Siddhartha, son of a Brahman, is on a quest to find the meaning of life. We follow him as he struggles on through his journey, through many different...moreSiddhartha, son of a Brahman, is on a quest to find the meaning of life. We follow him as he struggles on through his journey, through many different life experiences. He is on a spiritual journey to find out for himself who he really is. Along the way he meets rich people, poor people, holy people, and becomes part of their world for a short time. Through his many encounters, he learns much more about himself and the world, but for a long time he is still not satisfied and still feels a deep need to strive for more and to search for something elusive. I think this book is relevant to everyone, because although it is telling the tale of a spiritual and religious man, it is also a tale about life and how our life experiences make us who we are. Many of Siddhartha's feelings and thoughts are common to us all as we make our way along the road of our own lives. This book reaffirms the fact that in the end we are all the same, and someone who has stayed in the same place all their life can be as wise as someone who has spent his life travelling on a long search for the truth. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. Its message appears to be that we are all the same and all of our life experiences whether good or bad, are necessary for us to find ourselves, and even though everyone will go through different things, we are all bonded by the fact that we are on the same journey. I believe everyone who reads this book will be touched in some way by the simple and poignant words. I would recommend this to everyone, it's a very enlightening and though-provoking read. This version is available to download for free.(less)
Maria, a young girl, runs away from home to escape the abuse she has suffered at the hands of her father. She decides to stow away on a ship. She has...moreMaria, a young girl, runs away from home to escape the abuse she has suffered at the hands of her father. She decides to stow away on a ship. She has no idea where the ship is going, but doesn't care; anywhere would be better than her present life. On the ship, Maria meets two women who become her friends. One of the women, Lady Farrell (an aristocratic woman, as her title suggests) is on her way to marry a Count in Italy. The other woman is Ellen, The lady's long-time companion. Both women are highly educated and Maria learns a great deal from them along the way. When pirates attack the ship, the women manage to escape together, on a long-boat. They are left to battle for survival against all odds. The women are eventually rescued but their rescuers appear to be from a different world. What will become of them? You will have to read the book to find out! This is a fantasy adventure set way back in the 16th/17th Century and then also sometime in the future. There is a great deal of scientific, astronomical and mathematical theory contained in the book which will appeal to anyone with an interest in such matters. I found that most of the technical content was well-written and fitted in with the story and I was able to follow it even though I have limited knowledge in these areas and, therefore, cannot comment on the accuracy of the information in the book. The author did a good job of explaining what The Safety Factor (the book's title) actually means. The author has a talent for drawing the reader into the story and for neatly progressing the action. I found it a thoroughly enjoyable read with many exciting twists and turns. I did have a couple of problems with the story, however. Sometimes I found that the author (who is obviously very knowledgeable about mathematics, astronomy and science) tended to labour the points when the characters were having discussions about technical matters. I often felt that the characters were lecturing on certain subjects and this was distracting. Some of the information was necessary for the progression of the story, but I felt that some of it could have been condensed.
The book deals with many fundamental questions about the Universe and our existence and will definitely make you think more about why we are here and what we are here for. This is the first book in a trilogy. I am looking forward to reading the next installment.(less)
I have worked as a lawyer representing victims of domestic violence in the past, and have friends who have been through this trauma, so nothing in thi...moreI have worked as a lawyer representing victims of domestic violence in the past, and have friends who have been through this trauma, so nothing in this book was necessarily new to me. However, it cannot be stressed enough how important this subject is. Women (and some men) suffer years, decades, lifetimes, in abusive relationships, because they are so broken down by their partner and do not have faith in the justice system that is supposed to be there to help them. It is a very common social problem and when survivors like Lori Newman speak out, we need to make sure they are heard. Lori shows in this memoir how she was able to get out of, not one, but two, abusive relationships, even though she had lost all her self-confidence, and was badly treated not only by her ex-husbands, but by the police and court system. The whole justice system, that was supposed to be able to support her, and keep her safe, let her down; but by finding the strength inside herself to fight on, with faith, she was able to help herself and her daughters. Lori's message, 'You are stronger than you know', is a very powerful one. She has related her story well, with emotion and passion. She has shown how, by someone's actions and words they can break a person's spirit, and she is an inspiration to us all because she was able to find courage within herself to face her greatest fears and come out on top. I believe this book would be invaluable to anyone who is suffering, or has ever suffered at the hands of an abusive partner. It contains a lot of good advice, and positive, motivational stories. It is also a useful book for anyone going through adversity in their life, as Lori has written about a time in her life when she was at her lowest. Everyone should read this book. It's so important that victims are given a voice in this subject, which is, unfortunately, usually swept under the carpet.
