Saturday, December 16, 2017
Books

What's Shana Smith reading?

Nightstand

Shana Smith

Smith is best known as Florida singer Shana Banana, a guitar-toting, ABC-wielding nature mom, but she is also a marine biologist-yogi who co-directs the Gainesville Retreat Center with her husband, Dan Smith. In the introduction of her new book, Meditation for Moms and Dads: 108 Tips for Mindful Parents and Caregivers, Smith stressed that while mindfulness, achieved through meditation, can help us "fulfill our ultimate job as parents and effect compassion, peace and loving kindness,'' meditation and spiritual focus "just don't synch" at times when you are caught up in what she calls "the householder scenario.''

We talked with Smith by phone from her home office in Gainesville, where she lives with Dan and their children, Grace and Ben. On Nov. 12, as a featured author at the Times Festival of Reading, Smith will discuss her book and interact with readers as they consider mindfulness in their daily lives.

What's on your nightstand?

It's a huge stack. I'm actively reading Dinner With Buddha by Roland Merullo. I already did Breakfast With Buddha and Lunch With Buddha.

How has the writing changed, if it has?

In the first couple books, the guru in the book, the great teacher, the physical reputation of consciousness was pretty much perfect. He always did everything right. You read and learn from him. What's happening in Dinner is that there are definitely signs that the real world is also affecting the teacher. This is a fascinating take. I can't wait to see how he uses his meditation practice to deal with very serious real-life issues.

Can you give me the one on the stack that you really can't wait to get to?

Yikes. I think when Dinner is done, I'm going to go ahead and dive into Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness and The Secret Sharer. I'm being pulled now towards doing another book, and I'm starting to collect information and ideas and getting it all gestating, and it's calling me to give a perspective that I want to incorporate that I'm not seasoned in. That is to go deep. I mean, I've been Shana Banana for 25 years. I'm very aware of this as a parent. The world is a piece of work, and there's work to be done. It's part of our duty in this life to take care of things as they are. We tend to not just look at blunt reality, and I, a professional positive thinker, well, I need to be willing to go into the darkness.

(The nightstand also includes) Walden by Henry David Thoreau, The Creek by J.T. Glisson and Voice of the River by Marjory Stoneman Douglas. Florida and our dwindling ecosystem is near and dear to my heart. My focus now is integrating my ecology-biology background with my committed meditation practice to go deep into the darkness of what's happening right here in our back yard and everywhere.

Contact Piper Castillo at [email protected] Follow @Florida_PBJC.

Comments
Adam Savage’s ‘Brain Candy Live!’ at the Straz Center: Canceled

Adam Savage’s ‘Brain Candy Live!’ at the Straz Center: Canceled

Looks like the idea of Brain Candy Live! returning to Tampa Bay in 2018 turned out to be a myth.The interactive science spectacular, co-hosted by MythBusters' Adam Savage, has canceled its upcoming North American tour, including a May 5 event at the ...
Published: 12/15/17
Here are this week’s pop culture winners and losers

Here are this week’s pop culture winners and losers

Salma HayekSalma Hayek has spoken out against Harvey Weinstein, calling the producer a "monster" who threatened her career and her life after she reportedly denied his sexual advances. Hayek said working with Weinstein on the film Frida was like "goi...
Published: 12/15/17
What to watch this weekend: ‘A Christmas Story Live,’ Star Wars movie marathon, Hollywood Christmas Parade

What to watch this weekend: ‘A Christmas Story Live,’ Star Wars movie marathon, Hollywood Christmas Parade

OH, FUDGE! A CHRISTMAS STORY LIVE!The trend of live musicals broadcast on television isn't slowing down anytime soon, and A Christmas Story Live! — based on the classic holiday movie and Broadway musical — was ripe for the next taking. Fo...
Published: 12/15/17
Harry Potter’s Nymphadora Tonks, Natalia Tena, joins A Celebration of Harry Potter at Universal Orlando

Harry Potter’s Nymphadora Tonks, Natalia Tena, joins A Celebration of Harry Potter at Universal Orlando

The bubble gum pink-haired, shape-shifting witch Nymphadora Tonks from the last four Harry Potter films is headed to A Celebration of Harry Potter next month.Natalia Tena marks her first appearance at the annual wizarding world celebration Jan. 26-28...
Published: 12/14/17
Kids’ books a popular read at meteorologist Ginger Zee’s home

Kids’ books a popular read at meteorologist Ginger Zee’s home

NightstandGinger ZeeZee, 36, is the chief meteorologist at ABC News. In her newly released memoir, Natural Disaster: I Cover Them, I Am One, the Rockford, Mich., native details her multiyear struggle with depression and her life in the limelight. "It...
Published: 12/14/17
Notable: 50 years ago

Notable: 50 years ago

Notable50 years agoThese three books document some of the events of the cultural watershed that was 1967.Ali: A Life (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt) by Jonathan Eig is the first complete biography of boxing icon Muhammad Ali, who in 1967 refused to be dr...
Published: 12/14/17
Review: Kevin Young gives readers the truth about ‘Bunk’

Review: Kevin Young gives readers the truth about ‘Bunk’

We live in the age of the hoax.Believe me.And if you don’t believe me, believe Kevin Young, author of the sometimes disturbing but always fascinating new book Bunk: The Rise of Hoaxes, Humbug, Plagiarists, Phonies, Post-Facts, and Fake News.In it, Yo...
Published: 12/14/17
Uber Eats is delivering 'free' chicken McNuggets across Tampa Bay

Uber Eats is delivering 'free' chicken McNuggets across Tampa Bay

You'll still have to pay the delivery fee, but the 10-piece McNuggets are free.
Published: 12/13/17
What to watch this week: New season of ‘The Librarians,’ Gwen Stefani’s Christmas special

What to watch this week: New season of ‘The Librarians,’ Gwen Stefani’s Christmas special

MondaySEASON FINALE: The Gifted, 9 p.m., Fox: The team at Mutant HQ is divided on what to do next after Jace is forced to hand over something valuable to Dr. Campbell.Disney's Fairytale Weddings: Holiday Magic, 8 p.m., Freeform: A behind-the-scenes l...
Published: 12/11/17
This week’s pop culture winners and losers: Tonya Harding edition

This week’s pop culture winners and losers: Tonya Harding edition

WINNERS: Tonya Harding The once disgraced Olympic figure skater is no longer on thin ice in the pop culture world. Harding joined Margot Robbie, who is playing her in the upcoming film I, Tonya, on the red carpet this week. While Harding pleaded g...
Published: 12/08/17