Saturday, December 20, 2008

Body Drama or Self Sufficient Life and How to Live It

Body Drama: Real Girls, Real Bodies, Real Issues, Real Answers

Author: Nancy Amanda Redd

"You'd think a Miss America swimsuit winner would feel completely confident about her body, right? Not always! So I decided to write the book I wish I'd had as a teen and in college—an honest, funny, practical, medically accurate, totally reassuring guide to how women's bodies actually look, smell, feel, behave, and change. Alongside real-deal photographs of women just like you and me (no airbrushing, no supermodels, no kidding) you'll find medical pictures of things you need to be able to recognize, true confessions by yours truly, and the encouragement you need to appreciate the uniqueness, strength, and beauty of your body. What are you waiting for?"

-Nancy Redd

From fashion magazines to taboo Web sites, curious young women have access to tons of old wives' tales about and thousands of airbrushed and inaccurate images of the female body—misinformation and harmful portrayals that can lead to low self-esteem, self-destructive acts, or even disturbing plastic surgery procedures. Teaming up with a leading physician specializing in adolescent health issues, Harvard graduate and former Miss Virginia Nancy Redd now offers a down-to-earth, healing, and reassuring response to those damaging myths. In Body Drama, Redd gives girls insight into the issues they're often too ashamed to raise with a doctor or parent. She also reveals her own experiences with the culture of "American beauty," and shows readers all the many versions of "normal." From body hair and bras, to acne and weight issues, along with crucial issues such as the importance of a healthy self image, Body Drama is a groundbreaking book packed with informative fast facts, FYIs, how-tos, and movingpersonal anecdotes as well as hundreds of un-retouched photographs. A highly visual book, it's the first of its kind for women: filled with real information and real photographs of real bodies, to celebrate all our different shapes and sizes.

Named by Glamour magazine as one of America's top-ten college women "most likely to succeed—at anything," Redd has spent the most recent years of her life on a mission to tackle the issues least discussed but most significant in young women's lives. Celebrating the many versions of "normal," and replacing seriously erroneous information with the honest, medically proven truth in a language all girls can understand, Body Drama dares to empower a new generation—with facts instead of fantasies, and the priceless gift of self-knowledge.


AGERANGE: Ages 11 to 18.

Redd writes this book with the intention of helping young women feel better about their bodies. She organizes it into sections labeled skin, boobs, "down there," hair/mouth/nails, and shape. Each section contains various "dramas" wherein Redd discusses the reasons for a body crisis, suggests how readers can cope with the situation, and describes how to camouflage any embarrassing resulting flaws. Graphic anatomical photographs, including a row of female genitalia, showcase the different ways women's bodies look (the book includes a disclaimer stating those photographed are eighteen and over). Although the photos are indeed shocking, they respectfully assure young women that bodies come in all shapes and sizes. The author covers a myriad of physical as well as mental health issues, including cutting and depression. On the down side, Redd plugs her Web site several times in different sections by directing readers for more information about specific topics. Although irritating to some who read the book straight through, readers who dip into it to learn about one or two body dramas will not be perturbed. Redd's carries her chatty, personal writing style a bit too far by sprinkling her sections with extraneous fluff like "99 nicknames for boobs" and "booty emoticons." Inexplicably the book is published solely in trade paperback format, sure to disintegrate after repeated checkouts. It is likely to be a read-and-pass-along book not only for the helpful advice and accurate information but also for the gross-out pictures of head lice, warts, and keloid scars. Reviewer: Angelica Delgado
April 2008 (Vol. 31, No. 1)

Self-Sufficient Life and How to Live It

Author: John Seymour

The Self-Sufficient Life and How to Live It is the only book that teaches all the skills needed to live independently in harmony with the land harnessing natural forms of energy, raising crops and keeping livestock, preserving foodstuffs, making beer and wine, basketry, carpentry, weaving, and much more. This new edition includes 150 new fullcolor illustrations and a special section in which John Seymour the father of the backtobasics movement explains the philosophy of self-sufficiency and its power to transform lives and create communities. More relevant than ever in our high-tech world, The Self-Sufficient Life and How to Live It is the ultimate practical guide for realists and dreamers alike.

Library Journal

When Seymour's The Complete Book of Self-Sufficiency was first published in 1976, it became a handbook for those seeking a simple, self-supporting way of life. Now this out-of-print classic is available in a revised edition, which basically contains the same information, namely, lots of advice on growing food, raising animals, and preparing and preserving food. One chapter focuses on crafts; another discusses energy production for the homestead. The two editions have almost the same illustrations, but those in the newer edition are in full color and on glossy paper, making this volume much more attractive. In addition, an updated bibliography includes web sites, associations, and seed suppliers. It would be hard to find another similar book with so much information on small-scale farming in one place. This book, along with Seymour's revised The Forgotten Arts and Crafts, will appeal to those seeking simpler and environmentally responsible ways of living: "This way of life suits me," writes Seymour, "it has kept me fit and at least partly sane into my 89th year, and it has prevented me from doing too much harm to our poor planet." Recommended for all libraries, even if they already own the earlier edition.-Ilse Heidmann, Washington State Lib., Olympia Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.

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