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Cynically Sweet (Booklikes)

I'm not the most active user here on Booklikes. In fact, sometimes I forget that it even exists. However, I endeavor to come back and post more stuff that I enjoy.

My reviews aren't guaranteed to be something you agree with and my perspective on books isn't something most people generally want. However, I still hope that there's something you can gain from them and you don't feel as if you've wasted your time reading them.


Don't just take my word for it; read the books yourself and form your own opinion!

Currently reading

The Beekeeper's Secret
Josephine Moon
Freaks I've Met
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Flood of Fire
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Kitchen Addiction!
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#1 Bundle of Fun - Humorous Cozy Mysteries - Funny Adventures of Mina Kitchen - with Recipes (FREE April 28--May 2!): Kitchen Addiction! + Christmas Bizarre ... Kitchen Cozy Mystery Series - Bundle 1)
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Black Swan: Who Am I?

Black Swan: Who Am I? - Diann Maree Black Swan: Who Am I? is a book about the self awakening of Diann Maree. Covering six weeks, Black Swan is a series of journey entries and reflections as she makes a transformation. Following a seminar, she takes on a new outlook to life, finding new ways to deal with her experiences and life.

Despite being about the author's inspirational and spiritual moments, it's not really an inspirational or spiritual book to me, in my opinion. It's more the documentation of what the author goes through, rather than trying to help the reader to a similar stage of their own lives. That is, unless you feel like attending one of the seminars of this Van person. Mind you, I don't necessarily think you'll have such an awakening in your own life. It's not really explained completely as to what this seminar is, except that it has to do with stocks and investments. Later that night, the author wakes and is instructed to deliver a message. However, when she makes the phone call to the person, she has no idea what the message is.

I can't help being sceptical about this book, despite being a reasonably spiritual person, because a lot of it reads like an advertisement for the Van and Libby seminar/ course. She thanks them multiple times throughout the book. A lot of the entries mention work with partners and what's essentially homework (she mentions writing up reviews and doing questionnaires / responses to various things). However, we don't get much information as to what these tasks are. This is a bit bothersome because she finds certain inspirations from them and it causes a lot of thought to her. Yet, obviously this is a loss for the reader because we don't know what has caused these "a-ha!" moments or insights. I'd also like to take this moment to make a point. It's very based on this seminar, held by Van and Libby (plus the 28 day TFM course). This is the primary reason that the author has had these spiritual insights, her inner guide even encouraging her to further communicating with the pair. It's not just a mental thing, either; she writes of the burning feeling in her third eye and the heightened senses (she discusses being more aware of smells for a stage).

Also, I think some of the messages get a bit convoluted; for example, she mentions being a more loving person. Though, personally, I don't see scenes supporting that (though I'm not denying that she might be). However, it just doesn't seem that way (but that could be due to missing information). One memory she writes about (on pages 34-36, though it might be different in other editions) is that she goes checking waters with someone (though she didn't really explain who he was). At one point, he begins to skinny dip, she's ashamed and threatens to leave him walking home (they were in a utility vehicle). After this point, on another event, he mentions marriage to her (that her parents think they would be good together). However, for some reason she's upset about this and threatens him with a pitch fork. She mentions that she feels negatively about this person, but I can't help but find that it is she being the negative one instead; making threats in both of these examples, rather than talking her feelings out. He was wanting a little bit of fun with the skinny dipping and he was kind of proposing the idea of marriage. I'd like to point out that she, with the pitchfork, threatens to do bodily harm. I think there's a lot missing and that some of these revelations cause me to look upon the author with a negative light.

