Monday, November 30, 2009

Book Review: Tricks of The Mind by Derren Brown

Tricks of The Mind is an insight into the sleight of hand, distractive, memory and psychological techniques employed, so effectively in his performances, by the British mentalist and showman, Derren Brown. Whilst this book examines the way in which people's perceptions, attention and beliefs can be manipulated for magical effect, it is not, however, a instructive manual on how to perform such tricks as predictions, disappearances and feats of memory.

In Tricks of The Mind, Derren Brown very skillfully and often humorously examines psychology, illusion and how people can be made to believe things that are not real in a way that hints at how these techniques are used in his shows. This book effectively lets us into the realm of Derren Brown and shows us what a wide range of ideas, techniques and fields of expertise are required to perform such acts.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Books to be Reviewed: Mercury Falls by Robert Kroese

Thanks to Robert Kroese for sending me a copy of his book, Mercury Falls, for reviewing. This is a comic novel about the adventures of a rogue angel at the brink of the apocalypse.

"Years of covering the antics of End Times cults for The Banner, a religious news magazine, have left Christine Temetri not only jaded but seriously questioning her career choice. That is, until she meets Mercury, an anti-establishment angel who's frittering his time away whipping up batches of Rice Krispy Treats and perfecting his ping-pong backhand instead of doing his job: helping to orchestrate Armageddon. With the end near and angels and demons debating the finer political points of the Apocalypse, Christine and Mercury accidentally foil an attempt to assassinate one Karl Grissom, a thirty-seven-year-old film school dropout about to make his big break as the Antichrist. Now, to save the world, she must negotiate the byzantine bureaucracies of Heaven and Hell and convince the apathetic Mercury to take a stand, all the while putting up with the obnoxious mouth-breathing Antichrist."

A review will soon appear here, until then readers can order a copy here - Mercury Falls.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Book Review: Thoughts, Life of a Suicide by Dillan Kane

This self-published book, by author Dillan Kane, is an attempt to look at understanding suicide and how those that are left behind deal with the issue. The author is the brother of someone who committed suicide at a young age and someone who has worked in the mental health system with those who have suicidal tendencies.

Whilst this book is written from the heart, I found that the author focuses only on his own feelings and does not really provide an insight into how suicidal people feel or what makes them feel that way. While this publication is about dealing with the aftermath of suicide some understanding of what causes it is relevant. Disappointingly, the story of the author's brother is not really explored properly and I feel that if it had, a more interesting and meaningful book would have been the result.