|July 14, 2016 by Stefanie Knowlton
Aww! No TEDx Salem until January? Don’t worry, we have 10 books to get you ready for revolution by winter.
TEDxSalem asked storytellers and speakers to share their favorite reading based on this year’s theme: Revolutions. The beauty is that it can mean anything from a political uprising to rethinking poverty. Two readers recommended books by an author renowned for spreading peace, a revolutionary idea indeed.
Check out their recommendations, and feel free to share your own.
Codrescu tracks his journey as a self-exiled Romanian living in New York back to Romania just days before the 1989 revolution. Romanians from all walks of life came together and toppled the Ceausecu regime. Codrescu is witty, articulate, sensitive and examines not only how the revolution happened but how Romania found itself in a state where revolution was absolutely necessary.
Recommended by TEDxSalem speaker Gina Ochsner, an award-winning author and writer in residence at Corban University
2. The Poverty Industry: The Exploitation of America’s Most Vulnerable Citizens by Daniel L. Hatcher
Hatcher suggests that the problems plaguing programs such as foster care and Medicaid are deeper and more troubling than most realize. Hatcher, is also a professor at the University of Baltimore’s School of Law. In today’s protests for #BlackLivesMatter most activists focus on the root causes of poverty and state-sanctioned discrimination. This book seems to support several theories and experiences of those most vulnerable leaders on the front line.
3. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
It is a great dystopian story that blurs the lines of good guys and bad guys. It’s disturbing but also pretty realistic in the sense that there’s a lot of nuance in the issues of our days. Even the people who appear to represent you might have cynical motives to attain power. Also, Katniss Everdeen is a great, complex character who helps you understand post-traumatic stress.
Recommended by TEDxSalem storyteller Saerom Yoo, an award-winning journalist
4. The Mindfulness Revolution: Leading Psychologists, Scientists, Artists, and Meditation Teachers on the Power of Mindfulness in Daily Life by Barry Boyce
This is a collection of essays on mindfulness, explaining what it is as well as how and why we should practice it in daily life.
5. The Art of Power by Thich Nhat Hanh
This book does not mention revolution, and yet it is about personal power and that is where the revolution begins!
Number 4 and 5 recommended by TEDxSalem speaker Jerry Braza, Former professor, Buddhist teacher, author and consultant
Sometimes a revolution doesn’t erupt in a crash of mortar fire or artillery shells. Sometimes it’s the quiet shifting of everything inside a single person. This book was that revolution for me. It’s where I finally understood that peace doesn’t come from the absence of suffering, but in the face of it. Zen master Thich Nhat Hanh shares simple ways to practice mindfulness in everyday life.
Recommended by TEDxSalem storyteller Stefanie Knowlton, award-winning journalist and bellydancer
7. Loop of Jade by Sarah Howe
Several critics have suggested that Howe is revolutionizing British poetry by including strong elements from China (she has an Anglo-Chinese background). The selection of this book for the T.S. Eliot Prize earlier this year has been challenged by some in a male-dominated establishment. A number of women (and men) have come to her defense in response. These gender dynamics, too, remind us of the revolution within the literary establishment as more women join men as poets, critics, and prizewinners as we gain more control over our life choices.
Recommended by TEDxSalem speaker Warren Binford, Associate Professor of Law at Willamette University, Director of the Clinical Law Program
8. The Book of Floating: Exploring the Private Sea by Michael Hutchison
I have been interested in sensory deprivation tanks, (floating) for at least 5 years, but didn’t try it until last fall just before my first 10-day silent meditation retreat. Floating takes away all of your sensory inputs and helps you focus your mind inward. When you’re floating in 800 to 1,000 pounds of Epsom salt and water that’s the same temperature as your body while in complete darkness, you quickly lose where you are in time and space. It sounds kind of woo woo, but it is truly an amazing and unique experience. This book talks about all the benefits floating has on your mind and body. It has a ton of science, too, so that helps legitimize the woo-woo factor. One float shop has opened in Salem this year and another is opening in August. It is definitely starting to become a revolution!
Recommended by TEDxSalem co-curator Brian Hart, half of the dynamic duo that brought TEDx to Salem
9. Jonathon Livingston Seagull by Richard Bach
I believe that this book revolutionizes the way we think. It encourages mankind to find a better world through knowledge. It teaches us that it is important to pursue your passion no matter what, even if it makes you an outcast. It is through this love of learning and exploration that we reach enlightenment and better understand who we are and what we are meant for. I recommend this book because it inspired me to think in different ways to face the problems I encounter.
Recommended by TEDxSalem speaker Megha Joshi, student and inventor
Amanda Palmer is an incredible, creative person and her book is just a small look into the life of an artist. Snippets of music fills the space between chapters and stories in the audio book, making this more than just a “reading” experience. I found myself waking early for my morning walk and losing myself rapt in her words. I felt like she was speaking to me, singing for me, playing at me. There were days my walks went extra long just because I didn’t want the book to stop, and when it came to the end, there was almost a sadness that it was over because it truly was one of those moments you just want to go on forever.
Recommended by TEDxSalem co-curator Carlee Wright, the other half of the dynamic duo that brought TEDx to Salem
1 The Hole in the Flag: A Romanian Exile’s Story of Return and Revolution by Andrei Codrescu 2. The Poverty Industry: The Exploitation of America’s Most Vulnerable Citizens by Daniel L. Hatcher
TEDxSalem will be held Jan. 7, 2017 at the Salem Convention Center. Discounted advance tickets go on sale Sunday, Aug. 7, 2016. Regular ticket prices begin Aug. 21.. Watch the blog for details. E-mail email@example.com to learn about sponsorship opportunities or Mindie@tedxsalem.us to volunteer.
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About TEDx, x = independently organized event
In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. At a TEDx event, TEDTalks video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group. These local, self-organized events are branded TEDx, where x = independently organized TED event. The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events are self-organized. (Subject to certain rules and regulations.)