Here is a selection of good books on highly controversial subjects.
Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People about Race, by the British writer Reni Eddo-Lodge, explores the links between gender, class and race in Britain and in other countries. It begins with a summary of the experience of black and Asian people in the UK, including the Atlantic slave trade, Indian soldiers in World War I, the Bristol Bus Boycott, the 1981-riots and Labour Party Black Sections. It also covers institutional racism in British society, white feminism, and definitions of class which only include white people.
According to Colin Grant, a writer for The Guardian, ‘Eddo-Lodge accurately takes the temperature of racial discussions in the UK’ and ‘this kind of book is not designed to delve beyond the headlines in order to draw lessons from the past’. Following the murder of George Floyd, the book became the first by a black British author to reach No. 1 on the Nielsen BookScan’s UK Top 50 book sales chart.
Thinking your best friend is ‘crazy’? What do you do when your wife kills herself? Is your child hearing voices? Every year more than one out of five American adults are diagnosed with some or other mental illness. Show Me All Your Scars: True Stories of Living with Mental Illness (Lee Gutkind) consists of true stories about the daily struggles of individuals. This book focus on bipolar disorder, PTSD, OCD, depression, self-harm, trichillomania (the urge to pull out your hair), and many other diagnoses. It vividly depicts the difficulties and sorrows, and sometimes, unexpected rewards.
The American writer and professor Roxane Gay’s Not That Bad: Dispatches from Rape Culture is an uncomfortable read. This anthology includes first-person essays from writers, including Gabrielle Union, Brandon Taylor, and Lyz Lenz. It tackles rape, assault, and harassment head-on, and addresses what it means to live in a world where woman must measure the harassment, violence, and aggression they face, and where they are ‘routinely second-guessed, blown off, discredited, denigrated, besmirched, and belittled’.
Now, this is a tough one. Personally, I’ve been following Ed and Lorraine Warren’s works since I can remember. They were American paranormal investigators and authors associated with prominent cases of alleged hauntings, poltergeist activities and demonic possessions. Ed (or Edward) was a demonologist and lecturer; Lorraine a clairvoyant and a light trance medium, who worked closely with her husband.
The Demonologist: The Extraordinary Career of Ed and Lorraine Warren reveals the grave religious process behind supernatural events and how it can happen to you. For over five decades they have been considered foremost experts on demonology and exorcism – with over 3,000 investigations to their credit. Well-known cases they were involved in, are the murders in Amityville, the ragdoll Annabelle, which was reportedly possessed by a demon, and a family tortured by poltergeist activity in 284 Green Street, Enfield, England. (The Demonologist is available on Loot.co.za for R313)
For those seeking more answers about life after death, then Journey of Souls, by Michael Newton PhD, might be the one. This book, considered to be one of the greatest spiritual books of our time, includes decades of detailed research about the metaphysical roots of our existence. Newton was a non-believer, but after thousands of client cases, he was able to build a working model of the afterlife, and an understanding of our connection to it.
When Dr. Michael Newton, a certified Master Hypnotherapist, began regressing his clients back in time to access their memories of former lives, he stumbled onto a discovery of enormous proportions: that it is possible to ‘see’ into the spirit world through the mind’s eye of subjects who are hypnotized or who are in a superconscious state. Clients in this altered state are able to describe what their soul was doing between lives on Earth. In this book, you can have a better understanding of how it feels to die, what you can see and feel right after death, the truth about our ‘spiritual guides’, and what happens to ‘disturbed’ souls. I had this book for many years on my bookshelf, read it a couple of times, loaned it to a friend, and never saw the book again. Like a family member once said: don’t loan your car to anyone, or your wife, or your books! It is available on takealot.com for R309.