Posts Tagged With: nonfiction

The Truth: What You Must Know Before December 21, 2021 by Stephen Hawley Martin

Blurb from Barnes&Noble.com:

“Has the Tribulation begun? Will the world as we know it end on or before December 21, 2012? The Mayan calendar says so, as does the ancient I CHING and the Web Bot, a computer program that taps into the collective planetary unconscious. Some think a meteor or other global disaster will strike, others that a dynamic shift in consciousness will occur. Or perhaps, they say, both will happen and only those who have made the shift will survive. No one knows — but one thing is certain. You cannot make the shift to higher awareness if you do not know The Truth. Fortunately, the Internet’s number one talk show host for seekers, award-winning author Stephen Hawley Martin, has written The Truth for you and those you love. He has done so in a way anyone can understand, accept and thoroughly enjoy. If you read only one book between now and 2012, make it this one. End of the world or not, then you will know The Truth. And The Truth will set you free. ”

So here’s my secret confession: I love books like this. Perhaps it’s latent rebelliousness from my conservative Baptist upbringing, but if it’s about alternative, quasi-religious worldviews, I’m all over it. I still remember the book I found at Goodwill when I was in junior high that explained how Adam and Eve were actually aliens from an extraplanetary Garden of Eden sent down to populate the earth with their offspring. Seriously, this is good stuff. About 90% of the time, it’s laughable but entertaining. Occasionally, one of these books comes along that is written well enough to make you stop and think. The Truth is one of the latter.

Hawley explains that most of scientific thought today is based on an erroneous assumption: that intelligence came about due to evolution. The Truth (THE TRUTH) is that the brain does not create mind – humans, and all matter, are the “focal points of awareness within the larger awareness often called the Universal Mind” – basically, all is one. We are all connected to the great, singular intelligence that created everything, and is everything.

Throughout the course of the book, he uses many illustrations to explain his thesis, including how beliefs produce physical changes, the scientific basis of collective memory, and why prayer literally works. What differentiates Hawley’s book from many other new-agey, self-help type volumes is his extensive use of current scientific study to substantiate his ideas. His bibliography at the end of the book includes citations of Stephen Jay Gould, Elizabeth Kubler-Ross, and Henry P. Strapp. Hawley has clearly done his research, and it shows in his thoughtful, approachable work. His engaging writing style takes difficult scientific and philosophical ideas and makes them accessible to the everyday reader. Besides his significant scientific analysis, Hawley also utilizes personal anecdotes and stories, giving the reader insight into his own life. He is clearly writing about something that he believes deeply, which makes his book more all the more powerful.

I won’t say that he has converted me to his line of thinking, but he certainly gives one a lot to think about. If you enjoy good, informative writing about a fascinating topic like this, I would encourage you to give Hawley a try. Perhaps we can all use a shift of consciousness before 2012 rolls around.

Finished: 8/31/08
Source: Oaklea Press Inc.
Rating: 7/10

Reviewed by: Elizabeth

Categories: Reviews | Tags: , , | 1 Comment

The Opposite of Fate by Amy Tan

Date of Publication: 2003, Putnam

Number of Pages: 398

Synopsis: Born into a family who believed in fate, Amy Tan has always looked for alternative ways to make sense of the world. And now, in The Opposite of Fate, her first book of nonfiction, she shares her thoughts on how she escaped the expectations and curses of her past, and created her own destiny.

Amy Tan tells of her family, of the ghosts that inhabit her computer, of specters of illness, ski trips, the pliability of memory, rock and roll, and the twinned mysteries of faith and fate. Whether she is remembering arguments with her mother in suburban California, recounting her trips to an outdoor market in Shanghai, or describing her love-hate relationship with the CliffsNotes edition of her first book, The Joy Luck Club, her recollections offer an intimate glimpse of a best-selling writer whose own life story is as magical and hopeful as her fiction.

With the same spirit and humor that characterize her beloved novels, Amy Tan presents a refreshing antidote to the world-weariness and uncertainties we face today, contemplating how things happen – in her life and beyond – but always returning to the question of fate and its opposites: the choices, charms, influences, attitudes, and lucky accidents that shape us all. ~From inside cover of book

Review: I am reviewing this book after reading it for the second time, so it should already be obvious that I enjoyed it. Amy Tan, one of my favorite American writers, finally gives her fans an inside look at what inspires and drives her story-telling. All writers are influenced by their own experiences, but none have a wealth of tragedies and settings in their lives to pull from. Tan has lived through the deaths of her older brother and her father, within a year of each other, and many years later, of her mother. She has lost friends to tragic accidents, illness, and even murder. She has lived in San Francisco, New York (which is where she was on September 11, 2001), and Montreux, Switzerland. She performs in a rock and roll band with Stephen King, Dave Berry, and Barbara Kingslover. She suffers from Lyme disease, which has caused her to experience hallucinations, overwhelming fatigue, and body vibrations. In short, she has not lived a normal life. It has been filled with mysticism and unexplainable coincidences.

Perhaps most valuable to her fans who are also writers, are her thoughts on writing. She describes her experience making the movie of The Joy Luck Club, she talks about reviewers, the students who interpret her writing for term papers, and how she wrote the dreaded Second Book. For fans of Amy Tan, this book is a definite must-read. For those who are interested in reading about the writing process, about a woman’s real relationship with her mother, or just about an interesting life, this book should be perfect.

Rating: 9/10

Reviewed by Sarah

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