It's an alright book. However, as mentioned, I feel like there's a lot of information that I'm just not getting. I don't think that many of these things are very spiritual, either. I think it's just odd events (coincidences, new experiences, etc) that the author chooses to take in a new light. They might still have happened, had she not attended this seminar and/or had that spiritual experience, but her new information provides her with a different outlook of it. I think the message that has been clear to me throughout the book is that, if you want to find some level of spirituality, attend a seminar about stocks/ investing, make odd phone calls at weird times (bonus points if you have someone come to your door at an strange hour, questioning your pizza ordering habits). If you're looking for a book guiding you to spirituality, this won't be as helpful as you might think; it relies on coincidence and it's unlikely that readers will have the same experiences as the author. Apart from those faults, it's not a terrible book, but I think it still needs a lot more information to make some bits understandable.

I won a copy of this book via a First Reads giveaway and these are just my honest thoughts on it.

High Tides: Wading Through Depression - Every Day

High Tides: Wading Through Depression - Every Day - Candace Andrews High Tides is a short book that looks into depression, from the perspective of author Candace Andrews. I would classify this book as an introduction to depression and its effects on people. Though it's not a complete manual for dealing with it, it includes varying aspects on what one might deal with. It has information about varying forms of depression and similar mental illnesses as well as a little bit about the drugs one might be prescribed. It includes varying personal experiences that the author has been through; including examples of family members and people they've also met with similar problems. There are several quotes from books, as well as a bit of information about famous people who have suffered from depression and similar things. It also has what I would consider to be tips; it encourages people to do what they enjoy or to make plans for their future (even if they might not feel like it). As a further comment to that last point, I appreciate that the author has shared some of her personal writings such as the diary entries and poetry; it's an outlet that she's used to help her through her own problems.

Overall, I did like the book. Though, not every aspect spoke to me- I didn't particularly find a fascination with the discussion of medicines or similar things, but I did find some other, very interesting portions that I might find useful in future life. The portions I enjoyed most were the snippets of her life when growing up. Though I do have to admit that they sometimes felt a bit disjointed and didn't always have relevance, I did like reading about the varying things she and her family have been through during the struggle. Other people would, of course, like different aspects of the book. It's only a little more than a hundred pages, including acknowledgements and notes. I think that if you can get yourself a copy, you may as well give it a go and you might find something useful to you or someone you know.

For people who want to avoid such things; this book does include religious references. It also includes references to suicide.

I won a copy of this book via a First Reads giveaway and these are just my honest thoughts on it.

Are you living your resume or your eulogy?: And other short stories and anecdotes

Are you living your resume or your eulogy?: And other short stories and anecdotes - Richard Sauerman "Are you living your resume or your eulogy?" is a book by Richard Sauerman which contains short (really short) stories and several motivational passages. Apart from the initial cover question, it looks at where you're spending your time and asks you whether it's worth it. Is your nine to five job really worth the time you're spending away from your family? What about all that overtime and the furthered education? What about all of your assets; do you really need all that money and stuff? It's essentially a book which gets the reader to question what type of life they lead vs. the type of life they think they should be leading.

Personally, I think that I'm kind of disappointed in the book. One of the questions it asks is whether we're spending our time appropriately and whether we ought to be wasting it on certain things, yet it brings up references to movies and television programs that I have no desire to see. Why would I, as a general reader, take my precious time to take a lesson from characters I don't admire or storylines I don't understand? Many of the anecdotes and short stories are fairly common things that can be found on the internet already, some of them very generic. Others are twisted from stories his friends (or friend of friends) or his family has relayed to him. It just seems like the author isn't even leading his life to the fullest if he has so few original stories to tell us. Apart from that, I didn't find many of the passages to be very relevant to me. They're fairly common motivational messages, some things I've basically read already in the one or two other motivational books I've read, and didn't convey that "wow" factor.

I'll keep this short as I'm sure many of you have better things to do than continue reading my review. To summarise, it was a somewhat stereotypical motivational book which didn't inspire me in the least or offer me much original material. There are some good short stories and a bit of humour. It's a reasonable book, but I think others might find more from this book than I did.

I won a copy of this book via a First Reads giveaway and these are just my honest thoughts on it.

