Book Review: ‘Obscurity’ by Raven Williams

An interesting collection of short pieces about obscure words in the English language.

Advertisements

41syxB8CWFLWords are such fascinating things. They carry enormous power, have the ability to make or break relationships, and are intrinsic to our need for meaning and communication. As one who enjoys exploring and experimenting with words and language, I found this book to be a pleasant surprise.

‘Obscurity’ is a collection of reflections on obscure words that are little used, but which still carry some relevance and application in life today. Each piece is thoughtful and interesting, yet written with a relaxed and conversational tone that sets the reader at ease and leads their thoughts on a gentle stroll through some of the quieter corners of the garden that is the English language.

Acorn Award II Silver

‘Obscurity’ has been awarded a Silver Acorn.

Find your copy here.

Book Review: ‘Dear Moviegoer: Tales from Behind the Velvet Curtains” by Margena Adams Holmes

If you’re ever frustrated by things people do at the movies, this book is for you.

Margena Adams Holmes Dear Moviegoer
‘Dear Moviegoer’ is a collection of short pieces addressed to folks to go to the cinemas, from the point of view of a theatre employee. Some of the entries are lighthearted, some are informative and provide some great practical tips for improving one’s moviegoing experience. Others are slightly snarky – and with good reason! Personally, I would have liked to see more snark, but that might just be me. I love snark.

It’s fair to say that until I read this book, I had no idea of the extent of the bad behaviour that movie theatre employees have to put up with. On a “decent human being” level, I’m appalled at what some people think is acceptable. That the author managed to communicate her responses and explain the finer points of cinema etiquette in a polite and straightforward manner, often with a touch of good humour, is a mark of her good character.Acorn Award II Silver

An enjoyable read, ‘Dear Moviegoer’ has been awardeda Silver Acorn.

Get your copy here.

Book Review: ‘Journey of a Lost Manuscript’ by Lorraine Smith

A fascinating true story of the discovery of a Tudor document in 21st century Australia.

Lorraine Smith Journey of a Lost ManuscriptThis is a fascinating true story of a vellum manuscript from Tudor times, its discovery in a bookshop in Warrnambool in 2013, and the journey of discovery undertaken by Lorraine Smith to learn of the manuscript’s history.

It’s really well-written with an easy-going, conversational tone that makes the reader feel as though they’re just listening to the author tell her story, so it’s very relaxing and enjoyable to read. The reader gets a good feel for the character of the author as well as the different personalities she has encountered in the course of her investigations.
The story is complemented by very clear and interesting photographs and maps.

Because it is such an interesting read, ‘Journey of a Lost Manuscript’ has been awarded a Gold Acorn.Acorn Award I Golden

Find your copy on Amazon or contact Spectrum Books in Warrnambool, Australia.

Book Review: ‘Scheherazade Cat – The Story Of A War Hero’ by Stephanie C. Fox

A beautiful story of a little cat and how she saved a soldier.

Stephanie C Fox Scheherazade Cat

This beautiful story of a calico kitten and her role in the Gulf War is beautifully written in a straightforward yet heartwarming style that will be enjoyed by older children, but also by adults. The writing is expressive but still easily understood, and the uglier elements of the war are treated gently, although not ignored, so that younger or sensitive readers are not frightened or put off from reading the story.

The cover and illustrations by Milena Radeva are absolutely stunning, capturing both the story and the personality of the kitten as she grew and won her place in the heart of a soldier.

‘The Scheherazade Cat’ has been awarded a Gold Acorn for excellence in both storytelling and illustration.

Find ‘The Scheherazade Cat’ here.

Book Review: ‘Thoughts of You’ by Anthony Beddis

An expressive collection of honest, passionate flash prose. .. but it’s not poetry.

2018-03-11 13.54.55This collection of honest, passionate flash prose is rich in imagery and high expression of the author’s love and desire for the object of his affections. The writing is quite poetic, taking the reader deep into the thoughts and emotions of the author as he expresses his innermost thoughts and feelings.

 

I was bemused, however, to see this book listed as poetry. It is definitely intimate and expressive, but it is also definitely prose as it is written in the form of full sentences, in paragraphs, arranged as such. Use of imagery, regardless of frequency or consistency, does not in itself define one’s writing as poetry.

 

The reader does develop a profound sense of intimacy with the author, sharing as one does in his most personal and honest moments with his beloved. His thoughts and feelings are highly relatable and his absolute honesty is disarming.

 

This is an enjoyable book that fulfils the purpose revealed in the title: these are the thoughts that fill the author’s mind and soul each day, demonstrating his adoration of, and also his commitment to, the lucky person who consumes him so powerfully. Acorn Award III Bronze

 

Book Squirrel has awarded this book a Bronze Acorn because while the writing really is lovely and I did enjoy it, it’s not actually poetry and should not be marketed as such.

 

 

Book Review: ‘Sketches of a Black Cat: Story of a WWII Night Flying Pilot and Artist’ by Ron Miner

Fantastic WWII history in a personal story.

 

Ron Miner Sketches of a Black Cat

Ron Miner’s collection of stories and art by his father, combined with the story of his own experiences of gathering those accounts together, provides a rare opportunity for detailed insight into the experiences of an American serviceman during World War II. The stories are told in a conversational and personal way, so that the reader begins to feel connected to both narrators as their stories develop.

The artwork by Miner’s father is incredible, presenting an extraordinary level of detail. The book also offers a range of photographs of planes, servicemen, news clippings and personal letters pertaining to America’s involvement in the war. The images alone are worth the price of the book.

As a history teacher, I really appreciated the straightforward manner in which these stories are told, and the level of detail given about events which are generally only relayed factually in textbooks. I plan to share some of these stories and pictures from the book with my own students when we study WWII.

This is a fantastic book for anyone who enjoys reading biography, adventure and war stories and for history enthusiasts.Acorn Award I Golden

Book Squirrel has awarded ‘Sketches of a Black Cat’ a Gold Acorn for overall excellence.

Readers can buy a copy at Amazon.

Book Review: ‘Can’t Sit – Living With A Sitting Disability’ by Rick Lunkenheimer

This book is the story of Rick Lunkenheimer’s battle with chronic pain and the impact it has had on his life.

Rick Lunkenheimer Can't Sit

The author tells his story in a straightforward and knowledgeable way, explaining the conditions he suffers and the consequences they carry in a way that informs and educated the reader without asking for sympathy. As a reader who also suffers chronic pain conditions, this is really important to me: the goal of speaking about invisible illnesses must always be increased awareness among the audience, rather than making excuses or seeking pity.

The points made about social acceptance and understanding are relevant to all “invisible illnesses”. It’s great to have a book like this for people to read so that they gain a better understanding of other people’s lives and situations. This, in turn, will result in greater acceptance and less judgement of those who are so often misunderstood as a result of ignorance.

The book is well written and the author’s story is both personal and highly informative. The personal vulnerability that comes with recounting one’s own experiences so honestly is enormous, so I genuinely appreciate the honesty and bravery required to write this book.
Acorn Award I Golden

Because this book is well written, tells an inspiring story and offers good advice, it has been awarded a Gold Acorn.

Get your copy at Amazon.