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Tales from Shakespeare by Charles and Mary Lamb

After reading about Charles Lamb last year I decided to invest in this little book in order to acquaint myself with some of Shakespeare's works.

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Brian's Little Library

 

Selected Writings by Edgar Allan Poe

Having read some of Poe's work already I didn't miss the opportunity to buy this Penguin book from a local second-hand shop. I particularly welcome the introduction provided by Professor David Galloway. I'll be reading the rest of this book a little at a time throughout 2017.

A descent into the Maelstrom reminded me of Journey to the Center of the Earth by Juels Verne, since I have been listening to an audio book of it.

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Brian's Little Library

 

Children's Encyclopedia vol. 5

Since Ive owned a 10 volume set of these old encyclopedias since my childhood, but never read them, I thought I would read one volume a year in 2017 I started volume 5.

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Brian's Little Library

 

The Kingdom of God Is Within You by Leo Tolstoy

I was hearing about the concept that Christ is something within us, and in searching for more information I found this book by Tolstoy... I've been meaning to read something by him.

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eBooks

 

Du Pont Dynasty by Gerard Colby
 - Behind the Iron Curtain

I chose this book to read as part of Banned Book Week. It took me a little longer than a week to read though... (over a month).

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eBooks

 

A Ride in the Neon Sun by Josie Dew
 - A Gaijin in Japan

This is the third book by Josie Dew, where, in this instalment she cycles in Japan. I thoroughly enjoyed the first two but this one weighs in at 690 pages and I feel Josie waffles on a lot in this one without seeming to get anywhere. By the time I'd finished this book and turned to the next I decided enough was enough.

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Brian's Little Library

 

Protocols Of The [Learned] Elders Of Zion

I'd heard about The Protocols mainly from the likes of David Icke and I think it was when I then looked into them that I leaned that they were preceded by 'Dialogue In Hell Between Machiavelli and Montesquieu' by Maurice Joly, which is why I read the Dialogue first. The general consensus is (if you read the Wikipedia page that is) that the Dialogue precedes The Protocols, and this is based on the dates associated with their respective publications, but some others dispute this.

Having now read these documents back to back my impression is that The Protocols precedes the Dialogue. My reasoning for this is admittedly simplistic but it is that it seems the author of the Dialogue took The Protocols and imagined Machiavelli being the voice behind them; the imagined dialogue used to convey 'his' reasoning for them as he explained them to Montesquieu, since the actual Protocols don't have any one person's voice as such, although they are being read out to an audience, the Jews; the Elders of Zion.

The tone of voice I imagined from each document was similar (although perhaps that was my doing) with Machiavelli and the Protocols orator (at first) justifying them because the people they were to be inflicted on (ie everyone else) lacked the brain cells and the wherewithal to behave any "better". I say 'at first' because upon reaching the final few Protocols (there are 24) we reach some reasoning for them beyond a desire to control the masses. That reasoning is that the masses need controlling; there are far too many basic folk who would it seems ruin things for everyone else, certainly the elite of the elite, the Elders as it were.

From this final given explanation I don't condone the chosen method of dealing with the issue it portrays, but I accept it as a method; it seem like accepting politics to keep a system in place that benefits the majority. I would just like to think there are better ways, more loving and compassionate ones; but that would involve everyone pulling together, rather than a Chosen few to pull the strings.

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eBooks

 

The Dead Sea Scrolls by J. M. Allegro

A little 'Pelican Book' from 1958 that found its way into my collection.

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Brian's Little Library

 

The Bin Ladens by Steve Coll

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Brian's Little Library

 

Adrenal Fatigue Diet by Eva Hammond
 - Reset your Energy, Balance your Hormones and Boost your Serotonin, Dopamine and Oxytocin

A 133 page "pamphlet", 3/5ths "science", 2/5ths recipes. This was one of a number of Kindle/e-books I got for free via Amazon.

If you really want to get your head around how the adrenal glands work then the first part of this book might help, but ultimately if you develop a healthy sleeping routine, a healthy diet (plenty of fruit and vegetables) free from processed food and sugar, caffeine and alcohol, and you get a good amount of exercise and partake in a splash of yoga (whilst minimising excessive stress) you'll be well on your way. Or you can spend an hour reading through this book, which is pretty much how long it took me.

As for the recipes, I find you can modify many recipes for things you might fancy, and make them healthier if they aren't quite so to begin with.

Perhaps the title should be Adrenal Fatigue-free Diet?

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In the Beginning Was the Spirit by Diarmuid O'Murchu
 - Science, Religion and Indigenous Spirituality

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Medieval Anglesey by A. D. Carr

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The Hunger Games - Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins

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Dialogue In Hell Between Machiavelli And Montesquieu by Maurice Joly

Translated by Not Bored

Downloaded to eReader

Notes:

p.15 "Machiavelli: ... In a little while, there will be disorder everywhere: inexhaustible rhetoricians will transform the deliberatory assemblies into oratory jousts; audacious journalists and unbridled pamphleteers will attack the person of the sovereign every day, will discredit the government, the ministers, the men in positions of power. . . .

Montesquieu: I have long known these reproaches that are addressed to free governments. They have no value in my eyes; abuse does not condemn these institutions. I know of many States that have long lived in peace and under such laws: I pity those who cannot.

Machiavelli: Wait: in your calculations, you have only accounted for social minorities. There are gigantic populations riveted to work by poverty, as they were in the past by slavery. What importance do all your parliamentary fictions have to their happiness? In short, your great political movement has only ended in the triumph of a minority privileged by chance, as the ancient nobility triumphed through birth."

eBooks

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I Hope I Shall Arrive Soon and other stores by Philip K. Dick

Downloaded to eReader

I came across a definition of reality by sci-fi author Philip K. Dick, and found it existed in what was labelled as novel by him 'How to Build a Universe That Doesn't Fall Apart Two Days Later'. The definition states: "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away."

Since I had recently acquired an eReader I sourced a copy of the book, but found this 'story' to be more a short article, or reflection on novels, by Dick... by Dick, but on the nature of reality nonetheless. Dick had discovered that one or more of his earlier novels, and random situations in his own life had strange correlations with parts of the Bible, namely the book of Acts. Dick comes to the conclusion that time is an illusion and somewhat cyclical it seems, and that the book of Acts, as his example, outlined a sequence of events that are reoccurring.

eBooks

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The Silk Roads by Peter Frankopan

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The Hunger Games - Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins

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An Introduction to Yoga - Annie Besant

Downloaded to eReader

I learned a little about Annie Besant after watching an episode of Young Indiana Jones, or rather the extended features included in the DVD set, and since I had been dabbling in the physical art of yoga, this book, or transcript of a speech given by Besant, seemed like it might be interesting to me. However, it turned out to be nothing about downward-facing-dogs, but quite enlightening indeed.

eBooks

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Climbing Mount Improbable by Richard Dawkins

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Brian's Little Library

 

The Goldilocks Enigma by Paul Davies

If you like reading books about quantum mechanics, the possibility that we may live in a multiverse or simulation, or ever ponder time travel, this is a great book. Given its topic I found it pretty easy to read - not too much to grapple with compared to others about particle physics -, and thought-provoking.

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Brian's Little Library

 

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

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Travels in a Strange State by Josie Dew

In this, Josie's second instalment, she travels across America. I read the first book of her travels last year (2016).

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Brian's Little Library

 

Can We Trust The New Testament? by John A. T. Robinson

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Brian's Little Library

 

Religio Medici and other works by Sir Thomas Browne, edited by L. C. Martin

From this title I read:
 - Religio Medici
 - Hydriotaphia with The Garden of Cyrus
 - Christian Morals

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The Stations of the Sun by Ronald Hutton
 - A History of the Ritual Year in Britain

It's a good book to dip into to research particular holidays, but a bit of a slog to read from cover-to-cover.

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Ten Technologies to Fix Energy and Climate by Chris Goodall

Another book* that thinks we can fix climate change with a bunch of solutions when the obvious one is to look at population. The problem with trying to technology ourselves out of supposed situations is that they cost us, and with the case of climate change they add to the problem while the solution is sought.

See 'Meat, a benign extravagance' which I read in 2016.

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The Israelites by B.S.J. Isserlin

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Brian's Little Library

 

We by Yevgeny Zamyatin

I rarely read/listen to audio books, but since I read 1984 by George Orwell (back in 2014) and I discovered this audio book of the comparable dystopic novel 'We' by Russian author Zamyatin, I let it play. Similar to 1984 is centres the story around a main character and his love interest, or rather, in We, he discovered love and ends up being ruled by his heart; an alien situation for him being a rational-minded chief mechanic of the soon-to-launch Integral, for which his seductress wants to get hold of and bring about a revolution.

Youtube: https://youtu.be/ifWZOSMMeHAbuy from Amazon.co.uk

 

Pyramid of Secrets by Alan F. Alford
 - The architecture of the Great Pyramid reconsidered in the light of creational mythology

I happened upon the 2003 edition of this book (there is a 2016 version but I don't know what the differences are). I've also read other books, namely Gods of the New Millennium (in 2007), and The Phoenix Solution (in 2008). In this one specifically about the Great Pyramid, I appreciated Alford's thorough examination of the inner layout of the Great Pyramid of Egypt, even if I don't agree with his ideas. I wrote a little more about it here: https://bmhonline.wordpress.com/2017/01/21/handles-in-the-great-pyramid

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Brian's Little Library

 

Nature's Ways by Ruth Binney
 - lore, legend, fact and fiction

Notes:
p.118 Quoting the Charter of Rights for Herbalists, 1543: "It shall be lawful to every person ... having Knowledge and Experience of the Nature of Herbs, Roots and Waters ... to practise, use and minister in and to any outward Sore, Uncome wound, Apostumations, outward Swelling or Disease ... according to their Cunning, Experience and Knowledge in any of the Diseases, Sores and Maladies beforesaid ... without suit, vexation, trouble, penalty, or loss of their goods." See here: www.saveourherbs.org.uk/History.html

p.119-120 Coffee: "is has now been confirmed that caffeine is a chemical cousin of modern asthma medicines (xanthines). It has also been proved to boost brainpower, increase stamina during exercise, increase sperm count and even lower the risks of colon cancer and diabetes. On the downside... Hear palpitations, raised blood pressure and heightened anxiety are ... problems caffeine can aggravate."

p.120 Tea: "Green tea is especially rich in antioxidants, whose role in the body is to mop up the free radicals that can harm the heart and may trigger cancer. Antioxidants may also lower levels of harmful cholesterol."

p.122 Garlic: "...it is one of the most effective plants in preventing everything from infections to cancer - and for treating problems with circulation, digestion and respiration... The Egyptians... [gave] workmen constructing the Great Pyramid ... a daily ration by the pharaoh Khufu to endow them with strength and prevent them falling ill."

p.158 "Cats at sea - some superstitions linking cats and storms... Cats can start storms through magic stored in their tails ... If a cat licks its fur against the grain a hailstorm is coming; if it sneezes, rain is on the way; and if it is frisky, the wing will soon get up." P.188 "expect rain (maybe) if ... A cat washes over its ears."

p.160 "Peacock feathers shouldn't be brought into the house. They are said to bear the colours of the seven deadly sins. When God created the bird, so the story goes, the sins were jealous of its beauty. As punishment, God removed the yellow eye of envy, the green eye of jealousy, the red eye of murder - and all the rest - and put them into the peacock's tail. The sins themselves followed, in their vain attempt to regain the eyes they had lost."

p.166 "The yew [tree], long revered to protect against evil, and life after death, is a tree widely associated with burial grounds, and many English yews are thought to be older than the churches they grow by."

p.172 "An old country custom to ensure that a child had good eyesight was to collect rainwater during a thunderstorm, steep parsley in it and then use the liquid to bathe the eyes of a newborn."

p.176 "...the miraculous Glastonbury thorn, believed to have sprung from the staff of Joseph of Arimathea who, on his mission to Britain, planted it in the ground on Christmas Eve."

p.195 "Astronomically, the most significant part of the constellation [of Cancer - the Crab] is a cluster of stars named the Beehive. The Chaldeans called this the Gate of Men and believed it to be the entrance taken by souls leaving heaven to take up residence in human bodies."

p.198 "Placed directly opposite Cancer in the zodiac, Capricorn was the other Gate of the Gods, and the one through which souls passed on their journey from earth to heaven." [link]

p.223 "Guarding the Egyptian underworld was Ammut, part hippopotamus and part lion, with the jaws of a crocodile. Specifically stationed next to the scales of judgment [Libra?] in the hall of Osiris (the king and judge of the dead) she ate the hearts of those who were burdened with sin. Her role was similar to that of the Greek Cerberus, the three-headed dog who guarded the gates of Hades."

p.215 "The Chupacabra, an alleged predator of South America whose name is Spanish for 'goat sucker', is said to drink the blood of various farm animals, leaving their corpses in the fields with incision wounds on their necks. Some people claim to have seen the creature in remote areas, and it is often described as having 'spines' down its back." The 'sucking of blood' and incisions on the necks reminds me of cattle mutilations I read about in topic of alien abductions and UFO sightings. [link]

p.224 About Quetzalcoatl.

p.226-7 "Although fierce, the unicorn was believed to love purity - and so could be tamed by a virgin. Symbolically its greatest enemy was the lion ... [to capture a unicorn] a beautiful, naked virgin had to be tied to a tree in order to attract the beast."

p.231 "To the Japanese, dragons are by no means totally benign. Some are believed to demand the annual sacrifice of a virgin."

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Because some of my reviews on books have increasingly included vast notes and quotations, I would like to point out that I do recognise that these books are protected by the Copyright act. I put my views online to share with other internet browsers in the hope that little snippets of information may be useful and my views interesting. I have always included links to the online retailer Amazon and encourage anyone that finds any title particularly interesting (thanks to what I have to say) to either buy a copy or borrow one from their local library.

 

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