Ratchet the Reluctant Witch

Ratchet the Reluctant Witch - Sara Pascoe Ratchet the Reluctant Witch by Sara Pascoe is about a few witches and a cat. Rachel Hollingsworth, also known as "Ratchet", is a young, teenage girl who lives in the foster care system. At the beginning of the book, she doesn't know that she's a witch and it freaks her out when she begins developing some powers. Bryony Braxton is Ratchet's social worker, a witch. She has a cat, Oscar who can communicate to both of the witches and has a few snarky comments to add at each twist and turn. Ratchet runs away from her foster parent and finds herself living with a of pair siblings, Ian and Emma, who run a cafe. After an accident, Ratchet and Oscar are transported back in time, with Bryony eventually following to try and help.

The characters are interesting, but I think that they could have used a bit of fine tuning. I didn't particularly find myself being able to relate to Ratchet, and I found her to be somewhat unlikeable. For the majority of the book, she has an attitude and is often kind of rude or disrespectful to people. Especially with Bryony. Though it's essentially Ratchet's fault that they're back in time, she had a tendency to blame Bryony for not being able to do much about it. Obviously there's not much Bryony could have done, but I think what Ratchet didn't see is that Bryony did a lot to help. She did her best to help them "fit in" better during each strange location and did try to make sure that they kept in contact with others that could help. Oscar is a reasonably interesting character, but I thought that he ultimately didn't really add much to the book, apart from the smarminess. He has a microchip which helps the witches contact the future, but I felt that portion was essentially just a device to keep him in the story further when he didn't have much to add. It could be that Bryony could be micro chipped and it would go just as well. As for Bryony, I think that she was made to look a little bit too useless. For a main character, it just seemed like she was being put down too much and that the author didn't have much for her to do apart from being a comedic aspect. Apart from that, each of them has some good points. The other characters were pretty interesting. Ian and Emma were certainly my favourites. I appreciated their bright outlook and their generosity. Pavel was a bit weird and I felt that he had more to offer to the story than being left in the future. It might have been interesting if he were to help train her further during the time travel, with the mind connection. Jake had some interesting scenes, but I didn't feel like he added much; other than to create guilt for Ratchet. I suppose that was a potential reason for her to experience character development, but she didn't change that much over the course of the book. By the end, she still had a poor attitude and chose to make selfish decisions, rather than considering how they might affect others.

The scenes the author creates are almost magical in themselves. She creates beautiful imagery of the places the trio visit and we go on an adventure with them. The plot is interesting and I appreciate that the author has attempted to give a bit of hope to a character which sort of seems to be a lost cause for other characters. I would have liked a bit more focus to be put on Ratchet's mother and to have learnt more of her in the storyline. For the supernatural and magical aspects in the book, I think a lot of them were not explained very well. For example, Ratchet's time travelling was initially explained as related to her emotions and that she experiences the event because she had been severely distraught at the time. Yet, if that were the case, why was she not able to travel again sooner? She was caught by witch hunters and kept in prison, fed only gruel and experiencing a very tragic time. Surely she would be in extreme emotional stress in this portion as well, especially considering that she knew she would be put to death at the end of it. Her next portion of time travel finds her, Bryony and Oscar in Istanbul at around the same period in time. With no real trying, she finds that she's able to understand the local language and speak it back. Bryony makes comment that this is "time traveller's advantage". So essentially, Ratchet took them there so she gets to speak the language. The author manages to create brilliant scenery and explain the displays at great length, but I would trade much of that in order for a better explanation to these magical events. It just seems that any of these magical happenings are just because that's what's fitting at the time. Another example I can think of is Ratchet's abilities to read peoples' coffee cups. It serves a heap of importance to the story, but it also lacks proper explanation as to why she can do such a thing.

Overall, I liked the book. The main characters were misused in my opinion, but there were some interesting characters in the background. I also think that the supernatural aspects could use a bit more work and I would have appreciated better explanations to them. However, I think the book overall is fairly successful and a less critical person than myself should be fairly pleased with it. At the end of the book, it seems like there are several openings for future books in a potential series. I think many of them might work well, not just from a series that might follow Ratchet, but I think it might be interesting to also look into other witches and magical people in the same universe. Should there be a next book, I think I might like to read it.

