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S. Cornforth "Steve Cornforth" (Liverpool, UK England)
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Notes from (over) the Edge: Unmasking the Truth to End Your Suffering
Notes from (over) the Edge: Unmasking the Truth to End Your Suffering
Price: 5.65

5.0 out of 5 stars White knuckle ride!!, 28 Dec 2013
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A few years ago I reviewed Jim Palmer's first book - Divine Nobodies. I described it as being one of those book that 'grab you by the throat, pin you against the wall and mug you of your preconceived ideas about yourself and God'. In other words he tells it like it is! And that is certainly the case with his latest and best.

He has come a long way since that first book. He writes with the confidence and passion that has come from years of experience, particularly of those who have been damaged by formal religion or, more accurately, themselves. Because the theme of this book is no less that that - finding and then getting to know your true self, and when you meet, realizing that you are in fact more likable than you believe.

If you are looking for a nice, christian book that will affirm all of your opinions about life, yourself and others then this may not be for you.

Notes from (over) the Edge is a bit like a white knuckle ride, the kind that shake you to the core. But as soon as you've finished you went to get straight back on again!


Divine Nobodies: Shedding Religion to Find God (and the unlikely people who help you)
Divine Nobodies: Shedding Religion to Find God (and the unlikely people who help you)
by Jim Palmer
Edition: Paperback
Price: 8.84

15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A New Kind of book, 27 Jan 2007
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I have read many Christian books over the years - hundreds. Adrian Plass wrote that they are like Chinese meals - great at the time but you soon feel like you need another one.

But there have been the occasional books that are different. The ones that grab you by the throat, pin you against the wall and mug you of your preconceived ideas about yourself and God. I'm thinking of books like Disciple by Ortiz, Father Heart of God by McClung and Ron Sider's rich Christians in an Age of Hunger. .

This remarkable little book by Jim Palmer comes into this later group.

He was a high profile Christian leader who was caused by circumstances to re-evaluate all that he has done and said. He shares this with an openness and vulnerability that I have rarely read or heard. Don't you have to wear a cape to be a Super Christian who writes books? On this journey he finds Jesus. Not in meetings, right theology or mega churches - but in ordinary people. A waffle waitress, a couple who run a garage, a tyre salesman, a gay friend and others. We soon revisit our own ideas about those we accept or reject and how this contrasts with Christ himself. `In my world there was no such thing as a gay Christian; a greedy, gluttonous, hateful, prideful, selfish, lustful, dishonest, hypocritical, vengeful, callous, slanderous, angry Christian maybe, but not gay.'

He also gives us a fresh insight into leaving the comfort zone. What a clichéd phrase that has become. I have embellished talks with it for years. But it takes on new meaning on a visit with IJM to rescue child prostitutes in south East Asia or when he sees a tyre dealer go several extra miles for a homeless visitor. In the former case his writing comes into its own as he shares with us the drama of the rescue, the revulsion at what is happening and the honest but entirely reasonable questions of God and how He feels about this oppression. `These IJM guys have a slightly different picture of Jesus than most of us do, convinced that if he were bodily present, his boot would have been the first kicking in the door....sure we need to pray for victims of injustice, but has anyone thought of, well, like, rescuing them.'

This is the sort of book which can be read in a couple of hours. But its effect will last far longer. Get it, read it, now!


Life of Pi
Life of Pi
by Yann Martel
Edition: Paperback
Price: 6.29

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Stunning, 29 April 2004
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This review is from: Life of Pi (Paperback)
For the first few pages I was not sure what to make of this book. I knewof its reputation but wondered at first where it was going.
I was captivated from the moment Pi meets the three mentors of the threereligions which he has adopted. In a few lines there is such a witty andthought provoking challenge to our preconceived ideas.
This sets the scene for the rest of the book. We read the increasinglyfantastic tale of his shipwreck and survival with four animals from hisfather's zoo - Zebra, Hyena, Orng Utan and Bengal tiger. It becomes analmost unrelenting nightmare as all but one of the creatures is devouredand Pi himself boecomes beastlike in his quest for survival.
In a deliberately ambiguous ending we are presented with an alternativeshorter, more believable but equally grotesque story of human brutality.Which is true? This again is a challenge to what we are willing tobelieve.
It will be re-read shortly. It merits all of its praise and should beread.


The Rough Guide to Mexico (Rough Guide Travel Guides)
The Rough Guide to Mexico (Rough Guide Travel Guides)
by John Fisher
Edition: Paperback

17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Best - Roughly Speaking, 2 Oct 2003
Rough guides are ideal for a certain kind of holiday. If you are planning to go to an all inclusive resort in Cancun and only venture out for arranged excursions then this book will never leave the shelf. Rough guides are for those who want to explore the real thing. That is why I won't visit any country without a copy.
This does not disappoint. The factual information is accurate and helpful. The restaurant recommendations were welcome - especially the wonderfully named 'Gory Tacos' in Downtown Cancun!
The information on archeological sites such as Coba and Chitchen Itza was extremely helpful, the travel tips essential.
The only slight reservation is that a bit of snobbery sometimes slips in. For example the resort of Akumel is dismissed as expensive and shallow. In fact it is beautiful and well worth the visit being quiet but accessible.
For all that this is still the best guide book for the thinking traveller!


