We are honored to share in the wisdom, love, hope, and creativity
that flow from our Award-Winning books.

Winter 2019 Feature Focus:
"portals to new perspectives"

As we embark into another New Year and Decade, this is a prime opportunity to reflect, and actively craft the finer future we wish to step into. Lasting, tangible shifts and transformation often require us to be, proactively, open to seeing NEW PERSPECTIVES, acquiring new understanding, inviting-in fresh ways of being.

Through a wide-range of topics, the following Nautilus award-winning Better Books open these PORTALS that have the capacity to propel us into that Better Future & Better World – personally and collectively.

We hope that you enJOY these excerpts from a few of our wise authors who have blessed us (in the 2018 Nautilus Season) with their new perspectives!

Mind To Matter: The Astonishing Science of How Your Brain Creates Material Reality

Author: Dr. Dawson Church
Publisher: Hay House
Gold Award: Inner Prosperity & Right Livelihood

The Dance of Creation  (p. xxii)
I am excited to share each one of these links with you. Through story and analogy, through experiment and research, through case histories and anecdotes, we’ll trace every part of the process by which your mind creates the material world around you.

You’ll discover that you are a potent creator, and that your thoughts lead to things. You’ll learn how to use your mind deliberately, as a creative tool, to think nurturing thoughts. You’ll understand how you can nudge material reality effortlessly toward your desires. You’ll grasp just how powerful you really are and how capable you are of creating change by simply changing your mind.

You’ll also discover how the process works on a grand scale, from the molecule to the cell to the body to the family to the community to the country to the species to the planet to the universe. We’ll investigate the dance of creation happening at the scale of nonlocal universal consciousness and how your local mind participates in that dance.

This perspective lifts our awareness from the confines of our ordinary reality into a vast field of potential.  As we align our individual local minds with the consciousness of the universal nonlocal mind, the beauty of the material reality we create surpasses anything our limited local minds can even dream of.

Love Worth Making
     Author: Stephen Snyder, MD
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Gold Award: Relationships & Communication

A Hidden Realm   (p. 11)
Somewhere beyond “friction plus fantasy” is a realm where sexuality connects us to each other and to the deepest parts of ourselves. It’s a place where sex feeds and is fed by love.

This is the most personal aspect of sex. In all the many books that have been written on lovemaking, you’ll find precious little written about it.

It’s no mystery why. This aspect of sex is not an easy subject. But this “sex of the heart” is an essential subject if you want to understand lovemaking.

It’s in this realm of sex of the heart that we’ll find the hidden rules we’re seeking.

Most of us feel this more personal erotic feeling somewhere in our chests. Hence, by tradition, “heart.” A more precise term, though lacking in physical resonance, might be “sex of the self.”

Unlike friction and fantasy, this part of sex can’t be bought, sold, marketed, or packaged as a commodity. It is simply a gift to be received. Its proper accompanying emotion is not really desire, or lust — but rather simply gratitude, or perhaps awe.

This kind of sex can’t be produced simply by following a recipe. So it’s no accident that few how-to books on sex concern themselves much with it.

Sex becomes truly special either of its own volition, or not at all. But we can help nurture the conditions for it to flourish, once we know what those conditions are.


Devised!  Balancing Life & Technology in a Digital World
     Author: Doreen Dodgen-Magee
Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield
Gold Award: Psychology

Inwardness    (p. 129)
I often think about ways we might be inspired to stop our constant online searching and engagement and instead protect and engage even small moments for getting to know ourselves better. I wonder what kind of self-knowledge might result if we left our earbuds at home or sat on the subway without engaging a device.

I imagine potential benefits gleaned from the simple act of standing in line without pulling out a phone. If we were to do these things even some of the time, I believe we would enlarge our ability to genuinely be with ourselves.

Being able to be with ourselves in all our complexity requires an ability to be still, at least occasionally. When we fritter away all our moments in unconscious searching for answers and entertainment, we are left with few moments of idle time within which to develop the skill of stillness.

And developing this skill is rife with profound potential!  This isn’t just common sense; it’s also found in scientific studies that demonstrate correlation between boredom tolerance and higher levels of creativity and focus, two skills born from the ability to tolerate stillness.


The Jewel of Abundance
     Author: Ellen Grace O'Brian
Publisher: New World Library
Silver Award: Religion/Spirituality of Eastern Thought

(Pg 16)
What does thriving require of us? What does it take to prosper and be successful in harmony with spiritual principles? It requires these five attributes, which correlate to the five parts of this book:

HIGHER PURPOSE: We realize the essential connection between prosperity and purpose—why it’s important to thrive and commit ourselves to it.

INSIGHT: We know who we really are—the unfailing Source of our innate abundance, unconditional happiness, and divine destiny.

A SKILLFUL WAY: We discern how to live a prosperous, spiritually awakened life through contemplation, meditation, and joyful self-discipline.

CLARITY: We use spiritual principles to overcome obstacles and optimize success.

GENEROSITY: We discover how radical prosperity, generosity, and spiritual generativety can foster lasting fulfillment and positive change for generations to come.

Take heart. You are holding in your hands an artha manual—a time-tested guide to wealth with a spiritual perspective, wealth with the wisdom of the ages illuminating the way.


A Finer Future: Creating an Economy in Service to Life
     Authors: Hunter Lovins, Stewart Wallis, Anders Wijkman & John Fullerton
Publisher: New Society Publishers
Silver Award: Ecology & Environment

(Pg 56)
What Do We Want?

The new narrative must tell us how to

  1. achieve a flourishing life within ecological limits;
  2. deliver universal well-being as we meet the basic needs of all humans; and
  3. deliver sufficient equality to maintain social stability and provide the basis for genuine security.

The first step in turning away from the threat of collapse is to imagine an alternative economic system.

Try it.

(Pg 323)
For change to happen, people throughout society must demand it. Politicians, by nature of the electoral cycle, follow what people articulate as their demands. They are concerned mostly about whether they can persuade enough voters to fund them and re-elect them in two years. Politicians won’t lead us. But perhaps we can.