I won a copy of this book via a First Reads giveaway and these are just my honest thoughts on it.

Saving Allison

Saving Allison - J. Stoute Saving Allison is a book by J. Stoute which speaks the story of Allison Perkins. She's a fourteen year old girl who has been dealt some difficult cards. Having been battling with self image and bullying, she's decided to take her own life and we begin the book with the preparation for her suicide. As she hangs from a rope and begins to suffocate, Jordan steps in. He's a guardian angel who has come to talk some things over with her and to show her the life she might be missing out on if she continues.

The characters are interesting, but most are fairly stereotypical. The mother and father of Allison love her dearly and seem to do no wrong. The bullies in the book are said to do it for no reason (that people would trip her just to watch her fall) and, later on in life, they would experience hardships like one boy always regretting what he'd done to her (forever punishing himself, or something to that extent) and that the popular girl would get left with a child and get fat. I don't have much problem with the characters apart from them being stereotypical. I just think that we don't see enough of each character, other than Allison and her parents. Even with her friends, they're said to be really good friends to her, but the conversations we experience with them just seem really bland and don't seem as if they are friends. They just seem more like acquaintances in a forced situation (it’s explained that they only really hang out together because none of them fit in elsewhere). I think, had we spent more time with them, there might be a better feeling between them and they might seem friendlier. More on that point, I think that it just seems like even Allison doesn't care that much about them. When Jordan is discussing the friends' lives apart from her and their visit to her funeral, she's confused that they would be there or even care that she's gone. It just seems like even she didn't think that they were good friends. A lot of Allison's life was a bit generic (typical baby and growing up stuff) and I wish we'd have gotten more reason for the kids bullying her. It just seems like there was no reason at all and just doesn't make sense to me. I know kids can be cruel, but it just seems beyond ridiculous. Apart from those points, the characters were okay. Not brilliant and many actions just didn't make sense, but they were fine otherwise.

The plot reminds me a lot of A Christmas Carol, where she sees both the past, present and future of the situation and how her decisions can change such things. I think that she had a lot of other options, though. The choice she made, to commit suicide, was very extreme. A lot of her problems could have been solved, like Jordan tries to tell her, with simply talking to others. If she'd spoken to people, than a lot of her problems might have been fixed a lot sooner. The bullying could have been fixed by speaking to teachers who might have punished the other children. The bullying might have been fixed by changing schools or even by being home schooled (her mother was a stay at home mum so it's a reasonable idea). I think the author did a reasonable job of trying to put together a lot of reasons for Allison's suicide (bullying, body image, rape), but because of the way it's written, it just doesn't feel like she's committed to it and that this is what she wants. I guess that's the moral of the book, that you always have other options. However, in the same way, that's what's confusing about the book; the author doesn't really explain properly why Allison doesn't take these other options, beside the fact that she's kind of embarrassed and she thinks it's awkward to talk to people about her problems. One thing that does bother me is that, when Jordan shames her for what she's done to her parents and friends (by committing suicide), it feels like that's just the wrong thing to say. It's not really her fault that she's been having suicidal feelings and by trying to chastise her like that is just bound to make her feel worse about her life. I, personally, hate when people say things like that, though it's a fairly common for people to say to suicidal people (many people call them weak and selfish). Apart from those points, the plot was somewhat generic, but had some interesting points.

The following paragraph is about the ninth chapter and will be hidden because of spoilers.
.On the other hand, the book does seem to have a sort of psychological portion about it. If you read the ninth chapter, as I did, I guess that all this can be seen in another light. That the stories and visions she had about the other characters futures (the boy regretting what he'd done and the girl growing old and overweight) are just in her own head, probably what she wishes would happen once she's passed on. In some way, it might be Allison hoping that those two would simply get punished to some extent. I appreciate the second ending and think it does give an interesting second look. In a way, it sort of explains to us that (at the very last minute) she's realised what she could have done and how her choices will affect other people, but now it's too late.

