Book Circle for Soul Searchers 
with Diane Sears

Is the stack of books in your study or on your bedside table calling to you?  And a list of other books too, for when you finish that stack?  The wisdom within those books is waiting for you, ready to enlighten you about such soul-searching questions as: Why am I here?  How can I attract all that I desire?  Who was I before I was born?  How can I be more creative?  Where do we go when we die?  What is a purposeful life?

If you love books and are searching for answers to these types of questions, you've found your perfect circle!  We'll read one book each month, then gather to discuss our insights and share our experiences related to the exercises or challenges put forth in the books.    

In fact, here is a sampling of other books we may discuss in future circles.  And we welcome suggestions by circle participants of other titles to include along the way.  

  • Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, Robert M. Pirsig
  • Alice in Wonderland, Lewis Carroll
  • The Alchemist, Paulo Coelho
  • Care of the Soul, Thomas Moore
  • E Squared, Pam Grout
  • Many Lives, Many Masters, Brian Weiss
  • Mind Over Medicine, Lissa Rankin
  • One Zentangle a Day, Beckah Krahula
  • A Book that Takes Its Time, Irene Smit
Answer your soul’s calling to receive the inspiration and wisdom within these books, and enjoy insightful and lively discussions with soulful community.  


Request to join this group and receive reminder notices about the Book Circle for Soul Searchers and other Inner Compass events. 

DATE & TIME: Second Tuesday of each month in 2019, 7 - 9 pm. 
LOCATION: Inner Compass Academy, 10901 Reed Hartman Hwy Ste 121, Cincinnati OH 45242.  
$10 per circle, pay-as-you-go.  
REGISTRATION: Open to everyone but pre-registration is required; request in advance to join this group, or contact Joanne (513-587-9855) for late registrations.  



Diane Sears, certified medium through Inner Compass Academy and Light Journey Enterprises, enjoyed a fulfilling career in merchandising and sales until in 2015 when it was not fulfilling anymore compared to nurturing grandchildren. Now Diane nannies Carolina and Penelope as well as operates two creative enterprises. Divinely Connected facilitates development circles and intuition workshops, and gives personal readings, sometimes using her specialty of psychometry with fabric swatches. DiVinyl sells and repurposes favorite vinyl LPs and album covers from the 70s and 80s into bowls and gift boxes as well as other music related merchandise and skirts craftily sewn from collected tee shirts. Diane also enjoys facilitating two spiritual book circles, sewing, crafting, playing the piano, and Sudoku. dianejsears@yahoo.com.  

Small Move, Big Change: Using Microresolutions to Transform Your Life Permanently
, Caroline L. Arnold  

Learn how small behavioral changes can lead to major personal and professional self-improvement. Whether trying to lose weight, save money, get organized, or advance on the job, we’re always setting goals and making resolutions, but rarely following through on them. According to longtime Wall Street technology strategist Caroline Arnold, the “big push” strategy of the New Year’s resolution is designed to fail, because it broadly pits our limited willpower stores against an autopilot of entrenched behaviors and attitudes that is far more powerful. To change ourselves permanently, we need to focus our self-control on precise behavioral targets and overwhelm them. Small Move, Big Change is Arnold’s guide to turning broad personal goals into meaningful and discrete behavioral changes that lead to permanent improvement. Providing scores of engaging real-world examples and new scientific findings, she shows us that while the traditional resolution promises rewards on a distant “someday,” microresolutions work because they reward us today by instantly altering our routines and, ultimately, ourselves.

DATE & TIME: Tuesday, January 8, 2019, 7-9 pm. 

Do Your Om Thing: Bending Yoga Tradition to Fit Your Modern Life, Rebecca Pacheco

Sometimes an hour-long yoga class is the only chance we get to connect meaningfully with our bodies and our minds during an otherwise hectic week. For a brief moment we’re able to let our worries melt away and feel relaxed, centered, and fully ourselves. Have you ever wondered how it would feel to bring that experience out of the yoga studio and into your everyday life? In Do Your Om Thing, master yoga teacher and creator of the popular blog OmGal.com Rebecca Pacheco shows us how to do just that. The true practice of yoga, she says, goes deeper than achieving the perfect headstand - it is about bringing awareness and intention to every part of our lives. In her warm, personal, and often hilarious prose, Rebecca translates yogic philosophy for its twenty-first-century devotees, making ancient principles feel accessible, relatable, and genuinely rooted in the world in which we live today.

DATE & TIME: Tuesday, February 12, 2019, 7-9 pm

MARCH 2019
Carpe Diem: Put a Little Latin in Your Life, Harry Mount

In this lighthearted guided tour of Latin, journalist and former Latin tutor Harry Mount breathes life back into the greatest language of all, drawing on everything from a Monty Python grammar lesson to Angelina Jolie's tattoos. Filled with fascinating tidbits and humorous asides,Carpe Diem will delight the word lovers who made Eats, Shoots and Leaves such a monster hit. Whether we're aware of it or not, Latin is all around us. Consider the sayings in everyday use: alter ego, ad nauseam, caveat emptor, modus operandi, per se, and, of course, the ever-popular e pluribus unum. Even more abundant are words derived from Latin roots: arena (from harena, meaning "sand"), auditorium ("a place of audience"), stadium (a running track)...and those are just the theatrical ones! It's inescapable. It's also the most daunting of languages, one that is seemingly obscure and filled with arcane rules and often accompanied by unpleasant memories of adolescence. But, as Mount says in Carpe Diem, "Knowing a bit of Latin is an invitation to the biggest room in the building, with a view down the corridor to all the succeeding ages. And you can get your hands on that invitation at any age."
DATE & TIME: Tuesday, March 12, 2019, 7-9 pm. 
FACILITATOR: Diane Sears. 

