Saturday, March 18, 2017

Book Review of Word Nerd by Susin Nielsen

Word Nerd by Susin Nielsen came to my attention because a fellow diverse book blogger posted on the linkup (link to the right--just click the picture) about it. As someone with several anaphylactic allergies, I was curious about it. As someone who loves word games, I was curious about it. In short, I put it on hold at the library and had it in my hot little hands all in less than 48 hours (aren't libraries and librarians awesome?). I find the cover delightfully original and quirky, and it definitely represents the book well.

Word Nerd is the story of a twelve-year-old Scrabble lover named Ambrose. Also, peanuts could kill him. Ambrose encounters bullies, convicts, drug dealers, a busty waitress, and Scrabble-playing misfits, and he navigates each situation creatively and with a spirit that will make readers smile, even if he isn't the most smooth operator on the page. (He really isn't.) He is, however, highly endearing. 

This book feels like it was narrated by the kid from the TV show About A Boy. The voice is that strong, guys, and the dynamics are very similar (slightly odd boy being raised by a super loving but overprotective single mom with a new single adult male whose influence mom questions being thrown into the mix as a potential friend). 

Also, I love the way it dealt with the issue of life-threatening allergies, because having them is like walking a tightrope: you want to be careful so you don't die, but you also don't want to let fear of encountering your allergen(s) stop you from living life. Though Ambrose has a pretty healthy attitude about this issue (to make up for his unhealthy immune system), his mom reacts to his health problems with an overprotective instinct. I saw many of my own Mom's behaviors from my childhood as an allergy kid reflected in her character.

I liked how it helped the reader understand the skills required to be successful at Scrabble. I also liked how each chapter title was displayed scrambled (as if made of Scrabble tiles) and then the list of its potential Scrabble words was printed below it. I thought the publisher could've easily made the more visually-appealing choice to replace these words with a graphic of a Scrabble tile rack with those letters shown in tile form, and then with the potential Scrabble words printed again in tile form beneath it, both for interest, and also to better illustrate how the game of Scrabble works for younger readers who may not have previously encountered it. 

My one complaint about Word Nerd is that, though I always love it when kids in books read (how meta), and when kid's book authors recommend other kid's books, it was super awkward the way Nielsen chose to do this. Her not-in-the-least-bit-subtle name drops of her favorite books really took away from the story and pulled the narrative out of a extremely effective voice because they felt like an adult interrupting the story to tell readers that, if they liked her book that they're currently reading, they should also check out these others. (And it wasn't even half as slick as LeVar Burton's, "But you don't have to take my word for it.") 

While I applaud Nielsen for encouraging her readers to take a look at other books, and finding a way to give a shout-out to authors she likes, I felt like this could've easily been done in a more artful way by paring the list of suggested reading down to books that applied to Ambrose's various situations, and then weaving them into his commentary on what was happening in his life. (For example, when Ambrose *very slight spoiler* is hitting on the middle-aged waitress, maybe have him reflect on that situation later and then check out 'Geek's Guide to Dating' from the library, instead of just listing off that he has read something else and then moving on. This would've also heightened the comedy of their previous interaction, and underscored that he accepts his identity as a nerd, and that he is good with it.)

Either way, I highly recommend Word Nerd. I enjoyed it enough that this book is now on my wishlist to purchase when it fits my budget. I would also like to note that many people who are participating in the Diversity Bingo 2017 challenge are looking for books with an MC with an anaphylactic allergy, and this one has great representation for that category.

Friday, March 17, 2017

Graphic Novel Week: California Dreamin': Cass Elliot Before the Mamas & the Papas by Pénélope Bagieu

Welcome to Graphic Novel Week! This week, I will be posting reviews of graphic novels, specifically ones from :01, which is a favorite graphic novel publisher of mine. Here's a link to their website.

California Dreamin': Cass Elliot Before the Mamas & the Papas by Pénélope Bagieu is my consolation prize for being a fat, Jewish girl born too late to meet Cass Elliot. But Bagieu's strange masterpiece took me by the hand and led me through Elliot's life, and her world. Though we may never get to commiserate on the lacking availability of cute plus-size clothing, or talk about our American Jewish experiences (both things that are always fraught with emotion and conflict), reading California Dreamin' was a window into Cass Elliot's colorful life. Say what you will about her--and people have said plenty (much of it untrue)--she was truly an original. Nothing captures her essence better than the book's cover illustration, with Cass in bright red, popping off of the drab background provided by her hometown Baltimore's streets, suitcase at hand, ready for adventure. I knew I was in love with California Dreamin' the moment I saw it.

