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C. Bullen (Northern England)

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The 4-Hour Body: An uncommon guide to rapid fat-loss, incredible sex and becoming superhuman
The 4-Hour Body: An uncommon guide to rapid fat-loss, incredible sex and becoming superhuman
by Timothy Ferriss
Edition: Paperback
Price: £10.49

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars It's a great book but it's much in need of editing, 4 Feb. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I bought this book about two years ago, and have come back to it again and again. I do believe it contains the very best up to date information on what diet and exercise regime to follow to lose weight and gain muscle (and it overlaps heavily with the 'paleolithic' approach to eating and living which I also believe are our best ways of living).

The serious problem with this book is that it should have been seriously better edited. The author describes it as a 'buffet', in that he recommends not reading it in a linear fashion but jump in and devour the bits you find most interested. This is fair enough but even within the chapters that I find most interesting Ferriss floats away on flight of fancy after flight fancy, anecdote after anecdote, name dropping all the way.... and I find it deeply frustrating. I just WANT THE INFORMATION. And every time I do dip into this buffet I have to skim past Ferriss's long anecdotes or personal musings. I sit here, now trying to devise a simple weight lifting regime to get myself started with, and there are no less than four chapters, with different regimes mentioned that I trawl through, filtering out the bloat as I do, to get the real info.

This book is a serious tome, very very thick, and I think it could have been about half as thick if it wasn't for all that self-indulgent meandering. I like Ferriss. His adventurous spirit is incredible but he seriously needs the restraint of a good editor. This book feels like it's been written by someone with attention deficit, though with some writing talent, and a TON of research and experience at hand.

His four hour brand (which I do love anyway, despite these misgivings) is getting a touch ironic when each book gets thicker and thicker and more bloated (the four hour chef looks like a real War & Peace too - in colour).

Anyway, it's a great book in the sense it does contains information that works. You just have to do some work yourself (esp. if you're starting out like me) to boil that down to a simple recipe. Even though there are chapters with simple recipes - like "Occam's Protocol" - I still feel I don't come away with a simple prescription.

Peppermint Essential 100% Aromatherapy Oil 10ml
Peppermint Essential 100% Aromatherapy Oil 10ml
Offered by Calmer Solutions Limited
Price: £1.23

5.0 out of 5 stars Very good quality and price, 8 Aug. 2013
I use peppermint oil as part of a home-made toothpaste, and I was very impressed with the quality (compared to others used previously, like Boots and Tisserand). I shall be ordering any essential oils I need from CS.

Spiritual Enlightenment: The Damnedest Thing
Spiritual Enlightenment: The Damnedest Thing
by Jed McKenna
Edition: Paperback

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This book was a pinacle for me..., 16 Aug. 2009
Well, I feel that I'd be understating if I began to describe this book in "it will change your life" tones. What I can say is that I'm on my third re-reading of this book and it's clearly been written by someone who is enlightened and has a very very deep understanding (or "awareness") of what it means to be there.

The author may actually be writing under a pseudonym, nobody knows whether Jed exists, and you do get a feeling at points that it is actually fictional. But no matter, it is clear that whoever wrote this is existing in the state of 'abiding non-dual awareness' and that they have the articulacy and written skill to communicate it's nature effectively.

If you have the ears for it, this book could speak the eternal and final truth to you; the truth behind all of the madness in the world... the truth you have probably always suspected (in fact, Jed repeatedly says that enlightenment is the destination of everyone anyway... it's a miracle that any of us stay asleep). The truth that "you" don't actually exist, at least as ego has you believe you do. It has meant the end of my search for meaning anyway. That's endorsement enough I would say.

Everything's surreal after this...

Prometheus Rising
Prometheus Rising
by Robert Anton Wilson
Edition: Paperback
Price: £18.50

4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Incredible incredible book, 16 April 2008
This review is from: Prometheus Rising (Paperback)
I have only read this once (and I plan to read it many times more, for it is so rich) and I will find it here difficult to summarise exactly why I found this book so incredible, but here goes.

This book, and it's author R.A.W., will - if you are already somewhat inclined in this way - give you the conceptual tools to wrap around the vague ways in which you've always suspected the human world is so messed up. Basically, we have a great about of robot-ism to us and we have strong preferences for certain ways of seeing reality which we try to impose upon each other (often to the death). The 8 circuit model of consciousness which Wilson expounds (it was originally Timothy Leary's) is an absolutely amazing multifaceted metaphor for the differences between us as humans. Only a sheer blockhead would not feel more tolerant of the humanity around him (and within him) after reading this book.

For someone like me, this was incredibly incredibly juicy territory and I devoured the book with every spare moment I had. It put so many concepts in place in so many areas of my thinking where before I only had vague suspicions.

I can imagine that this book would scare some people - and some others may find it too "far out". But from my point of view I would say that is always some kind of resistance to the truth of our lives and what that will entail if we admit to it. But that may just be my own reality tunnel at work!

Anyway, if you are already someone who looks within and without for answers to why we are the way we are, this book will stimulate you greatly. It may even begin you on a journey of self-discovery. This book is at that level of importance for this certain type of person.

Also, it is written in a very colloquial style which some may find off putting, but this is RAW. He is an extremely honest and unabashed writer and this shows in his style. His incredible talent lies in synthesising the works of Leary, Crowley, Fuller etc etc

Anyway, yes, this book is astounding. The tired cliche applies: it changed my life too (but then so did my breakfast this morning!).

