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review 2021-08-19 04:02
EUPHORIA by Lily King
Euphoria - Lily King

On Guinea Nell and her husband Fen are studying indigenous people. They are now on their third group of people, the Tam, who welcome them and allow them to become part of the tribe. They were introduced by Andrew Bankston, another anthropologist who is studying another group there. Fen's mind is on a flute he saw with an earlier group he and Nell were studying. He leaves Nell to do most of the study. When he achieves what he wants, he puts all 3 in danger and they must leave. But can they? Will Fen leave without any artifacts?


I liked the story. I liked Nell and Bankston. I hated Fen. Fen was a user. Neii was a better anthropologist and his ego couldn't take it. He was mean, nasty, and abusive. When Bankston meets Nell he is smitten as she was with him. He is caring and gentle with her. He makes sure she is taken care of which she doesn't receive from Fen. Fen is jealous of Bankston but never changes his behavior. I hated the ending but I don't think there could have been any other ending. This was not a happy story.


I thought the narrators were good. They did all the voices. I could tell the difference between Bankston and Fen. I could also tell the difference between Nell and the natives. Very well done.

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review 2020-08-26 08:54
Evil Archaeology by Heather Lynn
Evil Archaeology: Demons, Possessions, and Sinister Relics - Heather Lynn Rigaud

TITLE:  Evil Archaeology: Demons, Possessions, and Sinister Relics


AUTHOR:  Heather Lynn




FORMAT:  Paperback


ISBN-13:  9781938875199



"Demons, jinn, possession, sinister artifacts, and gruesome archaeological discoveries haunt the pages of the new book by Dr. Heather Lynn. Evil Archaeology investigates the archaeological record for artifacts and evidence of evil entities, revealing how demons from the ancient world may be dwelling among us. It also looks at the history and lore behind real relics, believed to be haunted, and includes historical accounts of demonic possession, as far back as the accounts of King Solomon invoking demons to help him build his famed Temple. Is there really a prehistoric fertility goddess figure that has been known to bring death to the families of anyone who holds it? Are there real vampire graveyards? Can the archaeological record prove the existence of demons and malevolent entities? Some tantalizing questions Evil Archaeology addresses include: •What is the origin of demons? •What role did Sumerian demons play in the development of civilization? •Are curses real? Can material objects contain evil? What about places? •What can we do to protect ourselves, according to historical records? •Was Jesus an exorcist? If this sounds all too disturbing, try not to worry. Evil Archaeology also includes ways to protect yourself and loved ones against malevolent forces, as well as practical advice from experienced exorcists and demonologists."




For a book titled "Evil Archaeology", it contains minimal information about archaeology or archaeological find, but does include a hodge-podge of stories about demons, pagan-deities, demonic possessions, and relics.  Some of the stories were interesting, like the Mesopotamian Toilet Demon and hypotheses about the reasons for trepannation and the creation of "gods/demons" by humans to deal with stressful situations like civilization.  But after a while the run-on collection of summaries about ancient/pagan deities, demonic possession anecdotes, summaries of gruesome archaeological find, fictional scenes and references to films and the like just got tedious.  The organization of the book was somewhat erratic and the author wasn't clear about her overarching hypothesis (if she had one).  At the end I couldn't determine if she was trying to find evidence that demons and gods were created by humans or if they actually exist or if she was just listing a bunch of things she found interesting.  I'm so happy I didn't impulse buy this at the bookshop and borrowed a library copy instead. This was a particularly disappointing read.

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text SPOILER ALERT! 2020-08-25 13:25
Reading progress update: I've read 55 out of 288 pages.
Evil Archaeology: Demons, Possessions, and Sinister Relics - Heather Lynn Rigaud

"Many passages in the Babylonian Talmud warn against "Shed Bet ha-Kis,", the "toilet demon".  

The Mesopotamians had a toilet demon.  Who knew?!!

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review 2020-06-22 07:20
Our Dolphin Ancestors by Frank Joseph
Our Dolphin Ancestors: Keepers of Lost Knowledge and Healing Wisdom - Frank Joseph

TITLE:  Our Dolphin Ancestors: Keepers of Lost Knowledge and Healing Wisdom


AUTHOR:  Frank Joseph




FORMAT:  ebook


ISBN-13:  9781591432326



"Reveals the shared ancestry behind our affinity with dolphins and our shared destiny

• Explains how we are both descendants of the aquatic ape and still share many physiological features with dolphins that set us apart from other primates

• Explores dolphins’ communication with other species and how dolphin therapy has miraculous effects on people with autism, cancer, stroke, and depression

• Explores the connections between dolphins and Atlantis and Lemuria

Wild animals avoid contact with humans, but wild dolphins seek us out to play and socialize, even going so far as to voluntarily rescue people from drowning. What explains this remarkable natural affinity?

