Sharon Kozy

Would you like to delight your resident horse-lover this Christmas with something other than another item from her State Line Tack wish list? Widely acclaimed photographer Yann Arthus-Bertrand has culled 15 years of pictures and selected his favorites for a new collection, Horses. From the lens of a master who is at ease whether working from a bird's-eye view or up close in the studio, these pictures convey a depth that is rarely seen in standard horse photography. Focusing on the complex relationship between his equine subjects and their caretakers, Arthus-Bertrand's photographs reveal almost as much about horse-lovers as they do about the horses themselves.

Starting with photos taken in Eurasia, where the horse's ancestors developed into the present day species Equus, representatives of many breeds are shown against the backdrop of Arthus-Bertrand's signature brown tarp canvas. Befitting an artist who has spent a significant portion of his career photographing the earth from the air, Arthus-Bertrand includes several beautifully composed shots in which the canvas is a small element of a wider, lush scene. Thoughtful commentary by Jean-Louis Gouraud enhances the photos and focuses on how the various breeds have evolved in response to regional cultures. This armchair tour of the horse world is a captivating journey.

Would you like to delight your resident horse-lover this Christmas with something other than another item from her State Line Tack wish list? Widely acclaimed photographer Yann Arthus-Bertrand has culled 15 years of pictures and selected his favorites for a new collection, Horses. From the lens of a master who is at ease whether working […]

Do you want to keep this year's resolutions? Gain insight on what stopped you from pursuing the career of your fantasies? Just in time for the annual post-holiday self-inventory period, Caroline Myss offers guidance in her new book Sacred Contracts: Awakening Your Divine Potential.

In Sacred Contracts, Myss continues her quest to empower readers to imagine their lives as they were meant to be lived and shares practical tools to help them get there. A dynamic speaker and teacher, with many fans in the New Age community, Myss lectures on the chakra system through which each person manages his personal energy and the archetypes that influence the creation and response to one's life situations. In this new book, she explains the basics of chakras and archetypes and explains how they are related to the sacred contracts that each person draws up prior to birth.

To enjoy Sacred Contracts to its fullest, purchase a journal and record your thoughts as you read. Myss has included many exercises designed to help readers understand the underlying forces that prompt their decisions. Although it doesn't come with a guarantee, Sacred Contracts is certain to make at least one aspect of your life seem less mysterious.

Do you want to keep this year's resolutions? Gain insight on what stopped you from pursuing the career of your fantasies? Just in time for the annual post-holiday self-inventory period, Caroline Myss offers guidance in her new book Sacred Contracts: Awakening Your Divine Potential. In Sacred Contracts, Myss continues her quest to empower readers to […]

I remember feeling annoyed at the end of The Subtle Knife, Book Two in the multi-award winning His Dark Materials trilogy, that it would probably be several years before the concluding volume was published and I'd find out how Lyra Belacqua—a.k.a. Lyra Silvertongue—fared as the second Eve. Three years later, Book Three, The Amber Spyglass, is finally here and will pull its readers back into Lyra and Will's worlds of daemons, Dust, and deception just as if they stumbled through one of those magic windows cut by the subtle knife.

Book Three begins with the beautiful, but deceiving Mrs. Coulter hiding her daughter Lyra in a cave in the Himalayas. The Holy Church is looking for them. Also on their trail are Lyra's father, Lord Asriel, and his army which is preparing to wage war on the Holy Church and the established order. Determined to find her first, however, is Lyra's dear friend Will with whom she journeyed in The Subtle Knife. Lyra has been prophesied to be the next Eve, and her choices will determine if man returns to the Garden of Eden or stays in the world of free will. Although she has overheard talk of the peculiar role she has been destined to play, Lyra is more interested in seeking forgiveness from her friend Roger than in the larger, adult conflicts. As the search for Lyra intensifies, each side is aided by a multitude of angels, witches, and other characters from the previous two novels, including Iorek Brynison, the King of the Armored Bears.

