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Unstrange Phenomena

29 April 2010

Neuroscience: Want Your Man to Better Understand You? Try Empathy Nasal Spray



Photo by Victor Bezrukov @ flickr

From Denny: Sometimes, scientists study the craziest things. This time it must have been a female scientist tired of being in relationships with insensitive men. Or maybe it was those same insensitive men wondering how they could bridge the gender gap and actually feel what the women in their lives were feeling. Any way you look at look at it, these guys got creative in their approach. What faster way to impact a change on the brain than through a nasal spray delivery system?

We all know from experience that women tend to be far superior readers of emotions in others than men. Women are even better at predicting emotions than men. Women want and downright expect their men to be able to read emotions as easily. Sorry, ladies, unless trained in reading body language and the like, most men remain clueless in this department. Scientists agree that men are clueless and that women should not hold their breath waiting for the impossible.

So, scientists being scientists they have come up with a way for a man to fake his empathy at least for a while before the nasal spray of oxytocin wears off. Just think of all the bickering fights couples could avoid if only men kept a bottle of oxytocin like they do condoms at the ready.

So, how does this new nasal spray work? Think of it as a performance enhancer for those brain circuits that handle the empathy network. Oxytocin is one of those hormones that scientists know helps to promote social bonding. It's naturally created in the body and helps us fall in love, promote those parenting instincts and best of all, makes us orgasmic for great sex. That's probably enough for most men to run out of the house right now and create a city wide stampede to the nearest pharmacy to purchase the nasal spray by the truck load.

How do women tend to interact with this hormone? Oxytocin levels spike high during pregnancy and breast-feeding which helps to create that special intimiate mother and child bond. Scientists speculate that this hormone may also be why women are so adept at reading social cues so quickly.

The study done involved 48 men and 26 women taking two empathy tests. To figure out the correct answers in a game, one test required using the social cues of happy, angry or neutral facial expression. The second test involved rating their own emotional reactions when shown photos of various scenarios, testing for emotional empathy. To rate cognitive empathy the men and women were asked to name the primary emotion of the main character in the scene of the test.

You guessed it, women excelled above the men in both tests. Men did fine when identifying the emotions of others. Where they struggled was in the area of responding to - or learning from - emotional displays.

What changed all that is when they were sprayed with the hormone oxytocin in a nasal mist. That's when things got interesting, according to the study in the Journal of Neuroscience: "emotional empathy responses in men were raised to levels similar to those found in untreated women." After a dose of this hormone men were now more affected by emotional scenes than previously and they tested better at learning tasks that required social cues.

The funny part is that the dosage didn't last long and so the men required another dose two hours later to perform as well again.

For now, the nasal spray empathy hormone is only available in a lab setting. Too bad women can't use it like mace for would-be attackers. Wouldn't that prove interesting? Or you get in a fight with your boyfriend or husband and spray him, saying, "Feel my pain, mister!"

Scientists hope that in the future this study can enhance socially-motivated learning and emotional empathy in men. Until then, it's business as usual, ladies.


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28 April 2010

Those Funny Mothers Day Quotes and Trivia

From Denny: Check out the sampling from one of many funny posts just in time to enjoy for Mothers Day! From the latest Mothers Day cartoons to funny facts about Mothers Day traditions around the world to funny quotes from mothers and about mothering to laugh out loud "how you know you are a mother when..."






Check this out on the way to facts about Mothers Day:

So when do they think the first celebrations of a Mother's Day were honored? As with so many traditions it goes back to ancient Greece where that culture celebrated the Mother of the Gods, Rhea. Their version of the perfect mother received gifts of cakes made with the sweetest honey, lovely flowers and drinks at dawn. Sounds pretty good to me. Make my drink a Margarita on the rocks with Silver Patron Tequila - though I'm not so sure alcoholic drinks were on that Mother's Day menu. :)

Well, we all know you can't talk "ancient" without bringing up the ancient Egyptians into the conversation. They honored the glorious goddess Isis because she was celebrated as the Mother of the Pharaohs - and we all know it's good PR to talk good about the government when getting your head cut off is at stake.

Speaking of an ancient culture, the Chinese are rather sentimental about how they celebrate motherhood. The tradition with them is that their family name often begins with the character for the word "mother." It's the way they like to honor their ancestral mothers who brought their line into this world.





You Know You Are Really A Mom When...

* You want to take out a contract on the kid who broke your child's favorite toy and made them cry.

* You consider finger paint to be a controlled substance.

* You mastered the art of placing food on a plate without anything touching.

* Your child insists that you read "Once upon a Potty" out loud in the lobby of the doctor's office and you do it.





My Mother Taught Me...

To Value A Job Well Done: If you're going to kill each other, do it outside. I just finished cleaning.

Time Travel: If you don't straighten up, I'm going to knock you into the middle of next week!

Logic: Because I said so, that's why.


*** Make sure to pay a visit to The Mother Post for the full post and all the funny links from several other Mothers Day posts to enjoy:

Funny Mothers Day Quotes and Trivia - Cheeky Quote Day 28 Apr 2010


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26 April 2010

Roundup of Late Nite Funnies: Colbert Lampoons Arizona Immigration Law

From Denny: Here's a fun sampling of the laugh out loud funnies going on over at The Social Poets on Mondays where I round up the late night jokes, political cartoons and funny videos lampooning something, someone and somewhere. It's a great way to get through the work week with a silly grin on your face. Maybe your boss will actually think you are enjoying your lame job - or looking at eight hours of porn on company time just like the weirdos over at the SEC. "Our government at work..." :)


David Letterman's Top Ten Goldman Sachs Excuses


10. Huh?
9. You're saying 'fraud' like it's a bad thing
8. Planned on using money to buy everyone in America delicious KFC Double Down sandwich
7. Distraught over George Lopez's move to midnight
6. We were framed by evil menswear company Goldman Slacks
5. Since when are financial institutions not allowed to screw their customers?
4. Hey sport, how much to make these questions go away?
3. America needed a villain both Republicans and Democrats can hate
2. Everyone we ripped off got an 'I Got Cheated By Goldman Sachs' tote bag
1. Uhh, it's Obama's fault?



*** Colbert pokes jabs at the state of Arizona for passing controversial bold new immigration bill which basically legalizes the harassment of Latinos. Colbert thinks the new strategy is one to irritate and frustrate the Latino community to the point they will get fed up and leave on their own.



The Colbert ReportMon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
The Word - No Problemo
www.colbertnation.com
Colbert Report Full EpisodesPolitical HumorFox News




*** For the full post full of late night jokes from all the guys, please visit:

Colbert Lampoons Immigration and Pot Smokers - Roundup of Late Nite Comedy 26 Apr 2010


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25 April 2010

Posts Roundup This Week at Dennys Blogs 25 Apr 2010



From Denny: Reading is such a pleasure because we can learn new information or take a mental trip into someone else's world to see what they discover. These days I seem to be on the writing end rather than the reading end. Maybe that's what happens after you spend so much time reading: you start writing! :)

I love to poke around and see what I find and then share it on my blogs. Here are some of the latest posts and also many of the most popular ones from my many eclectic interests, enjoy! And hey! - if you cook anything wonderful from these recipe posts, send a sample dish my way - and let me know how you have altered the recipes to your tastes. We love trying new foods at our house!





The Social Poets:


Whats Happening in America This Week - Political Cartoons 24 Apr 2010

Prez Clinton Versus Violent Wingnuts and Blowhard Limbaugh

Hey, Tea Party, Give Up Your Socialism Social Security Checks - Roundup of Late Night Comedy 19 Apr 2010

Pollen Storms poem - Libations Friday 9 April 2010

Top 15 Bestsellers of What America is Reading: 15 Apr 2010


The Smallest Earth Day Poem

Release Your Dreams & Spring into Life - poem

Funny Allergy Quotes - Cheeky Quote Day 7 Apr 2010

Funny Tax Quotes - Cheeky Quote Day 14 Apr 2010

Posts Roundup This Week at Dennys Blogs - 18 Apr 2010






Dennys Global Politics:


Greedy Opportunistic Wall Street: Political Cartoons, Opinion Post

Icelands 2nd Volcano, Haiti Food Stops, Wayward Nukes Seized, Freaky Unschooling, Earth Day - News Headlines 21 Apr 2010

Prez Clinton Versus Violent Wingnuts and Blowhard Limbaugh

Poison Politics Meet Domestic Terrorists, Volcano Axes Economies, Wall Street War, Octupus Thief - News Headlines 20 Apr 2010

Prez Clinton Interviews, Slamming Wall Street, Tea Party Spat With Fox, Volcano Effect - News Headlines 19 Apr 2010






Beautiful Quotes:


How Is Your Relationship With Your Inspiration Muse?

What Spiritual Tests Develop Good Character And Our Talents? - with over 12,700 views the first day that sure was a happy surprise. Thank You!

Your Dreams: 5 Common Characteristics

Does Your Life Feel Like a Disaster?

3 Quotes About Facing Tough Times

Uplifting Soul Quote: What is Your Power in the World?

Spiritual Energy: Can Simple Words Add to Our Quality of Life?







Humor Blogs:

Greedy Opportunistic Wall Street: Political Cartoons, Opinion Post

Ridiculous Outrageous Extra Airline Fees: Political Cartoons

Political Cartoons: Iceland Volcano Wrecks World Economy

College Grads Chances of Finding Jobs: Political Cartoons

Funny Earth Day Cartoons

Take the Test: Whats Your Sex IQ?

Crazy Limbaugh Blames Iceland Volcano on Obama

Outrageous Tea Party Tax Signs and the Perverted Fools That Carry Them





Food Blogs:


Cooking 4 Men, Teaching Men to Cook 2

Gorgeous Whiskey Chocolate Brownies

2 Crowd Pleasing Easy Casseroles: Mexican Lasagna, Turkey Tetrazzini

Awesome Cajun Barbecued Shrimp — New Orleans Style

Yummy Homemade Coconut Cream Pie

Awesome Sauces 4 Louisiana Seafood

New Orleans Recipes: Crawfish Etouffee, Chicken and Sausage Gumbo, Jambalaya, Sazerac Cocktail

Kid Friendly Recipes: Chocolate Quesadillas, Very Best Fudge

Spring Into Grill Season: Mouthwatering Steaks

Chef Rocco Dispiritos Cheap Yet Healthy Comfort Food

Forget the Birds: Awesome Recipes 4 Stale Bread

Flourless Passover Chocolate Cake

Kid Chefs Offer Tasty Recipes 4 Sandwiches Adults Will Like






The Soul Calendar - science:


Political Cartoons: Iceland Volcano Wrecks World Economy

Icelands Volcanic Ash: Hurting Us And Our Planet?

What Do All the Recent Global Earthquakes Mean?

Come to Iceland: Experience Living With a Volcano in Your Back Yard

Moon Water: Order Up Your Cocktail Today

New Astronomy Photos: Cosmic Rosebud, Winds of Change Black Hole, Orion Nebula





Visual Insights - photos:

Happy Birthday to Our Humanitarian Friend Peter

Dennys Photo Gallery: How to Know Its Spring

Funny Odd Couples: Cats and Their Weirdo Friends

Dennys Photo Gallery: Spectacular Sunrises

Dennys Photo Gallery: Beautiful Blues in Our World

Photography, Beautiful Metaphor for Life: 17 Boats

Only White Theme: 26 Photos

Photo History: 1st Lady Gowns, Michelle Obama Donates Hers





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24 April 2010

Political Cartoons: Iceland Volcano Wrecks World Economy

From Denny: The world economy versus the Iceland volcano. Guess who wins... There are still people stranded trying to get home. The airlines figure it could take up to six weeks to sort out the millions of travelers and pilots and crews in all the wrong place as well as the screwed up flight schedules.

The airline industry in America lost about $20 million a day from the fiasco. The world industry lost $200 million a day from it. Moral? Never mess with Mother Nature as she can be fierce.




















































































Check out the rest of the Saturday series of political cartoons this week:

Whats Happening in America This Week - Political Cartoons 24 Apr 2010


Greedy Opportunistic Wall Street: Political Cartoons, Opinion Post

College Grads Chances of Finding Jobs: Political Cartoons

Ridiculous Outrageous Extra Airline Fees: Political Cartoons


*** THANKS for visiting, feel welcome to drop a comment or opinion, enjoy bookmarking this post on your favorite social site, a big shout out to awesome current subscribers – and if you are new to this blog, please subscribe in a reader or by email updates!

22 April 2010

Cool Earth Day Links, Message From Our Prez




From Denny: Since I've been getting bombarded with email about Earth Day - a lot of it worthy to visit - it deserved a post to pass along what people are doing to appreciate their planet.

There are news articles, children's activities and suggestions of how you can help in small ways every day. Make every day your Earth Day! :)








Earth Day, 40 Years Later: How Far Have We Come? - 20 Million Americans Joined in First Earth Day; Organizers Say 1 Billion Worldwide Taking Part Today





Letter from Vice President Joe Biden


Good afternoon,

We’ve been celebrating Earth Day for 40 years now, but the truth is that tomorrow may be the first one when we are truly able to say that we have started down the road to a real clean energy economy -- and a better world for our kids.

Today I am kicking off the Administration’s celebration of Earth Day in advance by announcing $452 million in Recovery Act “Retrofit Ramp-Up” awards. These awards will help make energy efficiency affordable for hundreds of thousands of homeowners and businesses, and are expected to create tens of thousands of jobs in the process.

And this is just a tiny sliver of what we’ve done. As the President’s point man on the Recovery Act, which included America’s biggest investment ever in clean energy, I’ve visited countless communities that have seen jobs come back through these kinds of initiatives.

You can learn more about all our efforts at WhiteHouse.gov/EarthDay, and also join Carol Browner, Assistant to the President for Energy and Climate Change, for a special online video chat tomorrow at 12:00PM EDT at WhiteHouse.gov.

Of course Earth Day is about more than just government action to protect our air, water and environment. Since the first Earth Day forty years ago countless Americans have taken action to make their local communities cleaner and healthier and to have a positive impact on our planet.

This year, President Obama is calling on all of us to pitch in and participate in the Earth Day of Service. On Serve.gov/EarthDay you can find thousands of Earth Day Service events in communities across the country.

Whether you pick up trash at a local park, plant trees, or clean up the river or stream in your hometown, there are plenty of ways to get involved. I hope you’ll join President Obama and me in celebrating the 40th anniversary of Earth Day.

Sincerely,

Joe Biden
Vice President of the United States





"As we continue to tackle our environmental challenges, it’s clear that change won’t come from Washington alone. It will come from Americans across the country who take steps in their own homes and their own communities to make that change happen."

- President Barack Obama












From Rebellious Roots, Earth Day Now Mainstream

Earth Day: No More Burning Rivers, But New Threats

Finding Ways To Mark Earth Day's 40th

Cabinet Secretary Discusses U.S. Dependence On Foreign Oil

Mars Mission Could Pay Dividends On Earth

10 Green Giants That Could Change the World - how some big business and governments are attempting to be more green. They left out BMW, the German car company that is environmentally sensitive at their American plant.

A Brief History of Earth Day - The enduring appeal of Earth Day resonated far beyond its origins





Five Ways to Help Save the Planet in 30 Minutes or Less - Invest half an hour to protect the environment by changing how you live each day

8 Great Earth Day Activities for Kids - Games, art projects, crafts, music and other ideas for children this Earth Day

Go Green With Your Morning Coffee - short video, If you start every morning with a fresh cuppa joe in your hand, then these tips are for you. Find out some simple ways you can buy, prepare, and order coffee so that it's brewed or served in an environmentally friendly way.

Celebrate Earth Day 2010 in Your Community - Just one green act this Earth Day can make a big difference

Documentary Films About the Environment and Ecology - These Documentaries Can Spark You To Become An Environmental Activist.

A Brief Chat About Climate Change - What you need to know about global warming and other disasters

Earth Day Network site

Blog post from 10000 memories of the life as a caterpillar:

Altar of the Planet - A somewhat extraterrestrial and somewhat very terrestrial view on the climate change, Earth hour and human species in general.

From Dennys Funny Quotes: Funny Earth Day Cartoons

The Smallest Earth Day Poem - Libations Friday 16 Apr 2010






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20 April 2010

Top 15 Bestsellers of What America is Reading: 20 Apr 2010

From Denny: We all love books and nonfiction is my favorite genre though I've been known to day trip into science fiction and fantasy fiction on a regular basis from time to time. :) Since the world runs at a fast pace it's a real delight to sit down - and slow down - with a book about what's happening in the world.

These bestsellers seem to come in twos: two popular books about Wall Street, two popular comedy, two popular about African-Americans, two popular spiritual, two about other cultures, two about the culture of women: in the kitchen and marriage...

What's interesting about this list of bestsellers is most are about recent, a couple of generations ago and ancient history. There are two about comedy - both written by women. Then there are two about African-Americans, one about our current President. The book about America's financial meltdown is the number one bestseller - like that was a surprise. Everyone has been trying to figure out how to avoid the same stupidity in the future.

Two books are written by women about a practical search for spirituality by exploring the wisdom of the ages, weighing their options and applying what they think will work for them in their lives.

This selection of popular bestsellers comprises a wide assortment of interests. Take advantage of clicking on their title links and visiting the Amazon book store. Why? The reason I enjoy Amazon so much is because they deeply discount hardcover books (my favorite choice for a lasting library). They also are a global company and ship worldwide.



*** Click on the title links to see the deeply discounted prices of these great books over at Amazon!







1. The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine

By Michael Lewis

Weeks on list: 4 • The financial meltdown wasn't a surprise to everyone, according to Michael Lewis. His new book, The Big Short, tells the story of the lucky few who bet against the market, and ended up with big fortunes to show for it.

Hardcover, 288pp, $27.95, W. W. Norton & Company, Pub Date: Mar. 15, 2010







2. The Bridge - The Life and Rise of Barack Obama

By David Remnick

Weeks on list: 1 • Largely told through the prism of race, David Remnick's The Bridge is an exhaustive history of America's first African-American president. Remnick, a New Yorker editor, takes the reader from colonial Kenya, where President Obama's father grew up; to the gritty world of South Side Chicago politics, where Obama cut his political teeth; to the historic presidential race in 2008. Based on numerous on-the-record interviews with friends, associates and Obama himself, The Bridge is the most expansive look yet at where Obama came from, how he came to train his eye on the presidency, and how he executed that vision.

Hardcover, 672pp, $29.95, Knopf, Pub Date: Apr. 6, 2010







3. Women Food and God - An Unexpected Path to Almost Everything

By Geneen Roth

Weeks on list: 3 • Since adolescence, Geneen Roth has gained and lost more than 1,000 pounds. She has been dangerously overweight and dangerously underweight. She has been plagued by feelings of shame and self-hatred, and she has felt euphoric after losing a quick few pounds on a fad diet. Then one day, on the verge of suicide, she did something radical: She dropped the struggle, ended the war, stopped trying to fix, deprive and shame herself. She began trusting her body and questioning her beliefs -- and it worked. She begins her book with her most basic concept: The way you eat is inseparable from your core beliefs about being alive.