It's a quick book and it only took me about an hour to read this morning. It's fairly sad, but if you stop at the happily ever after ending, it has a lighter and more hopeful feeling, I would imagine. It's a bit preachy and, in many cases, does seem like it puts down suicidal people (in my opinion). Though I appreciate the moral that it tries to teach, that there's always other options and things you can do. Overall, it was alright, but I didn't necessarily enjoy it. As mentioned above, I didn't think that it was particularly original in either plot or characters. However, it was a decent book and I think some people might be helped by the story, even if I'm not.

I won a copy of this book via a First Reads giveaway and these are just my honest thoughts on it.

Ten Zany Birds

Ten Zany Birds - Sherry  Ellis Ten Zany Birds is a short, beautiful book by Sherry Ellis with amazing illustrations by Charu Jain! It tells the story of birds in a tree through rhyme. As we follow the events, we encounter visitors to their home and what happens, counting down as each bird leaves for various reasons. The pictures are just gorgeous and are brilliant displays of colour, sure to please any reader. The rhymes introduce the children to varying colours, counting and actions. Overall, it's a very enjoyable book.

Duct Tape: 101 Adventurous Ideas for Art, Jewelry, Flowers, Wallets and More

Duct Tape: 101 Adventurous Ideas for Art, Jewelry, Flowers, Wallets and More - Forest Walker Davis As a late Christmas present, my mother gifted me Duct Tape by Forest Walker Davis. It presents the reader with many beautiful and interesting ideas of things to make with duct tape. From flowers and sculptures to wallets and belts, this book is guaranteed to give you some great ideas on what to make! With some portions, there are also short tutorials on how to create them, others with explanations on how they're made. Overall, it's a great little craft book, featuring an incredibly versatile product!

A Thousand Tears: A Short Story

A Thousand Tears: A Short Story - J.C.  Martin A Thousand Tears is a short story by J.C. Martin, 1780 words long. It's a very beautiful story, depicting a complicated relationship. It's very well written and shows us as much of the story as we need to know. As much as I wish there were more for us to read, I think the author has conveyed enough information to get a full picture. Though we don't know much about each character and their backgrounds, I think the author has left the majority of that to us where we can imagine our own characters and histories to them. Overall, it's very well done and quite enjoyable.

The Transferred Ghost (Updated)

The Transferred Ghost (Updated) - Rafael Coira, J. H. Coira The Transferred Ghost by Rafael Coira is a short story that I obtained for free from Smashwords today. It is an adaptation from a story by Frank R. Stockton, which I have not read, so I do not know the differences between that version and this.

The story is about a ghost. It comes to talk to one of the inhabitants of a house, one day and explains its situation. You see, it had taken residence in the home at the near death of another of the occupants. However, when that person lived, the awkward ghost had nowhere to go. It requests help and offers a little bit of advice in return.

It's an interesting little story and it runs at a reasonable pace. I really did quite enjoy it. My only problem is that the story ends quite abruptly when I feel like there's more to be told. Though it completes everyone's problems, I just don't think the ending is very fitting. Other than that, the characters and plot are all quite good.

Tayla's Day Out -A New Zealand Photo-Story for All Ages

Tayla's Day Out -A New Zealand Photo-Story for All Ages - Caro Mundt This book, by Caro Mundt, is about Tayla and features photographs of her adventure up Mount Taranaki (also known as Mount Egmont) with her aunt. It's very encouraging to children, teaching them little bits about the area and also showing them the various scenery of New Zealand. I think it might be very inspirational to kids as well, and could help children to adventure about the areas about their own home. At the end of the book is a little bit more information about the area and a glossary for words some might not know the definition of. As for the difficulty level of the book, it's only 800 words. Even if your child mightn't understand the words, there are plenty of images to denote the events.

Overall it's a lovely little book. I'm sure that many children will love it!

