: 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.”
: Quiet Girl in a Noisy World
: Debbie Tung
: Graphic Novels
: Andrews McMeel Publishing
: 7th of November 2017
Synopsis: This illustrated gift book of short comics illuminates author Debbie Tung’s experience as an introvert in an extrovert’s world. Presented in a loose narrative style that can be read front to back or dipped into at one’s leisure, the book spans three years of Debbie’s life, from the end of college to the present day. In these early years of adulthood, Debbie slowly but finally discovers there is a name for her lifelong need to be alone: she’s an introvert.
As an introvert this book was very appealing to me. It was a bit grueling going through the first pages hoping the author and illustrator would perfectly capture the essence of introversion. Page after page she hit introversion on the spot and conveyed her autobiographical story in a way that made me both smile, laugh and cringe, because I could absolutely understand where she was coming from.
Even though some of the quick comics were a little exaggerated, I believe that Debbie Tung managed to show the life of an introvert and the challenges introversion pushes upon introverts.
The illustrations are simplistic and grey scale which adds to a nostalgic feeling where we follow Debbie Tung from childhood to adulthood, from a miserable working to an artistic success.
The story she illustrates shows how society highly prefers extroverts over introverts, and how introverts need to early create survival mechanisms, because the introverted steel focus or researcher mastermind is not appreciated before we are far into adulthood.
The book visualizes the need both extroverts and introverts, and how these two conflicting personality types can work perfectly together by showing each other mutual respect and understanding.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book from finish to end.
: How to Be Perfectly Unhappy
(Series: The Oatmeal)
: Matthew Inman
: Gift Book, Comics & Graphic Novels
: Andrews McMeel Publishing
: 31st of October 2017
Synopsis: In How To Be Perfectly Unhappy, Inman explores the surprising benefits of forgetting about “happiness,” and embracing instead the meaningful activities that keep us busy and interested and fascinated.
How To Be Perfectly Unhappy is a tiny little gift book which gently suggests that we as a society need to redefine what being happy means. It’s central point being that Pluto was downgraded, because we initially did not have a very clear definition for what a “planet” is. As the definition become more clear, Pluto clearly did not conform to the necessary requirements.
This is a premise I buy into, as sociability is with more than even obsessed with perfection in our world of social media where anyone can spy and everyone. And when you start to look at happy and what happy means, you realize how brittle that definition is and it quickly falls apart.
How To Be Perfectly Unhappy makes you think. With it’s barely 48 pages it invited discussion about something where there is a mutual agreement that everyone should be happy and if you are not happy, then you are miserable.
The book makes several suggestions of what you can be instead of being happy, unhappy not being one of them. With its quirky drawings and interesting rhetoric, the book is engaging from beginning to end and will be a great gift any miserable book lover you know.
: Kakieland Katastroph
Series: Hotel Transylvania #1
: Stefan Petrucha
: Graphic Novel, Children’s Fiction
: 12th of September 2017
Synopsis: The debut Hotel Transylvania graphic novel based on the movies! Horror author Stephen Cling visits Hotel Transylvania to try and prove monsters are still dangerous. Dracula, his daughter and her family, and the Drac pack are anything but! However, when a human child goes missing, it is up to Drac, Mavis, and the rest of the Hotel crew to locate the child before their monstrous reputation gets them chased out of town.
Kakieland Katastroph is a rather short comic book with about 64 pages. the story contains the same quirky humor of the two very popular and successful movies. The art work, as expected, is a bit of a downgrade, but it is still neat and adds to the story.
In the story we meet the familiar characters from the movie as they are running a hotel in a monster-friendly (or not so monster friendly world). It takes place at some time after the second movie ended.
The story feels a bit rushed at times, which probably could have been avoided by adding a couple more pages, I would have liked the story to be longer. This is the first volume of a series and hopefully the story progression in the next chapter will be a bit more natural.
As a fan of both the movies I found this book very entertaining and I enjoyed reading it, and I look forward to the next installment.
Earlier this week I got this book form the Author Jess C. Scott to review this on my blog and Amazon.com.
Business Plan: Building Brand Identity is a book that’s easy to read, it goes straight to the point and don’t walk too much around what it’s trying to say. Very often when I read non-fiction books I find that I read a book which is written for you to buy the book which explain what the first book is saying, this book wasn’t like that.
By reading Business Plan: Building Brand Identity you get a great introduction how the bookmarked works, and you get to see what benefits indie publishing has. I’ve almost went pro-indie while reading it (I still want to try traditional publishing first, I guess). Jess C. Scott uses her own books and blog to illustrate what she is saying instead of using a made up example.
You can tell that this book is well written and easy to under stand. I haven’t studied marketing or read anything about it or marketing analysis before and I still understand what I’m reading.
It’s also a plus that this books actually shows you what to do without being a 300 paged book. This book contains 35 sides packed with essential information, which makes it bearable to any reader.
This is a book I recommend people to read, because it’s really useful. I bet I’ll get back to this book at a later point and reread it and take more of its tips with me along the road.