Water At The Roots by Philip Britts
Synopsis : In a society uprooted by war, industrialization, and dehumanizing technology, a revolutionary farmer-poet reconnects his people to the land and one another .
Something of a British Wendell Berry, Philip Britts ( 1917-1949 ) was a farmer, poet, activist, pastor and mystic . As his country plunged headlong into World War 2, he sought a way of life where people could work together in harmony with nature and one another .
Britts' story is no romantic agrarian elegy, but a life lived in the thick of history . The International Pacifist Community he joined, The Brudehof, was soon forced to flee from Europe to South America .
Amidst these great upheavals, his response - to root himself in God, to dedicate himself to a community, to restore the land he farmed, and to use his gift with words to turn people from their madness - speaks forcefully into our time . In an age still wracked by racism, nationalism, materialism, and ecological devastion, the life he chose and the poetry he composed remain a prophetic challenge .
My Review : This is a collection of poetry, essays and photoraphs along with the story of Philip Britts life .
It is a wonderfully written book which is really interesting . The poems are about farming, religion, life, war and some are incredibly moving . This book certainly makes you think, it is very deep and meaningful .
Readers who are not particularly religious need not be worried that this book is overly ' preachy ', it is not, it is written in an open minded way .
I recommend it to anyone who likes poetry, history, biographies and those with an interest in farming .
Rating : 4 out of 5
The Crow Road by Iain Banks
Synopsis : " It was the day my grandmother exploded . I sat in the crematorium, listening to my uncle Hamish quietly snoring in harmony to Bach's Mass in B Minor, and I reflected that it always seemed to be death that drew me back to Gallanach . "
Prentice McHoan has returned to the bosom of his complex but enduring Scottish family . Full of questions about the McHoan past, present and future , he is also deeply preoccupied : mainly with death, sex, drink, God and illegal substances .
My Review : I read a copy of the 25th Anniversary Edition of this book . It is the first Iain Banks book i've read . I was aware of his Sci-Fi works but not his other genres so I wanted to pick this one up .
It is a bit of a mix of genres it's part family drama, part murder mystery . I found it very funny in parts, the author writes his characters well, they are believable and interesting . I read it fairly quickly it is a fast paced story with lots of amusing dialogue and there are several mentions of Star Wars and other pop culture references too .
I received an E book copy from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review .
Rating : 4 out of 5
Orange - The Complete Collection Vol 1 by Ichigo Takano
Synopsis : A Plea From The Future .
On the day that Naho begins 11th grade, she receives a letter from herself ten years in the future . At first, she writes it off as a prank, but as the letter's predictions come true one by one Naho realises that the letter might be the real deal . Her future self tells Naho that a new transfer student, a boy named Kakeru, will soon join her class . The letter begs Naho to watch over him, saying that only Naho can save Kakeru from a terrible future . Who is this mystery boy, and can Naho save him from his destiny ?
This heart-wrenching Sci-FI romance that has over one million copies in print in Japan !
My Review : WARNING : You will need a good supply of tissues during this Manga !
This is an emotional roller coaster of a read ! One minute its funny, light and joyful and the next it is incredibly sad but don't let that put you off picking up this wonderful book !
The characters are really believable and their friendships are realistic, as you read you can feel the love and pain they are going through .
There are several trigger warnings in this Manga including : Bullying, Depression, Grief and Suicide .
The artwork is wonderful . There are a few full colour pages at the beginning which are beautiful, the majority is in black and white and is still very nice .
I bought this Manga thinking it was the whole thing as it states in the title it is " The Complete Collection " however I later found out that there are two more volumes ! I am excited to get those so I can find out what happens at the end ! Highly recommended : YOU NEED TO EXPERIENCE THIS BOOK EVERYONE !
Rating : 5 out of 5
Elsewhere : Volume one by Jay Faerber, Sumeyye Kesgin and Ron Riley
Synopsis : " Copper Head " writer Jay Faerber teams up with the stunning art team of Sumeyye Kesgin and Ron Riley to reveal the truth about what happened to Amelia Earhart !
Mysteriously transported to a strange new world filled with flying beasts and alien civilizations, Amelia desperately struggles to return home . Along the way she forges alliances and makes enemies as she goes from aviator to freedom fighter in a rebellion against a merciless warlord !
My Review : This graphic novel is a quick and fun read .
Set in an alternative history, where Amelia Earhart falls through a space time warp when her plane develops engine trouble . She is taken to an alien world full of fantastical creatures .
The storyline is very good, the artwork is fun and colourful and works well with the writing . Amelia, Cort and Tavel are fun characters and I can't wait until I can get the next volume to continue the adventures with them .
I received an E-copy of this graphic novel from Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review .
Rating : 4 out of 5
Hortense And The Shadow by Natalia O'Hara and Lauren O'Hara
A haunting, original fairytale from two dazzling debut picture book talents, in the spirit of Neil Gaiman and Carson Ellis .
Synopsis : Hortense is a kind and brave girl, but she is sad -- even angry -- that her shadow follows her everywhere she goes . She hates her shadow, and thinks her shadow must hate her too . But one cold, dark night, when bandits surprise her in the woods, Hortense discovers that her shadow is the very thing she needs most .
This stunningly illustrated story stirs the soul with it's compelling, subtle exploration of self-esteem, self-identity and finding inner strength .
My Review : This is a truly beautiful book inside and out, the artwork is stunning from the front cover to back and the writing is just as wonderful . Near to the end it becomes quite dark, but most fairy tales aren't as innocent as they seem !
PARENTS .... You NEED to buy this and read it with your children , it contains important life lessons and teaches them to love themselves !
