My latest podcast is up on the New Books Network website! In it I interview Phoebe Chow bout her new book about the beginnings of the British withdrawal form their empire in China (which I reviewed here). Enjoy!
Press Release (ePRNews.com) - LONDON - Feb 23, 2017 - Ama Alchemy of Love Spiritual Novel by Nataša Pantović Nuit Finally Launched
During the last 5 years a team of spiritual researchers was working hard to complete and publish a series of 9 (nine) spiritual and self-development non-fiction books called: Alchemy of Love Mindfulness Training.
– The audience that is attracted to my courses and books are the many that are interested in self-development, spirituality, inner-development, esoteric or occult teachings, alchemy, Tantra, inspirational writings, and New Consciousness. I found a whole new family constantly exploring these subject.- Said Nuit. Now, after 10 years of writing A-Ma, I feel that I am ready to release her into the world of Consciousness as a historical spiritual fiction story that was from the very beginning the natural drive of the Alchemy of Love series, of the whole alchemy and mindfulness endeavor. So, to all who patently waited for this moment: Welcome to our latest publishing adventure, to my spiritual novel: Ama Alchemy of Love! ISBN: 978-9995754198
A-Ma is a spiritual novel set in the 16th century Macao. The main protagonist Ama is an African Queen, an incarnated Goddess, a Guru that within the magic settings of her coffee house gathers philosophers, artists, and various wisdom seekers. Travelling through space and time, we find ourselves in the time of strong religious clashes and dogmas, at the very beginning of the scientific revolution, where our protagonists join the fight of the enlightened minds of the time.
Within China we enter the very wisdom of the alchemy of soul and humanity, where a group of enlightened people create an energy matrix that will change the lives of generations to come. Through Ruben, a Portuguese Jesuit Priest, through Ama, her family, friends, followers and enemies, we attempt to understand the challenges of their time, we join their attempts to learn from both the Eastern and Western philosophies, and we witness their personal inner transformation.
All the events and manuscripts mentioned within the book: the Dutch attack to Macao 24th of June 1622, the Reform of the Chinese Calendar during 1630s, Father Schalls Appointment to the Chinese Board of Mathematicians (during 1650s), Witches Hunt, and Witches Manual, etc, are carefully researched historical facts. The book uses history to create the connection between actions of the individuals that live surrounded by magic.
Nataša Pantovic Nuit is Author, Yogi, and Spiritual Researcher that lives and works in Malta. Nuit has published 9 Alchemy of Love Mindfulness Training Books. The Alchemy of Love Mindfulness Training is about the alchemy of love, the alchemy of soul, and our everlasting quest to find the gold within, discovering the stone that transforms metals into gold.
Artof4Elements is a Mindfulness Training and self-help Publisher. Founded in 2012, we designed and launched a mindfulness training serial called Alchemy of Love Mindfulness Training. We publish books, audio, and video materials in areas of Mindfulness, Meditation, Self-Help, New Thought, Alternative Health, Vegetarian and Vegan Food and Nutrition, and Conscious Parenting.
Available through Amazon https://www.amazon.com/Ma-Ms-Natasa-Nuit-Pantovic/dp/9995754193
[I received a copy of this book through NetGalley.]
An interesting collection of science-fiction stories by Chinese authors—I didn't like all of them, but none was particularly bad either, and the themes and places they dealt with offered different perspectives on what I'm used to see throug a more "westernised" prism. I found both similarities and differences gathered here, making those stories familiar in parts, and a journey in unknown territories in others.
"The Year of the Rat": 3/5
Quite creepy in its theme (students without much of a job prospect are enlisted to fight mutant rats whose intelligence and abilities may be more than meet the eye), and in its conclusion, although I would've appreciated a bit more insight in the exact reasons why the whole situation turned like that.
"The Fish of Lijiang": 3/5
By the same author, and another take on a society where freedom is only an illusion, where everybody and everything is at their designed place.
"The Flower of Shazui:" 2/5
An ex-engineer who fled his designated area tries to help a prostitute whose desires aren't necessarily in check with her partner's. Still interesting, but less exciting?
"A Hundred Ghosts Parade Tonight": 4/5
The author later mentioned a few inspirations for this story, and I agree, for I could feel them (especially the Miyazaki-like tones of a district/street full of "ghosts", souls in robot bodies gradually getting discarded). I really liked the atmosphere in this one, and the sad ending was pretty fitting.
