By Derek

otb-shadowstoneShadowstone
Kindle | Paperback

March 1, 2025. An ordinance states that any family not making $100,000 annually must move into transition camps, newly designed ‘upscale condominium units’ constructed on the fringes of New York City. These communities, surrounded by an eighteen-foot fence and around-the-clock security, are meant to teach residents how to survive in a society in which the middle class has been dissolved, offering them a step up in America. Once inside a different story unfolds. Trane Wilson is assigned to Millstone, the prototype camp built on old shipping docks on Newark Bay. He quickly befriends three other teens—Javier, Tonka and Ish—and the quartet devises a plan to survive against the makers’ wishes. While the society around them crumbles thanks to a quickly emerging prison system, a rampant turn to religious thinking, and the infiltration of deep-pocketed outsiders creating a reality show that represents no reality that exists around them, these four boys come of age and ultimately escape Shadowstone—the residents’ name for their city—in very different ways.

otb-twp-cover-smallThe Warrior’s Path: Living Yoga’s Ten Codes
Kindle | Paperback

In The Warrior’s Path, veteran author and yoga instructor Derek Beres explores these ten yogic codes—the yamas and niyamas—by investigating their role in modern culture through the lens of neuroscience, evolutionary biology, and moral and developmental psychology. The creator of Flow Play, a national program at Equinox Fitness spotlighting the intersection of yoga, music, and neuroscience, Beres uses his research as a springboard for looking into how our brains and bodies operate and what that means for yoga today. An inquisitive and insightful work, The Warrior’s Path explores the tribal roots of yoga while helping modern yogis understand the ethical and moral sentiments of this millennia-old art. The result is a practice that offers compassion and empathy to the planet and our fellow human beings.

otb-gbf-cover-smallGlobal Beat Fusion: The History of the Future of Music
Kindle | Paperback

Since publication in June 2005, Global Beat Fusion has helped to define the emerging global culture being created by international music and the musicians that search past their own nations to create and collaborate. Featuring candid and close-up interviews with Karsh Kale, Krishna Das, Cheb i Sabbah, Bill Laswell, Ojos de Brujo, Zakir Hussain, Mercan Dede, Nickodemus, Boban Markovic, Niyaz and many more, this important work is the definitive source for the most progressive musical movement of the 21st century. As NPR stated, “Global Beat Fusion: The History of the Future of Music is not a book about music alone. It’s about a growing worldwide community that’s searching for shared experience without politics or corporate involvement. And it could fill many different slots on the bookshelf.” Newsday noted that “Beres takes a Joseph Campbell-like comparative look at various cultures, then discusses the semi-underground patchwork of musicians who are using this often-sacred music for dancefloor kinetics. He then explains why that combination is not as incongruous as it might seem at first glance.”

Derek book cover production2Rise of the Sun People
Kindle

Rise of the Sun People is Derek Beres’s sixth book and first to feature an all-animal cast of characters. Just as George Orwell’s Animal Farm took a snapshot of pre-World War II Stalinism, in this novella Beres succinctly captures the fractured political climate taking place after Obama was elected president, a phase in which the most outlandish social policies and narrow political ideologies are being seriously debated in a culture too distracted by its technologies to pay attention to America’s place in the world. Inspired by comic books in India that teach children and teens the vast mythologies of that culture, Rise of the Sun People introduces and examines current national social and political ideologies to readers of all ages. As with us human animals, the world’s most important themes—friendship, love and community—shine on throughout these pages. A modern mythology in a time of turmoil, Rise of the Sun People reminds us of our humanity by shining a light on some of our most dire problems, offering hope and the conviction to create a better today.

Mysterious Distance
Paperback

Mysterious Distance is a story of cycles: the cycle of romance, of death, of dreams … and of corn. Updating an old Aztec agricultural mythology to suit the meaning of our times—a time of mistrust and rebellion in the ways we consume, as well as the ways we relate to one another—Beres holds up a mirror and invites us to examine our own cycles. In the end, it is a tale we can all relate to: that of love and love lost, that of life and death, and that of the mysterious distance between the romance of who we are and the life we want to live, and the life that presents itself before us. It is a reminder that as far as we run from our patterns, we cannot run from ourselves, and, more importantly, that there is no reason to: the ritual of life is a rite of celebration, even when times seem darkest. Mysterious Distance is an emotional and heartfelt meditation on the state of modern America and our relationship with foreign cultures and ideas, all the while focused on what matters to us the most: family, friends and affairs of the heart.

Sound Against Flame: The Process of Yoga and Atheism in America
Paperback

Sound Against Flame is an insightful and inquisitive look inside two emerging cultural ideas gripping the modern American consciousness: yoga and atheism. While seemingly opposed in numerous contexts, author/yoga instructor Derek Beres uncovers a common foundation as startling as it is revelatory to practitioners of any, or no, faith. The end result is a book that looks past the modern association of yoga with seeking ‘pure bliss’ without awareness of the suffering of life as well as the assumption in America that yoga is merely comprised of a bunch of postures, diving straight into the heart of the discipline. Used as part of the curriculum for Derek’s yoga teacher training program at Equinox Fitness, Sound Against Flame is a great resource for aspiring teachers, as well as for seasoned practitioners seeking to explore the history of yoga in the context of modern America.

Tangled Web: The Best Music Tour You Never Heard Of
Paperback

Photojournalist Derek Beres spent one month on the road documenting Musica Fresca, a Latin music tour featuring Yerba Buena, Voltio, Akwid and Radio Mundial. Hired by Yahoo!Telemundo to keep a daily online record of 15 national dates, Beres went from blogging the most ambitious Hispanic tour ever produced in America to uncovering the behind-the-scenes follies of greed and deception. Tangled Web is an eye-opening, informative and honest journey through today’s music industry, and how by weaving through the pitfalls of industry devotion to the arts reigns supreme. Written as a daily journal with commentary in the beginning and end, this conversational work is key to understanding the struggles of foreign identity in American music circles, moving past the exotica often afforded to international music, driving right into the humanity that we all share as artistic and creative beings.