RECENT REVIEWS & ENDORSEMENTS
Timothy J. Jarvis
This is an intelligent, ludic work, beautifully articulate and poetic, with respectful yet impish reverence given to the best writers of strange stories over the last few decades. It’s also surprisingly and delightfully grim in all the right ways.
The Wanderer has been my novel of the year so far, and there’s only a few weeks left of this one so I can’t see it being bettered; in fact, I haven’t read as cohesive and compelling a weird fiction novel in a very long time. The fact that it is a debut makes it all the more revelatory and I cannot recommend this book enough. Even with the teetering pile(s) of titles on my to read list, I sense that I’ll be revisiting this one very soon to see what I may have missed along the way the first time. ~ Brian Lavelle, http://notimeispassing.wordpress.com/2014/11/26/timothy-j-jarvis-the-wanderer/
Pagan Portals - The Awen Alone
Joanna van der Hoeven
Druidry is a fast growing tradition and whether by necessity or choice, many of its practitioners walk the path alone. Sharing a tradition and its spiritual practices with others can be richly rewarding but it is not for everyone and Joanna van der Hoeven’s latest book The Awen Alone: Walking the Path of the Solitary Druid illustrates that a solitary path in no way diminishes the wisdom and inspiration that Druidry offers.
The book is organised into three sections: the Basics of Druidry, Druidry in Practice and Creating Your Own Path. The first deals with the history and what Druidry is, examining subjects such as the Awen, the Gods, the Ancestors and festivals. The second delves into practices such as meditation and pathworking, altar creation and rituals, whilst the third gives suggestion as to how the reader might design and walk their own path.
Joanna has already written two wonderful books in the Pagan Portals series published by Moon books: Zen Druidry and Dancing with Nemetona. Pagan Portals are great little books that serve as doorways to a subject, a starting point for further reading. The Awen Alone is also part of this series and although it is a small book, it is large of heart; Joanna manages to perfectly distil core wisdom in an accessible and perceptive way that loses none of the richness of the subject.
Throughout you get a real sense of Joanna’s commitment to her practice; of the wisdom gained through an honest devotion to discovering her truth. She reminds the reader that one of Druidry’s greatest strengths is that it encourages relationship with self, community and nature and that this brings its own responsibilities and inspiration. Druidry has no Dogma and this has led some outside the tradition to judge it as a ‘do what you fancy’ spirituality that lacks depth. The Awen Alone challenges this assumption by exploring a Druidry that strikes the perfect balance between acting upon the freedom to discover what Druidry is for the individual whilst sharing core values and principles that give shape to it as a philosophy. Joanna’s approach reminds us that we must move beyond reacting to truly responding and relating, and in this way our practice will remain flowing, flexible and open – enhancing our sensitivity to the changes that we must make, whilst at the same time feeling ourselves rooted in the tradition.
As a guide for the solitary Druid or beginner, The Awen Alone can’t be faulted – the reader is in very safe and knowledgeable hands – but in my view, it is much more than a ‘how to’. Joanna’s book stands on its own as a concise and insightful exploration of Druid philosophy. For me, The Awen Alone helped me to re-engage with my own practice with some renewed enthusiasm and a deeper appreciation and understanding of this path that I follow. Its useful suggestions and exercises are perfect for those new to the Druid path, but Joanna’s depth of understanding and her ability to deliver this in an accessible yet profound way, makes this a book that Druids with many years of experience can learn from. ~ Maria Ede-Weaving, Philip Carr-Gomm's blog
Reluctant Patient: A Journey of Trust, The
Ian G. Wallis
I would recommend this book to all healthcare professionals to give them an insight into what is happening to patients beyond the scalpels and drugs.
Anyone with pastoral responsibility would find it helpful to be reminded how positive outcomes can come from human frailty. Anyone who has been seriously ill would find in Mr Wallis a life and faith affirming companion on their journey. ~ Graham Cook, Reform Mag Dec/Jan 2014
Your Simple Path
Beautifully written book with a lot of heart, and yet also quite obviously very cleverly laid out and formatted in the perfect way to follow the message, understand the principles, and adopt the strategies.
Perfect mix of heart and mind.
My interest and enjoyment came from seeing how each section was laid out, interspersed with simple pages carrying the most simple and clear cut messages to ponder.
