Tag Archives: book review

How Do Cats Do That? by Peter Scottsdale

Title: How Do Cats Do That?
AuthorPeter Scottsdale
Genre: Children’s Nonfiction
Publisher: Indie
Publishing date: 15th of July 2016
ISBN: 9781536855722

Synopsis:You’ll Be Amazed by How Cats Do The Wonderful Things They Do.

My Review:

“How Do Cats Do That?” is a handy little book about what cats do, how they do it and why. It is a very short book, but it contains a lot of information. Each “chapter,” if I can call it that, is headlined with a question about something cats do and the following paragraphs explains what, how and why (not necessarily it that order).
I very much enjoyed reading it, though I did spot a few grammatical errors, but it did not take away from the fun of reading the book.
Much of my enjoyment of the book can be attributed to me being very much a cat person, living with two cats, and I think any catlover would enjoy reading this book (even if they already know a lot about cats).
It might also be beneficial to check out the authors blog where he blogs about… cats.


Sakura’s Cherry Blossoms by Robert Paul Weston

Title: Sakura’s Cherry Blossoms
Author:Robert Paul Weston
Illustrator: Misa Saburi
Genre: Children’s Fiction, Picture book
Publisher: Tundra Books
Publishing date: 20th of February 2018
ISBN: 9781101918746

Synopsis: A warm, gorgeous exploration of a little girl’s experience immigrating to a new country and missing her home and her grandmother, who still lives far away.

My Review:

Sakura’s Cherry Blossoms is written through a series of Tanka poems , a traditional Japanese poem. The poem style is applied flawlessly throughout the book, and though it has few pages this book covers a lot of ground.
The story is about Sakura, who relocates with her family to America, and her meeting with the everyday in a foreign country with a new culture and a new language. It gives a view of how she misses her old home and her grandmother, but still becomes a sweet story about friendship.
The illustrations in this book is beautiful and varied, they compliment the story excellently. It is an excellent story, very suitable for young readers between 3 – 7 years.

Andorra Pett and the Oort Cloud Café by Richard Dee

35086847Title: Andorra Pett and the Oort Cloud Café
Author: Richard Dee
Genre: Cozy Crime, Light Sci-fi
Publisher: 4Star Scifi
Publishing date: 15th of June, 2017
ISBN: 9780995458161

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.

My Review:

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.

Andorra Pett and the Oort Cloud Cafe Full Banner
Hosted as part of tour by Rachel’s Random Resources

Rocky Rocks and the Colourful Socks by Seniha Slowinsk

Title: Rocky Rocks and the Colourful Socks
Author: Seniha Slowinsk
Genre: Picture book, Children’s fiction
Publisher: Clink Street Publishing
Publishing date: 1st of February 2018
ISBN: 9781912262274

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…

My Review:

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.

Planet of the Orb Trees by Barton Ludwig

Title: Planet of the Orb Trees
Author: Barton Ludwig
Genre: Children’s Fiction
Publisher: Heartlab Press Inc.
Publishing date: 14th of December 2017
ISBN: 9780995044159

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.

My Review:

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 by Hayoung Yim

Title: The Girl Who Said Sorry
Author: Hayoung Yim
Illustrator: Marta M.
Genre: Children’s Fiction , Women’s Fiction
Publisher: Self-published
Publishing date: 5th of October 2017
ISBN: 9780993717482

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?

My Review:

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 Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman

Title: The Ocean at the End of the Lane
Author: Neil Gaiman
Genre: Magical Realism
Publisher: William Morrow Books
Publishing date: 18th of June 2013
ISBN: 9780062255655
Purchase Link:

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

My Review:

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 by Hiro Arikawa

Title:The Travelling Cat Chronicles
Author: Hiro Arikawa
Genre: General Fiction, Literary Fiction
Publisher:Random House UK; Transworld Publishers; Doubleday
Publishing date: 2nd of November 2017
ISBN: 9780857524195

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.

My Review:

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.

Quiet Girl in a Noisy World by Debbie Tung

cover120802-mediumTitle: Quiet Girl in a Noisy World
Author: Debbie Tung
Genre: Graphic Novels
Publisher: Andrews McMeel Publishing
Publishing date: 7th of November 2017
ISBN: 9781449486068
Purchase Link: amazon.co.uk

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.

Capture 3

My Review:

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.

Capture 4

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 by Matthew Inman

Title: How to Be Perfectly Unhappy
(Series: The Oatmeal)
Author: Matthew Inman
Genre: Gift Book, Comics & Graphic Novels
Publisher: Andrews McMeel Publishing
Publishing date: 31st of October 2017
ISBN: 9781449433536

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.

My Review:

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.