I don't know how this review slipped through the cracks when I joined & added my pre-GR reads. It remains my favorite of Ed Abbey's novels, the ep...moreI don't know how this review slipped through the cracks when I joined & added my pre-GR reads. It remains my favorite of Ed Abbey's novels, the epitome of his curmudgeonly style. Equal parts farce, environmental polemic, and elegy for a long-gone American West, The Monkey Wrench Gang is a standout.
But my new favorite thing about this book (thanks, GR!) is that it engendered the following review from a reader:
"We are reading this in my book club. So far I want to punch myself in the face. Hard. As hard as I possible can."
Best thing I've read this year. Sums up my feelings about both snarky reviewers (yes, please, punch yourself in the face Elaine. Hard. As hard as you possibly can.) AND bookclubs.(less)
My go-to alternative medicine reference, the perfect complement to western medicine. The author's training in naturopathy an nutritional therapy makes...moreMy go-to alternative medicine reference, the perfect complement to western medicine. The author's training in naturopathy an nutritional therapy makes her a good bridge between the two. Although I do apply a liberal quantity of salt to her 'prescriptions,' I have found that they are excellent ideas to bring with me to visits with my MD.(less)
I've had this book forever, or at least what feels like it: the mid-'80s, at least. When I pulled it off the shelf today to add it here, I was greatly...moreI've had this book forever, or at least what feels like it: the mid-'80s, at least. When I pulled it off the shelf today to add it here, I was greatly amused to discover, tucked in the back, the syllabus from my 1988 Human Sexuality class in college.
Although I am sure that there are more modern, more up-to-date, references on women's health out there, this title remains for me a (no pun intended) seminal work. Because I discovered it when I was coming of age both sexually and emotionally, and because it is written from such an empowering perspective, it will always be a touchstone and my jumping-off point when looking for knowledge about health.(less)
Anatomy for the lay person. I bought this hefty tome 5 or 6 years ago as a general reference and to scratch an itch (I'm intensely curious about what'...moreAnatomy for the lay person. I bought this hefty tome 5 or 6 years ago as a general reference and to scratch an itch (I'm intensely curious about what's going on in there), but hadn't really pulled it off the shelves until now. The impetus behind peering between its covers is my new collection of ailments; I want to both visualize the systems that are failing (in order to facilitate healing visualization techniques) and to increase my medical vocabulary (the better to communicate with my ever-widening team of doctors).
This coffee-table behemoth is a good start to that. Intended as both an illustrated guide to the human body and an encyclopedic health reference, it contains the collected knowledge of some 23 physicians, researchers, and other medical experts. (Because it is an Australian publication, this edition at any rate, all of the contributors and consultants are drawn from 'Down Under.')
There are two major sections to Anatomica: an overview of the major systems of the body (circulatory, digestive, endocrine, lymphatic/immune, muscular, nervous, reproductive, respiratory, skeletal, and urinary), followed by an alphabetical catalog of all things anatomical, from Aging and Alveoli, to Zollinger-Ellison Syndrome and Zygote. There is also a brief first aid manual, an extensive symptom guide, and a pictorial representation of major developmental milestones of the human lifespan, as well as a comprehensive index.
This isn't a substitute for a goo anatomy textbook, but it is a good place to begin. Packed with hundreds of color illustrations, it would make an excellent tool for artists, and if I were a breeder, I'd definitely want it my parental arsenal.(less)
I don't think I've ever before read a book that was a favorite from the very first page. The writing in Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close is phenome...moreI don't think I've ever before read a book that was a favorite from the very first page. The writing in Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close is phenomenal, brilliant, tear-your-heart-out and put it back in writing. A sample:
"That secret was a hole in the middle of me that every happy thing fell into." "Just because you're an atheist, that doesn't mean you wouldn't love for things to have reasons for why they are." "...she wants to know if I love her, that's all anyone wants from anyone else, not love itself but the knowledge that love is there, like new batteries in the flashlight in the emergency kit..." "I regret that it takes a life to learn hot to live." "Each day has been chained to the previous one. But the weeks have had wings. Anyone who believes that a second is faster than a decade did not live my life." "You cannot protect yourself from sadness without protecting yourself from happiness." "What's so horrible about being dead forever, and not feeling anything, and not even dreaming? What's so great about feeling and dreaming?" "Life is scarier than death."
Didn't I tell you? Spectacular, life-and-death stuff.
A note on the film: It's a damn good thing I read this before I saw the movie (in fact, I read the book with a copy of the DVD sitting on the couch, waiting to be watched), because if I hadn't, I never would have bothered - the film is that bad.
This is an exceptional book. Nuanced, emotionally driven and beautifully written, but at least 95% of it fails to make it into the flat yet fatuously saccharine film. The beauty of EL&IC is the carefully drawn characters, their inner lives writ loud in their actions; most all of it fails to make it to the big screen. In fact, a fair bit that appears in the film wasn't in the book, as if viewers need hand-holding; if I were Jonathan Saffran Foer, I'd be pissed.
If you've seen the movie, whether you liked it or not, but you haven't yet read the book: do yourself a favor and READ it; you won't be disappointed.(less)
Written by my friend Garth Johnson and including several of my one-of-a-kind handspun yarns, 1000 Ideas for Creative Reuse is a reduce-reuse-recycle'e...moreWritten by my friend Garth Johnson and including several of my one-of-a-kind handspun yarns, 1000 Ideas for Creative Reuse is a reduce-reuse-recycle'ers dream. Page after page of art and craft by some of the most, well, creative folks in Humboldt County, California, this coffee table tome will inspire the re-maker in you to turn discards into useful and beautiful items. But don't think you'll get instructions or how-to's: this book is strictly a photographic compendium of inspiration only; you'll have to bring your own know-how to the table to create your vision of giving renewed life to cast-offs. But rest assured, you'll find this graphic wonderland a source of infinite inspiration for your own restyling adventures.(less)
I know many otherwise lovely people who don't read science fiction, but I'll never understand why. Ender's Game is one of the great examples of how/wh...moreI know many otherwise lovely people who don't read science fiction, but I'll never understand why. Ender's Game is one of the great examples of how/why sci-fi is for everyone.
I've had this on my to-read list for decades, but never got around to picking up a copy. But with the film due out any minute now, I knew it was time to push it up in the queue, so I asked my friendly neighborhood Santa to put a copy in in my stocking, & he happily obliged. (Thanks, Cole!) And I devoured it in under 36 hours.
Who doesn't like an interesting premise, developed into a good story, & told in a clear, understandable style? Added bonus: unexpected twist ending! Some people may characterize this as young adult literature, & I'd argue that it is quite suitable for children, but to leave it at that gives short-shrift to Card's themes. Politics & military policies can't be overlooked, as they are the structure of the story, but the real gem here is Card's exploration of the human psyche. He clearly has a nuanced understanding of the complexities of the human condition.
Although presented in a relatively prosaic style, I would argue that the text would, upon a second reading, yield depths and subtleties that I most likely missed on the first go-round. Definitely worth a re-read sometime down the line.
Look for reviews of the rest of this series from me; I enjoyed this enough to pick them up, too.(less)