Revealing the evolutionary basis for our special relationship with dolphins, Frank Joseph explains how we are both descendants of the same ancient branch of human-ity. Building upon the aquatic ape theory, he details how we both began on land but devastating floods forced our distant ancestors into the seas, where humanity developed many of the traits that set us apart from other primates, such as our instinctive diving reflex and our newborns’ ability to swim. But while some of the aquatic apes returned to land, later evolving into modern humans, some remained in the cradle of Mother Ocean and became our dolphin cousins.

Integrating scientific research on dolphin intelligence, communication, and physiology with enduring myths from some of the world’s oldest cultures, such as the Aborigines, Norse, Greeks, and Celts, the author examines our physical commonalities with dolphins, including their vestigial thumbs and legs, birth processes, and body temperature. He explores dolphins’ uncanny ability to diagnose disease such as cancer in humans and how dolphin therapy has had miraculous effects on children with autism, victims of stroke, and those suffering from depression. He provides evidence for dolphins’ different attitudes toward men, women, and children, their natural affinity with cats and dogs, and their telepathic communication with other species, including ours. He explores dolphins’ mysterious role in the birth of early civilization and their connections with the Dog Star, Sirius, and Atlantis and Lemuria--a bond still commemorated by annual gatherings of millions of dolphins.

As Frank Joseph shows, if we can learn to fully communicate with dolphins, accessing their millennia-old oral tradition, we may learn the truth about humanity’s origins and our shared future, when humankind may yet again quit the land for a final return to the sea."




This is an odd book.  There is some interesting information about dolphins, and some information that needs extra research on my part.  But there are also a few oddball speculations of the author's and a section on Mermaids, Atlantis and Mu at the end.  En enjoyable reading experience none the less.

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review SPOILER ALERT! 2020-06-08 09:53
Eratosthenes & Hyginus - Constellation Myths: with Aratus's Phaenomena
Constellation Myths: With Aratus's Phaenomena - Eratosthenes

TITLE:  Eratosthenes & Hyginus - Constellation Myths: with Aratus's Phaenomena


AUTHORS:  Eratosthenes, Hyginus, Aratus




PUBLICATION DATE:  2015 (originally +/- 194 B.C)


EDITION:  Oxford World's Classics


FORMAT:  Paperback


ISBN-13:  9780198716983




The constellations we recognize today were first mapped by the ancient Greeks, who arranged the stars into patterns for that purpose. In the third century BC Eratosthenes compiled a handbook of astral mythology in which the constellations were associated with figures from legend, and myths were provided to explain how each person, creature, or object came to be placed in the sky. Thus we can see Heracles killing the Dragon, and Perseus slaying the sea-monster to save Andromeda; Orion chases the seven maidens transformed by Zeus into the Pleiades, and Aries, the golden ram, is identified flying up to the heavens.

This translation brings together the later summaries from Eratosthenes's lost handbook with a guide to astronomy compiled by Hyginus, librarian to Augustus. Together with Aratus's astronomical poem the Phaenomena, these texts provide a complete collection of Greek astral myths; imaginative and picturesque, they also offer an intriguing insight into ancient science and culture.




This book translates four texts: (i) the Epitome and (ii) the Fragmenta Vaticana, which are versions of the Catasterisms of Eratosthenes, (iii) the Astronomica of Hyginus, and (iv) the Phaenomena of Aratus. 


The translations and commentary about the mythological origins of the constellations are interesting, though somewhat repetitive.  Under each of the book's 50 constellations are set out the sections of Eratosthenes and Hygenius, followed by a short commentary.  The layout of this book does not follow the layout of the originals and is concerned primarily with the mythology of the constellations and not any additional material.  This book lacks sufficient diagrams - there are only two fuzzy diagrams at the beginning of the book which are inadequate.  Additional diagrams of each constellation should have been included, especially in light of the modern reader's presumed lack of star gazing knowledge.  The prose translation of Aratus's Phaenomena consists of:  (i) The Constellations, (ii) Measuring of Time through Observation of the Heavens, and (iii) Weather Signs, followed by extracts from Geminos' Introduction to the 'Phaenomena' included as an appendix. 


This is a nice introduction to stellar mythology, but I suggest having a star atlas or constellation map on hand while reading it.



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