Monday, 23 October 2017

The winner of the Man Booker Prize 2017

Book cover image of Lincoln and the Bardo
The winner of this years Man Booker prize is Lincoln and the Bardo by George Saunders.

In 1862 Abraham Lincoln is grief stricken after the death of his young son Willie. As he roams the graveyard where his son has just been buried, Willie is trapped in the ghostly world between the dead and the living - drawn to his father but surrounded by the recently deceased and the long dead.

"Unfolding in the graveyard over a single night, narrated by a dazzling chorus of voices,Lincoln and the Bardo is a thrilling exploration of death, grief and the deeper meaning and possibilities of life".

The work is the first full length novel from American short story writer George Saunders. The Man Booker prize for Fiction is a literary prize awarded each year for the best original novel written in the English language and published in the UK.

Friday, 20 October 2017

Behind Her Eyes by Sarah Pinborough

Book cover image of Behind her eyes
In Behind her eyes, Louise is a single mother that works part time at a medical centre. She shared kiss with a stranger in the pub only to find out the next day that he is her new boss and he is married to a beautiful woman.
Very soon she becomes involved in their life and she is not sure whom to believe - husband David who is always half drunk or wife Adele who has to hide her friendship with Louise from her husband.
What did happen in the past, what did happen to Adele’s parents and why are Dave and Adele are still together?
Find out for yourself.
Once you start reading Behind her eyes you will have to finish it. I really enjoyed this book.

Tuesday, 17 October 2017

One Photo by Ross Watkins ; Illustrated by Liz Anelli

Book cover image of One Photo
Children’s picture books cover an enormous range of subjects. Many are light and entertaining ; as they should be. One Photo is a book of tragedy and heartbreak. It is a serious read.

This book tackles a difficult subject with beneficial outcomes for readers. It is a book for every family who is willing to face the potential of grief and loss in their own or others’ circumstances. We never know what life has in store for us. Our children can benefit greatly by being exposed to a range of experiences through books. It can be the basis of conversation that can raise questions and allow children, and adults to develop empathy for others. It can help to build resilience and to develop strategies for dealing with pain and loss.

One Photo is a deeply moving book. It examines the roles we play in our families. Sometimes the children are the leaders and remind the adults of what they have forgotten. Always, we need to support each other when things start to change.
Liz Anelli’s illustrations are heart-warming and heart-breaking. The mother, the son and the cat are touchingly portrayed as the story unfolds. The father is seen only from a distance or from an angle that doesn’t show his face. His photos tell his story. We see the pain in the faces of his family and in the text that is so beautifully crafted by Ross Watkins.
One Photo was shortlisted for the Childrens Book Council of Australia Picture Book of the Year 2017

Friday, 13 October 2017

Astrophysics for People in a Hurry by Neil DeGrasse Tyson

Book cover image of Astrophysics for people in a hurry
Neil DeGrasse Tyson is an eminent cosmologist and one of the world’s premier science communicators. Astrophysics for People in a Hurry is an illuminating and witty exposition about what science currently knows concerning the nature and history of the universe. Though the ideas are mind blowing they are presented with clarity and concision. The book delivers an awe inspiring insight into some of science’s most incredible ideas and discoveries.
The big bang, the theory of relativity and the mystery of dark matter are some of the subjects explored. DeGrasse Tyson relates how the elements forged inside stars form the building blocks of life thereby linking humans to the great unfolding cosmic story. I highly recommend Astrophysics for People in a Hurry.

Tuesday, 10 October 2017

Book cover image of Salvage
Salvage is Martin Rodoreda's thought provoking debut novel set in dystopian future Sydney. A future caused by global warming and a past resource war, the remaining population have been forced to life crammed under a protective dome and those who were left outside have mutated in a feral parody of humans, cannibalistic and wild.
This is very interesting and thoughtful book which will grip the reader and will keep them enthralled from the start. It follows Silver, a strong female character, who is part of a salvage team who scourge the old suburbs looking for anything of value to bring back to the dome.
Martin Rodoreda makes some interesting points about greed and political corruption, and though the world has gone to ruin, how people can use their power to feed their greed to the detriment of others. Salvage is a book for this generation dealing with global warming and its effect on the future.

Friday, 6 October 2017

Triangle by Mac Barnett, illustrated by Jon Klassen

Book cover image of Triangle
Triangle tells the story of Triangle, a mischievous prankster who lives in a triangle shaped house in a triangle village. He embarks on a journey to visit his friend Square, whom he intends to play a sneaky trick on. What follows is a simple, yet intriguing adventure story that you won’t be able to read just once!

The story is delightfully funny, the text is minimal and much of the humour is drawn from the pace and tone of the narrative which makes it really fun to read aloud. The illustrations are some of Jon Klassen’s finest, drawn in neutral colours with so much depth and texture, very different to the solid, bright colours featured in other children’s picture books.

The book is fun to read and fantastic listen to. Children will enjoy the quirky shape creatures and their antics, set amongst a beautifully illustrated backdrop. The ending is sure to start a conversation amongst readers and their audience!

I would recommend Triangle to children of all ages. It is adored by my two year old son and is currently his favourite bedtime story that we read over and over again! We cannot wait for the next two instalments in the upcoming Mac Barnett and Jon Klassen 'Shape Trilogy', ‘Square’ (to be released in 2018) and ‘Circle’ (to be released in 2019), to see what adventures they will get up to next!


Thursday, 5 October 2017

Unfu*k Yourself: Get Out of Your Head and Into Your Life

Unfu*k yourself : get out of your head and into your life
Unfu*k Yourself: Get Out of Your Head and Into Your Life is yet another self-empowerment guide that joins the likes of Life-changing magic of not giving a f*ck, The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck, You are a bad ass, and F*ck Feelings.
It offers an honest, no-nonsense, tough-love approach to help you move past you own self-imposed limitations and ‘self-talk’. It covers divorce, loss, failure, burden, health…..

I feel many self-help reads out in the market are full of far too much detail and gooey love yourself concepts. Once you have read them, you will have a life changing epiphany and be able to solve all simply by following their concepts. This book would appeal to anyone with little time, as it is relatively easy to follow and is short, neatly packed into a quick read and is nearly not as "offensive" as Gary tries to make it out to be.

Originating in Scotland and moving to the U.S. Gary John Bishop, comes from a background of personal development with a lifelong commitment to changing people’s lives utilising a no-frills approach. As a result, he has an increasing worldwide following and has developed a world leading personal development company. He has coached top athletes to fortune 500 company executives and now has self-published his ‘urban philosophy’ to appeal to the general reader that represents a new wave of personal empowerment reads.

Curious? Then borrow this book from the library, have a browse, if you are not easily offended by urban speak and determine if it makes a life changing impact in your life. If you are easily offended, then Gary himself urges you to stop reading and re-gift - or in our case - lend this book to someone else in your life that may benefit from it.