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Nancy Blake "nbcampaigner" (Kingston upon Hull, U.K.)
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Falling Through the World
Falling Through the World
by Rachel Clarke
Edition: Paperback
Price: £5.99

5.0 out of 5 stars This should be a required textbook for anyone involved in the treatment of patients with ME, 13 Oct. 2014
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This book is written with the voice, tone, and black humour of a happy, feisty adolescent girl, and could be an entertaining read about any event in this young girl's life. The fact that the 'event' is getting sick with ME doesn't detract from the fact that this young writer's talent could clearly be turned to any other story, and I hope she will continue to write, and have happier events to write about.
It should be required reading for anyone who has doubts about the physical realities of ME, the courage and motivation of patients to get better, to try anything, even when it is making their illness worse. The protagonist struggles to continue going to school because the psychiatrist has assured her it will help - she wants to continue beyond the point of collapse, beyond the point of not even being able to figure out how to tie her laces to get dressed to go to school.
To the medical sociologists who claim that the symptoms of ME are 'mild', 'vague', and have a 'generally benign prognosis', I would suggest the line '..I learnt that pain doesn't go away just because you can't bear it any more.' (p. 122) As for the prognosis, it took our heroine a very long time to regain even the level of function she had had before she tried to follow the psychiatrist's advice, and for her, the 'benign prognosis' involved learning to have fun while being pushed in a wheelchair, and forming a tentative new relationship with an online boyfriend from one of the ME sites. The book's end leaves us hoping that one or both of them will finally become well enough so that they can meet in real life.
This book should be required reading for anyone in the medical profession who has anything to do with people who have ME
carers, friends, skeptics.....walk a mile in her shoes before you make up your mind about ME.


The Further Blurtings Of Baxter
The Further Blurtings Of Baxter
by Glen Baxter
Edition: Hardcover

5.0 out of 5 stars Glen Baxter is a gem!, 10 Jan. 2014
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I discovered Glen Baxter about 25 years ago because a friend had a book of his in their loo. I think I was in there for an hour, in complete hysterics. I hope he is thriving still - his humour is like nothing on earth. The young man riding a racing wild boar,waving a small axe - 'Obtaining breakfast was proving more difficult than Tim had anticipated'
The cowboys with their pistols: 'There'll be no alliteration in this bunkhouse!' The professor sitting in an armchair, one hand inside his coat jacket, listening to an earnest young man playing the violin...'With unerring accuracy, Professor Otto reached for his Luger' Well, if you get it, get the book - and thank me for introducing you to one of the funniest cartoonists ever....(and he's even written a guide to sex...) Oh, and then there is the series of dramatic illustrations of the potential fate of endangered fruit...

I'm usually writing/campaigning about ME/CFS - Baxter should be prescribed, laughter really is the best medicine....


The Top Gear Years
The Top Gear Years
by Jeremy Clarkson
Edition: Hardcover

5.0 out of 5 stars How Does This Awful Man Manage to be so Charming!, 5 Jun. 2013
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This review is from: The Top Gear Years (Hardcover)
Enjoying reading the views of this misogynist, narcissistic, right-wing, anti-environment individual is like having a secret vice. Irresistible but you do feel it's So Wrong!


When Elephants Weep: The Emotional Lives of Animals
When Elephants Weep: The Emotional Lives of Animals
by Jeffrey Masson
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.99

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lovely, brilliant book, 5 Jun. 2013
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How wonderful to be carefully and convincingly led into the world of animal experiences, and to have their special sensory systems, types of intelligence, and evidence of loving and compassionate behaviour explained so well. Reading it is a very powerful experience.


The Assault on Truth: Freud's Suppression of the Seduction Theory
The Assault on Truth: Freud's Suppression of the Seduction Theory
by Jeffrey Masson
Edition: Paperback

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very important book, 5 Jun. 2013
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This really undermines Freud, and therefore the basis of psychoanalysis, in which Freud substituted the theory of the Oedipus complex, the supposed wish of the child to seduce the opposite-sex parent (but he was of course referring to men, here), for his very unpopular first observation that many neuroses (now mostly referring to his women patients) derived from childhood experiences of sexual abuse. This shift in view, from the idea that abusing adults were causing the problems, to the idea that it was the fantasies of the children who were causing the problems, means that psychoanalytic theory rests on the 'blame the victim' principal that still pervades our culture in relation to issues of child abuse ('false memory syndrome' - now, I believe, a category in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Illnesses), rape cases in courts, etc. It is known, for example that abusers typically vigorously deny their behaviour, but, oddly, no category labelled 'false abuse denial' has ever found its way into the DSM.


