Select Magical World for your Book Club
Sara Brandes’s Magical World is a wonderful selection for spiritually minded bookclubs, who are hoping to deepen their self-knowledge and soulful support of one another. Adopting a parallel journaling practice, can greatly enhance your group’s reading of Magical World; Stories, Reflections, Poems.
Magical World: Stories, Reflections, Poems
A Guide for Book Clubs
- The essence of Magical World is noticing the small blessings in our lives. For the duration of the time the Club is reading this book, keep a Gratitude Journal. Set aside 10 minutes before bed every night. Light a candle. List five blessings from the day in your journal. (Something that made you smile, a kindness you showed or were shown by another, a gift, a thing of beauty, an ‘Ah Ha” moment, etc.).
- Magical World is made up of four genre of writing: Stories, Poems, Essays, Spiritual Practice. It is recommended that you explore each genre independently, reserving time at the beginning and end of each gathering for the sharing of “Magical World Moments,” moments of blessing or coincidence from the past week that defy the rational.
- Exploring the Essays: Read an essay aloud and then consider the following personal questions:
- “God Wrestlers” (p5) What is the difference between truth and memory? Which is more operative in your personal life?
- “Voice” Who is someone in your life who helps you to access your most authentic or powerful voice? When do you struggle to give voice to your truth?
- “Soul Mates” Setting aside your present partner (if you are married or in a committed relationship), who are other soul mates who have passed through your life, helping to challenge or complete you in some way?
- Exploring the Stories: Allow the stories in Magical World to remind you of magical stories from your own life.
- “Training” (p.14) Share a memory of a moment when you shed some aspect of your childhood innocence? Is there anything you would like to recapture of that time?
- “Bread and Cheese” (p.61) What activities bring you into contact with your environment, helping you to feel alive and connected?
- “India” (p.47) Share a story of a moment when you expereinced the Transcendent (God, a Higher Power, awe a the vastness of the universe).
- Exploring the Poetry:
- What are those things that you most want to remember (p10).
- What place, physical or otherwise, is paradise for you? (p70).
- What memories of Magical Moments arise for you as you explore Magical World’s poetry?
- Consider undertaking a writing exercise as a group, either taking time for free reflective writing or playing with the poetry form, “I love…and love. I love…and I love…” Read your poems aloud.
- Exploring the Spiritual Practice: For groups wishing to undertake spiritual practice together, Part III of Magical World can be engaged as a guide. Dedicate a gathering to each of the seven stages presented in the book.
Magical World is a collection of personal stories from author, Rabbi Sara Brandes, about the magic in her world. We all have such stories. Comment below to share a story of the magic in your world with our community of readers.