Our work is to empower this growing movement to create an economy resonant with the ancient wisdom we have forgotten. The work is internal as we, each of us, find our way. But it is also external. It will require you and me and all who would craft a finer future to get our hands dirty in the contract sport of politics.

The creation of new power bases or movements operating at all levels is needed— local, national, regional, and global. Such movements will be collaborating networks that draw on civil society, research and policy communities, business, multifaith groups, cultural icons, and new economics practitioners. They will operate at the level of values and principles, and articulate a compelling story of possibility.


A good book makes a great gift for children of all ages! Gifting a Book that will, in some way, SEED HOPE and a Better World and Future for them, is even Better!
The Nautilus Award-winning Children’s, Mid-Grade and Young Adult books that we feature today offer insights, inspiration and new learning. We wish to provide resources for you to nurture our young persons' blossoming. And, because these books can be read again & again, and shared with delight - it can also be a gift that keeps on growing and giving…



Be inspired by this list of excellent Nautilus Award-winning early Childhood through Young Adult titles for your consideration:




Silver Award: Children’s Illustrated -Fiction
Sally Bolger
Roundtree Press / Cameron & Co.



Silver Award: Children’s Illustrated - Non-fiction
Joseph K Gaydos & Audrey DeLella Benedict
Little Bigfoot / Sasquatch Books



Silver Award: Animals & Nature
Silver Award: Young Adult -Non-fiction
Michael S. Engel
Sterling Publishing




Gold Award: Children’s Picture Books - Non-fiction
Michael Genhart & Holly Clifton-Brown, Illustrator
Magination Press / APA



Silver Award: Middle Grades -Fiction
Jan Jacobi
Reedy Press



Gold Award: Middle Grades -Non-fiction
Kate T. Parker
Workman Publishing




Silver Award: Children’s Picture Books -Fiction
Michael Genhart & Ken Min, Illustrator
Little Pickle Press



Gold Award: Children’s Illustrated -Non-fiction
Traci Sorell
Charlesbridge Publishing / PRH



Gold Award: Middle Grades -Non-fiction
Special Honors as 2018 Best of Children’s Books
Eldon Yellowhorn, & Kathy Lowinger
Annick Press




Silver Award: Children’s Picture Books -Fiction[real]
Catarina R. Peterson
Grosvenor House Publishing



Silver Award: Children’s Illustrated -Fiction[real]
Shira Boss
Sterling Publishing



Silver Award: Middle Grades -Non-fiction
Mary Beth Leatherdale, Editor; Eleanor Shakespeare, Illustrator
Annick Press

November 2019 Feature Focus:
"Gift a Seed of hope"

A good book makes a great gift! Gifting a Book that will, in some way, SEED a Better World is even Better! These Nautilus Award-winning books offer a sea of insights through different paths to positive transformation and growth. A gift of a Better Book for a Better World can be a catalyst for compelling conversation, internal reflection, meaningful action and personal renewal. It can awaken inspiration or a new idea, empower a new possibility – enliven a new HOPE.
And, because an impactful book is often shared with delight - it can also be a gift that keeps on growing & giving…



To assist with your perfect gift selection:

  • Peruse all the Award-Winning Titles as listed by Category HERE
  • Find a great fit by reading the excerpts from our Feature Focus spotlight series below
  • Be inspired by this list of excellent options:


Intrinsic Hope: Living Courageously in Troubled Times

Grand Award & Gold Award: Personal Growth (Large Publisher)
Kate Davies
New Society Publishers


Almost Everything: Notes on Hope

Silver Award: Gift & Specialty
Anne Lamott
Riverhead / Penguin RandomHouse


hope nation

Gold Award: Young Adult Non-fiction
Rose Brock, Editor
Philomel / PenguinRandomHouse




Gold Award: Creative Process; & Silver Award: Young Adult Non-fiction
Lois Farfel Stark
Greenleaf Book Group



Silver Award: Photography & The Arts
Andrew Harvey & Brett Hurd, photographer
Unity Books



Silver Award: Inner Prosperity & Right Livelihood
Alberto Villoldo, PhD
Four Winds Society / Hay House


Forest Bathing Retreat: Find Wholeness in the Company of Trees

Silver Award: Animals & Nature
Hannah Fries
Storey Publishing


A Book That Takes Its Time

Gold Award: Gift & Specialty
Irene Smit & Astrid van der Hulst
Workman Publishing


Yoga Wisdom: Warrior Tales Inspiring You On & Off Your Mat

Silver Award: Body, Mind & Spirit Practices
Stephanie Spence
Skyhorse Publishing




Gold Award: Green Living / Sustainability
Jill Lightner
Mountaineers Books / Skipstone



Silver Award: Food, Cooking & Healthy Eating
Max Lugavere
Harper Wave



Silver Award: Food, Cooking & Healthy Eating
Lisa Joy Mitchell
She Writes Press

September 2019 Feature Focus:
"Building Bridges"

How do we navigate across the distance between and deep canyons that divide us from where we are NOW and where we want to be — whether it be our own very personal vision and dream, the social injustice we notice or live through, greater spiritual growth and understanding, the significant challenges we face ecologically as a global collective, or ALL of the above? We need to roll up our sleeves and forge pathways and BUILD BRIDGES to span the divides.

The first step is awareness — an insight that then leads to action — a shift — a brighter way forward. These Nautilus Award-winning books offer insights that can ignite our capacity to build or manifest a Better World.


The Person You Mean to Be: How Good People Fight Bias

Gold Award: Social Sciences & Education
Author: Dolly Chugh
Publisher: Harper Business

(pp. 17-19)  This book is for and about people of all races, ethnicities, genders, religions, physical and mental abilities, and sexual orientations, good people who believe in building a better workplace and world. As we move from being a good person to being a good-ish person trying to be better, we can expect certain emotional reactions. …

Most important, consider the possibility that the thoughts and feelings that arise for you while reading this book are the same ones that arise for you when confronting these issues in the real world. Pay attention to the reactions you have while reading (maybe even jot some of them down). Consider that these may be the same reactions that you have to issues of diversity and inclusion in other parts of your life. …

When you have the reactions above, the tools in the book are ready for you to use them. You do not —in fact, should not —wait until you are done reading the book to begin applying them. Practice with your own mind and heart while reading, so that you will be better able to do so out in the world.

