"Watershed: Attending to Body and Earth in Distress" by Ranae Lenor Hanson; published in May by University of Minnesota Press
This book is very unique. Much like a memoir peppered with meditations and insights, it's filled with so many anecdotes and details, it's easy to relate to Hanson and her somewhat unconventional upbringing. But the words on the pages contain so much more. She's able to show an interconnectedness of all lives, not only in northern Minnesota, but around the Earth.
Hanson describes the parallels between the imbalance in nature to the imbalance in the human body through her diagnosis of diabetes and the stories of others who have crossed her path. She carries the reader through gentle waters to illuminate the connections of the climate crisis and all life on the planet. The spiritual, emotional and physical journeys of her own life are presented in a relatable way. It's a lot, but in a good way.
Ranae Lenor Hanson grew up in northeastern Minnesota. She received her BA in literature and writing and later her Ph.D. in cross-cultural education. She taught writing and global studies at Minneapolis College for 31 years. She now works for ecological justice for climate trauma. She lives in St. Paul.
“Watershed: Attending to Body and Earth in Distress” is available online through Amazon, Barnes & Noble and University of Minnesota Press (www.upress.umn.edu).
"The Power of the Emerald Ring: A Dragonstone Story II" by Mark M. Even; published in February by Crest Wave Publishing
This sequel to “The Wonders of the Peculiar Parasol: A Dragonstone Story” is a continuation of the Mendez family’s story of learning of their magical heritage and abilities. The reader does not necessarily need to read the first book as Even includes some background in the first few pages. He provides details without giving away too many details from the first book. “The Power of the Emerald Ring” is a young readers chapter book and it was right in line with my eldest daughter’s appetite for adventure and fantasy. She was hooked within the first couple of pages and insisted on reading the first book before delving deeper into the sequel. As a third grader, the text was perfect for her level and the adventure held her interest with enthusiasm. She did not want to put it down!
Mark M. Even retired from IBM after almost 40 years. He lives in Rochester and spends as much time as he can with his family and especially his grandchildren. This is his second fictional book of the four part series. His website is dragonstonestories.com.
“The Power of the Emerald Ring” and “The wonders of the Peculiar Parasol” are available online at Amazon.com.
“In Sickness and in Health: A Husband’s Story of Caring for a Mentally Ill Wife” by Stephen Zehr; published in December 2020 by WestBow Press
“In Sickness and in Health” is a very honest first person account of caregiving for a mentally ill spouse. It contains the joy and excitement of new love and youthful promises and just how much those promises can be tested through the trials of life. Zehr shares the story of his life with his wife, Susan, and her struggle with mental illness. Told from his perspective as a man of faith, Zehr shares his struggles and enduring love for his wife as unforeseen challenges arise. He shares the moments when prayer and faith pull him through the more challenging moments of their marriage. He shares the importance of their Christian community and the value of their vows to each other. He most importantly shares his love for his wife.
Stephen Zehr serves as the pastor of worship at Faith Church in Minnetonka. He has a Bachelor’s of Fine Arts in music education from Florida Atlantic University. He wrote “In Sickness and in Health” following the death of his wife of 36 years, Susan, in 2018. He has two adult daughters.
“In Sickness and in Health” is available online at Amazon and Barnes and Noble.
Kelsey Hawley has been an editorial assistant with the Post Bulletin for more than four years. She lives in Rochester with her two precocious and active daughters.