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The Last Time They Met: A Novel
The Last Time They Met: A Novel
by Anita Shreve
Edition: Paperback
Price: $12.23
745 used & new from $0.01

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Overrated Author, August 1, 2009
I agree with several of the more negative reviews I have read for this book. To be honest, I didn't even get to the end so my views don't even take into account the feelings of betrayal which others apparently felt by the ending. I wanted so much to love this book, especially when struck by some beautiful descriptive writing and use of metaphor. Shreve clearly has the ability to write exquisitely at times. However the way the story is structured is hard to follow. I found I lost track of where things were and when it had changed to another time. I really could not follow the sequencing a large part of the time and found I had to continually go back and re-read sections to get a handle on things. The sentences were often ridiculous, adding to the wafting vagueness throughout.

This author is too clever by half, her talent has got the better of her and she has written a book that is a waste of all the intense time that was probably taken to write it. I felt it was like the Emperor's New Clothes - something we are supposed to pretend we see or appreciate or it will make us look stupid. It was beautiful in parts - but as a book, as a whole, I was insulted. I tried so hard to like it but I eventually gave up.

PS I have recently returned to the book and finished it. I was actually starting to like it a bit more, then I come to the very disappointing ending. What an arrogant author to use her clever literary skills to twist an ending such as this - leaving the reader let down and confused! What's worse is that it doesn't make sense - and I mean literally doesn't make sense.

In the Shadow of the Merlion : Western Women Write in Singapore
In the Shadow of the Merlion : Western Women Write in Singapore
by Julie Massey
Edition: Paperback
12 used & new from $2.82

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Undiscovered Gem, March 1, 2009
A fascinating collection edited by Julie Massey, whose own work in the book shows a quiet brilliance. Human stories capture the heart and mind.

I agree with the other reviewer that this book is a good one to take on a journey. There's a new story to keep you interested for every part of your travels, and the book overall captures the exciting feeling of exotic locations.

Julie, come out from the shadows! It's time for that Noel Coward book to get done and for you to hit New York.

The Caroline Myss Audio Collection: Spiritual Power, Spiritual Practice, Why People Don't Heal, Spiritual Madness
The Caroline Myss Audio Collection: Spiritual Power, Spiritual Practice, Why People Don't Heal, Spiritual Madness
by Caroline Myss
Edition: Audio CD
Price: $30.45
9 used & new from $30.45

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Wonderful Gift, January 28, 2008
This series helped me through one of the most difficult times of my life and is still doing so. It arrived at the perfect time, more than 10 days earlier than expected, just as I was in the last days of a traumatic relationship breakup. The Spiritual Power, Spiritual Practice CD set got me going, providing some guidance and insights that I could relate to my relationship issues, and also to physical health problems that I had developed. The 2nd CD of that set was absolutely brilliant, morning and evening meditations that included chakra clearing, personal inventory, gratitude and positive preparations for the day. These meditations are something special compared to others I have tried and liked.

Spiritual Madness was certainly an eye-opener, I had no idea what to expect but it described some of what I was going through, and have gone through in the past, and really helped me to cope and understand so much, especially getting through the darkest hours. Her insights into the reasons for loss of energy and power, and the importance of living in present time are so helpful. I also felt that this CD was the one that reminded me to have faith and really made me think about how many of my actions and attitude were examples of a lack of faith. Surrendering to God (whatever our version of God might be) is an amazingly liberating experience that did bring some surprise gifts and reminders to me at unexpected times.

Why People Don't Heal and How They Can continues the mystical journey, and by this time I knew I was well and truly on a learning path way beyond the one I had been on before. This CD is so much more than dealing with illness, it is about healing from and letting go of emotional pain that makes you sick, either physically or emotionally sick or both. All 3 CD's offer a way out of living a life as a victim, desolate and in pain, living in an illusion, sick to your stomach with fear, or walking around numb and unaware. They offer a spiritual and mystical path, encourage you to live in faith, give up the fear of the speed of positive change in your life, and ask you to consider acceptance of the purpose of your life no matter how simple that purpose might be at any given time.

Carolyn cleverly highlights the challenge we face in todays world where the discovery of self and what might be described as ego driven pursuits, including working in demanding employment, is being blended with a mystical journey that involves divesting oneself of "self", and which in the past was done in isolation from the world. Yet some of us are doing just this, and charting a whole new course. I found these CD's inspirational, although not flawless. On occasions when Carolyn gets on her high horse she can be arrogant and condescending, and in one brief section almost nasty. If I'd been in the live audience I may have felt compelled to speak out and suggest the energies being emitted were less than helpful. But who said she or anyone else had to be perfect? I simply thank God for her being in the world and offering her insights just when I needed them. I am listening to the whole set again and am going to continue the work with more Myss CD's and reading, and a spiritual mentor who has been a gift to me in my life. I recommend this CD set to anyone wishing to continue a healing and spiritual path beyond some initial personal growth work. It could help to have already read at least one of her books such as Anatomy of the Spirit or Sacred Contracts, or this may inspire you to go back and read them if you are just beginning.

