put down my book "The Meaning of Zen" and see the cat
smiling into her fur as she delicately combs it with her rough pink tongue. "Cat, I would lend you this
book to study but it appears that you have already read
it." She looks up and gives me her full gaze. "Don't
be ridiculous," she purrs.
wrote it." ~Dilys
Selected Five-Star Reviews
Reviews at This Site
Perfectly Said: When Words Become Art by
Douthit's poems take the reader beyond romance. This is a world
of exquisite feelings immersed in a profound appreciation of
beauty. The pages are saturated with visions, emotions, desires
and deep contemplations about current events. The honesty of
expression mingles with a breathless depth of consciousness.
As Brian Douthit captures moments, eyes become sapphire
mysteries, nostalgia weaves itself in metaphors and passionate
moments are enveloped in poetic expression. The soft scent of
perfume drifts through the pages like a mysterious muse
wandering in nature.
As I bathe in waves of tranquility
Sweet scented honeysuckle graces the air
And I glance into the mild eyes of impossibility
To see rare beauty, rending the roses to despair
Sanctuary was the first work of art to capture my attention.
Brian Douthit paints love's sanctuary in a flowing inspiring
honesty. The intriguing format is aesthetically appealing and is
presented in a creative flow of words. As he conveys his
thoughts on love, romance and beauty, he awakens the reader to
the sublime. Sanctuary left me in a state of breathless wonder
as unveiled emotions ignited my imagination.
is not uncommon to enter entirely new worlds while reading each
poem. "Shout Past the Horizon" becomes a profound
declaration of individuality, while "An Afternoon with
Rain" takes us to a world where the sky is making love in
thunder and lightening.
In "The Religion of Romance," love becomes a divine
expression as the scent of jasmine softly lingers in a poem
filled with emotional complexity. "Answers to Everlasting
Strands" presents observations about humanity's eternal
search for peace.
Brian Douthit also covers topics of fascinating interest like
the meaning of life or conflicts of the soul that play
themselves out in "Midnight Ponderings." His
descriptions of dreams, wildflowers, rainstorms, dreamy memories
and enchanted kisses present ecstatic notions of love. At times
nature almost seems to embody the connection between souls.
"Perfectly Said" is filled with poems that delve
beneath what meets the eye as the intellectual dances playfully
with the emotional in an ecstatic union of soul experience.
~The Rebecca Review
(Everymanís Library Pocket Poets) by Sheila Kohler (Editor),
Understanding of Love, November 5, 2004
true Love is a durable fire
In the mind ever burning;
Never sick, never old, never dead,
From itself never turning. ~Walter Ralegh
I am naturally drawn to tiny books and this book was no
exception. I saw it and instantly fell in love with the red
library binding and gold embossing on the fabric cover. This is
one of those books you want to carry around with you in your
pocket to read on a sunny day while sitting on a park bench.
While most of the poems were new to me, I did find lines to make
any poet drown in the pure beauty of words. "In My Sky at
Twilight" is a paraphrase of the 30th poem in Raindranath
Tagore's The Gardener. The images are lush and mingle emotion
with nature. "In Former Days" by Bhartrhari (5th
Century) is witty and beautiful in its simplicity. Two lovers
are so in love they forget their separateness and then drift
back to being "you" and "me." The poem is a
mere four lines and yet it provides a intimate look at how
lovers feel when in love and when they drift apart. I loved a
few lines in "The Palanquin" where a butterfly lands
on delicate skin and transfers colors onto the lover's skin.
The poems are divided into 7 sections:
Definitions and Persuasions
Love and Poetry
Praising the Loved One
Pleasures and Pains
Fidelity and Inconstancy
Absence, Estrangement and Parting
You may recognize poems by Lord Byron, Edgar Allan Poe, William
Shakespeare, Walt Whitman and Dorothy Parker. I was pleasantly
surprised by poems by Leconte De Lisle, Pablo Neruda and
You will find a wide range of love poems. This book contains
selections from ancient China to modern America. These poems
present the universal experience of the human heart.
~The Rebecca Review
Tea Sampler Pack
Introduction to the Tazo Experience
first Tazo experience included a box of interesting items from a
friend and packets of Tazo Green Ginger tea. Then, after trying
additional Tazo teas, an entire new world of tea revealed itself
to me. Yes, I admit to being in love with Tazo teas.
In this wonderful little box of teas, you will be introduced to
the following teas:
My secret is out. I drink this tea when I write lots of reviews
all at once. There is magic here. Thank you tea shaman.
"A single cup of Tazo Calm has been known to have the same
effect as sitting for 45 minutes in a mountain meadow on a sunny
day with your shoes off." ~tea packet
This tea has a magical, almost golden color with a sparkle of
brass. The ingredients in this herbal blend are almost romantic.
How often do you drink a tea with "rose petals" in the
blend? Ingredients: Chamomile flowers, hibiscus flowers,
spearmint, lemongrass, rose petals, blackberry leaves,
safflowers, peppermint, sarsaparilla, lemon balm, licorice, and
other natural flavors.
China Green Tips
A delicate green tea from China's Zhejiang province. I now have
learned to drink Green tea with milk and stevia or honey.
If you want a subtle tea with a smooth, soothing flavor, then
Darjeeling is an excellent choice. The slightly floral flavor is
much milder than an Earl Grey. While many of the Tazo teas are
blends of a variety of teas, this tea is purely a blend of
Organic Black Darjeeling teas. The tea is grown near India's
border with Bhutan. This tea is just perfect when blended with
an Organic Sucanat: Natural Sugar Cane. You might also want to
try using "milk powder" instead of cold milk with your
tea. I find it helps to keep the tea strength and adds a creamy
element to the smoothness of this tea. Darjeeling is a very
satisfying blend for morning tea.
A highly perfumed tea scented with the oil of bergamot.
While I don't taste the subtle cucumber flavor in this tea, I do
notice it has been infused with a delicate peach flavor. If you
enjoy mild tea, one or two filterbags might be sufficient. If
you enjoy stronger tea, four filterbags and 16 ounces of water
brings out a stronger flavor. When I drink this tea I think
about peaches and cream. Ingredients: High-grown organic
Darjeeling green and black teas. Natural flavors of cucumber and
A spicy tea best served with milk/powdered milk/soy milk or a
dash of cream and some honey.
