Wednesday, 31 December 2014

Bulls, Bands and London by John Meyer

Why do people travel overseas? To experience a different culture, have an adventure or new experiences? Neil Jarvis’ reason is to pursue his girlfriend, Jordon, after she takes off to London to experience the Britpop scene following their fight.

Bulls, Bands and London is an action packed, fun filled fictional travel memoir.

Neil is a young man who, because of circumstances dealt him, is a little unworldly, awkward and lacking experience in love. You may choose to like the characters or be frustrated by them. I tended to go one way then the next.

However you feel about the characters Meyer’s writing is fun, chatty and witty.

I particularly enjoyed Neil’s first person travelogues, light-hearted and humorous history lessons, fun guided tour of tourist highlights and comparisons to his home country of Canada.

I loved the ending but you won’t get a spoiler here and beneath the fun there is a lesson to be learned but you’ll have to read the book.

I’m not terribly interested in or knowledgeable about modern Britpop (60s and 70s yes, but not anything more recent than that) but this music genre proves to be a perfect background for Meyer’s fictional travel story. I discussed this music genre with my son who gave me a better understanding of the bands and the backdrop to the story.

If you find it doesn’t grab you in the first few pages push on at least to you arrive in London with Neil after that you won’t want to put it down.

My rating 4*

Sunday, 28 December 2014

Fancy Pants Poetry by Agostino Scafidi

The short and succinct poetry of Agostino Scafidi skilfully prompts the reader’s own thoughts and reflection on life and living. 

In many cases I found myself admitting feelings, judgments and attitudes I would not admit to even my closest friends.


I got a lot out of the book by taking the time to consider the poet’s own contemplations behind each poem and reflect on how they applied to my own life and behaviour.

It is a book of poetry I will reread many times.

My Rating 4*

Note: this book is only available through Agostino Scafidi's website

Sunday, 7 December 2014

Thank you to Indie Authors

In between posting reviews I thought I'd share some of my favourite quotes about books but there are so many good ones. 

I have selected these as a tribute to the Indie authors that I have, and will have
the pleasure to help by reviewing their wonderful books.

So to  all my Indie authors past, present and future - thank you.


Wednesday, 19 November 2014

Dogs Don’t Look Both Ways by Jane Hanser

Joey is a very engaging chocolate Labrador with boundless energy and full of curiosity. 

He is very sociable and welcomes a game, petting or a treat from anyone. His greatest joy is the long early morning runs with his dad. 

But it is not enough; Joey is always looking for more fun and excitement. 

Dogs Don't Look Both Ways by Jane Hanser is an absolutely delightful story of her adventurous dog. The story is told by Joey himself.

It does not just relate  Joey’s escapades; it is a heart-warming tale of the love and dedication between a dog and his people (Mum and Dad) It is also very suitable for children.
Jane’s writing is as enjoyable as Joey’s story. While I am certain Joey dictated the story to Jane it was Jane’s writing skills that polished the book.

Beautiful and clear descriptions associated with scenery, change of seasons and all the  sights, sounds and (because it is told by Joey) smells of Joey’s world have the reader right there in Boston with Joey and his Mum and Dad.

In addition to being a good read, as a former Belgian Shepherd Breeder I believe this book should be essential reading for anyone who has or is planning to buy a working dog or high energy breed. It demonstrates the importance of understanding their personality, much of which is passed down through the breed lines.

It was only through their understanding of the Labrador breed (evident when Joey talks about his ancestors) in addition to their boundless love for and dedication to their beautiful dog that Joey’s parents were able to get him through the trauma of his accident and resolve his seemingly limitless desire to seek out more fun, games and new friends.

I was so taken by Joey that I checked out the website and picked up Joey’s blog. There is more good advice about understanding a dog’s body language among the posts.

In closing I hope Jane and Joey don’t mind but I’d like to share my favourite paragraph in the book ; one that demonstrates how beautifully it is written:

“This was it. I was now initiated into a long and proud line of Retrievers, bred to run, to retrieve, to cross streams and valleys, to roam and sniff, to be a friend of men and women (and other dogs) and to be obedient and gentle. Today I was my father's son and my grandfather's grandson, my great-grandfather's great-grandson.”

Thank you Jane Hanser for sharing your wonderful Joey with all your readers.

My rating 5*

Friday, 14 November 2014

The Morgenstern Murders: The Jonas McCleary Series, Vol. 2

This book is the sequel to The Sand Bluff Murders. Since resigning as Chief of Police in the quiet town of Sand Bluff, the main character, Jonas McCleary, is now a private investigator.

I have not read the first in the series but that has not lessened my enjoyment of this book.

His first case comes when an abortionist and his wife are murdered. The doctor’s clinics are the target of protestors. But are these protestors not as peaceful and caring of life as they claim or is the doctor’s daughter, Goldie, and her husband guilty because of the inheritance they gain? Goldie hires Jonas to prove her innocence. His investigation deepens when another body is found murdered.

Jonas is not a gun toting, heavy handed PI driving fast cars. He is an ordinary and very likeable man who uses his skills questioning the interesting collection of characters and his contact with the local police to unravel the clues and get the result.

He is also a family man but separated from his beloved family because of the need to earn a living. This warm story is cleverly intertwined with the mystery.

The story is told in the first person by Jonas giving the author the opportunity to clearly express his character’s musings about the case.

Albrecht’s detailed descriptions of mannerisms and thoughts give clear insight into the characters while his descriptions of scenes have the reader hearing and smelling the surrounds. This descriptive prose does not weigh the storyline down but provides the reader with clear images.

A well written book with a result I certainly didn’t pick.

My rating 4*

Thursday, 13 November 2014

How to Choose a Good Network Marketing Company by A. A. Sarkiss

Unfortunately too many people fall into network marketing traps before undertaking sensible business research. They end up losing a lot of money and spend wasted hours with no results for their efforts.

This brief but succinct book will tell you what to look for in a network marketing company that is safe and reliable.

It is well laid out and written in easy to understand language.

I have given this book 4* mainly because of its potentially limited interest.

My rating 4*