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Newsletter Number 76 • June 2011

Even though our physical bookstore is closed, we will continue to keep our website up and running. We will also continue our monthly newsletter.

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Len and Tony

During the last few months I have been reading less than in the past and not enjoying the books I have chosen to read. As a result, I have not been enthusiastic about writing any reviews. That changed this month.

I am so glad to have read Max Perkins Editor of Genius, by A. Scott Berg. This is an extremely well-written biography of a most fascinating and accomplished individual. If any of the readers of this review love American Literature and/or American history, this is an absolute must read.

Perkins, a New Englander, Harvard educated, went to work for the ultra conservative Charles Scribner who founded and ruled the great publishing house, Charles Scribner’s Sons. When Perkins went to work there (just after WWI) literature was extremely staid. Publishers like Scribner would not publish any “serious works” that were salacious or contained any “foul language” barring even the rather mild epithet of “bitch”.

Perkins was instrumental in opening up serious publishers to a more modern approach. The relationships Perkins developed with authors like F, Scott Fitzgerald, Hemingway, and Thomas Wolfe are thoroughly explored in this fascinating book. Perkins himself led a very fascinating life.

This is wonderful biography in its breadth and scope. It describes the post WWI period through and after WWII by describing the lives of very interesting people. Reading the book opened up a whole new point of view for me about life in the first half of the twentieth century.

The writing by Berg is superb. Although the book is extremely rich in detail it flows like a novel. For me it was a real page turner. Over a thirty year period Perkins changed the conception of an editor and was a monumental influence on American literature.

I absolutely loved this book. As an added bonus it has stimulated me to read/and or reread the best of Hemingway and Fitzgerald. I am gearing myself up to tackle Wolfe, whom I have never read. This is one of the few “can’t miss” books I have read in the biography field.

Even before I finished the book about Perkins I could not wait to read a little Hemingway. Dena had just purchased a kindle which she will take on a trip to Europe this fall. She downloaded The Sun Also Rises. I wasn’t sure if I had ever read it, and it turns out I had not. This is a wonderful short novel, one of the first about the so-called “lost generation”.

Having read about Hemingway and his life and relationships with Fitzgerald, Perkins, and other luminaries of that era gave me a fresh perspective and greatly enhanced my enjoyment. I had forgotten what a fine writer Hemingway was. His descriptions of Paris, Pamplona, and other places are magnificent. The characters are very alive and also quite fascinating.

It was really a joy to read this wonderful novel. I am next going re-read The Great Gatsby, and I can’t wait to see how I will find it with my new insights about the era and about the author.

Have fun everyone and enjoy the summer. I think your summer fun would be enhanced if you read the two books I have reviewed above.

All the best,
Len

I have found a source for more copies of Darshan: Three Times India with Maharishi Mahesh Yogi (Hardcover) by Frank Papentin (Author)

A long out of print book of photo’s of Maharishi in India. I have a limited supply and the cost is $75.00 per copy ( includes shipping to US)

$85.00 Includes shipping International Priority

If you are interested please send me an e mail

info@21stbooks.com

I have note been reading much lately so I have included a guest review of a book that many of you might find of interest.

Sound of the Sacred Beads: A Poet’s Journey into India has been described as “an exciting ‘adventure in spiritual tourism’ with the peripatetic range of Jack Keroac, the verbal fireworks of Allen Ginsberg, and the wit of Mark Twain.” Based on eight winters in India, over thirty years of meditation, and a lifetime of inner and outer searching, “Susan Klauber’s beautiful words take the reader on a rich and often humorous journey through a land of wonder, magic and madness.”

Her poet’s eye to detail and subtlety unravels India in an engaging sequence of prose and poetry that “reads like an original memoir/novel” through the raw exterior of India’s radically different culture into its spiritual heart. Confronted by the chaotic “swarm of flesh and traffic layered into the atmosphere,” beggars, poverty, and the hardships of many w omen’s lives, she is warmly welcomed with the unique candor, acceptance and curiosity of the Indian people. The naturalness of their spirituality draws Susan into her own inner “dialogue with destiny,” which is at once humorous and penetrating.

Her personal journey mirrors the universal journey of self to find balance between the individual boundaries of her Canadian/American conditioning and the “boundless, all-inclusive body” of India that encompasses all as family. From an initial sense of India and its people, the journey she takes with her American husband takes on the “Footsteps of a Pilgrim” to holy places and temples, both famous and obscure. Susan’s incisive and colorful stories are prompts for the deeper questions India demands of her. “What is God to me anyway?” surprises her already spiritual mindset. Exploring “Beyond the Transitory,” she narrates visits to saints and holy people that re-open and redefine her view of the divine in human life.

