the Long's Strange Trip

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Science, Consciousness, and Shamanism
Medicine, Coincidence, and a Hole in the Head
High Performance Living
Beers We've Had
Travel Challenges
Books We've Read
The Local Price
Horny Communication
Squat Toilets
French Fries for Breakfast
Crime and Punishment
Illicit Practices

Books We've Read

Just think, a whole year, time to read all those books we've never had time to read.  Though we are on the go a good bit, we're also taking it easy, lounging around a good bit.  The books below are some we brought with us, were able to find along the way, or had people bring to us.  The big cities tend to have at least one or two English language book stores, some with more selection than others.  If you want to travel along with us by reading the same books, and at the same time help monetarily support the Long's Strange Trip, just click the book title for a direct link to  Those with  ** are particularly recommended, (F) indicates fiction, (NF) indicates non-fiction.

Finding the Quiet Mind, Daniel Ellswood (NF) - a small introduction to meditation.  (wpl)

The Art of Living Consciously, Nathaniel Braden (NF) - examine your beliefs and assumptions, be aware.  (wpl)

**Ishmael, Daniel Gibson (F) - an enlightened gorilla shares what's gone wrong with human civilization, the problems of a growing population.  Stuff to think about.  (wpl)

The Books in My Life, Colin Wilson (NF) - well known author chronicles his influences.  (wpl)

**On the Road, Jack Kerouac (F) - hip cats of the Beat Generation cruising the highways of America.  A good, quick read, names changed to protect the innocent, but basically a true story of the people and places in Kerouac's raucous and short life.  (ccl)

Love Potions, Cynthia Watson, M.D. (NF)  - a used book I found in Morocco, of all places.  Holistic approach to aphrodisiacs.  (wpl)

**Tales of a Shaman's Apprentice, Mark Plotkin (NF) - True story of an anthropologist's experience with shamans of South America.  (wpl)

The Story of My Life: Helen Keller, Helen Keller (NF) - amazing account of the first 23 years of the life of this remarkable deaf and blind woman.  (ccl)

A Room of One’s Own, Virginia Woolfe (NF) - famous author tries to pen what makes a novel "great".  (ccl)

Out of Africa, Isak Dinesen (NF) - 27-year-old Dane moves to Kenya to run a coffee plantation at the start of WWI.  The movie was based on the book, but the book is more about the native people and life on the African plain than the romance between Isak Dinesen and Denys Finch-Hatton.  (ccl)

Flatland, I.M. Square (F) - a square, who lives in 2 dimensional flatland, is transported to 3 dimensional space, by a sphere.    Written 100 years ago under a pseudonym.  Themes: don't hesitate to question the beliefs that you and your society hold dear; think outside the box.  (wpl)

**Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl, Anne Frank (NF) - truly inspiring tale of a young Jew living in hiding in Amsterdam during the Nazi occupation.  Taken unaltered from her diaries, her insight is spectacular.  (ccl)

The Right Stuff, Tom Wolfe (NF) - my third Tom Wolfe book, this guy has a gift for taking a true story and making it as exciting and compelling as any of today's novels.  Chronicles the race for space during the Cold War.  (ccl)

The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald (F) - tragic tale of long-lost love amongst the privileged classes in New York during prohibition.  (ccl)

The Sun Also Rises, Ernest Hemingway (F) - classic Papa, should have read it in school at some point.  The Lost Generation gets drunk and searches for love in post WWI Spain.  (ccl)

**Lolita, Vladimir Vladimirovich Nabokov (F) - hilarious novel, dripping with sarcasm, detailing the forbidden love of a European immigrant for his not-so-innocent stepdaughter.  (ccl)

**The Doors of Perception, Aldous Huxley (NF) - a brilliant and influential essay on altered states of consciousness by the author of Brave New World.  The Doors took their name from this book.  (wpl)

**The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, Tom Wolfe (NF) - true story of Ken Kesey, author of One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest and his band of Merry Pranksters, who journeyed around the country in the late 60's administering "acid tests", also the beginning of the Grateful Dead.  (ccl)

