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September 29, 2006 Edition

The Spoken Word Revolution, edited by Mark Eleveld

The art of the oral tradition is back in a big way and this book brings an amazing variety of styles and poets together in one place. Containing works from 50 poets, with 20 of them appearing on the accompanying cd, this is a dynamic introduction to spoken word poetry, featuring writers such as Sherman Alexie, Viggo Mortensen, Patricia Smith, and Billy Collins. Introduce yourself to a variety of styles, including slam, nuyorican, hip hop, and more. (If you’re more into the classics, check out “Poetry Speaks,” edited by Ellen Paschen and Charles Osgood, which contains bios, critical essays, poems, and cd recordings of such poets as Tennyson, Gertrude Stein, Langston Hughes, and many, many more, all reading their own work.)

Grayson, by Lynne Cox

One morning, when Cox, a long-distance swimmer, went for her usual ocean swim, a baby gray whale followed her home, apparently separated from its mother and looking for a babysitter. Afraid that it would beach itself if she went ashore, the 17-year old waited with Grayson in the 55-degree water for over 3 hours, while a Lifeguard boat hovered nearby for support and people gathered along the shore and pier to watch. Finally, after false alarms that turned out to be dolphins (but, happily, none that turned out to be sharks), an enormous shape appeared in the water and this true story ended happily.

The Machu Picchu Guidebook, by Ruth M. Wright and Dr. Alfredo Valencia Zegarra

Designed to be used as a self-guided tour, but well-worth reading even if you’ve booked a guide, this book will walk you through Machu Picchu’s historical significance in nearly step-by-step detail. This is the revised edition, and includes drawings of the area as it may have looked when it was in use in the 1500s, a newly added section on birds of the area, and the addition of Huayna Picchu (thanks to newly uncovered ruins) as a side trip.

Eat Smart in Mexico, by Joan Peterson and John Peterson

Eat Smart in India, by Joan Peterson and Indu Menon

These two books go far beyond the advice not to drink the water or eat fruit that hasn’t been peeled when traveling. Each one offers an overview of the country’s culinary history through time and geography, plus recipes to get your palate in the mood before your trip and helpful phrases related to food and eating. There are 2 glossaries in each book: the first of things that could turn up on menus and the second of spices and cooking terms that could be added to the menu items. What better way to get to know a culture than through its food? Use these to have a fantastic food adventure on your next big trip.

Find It, Fix It, Flip It, by Michael Corbett

Surprisingly slim for the amount of information it contains, this book details the steps Corbett used to create his own fortune through real estate, but home buyers and sellers will also find this of interest. The first of the three sections focuses on how to find a house that is worth your time and money, and includes a profit calculator and advice on writing offers. Section two deals with spending your fix-it money wisely: choosing the projects that will give the most return and selecting the contractor or tradesman to do the work. And section three gives advice on actually profiting from your purchase – dressing it up to make the best impression and analyzing the offers you get.

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