Forest Bathing

By Dr. Qing Li

This is the healing way of Shinrin-yoku Forest Therapy, the medicine of simply being in the forest. Shinrin-yoku is a term that means “taking in the forest atmosphere” or “forest bathing.” It was developed in Japan during the 1980s and has become a cornerstone of preventive health care and healing in Japanese medicine. The health secrets of trees seem to lie in two things—the higher concentration of oxygen that exists in a forest, as compared to an urban setting, and the presence of plant chemicals called phytoncides—natural oils that are part of a plant’s defense system against bacteria, insects, and fungi. Exposure to these substances, says Li, can have measurable health benefits for humans. Physiological stress is reduced, for example, and both blood pressure and heart rate are lowered. Evergreens—pine, cedar, spruce, and conifers—are the largest producers of phytoncides, so walking in an evergreen forest seems to have the greatest health benefits.

Tales of Alvin Maker Series

By Orson Scott Card

From the author of Ender’s Game, an unforgettable fantasy tale about young Alvin Maker. In this alternative history of frontier America, folk magic actually works—dowsers find water and second sight warns of true dangers—and that magic has colored the entire history of the colonies. Alvin, the seventh son of a seventh son, is a Maker, the first to be born in a century. He must learn to use his gift wisely. But dark forces are arrayed against Alvin, and only a young girl with second sight can protect him

Born With Teeth

Written and Narrated by Kate Mulgrew.

I really enjoyed listening to this book. By turns irreverent and soulful, laugh-out-loud funny and heart-piercingly sad, BORN WITH TEETH is the breathtaking memoir of a woman who dares to live life to the fullest, on her own. The best thing was having it read by the author! She doesn’t just read it she acts it! What resonated most with me was her reluctance to settle for less.

Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
Narrated by Dan Stevens

I just finished listening to Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein narrated by Dan Stevens. The narration was compelling. And, I have never been so annoyed by a protagonist as during this reading. I never realized how much of a loser Victor Frankenstein is. His obsessions lead him to create a “problem” and he never mans up and owns it. Instead he runs away and wallows in his grief and guilt blaming fate. Loved ones are being murdered all around him, yet he never takes accountability.

I always understood the question of who is really the monster in the book, the scientist or his creation. While Victor Frankenstein is truly monstrous, he is also too wimpy to be deserving of literary monster status.

Here is a good article that mirrors my feelings on Victor Frankenstein’s character: