Tag: Nonfiction

An Appeal to the World

An Appeal to the World: The Way to Peace in a Time of Division
Author: His Holiness the Dalai Lama with Franz Alt
Published: November 7, 2017
113 pages

Reviewed By: Jessica
Date Read: February 19, 2018
Jessica’s Rating: 4 stars

Book Description from Goodreads:


We have entered a time marked by division. Politicians call for borders, not inclusion. Economic inequality strains cohesion. Religion breeds violence. And yet the need for unity has never been more urgent, for the crises facing humanity are, increasingly, global. How do we move forward?

In this brief yet profound address to the entire world, His Holiness the Dalai Lama of Tibet reveals that we all hold the seeds of world peace within us: “I see with ever greater clarity that our spiritual well-being depends,” the Nobel Peace Prize winner writes, “on our innate human nature, our natural affinity for goodness, compassion, and caring for others.”

Already a major international bestseller, An Appeal to the World, the new book by one of the most revered spiritual leaders of our time, outlines both the inward and outward paths to peace, addressing a wide range of contemporary topics—from war, climate change, and materialism to meditation, universal ethics, and even neuroscience. Here is a small book that can truly change the world.

Jessica’s Review:

An Appeal to the World is literally a small book that gives quite the impact. It is 5×7 and just over 100 pages. It can very easily be held in your hand. I will admit I knew basically nothing about the Dalai Lama before reading this. I won a copy in a giveaway on Goodreads. I was glad to win it and I learned some things. Among them the Dalai Lama loves laughing and has to have humor in his life! He gives his thoughts on many topics including world peace, gender equality, religion, secular ethics, and even his opinions on Donald Trump (he is not a fan.)

What he says makes sense and it causes you to think. I would love to meet him and hear what he has to say and see what makes him laugh! He loves laughter, and laughter can be the best medicine.

There are also sections that talk about the Dalai Lama’s life, which makes a great introduction to those such as myself who are unfamiliar with him.

The only critique I have to offer is that I was under the impression that this was a book written by Dalai Lama. That was why I entered the giveaway. It is actually an interview where questions are asked and he gives his answers. I was disappointed in that.

Thank you Goodreads for my copy. It was a pleasure to read.
An Appeal to the World is recommended.

About His Holiness the Dalai Lama XIV (Bio from Goodreads):

Jetsun Jamphel Ngawang Lobsang Yeshe Tenzin Gyatso (born Lhamo Döndrub), the 14th Dalai Lama, is a practicing member of the Gelug School of Tibetan Buddhism and is influential as a Nobel Peace Prize laureate, the world’s most famous Buddhist monk, and the leader of the exiled Tibetan government in India.

Tenzin Gyatso was the fifth of sixteen children born to a farming family. He was proclaimed the tulku (an Enlightened lama who has consciously decided to take rebirth) of the 13th Dalai Lama at the age of two.

On 17 November 1950, at the age of 15, he was enthroned as Tibet’s ruler. Thus he became Tibet’s most important political ruler just one month after the People’s Republic of China’s invasion of Tibet on 7 October 1950. In 1954, he went to Beijing to attempt peace talks with Mao Zedong and other leaders of the PRC. These talks ultimately failed.

After a failed uprising and the collapse of the Tibetan resistance movement in 1959, the Dalai Lama left for India, where he was active in establishing the Central Tibetan Administration (the Tibetan Government in Exile) and in seeking to preserve Tibetan culture and education among the thousands of refugees who accompanied him.

Tenzin Gyatso is a charismatic figure and noted public speaker. This Dalai Lama is the first to travel to the West. There, he has helped to spread Buddhism and to promote the concepts of universal responsibility, secular ethics, and religious harmony.

He was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1989, honorary Canadian citizenship in 2006, and the United States Congressional Gold Medal on 17 October 2007.

