Shop now Shop now Shop now Shop All Amazon Fashion Cloud Drive Photos Shop now Learn More Shop now DIYED Shop now Shop Fire Shop Kindle Oasis Listen in Prime Learn more Shop now
Profile for Ita > Reviews

Personal Profile

Content by Ita
Top Reviewer Ranking: 8,329
Helpful Votes: 270

Learn more about Your Profile.

Reviews Written by
Ita (UK)

Show:  
Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6
pixel
Risk Savvy: How To Make Good Decisions
Risk Savvy: How To Make Good Decisions
Price: £5.49

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Trust Your Gut Feelings, 7 July 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
It's obvious, isn't it, that the more we know the better our inferences will be? No, says Gerd Gigerenzer, it doesn't always follow. What we take to be knowledge is usually limited to the conscious variety. We are unaware of the vast reservoir of unconscious knowledge which we can access, and which is the source of gut feelings and intuitions.
Successful managers base all their decisions on reason, or so we have been led to believe. Wrong again, says Gigerenzer. Although they are reluctant to admit it, the higher up the hierarchy managers are the more likely they are to rely on gut feelings.
So why do many of us make bad decisions? Because we have not been educated to understand risk. We are unable to distinguish between between known calculable risks and uncertainty. We are very uncomfortable with uncertainty, preferring to accept the illusion of certainty offered to us by people in authority. The hunger for certainty is what prevents us from being risk savvy.
Heuristics are smart rules of thumb which can simplify decision making. They can be safer and more accurate than a calculation, yet are frowned upon by many. This book gives examples of heuristics ranging from the gaze heuristic of pilots to the aspiration rule which can prevent us wasting time and feeling restless and dissatisfied when shopping.
This is a book which encourages us to take more control of our lives. It allows us to see when we are being offered second or third best solutions because someone feels it necessary to engage in defensive decision making. Although it does contain repetition, it is a book well worth the time taken to read it.


Curing Cancer with Carrots
Curing Cancer with Carrots
Price: £3.23

10 of 18 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Nutritional Epigenetics?, 18 Jun. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
If you find yourself diagnosed with cancer, you need effective treatment when it can cure you or allow you to enjoy a good quality of life for longer than you might otherwise expect.

I was diagnosed with breast cancer almost ten years ago. the cancer was removed surgically. I then had chemotherapy and radiotherapy before being prescribed Arimidex for five years. Arimidex is an enzyme inhibitor which prevents the formation of oestrogen from a precursor naturally present in the body. My hospital treatments lasted little more than six months. Chemotherapy was the only form I would describe as tough; but I am glad I underwent it because i have enjoyed very good health since.

I had my treatment under the NHS, so my oncologist had no financial motivation for prescribing the drugs I was given. I found all the health professionals I encountered to be kind, conscientious, caring and concerned about my wellbeing, and resent the insinuation in this book that doctors are ignorant and self-interested.

I eat carrots regularly as part of a balanced diet, but will not be juicing five pounds of them per day. The fact that Ann Cameron has been drinking carrot juice for the past year-and-a-half and is free from symptoms of cancer is not evidence that she has been cured. Testimonials from a handful of other people detailing benefits which they attribute to carrot juice are not evidence of its effectiveness.

As a food carrots are useful, but ingested in abnormally large amounts they may be harmful. Side effects have been reported from falcarinol and luteolin, two anti-cancer compounds found in carrot juice. Falcarinol in high doses is neurotoxic. Luteolin can cause nausea, vomiting and gastric hypersecretion. It has also been reported to have adverse effects in vitro on endometrial cancer cells.

This book may sound scientific because it contains words like 'angiogenesis,' 'apoptosis' and 'necrosis'; but it also contains statements which would be given zero marks in a school biology exam. One such is, 'the immune system senses the wound as a hole in our body that has to be filled in.'
One of the researchers whose work is cited in connection with immunology and cancer has had to write a letter of retraction to the Journal of Immunology.

I know from personal experience how vulnerable people with cancer can feel. It gives me no pleasure writing this review and I hope Ann will not suffer a recurrence; but this is a dangerous book in so far as it may deter people from seeking effective treatment.
Comment Comments (5) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Aug 15, 2015 5:22 PM BST


PARIS SYNDROME
PARIS SYNDROME
Price: £2.25

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Mindstretcher, 20 May 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: PARIS SYNDROME (Kindle Edition)
I find Tahir Shah's work uniquely satisfying, and 'Paris Syndrome' is no exception. Supremely entertaining, it also stretches your mind.

