RECENT REVIEWS & ENDORSEMENTS
- Being a Supervisor 1.0
Joseph F Duffy, LLD
Very good easy to understand book. Several good ideas and tactics to be a supervisor. ~ Brian’s Warning, Amazon Books
- Mission From Venus
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars. A wonderful esoteric sci-fiction and fantasy adventure. I hope this becomes a series as I became so invested in the world-building and the characters. Fantastic read. ~ G Truman (Media), NetGalley
- Way of the Conscious Warrior, The
How do you control uncontrollable testosterone? You calm it down with the perfect history. The Way of The Conscious Warrior by P.T. Mistlberger is a book full of disciplinary codes, history of warriors, and past wars. Buckle down and get ready for history 101. Within the first few pages P.T. talks about 21 century men and how they cope with family members..... The book is filled with men in history from war eras and all different kinds of warriors from multiple cultures. There are some warrior cultures that I haven’t even heard of and their cultures are crazy cool......, you’ll be stoked to read this book...... You’ll be learning about warrior codes, integrating the beast, meditation, guidelines for an intimate relationship, essential secrets and so much more manly things......this book is geared towards men and I would recommend this book to those who are interested in war history, martial arts, and for men who seek self-discipline. If you love reading The Art of War BySun Tzu, you’ll love this one as well. ~ Eddy Yang (Reviewer) , NetGalley
- By the Feet of Men
There are always important lessons to be learned in this world and one that I try to hold on to as best I can is that you should never discount anything because of what you think has come before. You come across a book and you think to yourself something along the lines of, "Well this post-apocalyptic thing has pretty much out-distanced its own legs, hasn't it? Haven't we had enough of these stories?"
The reality is one that I think is demonstrated by Grant Price's book, By the Feet of Men. In other words, it's entirely possible to take a well-travelled and maybe overused genre and make it into something special. Because some things, when done with a certain degree of skill, are always going to be enjoyable. What I like about the core drive of this book is that it has the courage to plunge the reader into the heart of the story without an easy road map to guide people along. There isn't an intricately drawn out backstory or prologue to set the mood. You are simply placed into this universe and the story begins to run.
And as you read, it quickly becomes clear that most of the details you might be wishing had been present aren't really germane to the story. We are reading about these characters and the weight of their journey. That's what you should be focusing on as the reader. Not the ins and outs or the specifics about how this particular world came into being. I know there are readers out there who want the book to be a full ten-course meal with as much laid out as possible. And I'm not disparaging that point of view. But for me, I appreciate the notion that while something might spark my intellectual curiosity, it isn't necessarily something I "need" to know. I think it shows a certain amount of respect for me, and gives me a more participatory role by handing over some details and with that the freedom to fill other gaps on my own. The relevance here is that I think the strength of the plot hangs on the world and the story.
And it's the landscape of the story that I think draws me in the most. The descriptions are vivid and the reality of these lives feel honest and authentic. You have to be willing to do some of the work yourself but the narrative room this creates really allows the story a chance to blossom into something special and entertaining to read.
There are books that are entertaining but you don't really feel the drive or desire to go back and read them again. This book is one of those rare examples where you enjoy it and at the same time feel excited about the notion of reading it again, to see how the story flows when you know where everything is going. ~ Ginger Nuts of Horror, https://gingernutsofhorror.com/fiction-reviews/by-the-feet-of-men-by-grant-price-book-review (4/5)
- Secret History of Christianity, A
Mark Vernon, in this beautifully written and artfully constructed book, uses Barfield’s key insights and amplifying historical and literary scholarship, to trace the development of Christianity’s two founding traditions – Athens and Jerusalem. http://ncolloff.blogspot.com/2019/08/mystics-of-imagination.html?m=1 ~ Nicholas Colloff, Golgonooza blog
- By the Feet of Men
An intriguing and unique dystopian tale, By the Feet of Men addresses hopelessness, hard-wired survival instinct, and what it truly means to be human in a dark, desolate and dangerous post-apocalyptic world. It’s thrilling…it’s gritty, it’s haunting… and will leave readers wondering and contemplating about life and more. Grant Price has masterfully created a chilling and believable dystopian narrative filled with nerve-wracking action, great character development, wonderful suspense, and relevant and realistic exploration of survival, loyalty, camaraderie, sacrifice, and ultimately what it means to hold on to our humanity when faced with impossible life and death decisions. If you’re in the mood for an interesting, somewhat disturbing, but fascinating story that will definitely leave a lasting impression, then add this book to your TBR. ~ Sincerely Karenjo, https://sincerelykarenjo.com/2019/08/19/arc-review-by-the-feet-of-men-by-grant-price/ (4/5)
- Peace or Pacification?
