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Newsletter Number 63 • April, 2010

Books

Many of our faithful and appreciative customers have requested that we continue this monthly newsletter.

So, without a physical store to tie us down, we will continue to write for as long as the spirit compels us. We will also maintain our website with all of our reviews and commentary. We hope many of you will continue to use it as a resource.

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Tony and Len

Angels do not always announce births above farm stables,
nor whisper in the ears of Virgins

Some lead lives that are more earthly and sensuous.

Xas is an angel (from heaven?? well maybe) who visits wine maker Sobran Jodeau in Napoleon era France. The visit is always a one day affair and it is the same day every year.

The beautiful winged angel offers advice as well as pursuits that are not usually associated with the Angel brand.

The Vintner’s Luck is a very unusual book (to say the least) by New Zealander author Elizabeth Knox.

Imaginative with richly developed characters especially the angel, the vineyard owner Jodeau, his mentally disturbed wife and Jodeau’s dear friend and true love., Aurora.

Some of the book is plodding and slow… but the dynamics of the relationship between Xas and Jodeau leads the way to a fulfilling and very unique reading experience.

Fascinating stories of Heaven, Hell… Lucifer and God…
Interesting tidbits such as God’s dislike for symmetry, take this book out of the ordinary realm of fiction.

If you are looking for creative writing then read The Vintner’s Luck.

The Housekeeper and the Professor by Yoko Ogawa
Is a fable-like novel…

A brilliant math professor incurs brain trauma (due to an automobile accident) and has a memory span of only 80 minutes… remembering vividly only events before the accident.

A housekeeper is hired to take care of his needs. And an interesting relationship develops between the Professor, the housekeeper and her son.

An interesting study of human relationships… where every day is a new beginning and yesterday has no meaning or essence.

There are many poignant scenes throughout the book.

The need for the professor to pin notes on his clothes to help remember the daily routines and people that he encounters.

The Housekeeper’s son needing to pretend that the Professor’s favorite baseball player (who retired many long years ago) is still on the team and is just temporarily resting.

Mathematics and baseball are the professor’s only passions. Mathematical formulas become sutras creating a spiritual silence for the professor. The Professor is a man who needs to be reintroduced every new day to the people who care for him and the world that surrounds him.

A touching and understated Japanese novel.

Here is a guest review by former Fairfield resident Carey Turnbull

Wendy Doniger's The Hindus: An Alternative History was launched in the US last spring and Claudia and I read it and loved it. Doniger is an irrepressible Indiophile and a Sanskrit scholar with doctorates from Harvard and Oxford. The book is a graduate course in the history not just of Bharat but of its texts. What do we know about when, where and by whom the Vedas were written, what was the context in which Buddha taught, when were Mimamsa and Yoga developed and how did they relate to the notions and philosophies in the Upanishads and the Puranas. Written not for wonks but for other Indiophiles. In September the book was launched in India and became the #1 non fiction best seller there. It is a sensational run through Indian culture, religion and philosophy. I can't imagine anyone in 21st Century's community not being fascinated with the treasure trove of "everything you wanted to know about Hinduism but were afraid to ask". Carey Turnbull.

I have experienced many emotions the last few weeks.

The relief of bliss
the pain of separation.

I have come to realize that through loss we are given a gift. A rare opportunity to connect with latent emotional truths. A temporary respite from the programmed politeness of everyday life.

Our store’s graduation celebration was held and the sacred ritual fire was composed of the many personal supportive comments we received. The sharing of stories from the 4th St. Store... Ignited many long forgotten memories.

It has been quite a journey for me .. For all of us.
From the 8,000 course to the IA Course.

From the early laughter emanating from Maharishi’s blissful eyes
To his final journey on the Ganges

I myself leave a public life for a more private existence.
Neither happier nor sadder for the change.

I was a child of the store, it taught me and I grew.
The many people I interacted with daily were my spiritual gurus..
Now the time has come to break free and experience my indepenence.
To release the cord.

To put what I have learned to some yet unforeseen purpose.

Who I thought I was turned out to be just a name

A shadow

Someone’s whose likeness I will never meet again

The leaving of that belief can be at times disorienting.
I am learning to adjust to new realities.

To have been able to run an independent bookstore for 27 years in small town Iowa
speaks highly of the quality and priorities of the town’s residents.
Thank you for giving me this gift.., a gift that cannot be fully repaid.

Thinking back I never chose to open a bookstore, it happened and gave my life many blessings.

I also never chose to close the store, it happened and I expect it will give my life many blessings.

Love

Tony

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