This is a book which reminds us of how little we really know about the human psyche. What Tahir Shah is exploring through the experiences of unassuming, disillusioned Miki Suzuki is spirit possession. When the young Japanese woman is brought to the asylum of Dr Mesmer, his gentle understanding probing tells him that she is under the control of one of the incomplete spirits known in the East as jinn. Miki's babblings are not random. They are the utterances of an intelligent unconscious entity who is capable of shapeshifting from a princess to a stone, and who can tune in to the thoughts of others around her. It is her jinn who has brought Miki to Paris, knowing that this is where her destiny lies. Dr Mesmer's refuge from the crazy media-manipulated world outside allows her and his other patients to regain normality. But Miki differs from the others in that she is not satisfied with normality. She has met her true love in Paris, in the form of Compte Hugo de Montfried, and is determined to remain in the city whatever the consequences.

We live in a universe where most of the matter (the 'dark' matter) is beyond detection by our senses and still completely inaccessible to science. I think this fascinating book deserves to be read with an open mind.


Casablanca Blues
Casablanca Blues
Price: £2.48

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Tantalising Thriller, 21 Dec. 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Casablanca Blues (Kindle Edition)
I found this thriller where worlds meet, among them East and West, enthralling and tantalising. It defied prediction until the last full stop.

If you are undecided about whether to buy this book, I recommend a visit to its website. This can be accessed through Tahir Shah's main website, tahirshah.com. It contains an extract of the narrative and photographs of the city as it is now, and as it was seventy years ago when the movie 'Casablanca' was made. You can read articles written by Tahir about Casablanca and watch videos he made, and there are several short clips from the movie. You could not ask for a more delicious taster.

'Casablanca Blues' is a book which invites you to re-read it, and this I did. Once I was no longer preoccupied with discovering what twists and turns the story would take, I was able to delight in the magical writing, where a city and country are brought to vibrant life with an amazing economy of words. Reading the book slowly, a chapter at a time, allows you to reach a different level where you realise that Blaine, the American hero is a seeker, dissatisfied with life as he has experienced it. Casablanca is the human mind, a spirited place where knowledge and wisdom can be found. The tunnels beneath the city are the Unconscious.
Tahir Shah is not restricted to the insights of Western psychology. He is also immersed in the psychology of the East and has his finger firmly on the pulse of modern life. This enables him to write a book which is subtly, but very powerfully therapeutic.


The Modern Explorers
The Modern Explorers
by Robin Hanbury-Tenison
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £24.95

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Bringing Back News From Distant Lands, 11 Oct. 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Modern Explorers (Hardcover)
Have you ever wondered what drives a few intrepid men and women to forsake comfort and security, to explore places known only to those whose home they may be? In this book modern explorers write about the sufferings and privations they endured, and the rewards they experienced as they crossed polar and desert regions, scaled mountains, traced rivers to their source, made perilous sea journeys and forays into rainforest, ventured into caves and sought to rediscover lost worlds. Some were part of large, highly organised expeditions to further scientific knowledge. Others travelled in small groups, or alone, plumbing the depths of isolation from other members of the human species.

Each writer offers a different slant but, in a book as diverse as this, you are inevitably drawn to some more than others. I don't think I'll forget how Ranulph Fiennes dealt with the maddening pain of frostbite, or how Jon Muir crossed Australia unassisted with his Jack Russell terrier for company. I now know who Mikael Strandberg considers to be his true heros after spending a year in Siberia, and what life is like in the Darien forests of Panama, as seen through the poetic eyes of Wade Davis. Robert Twigger's account of Tim Severin's Brendan Voyage confirmed my suspicion that modern materials are not always superior. There was reassurance in Hank de Velde's conclusions after he had passed the solitude test on his never-ending voyage; and in Tahir Shah's shoestring technique. To be an explorer, he contends, all you need is determination. Reading this book will provide encouragement to would-be explorers.


The Anarchist Detective: (Max Cámara 3)
The Anarchist Detective: (Max Cámara 3)
by Jason Webster
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £12.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Hilario's Stroke, 12 July 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This is an intricate, brain-exercising story, expertly told. However, for me, parts of it didn't ring true. From the second chapter on, because I have known people who suffered from strokes and have seen what a devastating illness it can be, I found myself in conflict with one of the main character's (Max Camara's grandfather's) experiences throughout the book. Neither my husband nor I found Hilario entirely convincing, even as we enjoyed trying to decipher who the killer was, and what might have been his motives.


