Favorite Quotes

"I find television very educating. Every time somebody turns on the set, I go into the other room and read a book."

— Groucho Marx

Reader's Link - March 2010 Staff Picks Archive

Chronic Pain

Pain-Free for Life: The 6-Week Cure for Chronic Pain- Without Surgery or Drugs

Title: Pain-Free for Life: The 6-Week Cure for Chronic Pain- Without Surgery or Drugs
By: Scott Brady

Scott Brady, M.D. is the founder and director of the Brady Institute of Health in Florida. He discusses, in great detail, a program for ending chronic pain such as migraine headaches, back pain, irritable bowel syndrome, and sciatica. The author suffered from headaches, back pain, and irritable bowel syndrome himself for many years and so his expertise is not only that of a medical professional but also that of a patient. His approach to stopping chronic pain is based on the mind-body connection. He has found that many people with chronic pain suffer from a condition he calls Autonomic Overload Syndrome (AOS) defined as the following: "…a group of chronic pains and other symptoms caused by harmful levels of stress, pressure, and repressed strong negative emotions that have built up in the subconscious mind."

Brady explains his ideas clearly so that the information is easy to absorb. He provides a lot of practical information on how to integrate his program into your daily life.

View similarly tagged posts: non-fiction
Posted by cockerillj on March 25, 2010 at 9:46 a.m.

Saluki hippies

...In the highlands since time immemorial

Title: ...In the highlands since time immemorial
By: Joanna Ostrow

The drawback to reading and loving Joanna Ostrow’s lovely, quirky first novel is the letdown when you discover that this is all you’ll get. No, Ostrow didn’t die young or suffer a public meltdown; following the considerable success of ...In the highlands she talked about working on a second book, but never delivered it. By all accounts, she has led a perfectly fine life without publishing the second novel for which many readers (to say nothing of her publishers) yearned. But don’t let that stop you from relishing this unique treat

View similarly tagged posts: fiction
Posted by curious on March 18, 2010 at 4:01 p.m.

Simulacrums and Secret Agents

Atmospheric Disturbances

Title: Atmospheric Disturbances
By: Rivka Galchen

When psychiatrist Leo Liebenstein’s beloved wife, Rema, is replaced by a double, Leo sets off on a journey to find the real Rema. His search takes him to Buenos Aires, then Patagonia, as Leo considers all physical and metaphysical possibilities for her disappearance. In desperation, Leo seeks the help of long-time psychiatric patient, Harvey, whose periodic disappearances are purportedly due to covert scientific missions, as well as the online guidance of Dr. Tzvi Gal-Chen, a scientist and secret agent of the Royal Academy of Meteorology, an expert in parallel universes. When Leo discovers that Gal-Chen may have died some years previous, he puzzles over Gal-Chen’s ability to communicate via email. Leo may be off his rocker, yet, there is something oddly compelling and familiar in Leo's attempts to set his life, and perceptions, straight.

This is an inventive first novel by a talented physician turned author, a graduate from the Mt. Sinai School of Medicine. Her medical specialty was psychiatry. Interspersed with the text are the author's family photos--the author's father was, in real life, a meteorologist named Tzvi Galchen.

I was taken with the quirky characters, including the lovely imposter-Rema, and heartily enjoyed participating in Leo's somewhat ludicrous flight through time and space in hopes of discovering the truth regarding Rema's whereabouts.

View similarly tagged posts: fiction
Posted by Wildruby on March 9, 2010 at 11:09 a.m.

Gone But Not Forgotten

Davenport Cement Centennial

Title: Davenport Cement Centennial
By: Alverda Orlando & Robert Piwarzyk

Librarian Alverda Orlando has been an authoritative historian on Davenport, California for decades. This is the first time she has collaborated with Robert Piwarzyk, a limestone expert/engineer, to compile a complete history of Davenport Cement Plant, one of the few cement plants existing in California. It will be of even more significance in light of reports of the plant's permanent shutdown.

Unlike some books devoted to company history, Davenport Cement centennial is focused on a single and simple point: how events evolved as a continuing history. It narrates how the plant was conceived in 1903, as William Dingee, owner of the Standard Portland Cement Company, saw the potential of the significant limestone and shale deposits of Ben Lomond Mountains. Together with his partner Irving Buchman, he purchased a property 12 miles northwest of the city of Santa Cruz, to erect the second largest cement plant in the nation. Just a few months after the construction in 1905 of Santa Cruz Portland Cement Company plant and quarry, San Francisco was hit by earthquake and subsequent fire. This historical backdrop has predestined the fate of the Davenport plant ever since. To respond to the sudden overwhelming demand for cement and concrete, the construction of the Davenport plant was completed one year ahead of schedule. In late 1906, the plant started its limited operations. By 1910, its annual production rose from 560,000 barrels of cement to 1.4 million barrels, until World War II. With the years gone by, the importance of Davenport cement has by no means been diminished. On the contrary, its presence has been felt throughout the state of California, from San Francisco War Memorial Opera House (1932) to Golden Gate Bridge (1937), from Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) to Oakland-Alameda Coliseum (1966), and from Stanford Medical Center to the expansion of San Francisco International Airport, not to mention countless private homes built in California's cities and suburbs which used Davenport cement for their foundations.

For specialized readers, Davenport Cement centennial is an interesting read. It narrates a century of cement innovation by showing how limestone was obtained from the quarry, what raw mill process was involved: homogenizing raw material, calcinations in the kiln and then finish mill, and finally transportation: how cement was shipped. However, the book does not dwell exclusively on technology, but also focuses on the community behind the plant: the people who made natural resources and technologies work, and their small but complete society. The Davenport residents and cement plant workers built St. Vincent de Paul's in 1915, Crocker Hospital in 1910, a one-cell prison, and the one-room Pacific School.

View similarly tagged posts: non-fiction,history
Posted by Hui-Lan on March 1, 2010 at 8:23 a.m.

Book Kits

To help your book discussion group, we've gathered a collection of popular paperback titles and sorted them into kits which can be sent to you upon request.

Learn more... Browse titles...

Upcoming Book Events...

Sat, Jan. 20