Book review: The Dovekeepers by Alice Hoffman


The DovekeepersThe Dovekeepers by Alice Hoffman

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

One of the most mesmerizing reads ever. What an amazing story lines and how they come together. The characters are full of depth, the way they relate to God and the plots are simply beautiful! When some men like to think they are the stronger gender: think again as it is not that clear cut actually. One of my favorite books of all times. Other than the Bible, this was the first book that made me cry ever.

More info can be found at the author’s website>>>

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Book Review: Destined to Reign


Destined to Reign: The Secret to Effortless Success, Wholeness, and Victorious LivingDestined to Reign: The Secret to Effortless Success, Wholeness, and Victorious Living by Joseph Prince

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

When I became a follower of Christ it was after a long journey of exploration and discovery. In that time but more importantly after that time I could not help but reading the Bible and it seemed like the same book that I had been reading (the Bible that is) several times was completely new. Especially the New Testament, Paul’s letters were speaking to me in a way like never before. I saw this image of Christians being completely set free by the blood of Christ, a new covenant of grace similar as in the times prior to the time when Moses received the Law on Mount Sinai.

Yet as a fresh Christian there were still many questions to be answered and looking around me, what I understood to be great Christians, were seemingly not liberated at all. Arched backs walking under a heavy weight of judgment of self and others. But why? Did Jess not say on the cross “it is finished”? While it easy to understand that as the last thing one says before he or she dies, I understood it as the completion of the deal (covenant) between the Father and the Son. The latter would die for our sake so that we could be justified “for and and for all” and be reconciled with God the Father again.

It is pretty tough if, on the basis of what some may want us to believe, have lost your salvation, before you had a decent chance to enjoy it, so as to work your booty off to come under His grace again. It kept going through my mind over and over again? If Jesus came to set the captives free, what have we actually been set free off. Sure I knew in my mind that I understood it differently than let’s say may traditional religious Christian people I was speaking to and had been speaking in the past. But who was I to think that I knew better.

Joseph Prince, in destined to reign, outlines what it means to live under grace, very much the way I understood it initially. I remember so well how I once asked: if Christianity is really all about these works; what is the meaning of Christ death on the cross? Christ said “it is finished” and “”my yoke is light”, is this whole creeds and deeds mentality not a bit arrogant? Is it not implying or in effect saying that Christ’s death on the cross was insufficient, and therefore we need to add some of our own goodies to the mix, so as to really finish it? I remember the look of my conversation partner and we moved on to a different subject. I went back into the Bible to find out what I had misunderstood so much. And I could not find it no matter what I tried.

Joseph Prince’s book has been an incredible encouragement in getting an even better understanding of what it means to live under grace, to live in Christ, and along the way it has helped me strengthen my faith, my hope and much more. It restored so much of the initial joy I felt when becoming a follower of Christ. Moreover, I have so enjoyed the fresh perspectives on reading and understanding our Bible, New AND Old Testament. Thank you so much Joseph for producing a book that does not just affects the mind but changes the heart along in a lasting way by leading us straight back to and in Christ. And I see His unmerited favor showing up in my life again and again and again.

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A Personal Message from Ian Wishart: “Breaking the Silence, The Kahui case”


Is it not a bit over the top that a social media protest could lead to a book being banned from the stores?  Yet that is exactly what has happened to “Breaking the Silence” the latest book of investigative journalist and best selling author Ian Wishart.

Republished with permission from Ian Wishart.

A PERSONAL MESSAGE FROM IAN WISHART
“BREAKING SILENCE: THE KAHUI CASE”

 As you may be well aware, I have written a book on the Kahui twins case called “BREAKING SILENCE”. Its release is now imminent, but I cannot give you an exact date for obvious reasons.

(to read today’s special news release and some extracts, visit http://briefingroom.typepad.com/the_briefing_room/2011/07/breaking-silence-news-release.html)

Normally we alert our customers well in advance of publication so they can get a guaranteed pre-order, but we didn’t because at that stage the Inquest was still holding hearings.

Unfortunately, we were required to give bookshops a month’s notice in advance of the new title, and one of those shops told a journalist at TVNZ and the rest, as they say, is history.

The end result is that major bookstores have chosen to ban this book from their shelves in response to a hastily organised internet protest and misinformation campaign organised via Facebook. It is not hard to see why when you see messages threatening to burn bookstores down.

