Category Archives: Mostly About Reading

Book Review: As Far As I Remember – by Michael Bawtree

as-far-as-i-remember-coming-of-age-in-post-war-englandBook: As Far as I Remember: coming 
of age in post-war England

Author: Michael Bawtree

Publisher: Like No Other Press

Date: 2014 in England; 
2015 in Canada 
Genre: Memoir
Pages: 408

Price: $24.95 (CD)

My rating: very interesting, honest, and funny in all the 
right places

I was very pleased to meet the author, Michael Bawtree, at his book signing in April 2015. I hadn’t known about it until I entered the shop for a children’s book, but immediately bought a copy of As Far As I Remember and waited to speak with the author to have him personalize my copy.

I enjoyed this book, although it took me awhile to read all the way through due to my limited reading time when I purchased it. Mr. Bawtree wrote with revealing honesty about his childhood in England where he was born – his years in boarding schools, overcoming shyness, establishing himself as a successful student, a temporary rather nomadic life due to harsh economic times for his family, and many interesting events that occurred. Some incidents he tells about are downright hilarious, the funniest for me being an unfortunate situation that involved his proper English mother in a garden entanglement. There are many things he describes with just the right balance of humour.

This book is the first of two volumes about his fascinating life – the first covering his early years in England, the second volume will cover his life and career in Canada as an actor, playwright and director.

Although Michael Bawtree grew up in boarding schools, he had the opportunity to meet professors and dukes and many other important people, including world-famous C. S. Lewis and others who sometimes stayed at the inn his parents bought and operated. I hope you can read the back cover of his book shown here once you click on the image below to enlarge it.

as-far-as-i-remember-back-cover

His interest in literature, drama and music eventually led him to Canada where he embarked on a career in theatre and the arts all across the country, eventually bringing him to Nova Scotia where he now resides. As Far As I Remember, though, is everything leading up to then and is told in a natural and inviting way. It’s well worth the time to read this fascinating story. I’m looking forward to volume two.

 You can find As Far As I Remember: coming of age in post-war England on my BUY THE BOOK! page.

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings! 🙂

You can’t read all day.

You can’t read all day.  Huh?! And why not?  Well, besides doing all the things that HAVE to be done … why not?

Read it in full —

you can't read all day

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ahhhhh!    I love it!  :)  

YOU CAN’T READ ALL DAY. If you don’t start in the morning.

You can check out my progress for 2016 HERE. It’s not as much as I would like to read and if you could see my TBR (to be read) stash you’d agree I will probably never read enough. Although I have many paper books and more on my Kindle Fire (on which I can also listen to books on Audible.com) on the go, I just can’t seem to stop buying MORE BOOKS! I picked up a few more secondhand ones yesterday. Somebody STOP ME!  … On second thought, don’t even risk trying.  🙂

On the other side of things, I haven’t felt inspired to write for quite a while — until this morning; I wrote a little story for 12×12! It’s a very rough draft and needs a lot of work, but it’s a good beginning.

Enjoy a day of reading, as much as possible as often as possible.

How is YOUR reading coming along? Or are you writing more? 

Thanks for being a reader, and … Creative Musings!🙂

Book Review: Rocket Man – by Jan L. Coates

Rocket ManBook: Rocket Man
Author: Jan L. Coates
Publisher: Red Deer Press
Date: May 2, 2014
Genre: Middle grade (age 9-11; gr 4-6)
Pages: 120, paperback
Price: $12.95
My rating: many youngsters will relate

Rocket Man is a story I’m sure both male and female MG readers will really enjoy. Jan Coates‘ books are always appealing, and this one covers more than one topic to which many readers will relate.

Her main character is an eighth grader named Bob who is awkward around girls, bullied by a couple of guys at school and on his basketball team, feels he has to live up to his older brother’s example as an athlete. All that, and his dad, who also was a basketball legend, is fighting cancer. Bob considers himself to be Mr. Invisible.

The reader gets to like Bob right away. He practices hard to try to move up to the Division 1 basketball team, but things just don’t seem to go his way until one of his bullies gets into trouble. Bob’s brother starts paying more attention to him, impressed by his earnest efforts, and comes up with a more positive nickname for him – Rocket Man. You have to read the book to find out the reasons behind that.

Bob also puts a lot of work into an idea for a major fundraiser because of his dad having cancer, and that has exciting results.

Jan Coates has created a story of hope. She has touched on family dynamics and the emotions of a young boy in the midst of the struggles going on in his life, in a way that makes the reader care.  If your pre-teen boy (or girl) is a reluctant reader, give him/her a copy of this book – even if he/she is not into basketball. Don’t let the cover fool you, it’s not really a book about basketball but the main character finds a way to make the sport work for him. Rocket Man is a good read.

