What is Barry reading?

I received a very kind email asking me for my opinion about a book. She also commented about making an advanced order of that book but wanted to know if I planned to review it. Sadly, that book isn’t on my radar. Having said that, I am going to suggest something that many publishers will not like. Don’t pre-order your books.

I can understand the temptation to pre-order a book, believe me I’ve been there. That being said, give the reviewers a chance to review the books.  I think you’ll get a better bang for the buck knowing what to expect before spending your hard-earned cash.

Check out a few reviews and make an informed choice…

What am I reading?

  1. Seeing Beyond Illusions by David Cowan
  2. The Essential Guide to Possession, Depossession, & Divine Relationships by Diana Paxson
  3. The Flame in the Cauldron by  Orion Foxwood *finished review pending*
  4. The Infinite Wisdom of the Akashic Records by Lisa Barnett

I love you guys … stay warm … and don’t pre-order.

Expedition Unknown S01E06 Viking Sunstone

There was a time when I was very critical of Josh Gates and his methods. I really didn’t “get” his humor and I thought that it may not be taken in the best way by the various cultures. As time rolled by, I gave his show “Destination Truth” a chance and learned to love it. Gates has a new show, “Expedition Unknown’, which is very much like “Destination Truth”. In this episode, “Viking Sunstone”, Gates explores the myth of the Viking sunstone. Having some “Norman/North-man” lineage, I enjoyed every minute of it. I would love to have been on this adventure, though I may have passed on the herring.

Expedition Unknown S01E01 Amelia Earhart

The show is vintage Josh Gates. If you liked Destination Truth, you should like Expedition Unknown.

Expedition Unknown chronicles the adventures of Josh Gates as he investigates iconic mysteries across the globe. Gates begins by interviewing key eyewitnesses and uncovering recent developments in the story, then springboards into a fully immersive exploration.

Review: Letters from the Big Man

Letters From the Big Man (Includes Bonus Documentary)

letters from the big man

A government hydrologist Sarah Smith (Lily Rabe) travels into the wilderness and encounters an unusual friend.

I really enjoyed the scenery, although some of it seemed to be stock wilderness footage. The music was pleasant and peaceful, and it worked perfectly with the movie. On the downside, at no point did I believe that Sarah Smith was alone “IN” the wilderness. You just don’t wake up in the morning, while camping, looking “Hollywood” perfect.

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She would measure things and then flick the sample away like trash … just didn’t seem like the character. There were those moments when I laughed as she daydreamed. I couldn’t help but think there is an example of wasted tax-payer dollars. Instead of burning calories investigating the area, I’ll jump rope. She chopped wood like she was about to fall on her face. She just didn’t come off as a country girl.

I really wanted to hit the fast-forward button and it took all of my will-power to resist the urge. That being said, I wouldn’t want to miss seeing her feeding a squirrel while dressed in a towel — repeatedly.

bigman021215a

“You must see us, feel us, with your heart.”

All in all, I thought the movie was about average. It had it’s moments, but I couldn’t get into the main character.  I’d give it 3 stars out of 5.

 

Robb Demarest to head up Syfy’s “Haunting: Australia”

robb

With the future of Syfy channel’s Ghost Hunters in doubt, the Syfy channel is picking up an eight part show titled “Haunting:Australia”. Fans of paranormal shows will recognize the team leader, Robb Demarest, from his time on Ghost Hunters International.

So far, there is no news of when or if Ghost Hunters will return for another season. Having said that,”Haunting:Australia” will start on Syfy March 24 at 10 p.m..

Here is the Australian teaser…

Review: The Science of Ghosts

science of ghostsThe Science of Ghosts: Searching for Spirits of the Dead

by Joe Nickell
Paperback: 412 pages
Publisher: Prometheus Books
ISBN-10: 1616145854
ISBN-13: 978-1616145859

Barry’s score 2 stars out of 5…

Product description:
Are ghosts real? Are there truly haunted places, only haunted people, or both? And how can we know? Taking neither a credulous nor a dismissive approach, this first-of-its-kind book solves those perplexing mysteries and more–even answering the question of why we care so very much.

Putting aside purely romantic tales, this book examines the actual evidence for ghosts–from eyewitness accounts to mediumistic productions (such as diaphanous forms materializing in dim light), spirit photographs, ghost-detection phenomena, and even CSI-type trace evidence. Offering numerous exciting case studies, this book engages in serious investigation rather than breathless mystifying. Pseudoscience, folk legends, and outright hoaxes are challenged and exposed, while the historical, cultural, and scientific aspects of ghost experiences and haunting reports are carefully explored.

The author–the world’s only professional paranormal investigator–brings his skills as a stage magician, private detective, folklorist, and forensic science writer to bear on a topic that demands serious study.

My thoughts:
Usually, I love a solid skeptical investigation of the paranormal. I really want on honest, non-biased, approach to an investigation. Sadly, Joe Nickell is so biased against paranormal phenomena that he can not give a fair, unbiased, evaluation of data gathered in his investigations. Almost everything has an over-simplified explanation, dreams, hallucinations, daydreams, etc..

Nickell repetitively quotes himself which comes off as an exercise in both ego and a desire to sell his other books. He cherry picks historically debunked cases and covers them as if he had solved some great enigma. Nickell’s intellectual dishonesty is that of a stage magician ( btw he is a stage magician ). He struts, poses, and waves his magic wand producing nothing.

While there is some good material in the book, I can not recommend The Science of Ghosts: Searching for Spirits of the Dead unless you are the most hardcore of skeptics. In the end, I give this book 2 stars out of 5.

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