Recent Reviews

  • Jumping sharks and dropping mics

    Rating: 5 out of 5 stars. A fascinating treat for writers, linguists, and lovers of language with a book entirely about idioms with a study of how certain ones stemmed from our "modern" sources of TV and movies (and more), only to become embedded in our language today. This tour provided takes you through some of these phrases and explores why these idioms have become important to our everyday vocab. The primary focus of this book is on the specific idioms that have entered our language in the more recent decades (after the creation of TV catchphrases and movies). As someone who has always appreciated the various tweaks of our language that makes it stand out, it's fun to see deeper exploration on idioms already known and ones that haven't been heard of. The book explores how modern conveniences and extracurriculars have given way to notable phrases and how some shifted in meaning by strange means. An example is how Friends (the show that everyone knows) was given credit with popularizing "the friend zone," "being commando," "being on a break," and a "moo point", along with other major pop culture additions (everyone knows "the Rachel" haircut).

    Examples of these famous phrases include "Can I phone a friend," "shrimp on the barbie," "not in Kansas anymore," and popular things like "bucket list" and "groundhog's day." We all know these sayings and most have seen where they've been derived from but it's so commonly used that how many really think about where they've come from. Then there are things that have brought so much popularity that made-up languages have been incorporated such as "Star Wars" terminology being highly influential on our language. Delves into phrases we're all familiar with such as Frankenstein's monster, Jekyll and Hyde, the scarlet letter, and any phrase from Alice in Wonderland. There are common phrases we use that perhaps we don't know actually came from such as brave new world (from The Tempest), dead as a doornail (from Henry VI), and break the ice (from Taming the Shrew). What's with the name? Jump the shark means that a TV show (or other entertainment franchise) has run out of ideas that are logical and have resorted to something ludicrous (or completely off base with the reality of the show) in an attempt to bolster ratings. Nuke the fridge (coming from "Indiana Jones") is another way of saying "jump the shark" though with a more unique twist on it. ~ LM Konkel-Dixon (Reviewer), NetGalley

  • Medium and the Minister, The

    Roger Straughan
    5 Star Rating. As author Straughan states in the concluding chapter, this book is “all about the wide range of evidence about a possible afterlife that is available to anyone who is prepared to look at it.” He stresses that evidence is not necessarily proof and it is left to the reader to give a verdict on the evidence offered.

    The title of the book is based on the conflicts between the evidence coming to us through psychical research carried out by a number of esteemed scholars and scientists and the faith-based teachings offered to us by orthodox religions. While the research supported the basic tenets of religions, including that of consciousness surviving death, it also challenged certain beliefs, the result being that church authorities were forced to ignore or repudiate the research to retain credibility with their flocks.

    There were, however, a number of Church clerics who disagreed with the church in this respect and even several who were gifted with mediumistic ability. As Straughan explains it, “an intriguing story of power politics, clashes of strong personalities, alleged cover-ups, leaks of secret information, documents filched from fling cabinets” plays out, most of it during the first half of the 20th Century.

    Straughan summarizes some of the more intriguing cases in the annals of psychical research, including the R-101 Airship Disaster, the Cross-Correspondences, the experiences of Colonel Reginald Lester, the Bishop Pike mystery, and the Scole Experiments. Although I have authored six books on the general subject matter, I learned a few things from this book and it further served as a refresher course on things I had forgotten. It has prompted me to reread the books about Colonel Lester and Bishop Pike. Those not familiar with the subject matter and those who have only scratched the surface of it should discover much food for thought. As Straughan points out, there can be few more serious concerns than death and the ultimate destiny of ourselves and others. ~ Michael E Tymn, Amazon US

  • Medium and the Minister, The

    Roger Straughan
    5 Star Rating. The Medium And The Minister by Roger Straughan is a fascinating book studying the afterlife. The author produces evidence and viewpoints from both points of view. Ultimately it is up to the reader to decide what we choose to believe as no one really knows what happens after we die.
    Roger Straughan shows the emergence of spiritualism from the mid nineteenth century. It had supporters in the British Prime Minister Arthur Balfour and author Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. It is interesting to read their findings.
    During World War I many strange phenomena happened to grieving relatives and soldiers still serving in the trenches, who claim to have seen those already passed on, but at the time the relatives and soldiers had no knowledge of the deaths. It is amazing to read, totally fascinating and unexplainable.
    The author also presents the churches view of the afterlife as seen in the Bible and decided by academics. Gone is the view of forever burning in hell or singing eternal songs in heaven. We are presented with beliefs from a Christian viewpoint.
    I was interested to read about Bishop Hugh Montifiore (of Birmingham in the late 1970’s, as living in Solihull with my parents meant I had seen Bishop Hugh on several occasions) and his beliefs. It felt like a personal connection to the book.
    There are also sections on mediums and Near Death Experiences which seem to have grown up with the advent of television.
    I found the whole book interesting, well laid out and fascinating. Ultimately none of us know what happens in the afterlife but as a Christian I put my hope and trust in Jesus, believing that I will spend eternity with Him. ~ Julia Wilson, Amazon

  • Bag Lady

    At its heart a compelling, irresistible, personal exploration and wholly revealing look at a woman who knew enough was enough, the book is also - in and unto itself - a valuable read of practical tools and tips that will help any business leader launch and run a business that is fully committed to making the world a better place. ~ Exclusive Magazine, Review

  • Naming the God

    Trevor Greenfield
    If you yourself have been wanting to connect, to discover how to create a solid, working relationship with the old Gods, the Ancient ones and such, Naming the God is the most perfect book for you, as it will provide you with both personal experiences and well-informed directives to ensure you have an inspired search thereafter; you have my word.

