MBR reviews Simple Serenity by Nancy Oelklaus

Reviewer’s Bookwatch: April 2022
Carolyn Wilhelm’s Bookshelf

I didn’t think I needed any more finding joy books, so started reading thinking it would be the same old. The author suggested writing, drawing, painting, or other activities to help process the book. Not just read it through? Well, it seems I changed my mind soon after beginning to read. This is not a “preachy” text as Oelklaus explains how her thoughts helped her to find peace. She discusses being “in love” as opposed to trying to fix other people. She explains how she stopped being a fixer of other people and says it is freeing to her to mind her own business.

Yes, some of the short writing pieces with questions at the end did seem quite easy. Some seemed to be great for writing group prompts, some seemed good for a reading group discussion warm-up, or even useful for art class. I think counselors might refer to some chapters for finding discussion topics. One of her ideas to solve feeling overwhelmed is explained in terms of her practical and step-by-step system. All in a very short chapter, which others could try although it is explained in terms of her own life. Her lesson from a ceiling fan recently happened to me after I found a telescoping and bending duster online, bought it, and was able to dust our ceiling fans. The vignettes are relatable. She asks:

“When have you felt as if you were being held hostage and your world was narrowing? How did you work your way out of it?”

A wardrobe can support the life you truly want to live, according to Oelklaus. She tells about buying three pieces of clothing and donating four. No piling all the clothes you own in one room, just thinking about the life you want.

She also discusses a “God box.” Any nagging thoughts can be put in such a box until you can see it clearly for what is really is about.

With poetry, stories from real life, and questions, this book offers a chance for a new view of life. Highly recommend.


No Ocean Here: Stories in Verse about Women from Asia, Africa, and the Middle East

SKU 978-1-61599-157-0
$14.95
In stock
1
Product Details
Brave New Collection Honors Women's Spirit Worldwide


No Ocean Here bears moving accounts of women and girls in certain developing and underdeveloped countries. The book raises concern,
and chronicles the socio-cultural conditions of women in parts of Asia, Africa, and the Middle East. The stories, either based on
personal interviews or inspired by true stories, are factual, visceral, haunting, and bold narratives, presented in the form of poems.



"Sweta Srivastava Vikram is no ordinary poet. The 44 poems in this slim volume carry the weight of unspeakable horrors and injustices
against women. Sweta's words span the globe. Her spare and evocative phrases weave a dark tapestry of oppressive conventions that in the
telling and in our reading and hearing, she helps to unravel."

-- Kay Chernush, Founder/Director, ArtWorks for Freedom



About the Author

Sweta Srivastava Vikram is an award-winning writer, two times Pushcart Prize nominated-poet, novelist, author, essayist, columnist, and
educator whose musings have translated into four chapbooks of poetry, two collaborative collections of poetry, a novel, and a non-fiction
book of prose and poems. Her work has appeared in several anthologies, literary journals, and online publications across six countries
in three continents. A graduate of Columbia University, she reads her work, teaches creative writing workshops, and gives talks at
universities and schools across the globe. Sweta lives in New York City with her husband.



Learn more at www.SwetaVikram.com



From the World Voices Series at Modern History Press www.ModernHistoryPress.com




POE005060 Poetry : American - Asian American

SOC028000 Social Science : Women's Studies - General

FAM001000 Family & Relationships : Abuse - General

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Simple Serenity: Finding Joy in Your Life
Nancy Oelklaus
http://nancyoelklaus.com
Loving Healing Press
https://www.lhpress.com
9781615996636, $16.95 Paperback, $28.95 Hardcover, $4.95 Kindle, 168p

Carolyn Wilhelm, Reviewer
Wise Owl Factory LLC

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