Mama Cass, born Ellen Naomi Cohen, and known to her friends as Cass Elliot, is one of those people whose legacy is part truth, part storied legend. She was the life of every party, the soul of The Mamas & The Papas, and she was always the most interesting person in the room. One of the most fascinating things about California Dreamin' is that each chapter looks at Elliot through the lens of a different person who knew her. From friends and family to co-workers and bandmates, Cass was somebody unique to everyone she met. By providing her readers with such a variety of viewpoints on the same person, Bagieu was able to paint a comprehensive picture. I closed the book feeling as though I had a firm understanding of who Cass Elliot was and what she was about. But this storytelling technique of Bagieu's also made a powerful point: Cass Elliot was mostly comprised of peoples' conceptions of her. If you knew her, you added part of her identity to the mix with your own interpretation of who she was, and who you thought she should be. Very few (if any) people who knew her managed to imagine her complexly. It was their loss, and hers.

There are many sad truths which come to light in California Dreamin'. Bagieu doesn't shy away from the harsh realities of Elliot's life. Was Cass Elliot hopelessly in love with her male bandmate, or did she just feel the need to gain approval from a man deemed attractive and successful by the masses? California Dreamin' points out something many people don't know: that The Mamas and The Papas needed Cass Elliot to succeed--she didn't need them (she only thought she did). In an age much like today, when music was sold as much on the physical appearance of the artist who creates it as the music they made, a fat girl who didn't fit society's beauty standard was at a disadvantage, no matter how talented she was. Elliot seems to have internalized those messages, constantly selling herself short and making compromises when she could've easily been writing her own ticket with her ferocious talent. For members of the body acceptance movement that could've turned Elliot's life around and worldview upside-down, it is a painful revelation. But, for all her struggles, Cass fought every uphill battle with a smile on her face and a joke coming out of her mouth. (Though, unfortunately, she was frequently the butt of said joke.)

As a reader, I found Bagieu's drawing style bizarre and unsettling, but the way she seemed to follow no rules felt natural for her subject matter. Bagieu's renderings of Elliot in particular are oozing with personality that seems to leap off of the page, as it should. Everyone else portrayed in California Dreamin' feels a little bit more subdued and in the background. From everything I know about Bagieu's subject, this feels right, and perhaps it echoes what it would have been like in the presence of the great Cass Elliot. Here's a link to an article about California Dreamin' and why Bagieu chose to write a graphic novel about Cass Elliot.

There's a playlist Bagieu included at the end of the book, featuring her favorite songs by The Mamas & The Papas and Cass Elliot. In addition to being a great introduction for those readers who may not be familiar, watching the videos on YouTube will be a fond walk down memory lane for those who recall firsthand when the music was originally released. Either way, the best part about the inclusion of such a list is Bagieu's own notes on each song, giving it context within the story of Elliot's life and work. I received a free copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest review. This is easily one of the best graphic novels I have ever read.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Graphic Novel Week: Secret Coders: Secrets & Sequences by Gene Luen Yang & Mike Holmes

Welcome to Graphic Novel Week! This week, I will be posting reviews of graphic novels, specifically ones from :01, which is a favorite graphic novel publisher of mine. Here's a link to their website.

So, Secret Coders: Secrets & Sequences by Gene Luen Yang & Mike Holmes is the third book in the Secret Coders series of MG graphic novels. The first volume (Get With The Program) was awesome! (Scroll down two reviews to read about it.) The second one (Paths & Portals, review is just below this one) had some issues and felt more like a cartoonized computer programming workbook. With one hit and one miss already in the series, I wondered if Yang and Holmes would be able to capture the magic of volume one, or if they were doomed to repeat the mistakes of volume two in the third installment of the series. I requested a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review to find out. While #3 feels much more like the story-driven #1 instead of the workbook-esque #2, I am still not a fan of these cover concepts. However, that is one of my few complaints.

