Clarity Magazine recommends the following books and movies:
by Pico Iyer
Global Soul is an intriguing book of essays about the rising tide of cultural displacement and the impact of globalization on the human condition. To the author, the concept of “global soul” is flexible. It could mean someone like an international consultant, who carries five different plane tickets at all times, or it could represent the citizen who combines a multicultural past with an equally colorful present.
Using his own multicultural upbringing (Indian, American, British) as a point of departure, Iyer sets out on a quest to find out what remains constant in this changing world of globalization. Publishers’ Weekly says: “Iyer brings a fine spiritual current to his writing, and his descriptive talents are unsurpassed.”
Life After Life: The Investigation of a Phenomenon–Survival of Bodily Death
by Dr. Raymond Moody M.D.
A pioneering work in the field of psychiatry, Life After Life, written by psychiatrist, Raymond Moody, investigates more than one hundred case studies of people who experienced “clinical death” and were subsequently revived. First published in 1975, this classic exploration of life after death became an international bestseller and has paved the way for many other studies on near death experiences.
Saved by the Light
by Dannion Brinkley
Saved By the Light is Dannion Brinkley’s profoundly moving account of his two near death experiences and the spiritual transformation that he underwent afterward. Dr. Raymond Moody calls Brinkley’s book “the most complete near death experience ever recorded.” Dannion Brinkley currently lives in South Carolina, where his life is devoted to hospice work and research into alternative medical therapies.
The Great Lion of God
by Taylor Caldwell
The Great Lion of God is a fascinating biographical novel about the life of St. Paul and the early Christians during and after the time of Jesus. A richly textured work that combines the author’s literary skills with in-depth research, The Great Lion of God reveals the amazing story of Paul, persecutor of the Christians turned Apostle, and the powerful impact he had on his times and long after.
by Andrew Weil, MD
Everyone wants to be happy. But what does that really mean? Increasingly, scientific evidence shows us that true happiness and well-being come only from within.
In his new book, Spontaneous Happiness, Andrew Weil shares the latest research and offers an array of scientifically proven strategies for attaining optimum emotional health. Whether you are struggling with depression or simply want to feel happier, Dr. Weil’s revolutionary approach will shift the paradigm of your emotional health and help you achieve greater contentment in your life.
by Laura Hillenbrand
Unbroken is a biography of World War II hero Louis Zamperini, a former Olympic track star who survived more than two and a half years of internment in several of Japan’s most brutal POW camps. A story of survival, resilience, and redemption, you’ll cheer for the man who refused to be broken and somehow maintained his selfhood and humanity despite the humiliation and degradations that he suffered.
William the Conqueror: The Norman Impact upon England
by David C. Douglas
In this very detailed and well researched book, historian David C. Douglas examines the life and times of William the Conqueror from his early childhood as the bastard son of Duke Robert of Normandy, to the zenith of his career as the most powerful and successful ruler in all of Western Europe. A book for the general reader as well as the scholar, you will come away with an understanding of how William’s intelligence, courage, and military and political leadership enabled him to become the foremost leader of his time and to forge a legacy that endures down to the present day. A classic in any genre!
My Family and Other Animals
by Gerald Durrell
My Family and Other Animals is an autobiographical work by naturalist Gerald Durrell, in which he depicts his childhood and his larger-than-life expatriate family on the Greek island of Corfu. Originally intended as a discussion of the natural history of the Greek island, the book ended up as a delightful account of his family’s experiences, which Durrell describes as “rather like living in one of the more flamboyant and slapstick comic operas.” An absolute great read!
All Creatures Great and Small
by James Herriot
For over 25 years—since All Creatures Great and Small was first published—readers have delighted to the storytelling genius of James Herriot, the Yorkshire veterinarian whose stories brim with the wonder of life. Herriot’s stories of his first years as a country vet are heartwarming and often hilarious. They depict the wonderful relationship between man and animal and the humor, compassion, and love of a kindly doctor who is always available to help. A classic multimillion copy bestseller!
Code of the Woosters
by PG Wodehouse
The Code of the Woosters, another Wodehouse masterpiece first published in 1938, is the third full-length novel to feature two of Wodehouse’s best-known characters, the likeable and clueless Bertie Wooster and Jeeves his effortlessly superior valet and protector, who rescues Bertie time and again from the consequences of his repeated follies. This time the action takes place at Totleigh Towers where Bertie keeps getting embroiled in one impossible situation after another, all under the jaundiced eye of Sir Watkyn Bassett and his menacing associate, Roderic Spode. Without question Code of the Woosters will both entertain you and brighten your day.
Around the World in 80 Days, 1956
This Oscar-nominated movie, an adaptation of Jules Verne’s 1873 novel, recounts the adventures of Englishman Phileas Fogg who makes a seemingly impossible wager that he can circumnavigate the globe and arrive back in England within 80 days. The whirlwind journey takes him and his faithful valet on adventures to India, Hong Kong and the United States. Throughout the voyage, they are followed by a detective, Mr. Fix, who is convinced that Fogg is responsible for a recent theft at the Bank of England.
Available: DVD; Rated G
America’s National Parks, 2000
Visit all 55 American National Parks and see why each is treasured as an irreplaceable part of our national legacy. Stunning photography brings the wilderness and beauty of these unspoiled places to life, including footage of areas seldom seen by most visitors. The narration reveals the fascinating history and delicate future of the Grand Canyon, the Petrified Forest, Glacier Bay, Crater Lake, Capitol Reef, Mount Rainier, Yosemite, and other parks.
Available: DVD (2 discs); Not Rated
Saint Dnyaneshwar, 1940
This 1940 movie recounts the life of Sant Dnyaneshwar (1275–1296), a 13th century Hindu saint, poet, philosopher and yogi, who was also known as Gyandev.
There is a reference to this movie at the beginning of The New Path, by Swami Kriyananda. Paramhansa Yogananda and a group of disciples had just seen this same movie, which Kriyananda describes as depicting the life of Gyandev, “a great saint of medieval India.”
Available: you tube; Not Rated
Inside Job, 2010
This sobering, Oscar-winning documentary gives us a detailed and comprehensive account of the pervasive and deep-rooted corruption that led to the global economic meltdown of 2008. Along with interviews of key financial insiders, politicos, journalists and academics, the film shows, in five parts, how changes in policy and banking practices helped create the financial crisis.
Narrated by Matt Damon, the film was screened at the 2010 Cannes Film Festival and won the 2010 Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature. In a number of talks, Swami Kriyananda has recommended this film.
Available: DVD; Rated PG-13
March of the Penguins, 2004
This Oscar-winning documentary depicts a year in the life of a flock of Emperor penguins who live in Antarctica, one of the most pitiless and cruel climates on the planet. In autumn, all penguins of breeding age (five years and older) leave the ocean, their normal habitat, and trek inland to their ancestral breeding grounds. After a ritual courtship, they pair off into monogamous couples and mate. Over the ensuing months, both parents must make arduous journeys between the ocean and the breeding grounds for the chick to survive.
The film won the 2005 Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature.
Available: DVD; Rated G
Mirror, Mirror, 2012
Mirror Mirror, a 2012 comedy fantasy based on the fairy tale “Snow White,” stars Julia Roberts as the evil queen who seizes control of the kingdom after her husband, the beloved king, vanishes. The queen keeps her stepdaughter, Snow White, hidden away in the palace. When the princess attracts the attention of a wealthy visiting prince, the jealous queen banishes her to a nearby forest. Taken in by a band of kindly but rebellious dwarfs, Snow White blossoms into a brave young woman determined to save her country from the queen.
Available: DVD; Rated PG
Nanny McPhee, 2005
The recently widowed Mr. Brown (Colin Firth) and his domineering aunt (Angela Lansbury) can’t seem to control his seven exceedingly ill-behaved children. The children have managed to drive away 17 previous nannies. But with the arrival of Nanny McPhee, a mysterious woman with magical powers, the children begin to see that their vile behavior now leads to some swift and startling consequences. A movie for the entire family.
Available: DVD; Rated PG
Nanny McPhee Returns, 2010
In this sequel to the 2005 fantasy comedy, Nanny McPhee arrives at the Green family farm, and uses her special blend of magic to discipline the Green children and to help the frazzled Mrs. Green run the farm while her husband’s off fighting in World War II. A movie for the entire family.
Available: DVD; Rated PG
Growing up beneath a five-star Parisian restaurant, Remy, a rat with a taste for fine food, dreams of becoming a great French chef against his family’s wishes. Despite the apparent dangers of being an unlikely and unwanted visitor in the kitchen of a fine French restaurant, Remy’s passion for cooking soon sets into motion a series of hilarious misadventures that turn the culinary world of Paris upside down.
A Pixar film, Ratatouille won an Academy Award for the best animated feature. A movie for the entire family.
Available: DVD; Rated G