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Lions Roar : July 2014
BY ANDREA MILLER Books in Brief THE GOOD LUCK OF RIGHT NOW By Matthew Quick Harper 2014; 304 pp., $25.99 (cloth) In her final days, Bartholomew’s mother believes (or pretends to believe) that he’s Richard Gere. And being a mama’s boy wanting to make his mama happy, Bartholomew pretends right back. But the contrast is stark. unlike the celebrity Buddhist, Bartholomew has never slept with a model (or anyone, for that matter). he isn’t passionate about any cause; he doesn’t even have a job. Then his mother dies, and as Bartholomew is put- ting aside her lightly used undergarments for the local thrift shop, he finds a form letter from Gere urging the boycott of the 2008 Olympics held in China. In his grief, Bartholomew writes to the movie star, sharing his deepest, saddest secrets and his spot-on observations about faith, power, and propriety. Gere never writes back but letter by letter Bartholomew creates a life for himself and—along the way—has a host of quirky adventures. The Good Luck of Right Now is a charming episto- lary novel by Matthew Quick, the author of The Silver Linings Playbook. ZOO BURBIA Meditations on the Wild Animals Among Us By Tai Moses Parallax Press 2014; 272 pp., $14.95 (paper) In becoming a backyard farmer, Tai Moses found herself at odds with nature. Although chickens are supposed to like eating slugs, the three she’d bought preferred corn and yogurt, so slugs were free to voraciously chew her garden. Weeds, deer, caterpillars, and raccoons were likewise a constant threat. One day, spying a deer nibbling her irises, Moses realized that they were not actually hers. Wild animals had always lived on this land, but now they were hemmed in by streets. While she had other means of getting food, they did not. Moses gave away her chickens, pulled up her vegetables, and set about turning her yard into an informal ani- mal sanctuary. As she explains it, the world is rife with problems that we cannot solve, but we can all plant our backyards, balco- nies, and community gardens with native plants, which can in turn support native insects, birds, and animals. And while these plots of land may be small, they add up to something big. Zoo Burbia—a book woven through with Buddhist teachings—is a heartfelt collection of first-person essays about the relationships between humans and animals. BRAVE PARENTING A Buddhist-Inspired Guide to Raising Emotionally Resilient Children By Krissy Pozatek Wisdom Publications 2014; 200 pp., $17.95 (paper) MISADVENTURES OF A PARENTING YOGI Cloth Diapers, Cosleeping, and My (Sometimes Successful) Quest for Conscious Parenting By Brian Leaf New World Library 2014; 240 pp., $14.95 (paper) Shantideva, an eighth-century Buddhist sage, once remarked that in order to protect our feet from injury, we can either try covering the whole Earth with leather or we can simply put on shoes. According to the licensed clinical social worker Krissy Pozatek, the most prevalent parenting style today is analogous to option one. With all of the best intentions, many modern parents attempt to shield their children from any and all diffi- culties. unfortunately, cushioned from discomfort, these chil- dren do not acquire the life skills they need to be self-confident, adaptable, resourceful, or emotionally resilient. Brave Parenting is about how to give kids a pair of proverbial shoes. The first step, Pozatek counsels, is to teach children how to experience difficult emotions, such as sadness, anger, and failure, without reactivity. And to teach that lesson, she says, we first need to learn it for ourselves. shambhala sun July 2014 79