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Gaia's Garden: A Guide to Home-Scale Permaculture, 2nd Edition

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I was told repeatedly that if I could only own one permaculture book, this should be it. Inheriting my copy from a permy friend who upgraded to the next edition, I have to agree with those who said it. This is THE home scale permaculture 101. If you have any interest in learning about- or trying out- permaculture in your backyard, get this book. I tried borrowing it from the library, but they kept making me give it back. ;P I'm thrilled to have my own copy to refer to again and again, both on long winter days of planning and in those moments with dirt under my nails and a question I need an answer to Right Now. a bit of everything, and everything you need to find more, I cannot recommend this book highly enough. If there were more stars, I'd give them all to it.
Vampires in Their Own Words: An Anthology of Vampire Voices

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A very interesting read. Whether you "believe" in vampires or not, there is a large community of people who self identify as such. If you know anyone into energy work, or if you yourself are, this is a book worth getting your hands on. Covering everything from practical to philosophical this book is a series of writings by well known (within their sub culture) members of the vamp community. You will probably find yourself disagreeing with some of them, I know I did, but that never hurts either. ;)
Plain and Simple: A Journey to the Amish

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Not so much a woman's journey to the Amish, as a woman's journey through the Amish. The author is able to obtain a privilege few of us will ever experience: staying with an Amish family (or rather, several) for weeks of her life. The look at the Amish that follows is fascinating, though I found myself fading out a bit toward the end, as there are a few chapters where her flow is not as smooth as it is through the rest of the book. She finds her footing again before the end however, and overall I recommend this book for at least a lovely and comfortable read, if not as a necessity for your private collection.
Manic: A Memoir

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I need a dozen copies of this book. She captured so many of the feelings so well that everyone who loves me needs to read this. I kept nodding along going "yes, exactly! Oh thanks the gods I'm not alone!"So many of the books written about individual bipolar patients are about the extreme cases, this one is about those of us who can pass when we want to. Thank you, Terri, thank you thank you a thousand times for writing this.If you know or are a manic-depressive, please do yourself the favor of getting your hands on a copy of this book. Graspable language and honest admissions make this book a must read for the loved ones who suffer along with us, and frank descriptions of mood shifts and her own truth make this one a must read for those of us whose brain chemistry causes the suffering.I want to mark this with highlighters and make all those who care for me read it, she spoke my truth better than I've been able to in so many places.
Never Cry Wolf

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I got this book thinking it might be cute fluff I could enjoy and then pass along. I confess I'm not much of a modern-romance sort of girl. Generally speaking, I need my romance novels to address why there is only straight monogamous sexuality and why no one is worried about STD issues or unplanned pregnancy. Either they have to be an alternate world with an explanation somewhere early on as to why it isn't an issue, or they have to be set early enough in our own world that we are mostly dealing with virgins and (at worse) the clap, and no known alternatives to monogamous lifestyle. So I expected that, while werewolves might be fun, this would leave me as cold as most modern romance novels do. I just can't concentrate when I'm thinking "jealousy is not sexy, people" or "you are gonna get a disease if you keep being this stupid."Cynthia Eden hooked me with the first paragraph, which I read aloud to my housemate it was so fabulous. Then she did what I've never seen done until now: she handled the safer sex issue in a believable and sexy way!! I put the book down and did a little dance I was so happy!! Here were these hot, believable characters, and now I didn't have to work hard to try and maintain the belief this could be real and fit in "my world, but slanted". I wish I could recommend these to my mom, who loves a good supernatural romance as much as the next gal, but I fear the (entirely appropriately used, and not overused) cuss words would be upsetting to her. I will absolutely be recommending this to all of my peers. Everything I usually find off-putting in typical modern romance was handled beautifully, and the story was well told. I was up until 430am finishing because I just couldn't bring myself to put the book down. The sex was steamy, and always worked to advance the narrative, and I can hardly wait to get my hands on more of these novels. I'll be headed to the bookstore this week.
As Francesca

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Wow. This was extremely yummy. I devoured it. If the author doesn't have experience with the scene, I owe someone a cookie. She writes very well of the emotions and energies involved in WIITWD. I'm donating my copy to the B/CS Odyssey library, because this one deserves a wide read by those who can appreciate it. Not explicit, yet still delicious. Well done!
Barefoot in Baghdad: A Story of Identity-My Own and What It Means to Be a Woman in Chaos

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Although at times I had difficulty following the chronology of this book, overall it was a very easy read. The author has a conversational style to her writing that pulls you in and keeps you going. I actually read this in two days! I couldn't put it down. I found myself very emotionally involved in the story, and my initial concerns that it would be either overly analytical or overly author-centric proved unfounded. Omar maintains the delicate balance between her story and the story of the women of Iraq with poise and grace. I don't know how much longer my excessive notice of all things Muslim or Middle Eastern will continue, but I welcome it for as long as it stays. If you are or have ever loved a strong woman, or had even a vague passing interest in areas political, this one is well worth getting your hands on.
Shelter for the Spirit: How to Make Your Home a Haven in a Hectic World

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Not so much a "how to" as a "why to", this book is a breathe of fresh air. Curl up in your comfiest chair, with a cup of tea and a good view, and settle in to enjoy the authors love of home and journey to comfort. I admit that what brings me back again and again is her understanding of what turns a house into a home, and my comfort in knowing that while none of us are perfect we all yearn to get there. This book won't tell you how to organize your board games or winnow down your paperwork, but it will remind you of the joy wood can bring to the eye and the touch, and the peace that can be obtained in a room that speaks to your soul.
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