Saturday, 17 December 2016

Christmas Greetings

As Christmas approaches and the year comes to an end are you looking forward to the holiday period to catch up on your backlog of reading. I have some great books waiting for me and I will share my thoughts about them with you.

I have no review for this week but would like to share some of my favourite posts about books from Facebook and Pinterest with you.

Thursday, 15 December 2016

After His Affair: Women Rising from the Ashes of Infidelity by Meryn G. Callander

The author, Meryn G Callander, wrote After His Affair: Women Rising from the Ashes of Infidelity not only as a woman who had been betrayed but one who had also betrayed.

She combines her own experience with that of several brave women who were prepared to be interviewed on the subject.

One important aspect she deals with is the impact an affair can have on other family members particularly children. This is something both the betrayer and betrayed can forget if they are too caught up in their own desires and hurt.

Meryn Callander does not simply share stories of infidelity she includes sound coping mechanisms that help women move on with their lives and that can strengthen a marriage avoiding future infidelity. It is also relevant to women who are still carrying the hurt of an affair many years after it has happened.

I often find self-help books contain such a wide range of information I battle to get through what I need and what I don’t. In After His Affair Ms Callander includes a Chapter Synopsis at the beginning making it easy for the reader to go straight to the section or sections most relevant to their own situation.

Another tendency that annoys me in self-help books is the cold and indifferent approach to the subject without demonstrating understanding of associated emotional problems. This is not the case with After His Affair. It is beautifully and sensitively written without dumping guilt on the reader.

My rating 4*

This review is also on my website

The discovery of your partner's cheating shatters the very core of your being. It's difficult to value and to allow our grieving, our anger, our rage, even our shame, the time and space to move us into a deeper life. We're supposed to just get over it, and move on.

Anger is not nice, causes trouble, and grieving is a bummer. Yet it is natural and healthy to feel angry when violated, and to grieve our disappointments and our losses. Virtually every one of us has been, or will be, in some way touched by infidelity. Why is this happening? How can we make good of these experiences in our individual lives? And how might we avoid--or heal from--the trauma of infidelity in our own relationships?

Callander writes as a woman who has both betrayed and been betrayed. The voices of other women who have travelled this road join her in this unique and intimate exploration of the many faces of infidelity. Polls show that around 85% of people believe infidelity is wrong. More than 90% of married individuals do not approve of extramarital sex, and yet almost half admit to having had an affair. What drives this dichotomy between what we say we should do and what we do?

This book offers understanding and new perspectives for reflection, dialogue, hope and healing.

About the Author
Meryn Callander was born in Portland, Australia, in 1952. She graduated from Monash University, Melbourne, with degrees in both economics and social work. At 25, she quit her position working with children in crisis, feeling she was doing little but applying Band-Aids to gaping wounds. Searching for that illusive something more, she headed to Europe, and then the U.S.

It was there she met John W. Travis, M.D., known to many as the founding father of wellness. Their marriage and professional partnership spanned almost three decades, during which time they pushed the leading edges of wellness--going well beyond the popular focus on nutrition and physical fitness, into the mental and emotional, interpersonal and spiritual dimensions of wellbeing. They co-authored several pioneering books on wellness, and facilitated seminars and retreats in the U.S. and internationally.

In 1993, Meryn became a mother. After decades of working in adult wellness, she gleaned a whole new appreciation of how profoundly our early years impact the wellbeing of the adults we become. Why Dads Leave: Insights and Resources for When Partners Become Parents ( grew out of their journey through the early years of parenting. While John stayed well beyond the challenges of those early years, their experiences compelled her to identify the dynamics underlying the epidemic of men leaving their families--physically or emotionally--soon after the birth of a child, and how couples can grow together rather than apart. The book offers insights and practical ways of preventing the devastating impact of this dynamic.

Her latest book, After His Affair: Women Rising from the Ashes of Infidelity is a reflection of her concern at the escalating rates of infidelity and the devastation that is left in its wake. How can we, as women, make good of our heartbreak? And how might we avoid--or heal from--the trauma of infidelity?

Meryn is a counselor, spiritual intuitive, and akashic reader.

Saturday, 10 December 2016

Making a Mark: Letter to a Grandson on the Story of European Painting by Marjorie Ann Watts

When it comes to art and the history of art I am ignorant and felt it would be appropriate for me to assess the content of Making a Mark from that aspect.

Having read Making a Mark I can now say I have a much greater appreciation of the evolution of art and how it was influenced by history, religion and governments. I believe it would also be of interest to both art and history students. The inclusion of short bios of famous artists and notes on terminology assists with the understanding of the subject.

Making a Mark covers the history and description of European art from ancient times to the 21st Century. It came about when the author’s grandson, out of the blue, asked “What is cubism?”. The question was followed by the firing of more questions as each was answered and explained.

I found the book to be well researched and written in language someone lacking in subject knowledge like myself can understand.

It is a shame that the variations of eBooks and eBook readers make including pictures so difficult. At the end of each section the author does recommend some paintings to research and I did look up each of them on the Internet but I can imagine some readers would not bother with this exercise. I am sure the inclusion of photographs would make a magnificent printed book.

I have given Making a Mark 3* but this is due to the absence of photographs. The inclusion of appropriate graphics would certainly make it worthy of 4* if not 5. It deserves to be published in print format.

My rating 3*

I received a free copy of Making a Mark in return for an honest review.

This review is also posted on my website

Thursday, 1 December 2016

Paw Prints: The True Story of a Three-Pawed Dog by Steven F Freeman

This delightful children’s story is narrated by Nicky, a three-pawed dog hoping to find a forever home. (Synopsis below)

I have heard criticism of animal stories told from the animal’s point of view but I totally disagree.  I believe children connect more to the message and relate to the animal’s experience.

This is definitely the case with Paw Prints. It is not only a wonderful children’s story but explains to the reader what an unwanted puppy might experience emotionally. The story is well balanced with happy and sad moments and there is nothing in the story that would distress a child.

Yes, there is a happy ending.

It also teaches, not only children, but any dog owner or potential dog owner the needs of dogs such as the need to have an opportunity to run free for toys or activities when home alone as well as the importance of routines and understanding dog body language. So much in a simple, short story.
The illustrations by Hatice Bayramoglu are charming and the text font and size appropriate for children reading skills.

I am looking forward to being able to purchase a print edition of Paw Prints for my future grandchild.

I unhesitatingly give Paw Prints a 5* rating.


Nicky the three-legged Maltese wants a forever home but can't seem to find one. Follow his adventures as he encounters rescue workers, foster families, and a collection of other dogs. Some of the humans he meets are nice, but will he ever find a loving home of his own?