Journey to the Center of the Earth, Jules Verne (F) - classic tale of an over-zealous geology professor who finds an ancient manuscript pointing the way to the center of the earth.  (ccl)

**I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, Maya Angelou (NF) - America's poet laureate tells the story of the first 16 years of her life.  Her spirit triumphs as she is shuttled between parents and grandparents in the racially divisive 1940's south and the burgeoning black cultural scene of post World War II San Francisco.  (ccl)

White Fang/Call of the Wild, Jack London (F) - Two stories from one of America's greatest storytellers.  In the first, wolf becomes dog, in the second, dog becomes wolf.  Perhaps I'm reverting to my childhood.  (ccl)

A Pirate Looks at Fifty, Jimmy Buffett (NF) - The man whose life we envy the most takes his family and his huge seaplane around the Caribbean for three weeks in honor of his 50th birthday.  Filled with stories about growing up in Alabama, partying in New Orleans and Key West, and raising his three children.  (ccl)

**The Road Less Traveled, M. Scott Peck (NF) - We bought this when we read Jimmy Buffett had listed it as one of the ten books he would bring to a desert island.  Great book about personal growth.  (wpl)

**Kon Tiki, Thor Heyerdahl (NF) - Excellent story of a Norwegian who set out to prove that the first inhabitants of the South Pacific islands came from South America on rafts made of balsa logs.  He and five companions made the journey in just over four months, and had lots of exciting stories to tell when it was all over.  (ccl)

The Lives of a Cell: Notes of a Biology Watcher, Lewis Thomas, (NF) - Collection of essays by a noted scientist on some of the mysteries of life.  (wpl)

Understanding Men's Passages, Gale Sheehy (NF) - Social scientist examines life transitions.  (wpl)

The Illiad, Homer, translated by E.V. Rieu (F) - That classic Greek tale of gods and goddesses who can't leave well enough alone in the Trojan war.  If this book were made into a video game today, it would be banned for violent content.  More gore than a "Lethal Weapon" movie.  (ccl)

**Living Buddha, Living Christ, Thich Nhat Hanh (NF) - In this short book, a Buddhist monk, scholar, and activist examines the many similarities between Christianity and Buddhism, and encourages us all to be better at living our values.  A must read for Christians who question the sometimes exclusive nature of their faith.  (ccl)

Peace, Love, and Healing, Bernie Siegel, M.D. (NF) - Renowned surgeon discusses how love, hope, and positive state of mind can sometimes work miracles in the healing process.  (wpl)

Wide Sargasso Sea, Jean Rhys (F) - 20th century British novelist pens "prequel" to Jane Eyre, theorizing about just what made the first Mrs. Rochester so crazy.  (ccl)

**In Cold Blood, Truman Capote (NF) - Fascinating true account of the brutal murder of a Kansas family in the 1950's.  Interesting reading, especially given the fact that the death penalty has received so much discussion lately.  (ccl)

The American Holistic Health Association Complete Guide to Alternative Medicine, William Collinge (NF) - just part of my search in trying to figure out how to make a career of helping people achieve optimum levels of health and performance.  (wpl)

A Passage to India, E.M. Forster (F) - Beautifully written book about colonialism in India, and about friendships between people of different races and cultures.  (ccl)

The Dancing Wu Li Masters, Gary Sukav (NF) - The man who gave us "Seat of the Soul"  brings us the history of physics as he explains the strange world that quantum physics shows us we're in.  The ultimate stuff of reality is energy, and waves, not matter.  And at a really really small (quantum) level, things only exist if you look for them.  Otherwise, they remain "potential", requiring consciousness to bring them into "reality".   This, and other far out stuff.  (wpl)

The Thinker's Way, John Chaffee, PhD (NF) -  A book that questions why people are willing to spout off opinions about things which they know nothing about, and gives guidance on how and why to think about things like morals, relationships, and the credibility of the information you receive.  Ultimately, its about developing a well thought out philosophy about life.  Great reading when you have a lot of time to think.  (wpl)

