New Books to Recommend: RenWomen, Where are Pat and Ernie Now? and Five Sextillion Atoms

As many of you know, I have a new book out—Heart on a Fence, which you can see here. And I have several friends who also have new books out—books I think you would love to have and read.

Dale Griffiths Stamos’ new book is a compilation of the life stories of sixteen “Renaissance women”—modern-day superwomen who have lived lives of purpose and service to humanity. Written with her twin brother, W. Scott Griffiths, RenWomen, What Modern Renaissance Women Have to Teach Us About Living Rich, Fulfilling Lives incorporates a bit of history about past RenWomen, the stories about sixteen modern RenWomen, and how we can encourage young women to follow their own dreams of exploring many different paths.

Simply put, RenWomen are women who excel in many different fields—from arts and literature to math and science to philanthropy and mentoring. I was especially delighted to see that one women profiled in the book is a dear friend of mine—Eva Haller, truly a RenWoman if there ever was one. Eva was born in Hungary and escaped the Nazis at the age of 14, finding her way to Ecuador and ultimately the United States, where she quickly realized she needed an education and work. She found both, and also the first of two great loves of her life. Her third husband, Murray Roman, was an entrepreneur marketer and public relations genius who made a fortune advising presidential candidates in the mid-1960s. Murray and Eva turned to philanthropy and charitable giving, but in 1975, Maury was diagnosed with cancer and died in 1984. Eva was devastated. Three years later, she met Dr. Yoel Haller and the two have been inseparable ever since, traveling the world and continuing the mentoring and philanthropy that Eva and Murray began together.

Eva’s is just one of the many inspiring stories in RenWomen. Pick it up. You won’t be disappointed.

My buddy Ernie Witham’s latest book of humor is Where are Pat and Ernie Now?, a compilation of his many essays on their worldwide travel adventures. I love Ernie’s voice, kind of a combination of self-deprecation, fun and husbandy idiocy. Pat is always the long-suffering spouse in their various escapades, but the last laugh is always on Ernie, and with us. Where are Pat and Ernie Now? is Ernie’s third book. He’s written columns and essays for numerous publications over many years, including several editions of Chicken Soup for the Soul. You don’t want to miss this chronicle of their latest fun-filled explorations of the world.

And last, but certainly not least, my dear friend Jayne Benjulian’s beautiful debut collection of poetry is out. It’s called Five Sextillion Atoms, which is how many atoms are in a drop of water. Her poems are both spare and powerful; she holds back no punches as she explores her past and her childhood, her experiences as a mother, and her relationships with stepsiblings.

I especially love the poems in Part Three, which seem more accessible, perhaps because she herself has finally become more comfortable emotionally with the material. I don’t know. But this I do know: Five Sextillion Atoms will wow you.