: Andorra Pett and the Oort Cloud Café
: Richard Dee
: Cozy Crime, Light Sci-fi
: 4Star Scifi
: 15th of June, 2017
Synopsis: Meet Andorra Pett; with her trusty sidekick, she’s taken over a derelict café. On a mining station. It just happens to be orbiting Saturn!
She’s hoping for a fresh start, away from all the drama of her old life. It’s a chance to relax and start again in a place where nobody knows anything about her or her past.
But the café holds a secret, and secrets have a habit of coming out; whether you want them to or not.
I am not much of a crime or mystery reader, but as this book sounded like quirky science fiction book I decided to give it a try. The book did not disappoint.
The heroine, Andorra Pett, comes across as a likable mess in control with a habit of stumble into trouble. Though she has a bit of a striking personality at first, she quickly becomes a character you want to spend the next couple of hundred pages with.
The story has all the familiar classical marks of a crime novel; an outsider getting into a secluded society with few ways in and out where she ends up having to solve a crime in an environment where everyone might be a suspect. With it being a bit of a crime story and a bit of science fiction, these elements do shine through and should be strong enough to enthuse any regular crime reader looking for fresher watering-hole.
The story is set in space, so of course we will have to label it science fiction, but the elements of science fiction are light. The whole thing takes place on a space station circling Saturn, making most of the day-to-day life pure speculation, but the author has managed to do so without jamming a million made up words down the readers throat. It is believable that this colony could potentially exist in a future time.
Another thing I particularly liked about this book is that the trusted sidekick is gay, and he is not gay in the stereotypical flamboyant way books and movies like to gay people out to be. Like all people he does have his, for the lack of a better word, issues, but they do not seem to be there because of his sexual preferences but more as normal character flaws (because all characters have to have flaws to be real).
For last, I did really enjoy to read this book. I might have struggled a bit while setting into the story but I usually do. It takes a chapter or two to get you hocked. Bottom line is, I would recommend this book to any reader who enjoys science fiction, guilty pleasure or crime fiction.
: Rocky Rocks and the Colourful Socks
: Seniha Slowinsk
: Picture book, Children’s fiction
: Clink Street Publishing
: 1st of February 2018
Synopsis: Can you help Rocky Rocks find his socks? If you can see, you must tell me, what colour sock you can see?
I’ll give you a clue, it rhymes with bed, could it be the colour…
Rocky Rocks and the Colourful Socks is a nifty little picture books which will teach the youngest readers about colours as you search through Rocky’s house looking for socks.
The book is written in light rhyme which makes it easy to read out loud and easy to remember. The illustrations are large and colourful, which makes them entertaining.
I would recommend this book for the youngest readers, as the text and illustrations are fun.
: My Anxiety Handbook
:Sue Knowles, Bridie Gallagher & Phoebe McEwe
: Teens & YA, nonfiction
: Jessica Kingsley Publishers
: 18th of January 2018
Synopsis: Helping young people with anxiety learn to recognise and manage their symptoms, this anxiety survival guide teaches 10 to 21 year olds how they can overcome their biggest worries.
Showing that anxiety is a normal human emotion that many people face, this book helps young people understand the ins and outs of their own anxiety and helps them to challenge the difficult patterns they may get into. Co-written with a college student who has experienced anxiety herself, it is a relatable and straightforward guide. As well as providing tried-and-tested advice and exercises that are proven to reduce feelings of anxiety, it includes recovery stories from young people who have managed their symptoms successfully.
With practical chapters on sleep, exam stress, transitions, and seeking extra help, this is a go-to guide for any tween, teen or young person living with anxiety.
I think that “My Anxiety Handbook” will be a very handy book for any teenager who suffers from Anxiety. As aimed at young adults as well I think this book might be trying to cover a bit too much ground. Anxiety in young teenagers will be quite different from Anxiety in a late teens, beginning of twenties somethings.
That aside I think this book is interesting enough, that it will draw in anyone who struggles with anxiety, simply because it provides you with a tool belt to deal with your anxieties. Also, this book strongly validates that anxiety is a real thing, in a world where most people will suggest that you just need to pull yourself together. It lays out the ground work of techniques you can try on your own, in order to overcome (ar at least cope) with your anxiety.
What I call “the psychology part”-of the book, might be a bit too heavy for some younger teens, but I think that anyone who suffers from anxiety and want to do something about it will keep through.