Sickened: The Memoir of a Munchausen by Proxy Childhood
Sickened: The Memoir of a Munchausen by Proxy Childhood
by Julie Gregory
Edition: Hardcover
100 used & new from $0.01

2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing Book - Amazing Author, November 9, 2005
This is an amazing book, unique in so many ways. The style of writing is raw and ugly, just like the family Julie was a part of, just like the wounds created by her mother. I found it moving, but in parts such an assault on the self that I almost gave up on it during the first quarter. But like many others, I kept on going because I just had to find out whether Julie escaped and triumphed over her adversities.

During the ordeal of her grotesque childhood, in addition to the ongoing trauma of MBP, the young Julie endures so many other indiginities, abuses and hurts - having her head bashed on the corner of a table, being forced to eat tissues, and discovering that her parents masterplanned the burning down of their family home in order to claim the insurance. Tragically Julie's beloved pet dog was burnt to death in that fire.

What shocks me is that Julie's mother Sandy has got away with all of this, and has continued her abusive behaviour towards more children, including two children she currently fosters, Tina & Paul, who have already been removed from her once due to abuse, but then returned by misguided authorities. The book clearly demonstrates how dualistic and deceptive MBP perpetrators are, with many descriptions of events where Sandy was adept at playing the concerned mother who cared for her children impeccably. The complicity of doctors and other medical professionals for so long does highlight the lack of undertsanding on the subject of MBP, and the inadequacy of child agencies in developing more stringent assessment protocols that take into account the extremely deceptive presentation of the MBP mother.

I recommend this book to all who care about humanity and who appreciate a gripping read. Julie's voice shows at once despair, desolation, helplessness, but ultimately the strength of a survivor. At times Sickened is so confronting it makes you want to abandon it, yet at the same time it makes a case so strong and pure you simply can't put it down.

Once you've read the book I also recommend the website, as it features updates on the issues as they have progressed, and campaigns inviting reader support for this cause.

Buy this book and recommend it to your friends.
Comment Comments (3) | Permalink | Most recent comment: May 19, 2012 10:06 AM PDT

The Verbally Abusive Relationship: How to Recognize It and How to Respond
The Verbally Abusive Relationship: How to Recognize It and How to Respond
by Patricia Evans
Edition: Paperback
413 used & new from $0.01

56 of 63 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Finally!, March 19, 2005
Two days ago this book arrived on my doorstep and that night I skimmed it and read some large passages from Chapters 1 & 2. I identified so strongly with the description of Reality I & II, and could see the contrasts between my partner and myself, the lack of mutuality and goodwill from him, the destruction of intimacy ..... It seems ridiculous to say this, but the concept that I'm not a horrible or unreasonable person, ie pointing out that the accusations the perpetrator hurls at me are not valid, was a revelation. He had managed to make me feel so bad, he'd ground me down so I responded to accusations that I knew deep down weren't true, as if they were true.

Then I read the bit about techniques to handle this. Well, last night he phoned me and I can tell you it was an eye opener. I could see how much abuse was really going on, so much of it I'd never seen for what it was. So instead of my usual reaction of desperately explaining myself I used some of the responses given in the book. I had to go to the extent of saying emphatically "Don't talk to me like that!" Wanna know the reaction? He went totally ballistic, he absolutely couldn't bear hearing me stand up to him, he began hurling abuse, swearing and screaming down the phone, and then of all things told me (or rather screamed and shouted at me in a wild rage) he had to end our relationship so he could "get some sanity"!! It was the most appalling display of someone so out of control and talking absolute rubbish and crap. I am hurt, very hurt, and sad that someone I've loved for many years has been prepared to end it like that in a barrage of abuse, however at the same time when it happened I was in some way thrilled. I can't explain this other than to say that he went out of the relationship as he lived it, and he will now have to live with that memory forever. Also for me I could see so starkly what was happening and realised even more I needed to leave a man who I thought was damaging me before I read the book anyway, for all sorts of other reasons. This book has made it so much easier for me to get away from a relationship I had been agonising over for a long time, and one where I had taken him back on many occasions after abusive behaviour.