Susan’s insights and wit reveal the deeper “joy and understanding of self it takes to write a work” as complex and yet simple as India itself. The mystery of India’s Vedic wisdom, upheld for millennia by her great sages and masters, lures seekers of universal truths. Susan Klauber “has distilled the essence of mystery as no other.”

“We’ve all heard stories of people who’ve experienced seemingly miraculous recoveries from illness, but can the same thing happen for our world? According to pioneering biologist Bruce H. Lipton, it’s not only possible, it’s already occurring.

In Spontaneous Evolution, this world-renowned expert in the emerging science of epigenetics reveals how our changing understanding of biology will help us navigate this turbulent period in our planet’s history and how each of us can participate in this global shift.

In collaboration with political philosopher Steve Bhaerman, Dr. Lipton invites readers to reconsider:

  • the “unquestionable” pillars of biology, including random evolution, survival of the fittest, and the role of DNA;
  • the relationship between mind and matter;
  • how our beliefs about nature and human nature shape our politics, culture, and individual lives; and
  • how each of us can become planetary “stem cells” supporting the health and growth of our world.

By questioning the old beliefs that got us to where we are today and keep us stuck in the status quo, we can trigger the spontaneous evolution of our species that will usher in a brighter future. 

About the Author
Bruce H. Lipton, Ph.D. is an internationally recognized authority in bridging science and spirit and a leading voice in new biology. A cell biologist by training, he taught at the University of Wisconsin’s School of Medicine, and later performed pioneering studies at Stanford University. Author of The Biology of Belief, he has been a guest speaker on hundreds of TV and radio shows, as well as keynote presenter for national and international conferences.

Steve Bhaerman is an author, humorist, and political and cultural commentator, who’s been writing and performing enlightening comedy as Swami Beyondananda for over 20 years. A pioneer in alternative education and holistic publications, Steve is active in transpartisan politics and the practical application of Spontaneous Evolution.”

During the 27 years of running the bookstore... One of our best selling and loved books would have to be Shantaram.. called a novel but about 90% true... if you have yet to read this amazing true life adventure be prepared to be awed.. Here is a review of the book from our website

This is a novel that I rank with Shogun, as a masterpiece delving into a fascinating culture in a way not previously accomplished. Shantaram is a blockbuster first novel by Gregory David Roberts. Its roots are autobiographical. Roberts was an escaped convict from Australia (with a background as a writer) who resurfaced in Bombay (now called Mumbai) and survived and prospered in the underworld of this incredible city during the 1980’s. I hardly ever read new fiction, especially 900 plus pages hardbound editions, but this book was a total joy to read. It has everything one would expect of a truly great novel. It covers all the bases. It is an exceptional piece of elegant writing, has rich characters, deals with everything that is interesting and meaningful in life, and reveals intricacies of one of the most fascinating contemporary societies in the world. I read Kite Runner this month, which is a wonderful novel, and which deserves to be on the bestseller list as it has been for more than a year. I loved Kite Runner and would highly recommend it for its beauty and wonderful revelations about the Afghan culture. It is a wonderful book. However, comparing it to Shantaram is like comparing great fast food with a seven-course meal at the world’s best restaurant.
Review by Len Oppenheim

I have about 30 misc 3 ½ by 5 inch photos of Maharishi and Guru Dev left over.

If someone would like to buy the entire lot the cost would be $70.00 ( which includes shipping)

I will send it to the first person who commits to purchasing the entire amount.

You can pay via Paypal to my account

info@21stbooks.com

This linear time and space

Creator and destroyer

Maya you created me

and tied me with

imaginary strings of

colored rainbows

at times I did not feel the strain ... blinded only by their beauty

The destruction came slowly..quiet footsteps following.

But of course you knew all along your game plan.
Darkness descending

Quoted and touched by the heart

Unwanted night visitor
No polite way to ask for your retreat.

Entering the unseeable dark chamber of total light

Immersed in its depth

Do I ride this cycle into infinity?

My story continues... I cannot stop any part of this

even God has let go.... walking away with a smile shutting off all levers of control

Maya.. your beauty enchants You take yourself as so clever


Yes I was imprisoned

but so were you as well

for as a virus you depended on me for your breath and worth.

When The false Tony dies so will you, my illusionary enemy

If indeed you were truly an enemy

If indeed you ever really existed.

Tony

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