Thursday, June 27, 2013

History Book Review: Vodka

Does the word "vodka" derive from the Russian "voda," meaning water, or the Polish "wodka," derived from "woda," or water? Historians from the two countries will argue incessantly on the origins of the world's favorite liquor, which almost certainly originated somewhere in Eastern Europe during  the 14th or 15th century.

This new volume in The Edible Series of Reaktion Books explores how a rather unremarkable liquid -- pure alcohol distilled from grain -- became such a potent spirit, both culturally and economically. Once a humble drink known only to Eastern Europeans, it is now the most popular liquor in both the U.S. and Britain, and probably the world.

by Patricia Herlihy
Reaktion Books, 2013

Continued in The Book Stall

Out of the Past
good spirits & fine liqueurs
Food and Drink Magazines
Artwork: Crystal Head Vodka Glasses and Bottle

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Well Read Books: The Do-It-Yourself Psychotherapy Book

This book is based upon the two secret factors behind every successful psychotherapy. Using these ingredients, Dr. Martin Shepard presents an action oriented program designed to help you feel better, achieve more and maximize your potential for a full and rich life.

"This book was written both for 'normal' people interested in living an even richer and more fulfilling existence and for those individuals who feel themselves to be 'neurotic,' troubled, adrift, or otherwise unhappy.

"For this second group the Do-It-Yourself approach is presented as a very real alternative to formal psychotherapy." ~ Martin Shepard, M.D.

by Martin Shepard 
The Permanent Press, 1986
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Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Well Read Books: How to Get Your Boss's Job

The complete handbook for the ambitious man (or woman) who wants to acquire new power in the office.

If you have ever thought you could perform your superior's task better than he does, this detailed handbook will give you step-by-step instructions.

Here are the tools for self-evaluation to discover what leadership qualities you are lacking; the techniques for examining the positions above you especially to discern if they are dead ends; and advice about what job is right for you.

The Secrets of Executive Success
by George Proxy
Funk & Wagnalls 1969
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Sunday, June 9, 2013

Well Read Books: The Itch

"There are a thousand causes underlying a condition of itching. They can include anything from dandruff to diabetes.

"In medical discussion and articles the term pruritis is used to indicate itching. To show the low status of the word, a similar-sounding word, prurience, means lewdness in thought or desire. An "itch plant," which is found in tropical countries and which is used to make itching powder, is call mucuna pruriens.

Why do people scratch? Some believe that the pain produced by the scratching is a mean of stopping the itching. The physiological explanation is that itching stops when pain supervenes. But the explanation lies deeper...

The Itch and what to do besides scratching
by J. I. Rodale
Rodale Books, 1971

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Thursday, June 6, 2013

Denali National Park

The second edition of this guidebook updates and reorganizes a first edition published ten years ago by the defunct Alaska Northwest Books and now long out of print. It provides detailed information on the history of the region and advice on exploring by foot, train, car, bus, boat or even sled dog team.

The first part of the book, titled "The Story of Denali," describes the natural processes that shaped the place and the varied ecosystems supporting mammals, plants and birds. Wildlife and plant checklists are included in the back of the book.

The second half of the volume is dedicated to "Exploring Denali" with separate chapters dividing it into four regions. Typical visitor information and resources are provided, detailing the location of campgrounds, trails, historical sites, drives and excursions.

The Complete Visitors Guide to the Mountain, Wildlife, and Year-Round Outdoor Activities
by Bill Sherwonit
Mountaineers Books, 2013
Continued in The Nature Pages
The Nature Pages
Nature Writing and Natural Histories
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