However, my breakthrough moment in understanding the power of the book, came from actually doing one of the "heart drawing" exercises. I decided to do it as an actual "test". I reckoned that I already knew the answer that would come out of the experiment (this is the word(s) that start to appear larger/bolder than the rest of words listed), and therefore I deliberately manufactured the *experiment* to see if the *right* result would pop up. Sure enough the answer I guessed did start to appear. However, it was very quickly followed by another of the phrases growing more and more starker. It then reached the point that this particular phrase was shouting itself as the *real* answer. I was surprised by this, but the more and more I pondered and truthfully searched, it became obvious that this insight was the real source of the question laid out.
That moment was a very real eye opener and demonstration of the power contained within the concepts and exercises that Ian lays out.
And all of that came BEFORE collecting the separate meditation tracks that are referenced in the book. So, goodness knows what other surprises and insights are going to appear next! ~ Richard Swan, Scotland., Amazon UK
Your Simple Path
What a wonderful book!
I have read many self help/mindfulness books but this one has to be the one that had the most positive effect on me and so soon after starting the book.
I felt a definite shift just a few chapters in. Ian's belief is so simple to follow and the book is written with care as if he is an old friend sharing a secret.
As the title suggests, it is a simple path to follow to find inner peace; forgive and be grateful and peace will come.
In a short space of time my negativity was replaced by positivity and I felt at peace with life. It gave me a really warm fuzzy feeling inside which I just want to share with others.
I can't wait to attend one of Ian's workshops now and hear him speak. ~ Carol Ratcliffe, Amazon UK
Naming the Goddess
Naming the Goddess, published by Moon Books, is a collaborative work bringing together essays written by over eighty scholars and practitioners of Goddess Spirituality, including contributions from Selena Fox, Kathy Jones, Caroline Wise and Rachel Patterson. A unique aspect of this book is that it is a two-part project with the first part of the book containing a series of contemplative and scholarly essays and the second part serving as a “gazetteer” of different goddesses, making it useful both as a reference book and as well as one that encourages reflective spiritual thought.
The perspectives and thealogies explored in the first section are pleasantly diverse and engaging. I do wish this section was longer, because I felt like it was still getting going when the focus then shifted to the second, larger section of the book.
I confess I didn’t expect to particularly enjoy the gazetteer portion because I have a variety of goddess “dictionary” type books already and I expected much of the second part of the book to be a repeat of information I already have. However, the approach in Naming the Goddess was decidedly different. First, because many of the seventy goddesses included were uncommon deities with whom I was not familiar. Second, because the entries were written with a personal flair, often by women or men who directly work with the goddesses profiled, rather than solely being a generic overview of the mythology or cultural lore associated with the goddess. Having so many voices represented in one book also means that I found a number of other books to add to my wish list as well as diverse authors and bloggers to follow online!
Another enjoyable element of this volume of essays was the “bite-sized” nature of each piece. Most of the essays are 2-5 pages long, meaning the book can readily be digested in a stop-and-start manner that is very compatible with a busy life that includes four small children
GREYHOUND GEORGE is a delightful tale of the likes I have never had the pleasure of reading before. This is definitely an original story, full of humor, fantasy and certainly a book you will not want to put down once you have started it. GREYHOUND GEORGE is the first I have had the pleasure of reading by Tony Cleaver, but I certainly hope that there are lots more like this. Cleaver has a great sense of humor and an abundance of originality. There wasn't a single part of GREYHOUND GEORGE I did not thoroughly enjoy. ~ Fresh Fiction, http://freshfiction.com/review.php?id=48807
What a lovely book - a perfect starting point for anyone wanting to quiet their mind of daily chatter and focus attention on a positive thought process. I wish I would have had this book when I began my own mini meditations not too long ago. Even if you already have a daily meditation practice, In10tions offers fantastic prompts to find a place in your mind in which to focus and help do away with negative self talk, which most of us have had creep in now and then. With all that we have going on in our busy world, In10tions is a terrific tool to hone in and fine tune our desire for peace and joy in a simple, straightforward and loving way.