Liam Ó Ruairc
"In his book Peace or Pacification: Northern Ireland After the Defeat of the IRA, which will be published later this month, Belfast-based academic Liam O Ruairc offers an incisive analysis of all shades of republicanism. He notes that for dissidents "successful operations are the exception, not the rul." .. It's difficult to dispute O Ruairc's view of dissident attacks having "very much a symbolic value rather than a purely strategic one." ~ Suzanne Breen, Political Editor, Belfast Telegraph (Northern Ireland's main daily newspaper) , https://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/opinion/columnists/suzanne-breen/suzanne-breen-diehards-will-carry-on-in-stubborn-bid-to-prevent-normalisation-38418124.html
- I've Never Met A Dead Person I Didn't Like
The extraordinary travels of a young, alone and broke psychic. The heart-warming and adventurous true story of a young woman on her own at age seventeen, broke and surrounded by talkative spirits that don’t want to go away. Living in-between the physical world and the spirit realm, yet feeling a stranger in both, Sherrie Dillard criss-crossed the country by bus, train and hitchhiking in a search for answers. Along the way she was led to help the poor and homeless on skid row, install water systems in Mayan Indian villages, live alone in a tent in the mountains and make art with juvenile offenders. It was in these diverse environments that she came face to face with saints, angels and dark spirits and learned to trust her psychic ability. From her early secret encounters with spirits who guided and ultimately saved her life, Sherrie Dillard finally accepted that what made her different and odd, was also her greatest gift. I’ve Never Met A Dead Person I Didn’t Like, is a powerful story for anyone who listens to - or doubts their own intuition and the presence of their loved ones on the other side. Even in our darkest hour, in the depths of loneliness and overwhelming challenges, divine guidance and miracles are always present.
~ BILLIE WICHKAN (Reviewer), NetGalley
- I've Never Met A Dead Person I Didn't Like
This book is about Sherrie Dillard's voyage of discovery. From a childhood of abuse, through her discovery that she could speak with spirits, Sherrie lets us accompany her as she discovers herself and her powers. Sherrie is a gifted story teller who doesn't shy away from the darker elements of her life. This is a powerful telling of somebody coming to terms with being different and finding acceptance and love for who they are along the way. It will not be a story for everyone, it builds upon religion and spirituality, but even as an agnostic I found it compelling and moving. I would recommend this book to anyone who is interested in how we discover ourselves, or to anyone who likes powerful biographies. ~ Terrie Knibb (Reviewer) , NetGalley
- Pagan Portals - Sun Magic
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars. This book was wonderful for sun magic. There is very little out there on this topic and this book does a great job of filling that void. I look forward to more wonderful titles from the Pagan Portals. ~ Kimberly Garman (Schneider) (Librarian), NetGalley
- Wisdom for Living
Reynold Ruslan Feldman
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars. A lovely insightful, helpful and uplifting book that actively encourages you to write your very own Wisdom for Living. I received this as an ebook via Netgalley and JHP Books for which I am very grateful but I personally think this is the type of book that works best when you dip in and out of it and so I would recommend buying the actual physical book. ~ ANNE ROGERS (Reviewer) , NetGalley
- Malibu Motel
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars. We often say ( well I do ) ‘I have never read a book like this before’ but this time I mean it ‘I have never read a book like this before’!!
Based, some say loosely but nonetheless based, on a true story this books charts the life of Caish Calloway after his multi million dollar win on the Californian Lottery, - you do get a look back at his life before this at various times in the book but the book starts as he is in the flush of mega wealth....living in Malibu, countless (well 16) luxury cars, all the drugs, sex and rock n roll he can buy and his own brand of entitled/narcissistic personality
Caish sets up a few unremarkable businesses but isn't worried by the odd loss and then he falls in love, with the wrong person, who loses him 32 million!!!, I have to say though to my mind the signs were all there, blatantly there, that this guy was a fraudster but a combination of untouchability and first fever of love meant Caish didn't see those signs, or chose not to!
This loss causes an unstoppable chain of events which see him sliding further and further into ‘the mire’. The narrative of drug mainlining, HIV, illness and downright tunnel vision of what Caish wants as opposed to anything else, may not suit some readers its fair to say - there is a lot of drug usage talk and you could feel it's glamourised although the end result is anything but. Devoid of family and friends, after an unsuccessful attempt at moving back to Montana we find him living rough, then in a halfway house then in a shelter, where his despair battles with false thoughts that he is still ‘better than these people’ - the ending is dramatic and powerful.
