Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Title: Centaury for Virgo, Rock Rose for Pisces

Sub-Title: More than 400 Flower Essences for your Zodiac Path – The Complete Home Reference

Author: Debbie Sellwood

Publisher: Polair Publishing (www.polairpublishing.co.uk)

ISBN: 978-1-905398-13-3

Genre: Self-Help / Health / Mind/ Body/ Spirit

Presentation: Soft cover

I received this book for review nearly 6 months ago and it was not getting read due to various reasons. When I took it up recently, I found it interesting because of its connection to astrology and health. Having a little knowledge of astrology and numerology and having a fairly good knowledge of Bach Flower Remedies / Essences, I read the book with interest.

I found Debbie’s approach to astrology quite good and she has brought out the characteristics of people born under different sun signs quite well. In practice, one’s character and mental / physical health are governed by many more factors including moon’s position in the natal horoscope, the effect of various aspects and transits etc. So, while the classification of the flower essences into the 12 zodiacal signs is OK, a personal horoscope should be cast and read to get a more accurate picture. That may also give a good indication of the right healing system to be used at a given time.

I am familiar with Bach Flower Essences and found Debbie’s recommendations quite in tune with Bach’s own teachings. Dr. Edward Bach did not suggest combining his flower remedies or selecting them based on astrology, numerology, palmistry or any other occult sciences. He stressed on helping the patient select his or her own remedy or combination and emphasized the simplicity of his system so that if needed, the patient could select the remedy.

He also declared that his system of treatment based on the 38 flower essences and Rescue Remedy is self sufficient and covers all mental states. But many others mystics developed their own plant, flower, gem, crystal and animal essences. A similar trend is seen in Reiki where hundreds of variations of Reiki have been developed. It is like art where simple line drawings have given way to complex combinations of colors.

By including a large variety of nearly 400 essences (the words remedy and essence are used interchangeably), the author has no doubt opened a good resource to those adventurous enough and willing to explore new vistas. However, self-treatment (which was the aim of Dr. Bach) becomes very difficult for a lay person in such a scenario. Even a practitioner would find it difficult to select the most appropriate Essence from that variety and one problem would be that the client would end up with a cupboard full of essences!

The index of emotions given at the end of the book should hopefully guide the patient and the practitioner better!

If you are comfortable with the extra variety (the book covers more than 400 essences), this book would definitely be a good addition to your personal library.

The reviewer is a holistic / spiritual healer with exposure to astrology, numerology, homeopathy, tissue remedies, Bach Flowers, Reiki etc.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Title: Enjoy Your Money!

Sub-Title: How to Make It, Save It, Invest It and Give It

Author: J. Steve Miller

Publisher: Wisdom Creek Press

ISBN: 978-0981875675

Genre: Non-Fiction / Money / Self-help


Many years ago, working as a Quality Control Engineer, I read "The Goal" by Eliyahu Goldratt & Michael C.Gray. I loved their approach – teaching complicated management concepts in a novel format. I used to devour a novel a day those days!

Later, I reviewed a similar business novel on Lean Manufacturing (see my review of that at http://swamyreviews .blogspot. com/search? q=Lean+Strategies ). It did a great job of explaining the concepts of "lean" and the benefits of "lean" to business enterprises. So, when an opportunity arose to review the present book, I was quite enthusiastic. I am happy to report that my enthusiasm was not misplaced!

Many years ago, I read and enjoyed The Only Investment Guide You Will Ever Need by Andrew Tobias and greatly appreciated its wisdom. I have been a lazy investor and thus in a way protected myself from the bull and bear cycles of Indian Stock Market over the years and thus felt somewhat vindicated by the strategies that Miller recommends. If I could go back and relive my life, I would follow many of Millers' recommendations beautifully brought out by his main character, an older school teacher named Mrs. Kramer. Her wisdom applies across borders and across cultures.