Easily the best and most exciting book in the trilogy, The Amber Spyglass will keep its readers enthralled until the last page and should bring many more awards to its author Philip Pullman. As any good conclusion should, it ties up all the loose ends and leaves its readers satisfied from having embarked on Lyra's coming-of-age journey in the first place.

 

I remember feeling annoyed at the end of The Subtle Knife, Book Two in the multi-award winning His Dark Materials trilogy, that it would probably be several years before the concluding volume was published and I'd find out how Lyra Belacqua—a.k.a. Lyra Silvertongue—fared as the second Eve. Three years later, Book Three, The Amber Spyglass, […]

Low-carbohydrate or low-fat, butter or margarine, fresh or processed, organic or conventional? With so much conflicting advice about nutrition, Andrew Weil, M.D., comes to the aid of confused consumers in his latest book, Eating Well for Optimum Health: The Essential Guide to Food, Diet, and Nutrition. Two of Weil's previous books, Spontaneous Healing and 8 Weeks to Optimum Health, gained wide public attention and helped establish him as an authority on health-related issues. Refreshed from escorting his mother to Antarctica for her 89th birthday, Weil recently spoke to BookPage. Highlights of the conversation follow.

BookPage: What prompted you to start writing your books?
Andrew Weil: Over the years I had really built up a lot of ideas about the nature of healing and its relationship to treatment. It seemed to me that these ideas were new to most patients and doctors. I thought that it could be very helpful for people to learn the concept that the body has an innate ability to heal itself.

BP: In preparation for your books, with whom did you study?
AW: I've studied all over the world with many different kinds of practitioners. I've worked with an osteopathic physician, energy healers, naturopaths, Chinese medical doctors, and shamans of different cultures. I've also been practicing as a physician doing natural and preventive medicine for many years.

BP: Your books have been so successful. How has that changed your life?
AW: All the celebrity stuff has really turned my life upside down. The good side is that it's made it possible for me to get the ear of the medical establishment. My main work is to try to change the way we educate doctors, and that is the work I've been doing at the University of Arizona. It is very important to realize that most doctors are uneducated about nutrition. I'm actively involved in trying to develop new models of medical education. I think that the success of the books with the general public has made it easier for me to do that.

BP: There are so many doctors who are publishing books that it's almost overwhelming. What advice do you give to consumers who wonder which method is the right one?
AW: I think you have to develop a good instinct for good information and reliable sources. I try very hard in all the books I write, and in my newsletters and website, to put out the best information I can that's consistent with what we know scientifically. I think a lot of people like my work because it guides them in the right direction.

BP: I've heard that our food supply is suffering because of our conventional production methods. Lately I've heard much about the bad effects from how our livestock are treated and the antibiotics they are given.
AW: I think that's true. In the new book, I do talk about how the fat of chicken, beef, and pork is now very different from what it was in the days when animals grazed in the wild. It's probably much less healthy for us, and that's apart from the whole issue of concentration of toxins and antibiotics. I think if you're going to eat animal foods, you want to try as much as possible to get those that are from free range, organically produced animals.

BP: Another thing I've heard is that one should eat canned vegetables instead of fresh ones because of the pesticides on the produce.
AW: I don't agree with that at all. I think it's worth trying to get fresh, organic produce wherever you can, and it is getting cheaper and more available. In my book, I also mention the study that was done in Texas last year that showed that simple washing of fruits and vegetables in warm water and a little dishwasher soap will remove a huge percentage of pesticides. Peeling helps too.

BP: In your latest book, you discuss how our culture has an idea of thinness that just may be unobtainable for most people.
AW: I think that people will really respond to this. I think that our obsession with thinness has warped our medical knowledge. If people are heavier than the charts say they should be, I think the most important thing that they can do is to keep themselves fit. If people exercise and have a healthy lifestyle, I think they're just fine. The problem is to learn to like oneself that way.

