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review 2020-05-14 15:26
Numerology
Numerology: Dancing the Spiral of Time - Elen Sentier

by Elen Sentier

 

This was very different from what I expected. Rather than being specifically about numerology, the book is effectively a guidebook for a certain set of new age and Pagan beliefs that might or might not be associated with numerology. People interested in the title subject will have to wade through reincarnation, dowsing to establish your time of conception and some 'out there' concepts to find relevant information.

 

The graphs and charts make no sense to me at all. The author suggests meditating over them until it sinks in, but I'd rather have had the system explained in some manner than just thrown out there to absorb. Eventually she does write about number meanings and later gets into how to establish birth and name numbers in the same ways that other numerology books do, but there is only references to [number] people like 5 people, eight people, etc and no extrapolation of the relevance of birth number as opposed to name number apart from one is flexible and the other not, and nothing whatsoever about combining the two.

 

Overall I found the writing disjointed and digressive with very little clear information offered. I get the impression that the author does have some deep understandings, but just hasn't worked out how to express them. I had hoped for more, I admit. More commercial books on the subject seem cold and limited, but they actually offer more information than I found here. Very disappointing.

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review 2020-01-31 23:13
DANCE WITH ME by Heidi Cullinan
Dance With Me - Heidi Cullinan
  Laurie had a bad experience at a ballroom competition and will no longer compete or perform in public. Ed had his football career ended by a bad hit. They currently work at a community center where they get on each other's nerves. But eventually they learn to compromise and begin ballroom dancing together. That dancing leads to love.

I enjoyed this book very much. I liked seeing what a football player does when his career is over. I liked that they could connect over the tango. The characters were good. Laurie's mother was a piece of work but the rest were okay. His dad could have used some therapy also. I look forward to reading more of her books.
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review 2019-12-18 19:00
Atlantic City Comes to Life!
Dancing on Seaside - Julius James DeAngelus

Dancing on Seaside takes place in Atlantic City during the summer of 1977, before legalized gambling changed the nature of the city's culture. It captures a bygone era during which the city was known more for its poverty than for opulent casinos or winning games.

 

Readers familiar with Atlantic City's present-day milieu or past history will find delightful this nostalgic, realistic story which brings to life the region's culture from the eyes of son Jamie and his mother. Both experience a magical last summer, many new opportunities and transitions in their lives and relationship, and the changing sands of time.

 

To Jamie, it's a summer on the cusp of positive change. It's the summer before high school, when he's required to mature in many ways. For his mother, it's a journey into caretaking and seeing her priorities change from son to mother as she accepts a new and challenging role. And then there's a family history to struggle with, which both impacts their lives and threatens future generations.

 

Atlantic City is not the only thing waking up in this story. So are characters whose lives hang in balance and slowly tip into unfamiliar territory.

 

The sights, sounds, and smells of the piers, boardwalk, tides, and view of Atlantic City come to life under the astute observational pen of Julius James DeAngelus. There's a bitter wind blowing that challenges innocence, exposing closely-held secrets and changing lives. Mother and son find themselves nearly swept away by its force. Each must loosen their defenses, develop new awareness of one another and themselves, and hone new objectives.

 

Dancing on Seaside opens gently as these waves of change lap at a reader's senses, easing into these dilemmas only after taking time to craft an appropriate and especially well-detailed sense of time, place, and perspective. Against this backdrop, guilt, fear, and frightening revelations take their place and reflect some of the social changes affecting the broader picture of Atlantic City and the 1970s era as a whole.

 

Readers looking for an atmospheric, engrossing story of evolution in a season that changes everything will find Dancing on Seaside a gently compelling read, perfect for a beach tote and a summer's contemplation.

 

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review 2019-11-18 21:58
B Plus: Dancing For Mikhail Baryshnikov at American Ballet Theatre (Langlois)
B Plus: Dancing for Mikhail Baryshnikov at American Ballet Theatre: A Memoir - Michael Langlois

I was a massive Baryshnikov fan back in the 70s and 80s, and therefore this memoir by corps de ballet dancer Michael Langlois was instantly of interest. As it turns out, he's also a reasonably interesting man himself. He's particularly frank about two subjects: the perils of eating disorders, and the way he had to negotiate being a straight ballet dancer (like his hero/employer Baryshnikov, incidentally), given both the outside world's stereotyping and the actuality of maintaining friendships and boundaries within the ballet world itself. He appears to have managed a very close friendship and, for a time, roommate relationship, with gay dancer Peter Fonseca, for instance (alas, Fonseca was part of the dreadful losses to AIDS in the ballet world in the 80s and 90s). And although I was, of course, in it for the celebrity cameos, his anecdotes about the regular company members, musicians and coaching staff are quite engaging: he doesn't hesitate to re-create conversations and describe physical surroundings in a fair bit of detail. Finally, he is just about forthcoming enough (i.e. not too much) about the progress and eventual deterioration of the relationship with his girlfriend Julie, another dancer in the company.

 

Living up to the promise of the subtitle, Baryshnikov makes his appearance throughout a large part of the book, although it is clear there was never any more of a relationship between the two men than employer/employee, or coach/dancer. Langlois is actually quite funny about Baryshnikov's inability to articulate exactly what he wanted from a less talented dancer; like many with brilliant gifts, he seems, by this author's account, to have been a bit stymied by the fact that they didn't just *know* how to do it, as he did himself. Baryshnikov also called Langlois "Mikey" for many years, and Langlois generously (and probably correctly) surmises that he didn't realize the diminutive was derogatory, unlike his own "Misha", by which everyone seems to have known him.

 

Langlois is also likeably frank about the impact of realizing that his talent, though good, was not first-class (hence the book title), and how he eventually resolved that by moving first to smaller companies where he could do better roles, and then eventually out of the ballet world altogether. He now has an online presence as a massage therapist.

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text 2019-11-02 15:00
24 Festive Tasks: Door 1 - Día de los Muertos / All Saints' Day: Book
Death and the Dancing Footman - Ngaio Marsh,James Saxon

 

This is one of Marsh's books that keep growing on my the more often I visit them ... the story of a mischievously planned weekend invitation featuring a cast of characters with long-held grudges (not to say outright hatred) against each other -- which in short order produces the predictable result: murder.  And things aren't helped by the fact that they're all locked in together after a snow storm.

 

Task: Reread a favorite book by a deceased author or from a finished series, or read a book set in Mexico or a book that either has a primarily black and white cover or all the colors (ROYGBIV) on the cover, or a book featuring zombies.

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