The book also have some interesting stories from people who experience anxiety on a daily basis, and I think that this is a much-needed perspective. It can be very soothing and liberating to read that you are not the only one who suffers, because when you have anxiety it can really feel like you are suffering alone. I am saying this as someone who is a very angsty person with social anxiety, and I really enjoyed this book and reading the stories of other people.
For me, I think this book might be the best fit for someone in their mid-teens, but I would not say that someone from outside of that group shouldn’t read it.
Posted in Book Reviews, nonfiction, Young Adult
Tagged Anxiety, anxiety management, Bridie Gallagher, Jessica Kingsley Publishers, Mental Health, My Anxiety Handbook, nonfiction, Phoebe McEwe, self-help, Sue Knowles, Teens & YA, Young adult
: Planet of the Orb Trees
: Barton Ludwig
: Children’s Fiction
: Heartlab Press Inc.
: 14th of December 2017
Synopsis:Environmental disasters have forced most of humanity to live inside Roaring Rocket Amusement Park. Everyone is happy riding broken-down rides except for Kai. When Kai spots a healthy tree inside a giant maze, he wonders if orbs from that tree can transport him to a new green planet. Kai’s friend, RJ, tries to talk him out of his dreams but Kai persists.
I enjoyed the premise of this post apocalyptic world where a group of people have taken refuge withing an amusement park. Kai, is not convinced that he is safe at the amusement park, he want to flee the flame-ridden planet to find a safe haven. Despite his friend’s warnings he set out on a journey to get to the biggest Orb Three, because he is convinced that his escape lies in this three.
In his journey Kai learns a lot of lessons about other people and about being kind.
I did enjoy the story, but the story felt too rushed and it lacked any depth in its characters. The artwork was nice, but whoever was tasked with drawing a camel for this book does not know the different between a camel and a dromedary. Camel are two-humped, the drawing in the book is one-humped (that is a dromedary). As a children’s book I believe that things like that should be on point, because these books are supposed to not only entertain children but also educate them.
The book also had a few inconsistencies where there were talk about not having any coconuts and then suddenly the orbs were called coconuts.
Apart from that it was an okay read.
: The Girl Who Said Sorry
: Hayoung Yim
: Marta M.
: Children’s Fiction , Women’s Fiction
: 5th of October 2017
Synopsis: Too girly or too boyish. Too thin or too fat. Too quiet, too loud. Be ambitious, but don’t hurt feelings. Be inquisitive, but don’t interrupt. Be outspoken, but don’t be bossy. Most of all, be yourself — but be a lady. What’s a girl to do in a world filled with contradicting gender expectations, aside from saying sorry?
The Girl Who Said Sorry is a short and easy read, this is a book intended for 4 – 8 year olds. It does serve a good narrative for all the things that girls are told to do but not to do from an early age on. This is a picture book, and the illustrations are simplistic and colours are used sparingly. I think the design goes very well with the books theme.
This book does cover a topic in great need for coverage, and I think it that this book could definitely help both child and parent. This book could potentially help a little girl to get on the path of discovering herself.
: The Awakened Dreamer
: Kala Ambrose
: Nonfiction, Religion & Spirituality
: Llewellyn Publications
: 8th of December 2017
Synopsis: Your dreams can be an important part of your decision-making, relationships, and problem solving—if you know how to properly use them. The Awakened Dreamer shows you how to remember your nightly dreams, interpret what they are telling you, and use daydreams to manifest your desires into reality.
Kala Ambrose helps you combine daydreams with powerful visualizations that can be channeled into your nightly dreams, strengthening the connection between your conscious and unconscious self. Learn how to use your mind, body, spirit connection to achieve your goals and discover valuable insight on different kinds of dreams, including recurring, teaching, visitation, and lucid dreaming.
To start off I want to say that Llewellyn is my go to publisher when it comes to alternative books and spirituality, and The Awakened Dreamer did not disappoint.
This book can easily be used as a tool to understand your dream and even help you remember your dream (because you dream every night regardless if you remember your dreams or not). The book is easy to read and provides clear instructions for how to dream and how to interpreter your dreams. The author manged create this book and instructions while coming across of genuine and down to earth, without seeming pompous.
I would recommend this book for anyone who wish to gain insight into understanding their dreams.