And when you are out in the world, you can expect to use these tools in many parts of your life. I hope this book helps you to talk effectively about LGBTQ rights at holiday gathering or address a racist joke at work. I hope it helps you respond to a coworker who calls you sexist or figure out what to say to your immigrant neighbor about news of hate crimes. I hope it helps you think about what you can do to make your next meeting a more inclusive one or decide what you think of protests and protesters.

     I also hope to surprise you with research that reveals the selfishness of the urge to “save” people in need, the inefficacy of sympathy and “white tears,” and what people may be thinking when you say you do not see color. Our intentions and our impact are not always the same, and research can help us fine-tune the assumptions we make about ourselves and others.

In the chapters that follow, science will guide us and stories will bring the science to life. We will unpack the work believers need to do to become builders in four phases:

  1. Activating a Growth Mindset of being a good-ish work-in-progress, not a pre-made good person;
  2. Seeing the Ordinary Privilege we hold and putting it to good use on behalf of others;
  3. Opting for Willful Awareness, though our minds and lives make willful ignorance more likely; and
  4. Engaging the people and systems around us.

(p. 43)  As builders, we are ready to look at ourselves as individuals who carry unconscious biases and examine ourselves as part of systems in which biases are baked in - culturally, legally, and structurally. To confront both unconscious and systemic bias, we will need to keep our growth mindsets activated.


A Baptist Preacher’s Buddhist Teacher: How My Interfaith Journey with Daisaku Ikeda
Made Me a Better Christian     

Gold Award: Religion /Spirituality of Western Thought
Author: Lawrence Edward Carter, Sr.
Dean of the Martin Luther King Jr. International Chapel
Publisher: Middleway Press /division of SGI-USA

(pp.113- 114)  When I first began reading about the SGI [Soka Gakkai International], I realized that it was a form of peace-oriented resistance based on agape.  It offered an alternative vision of our interdependence and our diversity; a revolutionary vision of inclusive forgiveness and of personal and communal dignity. Furthermore, Daisaku Ikeda was not warden to the prison of conventional morality. As I learned about him, I quickly realized that he has done a much more effective job at institutionalizing his message and his dreams than even Gandhi or King.

... There are not many people who embody a true and deep world perspective and a global interfaith understanding that are respectful of differences.  Ikeda is certainly such a person…  Ikeda asked about my first meeting with Martin Luther King Jr., and as we talked about that encounter, he was particularly interested in hearing about King’s humanity and the quality of his personality. Unlike many others I have told about this encounter, Ikeda did not simply want to discuss my commitment to King’s values or our shared faith. He wanted to understand the personal basis for the significant regard I hold for my mentor —why I had given my life to his teachings. The best way to fulfill Jesus’ words ‘Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done, On earth as it is in heaven’ is to realize King’s moral cosmopolitan dream.

(p.123)   At one point in our conversation, I recalled that when Martin King was asked to name the foremost Christian of the twentieth century, he named Mahatma Gandhi, who was, in fact, not a Christian. I told Ikeda that King had a broad and encompassing view of Christianity. He embraced anyone with whom he found common cause, regardless of their religious faith.  In fact, Gandhi was an Indian Jain Hindu who, while practicing an original version of Hinduism, was nevertheless widely read in all other religions and known for integrating Christian hymns, prayer, rituals, Scriptures, even the Nichiren Buddhist chant into his own spiritual practice.  Like King, he was open to receiving wisdom from other traditions.

... It grieves me when people see Christianity as a force to oppress people, to exclude people, to condemn them, and force them into obedience with a lifestyle or a worldview that they may not share. I know the teachings of Jesus, and this is neither what he taught nor what he intended… That is why, when I was first introduced to the work of Daisaku Ikeda, I was impressed by his international grass-roots initiative of interfaith, interracial, and interdisciplinary discourse and cooperation. He has made significant contributions to help alleviate the problems of religious fundamentalism in the world.

(pp.126-129)  I have found in lay Nichiren Buddhism, Daisaku Ikeda, and the kosen-rufu movement that he leads an authentic religious philosophy and spiritual practice that mirrors the core beliefs, spiritual values, and democratic ideals of my own mentor, Martin Luther King Jr. …  It is Ikeda who helped me to see even more clearly that the essence of King’s philosophy was his conviction that peace is not only possible, but plausible…  I can say unequivocally that of all the spiritual and philosophical leaders I have met —many of them the twentieth century’s most revered —it is this Japanese lay Buddhist, still unknown to many outside of his native country, who has been the most impressive in terms of sincerity, learning, action, integrity, achievement, and global vision. Daisaku Ikeda has captured my heart, my mind, and my spirit in a way that I find difficult to describe —except to say that at last, after many years, I have found another mentor.


Our Search for Belonging: How Our Need to Connect is Tearing Us Apart

Gold Award: Social Change & Social Justice
Author: Howard J. Ross, with Jonrobert Tartaglione
Publisher: Berrett-Koehler Publishers

(pp. 172-187)
Bridges to Bonding: Eight Pathways for Building Belonging
     It is easy to feel resigned about the separation that we are experiencing. It seems like it continues to worsen every day. The reality is, as we discovered in looking at the neuroscience and social science behind our behavior, that we will always separate people into “us” and “them”. But that doesn’t mean we are doomed to have those differences cripple our ability to function as a collective. In fact, when we realize that it is our natural state to figure out who we are by realizing that we are not somebody else, it can liberate us from the folly of trying to have everybody act and feel the same. It can allow us to shift our focus from trying to convince or “fix” each other to trying to understand each other and find ways to coexist.

It begins with our own personal work. We each have something to say about our own attitudes and behaviors. However, we also have a remarkable ability to work together in our institutions: workplaces, schools, places of worship, and other places where we come together. Belonging is, by its very nature, more than just an individual process. The institutions we are part of give us an opportunity to create healthy bridging that can build and sustain a sense of connections. ...

Pathway One: A Clear Vision and Sense of Purpose
     Developing a sense of belonging that extends beyond simple identity means that we have to know what we are belonging to and why we are together. …

Pathway Two: Creating the Container
     Anytime we bring people together, there is a set of understandings and agreements that we are operating within. Sometimes these are articulated, and other times they are assumed.

