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Mad Monks on the Road, by Michael Lane and Jim Crotty, Fireside, 1993, $11.00, 298 pp. If the title doesn't grab you, perhaps the subject will. Mad Monks on the Road documents the roadtripping adventures of two self-styled monks RV-ing across the southern latitudes of the United States. It's full of wry observations and selfless witicism that might leave you begging for more, in which case you can buy a subscription to their traveling rag, Monk. Happy trails!

Made in Texas: George W. Bush and the Southern Takeover of American Politics, by Michael Lind, Basic Books, 2003, $24.00, 224 pp. Lind, a fifth generation Texan, describes Texas as an oil-rich state built on the back of cheap labor. He then presents a compelling argument that G. Dubya's politics are in fact inseparable from Texas. It doesn't take a wiz-kid to figure out what his economic policies for the nation might hold. Fortunately, bad politics aren't the only thing made in Texas. Activism, according to Lind, is a rich Texas tradition, offering a glimmer of hope against a seemingly insurmountable presidency.

Making a Living While Making a Difference: Conscious Careers for an Era of Interdependence, by Melissa Everett, New Society, 2007, $24.95, 219 pp. Making a Living is a challenge to everyone who has ever wished they were making a difference with meaningful work. Come out come out wherever you are, Melissa Everett's got a book for you!

Making Kind Choices: Everyday Ways to Enhance Your Life Through Earth- and Animal-Friendly Living, by Ingrid Newkirk, St. Martin's Griffin, 2005, $13.95, 472 pp. Are you kind? Newkirk, the founder of PETA, offers oodles of ways to live a kinder, gentler life. From repelling pests, to buying clothes, your choices matter.

Marching on Washington: The Forging of an American Political Tradition, by Lucy G. Barber, University of California Press, 2002, $34.95, 358 pp. Marching on Washington contrasts six historical demonstrations beginning with Women's Suffrage and ending with the 1971 antiwar protests. Rather than a depiction of perpetual civil unrest, Barber gives us a glimpse into a system of politics that offers legitimacy - albeit slowly - to un-kosher methods of drumming up support.

The Marvelous Land of Oz, by L. Frank Baum, Dover Publications, 1969, $3.00, 287 pp. First published in 1904, this edition includes the original 120 line illustrations and 16 color plates. Here, the Scarecrow is back, brainy and King of the Emerald City. The Tin Man too is here, with a heart and Emperor of the Winkies. Dorothy - for better or worse - isn't along this time; instead a boy named Tip is the hero. This is Baum at his wickedest weirdness.
Mary, We Never Knew You, by James Ganong, K. Pillman Publishers, 1982, $6.50, 247 pp. Ganong weaves an intriguing tale involving the University of Washington campus, Seattle's seedy nightlife, and an ex-college football player. The plot - after winding its way across three states - concludes with the discovery of a grisly crime.
Masterpieces of Art: Seattle World's Fair Fine Arts Pavilion, April 21 to September 4, 1962, compiled by William M. Milliken, PhD, The Lezius-Hiles Co., 1962, 164 pp. Masterpieces of Art: Seattle World's Fair Fine Arts Pavilion, April 21 to September 4, 1962 was the catalog for Century 21 Exposition's Masterpieces of Art exhibit. It's informative both visually (each and every piece from the Masterpiece exhibit is represented photographically) and textually. Whereas exhibition catalogs tend to provide only a minimum of detail (artist's place of birth, education and awards), Masterpieces of Art contains extensive biographical details. Excellent.

Maybe The Moon, by Armistead Maupin, HarperPerennial, 1992, $12.00, 307 pp. Cadence Roth is a Hollywood actor. Although she graced the screen in the biggest blockbuster to date, she is unrecognizable and beholden to a contract that prevents her from talking about it (E.T.?). Beyond your typical showbiz yarn, Maupin has filled this novel with so much love it's easy to forget the heroine stands only 31 inches tall.
Maze, by Christopher Manson, Owl, 1985, $5.95, 92 pp. Like puzzles? Offering a prize of $10,000 for the solution at the time it was published, Manson composed a truly unique game within this book. The story leads the reader from page one to various rooms with passageways to other rooms. Within the story and the rooms are clues to which passageway to take next. The reader's goal is to figure out the shortest route from room one to forty-five (sixteen rooms are involved); to figure out the riddle asked by the story; and finally, to solve the riddle. It's a daunting task that's been frustrating me for as many years as there are rooms in the fastest route through the maze.

