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Lions Roar : September 2009
SHAMBHALA SUN SepteMBer 2009 90 BElonging: a culture of place by bell hooks Routledge, 2009; 230 pp., $19.95 (paper) at once hard-hitting and full of heart, this collection of essays explores issues of place and belonging in the broadest sense— family, land stewardship and global environmentalism, and the politics of race, gender, and class. author bell hooks, who is a longtime contributor to the shambhala sun and was profiled in our July 2006 issue, is from rural Kentucky, and our journey with her in Belongings is always rooted there, even when she takes us into the city, or from the past to the present and back again. Hooks’ language is rich and she leaves me aching for the bucol- ic hills and the lush tobacco fields of her youth, but with equal power she leaves me reeling with confederate flags and displaced cherokee. this is a thought-provoking read. tHE Wisdom of sustainaBility Buddhist Economics for the 21st century by sulak sivaraksa Koa Books, 2009; 102 pp., $12.50 (paper) thich nhat Hanh, aung san suu Kyi, and various other luminar- ies have offered their praises for sulak sivaraksa and his writing. sulak, the founder of the international network of engaged bud- dhists and dozens of other educational and political grassroots organizations, has been nominated twice for the nobel Peace Prize, received the Right livelihood award, and written more than one hundred books in thai and english. in The Wisdom of sustainability, sulak suggests that globalization is imposing materialistic values on both developing and industrialized na- tions, and he offers alternatives to the current economic model. we already have more than enough organizations, parties, and strategies, says sulak. action alone, particularly political action, will not put an end to suffering and injustice. For that, he says, we need to achieve personal transformation. moody coW mEditatEs by Kerry lee maclean Wisdom Publications, 2009; 32 pp., $15.95 (cloth) though this book is intended for the nine-to-twelve set, every- one can relate to Peter the cow and his bad day. things go wrong for Peter even before he wakes up. He has a nightmare involving a three-eyed alien, then, already cranky, he catches his sister draw- ing on his skateboard. Peter pulls her tail; she pushes him down the stairs; he cuts her doll’s hair off. then the bovine parents find out about the hair and he gets in trouble. in this way, Peter’s woes continue until he is so mad that steam comes out of his ears and the other kiddie-calves have dubbed him “moody cow.” “we need Grandfather,” mom says, picking up the phone. now for the best part of the story: Grandfather is a great bull with enor- mous horns—and meditation tips, which moody cows both on and off the page will want to try. this, i think, is maclean’s best book to date. the illustrations are truly charming. ♦