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Friday, February 17, 2012

Book Review - Darkfever (Fever, #1) by Karen Marie Moning


Darkfever (Fever, #1) by Karen Marie Moning 

I was intrigued after Tea Time with Marce asked whether she'd get the fever.

Ugh, I should have just listened to her when she said she abandoned it.

Urban fantasy is totally not my genre. I'd only read one, Moon Called (Mercedes Thompson, #1) by Patricia Briggs and thought it was just meh but I did finish it.  But I thought maybe I just haven't found the right book. Darkfever started out fine, I wanted to find out why the protagonist's sister was murdered in Ireland. But the story went downhill once she landed in Ireland... it just got repetitive and nothing happened and I just lost interest... I just couldn't get engaged and just didn't care anymore when I see the words Seelie and Unseelie or whatever they are called.

Have to say, I like Twilight better than this and I am not even a Twilight fan. At least I finished it and googled to see what happened in Book 2-4.

Note - The book was borrowed from the library.



All reviews and posts are copyrighted by Christa @ Mental Foodie. Please do not use or reprint them without written permission.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Book Review - Many Lives, Many Masters: The True Story of a Prominent Psychiatrist, His Young Patient, and the Past Life Therapy That Changed Both Their Lives by Brian L. Weiss



Many Lives, Many Masters: The True Story of a Prominent Psychiatrist, His Young Patient, and the Past Life Therapy That Changed Both Their Lives by Brian L. Weiss

I am intrigued about the concept of past lives. I don't know if I really believe in it or not, but many Chinese believe that what you do in this life, will affect your next life, e.g. if you do a lot of good deeds in this life, then you will have a good next life. If you have really bad luck in this life, it's probably because you did a lot of bad things in your past life. Or if in this life there is a person who treats you badly but you still care for that person a lot, it's probably because you did something really bad to that person in the past life, so it is now your turn to pay.

Anyway, I was interested in this book since this was written by a psychiatrist, and I totally agree with its opening sentence, "I know that there is a reason for everything."

There were some interesting parts:

  • the author's patient knew the author's father's name or why the author's son died when both weren't common knowledge.
  • "We must share our knowledge with other people, our debt and ability can carry over (to the next life)."
  • People are in a coma "are in a state of suspension, and not ready to cross into the other plane... until they have decided whether they want to cross or not. If they feel they have no more learning in physical state, then they are allowed to cross cover. But if they have more learning, then they must come back, even if they do not want to. This Si a rest period of time, a time when their mental powers can rest. (p69-70)" 
  • But if people know that "life is endless; so we never die; we were never really born, " then this fear (of dying) would dissolve. If they knew that they had lived countless times before and would live countless times again, how reassured they would feel. (p122)
  • There are different levels of learning, and we must learn some of them in the flesh. We must feel the pain. When you're a spirit you feel no pain. It is a period of renewal. Your soul is being renewed. When you're in physical state in the flesh, you can feel pain; you can hurt. In spiritual form you do not feel. There is only happiness, a sense of well-being. But it's a renewal period for us. The interaction between people in the spiritual form is different. When you are in physical state, you can experience relationships. (p124)
  • Wisdom is achieved very slowly. This is because intellectual knowledge, easily acquired, must be transformed into "emotional," or subconscious, knowledge. Once transformed, the imprint is permanent. Behavioral practice is the necessary catalyst of this reaction. Without action, the concept will wither and fade. Theoretical knowledge without practical application is not enough. (p209)


However, this was mostly the account of just one patient. There was a person that the author was supposed to teach him something, but it was never mentioned again, so it felt incomplete. The author briefly mentioned 12 other patients but did not provide much details, apart from the fact that some were not able to go back to their past lives. He didn't offer an explanation of why not.

The biggest criticism for most people (myself included when I first read it) was this sentence that the patient spoke of when she went back to a past life, "People are writing all day, making a library. It is 1536 BC" (p39) - would people really say BC back then, before they even knew they were in the BC?! I supposed the author could have use BC to clarify the time frame for us, but he never clarified whether that was the case or not.

