Category Archives: Books

Book Review : The One-Eyed Man: A Fugue, With Winds and Accompaniment

L.E.Modesitt--The One Eyed Man

L.E.Modesitt–The One Eyed Man

This book lands in the Science Fiction section because of the technology involved and the stage on which it is set.  There is plenty in the book for any SF fan to enjoy, but it doesn’t break new ground with new and exciting pieces of technology.  Instead, like most every Modesitt book I have read, it focuses most of the attention on the characters and what is happening in their interactions with others.  This book presents a main character, Dr Paul Verano, that you can immediately relate to on many levels.  His family life is falling apart and he is presented with the chance for a, shall we say, extended work trip.  He snatches at the trip that doesn’t quite turn out to be what he expected.  His professional training is as a freelance ecology consultant, but his skill is in understanding the truth behind the facade that people in his life attempt to present as reality.

The assignment he is given is to write an ecological report on the current impact of those living on Stittara.  Stittara is a distant planet. In fact, due to the vagaries of space travel, although his entire trip may only last about a year for him, by the time he returns to his home planet nearly 150 years will have passed.  Many things impede his efforts to create a fair and impartial report.  Not the least of which is the division in the very government that sent him–whichever way the report falls, he is bound to anger one group or another.  The biggest issue is the most important export from Stittara is a longevity drug that has changed human life on the home planet.  Because the impact of his ecological report could possibly have on the continued production of the drug, the stakes involved are huge.   Like most of us with work assignments, it is all too easy to create enemies when we are merely trying to do a great job.  As with nearly every book from Modesitt, a large piece of the story is what isn’t said–what is found between the lines of what the characters are saying versus how they are acting. In the background are the strange and mysterious “skytubes” that no one wants to really discuss.

I always love Modesitt and this book is no exception.  The situation is compelling, the issues are real, and the solution is fantastic.  This book is a bit slower paced than some of his books, but designed to make you think. If you haven’t read one of his books before–give this one a shot because it is well worth your time.

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Monday Morning Musings — Sharing the Book

Steelheart by Sanderson

Steelheart by Sanderson

When I was a teen, I absolutely hated “sharing” a book.  I define that as having two people reading the exact same copy of a particular book.  To wit, I pick up the book and read to page 45.  I go outside to do my Saturday chores.  I come back in the house when done said chores to resume my reading and find the book missing.  When I finally find the book, it is in the hands of someone else.  They are reading it.  That, in my book, is wrong.  Now, as an adult, I don’t mind so much.  Often I encourage it with my children.  I enjoy reading part of the book.  Then, while one of my kids is reading it, I can ask them questions about how they are enjoying the book.  And we can chat back and forth about what is happening in the book.  It actually makes the read much more enjoyable.  When they set it down, I pick it up.  Back and forth it goes. On Friday, the newest Brandon Sanderson book showed up.  Entitled Steelheart, I was extremely excited to read it.  If you haven’t read any of his books, Sanderson is amazing.  Not only is he good, but he just keeps cranking them out.  Prolific doesn’t even begin to describe his pace.

So on Friday night, I read about 50 pages of Steelheart.  WOW!  I was hooked.  But on Saturday I had a bunch of stuff to do–mostly involving finishing the chicken run that I set the posts for last Saturday.  So I went out and finished the project.  From time to time, as I came in to get a drink or another needed tool, I noticed my son was reading the book.  He and I share a similar taste in books.  I was excited to get his take on the book.  In the afternoon, I finished the fence. I asked him how the book was.  He was enjoying it immensely.  Later, he took off with some of his friends.  I wasn’t too sad because it meant I got a crack at the book.  I got about halfway done before other concerns took me away from the book.  On Sunday, we both finished the book.  What did we think?  We both think Sanderson has a winner here.  The action was fast and the characters were loads of fun.  There are enough twists and turns that the book keeps you guessing.  I am calling it right now–this book needs to be a movie.  My son agrees.  And of course, when you are done the book you are going to want to read the second in the series.  It isn’t out yet, but considering how fast Sanderson writes, I’m quite sure it won’t be long.

I’ve come to the conclusion that sharing a book is fun.  Especially if the book is great and the person you are sharing it with is one of the greatest.