As for those who criticise the fact that this book is from a female perspective,and the way the data was collected, I have nothing but contempt for that view. More than 98% of domestic violence is perpetrated by men on women. Isn't that a good enough reason for the authors perspective? If not, what about the fact that to this day there are still few countries or states in countries of the western world that have a zero tolerance policy on domestic violence toward women. We've been working on this issue politically for decades and still today women are getting bashed in their droves. I also think, that if you are one of the rare men to be serially abused by your female partner, or of any other sexuality in a relationship, this book is still relevant as it defines mature realities and relationships in a very useful way. From this I could see clearly that my relationship never had a hope from the start because of his fundamentally flawed standpoint.

Well, all of the above for what was only to be a quick review, seeing as I have read only a small proportion of the book! I'll get back to ya when I've finished it.

PS In view of the reaction I received from my partner (which I point out was over the phone) when I used the techniques and stood up to him, I suggest caution to any woman who is in fear of physical abuse, or who has already been physically abused by that person. If you want to try out the techniques with someone like this, either do it on a phone call, or introduce them gradually at times when you have better access to help or to others nearby.
Comment Comments (3) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Sep 26, 2011 6:57 PM PDT

Stop Walking on Eggshells: Taking Your Life Back When Someone You Care About Has Borderline Personality Disorder
Stop Walking on Eggshells: Taking Your Life Back When Someone You Care About Has Borderline Personality Disorder
by Paul T. Mason
Edition: Paperback
256 used & new from $0.24

703 of 755 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Like a Stab in the Heart, October 18, 2004
This book does provide useful information identifying traits, symptoms and behaviour of the BPD person and this is useful in understanding why they are behaving the way they do. If you are close to a BPD person it is worthwhile discovering that you are not going crazy for finding the ridiculous dramas and scenarios with the BPD confusing and distressing.

Despite this, I found sections of the book hurtful and demoralising. How much more do the loved ones have to be told they should adapt even more to the BPD's behaviour, and that "understanding" them is enough to make it OK, that learning and perfecting the art of "not taking it personally" is going to make life a lot easier. These things do cause a slight improvement but the emphasis placed on them is in denial of the seriousness of the effects of the BPD behaviour, and the intensity and energy and power the BPD person puts into pursuing his/her twisted agenda. What is worse is the tendency of some therapists and authors to focus on the Borderline being accepted (for extremely unacceptable behaviour) and placing unfair expectations on their significant others as a way of empowering them (the BPD).

The author of the review "Save Your Money & Your Mind put it so well - [...... Instead, it asked Borderlines what they thought non-BPD's should do in the face of the Borderlines inappropriate, inexplicable rages. Be good now and don't upset the Borderline, who can't help it. The Borderline's world is painful (as if everyone around the Borderline doesn't routinely pay the price for that), so try to understand. No, the Borderline doesn't need to understand, because Borderlines are like children and can't be expected to behave in any kind of responsible way. It's about their survival, so deal with it. If you suffer because of a Borderline's actions, you will suffer more from the underlying message of this book: a Borderline is in pain, so whatever he/she does must be understood and on some level (or all levels) excused. Borderline behavior (manipulation, lying, pitting people against one another, suicidal gestures, unpredictable, intense rages, etc.) is abusive and destructive to everyone around him/her. The fact that the people around him/her are expected to put up with it because it's motivated by fear or shame only speaks to the amazing ability of the Borderline to turn the tables and make a situation sound like something it's not. You do not ask someone with Anti-social Personality Disorder how you can avoid provoking his anger. It's understood that the problem is with him, not you. Why is this not clear with BPD? ....]

As if the loved ones of BPD's aren't already doing everything they can humanly think of to accomodate and please the BPD! Most people who are partnering a Borderline sufferer have already worked out, for survival purposes, every possible way of avoiding triggering their worst behaviour. Adapting, keeping quiet about serious problems, pretending to accept distorted views of reality to avoid arguments, letting things go of great concern and never being able to discuss them, the list goes on, you become an expert in not provoking to the point your own reality becomes distorted and "you" becomes buried, and then you find a book that tells you do to do more of this and asks the BPD person to prescribe your ideal behaviour, so they don't feel so bad! I spent years with my BPD partner trying to see his twisted side of everything, and take into account and keep up with feelings he had about certain things that changed daily or even hourly. This has to stop - as with any other dysfunctional behaviour that involves abuse (either psychological, emotional, verbal or physical) the perpetrator, no matter what the reason for his/her behaviour, has to start taking total responsibility for the behaviour. The therapists have to start working out how to achieve this with their patients, without others having to twist themselves into knots to adapt to the inappropriate behaviour of the BPD not changing. It's time therapists and authors stop believing and falling for the BPD's obsession with discrediting their partner. You can tie yourself in knots to ensure you don't upset a BPD, and they will still find something to twist onto you in order to justify an oncoming rage or tirade, or drawn out session of twisted ramblings and accusations. Even if you have behaved impeccably close to perfection in terms of what they have indicated they require, if the urge to rage or painful feelings overtake them they will just invent something in order to shift blame onto you. You can be accused of not giving any credence to the BPD's feelings, which are so important, even though they don't know what they are from one minute to the next. Where is the therapist/author who doesn't buy into this and focuses only on what the patient should do? The fact that it is so hard to treat the BPD should not mean that more and more onus is placed on those close to them - this approach has gone too far to the point where it has become a case of expecting the loved ones to behave dysfunctionally so that the BPD feels better and happier and their reality is more accepted.
Comment Comments (285) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Oct 14, 2013 8:36 AM PDT

