Showing posts from March, 2013

Malala Yousafzai's new book 'I am Malala'

'I hope this book will reach people around the world, so they realise how difficult it is for some children to get access to education. I want to tell my story, but it will also be the story of 61m children who can't get education. I want it to be part of the campaign to give every boy and girl the right to go to school. It is their basic right.'

The next episode in the amazing life of Malala Yousafzai is about to occur with the 15-year-old Pakistani girl reportedly signing a £2mbook deal with UK publisher Weidenfeld & Nicolson, part of Hatchette UK.

And this instantly recognisable event from her life is just one reason why the new book, to be known as I am Malala is destined to be a best-seller:
'In October last year, gunmen boarded a school bus and asked: "Which one of you is Malala? Speak up, otherwise I will shoot you all". When she was identified, a gunman shot her in the head and the bullet passed through her head, neck and embedded itself in her s…

Poetry sculpted from the Living Words of people with dementia

The words of people living with dementia are being turned into poetry by actor and writer Susanna Howard.

As part of of program taking place in the UK, Howard develops a trusting relationship with people with dementia and their families before recording their words for poetry.

'Living Words works with individuals who have dementia. Once a relationship is established through active listening, every word spoken is written and recorded,' the Living Words website explains.

'These words are then sculpted in to poems before being put in to individual books. The books are kept with each person and can help further bond the person with their carer and help a relative see the identity of their loved one; who they are now.'

The results are described as 'poignant and profoundly emotional' by The Independent. Here are two examples:

Number 65
This chair – it’s so dirty feeling
I’m not in a running order
Where do you go to when you
Go out?
I keep out of walking mode

Book review: Faith in Action by Meredith Lake

About two years ago I started working with HammondCare, having been unfamiliar with the name and the story behind it.

I was aware of a Sydney suburb called Hammondville which often appeared in traffic reports, something like - 'traffic is banked up all the way to the Hammondville toll'.

I was also very familiar with Arthur Stace, the man famous for writing his one-word sermon, Eternity, around Sydney and beyond hundreds of thousands of times from the 1930s to 1967 when he died - at Hammondville.

I had always thought his life one of Sydney's great stories and a powerful touch point of faith and culture, recognised also by those who have written about him in poems and songs, created paintings, produced documentaries and operas and even featured his word in the millennium fireworks and the Sydney Olympic opening ceremony.

What I have discovered, as is revealed in Faith in Action HammondCare, is that the story of Rev Bob Hammond and the charity he founded is just as quintesse…

Book review: Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

After reading the disturbing psychological thriller Gone Girl, reassurance that the world is not totally devoid of reason is immediately found in the Acknowledgements. [Click cover image to purchase]

Author Gillian Flynn, after creating a world of dysfunction, proceeds to thank her family and friends who sound remarkably normal and nice.

Maybe it was 'author's guilt' being appeased - borrowing from the foibles of her family in her fiction but wanting to distance them from the story of Amy and Nick and Go and Desi and the Elliots.

Or perhaps it is a further play with reality. The reader having been led through the deepest places of a deception possible in the human psyche, is deceived one more time into thinking Flynn comes from the perfect world.

After all, as the cover tag reads, 'there are two sides to every story...'.

The fact that this conjecture is even occurring, tongue-in-cheek as it may be, shows the power of Gone Girl in creating characters and plot line w…

Books News: Killing Jesus by Bill O'Reilly and Easter new releases

Please click on any book cover to purchase or pre-order Having killed Lincoln and Kennedy in previous books, US Fox News anchor and best-selling author Bill O'Reilly has announced his next book, Killing Jesus to be published on September 24.

As the calendar approaches Easter, there will no doubt be the usual flurry of new Jesus books released and discussed but ironically the timing of O'Reilly's new title is aimed at the biggest bookselling season of them all, Christmas.

And while O'Reilly as an author is relatively unknown outside North America, as are his books, he still ranks as the world's sixth richest author grossing $24 million last year.

But Killing Jesus may well gain him a broader, global audience and no doubt that is part of his motivation in writing the book.

His now tried and true formula is to allow co-author Martin Dugard to do the pain-staking work of research around the killing of a famous historical figure while he comes on board to write history…

Book review: Meeting Cain at the Cross Roads - Saramago vs Young

Cross Roads by William Paul Young was a Christmas present for my 22-year-old son and while he takes time to get around to it, I've leapt in for the purposes of review.

Cain by Jose Saramago had earned a 'staff recommendation' tag at Better Read than Dead in Newtown, Sydney, and so I took their lead and bought it on a lazy Sunday afternoon.

For a time I read them side by side, a literary juxtaposition:

Cross Roads by a US Christian novelist famous for writing the bestseller, The Shack, who offended some religious sensibilities in the process. Events in his new novel are based inside someone's being, located in his home state of Oregon.

Cain by a Nobel-prize winning, deceased Portuguese author also known for offending religious sensibilities and being a self-confessed communist, atheist and pessimist. Events in this his last book are seen through the eyes of the first child of Adam and Eve and occur at the beginning of time and space.

Both tell a message of God, but a dif…

James Dobson focuses on fictional future in new book Fatherless

Author of Dare to Discipline, Bringing up Boys and about 30 other titles has written his first fiction book, Fatherless, with co-author Kurt Bruner.

Released last month, Fatherless is a dystopia likened by the publisher, Faithwords (Hatchette) to 1984 and Brave New World.

Conservative US media personality, Glen Beck, likened the book to Uncle Tom's Cabin, Harriet Beecher Stowe's classic that contributed to the start of the American Civil War and the end of slavery in that country.

While interviewing Dobson recently, Beck held up both Uncle Tom’s Cabin and Fatherless, and said, 'This, uh, many believe, is this. This will wake people up.'

Wake people up, in Dobson's words, to the 'redefining of life' through a growing normalisation of abortion, euthanasia and infanticide.

The book opens in 2041 with a 'volunteer' submitting to an ending of life or 'transition' for the good of family and country. It continues by exploring this future where the…