Tag Archives: buy the book

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!  🙂
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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!  🙂

My 2014 blogging in review

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

In looking back over 2014 there are many things I was reminded of that occurred both here and in my personal life — some of the latter I shared here. Here’s a condensed review followed by my annual report compiled by WordPress.com.

1. I posted the final weeks of “Read More Books Challenge” run on my blog through October 3, 2013 to January 9, 2014. My challenge got a few people reading more classics and reminded us of the many great books we have yet to enjoy.  I’m still trying to read from that great list of 623 books. Are you?

2. We were privileged to have Sue Harrison continue to post teachings from her “Writing the Third Dimension” each month. (Thanks, Sue!) Has this been helpful for you?

3. I interviewed 6 authors during the year and reviewed 46 books on my blog. I also posted those reviews on Amazon.ca, Amazon.com, chapters.indigo, LibraryThing, BookLook Bloggers, Shelfari, Goodreads.

4. In June I shared my 10 tips for authors from the perspective of a book reviewer.

5. In July I was interviewed on Leanne Dyck’s blog. She is discontinuing interviewing so I was blessed to have been included before she made that decision. You can read that interview again HERE.

6. In July I added another page to my blog, “Buy The Book!”, to help my readers find the books they read about here and other places I reviewed them. Has this made it easier for you?

7. In August I added a page, Suicide Crisis Lines, mainly because of the shocking death of Robin Williams. My heart still sorrows over that tragedy.

8. In October I reported about a fantastic program – Kindle Kids Mastery – for writers of children’s books. It’s really for anyone who wants to try publishing an e-book. Please check on my Writer’s Helps page for the link to that information. It’s a fabulous opportunity. Have you used this program yet?

9. In November I participated again in Tara Lazar’s Picture Book Idea Month, aka PiBoIdMo, and succeeded in meeting and surpassing the goal of 30 ideas. Did you try it in 2014?

10. In December I participated in Susanna Leonard Hill’s story writing competition and posted my story here on my blog as required. Although my story didn’t make the cut it was great practice for me, and a good learning experience.

11. On my “Books I Read This Year” page I reported that I managed to read 45 books, far less than I had hoped to read but more than I read last year. How many books did you read in 2014?

All in all, I feel 2014 was a good blogging year for me, even though I didn’t accomplish everything I wanted to. Being a caregiver for a victim of Alzheimer’s has its challenges, and my own personal stuff added in made it harder to do all I was hoping to do. Even so, I am happy and encouraged that my blog following increased this year!

THANK YOU SO VERY MUCH FOR FOLLOWING MY BLOG. I greatly appreciate you all and I hope to keep you interested enough in coming back. I also hope more of you will leave comments in 2015 because those comments help keep the conversation going. 🙂

What would you like me to know about your experience and visits here?

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  🙂

Now for the fun report from WordPress.com.

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 11,000 times in 2014. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 4 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

There were 230 pictures uploaded, taking up a total of 70 MB. That’s about 4 pictures per week.

The busiest day of the year was September 15th with 99 views. The most popular post that day was Book Review: I Only Cry at Night – by P. Allen Jones.

In 2014, there were 140 new posts, growing the total archive of this blog to 452 posts.

Longest Streak: 5 days 1 July – 5 July;  Best Day: Tuesday with 46 posts total

These are the posts that got the most views in 2014:

Some of your most popular posts were written before 2014. Your writing has staying power!

Visitors came from 104 countries in all! Most came from The United States. Canada & U.K. were not far behind.

Your most commented on post in 2014 was My story entry in Susanna Hill’s 4th Annual Holiday Contest

PS:  Once again, thank YOU, my friends, for following my blog. Blessings in 2015! I look forward to an exciting new year with you. 🙂

 

 

Instead of a book review

Hello, everyone!

Today is supposed to be a book review day but, as you can see, this is not one. I’m sorry, I just haven’t managed to get one written yet. My apologies for not even getting a post up over the week-end.

It was an exhausting week for me with spending so much of it with Dad in hospital. He was admitted Monday evening when they determined he had suffered a heart attack. In the morning he was moved to ICU even though he didn’t really need to be there, but it was really God’s blessing because of his state of mind and the excellent attentive nursing care he needed and received. Most of the time he didn’t seem to understand for long where he was. He thought he was home or in another hospital which would have been where he was if he were still living where he grew up. The heart attack really served to add to his confusion, so it was difficult when he became agitated.