APRIL 2019
Country Grit: A Farmoir of Finding Purpose and Love, Scottie Jones   

Scottie Jones lived a typical suburban, professional life in Phoenix until her husband, Greg, got into a near-fatal car accident. While recovering, he became convinced that they needed a change and a simpler way of life, one more connected with nature and with each other. So, driven by a desire to cut ties with a material and convenient suburban life that had left them feeling empty, they bought a peaceful-looking farmhouse on sixty acres in Oregon and said good-bye to everything they knew. But though the grass may look greener, the road to pastoral bliss is fraught with financial woes, relentless rural roadblocks, and colossal failures. When the burden becomes almost too much to bear, Scottie hits on the idea of turning a house they initially built for their daughter into a Farm Stay, where people could visit and learn about Leaping Lamb Farm. The Farm Stay becomes the niche that rescues them from foreclosure - having found both a sense of purpose and a sense of place, the couple now finds the means to sustain it. In a world increasingly filled with questions of where our food comes from and dissatisfactions about our modern lives, Country Grit is a story that will resonate with countless people itching to get back to the land. Told with humor and hard-earned wisdom, it is also an account of what small-scale farmers across the country experience everyday and a warning that the farming life is not for everyone. 


DATE & TIME: Tuesday, April 9, 2019, 7-9 pm. 

MAY 2019
Spying on Whales: The Past, Present, and Future of Earth's Most Awesome Creatures, Nick Pyenson 

Whales are among the largest, most intelligent, deepest diving species to have ever lived on our planet. They evolved from land-roaming, dog-sized creatures into animals that move like fish, breathe like us, can grow to 300,000 pounds, live 200 years and travel entire ocean basins. Whales fill us with terror, awe, and affection - yet there is still so much we don't know about them. Why did it take whales over 50 million years to evolve to such big sizes, and how do they eat enough to stay that big? How did their ancestors return from land to the sea - and what can their lives tell us about evolution as a whole? Importantly, in the sweepstakes of human-driven habitat and climate change, will whales survive? Nick Pyenson's research has given us the answers to some of our biggest questions about whales. He takes us deep inside the Smithsonian's unparalleled fossil collections, to frigid Antarctic waters, and to the arid desert in Chile, where scientists race against time to document the largest fossil whale site ever found. Full of rich storytelling and scientific discovery, Spying on Whales spans the ancient past to an uncertain future - all to better understand the most enigmatic creatures on Earth. 

DATE & TIME: Tuesday, May 14, 2019, 7-9 pm. 

JUNE 2019
The Gnostics: Myth, Ritual, and Diversity in Early Christianity by David Brakke 

David Brakke's The Gnostics offers an illuminating discussion of recent scholarly debates over the concept of “Gnosticism” and the nature of early Christian diversity. Acknowledging that the category “Gnosticism” is flawed and must be reformed, Brakke shows how Gnostic myth and ritual addressed basic human concerns about alienation and meaning, offered a message of salvation in Jesus, and provided a way for people to regain knowledge of God, the ultimate source of their being. Brakke further asserts that the Gnostics participated in an ongoing reinvention of Christianity, in which other Christians not only rejected their ideas but also adapted and transformed them. This book not only challenges scholars to think in news ways, it also provides an accessible introduction to the Gnostics and their fellow early Christians.

For this month's circle, in addition to our discussion, we will listen to excerpts from Brakke's audiobook, Gnosticism:  From Nag Hammadi to the Gospel of Judas, one of "The Great Courses." Judy Daley-Wright, a "regular" book circle participant with passion for, and expertise on, "The Great Courses," will offer accompanying excerpts and insights to enhance our learning and discussion.  Please note: There is no need to listen to this audiobook in advance of our book circle - it is simply intended to enhance our circle discussion.  

DATE & TIME: Tuesday, June 11, 2019, 7-9 pm. 

JULY 2019
Jonathan Livingston Seagull by Richard Bach  

This contemporary classic is a song for spirits who have lived so long and so quietly by themselves. Jonathan Seagull is a story for one who knows that somewhere there’s a higher way of living than scuffing the tracks of others, someone who yearns to fly the way their own heart yearns to fly. It’s a reminder, this little fable, that the path for us to follow is already written within, that it's for each of us to find our own loves, and live them brightly for ourselves. Others may watch, they may admire our resolution or despise it, but our one freedom is for us to love and to choose every day of our lives, as we wish. 