YOU HAVE A RIGHT TO MAKE UP YOUR OWN MIND ABOUT THIS BOOK.

Some of you reading this have known and read my work dating right back to The Paradise Conspiracy on the Winebox frauds, 16 years ago. Most of you will be familiar with the kind of investigative work I do and my meticulous attention to detail. This book is no different. It does not “exonerate” or wipe clean Macsyna King’s past, instead it paints a very grim picture of lives far worse than Alan Duff’s Once Were Warriors. It shows you, by following Macsyna King and Chris Kahui’s life journeys, how intergenerational child abuse can manifest.

It also contains fresh information on the case, which I have now formally provided to Counsel Assisting the Coronial Inquest.

Most bookshops are not stocking this book, and to get it you will need to buy direct from our website, http://www.investigatemagazine.com/newshop/contents/en-us/d21.html

 The “answers” that the Facebook protestors claim to want are in BREAKING SILENCE, yet by their actions they have prevented ordinary New Zealanders from easily exercising their right to read this book – you cannot just walk into your nearest PaperPlus, Take Note, Warehouse or other retailer and buy this book.

We are printing $20,000 worth of books and giving them away in low decile areas, as a way of making them more accessible to those who can’t afford them. A portion of the proceeds will also go to charity. These initiatives were planned before Christmas when we began this project, and are not a response to the publicity. But for all these things to happen we actually need people to buy the book, and read it, discuss it with their friends and family.

We need your support, more than ever, to break through this boycott and make sure the information in this book is heard.  The revelations in BREAKING SILENCE are too important to be brushed under the carpet because of an ill-conceived Facebook protest.

Again, the website for a guaranteed pre-order is  http://www.investigatemagazine.com/newshop/contents/en-us/d21.html

FINALLY, have a look at what media commentators have said about BREAKING SILENCE:

“I am curious to read Macsyna’s story. In my work I have read the stories of men and women who have killed children, although admittedly not in a book published by a seasoned journalist. Usually court transcripts and other official reports and the most interesting have always been when the accused themselves ‘find their voice’.”  – Merepeka Raukawa-Tait

“At the risk of becoming the second most hated woman in the country, I will say that when Breaking Silence: The Kahui Case is published, I intend to buy it and read it. I, for one, want to hear what the Kahui twins’ mother Macsyna King has to say. Why would I not?

To suggest, as some in the media have, that Wishart should have turned his back on the chance to gain some insight into a case that, five years down the track, continues to generate such strong public interest and emotion, is frankly hypocritical. Telling stories in the hope of illuminating an issue is what we do. I would have done the same thing in his place.

“I’m inclined to the old-fashioned view that you need to read a book before you can decide if it’s rubbish. There’s a chance we might actually learn something, which I would have thought would be a good thing given our horrifying child abuse statistics” – Tapu Misa, NZ Herald

“Boycotting the Macsyna King book sets a dangerous precedent…Information, written and spoken, is vital for us to understand our society. We learn nothing about how to stop or reduce child abuse by not listening to what Macsyna King has to say. We can make our own decision as to whether we agree with her or not, Trying to ban this book is equivalent to burying our problems like a dog’s bone – saving them up for later. We should man-up and face them head on.

“We should read the book before we judge it – and then voice our own criticism.” – James Murray, TV3

“As the wilder reaches of the boycott campaign site reveal – allegedly extending even to death threats against Ms King – it can also be a rallying point for the angry mob who seem to derive self-worth and importance by seeing their own often strident and often barely coherent views validated in ‘print’. In this milieu, indignation and gossip tend to be the currency of the day. Gut reactions and rumours spread like wildfire. Facts and measured logical response matter little.” – Otago Daily Times

“I think he’s got an ulterior motive in writing this book and I do believe it’s to tell New Zealanders to get them to understand what actually happens in these families. I need to read it just as other New Zealanders need to read it because this is a major problem in our country.” – Christine Rankin

“Banning books is an extreme step that seems more in keeping with the Middle Ages when churches and the state controlled the public mind with fire and torture.” – Nelson Mail

“They become censors. Who, I suspect, haven’t read the book yet. What’s next to be pulled from the shelf because 40,000 people join a social media protest?” – Ashburton Guardian

Please support our efforts to get this book well and truly into the public domain by purchasing a copy, http://www.investigatemagazine.com/newshop/contents/en-us/d21.html

(You can also post a cheque if you prefer for $38.99 to

HATM Magazines Ltd
PO Box 188
Kaukapakapa 0843
AUCKLAND

With major chains refusing to stock it, however, the only way this story will be told is with your direct support. If each of you reading this buys a copy, and you find it informative and important, as we believe you will, then your reviews to others, your comments on talkback or in letters to papers, will help form a critical mass that gets this book back into bookstores. If you think this book is rubbish after you’ve read it, you are free to say that as well. I will take it on the chin.

