Reviews Articles

‘The Silence Diaries’, by Jennifer Kavanagh

31 October 2019 | by Joseph Jones

Close-up of the book cover. | Roundfire Books

I should begin with an honest disclosure: I was duty-bound to read this short novel. The author had asked me to interview her as part of its launch, so it became a work task. Fortunately, it was no chore. I’m confident I would have read it anyway. Jennifer Kavanagh...

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‘Outgrowing God: A beginner’s guide’ by Richard Dawkins

17 October 2019 | by Reg Naulty | 2 comments

Close up of the book cover. | Penguins Book.

In its early pages, this reads like a book for children. But its author soon gets into his stride, and it becomes vintage Richard Dawkins: clear, vigorous, going in for the kill. Religion has nothing going for it; it is sheer superstition which can be explained.

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‘Can I Tell You About…?’ Four books by Liz Gulliford

03 October 2019 | by Hazel Nelson

Close up of 'Can I Tell You About... Forgiveness?' | Jessica Kingsley Publishers.

This groundbreaking set of books is a welcome addition to the literature on how to overcome negative aspects of children’s behaviour. It focuses specifically on developing children’s psychological strengths and I cannot recommend it too highly for parents, grandparents, teachers and anyone else involved with children developing positive...

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‘Pamphlet 39: The Language of Spirituality’ by Alan York

03 October 2019 | by Kitty Parsons

‘The author goes on to argue that a third experience of the necessary.' | Mark Rasmuson / Unsplash.

In The Language of Spirituality, Alan York sets out to examine the various ways in which we perceive the world, and the limits upon the language that is available to us to use.

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‘The Kabul Peace House’ by Mark Isaacs

12 September 2019 | by Reg Naulty

Close-up of the book cover. | Hardie Grant Books.

This book tells the story – and tells it well – of a house set up in Kabul, Afghanistan, by a community of volunteers pursuing nonviolence and equality. These volunteers were young; the originator, a medic called Insaan, seems to have been in his thirties. At the house they taught and learned...

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‘Sweetness of Unity: Three hundred years of Quaker minuting’ by Judith Roads

22 August 2019 | by Sue Glover Frykman

A close-up of the book cover. | Judith Roads.

In the preface to this book, the author writes that it is aimed primarily at those with some experience of Quakerism and who understand something about Quaker processes. Those interested in language or historical aspects of business English may also find nuggets of interest. Those who are, have been, or...

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‘Appeasing Hitler: Chamberlain, Churchill and the road to war’, by Tim Bouverie

01 August 2019 | by Reg Naulty

A close-up of the book cover. | Bodley Head.

What is of special interest to Friends in this story, so well told by Tim Bouverie, is the strong inclination to pacifism which existed in Britain between the wars, and the huge efforts of Neville Chamberlain to preserve peace. Bouverie writes: ‘The campaign against the arms manufacturers was continued by...

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‘Stop Being Reasonable: Six stories of how we really change our minds’, by Eleanor Gordon-Smith

FREE 25 July 2019 | by Reg Naulty

Close-up of the book cover. | Scribe UK.

At the end of anti-religious polemics, there is often the conclusion ‘since there is no evidence for religious belief, you shouldn’t have any – if you do, you’re irrational,’ as though that were straightforward. One is interested to find, at the end of her book about being rational, Eleanor...

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‘The Educated Underclass: Students and the promise of social mobility’ by Gary Roth

18 July 2019 | by Noël Staples

A close-up of the cover. | Pluto Press.

Having returned to bus driving in 1998, I became a member of ‘the educated underclass’. Simply put, I was educated above my job’s needs, yet economically unable to mix easily with equivalently educated – wealthier – people. There are growing numbers like me in Britain since the backdoor privatisation of UK higher...

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‘The Cambridge Companion to Quakerism’, edited by Stephen W Angell and Pink Dandelion

18 July 2019 | by Reg Naulty

Close-up of the cover. | Cambridge University Press

The big surprise in this book is that unprogrammed Friends number only about ten per cent of the world’s Friends. Kenya has the greatest number of Quakers, followed by the USA, and Bolivia. Kenya once had 1,500 Quaker schools, although some have been taken over by the government. Kenya, Bolivia,...

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