DATE & TIME: Tuesday, July 9, 2019, 7-9 pm. 

The Reluctant Psychic by Suzan Saxman  

We all, as children, saw imaginary friends and heard monsters in the closet. But for Suzan Saxman, those friends and monsters didn't go away, and they weren't imaginary. They were the dead who came to her from the time she was a little girl with urgent messages for the living. Raised in a house filled with secrets, she saw and spoke the truth as soon as she could talk, alarming the nuns in her convent school with her revelations and terrifying her own mother with her strange visions. Always skeptical of her tremendous gift, she struggled to come to terms with her calling even as she revealed the destinies of everyone, from housewives to hit men, stockbrokers to rock-and-rollers. She could witness everyone's future, everyone's but her own. In this memoir, Suzan tells the story of her journey and tries to make sense of her family's buried secrets. Through powerful readings of others' destinies interwoven with compelling narrative, a reluctant psychic emerges from the shadows. 

DATE & TIME: Tuesday, August 13, 2019, 7-9 pm. 

Make Your Bed: Little Things that Can Change Your Life...and Maybe the World, by Admiral William H. McRaven

On May 17, 2014, Admiral William H. McRaven addressed the graduating class of the University of Texas at Austin on their Commencement day. Taking inspiration from the university's slogan, "What starts here changes the world," he shared the ten principles he learned during Navy Seal training that helped him overcome challenges not only in his training and long Naval career, but also throughout his life; and he explained how anyone can use these basic lessons to change themselves-and the world-for the better. Admiral McRaven's original speech went viral with over 10 million views. Building on the core tenets laid out in his speech, McRaven recounts tales from his own life and from those of people he encountered during his military service who dealt with hardship and made tough decisions with determination, compassion, honor, and courage. Told with great humility and optimism, this timeless book provides simple wisdom, practical advice, and words of encouragement that will inspire readers to achieve more, even in life's darkest moments. 

DATE & TIME: Tuesday, September 10, 2019, 7-9 pm. 

Piano Lessons: A Memoir, by Anna Goldsworthy  

Anna Goldsworthy was nine years old when she met Eleanora Sivan, the charismatic Russian émigré and world-class pianist who became her piano teacher. This memoir is the story of what Mrs. Sivan brought to Anna's lessons: a love of music, a respect for life, a generous spirit, and the courage to embrace a musical life. Beautifully written and strikingly honest, Piano Lessons takes the reader on a journey into the heart and meaning of music. As Anna discovers passion and ambition, confronts doubt and disappointment, and learns about much more than tone and technique, Mrs. Sivan's wisdom guides her: "We are not teaching piano playing. We are teaching philosophy and life and music digested." Anna Goldsworthy reminds us all how an extraordinary teacher can change a life completely. A work that will appeal to all music lovers and anyone who has ever taken a music lesson, Piano Lessons will also touch the heart of anyone who has ever loved a teacher.  

DATE & TIME: Tuesday, October 8, 2019, 7-9 pm.


The Curse of the Boyfriend Sweater: Essays on Crafting by Alanna Okun

People who craft know things. They know how to transform piles of yarn into sweaters and scarves. They know that some items, like woolen bikini tops, are better left unknit. They know that making a hat for a newborn baby isn’t just about crafting something small but appreciating the beginnings of life, which sometimes helps make peace with the endings. They know that if you knit your boyfriend a sweater, your relationship will most likely be over before the last stitch. Alanna Okun knows that crafting keeps her anxiety at bay. She knows that no one will ever be as good a knitting teacher as her beloved grandmother. And she knows that even when we can’t control anything else, we can at least control the sticks, string, and fabric right in front of us. Okun lays herself bare and takes readers into the parts of themselves they often keep hidden. Yet at the same time she finds humor in the daily indignities all crafters must face (like when you catch the dreaded Second Sock Syndrome and can’t possibly finish the second in a pair). Okun has written a book that will speak to anyone who has said to themselves, or to everyone within earshot, “I made that."  

DATE & TIME: Tuesday, November 12, 2019, 7-9 pm. 

"Show and Tell," Bring a Snack, and Make a Craft  

An evening of sharing and crafting! Please bring a snack to share - along with a favorite book - and plan to share with the group the book's special meaning for you or how it has impacted your life. We will also craft a variety of bookmarks that you can either keep for yourself or share with the other bibliophiles in your life. 

DATE & TIME: Tuesday, December 10, 2019, 7-9 pm.

Request to join this group and receive reminder notices about the Book Circle for Soul Searchers and other Inner Compass events. 

DATE & TIME: Second Tuesday of each month in 2019, 7 - 9 pm.  
LOCATION: Inner Compass Academy, 10901 Reed Hartman Hwy Ste 121, Cincinnati OH 45242.  
$10 per circle, pay-as-you-go.  
REGISTRATION: Open to everyone but pre-registration is required; request in advance to join this group, or contact Joanne (513-587-9855) for late registrations.  

Inner Compass LLC  *  10901 Reed Hartman Highway, Suite 121  *  Cincinnati, Ohio 45242



All contents copyright Ó 2018 Joanne Franchina.  All rights reserved.