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Tara Stiles This is Yoga DVD 1: Daily Yoga for Everyone
Tara Stiles This is Yoga DVD 1: Daily Yoga for Everyone
DVD ~ Tara Stiles
Offered by Follow Your Heart Always
Price: $59.95
3 used & new from $13.15

1.0 out of 5 stars this is a bootleg, May 3, 2015
this is a bootleg of her actual videos available at the Strala studio shop online!


When the Only Light Is Fire
When the Only Light Is Fire
by Saeed Jones
Edition: Paperback
Price: $9.95
39 used & new from $5.95

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is a voice that you need to read, November 23, 2011
Saeed Jones's collection is something to own, so that you can read the poems and then go back to them over and over again. They say universality is in the particulars; Jones's particulars reveal his world, but it will reveal your world as well.

I used to be a fiction editor at a litmag, and for a brief period of time, I helped read the poetry slushpile. There were poems that leapt out at me and burned themselves into my mind; they were the ones I could read repeatedly deriving new meaning and further passions each time. Those were the chosen ones.

So it is with each of the poems in Jones's When the Only Light Is Fire.

The first poem, "Kudzu," blew me away with its closing lines (and I apologize in advance, because I didn't get the spacing/indentation correct with Amazon feedback formatting):

"All I've ever wanted
was to kiss crevices, pry them open,
and flourish within dew-slick
hollows.
How you mistake
my affection.
And if I ever strangled sparrows,
it was only because I dreamed
of better songs."

Jones, like so many poets and artists, approaches the usual corners of darkness: heartbreak, loneliness, isolation, violence, abuse, and yearning. And like so many poets and artists of color, he approaches a history that is void of power, as he does in "Jasper, 1998: III," a poem that echoes the rhythms of a "Chain gang, work song, back road,/ my body."

And yet--he lights these corners up. Not in a cheerful colorful light that excuses and hides these injustices--but a clear and unblinking and merciless spotlight.

This is one of my favorite poetry collections. I know that poetry can be spotty out there--it can be maudlin or manipulative, but this is not that kind of poetry.

And watch out--this new voice is going to get bigger. Catch him at the beginning. And read him. Read this.


Vida
Vida
by Patricia Engel
Edition: Paperback
Price: $12.60
107 used & new from $0.01

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Pitch perfect voice and character, December 17, 2010
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This review is from: Vida (Paperback)
Amazing short story collection--if you read one short story collection this year, this is the one to read. The narrator's voice is pitch perfect, the prose fantastic.


Dani Noir
Dani Noir
by Nova Ren Suma
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $15.39
83 used & new from $0.01

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Encore--wishing for a sequel to this book, October 3, 2009
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This review is from: Dani Noir (Hardcover)
Confession: I am not a tween. I am...uh...I am the age of someone who could be the mother of a tween. But I read this book anyway, with no affinity for noir movies and uh, being outside the age range of the book's audience. I do, however, have an affinity for sharp writing, a voice I can fall in love with, characters I can root for over the span of 100+ pages, and a plot that takes me out of my life and into the life of said characters.

Nova Ren Suma hits it out of the ballpark with Dani's voice and the characters in this novel. Dani's struggles with friendships, alienation, a long summer, and family are universal themes for everyone, including tweens, and so she is someone most readers can and will relate to. Additionally, Suma's writing is so sharp, the story so detailed, that I even found myself being very interested in noir movies, a genre that Suma uses to great effect in this novel, and uses in a way that doesn't exclude me as someone who isn't familiar with the noir movie genre--it is a great use of the metaphor and I loved it, so much so that I am wishing for a sequel to this book. I'd love to follow Dani's trajectory as she grows up--and I'm thinking tween readers would, too.

I wish this book existed when I was a tween.


A Map of Home: A Novel
A Map of Home: A Novel
by Randa Jarrar
Edition: Paperback
Price: $13.87
98 used & new from $5.60

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars smart and sassy bildungsroman now in paperback!, August 25, 2009
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This review is from: A Map of Home: A Novel (Paperback)
I love this book. It is a great example, along with Junot Diaz's writing, of how the voice of a narrator can make you fall in love with a character and what she might have to say before the story really even begins. It is a bildungsroman, starring Nidali, a spunky charismatic firecracker of a girl, who is born in America, grows up in Kuwait and then after war displaces her, moves to Egypt, and then after more difficulties moves to Texas.

I can't tell you how many times this book had me laughing my ass off. The humor is informed by sadness and struggle (in Korean we call that feeling "han"-and not incidentally, Nidali's very name means "struggle") and I found myself identifying SO much with Nidali. The humor is effective because it has layers of meaning, because we know what it is trying to deflect, and because it drives us forward in a narrative that is, in the end, unflinching in its honesty.

And despite all the laughing throughout my reading (there are sooo many killer lines in this book that sometimes I wondered if Randa was guided by Margaret Cho's spirit), in the end, I burst into tears. "Stop crying, stop crying!" my husband playfully admonished me, as I closed the book.

If you haven't read this book in hardcover, it is now available in paperback with cool cover art. Buy it!


