RECENT REVIEWS & ENDORSEMENTS



  • Productive Body, The
    Didier Deleule
    François Guéry
    Philip Barnard
    Stephen Shapiro
    If Thomas Piketty now alerts us to the deleterious consequences of Capital in the Twenty-First Century, perhaps it might also be useful to remember that, as Guéry and Deleule affirm: "capitalism is the sophisticated and materialized form of the hatred of Man and of his body."
    --Ed Cohen, The Los Angeles Review of Books ~ Ed Cohen, The Los Angeles Review of Books



  • Re-humanizing Medicine
    David R. Kopacz
    It gives me great pleasure to review this informative text that will hopefully become essential reading to all medical practitioners and related clinicians working in the healing arts. David sets out a coherent and well-articulated background to the current issues that face medical practice in a global environment which has witnessed a significant loss of essential human interactions in the healing process. David's review of the outcomes of physician burnout are a startling reminder to us all of the risk that this leads to – not only for ourselves as doctors but also for our patients.

    Modern medical practice has developed a profound arrogance over the recent past choosing to ignore the time old lessons from our traditional healer colleagues who have been trained in the art of healing from a different perspective that engages overall health and well-being through a fundamental understanding of human systems, culture and social environments. David's book challenges us to re-examine these issues, sets out coherent and articulate arguments for the benefits of changing and places patients at the centre of engaging in an integrated and holistic new paradigm of healing based on a compassionate understanding of the frailty of the human predicament. I would whole heartedly recommend this book to both existing practitioners and those embarking on a medical career.

    Dr Gary Orr
    Consultant Psychiatrist in New Zealand
    Research Director of Health Empowerment Through Nutrition (www.hetn.org), a foundation that supports bio-available nutritional interventions to overcome the issues of hidden hunger.
    Gary was originally born in South Africa, and qualified as a medical doctor and completed his postgraduate studies in Psychiatry in the United Kingdom. ~ Gary Orr, email communication



  • Re-humanizing Medicine
    David R. Kopacz
    As a physician in private practice, I know first-hand the effect of long-term stress and never-ending demands on the practicing doctor—a guarantee for poor health and burnout. In Re-humanizing Medicine, Dr. Kopacz makes a well-argued case that doctors need to begin healing patients by healing themselves first. Preventive care is the recommended prescription for doctors who want to remain as energized and caring as they were when they entered medical school. This book illuminates a path to enjoying a long and fulfilling career as a physician who practices what he should be preaching.

    Rich Berning, MD
    Creator of PrivatePractice.MD Website
    Pediatric Cardiologist, Sandy Hook, Connecticut ~ Rich Berning, email communication



  • Re-humanizing Medicine
    David R. Kopacz
    Re-humanizing Medicine has reinforced my own commitment to the importance of holistic leadership. I am confident that practitioners trained in biomedical and holistic health practices will feel this same kinship. This book brings both topics dynamically to the table for discussion.

    I was deeply moved by Kopacz’s inspiring words and reflections on his own personal experiences. There is a major cultural shift on the horizon in the fields of medicine and business to cultivate connection with the whole person and a holistic way of being. Kopacz’s research on Gandhi, Youngson, Palmer and other enlightened leaders further supports the concept of a compassion revolution. I hope that Re-humanizing Medicine will be required reading for all future generations of physicians and health care providers. Dr. Kopacz’s open mind and open heart will inspire many to ‘re-humanize and re-connect.’

    Sara Holmes, BS RA LMT NCTMB
    Complementary Therapies, Massage and Aromatherapy Instructor Parkland College, Champaign, Illinois
    www.botanicalhealingarts.com ~ Sara Holmes, email communication



  • Re-humanizing Medicine
    David R. Kopacz
    This book is essential for establishing a refreshed approach inside medicine and brings new insights about the practice of psychiatry. Dr. Kopacz addresses different modes of involvement in patient care, all of which facilitate a therapeutic alliance and optimal treatment outcome through empathy, intuition, and spiritual awareness.