Luckily for readers, Secrets & Sequences delves more deeply into the mysterious conflict happening at the Bee School. Hopper continues to try and solve the riddle of her father's disappearance, and she and her friends do their best to outwit the diabolical Dr. One-Zero. 

One of the best aspects of this book is that it shows how understanding computer coding gives the kids agency and illustrates that these skills enable them to fight back against injustice or feelings of powerlessness--a timely message in today's world. The story has a great balance of action and character development, and there's plenty of coding still happening, including a few mini lessons where kids (or, really any readers) who are reading along and want to learn computer coding can stop and work out the problems for themselves. But, because Secrets & Sequences is so much more character and plot-driven than its predecessor, it never feels like a workbook. This is a win, and it makes me excited for the release of volume four: Robots & Repeats, which is due to hit shelves on October 3rd. I will be reviewing it later this year, but here's a peek at the cover:

Graphic Novel Week: Secret Coders: Paths & Portals by Gene Luen Yang & Mike Holmes

Welcome to Graphic Novel Week! This week, I will be posting reviews of graphic novels, specifically ones from :01, which is a favorite graphic novel publisher of mine. Here's a link to their website.

Since the first graphic novel in this series (Secret Coders: Get With The Program) knocked my socks off (see the review just before this one), I requested a free copy of the second book from the publisher in exchange for my honest review. The things I liked about book one were the well-developed characters, the playful attitude of the story, and the amazing way it demonstrated binary visually so that I could understand the concept. Unfortunately, Book Two (Paths & Portals) does not share many of these positive qualities. However, it does have its own strengths to add to the mix.

In Paths & Portals, it seems that the true mission of this graphic novel series has been revealed. What felt like a fun foray into computer programming designed to get kids interested in the field now feels like a cartoonized computer programming workbook. Instead of a graphic novel adults could also enjoy, book two had almost no entertainment value for readers who might not want to work alongside the kids in the story to do the computer programming exercises. While I can see how Paths & Portals would have tremendous value within a STEM classroom setting, or even as fun reading for a kid with a burgeoning interest in computer programming, shifting the focus from a mystery involving programming to actual repetitive-seeming computer programming exercises reduced character development and all but stopped the progression of the story in its tracks, and replaced those necessary elements with what felt like little more than a workbook.

I finished book one feeling excited and eagerly anticipating the next volume in the story. But, since reading book two, I wonder how much story will actually be told in the subsequent volume. Using graphic novels to teach computer programming and get kids interested in the field is great, but I wonder how effective the strategy is when it comes at the expense of action, plot, and character. Will these issues be solved in volume three? My review of Secrets & Sequences will be up later tonight. Stay tuned!

Graphic Novel Week: Secret Coders: Get With The Program! by Gene Luen Yang & Mike Holmes

Welcome to Graphic Novel Week! This week, I will be posting reviews of graphic novels, specifically ones from :01, which is a favorite graphic novel publisher of mine. Here's a link to their website.

Secret Coders: Get With The Program! by Gene Luen Yang & Mike Holmes is one of the most amazing graphic novels I've encountered (at least for kids), because it managed to explain binary code in a way that I could understand, and even found fun! Despite the front cover illustration (which I found moderately off-putting, I must say), I found the back cover illustration simply marvelous and the back cover text intriguing.

Then, I opened the book, and my adventure began. The whole volume clocks in at just under 100 pages, which, in graphic novel terms, means it translated into about a 20-minute time commitment for me. I was drawn into the story immediately, as I usually cannot resist the tale of a young girl becoming acquainted with her new surroundings right after being forced to move to a new town by her parents (see: Spirited Away, Nightmare, and many other perennial favorites), and I was along for the ride as Hopper confronts her new school, and all that it has to offer.

From there, I was dragged along as Hopper and her new potential enemy-turned-friend, Eni, follow a robotic turtle down the rabbit hole in an exhilarating chase through their school grounds to find out just why the birds populating their campus are so creepy, who is posting numbers all over the walls, how to use computer coding to get robots to do their bidding, and what is wrong with all of the adults at their school. (No, seriously... more than normal; something's really wrong here!) In the ultimate cliffhanger ending, book one finishes way too early in the plot to leave readers anything but salivating for book two, Secret Coders: Paths & Portals.

Though it may not be super important, I do appreciate that the book is printed in black, white, and green (instead of greyscale), in what I can only assume is a witty homage to ancient computer screen displays! It took me right back to the olden days of C:Batch files of yore! Am I right, older readers?

