Archives For Our Books

Among Others by Jo Walton, is a book long on promise, but short on delivery. Shortlisted for the Hugo and receiving high praise, perhaps left me with expectations too high.

The basic premise is excellent. 70’s schoolgirl who has family issues, highlighted by a crappy mother (who doesn’t) AND talks to fairies. We’re left waiting fo the magic and the story arc to mix in a fairly violent way.

OH how we wish we had magic to help solve our daily issues, yet for Jo Walton the moral implications of use can be tricky. This is the strong point of the book, as far as the fantasy aspect. There is a great ‘system’ of magic in use. A combination of druidism and fairy magic that is simple, effective and, most importantly, believable.

The book is really a coming of age story of a teen-age girl, yes she can do magic and yes she can speak to fairies, but that is much background and has little to do with what plot there is. While Mor is shipped off to boarding school, there is no Harry Potter moments here. She is just a kid shipped off to boarding school, reflecting vague attempts to fend off her mother’s attacks. Here as in many other places in the novel, we are given a hazy idea of what is happening, but without any great detail or description.

The best part of the book is in the late trend of homaging a genre – like in the films Hugo or The Artist. Jo Walton here gives us a who’s who of Sci-Fi, Fantasy via Mor’s speed reading capabilities. For me these were the high points, as I was able to wax nostalgic over my reading history. While I may use this as reference for the future, it did not capture me in the story.

Perusing the Amazon reviews, I found what I expected to find, a majority of reviews from woman. This is a coming of age story about a girl, and I think it would have resonated a bit more with me had I been born female. As it was, I was happy to see a bit into the mind of a teenage girl – might help me in my relations!

Watching the excellent TV series with Alec Guinness.

Next comes the book!

Old School Spies

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Cradle to Cradle

July 20, 2007 — Leave a comment
Remaking the way things where made
William McDonough’s book, written with his colleague, the German chemist Michael Braungart, is a manifesto calling for the transformation of human industry through ecologically intelligent design. Through historical sketches on the roots of the industrial revolution; commentary on science, nature and society; descriptions of key design principles; and compelling examples of innovative products and business strategies already reshaping the marketplace, McDonough and Braungart make the case that an industrial system that “takes, makes and wastes” can become a creator of goods and services that generate ecological, social and economic value.

Jeffrey Sachs (author of “The End of Poverty” and Director, Earth Institute at Columbia University) seems to be the Adam Smith of our time; while I can’t vouch for his economic brilliance (though it seems pretty spot on to me) – it is his lasting effect on the world that allows me to give credence to that statement.

Professor Sachs is almost singlehandedly willing poverty out of our world. His dedication to the cause is the spur behind much of what you see in the media today – Bono,, the Vanity Fair ‘Africa’ issue, etc … It is Sach’s impetuousnesses that is driving the establishment and the anti-establishment to form a cohesive team to solve the solveable and fix the fixable; ALL the problems facing today’s extreme poor fall into these two categories.

It’s funny I keep wanting to write Dr. Sachs – but I don’t think he is a phd. Soon enough someone will grant him one – or hell –just knight him and be done with it!

The most exciting part of this swashbuckling economist is that he is much more then a mouthpiece: he walks his talk – a DOer!

Let’s look at the Millennium Villages:

Here for $110 / person / year they are showing that the talk (theUN Millenium Development Goals – MDG) are walkable.

  • Malaria down from 75% to 10%
  • Agricultural Yields up 300%
  • Diversification into Cash Crops
  • Electrified School & Internet
  • Start of goods manufacturing for int’l trade
  • Increase in contraceptive use up 300%
  • Improvement of schools has created a cycle that allows woman to work instead of childrear

Please read more, do more and if nothing else give some money … less then 1% of developed world GNP is needed to completely eradicate poverty – the kind of flies-around-the-mouth-have-no-hope-about-to-die kind of poverty. The kind that is completely unacceptable.

GOOD Magazine

May 30, 2007 — Leave a comment
A visual interpretation of the issue theme. Each issue, GOOD asks an artist or group to set the tone for the magazine with a visual interpretation of the issue theme.

Politics, Art, Design, Enviroment……….

The name says it all  …GOOD

A good introdiction to the world of Buckminster Fuller,

A truly  visionaire who lived a century ahead of his time, Philosofer, futurist, architect, engineer, Artist…….

Meditation, Consciousness, and Creativity

Despite the poor writing  I recommend it.  Lynch talks about his thirty years experience with “Transcendental Meditation” an how it has helped him in his creative process.Any fan of David Lynch would enjoy and see the connection with the unexplainable in his art.

This book is a great easy read to get you up to speed on the FDA and what is happening.  Written in such a straight forward style that it is almost detrimental to its point.  According to OSHO the human mind rejects that which is simple as the ego likes the charge of  accomplishing the difficult; that which is simple cannot be worthwhile.

However —- This book reads a bit like ‘A Christmas Carol’  We go through the ghosts of History Past & Present and touch on the future.

It should convince any reader to take their health and the governments involvement in it quite seriously – so read it and start being a thorn in the side of your governmental representatives! (That is if they have not been bought away and are now big pharma’s gov’t reps! LOL!)

Read it and pass it along … this is one that should be shared do to its total accessibility.

But it here: