1) Some of these covers have changed over the years, so they might not appear the same as the current covers.
2) All of the books that you see here have a positive review, if you want to know why this is so, please refer back to page 1 of the reviews.
3) If you click on the image of the book it will take you to Goodreads.com or Shelfari.com
E-cubed - Pam Grout
From the very beginning of ‘E-cubed’, literally the first page of the first chapter, the reader gets the distinct impression that this book will be a lot of fun to read and it will certainly turn our “static” views of the world, indeed the very way we see the world, on its head (no, I won’t say specifically what the author, Pam Grout, does - that would spoil the fun).
In ‘E-cubed’ Pam Grout continues from her previous book, ‘E- squared’ with “..nine new experiments and more tips on how to keep the gates of the world’s largess and abundance wide-open..” The experiments are easily understood, simple to implement and won’t cost the reader a thing, other than the loss of old belief systems.
The central idea behind all of the experiments is to demonstrate that our traditional views and beliefs systems can be very limiting and by expanding our awareness into the quantum field, or the field of potentiality (abbreviated as FP in the book), we can make use of latent, universal powers to help create a better reality for ourselves and for the world as a whole.
When we recognize “The fact that your thoughts are energy waves being broadcast out into this giant field of infinite potentiality is something you should be aware of and deploying on a moment-by-moment basis” we can break free from the traditional ‘memes’ in which we have predominantly lived our lives. For those that are not aware, dictionaries define a ‘meme’ as, “An element of a culture or system of behavior that may be considered to be passed from one individual to another by nongenetic means, especially imitation” or “An idea, behavior, style, or usage that spreads from person to person within a culture.” The nine memes that are discussed in E-cubed are then associated with the nine experiments (funny how that worked =;0) and the reader is encouraged to see that our reality can actually change when we overcome our memes.
Regardless of the results we obtain from each individual experiment, and judging from the huge success of the experiments from the first book I expect the positive responses from readers of this book will also be equally amazing, my main take-away from this book is that we don’t have to stay victims of our past or be limited by our social programming. By moving from the conditioned memes to ‘Worldview 2.0’, as Pam refers to it, we start to realize our real potential.
Although readers of other books in this genre will recognize some familiar themes: the power of gratitude, the interconnectedness of all things in the universe, the importance of happiness and, perhaps the most important idea, that thoughts are things and create our reality, I can say that Pam shares these concepts with an unparalleled sense of humour. Indeed, I have yet to find any book in the self-empowerment/self-help/personal awareness genre that was as fun to read as ‘E-cubed.’
Why Your Life Sucks: and what you can do about it - Alan Cohen
Just by reading the title of this book it is apparent that Allen Cohen adds a good dash of humor onto the pages of, “Why Your Life Sucks: and what you can do about it.” Indeed, I would say that Alan writes with the same entertaining and lively style as Andrew Matthews, who wrote such wonderful books as, “How to be Happy” and “Follow Your Heart.”
There are a great number of self-help books on the market and it is very refreshing to find authors who maintain their sense of humor while writing. Certainly, this is not to say that this book belongs in the “humor” section of the bookstore, it is merely a reminder that we often take life too seriously, especially when we are on the path of self-discovery.
There are ten main reasons that the author suggests for our life “sucking” and these are:
- We give away our power
- We expect our life to suck
- We get fooled by appearances
- We waste our energy on things that suck
- We keep trying to prove ourselves
- We say yes when we mean no
- We think we have to do it all…
- We try to fix other people
- We starve our soul
- We forgot to enjoy the ride
Each one of these aspects gets a good dose of personal examination by the author as well as some anecdotal stories and most importantly, a means by which we can examine and eliminate these obstacles. Of course, this still requires effort and a high degree of introspection on our part; however, by using the concepts in this book as a guide posts the journey to a better life is that much easier.
This book is a joy to read and it certainly presents the information in a manner that is poignant and not accusatory. Don’t let Allen’s sense of humor fool you, this book is still overflowing with wisdom and I believe that anyone can benefit from the information.
Again, as with his other books, Bernie's sense of compassion and desire to empower people to be their own healers is very apparent. Bernie offers a gift of hope to those with serious illness as well as their loved ones. So much of the modern medicine is based on what the MD says and not enough emphasis is placed on what the patient can do with the power of their own mind. Bernie is a healer in the real sense of the word.
How Life Works - Andrew matthews
Due to the fact that I enjoy Andrew Matthew’s books so much,
and also due to the fact that Andrew’s latest book, “How Life Works” does not come in a hard copy in the North American
market, I decided to break with my long-standing resolve of not
reading/reviewing E-books. Hey, what good are rules if they aren’t broken…
And, as often happens when we start to break the rules, it
is easier to break subsequent ones; therefore,
I am deliberately starting this sentence with ‘and’ when I unabashedly confess
that many of Andrew’s cartoons make me laugh my arse off. If I am having a
rough day and just need to be uplifted with a good chuckle, I can flip through
Andrew’s books and I am bound to have a good belly laugh.
In addition to the humourous cartoons, Andrew also has a
very special gift of adding amusing, poignant examples that remind us that
self-improvement/empowerment doesn’t have to be serious business. Many books that
have been written in this genre take on a very stern tone that can impart the
belief that personal development requires struggle; whereas, Andrew’s demeanor
is light-hearted and this makes personal growth more enticing. I believe that by
taking powerful, life-changing concepts about the nature of our reality, the
power of thought, the need to love ourselves, the importance of feeling in the
process of manifestation, how obstacles can actually be gifts etc., Andrew is
able to share a mental meal that is a lot more palatable than fire and
As a Man Thinketh is likely one of the most read and reviewed books in the Law of Attraction/New Age/New Thought movement and it is one of the shorter books as well (depending on the version, it ranges from roughly 50-80 pages in length).
The essence of this book is that our thoughts create our reality and that, “A man is literally what he thinks, his character being the complete sum of all his thoughts.” Our minds are impressionable and we will improve the quality of our lives as the quality of our thoughts improve.
Repeated throughout the book is the theme that: by holding a vision of our ideal, of keeping a constant focus on what we wish to be, in spite of current circumstances, we can transform ourselves into that ideal self, “The Vision that you glorify in your mind, the Ideal that you enthrone in your heart—this you will build your life by, this you will become.”
If we allow thoughts that are undesirable/negative to propagate then we will create negative experiences.Fear and doubts will act in the opposite manner and sabotage us, “Doubt and fear are the great enemies of knowledge, and he who encourages them, who does not slay them, thwarts himself at every step.”
While I agree in principle with what James Allen says in
this book, that our thoughts create our reality, I did find the content
somewhat lacking. On several occasions I found myself thinking that the author
could have benefitted the reader by expanding on some of the discussion. As an
example, to say that, “Out of a defiled mind proceeds a defiled life and a
corrupt body” or, “Change of diet will not help a man who will not change his
thoughts” is somewhat of an
oversimplification in my mind. I am not saying that these statements are false, I
am just saying that I don’t think they reflect reality in its entirety.
I know that there will be readers who just want
a short, to the point, summary of James Allen’s views, and they will likely be very
satisfied with what they find in As a Man
Thinketh. Personally, I found this book worth reading, yet if I had to
choose between As a Man Thinketh and several
of the other books written on this topic, this book would not be my first
I want to state right at the outset, and although this is
obvious to many, it seems that some people know that this is an autobiography,
yet do not UNDERSTAND that this is an autobiography. What I am saying is that
previous books written by Wayne Dyer focus on an idea, issue, etc. in which some
personal experiences are shared. This book is about Wayne’s journey through
life and that necessitates a frequent use of “I.” Personally, I did not find
this book self-aggrandizing, and people who read biographies can likely relate
to the style in which, I can See Clearly
Now, is written; however, people that expect this book to be written in Wayne’s
traditional style need to be conscientious of this “different” perspective.
Now that the caveat is out of the way, for those familiar
with Wayne’s work, you will find numerous stories and anecdotes that he has
shared during his 40+ years or writing and sharing...it’s hard to believe that Your Erroneous Zones came out in the
mid-70’s!!! Many of the stories and
personal experiences that have been shared during Wayne’s journey are finally
compiled in one place, in a chronological order, that is easy to follow.
Wayne starts out with the early days in Detroit where he
lived in an orphanage, his days in school and then he progresses through his
post-secondary years, his time in the navy, and then through the creation of
his 41 books. Along the way Wayne shares the encounters he has had with some of
the significant “change agents” in his life, people like: Mother Teresa, Ken
Keys Jr., Viktor Frankl, Guruji, Edwarda, Abraham Maslow and so many others. The
names however, are not as important as the messages that came with them. It
seems that every time a new person intersected Wayne’s path there was a new
unfoldment, a new way of seeing the world. Some of the encounters were
pleasant, some not so much, yet all the encounters contained new seeds of
experience that helped Wayne expand his consciousness.
As his consciousness grew so too did his writing evolve from the physical/cerebral world into the world of the subconscious/spiritual . Going from Your Erroneous Zones to his later books, such as The Power of Intention or Wishes Fulfilled, there is a definite shift. I would concur with Wayne’s own conclusion that there is a Divine hand in this process and that all of the events in his journey have “conspired” to carry him along the path that he needed to travel to fulfill his dharma. Although hindsight is the rest stop we don’t get to enjoy until after the bumpy roads are behind us, the fact that we can “see clearly”, even after-the-fact, is a blessing that we can share with others as they travel on their own bumpy roads. The fact that Wayne is sharing his road map is the most significant aspect of I can See Clearly Now: the reader gets to share in experiences that can connect us on a universal/soul level. In other words, Wayne candidly shares his experiences AND these then form the foundation of an idea/concept/lesson that others can benefit from.
I am grateful that Wayne wrote and shared I Can See Clearly Now. From the perspective of a curious onlooker - I enjoyed reading about Wayne’s personal journey thus far - and I also enjoyed this book from the perspective of a student of life – learning as I go.
To emphasize some of my previous ramblings, I Can See Clearly Now is definitely
written from different perspective than Dr. Wayne Dyer’s other books: this is
an autobiography. If you have read and enjoyed Wayne Dyer’s other books AND
you are curious to learn more about his personal experiences then you will
likely enjoy I Can See Clearly Now. On the other hand, if you are looking for a
book that is exclusively a “how-to” book, or simply another book from Wayne
Dyer that is written in the same style as his earlier books, then I Can See Clearly Now might not be the
book you are looking for.
As a side note, ironically and synchronistically perhaps, before the release of “I Can See Clearly Now” was announced, I was reading another book by Dr. Dyer and thought that it would be wonderful to have more insight, in a chronological order, into Wayne’s life. Well, it is said “Ask and ye shall receive” and perhaps one could even take that a step further and say “Think and ye shall receive” because in this case my thoughts were answered and I now have the book I had hoped for.
I am certainly no expert in the realm of Quantum physics; however, in this day and age when the term “quantum” seems to be applied to everything except canned milk, it is refreshing to find a book wherein the word is used in a genuine and relevant manner and Cynthia Sue Larson’s latest book, Quantum Jumps certainly does fulfill the quantum content quota.
When the layperson hears the term “quantum” the likely tendency is to envision wild-eyed scientists madly covering the classroom chalkboard with indiscernible characters and computations. While this mental image may indeed contain some truth, many people may not realize that the quantum world impacts us every moment of everyday, nor would most people realize that what happens at this subatomic level touches all aspects of our lives.
While still in its infancy, the science of the really, really small (quantum physics) is captivating the minds of some of the best minds alive today. The idea that the basic building blocks of everything known and unknown comes from “stuff” we can’t define stretches our understanding of the nature of reality and the universe; however, while Quantum Jumps shares some mind-expanding, as well as some mind bending, concepts, the information is presented in a manner that is respectful of people whose knowledge is limited in this area. Those with no knowledge of quantum physics will not likely be overwhelmed by the information (the first chapter is the most intense, but a deep understanding of these concepts isn’t necessary to get the benefit of later chapters) and those with some exposure to Quantum physics will likely still find new and unique concepts as well.
Some of the deeper concepts discussed on the first pages of the book include Quantum Entanglement, Quantum Teleportation, Quantum Tunneling, the Placebo Effect and, of course, how all of these ideas are connected to Quantum Jumps.
Regardless of a person's previous exposure to quantum concepts, I think that one of the most intriguing aspects of Quantum Jumps is that it touches on the vast interconnectedness between the quantum world and our observable reality. Certainly there is a healthy smattering of facts, figures and scientific experiments to keep you on your toes, but there are also healthy doses of anecdotal stories and experiences that keep the material at a “human” level. Indeed, one of the greatest gifts that the author gives is that she connects all of the science to the human experience and she provides exercises that everyone can make use of to incorporate quantum jumps into daily life.
Cynthia discusses the benefits of taking quantum jumps, she shares the three steps required for a quantum jump to take place, she provides several exercises at the end of each chapter to enhance the quantum jump experience and at the end of the book she gives a list of common questions and their associated answers.
With respect to questions and answers, I think it is important to mention that much of what is happening at the quantum level will intrigue and occupy scientists for many years to come, and perhaps some of the “hard” questions will never be explained with the physical, finite tools that we possess. If you are hoping that any book will give the absolute, final word about what is happening in the quantum realm, or if you are the type of person that requires 100% proof of something before you become convinced of its existence, then the realm of the quantum will likely not give you the answers you seek. The good news though is that, as people living in this quantum environment, we don’t necessarily require all of the answers to make use of quantum laws and quantum jumps to increase our quality of life.
Cynthia states that, “Quantum Jumps is designed to help you open your mind to new beliefs about the nature of reality, and the range of possible realities you can focus on, energize, and choose to live within.” I believe she has successfully lived up to these words in this book & I appreciate her exuberance and dedication in presenting this material.
Supernormal: Science, Yoga, and the Evidence for Extraordinary Psychic Abilities - Dean Radin
As I mentioned in my recent review of Bruce Lipton’s book, “The Biology of Belief”, I recently attended the annual conference of IONS (Institute of Noetic Science) and this was the first time that I had the pleasure of meeting Dean Radin. I mention this because Dean’s speaking style and demeanor are also reflected in “Supernormal”, his most recent book, and these qualities are what make his work interesting and informative. Contrary to what seems to be the standard stereo type of scientists, Dean, Bruce, and the other scientists at IONS have an uncanny ability to make scientific research and technical information more palatable to those who do not have a scientific background.
As for the book itself, “Supernormal” is a wonderful blend of scientific research and all things yoga. Dean uses his skills and scientific background to investigate the claims appearing in the ancient Yoga Sutras. Originating around 2000 years ago and compiled and recorded by Patanjali, the Yoga Sutras discuss more than just the standard, physical aspects of yoga, they also discuss mental/meditation practices that enable the practitioner to activate extraordinary powers. Of course many believe that such feats of super human abilities are simply the stuff of exaggerated legends and delusional observations. With standard, repeatable, scientifically based experiments Dean demonstrates that many of the superhuman feats found in the ancient text are indeed possible. Certainly no claim is made that all of the feats can be substantiated; however, there does appear to be a growing body of evidence that supernormal abilities do exist and they are not exclusive to a select few. It has been demonstrated over and over again that pre-cognitive abilities, psychokinesis, telepathy and various other abilities are inherent in everyone, it’s just that these abilities are not as developed as they are in those people who practice certain mental and physical techniques.
With modern research in hand Dean shows the reader that it is often the illogical and biased views of a small group of skeptics, who have not kept up with modern research, that use their own personal limitations/biases/agendas to deliberately cast doubt on the research being done at the frontiers of human development. Rather than view the new research with an open mind and stretch the boundaries of their knowledge, they seem to prefer the comfort and certainty that living on a flat earth provides. In my biased opinion, a true scientist is fascinated by the unknown and he/she is motivated to explore new frontiers. I believe that Dean shares these views and he is indeed living the wise words shared by Rumi so long ago, “Sell your cleverness and buy bewilderment.”
-- An educational &
exhaustive look at how the Placebo Effect can transform our lives --
In Dr. Dispenza’s newest book, "You are the Placebo" we are provided with the life-affirming knowledge that our thoughts and expectations can transform our lives by helping us overcome illness, disease, and numerous other afflictions that limit our ability to enjoy life to the fullest.
I do not read medical journals, so I can’t make this statement with certainty; however, I would suggest that this book is likely one of the most up-to-date and exhaustive works on the Placebo Effect available today. Furthermore, for those that do not enjoy overly technical books, I would say that in spite of the fact that the nature of this book requires medical and scientific terminology to be used, this is still a very readable book.
In my own words, in very simple terms, I see the essence of the placebo effect as: mind over matter. Our minds have the power to overcome disease, depression and a vast number of negative situations that manifest in our body. Our thoughts, combined with expectation, can remedy heart disease & cancer, reduce pain, and even simulate the benefits of an actual operation. Perhaps it sounds too good to be true; however, the placebo effect has been rigorously studied throughout history and continues to fascinate/confound scientists to this day.
In order to better acquaint the reader with the workings of the Placebo Effect, Dr. Dispenza uses the first part of the book to recount numerous scientific studies that illustrate how our minds can physically change our bodies, simply through what we think and what we expect. A doctor using saline water as a replacement for morphine in the late stages of the war, people suffering from depression feeling uplifted by simple sugar pills, even patients who underwent simulated knee surgery feeling less pain and being able to walk properly again – all the result of the a placebo being used.
There is also the negative side of the placebo, referred to as the nocebo, wherein a person believes that they are ill, will die, or that they are suffering from the ill intentions of another person. For example, in some cultures where people believe in the ability for a person to be “cursed” by a witch doctor, there is the potential for negative beliefs and expectations to due substantial harm. The “curse” thought is implanted in the mind of the individual who then believes in the “curse”, which then eventually manifests in physical form. People have been admitted to hospital and, even under medical supervision, with no detectible illness, have died because of their negative expectations and beliefs.
After the initial discussion and the sharing of the scientific research on the placebo effect, Dr. Dispenza goes on to the most important part of the book: how we can make use of the placebo in our personal lives.
By providing actual, coloured, brain scans and EEG scans Dr. Dispenza illustrates that by altering our thoughts and beliefs we actually alter our physical bodies. This part of the book is very detailed and a cursory discussion would not do it justice, but I think this quote from the book will emphasize the essence of what is being said, “…we direct the formation of new neural pathways and the destruction of old ones through the quality of the experiences we cultivate…The goal here is to change our beliefs and perceptions about your life at a biological level so that you are, in essence, loving a new future into concrete material existence.”
This then leads into the final portion of the book wherein Dr. Dispenza provides information on a meditation that will assist us in making use of the placebo effect.
With over 300 pages in this book, there is certainly a lot of detail and information for anyone simply interested in learning more about the placebo effect. More importantly though, if one truly grasps the essence of what is being shared, that our thoughts and beliefs have a vast potential to heal or harm us, then a person becomes empowered and they can then more consciously create a life in line with their desires. In a very real, physical sense, the placebo effect proves that we can change our reality with our thoughts and expectations: what information could be more empowering than that?
** While this book can be read independently of Dr. Dispenza’s previous book, "Breaking the Habit of Being Yourself" I would suggest that reading it prior to, "You are the Placebo" would be worthwhile.**
From the outset I want to say that I read this book several months ago and shortly thereafter I lent it out to someone who had just been diagnosed with cancer. This means that I do not have the book in front of me while doing this review and I will just rely on my memory and share what were the most significant aspects of the book to the best of my recollection.
The reason I shared what I did in the first sentence is because I feel that THE most important message in this book is one of hope. People who are diagnosed with cancer should know of cases like Anita’s because if her severe, essentially terminal, cancer can be overcome then certainly there should be hope for almost everyone. In her book, “Dying to Be Me ”, Anita shares her personal history pre-cancer, as well as the events that transpired in the hospital as she went into a coma and finally what has transpired since her miraculous recovery.
Although the initial chapters in the book, where Anita describes her upbringing and aspects of her culture, were not as relevant to me as they likely are for many others, I felt that these chapters did indeed provide a relevant context for the events that later occurred in her life.
After the initial discussion of Anita’s past, she goes on to share, in a very candid manner, how her body was ravaged by tumors and how the medical practitioners caring for her in the hospital eventually came to the conclusion that Anita was in the last moments of her life. Her NDE, similar to so many other reports from people who had end-of-life experiences, is one of great love and indeed this is her main message upon returning to the land of the living: life is about love.
In general, I would recommend this book to everyone because we are all touched in some way or another by this disease known as cancer; furthermore, as much as many people choose to ignore this fact, life is a terminal disease and I believe that Anita’s story can bring a degree of comfort almost everyone.
The Way of the Peaceful Warrior – Dan Millman
Just like the Celestine Prophecy, this book is a classic in the field of personal growth. An As an Olympic caliber athlete Dan Millman embarks on a remarkable journey after meeting an unusual character by the name of Socrates. Late night visits to the gas station where Socrates works turns Dan’s life upside down. He is forced to confront his beliefs and values as his inward journey commences toward its climactic conclusion. The book is a true life account with some fictional details added to help the story flow and so as to add some poignant lessons. Whether you believe all the specific details or not, this book has a lot to offer for anyone interested in personal/spiritual growth, and it is a fun read. The book also comes as a set of four audio books which is also enjoyable.
This is the wonderful sequel to his first book “The Way of the Peaceful Warrior” and it is equally as entertaining and inspiring. There was a period of time in the first book to which the author eludes, but does not share the details, this book is based on the events that took place during that time. Once again, Dan Millman shares his adventures in an easy to read, entertaining format while still sharing insights that, if applied, will have a very positive effect on the readers’ life.
While there are many authors writing books on personal
development and self-actualization, I believe that it is very difficult to find
somebody as compassionate and lucid as Ram Dass. In his latest book, “Polishing the Mirror” Ram
blends information from various ancient scriptures (primarily the ones
originating in India) with his own personal wisdom and knowledge that he acquired
during his 50 years of soul searching. Having read several of his books, it
seems to me that “Polishing the Mirror” is actually a culmination of Ram’s
previous work blended with his more current experiences and introspective
Ram Dass discusses suffering, aging, conscious living and dying, and various ways in which we can move towards a more fulfilling and awakened life. Often funny, always compassionate, Ram Dass presents the information as a kindred spirit and in a manner that is easy to read.
In simple terms, to summarize my experiences with this book in one sentence it would be thus: when I read this book it felt as if I was having a casual conversation with a loving and longtime friend who had acquired great wisdom from his adventures on this journey through life (and perhaps previous lives as well =;0)
Zen Speaks, Shouts of Nothingness - Chih-chung Ts'ai
Zen Speaks is another book that can easily be read when a person has a few minutes to spare. The book shares some powerful Zen proverbs/lessons in the form of a illustrated stories. Each story is introduced by a recurring character, the fellow depicted on the cover, and then the story itself uses actual Chinese historical figures to convey a message. The message is then summarized in a blurb so that anyone not understanding the message in story form can still grasp the underlying ideas. As with many profound truths, the ones presented in this book are deceptively simple and can be easily read, but perhaps not so easily understood. It is said that a great Zen master once asked his student if he understood Zen and the student responded that he did not. The master then responded. "Neither do I." Enjoy.
With the humorous and light-hearted cartoon compadres that Andrew Matthews has used in his previous books, Follow Your Heart once again guides readers on a journey of self-discovery that ultimately leads to a happier and more fulfilling life. Andrew shows us that by following our hearts we empower ourselves so that we can better deal with the “problems” in our lives, we can discover and pursue the things we love and, in so doing, become successful. Understanding of course, that success is defined by the individual. Even if Andrew didn’t write a single word, I believe that his cartoons, in and of themselves, provide valuable insight about this human experience and they are not to be missed.