The Meaning of Tingo and Other Extraordinary Words From Around the World, by Adam Jacot de Boinod, The Penguin Press, 2006, $19.95, 209 pp. Adam Jacot de Boinod is a linguist - if not by trade, by design. According to the jacket cover, it all started when he picked up an Albanian dictionary and discovered there were no fewer than twenty-seven words for eyebrow and the same number for mustache. His obsession for words was born. He finds glee in oddities - of which there seemingly are no end - in the human language. The book is laid out somewhat like a dictionary, with terms and their meanings grouped under headings that clue us in as to why they belong together. The author reminds us that like the endangered creatures of our planet, entire languages too go extinct on average of one every fortnight. That fact lends Tingo significance it otherwise wouldn't have. It gives it meaning.

The Meat You Eat: How Corporate Farming has Endangered America's Food Supply, by Ken Midkiff, St. Martin's Press, 2004, $23.95, 171 pp. Midkiff, the director of The Sierra Club, delivers in The Meat You Eat an indictment of the corporate meat industry. Rather than presenting a rallying cry for vegetarianism though, he suggests buying meat from sustainable ranching operations. And to aid the reader in that goal, includes an appendix of local farmers' market associations around the nation.
Meddlesome Mike, Published by Grand Dreams, Ltd., Jadwin House, London, 6 pp. Poor Mike. This misnomered book -or half-book - is a delightful pop-up. Its stories, three in all, follow Mike as he has an accident with a hanging picture, spills his soup, and reaches for the stars. His only crime: over-confidence. Artwork by J. Lagarda.

Media Unlimited: The Torrent of Sound and Images in Modern Life, by Todd Gitlin, Henry Holt and Co., 2002, $25.00, 260 pp. Gitlin examines the many opportunities the media uses to shape public opinion and sell goods, neither thing bad in itself in a free society. However, the deliberateness to which our opinions are shaped by outside forces, Gitlin asserts, threaten to give democracy a back seat. Provocative.

Meditation: Key to Spiritual Awakening, by Mary Ellen Flora, CDM Publications, 1992, $7.95, 82 pp. Author Mary Ellen Flora is a spiritual teacher, healer, clairvoyant reader and retired reverend. Her book Meditation: Key to Spiritual Awakening holds the promise of centering us, which holds an array of benefits from reducing anxiety to filtering out the noise of the day that's not beneficial to our well being. In turn, meditation can increase our awareness of what's important. Although Meditation is all about spirituality, the author doesn't get bogged down in theology. She offers instruction about the process of meditating, explaining grounding and energy flow through charts and text with clear precision. Bear in mind, the ultimate goal of meditation is to experience the vibration we are all here to manifest; that vibration is love. With Flora's help, we just might reach it.

Mercenary, by Piers Anthony, Avon, 1984, $2.95, 373 pp. In this, the second volume in the Bio of a Space Tyrant series, we catch up with the hero, Hope Hubris. He has risen from a mere peasant refugee, through the ranks of the Navy of Jupiter to command an elite squandron of loyalists not unlike the Green Berets. His one goal is to level revenge against the warlords of the Jupiter Ecliptic, a merciless gang of pirates who are the source for much of his angst. This is the stuff that makes a tyrant of a guy.

Metropolitan Life, by Fran Lebowitz, E. P. Dutton, 1978, $8.50, 177 pp. In this, Lebowitz's debut, the New York satirist sticks it to manners, science, arts and letter writing. She profoundly skewers all things modern (at the close of the seventies) and causes one to ponder the social order of Tricks. No shrinking violet, Lebowitz's writing is smart and on target.

The Mexican Cook Book, by George and Inger Wallace, Nitty Gritty Books, 1971, $13.95, 181 pp. Dedicated to the people of rural Mexico, this is a collection of recipes gleaned from the Wallace's travels through many Mexican kitchens. Where the methods of preparation are next to impossible to duplicate in modern society, they've been adapted for the American experience of supermarkets and Cuisinarts.

Michael, by Tony Bradman, MacMillan Publishing, 1990, 26 pp. Michael is a boy who doesn't fit in all the right places. He's got his own way of thinking. His own way of doing. His own way of being. But that's all right, because in the end he makes his mark. This slim children's book is a simple story about self-respect, brought to life by the illustrations of Tony Ross.

Mind Over Matter, edited by Janet P. Cave, Scarlet Cheng and Jane N. Coughran, Time-Life Books, 1988, 144 pp. For $2.50 I acquired a ten volume set of Time-Life's Mysteries of the Unknown. There are thirteen books in the series, but I was shorted volumes nine and ten. Lesson learned: When it comes to garage sales, caveat emptor. Mind Over Matter (Volume 8) covers the mind's ability to make objects move. It's full of accounts, experiments, hoaxes, successes and failures, leaving it up to the reader to decide what, if anything, there is to it. Mostly, though, it gets the mind pondering what kind of information is contained in the missing books.

