BOOK REVIEWS
By Sandy Gostel Perkins


 

WHEN HOLIDAYS ARE HELL
A Guide to Surviving Family Gatherings
By Marianna Caplan, M.A.
One thing we all have in common - the desire for a warm, loving, fun-filled holiday season. That is the wish, but for many that is not the reality. Even in the closest of families, holidays can bring reminders of old wounds, present us with current uncomfortable situations, or be unable to fulfill our deep-down expectations and wants.

Marianna Caplan, a counselor and cultural anthropologist, has written WHEN HOLIDAYS ARE HELL to address these issues, and to give excellent recommendations for handling our own behaviors and reactions to our family gatherings. During one of her radio programs she made reference to her 'holiday survival kit'. A caller wanted to know where he could get one, as he was having a very lonely holiday. Upon investigation Ms. Caplan discovered there were no books that offered practical ways of interacting with family and friends at the holidays. So she wrote one.

What do you do when your finances don't match the 'want' lists? What if you are recently married, divorced, or in a relationship not favored by your family? What if the plans are not going your way? What about that alcoholic uncle? Or perhaps you've just come to terms with your own sobriety. There are many issues that can conflict with the "Peace on Earth, Goodwill to Men" expectations.

With great insight, many practical suggestions, and gentle guidelines to introspection, WHEN HOLIDAYS ARE HELL, hits home with its message. To quote from an interview, "The real point of the holidays is to be with your loved ones, to be compassionate to others, and to find something sacred, meaningful, or God-like amidst the mundane. All the rest of the pomp and circumstance is simply an attempt to remind human beings of what the holidays are really about."

Add a gift to your list this year - a gift for yourself - WHEN HOLIDAYS ARE HELL- so yours won't be!!

This book is published by Hohm Press, and is available in Paperback for $7.95 by calling (800) 381-2700.

 

THERE'S NO PLACE LIKE HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS
Stories, Poems, and Family Fare
Edited by Sandra Haldeman Martz
Many of you are familiar with Sandra Haldeman Martz's popular book "When I Am Old I Shall Wear Purple". When I heard she had a holiday book out, immediately I requested a review copy. I knew it would be delightful, and it is.

It was one of those rare summer rainy days in California. I curled up by a win-dow with the book. As I read the stories, recipes and collections of stories, I could almost smell the holiday fragrances and see the soft-colored glow of holiday decor. The submissions are by a variety of authors ranging in age from 3 to 93. Each has a common theme- heartwarming memories and holiday delights.

Publishers Weekly called THERE'S NO PLACE LIKE HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS "a charming selection of stories, poems and anecdotes relating to the traditional holidays of Christmas, Passover, and Thanksgiving". And there is an added treat - the sweepstakes included in the book - four free round-trip tickets to bring the winners home for the holidays. Great gift idea!!

This book is published by Papier-Mache Press and is available in Soft Cover for $9.95 at your local bookstore.

 

THE MESSENGERS
A True Story of Angelic Presence and the Return to the Age of Miracles
By Julia Ingram and G.W. Hardin
Nick Bunick's life was going along a great path. He had a family who loved him, friends who respected him, and a successful business. Enter the angels! And his life hasn't been the same since.

The angels have given him insight and guidance in his own life, as well as messages that he knows he is to share with the world. When THE MESS-ENGERS was first published, Nick held a spiritual symposium near his home. Over 1000 people attended. He asked how many of them had angelic experiences. Over 500 raised their hands. Since that time many more have written to him with stories of experiences that are now happening to them.

Nick believes that God's message is to embrace His laws. He states that they are simple and pure. We are being asked to embrace universal compassion, love and live in truth.

Because of past-life regression sessions, Nick believes he was present during the time of Christ in the person of the Apostle Paul. The transcripts of those interviews are included in the book. He tells of his struggle in coming to terms with all that was happening to him. He shares the manifestations that others around him experienced simultaneously. Nick believes he is destined to bring the message to the world. The angels have told him that through the years the original teachings of love and compassion by Christ have been altered to appear as teachings of guilt and fear. He and others are now receiving teachings with potential to usher in a world united by spiritual leadership instead of political, military, religious or commercial leadership.

This book was published by Pocket Books and is available in Hard Cover for $20.00 at your local bookstore.

 

THE ANGEL AND THE FROG
Becoming Your Own Angel

A Spiritual Fable
By Father Leo Booth
Forward by Gary Zukav
What do you say when the voice of the Almighty whispers to you in the form of a sweet tale; one that floats into your existence on the wings of an angel?

Well in my case, you don't SAY anything. You become quiet. You cooperate with "the process." That is how the many animals of Olde Stable Farm were able to learn from the tiny angel who came to help them understand.

This is my first experience with Father Booth. An experience that almost didn't happen. I knew a message was near. I thought that I just wasn't getting it. Through a series of unusual events, the book, ANGEL AND THE FROG, remained hidden from my conscious awareness. Then last night this mystery resolved itself and the book came out of hiding and into my heart, just when I needed it most!

This is a simple fable with a message of love and relationship, of connectedness and letting go. Our heroes are a diverse group of animals, reptiles, and birds. They live in an environment of community, with all its advantages and pitfalls. They each operate from a place of hidden pain, the kind of pain we all might find inside ourselves. Cedric, the frog, is feeling hop-less'. Betsy, the resident pig, hides her lack of self-worth behind her bulk. The chickens cluck their gossipy news, totally oblivious to the harm it causes.

Then, enter the angel, Christine, who has lessons of her own to learn. The author, Father Leo Booth, is a person who has been there. His own battle with and recovery from addictions, coupled with his spiritual quest and compassionate heart, places him in a unique position to offer healing to others.

What a delight it was for me to discover Father Booth. If you haven't already encountered this man, THE ANGEL AND THE FROG is a good place to start.

Published by SCP Limited, this book is available at local bookstores in soft cover for $12.95, or by calling (800) 284-2804.


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