Alice in Wonderland, Lewis Carroll (F) - Alice takes quite a trip down a rabbit hole, where she meets a Mad Hatter, a Cheshire Cat, and a host of other wacky characters.  You remember...  (wpl)

Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, Hunter S. Thompson (NF) - I saw the movie, and HAD to read the book.  A hilarious, and supposedly true account of Hunter Thompson's wild week spent in Las Vegas, covering first a desert moto-cross and then a district attorney's conference on drugs.  Barry McCaffree would, no doubt, like to have this one banned...  (ccl)

Ageless Body, Timeless Mind, Deepak Chopra (NF) - India's favorite son brings us the message of awareness as a means to postpone aging.  (wpl)

Following the Equator, Mark Twain (NF) - In 1892, Mark Twain circumnavigated the globe with his wife, daughter, and manager, touring various countries and giving lectures.  His insightful and humorous commentary on the places he visited, the people he met, and the oddities he encountered make for interesting reading, whether you're a real traveler or the armchair variety.  (ccl)

**The Gnostic Gospels, Elaine Pagels (NF) - This incredibly fascinating book unravels the mystery behind the Gnostic Gospels, the ancient texts discovered at Nag Hammadi in Egypt in the 1950's.  These books, thought to be the works of early disciples of Christ, reveal some of the many conflicts within the early church between the orthodox believers, those who believed that salvation came merely on profession of faith, and the Gnostics,  who believed that one must have a personal experience with God to be saved.  (ccl)

Am I a Hindu?, Ed. Viswanathan (NF) - It's hard to imagine coming to India and not being intensely curious about the Hindu religion.  Hinduism seems so strange and completely unlike any of the western religions that we know.  This book is written from the perspective of a 14-year old American boy, born of Indian parents in America.  The boy and his father engage in a lively dialog that begins with the most basic precepts of Hinduism.  (wpl)

**The Living Energy Universe, Gary Schwarrtz, Linda Russell, Paul Pearsall (NF) - Two University of Arizona professors detail their theory of a universe that remembers.  This fascinating theory gives an explanation for homeopathy, psychic events, and  other unexplained phenomena, and even suggests proof of a God that is continuing to grow and learn.  (wpl)

**The Prophet's Way, Thom Hartman (NF) - An account of one man's spiritual journey, this book tells us that the earth is in danger, and we can all perform small acts to reverse the damage we have done.  (ccl)

**May You Be the Mother of a Hundred Sons,  Elisabeth Bumiller (NF) - Washington Post writer Elisabeth Bumiller came to live in India with her husband in 1987, when he was given the job of Delhi bureau chief with the New York Times.  Her three years spent among the women of the country are chronicled in this insightful book.  It does much to explain the complicated societal structure of this culture, and explores the many issues and problems facing women here.  (ccl)

The Catcher in the Rye, J.D. Salinger (F) - Required reading at every high school in America, except, apparently, mine.  A rich, sensitive New York kid gets kicked out of his fourth boarding school, and spends several days wandering around the city, contemplating his life and avoiding his parents.  (ccl)

Creative Visualization, Shakti Gawian (NF) - Anything that humans have ever created or accomplished has been seen in someone's mind before it manifested itself in "reality".   This book provides techniques said to empower your visualizations and accelerate their manifestation.  (wpl)

Manifesto for a New Medicine, James S. Gordon, M.D. (NF) - Medical schools continue to turn out doctors who know very little about nutrition or the connection between mind and body, who have an unfounded arrogance about the pharmaceutical/surgical medicine they practice, and who seem to have lost the personal connection with their patients.  This book explores some alternatives.  (wpl)

The God of Small Things, Arundhahti Roy (F) - A beautiful and disturbing story of the caste system in India and its victims.  (ccl)

