Saturday, June 21, 2014

Kate M. Is Recommending:

The third novel in Terry Pratchett and Stephen Baxter’s “Long Earth” series, which Io9 calls “a brilliant science fiction collaboration.”

2040-2045: In the years after the cataclysmic Yellowstone eruption there is massive economic dislocation as populations flee Datum Earth to myriad Long Earth worlds. Sally, Joshua, and Lobsang are all involved in this perilous rescue work when, out of the blue, Sally is contacted by her long-vanished father and inventor of the original Stepper device, Willis Linsay. He tells her he is planning a fantastic voyage across the Long Mars and wants her to accompany him. But Sally soon learns that Willis has an ulterior motive for his request. . . .

Meanwhile U. S. Navy Commander Maggie Kauffman has embarked on an incredible journey of her own, leading an expedition to the outer limits of the far Long Earth.

For Joshua, the crisis he faces is much closer to home. He becomes embroiled in the plight of the Next: the super-bright post-humans who are beginning to emerge from their “long childhood” in the community called Happy Landings, located deep in the Long Earth. Ignorance and fear have caused “normal” human society to turn against the Next. A dramatic showdown seems inevitable. . . .
Bestselling author and renowned Buddhist teacher Noah Levine adapts the Buddha's Four Noble Truths and Eight Fold Path into a proven and systematic approach to recovery from alcohol and drug addiction—an indispensable alternative to the 12-step program.

While many desperately need the help of the 12-step recovery program, the traditional AA model's focus on an external higher power can alienate people who don't connect with its religious tenets. Refuge Recovery is a systematic method based on Buddhist principles, which integrates scientific, non-theistic, and psychological insight.

Viewing addiction as cravings in the mind and body, Levine shows how a path of meditative awareness can alleviate those desires and ease suffering. Refuge Recovery includes daily meditation practices, written investigations that explore the causes and conditions of our addictions, and advice and inspiration for finding or creating a community to help you heal and awaken.

Practical yet compassionate, Levine's successful Refuge Recovery system is designed for anyone interested in a non-theistic approach to recovery and requires no previous experience or knowledge of Buddhism or meditation.
Hurricane season begins early and rumbles all summer long, well into September. Often people's lives reflect the weather and The Hurricane Sisters is just such a story.

Once again Dorothea Benton Frank takes us deep into the heart of her magical South Carolina Lowcountry on a tumultuous journey filled with longings, disappointments, and, finally, a road toward happiness that is hard earned. There we meet three generations of women buried in secrets. The determined matriarch, Maisie Pringle, at eighty, is a force to be reckoned with because she will have the final word on everything, especially when she's dead wrong. Her daughter, Liz, is caught up in the classic maelstrom of being middle-age and in an emotionally demanding career that will eventually open all their eyes to a terrible truth. And Liz's beautiful twenty-something daughter, Ashley, whose dreamy ambitions of her unlikely future keeps them all at odds.

Luckily for Ashley, her wonderful older brother, Ivy, is her fierce champion but he can only do so much from San Francisco where he resides with his partner. And Mary Beth, her dearest friend, tries to have her back but even she can't talk headstrong Ashley out of a relationship with an ambitious politician who seems slightly too old for her.

Actually, Ashley and Mary Beth have yet to launch themselves into solvency. Their prospects seem bleak. So while they wait for the world to discover them and deliver them from a ramen-based existence, they placate themselves with a hare-brained scheme to make money but one that threatens to land them in huge trouble with the authorities.

So where is Clayton, Liz's husband? He seems more distracted than usual. Ashley desperately needs her father's love and attention but what kind of a parent can he be to Ashley with one foot in Manhattan and the other one planted in indiscretion? And Liz, who's an expert in the field of troubled domestic life, refuses to acknowledge Ashley's precarious situation. Who's in charge of this family? The wake-up call is about to arrive.

The Lowcountry has endured its share of war and bloodshed like the rest of the South, but this storm season we watch Maisie, Liz, Ashley, and Mary Beth deal with challenges that demand they face the truth about themselves. After a terrible confrontation they are forced to rise to forgiveness, but can they establish a new order for the future of them all?

Frank, with her hallmark scintillating wit and crisp insight, captures how a complex family of disparate characters and their close friends can overcome anything through the power of love and reconciliation. This is the often hilarious, sometimes sobering, but always entertaining story of how these unforgettable women became The Hurricane Sisters.
From the jungles of South America to the deserts of Arizona, one thing remains consistent: bees are disappearing. A world without bees would be much less colourful, with fewer flowers. But that's not all-bees are responsible for up to one-third of our food supply, and the consequences of not taking action to protect them are frightening. While the media focuses on colony-collapse disorder and the threats to honey bees specifically, the real danger is much greater: all bees are at risk, whether it be from loss of habitat, pesticide use or disease, among other factors. And because of the integral role these insects play in the ecology of our planet, we may be at risk as well.

In Keeping the Bees, Laurence Packer, a melittologist whose life revolves around bees, debunks many myths about these creatures and takes us behind the scenes with scientists around the world who are working to save these fascinating creatures before it's too late.

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