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Lions Roar : January 2011
SHAMBHALA SUN jANUAry 2011 83 By AndreA Miller books in brief The 14Th Dalai lama a manga Biography By Tetsu Saiwai Penguin, 2010; 208 pp., $15 (paper) my SpiriTual Journey By the Dalai Lama, with Sofia Stril-Rever HarperOne, 2010; 304 pp., $25.99 (cloth) A native of Japan with more than twenty years under his belt as a manga artist, Tetsu Saiwai specializes in creating mangas related to environmental protection and human rights issues. His manga The 14th Dalai Lama, which tells the story of His Holiness’ child- hood and youth, is especially moving. Indeed, it took me by sur- prise that what is essentially a comic strip could make me feel so keenly the sorrows and pressures that the young Dalai Lama faced, weighted down with political and spiritual responsibility for a people under attack. My Spiritual Journey presents the Dalai Lama’s story in his own words. Troubling memories are found on these pages, but so are delightful ones. This anecdote from his childhood makes me laugh: traditionally in the Dalai Lama’s kitchen, no pork, eggs, or fish were cooked. But when visiting his family, he would sit next to his pork-loving father, “almost like a little dog waiting for his tidbit... It was a little illegal!” BuDDhiSm for moTherS of SchoolchilDren finding calm in the chaos of the School years By Sarah Napthali Allen & Unwin, 2010; 258 pp., $15.95 (paper) According to author Sarah Napthali, the early school years are, for many people, “the golden years of parenting, the hard-earned window between demanding toddlerhood and unpredictable adolescence.” Nonetheless, difficulties abound for mothers, in- cluding stress from deadlines and boredom with routines, as well as the challenge of managing their fears and expectations for their children and fitting in with other parents. But Buddhism for Mothers of Schoolchildren is not a book telling women how to parent. Most of the chapters focus on helping mothers recognize and address their own needs, so that they can bring their best to the task of mothering. Napthali, also the author of the best-seller Buddhism for Mothers, draws on teachings from the Zen, Tibetan, and Theravadan traditions. This, she says, will allow mothers new to Buddhism to decide which school most attracts them. The circumference of home one man’s yearlong Quest for a radically local life By Kurt Hoelting Da Capo Press, 2010; 262 pp., $25.00 (cloth) When Kurt Hoelting took a carbon footprint survey, he was ap- palled to learn that his footprint was twice the national average, despite his hybrid vehicle and attempts to limit his personal use of energy. “Since the average North American carbon footprint is ten times the world average,” he explains, “this was an alarm- ing discovery. For someone who prides himself on living low on the energy food chain, this was not something I could take sit- ting down.” Hoelting, a commercial fisherman, wilderness guide, and meditation teacher, gave up his car and cancelled his plane reservations, vowing to travel exclusively under his own steam for one year. The Circumference of Home chronicles Hoelting’s discoveries as he kayaked, biked, and walked within one hundred kilometers of his home in Puget Sound. i hoTel By Karen Tei Yamashita Coffee House Press, 2010; 640 pp., $19.95 (paper) falling To heaven By Jeanne M. Peterson Thomas Dunne Books, 2010; 336 pp., $24.99 (cloth) “Novel” is too simplistic a label for the ambitious I Hotel. More accurately, it is ten linked novellas—one for each year from 1968 to 1977—and it is braided through with playwriting, philoso- phizing, graphic art, and a host of colorful, revolutionary char- acters. The setting is San Francisco’s Chinatown and the focus is on the Asian American movement. Keep your eyes peeled for when, in the ninth novella, one character paraphrases Thich Nhat Hanh’s ideas on love and life. In the novel Falling to Heaven, the year is 1954 and an American Quaker couple—Emma and Gerald—take up residence in the Tibetan city of Shigatse. The