Reviews Articles

The Struggle for a Human Future: 5G, augmented reality and the internet of things, by Jeremy Naydler

06 May 2021 | by Jenny Dines

‘We are losing touch with our spiritual roots.’ | Detail of book cover of The Struggle for a Human Future: 5G, augmented reality and the internet of things, by Jeremy Naydler

One of the many consequences of the pandemic has been that we have become increasingly dependent on technology to connect with one another. I have found my smartphone and Zoom essential. But I have also been aware that this increasing interaction with technology may also impact on our lives in...

Read more

The Spymaster of Baghdad, by Margaret Coker

06 May 2021 | by Reg Naulty

Book cover and detail of The Spymaster of Baghdad, by Margaret Coker |

The spymaster of Baghdad is Abu Ali al-Basri, who was the head of counter-terrorism for the national intelligence agency in Iraq. His unit, the Falcons, had a spectacular record of success against Islamic State during the prime ministership of Nouri al-Maliki. Over the course of sixteen months, it stopped thirty...

Read more

The Denial of Death, by Ernest Becker, and Death: The end of self-improvement, by Joan Tollifson

29 April 2021 | by Neil Morgan

Book covers of The Denial of Death, by Ernest Becker, and Death: The end of self-improvement, by Joan Tollifson |

According to William Hazlitt in his 1827 essay ‘On the feeling of immortality of youth’, ‘No young man believes he shall ever die.  Death, old age, are words without a meaning, a dream, a fiction, with which we have nothing to do.’

Read more

How You Can Save the Planet, by Hendrikus van Hensbergen

22 April 2021 | by James Gordon

Book cover of How You Can Save the Planet, by Hendrikus van Hensbergen |

When young I read The Man who Planted Trees by Jean Giono, a visionary work from 1953. This was a decade before Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring, widely seen as having launched the environmental movement. I remember the exhilaration of reading about this man who quietly and single-handedly reforested his land,...

Read more

Epiphanies: Poems of liberation, exile and confinement, by Harvey Gillman

08 April 2021 | by James Gordon

‘This poetry is neither obscure nor banal.’ | Book cover for Epiphanies: Poems of liberation, exile and confinement, by Harvey Gillman

Some readers will know that Harvey Gillman, much-respected author and speaker, has always been a poet.

Read more

Dear Life, by Rachel Clarke

25 March 2021 | by Bob Lovett

‘What will survive of us is love.’ | Book cover of Dear Life, by Rachel Clarke

This book may change your thinking – it has done mine. It deals with life and death and the journeys of those who are terminally ill. And yet it is about so much more than that. It is joyful, sad, funny, compassionate and above all full of love, celebrating the gift...

Read more

The Assault on Truth, by Peter Oborne

18 March 2021 | by John H Hall

Book cover of The Assault on Truth, by Peter Oborne |

When the Truth and Integrity in Public Affairs committee was laid down by Meeting for Sufferings in 2004, it seemed the right decision. Broadly speaking, public affairs were conducted correctly by a civil service dedicated to ‘integrity, honesty, objectivity and impartiality’, and by politicians who, if they lied to parliament, resigned....

Read more

No Visible Injuries, by Sylvia Clare

18 March 2021 | by Daniel Clarke Flynn

Detail from book cover of No Visible Injuries, by Sylvia Clare |

The longer I live, the less I consider ‘growing up’ limited to childhood. This memoir by Sylvia Clare, of Isle of Wight Meeting, reminds me that the ‘growing up’ of our consciousness continues throughout life. This can happen in unexpected awakenings, when long-buried childhood shock bursts out, or in fond...

Read more

Patterns of Russia: History, culture and spaces, by Robin Milner-Gulland

18 March 2021 | by Reg Naulty

‘They conceived the light not as something that leads, but as beholding one of the emanations from God.’ | Book cover of Patterns of Russia: History, culture and spaces, by Robin Milner-Gulland

This is another of those ‘personality and place’ books which are now becoming common. In this book, the place is Russia. The country is well known as a place of three cities – Kiev, Moscow and St Petersburg – but its extent is better conveyed by three ports: Archangel, Odessa, and Astrakhan...

Read more

The Life That Never Ends by Quaker Fellowship for Afterlife Studies

11 March 2021 | by Patsy Freeman

'My own sense after reading this anthology is that it will serve to open hearts and minds.' | Book cover for The Life That Never Ends by Quaker Fellowship for Afterlife Studies

This is a delightful anthology of Friends’ experiences. For ease of reading, it is arranged under different headings: ‘As Death Approaches’, ‘After Death Communications’, ‘Near Death Experiences’, ‘Animals and Afterlife’, and there are also some miscellaneous experiences.

Read more