: The Ocean at the End of the Lane
: Neil Gaiman
: Magical Realism
: William Morrow Books
: 18th of June 2013
Synopsis:Sussex, England. A middle-aged man returns to his childhood home to attend a funeral. Although the house he lived in is long gone, he is drawn to the farm at the end of the road, where, when he was seven, he encountered a most remarkable girl
The Ocean at the End of the Lane has been advertised as Neil Gaiman’s first book for adults since Anansi Boys. Reviewing a Gaiman book is always hard, because of the nature of his stories and how they might be intended for adults or children but their themes are so universal that they cannot be locked into either.
The Ocean at the End of the Lane was written for adults, but because we see the whole story though the retrospective eyes of a 7-year-old boy much of it reads like a children book. The story touches on human mortality and centralises the innocence of childhood where everything is magical and new. The story starts off slow, but the Gaiman stated that it starts off slow to deter young readers before things get to the grotesque parts.
The story sucked me in from page one, the nostalgic overtone of the story kept me interested and kept me reading. Following the story and feeling with the horror of childhood fears. As all Gaiman’s books “the Ocean at the End of the Lane” is instantly quotable, where Gaiman picks at the truth and reality of the human condition and mortality.
“I’m going to tell you something important. Grown-ups don’t look like grown-ups on the inside either. Outside, they’re big and thoughtless and they always know what they’re doing. Inside, they look just like they always have. Like they did when they were your age. The truth is, there aren’t any grown-ups. Not one, in the whole wide world.”
I thoroughly enjoyed this story for beginning to end, even though it was a very short story. The characters felt real and I was sympathetic to the main character, and the ending came together in a beautiful bittersweet knot.
“And did I pass?”
The face of the old woman on my right was unreadable in the gathering dusk. On my left the younger woman said, “You don’t pass or fail at a being a person, dear.”
:The Travelling Cat Chronicles
: Hiro Arikawa
: General Fiction, Literary Fiction
:Random House UK; Transworld Publishers; Doubleday
: 2nd of November 2017
Synopsis:It’s not the journey that counts, but who’s at your side.
Nana is on a road trip, but he is not sure where he is going. All that matters is that he can sit beside his beloved owner Satoru in the front seat of his silver van. Satoru is keen to visit three old friends from his youth, though Nana doesn’t know why and Satoru won’t say.
Set against the backdrop of Japan’s changing seasons and narrated with a rare gentleness and striking humour, Nana’s story explores the wonder and thrill of life’s unexpected detours. It is about the value of friendship and solitude, and knowing when to give and when to take. TRAVELLING CAT has already demonstrated its power to move thousands of readers with a message of kindness and truth. It slows, above all, how acts of love, both great and small, can transform our lives.
This is a very delayed review, because it took me longer to finish this book than I anticipated.
The Travelling Cat Chronicles is a charming and heartbreaking story about a cat and his owner traveling across Japan trying to find a new home for the cat. The story starts out, innocently, with the tomcat’s point of view, from before he knew his future owner Satoru, before the cat’s got a name.
Being a catlover this book sucked me right in from the very start. Nana (the cat) portrays a good picture of a cat, he is very much like the sarcastic and sassy way most cats will be described by their owners. And the voice of a feline is very much alive and personified in Nana.
As the story goes on Nana warms up and we learn more about Satoru and his past. The bond between Satoru and Nana grows with each chapter. While reading I did not want this book to end, I did not want to get to the final chapter and I had to take breaks from reading (Hence why this review is over a week later than I planned).
The end is inevitable, unless I quit reading the book, and it is heartbreaking. In order to avoid spoilers I will not discuss the ending of this book. However, I will warmly recommend this book to any catlover and anyone who enjoys Japanese literature, because this book hits home in both departments. From the first page, like with Murakami, you know you are reading a book translated from Japanese: it is just how the story is narrated, the way everything is described and the attention to vivid details that pops out at you. And going with a sarcastic, sassy and a little stoic cat, you can never go wrong.
Posted in Book Reviews, Contemporary Fiction, General Fiction
Tagged book review, book reviews, books about cats, cat, Doubleday, General Fiction, Hiro Arikawa, Japanese Fiction, Japanese literature, Literary Fiction, Random House UK, The Travelling Cat Chronicles, Transworld Publishers