The deep purple/red color and hibiscus fragrance is enough to
make anyone passionate about tea. Yet, is this really tea? It
looks like tea, but it is really an herbal infusion made by
steeping hibiscus flowers, orange peel, licorice, cinnamon, rose
hips, lemongrass and red poppy in a swirling of hot water. The
flavor is slightly reminiscent of hot apple cider or hot
cranberry juice. This tea leaves a tingle on your tongue and I
think it goes very well with a spoonful of honey.
Decaffeinated Tazo Chai
If you like your Chai with a peppery kick, then this tea will
interest you. Rooibos, cinnamon, ginger, decaffeinated black
tea, cardamom, ginger, chicory, cloves, star anise and other
natural flavors seem to take a back seat to the delicious
peppery flavor of this tea. This tea tastes similar to a tea I
first tasted in Africa, where Rooibos tea is grown. Best served
with milk/powdered milk/soy milk or a dash of cream and some
honey. Since this is a decaffeinated tea, it is perfect for late
night writing sessions or when you want something calming to
drink that doesn't taste like chamomile.
I'd like to say that their teas are best steeped for an extra
5-10 minutes to draw out all the delicious flavors. I use my
coffee maker to make tea. Simply putting the tea bags in the
coffee pot and allowing the boiling water to drip down into the
pot and swirl about with the tea bags. I use 16 ounces of water
and two tea bags for each experience.
When you drink these teas you can at times transcend reality for
moments at a time. Some of these tea blends even evoke a sense
of wonder. You may also enjoy the assorted packet of tea which
also includes Zen, Lotus and Wild Orange tea packets.
I just love the packaging of the Tazo Teas. The individual
wrappings have a nice crinkly sound and the colors are all so
soothing and quite beautiful. These teas are definitely for the
aesthetically aware. Drinking Tazo teas literally becomes a
magical experience. There is something mysterious going on here.
The teas even seem to have a magical glint or luster to them.
When you drink Tazo teas the world looks more beautiful and you
feel much more aware of life itself. I find that my creativity
soars after drinking Tazo teas. Tazo teas are not just tea, they
are art in a cup!
~The Rebecca Review
Wabi Sabi: The True Beauty of Your Life by Taro Gold
a Harmonious Perfectly Imperfect
exists only in the imagination. As long as we equate joy with
perfection in even a small way, we will never know contentment.
In our drive towards perfection, we often seek for impossible
dreams that lead to unending conflict of the soul. Taro Gold's
"Living Wabi Sabi" is filled with ways we can escape
this cycle of disappointment. Quotes are interspersed with
personal recollections of his grandmother's teachings. Art
mingles with quotes and the pages are of a high quality and
shaded with natural earth tones. Not only will this book last a
long time, it is perfect to give as a gift.
Taro's thoughts are beautiful gifts filled with wisdom and the
secrets of Wabi Sabi living. While life is filled with
uncertainties, at least we can ponder how we will deal with
Through humorous recollections about cooking or Taro's
experience with electricity we learn deep spiritual truths. He
discusses the birth of stars, how joy is the ultimate goal in
life and how his grandmother taught him to develop inner
character so he could contribute goodness to the world. He also
discusses interesting facts about Walt Disney and how he was
fired from his first job for "lack of imagination."
There are a few other humorous examples of how life seemed to
take a wrong turn, all while leading the participants right to
the height of their success.
There are seven main chapters:
Living Wabi Sabi
Like Sugar from the Sun
The Wisdom of Imperfection
Growing Up, Growing Down
Awakening to the Universe Within
A Field of Possibilities
The True Beauty of Your Life
If you have been reading all the books by Taro Gold, you may be
interested in reading more about Taro Gold and in this book, you
can enjoy reading a bit about Taro's family history. This is a
very personal book and I found it to be the most healing and
comforting of all the books by Taro Gold. There are
life-changing principles in Taro's book that can be incorporated
into any spiritual tradition or lifestyle.
Also highly recommended:
What Is Love? A Simple Buddhist Guide to Romantic Happiness
Open Your Mind, Open Your Life: A book of Eastern Wisdom
The Tao of Mom: The Wisdom of Mothers from East to West
~The Rebecca Review
a Dragonís Teeth
(Pitt Poetry Series) by Wei Shao
Link to Book
Journey from China to Manhattan
want the world to know us, not just because of the new Three
Gorges Dam, Beijing or Shanghai. ~Shao Wei
was once a young child dreaming by the Yangtze river. She
contemplated her future at a young age and decided she would
become a writer. She became a voracious reader and fed her
curiosity about the world through books. After living in Wanxian
City, east of Sichuan Province, she moved to New York City. Here
she was thrown into a new life and found solace in writing about
her surroundings. She earned her master's degree in creative
writing. She now teaches English composition. This is her first
poetry collection in English.
poetry is at times beyond imaginative, infused with magic and
often feels musical. Musical in the way her words entice you to
read an entire poem, not stopping until the last word. In the
beauty of her writing, a subtle dissatisfaction sometimes
appears that seems to represent a intense desire for a place
that is anywhere but here. Her words can at times be the
meanderings of a discontented mind that is seeking to find
contentment in a river of words.
"Manhattan" she turns the overwhelming into a dreamy
place of wild animals and ancient mysteries. Many of her poems
speak of an unspeakable loneliness and a desire to belong to a
demanding planet, demanding its own space, not to know her
is always big when I feel lonely
I measure the distance between us
everyone is busy earning a living
no time to care about a girl and her dreams
"The Absent Goodbye," because it reminded me of my
grandmother's room that was like the nest in her house. She also
left in her sleep and this poem has a certain warmth I could
relate to, although it was written about Shao Wei's grandfather.
next poem, "Dear Death" there is an almost sorrowful,
yet blatant sarcasm. It is hopelessness drenched in longing and
reluctant resolution. Wei expresses her desire to be taken with
all those she has lost. She says: "If you take them away
from me, why don't you take us all?" Her writing often
speaks to the reader with the voice of an inner child who
remembers the past in vivid images.
Fairy Tale" begins with images of a lonely girl tasting
sugar and quickly evolves into a story of lonely ecstasy and
eternal contemplation. She seems to fear living a life without
amusing story about rice, fond memories of planting a peach tree
and the almost symbolic tasting of her first apple all make this
book of poetry a satisfying and comforting read.