If you're an adult who likes mysteries and or computer coding, or you want a book for a middle schooler (or perhaps even a high schooler) with those interests, I don't think you could go wrong with this one! I highly recommend it as an entertaining and educational read. I received a free copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest review.

Graphic Novel Week: The Time Museum by Matthew Loux

Welcome to Graphic Novel Week! This week, I will be posting reviews of graphic novels, specifically ones from :01, which is a favorite graphic novel publisher of mine. Here's a link to their website.

For those of you who have been following along with graphic novel week, you may have noticed that the first three reviews were of books for teens and adults. However, The Time Museum, by Matthew Loux, is the first volume in a middle grade series about Delia, a science nerd character with lots of agency. I strongly dislike the cover, because I felt having all of the characters look down at their wrists or at the ground and not being able to see anything but the building shut me out of the scene as the viewer. I also disliked that the girl one in from the left in the blue headband looked so much like the girl who was front and center (before reading it, I presumed that was Delia, the protagonist), and I wondered if they were both supposed to be her in different times, or if there were just two characters who looked so similar to one another. Either way, it was confusing and did a poor job of setting the mood or scene for me. Also, it didn't do well at showcasing the vibrant colors which come alive within the book.

Delia, a smart, awkward girl, knows she'll be visiting her Uncle Lyndon over the summer, but she doesn't know he works at a museum with exhibits from all eras of time, and portals to those eras. Delia also doesn't know that she has the chance to compete in a contest for an internship position within the museum, and she'll have to travel back and forth through time to complete the challenges, besting five other kids--competitors from different time periods. 

I really had trouble buying in to this story. The whole setup felt too stilted and contrived. The commentary as the kids wander through the museum didn't feel natural to me, at all. I felt Delia had honest emotional responses to whatever situation she was in, but I really wished I'd been able to read more scenes of quiet conversations with just her and her roommate to better understand both characters and observe their dynamic in a quiet setting before things got crazy. As the book progressed, I felt like there was too much action and chaos, and not enough character building and development to keep me interested. I longed for the characters to have more personal connections with the historical exhibits they were experiencing, instead of just clowning around. The colors were beautiful and the glossy pages decadent, but the art style really grated on me the more I read. All in all, I only finished the book because I was reviewing it, and I wouldn't pick up the second volume. I don't recommend this one.

(As a point of comparison, other middle grade graphic novels I have liked are the Secret Coders series, Awkward by Svetlana Chmakova, the Bone series by Jeff Smith and El Deafo--reviews to come.) I received a free copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest review.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Graphic Novel Week: Decelerate Blue by Adam Rapp and Mike Cavallaro

Welcome to Graphic Novel Week! This week, I will be posting reviews of graphic novels, specifically ones from :01, which is a favorite graphic novel publisher of mine. Here's a link to their website.

Decelerate Blue by Adam Rapp and Mike Cavallaro is a thoughtful graphic novel about what it means to resist change for the sake of change, speed for the sake of speed, and "improvement" that might not be better than what predated it. The cover is an absolutely gorgeous palette of blue hues, which definitely accurately describes the style and mood of the book.

Decelerate Blue reads like The Giver meets In Time. In a world where speed and brevity reign above all else, Angela feels like a misfit. ...little does she know there's a (literal) underground resistance going on, where people do more than just stop and smell the roses. With overprotective parents who are deeply entrenched in their society's flawed ideals, Angela's quest to be accepted and understood in a place where she can take time to examine her reality is risky. But, not taking the chance to experience life as it was meant to be lived, with time for contemplation, is also taking a gamble. Given the chance to step back from modern society's relentless messages about who she should be and what she should do gives Angela the opportunity to find out who she really is, and what is worth risking for it.

The style of Cavallaro's art is powerful, with many bold expanses of black on the page. Shards of white space slice through the darkness, using stark contrast to dramatic effect. With colored page edges being so trendy in publishing right now, it is worth noting that, fittingly, the edges of Decelerate Blue's pages are a beautiful shade of blue, which is unnoticeable when looking at one individually, but they combine into a lovely mass when the book is closed.

