Susan Downs    Wednesday, January 9    5 – 7 PM

Minding the Matters of the Mind: A Guide for Anyone Who Has Been Touched by Mental Illness and Wants to Make a Difference

Whether your loved one has recently been diagnosed with a mental illness, or whether you have lived with this diagnosis for several years, this book will give you fresh insights from the author’s experiences in dealing with her 25-year-old son’s unexpected diagnosis of paranoid schizophrenia. You can get past the feelings of helplessness and denial by learning to accept and take control of your situation. You will see the power of asking for help as you create your team and devise your plan. Support is available from many sources; you are not on this journey alone. For helpless caregivers who are in denial and frustrated trying to help a mentally ill loved one, Susan Downs provides real life examples and quick solutions to put readers on a pathway to Minding the Matters of the Mind.


Tarif Youssef-Agha   Saturday, January 12   3 – 5 PM

Hearts, Tears & the Journey of Life: Loving, Lamenting and Meditation, Middle Eastern Style

This book takes you closer than ever to the Middle Eastern views of love, death, and life - all through the eyes of a Syrian poet who lived his youth in the ancient capital city of Damascus. In the first section, he is exchanging words of love with pretty women who invaded his heart - giving joys or causing wounds. In the next one, he is shedding tears for beloved ones who were kidnapped by death, leaving deep, painful scars behind. And in the last, he is trying to make sense of the endless mysteries of life, which will continue to be a puzzle forever. Visit his bilingual website at


Bill Karelis   Wednesday, January 16    5 – 7 PM

Like a Snow Lion in Its Prime: The Path of Basic Goodness

Like a Snow Lion in Its Prime belongs to the general category of humanistic and contemplative education.  It describes in detail the path of personal development, founded in innate basic goodness, which is brought out by meditation practice.  The teaching stream to which this path belongs was first articulated for a Western and worldwide audience by the great meditation master and scholar, Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche (1939 – 1987), also known as the Dorje Dradul (“Master Warrior”) of the warrior tradition of uplifted society, based in the individual discipline and virtue of the individual citizens of that society.


David Romanelli   Thursday, January 17    6 – 7:30 PM

Life Lessons from the Oldest and Wisest: Inspiration, Wisdom, and Humor for All Generations

Elder Americans in their eighties, nineties, and even hundreds, have survived the Holocaust, endured the Great Depression, fought in World War II, lived through the Civil Rights Movement, and endured countless booms and busts. And yet, unlike other parts of the world where elders are respected and revered, so many American elders tend to be lonely and feel irrelevant, without a voice or presence in American culture. The elders need our attention and love—and we need their stories and wisdom. Dave Romanelli is on a journey to meet and listen to the stories of Americans who have seen (and lived) it all! One person he met is a 103-year-old who began driving a horse and buggy, then a Model A Ford, and now a yellow Smart Car, who says, “The first hundred years were the hardest. Everything after that is a breeze.” Another new friend is a ninety-year-old who lost four grandparents, both parents, and three siblings in Auschwitz, and is a reminder to all of us to wake up and be grateful.  The elders featured in Life Lessons from the Oldest and Wisest share a mix of history, wisdom, and joie de vivre, which is our most precious resource. Let us cherish it—before it’s too late.


John Milkereit   Saturday, January 19    3 – 5 PM

Drive the World in a Taxicab

With his own intrepid sense of color, John Milkereit summons magic from the ubiquitous and the mundane. He introduces us to prophets and angels who drive taxicabs. This is poetry that compels us to surrender to our own imaginations. Deftly walking a tightrope between comedy and tragedy, Milkereit's performance delights and inspires. His work makes us laugh, even as it provides solace from our longing. We are reminded that, in spite of lost love, global strife, and disenchantment, magic and color prevail.