Pathway Three: Personal Connection, Vulnerability, and Consciousness
     Belonging is ultimately personal; it comes from a sense of being known and welcomed for who we are. …

Pathway Four: Inclusion and Enrollment
     Years of research have shown that the most powerful groups are inclusive. …

Pathway Five: Cultivate Open-Minded Thinking
     Our observations of the world and our conclusions about others are not so much objective appraisals of a concrete reality as subjective interpretations of events —shaded by our backgrounds, colored by our cultures, and blinded by our biases. ...

Pathway Six: Develop Shared Structures and Forms of Communication
     Human relationship is built on communication. The clarity of our language, what it means, and how it is communicated are all essential to belonging. ...

Pathway Seven: Honoring Narrative
     We are the narrative within which each of our lives unfold. ...

Pathway Eight: Tools for Negotiation and Conflict Resolution
     The final critical pathway to belonging is to have a system in place to help manage the inevitable conflicts that arise in any group. ...


Rising: Dispatches from the New American Shore

Gold Award: Ecology & Environment
Author: Elizabeth Rush
Publisher: Milkweed Editions

(from back cover) 

Rising is a smart, lyrical testament to change and uncertainty. Elizabeth Rush listens to both the vulnerability and resiliency of communities facing the shifting shorelines of extreme weather. These are the stories we need to hear in order to survive and live more consciously with a sharp-edged determination to face our future with empathy and resolve. Rising illustrates how climate change is a relentless truth and how real people in real places know it by name, storm by flood by fire.”    —Terry Tempest Williams

(p. 119-120)   (at Oakwood Beach on the eastern shoreline of Staten Island, NY)

After forty minutes of riding I eventually arrive at the edge of Oakwood. I have seen a single building razed before, but nothing prepares me for watching an entire community get wiped off the map. The crunch and snap of the backhoes eating away at the siding [of houses] sounds at the far end of Kissam Avenue. One yellow machine mounts a pile of debris and gnaws like a praying mantis dismantling its prey. The farther I ride down the street, the less I hear, because the demolitions are mostly complete, some of the houses already gone.

... A family of geese waddle across the rubble, then veer off, disappearing into the marsh like soap bubbles popping: one-two-three. I follow them, venturing a little farther into the rambunctious green. The cordgrass and cattails get caught by the wind and sway. I step carefully, feeling the uneven ground. Red, tannic water wells up around my feet while a zebra finch sings from the broken branches of a nearby tree. It is not my first time visiting a marsh, but it is, in truth, one of the first times that I am really paying attention.

(p. 120)   The calm that washes over me is immediate, the city’s stresses sloughing off in thick sheets. I had expected this day in Oakwood to feel like an excursion to a ruin, but the neighborhood and the surrounding tidal marsh are alive in ways I hadn’t anticipated. This place is both accursed and holy, the land forsaken by humans, and also in the process of being reclaimed by forces beyond our control. Within this tension, I feel strangely at peace.

For most of my life I never gave tidal marshes much thought, but now they are, in their sly and unassuming way, absorbing my attention. To most, a wetland is just a mess of grass. The sulfuric scent of decomposition. Miasmas and mud. But I am beginning to see them as divining rods, signaling where there will be more water in the future. And even more importantly, that the future is, in many cases, already here.


My Father’s Gift: How One Man’s Purpose Became a Journey of Hope and Healing

Gold Award: Heroic Journeys
Author: Sixtus Z. Atabong
Publisher: Koehler Books

(p. xvi) Foreword by Bernard A. Harris, Jr., MD
It was during his first year in America that Sixtus fell in love with his adopted country, but always keeping Cameroon in his heart and mind. And it was Texas where he found his ultimate vocation and the love of his life. This book is a love story of a sort. An African son finding himself and his life in the high plains of Texas.

Pursuing his medical training as a Physician Assistant (PA) gave him the ability to help those in need, especially his family and friends back home. In this book, you will learn that Sixtus has an unlimited capacity for charity, despite many trials and tribulations, despite how he was treated by his own countrymen. The old adage, “What doesn’t break you makes you stronger.” Stronger indeed. I believe it was those lean years, those painful years, that laid the foundations for this man today. He was fortunate to become part of a loving community of Lubbock, Texas, and to have completed his training at Texas Tech University Health Sciences.

Sixtus said, “I realized that my entire life had been built upon one gift after another—some from people I knew and some from others I did not know. Some I would have the opportunity to repay; others I would never meet again, at least not in this lifetime, and 'Our purpose on earth is to serve others as others have served us.' "

     These quotes are the linchpin of the creation of a Big Plan and Journey to Purpose, that would eventually lead to Purpose Medical Mission. The organization that he founded over ten years ago, brings hope to despair. One of the challenges that he makes in this book is … how collectively we can use charity to foster human dignity. For him, it’s about providing hope to the hopeless and empowering individuals and communities to fulfill their dreams.

(p. 292)  "Through all my trips on behalf of Purpose Medical Mission, I have been privileged to meet a president of one country, the vice president of another, and many people in positions of extreme power. Some days I ask myself:  Why else would a kid from a little village in Africa be able to have such honor to see, laugh with, pray with, and even make friends with these individuals from all over the world?  Because I am called to be the voice of the voiceless. Because we are given power and access to represent the powerless. Because we are a bridge to deliver the most basic health needs that I believe everyone in the world deserves access to."




I See You 

Gold Award: Children's Picture Books
Author: Michael Genhart
Illustrator: Joanne Lew-Vriethoff
Publisher: Magination Press / APA, Amer. Psychological Assoc.

from Nautilus staff: We have included as part of the Feature Focus an excerpt from the back of this award-winning book.  The Children's Story is 27 pages, and it is wordless, with very evocative images.

What follows is commentary by author, Michael Genhart, following the story:

Note to Parents, Educators, & Neighbors 


Homelessness, at it most basic level, happens when people are not able to acquire or maintain housing they can afford.  It is where poverty and a lack of stable housing meet. It is important to remember that homelessness is a condition, and not a label.

