What I read in May.

This was a busy month for assignments, and of course there were two birthdays. I did manage to get some reading done though.

Firstly I read Fearne Cotton’s book Happy. A nice and relaxing read, full of inspiring ideas and ways to unlock what is going on inside your head.

The other book I read was Whispers From The Earth by Taz Thornton. A lovely little book of stories from our own culture, here in the UK.

Review of Comfortably Uncomfortable: The Road To Happiness Isn’t Always Paved by Jacquelyn Phillips.

Raw, real and honest.

A book that guides you to face off with your fears and issues and gets into the dark places inside of you, shining a light for you on your journey of self-discovery.

Jacquelyn Phillips has ripped open her soul for all to see in this wonderfully written book. She delves into ALL OF HER ISSUES, showing us how they had crept upon her, how she had avoided owning them, and then how she faced them and finally started working through them.

Jacquelyn discusses the various treatments she has undergone over the years, detailing her opinion on whether they are effective or not. This, for me, was very refreshing. Many books of this genre will suggest a certain treatment, but rarely do you hear if the treatment is a waste of time. Obviously this is the author’s viewpoint and will not reflect everyone, but for me, I think her honesty is much needed in this field.

Throughout the book Jacquelyn references her relationship with her Mom. This pulled-back the curtain view into their personal lives is heartbreaking at times, but also offers hope to people who struggle with toxic family relationships.

The book is in three parts. The first part is all about Jacquelyn opening up Pandora’s Box getting all of her troubles and issues out into the open. This section may be uncomfortable reading, but it is absolutely necessary for us to understand how the next two parts work.

Part Two is all about the clean up phase. Here she shares the letters she wrote to her parents as part of her healing process. Those letters are raw and emotive, and they certainly don’t make for easy reading. But there is something beautiful in her words that leave you feeling the release and relief.

Part Three is all about turning pain into power. As someone who has a chronic illness, Jacquelyn has not only used her emotional pain to push her on, but her physical pain too. This is not the sort of book that preaches, it’s aimed at guiding the reader to find their self worth.

Given the difficult topics discussed in this book, I wasn’t sure if I would actually enjoy reading it. But I was surprised to find that this was a book I actually did enjoy reading.

I found this book inspirational and would recommend it.

https://reedsy.com/discovery/book/comfortably-uncomfortable-jacquelyn-phillips

Review of Better Than Capitalism by Samy Barnat.

This book is full of sobering facts about what we as humans are doing to our planet. The information contained in this book offers plenty of advice, compelling arguments, but also hope. Hope stemming from the actions we can take to heal our economic, ecological, political and health crises.

The author uses clear and concise language so that he book is easy to read – everyone should be able to access this information. There are plenty of hyperlinks to help you understand why this action must be taken. The topics being discussed are controversial, but we need to address these issues regardless of how uncomfortable we feel.

If you want to look into what we can do now to save ourselves and the earth, then this book is a must.

Review of She Wants It: Desire, Power and Toppling the Patriarchy.

When I received this book to review I really was not sure what to expect. I had no clue as to who Jill Soloway is, I was just interested in the topic. That said, the title of the book is very misleading because this is very much an account of Jill’s life and her struggle with gender identity.

I am not mocking her for this, I am applauding her for sharing her story and the struggles she too has faced. We tend to believe that successful people have never faced the same issues as the ordinary person, so Jill’s book is a breath of fresh air when it comes to the issues surrounding gender identity and even the #MeToo movement.

As is the case with all personal stories, the book was kind of slow in places. There are moments where you wonder what the point is she is trying to get to, but get to it she does.

Having never heard of Jill before reading this book I don’t really have that much to say with regards to how she may have come across in a book versus media personality sort of way. My opinion is that she comes across as strong and determined. That she doesn’t let anything get in her way. Having said this, she does have struggles just like anybody else.

All in all this book is an excellent read. Informative and thought-provoking.

Review Of The Book Of Celtic Magic

I began reading this book determined not to just put it down, never to come back to it again.  The thing about Celtic Magic, for me, is that I find it a hard subject to get into.  I love esoteric subjects, find them so fascinating, especially witchcraft and magic, but Celtic Magic has always left me cold.

This book, however, was different right from the beginning.  What I usually find when reading anything on Celtic Magic is how long winded it is.  I find it takes me so long to take in what the author is trying to impart, this often puts me off wanting to read the book.  I found this book to be very easy to understand – the language is clear and very informative.  I have learnt more from this book about Celtic Magic than any other book I have ever tried to read.

The book is full of rituals and meditations.  At the very start the reader is invited to start a journal so that they can record their thoughts and feelings upon performing the rituals and meditations.  I found this a very useful tool whilst reading this book and I actually think it helped me to connect with the book a lot more.  The book came across as a teaching tool, but there was nothing stuffy or boring about it.  I felt like I was sitting down with a trusted mentor each time I came to read, and that made reading the book a joy.

As you work through the book the author recommends other books that you might find useful.  Although this is not a new concept, some authors will have listed books that can seem unnecessary to readers.  The author seemed to only recommend what he thought would be of use to his readers, of course it is entirely up to the individual reader if they choose to act upon those recommendations, but I felt inspired to look up some of the recommended books with the intention of obtaining them.

Having read many books on the subject of witchcraft and magic I was pleasantly surprised to find that this book was not your usual Alexandrian, Gardnerian, neo-pagan offering.  Those sorts of books leave me cold, this book, however, was full of useful information; lists of Celtic Gods and Goddesses that the author had worked with, detailing their areas of usefulness.  The book has covered areas such as trees and plants, such as how to use them in magical rituals and how to feel more connected to nature.  There was a section on animals and totems, which was quite impressive.

I particularly loved how there is a meditation for more or less every area that the author covers in the book.  This not only helps the reader to connect to this particular practice, but it also helps you to absorb the information you are learning and helps absorb the material.

I also loved the glossary at the end, the words are listed and in brackets the author has included the correct pronunciation of each word.  This is particularly useful as there an awful lot of Welsh words included.

 

On the whole this book was a joy to read, in an area I have struggled to get to grips with in the past.  I would recommend this book to novices and those who are already walking a spiritual path, no matter how far down it you have got.  There is plenty to learn from the book and I think it will be a useful accompaniment for novices and those who are more established in their practices.

Highly Recommended 5 stars *****