RECENT REVIEWS & ENDORSEMENTS

  • Gospel of Falling Down
    Mark Townsend
    Mark’s book is humble, searching, faith- filled, and yet risky and creative at the same time. He is vulnerable throughout, much of it showing the depth and fruitfulness of having suffered along the way. ~ Richard Rohr, Franciscan priest and Dean of the Living School for Action and Contemplation

  • Gospel of Falling Down
    Mark Townsend
    A heart-warming corrective, offering a perfect antidote to the urging for wholeness we so often hear from the New Spiritualties Movements. This book encourages us to value brokenness as much as accomplishment. ~ Philip Carr-Gomm, Chief of the Order of the Bards, Ovates & Druids

  • How I Left The National Grid
    Guy Mankowski
    ‘Mankowski’s novel is about the pitfalls of externally defined identity. The inability to find meaning and purpose on an individual or societal level results in an attachment to mere symbols of existence. There is attractive nostalgia for a time of anticipation and patience; of small paper treasures, chance encounters, and private, personal missives from bedroom to bedroom.’ ~ Laura Waddell, Glasgow Review Of Books

  • Holy Spirit's Interpretation of the New Testament (NTI), The
    Regina Dawn Akers

    This book shows us how to experience the oneness of God and how to use the art of letting go to attain spiritual enlightenment. We a shown that our seeming failures are just steps towards our enlightenment. We are shown how the teachings of Jesus are about love instead of guilt. This book speaks to the heart and is one to be read again and again.
    I would recommend this book to anyone who has read A Course In Miracles and also those who haven't. This book will open your eyes to the oneness of God and will speak to your heart.

    I acknowledge that I received this book free of charge from John Hunt Publishing in exchange for my honest and unbiased opinion of it.

    My blog:
    https://lovetoread8.wordpress.com/2015/05/23/the-holy-spirits-interpretation-of-the-new-testament-review/
    I also posted my review on Amazon.
    ~ Lovetoread, Blog

  • F.M.R.L.
    Daniela Cascella
    fragments, miracles, recurrences and likenesses (a review of f.m.r.l. by daniela cascella)

    by C.D. Rose

    (Read the whole review at 3am Magazine)

    ... Fifteen short chapters begin with a playful dialogue between sound and a writer, as Cascella seems to work out what she’s doing on the page before you, and then moving straight into the tangled yet lyrical description of that Scelsi quartet. As soon as you are oriented to that, Cascella moves again, to the Pitt Rivers Museum in Oxford where a brass amulet triggers a moving memoir of her Neapolitan grandmother casting her final spell. And so it continues.

    Cascella, an Italian now resident in London, has worked as a curator, lecturer and writer working largely in the field of sound and uses her experience as the mulch of F.M.R.L. Her first book, En Abîme circled similar areas, using personal experience as trigger for reflection in listening, reading and writing. Yet F.M.R.L. takes the approach a step further, defiantly becoming even more fragmentary, picking up on tiny clues and memory traces (those ‘footnotes, mirages, refrains and leftovers’), piecing them together to make a book which is ultimately more successful than its predecessor.

    There are several reasons for this. First is the sheer fact that Cascella writes so well. This is even more of a feat when remembering that English isn’t her first language. Reflecting on this very fact she writes: “Deprived of proper words and of horizon I have no voice here, nor song, but a tongue tied to a thick rope of hemp right in my throat. It chokes me inside the barrel of my every London morning, in sawdust days of tea and tar.”

    Her writing draws on the models she refers to throughout the book (de Filippo, Malaparte, Rhys, Lispector), yet her English has a demotic edge, a journalistic sharpness and no truck with international artspeak. This lends the writing a directness, avoiding the occasional vagaries of her influences, which in turn gives the book another reason for its success: its emotional heft.

    [...]

    Added to this, Cascella is a great storyteller. Her process moves toward the abstract, theoretical or intangible from a close engagement with the sensual and with lived experience.

    [...]

    And yet, the book avoids what is at its centre: there are no gushing descriptions of being rapt by sound, no blog-standard music crit thinkpieces. Cascella instead reveals the ghosts that the haptic experience of listening arises from, the gain and loss of their translation into the written word.

    I would contest Cascella’s idea that “if I believed that these words could stand forever on their own, and keep any experiences of sounds still within, I would be beaten: they are eroded by what they do not say. Like sounds, words won’t outlast me.” F.M.R.L. — a book of fragments, miracles, recurrences and likenesses, findings, memories, revenants and lacunae — is far from ephemeral. ~ 3:AM Magazine, web

  • F.M.R.L.
    Daniela Cascella
    SO! Reads: Daniela Cascella’s F.M.R.L. (Finding Materials for Remembering and Listening)

    by Kyle D. Stedman


    Before I read F.M.R.L., I didn’t know Daniela Cascella or her work. I hadn’t read her first book or her blog or her Tweets; I hadn’t seen any exhibits she had curated or attended a reading. Instead, the words in her book introduced us.

