BOOK REVIEWS
BY SANDY GOSTEL PERKINS

 


Women are feeling the call of their heritage, bodies, minds, and spirits. Every part of us wants to be understood, recognized, and set free. The best place to start that quest is - in the beginning.

UPPITY WOMEN OF ANCIENT TIMES
By Vicki Leon
I met Vicki Leon at a writers' conference in Monterey, California. I was intrigued by this self-assured, successful pixie with a twinkle in her eye. She walked with the prance of a unicorn - a mystical creature with physical presence that will not be denied. What did Vicki know, and how could I know it?

Fortunately for all of us seekers - we can start with Vicki's latest book, UPPITY WOMEN OF ANCIENT TIMES. This collection of stories is about real women - women of substance and grit - women who made a difference and blazed a path for us to follow. Profiled are 200 women and their hilarious anecdotes, bizarre facts, and wild stories. Their voices have continually called out through the ages - they will not be denied - they have reached through the centuries and dubbed Vicki their oracle.

Talk shows and gossip columns don't hold a candle to Vicki and her guests - all whom have been long dead. In a juicy, funny, and enlightening manner we are given a legacy that is fascinatingly female. With style and flair, Vicki weaves history with modern-day slang so skillfully we end up with a florescent tapestry - brilliant, bright, and beautiful.

Vicki believes the stories of these female role models nourish us in a very special way. She states, "Their struggles and their precedents give us ammunition and courage. They validate our own quest and make it a little easier, somehow. They are our own support group from history."

Through her years of travel and research, Vicki has come to realize that "women achievers are not an aberration and never have been. Women are not invisible, even when others try to make us so. We are deserving of individual opportunity and recognition." UPPITY WOMEN OF ANCIENT TIMES is a real opportunity to connect with a more authentic past.

Vicki Leon will be on speaking tour. To find out dates and places, or for information on her many other books, contact Conari Press (800) 685-9595 ext. 7182. 

CHICKEN SOUP FOR THE WOMAN'S SOUL
by Jack Canfield, Mark Victor Hansen, Jennifer Read Hawthorne, and Marci Shimoff
The "soup chefs" are at it again, and this time they joined forces with two women who knew how to simmer a feminine soup to perfection. Although humans of both genders will delight in this latest book, woman will identify, be encouraged, and be linked in that special bond of sisterhood.

I immediately went to the Table of Contents and browsed through the names of contributors. Like any wonderful, gourmet menu, the choosing is tough - you want it all. The categories are many - some of my favorites are in the sections Love, Live Your Dream, Across the Generations. The contributors range from Oprah to Linda Ellerbee, to Kathie Lee Gifford and more. A wonderful delight is the poem by Maya Angelou which is deservedly given the place of honor in the front of the book. Halfway into the second verse my tears were already flowing, my head already nodding in connection to the poem.

Many of the stories are ones I have already been able to use when trying to communicate a thought or feeling to a friend or family member. Page 210 is one of my favorites, as I know without a doubt the long-lasting effects our childhood teachers have on us.

I was with the four authors at a recent seminar in Irvine. Their excitement and enthusiasm were sparked by their belief in what the CHICKEN SOUP books mean to the reading public. Against all odds, and with special blessing, they continue to be a phenomena unto themselves. I hope the media gets the messages that "feeding" us something of nourishment and substance is really what we want. CHICKEN SOUP has proven it.

CHICKEN SOUP FOR THE WOMAN'S SOUL is available at your local bookstore.

 INVENTING OURSELVES AGAIN
Women Face Middle Age
by Janis Fisher Chan
Janis Fisher Chan found herself in that place of tension in turning fifty. As she wrestled with the conflict of seeing a full life ahead, and seeing the aging process in the mirror, she began to journal. As time went by she found that her own journey was on a road shared by many.

Her feelings and concerns where shared by several of her friends who were going through the same process. Janis took her expertise in writing and in problem solving to a new dimension and gave us all the encouragement to take our next step by writing an intimate, endearing book - INVENTING OURSELVES AGAIN - a book that allows us to eavesdrop on the conversations of Janis and her friends as they define anew what it means to be "middle aged".

Using retrospect and soul searching, these women reflect on their lives and the direction they are taking. Evaluating each feeling and desire, they uncover a way to make life come into line with their own vitality and dreams. Like older sisters, they share their information with those of us who are quickly following in the shadow of their journey. And like old friends, they delight us with their precious memories of life. They allow us to watch and listen as they wrestle with "what now?"

Their wisdom and honesty work. They find workable, livable solutions and best of all they share it with us. The best time to face middle age is now, this very moment. Stare it down, and let it know who is really in charge.

Available at bookstores or by calling (800) 240-8566 - Sibyl Publications.

KEEP YOUR BREASTS!
Preventing Breast Cancer the Natural Way
By Susan Moss
What woman hasn't felt the pang of fear when breast cancer is mentioned? For so long we have felt that we are walking time bombs, never knowing who was going to be next to develop breast cancer. The many celebrities who have had mastectomies (and had the courage to go public with their process) has shown us that cancer is no respector of persons.

Through Susan's own experience with cancer, she brings us information that could literally save us from the disease. It also gives useful information on recovery for those who have been diagnosed. Susan has uncovered many common denominators among women who develop breast cancer. Personality traits, pesticides, diet, and much more play a large part in setting up an internal environment that allows the cells to grow out of control.

In Susan's book, we are given a very detailed description of her findings. Anyone reading it can immediately take steps to change those habits that can result in disease and untimely death. Her recommendations and suggestions are balanced and credible. Her writing style is easy to comprehend. Her lifestyle changes are practical. The best part is this information could save your life and the lives of those you love.

I highly recommend reading this book. You will be equipped to take charge over your own body. My hope is that many of you will not only read and incorporate Susan's tried and true methods, but that you will become proactive in stopping those things which are harming us all.

To order, call Source Publications (213) 255-3382.


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