Individuals are experiencing homelessness, often for complex reasons... Depending on the age of your child, you might want to have a more detailed conversation about some of the causes of homelessness...  Children are likely to have many questions about the homeless individuals they see and about homelessness in general. Some of these questions may be easy to answer factually, but for many, there may not be straight-forward answers.

For questions like this, it can be helpful to have an honest and open conversation with your child about some of the problems our society faces and what they can do to help. The idea is to foster greater awareness and empathetic conversations about homeless people as people in order to help see them in more humanitarian ways.  Some questions children could have may include:

  • How does homelessness happen?
  • Where do they sleep?
  • What do they eat?
  • Where is their family?...

When children ask questions, try to answer in a way that emphasizes the personhood of the individual. For instance, they may have a family somewhere, but that family may not be in a position to help them. Or they may not have a good relationship with their family. ...

A child wondering why a homeless person has a pet can start a conversation about how that pet can offer important companionship just like they do for any other pet owner. ...

These are all hard questions with many possible answers, but the key is to have conversations using an empathetic tone. For younger children, answers should be direct but simple. With older children, you may be able to have a more in-depth discussion. ... "

Nautilus note: The author includes sections at back of book on:  About Homelessness.  Helping.  Giving.  Getting Involved.  Resources.  

We are honored to share in the wisdom, love, hope, and creativity
that flow from our Award-Winning books.

August 2019 Feature Focus:
"Outside In"

When we venture OUT and explore the vast array of nature that surrounds us, we also experience the deeper reaches INSIDE ourselves, connecting us richly and more fully to all that is. The following 2018 Nautilus Award-winning books invite you to discover and enjoy the bounty and beauty that beckons OUTSIDE during this glorious time of year.


The Ashokan Way: Landscape’s Path into Consciousness

Silver Award: Memoir & Personal Journey / Large Publisher
Author: Gail Straub
Publisher: Homebound Publications

Winged Guardians of the Invisible

After a long hard rain, thick white mists have settled in the valleys. The mists have huddled in the hollows of these mountains all morning, but now as I watch, bright shafts of light pour down from the skies and, as if by sleight of hand, appear to lift the fog. Moments later, a flock of geese lift off the reservoir in perfect V formation, honking and disappearing into those channels of light. Soon there is no trace of their flight.

I yearn to fly with those strong elegant birds, high up into the wide-open sky, the home of the invisible. Here today with the landscape’s soft silence, illuminated mists, and birds with their traceless flight, I find myself pondering all that cannot be seen. Air, silence, space, sound, time, wind, presence, prayer, and the divine come to mind. I cannot see the geese’s ineffable honking or the path their sturdy wings have left in the sky, but I know they exist. And I wonder: What are the essential gifts that the invisible is just waiting to offer us? …  (p.62)

Owls on the Full Moon

It’s a full moon, the corn moon, on this hot dry evening. Driving home alone after dinner with a friend, I can’t resist stopping at the reservoir. And there, rising above the Ashokan, is a perfect apricot moon. A full chorus of crickets and peepers greets me, along with fireflies and moonlight. Fishing boats with their night lanterns sparkle in the water. In the moon’s silver light, I see a lone burst of red maple, like flames amidst the forest. The mountains have assumed their nighttime personality, their inky silhouettes against the blue-black sky somehow conferring them with even more gravitas than they possess during daytime hours. And then my favorite sound on these Ashokan shores —the hoot of an owl —connects me with the non-physical world and my longing to understand where I came from. Plentiful here, owls have always been my messengers from the unseen, urging me to understand my role in the cosmos.  (p.116)

Of all the ample gifts of landscape, perhaps the most precious is silence. In fact, I cannot fathom who I would be without the nourishment of this quiet. So precious is this gift that it feels to me like an element in and of itself. I sense that I cannot truly hear anything —music, birdcalls, laughter, or what another person is really saying to me —unless I can also experience silence. Sound and silence form two halves of a whole, their complementarity so profound that one cannot exist without the other. They stand as icons of being and nonbeing, fullness and emptiness. The landscape is constantly demonstrating this fundamental balance —the quiet space surrounding birdsong, the earth’s silent presence housing the gurgling sounds of rivers and streams, the still sand receiving the sea’s lapping waves. (p.117)


Innumerable Insects: The Story of the Most Diverse and Myriad Animals on Earth (Natural Histories)

Silver Award: Animals & Nature  /  Silver Award: Young Adult, Non-Fiction
Author: Michael S. Engel, featuring illustrations from one of the world’s great rare book collections.
Publisher: Sterling Publishing

This is the story of those pervasive little things that run our world, and it is illustrated by the great works of the past through which our many entomological discoveries were illuminated. While the numerous books featured in these pages are antique, the information contained therein in many instances is as vital today as ever. (p. xvi)

Illustration at left (p. xii)

A work such as this attempts to thread a fine needle, representing two seemingly different books interwoven into one. On the one hand it tries to provide a narrative of insect diversity and evolution, and an evolutionary history of 400 million years on six legs. On the other, it chronicles, albeit with great lacunae included, humankind’s past exploration of insects, highlighting some of the now rare tomes that represent both artistic as well as scientific achievements.  (p. 199)


Many bees are generalists, visiting a wide variety of different flowers for pollen and nectar, while others are narrowly specialized to visit particular genera or species of flowers. Carpenter Bees (image at right /top) are generalists; while orchid bees (center) visit orchids to collect fragrant oils used in attracting a mate; and oil-collecting bees (bottom) have particular combs on their fore- and middles to scrape plant oils from their hosts, which they then mix with pollen to feed their larvae. From Rothschild, ed, Musée entomologique illustré.  (p. 186)


Winds of Spirit: Ancient Wisdom Tools for Navigating Relationships, Health, and the Divine

Gold Award: Religion/Spirituality of Other Traditions
Author: Renee Baribeau
Publisher: Hay House

Seeking to understand the mysteries of life and to give meaning to our experience is human nature. In Winds of Spirit, I invite you to venture into and explore your inner world, a veritable holographic representation of the outer world that surrounds you, by invoking wind deities —gods and goddesses from around the world —and the cardinal winds from the four quadrants of the sky. These four quadrants are the mind, emotions, body and spirit, and they all relate to the inner landscape of your life. By offering a means to identify coordinates on the map of your life and assess prevailing conditions, this system will help you to navigate your personal path and provide insight into how to manage the wind patterns and shifting conditions that affect you.

