Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Book with a View October 2012

Title: The Door is Open
Author: Andrew Cort
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (May 19, 2012)
ISBN-13: 978-1477461242
Reviewer: Yvonne Perry

Happiness is to Be Found in the Perfection of the Soul

Before we are willing to really change and make the decision to begin our spiritual path in earnest, we have to reach the end of our own rope, which usually means suffering from the consequences of our futile pursuits of material (external) pleasures. This misery comes as a result of seeking happiness outside of union with the divine spirit within us.

As Andrew Cort writes, “We have to reach a point psychologically where we realize there is nowhere left to go.”

And this event is what causes one to begin to personally awaken. For if one does not know he is asleep (spiritually unconscious), he will make no effort to awaken. I know of very few people who have come to an awakened perspective of life without having gone through a dark night of the soul.

Spiritual attainment begins with thinking in a different way and allowing the light of consciousness to enter the dark, negative qualities of our mind and emotions. This is what it means to “know thyself.” Unless our mind and attitude change nothing else in the world will change.

With a great discussion on the sacred feminine aspect of the divine, Cort shows how the human soul has been shattered and must be put back together again by getting the three parts of the soul (mind, emotions, body) back into proper order (chain of command) and alignment. Using the analogy of the captain of a ship being drugged by his crew who want to take over the helm, he describes how our minds have been taken over by our emotions. Purifying the emotions and learning to manage mental energy and physical desires is part of the process of arousing the captain or mind.

I like the way the author uses mythology and the story of Demeter and Persephone to compare our descent into the underworld (third dimension). And, at the end of each chapter, the author offers actions and exercises that encourage the reader to look within by asking questions such as “Are you angry with God? If so, tell him/her. Don’t be afraid s/he’ll be angry or offended. S/He can take it.”

Not many religions will encourage you to do that!

The book is an enjoyable and great read with beautiful allegories that help one understand the need to awaken.

Title: The P.I.G. Mantras: How a working girl deals with five bosses in the corporate world of Silicon Valley
Author: Romina Wilcox
Publisher: Outskirts Press (August 22, 2012)
ISBN-10: 1432792903
ISBN-13: 978-1432792909
Reviewer: Dana Micheli

I’m always thrilled—and a bit surprised--when an author I love can successfully step outside their genre comfort zone. After all, it is such a daunting challenge that most novelists don’t even attempt it (or, if they do, they don’t show it to anyone!). In the case of Romina Wilcox, however, it came as no surprise. With her new novel, The P.I.G. Mantras, Wilcox makes the seamless transition from murder and mayhem to the equally cutthroat world of the modern-day job seeker.

Maite Etcheneasses Burns is determined to make it to the top of the corporate ladder, and she has the smarts to do it. The problem is, she doesn’t have any of the “official credentials” employers are looking for. The P.I.G. Mantras chronicles her attempts to get ahead despite crippling self-doubt and a series of “suits” who seem determined to keep her in her place. Along the way, she is guided by the wisdom of everyone from Oprah to Nancy Regan, Eleanor Roosevelt to Pope John Paul.

Maite is quite a departure from the cool, self-possessed genius of Joanne Gravtiz (the star of Wilcox’s cybercrime novels); however she is just as powerful a heroine. If Gravitz’s story is about a successful female executive navigating a man’s world, Maite’s is the story of how one gets there: with guts, ingenuity, and a refusal to accept the status quo. Wilcox does stick home in one respect: geography. All of her novels take place in the trenches of Silicon Valley, of which Wilcox is a longtime veteran.
Although The P.I.G. Mantras could be classified as a “woman’s novel”, it speaks to anyone—man or woman—trying to reinvent themselves in this difficult job market. Who among us has not been tortured by a nasty, narcissistic, or neurotic boss (or all of the above)? With the tight prose that has become her trademark, Wilcox delivers a powerful message of inspiration, faith, and perseverance.  The best part is that we get to laugh as we learn the lessons.

Title: C’est la Vie: A Collection of Poems and Song Lyrics
Author: Mr. King Cage
Publisher: CreateSpace (April 9, 2012)
ISBN-10: 1470105187
ISBN-13: 978-1470105181
Reviewer: Dana Micheli

Poetry gives us a unique insight into the soul of its creator, and I found this to be especially true of King Cage’s collection of poems and song lyrics, C’est la Vie. The book chronicles Cage’s eclectic experiences across the globe, and as I read it I felt like I was travelling right along with him. With the turn of every page I was able to jump into an entirely new world; each with its own sights, smells, emotions, and energy.

One minute I was in Amsterdam, with “Another cup of coffee, another cigarette. One more day gone by and I ain’t seen daylight yet.” The next minute, I felt the loneliness and despair when, “I retreat to my room. It imparts the security of a mother’s womb. I sit here in my tomb.”

Cage has lived about five lives in one--including that of a world-traveling engineer and a passionate conservationist—and they all show up in his work. But more than anything, he is a seeker of life’s answers. “Or shall I numbers crunch; the time clock punch. Work the assembly line, or perhaps listen to John Prine.” By sharing pieces of his own life, King Cage has made it possible to us to escape our own. And that, in my opinion, makes it a must-read.

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