Wednesday, November 27, 2013


Okay, so basically this has been the longest I have neglected my blog E-V-E-R, and I wanted to thank all of you so much who still have checked in from time to time!

I have been busy reading business and spiritual books, and am about to start Life Coach training with Martha Beck in January, and figured that you all probably didn't want to read reviews of this kind of thing, SO, when I actually get novels read I will review them but not sure what frequency that will be!

Last month I went on an incredible retreat with my mentor and friend Laura Gates at the gorgeous Ratna Ling Centre just north of San Francisco.

It was a life transforming experience, and just before I went my husband said, "You have to read The Alchemist."  A book I've had for YEARS and still had not read, but gave it to him several years ago and he read and LOVED it.  So, I was like, "Yes, yes, I know I will read it."  And he looked at me and said, "No, hon, you have to read this book right now, at exactly this time in your life."  And once I did, I completely understood what he meant.

What a book!

I think this book will resonate with pretty much anyone, unless you have no heart or soul or have never felt any yearning of any kind, and if that's you, then you are probably a rock and cannot read this text anyway.  But it will especially resonate with people, like me, who are actively in search of your
purpose, or purposes, in life at this moment.  In the book, Coelho refers to it as being on a quest to find your Personal Legend.  How beautiful is that?

We open with a young shepherd named Santiago who has a recurring dream that he must travel to a nearby town, where he meets a gypsy who tell him there is a treasure in the Pyramids of Egypt.  On his way he encounters may people and teachers and, yes, even a hotsy totsy girl with whom he falls in love.

It is such a beautiful story and has so many layers of meaning that there is no way I can delve into it with any great skill here, but I will say this... there is one part in the book where the Alchemist tells him to listen to his heart.  Like really listen to it.  To walk and listen to it beat, and listen to the messages that it is trying to convey all of the time to him.  This was just beautiful.  You know how now-a-days there is this thing to follow your dreams, your heart, courses, workshops, retreat... but when someone simply says, "Really listen to your heart.  Be still.  Be quiet and listen."  There is something restful and peaceful about that.  Cutting out all of the noise.  And just BEING STILL.  Like I was able to do at Ratna Ling.

Here are some fun facts about this book:

  • Coelho wrote The Alchemist in only two weeks in 1987. He explained he was able to write at this pace because the story was "already written in [his] soul"
  • According to The New York TimesThe Alchemist has been translated into 67 distinct different languages. This gave Coelho the position as the world's most translated living author, according to the 2009 Guinness World Records.[7]
  • Paulo Coelho is a strong advocate of spreading his books through peer-to-peer file sharing networks. He put his own books on file-sharing networks like BitTorrent, and noted that The Alchemist received a boost in sales due to this.[10] He stated that "I do think that when a reader has the possibility to read some chapters, he or she can always decide to buy the book later."[10] Currently, chapters from The Alchemist can be found on Google Books and Coelho's agency Sant Jordi Associados.[11][12] Entire copies of his books, including translations, can also be found on Pirate Coelho, a blog off Coelho's main blog. (No longer available. Only Audio versions are still open for download.) [13] Also available on YouTube.[14]
The moral of the story is this:

An old king tells Santiago, "when you really want something to happen, the whole universe conspires so that your wish comes true". 

And that, my friends, I believe is truth. 



Wednesday, July 31, 2013

The power of the name J.K. Rowling...

Hi all!
Oh my god, I cannot BELIEVE how long it has been since I have posted her!  What the F??!!  ANYway, mostly it is because I have been reading a lot, but business, coach-y, and entrepreneurial books and let's face it, that's not why people stop by here.  You all stop by here to see what books I'm into, what's good, what sucks, you know, bookish stuff!

But in case any of you are like me and love business, and are starting or well into your own business ventures, here is a list of some of the best ones I have read in the last couple of months:

Steering by Starlight by Martha Beck

Can I just say that I LOVE LOVE LOVE the way Martha Beck writes?  She is hilarious, and she
breaks stuff down in a super digestible way.  This is my all time favourite of her books, and if you are stuck and not sure what you want to do with your life, this is a great book to get some traction in that department.