With ninety prompts for the ninety days of creating In10tions in one's life, this book could be opened at any page to embark on a creative journey toward whatever change we desire. This book will be of benefit for the novice or a seasoned journal writer who is looking to delve deeper. In10tions would also make a wonderful gift for someone who wishes to re-direct areas in their life where they feel stuck but are unsure of how or where to begin.
~ Alicia Garey, Author of What a Blip: A Breast Cancer Journal of Survival and Finding the Wisdom
Quiet Mind, A
Eva has been very brave in writing what so many people, both in and out of church life, ponder to themselves but are too fearful to speak out. It really is a big comfort to those seeking, or bewildered, or downright depressed and 'turned off' by what they think Christianity and its churches are all about. It is a short concise book, but with a huge volume of sense and ideas, and is easy to understand and use. Its poems are evocative and proufoundly deep, yet simple. Thank goodness for a volume which will take the angst from you about praying, and give you the strength to love yourself as you are and as you can be, and then help you, or those you meet, to love others free of shackles.
I do so hope priests and teachers will read this along with everyone who longs for a better, more loving, and peaceful world. Its fresh approach should be talked about, it is for sharing. It won't take you long and will be well worth the effort, and offer you new insights. It is a book much needed. ~ Helen Kennaway, Amazon
Quiet Mind, A
Book arrived quickly and in good condition. I am grateful for the help it offers> Having attended a presentation given by the author I have found it a very useful follow-on from that. ~ Leon, Amazon
Quiet Mind, A
Great little book very challenging and thought provoking will make you think a lot about how you can quite your mind so as to hear from God. ~ Paul Balkwill, Amazon
Quiet Mind, A
The honest truth is I have never read anyone who has wrote with such sincerity and refreshing honesty as Eva, and I am so incredibly grateful for the bravery she took in revealing what drives her personally - she actually reveals how she thinks and feels and how she effectively applies it to her own life and difficulties.
Her words of distilled wisdom have helped me tremendously at occasional times of significant weakness or disappointment. I will read this book numerous times. ~ Shania Jeanes, Amazon
Quiet Mind, A
This is a small but useful book for people who might be said to suffer from “every-day mental health problems” – particularly those people of faith who tend to demand too much of themselves, then beat themselves up when they can’t live up to their own expectations. Its integrated approach is a reminder that our thoughts, emotions and “spirituality” all affect each other, and reside in a physical body which also needs care and attention.
~ Susanne McCarthy, Amazon
Quiet Mind, A
This delightful little book performs two functions.
Firstly for those who seek a tool box with which to find a Quiet Mind this book does what it says on the cover.
Secondly, if the Church will listen, Eva is pointing the way to a simple, relevant and spiritual Christianity which could be a major contribution to its salvation.
>To read it is to relax. To use it is to find a Quiet Mind. ~ Amazon customer, Amazon uk
Kitchen Witch's World of Magical Herbs & Plants, A
love this book, its very practical and gives good advice on the plants and herbs to use and what for, a must in any book collection ~ CosmicDancer, Amazon
Kitchen Witch's World of Magical Herbs & Plants, A
i love this book its easy to read and follow for a novice and informative to those who are more experience. R achel Patterson is a excellent author and writes with passion and humour,her books have pride of place in my libary and i dip into them all the time, she is insiring and is well worth the five star rating. ~ Amy Newman, Amazon
Queen's Play, The
It is the journey of the artist and the artist's examination of self that Kaul alludes to consistently in his fictions. . . . Kaul is a poet of space and silences, of absence and dream, a journeyman through text and the fictional experience. The lived is translated into the contemplated and is created in a brushstroke - such is the condition of the artist. His stories are like the Oneirocritica on the modernist urge and method, the dream of a dreamer who is aware of his dream. . . . ~ Christopher Cyrill, Southerly (Australia)
Dream of Horses & Other Stories, A
It is the journey of the artist and the artist's examination of self that Kaul alludes to consistently in his fictions. . . . Kaul is a poet of space and silences, of absence and dream, a journeyman through text and the fictional experience. The lived is translated into the contemplated and is created in a brushstroke - such is the condition of the artist. His stories are like the Oneirocritica on the modernist urge and method, the dream of a dreamer who is aware of his dream. . . . This is an admirable first collection that may become a singularity to Kaul's later work. Kaul writes in deeply rhythmic prose [and] has crafted seven seductive, necessarily orphic stories that linger like the taste of pomegranates. ~ Christopher Cyrill, Southerly (Australia)