    Here’s how she was introduced, here in this exploration of how sound and writing intertwine:

    A wanderer, traveling the globe to meet friends, attend conferences, read books (and more books, and more books)
    An archivist, saving physical and digital boxes of sounds and words and quotes, all blended with her own notes and ideas
    A listener, noticing the sounds of words as much as their meanings
    A cave-explorer, digging ever deeper through layers of earth to find echoes of what has been buried—which is another way to say a wanderer, an archivist, a listener

    [...]

    How can I tell you anything at all, when all I know are sounds?

    But still, you want the point. You want to know what this book will do for you, for your art, for your scholarship.

    How can I tell you anything at all, when all I know are sounds?

    But ok. You’re not here to be moved. (Are you? I hope you are.) But if you’re not: what will propel your ideas, what will inspire your work after reading Cascella, what the take-aways are:

    “Writing away from sound” as a different way to “write about sound” (44). That is, instead of explaining, to let the nature of sound itself inspire the kinds of work you do.
    “Writing Sound” as an “encounter,” as “transcience” (54).
    Acknowledging our archives and inviting them to the forefront of our writing, even when those encounters are messy or confusing.
    Considering what we’re really doing in our art/theory/writing/sounding. Cascella says she’s not “a writer, a theorist, a critic” but “a handler of words, a listener, a reader” (90). Who are you? Who am I?
    But how can I tell you anything at all, when all I know are sounds?

    Read the whole review at:
    http://soundstudiesblog.com/2015/05/18/so-reads-daniela-cascellas-f-m-r-l-finding-materials-for-remembering-and-listening_/ ~ Sounding Out! Blog, web

  • Cryptogram
    Michael Tobert
    ‘After all, it is no more surprising to be born twice than once’, Voltaire.

    Cryptogram, Michael Tobert’s dystopian novel, explores the intertwined lives of three lovers – two men and a woman – across eight hundred years.

    The book begins with Suzanna, Stephen and Rokas playing a strange game, a stripped down version of pool, where the sides are wood and the rebounds unpredictable. The year is 2050, and conflict-ridden Northern Europe is in the grip of the shadowy gun-king, Porphyrian. As the characters move around the table, it seems their lives are richocheting off each other, like the balls in the game they are playing.

    Just as revelations about Suzanna’s tortuous past seem to bring the story within one’s grasp, the narrative shifts eight hundred years into the thirteenth century. Now we are among the Cathars, witnessing Suzanne’s interrogation at the hands of two inquisitors, one of whom, the gargantuan ‘R’, is given the seemingly impossible task of defending her. When Suzanne’s brother, Stefan, is caught fleeing through the Languedoc countryside, the shape of this remarkable novel starts to appear. For the rest of the book, the story shifts back and forth, occasionally dropping in on other centuries too.

    This is a cleverly constructed novel that tackles big ideas, central of which is an exploration of what it means to be conscious. Tobert appears to follow the famous dictum of the arch-rationalist Voltaire: ‘after all, it is no more surprising to be born twice than once. Everything in nature is resurrection.’ In this world of reincarnated possibility, how does one make the right choices? How do our resulting actions affect the lives of others? Does one really make choices, in any meaningful sense, at all? Are we condemned to make the same mistakes again and again, or can we create our lives anew?

    Amidst it all, the lives of the three lovers appear stitched together like pieces of a patchwork quilt. All three characters are developed with skill; Rokas, described as “a pantomime giant abandoned from above by a puppeteer with aching arms” is perhaps the most intriguing. It is around him that the other characters’ lives pivot, as they shift through the centuries. The denouement – set in a strange tribal wilderness – offers a glimmer of hope for the future.

    This is the third book from Michael Tobert, a long-time resident of St Andrews. His first two books were humorous; Cryptogram is literary and shows him to be a writer of great inventiveness, skill and creativity.

    It is a thought-provoking, exciting and beautifully written novel which deserves a wide audience.



    ~ Andrew Duff, Author of Sikkim; Requiem for a Himalayan Kingdom, Birlinn

  • Spiritual Feminist, The
    Amythyst Raine-Hatayama

    The Spiritual Feminist by Amethyst Raine-Hatayama helps connect us to the Goddesses and shows us how to invoke their energy.


    We are introduced to forty-five Goddesses and shown ways to embrace each one through charities and other causes. We are also given a correspondence of herbs, animals, colors, and planetary influences. We are shown a woman's life through the elements. We are also shown the Goddess in tarot and also the wisdom of wise-women. We are given correspondences for working rituals and magick. This book is filled with wisdom about the Goddesses and women and their connection to her.
    I would recommend this book to any woman who wants to get in touch with the Goddess and learn more about herself as a woman.