    FULL REVIEW: ~ Exclusive Magazine, Review

  • Colourful Dose of Optimism, A

    Jules Standish
    Within the gloriously written pages of A Colourful Dose of Optimism: Prescribe your own Happy Colours to Feel Good NOW (which, sadly, are not colourful, and just your basic black and white presentation - I was really hoping for splashes of colour within it, sorry!), author Jules Standish notably understands what we are all going through in today’s world re: human feelings, and thus reminds us all that that we can enhance our mood, our day, our week (personally and professionally) by simply embracing the power of colour and positivity!

    A book most definitely to look on the bright side of life with, most all our lives have shifted and they now, much as the world does, look different, less happy, less joyful, more gray and darker overall, but here in A Colourful Dose of Optimism: Prescribe your own Happy Colours to Feel Good NOW, Standish’s positive prescription for a more colourful existence, and how to get it really is one of the most heartwarmingly honest outreaches that I have had the pleasure to read in a long time.

    FULL REVIEW > ~ Exclusive Magazine, Review

  • Samsara

    This illuminating book explores samsara in the wider Vedantic context of the universal spiritual journey from darkness to light and ignorance to knowledge, where the author sees life as a setup to give us the chance to understand who we really are in terms of an underlying spiritual reality. ~ David Lorimer, Paradigm Explorer

  • Jesus Myth, The

    The series of short reflections by a priest and psychotherapist takes myths to represent deeper archetypal truths in the perennial human search for meaning in an uncertain world. The life and death of Jesus is one such path of love inviting us to participate in the work of changing ourselves and the world in terms of the Kingdom of God, both within and without. The author conveys a radical perspective of authenticity rather than conformity, embracing the spirit rather than the letter and the law. ~ David Lorimer, Paradigm Explorer

  • Expanding Scriptures: Lost and Found

    Don MacGregor
    The author moved from teaching physics to full-time ministry – this book is part of a series seeking to recontextualise Christianity as a wisdom teaching, which is effectively the message of the Gnostic Gospels of Thomas and Mary discussed here. Don explains the more general background to the Bible and the way in which the Gnostic Gospels outline a path of personal transformation rather than vicarious redemption favoured by fundamentalism. This all suggests a wider interpretation based on principles of goodwill, loving human relationships, cooperation and mutual recognition of Divinity. ~ David Lorimer, Paradigm Explorer

  • Spiritual Freedom in the Digital Age

    Jason Gregory
    We now live in an attention economy where social media companies compete for this crucial form of currency that can be translated into advertising revenue. Our attention is even more important than our time as its quality is more limited. In this thoughtful book, the author analyses the psychological and spiritual damage of digital technology on the human mind problem reminding us that our connection to embodiment and life itself is far more fundamental. As TS Eliot put it in the 1930s, we have become distracted from distraction by distraction. Not only that, the relentless emphasis on mechanistic rationality has a dehumanising effect, even while algorithms manipulate us emotionally. The fundamental danger is the loss of soul in terms of interiority and silence. It is up to each one of us to establish a sustainable digital balance and healthy lifestyle, although there can be no going back to the days before screens. We should all be thinking carefully about the issues raised in this book. ~ David Lorimer, Paradigm Explorer

  • Expanding Reality

    ....... The book is an important statement of a long overdue scientific revolution. ~ David Lorimer, Paradigm Explorer

  • No One Playing

    ....This new book by psychotherapist and low handicap golfer Martin Wells is aptly subtitled ‘the essence of mindfulness in golf and life.’ It consists of a composite round on a links course where the author is accompanied by a gnomic companion, Ram, who offers wry and penetrating observations as the round proceeds with its customary mixture of triumph and disaster. The key, as former US Walker Cup captain Bill Campbell pointed out to me, is your state of mind, and whether your focus is on the needy ego or a wider sense of flow from which good shots can naturally arise. In this respect, the mind or more specifically the left hemisphere can get in the way with its focus on technique, outcomes and results. Sometimes, a thought can even interfere on the downswing, and the shot you feared duly materialises. In this respect, it is fatal to think in terms of control, as the text enjoyably and amusingly illustrates on the way round. Ram recommends that the author should simply notice and accept what is, observing that search and restlessness are not stillness, and that trying to let go is a contradiction in terms. The reader also enjoys a felt sense of the beautifully described undulating landscape next of the sea with stiff breezes affecting the flight of the ball. Golfing readers will resonate with many of the tricky situations described, and they are invited to feel a real sense of interconnectedness with the landscape and the game itself. Our best rounds are those when we are in the flow, and I recall a match on the Old Course where I holed six putts in a row, all between six and twenty feet, including a 20-foot downhill on the 18th to save the match – I won on the 19th with another six-footer. You have to ‘know’ that the putt is going in. The key is a capacity to move from the fragile ego in need of a reward, entering into the flow and rhythm of the environment – easier said than done, as golfers will recognise: ‘no effort is needed to be who we truly are’, so that ‘when the tensions and strivings are dissolved a natural stillness and relaxation are revealed.’ Even if your golf does not improve as a result of reading this book, your appreciation of the game and life most certainly will. ~ David Lorimer, Paradigm Explorer

