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Simon & Schuster Australia
Review by Rosamund Burton
The Secret was translated
into 46 languages and became a global
bestseller selling millions of copies
worldwide. So I expected Rhonda Byrne's
second book to be heralded with a great
fanfare. But instead it has arrived very
quietly, finding prominence in small new
age outlets, rather than blazing its way into
bookshops with huge window displays and
massive amounts of publicity.
It was word of mouth that made The
Secret so phenomenally successful, and it
took about six months, so perhaps it is just
a question of time before The Power is on
One of the comments many people
made about The Secret was that it
explained the law of attraction, but it
contained very little information about
how to use it effectively. The Power is
certainly not a "how to" book, and is
written in the same style of The Secret, but
it does give many more practical guidelines
for magnetising what you want and living
a life of health, wealth and happiness.
Like its predecessor it is a beautiful
hardback book. But rather than that old
style looking paper and symbols, it is
much more colourful, interspersed with
full page orange and yellow illustrations,
and brightly coloured painted sketches
on many of the pages. Similar to The
Secret it feels like a precious gift.
The first chapter, 'What is the Power?'
explains that love is the force that creates
in our lives. The reason many of our lives
are not all we would like them to be is
because we always have a choice and often
we choose to focus on the negative, rather
than on love.
The message is not new. At times,
it reminds me of some of the writings
of Esther and Gerry Hicks, particularly
The Law of Attraction, but it is another
reminder that each one of us is a co-
creator of his or her reality. It made me
aware of instances where I often, almost
subconsciously, assumed a negative, rather
than a positive, outlook. But I also realised
how much of this information I have
assimilated and am practising every day.
The book is interspersed with insightful
quotes from famous figures such as
Mahatma Gandhi, Albert Einstein, Abraham
Lincoln and the Buddha. The early
chapters of the book are general and then
followed by more specific information
on money, relationships, and also health,
and each chapter concludes with Points
of Power -- a synopsis in point form of the
The Power also stresses the importance
of gratitude and appreciation and explains
that the commandment, "Love your
neighbour as yourself " is actually the secret
to life, because whatever you give to others,
whether its encouragement, support,
kindness or gratitude, comes back to you.
This is an inspirational little book, and
a beautiful reminder of the power and
importance of love.
Review by Nicola Silva
wonderfully comforting about the concept
of soul angels -- beings of serene and
pure intent -- being available to guide us
in our daily lives. We live in times of such
uncertainty and rapid change that the
touch of the divine, no matter how light,
feels uplifting. Jenny Smedley's book Soul
Angels is both comforting and inspiring.
Jenny Smedley, who lives and works
in Somerset, UK, has a rather unusual life
story. At a time when Smedley was suffering
deep depression and recurrent nightmares,
she saw the popular American singer Garth
Brooks on TV and immediately felt a
mystical connection to him. Amazingly, her
JUST ACROSS THE RIVER
One thing that never goes out of
fashion is a good song, and when it comes to melodic
masterpieces, Jimmy Webb has created countless.
They're the kind of songs that breeze past you but
always have some lyrical or sonic twist that turns your
head, making you want to revisit them and delve deeper.
Take the superb Wichita Lineman -- deep, beautiful
imagery coupled with elongated notes held over
sympathetic passing chords to give the aural perception
of the repetitive distance of the endless line of highway
poles. What a song!
On this album he revisits his songbook and is joined
by a plethora of peers and fans, including the likes of
Willie Nelson, Lucinda Williams, Mark Knopfler, and Linda
Admittedly, the definitive versions of a number of
these songs have already been recorded, particularly
by Glen Campbell, but there's enough camaraderie and
respect paid by his fellow musicians to give these tracks a
fresh, but respectful, outlook.
With the production favouring a choice of staple
country instruments such as pedal steels and mandolins,
the sound is immediately evocative of wide open spaces
and miles of room for thought and reflection.
A suitable glimpse of the talents of one of modern
music's finest songwriters, Just Across The River is a
celebration of both his singing and songwriting talents,
which is well worth grabbing hold of simply to view a
snapshot of his incredible body of work.
A fine retrospective of a great American songsmith. ●
After suffering two strokes and having
to relearn how to speak and move with some measure
of control, this new album from former Orange Juice
frontman, Edwyn Collins, must have been a real labour
Given his personal circumstances, the album is
surprisingly uplifting and positive, despite the many
references to his physical condition and what must have
been going through his mind these past few years.