    ~ Lovetoread

  • Afterlife Unveiled, The
    Stafford Betty
    As a scientist, I found this an interesting and thought provoking book. Well worth reading. ~ johnavon "johnavon" (avon), Amazon.co.uk review

  • Rebel Rebel
    Chris O'Leary
    “The writing is both meticulous and colourful. At times O’Leary is almost too intense…but he does it through love. He’s written a poem in a letter. ~ Chris Roberts, Classic Rock

  • Rebel Rebel
    Chris O'Leary
    “The only place you’ll get more in-depth details about Bowie’s life is in his Heavenly Book of Life. Unless you have access to God’s archives, you’ll find Rebel Rebel to be an essential book for Bowie enthusiasts and connoisseurs alike.” ~ Joseph Kyle, The Recoup

  • Rebel Rebel
    Chris O'Leary
    4 stars. “The detail is, at times, breathtaking, the cultural contextualizing mostly secure, and the analysis quirky and honest.” ~ David Buckley, Mojo

  • Rebel Rebel
    Chris O'Leary
    4 stars. “O’Leary is interested in anything the magpie genius squeezed into his songs…and he can nail a song’s mysterious power in a line…This essential handbook makes old songs feel new again.” ~ Dorian Lynskey, Q

  • Rebel Rebel
    Chris O'Leary
    "This book isn’t the blog splurged on the page. Each entry has been rebuilt from the ground up. Expanded, edited, revised, reworked, remixed. For any self-respecting Bowie fan, it’s essential.” ~ Mayer Nissim, Digital Spy

  • Body of Wisdom
    Hilary Hart

    Body of Wisdom: Women's Spiritual Power and How it Serves by Hilary Hart shows us powers that are natural to women that are integrated into women's minds, hearts, bodies, and energy systems. Men can also work with these powers, however, women are uniquely connected to them.


    We are shown how we can connect to our inner wisdom and reclaim our powers. We ar shown how to live with the power that is natural to us. I feel that every woman should read this book so that they can reconnect to themselves and the world around them.

    I acknowledge that I received this book free of charge from O-books in exchange for my honest and unbiased opinion of it.

    ~ Lovetoread

  • Collecting Feathers
    Daniela I. Norris
    Five Stars *****

    Collecting Feathers by Daniela Norris has this serene way of showing glimpses from the border between the living and the dead through its eleven short stories. Each plot is skillfully developed, gripping the reader and not letting go until it delivers the punch line, thus teaching a lesson about love, living, family or remorse. Some things run so deep that they go on beyond death. The characters are as diverse as the places in which these “feathers” are found. There is a “feather” about a suicidal Parisian ex-banker in his thirties, who finds a reason to postpone the day he will die, another about a young thief in Luanda who is cursed for stealing a blind witch’s bag, another about a cafe where you were not welcomed back if you stayed more than two hours, and the list goes on. The stories take place all around the world, from Europe to Africa and South America. Even if the events are set during modern times, there are moments in which time seemed to have been captured in objects, places and even people, causing past and present, dead and living to collide in surprising ways.

    The smooth flow of details and actions portray the power and depth of each story in the collection. It is the mark of skill when a single description tells much more than its words say. These “feathers" are a welcomed lesson for anyone since they bring a sense of balance, peace and humbleness that make you see there are more important things in life than the trivial, everyday quarrels that obscure people’s perspective. Awesome "feathers"! Great writing. Great emotions. ~ Maria Stoica, Readers’ Favorite

  • Burnout to Brilliance
    Jayne Morris

    Synopsis: Overwhelmed by the fast-paced and technologically demanding world in which we live, we routinely run on reserves and force ourselves to accept that constantly feeling tired is all part and parcel of living a busy and connected life. When the warning signs of an impending burnout are ignored, the outcome can be fatal. It's time to take a journey of self-discovery and awaken to a brilliantly renewed life. In "Burnout to Brilliance", author Jayne Morris shows how to identify the signs and symptoms of burnout; recover your energy and enthusiasm; regain personal power, passion and purpose; develop strategies for sustainable success, and more.

    Critique: "Burnout to Brilliance: Strategies for Sustainable Success" is especially commended to the attention of readers who are ready to transformatively evolve their own lives from 'Burnout to Brilliance'. Practical, inspiring, informative, thoughtful and thought-provoking, "Burnout To Brilliance" is a life-changing read and highly recommended for community library Self-Help/Self-Improvement collections. For personal reading lists it should be noted that "Burnout to Brilliance" is also available in a Kindle edition ($7.99).

    Julie Summers
    Reviewer
    ~ Midwest Book Review, Julie Summers

  • Schoolboy's Wartime Letters, A
    Geoffrey Iley
    I found it truly extraordinary to be allowed this insight into how it was to be a boy then and live through those years...... I found your letters hugely enlightening. Thank you.
    ~ Michael Morpurgo, Author of War Horse

  • Don't Drink and Fly
    Cathie Devitt
    Can't wait for the next one ~ Ann McKenzie, Amazon

  • Don't Drink and Fly
    Cathie Devitt
    Can't wait for the next installment of bernice's adventures! Great characters, couldn't put it down xx ~ D. Wallace, Amazon