Hunter Foreman

Offering a close-up and visceral view of one of America's finest contemporary poets, Larry "Ratso" Sloman's On the Road with Bob Dylan, a behind-the-scenes look at Dylan's Rolling Thunder Revue tour of 1975, is a fascinating portrait of the man who once advised, "Take care of all your memories. For you cannot relive them." Luckily for Dylan, Sloman took note of all the happenings during the unforgettable tour that took place in support of the multi-platinum album Desire. Originally published in 1978, his book is being reissued this month with new photographs and a new foreword by Kinky Friedman.

In the whirlwind of that hectic time, Dylan's days were packed with commotion. Surrounding him were talented musicians like Joan Baez, Robbie Robertson and Joni Mitchell, as well as the poet Allen Ginsberg. He was involved in efforts to free Reuben "Hurricane" Carter, the legendary boxer wrongly imprisoned for murder, whom he championed in the song "Hurricane." And he followed a demanding tour schedule. "A lot of people can't stand touring," Dylan said of his traveling days, "but to me it's like breathing. I do it because I'm driven to do it."

An intense portrayal of the man who has defined and redefined rock-and-roll for nearly four decades, On the Road with Bob Dylan is required reading for any fan. From the music to the groupies, the book captures the aura of an era. Anyone can go see him in concert, but very few have the chance to actually know the musician. Thanks to Sloman's book, readers can come pretty darned close.

Offering a close-up and visceral view of one of America's finest contemporary poets, Larry "Ratso" Sloman's On the Road with Bob Dylan, a behind-the-scenes look at Dylan's Rolling Thunder Revue tour of 1975, is a fascinating portrait of the man who once advised, "Take care of all your memories. For you cannot relive them." Luckily […]

Halloween is right around the corner. The neighbors have carved their pumpkins (including the chic miniature pumpkins which are more avant garde these days), your kids swear their friends already have costumes and the check-out lanes at the grocery store are clogged with bags of candy. Are you really going to be this ordinary? Please, there are alternatives. Consult these new books for inspiration on innovative ways to celebrate a hair-raising, high-spirited Halloween.

Witch Crafting

Let's face it witches have gotten a raw deal in history. From the Salem trials to Oz's Wicked Witch of the West, witches are portrayed as scary, ugly and evil. Author Phyllis Curott, a Wiccan high priestess, certainly doesn't fit that stereotype. A svelte blonde and former civil liberties lawyer, Curott told the story of her own journey toward accepting Wicca in the 1998 memoir Book of Shadows. Her latest effort, Witch Crafting: A Spiritual Guide to Making Magic, is a practical guide to the whys and hows of making Wiccan magic. With Curott's advice, you can find your own inner goddess just in time for Halloween.

How To Communicate with Spirits

Ever felt like touching the other side ? Then this is your book. In How to Communicate with Spirits, certified medium Elizabeth Owens gathers advice from noted experts on how to contact the spirits of those who have passed on. But beware: the spirits you contact may be naughty rather than nice. While positive spirits can help you out of difficult situations (like getting a seat on a crowded airplane), a negative spirit can be a household menace, stealing items from your kitchen or sending you into fits of depression. Shocking.

Coast to Coast Ghosts

Bored by the same old ghost stories around the campfire? Leslie Rule has solved your dilemma by traveling the country to collect eerie tales of our nation's most haunted places. Guaranteed to send a chill down your spine, Coast to Coast Ghosts: True Stories of Hauntings Across Americadescribes haunted houses, schools, hotels, bridges, forts and, of course, cemeteries. The author, who is the daughter of true-crime writer Ann Rule, includes plenty of photographs for those who need cold, hard evidence that there are goblins and ghouls among us.

Ghost Dogs of the South

Reading scary stories can haunt your bedtime hours with nightmares. And after reading Ghost Dogs of the South, your nightmares will be full of slobber and paws. In these mysterious tales compiled by folklorists Randy Russell and Janet Barnett, dead dogs from Dixie return in ghostly form, while in even stranger cases, humans who die come back as ghost dogs. Think again before you buy that cheaper bag of dog food at the market.

Origami Monsters

If you're interested in the Japanese art of paper folding, why waste your time on a delicate swan or butterfly when you can create such origami ogres as Frankenstein's monster or a snapping goblin? Far less messy than carving a pumpkin, Steve and Megumi Biddle's Origami Monsters should keep the little demons at your house occupied for hours. The book includes well-illustrated instructions and paper for creating several seasonably appropriate creatures.