Rapp's story is very timely. Kick the Boot--the fictional manifesto of the slow living alternative Angela discovers--is possibly the 1984 of her day. In today's political climate, this is a relevant and important graphic novel. Activism, social justice, and marginalization are all topics swirling around in our collective consciousness, and are used as elements of the story to great effect. 

On a more personal level, once Angela realizes what she wants, she must struggle with the idea that not everyone she is close to shares her values. Similarly, there are many people who have begun to realize that their friends or family may have startlingly different beliefs (ones they may even find offensive), and are grappling with questions of how to continue relationships with those they care about in light of such differences, or how to accept that they should be severed in order to preserve what is most important to them as individuals. If any of this has been on your mind, check out Decelerate Blue. It may help you process the overwhelming state of current events while simultaneously providing the escape of doing so while spending time in a fictional world. I received a free copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest review.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Graphic Novel Week: Demon Vol. 2 by Jason Shiga

Welcome to Graphic Novel Week! This week, I will be posting reviews of graphic novels, specifically ones from :01, which is a favorite graphic novel publisher of mine. Here's a link to their website.

The dedication of Demon Vol. 2 by Jason Shiga is as entertaining as that of the first. "To my wife, Alina, who's still mad at me for dedicating the first volume to her." Having read the first volume, I laughed when I saw this, and thought, "Well, that's fair." But still, I paged beyond the dedication to find out what else lay in store for former actuary (current demon) Jimmy. But first, I had to stop and appreciate the appropriateness of the cover art for what lay beyond. If the cover for Vol. 1 served as a warning, the cover for Vol. 2 serves as a tribute. As you can see, demon Jimmy simply can't behave peaceably.

Still reeling from the big reveal in Vol. 1 that *spoiler for Vol. 1* Jimmy's wife and daughter were killed by a drunk driver, and Jimmy's mission is to exact his revenge upon him, I was distracted from the artfulness of that by one thing--the most disgusting prison break I have ever encountered in fiction. Also, I am giving Shiga the side-eye pretty hard because... how does he know that would work? Did he actually test it out? I do not want to know. 

But, back to Jimmy's tragic past! This is another illustration of Shiga's brilliance, because just when he makes the reader think Jimmy is nothing but a disgusting, violent, selfish mess of a person demon, then he reveals that some drunk schmuck thoughtlessly killed Jimmy's wife and daughter by getting behind the wheel after already having DUIs on his record. Jimmy's demon side (the emotional one, at least) now has an origin story. That begs the question: who is really the monster here: Jimmy, or the driver? As foul and disturbing as Jimmy's actions are, somehow they don't bother me as much as the drunk driver's choices that led to Jimmy's family being killed. Shiga has managed to do the almost impossible--create a supremely unlikable protagonist who is an empathetic character. That, combined with all of the satisfyingly surprising plot twists and intrigue Shiga develops surrounding the government agents pursuing Jimmy are what will keep dubious readers' eyes glued to the page through every last gory panel. I'm sure those readers will be comforted to know that Demon Vol. 3 comes out July 18th, and curious about its dedication page. I received a free copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest review.

Monday, March 13, 2017

Graphic Novel Week: Demon Vol. 1 by Jason Shiga

Welcome to Graphic Novel Week! This week, I will be posting reviews of graphic novels, specifically ones from :01, which is a favorite graphic novel publisher of mine. Here's a link to their website.

The dedication of Demon Vol. 1 by Jason Shiga should serve as a warning. In a similar style to "Abandon hope, all ye who enter here," it reads, "To my wife, Alina, who begged me not to dedicate this book to her." That's when I knew I had to read this book, to find out why. And, after experiencing all that is Demon, I can honestly say that I understand. ...but that doesn't mean you shouldn't read it. It just means that Jason Shiga has managed to create a golem of a graphic novel by combining the most depraved aspects of Sin City with the general zeitgeist of the movie Super, which my husband tricked me into seeing by telling me "that guy from Gilmore girls is in it." If Demon had a narrator, it would be Stuart from Family Guy. But, if you couldn't tell something's up from the maimed takeoff of a Dilbert cartoon featured on the cover, well, I can't really help you.