Open Book Theater Management
Learning to put 'trust' first in Theatre Prodns
by Machen on Sep 24, 2014
Well, the first thing you notice when you get hold of Rafe's excellent treatise is that he spells 'theater' the wrong way. Well, it's for the US (larger market which I can forgive). This also extends to the use of dollars rather than pounds in all the free Excel spreadsheets. These are the core of his ?method? and are simplified so that 'dumb' producers like myself can use them without having to delve into the intricacies of cell formula writing (until we want to customize our own budgets) This book is written in a very easy to read conversational style (almost feel as though you know the author) When I emailed to Stage One that I thought ethical theatre production may not be a book I can buy from Amazon the author emailed me straight back to let me see a preview copy. It is available from many outlets from Friday 26th September. Great to be able to interact with the author. So now I do feel as if I know him. I was even able to suggest adding lines in one of the spreadsheets. He discusses profit share and royalty pools shared amongst the team (including the actors and anyone connected with the show) Perhaps a little more could have been mentioned regarding author royalties especially with regard to musicals (Book, Music, Lyrics) He just lists the 'writer' as getting a small part of the profit share (2 points) but it is up to you the number of points allocated. A great book that should help to galvanise discussions amongst theatre producers worldwide and lead to changes in the ways we work. Ethics is being considered in all walks of life now and some theatre companies are looking at green issues - Arcola Theatre in Hackney, N London, Metta Theatre and I'm sure loads of others too. I am at the point of having finished my first two 'fringe' productions and knowing how hard it is to make ends meet let alone make any money from the business. This has given me a deeper insight into the way I should be travelling. The journey can be exciting and working with others should be truly rewarding if 'Open Book' Trust is used amongst the theatre 'company' . Rafe only has three rules: Make Money, Make Art and the third rule is rule 1 always comes first. Now this applies specifically to professional theatre production but amateurs will find useful guidelines here too. Rafe discusses raising finance (suggesting how to put on a production for a tenner-optimistic!), contracts and profit share. Cashflow is one of the most interesting chapters I am trying to get my head around at the moment. And Continuous Learning is what we all espouse. In the Appendix there is a Model Cast/Crew Contract Templateand Model Unit Funding Contract as well as 5 spreadsheets on the website which are freely available. ~ Machen, Alibris
Daniela I. Norris
I won Collecting Feathers in a giveaway and received it a few days ago, and, boy, am I happy I did. This book was really good! After reading each story I put down the book and thought about what I’d just read and then rated the story. Each story got between 5 and 4 stars, and the average ended up being just below 4,5, so my rating ended up being 4 stars, even though several of these amazing short stories deserve 5 stars…
I’ve just recently discovered an interest in short stories, I used to connect them with school and assignments (school not being a good thing), but for some reason my mind flipped and I now love short stories, so this win has excellent timing. But since my love is still quite new, I do not have that much experience with short stories, but this is what I felt…
The theme of the stories really intrigued me, I’ve always had a fascination with death, being an atheist the idea of heaven and a heavenly afterlife seems unlikely… But these stories, though some a bit creepy, gives hope of an afterlife from the viewpoint of different people, which I quite enjoyed.
As I said before I did not used to like short stories, which was mostly because of the lack of character in the stories. One of my favorite things in fiction is character and character development and there isn’t much of that in short stories. But somehow Daniela Norris mastered the art of capturing the reader within a few lines and making me instantly feel for the character. So I applaud you, Daniela Norris, for proving me wrong and shattering my prejudices.
Not all of the stories spoke to me equally, but all were good. My favorites include A Reason to Go On, The Day of the Dead, Recognition, The Café and The Year Spring Turned into Winter, and, of course, they all received a five star rating from me, the rest got four well-deserved stars.
This book was sweet, it was hopeful, it was haunting, it was creepy and so much more. And I know that it was good, because as soon as I had read it, I started looking forward to time passing so I could read this with a different and further aged mind. So I look forward to revisiting this book in a year or two, and maybe I’ll find new favorites, who know… ~ Maja, Goodreads