Wednesday, 26 January 2011
Friday, 21 January 2011
Thursday, 20 January 2011
Wednesday, 19 January 2011
Tuesday, 18 January 2011
Monday, 17 January 2011
Another book for Dad. This is about a magician, rather down on his luck. At one engagement he ends up with an envelope he shouldn't have, in order to prevent it from falling into the wrong hands. He sends the envelope to a safe place before heading off to his next engagement, a stint in Germany. While there he learns that the person he was keeping the envelope for died later that night. Unsurprisingly, the person who originally had the envelope is now looking for him. On top of all that, he thinks he's responsible for the murder of an unnamed person
The book is following him about Glasgow, intercut with flashbacks to his time in London (where he got the envelope) and Germany. A bullet trick is a trick performed by magicians that I understand is rather standard. This is an interesting book. I probably wouldn't have chosen it for myself, but it's worth reading because it's a departure from the usual types of murder mysteries.
This was written by Mario Puzo, best known for the Godfather. It was written a long time ago under another name. I bought it for Dad's birthday, and I think it was a good choice. It's set in the early 60s. The main character was an American intelligence agent tortured and (apparently) murdered by Nazis. He survived and is now determined to wreak revenge upon the seven men responsible for this. One of the driving forces of his revenge is the murder of his pregnant wife. The book is filled with flashbacks to both the time of his torture and his recovery, as well as a chapter on his childhood and how he ended up where he did. His sidekick, a young prostitute that he picks up, also has her share of flashbacks and so on.
This is an interesting book that's well worth reading. I didn't think it particularly graphic, but I'm not particularly squeamish, most of the time. The worst part was actually reading about what had happened to the sidekick (Rosie? Sophie? Something like that).
Saturday, 08 January 2011
Thursday, 06 January 2011
This book is based on A Course in Miracles. Given the essentially Christian culture in which the book was written, it takes a Christian viewpoint, but uses the usual Christian touchstones as symbols, so God, the Holy Spirit, Jesus, the resurrection and the crucifixion are common terms scattered throughout the book but their meaning is not the conventional Christian meaning – for example, God is used interchangeably with love, joy and the light.
The basic premise is that the ego has caused us to live in a world of illusions, caused by fear-based thinking. By focusing on God's will instead, the illusions disappear leaving only the perfection of love behind. In order for us to be able to see the world in this way, we need to pray to the Holy Spirit for miracles – these miracles are changes in the way that we perceive things and will enable us to see the core of perfect love inside every being. It will also enable us to enter situations from the basis of love, rather than fear. A variety of situations are covered, ranging from how to view your career and find total fulfilment in it to the illusions that ruin your relationship with your body, other individuals and people in general.