Oman Shannon illustrates that you can literally "craft the crazy away" through beading and crocheting, candle-making, and collaging. In Crafting Calm: Projects and Practices for Creativity and Contemplation, a D.I.Y. guide to peace of mind, Maggie explores crafts and creativity as a spiritual practice providing enormous benefits. She takes a rich “potpourri approach” that weaves together interviews, historical facts, "Soul Craft" projects for readers, quotations, and suggested resources.

Rev. Maggie Oman Shannon, M.A., is an interfaith minister, spiritual director, workshop and retreat facilitator, and author of five books, including Prayers for Healing and A String and a Prayer: How to Make and Use Prayer Beads. In 2000, Maggie Oman Shannon founded The New Story, a coaching and consulting business focused on helping people create deeper meaning in their lives. Shannon currently has the honor of serving as Spiritual Director of Unity Spiritual Center of San Francisco."


"Contagious Optimism is an uplifting book that includes stories and parables of amazing life turnarounds. A compendium of encouragement, this book includes advice and guidance from business leaders, visionaries, and just plain folk. It shows readers that, despite personal hardship along with economic and political uncertainty worldwide, it’s possible to find silver linings. Contagious Optimism is pure inspiration that lifts hearts, opens minds, and creates a movement of pass-it-on hope and happiness. Stories from "contagious optimists" include: Ricky Wade, orphaned as a child in Jamaica, worked his way up from the grill to become a McDonalds executive; and Nancy Ferrari, the "Oprah of AM Radio," dedicated to giving all women tools and inspiration for success in work and life.

David Mezzapelle has been motivating others to be positive since his childhood. Throughout his life he has encountered great peaks and valleys, all of which he is thankful for. He has been a guest on various radio and TV programs, and he is also a frequent contributor to The Wall Street Journal and various other publications around the globe."


"There is a way to take the good life and re-fashion it to fit in with life in the city! In Alys Fowler’s The Edible Garden: How to Have Your Garden and Eat It, Too, Fowler reveals how to abandon the limitations of traditional gardening methods and create a beautifully productive garden where tomatoes sit next to roses, carrots are women between lavender, and potatoes grow in pots. The Edible Garden is fills with tips, tricks, and recipes that are good for the pocket, beneficial to the environment, and rewarding to the soul.

Royal Horticultural Society trained Alys Fowler has made fast progress from her studies at The New Botanical Gardens and the Royal Botanic Gardens Kew to become the head gardener for Gardener’s World, an author and a TV presenter. She also hosts The Edible Garden on BBC 2 where she attempts to avoid shop bought fruit and vegetables and live off her own homegrown produce. Fowler is a gardener who loves food. She has an urban back garden with two chickens, lots of flowers, and plenty of vegetables. Fowler is the author of several books and writes a weekly column on gardening for the Guardian. She lives in London, England."


"To be a mother is to be a warrior, a constant supporter, a provider of shelter in and out of the womb. In an unspeakable vow to one’s child, a mother ensures a never-ending supply of guidance and love. An award-winning novelist and a mother herself, Kuwana reveals her personal journey with motherhood and combines these experiences with lessons meant to guide all mothers toward the path of acceptance, happiness, and appreciation for their children—and even themselves.  Throughout Everything I Needed to Know I Learned From my Six-Month-Old: Awakening to Unconditional Self-Love in Motherhood, a theme of spirituality takes hold of the reader as Kuwana’s prose reveals her search for inner-enlightenment, which she achieves through the role of motherhood and shares with readers that are sure to relate.

Kuwana Haulsey is the author of the critically acclaimed novels, Angel of Harlem and The Red Moon, which was a 2002 finalist for the Zora Neale Hurston/Richard Wright Legacy Award for Debut Fiction. Born and raised in New York City, she graduated with a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Rutgers University magna cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa. Kuwana has led seminars for the PEN/Faulkner Foundation in Washington, D.C., and at Rutgers University. She’s taught writing at UCLA and Agape International and is also an actress currently living in North Hollywood where she co-teaches classes on spirituality with Reverend Michael Beckwith."


"After losing her dream home and all of her worldly possessions in a raging and sudden wildfire that killed three people and demolished 21 homes, Kristen Moeller dove headfirst into an exploration of our cultural discomfort with grief, the existence of God, finding humor in the midst of tragedy, and what it means to be a human being with all our fabulousness as well as frailties. Through the sharing of authentic personal stories and profound life lessons, Kristen Moeller explores our pervasive human tendency to wait for life and to look outside ourselves for answers in her new book What Are You Waiting For? Learn to Rise to the Occasion of Your Life. Kristen Moeller's mission in life is to inspire you to get on the path, move forward and take the shot.

Kristen Moeller, MS, is a coach, speaker, author, and radio show host. She delights in "disrupting the ordinary" and inspiring others to do the same. Kristen first discovered her passion for personal development in 1989 after recovering from an eating disorder and addiction. After years of struggling with low self-esteem, she realized that recovery and joy is possible. Determined to provide this for others, Kristen immersed herself in the field of personal growth, earning a master's degree in mental health counseling, volunteering and working in treatment centers while continuing to train and develop herself. Now, a highly popular radio personality, TED speaker and author, Kristen Moeller is an in-demand workshopper and visionary dedicated to providing people with the tools they need to find and live their passion. Moeller lives with her family in Colorado Springs, CO."

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