The Energy of Money by Maria Nemeth PhD

This book is incredible, I am about 3/4 through it and
it has already started to transform my life.  It is not just about money, but Maria speaks a lot about "monkey mind" which goes by many names, some call it your Inner Critic, Martha Beck calls it your Inner Lizard, I like to call mine "Liz".  Basically, it is that voice inside your head that never lets up.  It is constantly telling you why you are not good enough, why you shouldn't do stuff, it's the panic button in your brain that basically stops you from living your biggest best life, and it is totally manageable!  You will never get rid of your lizard, but you can learn tool to turn it down.  Super powerful.  Everyone should read it, and it should be required reading in high school fo sho.

Now, onto J.K.  AKA:  Money Bags Rowling and The Cuckoo's Calling.  She very successfully wrote and published a book under a pen name, Robert Galbraith, and sold 1500 copies.  1500.  That's it.  That's all.  Then somebody "leaked" who the real author was and within 24 hours sales of that books went up 156,000%.

156, 886 % to be exact.  

I'm not making this up, you can read all about it here. 

And you know what?  Within about a nanosecond of hearing that she actually wrote it, I, who had never even heard of the book before but coincidentally had been sniffing around for a mystery kind of book, downloaded it on my Kindle.  I, who actually really did not like A Casual Vacancy.

BUT, I am happy to report that I am about 14% in, which I have no idea what that translates into actual
physical realish pages, and I am thoroughly enjoying it.  Like really really enjoying, as in I love the main guy, and his assistant chick, and I love the story so far.

Here is the blurb, which I have not even read, and even though I am copying and pasting it here from, I still have not read it.  I want to go in fresh!

The Cuckoo's Calling is a 2013 crime fiction novel by J. K. Rowling, published under the pseudonym Robert Galbraith.

A brilliant mystery in a classic vein: Detective Cormoran Strike investigates a supermodel's suicide.
After losing his leg to a land mine in Afghanistan, Cormoran Strike is barely scraping by as a private investigator. Strike is down to one client, and creditors are calling. He has also just broken up with his longtime girlfriend and is living in his office.

Then John Bristow walks through his door with an amazing story: His sister, thelegendary supermodel Lula Landry, known to her friends as the Cuckoo, famously fell to her death a few months earlier. The police ruled it a suicide, but John refuses to believe that. The case plunges Strike into the world of multimillionaire beauties, rock-star boyfriends, and desperate designers, and it introduces him to every variety of pleasure, enticement, seduction, and delusion known to man.

You may think you know detectives, but you've never met one quite like Strike. You may think you know about the wealthy and famous, but you've never seen them under an investigation like this.

All in all I am super happy with it so far, because I still have some lingering sadness that I did not like her last book.  I am a Harry Potter Rowling total Potterhead, in fact my daughter and I were just in Portland for Leakycon!  So, I go in with some pretty big expectations of wanting to love every word she writes. 

What are you guys reading this summer, I am dying to know!

Friday, May 10, 2013

Write a book? Why not?

Hey all,

Like many of you fab bloggers out there who have already or always wanted to write a book, I have wanted to be an author since I was about 8 years old, and have written a bit of this and that.  I even signed up for NanoWrimo once!  Anyway, Danielle LaPorte is an amazing coach-y motivational goddess and as it turns out she co-created this amazing thing called Your Big Beautiful Book Plan.  This thing is so chock full of great info, much of it super valuable, and plenty of actual examples of query letters, hook pages, and book plan content that it is worth every single penny and then some.  In fact, it's a steal at the price.

Your Big Beautiful Book Plan also has a multi-media platform with plenty of video and audio recordings of Danielle and her co-creator Linda interviewing top hot authors like Jonathan Fields of Uncertainty:  Turning Fear and Doubt into Fuel for Brilliance.  There are worksheets, and over 400 pages of utter yumminess to get you inspired to finally write and get your book out into the world!

This is an affiliate link and I am super proud to be an affiliate, truly.