Cannibalism: It's Just Meat (Tahir Shah Essays Book 2)
Cannibalism: It's Just Meat (Tahir Shah Essays Book 2)

5.0 out of 5 stars Raising Searching Questions, 23 Jun. 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Cannibals ate, and still eat, human flesh for reasons that are familiar and can manifest themselves in behaviour more acceptable to society. They ate it to survive, because they enjoyed the taste, because of their beliefs or because they wanted to exert control over other people. So why do we fear cannibalism so much, and why do we reserve our fiercest condemnation for cannibals, when we are more tolerant of killing and rape, for example? In this well researched essay, Tahir Shah asks these and other searching questions.
Ita


The Legacy of Arab Science (Tahir Shah Essays Book 3)
The Legacy of Arab Science (Tahir Shah Essays Book 3)

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The House of Wisdom, 20 Jun. 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
You don't need to have a PhD, or even to have been outstanding at science in school, to really enjoy this essay about the astonishing attainments of polymaths during the four centuries of the Golden Age of Arab learning (ninth to thirteenth centuries CE). Your spirits will be lifted by Tahir Shah's enthusiastic account of how enlightened caliphs, translators, paper, and centres like the House of Wisdom in Baghdad, where minds could meet, all played a part in advancing scientific knowledge in fields as diverse as maths, chemistry, medicine, agriculture and engineering.
Ita


Trail of Feathers: In Search of the Birdmen of Peru
Trail of Feathers: In Search of the Birdmen of Peru
Price: £1.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Change from the Inside Out, 8 Jun. 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
`The experience of taking Ayahuasca ... was one that changed me from the inside out,' writes Tahir Shah in a new introduction to the 2013 Secretum Mundi edition of `Trail of Feathers.'

I do hope this book will be read with an open mind by many people. Medicine in the `developed' world has come to mean surgery, pharmaceuticals and ever more sophisticated technology for diagnosis and treatment of disease. Food and nutrition are barely mentioned in the medical curriculum, and spirit is treated with derision. We don't know how to observe spirit, or to measure it, and it isn't included as a variable in randomised, double blind, placebo controlled trials. We don't know how to allow spirit help us find solutions. Our health systems consume vast amounts of resources at the expense of the natural world, and most forms of alternative medicine have been shown to be no more effective than placebo.

Even if you don't accept the assertion of the Shuar shamans that it is the everyday world which is an illusion, there is much to enjoy in this book, as you accompany Tahir Shah on his travels throughout the length and breadth of Peru - from Lake Titicaca, through the Andes to Lima, Nazca and the Amazon jungle. The search for the Birdmen is a fascinating detective story where clues are found in the design of towns, in shrunken heads and in ancient textiles; and a Peruvian doctor confides that flight is not the content, but the container.

Ita


House of the Tiger King: A Jungle Obsession
House of the Tiger King: A Jungle Obsession
Price: £1.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Journey Through Hell, 1 Jun. 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
`A journey is a fragment of Hell.' This Arab proverb is quoted at the start of `The House of the Tiger King,' the book where Tahir Shah tells of his obsession to find Paititi, the city built by the Incas in Amazon cloud forest.

With him on the plane to Lima are a father-and-son film crew weighed down with equipment, a Bulgarian film student who is filming the film crew, and a Ukranian banker. They fly to Iquitos to persuade a Vietnam vet to join the expedition. The latter agrees, provided he can bring his personal shaman; and the shaman insists on first going to Nazka to find a mummy to bring with them. It soon becomes clear that their intended protector and his shaman spend most of their time stoned on hallucinogenic drugs.

A bus ride from Cusco takes them to the Madre de Dios forest, where they meet Hector who advises and accompanies them. Hector is a Seventh Day Adventist, but also a dreamer prepared, if necessary, to lay down his Bible and rely on older beliefs. The journey through Hell has started. Acting as porters are Machiguenga tribesmen, strong and capable of enduring indescribable hardship, but terrified of the Paititi ruins and of El Tigre, the ghostly predator which haunts the jungle. Progress is painfully slow, mostly on foot through water. Skin is lost from between toes, bees feast on sweat, and the men become host to guinea worms, chigger flies and the virus that causes dengue fever. Impassable rapids block the first attempt, and Tahir is forced to admit what Hector has been telling him: the time is not right.

The second attempt is even more hellish than the first. Ferocious storms add to the expedition's misery and Tahir finds himself the object of the porters' hatred. Journeys can bring out the best, or the worst, in people, he reflects, and this one has brought out the worst in him.

As you read this beautifully written book, you begin to feel that it is more than a single team's search for a lost city. You will gain insight into Tahir Shah's work, but you also begin to realise that what this extraordinary writer is retelling is no less than the journey of Man, when he seeks his own glory above all else.

Ita


Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6