BP: If you wanted to sum up your latest book, what would you say?
AW: That how you eat has a very important influence on how you feel and on your health and longevity. It's really worth informing yourself about what the principles of healthy eating are. This is one of the big variables over which each person has a lot of control.

Low-carbohydrate or low-fat, butter or margarine, fresh or processed, organic or conventional? With so much conflicting advice about nutrition, Andrew Weil, M.D., comes to the aid of confused consumers in his latest book, Eating Well for Optimum Health: The Essential Guide to Food, Diet, and Nutrition. Two of Weil's previous books, Spontaneous Healing and 8 […]

On June 1, 1994, Joel Rothschild walked into the apartment of his close friend Albert Fleites and found him dead from suicide. Both men were HIV-positive and had seen many of their friends' lives ended by AIDS. During the course of their friendship, the two had made a promise to give each other advance notice if either decided to take his own life. They had also promised that the first to die would try to signal the other from the other side. Albert didn't keep the first promise, but he did the second.

In his debut book, Joel tells the moving story about his reaction to Albert's death and the subtle and not so subtle signals that he began receiving shortly afterwards. It is a personal account of how his life was changed by the AIDS epidemic and his inner transformation that occurred as a result.

As Joel and Albert battled their illnesses and faced the deaths of many of their friends, they talked at length about their hopes and fears about dying. A visit to a hypnotherapist convinced Joel that no disease is 100 percent fatal and some survive because of inner strength.

As a distraught and betrayed Joel was leaving Albert's apartment on the day of his suicide, Joel received the first signal from Albert in the form of an inner prompting from his deceased friend to look in the trash can outside. At the bottom of the can underneath the dirty garbage, Joel found a draft of a letter that Albert had written reassuring him that he was his dearest friend and would always love him. Joel considered suicide as a response to Albert's death, but he was swayed by another visit from Albert's presence which conveyed that he must not take his own life. During that visit, Albert told him that every moment is important, that events and situations are working themselves out in every second, and that all suffering is connected to a greater good.

Albert's presence continued to make itself known in more subtle ways. Joel increased his receptivity to these events and began receiving messages from Albert and other presences. With the advent of protease inhibitors, Joel's health did improve, and he began starting new projects and friendships. He also had a greater appreciation for life and a determination to help others.

Whether one accepts the events that Joel presents as signals from Albert or writes them off as mere coincidences, Signals is the inspiring story of a man who rebuilt his life in spite of a life-threatening illness and a great loss.

On June 1, 1994, Joel Rothschild walked into the apartment of his close friend Albert Fleites and found him dead from suicide. Both men were HIV-positive and had seen many of their friends' lives ended by AIDS. During the course of their friendship, the two had made a promise to give each other advance notice […]

Stephen W. Hines has unearthed a trilogy of short stories by Louisa May Alcott in anticipation of the upcoming Christmas season.

Hines has previously published several very successful volumes of Laura Ingalls Wilder's writings, most notably Little House in the Ozarks: The Rediscovered Writings, and spoke recently with BookPage about his current project and Miss Alcott.

How did you find these stories?
Sometimes I'll go through reference books and look for things that I think have some sort of contemporary reason for being renewed or being brought back to the public's attention. Other times I will go with a definite plan of finding a particular piece that has intrigued me through some reference book. And sometimes I just go to a publication that I think might have something in it and leaf through it page by page and hope for serendipity to occur. It's time-consuming, but it can be an enormous amount of fun. That's what happened with The Quiet Little Woman. I was at the Ben West Public Library in Nashville leafing through a 1920 copy of St. Nicholas magazine, and I came across it and its background story. Miss Alcott wrote the story for the Lukens girls, five sisters who greatly admired her work and fashioned a publication, Little Things, after the March girls' Pickwick Portfolio in Little Women. Similar to many of Miss Alcott's other works, The Quiet Little Woman, which was originally titled Patty's Place, is a fairly realistic story in the sense that the person is not transformed into a fairy princess or anything like that. The lead character, Patty, remains pretty much a poor person who ends up not discovering the rich family of which she daydreams. She does learn to accept her lot and her position.