What we learned through all of this is that we are losing our dad more quickly now as certain things are not working well anymore. It is a waiting game, not within an expected amount of time as it was with our dear Mum, but time is shortened. As his daughters, my sister and I have much to be thankful for and much to deal with yet, but we have very good support in place and we have each other. Teamwork counts a great deal in this.

What I learned is that God’s provision comes in many ways, usually without our realizing it in the moment, and in such a loving fatherly way. Also, on another track, I learned through our recent experience more about how totally fascinating the brain is — and if I were younger I would want to make that my advanced study and learn more about dementia and how to treat it or even prevent it. How much I want to know! How much there is to know!

Now I wish to thank you for faithfully checking in to read my book reviews and other posts. You make blogging enjoyable for me, and it helps to keep me writing. Please remember to visit my BUY THE BOOK page when you are looking for a book to read as there are many good ones listed there that I’ve reviewed, and check out my Writers’ Helps page for helpful links and fun things to do, not only for writers.

I will get into my reading and writing again, and a new book review will be up soon. Thank you for your patience.

I have two questions for you today:

  1. Have you learned something helpful during time of crisis?
  2. If you could study something that would be of benefit to mankind what would it be?

PS:  I just realized I failed to mention Dad was released from hospital Friday afternoon. He is doing well enough they said it would be okay but we keep the nitro spray handy and continue on as we were. He is more content in his own home and sleeping better at night. Not having to remain in bed or in one room works so much better for him.

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  🙂

 

 

 

Hillsong music, and Helping one another

A rambling post …

Here it is Sunday again. Weather-wise it has been like a late summer day – but it is supposed to warm again this coming week. I appreciate the summer so much; it’s far too short for me.

My spirit longs for particular music sometimes, right now being one of those times. Here is a link to Hillsong so you can enjoy the music I’m listening to as I’m writing this post.

Life continues on with its caregiving challenges (almost 3 1/2 years now!) – some days make me appreciate the good ones so much more. If it weren’t for the help we are getting my sister and I could not have managed all this as long as we have.

As you know, one of my goals is to write children’s books, or even any writing for myself would be good right now! Last month a friend and I were discussing our mutual desire to write, and I suggested a challenge. From that conversation we are now both writing – actually, we are writing together although long distance – one writes, the other adds to it and sends it back … and so on and so on. This effort is challenging us and helping to release our creative (writing) energy. Have you tried anything like that?

Now for the burning question:
How are you enjoying my blog; is it helpful to you?

I’ve been looking into ways I can help you more. Since I’m interested in helping promote your books (the ones I agree to read and review) and others I think you might like or should know about, you know I have a new page for that purpose: BUY THE BOOK!  On that page I’m in the process of adding a few more things – both for writers and for readers.

As you can imagine, I spend a lot of my available time reading books, updating my blog and writing posts. (and I enjoy it all!) When I upgraded my blog to better suit my needs it meant I’d have to pay for its hosting. (WordPress is very reasonable or I wouldn’t have done it.) After much consideration, I recently decided to look into affiliation which will bring in a very small percentage for any sales made through your clicks from the links I have here on my site. It will help me pay for my blog as it is, so is a way you can help me, too, if you want to.

The affiliations I chose are ones I think are of the most benefit to you as writers and readers. Once all the techie stuff is worked out you will be able to click to great things not only at Amazon.com, Amazon.ca, and WritersDigestShop, but also at Christianbook, Chapters.indigo, CafePress, and Vista Print. When I get them all set up you will find them through BUY THE BOOK! and on my Writers’ Helps page. Exciting!

Now I must grab some time to read more of the book I am going to review soon. So many books — so little time!  🙂

Please tell me what you think of what I’m doing here on my blog. I appreciate hearing from you.

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  🙂

 

 

 

An exciting New Page on my blog, “Buy the Book!”

As the title of this post indicates, I have prepared a new page on my blog … BUY THE BOOK! … and I’m excited about it!  Why? you may ask.  Well, because the new page, which you can visit by clicking on it in the menu above,  is set up to help in promoting the books I review.

On that page I have listed the books you can also find under the menu heading BOOK REVIEWS, but on the new page I have linked to where you can purchase the books on Amazon – both Amazon.com and Amazon.ca. As long as they are listed on Amazon these links will be good. I’m hoping this will help you to easily find the title you’ve just read about here before you forget about it in the busyness of your day. If you are anything like me you will wonder later .. what was the name of that book I wanted? 

So, please, go now and check out the new page, the one called BUY THE BOOK! And I would really appreciate if you let me know what you think of it. Thanks!  🙂

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  🙂