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26 March 2010

Book Tour & Review: The Big Book of Soul by Stephanie Rose Bird

Title: The Big Book of Soul
Author: Stephanie Rose Bird
Publisher: Hampton Roads Publishing
Publication Date: February 5, 2010
Paperback: 272 pages
ISBN: 978-1571745996
Genre: New Age

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About the Book:

Soul is the essence of African American culture–the ingredient that makes it tick. In The Big Book of Soul, writer and herbalist Stephanie Rose Bird takes us on an amazing journey into the ancient traditions of mysticism, spirituality, and mythology that lie beneath this uniquely African American experience. Bird explores the healing, magic, and divination traditions of ancient African earth-based spirituality, and traces how these practices have evolved in contemporary African American culture. Along the way she offers recipes, rituals and resources that you can use to heal your life.

My Review:

An insightful look into the many facets of the African culture, from spiritual beliefs, folklore, herbal remedies, as well as recipes, Stephanie Rose Bird has assembled a fascinating collection of history in her book, The Big Book of Soul: The Ultimate Guide To The African American Spirit. The book is divided into ten chapters, beginning with Bird's thorough introduction to the African history and culture with definitions and origins. Next she writes about African American wellness, beginning with Hoodoo, or folkloric practices. Again Bird does a stellar job explaining the origins, usage and beliefs. She segues into the use of African herbs, traditional and modern uses and spends a large segment speaking on this topic, which I found quite interesting. I know a little about Chinese herbalists, but I knew nothing about traditional African herbalists. Bird continues on with childbirth, spa treatments, beauty regimens, and some recipes as well as personal stories. The Big Book of Soul was an intriguing and educational read for me. I found the knowledge to be intriguing, Bird's definitions and origins to be very helpful and I gained an insight and knowledge about a culture I did not previously have. If one is interested in learning more about the African culture, The Big Book of Soul may be a fabulous place to begin.

About the Author:

Stephanie Rose Bird is a cum laude graduate of Temple University, Tyler School of Art and a MFA graduate of the University of California at San Diego where she was a San Diego Opportunity Fellow. She was assistant professor at the School of the Art Institute, a Fulbright Senior Scholar and has taught at the Chicago Botanic Garden and Garfield Conservatory. Bird is a professional member of the International Center for Traditional Childbearing and the Herb Research Society of the American Botanical Council. She is author of Sticks, Stones, Roots and Bones: Hoodoo, Mojo and Conjuring with Herbs, Four Seasons of Mojo and Herbal Guide to Natural Living, and A Healing Grove: African Tree Remedies and Rituals for Body and Spirit. Bird is a practicing herbalist and aromatherapist who lives with her husband, family and animal friends in the Chicago area. You can visit her at Author’s Den at or her new website at

Stephanie Rose Bird’s THE BIG BOOK OF SOUL: THE ULTIMATE GUIDE TO THE AFRICAN-AMERICAN SPIRIT VIRTUAL BLOG TOUR ‘10 officially began on March 1 and will end on March 26 2010. Follow the during the month of March to find out more about this great book and talented author!

I received a complimentary copy of The Big Book of Soul by Stephanie Rose Bird from Pump Up Your Book Promotion as part of the tour. Receiving a copy in no way reflected my review of aforementioned novel.



Dr. Bill (William L.) Smith said...

This looks like a good read... Thanks for sharing.

Bill ;-)

William Leverne Smith

Kate said...

This book sounds really interesting! It's always "so many books, not enough time" with me, but this one's going on my list. I'm glad I found your blog today (via SITS) I'm adding you to my blogroll!