Published Works

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Tremors in the Cloister is a heartwarming, true story of a friendship between Allan, a young monk, and Father Julian, a Catholic priest struggling to maintain his quality of life despite the ravages of Parkinson’s disease. Julian — also a college professor and monk — is a devoted naturalist involved in many outdoor projects. By happenstance, Allan becomes Julian’s chauffer and assistant. The two men soon bond over their love of nature through making elderberry wine, tracking the illusive sheepshead mushroom, and secretly growing marijuana used to alleviate symptoms of Julian’s illness. Julian quickly becomes a mentor for Allan and teaches him not only about the natural world, but also how to become a more spiritual person and appreciate what matters in life. As Julian’s health declines, he is forced to make important decisions regarding surgical operations while Allan has his own crisis regarding making a lifelong commitment to the monastic vocation.

Tremors offers a real-life account into the nature of Parkinson’s disease, the difficulties it creates, and ways of coping with the illness. It also elaborates on some of the significant changes that have occurred in the Roman Catholic Church over the past fifty years. Spiegler’s perspective gives the reader a closeup view of monastic life, a view generally shielded from the public. Enlightening and poignant, this memoir of a young man’s spiritual journey and meaningful friendship combines moments of humor and sadness, giving readers an unforgettable experience.

Reviews:

“Spiegler’s recollections about monastic living at the end of the 20th century make for interesting reading on their own. But the heart of this clear-eyed, touching memoir is Father Julian, a resourceful man who loved life and explored every avenue —from homegrown remedies to brain surgery — in an attempt to live it fully despite his crippling illness.”

Arizona Daily Star, September 4, 2016

—-available at Amazon and other major on-line booksellers

 

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Clark Street Whole Foods Baking:  The beloved Clark Street Bakery was a whole-foods  mecca that produced delicious, nutritious baked goods, using only organic whole grain flours, less refined sweeteners like honey and molasses, and vegetable oil rather than lard, hydrogenated shortening, or lots of butter.  Chemical preservatives, dough conditioners, bleaches, and food dyes were never used.  In the early 1980s, the bakery served as a retail community bakery and supplier to natural food stores and co-ops in Chicago and Evanston.

This collection of much-requested recipes and heart-warming vignettes not only tells our story, but provides a wealth of nutritional information, as well as detailed instructions and the reasoning behind the techniques used.

—-available at Amazon and other major on-line booksellers

If A Store Could Talk...

If a  Store Could Talk…The Spiegler Family Remembers:

Reviews:

“If A Store Could Talk…The Spiegler Family Remembers” is a wonderful walk through a specific aspect of the history of a true American community that tells the story of one important family that managed to stick together through thick and thin. It’s a representation of love, respect and hard work that passed from generation to generation, which allowed them to succeed in experiencing the American dream.”

–Todd Wessell, Editor, Des Plaines Journal & Topics 

“Allan Spiegler has rescued his family history and lore from the proverbial ‘dustbin of history.’ Stories and perspectives that could never be found in newspapers or retail ledgers are now written down for all to read.  This is the legacy of a family on the frontier. Not the fictional frontier of cowboy movies, but the real frontier of American immigration, commerce, and suburban life as it progressed through the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.  The stories and lessons are nigh universal.”

–Philip Mohr, Executive Director, Des Plaines History Center

“A slice of 20th century Americana in an engaging account of a locally prominent and influential Midwestern merchant family in the 20th century. Easy reading with many touching anecdotes.”

–Roy Hansen, family friend and former employee

Published by Elderberry Press

–Available on all major on-line booksellers

 

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