The Must-Read Book Club


Stacey Brass-Russell: When my husband and I became engaged, I received this book in the mail as a gift from my (now) mother-in-law. At first I was so amused that she had sent me this very old-fashioned and outdated book written by a 1950’s housewife about the challenges of finding time for oneself while maintaining a marriage and a household and being the connector of family, etc. Halfway through I realized how meaningful and thoughtful of a gift it truly was and continues to be.

This is a book that I truly love, that I bring into class often and that I draw inspiration from regularly. It is definitely a Hall of Famer for me, and since my vacation to Shelter Island in August, I discovered even more in my connection to it and have some new insights, which is always such a nice thing to have happen with a book that you have been looking at for a few years.

YCNYC: Favorite quote?​

SB-R: There are SO many! I will choose one that I feel is so connected to my yoga practice and teaching.

“But I want first of all – in fact, as an end to these other desires – to be at peace with myself. I want a singleness of eye, a purity of intention, a central core to my life that will enable me to carry out these obligations and activities as well as I can. I want, in fact – to borrow from the language of the saints – to live ‘in grace’ as much of the time as possible. I am not using this term in a strictly theological sense. By grace I mean an inner harmony, essentially spiritual, which can be translated into outward harmony.”

YCNYC: What one person would you recommend this book to?

SB-R: Actually I recommend it to everyone even though it was originally very much written for women. Recently a male student of mine came up to me after class and told me he had gotten it after I read something in class and thanked me because he was blown away by it. Anyone in a relationship should read this book!

YCNC: What moment or part resonates with you the most?

CO: The book is a series of essays that are all named for the different types of shells that the author encounters on this beach she is spending time on. Every chapter is so perfect and full of gems. I resonate with the entire book as a thing of beauty and a work of art.

You can purchase Gift from the Sea here.

Have a Must-Read book to recommend? Email us here.

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