Book Recommendations

“I am a horse for a single harness, not cut out for tandem or teamwork … for well I know that in order to attain any definite goal, it is imperative that one person do the thinking and the commanding.” ~ Albert Einstein

“One of the best ways to minimize your interaction with energy vampires is to become ‘empowered in the negative.’ In other words, learn how to turn people down, even if you have to hurt them a bit in the process. This is essential. Be like those old drug commercials: Just Say No.” ~ Dr. Christiane Northrop, Dodging Energy Vampires

I’ve been doing lots of reading this summer and I’d like to share my thoughts on some of the books that have made me think. Two of them are non-fiction, but first I’d like to write about the novel my family book club chose for our summer read.

The Circle of Ceridwen by Octavia Randolph, is the first in a series of historical novels that begins in 871 in Angle-Land. It had been split into seven kingdoms ruled by the Anglo-Saxons. However at the beginning of the book, the Danes (Vikings) control five of the seven kingdoms, all in the north. The central kingdom Mercia, is the home of Ceridwen where her father and then uncle were lesser lords. This kingdom is on the border of Dane-land. Wessex in Southern Angle-land, is first ruled by Ælfred’s older brother, but when he dies, Ælfred becomes king. Mercia and Wessex must defend their homeland. Ceridwen, having been raised by her uncle and then the Prior of the local monastery, is an unusually educated and independent young woman. When she turns fifteen, she decides to leave the monastery escaping marriage or the veil, to find a position serving a noble family. On a bitterly cold day, when she’s in danger of dying, she meets Ælfwyn a Saxon maid. She is on her way to marry a Dane as part of a bargain her father made to save his lands. They become instant friends and once at Four Stones, they transform the place in a very short amount of time.

Until I read these books, I thought I knew what the middle ages were like. But this series of books gives texture to my flat understanding of the people, industries, medical practices, trade, and politics of the times. Reading them was better than studying a dry historical textbook. I highly recommend this series to any lovers of history or historical fiction. It is based on historical events and people.

During the late spring I heard Dr. Christiane Northrop speak about how to dodge energy vampires. She referred back to her latest book Dodging Energy Vampires: An Empath’s Guide to Evading Relationships That Drain You and Restoring Your Health and Power. Even though the full title is a mouthful, I immediately bought the book and devoured it in three days. I’m highly empathic and a sensitive introvert. For years I hid that fact and slowly learned to dodge energy vampires. One of the most difficult lessons was to stand up for myself, and saying goodbye to the vampires in my life.

Even though I’ve learned a great deal, for the most part I continued to hide. This book gave me hope that I could come out of the shadows and embrace who I truly am. As I read, I began to see that the qualities I possess are highly valuable and I need not be ashamed of them. More than that actually, in Dr. Northrop’s estimation, empaths are here to help transmute negative energy into positive. At the end of her book she states that often empaths do that just by being present with people who need healing, or a change of attitude. I loved that! She said that empaths/introverts need to embrace their particular gifts and not let energy vampires drain them or push them around. Which led me to the book I’m reading now.

The book is Quiet:The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking by Susan Cain. She did a fantastic TED talk a year or so ago about introverts and how important they are to creating the progress we need to make. Her talk has been viewed maybe a million times. That’s how I was introduced to her work.

In Quiet, she documents how the American and European cultures became worshippers of the go-getters, dismissing one-third to half the population who hide in the shadows. She also outlines the strengths of introverts and, as I heard her say in an interview, how introverts and extroverts can team up to create something fabulous. In fact, they already have. Apple would not be what it is today without both Steve Wozniak and Steve Jobs working together creating fantastic personal computers and marketing them to the world. There are many introverts who have contributed to the world in amazing ways. On her list are Abraham Lincoln, Eleanor Roosevelt, Rosa Parks, Bill Gates, Warren Buffet, Albert Einstein and many more. In my reading so far, she has examined leadership strengths introverts have in certain situations, that are superior to extroverts. But don’t get her wrong, she knows we need both personality types to progress.

I’m hoping by the end of the book, she will predict where the new studies of personality types that are taking place now, will lead us. Maybe introverts will soon be able to state proudly who they are and society will embrace them as valuable just as we do extraverts today.

Thanks for reading, commenting and liking. Have a fantastic weekend whether it is partying with friends or staying home and reading a great book.

By the way, both my books are half off at Smashwords the entire month of July. Click the Smashwords link below to get yours.

Lucinda Sage-Midgorden © 2018

Lucinda is the author of The Space Between Time, an award finalist in the “Fiction: Fantasy” category of the 2017 Best Book Awards. It’s a historical, time-travel, magical realism, women’s novel, and is available in all ebook formats at Smashwords, or you can find the ebook at iBooks or Barnes and Noble. If you prefer a physical copy, you can find a print-on-demand version at Amazon. To join her email list, click here. She will never sell the names on her list.

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