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Snuff (Shire Album)
Snuff (Shire Album)
by Ursula Bourne
Edition: Pamphlet

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Up to snuff, 16 April 2010
This review is from: Snuff (Shire Album) (Pamphlet)
In common with other Shire publications, this is an excellent book. Snuffer or not, if you're interested in the history, manufacture and use of (nasal) snuff, this is for you. Given the brevity of the text, an astounding amount of information is conveyed, and the (black and white) illustrations include some fascinating images.
Great value.


Shogun: The First Novel of the Asian Saga: A Novel of Japan
Shogun: The First Novel of the Asian Saga: A Novel of Japan
by James Clavell
Edition: Paperback
Price: 7.69

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Atmospherically gripping, 9 Jun 2008
With only a couple of anachronisms, Clavell has written a hugely enjoyable, action-packed novel. The simplicities of peasant life are contrasted with the intricasies of court and diplomacy in a way guaranteed to engage the reader, leading to a revaluation of many of our Western views; while the action keeps us wanting more.

Fascinating, enjoyable and rewarding.


The Buddha In Daily Life: An Introduction to the Buddhism of Nichiren Daishonin
The Buddha In Daily Life: An Introduction to the Buddhism of Nichiren Daishonin
by Causton
Edition: Paperback
Price: 7.69

30 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Thorough introduction to SGI version of Nichiren Buddhism, 18 Oct 2006
Unless you're new to Buddhism, you'll be aware that there's a certain amount of controversy regarding Nichiren Buddhism - primarily in the relationship (or lack thereof) between Soka Gakkai International (SGI) and other Buddhist schools. Don't let this put you off reading this book.

Causton is an intelligent advocate of SGI, making no secret of his affiliation. Even so, there's an awful lot here that will interest any practising Buddhist, and particularly those who, for whatever reason, wish to understand more about the SGI.

As someone far from new to Buddhism, but new to Nichiren Buddhism, I've found this to be a rattling good, thought-provoking, read. The examples-from-life, which appear to be ubiquitous in rather too many "spiritual" books, are here dealt with sensibly, being used in an appropriately illustrative, rather than inappropriately evangelical, way. Where Causton really scores, however, is in his explanation of such things as the (Nichiren view of the) workings of the law of karma. Certainly, these are explained by very many authors; just as certainly, very few such authors manage to make their explanations quite so precisely while also managing to indicate the very real ways in which they have a bearing on our lives.

An intelligent, very worthwhile contribution to Buddhist literature in general, and Nichiren Buddhism in particular.


Shantaram
Shantaram
by Gregory David Roberts
Edition: Paperback
Price: 7.69

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding, 26 July 2006
This review is from: Shantaram (Paperback)
By nature rather sceptical, I did wonder quite how far this novel would live up to the hyperbole ("literary masterpiece" is some going!). It did; entirely. Whether this "novel" is actually fiction is a moot point (and, therefore, a great point of departure for an enjoyable discussion); without knowing any more than is clear from the book, I have a suspicion that it's only fiction in the same sense that Plath's Bell Jar was fiction. But that detracts not one jot from what is an excellent (if rather lengthy) read. Highly recommended.


The City Of Dreaming Books
The City Of Dreaming Books
by Walter Moers
Edition: Hardcover

7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars More Moers? Many Thanks!, 21 April 2006
Thanks to translator and publisher for the latest Moers. Sad to say, I've read the previously-translated books ... which means that, with this book, I couldn't enjoy the intense delight of encountering Moers' strange, dark and strangely meaningful world for the first time. But the pleasure of reading Moers is far from being confined to the strangeness of his imagination and his fantasy world(s). His themes are relevant in subtle and, sometimes, not-so-subtle ways; but above all, his books are one of the great pleasures of reading life. A more than worthy member of that elitist List of Golden Books.


Something for Everybody
Something for Everybody
Price: 34.51

10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Indispensable for fans, 21 April 2006
This review is from: Something for Everybody (Audio CD)
Of all the albums released during Elvis' lifetime, Something for Everybody was perhaps the most perfect (though not the most influential). Played at reasonable volume, it still has the power to impress with the adeptship of the vocal and backing performances. Listening on CD (rather than on vinyl) also helps bring out those subtle nuances that have always contributed to the overall effect but which are so much easier to tie down with the clarity of digital sound.

The Follow That Dream label has long met fans' desire for yet more Elvis. Here, though, it finally reaches the zenith of that dream, with out-takes and alternate takes that make a real contribution to our understanding of Elvis' ouvre.

Audio perfection!


The 13 1/2 Lives of Captain Bluebear
The 13 1/2 Lives of Captain Bluebear
by John Brownjohn
Edition: Paperback
Price: 9.09

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars More Moers, please!, 5 Sep 2005
Okay, I admit it: I like "unusual" books. And so, based on the wacky cover, I bought it. And I'm so glad I did. Literate, inventive, philosophical and satiric by turns, this is a (perhaps unexpectedly) provocative read which restores one's faith in the inventiveness of writers, and in their ability to make the apparently entirely irrelevant more relevant than could be thought possible. It's also very difficult to overstate this novel's entertainment value.
So, publishers, let's have more translated Moers, please!


Indestructible Truth: The Living Spirituality of Tibetan Buddhism (World of Tibetan Buddhism)
Indestructible Truth: The Living Spirituality of Tibetan Buddhism (World of Tibetan Buddhism)
by Reginald A. Ray
Edition: Paperback
Price: 20.22

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Thoroughly Absorbing, 20 April 2004
Its complexity is, perhaps, part of the attraction of Tibetan Buddhism. Ray succeeds in doing the near impossible: making clear the subject whilenot compromising its intricacies.
Within a couple of pages I wasgripped: Ray writes with the sort of straightforward simplicity thattypifies a master of his subject. If I got lost in the first part of thebook (and I sometimes did), then that was as a result of the complexitiesof the relationships between the different schools; it was certainly notthe fault of the writer, whose presentation is of an impeccablestandard.
The second part explains, again in admirable depth and withstraightforward accessibility, the core tenets of Buddhism. It would bedifficult to find these elucidated any more clearly in such a summary.Above all, Ray does not allow his scholarship to obfuscate the fact thatTibetan Buddhism is a living, practical tradition. It is an indication ofthe effectiveness of Ray's writing that, instead, his scholarshipadvances, rather than retards, our understanding of this corefact.
Impossible to recommend too highly to anyone interested in thesubject.


Charge of the Goddess: The Mother of Modern Witchcraft
Charge of the Goddess: The Mother of Modern Witchcraft
by Doreen Valiente
Edition: Paperback

17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Essential Reading for Well-versed Wiccan, 6 Feb 2003
Valiente was instrumental in the development of Wicca as we know it today. Too often, her contributions (particularly in terms of the Wiccan liturgy) go unremarked. What is often cited as 'traditional' by less-informed writers on Wicca (and there are plenty of them around) often turns out to be something either written or revised by Valiente.
Valiente is not the best poet in the world. Her strength lies in writing texts for ritual, and this book provides us with more proof of this skill. In consequence, it is a timely reminder of a skill which, despite the efforts of so many, appears to be sadly lacking in all but a few.
At once homely and authoritative, this slim volume is a welcome panacea to the fluffy bunny New Age/Buffy-style Wicca which too often tends to predominate today.
Very highly recommended.


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