Reviews Articles

‘Berlin to London: An emotional history of two refugees’ by Esther Saraga

23 January 2020 | by Marian Liebmann

Close-up of the book cover. | Courtesy of Vallentine Mitchell & Co Ltd.

One might think the market is flooded with books about and by refugees, but this one is an exceptional treat. It is a combination of a couple’s personal story (Wolja and Lotte) and a context reseached meticulously by their daughter, Esther Saraga.

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‘Gandhi the Organiser. How he shaped a nationwide rebellion: India 1915-1922’ by Bob Overy

23 January 2020 | by Andrew Rigby

A close-up of the book cover. | Courtesy of Irene Publishing.

Advices & queries enjoins us to live ‘in the virtue of that life and power that takes away the occasion of all wars’. But however well-intentioned we might be, our everyday lives are enmeshed within institutions and structures that sow the seeds of war. Furthermore, while we might be able...

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‘The Education of an Idealist’, by Samantha Power

09 January 2020 | by Reg Naulty

Close-up of the book cover. | William Collins.

In Australia, the word ‘idealist’ has connotations of inevitable failure. In the US, people are more accommodating. ‘It is perfectly reasonable to build castles in the air,’ they assure us, ‘you just have to put foundations under them.’ Although born in Ireland, Samantha Power’s family moved to the USA...

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‘Embodiment’, by Dinah Livingstone

02 January 2020 | by Frank Regan

The very last line of this celebratory collection of poems reads, ‘Thank you, Life!’ The fact that the poet puts the ‘L’ in uppercase suggests that she wants to personify life, to make it a person with whom one can relate. In the mystical vision of Saint John Jesus calls...

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‘Father Christmas and the Gift of Light,’ by Stephen Sayers (illustrated by Swea Sayers)

19 December 2019 | by Paul O’Kell

Close-up of the book cover illustration. | By Swea Sayers.

Dressed in cola red with a plastic face, Santa Claus offers commercial joy. The white-bearded old man of legend bestows gifts from teddy bears to computer fantasy worlds. This old tale – a fiction masquerading as fact for small children to believe – encourages parents to buy and buy, and already rich...

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‘21 Lessons for the 21st Century’, by Yuval Noah Harari

21 November 2019 | by Reg Naulty | 1 comment

Close-up of the book cover. | Courtesy of Jonathan Cape.

This book gives a serious assessment of the challenges facing our world. Its author, Yuval Harari, is a professor of World History at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. This work consists of twenty-one essays on a wide variety of contemporary topics.

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‘A Word from the Lost’, by David Lewis

21 November 2019 | by Margaret Heathfield

Close-up of the book cover. | Courtesy of Inner Light Books.

This fine book is both scholarly and approachable. The author sets out to explore James Nayler’s thought and theology and reflect on its relevance today, by contrasting it with later Quaker thought as shown in our books of discipline since Nayler’s time. He achieves his aim with aplomb,...

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‘No one is too Small to Make a Difference’, by Greta Thunberg

14 November 2019 | by Frank Regan

Close-up of the book cover. | Penguin Books.

The upcoming Christmas story takes place in obscurity. Bethlehem is the least, the smallest, of villages. Mary and Joseph are among the least of society. The baby is born into physical smallness and social insignificance. I am struck in these times by smallness. This small book (eighty pages) is by...

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‘Bridgebuilding’, by Alastair McKay

07 November 2019 | by Richard Seebohm

Close up of the book cover. | Canterbury Press Norwich.

This book was launched at St Ethelburga’s in the City of London. The church was rebuilt from the ruined shell that was left after the Bishopsgate IRA bomb of 1993. As a centre for reconciliation it claims four striking values: crisis as an opportunity for change; spiritual values into action;...

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‘Into the Depths: A chaplain’s reflections on death, dying and pastoral care’, by Rosie Deedes

31 October 2019 | by Nick Wilde

Close-up of the book cover. | Sacristy Press.

Rosie Deedes works in spiritual care at the Mountbatten Hospice on the Isle of Wight. She has also worked as a chaplain in prisons and at a university. She draws on that experience in this book, which, though not an easy read, is very readable.

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