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Book Review: Touch for Health

Touch for Health

Touch for Health

For several years now, I have been very interested in the power of the body to heal itself.  Attendant to this concept are the many various schools of thought and ancillary practices including such things as acupuncture, energy healing, meditation, prayer, herbal medicine, as well as many other practices.  About a month ago, I received an invitation to a class that would center around the book, Touch for Health.  The book was written originally by John Thie and the most recent edition is an updated version compiled by Matthew Thie.

The basic concepts of the book are that you can use the energy fields that flow through the body to test the major systems of the body for functionality and health.  For instance, you can test the health of the heart by having a person hold their arm at a right angle with the forearm pointing down.  Think of how you position your arm to signal a stop when you are on your bicycle.  The person testing you will then gently hold your elbow in order to isolate the muscle to be tested and then pull your forearm forward while you resist.  Interestingly enough, for those who have never had a muscle test, your ability to resist is directly impacted by the overall health of the organ being tested.  This test is done with both the right and left arms.  Typically, if a patient has some form of blockage or issue, either the right or the left will test weak.  The book then shows the practitioner which acupressure points to touch, tap or massage in order to get the energy flow moving properly again.  After doing the appropriate repairs, the muscles can again be tested.  This time, if all went well, the two arms will test equal and strong–the book calls this “locked”.

Touch for Health Assesment

Touch for Health Assesment

Before I started this class, I had been introduced to basic muscle testing.  I knew the concept but was unable to regularly accomplish much with the concept.  Perhaps I hadn’t practiced enough or perhaps I wasn’t really  giving it a solid try.  After three weeks of training, I feel I can adequately test the 14 major body systems and get enough information to help someone.  I never plan on practicing this as a career–I just want the information and skills so I can help family and friends when appropriate.  With more practice, I am sure I will become fairly adept.  Along with the basics from this book, the class is also being taught some basic facts about healthy nutrition and several techniques acupressure that will help the body when it is unbalanced.  Yesterday, the major takeaway from the class aside from learning to test and restore the triple warmer (endocrine system) and the circulation system, we were given some basic steps to put a person’s hormonal system back into balance.  It involves some basic tapping on a few key points on the shin, Achilles, big toe, near the collar-bone and on the forehead.  I wasn’t sure how much it would do but I was willing to give it a go.  I can’t tell you how amazing it was to wake up this morning and feel so at peace and in balance.  I have not felt this centered in a long, long time.

Enough about me.  The book is great.  It takes some effort to become acclimated to the layout and basic procedures.  It isn’t complex, it just takes effort and practice to become familiar with all the steps.  I am certain that anyone with a little experience will have an easy go of it–for a complete novice like me, it is a bit more effort, but well worth it.  I am amazed at how much is packed into this book.  As you test each of the 14 major systems, any systems that exhibit weak can be further tested and explored.  For instance, if the stomach tests weak, there are four subtests to further isolate the exact issue and then restore the energy flow so that the major system will then test properly.  In listening to the teacher, it seems that if someone tests weak in any specific area, they may need to be tested and adjusted several times over a period of time to get the system to flow properly and stay flowing properly.

I heartily recommend this book to anyone who has an interest in muscle testing and or acupuncture/acupressure.  It costs less than $30–and in my mind if it saves even one trip to the local clinic it more than pays for itself.

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Amazing Author–L.E. Modesitt

The Magic of Recluce

The Magic of Recluce, 1st book in The Saga of Recluce

I love to read.  I read all the time.  Most books, I read once.  I enjoy them but I never return.  Although I typically read several books each week, there are very few books that I have read more than once.  One of my absolute favorite series ever is by L.E.Modesitt.  The series is named , “The Saga of Recluce”.  It involves several different characters and is 16 books long.  Oh how I wish there were even more.  The first book in the series, although later you learn it isn’t the first book chronologically, is The Magic of Recluce.  I am currently reading it for the fourth time.  I have read the whole series twice and several of the books three times.  I think this time, I will be reading the whole series once again.  What an absolute treasure.  The central theme of the series is the balance, and sometimes the lack of balance, between the twin forces of order and chaos.  Most of the books in the series follow a different character.  Each character has their own viewpoints on the value of chaos (destruction) and order (construction).  The books do an excellent job pitting characters from both sides of the battle between these forces in situations where they must choose good or evil.  With excellent plotting, character development, and real moral decisions, The Saga of Recluce is one series every lover of fantasy should read.  Although the pace is not particularly fast, there is plenty of action and loads of conflict.  If you haven’t read them–give at least one or two of them a shot and let me know what you think.

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