The Snow Leopard, Peter Matthiessen (NF) - In 1973, Peter Matthiessen went to Nepal in search of Blue Sheep and the elusive Snow Leopard.  He didn't find the leopard, but he discovered a lot about himself instead.  (ccl)

A Search in Secret India, Paul Brunton (NF) - A true story from the early 1900's about a man's search for occult power among the holy men of India.  (wpl)

Becoming a Physician, Jennifer Danek, Marita Danek (NF) - A medical school student and her career counselor mother detail important facts about getting into medical school, applying for a residency, and becoming a doctor.  (wpl)

**Occult Secrets of the Hindus, a very small, very good book that covers the philosophical basics of yoga, the science of the "self".  (wpl)

Tantric Yoga, J. Marques Riviere (NF) - a small book on the yogic practice of moving the kundalini "life energy" up the spine and through the chakras, and the enlightenment that follows.  (wpl)

Catch-22, J.D. Salinger (F) - This American classic takes some getting used to at first, because of its farcical style.  But it grows on you, and by the end of the book I was chuckling regularly at the absurdities of life in a bomber squadron in Italy in World War II.  (ccl)

Sons and Lovers, D.H. Lawrence (F) - The first novel from the highly acclaimed English writer.  Supposedly very racy stuff when it was first published, but pretty tame by today's standards.  Classic tale of a son torn between his mother's need for him and his love for an older, married woman.  (ccl)

The Four Noble Truths, the Dalai Lama (NF) - At the very foundations of Buddhist teachings are the four noble truths of 1) suffering, 2) the origin of suffering, 3) cessation from suffering, and 4) the path.    This small books lays out the basics to reaching enlightenment, according to Buddhist philosophy.  (wpl)

The Stranger, Albert Camus (F) - A story of a man who, disconnected from his feelings, commits a murder and is subsequently put on trial. (wpl)

**Diet for a New America, John Robbins (NF) - When John Robbins was offered the fortunes of the largest ice cream company in the world, Baskin-Robbins, he politely said, "No thanks,", and proceeded to dedicate his life to persuading people to change their diets to reduce or eliminate consumption of animal products.  In this extremely well-written book, Robbins explains to us why eating this way is good for the animals (guess THAT'S pretty obvious), good for the earth, and good for us.  (ccl)

**The Last Hours of Ancient Sunlight, Thom Hartman (NF) - From the author of The Prophet's Way, a book that changed my life.  Hartman explains the myriad of ways that we are on a collision course with the ultimate destruction of the planet, but tells us that there is hope and leaves us with suggestions on how to change our fate.  Outstanding book.  (ccl)

**Native Son, Richard Wright (F) - Classic American novel of a black man coming of age in Chicago.  After years of being boxed in by White America, his petty crimes eventually lead him to an act of unspeakable violence against a family who offers him the only chance he's ever been given.  (ccl)

The Case for Christ, Lee Strobel (NF) - The former legal editor of the Chicago Times explores the evidence that Jesus is the son of God.  Despite a somewhat hokey writing style, Strobel does a good job of isolating the key points in both the Bible and other historical sources that point to Jesus' divinity.  (ccl)

identity, Milan Kundera (F) - A short, strange psychological story by the author of The Unbearable Lightness of Being.  (ccl)

**The Antioxidant Miracle, Lester Packer, Ph.D, Carol Colman (NF) - a long-time researcher and expert in the field explains how a network of antioxidants, and particularly lipoic acid, can extend the length and quality of your life.  (wpl)

**The Veterinarian's Guide to Natural Remedies for Dogs and The Veterinarian's Guide to Natural Remedies for Cats, Martin Zucker and various holistic veterinarians (NF) - These books are a must-read for dog and cat owners who want to enhance and improve the lives of their companion animals.  (ccl)

Renewal:  The Anti-Aging Revolution, Dr. Timothy J. Smith (NF) - a good overall view of the things we can do to maximize our health and longevity.  (wpl)

Mysteries, Colin Wilson (NF) - a mini-encyclopedia of the weird and unknown, including UFO's, psychic phenomena, shamanism, time travel, black holes, multiple-universe theories, and so on.  (wpl)