    Dr. Georgiana Antoce
    Fellow of the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists
    Senior Lecturer with University of Queensland
    Private Practice, Brisbane, Australia ~ Georgiana Antoce, email communication



  • Re-humanizing Medicine
    David R. Kopacz
    Our world currently faces great challenges that require each individual to commit to a process of growth and renewal. Kopacz’s book provides a thoughtful and practical account of how to inspire greater well-being by transforming managerial medicine into a place of personal and social healing. Guiding the reader through a wealth of insight into the history of scientific and alternative approaches, he convincingly argues for holistically-oriented medicine that encompasses objective knowledge, compassion, and intuitive guidance.
    His call for reintroducing attention to the human condition in an increasingly corporatized world has far reaching impulses, not only for medicine, but also for education, the business world and society. Leading by example, Kopacz enriches any reader’s understanding of their own responsibility to change themselves and the world.

    Anke Pinkert, Ph.D.
    Author of Film and Memory in East Germany
    Illinois Program for Research in the Humanities Fellow 2012-2013: “Transforming the Humanities Through Higher Education in Prison;” Director of Undergraduate Studies
    Associate Professor of German, Media and Cinema Studies, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign ~ Anke Pinkert, PhD, email communication



  • Play From Your F*****g Heart
    Jerry Hyde
    "Jerry's a soul-physician and writer after my own heart, and dare I say style, in his utter irreverence and lack of pretentiousness. He has a profound and unique grasp of the psyche and a genius' wit. Perfect read for the modern cynic who doesn't give a fuck but does really – it'll inject a little love in your life. Most highly Recommended”. The Barefoot Doctor ~ Stephen Russell - the Barefoot Dr



  • Depth Charging Ice Planet Goth
    Andrez Bergen
    "From Goth coming-of-age to violently gothic, Andrez wanted his own style mixed with a bit of Edgar Allan Poe and he got the recipe spot on." ~ Ani Johnson, The Bookbag



  • Depth Charging Ice Planet Goth
    Andrez Bergen
    Sixteen year old Mina lives in Nede (that's 'Needy' out loud), a suburb of the Australian state of Victoria where she's in the final throes of school. However she feels very much an outsider, especially after the recent death of her mother. Mina's alienated further by her bullying elder brother and her father's attempts to move on with his life before Mina is ready. She has friends that she spends time with in a disinterested Goth way, the friend who understands her most being Animeid. Animeid is even more different than Mina, being half-girl, half-bird, but neither of them seems to mind. It doesn't affect anyone else after all – Mina's the only person who can see her.

    Aussie born, Japan-adopted Andrez Bergen has a reputation for surprise and originality. This is only the second of his books that I've read but I'd say that reputation is founded on fact. In a single bound we've gone from murder among the super hero community in the comic fantasy noir 'Who is Killing the Great Capes of Heropa?' to this, just as surreal but darker shocker. ('Shocker' in a good way!)

    From the beginning our hearts go out to Mina because, although she isn't someone we understand, we want to delve past all the pain and bereavement she's been through and try. (Whether she wants us to or not.) Her family (father Jim and brother Patrick) are periphery people whom we don't get to know that well as Mina won't let us. This is her story and she (along with Animeid) is the nucleus.

    Mina is someone I'm betting that most will react to strongly. Although fascinated by her, I grew to like her invisible friend more. Animeid has a great sense of irony coupled with an ability to sum up a situation in a sentence or even a word. Her ideas are a tad on the unconventional side but then so is she. Who is she? What is she? We're invited to form our own opinions around Andrez's cleverly arranged set pieces.

    Cleverly arranged? Oh definitely – Mr Bergen is a very intelligent author, much to our entertainment and delight. The cultural jokes that peppered Heropa before now give way to word play and some seemingly insignificant touches that come to mean so much.

