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Drawing from her 2019 memoir of living at a spiritual retreat in Scotland, Plant Trees, Carry Sheep, S. A. Snyder’s new book, features a collection of 38 peculiar “annoyances,” each with conventional translations that most of us can relate to. With the help of select verses from the Persian poet Jalal ad-Din Rumi, Snyder teases out some lessons learned from her experiences and offers a soupçon of homespun wisdom for coping with people, circumstances, and life. Her witty style and unique experiences combine to make this a fun, light read with a reminder not to take life too seriously. If you enjoy chicken soup stories, you’ll laugh at Snyder’s quirky approach to self-improvement. Think of it as lamb stew for the annoyed soul!

The Value of Your Soul is a collection of short tales and whimsical illustrations you can dip in and out of, or whenever you need a little reminder that we are more than the sum of that which annoys us. We are human, and that’s just Divine!

Like lamb stew for the annoyed soul!

Reviews

“It is rare to happen upon beautiful thoughts so beautifully expressed, but S. A. Snyder’s book, The Value of Your Soul is just such a treasure. How fortunate that her journey can contribute so richly to our own.”

– Philip Gulley, author and Quaker pastor

“Sometimes you’re given what you need, not what you think you want.” What gives power to these words is the very story of Snyder’s day-to-day experiences at the Braemar retreat and how Rumi’s lines help her navigate through the uncertain, unexpected, and yes, the annoying! Snyder’s engaging style makes the book a pleasant read on the borderlines of our contemporary lives and Rumi’s ecstatic orbit.

– Ibrahim Anli, President of the Rumi Forum, Washington, D.C.

This is an exceedingly charming volume, as beautiful as it is important. Snyder intertwines an original, obliquely-angled re-vision of passages from Rumi’s poetry and prose with an intriguing memoir into a resplendent tapestry. Both the 13th-century mystic and the 21st-century searcher bridge the personal to the universal in compelling ways. The threads of wisdom, passion and humor would be more than sufficient, but the charming illustrations that introduce every chapter add a further, visual dimension to the reader’s delighted experience.

Ori Z. Soltes, professor of theology, philosophy, and art history at Georgetown University and author of Mysticism in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam: Searching for Oneness