Animal Talk: Interspecies Telepathic Communication, by Penelope Smith (Council Oak Books, Tulsa OK, 2004) $14.95

Is the cat spraying to get back at you, or is it marking the family territory so that the stray dog that comes to the window will not enter the house and threaten the family? Does your dog want to spend the day outside while you are at work or be inside so she can guard your belongings? Through animal telepathy you can understand your companion’s point of view on their behavior. Just like humans, animals want to know they are understood and appreciated for who they are as individuals. If approached in this way, the same techniques for assisting humans to release emotional issues, blocks and traumas help animals as well. Detailing in easy to follow steps Penelope Smith, a professional animal communicator for more than 30 years, guides you through sending communication to your companion, and more importantly, receiving reliable communication. If you have been trying to communicate but your animal friend just lies there, don’t assume they don’t hear you. Not all companions perk up and pay attention. The real proof of your communication lies in the results – when your cat stops gnawing at her wound, or the dogs no longer fight over their food. Whether your beloved companion is furry or feathered, or if it has two, four, eight or no legs, Smith skillfully reminds you how to use your inborn telepathic ability to deepen your relationship.

Curious Lives: Adventures from the Ferret Chronicles, by Richard Bach (Hampton Roads, Charlottesville, VA, 2005) $15.95

"How can a writer touch a keyboard far away, without a sound, reach me here in the city and remind me who I am?" asks Vauxhall Ferret. Indeed, Richard Bach succeeds once again in doing just this in Curious Lives: Adventures from the Ferret Chronicles. Written in simple yet engaging language, these stories have something for everyone, no matter your age: danger at sea, romance on the high plains, detective cases and star-crossed lovers. Rather than simply following one extraordinary ferret struggling to live a life true to herself, Bach’s inspirational stories depict the adventures of common ferrets living in a society just like our own, save for one small detail: they live their lives by the Courtesies. These written truths speak of non-harming, respect for self and others, shared freedom and choosing each action by your highest sense of right. The world created by living true to the Courtesies has museums without security guards, highway signs asking you to travel at the speed you feel safest, and characters acting in surprising ways. As intrigue appears to mount, instead of the human response of wondering who is plotting against you, the ferrets examine the situation and ponder how it is helping them, knowing that whatever is supposed to be happening is happening. As tension builds between characters one might expect an argument to occur, instead the ferrets calmly state their truth to one another and find the place where they both can meet again in love. This level of trust in themselves, each other, and the Higher Spirit sets the ferrets apart and offers us humans some life-changing lessons embodied within a wonderful afternoon of reading.

How to Photograph the Paranormal, by Leonore Sweet, Ph.D. (Hampton Roads, Charlottesville, VA, 2005) $16.95

Far from simply chasing orbs and hoping to see a ghost, paranormal photography proves what only psychics have been able to sense. Following the capture on film of the spirit leaving the dying body of her sister’s dog, Leonore Sweet began a quest to create evidence of the paranormal. Joined in the adventure by her brother, the pair take photos of orbs in graveyards, homes, churches and even a high school. Acknowledging the increasing number of pictures purporting to be of the supernatural, Sweet details how to distinguish images of dust, rain, streetlights, etc., from true mystical beings. Having distilled her research into a dissertation for American Pacific University, she details her investigations of orbs, earth lights, ghosts, vortexes, crop circles, ectoplasm and more in How to Photograph the Paranormal. Shunning expert status in both photography and the paranormal, Sweet relays her experience with the technical aspects of photography including using digital versus film cameras and the use of flash. Pulling from resources as disparate as superstring theory, Autobiography of a Yogi, and the Toronto Ghosts and Hauntings Research Society, Sweet guides the reader through the theory and history of paranormal photography including discussions of thought photography and references to light forms in religious texts from around the world. Believing that the orbs are attempting to communicate with us with increasing urgency, Sweet offers her text so that we may experience these light forms for ourselves.

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Alec Franklor owns and operates RetreatFinder.com, an online directory of spiritual and healing retreats. She can be reached at books@retreatfinder.com. Copyright © 2006 Alec Franklor. All rights reserved

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