The Mindful Hiker: On the Trail to Find the Path, by Stephen Altschuler, DeVorss, 2004, $16.95, 180 pp. This book chronicles a hike through California's Point Reyes National Seashore, and a healing journey for the author's soul.

Mindful Politics: A Buddhist Guide to Making the World a Better Place, edited by Melvin McLeod, Wisdom Publications, 2006, $16.95, 305 pp. Neither Left nor Right, Mindful Politics is a politically neutral guide to taking care of the Earth and people within your immediate vicinity. Contributors include the Dalai Lama, Thich Nhat Hanh and Peter Coyote.

Mirror to Damascus, by Colin Thubron, Random House, 1996, $16.95, 240 pp. Originally published in 1967, Mirror launched Thubron's career as a travel writer, culminating in his seminal 2006 account of traveling the entire length of the Silk Road in Shadow of the Silk Road (HarperCollins, $15.99).

Miss Nelson is Missing, by Harry Allard, Scholastic Book Services, 1977, 32 pp. You don't appreciate what you've got 'til it's gone. Or so the premise of this book goes. Miss Nelson is a school teacher with a class of miscreants. To get even she dons a disguise and plays the role of strict substitute teacher. The ruse works, and when she returns as herself the students are perfect angels, so glad they are to have their sweet teacher back. Just the fix our public school system needs? Perhaps not, but it makes a fine children's story. Illustrations by James Marshall.

Mollie Katzen's Sunlight Cafe: Breakfast Served All Day, by Mollie Katzen, Hyperion Press, 2002, $29.95, 302 pp. From the author of the classic Moosewood Cookbook, comes her latest contribution to the culinary arts. In Sunlight Cafe, Katzen offers 350 tasty, meatless morning recipes. Illustrated.

Montana 1948, by Larry Watson, Simon & Schuster, 1995, $12.95, 175 pp. Larry Watson was the recipient of The Milkweed National Fiction Prize and The Mountains and Plains Bookseller Association Regional Book Award for Montana 1948. It's also earned him comparisons to Harper Lee. The novel recounts a series of horrendous crimes against Native American girls that ultimately result in murder. It's a dark tale played out against the backdrop of Bentrock, an idyllic small town in the northeast corner of Montana. The narration is presented through the memory of David Hayden - the son of the sheriff - a boy of only twelve when the crimes of this story come to light.

Moosewood Restaurant New Classics: 350 Recipes for Homestyle Favorites and Everyday Feasts, by the Collective, Clarkson/Potter Publishers, 2001, $25.95, 495 pp. Recipes from Moosewood have been pleasing palates for over a quarter century. New Classics promises to continue that tradition, offering creative vegetarian dishes that are both foolproof and crowd-pleasing.
Mosquitoes, by William Faulkner, Dell Publishing, 1962, .50, 288 pp. Renowned for novels, short stories, screenplays, poetry, essays, and even a play, William Faulkner's a Nobel Prize laureate, Pulitzer Prize recipient (twice), and has three titles on the Modern Library's list of 100 best English-language novels of the 20th-century. Impressive, for sure. Unfortunately, Mosquitoes is not one of them. Set in 1920's New Orleans, Faulkner paints a vibrant city abuzz with art and commerce. The rich are portrayed as artist wannabes - or more specifically, artist life-style wannabes - in pursuit of a Bohemian existence they know nothing about, and have far too much wealth to genuinely achieve. By rubbing elbows with the artists of the city, they create a sense of inclusion for themselves where none exists. On the flip-side to the rich, Faulkner provides the starving artist. Penniless, and emasculated by his patrons, he is as lost in the world of wealthy New Orleans as the wealthy are in his. Centered around a 4-day excursion aboard a wealthy art patron's yacht, before long it runs aground, and with it so does the plot. A truly unfortunate event, 'cause Faulkner's got chops when it comes to prose.

Mostly Harmless, by Douglas Adams, Harmony Books, 1992, 277 pp. From the author of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy comes a continuation of sorts. Adams weaves a tale of imminent destruction involving Earth, Vogons, Grebulons, a hapless TV reporter and the planet Rupert - a newly discovered sphere beyond Pluto - whose habitants regularly monitor television broadcasts from Earth. Sound vaguely similar to Galaxy Quest? It is, and it isn't. Fans of Adams' previous works will find themselves in familiar territory, planet-hopping again with the likes of Arthur Dent and Ford Prefect.

Mother Courage and Her Children, by Bertolt Brecht, Grove Press, 1966, $2.95, 126 pp. Written in 1939, Mother Courage and Her Children reflects the climate of the time. Mother Courage is an earthy woman who gets up after being repeatedly beaten down. Set against a backdrop of war, she reveals herself as a woman of necessity; the embodiment of human survival.
Mother Night, by Kurt Vonnegut, Random House, 1999, $17.00, 280 pp. Mother Night jumps headlong into the Nazi mentality through satire that's quintessential Vonnegut. Is there no subject beyond his depth?

