a most special gathering: let us pull up chairs and launch this book together
it’s monday. i know. and that’s not a day when i usually leap out of the cyber-vapors to plop onto whatever is the glowing screen of your choosing.
but i come with invitation:
please join me in pulling up your very own chair to gather round this virtual old maple table to attend the birthing of my next book, the one titled The Book of Nature: The Astonishing Beauty of God’s First Sacred Text (Broadleaf Books).
we’ll gather on the evening of Tuesday, March 21––its actual pub date––when we shall send The Book of Nature soaring into the everland. it’s free and it’s just for friends of the chair––wherever you are––and it’ll be at 7 p.m. chicago time, when we’ll gather by zoom. and all you need to do is click this link to register. the zoom link will be magically sent to you. and, since i’ve never ever done this before, beyond that we will all find out together what happens next.
but what i do promise you is that i will be right here. perched on my stool, snug against the kitchen counter. and i can’t imagine a cozier way to begin this latest adventure in book-birthing.
it is a downright thrill to imagine seeing many of your faces for the very first time because after 1,102 meanders here at the chair, it’s about time we look into each other’s eyes, feel the smiles wash up from the depths of our very own soul, and revel in the collective goodness of those who have so buoyed me over the years.
truth is, i can think of no finer way to gather the graces and muster the courage i’ll need to tell the world all that i’ve tucked into these 200-some pages. this is a book that stands on the shoulders of wisdom seekers across the millennia, and across cultures and faiths and geographies. it’s a book that pokes around in the nooks and crannies of all creation, seeking the thrum of the sacred––the holy Divine––in our very midst. it stands in awe of the moon and the night sky. it awaits the dawn, and gathers the dusk. it traipses through the woods, and settles into the murmurous grasses that rise from the mounds not far from the water’s edge.
this book has been called “a field guide to the depths of your holiest places,” and i hope and i pray that as you turn its pages you find yourself inching deeper and deeper, closer and closer, into your own holy encounters with the ineffable wonder and wisdom that stirs in the wind and rustles the meadow.
but this gathering––this rare leap off the page and into the virtual––is how my heart yearns to begin the book’s first breathing.
you can find out more about this newest book on its very own page here at the chair, where you can even find links to buy it from your favorite indie bookstore, or direct from its publisher Broadleaf Books, or, yes, our friends at the behemoth that is amazon.
here’s a peek at the first review that’s crossed the transom. and, yes, i will be forever grateful to that lovely, lovely soul at Booklist, the publication of the American Library Association, who wrote this in the January edition of Booklist:
The Book of Nature: The Astonishing Beauty of God’s First Sacred Text
By Barbara Mahany
Mar. 2023. 191p. Broadleaf, $27.99 (9781506473512). 200–Karen Clements
Writing with a nurse’s foundation, a scientist’s eye, a theologian’s mind, and a poet’s soul, journalist Mahany (Stillness of Winter, 2020) contemplates God’s presence as revealed in nature, His “first sacred text.” Tracing the Judeo-Christian belief that scripture succeeds and augments nature by directing humanity to knowledge of the divine, Mahany looks to nature itself, marveling at its intricacies and blending scientific facts with literary descriptions that all point unquestionably to a grand designer worthy of worship. She incorporates literary writing by a host of essayists and poets (Annie Dillard, Henry David Thoreau, Mary Oliver, Walt Whitman) and Christian and Jewish religious writers as well as Islamic, Greek, Chinese, Celtic, and Indigenous traditions. She implores readers to continue reading the book and not to allow the noise of modern life to obscure its message. Supplemental material includes an annotated list of recommended reading and an extensive bibliography. Mahany’s lyrical, thoughtful, most recent work beautifully complements her shelf of awe-inspired books about nature and will appeal to fans of Shauna Niequist and Anne Lamott.
till then, i’ll keep finding you here on fridays. and while i dream up ways to sign books for those not nearby, do know that there will be real-live book events in person at bookstores and sacred places in the days and weeks and even the months after the 21st. in fact, an actual in-store book launch is on the calendar for thursday, march 23, at 6 p.m. at that charmed bookstore, bookends & beginnings, in their brand-new space at 1620 Orrington, Evanston.
