These Thy Gifts

These Thy Gifts ISBN: 9781503199880, CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, an e-book by Vincent Panettiere.

The story line actually enfolds the lives of a number of interesting individuals – a dedicated priest, his mother and taxi driver father, a mob ‘sub-boss’, his beautiful wife, her daughter and later grandson, the ‘top mobster’, a monsignor, a bishop and numerous other characters, many quite significant to the story as it progresses through some fifty plus years. Steven Trimboli, the priest lives a hard life made more difficult by his desire to ‘take his vows very seriously’. He ministers to the poor and the downtrodden by converting an old storefront into a church, aids the taxi drivers in a strike against their employers who are attempting to reduce their pay and worse for a young acolyte, he does not accept many of the suggestions offered by his superiors. Thus his activities not only often are against the will and desires of his monsignor and bishop, but are considered to be somewhat naïve and embarrassing as well. As a result of their animosity, he is provided with the task of building a new church under impossible conditions where he is brought into contact with powerful mobsters, has a one-time sexual relationship with the wife of one of the lesser ‘bosses’, enlists as a chaplain in the Vietnam War hopefully as a way of partial atonement, and discovers personally a case of sexual abuse in his own parish at a time when it is causing blatant headlines throughout the country. His subsequent actions again run afoul of the church dignitaries.

The author has provided a most thought producing and really quite riveting look at a subject that has raised a large amount of controversy not only within the church itself, but by the public in general. Yet he has provided this material not as condemnatory per se, but rather in an empathetic manner that can elicit provocative reader’s reaction(s). The book is extremely well-written, moves at a great pace, has nicely formed characters, is well edited and is strongly recommended for all of these reasons plus, in this reviewer’s opinion, the sensitive manner in which the controversial subject has been presented. Nothing has been ‘glossed over’ but a reader can make his/her own evaluation.

5* Well-written, compelling and sensitively presented story.

FUTURE HEALTH

FUTURE HEALTH ISBN: 9780984390049, Conundrum Publishing, an e-book by Dr. Jay Shetlin.

The book begins with a number of testimonials, a statement of the book’s intent, a disclaimer, a Preface that expands upon the book’s intent, an Introduction of further explanation and a text in five parts – Harrison I through V. (Harrison is the author’s son who survived meningitis only to suffer cerebral palsy but, with faith in God and holistic treatment, advanced gradually to a life of normalcy.) The five parts form loosely a structure upon which the author provides extensive listing of “Techniques for Advanced Living” that cover a multitude of individual factors. It begins with basic anatomy/physiology and expands to touch upon almost every conceivable aspect of the thoughts and actions that accompany and/or are part of the process of life and living. Each section is provided with a summary of the important material covered.

Discussion: The author has suggested a procedure of mental and physical action that can be of immense help to any individual and has done so in way that may easily be understood by any reader. In doing so, as a practitioner of Chiropractic, he has set forth a strong case for the practice and for adoption of a holistic approach to health, its attainment and maintenance. The discussion is most timely because of the final realization of the horrendous situation that has developed with overmedication and with the growing knowledge of the importance of, and increased need for, adoption of a more holistic type of medical treatment. A caveat must be suggested, however. From this reviewer’s understanding, a little clarification of the discussion of sleep and the importance of the REM (Rapid Eye Movement) cycle of sleep would appear to be helpful. As stated, it is “… the 5th level…” but it is NOT the “…deepest stage of sleep” and therefore the most helpful. Sleep’s five stages are – I and II those of ‘falling to sleep’, III and IV – the deepest and most beneficial, V (REM) is the last, often accompanied by dreams, and is just before awakening. The first episode of REM does first occur 70-90 minutes after falling asleep and then, as other cycles occur, REM repeats at, give/take 100 minute periods. Each REM cycle becomes longer as the night progresses and the deep sleep cycles decrease. Also it is this reader’s understanding that the Windsor study was conducted not by one preparing to graduate but by a graduate M.D. under aegis of Univ. Penn. Med. Sch. It is correctly cited as giving much credence to Chiropractic practice. Amusingly, different reports list different numbers of cadavers, 50 – 100 humans, 22 – 25 cats. One other somewhat less compelling feature of the presentation is that a sizeable number of references that are included for each chapter’s discussions are opinions rather than offering statistical support for the referenced item. However, the author does provide an excellent case supporting the burgeoning opposition to mandatory vaccination.

Summary: A most interesting discussion of myriad facets of life and living for the layman. No doubt it provides an excellent lecture. As a written presentation, however, judicious editing would have removed much of the repetition to give a more concise presentation and a little more attention to detail would have greatly increased the value of this otherwise thoughtful discussion.

3*        5* material provided, but flawed presentation.