Books recently read

meldy_nva(z6b VA)May 12, 2011

I have previously confessed to being a book glutton, and to a preference for 'fluff' unless I need info for a project. Well, even SF fluff can become meringue, in that a steady diet of it is boring. So, last week I wandered the non-fiction aisles and just grabbed a book here and there. Didn't choose by author or cover color or for any particular reason. I've been known to select the fifth copy on alternate shelves, but I didn't even use that sort of random selecting. Nonetheless, four of the twelve were notable enough to be worth mentioning:

*** Snowstruck (Jill Fredston) this is one to recommend to any one who skis, snow boards, or takes a ski-doo like critter onto -or off- the snowy trails. Extremely smooth writing which holds the attention [even for non-skiers such as myself].

*** El Nino (J. Madeline Nash) A rather good gathering of most of the strands involving the El Nino. Literate without being pedantic, a concise update of the most recent findings involving El Nino.

*** See you in 100 years (Logan Ward) I don't regret taking the couple hours to read it, but overall grade is no better than a 'C'. The author deserves an 'F' for forethought and planning, but the content brought the grade up. OTOH, anyone who has thought that the good old days were easy might be enlightened.

*** Mirrowing People (Marco Iocoboni) The rare book I read in sections so as to allow thinking time; I went back and re-read it straight through. The writing style is that of a lecturer, so it occasionally slogs; the information was fascinating. Sections become even more thought-provoking if you have read Elizabeth Moon's "Speed of Dark".

Now I'm off to make another random foray through the aisles.

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I'm in the process of reading "Dream Power" by Dr.Ann Faraday. It is sort of a self help book in how to interpret your dreams. I've had dreams with incredible scenes(positive) with great details and I have no idea how my mind could conjure up such details. One was of a beautiful resturant, where the colors were red and black and silver. The tables were placed in perfect alignment and the people were eating and having a great time. I could even hear the silverware hit the plates. I can not recall ever being to a resturant like that.
In the other dream , I was on my bike and I came upon a large plaza with a fountain in the middle and there were several people with bikes around the fountain. There were three huge beatiful portals. One was carved in stone, one in copper and the third in some shiny metal that I could not identify. All three had writings on them.
To my knowledge, I've never been to a place like that.

The next book I'll read is "The Brain that Changes Itself", by Norman Doidge, M.D.,he's into Brain Science, and I'm trying to figure out how bring my dreams to the forefront of my brain.
I'm not really interested in interpreting the dreams, I'm more interested in how to make my dreams real.

    Bookmark   May 12, 2011 at 7:57PM
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West Gardener -I think many times dreams are a metaphor and we do need to "interpret" them and fid the meaning behind the pictures - then maybe they can be made real -

    Bookmark   May 13, 2011 at 1:05AM
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meldy_nva(z6b VA)

I don't understand what you mean by making your dreams "real." You wish to repeat them? See more detail? Clarify what [if anything] they mean? Have more dreams, or better remember those you have? See while awake what you seem to see while asleep?

I've found that my dreams fall into distinct categories. There are the precognizant, which come in a repetitious series over several nights, are vivid, detailed and become more detailed with each repetition, and usually occur weeks or months before the "real life" event depicted. They are also comparatively rare. The more usual [remembered] dreams vary in color, clarity, are more or less obvious metaphors, or are entertaining if meaningless. The rest of the dreams are those I really don't recall after awakening and I think are the overwhelming majority.

Simply keeping a pad of paper & pen beside the bed and writing down whatever you recall as soon as you awaken seems to be a commonly suggested practice; the act of consciously trying to remember improves your "memory" of what was dreamed. To be honest, I rarely do this -- to write a detailed description of what I found interesting or amusing or puzzling while asleep just isn't among the things I care to do upon awakening, and like most folks I quickly forget what I dreamed and don't feel a loss in the forgetting. Over several years of [mostly] recordkeeping upon awakening, I found there were few metaphoric dreams which didn't clarify themselves within a couple nights -maybe my subcouscious came to realize that if it wants to tell me something, it's better to do so clearly and directly instead of the using the usual symbols. Precog dreams are so memorable that I can write (or tell) about them many hours after waking. However, unless I note them in my diary, I often forget them within a few weeks of the series ending.

    Bookmark   May 13, 2011 at 3:43PM
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tibs(5/6 OH)

Vivid dreams, huh? My mother has just started taking the prescription drug that is suppose to slow down memory loss/forgetfulness, it is one of the ones they prescribe for Alzheimer's,(which she has not been diagnosed with) and one of it's sides effects can be vivid dreams. Not nightmares, dreams. Which of course has her all a twitter. I told her enjoy them. I hope they are like the restaruant and fountain sgaure dreams. But knowing how my mom's mind works what ever they are they will cause her stress.

    Bookmark   May 14, 2011 at 8:13AM
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I haven't had a new book in ages, as I'm saving my pennies for a trip this summer, and have had to make do with re-reading my many favorites here at the house. Gotta admit, I'm even running out of those! As you know I'm a major cyberpunk, speculative fiction, science fiction, urban fantasy kind o'gal. (Elizabeth Moon's Speed of Dark is a classic, and brilliant, BTW) I usually go the used book route. I know, I know, the authors really need my purchase of new copies, and when I'm in the States I do my best to get a few. But seriously, I have no idea who's new, what's good and leading edge in my favorite genre - and we're talking the last 5-8 years. I never order off the net, as shipping prices are more than the books!! So good suggestions for who and what to keep my eye out for, who's burning up the pages with brilliant new sci fi, let me know!
Right now I'm re-reading Mercedes Lackey's Serrated Edge series, and just finished my (falling apart at the seams) Neal Stephenson's game-changing Snow Crash. Just to have something to read on the bus. Ya know.

    Bookmark   May 14, 2011 at 10:52AM
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Hello batja, we are re-reading the same series!
Since once in a while I also read everything else under the sun, my present "other" book is Alexander McCall Smith "La's Orchestra Saves the World". The first time I read it, it was more for the storyline and the action. This time around it is for the vivid description of countryside and people, telling me once more, if you take politics and polemics and their resulting adrocities in war out of the picture, people and the land are the same on both sides of a conflict.

    Bookmark   May 14, 2011 at 11:47AM
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tibs, your post is so interesting because it adds another dimension to the ability to dream. I had never thought about the drug factor. I don't take any drugs, so your mom and I have something in common, we dream, but where are the dreams coming from in our brains, drug induced or not?

meldy, yes to your question "See while awake what you seem to see while asleep?" Lol, I'm totally impressed with my brain's ability to produce such images and I would like to figure out how to do that while awake.

    Bookmark   May 14, 2011 at 9:17PM
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tibs, Neil is taking one of those memory drugs and he is always telling me about his dreams.
That must be a common side effect of those types of drugs.

I have strange dreams. My family thinks I'm
nuts, I'm sure. We have had a lot of laughs about my dreams.
Especially the one where I and a bunch of friends are at the airport ready to go on a trip. My transportation is an elephant. I go flying off on my elephant with his big ears flapping away. Can't remember if I had been drinking that night or not. Sure sounds like I had one too many.

West Gardener, I'll trade you my elephant for your restaurant.:0)

    Bookmark   May 17, 2011 at 6:49PM
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janis, I had a real life elephant ride in Thailand. The elephant knelled down so we could get on the seat. Then it got up in stages, one leg at the time and it lumbered on down the path. No flying, lol. I held on for dear life.

I've never had a dream about it, but who knows what will happen in our dreams since the dreams seems to have no boundaries.So if I have an elephant dream, I'll get back here.

    Bookmark   May 17, 2011 at 7:30PM
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