~The Rebecca Review
Heaven Volume 7
Link to CD
Ethereal Odyssey of Body, Mind and Soul
is the scent of flowers in the spring. It is the silent choirs
of petals. Love is the song of the soul, singing to God."
music is striking in its depths and ecstatic in its heights. The
poem alone is worth the price of the CD. Mehdi can mean
"the divinely guided one" or "flower." If
you can find some Nag Champa fragranced candles, it will
heighten the listening experience.
dances around your soul coaxing you from the depths of your
physical form. Mehdi's music makes you drift someplace between
earth and heaven. Volume 7: Instrumental Heaven tempts you to
escape your daily existence and experience a dreamy state of
ecstatic peace. Your mind runs free where your soul longs to
interesting in its ability to create a longing for the eternal.
The music sweeps forward and twists back and then surges forward
again like the symbol of eternity. The blending of Piano, Live
Orchestral Strings, Solo Violin, Cello, Flute, Guitar, Japanese
Taiko Drums and Hammered Dulcimer is captivating and nurturing.
Volume 7 is uplifting and "Flowers of Spring" is
brings in some of the more primal deep night elements and Clouds
of Light has an otherworldly signature. In "Rain" you
can almost hear drops of rain splashing on stone. If you imagine
a flute player sitting beneath large trees and rain drops
dripping and splashing on stones near a river, that is what
"Rain" sounds like.
the reason this music is so beautiful is because it produces a
floating "in love" feeling otherwise known as
paradise. Mehdi's music invites you to focus on the moment all
while your soul intertwines with the eternal in a dizzying dance
- The Rebecca Review
to Be Yourself: How to Quit Being an Extra in Other Peopleís
Movies and Become the Star of Your Own by
Link to Book
A Journey to the Mountaintop of Self-Awareness
Whatever we concentrate on, expands and increases. ~Alan
All of Alan's books are healing, beautiful gifts that allow you
to see a reflection of your current self within the pages. Alan
has the amazing ability (very rare as far as I can tell) to see
deep spiritual lessons in even the most negative situations.
To Alan, life is a reflection of his inner world. This has
become more apparent to me lately and there have been moments
when I've spoken my intentions out loud or just thought them
silently and my life changes or moves in positive directions.
The same can happen when you think negatively as I have proved
to myself time and time again.
Alan is a man before his time and his love of quotes and movies
is a highlight in "Dare to Be Yourself." The truth is,
Alan is comfortable being himself and as Ingrid Bergman once
said: "Be Yourself. The world worships the original."
He has divided his book into five main sections:
1. The Return of the Golden Buddha - How to chip away the mask
and reveal more of your golden nature.
2. Dare to Love Yourself - Do you respect yourself and believe
3. Dare to Live Now - How to turn scars into stars and let
yourself experience life on the human level. It is fine to
change your mind, be wrong or let go. Alan also discusses
forgiveness and how to live in the moment.
4. Dare to Be Yourself - How can you take your power back? How
to say NO!
5. Dare to Move Ahead - Taking risks, moving through fear, doing
the impossible and living your vision.
Alan Cohen mingles practical advice with spiritual insight and
weaves popular cultures into deep lessons. I always learn
something new about life. There is a fascinating story about
Monarch Butterflies on page 45. The original idea of the
"Blessing Extractor" and "Wish-fulfillment
machine" made complete sense to me and then I was very
amused by the cute story of "The God in Chocolate."
His insightful observations about Marilyn Monroe shed light on
her life and he also discusses how when you feel like you are
dying, you are going through a spiritual birthing process. As
your old self dies, the new self is born. This can happen over
and over again. I have been through this a few times myself and
now I finally understand what was happening to me. I loved his
creative ideas for making space for joy and enjoyed quotes by
Albert Einstein, Yogi Amrit Desai and Ramana Maharshi.
Reading Alan Cohen's books are truly a vacation for your soul
and his writing is refreshing in that he looks at life from an
This book even has a workbook section with each chapter- to
encourage you to apply the principles and open new doors in your
~The Rebecca Review
Panchali DVD ~Kanu Bannerjee
Link to Movie
of the Little Road
almost lyrical black-and-white images, offer insight into the
harshness of life in a rural Bengali village. Panther Panchali
is the first movie in Satyajit Ray's (1921-1992) compelling Apu
Trilogy. Ravi Shankar's hauntingly beautiful music takes this
movie to a mythical level.
Ray's ability to reveal this story at a leisurely pace, all
while intriguing you with the details of Indian life, keeps you
captive to the last minute. Even the old stone buildings of the
ancestral home seem artistic.
first story we find Durga stealing guavas and Apu is not yet
born. As Durga's mother, Sarbajaya (Karuna Bannerjee), struggles
to look after family members she is already responsible for, her
relatives criticize her for her lack of leadership in the
family. The auntie Indir (Chunibala Devi) takes delight in
Durga's adventures and loves the gifts of bananas and guavas.
There is a
comforting scene where she is seen sitting against an ancient
wall while she rocks Apu in a basket hanging from the ceiling.
As she sings there is a moment of serenity in this world where
each day seems to be a fight for survival. Her optimistic
attitude is almost heroic in the light of how she is often
treated. She has much to offer her community and excels at story
telling. Watch for the scene where her face is silhouetted
against the wall late at night. This movie has many cinematic
moments that border on enlightened creativity.
reason, this movie reminded me of living in Africa on a
campsite/farm where we would borrow a cup of sugar from the
neighbors house or wander down a path to the river. Here we find
the comical "Indir" stealing chilies or other cooking
supplies from Sarbajaya. Sarbajaya is overwhelmed by her own
life and yet later she is faced with her own loneliness as she
sinks into depression.
father, Harihar, struggles to find work although he has dreams
of seeing his plays performed. He is truly an example of a
beautiful soul vibrating at a higher level of creativity than
those around him and yet he is forced to take on menial work
just to survive.
story progresses Apu grows into an adorable whisp of a child and
I love the scene where he and his sister walk down the well-worn
path. There are scenes of dancing in the monsoon rains and while
all the characters seem to be living in their own worlds, they
somehow function in their community in a meaningful way. As the
rains bring life back to the land, nothing can prepare you for
the emotional impact of the scenes that follow.
was impressed with the brilliance of the storytelling and how
each story weaves almost effortlessly into the next. Pather
Panchali is one of the rare film experiences no one should miss.
Not only does it address the basics of survival in a community,
it makes you think about your own role and how your choices
affect everyone around you.