Farm City: The Education of an Urban Farmer
Farm City: The Education of an Urban Farmer
by Novella Carpenter
Edition: Hardcover
123 used & new from $0.01

44 of 48 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing read, July 4, 2009
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Farm City is an awesome read, written by Novella Carpenter, whose book I rank up with Bill Buford's wonderful Heat, with the spirit of Michael Pollan's Omnivore's Dilemma. And I love the voice-Novella the narrator often wonders why people open up to her and accept her so readily (among others, Chris Lee of Eccolo, who teaches her how to prepare pork from her pigs); the voice of the narrator (straightforward, funny, unblinking to the point of childlike wonder, compassionate) is hers, and as a reader I found myself liking her so very much.

I mean, she describes her community in the ghetto with compassion and humor (describing the "tumbleweeds" as "tumbleweaves").

I've been meaning to buy the book at one of our local stores, at one of Novella's book tour readings, but my availability did not intersect with her schedule. And so I ordered the book off Amazon-but for as long as I waited to buy her tome, I wasted no time in cracking it open and settling in for what turned out to be an absorbing, delightful, educational reading of a book that drips with optimism and moxie in a world that has in recent months, gone dark and brooding.

Novella has a farm. She has a farm on an abandoned lot in a part of Oakland nicknamed "Ghost Town," near the freeway and BART tracks. I've visited her farm and was astonished on my first visit to discover an oasis in a part of town that is not a destination site for many-most people drive past it on the freeway, ride past it on BART, there are very few grocery stores, and abandoned lots are many. Like the Valley of Ashes in F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby. But on her street corner, behind a chain link fence, is a lot full of green vegetables and myriad fruits, with a quiet symphony of animal noises.

The farm is serious work, with its share of tragedy: some of her birds die at the mercy of wild neighborhood dogs. Because the abandoned lot on which she squats and plants the garden is purposely unlocked, sometimes others come by and harvest things without permission. (This, she takes in stride-it's not "her" land and she willingly shares the harvest). A farm, rural or urban, is not a perfect fairytale. Nature is unpredictable-but rewarding and complex, too.

When Novella's animals are slaughtered (by her or, rarely, by a third party), it is not a heartless act but a very complex one; sad, respectful, awful, spiritual, and ultimately, pragmatic.

When she buys pigs at auction, unsure of what "Barrow" or "Gilt" might mean, she asks a boy, "Does G mean `girl'?" The way she describes the boy's reaction, "He looked at me as if he might fall over from the sheer power of my enormous idiocy. Then he nodded, so stunned by my stupidity he couldn't speak," is so full of humility and frank humor that I was bowled over as a reader. I laughed out loud. (lol to you). Most writers in the foodie/food realm are so pompous and full of themselves, that I was truly delighted and charmed by Novella here.

I'm always interested in novel structure, and I took a quick look at how Novella structured Farm City: Rabbit, Turkey, Pig. (Those who read her blog know she has added goats to her farm in recent years).

The book is written, more or less, chronologically-because Novella really did start with rabbits, moving on to turkeys, and then pigs. But I still found the livestock-centric structure interesting and effective because yes, to a farmer life and time revolves around the livestock at hand.

The book is on Oprah's list of 25 books to read this summer, and deservedly so.
Comment Comments (5) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Mar 31, 2011 6:50 PM PDT


A Map of Home
A Map of Home
by Randa Jarrar
Edition: Hardcover
59 used & new from $0.01

21 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a smart and sassy bildungsroman, September 7, 2008
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: A Map of Home (Hardcover)
I love this book. It is a great example, along with Junot Diaz's writing, of how the voice of a narrator can make you fall in love with a character and what she might have to say before the story really even begins. It is a bildungsroman, starring Nidali, a spunky charismatic firecracker of a girl, who is born in America, grows up in Kuwait and then after war displaces her, moves to Egypt, and then after more difficulties moves to Texas.

I can't tell you how many times this book had me laughing my ass off. The humor is informed by sadness and struggle (in Korean we call that feeling "han"-and not incidentally, Nidali's very name means "struggle") and I found myself identifying SO much with Nidali. The humor is effective because it has layers of meaning, because we know what it is trying to deflect, and because it drives us forward in a narrative that is, in the end, unflinching in its honesty.

And despite all the laughing throughout my reading (there are sooo many killer lines in this book that sometimes I wondered if Randa was guided by Margaret Cho's spirit), in the end, I burst into tears. "Stop crying, stop crying!" my husband playfully admonished me, as I closed the book.


The Lost Blogs: From Jesus to Jim Morrison--The Historically Inaccurate and Totally  Fictitious Cyber Diaries of Everyone Worth Knowing
The Lost Blogs: From Jesus to Jim Morrison--The Historically Inaccurate and Totally Fictitious Cyber Diaries of Everyone Worth Knowing
by Paul Davidson
Edition: Paperback
68 used & new from $0.01

2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars better than watching comedy central..., May 12, 2006
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Need your internet fix? Need a good laugh? Wonder what Socrates (and other historical notables) would have written in his blog? Paul Davidson has hit your triangle of needs with his book, "The Lost Blogs." It is hilarious--and if you happen to be reading it on the can you'll have people wondering why there's laughter coming out of the bathroom.

It's a bit odd to read a "blog" (which is born out of an electronic format) in print, but the content is so marvelous that you forget it immediately! And best of all, no carpal tunnel syndrome from vicious mouse clicking.

There are amazing stats that say most writers only write one good book, and that the 2nd book is an enormous hurdle. But...the guy who wrote Consumer Joe, has struck again!


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