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Cristofori's Dream
Robert Italia
Your Inner Fish: A Journey Into The 3.5 Billion Year History Of The Human Body
Neil Shubin, Marc Cashman
The Enchanted Wood
Enid Blyton
The Sparrow
Mary Doria Russell
The Ghosts Of Evolution Nonsensical Fruit, Missing Partners, And Other Ecological Anachronisms
Connie Barlow

Herbs and Things: A Compendium of Practical and Exotic Love

Herbs and Things: A Compendium of Practical and Exotic Love - Jeanne Rose This book was published in 1972 by someone I can only describe as a slightly psychotic hippie. The book starts out nicely enough with a long list of herbs and what they're useful for. She uses little drawings of some strange partying naked person to depict how poisonous or hallucinogenic some herbs are. It soon becomes obvious to the reader that the author has submitted twice as much information for hallucinogenic herbs as for others. The book contains several interesting recipes for cooking with herbs and for beauty products. But the first hint of the author's level of craziness comes when she starts suddenly inserting her own asides about her and her friends about halfway through the book. I was especially struck by her comments concerning a recipe for "Douche Juice รก la Bob": "... This douche formula is part of Bob's fantasy of having an orgy with a nubile young girl who has red pubic hairs to her knees, her left thigh being covered with crystal mescaline and her right with cocaine, in a red room filled with five hundred pounds of fresh calves' liver." Huh?

And then there's the random chapter entitled "Fat and How Not to Be" which features drawing after drawing of pudgy women with hippo hips. The author thinks overweight people are disgusting and is convinced that "there's no such thing as a slightly fat person". Apparently, this idea comes from a self disgust based on her own gaining of 20 pounds after a car accident left her temporarily immobile. Her suggestions for losing weight include looking at yourself naked in a full-length mirror while rolling your pudge between your fingers and painting the pictures of the fat women in the book in hideous colors and hanging them all over your house.

After reading that bit, I became quite disgusted with the author and had no more use for the book than to thumb a bit through the rest. And that's when I landed upon the section entitled "My Attempt at Conjuring". She either was naked for the ceremony or wore choir robe vestments; held a magical sword; and burned a brazier full of herbs including opium, hemp, and the powdered brains of a black cat.

I would be very leery of following any of the advice in this book due to the complete bias of the author. In fact, in the section listing ailments and the herbs that affect them, the author didn't even think coffee was an effective stimulant.