Caish is arrogant, I hated and loved him in equal measure throughout the book but everytime he ‘went too far’ a chink, just a chink of something came through to almost win me back....until the next page usually when he was off again! A complex character bar none whose fragility was as evident as his pompousness, confusing and annoying!
Other various cast members were as vapid as him, his money grabbing Mum and 3 siblings repugnant and his hangers on lovely until they fell off! Its a very wordy book and there is some repetition re cars and drugs but it's told almost like a diary and so the writing is quick and easy and often shocking. The book starts and ends in Malibu, one town yet 2 places in that town as far away as you could possibly get. I will not forget Caish it would be impossible to do so.
~ Mark Fearn (Reviewer), NetGalley
- Soul Murmurs
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars. Overall, I highly enjoyed Soul Murmurs. In sync with the seasons, each section took me out of the moment. I became fully immersed in each emotionally expressive and lyrical line and sorrow-ridden memories. With a clear goal and flawless execution, this deeply personal narrative is infused with passion and pain. Highly recommended for lovers of spirit-infused poetic memoirs. ~ Erica Watkins (Reviewer), NetGalley
- My Pagan Ancestor Zuri
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars. I really enjoyed this book, which is a mixture of fact and fiction (but the fiction is plausible conjecture). As such, it reads more easily than just fact, and is more enjoyable than pure fiction because it has the nexus with the real world. I learned a great deal about the people of the Avonlands (as he calls them), Stonehenge, the Beaker culture, and methods of burial, pottery-making, skin-curing, and much more. Ken West brings the past alive in a way that I liked and I think that older students would like, as well. ~ Janette Forman (Educator) , NetGalley
- Wisdom for Living
Reynold Ruslan Feldman
Wisdom for Living is the fruit of a collaboration between husband and wife and consists of a series of bite-sized topics, each expanding on quotes from, well, wise individuals: great writers, sages and mystics, and so forth. It is therefore not intended to be read all at once - one topic for each day is probably the way this is intended. Neither is it intended as a 'spectator sport' - the reader is encouraged to keep a journal of his/her own reflections on each topic. By the end, each will have completed their own book of wisdom!
And what about the writers themselves? It does seem that each is very well qualified to write about wisdom. Reynold Ruslan Feldham is old, at 75, and it is always to be hoped that the old do have wisdom to pass on....... He touches on Gurdjieff and Marianne Wliamson, of A Course of Miracles. He practises the Latihan. And so on. His wife, meanwhile, is a certified psychotherapist....
There are certainly, enough nuggets of wisdom to be found within these pages. This book should certainly bring out the inner sage of a anyone who chooses to go along with the spirit of this book and journal.
~ Lynda Stevens (Reviewer) , NetGalley
- Temple of Dreams
......Sebastian recently lost his adoptive parents in a motorway pile-up. His only clue to his true background is a brooch left behind by his mother. An ancient Greek brooch....................This can be enjoyed as a romantic novel with an element of the supernatural, if romantic novels appeal to the reader - or, for that matter, for anyone who is interested in the Greek Mysteries. The characters living in the past are well drawn, facing as gritty dilemmas in finding their ways in life as anyone in the present - perhaps more so, as the struggles just to survive were far greater then. There is an element of coming-of-age too........ ~ Lynda Stevens (Reviewer), NetGalley
- Pagan Portals - Sun Magic
This is part of the Pagan Portal series of books. It has a lot of information regarding the sun and its solar aspects. There are descriptions of the phases of the sun along with its effects on us physically and mentally. There is even a selection on the chakras with a focus on the solar plexus. The author does a thorough job of including the magical properties that can help with magical workings along with crystals, stones, herbs, plants, oils, incense and teas. There are recipes and I am particularly looking forward to making the solar shortbread cookies.
She also discusses the ancient cultures that honored the sun and the structures they built for worship. It includes the importance of how the turning of wheel of the year, the solstices & equinox and astrological sun signs affects us. There are listings of sun deities and solar animals with meditations to connect with them. There are invocations to the sun and instructions to draw energy down from the sun. There is a sun ritual and many spells. She also includes divination, including The Sun card from the tarot, and other symbols.
