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Yoga for Transformation: Ancient Teachings and Practices for Healing the Body, Mind and Heart, by Gary Kraftsow, Penguin, 2002, $18.00, 288 pp. While the physical benefits of yoga are widely recognized by Westerners, its mental and spiritual advantages are not. In Yoga for Transformation Kraftsow attempts to eradicate our ignorance with meditative exercises designed for sharpening the intellect and increasing self-awareness. Packed with photographs.

You Are Your First Name, by Ellin Dodge Young, Long Shadow Books, 1983, $6.95, 435 pp. Whether your name's Aaron or Zoe it has a direct impact on your personality, according to You Are Your First Name. The author uses numerology - assigning to each letter in the name a numerical value and adding them together - to determine a person's major talent. She then breaks each letter down into specific traits they contribute to the overall personality. It's wizardry which results in the best name analyses ever published. (The author claims persons with my name are given to exaggeration.) Although interesting - Jesus, Hitler and Siddhartha (Buddha) were all evangelists in their own right and each a number eleven - her decision not to list the numerology value of each name alongside its definition seems shortsighted. To figure out the name's value, you have to do the math yourself.

You Have the Power: How to Take Back Our Country and Restore Democracy in America, by Howard Dean, Simon & Schuster, 2004, $19.95, 195 pp. Recovering from the wreckage: Former presidential wannabe scream-like-a-banshee Howard Dean offers hope to shell-shocked Americans still grappling with the election of G. Dubya as Commander-in-Chief. In You Have the Power, Dean outlines his strategy for taking back America from the extremists currently calling the shots on the Hill. It may prove to be a strategy that earns him a second look in 2008.

Your Organic Kitchen: Essential Guide to Selecting & Cooking Organic Foods, by Jesse Ziff Cool, Rodale Books, 2002, $18.95, 304 pp. More than a seasonal cookbook - which it is - Your Organic Kitchen offers a history on organic farming methods and reasons why going organic makes sense. In the hands of its author, organic is cool.

Your Vital Child: A Natural Healing Guide for Caring Parents, by Mark and Angela Stengler, Rodale, 2001, $19.95, 537 pp. This is a comprehensive guide to identifying and treating ailments naturally, including preventive measures a parent can take such as creating a caring environment for their child. A great reference source.
Yours in Perfect Manhood, Charles Atlas, by Charles Gaines and George Butler, Fireside, 1982, $9.95, 160 pp. This book, while written by Gaines and Butler, is based on the recollections of Charles P. Roman, President of Charles Atlas, Ltd. It is a slim biography of Atlas (born Angelo Siciliano), crammed full of black and white photos the general public might never have known to exist. Atlas cut quite a figure in his day and wasn't afraid to show it off, putting this book way up there on the homo-erotic scale.

10,000 Dreams Interpreted, by Gustavus Hindman Miller, Barnes & Noble Books, 1996, 304 pp. Contemporary thought on dreams is that they're our way of cleansing the subconscious. Therefore, dream interpretation usually paints in rather broad strokes, avoiding pointed declarations of what the dream imagery might be foretelling. Not so with Miller's book. 10,000 Dreams Interpreted is a big book that's big on literal interpretations of specific dreams. Written at the turn of the last century, it offers rare insight into the practice of dream interpretation of the day. For instance, to dream of a rat with a cauliflower ear is a sign you will be deceived and injured by your neighbors. Heavily illustrated.

101 Ways to Help Your Daughter Love Her Body, by Elane Rehr and Brenda Lane Richardson, Quill, 2000, $13.00, 225 pp. Rehr is a psychologist. Richardson is a journalist. Together they've come up with 101 ways to help young women love their bodies, the premise being that all things icky in a girl's life stem from self-hate. Here's to a little less of that.
101 Wildflowers of Olympic National Park, by Grant and Wenonah Sharpe, University of Washington Press, 1963, 40 pp. For a slim volume, 101 Wildflowers of Olympic National Park packs a punch. It's beauty isn't in the line drawings of flowers, nor is it in their myriad descriptions. The beauty of this book lies in its layout. Rather than organize the flowers according to their families, they're arranged by color. No Knowledge of botany necessary. Unfortunately, 101 Wildflowers lists only the most common. As a result, only one of the eight endemic wildflowers in the Olympic Range made the cut. Also, blossom color fades over time, so that may effect accuracy in identification, but it still beats memorizing latin.

33 Things Every Girl Should Know About Women's History: From Suffragettes to Skirt Lengths to the ERA, edited by T. Bolden, Crown Publishers, 2001, $12.95, 240 pp. Besides having the longest title you're likely to encounter, 33 Things is a collection of all the bad stuff women have had to overcome in their fight for equality. A key to empowerment, afterall, is the knowledge of just how far you've come.


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