The opening title track kicks things off in joyous
Motown mood and it's clear from the outset that this is
no dark offering.
Though it's lyrics are questioning, as are those
of the next track, What Is My Role?, the music is the
straightforward, no frills pop that he has managed to peel
off for decades.
There are guests aplenty, including Roddy Frame,
whose exquisite acoustic guitar is featured on the
beautiful All My Days, Johnny Marr and a couple of
members of Franz Ferdinand. Gladly, they all apply the
simple, supportive mindset of their own work, so there is
no question of this becoming an all star jam.
The playing throughout is pleasingly understated but
energetic, and Collins' trademark burr seems relatively
unaffected by his illness.
An album of optimism and determination, it is no
better exemplified than by the line "I will always be lucky
in my life And I will find a way to get there" (Searching For
A remarkable and delicate piece of work.
CLOSE UP VOL 2: PEOPLE AND PLACES
A pleasing aspect of today's veteran
artists is their willingness to present their hits and misses
in new formats, as opposed to simply allowing badly
compiled Best Of recordings to be unleashed on the
So, if you're a Suzanne Vega fan, you get to enjoy new
performances of songs you've grown to love, and if you
just want a sampler of her work, it's presented for you
here in a flowing style.
Which is a very good thing when you're talking
about songs that have been recorded over 25 years,
with production values, lineups and instrumentation all
changing to suit the times.
Volume One was love songs and now she delivers
stripped back versions of songs about people like Luka
and Zephyr and places like Liverpool, New York, and
With the reduction in musical accompaniment -- the
songs mainly come across as pure solo recordings but
there is much subtle support sound to embellish -- her
lyrics come more into focus.
And, along with her quietly conversational vocal style
and her sweet and simple melodies, her ability to get into
characters' skins is one of her great strengths.
As a singer/songwriter, she has the knack of capturing
people, places, emotions, and situations with amazing
Hearing these songs again in such a thematic context
serves as an impressive reminder of her wonderful
In her search for answers Smedley
underwent regression therapy. This led
her to a past life where, as a young woman
named Madeleine, she had been married
to Brooks, only to be cruelly parted by
disapproving relatives. The young man was
sent to war; Madeleine, heartbroken and
distraught later took her own life.
It says something for Smedley's
persistence that she overcame numerous
obstacles to meet face to face with Brooks.
She says that their reunion, after 300 years,
brought healing and changes to them both.
She went on to be a columnist, radio and
TV presenter and author of a number of
books. Smedley is now well known for her
work in past life therapy.
The belief in reincarnation is quite
widespread in the world, particularly
in Eastern religious traditions. Even in
the West, where reincarnation was once
considered rather mysterious, perhaps
even self indulgent, the research of Brian
L Weiss, MD, and others like him have
shown that regression therapy can be
beneficial, particularly where symptoms
cannot be explained medically.
Soul Angels has a number of fascinating
case studies where past life trauma
manifests as unusual phobias or chronic,
incurable pain. Particularly intriguing is the
case of Georgina, a successful corporate
executive, who suffered from debilitating
migraines all her life. A regression led her
to a past life in medieval England where
she had been a village medicine woman
and midwife. It was a rather primitive and
isolated existence, as the villagers feared
Georgina's talents and abilities.
When one of the women she was
assisting died in childbirth, her angry
husband later attacked Georgina, bashing
the left side of her skull with a rock.
Georgina claims that healing the trauma
associated with this brutal death also
healed her migraines.
No one could explain Sally's phobia
of leaves, which had plagued her since
childhood. Under hypnosis she was able to
tap into a particularly horrific memory of
being on the run from a group of attackers
in a forest. She hid in a leaf-filled gully
but was unable to escape the inevitable.
Accessing this memory brought her
freedom from this unusual phobia.
Such stories lead one to wonder what
lies unrevealed in our own past. The history
of our world contains wars, plagues and
numerous personal tragedies. The other
side of the coin is the possibility of tapping
into the knowledge and expertise gained
in happy, successful lives. Smedley argues
that past life recall is the key to reuniting
body, soul and mind.
"We are masters and makers of our
own destiny. We are much more powerful
than we ever know," she writes. I find
this viewpoint rather appealing.
MUSIC REVIEWED BY PHIL BENNETT
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