Love's Executioner and Other Tales of Psychotherapy (Penguin Psychology)
Love's Executioner and Other Tales of Psychotherapy (Penguin Psychology)
by Irvin D. Yalom
Edition: Paperback

12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What an amazing book..., 15 Nov. 2007
I rarely read books to the end, even those I like, but this had me gripped from start to finish.

Yalom makes interactions with his patients into riveting, detective story narratives wrapped in essential human needs and the essential fears and desires at the heart of nearly all of us (he says we all fear death for example).

He takes each patient (and us as viewers) on a sort of an absolutely enthralling intellectual ramble seeking the essence of the patients pain. He manages to eek out the most interesting characteristics from these stories and his insights into them are incredible. Interspersed in the accounts are interesting digressions into the process of psychotherapy; what it is for and what it aims to do.

For someone interested in psychotherapy (someone "psychologically minded" as he says) or into the deeper meaning of all of our lives journeys, this is juicy juicy stuff.

The Night is My Woman
The Night is My Woman
by Michael Molyneux
Edition: Paperback

5.0 out of 5 stars Lovely book, 2 Jan. 2007
This review is from: The Night is My Woman (Paperback)
This is a great book of poetry. I have at least one foot in the masses and rarely read such poetry books but this one fell into my hands and I liked it a lot. With devastating sensitivity and a gift for the poetic turn Molyneaux weaves a tapestry of insights into love, longing, meditation and plain old appreciation for the world as it is.

In a world of syndicated experience and faux emotion, this man is on the bleeding edge of personal expression. I hope he continues to write.

Highly recommended.

Zen And The Art Of Motorcycle Maintenance: 25th Anniversary Edition
Zen And The Art Of Motorcycle Maintenance: 25th Anniversary Edition
by Robert Pirsig
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.49

10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An utterly amazing book., 19 July 2006
Saluting the summation by Donald Mitchell below I would like to say that this book is amazing.

I have an interest in philosophy and "what it's all about" and this book excels in this respect; wrapping insights into a gentle and enticing, though admittedly sparse in plot, story. It is so lucid in its description of the malaise that sits seething underneath our technologised society. Pirsig, the narrator, is troubled and that speaks to me a lot. The 'chautauqua' he undertakes throughout, which is his name for an extended talk on a subject "intended to edify and entertain", is the reason I got so much out of this book. Here he takes on our problems with technology - how it alienates us and how the dominant faith in rationality that underlies it is the cause of a lot of subtle (perhaps spiritual) problems - the difference between real craft and simple mechanical work (i.e. for the love of it vs. for a living); insights into the limitations of scientific method and the idea that educational establishments now are 'churches of reason'.

The spirit behind this book too. I can relate immensely to his ideas on the 'flow' of being fully immersed in a craft; the motorcycle trip itself is described in such peaceful and gentle detail I wanted to take one myself right then. This is certainly in what could be called a "hippie" or "beatnik" tradition but the intellectual prowess underscoring this work makes it far away from anything like 'slackerdom'.

Pirsig is championing and explaining the ways I myself feel alienated by aspects of our culture; he is providing, partly, the reasons behind the postmodern malaise I would guess most of a certain disposition feel these days. His insights impress me greatly. They are delicious cognitive food; yum yum.

The book is also apparently semi-auto-biographical.

I suppose there will be some who don't care for the more intellectual strands of this book (or is that 'spiritual'?). I would say to such people, perhaps one day you will.

Oh dear, do I sound like a zealot? Anyway, this book is very good and I highly recommend it.

Encyclopedia of Spirituality
Encyclopedia of Spirituality
by Timothy Freke
Edition: Hardcover

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An amazing volume, almost spiritual!, 31 Aug. 2003
This book is pretty amazing, having never really ventured into any form of spiritual practice (Outside of catholic doctrination during childhood), I found this a real wake up call to the forms of spiritual expression out there. Its a good companion on your lifelong spiritual journey (It can be most useful as a push onto that path in the first place).
I was struck by how perfectly articulated it is, Freke does a very good job of explaining the different philosophies (and, interesting, how similar in many ways they are, particularly in goal), and each page feels filled with magic: the illustrations and frequent quotes and asides really add to the main prose.
A very good beginning point to find an expression of your own inate spirituality (Or discover the one you currently employ, are you a drug-taking clubber for example?).
What this book is not is a spiritual 'bible' :-) It is principally a beginning point but a very comprehensive one at that.

by Chuck Palahniuk
Edition: Paperback
Price: £8.99

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Strange, but satisfying, or is it?, 10 Sept. 2001
This review is from: Survivor (Paperback)
After reading Fight Club and loving it (like everyone else, it seems), I felt I had to pick up Survivor. What I got was another slice of deeply dark biting satire. I found the first few chapters to be a bit thin and at one point I felt like throwing it in a draw, this was around about the time where there is, what seems like, page after page of cleaning tips (Don't mix ammonia and bleach etc.., god Paluhniuk knows a lot of stuff about stuff!). But yeah, I'm glad I perservered, the remainder of the book has new hook after hook, to keep you engrossed. It's just so sprinkled with interesting themes and ideas that you don't mind that the plot seems to go off the rails now and again.
Be warned, as with Fight Club, this is at times an utterly depressing romp through modern life.
A very good follow up to FC, I found the ending slightly bizarre though!

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