Hardcover, 224pp, $24.00, Scribner, Pub Date: Mar. 1, 2010





4. Chelsea Chelsea Bang Bang

By Chelsea Handler

Weeks on list: 5 • The essays in Chelsea Chelsea Bang Bang, a new collection by comedienne and talk show host Chelsea Handler, take aim at childhood, adulthood and daughterhood. And, as was the case in My Horizontal Life and Are You There Vodka? It's Me, Chelsea, her love life is fair game, too.

Hardcover, 256pp, $25.99, Grand Central Publishing, Pub Date: Mar. 9, 2010







5. The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks

By Rebecca Skloot

Weeks on list: 10 • Henrietta Lacks is known to scientists simply as "HeLa." She was a poor Southern tobacco farmer who worked the same land as her slave ancestors, yet her cells -- taken without her knowledge -- became one of the most important tools in medicine. The first "immortal" human cells grown in culture, they are still alive today, though she has been dead for more than 60 years. If you could pile all HeLa cells ever grown onto a scale, they would weigh more than 50 million metric tons -- as much as a hundred Empire State Buildings. HeLa cells were vital for developing the polio vaccine; uncovered secrets of cancer, viruses and the atom bomb's effects; helped lead to important advances like in vitro fertilization, cloning and gene mapping; and have been bought and sold by the billions. Author Rebecca Skloot explores the life of Henrietta, the woman behind the science.

Hardcover, 384pp, $26.00, Crown, Pub Date: Feb. 2, 2010






6. The Happiness Project

By Gretchen Rubin

Weeks on list: 11 • Gretchen Rubin had an epiphany one rainy afternoon on a city bus. "The days are long, but the years are short," she realized. "Time is passing, and I'm not focusing enough on the things that really matter." In that moment, she decided to dedicate a year to her happiness project. With humor and insight, she chronicles 12 months spent test-driving the wisdom of the ages, current scientific research and lessons from popular culture about how to be happier. She didn't make drastic changes, but rather focused on improving her life as it was. Each month she tackled a new set of resolutions, and she immersed herself in guiding principles set forth by all manner of experts, from Epicurus to Thoreau to Oprah to the Dalai Lama to see what worked for her -- and what didn't.

Hardcover, 320pp, $25.99, Harper, Pub Date: Jan. 1, 2010







7. In the Green Kitchen - Techniques to Learn by Heart

By Alice Waters

Weeks on list: 1 • Alice Waters has been a champion of the sustainable, local cooking movement for decades. In this collection of more than 50 recipes for fresh, local and seasonal meals, she demystifies the basics, including steaming a vegetable, dressing a salad, simmering stock, filleting a fish, roasting a chicken and making bread.

Hardcover, 160pp, $28.00, Clarkson Potter, Pub Date: Apr. 6, 2010








8. Game Change - Obama and the Clintons, McCain and Palin, and the Race of a Lifetime

By John Heilemann; Mark Halperin

Weeks on list: 13 • There is a lot of political gossip in a new book by Mark Halperin and John Heilemann: infighting in the Edwards family, Hillary Clinton's hubris and her husband's liabilities, Sarah Palin unable to say Joe Biden's last name and Sen. Harry Reid's now-infamous remark about Barack Obama's skin tone. To get these juicy tidbits, the authors relied on 200 interviews with political insiders, granted anonymity in exchange for their most tantalizing details.

Hardcover, 464pp, $27.99, Harper, Pub Date: Jan. 11, 2010






9. The Pacific

By Hugh Ambrose

Weeks on list: 6 • Hugh Ambrose's account of five U.S. service men in the Pacific during World War II is the companion to a new HBO mini-series. Between America's retreat from China in late November 1941 and the moment General MacArthur's airplane touched down on the Japanese mainland in August of 1945, these five men connected by happenstance fought the key battles of the war against Japan.

