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Ronald W. Maron "pilgrim" (Nova Scotia)
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Intuition & Psychic Ability: Your Spiritual GPS
Intuition & Psychic Ability: Your Spiritual GPS
Price: CDN$ 4.22

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars We are more than spiritual beings........., Oct. 1 2013
Human beings are a highly complex set of interlaced states of awareness. While the author attempts to define the spiritual portion of our being, she does so at the expense of our other human traits; mental, physical and psychological. By viewing life in the manner that the author describes, many of the spiritual experiences that she feels she is experiencing can easily be traced to one of the other human traits. Two simple examples are: What is described as being 'spiritual vampires' are actually passive-aggressive persons you are interacting with and what is described as spiritual awareness of negative phantoms is nothing more than simple anxiety pangs that occasionally come when under psychological stress. To live a successful life one must learn to balance all aspects of life (physical, mental, psychological, spiritual) and not simply to focus on one and feel that it can define the rest.

Lastly, I do not feel, as the author does, that all of us are gifted psychically any more than the fact that I can hammer a nail should indicate that I can become a master craftsman. Ms. O'Neil, methinks you are seeing the world solely through your own eyes and impressions. These impressions may have little, if anything, to do with the rest of "us more common folk"...............

The Disturbing Effect of Moonlight
The Disturbing Effect of Moonlight

5.0 out of 5 stars A promising new author spreads her skills into a 'whodunit'...., Sept. 25 2013
Mia Zabrisky, the promising author of the "Shutterville" series, has applied her talents to a unique and gripping murder mystery. She has a unique ability with her descriptions of events and settings through comparing and contrasting them to differing events and common day occurrences. By doing so she adds a distinct flavor to the writing and a spark to the reader's attention span. Few writers since Poe and Dickens have been able to do this successfully. Her characterizations are strong and her control of the plot line is secure and direct. While I am not a great fan of whodunits, I recognize the skill and TLC that went into the creation of this work. Keep going Mia, you are on the right/write path..............

Farewell Summer
Farewell Summer
Offered by HarperCollins Publishers CA
Price: CDN$ 7.99

3.0 out of 5 stars The parallel to 'Dandelion Wine' is very scant........., Aug. 25 2013
This review is from: Farewell Summer (Kindle Edition)
Having deduced that "Dandelion Wine" was one of the top three novels ever written, I was more than eager to open the cover of this book and continue the adventure of life called 'Douglas Spaulding'. My anticipation quickly faded when I saw that the curious and contemplative Doug had devolved into the frightened and insecure leader of a rag-tag throng of country boys. While his so-called battle with the elderly Mr. Quartermain symbolically represents the struggle we all encounter with the incessant march of time, the actions that surround this dilemma are strained at best; firecrackers in the town clock, and bottles of embryonic goop? At the novel's end we encounter the fading of sexuality of one person only to transpose itself to another is a bit inane and meaningless. In all, the tale that is told appears to be a first draft written on a yellowing legal pad rather than the tight, finished story of childhood that it could have been.

That being said, chapter thirty-two displays a beautiful and simplistic interchange between Tom and Doug as they say 'Good-bye' to not only summer but this phase of both of their lives. The high number of 5 stars that is given by other reviewers is done, hopefully, as a tribute to Ray Bradbury himself and not to the content of this novel. May we all remain entwined with the ringing of the distant trolley bell, the sound of the circus train as it arrives in the early morning or smell of the air as it drifts over the canals of Mars.............

The Martian Chronicles (Harper Perennial Modern Classics)
The Martian Chronicles (Harper Perennial Modern Classics)
Offered by HarperCollins Publishers CA
Price: CDN$ 11.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Written in a dark, yet uniquely imaginative, manner....., Aug. 23 2013
All of us have enjoyed the writing prowess of Ray Bradbury throughout his writing career. His style, while varied, has given us the rich boyhood tales from 'Dandelion Wine' to his myriad of insightful and haunting short stories to his eerily descriptive "Something Wicked....". "The Martian Chronicles" fits perfectly into the imaginative sequence of stories written by this poetic master.

In a unique manner of offering us a series of short tales and essays written about inhabitants of Mars and covering a progressive number of decades, we are given an overall view of man's inhumanity to anyone but himself and, because of these actions, we are led to the eventual nuclear destruction of our home planet, Earth. While Earth, itself, is what it is, the proving ground for man's insanity, Mars is presented as symbolic prose. Does it represent man's retreat or escape from reality? Is it merely a dream-like repression from our own aggressions? Or does it offer us a means for hope and the striving for an existence other than the one we find ourselves living through? The answer to this puzzling question could not be answered by the author anymore than it can be by his most ardent readers..............

