A sincere and compassionate work whose themes are sometimes overshadowed by flamboyant presentation.

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THE SHAPESHIFTER

A memoir of divine love that reads like a heady dream.

Debut author Navone writes that she’s had numerous visions and mystical experiences over the course of her life, but none surpass her extraordinary encounter with spiritual beings—“a group of Enlightened Masters from the Brotherhood of Light”—who, she says, gave her the means to write this book through the power of channeling. This “Divine Intervention” transformed her worldview, she notes, and had an overall positive impact on her life. Early on, she calls the tendency to live one’s life according to the whims of one’s ego “the Waiting Room.” She says that a person can live in a beautiful place, surrounded by luxuries, as she was, and still be in the Waiting Room if one has a “closed heart.” But a deep, powerful yearning for something greater, she asserts, can be the seed that grows into a divine revelation, allowing one to cast off fear and insecurity. The author traces her own metamorphosis from her first spiritual encounters to the channeling of this book. Readers follow her as she travels to many different places, including India and Brazil, on a quest to find sacred portals where she could receive divine messages. Eventually she found herself in Egypt, gazing in awe at the ancient pyramids, and there, she says, she worked feverishly on the book for long periods with little rest. Throughout this work, Navone writes passionately, her words filled with emotion: “Beloved reader, it is time to wake up and feel the immense power that already resides in each one of us.” Her descriptions of her time in Egypt, in particular, are rich with symbolism and heavy with meaning. As a result, it may take some effort on the part of the reader to cut through the flowery language (“I came to realize that Light is pure consciousness, that Love is what unifies all parts of us into Oneness; the universal glue that both binds us and dissolves all feelings of separation”) in order to understand the simple message within.

A sincere and compassionate work whose themes are sometimes overshadowed by flamboyant presentation.

Pub Date: April 16, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-939116-37-6

Page Count: 200

Publisher: Waterside Productions

Review Posted Online: April 10, 2019

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The author's youthfulness helps to assure the inevitable comparison with the Anne Frank diary although over and above the...

NIGHT

Elie Wiesel spent his early years in a small Transylvanian town as one of four children. 

He was the only one of the family to survive what Francois Maurois, in his introduction, calls the "human holocaust" of the persecution of the Jews, which began with the restrictions, the singularization of the yellow star, the enclosure within the ghetto, and went on to the mass deportations to the ovens of Auschwitz and Buchenwald. There are unforgettable and horrifying scenes here in this spare and sombre memoir of this experience of the hanging of a child, of his first farewell with his father who leaves him an inheritance of a knife and a spoon, and of his last goodbye at Buchenwald his father's corpse is already cold let alone the long months of survival under unconscionable conditions. 

The author's youthfulness helps to assure the inevitable comparison with the Anne Frank diary although over and above the sphere of suffering shared, and in this case extended to the death march itself, there is no spiritual or emotional legacy here to offset any reader reluctance.

Pub Date: Jan. 16, 2006

ISBN: 0374500010

Page Count: 120

Publisher: Hill & Wang

Review Posted Online: Oct. 7, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2006

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If the authors are serious, this is a silly, distasteful book. If they are not, it’s a brilliant satire.

THE 48 LAWS OF POWER

The authors have created a sort of anti-Book of Virtues in this encyclopedic compendium of the ways and means of power.

Everyone wants power and everyone is in a constant duplicitous game to gain more power at the expense of others, according to Greene, a screenwriter and former editor at Esquire (Elffers, a book packager, designed the volume, with its attractive marginalia). We live today as courtiers once did in royal courts: we must appear civil while attempting to crush all those around us. This power game can be played well or poorly, and in these 48 laws culled from the history and wisdom of the world’s greatest power players are the rules that must be followed to win. These laws boil down to being as ruthless, selfish, manipulative, and deceitful as possible. Each law, however, gets its own chapter: “Conceal Your Intentions,” “Always Say Less Than Necessary,” “Pose as a Friend, Work as a Spy,” and so on. Each chapter is conveniently broken down into sections on what happened to those who transgressed or observed the particular law, the key elements in this law, and ways to defensively reverse this law when it’s used against you. Quotations in the margins amplify the lesson being taught. While compelling in the way an auto accident might be, the book is simply nonsense. Rules often contradict each other. We are told, for instance, to “be conspicuous at all cost,” then told to “behave like others.” More seriously, Greene never really defines “power,” and he merely asserts, rather than offers evidence for, the Hobbesian world of all against all in which he insists we live. The world may be like this at times, but often it isn’t. To ask why this is so would be a far more useful project.

If the authors are serious, this is a silly, distasteful book. If they are not, it’s a brilliant satire.

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 1998

ISBN: 0-670-88146-5

Page Count: 430

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 1998

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