If you can
watch Aparajito and The World of Apu in the next few days
following your first viewing of Panther Panchali, your
experience will turn into a complete immersion in the intriguing
and exotic world of Apu. After watching the first movie, I could
hardly wait to watch the second and within a day I had watched
the third. These movies will leave you in the deepest of
contemplation for days and not only will you find yourself lost
within the minds of the characters, you will enjoy all the
connections between the movies.
~The Rebecca Review
Link to Mints
Story of Wildly Wintergreen Mints & a Curious Cat
This flavor of ALTOIDS is especially good near Christmas or
anytime of the year. Although, my little "curious" cat
"Princess" does not agree.
While opening the packet, she heard the crackling of the
wrapping and raced across the bed to see what I was doing. That
was until I actually released the little tins from the wrapping.
When I showed her the mints, she jumped across the bed
That was funny, but what was even more funny was when dropped a
mint on the floor and she went dashing to see what this new fun
object had to offer. She was about 5 inches away when again she
While I was rather amused, I realized that even cats think this
product is "shockingly strong."
This product claims to be "curiously strong" and they
are correct. I think this flavor is even stronger than the
peppermint. It clears your head and awakens you to life, no
This is one of the few mints I'll eat, even though it has sugar.
They are just too good to pass up and are just 10 calories.
Much stronger than ordinary mints! They are even worth
reviewing! Also look for the new "Altoid Strips" in
the cutest, tiniest tin ever. They are a good sugar-free version
and the tin is just adorable! I love the "snap" sound
when it opens and closes and the raised letters.
Ingredients: sugar, artificial flavor, gum Arabic, gelatin, corn
syrup, natural flavor
~The Rebecca Review
Cookies Are for Giving: Recipes, Stories and Tips for Making
by Kristin Johnson, Mimi Cummins
it Snow, I'm Baking Cookies
many of you, we want to stay connected to our loved ones and to
our friends and family around the world. Christmas cookies are
more than just baked goods. They are a tangible and tasty link
to our past, our traditions, and our memories. They are gifts
hand-made with love especially for their recipient."
Johnson and Mimi Cummins have created a festive book filled with
recipes, stories and tips for making unique holiday gifts.
Kristin and Mimi lived next door to each other when they were
young children and remember the scent of cinnamon, cookies
baking and eating cookie dough.
an award-winning writer who has written about food online and is
famous for her cookie-baking. Mimi Cummings is an avid
cookbook-reader and recipe tester. She has worked with
professional pastry chefs and also created a website for her
grandmother's legendary Christmas cookie recipes. Her site is
now the most comprehensive repository of Christmas cookie
recipes on the Internet. You can also look for favorite
Christmas recipes at the Cookie Exchange forum and even submit
your favorite cookie recipe.
Cookies Are For Giving" is filled with cooking advice,
Christmas stories, cookie recipes and inspiration. You will find
heirloom recipes from family and friends, brand-new original
recipes, recipes developed by chefs and even a few recipes from
Kristin and Mimi's favorite food promotion organizations. Some
of the traditional recipes date back to before Mimi and
Kristin's ancestors immigrated to the United States.
recipe has a full-color photograph to inspire a festive mood and
a shopping trip to buy ingredients! Most of the recipes include
ingredients you will already have in your kitchen, but you might
want to go shopping for mason jars, ribbon and fabric to make
the "Cookies in a Jar."
Christmas Cookie - A poignant story about a woman's memories of
Vanillekipferl (Vanilla Crescents) from Vienna and how her
recipe leads to bringing Christmas spirit to her community.
Cookie Baking: Tips and Hints -Anyone who is new to baking will
appreciate these tips. There are also tips for using the best
ingredients and using insulated cookie sheets, which I can also
say are highly recommended.
Cookie Recipes - The recipe for "Vanillekipferl" made
with blanched almonds, sugar and vanilla. This recipe also shows
you how to make vanilla sugar. There are recipes for everyone
from the gourmet coffee connoisseur to art lovers. Children will
love the "Cathedral Windows" and "Butterball
Santas." Coffee lovers will enjoy the "Walnut
Cappuccino" or "Cherry" Biscotti. "Cranberry
Spice Bread" is perfect for shipping to friends and family.
Just wait until you see the picture for the "Chocolate
Cranberry Holiday Bars" and "Pistachio Cookie
Tree." The recipe for "Speculaci" includes a
story and information on how to paint cookies. You can use the
Royal Icing on pg. 130.
Cookie Gift Presentation - Delicious ideas and great suggestions
for making up cookie baskets with additional treats. You might
want to include copies of this book to encourage the
Christmas Cookies - What type of cookies can you ship? How do
you package them and how do you ship them?
Gifts in a
Jar - Great idea if you don't have time to bake. You just pour
layers of ingredients into a jar and decorate in a festive way.
Cookie Stories - The first story is an amusing story about a
woman whose marriage is based on Springerle. I believe it after
seeing the look on my husband's face when I tried to change a
chocolate chip cookie recipe he loves. He won't eat them now
unless they have Muscovado sugar in the mixture! There is also
an adorable and very amusing story of how a three year old makes
her first Christmas cookies. This is the type of cookbook you
want to read while sipping a cup of tea while wrapped up in a
down comforter by a fireplace.
cookbook is the most meaningful book I've read this year. It
brought back my own memories of my grandmother baking more
cookies than we could ever eat in one holiday season. I remember
Christmas cookies stored in cookie tins that always tasted like
they had just been made. She was famous for always keeping a few
cookies hidden in tins for tea after the holidays.
one in our family seems to make as many cookies for the holiday
season, I've tried to carry on this tradition by making tins of
cookies for my family each year. This book has given me some new
ideas and I even found the recipe for "Cathedral
Windows" that my aunt makes each Christmas.