Here is the blurb from the gals themselves:

Your Big Beautiful Book Plan is a digital program for people who want to get their word into the world — where it belongs. If you are on the prowl for a literary agent, ripe ‘n ready for publication, and secretly yearning to incite a bidding war for your prose…or stepping into the writing & publishing game for the sheer love of it, Your Big Beautiful Book Plan is a companion, a roadmap, a Bible for your book’s entire life cycle — from the blinking cursor to your first book signing tour date.
Creators Danielle LaPorte + Linda Sivertsen have landed six-figure book deals, independently authored + co-authored over a dozen titles (including several NY Times bestsellers), and helped thousands of writers devote themselves to DONE. We’re talking life’s work, in print and pixels. Decade-long dreams, on the shelf and on screen. The big Why, poured into words. These ladies love this stuff. And you’re going to feel the love.

Monday, April 29, 2013


Mailbox Monday is a weekly bookish meme hosted by various peeps and this month it is being hosted over at Mari Reads.  

It was my birthday last week, so my lovely daughter bought me the 3rd in the Infernal Devices trilogy by Cassandra Clare!

So far it is as fabulous as I would have hoped, and I had forgotten where the last book left off, but it gets you up to speed in a nice subtle way. 

What was in your mailbox this week??

Friday, April 19, 2013


The Fault in our Stars by John Green

I heard about John Green a few years back in those early months of my blog, and I just knew I would love him, but didn't realize how much until my thirteen year old daughter thrust this book into my hands.  Back then I took out his book that was making the book blog rounds, Paper Towns, and read the first chapter and loved his wit, his writing style, and storytelling ability.  But for whatever reason I had to return it to the library and put John Green on my must read list someday when my TBR pile was down to a reasonable few dozen. (insert maniacal laugh here)

My thirteen year old was asking for this book when it first came out, and finally she had enough money to buy it herself, and as any mother would celebrate, she read it in just a few days, could not put it down, and said the one thing that is music to every book-addicted-mother's ears after going to bed, "Just one more chapter, Mom!"

At one point in her reading she slowly came into my bedroom and said, "I'm so sad.  This book is SO SAD!"  But didn't tell me, knowing she wanted me to read it.

Once she was done, I started, and this book is one you will get into immediately.  Like, within the first few sentences.  Summarizing the plot is nearly impossible because there would be spoilers o'plenty, and I would never do that to you!  I think the only way to safely summarize it is to quote the jacket cover here:

"Despite the tumor-shrinking medical miracle that has bought her a few years, Hazel has never been anything but terminal, her final chapter inscribed upon diagnosis.   But when gorgeous plot twist named Augustus Waters suddenly appears at Cancer Kid Support Group, Hazel's story is about to be completely rewritten."

The thing with John Green is, he's kind of a genius.  And when I say "kind of" I mean he TOTALLY COMPLETELY FREAKING IS!  I love the way he writes, and he successfully enters into the mind of a teenage girl with the ease of, well, a teenage girl, and how he does that is anybody's guess.  There are so many gems in here that teens will love it as well as parents of said teens.  It rings true in many ways, and some ways that many of us hope we never have to find out, like:  What does it actually feel like to be  teenager with a terminal illness?  What is that like for their parents?  Their friends?  Somehow amidst the heart wrenching premise, John Green manages to make things funny.  Hilarious, even.  Not unlike the academy award winning film A Beautiful Life that brilliantly and mysteriously managed to make us laugh out loud within the storyline framed by the holocaust.  John Green actually makes us laugh in the midst of children having cancer, I'm not even remotely kidding about this.  Not to mention that in his acknowledgements (which I actually like to read) he thanks the "Nerdfighters, for being awesome" and a heart.  AND he is a Potterhead, and I want him to marry my daughter even though he is too old and already taken.  LOVE. HIM.

I also just love his whole writing "thing" he's got going on, like this:

"I did not speak to Augustus again for about a week.  I had called him on the Night of the Broken Trophies, so per tradition it was his turn to call."

The "Night of the Broken Trophies".  I love this.  This may not make sense right now, but once you read it, you will understand the reference, but that's not important here, what IS important, however, is the fact that he describes an event as the Night of the Broken Trophies, which in and of itself is so deliciously funny, and not in a ha-ha way, but in a clever witty way, which is awesome.

