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Nancy's Notes March 27, 2008

“Three Cups of Tea” by Greg Mortenson, “The World Without Us” by Alan Weisman, “Musicophilia” by Oliver Sacks, “The Age of Miracles” by Marianne Williamson “Beautiful Boy” by David Scheff.
Last week several of us went to Waverly to see Greg Mortenson the author of “Three Cups of Tea”. He was at Wartburg to receive an award for his humanitarian efforts in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Mortenson has built over 60 schools for girls in those two countries. We will be reading and reviewing his book at our April book club. If you are interested in finding out more about him, plan to attend on April 24 at noon. The books will be available at the front desk around the first of next month. On the best seller list for many weeks is “The World Without Us” by Alan Weisman. The author illustrates what the planet might be like today if human didn’t inhabit the earth. Weisman drew on the expertise of engineers, scientists, zoologists, oil refiners, marine biologists and others in specialized fields to envision a planet without human habitation. He contemplates subways eroding and asphalt jungles giving way to real ones. Oliver Sacks is a physician and author who recently released the best seller “Musicophilia”. Music occupies more areas of our brain than language does. Sacks examines the powers of music through the individual experiences of patients, musicians, and everyday people. He describes how music can animate people with Parkinson’s, give words to stroke patients, and calm and organize people whose memories are ravaged by Alzheimer’s. Author Marianne Williamson has been interviewed on television regarding her recent book “The Age of Miracles”. She writes about mid-life. The purpose of the book is let people know there is a time for one part of ourselves to die and for something new to be born. “Middle age” should not be seen as a turning point toward death but viewed as a turning point toward life as we’ve never known it. When we are young we have energy but are clueless about what to do with it. Now we have less energy but we have far better understanding of life. Midlife is a time of rebirth, a time to accept your life and truly live it. The book “Beautiful Boy” was written by David Scheff. The author reflects on this son’s addiction to crystal meth. Scheff’s, son a former varsity athlete and honor student, turned to a life of stealing and lying and eventually living on the streets. The book grew out of an article in the New York Times Magazine that drew a huge response from readers grateful that Sheff had given voice to the devastating experience they shared with him. Come in and see us: Monday through Wednesday between noon and 8:00 p.m. or Thursday through Saturday between 10:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m.