"Tongtong's Summer": 4/5
I read this one in another anthology already, but I liked it the second time round as well. Caretakers operate robots remotely in order to help elder people, and their increased role in society gives birth to other issues, but also to great hopes for a generation that, all in all, has still a lot to bring to the world. The characters were also attaching.
"Night Journey of the Dragon Horse": 2/5
A mechanical dragon and a bat go on a journey to bring back light to a dead world. Beautiful, but unfortunately a little boring.
"The City of Silence": 5/5
In a world become one State, what happens when so many words are forbidden that communicating becomes impossible?
Very chilling, because the way this State evolved is, in fact, extremely logical and cunning.
"Invisible Planets": 3/5
Glimpses into little worlds. I wouldn't mind seeing some of them explored more in depth... and at the same time, I feel they wouldn't have the same impact anymore if this was done? Very strange.
"Folding Beijing": 2/5
A city living in three different spaces, each alloted its own time of the day, and with inhabitants forbidden to cross from one space to the other. Which the main character wants to do, of course. Also interesting, however I felt the ending didn't have much of an impact on me. I kept expecting something more... dramatic?
"Call Girl": 3/5
The call girl's wares are fairly interesting here. I would've liked some more background about them, how she came to be able to provide such services.
"Grave of the Fireflies": 2/5
Loved the atmosphere, this rush through the stars to escape a dying universe, guided by the last queen of mankind... However the story itself felt too short and rushed.
"The Circle": 4/5
I could see where this one was going from the moment the gates were introduced, and I wasn't disappointed. I definitely liked how it was all brought.
"Taking care of God": 4/5
Depressing in a way, but dealing with a theme that I'd deem definitely different from my own 'western' vision, with taking care of one's parents and elders being part of culture in a way it isn't in my own corner of the world.
Conclusion: 3.5 stars
At the end of the late 19th century, a dramatic power shift took place in East Asia, as Japan replaced China as the dominant country in the region. While this shift was the result of a series of developments that took place over decades, a key turning point was the Sino-Japanese War of 1894-5, when Japan defeated China in a short, sharp conflict that reflected the changing balance of power in the area. By its end Japanese forces had driven the Chinese from Korea and established themselves as a force to be reckoned with, one that was treated almost as an equal by the Western imperial powers.
That such "a seminal event in world history" has not received its due from Western historians is not surprising given the language barriers confronting scholars seeking to write about the war. For this reason alone Sarah Paine's effort to provide English-language readers with a long-needed history of the war is a commendable one. Yet this very demand contributes to a sense of disappointment with this book. To write it, Paine relies heavily upon the often unreliable coverage of the war in contemporary newspapers, supplemented with published documentary collections and the related secondary literature on the subject. Nowhere in its pages is there any evidence of archival research on her part that would provide a basis for judging the veracity of sometimes contradictory reports she uses, leaving unaddressed the numerous questions raised in her book about the exact course of events and the motivations behind the decisions made in response to them. Nor does it help when she exaggerates the importance of the war by ascribing to it developments that arguably predated (such as Western perceptions of Chinese decline) or postdated (such as Western regard for Japan as a modern power) it.
The result is a work that is a serious disappointment. Had Paine undertaken the archival labors necessary to sort through the often confusing reportage of events it would have been a major contribution to our understanding of the war and its place in modern history. As it is, however, she has written a book that is useful as an introduction to the conflict but ultimately serves to demonstrate how much more work needs to be done to properly understand its place in the transformation of the fortunes of China and Japan in the late 19th century.
As An-Lushan is pulled towards the dark, Rokshan must embark upon a dangerous journey and learn the innermost secrets of the dragons."
Betrayed by his family and left for dead, Prince Yarvi, reluctant heir to a divided kingdom, has vowed to reclaim a throne he never wanted.
But first he must survive cruelty, chains and the bitter waters of the Shattered Sea itself - all with only one good hand. Born a weakling in the eyes of a hard, cold world, he cannot grip a shield or swing an axe, so he has sharpened his mind to a deadly edge.
Gathering a strange fellowship of the outcast, he finds they can help him more than any noble could. Even so, Yarvi's path may end as it began - in twists, traps and tragedy...
In An Astronaut's Guide to Life on Earth, Col. Hadfield takes readers deep into his years of training and space exploration to show how to make the impossible possible. Through eye-opening, entertaining stories filled with the adrenaline of launch, the mesmerizing wonder of spacewalks, and the measured, calm responses mandated by crises, he explains how conventional wisdom can get in the way of achievement-and happiness. His own extraordinary education in space has taught him some counterintuitive lessons: don't visualize success, do care what others think, and always sweat the small stuff. Read more.