Hazel's whole attitude is witty as well, but in a dark way, which makes it charming and blatantly honest:

"And yet still I worried.  I liked being a person.  I wanted to keep at it.  Worry was yet another side effect of dying."

Hazel is as real a teenager as any literary fake one I have ever not met.  Her "voice" is believable, and maybe it is because I happen to have a teenage girl in my midst it hit me more in the centre.  And when I would get to certain parts I would text her and say:

ME:  omg, I just got to the part with (the thing and the stuff and the woo)

And later---

ME: (so and so stuff and things)  Sobbing.  Stupid book.

And even later---

ME:  Just finished The Book.  One of the best books I have read, like, ever.  And even more stellar because you gave it to me.

This book has heart, soul, smarts, awesome nerdiness that I uphold as sacred, and did I mention HEART?

The only caveat I will add here is there needs to be a little packet of kleenex attached to the back, like the kind your grandma would carry in her purse, with the sides all discoloured and the plastic all feathery from being in there for so long.  A person needs the kleenex when you read it.

So, just go and buy it, and read it, then tell everyone about it.  Okay?  Okay.  ;0)

RATING:  5 out of freaking 5 stars!!

Tuesday, March 26, 2013


The Giver by Lois Lowry

I have had this book on my kindle for a couple of years now, when it was floating around the blogosphere.  I had intended to read it plenty of times, but the other day when my 13 year old daughter came home and told me they were reading it in LA, and said how cool it would be if we both read it so we could discuss it, how could I say no?

To put it bluntly.....


I loved everything about this book.  First of all, I'm a huge fan of this kind of world.  Dystopian at it best, and weirdly disturbing, but not too much.  In fact, on the surface it appears that the people in this "land" have created Utopia, but it doesn't take long to realize.... um.... not so much.

The novel follows Jonas in this twelve year, and similar to The City of Ember, each twelve is assigned a job.  Jonas, however, is given the most unique job of all -  Receiver of Memory.

He begins his training with The Giver and he really does come across just like the photo on the cover.  Or like Jeff Bridges, who will be playing him in the upcoming film adaptation.  Which I think is the absolute perfect Dude choice.

The Giver starts nice and easy, and we soon realize that Jonas is starting to notice flashes of strangeness in his environment, and this is when we learn what his world is currently like, and how different it is from the memories he will soon experience and hold precious.

I really cannot give a summary of the plot without totally giving away the story, so I will only say that it is a super fast excellent read, and has very good book club discussion possibilities, or even just discussions with your children who might be reading it in class.

Loved it.


Tuesday, March 12, 2013


Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme hosted by Should Be Reading!  And anyone can play, you don't need a book blog!

Here are the rules:

Grab your current read
• Open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

"He heard voices calling to one another.  Peering from the place where he stood hidden behind some shrubbery, he was reminded of what The Giver had told him, that there had been a time when flesh had different colors."

~  The Giver by Lois Lowry

For more Teasers, click here.

Sunday, February 24, 2013



I was very excited to read this book.  At first glance I was super excited about the cover... the COVER, people!  Just LOOK at it!  As many of you, my lovely readers know, I am a sucker for a great cover.  In fact, I have an embarrassingly large amount of books lining my shelves that I bought simply because the cover was a stunner.  

Like this one.  

Granted, I borrowed it, but same diff.  

This story is written by a woman who not only is a bestselling author already, but she writes for TV and is also a director of film.  This you can see in her writing, which is very visual, and absolutely reads like a film being run and fed directly into your mind.  I loved it for that reason alone.  

It is a love story.  It is a girl meets boy, loses boy, meets friend, moves to the US kind of story.  I love love stories where two people meet and due to their circumstances they cannot be together.  Then they get separated and pine for one another over the years until the meet again... you get my drift. Unrequited love... one of the best kind to read about!  One of the best examples of this kind of story is The Bronze Horseman by Paullina Simons, which I almost lost my mind over a few years back.

It starts out all fine and dandy.  In fact, the first 1/3 of the book is AWESOME!  Let me explain.....