Did you find the other two stories in this volume, “Tilly's Christmas” and “Rosa's Tale,” the same way?
Those were not found in St. Nicholas magazine. Once I became aware of how much Miss Alcott had written, I looked to see what else she had done in the way of other Christmas stories.

Will you speak about Miss Alcott's writing career?
Miss Alcott did write rapidly, and for about 20 years, after she started writing as a professional to support herself and her family, she wrote very industriously. She could do as many as 30 pages a day with a quill pen, inkwell, and blotter. Some of her thriller types of books that she did under a pen name were completed in a month's time. Miss Alcott did have a fairly hard time getting established at first in her writing career, but she had some early successes too. I mean compared to what a lot of writers today go through, she may have almost been said to have some fairly early encouragement. I think she published some early poetry. Although they didn't bring much money, she did have some success with them, and her family was very supportive of her writing. She did have a lot of rejections, too. Her earlier books, Moods and Hospital Sketches, were nothing remarkable and didn't excite public attention. She eventually did develop a relationship with the Boston publishers and was known as a dependable writer. She probably had maybe as much as eight to ten years' worth of writing years before she became an overnight success with Little Women. I recently went through a volume of Miss Alcott's letters and noticed a couple where she wrote about Little Women before it had actually been published. She didn't really hold out a lot of optimism that it would be a success. She wrote one person and said that this sort of thing doesn't sell. It turns out she was wildly inaccurate about her own book.

So Little Women was really a revolutionary sort of book?
Little Women displays many of the same qualities that one sees in The Quiet Little Woman. It's fairly realistic, in the sense that the family has trouble and one of the characters dies. Now that wouldn't have been necessarily unusual in those days, but it's not done in any melodramatic way, as many of these kind of things were. The girls are allowed to be individuals and to show some rebelliousness. Jo is shown as being a person who is very independent and tomboyish, and that would not be typical. One of the reasons it caught on was because it was really different; it showed a much more realistic picture of children and yet it still was a very moral kind of book. Of course it came out in two parts originally, the second a year after the first. Part two deals with the sisters coupling up and getting married. Originally, Miss Alcott had wanted to resist the temptation to have Jo married off, but there was a lot of clamor for it so she married her off to a German professor instead of to Laurie to show her independent spirit. I suppose that many people would look at Miss Alcott today and regard her as old-fashioned, but the truth of the matter is she was very progressive for her time. She was a big supporter of women getting the vote, and she felt, as she wrote to the Lukens girls, that women had a right to do whatever they showed they could do. She showed through her writing that a woman could be a professional writer, and very successful one. Once Little Women came out, it continued to sell very well through the rest of her life. One of her royalty checks came in for $8,500.

What was your hope in publishing these stories?
My literary prospecting involves making a judgement as to whether something is of interest and worth bringing back. There is always a desire each Christmas to have a special story that catches on with the public. The Quiet Little Woman is a wonderful story for the Christmas season although it has lain unnoticed for many years now. It says in a lot of ways and more succinctly what William Bennett has been trying to convey about virtue in volumes of over 400 pages. Miss Alcott really lived out her philosophy of Ôvirtue has its own rewards.' It doesn't mean you necessarily marry a handsome prince in the end, but what you do does build your character. It's a book coming at the right time for those wondering about how to infiltrate values onto our children, and I think it has a wonderful teaching to offer everyone.

Stephen W. Hines has unearthed a trilogy of short stories by Louisa May Alcott in anticipation of the upcoming Christmas season. Hines has previously published several very successful volumes of Laura Ingalls Wilder's writings, most notably Little House in the Ozarks: The Rediscovered Writings, and spoke recently with BookPage about his current project and Miss […]

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