All I ask is that you give this book – labelled by one critic as the most controversial book in NZ history – a fair chance. Read it, then judge it, then judge me.

Thanks,

Ian Wishart, Friday 22 July 2011

Comment

Now go and order your copy.

The Book of Books, a history of the King James Bible


The Book of Books: The Radical Impact of the King James Bible 1611-2011The King James Bible has often been called the Book of Books both in itself and in what it stands for. Since its publication in 1611 it has been the best selling book in the world, and many believe, had the greatest impact. The King James Bible has spread the Protestant faith. It has also been the greatest influence on the enrichment of the English language and its literature. It has been the Bible of wars from the British Civil War in the seventeenth century to the American Civil War two centuries later and it has been carried into battle in innumerable conflicts since then. Its influence on social movements – particularly involving women in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries – and politics was profound. It was crucial to the growth of democracy. It was integral to the abolition of slavery and it defined attitudes to modern science, education and sex. As THE ADVENTURE OF ENGLISH explored the history of our language, so THE BOOK OF BOOKS reveals the extraordinary and still-felt impact of a work created 400 years ago.

Review

This is a book written by a novelist at heart that is pretty clear. It is great to read so eloquently separated the history and development of the King James Bible and the role of Christianity itself as well as its impact and influence on our Western culture and language.  I love it how this non-fiction historic account of the King James Bible grabs you, if only because of the way the story is told, as if you were reading a novel.

What an amazing job Melvin Bragg did.

The Book of Books: The Radical Impact of the King James Bible 1611-2011>>>

Dave Dobbyn: The Songbook


Dave Dobbyn: The Songbook Today I picked up a copy of Dave Dobbyn, The Songbook: A collection of Dave Dobbyn songs in a hard cover book. But… not just the other songbook.

The Book is divided in two halves; the first half contains a short story detailing the background of each song from Dobbyn, along with photographs and the lyrics. The second half of the book holds the scores for piano and guitar for every song. Dave Dobbyn: The Songbook is a beautifiul and innovative songbook, and in its dedication to the actual music, a tribute to one of New Zealand’s best known artists.

More about it can be found by clicking on the picture.

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Celebrating 400 years King James Bible


In 1611 the first version of what we now know as the King James Version of the Bible was completed. To celebrate this event Thomas Nelson, one of thew oldest publishers in the world and one of the largest publishers of the King James Bible has set up a celebratory website to commemorate this event.

Celebrate 400 years of the King James Bible

I have to say what a great site with some wonderful resources and and beautiful gallery page leading us to the history of the bible and the King James version in particular.

A definite recommendation and thanks for this great site. Follow the banner or go here >>>

Michael Pokocky’s: One More Day: support a friend


From the pen and type writer of my good friend Michael Pokocky if you like what you read go see the rest here >>> and don’t forget to vote hey.