Cookies Are For Giving" is filled with Christmas spirit,
loving memories and delicious buttery cookie recipes! If you are
looking for a Christmas gift for your friends and family, this
book is more than a cookbook, it is a wish for future holiday
~The Rebecca Review
key aim with e.encyclopedia is to give kids the best resources
on paper and online." ~Sue Grabham
of public schools in the United States claim to have Internet
access and more than half of all school-age children are using
the internet for homework, e.encyclopedia takes homework to the
presents information on everything from Space Observatories to
Philosophy. There are annotated maps, charts and timelines. It
also has "information keyword buttons." They are
little gray dots with white words or white words highlighted in
gray. They are easy to find and are blended in all over the
pages. When looking at information on volcanoes, I find a button
with the word: volcanoes and a highlighted word: Lava.
entering the site URL to a special area of the DK/Google site,
you can find more detailed information. Then, you type in the
keywords to find additional information, real-time reports,
satellite images, virtual tours and databases. There are also
downloadable images and just about everything kids need for
homework and projects.
you are researching Ancient Greece and have traveled through
this book arriving at say pg. 376. There, you will find a
picture of The Parthenon, information on amphitheaters and even
a picture of an Athenian coin. To access additional information,
you go to the "DK/Google" site and type in the
keyword: "Ancient Greece." This takes you to a page
with more options.
everyday life in Ancient Greece
Important sites in Ancient Greece
Find out more about the Ancient Greeks
Examine Ancient Greek Artifacts
click on "Explore everyday life in Ancient Greece" and
are transported into a page from the history channel. So, in
this way, you can find information super fast. It does seem they
have made every effort to make links to only reputable sites so
parents won't have to worry about children encountering
inappropriate material. There are links to more than 1,000
So, do you
have to pay extra to use the e.encyclopedia website?
No, it is
free. The website address is located on the first page of the
book. Once you purchase the book, the website is free.
covers a wide variety of subjects including: Earth, Nature,
Science and Technology, People and Places, Society and Beliefs,
Arts and Entertainment, History and the Human Body.
they have gone out of their way to make this kid friendly,
however, even adults might be interested in finding many of the
links. I found the section on seeing how an embryo develops in
the womb to be rather fascinating. The section on new materials
was quite interesting. Could seaweed be used to make a new
plastic? Apparently there is material called "Seagel"
that is made from agar and is the lightest solid.
also find answers to the following questions:
mountains still growing?
What causes tides?
How do scientists use the Quantum Theory?
Why is a swimming pool deeper than it looks?
Who were the first philosophers?
How are Musical instruments categorized?
What is a nanomachine?
Who really invented the World Wide Web?
How does the Internet Work?
in the illustration department. You will find a toucan peering
out of the page on pg. 233 and beautiful full-color
illustrations on every page.
highlights: The picture of the Hindu Marriage. What a dress!
Loved the picture of the nanorobots and the pictures for the
diatonms were rather pretty. Also, who knew a pollen grain was
so beautiful. The photography is spectacular.
Google have joined forces to make homework fun. There is so much
information here, I could spend hours just looking through page
after page. e.encyclopedia will give your children a basic
overview of our life on earth. Not only will children find these
facts intriguing, once they find a subject of interest, they can
take their knowledge to the next level by continuing their
~The Rebecca Review
by John C. Dvorak
the Mind that Loves Being Online
nature, I'm the type of Internet user who only goes looking for
information when I absolutely need it. It is pretty easy to get
lost while online. Not to mention, distracted by tantalizing
tidbits of information.
about the Internet seem to focus on Web sites or specific Web
toys and topics. This book not only covers all the basics of
online life, it also fills in the gaps with amazing secrets you
won't find anywhere else. Yes, there are also plenty of URLs,
yet that is not the main focus.
Dvorak and Chris Pirillo have created the ultimate Internet
manual. In a matter of hours, you can read the latest
information on hardware basics, ISPs, Music Downloads,
E-Commerce, Gaming, Downloading, Email, Spam, Security, Viruses,
Creating Your Own Web Site, Web Programming Languages, The Blog
Phenomenon, Streaming Media, The Inner workings of a Modem,
Networking, PDAs, Internet Marketing, Webcams, Content
Management Instant Messaging, Peer-to-Peer Communication and
Dvorak writes the Inside Track column for PC Magazine and has
been writing opinion columns about computers since the 1970s.
Internet Guru Chris Pirillo has a site where you can find
everything from the "Top 50 Windows XP Tips and
Tricks" to "The 10 Quick Steps to Being a Great Radio
Guest." If you are a Windows Fanatic or want to keep your
mind updated with the latest information, Chris has it covered.
Ok, so he has lots of sites and even developed a Brain Trust.
Taylor, the former editor of PC Computing, worked as the project
manager and coordinated the knowledge flowing in from a team of
experts from various organizations. Her organization of the
material is awe inspiring.
is divided into four main sections:
of Surfing - Shows the value of the Internet
Detailed Information on Downloads, Security and Virus Protection
How to Create a Web site
A Collection of Technical Information
will this book be of benefit to you?
1. Are you
buying a new computer? - Read chapter 2 on Hardware Basics and
find out that in exclusive circles people are talking about
"overclocking." Beware the blue screen of death. The
great feature of this chapter is the ability to quickly find
information fast. If you are ordering a computer online and want
to know the details about SDRAM, pg. 32 gives a basic overview.
Then, skip on over to chapter 11 to read about security and
chapter 12 to learn about viruses. Read about some famous
viruses and learn how they operate. Did you know your computer
is probably filled with spyware? Learn how to delete cookies and
install antivirus programs.
2. Love to
Shop? This book has ideas on how to get the best combination of
price and service for your next purchase. It also shows you how
to establish yourself as a seller at major sites like eBay and
Amazon Marketplace. You can sell just about anything at Amazon.
There are a variety of programs and I've tried zShops and loved
how fast items sold. Amazon now sells gourmet food!
your phone company offer to rent you a Cable modem or DSL
router? How much are you willing to pay to surf fast? Do you
want to save money? How much time do you think you will be
spending online? This book has helpful advice for every question
I've ever had about online life.
Interested in Meeting People? I'm glad the authors to talk about
the emotional strain of online life. While it can be freeing to
tell your best friend all the details of your life, it can be
equally unpleasant to find you trusted the wrong person. It is
however, very likely that you have a number of soul mates out
there who can make your online life feel more like home. You
might never meet them unless you were online. This section
discusses chatrooms, lurking, netiquette, instant messaging,
online dating, emoticons, acronyms, chat shorthand and even an
interesting section on Japanese emoticons.
5. Do you
have your own Web site? The authors have summarized the basics.
These are all concepts I learned by trial and error. I'll agree,
FrontPage is amazing. Chapter 14 explains the basics of web
make their appearance.
6. Want to
go Wireless? Read about how you can wear your computer or buy a
Starting a Business? Read the chapters on Internet Marketing and
Interested in Downloading Music? Read an article about the RIAA
Exclusive Online Guide should appear soon. You have to love
books that have their own site with additional information.
