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review 2018-07-18 10:37
Llewellyn's Little Book of Life Between Lives
Llewellyn's Little Book of Life Between Lives - The Newton Institute

The Newton Institute

 

I have to admit that the first few chapters of this put far too much emphasis on belief. Maybe it's because I've read other books on this subject matter but I feel that someone who takes the trouble to read about it has already become at least open to belief and the 'exercises' in the first few chapters seem redundant and amount to quiet contemplation of the sort of things that will have already led the reader to pick up the book, like being attracted to certain places or eras.

 

As the chapters went on I had hoped for something more, but the 'exercises' continued to be more suggestions for things to think about rather than guidance for self-hypnosis as I've seen in other books. There were references for going between lives but no real instruction about how to accomplish that.

 

All of the 'evidence' presented was completely subjective accounts. No examples of evidence that got confirmed by historical records or surviving relatives of the previous person as I've seen elsewhere.

 

When it began talking about a council of elders, the book pretty much lost me and it went further into new age territory after that. To be quite honest, if this were the only book I had ever read on reincarnation, I would be writing the topic off as total fantasy. The writing itself is good, but there is nothing to convince the questioning reader that any of it is any more than imagination.

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review 2018-07-17 13:55
Woven in Wire
Woven in Wire - Sarah Thompson

by Sarah Thompson

 

The cover picture of this book is enough to see that it's for the more intricate and polished end of wire jewellery making. This is not one for beginners!

 

Having said that, the basics are still covered. Tools, Materials and Techniques are the first chapters, followed by Weaving and Sculpting before it gets into Symmetry and Transformation.

 

There are a lot of full color pictures of some very impressive jewellery pieces. The chapter on tools is straightforward enough and would be useful at any level of experience. It goes into more detail than I've seen in other books on wire weaving. Materials is slanted towards working in silver, though other craft wires are mentioned.

 

The chapter on techniques seems short, yet it's mind boggling. How can something look easy and complicated at the same time? As I said, this one isn't for the beginners. Weaving and sculpting are similarly simple yet complicated. Then instructions for the pictures pieces give the reader a chance to apply the information and find out just how easy/complicated putting it all into practice can be!

 

I'll be honest, this book scares me. It also intrigues me! I want to be able to make the sort of amazing jewellery that is shown but I know it's not as easy as it looks. I think practice is in order, but I'm not ready to invest in silver to the extent that making the really cool pieces would require.

 

The pieces are gorgeous though and the instructions are clear and detailed, so maybe someday.

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review 2018-07-16 21:02
F*** You Very Much
F*** You Very Much: The surprising truth about why people are so rude - Danny Wallace

[I received a copy of this book from NetGalley.]

That was an interesting read. Perhaps not as funny as I had expected, but interesting nonetheless. Basing his argument on what he calls the ‘Hotdog Incident’, where he had to wait for 1 hour to get served a hotdog, and was rudely treated when he dared complain, Danny Wallace goes to explore rudeness and rude behaviours in general. Why are people rude? What’s in it for them? Why are the usual reactions to rudeness, and what do they reveal about people in general?

According to Wallace, it seems that there is something in it for rude people. Rudeness and bullying often tend to create a cognitive dissonance in people who’re at the other end of it, making them slower to react to it; so it looks like this explains why we keep wondering why rude people ‘get away with it’, when it’d stand to logics that they should be pointed at and shamed for their behaviour. I bet most of us had at least one experience of that kind (not necessarily about an actual hotdog) where hours later, we were still thinking about what we should’ve said or done instead. Why didn’t we do it for starters? Because of the shock of being treated rudely. I don’t know if the science behind this is really exact, however, I’m willing to agree with that out of empirical evidence, so to speak.

There were moments when I thought, ‘Did he really dwell on that Hotdog Incident for so long, isn’t that a little far-fetched?’, and it felt more like an artificial gimmick than an actual example to write a book about. But then, I guess it also ties with the point the author was making: what seems like little incidents can indeed stay with us for a lot longer than the few minutes or even seconds they took to happen.