Hardcover, 512pp, $26.95, NAL Hardcover, Pub Date: Mar. 2, 2010







10. This Time Together - Laughter and Reflection

By Carol Burnett

Weeks on list: 1 • Carol Burnett is one of the original queens of TV comedy. Her long-running variety show, with its outrageous costumes and its unpredictable sketches, offered a warm brand of wackiness that parents would let their kids stay up late to watch. In her memoir, she tells stories about what went on behind the scenes -- plus a few tales about what went down when she ventured out among the show's fans.

Hardcover, 288pp, $25.00, Harmony, Pub Date: Apr. 6, 2010





11. 13 Bankers - The Wall Street Takeover and the Next Financial Meltdown

By James Kwak; Simon Johnson

Weeks on list: 2 • James Kwak and Simon Johnson make the case that America's six megabanks -- Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase, Citigroup, Wells Fargo, Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley -- which together control assets amounting to more than 60 percent of the country's gross domestic product, continue to hold the global economy hostage, threatening yet another financial meltdown with their excessive risk-taking and toxic practices.

Hardcover, 320pp, $26.95, Pantheon, Pub Date: Mar. 30, 2010






12. Born to Run - A Hidden Tribe, Superathletes, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen

By Christopher Mcdougall

Weeks on list: 45 • Christopher McDougall travels to the unforgiving terrain of Mexico's Copper Canyons, in a quest to understand the area's indigenous population of ultra-runners, the Tarahumara Indians. Surviving on a diet of ground corn, mouse meat and homemade alcohol, are men and woman who nevertheless have the endurance to run cliff-side races topping 100 miles and sometimes lasting two days.

Hardcover, 304pp, $24.95, Knopf, Pub Date: May. 5, 2009






13. Stones into Schools

By Greg Mortenson

Weeks on list: 19 • In his last book, Three Cups of Tea, Greg Mortenson recounted his unsuccessful attempt to climb K2, the world's second-tallest mountain, because of illness, and his recovery in a small Pakistani village. In return for the kindness of his hosts, he promised to build the impoverished town's first school. Stones into Schools picks up where that story left off. In this latest book, Mortenson details more about his vision of promoting peace through education and literacy.

Hardcover, 448pp, $26.95, Viking Adult, Pub Date: Dec. 1, 2009





14. Committed

By Elizabeth Gilbert

Weeks on list: 14 • Having both survived painful divorces, Elizabeth Gilbert and Felipe -- the man she fell in love with at the end of her best-selling memoir, Eat, Pray, Love -- promised to love but never marry. However, the couple finds that Felipe, a Brazilian national, will not be able to live in the U.S. unless the two formalize their union. Gilbert relents on her marriage ban, but is prompted to explore the meaning of marriage, in the U.S. and abroad, and its various manifestations through history, in order to come to peace with the institution.

Hardcover, 304pp, $26.95, Viking Adult, Pub Date: Jan. 1, 2010



15. Christianity

By Diarmaid MacCulloch

Weeks on list: 1 • More than 1,000 pages, Diarmaid MacCulloch traces Christianity from its origins in the Hebrew Bible onward into the modern day. Presuming no prior knowledge of the faith, he gives a thorough account of how the message of Jesus Christ was spread, and how the New Testament was formed. He documents the conversion efforts in Africa and Asia, and pivotal moments in the history of the religion in Europe and North America, highlighting Christianity's role in the Enlightenment and age of exploration, and in shaping the course of World Wars I and II.

Hardcover, 1184pp, $45.00, Viking Adult, Pub Date: Mar. 18, 2010



*** Click on the title links to see the deeply discounted prices of these great books over at Amazon!


*** THANKS for visiting
, feel welcome to drop a comment or opinion, enjoy bookmarking this post on your favorite social site, a big shout out to awesome current subscribers – and if you are new to this blog, please subscribe in a reader or by email updates!
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