Despite being labeled Volume 1, a robust resource of Indian spiritualism all on its own.



In this debut book, a woman recounts her life-changing experiences during three visits to India, using her time spent with several gurus to introduce the culture and lessons of Indian spiritualism.

At age 22, Ejlertsen was seemingly just starting her life as an electronics engineer in Copenhagen, but she already found herself struggling with depression. Then two separate events occurred—a never-before-experienced moment of clarity and a trip and fall that seemed somehow to occur in slow motion, outside her understanding of time and space. These incidents, along with meeting a guru in Denmark, led Ejlertsen to India in 1994. There, she studied under four gurus and saw a palm leaf astrologer, who, using her thumbprint, found a scroll that purported to divine the happenings of her life. She would discover her spiritual Master Chariji in 1995 and return to India on two more occasions. There, she gleaned much about the subcontinent’s rich history and Chariji’s specific form of transmission-based meditation, lessons she recounts in this, her second English edition of the book. Taking place over her 20-plus years of exploration of India’s spiritual culture, Ejlertsen’s work is not strictly a memoir. The first three chapters act as a thorough primer, introducing the ancient texts known as the Vedas, their supplementary Upanishads, the yoga sutras, and their connection to Hinduism, from its history to its practice. Palm leaf astrology is heavily examined, with the author’s own firsthand experiences giving a stirring and intimate view of the fortunetelling process. Much of the rest is made up of quotations from Chariji, and from his master, Babuji, charismatic gurus the author is clearly passionate about even if some of the breakdowns of their words seem dry in comparison. This is mitigated somewhat by the book’s own contention that its content need not be taken linearly. The work brims with useful supplemental resources, including extensive citations, black-and-white photographs and illustrations, locations and contact information for many of the gurus Ejlertsen encountered, and, most impressively, links and QR codes for a full multimedia experience.

Despite being labeled Volume 1, a robust resource of Indian spiritualism all on its own.

Pub Date: Jan. 28, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-5246-6656-9

Page Count: 290

Publisher: AuthorHouseUK

Review Posted Online: June 6, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2017

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

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


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 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 1998

Did you like this book?

Skloot's meticulous, riveting account strikes a humanistic balance between sociological history, venerable portraiture and...


A dense, absorbing investigation into the medical community's exploitation of a dying woman and her family's struggle to salvage truth and dignity decades later.

In a well-paced, vibrant narrative, Popular Science contributor and Culture Dish blogger Skloot (Creative Writing/Univ. of Memphis) demonstrates that for every human cell put under a microscope, a complex life story is inexorably attached, to which doctors, researchers and laboratories have often been woefully insensitive and unaccountable. In 1951, Henrietta Lacks, an African-American mother of five, was diagnosed with what proved to be a fatal form of cervical cancer. At Johns Hopkins, the doctors harvested cells from her cervix without her permission and distributed them to labs around the globe, where they were multiplied and used for a diverse array of treatments. Known as HeLa cells, they became one of the world's most ubiquitous sources for medical research of everything from hormones, steroids and vitamins to gene mapping, in vitro fertilization, even the polio vaccine—all without the knowledge, must less consent, of the Lacks family. Skloot spent a decade interviewing every relative of Lacks she could find, excavating difficult memories and long-simmering outrage that had lay dormant since their loved one's sorrowful demise. Equal parts intimate biography and brutal clinical reportage, Skloot's graceful narrative adeptly navigates the wrenching Lack family recollections and the sobering, overarching realities of poverty and pre–civil-rights racism. The author's style is matched by a methodical scientific rigor and manifest expertise in the field.

Skloot's meticulous, riveting account strikes a humanistic balance between sociological history, venerable portraiture and Petri dish politics.

Pub Date: Feb. 9, 2010

ISBN: 978-1-4000-5217-2

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Crown

Review Posted Online: Dec. 22, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2010

Did you like this book?