And I do agree that rudeness is contagious. It’s happened to me quite a few times. If someone bumps into me in the street and doesn’t apologise, I’m much more likely to stop caring about the people around me: ‘If -they- don’t make way for me, why should -I- make way for them?’ So, it’s a vicious circle. Being aware of it helps, of course, because then it’s easier to act upon it. Still, it’s frightening how being rude can come… naturally.

A few parts are also devoted to exploring cultural differences, such as what is considered rude in one country but not in the other. Some of those I already knew about (the ‘Paris Syndrome’), others I discovered through this book. This, too, was interesting, because it puts things back into perspective. That’s not to say that we can afford to be rude because we can ‘make it pass as if it’s normal somewhere else’, of course.

The book definitely makes you take a look at yourself: we’ve all been rude at some point or other, and will be rude again. Yet acknowledging it is the first step to stop. (And if it helps facing rudeness from others in a calmer way, because we know the mechanisms behind it, I guess it’s also good experience to put annoying people back in their place.)

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review 2018-07-16 18:45
HOPE NEVER DIES (AN OBAMA/BIDEN MYSTERY) by Andrew Shaffer
Hope Never Dies - Andrew Shaffer

 

As soon as I saw the cover of this book, I knew I had to have it! Thanks to NetGalley and to Quirk Books for granting my wish.

 

Andrew Shaffer takes the former leader of the free world, joins him back up with Joe Biden, and together they work on a mystery. Amtrak Joe lost a friend, an engineer on the train that he rode nearly every day before he before he became Vice President. (This story is told from Joe's point of view.) After discovering a few unsavory facts about his friend and discovering a few things about himself, he teams up with former best friend Barack Obama, and together they set about learning what happened. Will the two solve the mystery of the Amtrak engineer? Will they continue to be friends after this case is over? You'll have to read this to find out.

 

I'll admit here and now that I was and am a big fan of both of these men. It's because I miss them and because the cover made me laugh that I requested this book. HOPE NEVER DIES doesn't get into politics much and I appreciated that. (I did enough comparisons between these two and our current administration in my head, I didn't need anything more spelled out.) I have no way of knowing how close this book comes to the real personalities of these two, and you know what? I don't care! It was a fun and entertaining story and that's all that I was looking for.

 

That said, I had only one big issue and it's likely mine and mine alone. I know that Joe Biden loves cars, (well Corvettes at least for sure.) So do I, and I've worked with them in some capacity my entire adult life. With that in mind, I couldn't understand why a lot of the vehicles referenced in this novel were referred to incorrectly. Ford does not make Impalas. I'm pretty sure Plymouth didn't make Firebirds either. (They made Thunderbirds and Superbirds- Firebirds were all Pontiac.) I did receive an ARC of this book, so perhaps those things were tidied up before publication? Even if not, most people probably wouldn't even notice.

 

Other than that, HOPE NEVER DIES was a lot of fun. It's not going to break any literary records or anything, but as a humorous detective story featuring two of my favorite politicians, it certainly fit the bill! I recommend it to anyone who thinks this premise is fun!

 

*Thanks to Quirk Books and to NetGalley for the e-ARC of this book, in exchange for my honest feedback. This is it.*

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review 2018-07-15 17:30
When We Found Home by Susan Mallery
When We Found Home - Susan Mallery

 

Family is something we all take for granted. Their the people that will always be there, no matter what. What happens when family is not an option? When We Found Home is how to create a family out of nothing. Susan Mallery takes us through broken hearts, first meetings and slowly built bonds through the eyes of three strangers. Callie has not had an easy life. No family, limited choices and at times no hope. The irony is her ability to stay on the bright side despite the pain of her existence. Imagine her surprise when she finds out, she's not alone in the world. She has a family that she never knew, but is falling apart. Can she be the glue that bonds them all? Count on Mallery to tug at your heart strings while making you laugh and inspiring your soul. Family is not always a product of blood. It's a bond that is built on courage, risk faith and love.

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