ONE MORE DAY

If France had anything to offer it was this: Love. And as long as we were about that we could get through anything.
As it turned out, France became a catalyst for our love, and romance took over our lives right from the beginning. It was a happy time and the beginning of a lifetime love affair with the people, places and things of France.
It was a place where I found that love could hold off my demons just as my writing did.
And for Anna, her love affair with her camera, and with black and white photos, would now take her free spirit to places within herself she never knew existed. She had found the key to her inner world. She blossomed there in the landscape of the inner world, and the kids felt it.
Never had I been so sure of anything. France did that to you. Anna felt the beat of her heart and followed it; I felt the call of my inner voice to write another book. But before I did I wanted to experience France — I wanted to taste it; to embrace it; to know one thing for sure, before I wrote.
We lived for a while in Paris and it was a cold winter. When the spring came we made excursions to different regions of France, some for a day; some for a few days or more. Then one day we found a small village in Provence. Its name struck me like a bolt of lightning: Julliard; and I felt like I knew this place. I had dreamt once that I was writing in a small village café. It was just a dream, but now, standing there, I wasn’t sure anymore; it seemed to me that my dream was a premonition. I’d like to have thought that. Then everything would make sense. So I believed in this and I was the better for having done so.
How ironic. All my life I dreamed of going to France. Every time I saw a picture I felt so passionate; and when I saw a black and white photo of France I was exhilarated. The photos without colour were mystical, mysterious.
We found a pension which was quaint and inexpensive, but we liked it and would have paid anything to stay there. Our bedroom had a large window and a fireplace. We slept with the window open, which reminded us of our little cottage by the sea in Chester, and we were warm together under a large down duvet. The fresh air was invigorating, but we were tired, so it quickly filled our lungs with sleep, and we dreamed with our bodies locked together and our hearts at peace.
I got up quickly the next morning and pulled a small table in front of the window and then I wrote by candlelight in my journal overlooking a valley in the dark blue of dawn. I saw how the light played differently than it did on the ocean in Chester, and the mountains back home. I knew we had found something special here; that’s how I started the day and that specialness sustained me throughout our stay there.
We found a courtyard the next morning with an archway made of old stone and underfoot the ground was paved with cobblestones. There was a florist, a bakery and a café. The building had shutters for the windows painted in a faint weathered blue, much like the colour of Annabella’s eyes, and below each window was a coloured wooden flower box. In the early morning sunlight the place took on a luminous quality, which Anna found interesting enough to photograph.
The freshness of the place, the smell of coffee, flowers spilling out into the courtyard, and the smell of French pastries delighted our senses. We sat quietly at a small round table in the far corner of the courtyard where we could be shaded from the sunlight and have a commanding view of the comings and goings of the locals.
It was there that I realized that I had found home. Now whatever that meant to me at that time was purely speculative, but I would see that my early instincts, which I trusted, were in fact a reliable barometer of my state of mind. I could not see myself anywhere else; I was determined to stay and was looking for a way to broach the subject with Anna.
I wasn’t sure about Anna at the time, however she was taking pictures of the places we visited and talked incessantly about the place.
“I love it here. It’s wonderful, don’t you think Daniels?”
“Yes,” I said in an excited tone.
Neither of us were thinking of Marchbanks. We were thinking Julliard. Its calling was strong, and we let it get under our skin. By now we had made up our minds; we weren’t going back to Marchbanks. We went looking for a place instead.
It was a day of choices that would affect our future in a positive way – in an extraordinary way. We were young, and rich, and in love, and free. We had fallen in love with a place that would nurture us, take care of us, feed our spirits, and carry our imaginations on the wind. It was love that bound it all together; love of many faces, which I never forgot, and became a powerful theme and an inspiration for a novel.
The morning after we bought a home, I went outside on the terrace, and I felt for the first time a sense of belonging. My search was over; I was right where I belonged. I believe Anna felt the same way too.
It was dusk and I looked up at the sky; the same sky I looked up at when I lived in Chester; the same sky I looked up when I lived in Ste-Adele. There was a stillness that allowed me to hear my inner voice with great clarity and I lived my life thereafter by what I heard.
The air I breathed was fresh and it filled my lungs and energized me. I went back into the house and wrote while Anna and Thomas slept. The sunrise came and so did the words for the story I was writing. I was writing about Ste-Adele, and it was a beautiful morning in the story; I was lost in the story and when I finished I was famished. I drove into the village to the courtyard where I went every morning since arriving in Julliard, and the bakery smelled of fresh baked; the florist was putting out flowers; and the woman who owned the café, was roasting coffee beans. The combination of the aromas was a sensory delight. It felt right; I felt happy; it was my life, and I embraced it.