    There are also references that draw us back to the 80s. Some (like Mina's love of Joy Division and New Order) will mean something to readers in both hemispheres. Whereas a couple (like references to Melbourne's fixed fun fair, Luna Park) encourage us to scuttle off to our favourite search engine. Having said that, we can all remember what it was to be young and we all knew a Mina on the edge of a school-aged social circle.

    The really devious thing is that, just when we feel we're coming to grips with Mina's world, we're thrown into violent mayhem and a jaw-dropping finale. Andrez may have left the laughs of Heropa behind but this dark, cynical volume isn't the sort of thing we read only once. Having got to the end I had to re-read just to pick up the clues that I'd missed. Indeed a masterly touch, Mr B! ~ Ani Johnson, The Bookbag



  • Depth Charging Ice Planet Goth
    Andrez Bergen
    'Depth Charging Ice Planet Goth' is rather different in style and tone from much of Andrez Bergen’s previous body of work. Even so, though, there’s a distinct flavor to it that, if you’re familiar with Bergen’s writing, is unmistakable. His influences and his passions always stand out, from elements of noir to classic films and comic books to music, and more. As I’ve remarked before, this tendency to wear his passions on his sleeve is part of what makes Bergen’s work so much fun to read.

    This particular novel is set in Australia in the 1980s. We follow Mina, a high school girl coming into her own amid an avalanche of problems all around her. Her mother died just a few short weeks before the story begins. Her brother beats and abuses her, and has since she was little. And, her father, while not a bad person per se, is distant and completely oblivious to her emotional state.

    Mina refuses to talk about any of the awful things going on in her life, and when confronted about them, she shrugs it off and pretends that they don’t bother her. Instead, to deal with these problems, she retreats into fantasy. Her outlet is a typewriter, with which she turns the people and events in her life into fantastical stories, ranging from sci-fi to adventure to (of course) noir. The action of the novel itself is frequently broken up by bits of these stories—several of which the keen observer may recognize, particularly if they’ve read the anthology Bergen published last year, 'The Condimental Op'.

    Writing can be a good and healthy way of dealing with emotional trauma; however, Mina also retreats into fantasy in another, somewhat darker way: a large, black-feathered bird-woman named Animeid, her sometime rescuer, sometime tormenter, who wreaks merry havoc in Mina’s life and is, of course, invisible to everyone but Mina.

    I found myself identifying with Mina rather more than I expected to, especially considering that I was never a teenage girl, nor did I grow up in Australia in the 1980s. But, certain events in her life parallel my own, and, in particular, her reactions to these events are rather more familiar than I’m comfortable with. In that way she’s identifiable, yes, but not always easy to like. That’s not a criticism, but merely an observation—Mina in fact doesn’t always like herself either. But, as she comes into her own, both she and we begin to like her and root for her more and more.

    This is not your typical coming-of-age story, though. It starts out that way, but eventually encompasses a variety of different styles and genres, from sci-fi to mystery, and more—even apart from the stories-within-a-story that we glimpse from Mina’s writings. I don’t think I’ve ever read a book quite like this one. It’s odd and unique, at times funny, at times poignant, but always compelling. If you’re looking for something outside the norm, you should definitely give this one a read.
    ~ Steven W. Alloway, Fanboy



  • Working the Aisles: A Life in Consumption
    Robert Appelbaum
    This book sticks in your head well after you put it it down. The author is a great story teller. His personal journey is both funny and profoundly sad. This was a great read for anyone anyone who enjoys a good book. ~ Dale Ridge, Amazon.com



