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Grace
Grace
by Esther Morgan
Edition: Paperback
Price: £8.19

4.0 out of 5 stars Elegant, 28 Feb 2012
This review is from: Grace (Paperback)
I really enjoyed these delicately wrought meditative poems that capture moments that might otherwise pass unnoticed. Beauty in language, sound and image, and wise with it. There are many memorable poems in this collection, a worthy nominee for the T.S.Eliot prize.


We Don't Know
We Don't Know
by Nick Lantz
Edition: Paperback
Price: £8.84

5.0 out of 5 stars Remarkable, 28 Feb 2012
This review is from: We Don't Know (Paperback)
This is simply brilliant. Sparkling wit combined with an intelligence that transcends any self-involved 'I' you'd encounter in contemporary poetry. It's political satire as well as arguments on human nature.


The Lightning That Strikes the Neighbors' House (The Felix Pollak Prize in Poetry)
The Lightning That Strikes the Neighbors' House (The Felix Pollak Prize in Poetry)
by Nick Lantz
Edition: Paperback
Price: £12.47

5.0 out of 5 stars Hugely Enjoyable, 8 Dec 2011
Wonderfully entertaining writer. His poems are funny, thought provoking and politically engaged. Some satirical poems in this collection are among the best of its kind.


Memorial
Memorial
by Alice Oswald
Edition: Audio CD
Price: £12.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Memorial Audio CD, 2 Dec 2011
This review is from: Memorial (Audio CD)
The CD is definetely worth getting. Alice Oswald is a marvelous reader of her own work. It's only an hour long and can be listened to in one sitting.


One Eye'd Leigh
One Eye'd Leigh
by Katharine Kilalea
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.83

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Wonderfully quirky, 1 Dec 2011
This review is from: One Eye'd Leigh (Paperback)
Emily Dickinson said 'tell the truth but tell it slant'. I enjoyed these poems that make what's familier strange. Very accessible and delicately crafted.


The Whale Rider (New Windmills)
The Whale Rider (New Windmills)
by Witi Ihimaera
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £6.50

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Luminous!, 30 Nov 2011
A timeless heartwarming tale about a maori girl. Luminous writing that captures the magical beauty of New Zealand, Maori culture and myths.


Not Quite White
Not Quite White
by Simon Thirsk
Edition: Paperback
Price: £6.54

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not just a Welsh story but why we should not live by rote, 28 Nov 2011
This review is from: Not Quite White (Paperback)
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It is a deeply intelligent look at prejudices, the disjunct of reasoning behind their formation and their endurance. This book never turns preachy, but conveys the message with humour and tact and some romance.

In response to the comments by Amazing - I'd like to say that I am a woman and I certainly didn't feel any comments (or the book as a whole) to be sexist in any way. It seems to me to read some sections as `blame the victim' is a very superficial and pedantic reading of the text. A victim's feelings of guilt/culpability is well documented in psychiatry and is one of the early stages in the rape victim's psychological trajectory from trauma to healing, a stage that very much has to be acknowledged, not glossed over. In fact I think this book captures Gwalia's journey into healing with great sensitivity (and not without parallel lessons to be leant on a cultural level). One of the most poignant scenes is where she spills milk on the floor and her father finds her.

It also seemed rather unfair to accuse the author of using one particular character to ventriloquize. What you see depends on where you choose to stand ... perhaps it is these same kind of polarized or superficial views the book attempts to expose? A humorous treatment invariably requires some kind of exaggeration. True there may not be a welsh village without electricity or plumbing-literally, but that is kind of beside the real point isn't it?

On Amazing's dismissal of some sections as mere `old colonial tricks` - I quite disagree as I didn't find any reason to to feel that any of these inter-racial dialogues were inauthentic.

I see a universal lesson here; often `we are trapped in a story'. What you ultimately come away with after reading this book is a sense of the importance of not remaining victims, of not living by rote. Why we must re-evaluate attitudes and find new ways of integration without losing our identity - that it is possible only if we are willing to take an honest and open look at our own prejudices.


Thoughts without a Thinker: Psychotherapy from a Buddhist Perspective
Thoughts without a Thinker: Psychotherapy from a Buddhist Perspective
by Mark (Mark William) Epstein
Edition: Paperback
Price: £10.99

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars In the quest for egolessness, 28 Nov 2011
As a practitioner of buddhist meditation I found this book a wonderful recap of the basic principles and challenges/doubts faced during its practice.

I also found the discussion on the differing roles of ego in psychotherapy and meditation especially illuminating. Would highly recommend this book to anyone interested in buddhist philosophy.


Gorillas in the Mist: A Remarkable Story of Thirteen Years Spent Living with the Greatest of the Great Apes
Gorillas in the Mist: A Remarkable Story of Thirteen Years Spent Living with the Greatest of the Great Apes
by Dian Fossey
Edition: Paperback
Price: £8.69

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Must-Read book, 26 Nov 2011
I beg to differ with Quick Reviews comments below. To compare the book with the movie is not really comparing like with like. The purpose of the book was to present her research findings as indisputable proof of the need to save the highland gorilla. The movie was intended to reach a wider audience, with more general insight into the problems of deforestation and poaching in the hope of garnering support to her struggle to save them. The book and the movie compliment each other in the campaign, many have been moved to see/read the other once they have been introduced to the story. They are two sides of the same coin really. The other point is that Diane Fossey was murdered in 1985 (book finished in 1983) and the problems faced in this region keep evolving.

I have been to Rwanda and the Virungas and have seen the gorillas in the wild and it is heart breaking to think that these gentle giants (forget King Kong, that's Hollywood!) are teetering on the brink of extinction. But it isn't all hopeless, the awearness created by the book and movie has renewed conservation efforts, though dangers still remain, they may still have a chance. I do hope more people will read this remarkable book written by a remarkable woman.


Mountains of the Mind: a History of a Fascination
Mountains of the Mind: a History of a Fascination
by Robert Macfarlane
Edition: Paperback
Price: £6.99

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Eminently re-readable, 26 Nov 2011
I was rummaging in my book shelves for something different and read this again in one sitting... The first time I read it was on a 2 week trek in the Himalayas and found it to be a perfect aticulation of human fascination with mountains. It isn't a 'I survived this' tale but a meticulous examination of consiousness in relation to a particular landscape, and reading it within that landscape clarified previously unarticulated awareness of this strange attraction. The book traces the history of human relationship to this landscape and illustrates with well or little known facts. The writing is fluid and poetic, a pleasure to re-read. This is surely a modern classic in nature writing (though I'm not sure it fits that neatly into the genre as his other books).


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