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review 2017-06-11 16:36
Book Review: Whole Hearted by Swami Veda Bharati
Whole Hearted: Applied Spirituality for Everyday Life - Swami Veda Bharati

A practical, funny and wise text from Swami Veda Bharati, whom I had the pleasure of meeting personally in 1999 when he attended the Council of World Religions in Cape Town. My yoga teacher here in Johannesburg, Glen Hudson, was a teacher of hatha yoga of the Himalayan tradition and organised a satsang & private blessings with Swami. I was lucky enough to attend both, and even luckier to receive a personal poem from Swami in response to a poem I'd given him (I'll load the photos on my author profile). This book took me straight back to that marvellous evening - Swami's voice shines through every page and his spiritual wisdom is indeed practical enough to be applied to every day life. Well worth the read.

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review 2017-06-06 18:28
Book Review: The Way of Letting Go by Wilma Derksen
The Way of Letting Go (One Woman's Walk toward Forgiveness) - Wilma Derksen

I bought this book because exploring what forgiveness means is a passion of mine. I'm left ambivalent - relating my trauma to her trauma seems petty, but a trauma that requires the sheer hard work of learning to forgive on a soul level takes many shapes & sizes. I have to admire Derksen's commitment to this long (never ending) journey towards forgiveness - quite an amazing inspirational feat to take the terrible darkness that came into her life and turn it into a beacon of hope for others. To give (or at least find) meaning in a cruel meaningless act must take incredible courage & inner strength (& yes, a deep faith.) Derksen gives an excellent account of the process that forgiveness is but, as a Mennonite, her approach to forgiveness is strictly based on the Christian faith and that puts two strikes against the book (1) the odd and somewhat jarring interspersion of excerpts from the Bible too often came across as preaching and (2) forgiveness as a path to healing the brokenness within us is a human need - not just a Christian need. What about all the broken people of other faiths who may need to forgive? Is it only Christians who can find peace & redeem their lives through forgiveness? I would've liked to see Derksen explore what forgiveness means on a broader scale, rather than just from a narrow Christian perspective. Her trauma also comes across as intellectualised rather then allowing the reader to feel the depths of her emotional pain as Ralph Bulger did in "My James: The Heartrending Story of James Bulger by His Father, which was a howl of raw emotion from the first page to the last. But then Wilma Derksen has managed to do what the Bulger family are apparently struggling to do - her struggle toward forgiveness has given her daughter Candace's terrible death meaning & purpose while keeping her family and marriage together during the decades that have passed since her daughter's awful murder. That's a fantastic achievement and Derksen's struggle not to let hate & unforgiveness drag her down into the darkness is hugely admirable. The book is definitely worth the read (& I'll be re-reading it at some later stage) - a complex abstract concept (to forgive) is made simple and presented in an easy to read style.

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review 2017-05-14 06:44
Book Review: The Swimming Pool Season by Rose Tremain
The Swimming Pool Season - Rose Tremain

As always, Rose Tremain's characters have a way of sneaking up on you as you read. The gentle meandering through intersecting lives overshadows the slow moving story because, really, it's ofetn not the story that makes Tremain's writing addictive, but the depth and complexity of her characters. THE SWIMMING POOL SEASON is filled with very human characters - Larry & Miriam, Gervaise & Klaus, Nadia, Xavier and many more, are the story -their strengths, their fears, their hopes and their losses, their (at times hopeless) search for love, were what kept me reading.


However, the book (written in 1985) did have a "dated" feel to it and at times the darker hopelessness of ordinary lives made the book far too melancholy. The ending, too, was a bit unsatisfactory. An enjoyable read overall, but doesn't match the brilliance of The Colour or Music & Silence  [This review is for the Kindle edition]

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review 2017-02-04 05:57
Book Review: The Cupboard by Rose Tremain
The Cupboard - Rose Tremain

Takes patience and time to let the author unravel the complex threads of the stories within stories. These could have perhaps been unravelled a bit quicker as I found the pace slow. Not as enjoyable as The Colour or Music & Silence, both of which are magnificent works by Rose Tremain. Her writing is as great as ever though - the characters very real and Tremain captured the rambling quality of an 87 year old woman's conversation very well.

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review 2017-02-03 19:03
Review: The Weight of a Feather
The Weight of a Feather and other stories - Judy Croome

Hey everyone and how are you all doing? I hope you're doing well. I'm doing pretty good myself!


So, yesterday I finished this book "The Weight of a Feather" by Judy Croome and it's a book of short stories and poems. While I was reading a lot of these stories and poems, I have come across a wide range of emotions in each story. Some stories were really good and touching. Others, where just down right wrong and horrible. Then, there are the others that just made me say "What the Hell did I just read!" It was just a wide range of emotions that I had. I mean wow! There was one story about a little girl and her rabbit and she was having fun, then the next thing she did was, after getting bored of her pet rabbit. She threw it onto a grill where her father was barbecuing and killed it and she started running around laughing. I mean what the hell! There were some empowering stories as well and they could make just about anyone feel strong. I guess that if you really want to got through every emotion you should get it and see what I'm writing about. It was just wow again!


That's all that I have for you all! I hope you all are having a kick ass day/night and I'll be back on Monday with a little something different! Until then,


LaTeR dAyS!!!



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