When Elephants Weep: The Emotional Lives of Animals, Jeffrey Moussaieff Masson (NF) - In this book, the author gives compelling evidence that animals, both domesticated and wild, experience real and profound emotions.  (ccl)

**The Spirit of the Internet: Speculations on the Evolution of Global Consciousness, Lawrence Hagerty (NF) - In a far reaching exploration, Hagerty examines the internet and the impact it may be having on planetary spiritual growth.  I found the book to be fascinating, as well as being a good dose of optimism in a world with a lot of challenges knocking on its front door.  (wpl)

**All Things Bright and Beautiful, James Herriot (F) - Browsing through a used bookstore, I happened upon one of the wonderful works of this gentle country vet who practiced in Scotland in the 30's.  The author skillfully weaves heart-warming tales about animals and the people who love them.  (ccl)

Notes from a Small Island, Bill Bryson (NF) - I've always wanted to read a book by Bryson, because from what I'd heard of him, he and I had similar smart-alecky tastes in humor.  Bryson wrote this book after taking a last 6 week trip around England, where he had lived for many years, before moving back home to America.  I found myself hysterically laughing out loud on several occasions.  A fun read, and an interesting outsider's perspective on the people of Britain.  (ccl)

The Deep End of the Ocean, Jacquelyn Mitchard (F) - Normally I try to avoid books by authors who are named "Jacquelyn".  But I was, again, browsing in a used book store and came upon this 400 plus page monstrosity.  The kind of book anyone with children under the age of 5 would avoid after reading the back cover, the story follows a woman whose 3-year-old is snatched at her high school reunion.  Nine years later, he rings her doorbell looking for yard work.  Healthy and thriving with his "parents", he rebels against going to live in the dysfunctional home of his biological parents.  Brain candy, but a suspenseful diversion.  (ccl)

Power Foods: High Performance Nutrition for High-Performance People, Liz Applegate (NF) - A decent book on food and nutrition, this book has some helpful tips on quick ways to improve how you eat.  Possibly slightly outdated.  (wpl)

**The Poisonwood Bible, Barbara Kingsolver (F) -  An incredibly powerful novel set in the Belgium Congo, beginning with the struggle for independence in the early 60's and continuing through the corrupt regime of Joseph Mobutu in the late 80's.  The four daughters of a Baptist missionary from Georgia tell the story of their family and the people of the village they struggle to convert to Christianity.  (ccl)

The Baby Boomer's Guide to Living Forever, Terry Grossman, M.D. (NF) - Details his "Ten Pillars of Health", including detoxification, chelation therapy, and the use of human growth hormone.  (wpl, 5/18/01)

**The Four Agreements, Don Miguel Ruiz (NF) - Based on ancient Toltec wisdom, the four agreements in this easy-to-read  book promise a life of freedom, true happiness, and love.  They are:  1)  be impeccable with your word, 2)  don't take anything personally, 3)  don't make assumptions, and 4)  always do your best.  (wpl, 6/3/01)

Formula for Life, Eberhard Kronhausen, Ed.D., Phyllis Kronhausen, Ed. D. (NF) - An easily readable book covering nutritional supplements and foods to slow down aging and prevent disease.  The authors really seem to have done their homework and know what they're talking about.  (wpl, 7/9/01)

Finite and Infinite Games, James P. Carse (NF) - "To regard society as a species of culture is not to overthrow or even alter society, but only to eliminate its perceived necessity."  The whole book basically read like that, making it a challenging, thought-provoking, and often befuddling essay on life and society.  (wpl, 7/16/01)

Cosmic Serpent : DNA and the Origins of Knowledge, Jeremy Narby (NF) - an anthropologist' investigation  of the common visions seen when drinking the South-American hallucinogenic brew, ayahuasca.  A common vision (which Christie saw) is a spiraling staircase (or snakes, or vines), which Narby postulates may be some sort of psychic vision of DNA.  The cultures that use ayahuasca say that the plant teaches them about which other plants to use for medicine, among other things.  This is a fascinating trip into the question of forms of intelligence and learning other than those which modern science accepts as "real".  (wpl, 8/28/01)