A man wakes up one day to find he has been changed into a large insect/beetle. The story follows his efforts to deal with this, and his family's react...moreA man wakes up one day to find he has been changed into a large insect/beetle. The story follows his efforts to deal with this, and his family's reaction to the change. But it's not just a story about a man turning into a beetle, it's a clever way of writing about how a family would deal with the main breadwinner in the house becoming unable to work, and also on a wider scope, the way a family (and the world at large) reacts to someone who is disabled, or terminally ill. It could also be an analogy for how a family treats a member of the family who is now old and needs to be cared for. The man who is now a beetle, is forced to live in his room, shut away from the world, for fear that he will frighten anyone who enters the house. The man who once provided for the family, and thought of them above himself, has now become a burden on them, as they are now short of money, and have to find employment. The once able and hard-working man, transformed into a beetle, is now rejected, and his family blame him for their financial situation and the fact that they cannot move to a smaller house, because they need to have a room to keep him in. The descriptive quality of the writing is excellent, and although it is a sad and gruesome tale, it is also very funny in parts; I couldn't help laughing out loud a couple of times. The main thing that struck me, was that even though this story is nearly 100 years old, it is still totally relevant to today's world (and I'm not sure that's something we should be proud of).(less)
I really enjoyed this book. It's the first in a series of murder/mystery books. As the title suggests, this is Rock Fiction. Doberman's Stub are a suc...moreI really enjoyed this book. It's the first in a series of murder/mystery books. As the title suggests, this is Rock Fiction. Doberman's Stub are a successful band who have somehow become embroiled in a battle over the contract for their new CD. Their record company is quite shady to say the least. The explosive start to the book really drew me in and the story kept me interested. After the death of a talented member of the band, Terry Tucker, PI Jason Duffy is called in by the rock star's wife, Chelsea, to investigate. Chelsea Tucker, however, is a prime suspect in his murder. Jason Duffy is a believable and very realistic character, as indeed are all the characters in this book. From the secretary with OCD and the photographer with Tourette's Syndrome, to the members of the band and the Police staff and criminals, and even the various restaurant staff, and Duffy's family and girlfriend, all the characters are well drawn and come across as real people. There is a good dose of humour in this novel along with insights into the music industry and how it works. It is obvious that a lot of research has gone into writing this book. As Duffy continues in his search for the truth and his attempt to clear his client's name, he becomes entangled in the dangerous world of the Russian Mafia and Irish Orangemen, putting not only his life at risk, but the lives of those close to him. The tension increases as the story progresses. This is a well written and entertaining book, and I'm looking forward to the second book in the series.(less)
This is a children's book, so I'm reviewing it with the eyes of a child. 'Tales of a Tiny Dog' is a collection of poems about, and pictures of, a tiny...moreThis is a children's book, so I'm reviewing it with the eyes of a child. 'Tales of a Tiny Dog' is a collection of poems about, and pictures of, a tiny, chocolate, Teacup poodle, which the author owns and loves. Children (and dog lovers, of any age) will, I'm sure, adore the cute puppy. There are some wonderful pictures contained within the pages. 'Tales of a Tiny Dog' would be a perfect gift for a child who loves animals. (less)
Tom Upton's stories in this collection are very diverse. Some are more enjoyable than others, but on the whole there is something in every one of the...moreTom Upton's stories in this collection are very diverse. Some are more enjoyable than others, but on the whole there is something in every one of the stories that will make a reader stop and think. The version I read could definitely do with some editing, as there are many typos and errors which distract from the stories and weaken the flow of the writing. Tom Upton's talent seems to lie in being able to grab the reader's attention and draw them into the story, and most importantly to keep the reader's interest. There are many believeable and well-observed/developed characters in these tales. Halfway through the collection, I think there are a couple of stories that could have been left out, interestingly 'Mourning Doves' was one of them! That story along with 'Fetal Position' are, in my opinion, the weakest stories in this collection. My personal favourites are, 'The Hanging Boy', which I felt was particularly insightful, and, 'Life Along the Okie-dokie Highway'. Sometimes I found that the endings to the stories were not very satisfying, even though the actual stories and content were very interesting. I enjoyed reading this book and it's definitely a collection worth reading. Many thanks to Tom Upton for giving me a free download copy. (less)