Musiville: Let's face the music and... conduct (Niditales Book 2)

Musiville: Let's face the music and... conduct (Niditales Book 2) - Nicholas C. Rossis, Dimitris Fousekis Musiville, authored by Nicholas C. Rossis and illustrated Dimitris Fousekis, is a book about some incredible creatures! Within these pages are a group of animals, intertwined with musical instruments. It's an interesting little book, full of creativity and imagination. Not only does it introduce the reader to all sorts of interesting animals, it also presents them all sorts of interesting instruments. The illustrations are brilliant and really convey a great sense of artistic style from the illustrator, visualising the interesting animals of the story. At the end of the book, we even get introduced to each of the creatures and a little bit about them. My favourite is the Pandiano! Overall, it's a brilliant little book!

I read my copy for free on: http://nicholasrossis.me
Edit: today on 28th January, 2016, I obtained a free copy from amazon.com.au

Help Me Make It Through the Night: A short story

Help Me Make It Through the Night: A short story - Kathy Golden Help Me Make It Through the Night is a short story by Kathy Golden. In these pages, we're introduced to a pair. They both spend several nights in a bar. During this time, the female takes notice of the man's behaviour and feels like she ought to discuss it with him. She goes over to his table and an interesting conversation takes place.

Both main characters, Mistique/ April and Bailey are both reasonably interesting. However, I feel that irrelevant aspects are discussed, considering the short nature of the story. For example, I don't feel like Mistique/ April's fashion sense was completely relevant and it kind of detracted from the atmosphere, especially when she pulled her bra out her shirt and whacked it on the table. I can sort of see what the author was aiming for in those portions, and the intended humour with the bra removal, but I just didn't think it was necessary. The same can sort of be said for the character Bailey; we're introduced to a character that’s on the mysterious side. But, after we get to find out his hidden side, the reveal just doesn't seem to fully convey the secrecy that's intended. It essentially all boils down to the fact that he goes home with a different person each night because he can't get over another.

It's a good story and the author uses their words well, but obviously there are a few aspects that make the story less special. For example, the loss of a former partner is a fairly common reason people use for why their characters sleep around. I also feel like the author is trying too hard to make Mistique/ April an original character; the unusual appearance (violet contacts and black / blonde wig) and the "Mistique" name... Those things aren't necessary. The author character could still use a relatively normal appearance with a normal name and it would seem more natural. I feel like a story of any kind out to be more than just what a character looks like. At the end of the day, who cares if you can point them out in the crowd? The conversation is the real focal point in the book and it really feels like it's not when we have our main female character whipping out her bra and smacking it down on a table. Maybe other people enjoyed that bit, I don't know... I just didn't find it as funny as I think it was meant to be.

The things I do like about the story are that the conversation is interesting and the way the author expresses the scenes. There's a lot of emphasis on the bar they're in and we get some great introductions to the type of people in those bars. It's interesting to read more into each scene and I kind of wish we'd gotten more of it.

Overall, I liked it, but it needs a few improvements here and there. Like many other short stories, I think it definitely would have benefited from a lot more content and a lengthier word count. However, forgiving the problems I've mentioned- which are just my opinion, I think the author has potential and there is promise in their writing. I'll definitely read more of their work if I get the chance.

I got a free copy of this book from Smashwords.

The Great Knitting Needle Hunt

The Great Knitting Needle Hunt - Paul Geraghty The Great Knitting Needle Hunt by Paul Geraghty features a young child and his gran. The grandmother is knitting something for him, but has lost a knitting needle and can't finish her work. So, to help her out, he goes searching for it. Using his imagination, he looks all over the world; in the jungle, underwater and even in the plains of Africa. It's an incredible book. The theme is simple, but the illustrations really bring this work to life. It's a truly magical adventure and any child would be happy to experience it!