You can find Rocket Man on my BUY THE BOOK page.

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings! 🙂

Book Review: Great Falls – by Steve Watkins

Great FallsTitle: Great Falls
Author: Steve Watkins
Publisher: Candlewick Press
Date: April 12, 2016
Genre: young adult (ages 14 & up)
Pages: 256
Price: $17.99 US; $24 CD
My rating: a gripping, realistic story

I received this book from Library Thing in exchange for my honest review.

This seemed a story quite different from what I usually read, and the topic was of interest to me.  It says on the cover “One brother home from war. The other desperate to save him. A river that will change them forever. ” – and it had my attention immediately.  This book  was not a disappointment.

Shane is his older brother’s biggest fan, but Jeremy has done three tours in Iraq and Afghanistan and is not the same as he used to be. He’s troubled, very troubled, and can’t even function around his wife and two very young children. He’s drinking too much and seems to be paranoid and nervous all the time. Jeremy has PTSD and needs help.

Jeremy manages to show up at Shane’s high school football game, but when Shane suffers a concussion resulting in his making a very bad play, Jeremy offers to take him away for a night to escape the humiliation. Shane agrees, hoping it will also be a turning point for Jeremy, that he can convince him to get the help he desperately needs. That’s where the adventure really begins, and things go from bad to worse, with Shane never giving up on his brother. 

Great Falls is a novel that is gripping, raw at times, and that takes the reader on a worthwhile journey. Even though there is some violence and strong language in it, one must remember this realistic story is about a war veteran who suffered horrific things that just won’t leave his mind. Once you start reading you may not want to set it aside until you finish the book. I didn’t, honestly!

You can find Great Falls on my BUY THE BOOK page. 

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings! 🙂

Read, or sleep, or … read; what to do??

Here’s the scenario.

It’s late. I’m reading an amazing story, one of those hard-to-put-down books. I am so tired I can hardly keep my eyes open. I rest my eyes a moment, my book slips and my head jerks up. Really, I was just resting my eyes! I try to read more but then … yawn. Heaviness. I shake my head, find where I left off reading, try to continue. … Oh darn. What did I just read? Blink blink.  *sigh*  ohhh, I give up.  :(  I like this story and I don’t want to miss anything, so,  *yawn*   I give up. Time for sleep.

I crawl into bed, snuggle down and … 

BOING!! my brain jolts into overdrive! My eyes fly open, my mind will not shut down, yet I know I’m too weary to read. What to do?

Ever been there?

All that to show you this great quote:

quote by George R R MartinWhat’s your experience? 

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!🙂

My 8th giveaway of 2016; your chance to win … a BOOK!

Yes, okay, this time I gave away the surprise in my subject line. I just couldn’t help myself. 🙂

My August giveaway is this book:

A Room of One's Own

A Room of One’s Own by Virginia Woolf

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I hadn’t yet read any of Virginia Woolf’s work, so when I found this book in a secondhand shop I had to buy it. As you have figured out, this is not a new copy but it’s in very good condition, nothing wrong with it.
If you want the chance to win this classic book, please leave a comment telling me if you have read any of the author’s work before.
Even if you already won something in an earlier draw, please feel free to enter again. I am offering this giveaway to my readers anywhere in the world!
I will use an automated name picker to find out which of you is the winner; therefore, repeat winners are by chance and fairly selected. Watch here the morning after the draw for the announcement, and don’t forget to check your email. This could be yours!
Draw date for this giveaway is at 10 PM AST, that’s 9 PM Eastern, on Wednesday, AUGUST 17. This gives you time to pass the word on to others, too. I will post the winner’s name on AUGUST 18.
Remember, you have until August 17 to get your name into the draw, but don’t put it off!
Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!🙂

We have a winner of Darlene Foster’s book Cerdito a juicio (Pig on Trial)!

Thank you so much to everyone who entered the draw/left comments for a chance to win a copy of Cerdito a juicio – Pig on Trial – by Darlene Foster.

Thank you, Darlene, for offering a copy to one of my readers.

I’m happy to say that random name picker selected the winner …

Congratulations to Sue Slaght who thinks this book is “a great way to teach children history with such a unique experience!”

Sue, I’m sure you will enjoy Pig on Trial – in English and Spanish! I’ll mail your copy to you this week.

Cerdito a juicio

 

 

 

Thanks, everyone! You can purchase your own copy of Cerdito a juicio by finding it on my BUY THE BOOK page.

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings! 🙂