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Friday, December 15, 2017

God through Binoculars: A Hitchhiker at a Monastery. Coming in 2018


"God through Binoculars. A Hitchhiker at a Monastery" is due in 2018 from Shanti Arts publishing. Tentatively scheduled for June. 

What readers have said about "God through Binoculars":

"A witty, provocative, and thoroughly engaging memoir about the difficulties of faith, the complexities of love, and the consolations often found in nature. Whether she's writing about hyenas or jihad, hitchhiking or the perils of political correctness, Goska is always interesting. I loved this book!"

Daiva Markelis, author of "White Field, Black Sheep"


"As unsparing as it is tender, this book is a high-octane lyric meditation by a larger-than-life soul. Amid a multitude of coincidences, controversies, and calamities, the reader is invited to laugh, grieve, ponder, take exception, and especially, take heart."

Claire Bateman, author "Locals: A Collection of Prose Poems" NEA grant recipient


"The great books about spiritual journeys never give you easy answers. They don't say 'Do these 10 things and you will find peace or faith or salvation.'  Goska knows this truth. She has lived this truth. As you read her beautifully written, witty, and inspiring book, you will find yourself not only following her journey, you will find yourself living your own journey."

John Guzlowski, author of "Echoes of Tattered Tongues" Montaigne Medal recipient

"An effortlessly wise voyage, not only into the human soul but also into some fundamentals of the Western Tradition. Goska is a formidable writer, who combines sensitivity and kindness with extraordinary toughness, and her vigorous prose reflects this unusual combination. Her prose grabs you and does not let you go."

Dario Fernández-Morera, author, "The Myth of the Andalusian Paradise"

Associate Professor of Spanish and Portuguese and Comparative Literature, Northwestern University

"This is a moving, inspiring, heartfelt expression of love, pain, and healing, skillfully written with equal amounts of grace and compassion."

Larry Dossey, MD, author "One Mind: How Our Individual Mind Is Part of a Greater Consciousness and Why It Matters"


"Impossible to put down.  Goska is a true original, a gifted writer and an even more gifted spiritual explorer. Her previous book 'Save, Send, Delete,' like this one, displays a remarkable range of philosophical and religious knowledge, accompanied by profound insights that will stay with a reader long after they are encountered. Goska has packed more experience into each one of her years on this earth than most of us will in a lifetime. I urge you to give a look at this irresistible journey of faith in search of answers."

David Horowitz, "Radical Son: A Generational Odyssey"

"Goska is one of the very few writers whose words I'm impelled to read, words that pull me forward the way being roped to a runaway horse might."

Charles Ades Fishman, winner, New Millenium Award for Poetry

"Goska reminds every birder and nature lover that they are connected spiritually to the birds they see and the experiences they have outdoors. Our souls and hearts are refreshed and renewed by allowing ourselves to understand in some small way we are connected to something in nature that is ancient and forever."

Don Torino, Naturalist for Wild Birds Unlimited and President, Bergen County Audubon Society

"I read 'God through Binoculars' the way I read everything that I am enjoying or that interests me, at increasingly breakneck speed. I finished it this morning and plan to begin again, reading more slowly and thoroughly for the subtler bits. The two writers this book reminded me of most were Thomas Merton and Henri Nouwen. They also have an edginess and a sense of putting themselves out there without giving a damn what others think."

Julie Davis, author of "The Happy Catholic"

"'God through Binoculars' is … complicated, just like the natural world Goska so compellingly describes; just like the spiritual insights she gleans from her own well-traveled life, marked by random encounters that may not be all that random. She is a committed monotheist who believes in evolution, but expresses annoyance with Darwinist absolutes. She is awed by Mother Nature, but recognizes the random cruelties that play out within the wilderness. Through her binoculars, she observes a world constantly in flux -- shaped and reshaped by variables that somehow work together in unbelievable complexity. Because of that complexity, she is skeptical about any "straight-line" redemption of life's disappointments by an all-loving God. Yet she believes that God is indeed all-loving, that her own burdens might not be lifted, but can be transmuted into blessings. If she can believe that, maybe even the greatest skeptics among us can, too."

Melanie Forde, author of "Hillwilla" and "On the Hillwilla Road"

"An inspiring and inspired read by one who has long since heard the music."

Kevin Di Camillo, author of "Now Chiefly Poetical," columnist at National Catholic Register

"Goska is brilliant with words, painting highly evocative pictures. She's unafraid to explore emotional, spiritual, and philosophical frontiers. She's been all over the world, learning about cultures from the inside. This book brings these gifts and experiences to bear on a personal journey to a place few readers know."

Karen A. Wyle, author, "Twin Bred"

"I always get the sense through Goska's writings that God is all about us, that is, with us. You will find in her writing of the simple things in life deeper meanings, feelings and emotional connections that will widen your perspectives on events, love, and loss. We are pulled out of ourselves long enough to see a fuller life of observational gravity that can be applied to our own experiences. Read this book. Learn another way to see beyond just looking."

