By Maryel McKinley 



Awakening To Nature 
Renewing Your Life by Connecting with the Natural World 
By Charles Cook

Keeping a nature journal, taking off that Walkman while going on your walk or hike, and listening to the sounds of nature, the birds and the bees! Cook urges us to wake up and smell the flowers! With practical tips on grounding yourself by feeling the earth with your bare feet, to meditating and coming fully to our senses, “Awakening to Nature” is a breath of fresh air in a planet ruled by the fast pace and hi-tech energy that makes being crazy and stressed out practically an axiom of modern living! 

Through Cook’s thoughtful book we can rediscover our place in the universe, and connect again with Mother Nature, or “Gaia”, as a way to get back to basics and remember our roots as human beings! Cook teaches how to enjoy nature-based recreation, gardening as a type of Zen meditation, and he has brilliantly found a way to make doing outdoor chores a spiritual activity! Wow, now that is revolutionary information! 

So this earth day, I suggest that you buy this book, keep one for yourself, and give the other to a friend. Make a commitment to develop an intimate relationship with Mother Earth! Have fun! 

Published by NTC/Contemporary Publishing Group, this book is available at your local bookstore. 


Allergy-Free Gardening 
The revolutionary guide to healthy landscaping 
By Thomas Leo Ogren 

Author and radio show personality, Thomas Ogren, started researching allergy-free gardening because his mother, his wife and his sisters all suffer from allergies, hay fever and asthma. With an MS in Agricultural Science, and as a former landscape expert instructor and nursery owner, Ogren is the perfect author of a comprehensive informative volume like this. 

Complete with slick color pictures in the allergy index scale chapter, “Allergy-Free Gardening” is the best A-Z allergy rating system I have ever seen as a book reviewer and fellow allergy sufferer/plant lover! This thorough book even covers zones for all climates including the United States and Europe; as well as a glossary of horticultural terms for the newcomer, a pollen calendar and a list of recommended reading. 

Thanks to Thomas Ogren and his new book “Allergy-Free Gardening”, many of us longtime hay fever sufferers may have some hope after all! Three cheers to author/expert Thomas Ogren! 

Published by Ten Speed Press, this book is available at your local bookstore. 


Soul Path A Spiritual Adventure 
By William Benkovsky 
A phenomenal read, I simply could not put this one down! William Benkovsky’s’ Soul Path is a novel of spiritual growth and rejuvenation in the middle of one man’s life, when his spirit guide “Riff-3” helps the main character Matthew segue into a more authentic life during what some would call a midlife crisis. 

The perspective from which this novel is written is brilliant, and captures the reader’s attention immediately, as the one-sided dialogue of the Spirit Guide, while hearing the thoughts of Matthew, helps us to look at our own lives in a different light, as though we really do have help from the other side. 

Benkovsky brings real elements into the book such as an affiliation with the Inside Edge — a popular networking group in Orange County, California. Some of the healers mentioned who helped the character to grow spiritually were real-life author, Barbara Sher and David John Oates, known for his revolutionary reverse speech work. Including the work of these two popular spiritual leaders helped bring the character to life while informing the reader of alternative healing in an interesting way. 

This book is a must for anyone searching for their true place in life — the journey of the spirit. 

Published by Xlibris, this book is available at your local bookstore or can be ordered by calling (888) 795-4274 or online at the following sites:,, and 


The Zen of Organizing 
By Regina Leeds
For a person like myself who is very busy, very creative yet more than a bit unorganized, “The Zen of Organizing” is an answer to my prayers! Regina Leeds has successfully presented a plethora of sensible suggestions to help create order and peace in not only your career, but in your home and in every area of your life. 

She ingeniously covers everything you’ll ever need to know about organizing such as holiday planning, time management, budgeting, how to prevent energy drain, and how to access the reality of our goals and schedules. I was impressed with her ideas for home office space, and her advice on children’s rooms. Regina leaves no stone unturned as she even teaches you how to keep your car organized — right down to what you should put in your glove compartment! I was especially impressed with her idea to color code files as a way of making them easier to retrieve and organize. 

She even has information on how to merge two households — as in the case she presented her client had been living alone as a bachelor for 40 plus years, and was finally going to marry the woman of his dreams. The only problem was they both lived in different states and were faced with the prospect of consolidating their homes into one. Regina brilliantly rose to the occasion and has offered her solution in this wonderful gem of a book. 

After reading this book and implementing the tools that are presented, I must admit that my life is a lot more organized than it has ever been. Thank you Regina for your wonderful contribution to my new organized life! Published by Parkslope Press, this book is now available at  Also check  out 


Why Is Cancer Killing Our Pets? 
How You Can Protect and Treat Your Animal Companion 
By Deborah Straw 
Did you know that cancer is the #1 killer of most domestic animals? I didn’t, until I read “Why Is Cancer Killing Our Pets”. Deborah Straw reveals the shocking truth and more in this revolutionary new book. So many of us have lost loved ones to cancer, losing our family members, friends and companions — if that isn’t enough, we still have to worry about man’s best friend getting cancer to boot! 

The diagnosis is not limited only to man’s best friend the dog, but to our cats, rabbits, hamsters and more. As a matter of fact, when I was in grade school (many years ago!) I had two pet mice, and specialists at UCLA diagnosed them both as having cancer. It devastated me, as there was no treatment available then, except to put them to sleep. 

However, there is good news! Deborah Straw’s new book has holistic treatments for prevention and treatment of this horrible killer. She covers everything from nutrition to homeopathy and naturopathy — to environmental concerns, pet insurance and finally, loss and grieving processes. This book is an absolute must for every pet owner; it might save their life!

 Published by Healing Arts Press, this book is available at your local bookstore and from online book sellers.

Return to the March/April Index page