Lost in the Mirror: An Inside Look at Borderline Personality Disorder
Lost in the Mirror: An Inside Look at Borderline Personality Disorder
by Richard A. Moskovitz
Edition: Paperback
Price: $10.92
185 used & new from $0.24

146 of 190 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Be Careful, October 18, 2004
This book was interesting and had useful information in identifying various symptoms and behaviours of BPD, however I think the line it takes in explaining (almost justifying) the behaviour of BPD's can be dangerous when considering that many BPD's might be reading it. One of the things that BPD's continually do is to justify their inappropriate and destructive behaviour when it involves hurting other people close to them. The expression "Give'em an inch and they'll take a mile" comes to mind.

My partner was diagnosed with BPD and he really loved the aspect of his therapy and on anything he read, which focussed on depression (which was only a small part of his symptoms - the emphasis with him was on raging, obsessive behaviour, sexual dysfunctionality and revenge.) He started to go into a "poor me" mode, wallowing in the whole issue of how he had suddenly discovered he had suffered from depression and how terrible it was that this is what he'd been going through. This was his excuse to avoid confronting the appalling violence, destructive and abusive behaviour which was so predominant. He didn't get any better from any of this when he was going down this track. The greatest improvements, not only in his treatment of me, but also to his own level of happiness and joy, came after times when he had faced some of the most horrendous aspects of his behaviour and was, to some extent, told in no uncertain terms by his therapist that this behaviour was unacceptable. I realise it's a lot more complicated than that, but I am always concerned to see anything on BPD that, in the name of improving self-esteem and providing some dignity, go too far in being "understanding" towards the BPD sufferer. BPD's love nothing more than excuses, they are obsessed with twisting things onto their loved ones, and I know in the case of my partner this only gives him the opportunity to become self-obsessed over these aspects rather than face anything else that might make him look bad. The book talks about patients being taught to find their own identity and understand their own feelings, but the difficulty with this is that BPD sufferers can take this to mean that whatever irrational perceptions they are experiencing should be given credence, and they then become enraged if they are not able to be accepted by others. The other thing is that it has been said that 90% of BPD sufferers also have another disorder. This needs to be taken into account when making suggestions because if you combine symptoms of 2 disorders it can become even more dangerous to recommend a certain approach based solely on BPD issues. eg If the patient is particularly narcissistic too much focus on self-esteem building feeds into their obsession with attention and they become more grandiose and super-confident, starting to feel OK in all respects, and this includes an even greater tendency to justify their vengeful destructive rages.

I can see that this book would be comforting to those with BPD, giving them understanding and hope for recovery, and this is particularly good for those who are at risk of suicide, or for those whose main symptoms are severe depression. But for the BPD's who are extremely abusive and manipulative, and have a strong tendency to lie and distort the truth in an abusive way to another, it can tap into their self-pity and they can and will use the book to justify their actions and deny the seriousness of their condition.
Comment Comments (17) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Mar 25, 2013 11:44 PM PDT

Learn to Meditate: The Art of Tranquillity, Self-Awareness and Insight
Learn to Meditate: The Art of Tranquillity, Self-Awareness and Insight
by David Fontana
Edition: Paperback
45 used & new from $0.01

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful Beginners Book, August 27, 2004
This is an excellent book if you just want to be able to learn some meditation techniques quickly, and get the basic information on background and types of meditation. I like the way there are a range of different meditations to focus on, with very simple steps to follow. It is an unbiased book which provides information from a spiritual point of view, but doesn't preach to you about any particular one, and it is clear the whole intent is simply to provide the reader with the most helpful information possible and practical steps to take in order to begin meditating.

There is plenty of information there of interest and benefit if you want to read the book thoroughly, but I also liked the fact that you can just read the very basics to get started quite easily, then turn to a page, select a meditation and go with it - this is good when you're stressed, short of time, and/or struggling with disciplining yourself to try something new that might help. There are also hints and tips displayed throughout the book which are very helpful. The book is beautifully presented and illustrated which adds inspiration.

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