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK

The Asylum for Wayward Victorian Girls

Author: Emilie Autumn
Published: June 22, 2017
392 pages

Reviewed By: Kim
Kim’s Rating: 4 stars

Book Description from Goodreads:

Two young women, living centuries apart, both accused of madness, communicate across time to fight a common enemy… their doctors.

“It was the dog who found me.”

Such is the stark confession launching the harrowing scene that begins The Asylum for Wayward Victorian Girls as Emilie Autumn, a young musician on the verge of a bright career, attempts suicide by overdosing on the antipsychotics prescribed to treat her bipolar disorder. Upon being discovered, Emilie is revived and immediately incarcerated in a maximum-security psych ward, despite her protestations that she is not crazy, and can provide valid reasons for her actions if someone would only listen.

Treated as a criminal, heavily medicated, and stripped of all freedoms, Emilie is denied communication with the outside world, and falls prey to the unwelcome attentions of Dr. Sharp, head of the hospital’s psychiatry department. As Dr. Sharp grows more predatory by the day, Emilie begins a secret diary to document her terrifying experience, and to maintain her sanity in this environment that could surely drive anyone mad. But when Emilie opens her notebook to find a desperate letter from a young woman imprisoned within an insane asylum in Victorian England, and bearing her own name and description, a portal to another world is blasted wide open.

As these letters from the past continue to appear, Emilie escapes further into this mysterious alternate reality where sisterhoods are formed, romance between female inmates blossoms, striped wallpaper writhes with ghosts, and highly intellectual rats speak the Queen’s English.

But is it real? Or is Emilie truly as mad as she is constantly told she is?

The Asylum for Wayward Victorian Girls blurs harsh reality and magical historical fantasy whilst issuing a scathing critique of society’s treatment of women and the mental health care industry’s treatment of its patients, showing in the process that little has changed throughout the ages.

Welcome to the Asylum. Are you committed?

Kim’s Review:

I got this book for Christmas and I was immediately drawn to the cover! Of course, I’m all about asylums so there’s that, and the cover art is gorgeous! It did start out a little slow, but when it got going, boy howdy did it get going! I love the way that she broke down the thoughts in Emilie’s head to try to capture the issues of mental health. And apparently this book is biographical so Emilie Autumn the author has dealt with these very problems. Emily (with a y) is a fascinating character that I wish I could learn more about. I felt like I missed a lot of details that would have been helpful, but I’m too shallow to get them . . . if that makes any sense at all. That’s the only reason I gave this book 4 stars. There were times that I felt a little lost. Other than that, I loved the story, I found it interesting and engaging and it stayed in my head long after I put the book down. Overall, this was a great read; a little bit of creepy, a little bit of history, a little bit of crazy and it all came together into an awesome story! Not a great book for teens, but really great for more mature audiences! 😉

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK

**BONUS!!!**  If you are a fan of coloring books, Emilie Autumn created one!

Description from Amazon:

Enter the world of the Asylum with 23 original illustrations hand-drawn by Emilie Autumn herself, just waiting for YOU to bring them to life with color!

Devotees of Emilie Autumn’s bestselling gothic fantasy novel, The Asylum for Wayward Victorian Girls, will recognize the iconography of the Asylum world, from keys, gears, and clocks to the famous spiked gates, teapots, corsets, striped stockings, and, of course, rats!

The circular mandala style is designed to stimulate your creative brain whilst calming those voices in your head when they get just a bit too loud.

These exquisitely detailed designs are printed on one side only to allow you to easily remove the pages for displaying your art. Following each coloring page is a double-sided lined note page on which you are invited to record the wild journeys your mind went on whilst you were coloring.

Whether you color as a relaxation technique or as a wake-up call to your inner artist, Emilie invites you to collaborate with her and escape into the Asylum with this adult coloring book suitable for Plague Rats of all ages.

• 23 original coloring pages
• 23 double-sided lined note pages
• Durable, glossy cover and binding
• Dimensions: 8.5” x 8.5”

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK