Books read in April

There were a lot of missteps this month. I hope the drought is almost over.


Full Catastrophe Living
Jon Kabat-Zinn
I read this book as part of my “get rid of psorisis in 2009” campaign. In my research, I read about a study where patients undergoing UV treatment for psorisis who listened to the body scan meditation associaited with this book showed more improvement than patients who didn’t. I’m not undergoing UV treatment, but I thought it couldn’t hurt to see what this book has to say. Plus, I was intrigued by the title.

This is not a thin book. It is very, very long and as my library due date approached, I had to read 50 pages per night to finish it. However, despite it’s length, this book does more than any other book I have come across, to take the woo-woo out of meditation and yoga.

What this book asks you to do is not easy: spend 45 minutes per day meditating or doing yoga. One of the points made by the author is that in order to integrate this thing that will make your life easier into your life, you must first deal with making your life harder. It is a pain to make time every day for “the practice” but by week four three people asked me if I’d been on vacation lately. “You look so calm” they said.

Looking like I’ve been on vacation without actually going? I can get on board with that.

Sorcery & Cecelia
Patricia Wrede & Caroline Stevermer
I love books that seem to take place in normal time–either today or in history, but then have a slight twist that throws them a little bit into the fantasy realm. This is one of those books. It takes place circa Jane Austin and the two main characters have the same cares of concerns of young unmarried ladies of that day.

However, in this book’s world, sorcery is common, although looked down upon by some, including Cecelia’s Aunt. This is, when you get right down to it, a mystery, but the historical setting and the inclusion of sorcery give it just enough twist to make it different. For people who enjoy books composed of letters between main characters, this book provides that. In a reading year that hasn’t been very spectacular, I enjoyed this greatly.

The concise guide to self-sufficiency
John Seymour & Will Sutherland
Self-sufficiency looks so lovely when illustrated so beautifully. This is a smaller version of a larger book, designed with urban, or semi-urban people in mind. Includes instructions of how to kill and dress your chickens, among other things I will most likely not need to do.

Trellising: how to grow climbing vegetables, fruits, flowers and trees
Rhonda Massingham Hart
Good resource. Discusses the different kinds of trellis one would want and the different kinds of things to plant on them. It also has a very good section on espaliering trees.

Arches and Pergolas
Richard Key
Very nicely illustrated book about how to build several kinds of arbors. You may see an arbor from this book taking its place on the front porch.

Started but did not finish
Waking the Dead
Scott Spenser
I sort of liked this movie, but found it a little lacking and so I checked out the book to see if it could give me more. It didn’t.

My sister’s Keeper
Jodi Picoult
I could see where this was going. That, combined with the fact that I was more sensitive than usual to descriptions of medical procedures (they give me the heeby-jeebies) meant I wasn’t long for this book.

Did not even start

An irresponsible age
Lavinia Greenlaw

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