I received an E-copy from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review
Rating : 4 out of 5
Being A Writer : Advice, Musings, Essays And Experiences From The World's Greatest Authors by Travis Elborough and Helen Gordon
Synopsis : The joys and challenges of being a writer are explored in this inspiring assemblage of wit, wisdom and hard-won practical advice from some of the world's greatest authors musing on the art of writing and how they came to define themselves as writers . From Samuel Johnson in eighteenth-century London to Lorrie Moore in twenty-first-century Wisconsin, the contributors range from the canon to contemporary, covering more than 250 years and come from all over the world .
Beautifully illustrated throughout, this stunning anthology explores and illuminates the pleasures and pitfalls of the compulsion to write, with advice about the whole messy business of writing literature and what it takes to be a writer . The perfect gift for aspiring writers, curious readers and anyone interested in what the world's greatest authors have to say about the art of writing .
My Review : I really loved reading this book . It contains a whole collection of quotes, essays and advice about all aspects and stages of writing from a wide selection of well-known authors of different genres . So aspiring writers of all areas will find inspiration and interest in this book .
A wonderful present for anyone who loves reading and writing .
I particularly loved it because I am currently in the process of writing so I found it very useful .
Rating : 5 out of 5
Inkheart ( Inkworld #1 ) by Cornelia Funke
DARE TO READ IT ALOUD ....
Synopsis : Meggie loves stories, but her father, Mo, hasn't read aloud to her since her mother mysteriously disappeared .
When a stranger knocks at their door, Mo is forced to reveal an extraordinary secret - as he reads aloud, words come alive, and dangerous characters step out of the pages .
Suddenly, Meggie is living the kind of adventure she has only read about in books, but this one will change her life for ever .
My Review : This book is suitable for all ages even though its marketed at children/YA . It is a book for people who love books and storytelling, for me, as a huge book lover, it is the perfect fantasy read ! I read it in a couple of sittings and loved every second of it as I shared all the excitement, danger and adventure with the characters .
Inkheart is the first book of the Inkworld trilogy, it is a wonderful introduction into this fantasy world and its characters, Each chapter starts with a piece from another book or a quote from an author and some small illustations too which is a nice addition .
I very much look forward to reading the other books . I found this book on Amazon for extremely cheap, as with most of my library now I bought it used .
Highly recommended to all fantasy fans !
Rating : 5 out of 5
The Dream Of The Butterfly Vol 1 : Rabbits On The Moon by Richard Marazano and illustrated by Luo Yin
Synopsis : Tutu is lost in a village where Winter is eternal and the rabbits of the secret police find her guilty of one of the worst crimes imaginable - being a little girl ! The Emperor of this strange town holds the key to her redemption, but it will come at a price .
My Review : This was an entertaining graphic novel, it has the feel of a Manga it is very Asian in appearance . The setting was very imaginative, it was a nice storyline with fairytale/folk lore elements .
It has a lot of very interesting animal and bird characters which is amusing . I like books with magical talking animals and birds it makes a change from reading just about humans . There are some quite dark parts including the way they produced the energy in the factory !
I received an E-copy from Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review
Rating : 4 out of 5
Goldfisch # 1 by Nana Yaa
Synopsis : The fisherboy Morrey is astonished when suddenly everything he touches with his hands turns to gold . Nevertheless, he wants to get rid of this gift quickly, because gilded underpants are neither comfortable nor practical . Together with his faithful otter and his new friends, Morrey seeks a cure .
My review : Being a huge Manga and Anime fan when I saw this one in the digital review copies on Edelweiss I had to read it !
I wasn't disappointed ! It was fun, colourful and full of humourous and adorable characters . The otter is so kawaii, I absolutely loved it . It was a quick read but a very fun one . It has quite a few full colour illustrations which are wonderful . I hope to buy this Manga series when it is out in the shops ( estimated : Jan 16th 2018 )
I really recommend Manga to anyone who gets the occassional reading slump ! It is quick, entertaining and a good way to get you turning those pages again .
Rating : 4 and a half out of 5
The Toymakers by Robert Dinsdale
Synopsis : Do you remember when you believed in magic ? The Emporium opens with the first frost of winter . It is the same every year . Across the city, when children wake to see ferns of white stretched across their windows, or walk to school to hear ice crackling underfoot, the whispers begin : The Emporium Is Open !
It is 1917, and London has spent years in the shadow of the First World War . In the heart of Mayfair, though, there is a place of hope . A place where children's dreams can come true, where the impossible becomes possible - that place is Papa Jack's Toy Emporium .
For years Papa Jack has created and sold his famous magical toys : hobby horses, patchwork dogs and bears that seem alive, toy boxes bigger inside than out, ' instant trees ' that sprout from boxes, tin soldiers that can fight battles on their own . Now his sons, Kaspar and Emil, are just old enough to join the family trade . Into this family comes a young Cathy Wray - homeless and vulnerable . The Emporium takes her in, makes her one of it's own, but Cathy is about to discover that while all toy shops are places of wonder, only one is truely magical .
My Review : I really enjoyed this book . It was a wonderful read, imaginative and very magical .
Cathy is young and pregnant, her parents want her to sell her baby once its born but Cathy doesn't want this, she doesn't know what to do but one day her sister gives her a mysterious job advertisement and it seems like a way out of her troubles so she runs away to inquire about the advertisement . She arrives at The Emporium where her life changes forever ...
Set just before, during and after The First World War this is a very emotional read in parts, I had teary eyes during some sentences, it is very moving . The magical realism is written extremely well I really loved it .
I received an E-copy from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review .
Rating : 5 out of 5