We meet Enza and Ciro.  Two teenagers growing up on a hillside in delicious Italy at the turn of the 20th century.  But first we get a little back story of Ciro, which is heartbreaking when his mother has to abandon him and his brother at a convent in this little hillside village in Italy.  In fact, this will come handy in later as Ciro pines so deeply for his mother throughout the book, that your heart just breaks at his mere mention of her!  

Enza is a strapping and strong girl and her and Ciro meet as teenagers.  She has just experienced a tragedy and Ciro and her are drawn to one another, and suddenly Ciro, a rabid playboy, is completely overwhelmed by his feelings for this girl he just met.  

And here is where Adriana lost me totally.    

SPOILER ALERT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Ciro and Enza begin "stepping out" as they called it in those days, and finally they exchange a kiss.  Which, apparently, knocks Ciro's socks off.  Enza falls in love instantly, and it appears that Ciro has finally found the love of his life.  

What happens next is so weirdly disjointed that I just could not get past it for the rest of the entire novel.  

Immediately after this, Ciro returns to the church and discovers some strumpet in the arms of the local priest, and the priest decides that he must be banished from the village.  This part is not strange, in fact a great little plot twist.  Here comes the part I just didn't get.  So, the nuns cook up a plan for Ciro to go to America and stay with relatives.  And here's what I immediately think...."Oh, he's going to be so torn because he finally found Enza the love of his life!  How awesome!  This is going to be so great to read, he'll try to see her before he goes, he'll be devastated..."  Think Les Misarables when right after Marius and Cosette meet and Jean tells her they have to leave, what does she do?  SHE FREAKS OUT!  She writes Marius a note, and then the whole carriage ride she is super sad and all piney wishing she could stay with Marius...

Do you know what I'm saying here?  

Not only does Ciro not seem to give an Italian rats ass about Enza, he NEVER EVEN MENTIONS HER ONCE.  Nor does the author even put her in his thoughts, at all.  It is bizarre.  In fact, the pining he does for his mother, which makes total sense btw, he should have been doing some of that for Enza for me to even remotely believe his chasing after her when they meet up again in NYC.  But he so didn't.  Not even once.  Once he had been in NY for quite awhile, he kind of had a random flash of "some girl" he had shared a kiss with back in the homeland. 

And from that point on I just could not possibly believe their undying love story for one second.  

Especially later when they accidentally meet up again in America and eventually end up together in this long lost love affair.  

And the whole last 1/2 of the book is quite boring, it is just a story about a woman working as a seamstress in the Opera in New York, while Ciro is trying to make it as a shoemaker in the same city.  That's it.  That's all. 

So by the end, I was like.... that's it??  

Very very disappointing. 

RATING:  2/5

Saturday, February 16, 2013


The Light Between Oceans by M.L. Stedman

I received this ARC last summer from  Simon and Schuster Canada... whom I LOVE!  Thank you, S & S, for sending me this fantastic book!

Alright, so I think I may have given away this review before actually writing it, as I did really love this one.

The story takes place in early 20th century, on a little plot of land with a lighthouse.  It kind of reminds me of a Jodi Picoult type story line, with plenty of room for opinion!

Here is the blurb from Simon and Schuster:

After four harrowing years on the Western Front, Tom Sherbourne returns to Australia and takes a job as the lighthouse keeper on Janus Rock, nearly half a day’s journey from the coast. To this isolated island, where the supply boat comes once a season and shore leaves are granted every other year at best, Tom brings a young, bold, and loving wife, Isabel. Years later, after two miscarriages and one stillbirth, the grieving Isabel hears a baby’s cries on the wind. A boat has washed up onshore carrying a dead man and a living baby. 

Tom, whose records as a lighthouse keeper are meticulous and whose moral principles have withstood a horrific war, wants to report the man and infant immediately. But Isabel has taken the tiny baby to her breast. Against Tom’s judgment, they claim her as their own and name her Lucy. When she is two, Tom and Isabel return to the mainland and are reminded that there are other people in the world. Their choice has devastated one of them. 

Stedman has crafted a stunning tale that will be great fodder for any book club as it is rife with moral dilemma.  You will find yourself cheering alternately as the story unfolds, perhaps even surprising yourself as to which "side" you may land on!  