Your Miracle Brain, Jean Carper (NF) - an easy to read explanation of nutritional strategies that can affect brain functioning.  (wpl, 9/13/01)  

**Fats that Heal, Fats that Kill, Udo Erasmus (NF) -a comprehensive discussion on dietary fat.  Upon finishing this book, one will have a thorough understanding of the importance of consuming the right fats, as well as the health risks of saturated fats, hydrogenated fats, and processed oils. Highly recommended (wpl, 12/02/01)

Putting it all Together:  The New Orthomolecular Nutrition, Abram Hoffer, M.D., Ph.D., and Morton Walker, D.P.M.  (NF) - Orthomolecular Nutrition is the concept of using therapeutic levels of natural molecules to bring the body to health.  Treatment of mental disorders, cancer, and other health challenges are discussed. (wpl, 12/26/01)

Ten Weeks to a Younger You, Ronald M. Klatz, M.D. (NF) - A discussion focused primarily on anti-aging hormonal therapies, lead by growth hormone, melatonin, and DHEA.  Also includes discussion of herbs, synthetic cognitive enhancing drugs, and a little bit on things like exercise and relaxation (wpl, 1/31/02)

A Symphony in the Brain:  The Evolution of the New Brainwave Biofeedback, Jim Robbins (NF) - I'm interested in the possibilities of higher levels of self control, including managing one's own brain state.  Robbins covers the history, characters, and current state of this interesting field that seems to still be on the fringes of medicine. (wpl, 2/6/02)

Why We Age:  What Science is Discovering About the Body's Journey Through Life, Steven N. Austad (NF) - An interesting examination of science's attempt to decipher the cause and cure of aging.  It includes erroneous theories, what evolution can teach us, and what the future promises.  The author seems pretty skeptical about most current anti-aging strategies, but remains optimistic that grand breakthroughs may be close by.  (wpl, 2/8/02)

Cross Currents:  The Perils of Electropollution, The Promise of Electromedicine, Robert O. Becker, M.D. (NF) - Explores the evidence that electromagnetic fields (from radio waves, microwaves, and even computers and appliances) may negatively affect the health of living beings, including people.  (wpl, 2/24/02)

The Deepening Complexity of Crop Circles: Scientific Research and Urban Legends, Eltjo H. Haselhoff (NF) - There are some mighty weird things going on out there... (wpl, 3/4/02)

Maximum Lifespan, Roy L. Walford, M.D. (NF) - a book written in 1983 by one of the leading gerontologist investigating life extension.  Walford's preferred method of life extension (and the only method really proven to extend maximum lifespan) is caloric restriction.  The idea is to eat a very nutritionally dense diet of only 1500 calories per day. (wpl, 4/2/02)

Deprenyl:  The Anti-Aging Drug, Alastair Dow (NF) - the story of a drug that can prevent Parkinson's disease, and very likely extend human lifespan.  (wpl, 4/7/02)

 Age Right:  Turn Back the Clock with a Proven Personalized Antiaging Program, Karlis Ullis, M.D. (NF) - Includes various self-tests to determine biological age, and outlines various programs depending on how your body is aging.  (wpl, 5/3/02)

**Sports Nutrition Guide, Dr. Michael Colgan (NF) - The latest information on nutrition for athletes by one of the top experts in the field.  Highly recommended.  (wpl, 5/21/02)

Courage:  The Joy of Living Dangerously, Osho (NF) - Osho is a spiritual teacher from India.  "A man who is fearless is neither afraid of anybody nor makes anybody afraid of him.  Fear totally disappears."  By being authentic, and true to your heart, and not being afraid to find and speak your own truth, you will be free, and you will be very alive.   I saw a lot of truth in this book.  (wpl, 7/11/02)

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