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Victoria Field "fal" (Canterbury, Kent, UK)
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Renaissance
Renaissance
by Andrew Graham-Dixon
Edition: Unknown Binding

4.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful writing and like others I used it as preparation ..., 8 Feb. 2015
This review is from: Renaissance
Wonderful writing and like others I used it as preparation for a trip to Florence. Only reason for not 5* is that it is so rich and good, it's taken me an age to read it!


Hannah Coulter: A Novel
Hannah Coulter: A Novel
by Berry
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Thoughtful, considered novel, 1 Feb. 2015
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Somehow, everything I am reading at the moment relates to our relationship to place. This novel in the voice of an elderly woman, twice married, mother of three, looking back over a long life in a small Kentucky community, has a small frame of reference yet encompasses the big questions about how to live a life - and to let go of attachments - to parents, children, lost loved-ones, hopes, dreams and especially, the past. The protagonist sometimes seems like a ventriloquist for Wendell Berry in her wise observations but stays on the right side of sentimentality. The war, although off-stage - is another theme that underlies the novel - what actually happened and how it reverberates through the lives of those at a distance.


A Tour of Bones: Facing Fear and Looking for Life
A Tour of Bones: Facing Fear and Looking for Life
by Denise Inge
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £13.59

4.0 out of 5 stars Unusual and profound, 1 Feb. 2015
Ostensibly about charnel houses, this book is really a meditation on the resurrection and the relationship between the body and the spirit, the specific and the eternal. Place again is a theme. Where do our mortal remains belong? And where do we belong? The writing is inspired and sometimes overwrought but the author's sincerity and genuine desire to understand some of the mysteries of human existence, make this a moving and profound book. The last chapter, describing her father's death and the birth of a boy she hoped to adopt, is painful to read but brings into sharp relief the more descriptive earlier chapters. Lots of food for thought. Recommended.


A Room with a View By E. M. Forster
A Room with a View By E. M. Forster
Price: £1.30

5.0 out of 5 stars So rewarding..., 17 Jan. 2015
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I expected something much more sentimental (blame Merchant Ivory) but the novel is sharp, witty,ironic and equivocal. Something is rushed about the resolution with the gnomic Mr Emerson revealing the truth about love and the spectre of cousin Charlotte looming ... but this is really a light, in a good way, critique of society with an erotic undercurrent throughout.


Rising Ground: A Search for the Spirit of Place
Rising Ground: A Search for the Spirit of Place
by Philip Marsden
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £13.60

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Highly recommended, 4 Jan. 2015
I couldn't put this down. It was both fascinating on Cornwall - seen through the eyes of both the writer and an interesting cross-section of antiquarians, writers and others - and also in terms of the wider question of what might a 'spirit of place' mean.

I lived in Cornwall for twelve years, in areas as various as Bodmin Moor, Truro and Falmouth. Cornwall is arguably one of the most informed landscapes of the UK and culturally complex - so the book is inevitably partial and in some places provocative, but always immensely readable.


Writing in the House of Dreams: Creative Adventures for Dreamers and Writers
Writing in the House of Dreams: Creative Adventures for Dreamers and Writers
Price: £4.33

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A rich, personal and passionate reminder of the importance of our inner lives, 17 Dec. 2014
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An unusual blend of autobiography, psychology and insights into the creative process centring around the gifts offered by our dreams. I found it fascinating and informative from beginning to end.


Dylan Thomas: A New Life
Dylan Thomas: A New Life
Price: £6.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Really enjoyed this - a page turner, 20 Nov. 2014
Really enjoyed this - a page turner, vivid descriptions, interesting insights into Dylan Thomas's poetry and clearly thoroughly researched. It's painful to read near the end and the author works hard not to judge too harshly but ultimately it's very sad.


Sightlines
Sightlines
by Kathleen Jamie
Edition: Paperback
Price: £6.74

5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful - Kathleen Jamie does it again, 8 Sept. 2014
This review is from: Sightlines (Paperback)
Exquisitely beautiful prose and the whole book is an exercise in mindful looking and then a fearless paring back so that what is shared with the reader is considered and worked. I will be using some of this in therapeutic writing settings and it's partly KJ's total control over the material that makes it so useful. The chapter on the Whale Hall I found literally breath-taking in its metaphorical possibilities. Genius.


Dear Robert, Dear Spike: The Graves-Milligan Correspondence
Dear Robert, Dear Spike: The Graves-Milligan Correspondence
by Pauline Scudamore
Edition: Hardcover

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Iluminating and touching correspondence, 6 Jan. 2014
Such an enjoyable read - two men who superficially seem very different but who became instant friends. Both struggling with health and love whilst creating a vast output of work. The letters are frank and tender - and towards the end, sad, when Robert Graves gives up writing at age 80 but lives another ten years in poor health. Some interesting insights on war, depression and artistic satisfaction.


What Happy People Know: You're Only 6 Steps Away From Happiness
What Happy People Know: You're Only 6 Steps Away From Happiness
by Dr. Dan Baker
Edition: Paperback

4.0 out of 5 stars Useful reminders, 30 Dec. 2013
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I have just added this to the reading list for my poetry therapy trainees - it's a reminder of how thinking has an impact on mood and the various stages 'stuck' people go through.

It's a bit cheesy at times and I have a real problem with any book that mentions Seligman's learned helplessness experiments for which I think he should be serving a prison sentence. There's also no index nor references for some sweeping statements.

But it's an easy read and a useful checklist that can be applied in different circumstances.


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