Sharp Stick

Truth

This is a book review I wrote and published for Blogcritics. The book is True to Life, Why Truth Matters by Michael P. Lynch ( ISBN 0262122677). It’s not in the Library in Winnipeg, and it’s one of the few books I’ve bought lately.

Values & Discernment

I read a short religious book called “Discernment” (“Discernment, The Art of Choosing Well” by Pierre Wolff, 2003, Liguiri/Triumph, Liguiri Publications, ISBN 0-7648-0989-X) this summer. It tries to present the methods of decision-making taught by St. Ignatius in 1533 in a modern context. The issue St. Ignatius faced was how to make decisions that favour …

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Self-Help Books

Self-Help books on psychology, personal growth, and spirituality must be profitable for publishers and booksellers, because there are thousands of them. They vary in quality, and they don’t come with any consumer warnings or ratings.

Connerie

“Une connerie” is a French term, and it’s pronounced like the famous Scottish actor’s name. It’s a vulgar term for an idiotic idea. It also translates as crap or dogshit, or a term for a stupid, possibly dirty, joke. Pierre Trudeau caused a stir when he used the word publicly to comment on the idea …

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Sleeping with Aliens

Wendy Kaminer’s book, Sleeping with Extra-Terrestrials, The Rise of Irrationalism and the Perils of Piety is interesting. She says that her objective is to write against irrationalism but I see her book more as an examination of how the New Age is becoming, in effect, a minority religion in America. (On July 19, 2004 I …

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Snapping

The first edition of Snapping was published in 1978, which was the year of mass suicide of cultists at Jonestown, Guyana. While authors Flo Conway and Jim Siegelman did not predict such an event, their book was on the shelves at the right time. Snapping, America’s Epidemic of Sudden Personality Change was not about cults …

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Five Stages

During a recent conversation, the question of the stages of grief came up. I wasn’t sure if there were supposed to seven stages or five. The five stages of grief are Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression and Acceptance, in the system suggested by the Swiss psychiatrist Elizabeth Kubler-Ross, in her 1969 book On Death and Dying. …

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