The Book!" is the Official Netizen Brain Update! My little
online heart also did a few flips. There is some exciting
information in this book. I spent all night in a reading trance
except when I was giggling over the witty lines. You can spend
two years finding some of the secrets of online life, or you can
just spend the evening dining on intellectual treats from
"Online! The Book!"
~The Rebecca Review
Introvert Advantage: How to Thrive in an Extrovert World
by Marti Olsen Laney
Reflection on a Noisy Planet
are like a rechargeable battery. They need to stop expending
energy and rest in order to recharge. Extroverts are like solar
panels that need the sun to recharge. Extroverts need to be out
and about to refuel." ~Marti Olsen Laney
feeling alone in a crowd, preferring a quiet corner to the
limelight and feeling overwhelmed by phones, parties and office
meetings. Do people often think you are shy, aloof or
antisocial? If you are an introvert, you are going to completely
relate to a variety of comments that are like fireworks going
off in recognition of truth. Introverts can hide their talents
and only show them in certain situations.
reading this wonderful and often humorous book, you will be
assured that nothing is wrong with you. In fact, there is a
connection between Introversion and Intelligence.
fascinating is how Marti Olsen Laney explains how introverts
create energy in the opposite way extroverts do. I'm often
drained of all energy after being with people for extended
periods of time, but being with a book can set me on fire with
creativity and energy. I can handle small groups and connecting
with familiar faces can actually energize me, but after three
hours, I want to find a more peaceful setting.
helped me understand why I have deeper thoughts when I'm by
myself than in a group setting. People seem to not know who I am
in the "real-world," but online, I have found a place
to show my true self. This is apparently because introverts are
more comfortable with writing than speaking in public.
Are You an
detail oriented yet details in public spaces overwhelm you?
Do you prefer small parties with intimate friends?
Do you avoid crowds?
Would you rather be reading books in bed in your pajamas?
Do you get tired when you are around people, but energized when
Do you feel guilty about having to "limit" your social
experiences so you can survive?
mind sometimes go blank in group situations?
Do you dislike being interrupted in the middle of a project?
has divided her comments into three main sections. First you
find out if you really are an introvert, then you discover how
to navigate the extrovert world. The last section explains how
you can create the perfect life by "extroverting."
This is just another way of saying that an introvert can also
shine their light out into the world.
reading the list of famous introverts, you will see similarities
in their personalities. The author also gives a list of movies
to add to your "must-see" list. Marti also spends time
seeking the in-depth answers to brain chemistry. You will also
find out if you are a Right or Left-Brained Introvert.
onward to "dating." The "Relationships: Face the
Music and Dance" chapter shows how personality types
collide, how to meet the challenge and then how to appreciate
the differences. Even by reading the chapter on Parenting, I
started to understand extroverts in a new way. I find extroverts
to be fascinating, yet at times they overwhelm my
cozy-sit-in-the-corner cat nature with their tiger tactics.
Extroverts just seem so aggressive at times. The world can look
a little threatening and a party can be overwhelming.
I love the
author's ideas about how to be a sea anemone at a party. I've
survived many parties with this tactic. If you are worried about
what to say at a party, Marti gives plenty of solutions in the
form of openers, sustainers, transitions and closers. Then she
dives into the hazards from 9 to 5. This chapter will also shed
some light on your personal relationships. Ok, by the time I
read "Pack Your Survival Kit" this book had been more
than helpful. These tips alone will encourage you to create a
more peaceful planet.
Introvert Advantage" is an encouraging book for anyone who
has felt the pain of being an introvert in an extrovert world.
Marti Olsen Laney also shows how it can be equally painful and
unfulfilling to remain in a state of seclusion. Through reading
thoughtful segments on a daily basis, you can finally start to
find balance in your daily existence.
This is a
must-read book for all Introverts and the people who love them.
The author has a comfortable writing style and you will feel
"at home" and find yourself "completely"
relating to her experiences. It is rare to find a book where you
just fall in love with an author's personality. She is cute,
witty and intellectual too. Finally someone out there
understands! The author has really done her research.
recommended. Add this book to your Top Ten must-read books this
year. After all, it will help you understand 25% of the
Rebecca Review, A Right-brained "mostly" Introvert
(INFP) and proud of it.
of the Forest
by Yolanda Murphy
Study of Brazil's Mundurucu' Indians
the morning we sat behind our house drinking coffee and watching
the mists rising from the hillside in thin tendrils that were
said by the Indians (who knew that it was really mist) to be the
campfire of a mythical inambu bird. And the evenings often
closed in brilliant, iridescent sunsets, kaleidoscopes of
shifting colors. It was an enchanted land existing in a distant
place and peopled by descendants of a remote age. To enter it
was to step through the looking glass."
it be like to be a woman living in the Brazilian Amazon Basin?
What if you lived in the moment, survival being a daily
challenge? How would you set up your life so you had the support
you needed when a man walked out of your life leaving you to
care for his children? The women in the Amazon have it all
figured out. In the first four pages you see the exotic beauty
and undeniable reality of life.
authors were a newly married couple when they first walked into
a Mundurucu village in 1952. This book was written in the 70s
and explains life from the perspective of a female
anthropologist. Yolanda spent time with the women who accepted
her as a friend and sister. Robert spent time with the men and
learned about the ways they felt towards the women and how
seriously they took their religious beliefs. This book really
does include both sides, but has a definite focus on women.
This is a
fascinating study of how the Mundurucu women humor the
"mythically dominant" males, how they care for their
men and how they survive when their marriages don't work out. It
is a story about how women have found a way to survive by
bonding with other women and sticking together through life.
read this book you realize how universal women really are. They
all seem to basically want the same thing. You have to laugh
when you read how the women encourage their husbands to work
harder so they can buy new clothes and are even quite willing to
do the work themselves. In fact, from this book, it does appear
both sexes are working rather hard all day long just to survive.
Afternoon naps are however a necessity because of the heat.
is also a beautiful look at survival. Of how men and women
depend on one another to meet their basic needs. In the
Mundurucu society, women and men took on various roles and
responsibilities although the women tended to do most of the
menial tasks and raised the children. Sound familiar? Well life
is changing all over the world and by the end of this book, you
can see how the Mundurucu Indians have already adapted to
The Land and the People
Women in Myth and Symbol
The Woman's World
Women and Married Life
Women and Social Change
Women and Men
of Yolanda and Robert Murphy encourages an understanding of
women's lives in the non-Western world. It focuses on gender
relations and the social roles women play in the Amazon forest.