Although the wind-work system is new, it relies on an ancient one that has been used for centuries by shamans for ritual, and by sailors for navigation of the seas. Like the shamans and sailors, we can rely on wind, a natural force for guidance. To orient our life, instead of using the magnetized needle of the compass, or a lodestone to point to a fixed pole, we can utilize the intelligence and astute sensitivity of our own bodies. Winds of Spirit will teach you how to connect with your true inner self, your spiritual magnetic north. By viewing the world from the perspective of this “sweet spot”, you will safely navigate your way through life and never get lost.  (p. xii-xiii)

Grounding on a regular basis is paramount to staying healthy, for as we focus attention on our body and natural surroundings, we begin to feel the rhythm of nature move through us with a more consistent flow. Then, when a gusty wind hits our sails (energetically speaking), we will not topple into the cold sea. Often grounding happens when you notice an eagle flying overhead, watch a deer as it eats an apple from a tree, or listen to a set of jingling wind chimes. Take a daily walk in nature and remember that you are intrinsically connected to the world around you. (p. 62)


Explore the Salish Sea: A Nature Guide for Kids

Silver Award: Childrens’ Illustrated, Non-Fiction
Author: Joseph K. Gaydos & Audrey DeLella Benedict
Publisher: Little Bigfoot / Sasquatch Books

The Salish Sea is home to killer whales, giant Pacific octopuses, quillback rockfish, rhinoceros auklets, and thousands of other amazing creatures. Many will be easy to see, while others are more secretive, or so small that you’ll need to search for them. It’s all part of the fun of becoming a nature detective.

The Salish Sea straddles the international border between the United States (Washington State) and Canada (British Columbia), and includes the inland marine waters of the Strait of Juan de Fuca, Puget Sound, and the Strait of Georgia. Salish Sea waters lap against the shores at the southern end of Vancouver Island and surround the San Juan Islands in Washington State, the Gulf Islands in British Columbia, and numerous other islands on both sides of the border (419 islands in all, to be exact!).

The Salish Sea is one small part of the Earth’s vast blue oceans that cover over two-thirds of the planet’s surface. The dominance of the oceans is unique to Earth and is why it’s called the “blue planet.” This global ocean is truly one interconnected body of water made up of five major oceans —the Pacific, Atlantic, Southern (Antarctic), Indian, and Arctic —and many smaller connecting seas, gulfs, and bays.

Why are oceans so important? The global ocean is truly Earth’s life-support system. Our oceans are in constant motion, and their swirling currents circle the globe, generating most of our oxygen, absorbing carbon dioxide, regulating temperatures, and determining our climate and weather.

We wouldn’t be here without our oceans, and the Salish Sea is just as important to its local inhabitants as the global ocean is to the Earth’s entire population. (p. ix-2)

Mission: Intertidal 

You can be an intertidal explorer. Find a field guide for the seashore and tide table for your local beach and go! When you arrive, you might not notice anything. Wait and watch. You will begin to see fish and crabs moving in the tide pools. Gently turn over rocks smaller than your hand (any larger and you might kill animals hiding below), and look for creatures hiding beneath or clinging to the bottom of the rock.

Be gentle as you look for tidal creatures. They have to survive some extremely difficult living conditions. In the Salish Sea, the lowest daytime tides occur in the hottest summer months, and the lowest nighttime tides are in the coldest winter months. This means intertidal animals have to survive being exposed on the year’s hottest days and the coldest nights.

When you find something, your first task is to identify it by name. Then learn how it lives, what it eats, who might eat it, how it moves, and how it survives being exposed to such extreme conditions.

To be sure the creatures survive, gently return the rock to its original position when you are done exploring.  (p. 26)


Howl Like a Wolf: Learn to Think, Move, and Act Like 15 Amazing Animals

Gold Award: Childrens’ Illustrated, Non-Fiction
Author: Kathleen Yale, Illustrated by Kaley McKean
Publisher: Storey Publishing

Sing like a Humpback Whale
Woo wooop brrooop! I’m a humpback whale. Though I may look like a really, really big fish, I’m actually a mammal, just like you. This means I can’t breathe underwater, and I have to come up to the surface to suck air in through my blowhole, the same way you breathe through your nose.

We humpbacks are really famous for our long, beautiful complex songs. That’s right, we sing!

While both males and females communicate with different noises, or vocalizations, only males truly sing. Sometimes we sing alone, and sometimes we sing together — moaning, wailing, clicking and groaning with our blowholes. All the males in one area sing the same song, which can be heard from far away through the water. It’s kind of a secret why we sing, so I can’t tell you for sure why —but scientists think it might be a way to attract mates, challenge other males, or simply explore the sea around us and find out what other whales are close by.

Why do you think we sing?

Now you be a whale!
Your mission is to make up a beautiful whale song that’s all about you.

Get talking and Singing
Instead of using words, see if you can communicate simple phrases like “come here” and “hello” using beeps, grunts, and thwop sounds. Then make up your own whale song! It can be just a series of sounds, or you can make up words to go with them. Try singing about who you are, where you’re from, and what it’s like to live in your little corner of the great big ocean. Hum your song underwater and see if your friends can hear it!  (p. 50-52)

June 2019 Feature Focus:
Currents of Change

How does change occur? What forces are brought to bare for shifts, transforming to a better, bright and more just, peaceful and sustainable world?
Flowing water, even a trickle, can reshape its environment. It has the capacity to forge new canyons through layers of solid, ancient rock, reshape continents and sustain life. In the very same way, new vision, voice and poignant shared ideas can propel a movement to ignite a new path through any injustice and shift the planet. Dedicated action, whether by an individual, small team or a web collective of world warriors -- the synergy we have together amplifies the impact and can foster powerful results --- a tidal wave of change.

