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The Secret of the Ring Muscles: Healing Yourself Through Sphincter Exercise, by Paula Garbourg (Avery Publishing Group, $10.95).

Synopsis: The "ring muscles" around your orifices--anus, mouth, eyes, etc--are a vital font of health and need to be exercised. Mastery of "sphincter gymnastics" can cure a variety of ailments, not all of them physical.

Representative quote: "Sphincter gymnastics have a very beneficial effect on people suffering from depression. People who are depressed usually have bad posture--their shoulders are slumped, their heads very bowed, and the corners of their mouths pulled down."

Noteworthy flaw: Depression might be cured faster if exercises weren't performed alone.

Courtney Love: The Real Story, by Poppy Z. Brite (Simon & Schuster, $25).

Synopsis: The colorful life of the 32-year-old musician, actress, artist, and romantic icon is examined in some detail.

Representative quote: "Kurt arrived with a bottle of Hycomine cough syrup. 'You're a pussy,' Courtney told him. 'You shouldn't drink that, it's bad for your stomach.'...Then she produced a bottle of Vicodin extra-strength."

Noteworthy flaw: Contains examples of Love's writing, such as "And so will 300yhty ones and i chris and dave dont care, weve gone thru this so much we dont care I DONT" and the letter m repeated 617 times.

The Case for Mars: The Plan to Settle the Red Planet and Why We Must, by Robert Zubrin (Touchstone, $13).

Synopsis: We must colonize Mars to remain vibrant as a society. Fortunately, that won't be too difficult. In time, a ticket to Mars might sell for as little as $320,000, which sounds like a lot, but salaries will be higher there. And don't forget real estate.

Representative quote: "Sold at an average value of $10 per acre, Mars could be worth $358 billion....those who own Mars would have every reason to seek to develop their property via planetary engineering."

Noteworthy flaw: Still 50,000,000 miles away, no matter how you slice it.

Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): book covers.

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