  • Failure of Vision, A

    A Failure of Vision helps us understand what it will take to contend with the rise of right-wing authoritarianism and the depressing acceptance of lesser-evilism, and to build a diverse, multiracial, defiant socialism from below… ~ Bill Keach, Tempest Magazine

  • Answers in the Dark

    Delphi Ellis
    Rating: 5 out of 5 stars. I suffer from insomnia. This book provided a different approach to cultivating a better sleeping relationship. Appreciated the research that went into debunking what some of us currently believe about healthy sleeping habits. Great book for those looking for additional insight into sleeping and developing better habits. ~ Nadia D. (Reviewer) , NetGalley

  • Mysteries of the Twelfth Astrological House, The: Fallen Angels

    Rating: 4 out of 5 stars. This year I committed myself to expanding my knowledge on astrology and so far, so good. I read another book by the author earlier in the year and jumped at the chance to read this one as well. While I consider this to be a more advanced topic, it was a great read and I’ll come back to it again. I have my charts laid out and can better apply this to myself. However this is the first book I’ve come across specifically on the Twelfth House and it’s intriguing. A great addition to any Astrologer’s book shelf, no matter your experience level. The author is well versed in Astrology and you won’t be disappointed. ~ Cindi Austin (Reviewer), NetGalley

  • Awakening the Lotus of Peace

    Jenny Light
    Rating: 4 out of 5 stars. I appreciated the insight that this book offers. Jenny Light is clearly immersed in mindfulness and her book has lovely meditations that really helped me ground myself ~ Beth Emmerling (Librarian), NetGalley

  • Making Sense of Brief Lives

    I thoroughly enjoyed reading Making Sense of Brief Lives, and see a kindred spirit when Smoke discusses free will and the idea of conscious experience as a simulation or fiction. “How can I then be certain of anything about the world beyond my mind? Ultimately I cannot.” I’m amazed Smoke packs so much into such a short manuscript. The notes deserve special attention. Overall a great read. ~ Dr. Robert L. Taylor, author of The Deceptive Brain: Blame, Punishment, and the Illusion of Choice

  • Pagan Portals - Aos Sidhe

    Morgan Daimler
    I'm sure everyone expects me to be hyped in every sense of the word because of this book, and I am. It's hard to say anything negative about Morgan's work, what they've done, they write, and how the present all the information. Being an expert in the field, you can't not expect perfection coming from them, and that's exactly what you get in this book.

    Although brief, Pagan Portals - Aos Sidhe: Meeting the Irish Fair Folk is a book that summarizes pretty much what you need to keep in mind if you want to start working with the Aos Sidhe. From etiquette to folklore, types, protections, associations, and even some history regarding their accounts. I would say my favorite part was the one about misconceptions. Morgan debunked a lot of them with ease, and I can only wonder the amount of work it should have taken to do it.

    For those who've read Morgan Daimler's previous books, there won't be much new information. Maybe a few more bits and pieces of information that will come at handy, new explanations, resource, etc. However, I do think it will be useful for many to have this introduction at hand with the most essential and most of the basics covered.

    All in all, Pagan Portals - Aos Sidhe: Meeting the Irish Fair Folk will be an instant favorite for those interested in Irish folklore and mythology. Far from being exhaustive, it serves as an excellent introduction with a solid foundation, and easy-to-follow style that could serve as a starting point for newcomers interested in Daimler's work. As a side note, if interested in knowing more after reading this book, I would recommend reading A New Dictionary of Fairies and their Fairy Witchcraft trilogy (Pagan Portals - Fairy Witchcraft; Fairycraft; Travelling the Fairy Path; Pagan Portals - Living Fairy). ~ Kyler B. Warhol

  • Making Sense of Brief Lives

    This book changed the way I think, the way I speak, and the way I live. [...] With a writing style that is precise and surgical but also seductive, Phil Smoke produces compelling answers to these most pressing questions. And while Smoke's writing is some of the finest I've come across, this only points the reader to what is essential to the project of this book - beautifully clear and careful thinking. Smoke explains how we arrive at our worldviews more or less by accident and urges us to make a deliberate effort through slow and careful reasoning aided by evidence to construct a new, more sensible view of the world. One of the main recurring themes of MSOBL is that life forces us to engage in philosophy - we must believe something, and then we must act accordingly.

    FULL REVIEW HERE > ~ David Cressey, Amazon and Goodreads

  • Saviour Fish, The

    Mark Weston
    Please visit the attached link. Material is protected. ~ Robert Tellier - Gr8 Travel Tips,