Nature, Culture & The Sacred: a Woman Listens For Leadership
Author: Nina Simons
Publisher: Green Fire Press
Gold Award: Women in the 21st Century

Page 88 & 89
In Cultivating Women’s Leadership intensives over the years, among women leaders selected for their diversity in all ways --- across age, race, orientation, faith and discipline --- once the women see each other in all their dimensional beauty and power, hear each other’s visions for changing the world, and witness the depth of caring, and the skillfulness that each brings to her work, the sisterhood they experience emboldens each one to step out and shine more fully.
Intergenerationally, the friendships that have formed between women in their eighties and others in their twenties agreeing to be mutual mentors, with reciprocity and respect, have ignited my heart with tender appreciation, hope and delight. Witnessing varying versions of this phenomenon over the past many years has strengthened my vision, my appreciation and my investment in connecting bold and committed women across the differences that far too often divide us.
As Shannon Thunderbird, a Coast Tsimshian elder, notes: “We are Mother Earth’s heartbeat, the life-givers; it is our responsibility to bring peace, harmony and balance back to the world.”  Her words reinforce what life has shown me repeatedly --- that women have extraordinary capacities when they are in authentic and deep alignment. Together we can heal, transform and radically grow each other’s capacity to lead our communities and our cultures toward a world that is healthy, loving, peaceful and regenerative.
We are being called upon to connect across the divides, to come together in solidarity to defend and protect the sanctity of all life, knowing that we will find the greatest creative opportunities and options in the places where edges meet, to constellate together a web of co-creativity and mutuality on behalf of mother Earth and the entire web of life.  All around us, the old structures of dominance are both overreaching and crumbling, and though at times the forces we’re up against may seem impossible to overcome, I believe that women’s amazing capacity to heal, grow and strengthen each other is likely the single greatest underutilized resource we have, as a species, for transforming the world."

Healing Justice: Stories of Wisdom and Love
Gold Award: USA & Other World Cultures Spiritual Growth & Development
Author: Jarem Sawatsky
Publisher: Red Canoe Press
(p. 227)
...For me, this was what happened by traveling between these communities. They breathed their history into me, and I could feel how alive I was, and I could feel myself becoming a part of it. However, learning this new geography of healing justice is not easy. I saw that modern communities around the world could respond to harms, not with punishment, blame, and fear, but with trying to offer help, healing, and transformation. I found a sense of justice, not rooted in administering pain, but in cultivating joy. I found that healing justice was not a romantic aspiration but was a practical reality practiced by diverse communities around the world.
(p. 229-230)
Wisdom of Transforming Patterns
"When one begins with a broad view of justice, as something sacred, as something reflected in the wisdom of the Earth that involves balance, harmony, and wholeness -- then it follows that the procedures of justice involve transforming relationships and patterns within the whole system. This does not follow the typical wisdom of rules and procedures. Here, justice is a creative act of staying close to those who suffer as they demonstrate, like canaries in a mine, those aspects of the environment that lead to harm rather than healing. The wisdom of transforming patterns is one that seeks to understand the root causes and conditions of harm and to break the unhealthy patterns that lead to such harm. It intimately links the episode of harm to the structures, patterns, and relationships that encourage such harm. This wisdom expands the horizon of time and widens the relevant who. When the horizon of time expands, then we stop dealing with mere incidents, and rather seek patterns, generations, and structures. Rather than primarily blaming individuals, it responds to harm as an opportunity to transform the whole community.

(p. 233) Wisdom of Healing for All
"This wisdom sees healing as the interpretive framework for justice. Rather than punishment, it sees healing as both the means and ends of justice. While healing justice is not always a justice free of punishment, punishment does not become the central interpretive framework. Healing justice is rooted in a justice that respects the sacredness of each person and believes that all can heal. [Italics added]  This wisdom of healing then does not rely so heavily on punishment and violence as a last resort. This wisdom sees the world as constantly changing, open both to changing towards healing and changing towards harm. The wisdom of healing for all sees harms as an opportunity to work at healing for all involved - the ones harmed and the ones harming. It also works to transform the family, the socio-economic and ecological structures. The wisdom of healing for all returns us to the wisdom of Spirit and land, in whom all find their true identity."

Rescuing Ladybugs: Inspirational Encounters with Animals That Changed the World
Gold Award: Animals & Nature
Author: Jennifer Skiff
Publisher: New World Library
From the Back Cover:
Countless times throughout our lives, we’re presented with a choice to help another soul. Rescuing Ladybugs highlights the true stories of remarkable people who didn’t look away from the seemingly impossible-to-change situations and instead worked to save animals. …
(p. 150-151)
"Jill Robinson / BEAR
A moment of profound connection between two species can sometimes reveal life’s purpose. That’s what happened to Jill Robinson. An unexpected touch from a bear became a turning point in her life and ignited a movement in Asia.
Six years into her job with IFAW (International Fund for Animal Welfare), Jill was called upon to investigate a bear bile farm in Zhuhai, China. The experience was life-altering and fueled her passion to create global change for animals..."
(p. 152) “Feeling shocked and sick to my stomach, I must have backed too close to a cage. I felt something touching my shoulder. I spun around in fright, fearing I was about to be grabbed by an angry and aggressive bear. What I saw next just about brought me to my knees in sadness. A female moon bear pushed her paw gently through the bars of the cage, inviting me to take it. In that moment, without fear or any reason to believe that she meant me harm, I took her paw. As hand and paw connected, the bear gently squeezed my fingers, and I was staring into the most beautiful dark brown eyes. At that instant, a message passed between us, and I knew that everything about my life had changed.
 From that moment, I knew instinctively that there was no going back. I made a promise to that bear that I would do everything in my power to end bear bile farming, and I set out to do just that.”

(p. 154)  “From this experience, I have learned never to underestimate passion and the power of the individual to make change. I’ve learned to be brave and face adversity if you have truth and justice at the center of all you do. I’ve learned to ignore those who bullied me and tried to deter my most committed and devoted team from changing the plight of the bears and be the champions they need. And I’ve learned to play the game — calmly when impatient, intelligently when frustrated, and pragmatically when insane with anger. 