Handmade Halloween

If your house is the least spooky on the block, don't despair. You can become the Martha Stewart of Halloween decorating by implementing a few practical suggestions from Handmade Halloween: Ideas for a Happy, Haunted Celebration. Tissue paper ghosts will hang from your windows, a front-door scarecrow will grace your entrance and skeleton luminarias will light the way for trick-or-treaters arriving at your stylishly haunted house. Author Zazel Loven also includes cute costume ideas suitable for frantic moms who have never mastered the sewing machine.

Halloween is right around the corner. The neighbors have carved their pumpkins (including the chic miniature pumpkins which are more avant garde these days), your kids swear their friends already have costumes and the check-out lanes at the grocery store are clogged with bags of candy. Are you really going to be this ordinary? Please, […]

Contemplating the sheer peril of climbing Mt. Everest, the first thought that comes to my mind is: Danger! When reading To the Top of Everest by Laurie Skreslet with Elizabeth MacLeod, the realization of how dangerous it can be to tackle the world's highest peak becomes more and more vivid. Of every three climbers who set out, only two returned alive is one of the startling facts in Skreslet's first-hand narrative. Chapter by chapter, the reader learns the necessity of preparation and the drudgery it takes to reach the apex of Mt. Everest. Some of the strongest messages of To the Top of Everestare revealed through the photographs. A writer can always try to describe Mt. Everest, but in some cases, as Aldous Huxley once said, words fail to enlighten. Mt. Everest is so large that it is impossible to imagine. Most people who read this book will have virtually no climbing experience. So, seeing photos of ice screws that help to anchor the climber securely, candid shots of the way climbers pack their food and the specially designed tents they must use, help support Skreslet's account.

In conjunction with the photographs, blue boxes frame the borders of the page with clear, brief explanations of the intricate details of the journey to the peak. They include interesting and sometimes odd information, such as the challenges of going to the bathroom in freezing climates.

One unexpected attribute of To the Top of Everest is the respect that Skreslet gives to the mountain itself. He and his team of Canadian comrades lead an expedition not to conquer the mountain, but to feel its power. There, they climb with Sherpas, the natives who live near the mountain and who refer to Mt. Everest as Mother Goddess of the Earth. Before taking on the climb, and in an additional way of honoring Mt. Everest, Skreslet and his team attend a Buddhist prayer service as a final rite of passage.

To the Top of Everest not only provides a step-by-step account of the perils of Mt. Everest, but also encouragement to readers about life's many twists and turns.

Hunter Foreman, 16, enjoys reading contemporary literature and poetry.

Contemplating the sheer peril of climbing Mt. Everest, the first thought that comes to my mind is: Danger! When reading To the Top of Everest by Laurie Skreslet with Elizabeth MacLeod, the realization of how dangerous it can be to tackle the world's highest peak becomes more and more vivid. Of every three climbers who […]

he clock is ticking T. M. Shine is not your average working man; he eats lunch alone, he smarts off to his boss and he excels at cheating the work system. Combining a zest for anal-retentiveness and a sardonic attitude, Shine considers the insane idiosyncrasies of living in his new book, Timeline.

Shine's book is just what the title suggests: a diary for a month of his life, which he documents by the minute and sometimes even by the second. Instead of cataloguing monumental events, Shine reaches for the most mundane moments (“the bottom of your shoe and everything that has stuck to it all day”) and gives them flare. “8:05 a.m.: Neighbor who only watches PBS and is always full of historical facts rushes over the border of my property, stops short, and yells, ” Did you know Lewis and Clark were gay?' That explains everything, I say.” For 31 days, the reader is with Shine in his voyage through the purple haze of the 21st century, listening in on his stream-of-conscious commentary. A favorite target is the overbearing media he encounters. In one instance, Shine hears a news flash on the radio about Puff Daddy having sex on the beach. Puffy's publicist denies the account, claiming that “Puffy hates sand.” Later that day when Shine finally gets to leave the drudgery of the workplace, a neighbor greets him with, “What's new?” Shine replies: “Puffy hates sand.” In the hands of another writer, this compilation of the daily detritus of life might prove depressing. But Shine, a newspaper humor columnist, manages to make us laugh at the absurdity of it all.

he clock is ticking T. M. Shine is not your average working man; he eats lunch alone, he smarts off to his boss and he excels at cheating the work system. Combining a zest for anal-retentiveness and a sardonic attitude, Shine considers the insane idiosyncrasies of living in his new book, Timeline. Shine's book is […]

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