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Newsletter Number 50 • December 10, 2008

Books

Tony did it again. He had to repeatedly twist my arm before I bought and read Infidel, by Ayaan Hirsi Ali. Thanks Tony, not only did I really enjoy reading it I found it extremely thought-provoking and informative. This book opened up whole new avenues of knowledge and understanding about people, places, and religions about which I was almost totally ignorant.

The Author was born in Somalia, lived in Ethiopia, Saudi Arabia, Kenya, Holland, and finally the USA. She was raised in a devout African Muslim family. Her childhood experiences were fascinating because they were so different from anything we Westerners have ever experienced. She was born with a sharp and questioning mind. It was her passion for truth and understanding that resulted in a unique journey.

She escaped to Holland in order to avoid an arranged marriage. Her path in Holland took her into politics where she ultimately became one of Europe’s most controversial political figures. Her outspoken criticism of Islam made her a target for terrorists. Her courage and her strong views about how cultural relativism has become a recipe for disaster in Holland made her many friends from the Conservative side. Her fierce defiance of Islamic authority and her passion for free speech made her popular with the Left.

This book is too good and the adventure too outrageous to have been fiction. It is another example of how “truth is stranger than fiction”. Moreover it is well written and almost impossible to put down.

I found this to be one of the most remarkable memoirs I have ever read. Westerners must read this book in order to understand something of African society, and to understand the dangers we face from religious fanatics from Islamic nations.

The author was born into a family with roots as desert nomads in Somalia. She experienced and survived genital mutilation, civil war, famine, a forced marriage, and numerous death threats. This is an amazing story of transformation and the ability of the human individual to triumph over many hardships.

I truly urge everyone to read this former NY Times best seller. Not only is it a tremendous joy to read, the messages are earnest and important. Please enjoy it!

I don’t read much fiction. A friend recommended A Conspiracy of Paper, by David Liss. I am glad he did. I enjoyed this rather unique mystery.

The author, Liss, comes from an academic background and this book grew out of research he was doing for a thesis he wrote. I am not very knowledgeable about history, especially the period when this novel takes place, about 1720 in London.

The protagonist, Benjamin Weaver, is a Jew, an outsider in London. He had left his family at a tender age and became a champion pugilist. After that he was a rogue, a highwayman, and a burglar. He then settled into London as what we would now call a private investigator. New clients lead him into an amazing investigation concerning a broad cast of characters from all walks of life in London in 1720.

The plot of the book is very engrossing. The writing is superb and it becomes a classic “period piece” which entertains the reader while informing him or her about what life in London was like, from the highest echelon of society to the seamiest side of existence.

Because the author was a scholar before he became a novelist, he brought a tremendous amount of knowledge and intimacy with both the characters and the history.

I found this book fascinating and enjoyable and would highly recommend it to those who might have an interest in learning something about society in the early part of the 18th century while being engrossed in a very complex yet classic “who dunnit”.

In the spirit of the Holiday Season, I want to thank all of our loyal customers and wish them and everyone else a very Happy Chanukah, a Merry Christmas, and a Happy New Year. I hope everyone enjoys good health and prosperity in 2009.

Reviews by Len Oppenheim

Thank you for all your wonderful e mails, suggestions and supportive words.
It is nice to feel the caring out there…We will do our best to keep our store going and growing.

Our last newsletter also produced an abundance of book orders.

Again thank you all.

Len in a previous newsletter highly recommended Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini.
Having just read this book… I whole heartily agree with Len’s assessment. This is one of the finest novels written in the last 5-6 years. If you have not read this yet and love novels.. this is a must read for you.

In fact Kite Runner and Shantaram by Gregory David Roberts are 21st Century Book’s two all time favorite “gotta read” novels

This month I would like to highlight books by local or former local authors.

Dr. Robert Boyer, Ph.D. (local Counseling Psychologist) has published 2 books
Bridge to Unity: Unified field-based Science and Spirituality is a ground breaking game changing book that illumines and re-aligns our relationship with nature—a roadmap for 21st Century scientific enlightenment.

Taking on the most challenging issues in modern science, it provides fundamentally new insights into space-time, relativity theory, quantum theory, and the subtle underpinnings of matter in non-local mental space… helps connect the dots in quantum physics, cognitive neuroscience, and psychology into the seamless unity of outer nature and inner consciousness in ancient Vedic science- and how to verify it directly in oneself.

Also by Bob

Cool Mind, Warm Heart: How to Communicate with Body, Mind, Heart & Soul

A new, profoundly integrative system of communication that helps refine the flow of energy through heart and mind in specific skills of how and when to listen and talk.

How we communicate affects us physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually.
Through research, clinical work and teaching over the past 40 years in higher human development, Dr. Boyer has distilled the most useful skills into an effective, user-friendly system of communication … covering the full range from basic to advanced skills.

Communication skills are refined through appreciating the subtle flow of emotional and mental energy, which provides useful clues and signals. Using these skills in everyday communication, you will manage your life better and create healthier, more fulfilling relationships.

The Complete Book of Yogic Flying by Craig Pearson, Ph.D.

Is the highly anticipated…years in the making definitive book of the process of Yogic flying.

Beautifully rendered and highly inspirational… filled with wonderful quotes, beautiful photographs of past TM courses… a must for your library. For the adherent or the skeptic.

“Dr. Craig Pearson's highly-anticipated book tells the complete story of Yogic Flying - what it is, how it works, what Yogic Flyers experience. It describes how Yogic Flying develops total brain functioning and higher states of consciousness and how it promotes health, success, and fulfillment. It presents the inside stories and the scientific research on the many Yogic Flying assemblies over the past 30 years that helped end the Cold War, create coherence and harmony all over the globe, and bring the world to the threshold of peace. And it shows how flying through the air is a natural human ability that has been documented in traditions worldwide. “ full-color, 684 pages Hardcover 

Kira Rosner’s, a former Fairfield resident, When Souls take Flight: Coping with Grief, is a provocative book to heal one’s heart upon the loss of a loved one.

“Kira’s book shines light on a subject that is all too often equated with darkness. This soothing and refreshing book is a non-sectarian view of death with particular emphasis on the longevity of the soul. Her book offers sensitive, compassionate advice for anyone who is grieving, caring for a loved one in their final days, or terminally ill themselves. Deeply spiritual, sensitive and inspiring…. Kira’s book helps turn loss into a spiritual experience.

December is a very active month. Our minds multi task and one’s attention is quite outward.

Yet there are days when the snow and cold create a silence that summer never duplicates.

A Christmas gift for reflection on one’s life.

The thoughts someday we all face…
When her eyes no longer bring up old feelings.

When your career path seems deadened.

When a loved one departs

When your doubts have increased and you feel grace has departed.
What can I give you? What can anyone give you?

We speak too many words in hopes of bringing comfort

At this moment feel the silence
I am happy to share your silence. It is all one can give to you that is of any real worth.

Not uncomfortable silence because there is a loss for words.

But because there are no words.

Allow your loss… let it become your gain. Is the one who grieves with loss superior to one who feels freedom?

Peace to you this season and always

Tony

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