Soon the courtyard café would be busy with people coming and going. I was always the first to arrive. There was that strangeness there too like in Chester, and in Ste-Adele, and it surrounded me and I knew instinctively goodness would come to me. I banked on this by now in my life; the strangeness was my friend. I came to trust the strangeness and the goodness that always came, and that made me feel extraordinarily comfortable. I knew the place; the place knew me. And this knowing sustained me. I lacked for nothing, but I needed the strangeness every day. It reassured me in the beginning, that I had made the right choices. And in the end it comforted me when I could not find comfort from my demons that I had brought with me.
But there was love in France, and even more love in Julliard, and I never suffered the pain of despair and loneliness I once knew in Chester and Ste-Adele. I had conquered my illness and thought of a line I once wrote in my journal: the warrior laid down his sword on the rock, and the rock turned to marble, and he said, “This is my home.”
Meanwhile, back at home, Anna would rise around mid-morning. Thomas was already up, and like his father and mother, had the good sense, and the free spirit, to explore and invent a life for himself. Anna knew I’d be home for lunch, and then I’d go for a nap for a couple of hours in the afternoon.
There was chaos in the routine of our lives. We – me, Thomas, and Anna – were free spirits and we trusted our instincts. Each of us were on our own paths in our personal lives, but we lived together in harmony.
Dinner at the end of the day was a ritual, where we all came together and ate and talked about our day. During coffee afterward along with a nice dessert, which I brought home fresh from the bakery every day, we talked about our dreams and the adventures we would have and our work. It was always tied together: the dreams, the adventures, and the work we chose to do.
It was an incredible environment to live in, with three incredibly unique individuals, each with a dream, each full of love and happiness. When we went to bed each night, there was no doubt, that the strangeness that found me at the courtyard every day and brought goodness, was now in our home as well.
We loved our home. It was an old farm house that was bought from an old couple who dreamed all their lives to live in Paris. When they were young, and in love, they visited Paris often. They were very glad when we had offered to buy the old stone farm house and move to an apartment in Paris. We were happy for them and happy for us.
Anna immediately made plans to renovate the place and that was her work every day. I came and went, each time being careful not to step on, or trip over, some workman’s tools. Thomas was always watching. This was a great opportunity for him. He especially liked the stone mason. His name was Jacques, and he had taught Thomas that each stone had a life of its own, and that to be a very good stone mason not only required a gifted hand and a good eye, but also a third eye.
“What’s a third eye?” Thomas asked in wonder.
“Well,” said Jacques “It’s the ability to see the uniqueness of the true life of the stone; not the life one imagined it wanted to be, but the true life of the stone, and to anticipate its relationship with all the other stones. It’s like putting together a happy family.”
He couldn’t wait to tell us that story after dinner that night. When I heard the story it made me feel absolutely wonderful. The gentle nature of this mason, with the big hands, and a heart for telling stories to children that fired up their imagination. I spent some time getting to know him … found out he had fathered 12 children.
Thomas’s story made me feel like crying because it made him so happy and because Jacques had taught Thomas something real in a way that only he could. It was this love I always talked about or kept to myself and wrote about. I knew now another kind of love, and because it made my son happy I loved it even more.
Anna was lovingly and caringly restoring the old farm house which we named “SandHill.” It was a good project for her and it kept her busy during her pregnancy and afterward. She photographed the complete restoration in both black and white and colour film. This made for a unique artistic experience for her.
When I looked at the weekly log of photographs, sometimes I felt compelled to write some prose to accompany the photo that moved me at that particular moment. When Anna caught me doing it one day, she came up with the brilliant idea of travelling around Europe photographing buildings – architecture – and I would add the narrative. This would be a book project she wanted to do after the restoration; said it would give her a break and we’d have fun doing it. Prophetically she was right. We took the trip and produced a coffee table book of the best cafés in the world. It made Anna an overnight photographic celebrity, and me, well let’s just say it made me a household name.
Thomas would be starting school in the fall. The summer we spent in Julliard went by swiftly, and it was time to return to Ste-Adele, and to our beloved Marchbanks.

If France had anything to offer it was this: Love. And as long as we were about that we could get through anything.

As it turned out, France became a catalyst for our love, and romance took over our lives right from the beginning. It was a happy time and the beginning of a lifetime love affair with the people, places and things of France.

It was a place where I found that love could hold off my demons just as my writing did.

And for Anna, her love affair with her camera, and with black and white photos, would now take her free spirit to places within herself she never knew existed. She had found the key to her inner world. She blossomed there in the landscape of the inner world, and the kids felt it.

Never had I been so sure of anything. France did that to you. Anna felt the beat of her heart and followed it; I felt the call of my inner voice to write another book. But before I did I wanted to experience France — I wanted to taste it; to embrace it; to know one thing for sure, before I wrote.

We lived for a while in Paris and it was a cold winter. When the spring came we made excursions to different regions of France, some for a day; some for a few days or more. Then one day we found a small village in Provence. Its name struck me like a bolt of lightning: Julliard;

read the rest of the story here >>> and don’t forget to vote if you like it, and hey, spread the news!