The Little Prince: Sixtieth-Anniversary Gift Edition
The Little Prince: Sixtieth-Anniversary Gift Edition
by Antoine de Saint-Exupery
Edition: Hardcover

19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Little Classic, 2 Oct 2003
I first read this almost thirty years ago as part of my French A Level course. I have read it every couple of years ever since. It has always been one of my favourite all time books. Is it a childrens' or a grown up's book. Who cares? It speaks to everyone.
It is the simple tale of a pilot who is grounded in the desert and meets the enigmatic Prince who has come from another planet. A tiny planet inhabited by the Prince and his beloved flower - and the constant fear of Baobab trees which could overwhelm everything. It is so small that he once watched 44 sunsets. He watches these when he is sad. How sad he must have been on that day observes the narrator. It is a beautiful story about friendship. We laugh as much as we cry. The author's drawing of the empty landscape after his friend's departure still chokes me.
But there is also the humour. Normally at the expense of our bizarre adult world. The Prince meets a merchant who sells a pill that means there is no need to drink. This could save several minutes each day. The Little Prince observes that if he had that time he would go to a fountain and have a nice cool drink.
St. Exupery is much loved in France. He was even on the money before the Euro arrived. This is much deserved for this little classic alone. Read it in English or French or whatever you like. But read it - now.


Broke Through Britain: One Man's Penniless Odyssey
Broke Through Britain: One Man's Penniless Odyssey
by Peter Mortimer
Edition: Paperback
Price: 7.99

16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bit of a gem, 2 July 2003
This is one of my favourite books of the last few years . It is Peter Mortimer's account of his walk from Plymouth, England to Edinburgh, Scotland with no more than a back-pack and a King Charles Spaniel. Is it possible to treck the length of Britain with no money to spend? On his journey he is welcomed into the lives of surprising array of people including a curate, a couple from a housing estate and a fox hunting community! It gives a fascinating insight into the response of people to the unexpected arrival of a penniless traveller.
There haven't been many travel books which I couldn't put down. But this was one. Each day builds up to its dramatic climax. Will he find a bed for the night? Will he be turned away? Will he make it through the night to a new day when it will all start again.
It is well written, witty, empathetic and never dull. Read it.


The Alchemist: A Fable About Following Your Dream
The Alchemist: A Fable About Following Your Dream
by Paulo Coelho
Edition: Paperback
Price: 5.59

14 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Short but sweet, 2 July 2003
This is a fascinasting little book which can easily be read in a couple of hours. We follow the journey of a shepherd boy from Andalusia to Egypt and back in search of his dream - which is a dream of hidden treasure at the pyramids.On the way he finds wisdom and help from a King, a chrystal seller, an english intellectual and, of course, an alchemist. He speaks to the wind who listens and answers. He finds love. Finally he finds his treasure.
I must confess that the many references to 'finding your treasure because you want it' reminded me of Charlie and the Factory. Some reviewers have described the book as life changing. I wouldn't go that far but it is an absorbing tale and well worth the read.


Stupid White Men: ...and Other Sorry Excuses for the State of the Nation!
Stupid White Men: ...and Other Sorry Excuses for the State of the Nation!
by Michael Moore
Edition: Paperback

9 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Funny Scary, 2 July 2003
Question - is this a book for British readers? Well I am a man, white and probably stupid! So it is certainly for me. But it is about the USA - that great nation across the sea. Our closest ally...birthplace of childhood heroes - John Wayne, Lucy and Mr. Ed. So yes, it is for us. And it is an essential read; funny and terrifying at the same time. There are also warning signs for Britain. How long before Coca Cola dominate our education system? How long before we know everything about our celebs but forget who Shakespeare is? Or who is President of The USA? - now there's a thought. How long before our main political parties become indistinguishable from each other? Hmmm. As you would expect from Michael Moore it is entertaining, informative and readable. Buy it now.


Walk on: The Spiritual Journey of "U2"
Walk on: The Spiritual Journey of "U2"
by Steve Stockman
Edition: Paperback

22 of 28 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars How sweet the sound, 2 July 2003
I thought I was the only one who thought that U2 had been unfairly treated by the mainstream Christian Press. At last we now have a studied and sympathetic analysis of their faith and their struggles.
Steve Stockman takes us on their journey from The Shalom Fellowship and near abandonment of their musical lives to meetings with the Pope, World Leaders and the magnificent All That you Can't Leave Behind. We see U2 as artists who have taken their faith and doubts where few other Christians could have dreamt. Why is it that they would have more been accepted if they had performed overtly christian material to entertain exclusively christian audiences? For the answer you should read this book.
It is not a complete biography. It doesn't pretend to be. But it does give a real insight into the World's Greatest and probably least understood band


Dead Famous
Dead Famous
by Ben Elton
Edition: Paperback
Price: 6.29

5.0 out of 5 stars Death in the fast lane, 2 July 2003
This review is from: Dead Famous (Paperback)
Ben Elton writes as he performs - 100 miles an hour with few stops for breath. Warning - do not start reading this unless you have time to finish it in one sitting. Once you have started you will not stop. The old formula of the whodunnit story bringing together a group of people under one roof is brilliantly translated into a 'Big Brother' house. The whole thing is televised by Peeping Tom Productions, including the murder.
The inmates are repulsive in every way. Only the physically repulsive anarchist Woggle is a likeable character although he also has his dark side. Best of all is the portrayal of the cynicism of reality TV. The ending was a touch predictable but no less entertaining and clever for that. A great read.


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