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Last change: June 7, 2006.

Requested reviews

Sometimes I get lucky and somebody asks me to review a book on dreams and dreaming. This page is reserved for such requested reviews.

Requested dreaming software reviews will get their own page as they usually need more space for screen images.

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Wanda Easter Burch, She Who Dreams. A Journey into Healing through Dreamwork
2003, ISBN 1-57731-426-3
Wanda Burch wrote a biography about her prolonged battle with breast cancer. She shares the events in her life, her emotional journey, but the added perspective of dreams makes this book especially interesting. Many times and in many ways Wanda's dreams played a crucial role in the whole process of dealing with the disease.

Fans of Robert Moss will get to read the original story of the existance of a life contract. Apparently we have a life contract, and Wanda had to negotiate a new contract in a dream to ensure that she would live on. It's an intruiging idea, and it reminded me of a dream I had where I thanked some invisible force for turning my fate around. I don't recall whether I had to negotiate for it though, and it doesn't necessarily say anything about the existance of a life contract. Still, it felt as if apparently my time to die hadn't yet come.

Regardless the grim main theme, this book shows how life gets so much more delightful thanks to dreams. Some chapters are simply wonderful to read. I think that both dreamers and cancer patients should read this book.

Visit the Wanda Burch website.

Wanda Burch, She Who Dreams

Marina Roseman Healing Sounds from the Malaysian Rainforest
1993, ISBN 0-520-08281-8
Detail of CD cover When you're involved with dreaming you probably know about the Senoi. In fact, a report by Kilton Stewart on the Senoi in the first half of this century is probably the sole reason that dreaming has become popular. Nowadays there are doubts about the accuracy of everything that is attributed to the Senoi. It's probably recommendable to distinguish between the fictitious Senoi known from dream literature and the real Senoi who live in Malaysia.

This book is about the world of the Temiar (a distinct group within the Senoi) and especially about their health and illness concepts and the role of dreams in curing disease. Dreams are the means through which songs are communicated to healers. These songs are then sung in order to help the patient.

I liked the book (and the CD) very much, as it shows a completely different concept of health and illness that makes you wonder about the Western concept. However, it is a very technical antropological study, so if you're looking for something to do a school paper on, this is probably not it.

Marina Roseman, Healing Sounds from the Malaysian Rainforest

For added fun I suggest you also try the companion CD for this book, featuring the healing songs. It's a separate buy and it's called the Dream Songs And Healing Sounds In The Rainforests Of Malaysia.

Dream Songs And Healing Sounds In The Rainforests Of Malaysia

John Locatelli Lucid Dreams
1997, ISBN 0-89716-711-2
If there's one type of fiction I generally don't like it's detectives. I don't like solving puzzles, especially as some detectives make up clues at the end of the book after you've gotten the solution.

Lucid Dreams is a detective where the leading characters are capable of having lucid dreams. You won't find anything really new on lucid dreaming here, but for many readers it will be a totally novel idea. I liked the idea of combining lucid dreaming with a detective and there were many parts of the book that I enjoyed reading. There is much romance in the book too, which comes back in many of the dreaming scenes. To my taste there's however little relationship between dreaming and solving the mystery, so of course I was a bit bored reading the detective parts of the book.

The book can be ordered from the author. Visit the Lucid Dreams homepage or email John Locatelli for more information.

Charles McPhee, Stop Sleeping Through Your Dreams. A guide to awakening consciousness during dream sleep
1996, ISBN 0-8050-2500-6
Detail of book coverThis is the first book I've seen that actually does a good job on explaining and defining consciousness. This highly benefits the discussion of conscious or lucid dreaming. Consciousness is often equated with being awake, which isn't a very useful definition. To paraphrase McPhee in my own words - take a deep breath - consciousness is the dual state of action and the simultaneous reflection on your actions. Now, this is a state we rarely achieve even while awake.

McPhee also connects consciousness to mental health. You're probably not surprised to hear that unconsciousness arises from repression of unwanted feelings. But McPhee also gives you a lot of handy details of how this process works and - of course - how dreams can be used to become more in control of yourself.

Visit the Charles McPhee homepage for a free chapter and more.

Harry Bosma is looking forward to comments, email him at hbosma@xs4all.nl. For dream interpretations please visit the Mythwell.com site for the Alchera dreaming software.

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