The World Unseen
The World Unseen
by Anthony Borgia
Edition: Paperback
Price: CDN$ 16.65
17 used & new from CDN$ 16.43

2.0 out of 5 stars A 'vanilla ice cream' after life........, Aug. 14 2013
This review is from: The World Unseen (Paperback)
I am not going to comment a great deal on the validity of the content nor on the accuracy through which this book was transcribed. This is for each individual reader to determine on his/her own. My only input into this area is that I have read numerous metaphysical/mediumship/parapsychology books and, while some of the messages in this book parallel those in other texts, most do not.

The main reason for the 2 star rating is based on the format and authorship itself. This is a tedious, pedantic and highly repetitious series of prose presented in a manner that is syrupy sweet, overly polite and suspiciously unreal. While I realize that the supposed author was formerly a Catholic priest, the presentation, in sum, is presented in a manner that is similar to why people always feel out of place in a church setting and eventually abandon the church altogether; a total lack of reality in day-to-day conversation. No one, except pastors and priests, naturally speak in the manner that is tediously presented in this book!

My additional concerns lie in the fact that the former priest continues to have himself referred to as 'Monsignor' by those around him, ruminates on his continued anger towards the church's false teachings and blames the incarnate persons of earth for not knowing the truth of the spirit world (without ever developing a means to have them realize his 'truth'). While a peaceful and cooperative picture is painted of the afterlife, he fails to show what activities will replace the many, many professions that are no longer applicable in the spirit world. Planting flowers, welcoming new spirits and creating structures through thought processes fall far short of filling the vacuum created through a realm that seems to care for itself. There is the continuation, to a degree, of the Catholic tenet of Purgatory through his presentation of 'realms of fog and darkness'. And, like Purgatory, they are not eternal dwelling places.

In sum, I will not state that this book should not be read. Instead, I do think that there are small parts that can be reflected upon and learned from. I do suggest that this be far down on a person's reading list and not be encountered until a great deal of research and study through other sources is done in advance................

PS.........After giving this writing a few more days of thought and contemplation, I have come to realize that this is an accurate view of the after life; HIS AFTER LIFE. The setting he finds himself in not only parallels what his professional and personal life entailed but mirrored the thoughts that he had regarding the make up of what could/should occur after his death. Calmness and serenity, manicured lawns, fragrant and beautiful gardens, superficial but highly cordial interaction with others and a task of leading and guiding others to the 'truth'. Obviously, because of the large number of souls he interacts with, this perception of the after life quite common among the incarnate peoples or is the image of 'heaven' that is given to those who have held onto a religious concept of eternity during their lifetimes. Myself, on the other hand, would find this setting as mundane and tedious as the Christian view of angels, hymns and prayers. MY AFTER LIFE would entail a high degree of curiosity, difficult yet attainable goals, a full roster of animal life, events similar to the ones I found exciting and intriguing in life and conversations that involve the exchange of differing and not homogenous thoughts with persons of an equally high intelligence level. To me eternity would not long enough to attain all that can be achieved, to enjoy all that can be experienced nor to learn all that lies beyond the mist of uncertainty....

Morgan's Passing
Morgan's Passing
by Anne Tyler
Edition: Paperback
Price: CDN$ 13.00
42 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

5.0 out of 5 stars "Normal' and 'Quirky' are merely subjective descriptions.., Aug. 13 2013
This review is from: Morgan's Passing (Paperback)
Yes, at times, Anne Tyler's vision of Morgan and the irrational circumstances that surrounds him, does seem to drag on into infinity. But, that being said, this droning mantra is merely a portion of what makes this book not only entertaining but serves as an instruction manual into coping with and understanding the lives of those around us. Yes, all of her characters in this novel are merely magnifications of the 'quirkiness' of on-going society. Each action, in itself, however, should show us how universal such strange behavior is to each of us and how we surround ourselves with people who will not only support its continuation but encourage it so they, too, can continue to engage in their own acts of social insanity.

Morgan, like most of us, floats through his life similar to a soap bubble that is being pushed this way and then that, up and then down. He never questions the validity of his beliefs, the appropriateness of his actions, nor the influence that he has on the other people surrounding him. Morgan never defines what his life should be and then works to attain these goals. Instead Morgan has allowed life to define him and then, being seemingly powerless against these forces, continues along the path set before him. The story, as reflective in most people's lives, has no definitive ending, it merely goes on and on. The soap bubble bounces from one cataclysmic event to the next while our hero merely changes his hat to fit the occasion at hand..............

The Ocean at the End of the Lane: A Novel
The Ocean at the End of the Lane: A Novel
Offered by HarperCollins Publishers CA
Price: CDN$ 15.99

1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not quite the previous 'Gaiman magic' ......, July 22 2013
Neil Gaiman has a loyal and well deserved following. In his previous works he has a unique ability of placing reality and mysticism in the same tale and not only have it result a captivating tale but one that gives its readers pause to think and reflect. While "Ocean" had the potential to echo Gaiman's previous works, to me, only a humble reader, he came up short.

While the nostalgic thrust of the opening chapter does lock the reader into the memory's of his/her own childhood, once the author has us there he fails to develop a meaningful experience. Three female characters who have lived forever and are on earth at this time to fight strips of evil yard goods or blood thirst pterodactyls? A protagonist who returns numerous times to a mystical childhood setting and each time he departs he forgets that he was there? A father figure who not only has an affair on his wife but attempts to drown his son in a bathtub? A poverty stricken family razes the family home only to build a new house? A pond, that's called an ocean, produces magical results that we are never told its symbolic importance or how this magically fits into the overall concept of eternity.

No, such novels as "Stardust", "The Graveyard Book" and "Neverwhere" will remain, in my mind, as adult fantasy classics. But, like all great authors, not every output can reach one's previous lofty standards. This is a classic example of that....

Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant: A Novel
Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant: A Novel
by Anne Tyler
Edition: Paperback
Price: CDN$ 13.83
109 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

5.0 out of 5 stars Family; that which we are born into and that which we try to escape....., July 18 2013
While all of us are aware of the author's propensity for the development of `quirky', if not fully believable characters, this novel is quite different. For any of us who were reared in a dysfunctional or broken family, you will find bits of your soul strewn here and there throughout the reading of this tragedy. The angry and over-achieving son who harbours the hurt and guilt of his childhood, the flippant and non-committal daughter who stays busy with the life of others such that she does not have to deal with the reality of her own, the favored son who, while initially escaping the brunt of maternal anger, ages into a man-child unaware of life outside of his closely drawn circle of life, the rejected mother who while exuding anger, shame and a lack of control, sees herself as sacrificing any joys she may have had for the sake of raising her children into being something that she could no longer be, and, finally, the father, who left with little forewarning, lives out the rest of his life still psychologically enmeshed by continuing to seek his abandoned wife's approval and, doing so, is unable to venture beyond the front door that he walked out of decades earlier.

Anne Tyler leaves us with no answers and little hope for the enmeshed dysfunction of American families. We all live out our damaged lives with a sense of desperation for what we cannot become while feeling locked into the role and mindset that we were originally cast into through circumstances that were beyond our control..............

Something Wicked This Way Comes
Something Wicked This Way Comes
Offered by HarperCollins Publishers CA
Price: CDN$ 9.99

5.0 out of 5 stars A haunting, mystical tale of good against the thralls of evil....., July 10 2013
Ray Bradbury took a literary side road twice in his writing career and, in both instances, was highly successful. "Dandelion Wine" will always be one of the most fluent and reminiscent books ever to be published while "...Wicked.." is one of its most fearfully provocative.

Evil drifts into a small hamlet on a threatening and windswept night to challenge the fears, unmet aims and the disappointing realities of its residents. The symbolic characters of Dark, Nightshade and Will battle in the murkiness that lies between the contrasting impulses of narcissism and altruism, between fears and hopes, and between illusions and realities.

In a manner quite unlike the movie of the same name, the issue is finalized on the country meadow from which the story originated. Learning, understanding and faithfulness are gathered as the story's main characters rejoice and then continue along on life's journey....

The Beginner's Goodbye
The Beginner's Goodbye
Offered by Random House Canada, Incorp.
Price: CDN$ 12.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Life will be what we allow it to be......, June 25 2013
In her wispy yet riveting manner, Anne Tyler has written another book that allows us to examine the bumps and bruises of our own soul. Here is my life, but why is it here? Here are my friends, but who are and why should they matter? And here is my future, but do I want to go there?

Anyone who has read one of Anne's previous works will want to peruse this slow-paced novel about a man who lost his wife to an unexpected accident. She examines the grieving, the guilt and the hopelessness that we experience when our predetermined life goes awry and, at the same time, makes us realize that we can not only survive but go on in a more meaningful manner......

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