Grabbing the Muse by the Throat

Grabbing the Muse by the Throat - Wendy Barrett Wendy Barrett is an ordinary Australian. She has a family, a busy life and oodles of creativity to squeeze out. Grabbing the Muse by the Throat is a journal of the challenges she's set herself and many of the complications she's faced over the period of a year.

Wendy is fairly likeable and I'm able to relate to her well; she has so much creativity, yet she doesn't always have the time to put pen or pencil to paper, or even the confidence. It's written as a sort of diary, so there are a lot of things that one might not be interested in. For example, not every reader might be interested in the varying doctor visits or excursions of her children. However, I felt that it was a large, realistic touch to the book. Without her family and friends, she might not have had some of the inspiration to create certain works. It really puts a certain perspective to the art as well; she has a lot of stuff to do apart from the art and one has to admire her ambition to complete her many challenges. Yes, in some places, the family portions outweighed the art production, but otherwise I think it was reasonably interesting to read into another family's life like that.

Overall, it was a fairly interesting book and Wendy's challenges were very encouraging to my own creativity. I'd like to think that many other people would also take bits of inspiration away from the book as well.

Her blog is also worth checking out; there are examples of art and further inspiration to be obtained. There's also a newsletter sign up on the sidebar if you're interested in updates. I just signed up for it as well. :)

I won a copy of this book via a First Reads giveaway and these are just my honest thoughts on it.

Journey, A Short Story (Volume I)

Journey, A Short Story (Volume I) - Mykl Walsh Journey is part one of a series by Mykl Walsh, telling the story of Lawrence Ronald Howard. To most, he seems ordinary, but Journey tells the story of his extraordinary life. Despite it being labelled as a "short story", I didn't feel like that was particularly appropriate; it's more a series of short stories.

I liked the beginning of the book and felt that it was an appropriate introduction. We start with an epic voyage to a new place, a few remnants of Earth and an archaeological dig to determine whether there was life on a desolate world. It was fascinating to me and I enjoyed the way the author looks back on SecretAgentMan as if it's some lost treasure. I liken many books to the same idea; what if a few thousand years from now, Earthlings discovered some lost copy of an important book from now? It would be considered a great find, no doubt. The same, I might consider, what book would you put in a time capsule if you were hoping that someone, a few millenia from now might read?

From there, we cut to the birth of Lawrence Ronald Howard who was born ten months from the death of Einstein. He's born into a reasonably large family, which only grows further once he's been born. His parents are concerned of his learning and development, unaware of how intelligent he really is. From then on, Mr. Howard goes on to greatness. The book tells of a few of his exploits, many of which are still to come. It also shares facts of the world and little titbits of knowledge. One thing I quite liked about the book (though my copy is a promotional version and I don't know whether properly released copies will have the same) is the little bits of paper tucked in between the pages. Some were little newspaper printouts and others were little relevant portions to the book. I felt it fascinating; it's like a little scrapbook that a person might collect.

Apart from Howard, we don't get much of a look into the other characters' lives, but I appreciate the views that we did get. For example, the parents; I liked that they were simply an ordinary family, with no particular (revealed) ambitions. It felt like they were more normal; that they weren't reaching for anything too great, they were simply just hoping that their family remained healthy and safe. I think my favourite characters overall were the ones in the future and I would have liked to read more about them and their findings.

Overall, I enjoyed the book and I would like to read more of the work.

I won a copy of this book via a First Reads giveaway and these are just my honest thoughts on it.

Bedtime for Seneca

Bedtime for Seneca - M. Duda Bedtime for Seneca by M. Duda is a short book, filled with a few short stories. They're quite unique stories and I've never read anything quite like them before now. The author takes a dark view in these stories and, rather than having scenes of redemption, the outlook within these pages isn't always a good one. However, apart from that, the characters' actions are quite understandable and we can see their motivations for doing such things or thinking in such a way; you or I might do something similar, had we been in the same situation. I think that the stories might work better if they were longer, but overall, it was a pretty interesting book and it was written very well.

I won a copy of this book via a First Reads giveaway and these are just my honest thoughts on it.