Edward "Rusty" Walker, author of "Transparent Watercolor: How to Use the Direct Method to Achieve Radiantly Clear Color and Translucency in Your Paintings"

"Amazing. Ordinary situations brought to life. Observant, with a real wit. A pleasure to read!"

Brian Koral, blog reader


Dr. Morton A. Goldberg, Veterinarian and Project Gutenberg volunteer

"C.S. Lewis wrote in his great novel 'Perelandra' that though 'there seemed to be, and indeed were, a thousand roads by which a man could walk through the world, there was not a single one which did not lead sooner or later either to the Beatific or the Miserific Vision.' Goska is a pilgrim walking the roads of this world and trying her best to follow the Spirit as he leads her at each fork in the road toward that 'one Face above all worlds which merely to see is irrevocable joy.'"

Mark P. Shea, Author, "By What Authority?: An Evangelical Discovers Catholic Tradition"

"Goska is a true wordsmith, a writer you enjoy reading for the prose as well as the imagination and education. Moving from thought to thought and scene to scene in no obvious order, you later realize the grand plan underneath it all, the coherent worldview that shapes how she appraises her fascinating experiences. And unlike secular writers of similar works, she is able not only to be romantic about life's rich variety, but to ground it in the good God of revelation. That combination of orthodox faith, humorous observations of eccentric people and moments, and practical philosophy is rare in contemporary writing."

The Rev. Evan McClanahan

Sin Boldly Podcast

"You catch a monkey, they say, with trinkets in a wide-bottomed, narrow-necked vase. The monkey inserts his paw, and opens it up to capture his treasure. When he tries to withdraw his fist, he can either hold on to the trinkets or let them go and free himself.

Jesus invited, 'Leave everything you have, and follow me!' That might seem fairly easy for a pilgrim who can't afford her own car. But even the poor must surrender.

Goska's monastery journey is a meditation on the deliberate opening of hands. With the slow freeing of each finger, another trinket is jettisoned and a new perspective is revealed. Nature provides her window to the divine: indigenous fruit, a hawk's soar, and being arrested by an unlikely savior. This hero's journey ends where she began, but as a new person, with a new vision.

Goska is a bold spirit who has fine-tuned her soul to encounter grace in unlikely places. In the spirit of Flannery O'Connor, as well as the Beats, she is wonderfully refreshing. Her sensitivity to God's possibilities is awe-inspiring. Step beyond predictability and embrace one heck of a ride!"

Deacon Kevin McCormack, host, WABC radio, "Religion on the Line," Xavier High School principal, adjunct professor of theology at Molly College

"'God Through Binoculars' is a mesmerizing book. The primary narrative concerns the author's visit to a monastery, but this is interspersed with reflections on the habits of hyenas, the spiritual defects of Meso-American art (Goska seems to like the hyenas better), the Holocaust, and a host of other subjects. The satirical account of her visit to the monastery makes the book worth reading all by itself. Fierce, hard-won, deep-rooted piety breathes through the snark. In an age of cutesy, feel-good memoirs with easy answers, this is the real thing – a book that brings you in touch with the restless, passionate intelligence of its author and forces you to think in a fresh way about every one of the many subjects it addresses."

Edwin Woodruff Tait, writer, farmer, and consulting editor for Christian History magazine.

"Goska dares to ask the universally elusive questions: will any deity or doctrine fully suffice in this life? Is the duel beauty and brutality of nature and human interaction alone enough to fill our spiritual reservoirs? In examining the mysterious trifecta of God, the natural world and human industry, Goska illustrates how a truly benevolent God would want us to experience the brutality of life along with the transcendence of beauty. Time and again her words illuminate the agony AND the ecstasy of this life that ultimately inspire us towards love, awe and wonder. Goska’s intellectual inquisition proves that the very acts of motion and inquiry are a kind of devotion all their own. "

Tina Schumann, "Two-Countries. U.S. Daughters and Sons of Immigrant Parents"


"Goska finds goodness and moments of beauty and synchronicity amidst a world of hurt and oppression. Kindness and serendipity give to her, and give to the reader as well, hope for the future and a sense of religious wonder and faith. Her passion for birds and the avian encounters – some downright magical – which occur at just the right moments in her experience offer tantalizing evidence of greater forces at work than can be explained by pure science or reason. Goska's book is provocative, in-your-face, and uncompromising – all the trademarks of the author herself. It is bracing to read strongly-held opinions backed up by facts and evidence instead of feel-good but unsubstantiated politically correct writing. "

Marc J. Chelemer, New Jersey birder

"All that Goska has done here is to give us a simple, straightforward account of a brief episode in her life. And yet she has captured something about the mystery of life and human interaction that is at once deep, moving, and universal."

Bruce Bawer, author, "Stealing Jesus"

"Goska takes the reader on a remarkable journey, first encountering the personal and political corruption of academia in the soul-crushing age of political correctness, and then finding escape and finally restoration of spirit. This is no harangue or political manifesto, but rather a compelling tale of exploration and growth from a natural storyteller that just happens to illuminate the intellectual and moral issues of our age."

Thomas Lifson, Founder and Editor, American Thinker, former Harvard professor of East Asian Studies