When actuary Jimmy commits suicide and awakens moments later (repeatedly), he discovers that he is not just a normal guy, after all. With an axe to grind and an inability to die, Jimmy leaves hundreds of bodies in his wake. His missions? To figure out what's going on and stay free of the special intelligence team tasked with pursuing him. This sounds slightly more exciting than then 9-5 grind of the actuarial office where Jimmy has spent a large percentage (he's such a mathematical genius that he could probably say exactly what percentage) up until this point. ...but, what drove Jimmy to suicide in the first place? You'll have to check out Demon yourself to find out. You can preview Demon Vol. 1 here.

The unique thing about Demon isn't Shiga's complete lack of boundaries, or the absence of decency (though, check and check), it's the fact that, despite how shockingly gross, violent, disturbing, sexual, and morally abhorrent aspects of the story are, there's a deeper engine beneath all of that which kept me reading. (Through fingers over my eyes, but still.) Every time I threw up in my mouth a little and wanted to put the book down, something else reeled me back in. 

That something is Shiga's utter brilliance. He is logical, wickedly intelligent in the best way possible, and an abstract enough cartoonist that the disgusting things depicted within his work are worse in my mind than they are on the page. ...which is kind of the point, isn't it? Shiga has buried a boggart deep within Demon, and it is that the truly unfathomably deplorable person isn't Shiga, and it isn't Jimmy, it's the reader, because nothing is going to be as horrifying as what your mind tailors specifically to your own sensibilities. You know way better than Shiga could ever know exactly what disgusts you, and his genius is that he understands that, and doesn't even try to compete with it, but instead capitalizes on it. 

I received a copy of Demon Vol. 1 free from the publisher for the purposes of this review, which contains my honest opinions.

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Book Review of Every Body Yoga: Let Go Of Fear, Get On The Mat, Love Your Body by Jessamyn Stanley

Every Body Yoga: Let Go Of Fear, Get On The Mat, Love Your Body by Jessamyn Stanley is a unique book. It is part an instructional introduction to Yoga for beginners, part confessional memoir of a self-described fat Black femme Lesbian Yoga teacher, and part body acceptance guide. In short, if you want to do Yoga and you don't look like you've just breezed out of a Lululemon ad, this book is for you.

The unique thing about Every Body Yoga is not the full-color diagrams of Yoga poses with tips on how to begin doing them and suggestions for modifying them if the picture simply looks like something your body isn't going to do. The unique thing about this book is Stanley's voice: clear, self-confident, refreshingly honest and bullshit-free, conversational, and positive. She has been through all of the struggles herself (several of which are enumerated in chapters between the sections containing 10 sequences of Yoga poses, matching those chapters' themes), and it feels like she wrote this book to tell other people that it doesn't matter what someone's conceit of a Yoga practitioner is--it only matters that they're open to the experience and not open to allowing some ignoramus to ruin it for them by body shaming them or refusing to help them modify poses to what works for them. 

Stanley is constantly aware of social issues rampant in the modern Yoga business (and, she is quick to point out that what once started as a way of life has turned into a materialistic business), such as ableism, cultural appropriation, and body shaming. She has a very "you do you" attitude about the whole endeavor, and is just as quick to tell her readers what they actually do need to dip their toes into the Yoga waters (it is very little), as opposed to what people might tell them is needed, especially if those people are the same ones who sell it. Stanley also comes from a working-class poor background, so she understands that some of her readers who would love to practice yoga don't have the funds to pay drop-in fees for classes (she advocates home DIY, with guidance from the Internet and her book), or purchase much equipment (she has a clear guide on how to improvise most of the items a beginner may require. This book was a night-and-day difference from the travel packing guide I reviewed recently, because I could tell it was written for every person (from the perspective of someone who had frequently been shut out of others' short invitation lists), so she really got it when it came to things like physical limits, psychological roadblocks, body shame, and financial struggles. 

But, more than that, reading Every Body Yoga didn't just feel like a crash course in how to use Yoga to feel better and more uplifted, it felt like Stanley came off of the page and introduced herself. Her presence was undeniable! None of that "namaste" crap here--she used the f-word on the regular. Her words on the page sounded exactly as if someone's telling a friend about "this crazy thing that happened at Yoga class last week," or "here's when shit got real back in college." Readers will walk away from her book with an understanding that the door to Yoga (which they may have previously assumed was closed to them for various reasons), is open to all, and that they have an authentic person supporting them from the other side of these pages. I can't recommend this one enough! It comes out on April 4th.