i hope, hope, hope, you can pull up your very own chair on march 21. though i won’t be able to pass a tin of cookies, nor pour you a spot of tea or bubbly, the conviviality alone will fill my lungs, and set my heart a soaring….
please let me know if you encounter any glitches, and i’ll don my thinking cap. and turn to the wizards at Broadleaf who seem to know how to guide me at every turn.
with love, babs, the chair lady.
p.s. the book in the photo at the top here is the Advanced Reading Copy, or ARC, and it’s the only edition i’ve got, though i hear the final final is due to plop on my stoop any day!
Hooray! What a beautiful Monday message!
I am registering for the zoom call and will look forward to pulling up my chair! And am eagerly awaiting my pre ordered book as well!
Thanks for being sunshine and beauty into my inbox today!!
Worked like “a charm of nature”…. ♥️ 👏🏼
Sent from my iPad
BIG sigh of relief!!! xoxoxox
March 21st: what a perfect day to gather–just the start of spring.
You’re not going to believe this,but I’ve never done Zoom before–but I will definitely be doing it on the 21st. So excited for you!
ahhhh, i love that you are making your zoom debut ala chair. we will be here to talk you through. you just have to click the button to start. and you will need zoom on your device, whatever it is. it’s all free and easy. i might be among the ones with the 40-minute limit. so we will keep it short and sweet!
thank you for signing up!!!
I just registered and it’s on my calendar. I love this tribe and cannot wait for two hours of connecting!
You must be beside yourself with JOY!
oh, dear marcia! i love this tribe too! i am not sure if zoom will let us have two whole hours, because it’s all a murky mystery to me, but i KNOW we will have at least 40 minutes. i will try to eke out more details in the days ahead. and i will try to beg more minutes out of our friends at zoom. see you on the vernal equinox when hope will be perfuming the air. (and at your house the camellias will be wildly blooming, after your fastidious blanketing the other day. hope everyone survived unscathed.) xox
I’m registered for the zoom launch and plan on being at the Bookends and Beginnings launch too. I imagine a few of my friends and family will be finding THE BOOK OF NATURE in their Easter baskets.
bless your beautiful heart! easter baskets!! what a glorious idea. i am relieved to hear you will be at B&B because i was just thinking, ‘oh my! maybe the room will be empty at the bookstore, and won’t they scowl at me!!!’
thank you for both. honestly this little chair launch is going to be pure joy, and such reverie at finally figuring out who we all are!!!!!
I’m sure B&B will be standing room only!
So honored….so excited 🙏😘
Sent from the all new AOL app for iOS
can’t wait to see your lovely self, sweet angel. i am crossing fingers starting now that no techno-gremlins decide to wander on the scene!!
Count me in – for the Zoom for chairs as well as at B&B. And the upgrade for Zoom that allows up to 30 hrs/meeting is $149 – well worth it. I use it for presentations and visits with a long distance group of friends.
bless your heart! i hate for you to have to come in from so far for B&B! maybe i can find a way to come out closer to your patch of green earth!
[…] before i go, in case you didn’t happen to see my highly unusual monday morning posting here on the chair, i bring this invitation to the friday table! it’s a real-live virtual […]
I am so excited for you! I can’t come to Bookends (I’m hosting my mother/daughter book club that night) but will be so glad to see you on Zoom!! Congratulations on this next book baby you’ve birthed!!!
wait, wait, your baby girl is now reading and in a book club?!?!?! i LOVE it! oh my! i think you and i have been birthing things along the same timeline: i so remember the first time i met you at a book launch with your baby girl just about to launch!
Oh I do look forward to that day! But my little Bug is still a VERY new reader! My book club is with my mom ❤️❤️❤️Excited to see you soon!
[…] to set that book soaring with a grand circle of chairs, as night falls on that first day of spring. see here for more details, should you be so inclined. (we’re gathering on march 21 at 7 p.m. central […]