This is a great book for anyone interested in working with the sun and its energy. The book is well written and is choked full of information. I love the meditations especially the ones associated with rainbows. ~ Dawn Thomas (Reviewer) , NetGalley
- Left for Itself, A
David Swift rides a coach and horses through the self-indulgence, radical chic and bloviating of too much of today’s British left ~ Professor John Bew, author of Citizen Clem, winner of the Orwell Prize 2017
- Peace or Pacification?
Liam Ó Ruairc
"Der Belfaster Autor Liam O›Ruairc - ein ehemals führendes Mitglied der Irisch-Republikanischen Sozialistischen Partei und früherer Herausgeber des Diskussionsmediums »The Blanket« - ist anderer Meinung. In seiner bei Zero Books erscheinenden Studie »Peace or Pacification? Northern Ireland After the Defeat of the IRA« erläutert er, dass das Wiedererstarken radikaler Kräfte weniger mit dem EU-Austritt Großbritanniens zu tun hat als vielmehr mit einem faktischen Scheitern des Friedensprozesses. Der Wandel von IRA und der Partei Sinn Féin von einer revolutionären zu einer konstitutionellen Bewegung brachte keinen Frieden. Die »Niederlage« der IRA, so O‹Ruairc, manifestiere sich darin, dass der republikanischen Ideologie ihr transformativer Horizont abhanden kam. Der republikanische Kampf sei umgedeutet worden - weg vom Ziel einer vereinten sozialistischen Republik, hin zu einem Kampf um Bürgerrechte und Identität.
Noch in den 1970ern sahen irische Republikaner und ihre internationalen Unterstützer Nordirland als Relikt des untergehenden britischen Kolonialismus. Der Friedensprozess aber besiegelte die Auffassung, es gehe nur um einen Kampf für die Rechte der katholischen Minderheit innerhalb Großbritanniens. Echten Frieden, so O›Ruairc, habe es aber nicht gegeben, nur eine Befriedung zu britischen Bedingungen: Die IRA gab die Waffen ab und machte einen großen Schritt - während die Gegenseite nicht viel unternahm. Die sozialen und politischen Probleme, die hinter dem Konflikt standen, sind bis heute nicht gelöst. Die einstige Industrieregion ist heute einer der ärmsten Landstriche Europas. Wenn es Arbeit gibt, dann bei der öffentlichen Hand, ein Privatsektor existiert kaum. Die Jugendarbeitslosigkeit ist exorbitant und selbst die Lebenserwartung ist in vielen katholischen Arbeiterbezirken gering. Nordirland hat die höchste Selbstmordrate Großbritanniens - seit 1998 haben mehr Menschen Suizid begangen, als zuvor bei Kampfhandlungen gestorben waren.
Diese Lage liefert Radikalen wie der »Neuen IRA« die Rekruten: Arbeitslose Jugendliche, die zwar oft erst nach dem Karfreitagsabkommen geboren wurden - und doch voll Wut sind auf das politische System, ihre Lebensbedingungen und auch die nach wie vor harte Repression der Polizei. Es trifft zwar zu, dass die Unsicherheit rund um den Brexit Öl ins Feuer gießt. Doch weil die gegenwärtige Misere in den EU-Zeiten Großbritanniens gewachsen sind, spielt nun auch der Brexit eher eine Nebenrolle. Der radikale Republikanismus, der wieder an Zulauf gewinnt, zielt wie eh und je auf eine vereinte irische Republik und Sozialismus.
Auf dem Kontinent wird oft übersehen, dass Nordirland auch seit dem Karfreitagsabkommen nie von politischer Gewalt frei war. Die über 100 Menschenleben, die sie seither forderte, können nur im Licht der vorherigen Lage als niedriges Level gelten. Nordirland ist auf dem Weg zu einem scheiternden Staat, in dem die Jugend keine Perspektive sieht. So wenig, wie heute die Bedingungen für einen wirklichen Frieden bestehen, ist es der Brexit allein, der den Krieg zurückbringen könnte. ~ Neues Deutschland (German daily newspaper with a circulation of 21,352 as of 2019) The newspaper is both politically and financially tied to one of i, https://www.neues-deutschland.de/artikel/1124441.nordirland-befriedung-statt-frieden.html
- Life Worth Living, A
New Book Alert: A Life Worth Living: Meditations on God, Death, and Stoicism by William Ferraiolo; In Depth Look At Using Stoicism in Times of Trouble
By Julie Sara Porter
In William Ferraiolo's previous book Meditations on Self-Discipline and Failure, he introduced the Reader to the concept of Stoicism, a philosophy in which followers practiced reason, rational behavior, and control over emotion. The book offered little paragraphs of advice on various situations.