The author also stated that he's scientific and skeptical due to his medical training, so it was very difficult for him to believe about the past live business in the beginning, but he kept an open mind, and in the end the patient seemed to be "cured" for her many psychiatric issues due to knowing what had happened in her past lives.

It was an interesting story, but I still don't really know what to believe in. I guess it is one of those things you have to try it out yourself to really believe in it? I guess I wouldn't oppose to talking to the author to see if I do have any past lives :) So, really, it is difficult to rate this book, but I'll give it a 3 - an "okay" rating since I don't love it or hate it, but I am still intrigued.

3 / 5 .

Note - The book was borrowed from the library.



All reviews and posts are copyrighted by Christa @ Mental Foodie. Please do not use or reprint them without written permission.

RIP - Jeffrey Zaslow

I just found out that Jeffrey Zaslow had passed away in a car accident a few days ago.

I first heard of him when I read The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch and Jeffrey Zaslow back in 2008. I watched Pausch's Last Lecture youtube video first (if you haven't, I hardly recommend you watch it - with some Kleenex!) And this book was written for his children as he knew he won't live long due to his pancreatic cancer. I used to follow his blog to get updates on his progress, but sometimes was afraid to check it in case of bad news...

Anyway, I was saddened to hear Zaslow had also passed... it reminded me that I had his latest book, The Magic Room: A Story about the Love We Wish for Our Daughters, but haven't gotten around to read it yet... in fact, I found that I was supposed to be doing a blog tour on this book on 1/29, but I had totally forgotten!!! This was a first... but I guess I blamed it on pregnancy forgetfulness and fatigue!! At least I remember I have the book... now that I will be (hopefully) a mother, I think this book will become even more meaningful. Zaslow had 3 daughters, so this book was dedicated to them about his hopes for them :(

I read a very heartwarming tribute to him - even if you haven't read any of Zaslow's books, at least read this tribute and you'd find that not only we lost a fine writer, but we lost a fine person too (and a husband/father).  

RIP Jeff.

PS - Yes I totally plan to read the Magic Room!! I remember how fun it was to try on wedding dresses... I had a 4 years engagement, I probably tried on 100+ dresses... but in the end I chose a very simple bias dress instead. Still it was fun to try on puffy, princessy dresses that totally weren't me.




All reviews and posts are copyrighted by Christa @ Mental Foodie. Please do not use or reprint them without written permission.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

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All reviews and posts are copyrighted by Christa @ Mental Foodie. Please do not use or reprint them without written permission.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Updates

I am once again behind on my reviews. But I guess I do have an excuse this time.

I have been feeling very tired, and just had no energy to read, let alone blog.

Because I am with child :) Due in mid-August.

I shouldn't complain too much as I don't have much morning sickness. Apart from fatigue, I just have hunger attacks (first time it happened, I was sweating, shaking and almost passed out). We were going to go out for dinner at 7pm, and it happened at 6pm. I told husband to just get me some food so I ate some leftovers quickly. Needless to say, we didn't end up going out since I was full.

I am also getting forgetful... I forgot to renew a library book oops. Luckily the fine is only 75 cents. Usually I am on top of this since it's all done online and they send you reminder! I don't even recall seeing the reminder...

Something book related - I was reading 1222 by Anne Holt, a locked-room Scandinavian mystery/thriller. In the middle of this book, I was enjoying this sub-genre (locked-room) I went to search for other books. I found a few classics that had been voted as the best in this category. My library doesn't have them, so I am having other libraries in the network to send them over! For those of you who have read And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie, that's an example of this sub-genre. I like that you have to use logic to deduce who the killer is.

So these are the ones I am going to read (hopefully I'd have more energy soon!)

The Three Coffins / The Hollow Man by John Dickson Carr, 1935 (supposedly the best there is)
The Judas Window by Carter Dickson, 1938 (aka John Dickson Carr)

Rim of the Pit by Henning Nelms, 1944
The Mystery of the Yellow Room by Gaston Leroux, 1907 (John Dickson Carr's favorite)

These are all old books, and I usually prefer contemporary books (after 2000?) so we'll see how I like them!

Has anyone read any of them?





All reviews and posts are copyrighted by Christa @ Mental Foodie. Please do not use or reprint them without written permission.