She writes a very believable story that follows the correct social etiquette of the time, sometimes missing in other novels set in the same time period.  I personally love reading books about solitary life, as I yearn for the life of a light keeper, or a park ranger, or a hairy hippy who rejects modern life for a log cabin deep in the woods.  Sigh.  I know I would probably go nutty after a few weeks, but on the busy days heavy with the loud buzzing of technology that is the backdrop of our lives these days, I really wish for the quite life that a day in 1900 looking after The Light would bring.  

I highly recommend The Light Between Oceans!

RATING:  4.5/5

Friday, February 8, 2013


Hi-dee-ho ---

I have in recent months put the 'ol kibosh on any ARC's or review copies coming in to my abode, but I just could not pass this one up when I got the request!  A HUGE THANK YOU to The Random House Publishing Group for my review copy of Speaking From the Among the Bones by Alan Bradley, New York Times bestselling author of The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie series of books.  Exciting news for Flavia fans, she will be making her small-screen debut with a BBC production in the works with director  Sam Mendes at the helm.

Flavia continues in this novel and here is the blurb:

Eleven-year-old amateur detective and ardent chemist Flavia de Luce is used to digging up clues, whether they’re found among the potions in her laboratory or between the pages of her insufferable sisters’ diaries. What she is not accustomed to is digging up bodies. Upon the five-hundredth anniversary of St. Tancred’s death, the English hamlet of Bishop’s Lacey is busily preparing to open its patron saint’s tomb. Nobody is more excited to peek inside the crypt than Flavia, yet what she finds will halt the proceedings dead in their tracks: the body of Mr. Collicutt, the church organist, his face grotesquely and inexplicably masked. Who held a vendetta against Mr. Collicutt, and why would they hide him in such a sacred resting place? The irrepressible Flavia decides to find out. And what she unearths will prove there’s never such thing as an open-and-shut case.

I can't wait to read it!

Have a wonderful day!


Wednesday, February 6, 2013


Inside Scientology:  The Story of America's Most Secretive Religion
Library loaner

I actually read this a couple of months ago and loved it!  I am fascinated by the world of Scientology and how bizarre it is.  Janet Reitman is a journalist and has spent time in Iraq and other war torn areas.

The first section of the book, for me, was the most interesting because I had already heard all of the usual stuff about the "church" like the alien thing, the thetan thing, the billion year contract, etc.  The first chapter was all about the history of L. Ron Hubbard. Let me tell you, once you read his back story, you will never EVER be able to look at Scientology the same again.  The guy was a top rate wanna be star, who was also a compulsive liar about his life story. Or maybe you could call him a con artist.  Either way, his rise to fame is very engrossing, and you can see how systematically he built his empire and how he hooked his followers.  How anyone STILL manages to get recruited by the "church" is beyond me.

A few years out of curiosity I went into the only Western Canadian church in Edmonton.  Basically it was in a grungy industrial area, and the front of the church looked like a parts shop.  But when you enter, the first thing you see is a front lobby, kind of, full of books for sale about the "church" and a desk on one side.  Also, in the lobby is a HUGE floor to ceiling portrait of John Travolta and his wife, and beside that a massive bust of Hubbard.

I was immediately greeted by a lady in her 50's, and told her I was curious what Scientology was all about.  So she gave me a tour.  I had my 2 year old with me, and so she tagged along.  We walked down a long hallway and came into the room where they have their church services.  It looked kind of like any other church in a building, chairs in a semi circle, and at the front was a podium and behind that on the wall was a large "cross", you know the Scientology symbol thing?  And on the left hand side, big shocker, another massive bust of Hubbard.  And on the wall at the back a huge painting portrait of the fearless leader.  She told me the church services were on Sundays, and I asked if I could bring my daughter, and she looked almost shocked and said, "Oh no.  We have daycare for the children." And my immediate thought was, why are children not allowed to the services?  What are they talking about and preaching in this creepy place??