"I always say to children in presentations that sometimes we receive a message in life that we can choose to listen to — or ignore. That decision can shape the rest of our lives. Hong’s [the bear] message to me that day in April 1993 was strong, profound, and impossible to ignore. Her inspiration began everything we have built in China and Vietnam today: two sanctuaries filled with over six hundred happy, healthy, rescued bears, and a foundation called Animals Asia, which has progressed a long way toward the goal of ending bear bile farming once and for all."  

Mad Monk Manifesto: A Prescription for Evolution, Revolution, and Global Awakening
Gold Award: Religion/Spirituality of Eastern Thought
Silver Award: USA & Other World Cultures Spiritual Growth & Development
Author: Monk Yun Rou
Publisher: Mango Publishing
From the Back Cover:
Inspired by ancient Chinese Wisdom, including Lao Tzu’s Tao Te Ching, Yun Rou’s Mad Monk Manifesto is a tour guide to consciousness, a recipe for personal development, a prescription for environmental restoration, and a helpful handbook for social change. In the same way water ripples from a stone dropped into a pond, this book begins with you...
(p. 108-110)
"Ignorance is not an excuse for destructive, selfish behavior. Finding the impetus and discipline to learn is one of the key elements of a life lived well. Learning can happen through life experiences or through structured coursework. Best of all, it can happen effortlessly, sometimes by accident, and often unconsciously in hobbies, pastimes, and passions. When the engine of the inquiring mind is fed the fuel of either necessity or desire, it thrums and races in the most balanced and beautiful way.
.... A simple consciousness-raising exercise is to notice how many times we discard charitable appeals in the form of mail coming to us from advocacy groups, often with images of children or animals on the envelope. Rather than shopping or dining out, we could open them and become familiar with what people are doing for each other, for the environment, and for other sentient beings. Times may be lean for many of us, but they are not so lean that we can’t extend a hand to those in need. Even if we are on a crushing budget, we could send a dollar or two to the ones we find most compelling. If we’re doing well financially, we might wish to make a donation that really changes the fate of the hungry children, the silent trees, the slaughtered creatures, the gasping polluted oceans.
Get this: The long and persuasive tentacles of nefarious corporations notwithstanding, we are not first and foremost consumers. Rather, we are conscious beings with responsibilities to each other and to the Earth. Simply deciding to care is an act that resonates in the world by rebalancing unfairness and inequity."

(p. 110)  "Right living means supporting others and contributing to the greater good whilst pursuing our own goals. It means being efficient, which is to say, achieving maximum results with minimum effort.  It means quieting the mind and body until the pulsing buzz of life on Earth is clearly audible. It means abandoning fixed plans in favor of a willingness to go wherever the river of life takes us. Embracing compassion, frugality, humility, service, creativity, non-conformity, and freedom helps us stay out of our own way.  Following these values and ideals, we are most likely to be able to find satisfaction, hope, love, and joy."

Hope Nation: YA Authors Share Personal Moments of Inspiration
Gold Award: Young Adult Non-Fiction
Edited by Rose Brock
Publisher: Philomel Books
From the Front Flap:
HOPE IS A DECISION, but it is a hard one to make--- or even recognize---in the face of oppression, belittlement, alienation, and defeat. We all experience moments when we struggle to understand the state of the world, when we feel powerless and---in some cases---even hopeless. But in trying times, words are power.
Some of today’s most popular YA authors come together in this revealing, personal collection of essays, each a flame that offers light in the darkness. Together, just like us as a people, these hard-earned words of wisdom become even stronger when united.
(P. 90), from Nobody Remembers the Names of People Who Build Walls, by Jeff Zentner
I carry the flame of hope in my heart.
My hope lies in young Book People—probably you, if you’re reading this. I believe one of the fundamental qualities needed to fight the gathering darkness of which I speak is empathy. Empathy is the ability to imagine yourself in someone else’s shoes. To imagine what it would be like to be them. ~ To feel their joy when they feel joyful. To feel their sorrow when they feel sorrowful. People of empathy do to others as they would have others do to them, because they can imagine how terrible it would feel to be wronged.
And I believe that Book People are our brightest beacons of empathy. It takes great empathy to be so interested in the lives of other people that you don’t even demand that they really exist. It takes great empathy to be able to so vividly imagine the lives and inner hearts of others that you can do it simply by reading ink symbols on slices of processed wood pulp.
In the days to come, you Book People will need to exercise your powers of empathy to help identify and fight those who would harm others. One of the best ways to do that is by standing with the people who are targets of harm. The coming days will require that your empathy put on the armor of courage. They’ll require you to love others more than you’re afraid for yourself, because the only thing that drives out darkness is when love is more powerful than fear.

In the days to come, you need to allow your empathy to become an unstoppable force inside you, something that moves you to action. Something that won’t let you stand idly by when evil happens in the world. It needs to become a force that makes you stand up with someone who’s being abused in public. That makes you pick up the phone and make calls to lawmakers when you see something you know is wrong or harmful. That makes you lift your voice in support of people whose voices are unheard.

In the days to come, you Book People will have to be the keepers of our values. You will need to become the memory and the conscience of our nation. You will need to carry inside you a bright and inextinguishable flame."

Feature Focus 2022 Season:
Hope Is In Our Hands

Feature Focus 2021 Season:
Collaboration of Voices  |  Nurturing Wholeness  |  Give a Gift of Insight & Inspiration

Feature Focus 2020 Season:
A Harvest of Wisdom  |  Uplifting Currents  |  Give a Gift of Hope | Give a child a gift of hope

Feature Focus 2019 Season:
Portals to new Perspectives  |  Gift a Child a Seed of Hope  |  Gift a Seed of Hope  |  Building Bridges  |  Outside In  |  Currents of Change

Feature Focus 2018 Season: 
Create a New Story  |  Spiritual Awakening in the 21st Century  |  Finding Home  |  Living Lightly, Deeply  |  Embracing Diversity

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Guidelines for Entering

Award Winning Books from the 2020 Season will be announced to the Nautilus mailing list in April 2021.

For the 2020 Season: Entry packages postmarked from Sept. 21 through Oct. 31, 2020 will benefit from Early Entry Fees. Entries postmarked Nov. 1- Dec. 31, 2020 will have Regular Entry Fees. And Entries postmarked from Jan. 1 through Feb. 10, 2021 will have Final Entry Fees.

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