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Ryan DeJonghe - The Avid Reader

I didn't always read, but that changed in June of 2013. I dropped the unnecessary stuff and picked up the awesome stuff--like reading! I started posting my reviews on Amazon and within a few months rose to the top 0.1% of reviewers. My reviews then went to Goodreads, and now my blog (http://ryandejonghe.wordpress.com) and Twitter (@Ryan_Reads). If you are reading this, why not leave a comment or send me a note? I love talking to other folks about books and my reviews. Publishers and authors, feel free to drop me a note if you want me to review your book. I usually stick to mainstream publishing, but I'll consider anything. If I review your book, I’ll give you a fair and thorough review and let you know when the review goes live. You can reach me at dejonghes@gmail.com. Happy Reading!
Tantric Coconuts - Gregory D. Kincaid

This book came at the right time and changed my life. I didn’t expect it. I thought this was going to be a cute romance book about a hippy-ish woman meeting an uptight lawyer, and you know the rest. And it was. Thankfully, it was much, much more than that. Much more.



No matter your religion, even if you don’t claim one, this book will help deepen your path. The name of the book takes itself from an image presented by the main female character, who comes from an American Indian reservation. She calls herself a “spiritual consultant” and is a member of a group representing coconuts: hard exteriors that need cracking to reveal soft, lush interiors. This whole book is a lesson on cracking our own exterior (we’ll call it ego) and bring us closer to the One. Or, as Eckhart Tolle would say, Being. In the words of the book’s character, “Don’t judge yourself harshly. Instead, just find a way to stay more present.”



Stay with me here. The original teaching character of this book, the female protagonist, begins the journey by reflecting on the Dalai Lama’s teaching of religion being on a horizontal axis and awakening on a vertical axis. No matter your place in your own religion, you can become deeper in both its understanding and understanding in general. She says, people “stuck Jesus on a horizontal plane and turned him into a religion instead of a savior.” And, “Christianity hasn’t failed us; we just haven’t tried it yet.” Along the journey of this book there are other teachers representing Islam and Buddhism; these other teachers help represent other custom or creed religions. It is fascinating, thought-provoking, and, as mentioned before, life changing.



As a story, it is straight forward. Funny at times, but predictable—I kept turning the pages! This book was a slower, studious read for me, because I wanted to pause and ponder. The author included footnotes with external references and further reading. I’m already reading one those recommended books.



Since reading TANTRIC COCONUTS, I’ve already noticed a difference in my personal religious walk. My understanding of my faith has increased, as well as my appreciation of service. No, I didn’t expect it to come from a commercially published—what I expected to be—rom com, but boy, did I walk away impressed.



Thanks to Crown Publishing for providing this book electronically for me to review. Here are a few more quotes that I enjoyed:



“You have to find what is important to you beyond your work.”



“Good things usually get in the way of great things.”



“Some people spend their life studying maps but never start the journey; other people blast off the starting line full speed ahead without first charting a course.”



“Psychology focuses on working with what you’ve got: how to have the healthiest ego possible. Spiritual work asks you to step away from and transcend the ego entirely: to let go and become egoless.”



“Defining God like an object seems to always result in feeling abandoned and somehow unworthy.”



“Religion was for rich folks that wanted to avoid going to hell, and spirituality was for poor Indians that had already lived there and wanted out.”



“At the upper levels the goal is to experience the divine in this life”