Monday, August 17, 2009

Title: Yoga in America
Editors: Deborah S. Bernstein & Bob Weisenberg
ISBN: 978-0-557-04633-1
Genre: Non-Fiction / Yoga

The book is a collection of articles on Yoga, written by various experts and edited by Deborah and Bob. The content and style of the articles is so variable (especially since each contributor was given full freedom) that the editors had their task cut out to bring some semblance of continuity in the book. Even after their best efforts, the result is a little disconcerting to the reader. But if you persist and finish the book, you are sure to get a really wide perspective of the state of Yoga in America.

If you are already into Yoga, you may find confirmation of what you are doing and also fresh perspectives of the other systems of Yoga practices. If you are new to Yoga, you will get a sort of guided tour and you can pick the style that appeals to you.

I would have edited the book a little differently at some places and there are a couple of errors that slipped the keen eyes of the editors, but overall, they have done a very good job of keeping errors out.

I recommend this book to you in either case. You may also like to take a look at the three other books on Yoga that I reviewed, viz. "The Hatha Yoga Pradipika", "The Gheranda Samhita" and "Music as Yoga"

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Title: The green Green Pear
Author: Manjula Narayanan
Publisher: Authorhouse
Genre: Fiction / Children
Presentation: Paperback

The green Green Pear is on the face of it a colorfully printed story book for children, but it has a very deep message for all the children of the world including the children lurking behind the adult facades in many of us. Self image psycholgy, the need for self acceptance and the need for being one self are brought out beautifully by the author.

One brief excerpt:

"So in a similar manner the green Green Pear went about wishing he could be many different things. He wished he could smell like a flower. Or feel like silk. Or taste like candy. Could he look like a butterfly? Or sing like a bird? He wondered..."

The page had nice illustrations of a flower, silk, candy, butterfly and a bird. The total effect is really pleasant.

For the children there is of course an added bonus of learning colors, shapes, flowers, fruits, animals and sounds. Thus education goes along with entertainment. It is excellent as a gift to the child for exploring by oneself or for reading to a child.

The book is designed and printed well on acid free non-glossy paper. The illustrations by the author are eye catching in a pleasant way.

A short note to the parents and to the teachers and a little biography about the author would have added value to the book. I am giving a brief biographical note from the material sent by the publicist.

Manjula Naraynan is a writer and illustrator living in Chennai, Southern India. She has a degree in corporate secretaryship from the University of Madras. She plans to follow The green Green Pear with two more titles in her Color Trilogy for children.

Since the story is meant for little children (the book does not specify but I would think 5 to 8 years would be the ideal age group for this type of book), it could have been brought out as an audio book or a video book or a DVD could be produced and added as a bonus (at a slightly higher retail price of course).

I am happy to say the child in me enjoyed the short and sweet story in the book.

I strongly recommend this to teachers, parents and other care givers of children.