Yolanda explains how the women rear their children, take care of
their husbands, form groups to complete tasks and keep control
of their lives even in difficult situations. There are
descriptions of bathing in rivers, preparing foods, gardening,
feasts, childcare, rubber collection and all sorts of
interesting facts about the lives of the Mundurucu people.
thought this book would be only focusing on the women, the
second chapter surprised me with information about the land and
there are a few maps. There is also plenty of information about
the men and what they desire, miss about the older cultures and
how they even laugh and say that the homes really do belong to
the women and in some areas the men live in a "men's
house." There is information about hunting trips and the
crafts the men work on in their spare time.
processing of the manioc plant will interest anyone who has ever
cooked tapioca. The myths are entertaining and it was
interesting to read their version of the Adam and Eve story.
read and beautifully written classic study of Brazil's Mundurucu
~The Rebecca Review
DVD ~Sarah Michelle Gellar
good cook is like a sorceress who dispenses happiness. ~Elsa
Michelle Gellar's softer side appears as she picks up the
batterie de cuisine and tackles saving a restaurant from certain
death. When it looks like Amanda's career is about to end as a
chef, an angel appears in her life and gives her some sage
advice about looking for a door that will open when another one
closes. As the chef of a failing 70 year-old restaurant, the
Southern Cross, she only has her loyal clientele who are not
there for the food.
To say she
is adorable as a chef is an understatement. She appears in a
variety of fashionable outfits and weaves a sweet innocent spell
on the viewer. Worth watching to see Sarah dressed up in a
variety of outfits and different hairstyles.
also scenes of outdoor markets, beautiful orchids and of course
restaurant scenes, Sarah shopping, cooking and crawling about on
the floor chasing after magical crabs all to romantic music.
slaying vampires, "Buffy" bewitches Tom Bartlett (Sean
Patrick Flanery) and entices love right into her life through
cooking a variety of gourmet dishes. If every man has his
weakness, Tom's weakness is luscious cuisine.
can cook things that make you crazy." ~Tom
kitchen sorceress has discovered, the right food can create the
right mood and can invite happiness and love into your life. I
loved the dance scene and the scene where Tom and Amanda
disappear into the scented mist. This movie emphasizes the
aphrodisiac qualities of food.
Shelton (Sarah) only discovers her true cooking talents after
meeting Tom. At first she seems unaware of her current fate
while Tom seems to be trying to control his fate. He is
disturbed by his lack of emotional control and when he falls
"in love" with Amanda, his world seems to be spinning
out of control.
whole life was ordinary and then we met and these amazing things
started to happen." ~Amanda
Is it love
that makes Amanda a better cook and makes her cooking taste even
better to Tom? Are their senses in a state of heightened
awareness from the chemicals rushing through their bodies or is
there magic floating about? Once she finds a recipe for caramel
ťclairs, Tom is even more attracted to her.
very few movies about cooking or chefs so this one is a treat.
Teardrops in the food reminded me of Like Water for Chocolate.
The emotions Amanda feels are somehow magically mixed into the
food she is cooking. Either the dishes make people cry, stun
them or make them lose their inhibitions. She seems to have a
magical gift for culinary creations that have an effect on
anyone who consumes them.
orchid plant in this movie the "Oncidium Sharry Baby?"
It did look similar, although I can't say for sure. Some people
say it has a fruity vanilla scent and not really a chocolate
scent. Most types of vanilla do not produce the vanilla beans.
If you wanted to cook with flowers, you would want to make sure
that the flowers you added to your cooking were edible. Orchid
flowers are apparently edible.
beans are the cigar-shaped seedpods from a climbing orchid and
the pods must be picked, boiled and heated in the sun. It
literally takes months to produce the delicious vanilla flavor.
It actually takes 100 beans to make 1 gallon of vanilla extract.
If you love vanilla extract, you might also enjoy: Fiori di
Sicilia flavoring for your baking.
watching this movie you may want to feed your lover oranges,
invest in some expensive vanilla extract, get lost in a kiss or
cook up some bliss. If you are looking for the best vanilla for
your cooking, Bourbon-Madagascar vanilla is superior.
cute, silly spells, sweet innocent love and a few hot and steamy
kissing scenes in the kitchen. For romantics and lovers of
kitchens and cuisine. Almost a culinary Cinderella story.
~The Rebecca Review
you need a recipe for the caramel iced ťclairs to entice
someone with, e-mail me from my site.
I have been looking for the recipe on how to make
those wonderful looking caramel things. I haven't been able to
find them anywhere. Could you please send me the recipe. I
would greatly appreciate it. ~S.
I have been dying to have that ťclair recipe for years!!!
Could you please e-mail it to me??? ~H.
Please send me the recipe for the ťclairs. I have my entire
office craving these and cannot watch Simply Irresistible
without eating sweets. ~A.
the Tuscan Sun
by Frances Mayes
of Italian life
"I thought I was strange to feel this way. Since I've
met so many people who read Under the Tuscan Sun, I've found out
that lots of people feel this way. It's complicated but feels so
very easy. The warmth of the people, the human scale of the
towns, the robust food, yes, but I've begun to think, too, that
it's the natural connection with art, the natural exposure to
beauty on a day-to-day basis." -Frances Mayes
Mayes presents a sensual celebration of Tuscany with hypnotic
descriptions of culinary bliss and everyday rituals on long days
when she savors the sun. This is creative writing heaven! She is
not only a best-selling author, widely published poet and
gourmet cook; she is also a travel writer who can describe lands
and culture in sensuous and evocative language.
into the book, I became heady with the desire to just run away
to Tuscany. I want to write like her, I want to think like her,
I am intoxicated by her creativity.
fell in love with creative writing when my teacher in Africa
explained metaphors to me. It is no wonder I have just
completely fallen in love with Frances Mayes writing style. I
also discovered she is a creative writing professor at San
Francisco State University and has directed The Poetry Center
and chaired the Department of Creative Writing.
first started visiting Tuscany when she was fresh out of
college. In 1985, she rented a farmhouse for the first time and
enjoyed going to the local markets to buy suntan lotion and
culinary specialties. After this visit, she and Ed rented
various farmhouses around Tuscany and finally decided to buy
Mayes gives a vivid and compelling account of how she bought and
started restoring this farmhouse in Tuscany. "Under the
Tuscan Sun" is really an outgrowth of the diary she kept
about her experiences when she first moved to Italy.
