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Short Takes: February 2013 

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Social Marketology: Improve Your Social Media Processes and Get Customers to Stay Forever
Ric Dragon, foreword by David Armano
McGraw Hill, 2012, $25

Ulster County entrepreneur Ric Dragon, CEO of search engine marketing firm DragonSearch, shares his insights into 21st century branding using Twitter, Facebook, and evolving social media platforms. Targeting media professionals, he offers new marketing strategies in a series of steps, from assessing goals and creating an action plan to evaluating and improving results. 





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Essential Chan Buddhism: The Spirit and Character of Chinese Zen
Chan Master Guo Jun, foreword by Robert Thurman
Monkfish, 2013, $16.95

This graceful book grew from a series of talks given by the former abbot of Pine Bush's Dharma Drum Retreat Center, on subjects ranging from his brutally rigorous training in Korea to gentle explications of such Chan precepts as falling in love with the breath and sitting patiently as a nesting hen. "You stop thinking, When will the egg crack? When will my chick come out? You just sit." 








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Rumi's Holistic Humanism: The Timeless Appeal of the Great Mystic Poet
Mirza Iqbal Ashraf
Codhill Press, 2012, $16

America's best-selling poet is 13th century Sufi mystic Jalaluddin Rumi. Poughkeepsie author Ashraf describes his roots as an Islamic religious scholar, his transformative relationship with the wandering dervish Shams of Tabriz, and his spiritual evolution into an ecstatic poet of love as a transcendent, unifying force: "The lamps are different, but the Light is the same." 







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Parenting in Your Own Voice: Finding Your Inner Parent to Bring Out the Best in Your Child
Joan L. Reynolds, MS and Sheila Dinaburg-Azoff, PsyD
Parent Connection, 2012, $21

As parenting coaches and mothers, Woodstock educator Reynolds and psychologist Dinaburg-Azoff urge parents to trust their instincts and tap their own innate wisdom. In clear and encouraging language, they offer a series of workbook exercises and activities designed to explore the unique identities, strengths, and needs of each parent and child, creating a flexible parenting plan. 


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A Manual of Dynamic Play Therapy: Helping Things Fall Apart, the Paradox of Play
Dennis McCarthy, foreword by David A. Crenshaw
Jessica Kingsley Publishers, 2012, $29.95

Kingston-based therapist Dennis McCarthy uses creative play to help troubled children's stories emerge. In this concise and inspiring book, he examines the concept of "falling apart" to enable new growth, and the importance of play itself in a world increasingly skewed toward tangible results. Dragons and monsters don't teach to the test--and that's why we need them. 






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Great Sex Made Simple: Tantric Tips to Deepen Intimacy and Heighten Pleasure
Mark A. Michaels and Patricia Johnson
Llewellyn Worldwide, 2012, $17.99

The Kingston couple behind the award-winning Tantra for Erotic Empowerment offer a straightforward, warm, and refreshingly inclusive road map to physical and spiritual bliss: "We firmly believe that the Tantric approach to sexuality can benefit virtually anyone–of any gender; totally new to the Tantra or experienced; single or partnered; gay, straight, or bisexual." Happy Valentines Day!

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