Reviews by ubalu
The authors begin with the statement that adoption can be an overwhelming experience for all parties involved in it. For the couple who receive a son or daughter, it is a huge, positive, emotional, blessing. For the birth parent(s), it can be heart-breaking, but also a relief. For the adopted child it will take years to know and evaluate if it is a blessing or curse. When and how he/she learns of the adoption, what information he/she has about the birth parents, and whether there are biological siblings will all affect the adjustment of the adopted child. Adoption used to be a somewhat secretive topic, and not discussed in 'normal' conversation. `Open adoption' is a newer idea in practice, and not all adoptions are `open'. Open adoptions allow communications between the two sets of parent(s), and between adoptee and birth parents. The book includes many such letters.In the epilogue, the authors conclude that open adoption will benefit the adoptee, because as a child the adoptee needs roots to grow, and as an adult, he/she may need his genetic roots. An adoptee is a person with two sets of parents. In open adoption, both sets of parents are participants in the child's well-being. The authors also recognize that not everyone is comfortable with open adoption. They end the book with grateful letters from the adoptive siblings to the birth parents of the new adoptee.
`Heaven is Real' article (pages 28-32) is one more addition to the journey many individuals coming out of a `coma' have reported throughout history. The phenomenon is old, but modern science has completely dismissed it. So it will be interesting to read Dr Alexander's whole story, when his new book `Proof of Heaven' comes out tomorrow. The Newsweek article gives a gist of Dr Alexander's `brain-free consciousness' journey into another, larger dimension of the universe. Like many physicians trained only in `modern' science and medicine, he did not believe in such a journey (`pre-coma me would have been happy to explain (such a journey) was a simple impossibility'). What about those who have already taken this journey? Because no one believes them, they become silent about it eventually. Eastern philosophy, especially Hindu Philosophy has plenty of authentic information on the subject. Many studies have been done in the West by medical professionals. Edgar Cayce, the `Sleeping Prophet' has addressed the subject. Dr Alexander's message has weight because of his qualification and his pre-coma stance. The book will be VERY interesting.
Author Naipaul is no doubt a scholar and great writer, but he is also an ‘outsider’ to India. Born in Trinidad to East Indian parents does not make one an ‘insider’, or an Indian living in India. He certainly has an affection and attachment to India, like most second generation Indians living all over the globe. But that does not quality him to give an objective view of ancient or present-day India.
His personal encounters in India and the revelations that may have come with them are just that. The truth is known only by Indians raised in the Indian culture in India, who deal with everyday India every day. Many outsiders have claimed that they have not been able to understand India well.
Some of the judgments and conclusions the author has come to are truly bazaar. He seems to forget that India has been buried deeply in its religiosity and spirituality for thousands of years. And She has been attacked so many times. The healing is taking time. But Indians generally happen to be super-intelligent and are rebuilding the new India. Yes, the Indian ‘national personality’ lacks certain attributes, but these traits may be there to stay.
No, Gandhi Ji would not have been able to completely remove the caste system. No, he did not have a defective vision of India, which the author claims Gandhi Ji had. What Gandhi did was practice his experiments with Truth, and one of the results of the practice was the Independence. Of course, many Indians do not see it exactly this way.
With all due respects, the book is myopic at best. After all, the author seems to have only Western point of view, having born and studied in the West.
This booklet explains everything a beginner stamp collector needs to know for collection as a hobby. It is an educational hobby that teaches one about history, geography, leaders, and historical events. The book has many pages of photos of stamps, including the world's most valuable stamp. Information of how to use a stamp catalog, how to handle and mount stamps, stamp terminology and collector's language, and history of U S postal system are described well.
The collector can focus on all stamps ever printed in one country, or several countries. The local library often has documents of all stamps produced by every nation in the world. One can collect stamps of the same theme, like leaders, music, aviation, birds, or trees. Pre-canceled stamps and revenue stamps are considered special items, as well as covers, postage meters, and postal stationary. How to collect stamps from mail and where to buy stamps are also addressed. A whole section is devoted to topical collections- for example, medical history stamps or sports stamps. Stamp collectors' tools like magnifying glass, tongs, watermark detector and perforation gauge are illustrated.
The last section has tips on exhibiting the collection, stamp identifier info, and a list of books and magazines on stamps, stamp album, and philatelic societies.
Comprehensive guide, very helpful indeed.
This author is a true inspiration for anyone who feels limited in any way. He has had degenerative eye disease from childhood. His doctor told him he may be totally blind as early as age 13. This predicament did not stop him from living to the fullest. For him, the `fullest' was climbing all the Seven Summits-the highest peak of each of the seven continents. He completed this 7 year quest in 2002.
He movingly describes his mother's prayers for a miracle for restoring her son's sight, and his father's continuous encouragement.
This climber did the climbing not for the experience of the visual majesty or panoramic views from Summits, but for the great sense of accomplishment that comes from the truly `impossible' achievement. But it was `possible' and doable for him. Mountain climbing is difficult enough for one with 20/20 vision. How did he do it? He had to depend on and trust the climbers for practically every move. So they deserve credit, too.
This amazing story comes highly recommended, and is truly a `picker-upper' for any person challenged or limited in any way.