Enjoy Your Money is one of the best and most complete resources for money management at the personal level. Yet, the concepts are equally applicable to any business of any scale. The book is divided into four parts: Investing Money, Saving Money, Making Money and Enjoying Money (including giving it away to causes that you believe in). You need to make money, save money and invest today's money for a secure future. Then, you need to find the right value systems in life (money is not the end; it is a means for the end). That message comes through quite lucidly.

I loved the movie script or play format! It worked for this book, transforming a large amount of research into an entertaining and easy read. The characterization of the participants is quite good and the style is very good, holding the reader's attention quite well. The book is well edited and nicely printed with just a couple of errors that won't affect your enjoyment or understanding. The Epilogue is quite surprising! I won't spoil your own enjoyment by revealing it.

The book gives many other useful resources (websites, other books etc.) and thus points you in the right direction if you want to explore further. The biographical sketches (from Warren Buffett to Sam Walton to Led Zeppelin) are informative and inspiring.

In summary, this is one of the best books on money management that I've ever read. I strongly recommend it to one and all.

Saturday, November 07, 2009

Title: Coconut Water for health and healing

Author: Dr. Bruce Fife

Publisher: Piccadilly Books, Ltd.

ISBN: 978-0-941599- 66-5

Genre: Non-Fiction / Health

Presentation - Soft Cover

The water of a tender (green) coconut is a natural electrolyte, rich in potassium and other minerals needed. It is thus a natural sports drink. I knew that much before I accepted this book for review and was curious how a book could be written about that!

I was in for a pleasant surprise when I received this beautifully printed book with a colorful cover and found it well edited, printed well with a good collection of photos to drive the points home.

In 10 chapters, a few appendixes and 223 pages, the author succeeds in educating us about all the health benefits of coconut water. Did you know that Coconut water cured the cataract of eyes of a person? Well, I did not know that! Did you know that coconut water is a good way of detoxing without many problems associated with plain water fast and fruit juice fasts?

There are many more uses of tender coconut water and many of the same benefits are obtained from packaged coconut water too. Coconut milk is not to be confused with coconut water. Dr. Fife has given several recipes at the end of this book that use coconut water, coconut milk or desiccated coconut etc. Fresh tender and mature coconuts are of course available in many parts of the world and can be used.

All in all, this is a highly readable book on the several health benefits of coconut water. I am lucky to be in a country where tender coconuts are sold roadside and also packed coconut water is available in departmental stores just in case, I need to travel to places where fresh coconuts may not be available.

Bruce Fife, N.D. is the author of 18 books including The Coconut Oil Miracle (formerly titled The Healing Miracles of Coconut Oil), Coconut Lover's Cookbook, and Eat Fat, Look Thin, The Detox Book, Saturated Fat May Save Your Life, and Health Hazards of Electromagnetic Radiation etc. He is the director of the Southern Colorado chapter of the Weston A. Price Foundation and serves as the editor of the Healthy Ways Newsletter.

I am glad to recommend this book for all interested in health of themselves and or their family members, friends etc.

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Title: Southcrop Forest

Author: Lorne Rothman

Publisher: iUniverse

ISBN: 978-0595-49588-7

Genre: Fiction / Children / Science / Ecology

This book is presented as a novel but is in fact a good introduction to the interdependence of various life systems in our world. The story is set in Canada and involves many trees and a colony of crawlers with a single intelligence (soul). The Colony of crawlers (caterpillars) calls itself Fur and is able to communicate with the trees, starting with Auja, a young Oak and then through her with others. Fur is persuaded by the trees to leave Southcrop, go to Riverside Farm, collect some mysterious fungal spores, cross Oak River and carry the spores to the forests of Deep Sky. The journey of Fur through the forest, the many problems faced by Fur and how Fur pushes itself against its own impulses to give up makes good reading.

Through the interesting and fairly readable medium of the story, the author presents an interesting account of the various trees, birds, animals and insects that inhabit the forests. He brings out the danger to the ecology that human greed is bringing and succeeds in his message for a more holistic approach from us towards the environment. The story ends with a startling discovery by Fur but that is best left for you, the reader to find out.

It is an interesting concept and the author has succeeded in making a readable book. The book is recommended for children in high schools and their educators, parents etc.