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Specail Newsletter • July 12, 2007

Books

A Special Update from Your Friends at 21st Century Books

In our July newsletter we reviewed and recommended John of God: The Brazilian Healer Who’s Touched the Lives of Millions, by Heather Cumming and Karen Leffler. John of God, who’s birth name is Joao de Teixerira de Faria, and chooses to be known as “Medium Joao”, is the most famous and well-documented healer alive right now.

One of our well-informed and well-intentioned customers just notified us that John of God is coming to the USA. He will be at the Omega Institute in New York (about ½ hour from Poughkeepsie) in early October. If anyone is interested in the details or possible attending information is located at: http://www.eomega.org/

If you think you might be interested, but are not sure, we would suggest you order and read the book.
Tony and Len

While we have your attention I want to recommend another book.

Books

The Omnivore’s Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals, by Michael Pollan is probably the first non-fiction book I have ever read which I think absolutely everyone I have ever met would enjoy and profit from. This is a popular, NY Times best seller list work that is a must read for anyone who eats, and assumedly that includes all of us.

The first thing I liked about this book is that it is extremely well-written and fun to read. It draws you into the story of food like a novel. The author has the rare talent to combine excellent scientific, cultural, and biochemical research with a very personal journey in a way that we can all relate to. It does not matter what your personal dietary preferences are: whether or not you are an omnivore, a vegetarian, a vegan, a fast food addict or an organic non-gmo person, a Whole Foods customer, or a McDonald’s addict, this book will entertain you and inform you about choices you may not know you are making and about which you ought to be aware.

I can’t begin to count the lessons I learned from this book as the author explores industrial agricultural farms, sustainable farming, hunting and gathering. It is all fascinating. One thing I have learned for sure is that food ought not to be thought of as a mere commodity. It is fascinating how the nutritional content of food can vary depending upon how it is raised or grazed, or how it is transported or stored.

What I like about this book is that the author has taken the high road and looked at the plusses and minuses of organic, and non-organic, local versus imported, vegetarian vs. omnivore. He has not given an opinionated answer but allows the reader to analyze the facts and draw his or her own conclusions.

I finished this book in awe: in awe of the author’s comprehensive yet fully entertaining treatment of this subject, and in awe of the intelligence of nature and how plants and animals can adapt to almost any and all circumstances. It is amazing how interconnected everything is in our complex world.

I absolutely loved this book, and hope many of you will do the same. Ironically, this is the type of book I would ordinarily ignore. In this case a friend gave me the book as a gift, and I can’t thank him enough.

Len Oppenheim

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