Julie Elizabeth Powell is an author with an imagination as vast as the ocean. This book is a truly amazing and exciting adventure. The second book in...moreJulie Elizabeth Powell is an author with an imagination as vast as the ocean. This book is a truly amazing and exciting adventure. The second book in the Avalon Trilogy, we follow the five children, Davie, Anne, Billy, Chrissie and Ben, in another treacherous and spellbinding quest across the dangerous world of Avalon. This time, the have been sent by the Time Keeper to the Orb of Caprice, to look for the Key of Light, to prevent an impending invasion of the earth by DarkStar and his evil followers. The children are joined by Daisy, Billy's Gran, who is reluctantly swept along to help them in their quest. Julie Elizabeth Powell has created an adventure that will thrill children and adults alike. There are so many twists and turns and unexpected events, it keeps you on the edge of your seat. The children face some of the same foes as they met in The Star Realm, including the evil Pherson, who once again challenges them with his invisible and deadly might. They also meet new evil characters who are determined to stop them finding the Key of Light. Will all of the friends survive this second journey? Will they find out what happened to Kimeranet? Will they find the Key of Light? Most importantly, will they do so in time to stop the invasion? You will have to read this book to find out! Highly recommended to all those who love an adventure story. (less)
From page 1, I was hooked on this book. It is a page turner, and the sort of book that you never want to finish; you just want it to go on forever. The...moreFrom page 1, I was hooked on this book. It is a page turner, and the sort of book that you never want to finish; you just want it to go on forever. The writing style reminded me of ‘The Catcher in the Rye’ J.D. Salinger — the main difference being that the narrator is a teenage girl instead of a teenage boy, but in essence, the way the story is told is very similar, especially as both characters also have issues in regard to their mental health. There are also a couple of references in the book to ‘Anne Frank’s Diary’, and again there are similarities in the way this character views the world, and the way it is written is almost like a diary; a teenager documenting events from her life. So although not an entirely original writing style, I feel the author has drawn from very solid, tried and tested, popular works as an inspiration for the style of this book. The character of Mathilda Savitch is very realistic and the book deals well with how the death of a child affects a family, and in particular how the parents’ grief can affect their other children. Mathilda is a teenager trying to come to terms with the loss of her sixteen year old sister, and in a typical teenage fashion, she has invented stories to make the death easier to deal with. There is also the element of the child trying to find out more about this sister, who since dying has become more of a mystery, shrouded with some type of immortal quality in the younger sister’s mind. It’s an entertaining read, and although it deals with some dark subject matter, the way it is seen through the eyes of a child makes it somehow easier to digest. The author deals well with the the naiveté of youth and touches upon some important social issues, including war, terrorism, racism, and suicide. At a deeper level it appears to be a study into how the world is moving quickly towards an age of intolerance and eventual destruction, and how it could be detrimental to future generations if the danger signs are not picked up in time.
Chloe is a twenty-something, looking for 'The One' before she graduates. She is on such a desperate search that she dates one boy after another and is...moreChloe is a twenty-something, looking for 'The One' before she graduates. She is on such a desperate search that she dates one boy after another and is left feeling that she will never find someone special. I wasn't sure I would like this book when I started reading it, as I don't really read chick-lit, finding it a bit shallow. However, after the first 30 pages the book picks up pace and the story becomes more interesting. It has a very satisfying ending. Keara Clifford is a talented writer and this is an impressive debut novel (at 81 pages, it's probably a bit short to be called a novel, perhaps a novella). I think this book would appeal to young adults or teens. (less)