homes as metaphors for the self and gives herself to decorating
and renovating them with a certain passion. "The houses
that are important to us," she writes, "are the ones
that allow us to dream in peace."
sumptuous detail, Frances Mayes describes her home and Italy
like a delicate poem as she balances enjoyment of life with
responsibility to finishing an extensive renovation. Her writing
shows she is most at home in Italy and enjoys immersing herself
in words that describe her private escape. She is living the
fantasy and sharing every delicious bit of her joy in this
I love her
observations about life. While they sometimes have little to do
with Tuscany, they are enlightening. Through gorgeous
descriptions, she says: "Life is beautiful, take deep
breathes, enjoy food and pleasure." Through intimate
reflection, she considers how life changes so we can go forward
in our thinking.
about tours of ancient churches and towns, fig-pollinating
wasps, the ancient tile roof, books with blue leather binding,
art, festivals, walks through the piazza, gardens and even gives
us her precious recipes.
continues to describe lush fruits, vegetables, and flowers,
olive groves, orchards, and vineyards violet blue hazes, pelting
rain, green landscapes, olive oil, hot waterfalls, olive wood
fires, cool walks through chestnut forests, blood oranges, jars
of plum jam, mascarpone custard, cherries, bees burrowing in
pears, pecorino cheese, fertile earth rich as chocolate cake,
wild strawberries, white peaches, fresh herbs and baskets for
I had some fruit cobbler and pecorino in the refrigerator or I
would have gone half mad not being able to taste fruit and
cheese after listening to the completely delicious descriptions.
vividly captures a humorous moment when she has cement poured
all over her head and gives a hilarious recounting of her first
wall-building endeavor. She paints evocative descriptions of
nearby Cortona, thinks about Elizabeth David's recipe for peach
marmalade and considers passages from books by Henry James and
D.H. Lawrence. Her knowledge of the world is impressive and
fascinating. I even learned an interesting and amusing fact
about James Joyce.
to admit that a few times while listening to the unabridged
version narrated by Barbara Caruso, the writing was so beautiful
I was at times overwhelmed. I believe many of us feel a deep
need to live in an almost rural community where people actually
care about their neighbors or at least talk to them. Frances is
now an honorary citizen of the town.
end, she starts to talk about her life growing up in the South
and focuses on religion and even makes a few observations about
the sensual life and afternoon naps. There are moments
throughout the book when she stops to compare her Californian
and past Georgian existence with this Italian paradise.
may say this is domestic sensuality at its best, I think it is
love. Love for the land, love of food and love of life. Frances
Mayes sees beauty in life and this book will be equally loved by
those who also share the desire to find beauty in the simplicity
of existence. Many have read this book and have changed their
lives. The descriptions of life that moves at a slower pace, has
the power to make you want to leave America fast and arrive in
listen and then plan your escape! I've just printed out
information about a farmhouse in Tuscany. I shall continue to
dream. I'm also going to go make some Biscotti!
account of a love affair with Italy you will never forget.
review is for the unabridged recorded book version narrated by
~The Rebecca Review
the Media Beast: An Easy Recipe for Great Publicity by Mark E. Mathis
Media or Predictable Publicity
Mathis has a wicked sense of wit and connects immediately with
the reader by first building up your self-confidence and then
taking you deep into the mind of the Media Beast. He dispels the
myth of unpredictability and guides you through the publicity
the Media Beast is a extremely well organized book. First the
author tells you what he is going to present to you and the
proceeds to deliver a delicious array of pithy comments, witty
remarks, insightful solutions, examples you can relate to,
concise descriptions and snappy quotes. This book is well
researched and to the point.
is snappy and fresh and the author often displays an uncommon
perspective. He presents unique ideas on conveying information
and shows you how to use this highly potent marketing machine to
promote your product or idea.
rather impressed with how succinctly and honestly Mark Mathis
describes the Media Beast and its voracious appetites. He shows
you exactly how to serve up a story the beast won't be able to
resist. In fact, he says it is quite predictable.
a Media Leader latches onto your story, big things are bound to
exactly do you get the Media Beast to pay attention and hunger
information? It seems that once you understand the nature of the
beast, you can follow twelve simple rules to success.
Mathis has worked as a television reporter, columnist and talk
radio host. In the past few years, he has been teaching the
Media Rules. These rules include the Rule of Difference,
Emotion, Simplicity, Preparation, Easy, Repetition, Resource,
Invention, Timing, Ego, Balance, Ambush.
be especially intrigued by how he answers the following
1. Why do
reporters seem to have a worldview that differs from the general
2. Why do reporters tend to support liberal positions?
3. Where do journalists come from?
4. Why is the most popular news often irrelevant to your
5. How do you make a reporter care about your story?
6. Are you prepared to give an interview?
7. Do you know what the Media Beast wants for dinner?
8. Is bad publicity avoidable?
9. How can you get reporters to call you for your expert
10. How do you avoid the traps even PR professionals fall into?
Mathis explores all angles, highlights simple truth and
elaborates with anecdotes that will often make you laugh. You
will learn how to make a difference in the world, create a
compelling message and utilize DES (difference, emotion and
the Media Beast is for anyone who views the news, produces the
news, wants to be in the news or has been burned by the news.
Beast no more!
Even if he is knocking at your door!
~The Rebecca Review
by Editors of Cookís Illustrated Magazine
find something new each time I read this amazing book!
not only a book for those who love to be entertained, it is also
for those who love to cook and want to make their cooking the
best it can be. Christopher Kimball is one of the great
researchers of our time. His attention to detail is remarkable.
As an aspiring cookbook author myself, I see this book as an
example of how recipes should be written. My favorite sections
are the detailed scientific and descriptive essays, which are
intriguing and entertaining to read. Not only did this book help
me decide which barbecue grill to purchase.
information on chocolate is extremely accurate. This is the
first book I reach for when I have a cooking question or want to
validate my beliefs. You could say this is my cooking Bible. I
also like the fact that there is a website and a real author you
can actually write to. The website also gives the option to
purchase individual recipes. I find it refreshing to find that
the author is interested in his readership and really does want
you to have success the first time you make a recipe. Thank you
Mr. Kimball for helping us clarify the technical details and
solve the cooking confusion. I can't wait for the next book.
~The Rebecca Review