Joseph Campbell Classics, Garden Titles and A Beauty Tome | Book Review

By Kailash Maharaj
September 2, 2018

City Style and Living Magazine Books for Summer 2018 The Powerof Myth

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An opus from a pioneer in the world of myth; beauty rituals, gardens, flowers and more to make you glow inside and out.

The Power of Myth
by Joseph Campbell and Bill Moyers, $23.

It is much easier to return to and reread this soft cover book than to revisit the groundbreaking 1980s television interview between Campbell and Moyers on which it is based. The overriding theme espoused is the relationship of the eternal to the temporal. Campbell was a teacher at Sarah Lawrence College for 38 years however this is no academic treatise but a real, dynamic and insightful conversation. Again and again, Campbell speaks of the sense of wonderment, compassion and awe that is the true beginning of spiritual life. From the symbolism of the US dollar bill to the spacewalk and city gangs, Campbell reiterates how myth (or the lack thereof) permeates life. Reading Campbell’s words instead of watching him speak in no way diminishes his message and power.

City Style and Living Magazine Books for Summer 2018 Joseph Campbell An Open Life

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An Open Life: Joseph Campbell in Conversation with Michael Toms
by Michael Toms, $17.50.

A psychologically oriented conversation based on interviews that spanned many years, this book takes myth inward. This slight volume is replete with gems.

City Style and Living Magazine Books for Summer 2018 The Heros Journey

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The Hero’s Journey: Joseph Campbell on His Life and Work
by Joseph Campbell and Stuart L. Brown, $29.50;

Based on a documentary film, the book overlays episodes, anecdotes and examples from Campbell’s own life with his major work on the monomyth.

City Style and Living Magazine Books for Summer 2018 Grow for Flavour

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RHS Grow for Flavour: Tips & tricks to supercharge the flavour of homegrown harvests
by James Wong, $33.34.

While this tome from one of Britain’s most well-known ethnobotanists is filled with beautiful, carefully styled photos, and ideas for better flavoured, home-grown produce based on carefully researched academic studies, it either repeats advice or splits it up confusingly. For example, a well researched and helpful tip to add salt water to tomato plants to make them grow faster, bigger and tastier is spread throughout several sections making it difficult to follow (referred to in one section, readers must visit another section to get the exact quantities to make the salt solution). The book is specific to UK growing conditions and posits that flavour is universally enhanced by sweetness, acid and aroma. Some varieties referenced in the book may be unavailable or difficult to procure in Canada. Still, it provides interesting building blocks for at-home horticulture, interspersed with recipes, flavour profiles and optimal growing conditions. 

City Style and Living Magazine Books for Summer 2018 Whole Beauty

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Whole Beauty: Daily Rituals and Natural Recipes for Lifelong Beauty and Wellness
by Shiva Rose, $39.95.

Draws on ayurveda (the ancient Indian science of life), aromatherapy, crystal work and traditions from Rose’s Iranian upbringing to produce a stunning coffee table book. The soft pastel-hued tones of the photos adds to the sense of calm.

City Style and Living Magazine Books for Summer 2018 Garden Flora

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Garden Flora: The Natural and Cultural History of the Plants In Your Garden
by Noel Kingsbury; $38.94.

Brings together descriptions of the legends, biology and history of many cultivated garden plants as well as an overview of earth’s topographical, climatic and tectonic changes over millions of years. 

Want more arts? This original article first appeared in the Summer 2018 issue of City Style and Living Magazine.

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