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REVlEWS a look at books and music that will enrich your life

Counter Culture Reviewed by Kerry Boyne, Chelsea Hunter, Veronica Joseph and Chris Stafford


DVDs BUCK Directed by Cindy Meehl Starring Buck Brannaman as himself When Robert Redford was making The Horse Whisperer, for technical advice he turned to Buck Brannaman, one of the men who inspired the original novel. Only Buck, a professional horse trainer, doesn’t exactly whisper — he just talks, calmly, steadily, until the wayward horse loses its fear and begins to take notice. Of course, we realise early in this inspiring, beautifully shot documentary that Buck is training the riders as well. “Your horse is a mirror to your soul,” he tells them, as he effortlessly edges his mount this way and that, backwards, forwards and sideways. To him it’s a dance; it’s all about being one with the horse. Brannaman spends most of the year on the road, giving four-day tutorials throughout the American West. “Rather than helping people with horse problems,” he confides, “I’m helping horses with people problems.” So it’s a shock when he finally comes across a recalcitrant colt even he can’t seem to reach. Some horses are just born bad, it appears, though Buck points out you “can’t hold it against him for how his life has been”. Indeed, things could have turned out very differently for this wise and gifted man. He and his brother were child rodeo stars. They grew up around horses and were taught trick roping by their father, a violent alcoholic. Luckily for Buck (there’s little mention of his brother), after his mother’s death he was rescued from this abusive situation and raised by loving foster parents. Still, with such a start in life you could almost forgive him had he grown up mean and ornery: a horse breaker rather than a quiet persuader. Even at 88 minutes, Buck’s central metaphor — love is the ultimate healer — would be stretched to breaking point if it weren’t for the personality of its subject. For horse lovers, it’s a must-see. As for the rest, once they’ve seen it they’ll love Buck. As Redford says, he’s the real deal. CS


Stephanie Dowrick Seeking and sustaining love is something that can often be daunting and disappointing for many. In Universal Love, Stephanie Dowrick brings warmth, humour and understanding as she shows us how to live a more loving life. This doesn’t just relate to romantic love but love across all areas and relationships, including with ourselves. Dowrick combines psychotherapy with the universal truths of the spiritual traditions from East and West to show how we can learn to love and understand each other better. This practical and inspirational guide to love also features a how to section in each chapter on everything from loving generously to earning trust and transforming aggression. VJ

Screening for good health Martin Bray, Dr Kerry Kirke, Dr Nicola Spurrier We all know the importance of screening and immunisation but it can be hard to really make sense of it, especially with all the health messages we are bombarded with each year. Screening for Good Health is an ideal handbook for any family on the preventative health services provided by the government. The handbook contains everything you need to know to help counter preventable illness, including screening tests and immunisations relevant to each age bracket. It also includes an up-todate resource list on the symptoms, risk factors, treatment and more of preventable illnesses — from Alzheimer’s Disease to Whooping Cough. Compiled by experts in the field, this guide is a helpful in any home, because you can never be too prepared when it comes to the health and wellbeing of your family. VJ

The Fat Revolution Christine Cronau We’ve all been told that saturated fats are the bad guys when it comes to diet and health. But what if reducing fat in your diet was actually to blame for making us fat, sick and even depressed? Nutrition expert and health activist Christine Cronau explores this in The Fat Revolution. Cronau, who was overweight in her 20s and now slim and energised in her 40s, shows us why the demonisation of fat has been one of the biggest mistakes in history. An intriguing account that will make you re-evaluate your attitudes toward fat and what exactly constitutes a healthy lifestyle and diet. VJ

Wellbeing magazine featuring Christine Cronau  

Wellbeing magazine

Wellbeing magazine featuring Christine Cronau  

Wellbeing magazine