Nonfiction Book Reviews

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The Complete Wilderness Training Book by Hugh McManners

DK Publishing, January 1999.
Trade Paperback, 192 pages.
ISBN: 0789437503.
Ordering information:

The Complete Wilderness Training Book
by Hugh McManners. This wilderness training reference contains excellent advice, detailed drawings and photographs which help make camping, hiking and other outdoor skills easier to master. The book provides information and instruction on a variety of outdoor topics including: setting up a tent, building a shelter, basic camping equipment, finding water, finding and preparing food, navigation, climbing and first aid. The colorful photographs and diagrams are especially helpful, such as the illustrated diagram of a backpack which demonstrates the optimal way to pack. In addition, photographs are used to illustrate the step-by-step procedures in the book, including methods for building a raft, preparing fish for cooking and building a fire. The Complete Wilderness Training Book is a valuable reference for the outdoor lover that is packed with information, yet is small enough to fit inside your backpack. Outdoor lovers planning an upcoming trip or beginners eager to see what hiking and camping are all about will want to have a copy of this book.

Lift - Wanting, Fearing and Having a Face Life by Joan Kron

Viking, Nov., 1998.
Hardcover, 217 pages.
ISBN: 0670870609.
Ordering information:

Lift - Wanting, Fearing and Having a Face Life
by Joan Kron You may have met Joan Kron first in the pages of Allure magazine where she covered plastic surgery subjects for seven years. Now she has combined her skill as an investigative journalist with her real life experiences into a comprehensive study of all aspects of what it is like to have a face lift. Not only will you learn about the actual procedures in use today, but you will also be introduced to some of the interesting controversies that surround some of the newest techniques.

Even if the you claim to not be particularly interested in actually having a face lift in the foreseeable future, surely you would like to know just which famous person has been tucked, nipped and lifted. Ms. Kron lists them all. Are you beginning to wonder where the media is finding all those wonderful faces? Did you ever marvel at how well your favorite screen personality or talk show guru is aging so well? You will be amazed to find out that the answer does not lie in better genes or a better mix of vitamins. Politicians want to look like themselves, but younger. Young and not so young people are advancing up the corporate ladder not by lifting themselves by their bootstraps, but lifting themselves by lifting their faces. Age is out and the perception of immortality is in. Unfortunately, in a slick, glitzy media driven world experience and character rate way behind being on the "cutting edge" of your profession. Looking younger definitely gives the impression of fresh, up to the minute ideas, so many people are turning to the plastic surgeon for help, according to Ms. Kron.

One of the more alarming anecdotes that Ms. Kron relates is the one that demonstrates how we perceive ourselves in the mirror. According to Ms. Kron the way we see ourselves in our own mirrors automatically subtracts years off our own vision of how we look to others. The shocking story of the "street smart Fox television reporter" who at the age of 48 decided as a part of her series on aging entitled "The Fountain of Youth" to allow her viewers to decide if she needed a face lift is a case in point. The decision of the viewers was not what the reporter's mirror and self-image had told her. The face lift won by a 4% margin.

When you have finished reading this book, you will have confronted all the questions you ever had about your own possible face lift or the face lifts of others. Then you can decide whether you should be next in what is a surprisingly long line of somewhat ordinary people who have decided to get some facial repairs.

--Sarah Reaves White

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