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January 26, 2007 Edition

The Wisdom of Yoga, by Stephen Cope

Cope, a psychotherapist and Kripalu yoga teacher, takes readers beyond the physical poses of yoga and into the mental discipline the poses are intended to engender. Through anecdotes about himself and friends, he illustrates the principles found in the Yoga-Sutra, which provides a path from the turmoil of everyday life to gradual enlightenment. A translation of the Yoga-Sutra is included, along with an essay on ties between yoga and Buddhism.

The Trouble with Physics, by Lee Smolin

Many areas of science have exploded with information in recent years; physics, however, has been stagnant since the 1970’s, says Smolin. He proposes that part of the problem is the science community’s preference for string theory, which tries to explain the workings of the universe in one fell swoop. But focus on this single theory diverts money and attention from other, more provable theories. Smolin traces the history of the string theory, exposes its flaws, and introduces readers to the scientists who are trying to reinvigorate physics.

Paris Discovered, by Mary McAuliffe

Planning a visit to Paris or curious about its great reputation? This collection of essays, originally written for the monthly “Paris Notes,” will give you the inside scoop on history, architecture, royal mysteries, and more. Join McAuliffe as she and her husband visit the oldest house in Paris, discover where to buy the best ice cream, and stumble upon the joys of the perfect pen. Beautifully written and accompanied by precise directions when appropriate, this will whet your appetite for the City of Light.

What to Drink with What You Eat, by Andrew Dornenburg and Karen Page

At last, a book for those of us who don’t want to wade through an entire book to figure out what to do with that gift bottle or what to bring to dinner when put in charge of the drinks. In addition to giving two ways to look things up (one is to look by drink available, the other by food served), and being full of helpful hints on choosing glassware, this handsome book contains lots of general information about regional wine specialties and anecdotes by sommeliers. This is not limited to wine, however, or even to alcoholic beverages, but also includes coffees, teas, waters, and juices. Mouth-watering reading!

What We Believe but Cannot Prove, edited by John Brockman

Brockman, creator of the website Edge, which is devoted to what Brockman calls “the third culture”, proposes an annual question to site contributors, designed to provoke thought and conversation. The question for 2005 became the title for this book, and leading thinkers from around the world, from Jared Diamond to Tor Norretranders, weigh in here on everything from questions of faith to computer programming. The submissions vary in length from succinct paragraphs to sleek essays, perfect for dipping into and then stepping back for reflection.

Financial Success for Young Adults and Recent Graduates, by Janet C. Arrowood

This would make a great gift for a teenager – even if he or she sighs heavily now, you’ll be heartily thanked in a few years – but is also perfect for twenty-somethings. A great primer on handling money, controlling credit (rather than being at its mercy), and making financial decisions for the short and long term, this will take readers from high school through college and into jobs, careers, and families

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