The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time

Told through the eyes of a 15 year old autistic boy, author Mark Haddon provides an insightful glimpse into the thought processes of an autistic mind. Though uncomfortable with strangers and unfamiliar situations, young Christopher is determined to discover who murdered his neighbor’s dog. As he embarks on his search, Christopher’s unique approach to solving the predicaments he finds himself in are often humorous and always unusual. His determination and unorthodox approach captivate the reader who will find themselves rooting for this determined young man who perseveres despite overwhelming odds as his search leads to discoveries that will impact his life and those closest to him.

Website for safe toys:

'Tis the season to buy toys. If you have concerns about the safety of the toys you buy and the use of chemicals in them, then check out

You can browse by toy brand or type. There are also lists of the best and worst toys.

It's a Mystery 12/06/08

Did You Know ...?

While browsing some mystery authors' websites, I discovered some interesting facts about the writers.  Here are just a few things I learned.

  • Alexander McCall Smith (#1 Ladies Detective Agency series) was a Professor of Medical Law at the University of Edinburgh and served on national and international bioethics panels.

Three Great Reads for Winter!

The Choice
by Nicholas Sparks
Travis Parker and Gabby Holland are neighbors who unexpectedly fall in love. They eventually marry and have a family, but tragedy forces one of them to make a difficult choice. This latest novel balances love, joy, and heartbreak in typical Sparks fashion. Romance fans will enjoy!

Migraine Relief

Anyone who's ever suffered from even one migraine knows how painful and debilitating they are. But if migraines consistently plague you, you’ll want to read the newly published book The Migraine Brain: Your Breakthrough Guide to Fewer Headaches, Better Health. This comprehensive book contains information that will help everyone from those who get migraines only occasionally to those who need to be hospitalized during a migraine. Learn how migraines are different from headaches, why you are susceptible to migraines, whether medication is right for you, what types of medication are most effective for your particular migraine experience, practical steps you can take every day to reduce migraine occurrences, and much more. Author and neurologist Carolyn Bernstein, M.D., has spent years studying migraines and has won numerous awards for medical excellence.

A Resource to Help Injured Service Members and their Families and Caregivers

The National Resource Directory is a Website maintained by the Departments of Defense, Labor and Veterans Affairs that provides information--both medical and non-medical--to help wounded/injured/ill service members and their families.

Information comes from a range of organizations, including all levels of the government, academic institutions, non-profit and faith-based organizations, etc.

Romancing the Shadow: Illuminating the Dark Side of the Soul

The authors of this book, Connie Zwieg Ph.D and Steve Wolf Ph.D, are therapists who have gathered here personal stories of patients that illustrate how repressed feelings, motivations and thoughts autonomously erupt into our behavior or slither covertly into our decision making processes, determining the course our lives take. They show us how these influences affect our relationships with lovers, friends, family, and coworkers and how they shape our performance in the workplace, often limiting our success.

The authors show us how first to recognize the operation of these influences originating in our unconscious minds—in aspects of our selves we have rejected or events too painful to remember—and then how to probe our minds to gain understanding of them and finally control.

Rooted in the psychological theories of Carl Jung, this book shows us how we can find in the dark corners of the basement of our psyche, enormous power that we can put to use to better our lives.

A Fractured Mind: My Life with Multiple Personality Disorder

An account of DID, Dissociative Identity Disorder, (formerly MPD, Multiple Personality Disorder), written by Robert Oxnam, who is himself the sufferer. Told from this point of view rather than by the doctor, it illuminates the painful and disorienting personal experience of the condition and the havoc it wrecks on relationships in a particularly intimate and dramatic way. The language is not always overly descriptive, especially when the childhood abuse is dealt with (I don’t think we need to know the details)—but you’ll eves drop on internal conversations between alters and vicariously freefall as the metaphorical rug is pulled out from beneath the subject who time and time again experiences complete lack of control over what his body is doing and comes face to face with thoughts and feelings he doesn’t comprehend.

In an epilogue by psychiatrist, Jeffrey Smith, the reader receives the point of view of the medical professional. Although in this piece, Dr. Smith states that therapy is difficult but the results are usually good, it is interesting to note that here, as in other recorded cases, some dissociation remains in the end. This volume reads like a novel rather than a textbook and offers extraordinary insight into the condition.

Visions of the Virgin Mary: An Astrological Analysis ...

In this volume, author and astrologer, Courtney Roberts, explores an interesting correlation between the famous accounts of visions of the Virgin Mary, such as those at Lourdes, Fatima and Medjugorje (along with lesser known instances in which the Virgin is said to have appeared) with certain astrological signs and influences.  These, specifically, are the signs Cancer and Virgo and certain aspects involving the nodes of the moon.

The patterns she finds with regard to the times, places, and witnesses to these visions are interesting--but even more fascinating are the similarities to more ancient visions of "feminine entities" that have come down to us as part of various oral traditions.  These appearances share all the same extraordinary paranormal qualities attributed to the appearances of the Virgin but are attributed, instead, to goddesses, fairies or other supernatural creatures.

These are fascinating stories which raise a lot of questions. Don’t be discouraged from reading this book because of a lack of understanding of the mechanics of astrology. The author provides all the “nuts and bolts” astrological information you will need.

Memories and Visions of Paradise: Exploring the Universal Myth of a Lost Golden Age

This collection of myths about a lost golden age by Richard Heinberg asks fundamental questions. Do these ancient stories, so similar in content, though drawn from societies widely separated both geographically and culturally, point to actual historical events? Are they actual accounts of environmental catastrophes and climatic change severe enough to be described as a "loss of paradise"? Are they a distorted memory of childhood, when we were all free from responsibility and our needs completely met by others? Or do they refer to a state of consciousness we collectively leave behind as we acquire new technologies and experiment with social orders that alienate us from the ground from which we emerged? And, if this is true, is it inevitable that mankind be driven out of paradise? Is the loss permanent? Or is it possible for modern human beings to live again in harmony with nature?