  • Spirits of the Sacred Grove
    Emma Restall Orr
    5 Star review for the first edition published 1998:
    "The most beautiful, inspirational book I have ever read."
    When I first began reading 'Spirits' (now re-titled 'A Druid Priestess') I was recovering from a major operation and so had the time, at last, to consider in depth, my spirituality, something I'd been attempting to do for a long time. Although raised a Roman Catholic I had always been drawn to nature, and the nature-based religions, and found the Pagan way of living was becoming more and more interesting and important to me. Although, I WOULD say that you don't have to be interested in following a pagan pathway, to delight in the pages of this wonderful book. Anyone, following any religion or spirituality, will find something within these pages which touches them deeply. It does not aim to convert. Many of my non-pagan friends have read it, and have found solace in its words.
    It is a book based on a very personal journey in the life of a very beautiful Priestess. Completely enthralling, weaving knowledge with inspiration, and sharing many personal moments, 'Spirits' allows the reader to truly 'be' there, to walk alongside Bobcat, to wander about in her world and touch her reality, as she treads her own, unique path throughout the wheel of the year.
    I was feeling particularly low in my own spirit and soul when someone recommended I read 'Spirits', stating "it'll blow your head off Ri", and it did! From the very first page I was captivated. From the very first page I soared. 'Spirits' is one of those books which is difficult to put down once you start reading, yet at other times I became so overwhelmed, so fuelled with emotion, that I just had to, either to merely wipe my tears of sadness or elation, or actively work with the spirits of place, to share what I was experiencing ...
    'Spirits of The Sacred Grove' is a very powerful insight, into a very beautiful native spirituality. I knew from the moment I began reading it that the path of Druidry was the one I'd been walking in secret all of my life. I felt as if I'd 'come home'. And now, almost 4 years after first reading it, I feel that even more strongly. I'm still walking my path, with deeper and deeper reverance each day, and still delighting in my now well-read, dog-eared book of 'Spirits of The Sacred Grove'... ~ Mouse, Amazon Customer Review



  • Spirits of the Sacred Grove
    Emma Restall Orr
    5 star review for the first edition published1998:
    "A wonderful guide to the spirit and passion of druidry."
    I have read many texts giving in more or less detail the practical aspects of druidic practice. They are informative and interesting, but few have engaged my imagination and my spirit as this one has. I have seldom, if ever, come across such a vivid and beautiful description of what it is to actually live as a priestess (or priest). Emma takes us along with her on her spiritual journey through the year, allowing us to experience the laughter and the fears, the doubt and the joy of modern druidry. A truly moving book for anyone with an interest in the spiritual side of life, no matter what religious background they hail from. ~ Craig Cartmell, Amazon Customer Review



  • Starlight in the Ring
    H. N. Quinnen
    5.0 out of 5 stars STARLIGHT IN THE RING: A MUST READ STORY 25 Jun 2014
    By Dr S Kachilele
    Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
    A well written novel covering a remarkable historical period in South Africa.
    A very interesting book, with unpredictable plot.
    The story revolves around families living in South Africa, South West Africa and England. In each chapter, Betty Baker takes the reader through her adventurous life. We learn about her family aspirations, setbacks and inspirations.
    In her writing, Quinnen is very good at painting pictures in the mind of a reader. I did feel sorry for both Betty and Jimmie’s families. They had a very strong relationship, helping and caring for each other in every possible way, yet trapped and limited by the laws. I had mixed emotions, as I turned the pages, unable to put it down. I enjoyed the love triangle, and kept wondering who was Betty marrying in chapter 1 – I wished it was Mark.
    I loved reading about South Africa from this positive point of view – certainly the book is not anti- Europeans or anti-Natives.
    A brilliantly entertaining and inspirational story of hope that left me with more questions about what happened to Jimmie and Betty’s family in the end. ~ Dr S Kachilele, Amazon.co.uk



  • Reggie & Me
    Marie Yates
    This book is a fantastic and brilliant read from cover to cover and will appeal to both teenagers and adults who have been through a traumatic experience in their life time but found that what did not kill them infact made them stronger.

    First time author, Marie Yates, writes in a beautiful & captivating manner and I found I was gripped throughout the book wanting to find out what happened next. I could not put the book down and read the whole book cover to cover in one session!

    I felt I could really relate to Dani’s character as she expressed her innermost thoughts about growing up and facing the pressures & challenges that school can bring any normal teenager. For Dani though it was different as she had the extra pressure of starting a new school mid- term and right before her exams. Not only that but she had the pressure of keeping her rape ordeal a secret and overcoming the victim mentality, guilt and shame she was feeling about it all.

    Jane was one of my most favourite characters in the book as she was a true guide and mentor for Dani and taught her how to use her mind to overcome the challenges she was facing. Jane teaches Dani valuable life lessons of how to change negative thinking into positive thinking and actions which was what helped Dani to get through her challenges the most and achieve the goals she set herself.

    I could also personally relate to how important it is to have a dog as your best friend throughout your teenage years and Reggie came into Dani’s life at exactly the right time and for the right reasons.

    Reggie who is half Rottweiler and half German shepherd is the most delightful dog, who through his innate wisdom, shared, what I felt were the most important lessons and teachings for Dani after her ordeal.

    Reggie helps Dani to learn how to trust again and feel respect, unconditional love, acceptance and complete loyalty. Reggie’s important teachings result in them both forming a very deep and mutual bond in their relationship with one another and proving that dogs really are our best friends.

    There is a great twist at the end which made me smile and laugh out loud and made me feel on a high and left me wanting to read more.

    I would highly recommend this book to everyone to read as I feel there are parts in Dani’s story that we can all relate to. The book made me smile, laugh and at times brought tears to my eyes as it took me back down memory lane in my own life and helped me realise that indeed what does not kill you does make your stronger!

    Fantastic Read: 10/10!
    ~ Nikki Brown - The UK's Natural Dog Whisperer



  • Shaman Pathways - Trees of the Goddess
    Elen Sentier
    Trees of the Goddess presents the Ogham Tree Alphabet in a new and exciting way, clearly linking the wheel of the year to the trees. Even if you already know the Ogham you will find something new in this easily readable book. If you are studying the Ogham as part of a spiritual course this is a very necessary companion. Elen also presents simple techniques for getting in touch with the tree spirits and making Ogham staves and all in less than 100 pages. Another triumph for the Shaman pathways series and Elen herself
    ~ Dr. B. J. Howlin, Moon Books author



  • Shaman Pathways - Trees of the Goddess
    Elen Sentier
    My own approach to tree lore and the Ogham is entirely traditional so I found Elen Sentier's book a fascinating look into an entirely different approach to the subject. Elen weaves together the older material with a wide array of modern material, including insight's from Robert Graves' book the White Goddess, moon lore, metal associations, and spiritual concepts. She also includes a lot of tree and plant lore and some different deity related material. She covers the 20 Ogham by breaking them up into the 12 months of the year, each month with a chapter which contains 1 or 2 Ogham. Towards the end she also discusses mistletoe and how to connect to the energies of the trees and plants as well as how to make your own Ogham staves. Ultimately this book is not about the academic history of the Ogham or the historic beliefs and practices associated with them, but is about the author's vision of the living symbols of the trees and how they can be connected to and worked with today.
    ~ Morgan Daimler, Moon Books Author



  • SPLANX
    Peter Magliocco
    Christopher Obert, publisher of Pear Tree Publishing, for the New England Authors Expo ...
    www.facebook.com/NewEnglandAuthorsExpo

    ~ Christopher Obert, New England Authors Expo



  • Open Book Theater Management
    Rafe Beckley
    Practical, moral, fair and inspired. Small-scale and fringe theatre has been waiting a long time for Open Book - we should embrace it with open arms. ~ Ivor Benjamin, Directors Guild of Great Britain



  • Eve and Mary: The Search for Lost Beauty and Sensuality
    Frank Shapiro
    5 Star Review: This review is from: Eve and Mary: The Search for Lost Beauty and Sensuality (Paperback)

    Certainly worth a look see. The feminine strengths and presence in early Christian history have been so overlooked and repressed, that all attempts to shed some light on this area of history or possible history, even, is opening oneself to a much more balanced view of what we all could be in a more balanced society-with the roles of men and women in harmony. ~ Edward Huff, Amazon.com

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