We then went back to the front of the building where she explained about the lectures and how when people take courses they listen to audio recordings in these little booths.  She said that all recordings that people listen to MUST BE ORIGINAL recordings of L. Ron himself teaching.  One of the first rules of a cult is that ALL information must come directly from the leader himself, this is how he keeps absolute control of his followers.  So my second alarm bell went off.  (the first being the children not being allowed).  She then explained auditing to me and hooked me up to the e-reader.  I held these two metal cylinders, one in each hand, and there was an indicator there that moved depending on how stressed I felt.  Can anyone say "bio feedback machine"?  But whatever, it is an E-READER apparently.  She asked me my name, and where I lived, and the needle barely moved.  Then she firmly pinched the back of my hand.  The needle moved quite bit.  Then without touching me she asked me to recall exactly what the pinch felt like, "Recall the pinch" she said.  And if you watch any footage of an auditor working, they say the exact same thing.  And the needle moved the same, quite a bit!  Which was pretty cool.  Then she asked me to recall the pinch again, and it moved a little less.  She asked me about 5 times to recall the pinch until the needle did not move at all.  So basically this is what they do with all of your traumatic or intensely emotional memories.  You go over the event again and again until you have no reaction whatsoever.  Hello... BRAIN WASHING!

She then proceeded to try to sell me auditing sessions at $1200 a piece, she said I would need about 6 of them.  This was in 2000.  And then she tried to sell me a bunch of books.

So, I can say, that it is not really so much a religion as it is a BUSINESS.  And this is what this book essentially says over and over.

She managed to get interviews with your usual suspects such as Marty Rathbun and Mike Rinder, who at one time were extremely high ranking Scientologists and Mike Rinder was in two separate documentaries by a BBC journalist.  The first one, he was part of the team that was following the journalist around and being quite horrible. And by the time the second documentary rolled around, he had left the church and was spilling all of its secrets, as well as shedding light on some of the behaviour of he and Tommy Davis during the original documentary.  FASCINATING!

It is an amazing look into this bizarre world, and very frustrating to imagine the power that this small group has, and how celebrities who are seemingly intelligent are involved hook line and sinker.

A MUST READ for anyone interested in the inner workings of Scientology.

RATING:  4/5

Here is a link to the ENTIRE second BBC documentary, which is awesome, because it shows footage from the earlier one with Mike Rinder and then interviews with him after he leaves the church and can shed light on some of the weird stuff that went on during the making of the first one.

Monday, January 21, 2013


Proof of Heaven by Eben Alexander M.D.
Kindle edition

I originally heard of this book when I saw an interview with Dr. Alexander on 20/20 a month or two ago. (Se below for segment)  I PVR'd it so I could show my family, and they were equally blown away with what they heard.  First of all, the fact that this guy is a neurosurgeon almost immediately makes you want to believe him.  Rooted in science, he is forced to his knees by a bizarre meningitis infection that leaves him in a coma for 7 days.  What followed was a proverbial trip down the rabbit hole.

What I loved about this book is that it was written within the experience he was having AND cutting to stuff that was happening in the hospital with the people around him at the same time.  This became important later when as people were praying for him or mediums were attempting to contact him, there seemed to be a definite affect within the "spirit world" at these times.  The only thing that got on my nerves slightly, was the way he very intentionally ended chapters, with a "cliff hanger" of sorts.  This technique is awesome when it works, but when it is done over and over again through out a book, it becomes predictable and tiresome.

His description, however, of the various stages of "heaven" or the Earth Worm's Eye View and The Core, as he calls them, resembles other claims of near death tales.  But it was his initial journey that had me going, "WOW. This sounds familiar, yet I have never ever heard anyone describe this before!"  It was weird.  But in a cool way.  Like that he actually was describing a "place" that we have all been, and will return, and that is why it was so familiar to me in a very hard-to-explain kind of way.

All in all, a good solid read, definitely a conversation and/or debate starter.  Dr. Alexander was not a man of faith before his coma, but his proclamations after he woke up are very powerful, and considering the man is a surgeon who is still working, it's not like he needs the money from the sales of his book.  Or at least, I don't think he does, but who knows!

It's a fast read, which will have you, at the very least, say, "Hmm."

RATING:  4/5