Ferraiolo's follow up, A Life Worth Living: Meditations on God, Death, and Stoicism is a more in depth look, at using Stoicism during times of great stress. Ferraiolo goes into great detail on how Stoics can face the issues that plague them.
The introduction makes clear what this book is made for. In a master of understatement, Ferraiolo’s intro states “The world is a rough place and no one gets out alive…..We are entitled to have precisely none of it. None of us had to be born.” The important thing to remember is Socrates’ philosophy of “the unexamined life is not worth living.” One way to examine life is with a sense of detachment and looking at the way your emotions and how you react to the world.
Unlike the previous book, Ferraiolo doesn't resort to short homilies that offer brief insights. Instead each chapter is a more detailed look at current issues and how Stoicism can be practiced when faced with him.
One method that Ferraiolo introduces in his book is the IDEA Method, four steps to practice Stoicism. It stands for:
I: Identify the real issue-What is really concerning us? When we are mad about something, what is the root cause of our anger?
D: Distinguish “Internal” from “External”-What is beyond our control-external and what is within our power to change-internal. Is the problem something we can fix, can it be fixed by someone else, by both or neither?
E: Exert Effort Only Where It Can Be Effective-If the problem is internal what can and should be done to fix it? Is it necessary for example to obtain so many material goods when everything falls away? Do we have a good work-life balance?
A: Accept the Rest Amor Fati-If the problem is external, what are the results and how do we accept it? Even if it is internal, have we done everything we possibly could? How do we react at the results with calm and acceptance or with rage and tears?
One of the big issues that plague us in modern society is mental health. While Ferraiolo doesn't dismiss conventional treatment like therapy and medication, he advises the Reader to look at the issues that surround the anxiety.
Concerns about another person's health and well-being lie within that person and not within others surrounding them. Anxieties about death are not necessary because no matter what happens, we are all going to die. When someone is concerned about failure, their anxieties may trouble them so much that their fear becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.
The book also discusses the obsession with the needs of the external world such as money, material goods, or constant adulation. Simplicity is living your life without the excesses of the external and appreciating what one has instead of obtaining too much.
Stoicism is also a philosophy that admits free will and is less dependent on the will of a higher deity. While many of the Stoics believed in a God of some form, they knew that their behaviors were in their control. Even modern Stoics can match their behaviors to their current beliefs.
Many practicing Buddhists can find comparisons between their belief and Stoicisms. Like Epictetus the Slave who practiced a life of simplicity, Prince Siddhartha Gautama walked away from his royal life that shielded him from illness, old age, poverty, and death. Buddhists and Stoics share a calmness in the face of suffering and a life of simplicity.
Agnosticism is also a belief system that is joined with Stoicism. Stoics and Agnostics both realize that they know nothing, so they often question the world around them. Ferraiolo counters the thought that Agnostics are inherently weak. On the contrary, he writes that it takes a lot of strength to question and accept that we may not fully know how the Universe works.
Ferraiolo finds Stoicism everywhere even in popular culture. He devotes one whole chapter to Anton Chigurh the sinister hit man from the film, No Country for Old Men. Chigurh has no back story, no motivation. He just is who he is, death incarnate. He is stoic in his behavior and demeanor using a flip of a coin to determine who lives and dies. Ferraiolo cites three examples from the film which illustrates his method of killing. One character says “The coin has no say. It's (Chigurh) who decides.” Chigurh is someone who is completely detached from his emotion to the point that he accepts life and death equally.
Among the big questions philosopher ask is how can evil exist especially if there is a benevolent God. Along with that question is whether we have Free Will.
Morals are the principles in which people live according to spiritual practice, laws, and personal beliefs. The ideal that we are responsible for our behavior and the emotions that occur reflects our principles and how we choose to live. With Stoics the question often is not what happened, but how did I choose to act upon it.
In Roman times, Stoics often chose death over dishonor by suicide. While in modern times, suicide is not a favorable action, one can replace that behavior with an acceptance of death. That's why people sign DNRs or make their last wishes known. Some choose to die rather than suffer in illness. The stoic mindset towards death is to face it as you would life with a calm acceptance.
As before, Ferraiolo shows that Stoicism is not a philosophy for everybody. Humans are by consequence emotional creatures and Stoicism runs counter to that. Instead, it tells us how we can face illness and suffering with change but also acceptance when we can't change it. ~ Julie Sara Porter, Online: http://juliesaraporterbookworm.blogspot.com/2019/08/new-book-alert-life-worth-living.html