The Mountains of California, by John Muir, Fulcrum Publishing, 1988, $27.95, 291 pp. The forests of California contain the most varied species of trees of any in the United States, besides Florida. In Mountains, Muir chronicles the diversity and natural wonders of the Golden State with the thoughtful detail and unabashed amazement he's loved for. Containing a fount of knowledge and level of commitment rarely matched by environmental writers in the field today, his essays on California's mountains make poetry of the science.

Moyers on America: A Journalist and His Times, by Bill Moyers, New Press, 2004, $24.95, 204 pp. Doing for politics what he did for anthropology (with the help of the late Joseph Campbell), Bill Moyers grapples with America's sliding democratic process.

Mr. Monkey and Other Sumerian Fables, by Jessica Amanda Salmonson, Tabula Rasa Press, 1994, 100 pp. This little book - it measures just 2 1/4 x 2 3/4 inches - is a peach. The tales date back to 2000 BC, indicating they may have been the precursors to Aesop's Fables. Each page is set by hand using moveable type, and is decorated with single-color illustrations by Carla Goll. Tabula Rasa is a small press, as is its product, but oh so big on heart. At 100 pages, this gem is packed with 39 stories.

The Mueller Report, by Robert S. Mueller III and The Washington Post, Simon & Schuster, 2019, $15.00, 729 pp. Not since Kenneth Starr has a report generated so much public interest as Robert Mueller's. At the time of release, the public was anticipating something entirely different than what they got. Not for the crimes that were (or weren't) laid out in the report, but for the heavy use of redaction. Here, in this volume published by Simon & Schuster, you can read the document for yourself, with helpful timelines and commentary provided by The Washington Post.

Muir: Nature Writings, edited by William Cronin, Random House, 1977, $35.00, 928 pp. Contains Muir's classics including: The Story of My Boyhood and Youth; My First Summer in the Sierra; The Mountains of California; Stickeen; and selected essays.

Mushrooms of North America, by Orson K. Miller, Jr., New American Library, 1977, $16.95, 368 pp. Dr. Orson K. Miller, Jr. is Associate Professor of Botany at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. Formerly a mycologist with the U.S. Forest Service, he's compiled a complete and accurate guide to North America's mushrooms with Mushrooms of North America. Listed keys to major fungi groups - and a thorough explanation of how to use said keys - make Mushrooms one of the most useful guides available to the amateur mycologist today. When sizing mushrooms for identity, Miller uses centimeters, and supplies a ruler to familiarize the uninformed with the metric system. Beyond a guide for simply identifying mushrooms, the author explains the role of fungi within the greater ecosystem, and disseminates their toxins at the molecular level.

My Gentle Barn: Creating a Sanctuary Where Animals Heal and Children Learn to Hope, by Ellie Laks, Random House, 2014, $25.00, 269 pp. Ellie Laks grew up in Missouri, learning at a very young age to hate herself. Her familiar retreat, and single source of solace, were animals. Ellie writes with disarming honesty about growing up. She recalls each pet, every bunny her parents forced from her arms into the freezing cold, and the feelings around them, with vivid detail. Even then she fantasized of a safe harbor for all the scared and lonely animals in the world, a place where they felt love and belonging. Eventually, that safe harbor would manifest itself in the form of a farm called The Gentle Barn. Since 1999, three Gentle Barns have been established in the US. They operate as non-profits, providing forever homes for hard-to-place animals. Ellie has pursued a life's mission of giving sanctuary to the beasts of the field. In return, her beasts provide therapy for at-risk youth. The animals in Ellie's life have eased, if not erased, the pain of a nightmarish childhood. Today, she's living the dream.

Mysterious Creatures, edited by Jane N. Coughran and Janet Cave, Time-Life Books, 1988, 144 pp. In the vein of other books in the Mysteries of the Unknown series, Mysterious Creatures (Volume 7) approaches the existence of Bigfoot and other monsters with complete objectivity. It chronicles mythological beasts as well, from religious in origin to those wild creations of cinema.

Mystic Places, edited by Pat Daniels, Anne Horan and Sara Schneidman, Time-Life Books, 1987, 160 pp. The Great Pyramid . . . Stonehenge . . . Atlantis. These places and more are covered in this, the first volume of Time-Life's Mysteries of the Unknown. Perhaps the biggest surprise this book holds is that the oldest account in existence of Atlantis was written by the Greek philosopher Plato. Fascinating stuff.

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