Wonder Book Of Sex
Wonder Book Of Sex
by Glen Baxter
Edition: Hardcover

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Glenn Baxter Wisdom on Sex, 16 Sept. 2012
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This review is from: Wonder Book Of Sex (Hardcover)
Glenn Baxter's take on sex (the aphrodisiac properties of gherkins,the erotic potential of a shared interest in linoleum, the use of traditional materials rather than more exotic substances such as silk and rubber illustrated by the cement mixer next to the bed, how to avoid the painful consequences of pigments directly applied to the penis by preparation consisting of light sanding and the application of grey undercoat, the Swiss approach to safe sex: bobble hats and sensible footwear) provides a quality of down-to-earth advice sorely lacking in the modern world.
The perfect gift for any partner sadly preoccupied with the unimaginative stuff churned out by the typical 'men's magazine'.


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5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, informative summary, 27 Jan. 2012
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This little booklet provides a very clear and succinct history of the development of the DSM manuals, and of the philosophy underpinning their method of categorising mental illnesses. I am writing a book about ME/CFS, and the attempts to have it classified in DSM V as one of a number of 'complex somatoform symptom disorders', along with Lymes and Gulf War Syndrome. As this classification would allow medical insurers companies, the British Department of Work and Pensions, and the British Ministry of Defence to deny claims for the disabilities attendant on these disorders, it is very popular in some quarters. So it was useful to read that the classification is not based on any understanding of the aetiology or physiopathology of a labelled condition, just a list of symptoms.


Blood Viscosity Factors: The Missing Dimension in Medicine
Blood Viscosity Factors: The Missing Dimension in Medicine
by Leslie Simpson
Edition: Perfect Paperback
Price: £16.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Information which could prevent diabetic amputations and blindness medically ignored, 13 Nov. 2011
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This fascinating and important work is about blood rheology - the physical properties of our red blood cells. Dr. Simpson has published 120 research papers, studying changes in the shape-populations of red blood cells and how these affect the delivery of oxygen and removal of waste products in tissues and organs affected in a range of chronic illnesses, including ME, MS, and diabetes, as well as congential conditions, Down's Syndrome and Huntingdon's. Normal red blood cells are biconcave discocytes, round, dimpled on both sides, and able to deform (curl up!) sufficiently to flow into the tiny capillaries on which our muscles, brain, endocrine system and all other tissues and organs depend for their supply of oxygen. Red blood cell populations are sensitive to changes in their environment, and in the conditions mentioned above, will become dominated by a high percentage of other, irregular shapes, visible in micrographs of immediately fixed blood samples. These are inflexible (poorly deformable)and cannot traverse the capillaries, creating the problems we see in these illnesses. 4 gm per day of genuine EPO, 6 gm a day of fish oil, pentoxyfilline (Trental), or vitamin B12 administered as hydroxocobalamin will improve blood viscosity and improve the well-being of a significant proportion of sufferers from the above conditions. In particular, pentoxyfilline prevented the occurrence of secondary problems in diabetics in a four year study. People with ME also can experience marked improvements. But medical literature and medical training completely ignore the work of haemorheologists, up to now.


Christmas Carol Time (Piano Solo/Duet)
Christmas Carol Time (Piano Solo/Duet)
by Dame Fanny Waterman
Edition: Paperback
Price: £5.99

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect Carol Book for Young Beginner and Parent!, 13 Nov. 2011
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I teach piano to child and adult beginners, and we always use this book in the half-term up to Christmas. Even a beginner can learn the melody parts, and the accompaniments are easy too. A child can do a duet with their teacher, or with another child for their school Christmas concert. They can play solo for family Christmas gatherings, or with a parent or friend who has basic ability. After the new experience in moving hands around and playing with another person (learning to 'count-in' and keep time with someone else) their playing will have moved on considerably. Older children will be able to move through the book quickly, creating an enjoyable family Christmas concert. These are lovely arrangements, very evocative - Fanny Waterman deserves many congratulations for this delightful book.


Tea Time For The Traditionally Built (No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency)
Tea Time For The Traditionally Built (No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency)
by Alexander McCall Smith
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
Price: £6.74

5.0 out of 5 stars Precious Ramotswe is Good For Your Health, 3 Mar. 2010
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It isn't easy to describe the calming effect of reading Precious Ramotswe's story, her values, her outlook on life. It is soundness in words of one syllable, calling one to pay attention to the beauty of our surroundings and the people in our lives. From her we learn loyalty to ones country, ones heroes and heroines, and basic warmth towards ones fellow beings. I would recommend anyone to offer books from this series to any friend who is feeling low, recovering from an operation, ill, or just discouraged by the general state of things! (And her detective work is admirable, too!)


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