Book Reviews

Book Reviews

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Book Review: Mystical Journey Oracle by Tennessee Charpentier

A sublimely beautiful deck of cards and book that provokes deep contemplation, meditation and clarity on one’s life path and future possibilities. Even if you don’t believe in the woo-woo of reading oracles or cards, you will still enjoy the stunning paintings by French artist Tenessee Charpetier and the deep accompanying storytelling of the book.…

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Book Review: Unpolished Gem by Alice Pung

Rating: 🌟🌟🌟🌟 Publisher: Black Inc Books Genre: Non-fiction, autobiography, Australian history, SE Asia. Review in one word: Witty This is vivid story of a family of migrants who flee from the killing fields of Cambodia to the inner west of Melbourne to find sanctuary in the early 80’s. Told from the perspective of the narrator…

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Book Review: The Discomfort of Evening by Marieke Lucas Rijneveld

Rating: 🌟🌟🌟🌟 Publisher: Faber & Faber Genre: Fiction, Psychological thriller, Literary Fiction. Review in one word: Subconscious Originally published in Dutch and winning the Man Booker International Prize in 2018, Lucas Rijneveld’s debut novel captures in bloody, beastly and corporeal detail the lives of a dysfunctional farming family in the rural Netherlands, some time in…

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Book Review: Islands of Abandonment: Life in the Post-Human Landscape by Cal Flynn

Rating: 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 Publisher: William Collins Books Genre: Non-fiction, anthropology, environmental science, natural history, animal rights. What happens when humans foresake and ruin landscapes? They are never truly abandoned. Instead they are engulfed by the non-human world and they become teeming with many other foresaken wild lifeforms. The weeds, plants, insects, birds and large mammals move…

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Book Review: Shinrin-Yoku The Art and Science of Forest Bathing by Dr Qing Li

Rating: 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 Publisher: Nippon Medical School/Penguin Books. Genre: Non-Fiction, Health, Nature, Spirituality. Review in one word: Immersive This is one of the most supremely nourishing books to gift yourself or someone you love. Shinrin-Yoku is your guide to the ancient Japanese art of ‘Forest Bathing’, which is the English translation of the eponymous title. I…

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Book Review: Islands of Mercy by Rose Tremain

Genre: Fiction, Historical Fiction Rating: 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 Islands of Mercy is a masterful book by the author of other historical fiction classics such as Restoration, Music and Silence and Merival. I have loved all of these books so I had a feeling (and rightfully so) that I would really enjoy this book. Set in Victorian era…

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Book Review: The Flip: Who You Really Are and Why it Matters by Jeffrey Kripal

Publisher: Penguin Genre: Non-Fiction, Psychology, Parapsychology, Spirituality, Science, Epistemiology Rating: 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 Prepare to have your mind blown a few times in a delightful way by this book. It’s really refreshing to read something science-y that is not afraid to delve into the ‘Twilight Zone’ so to speak. It’s difficult to put this book into the…

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Book Review: The Highly Sensitive Person: How to Thrive When the World Overwhelms You by Dr Elaine Aron

Publisher: Penguin Genre: Non-Fiction, Psychology, Spirituality. Rating: 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 This is the quintessential book about the trait of high sensitivity in people’s personalities. Beautifully written, engaging and informative, it has become a classic of psychology since it was first published in 1996. In case you are unaware of how this personality trait looks, here is a…

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Book Review: The Body Keeps the Score: Mind, Brain and Body in the Transformation of Trauma by Bessel Van Der Kolk

Publisher: Penguin Genre: Non-Fiction, Psychology Rating: 🌟🌟🌟 This is a comprehensive guide to trauma. Unlike other guides, it places emphasis on the physical body and how past buried traumas are inextricably connected to the body, or in other words: ‘The Body Keeps the Score’. Although this book is more of a clinical guide for psychologists,…

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Book Review: Ordinary Beauty: Meaningful Moments in Everyday Life by Mary McEvoy

Publisher: Hachette Books Ireland Genre: Non-Fiction, Spirituality, Wisdom, Buddhism, Paganism Rating: 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 This is a book of wisdom, quotes and treasures is from writer Mary McEvoy. She has lived experience of depression and anxiety. So she understands intimately how to handle and manage the dark times of life. How to look at the darkness squarely…

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Book Review: A Curious History of Sex by Kate Lister

Genre: Non-fiction, sex, history, women’s history, feminism. Publisher: Unbound Rating: 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 Be prepared to have your hair on both ends of you to blown back and rearranged into a merkin. The History of Sex is like one prolonged literary orgasm and I mean that seriously. It’s a delight and a treat, a flirtatious and salacious…

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