Confessions of a librarianTitle: Confessions of a Librarian: A Memoir of Loves

Author: Barbara Foster

Pages: 170 Pages

Publisher: Riverdale Avenue Books

The Blurb

In the spirit of such classic female erotic adventurers as Anais Nin, Erica Jong and Toni Bentley, Barbara Foster shares the story of four women who meet to tell the lurid details of their worldly romantic encounters in Confessions of a Librarian: A Memoir of Loves. From Istanbul, Buenos Aries, Israel and back to New York, featuring young women to women of a certain age, with threesomes and everything in between, these inter-connected tales of love and lust are sure to keep you rapidly turning the pages.

The Review

Oh dear. What a disappointment.

I loved the basis of this book because I personally think that there is something about the juxtaposition of librarians and heightened sexuality that simply go hand in hand. However Confessions of a Librarian didn’t deliver. It was the sexual misadventures of someone who happened to be a librarian.

The book just didn’t tick any of the boxes for me. I felt like I was being told every single thing about what happened, where she was, what colour the wallpaper, etc. in exhaustive detail in exhaustive detail.

Overall, Confessions of a Librarian was not an enjoyable read.

Confessions of a Librarian: A Memoir of Loves by Barbara Foster is available now.

For more information regarding Barbara Foster (@FosterLoves) please visit www.threelovestory.com.

For more information regarding Riverdale Avenue Books (@riverdaleavenue) please visit https://riverdaleavebooks.com.

2 Stars

Oxford Roald Dahl DictionaryTitle: Oxford Roald Dahl Dictionary

Author: Susan Rennie

Pages: 288 Pages

Publisher: Oxford University Press

The Blurb

This is not an ordinary dictionary. After all, you wouldn’t expect an ‘Oxford Roald Dahl Dictionary‘ to be ordinary, would you? Lots of dictionaries tell you what an ‘alligator’ is, or how to spell ‘balloon’ but they won’t explain the difference between a ‘ringbeller’ and a ‘trogglehumper’, or say why witches need ‘gruntles’ eggs’ or suggest a word for the shape of a ‘Knid’.

All the words that Roald Dahl invented are here, like ‘biffsquiggled’ and ‘whizzpopping,’ to remind you what means what. You’ll also find out where words came from, rhyming words, synonyms and lots of alternative words for words that are overused.

Oxford Children’s Dictionaries are perfect for supporting literacy and learning and this is the world’s first Roald Dahl Dictionary from the word experts at Oxford University Press. With real citations from Roald Dahl’s children’s books and illustrations by Quentin Blake, the Oxford Roald Dahl Dictionary will inspire and encourage young writers and readers.

The Review

One of my earlier memories as a reader is of me sitting in my mum’s car (which was stationary on our driveway) and refusing to leave because I was reading a really good book. That book was Fantastic Mr Fox by Roald Dahl. The reason I mention this rather quirky reading location is because that memory has stuck with me and I think that great books can do that to you. If I have a memory of reading a book then I think it must have been good.

I loved Roald Dahl’s dastardly books. They were not your usual happy go lucky fairytales and when you reread them as an adult you can see that there are some pretty sinister things happening. I think that is what made Roald Dahl so successful. In a weird way he told the truth…not of witches turning children into mice (although just because I’ve never seen it happen doesn’t mean that it doesn’t happen) but by showing children that the world and the people are not always nice and sometimes people don’t always get their happily ever after. I think that is why – 25 years after Roald Dahl died – that his popularity has sustained.

The Oxford Roald Dahl Dictionary is the work of scholar Susan Rennie; she celebrates the work of Roald Dahl in this wonderful book which includes so much more than dictionary definitions. She explains literary techniques such as spoonerisms, malapropism and alliteration among many others. She also looks closely at certain characters and stories. It really is a wonderful reminder of all the fantastic stories: from Matilda to Esio Trot, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory to James and the Giant Peach. Rennie also included books of Dahl’s that I have to admit that I haven’t read (but they have swiftly been added on my to-be-read pile). On top of all of this, the Oxford Roald Dahl Dictionary includes the fabulous and instantly recognisable illustrations of the wonderful Quentin Blake.

Reading the Oxford Roald Dahl Dictionary is best described using one of Roald Dahl’s made up words – GLORIUMTIOUS! No children’s bookshelf is complete without it!

Oxford Roald Dahl Dictionary by Susan Rennie is available now.

For more information regarding Roald Dahl please visit www.roalddahl.com.

For more information regarding Oxford University Press please visit www.global.oup.com.

4 Stars

Love's a Piece of CakeTitle: Love’s a Piece of Cake

Author: Eva Jordan

Pages: 82 Pages

Publisher: Endeavour Press

The Blurb

Kate Mulligan has been working at Heavenly Cakes for five months and she already feels like part of the family.

A small café on the outskirts of the local market, Heavenly Cakes brings local people together with fantastic recipes and a great atmosphere.

Getting her dream job, Kate’s life is finally on track: she’s found a studio flat that she could actually afford, and she is in love.

Before Harry Jones, Kate had been single for 5 years, and after having had her heart broken one too many times, she was certain she was doomed to be single forever.

But then Harry walked into her life and everything changed. Smart, funny, sexy, Harry is perfect, and Kate can’t believe her luck.

The only thing that bothers her is that he mocks her passion for her cake business. Kate prides herself on making people feel better by choosing the perfect cake and cup of tea for them. But all Harry seems to be concerned with is making money.

Pushing her doubts aside Kate throws herself into the relationship, believing Harry could be ‘the one’.

But then everything changes.

With her job suddenly in jeopardy and a shock revelation about her relationship Kate is forced to re-evaluate everything she thought she knew about her life…

Love’s a Piece of Cake is a moving romantic novella about learning to find your own happiness. It is written by debut author Eva Jordan.

(Amazon Blurb)

The Review

Oh dear.

Yes it is another one of those reviews in which I didn’t particularly like a book. I hate writing those.

Love’s a Piece of Cake by Eva Jordan is a story about Kate, a girl who is unlucky in love. She chooses the wrong guy and her life turns to poop. On top of that her professional life seems to be hitting the rocks as well. However, like most romantic fiction there is a happy ending because let’s face it, it would be pretty crappy if there wasn’t.

My problem with Love’s a Piece of Cake wasn’t the premise of the story. I like cake, I like love stories and I like fiction so you are pretty much on to a winner there. I think my issue had to do with the protagonist. She was portrayed as being in love with love and not with the actual characters. I don’t remember any description of the good things about the love interest that would make me root for him. Kate seemed far too fickle and that she wanted to be in a relationship so much that she didn’t really care with whom.

I saw so much potential in this story but it just wasn’t developed enough and it was far too quick a story. It was like someone had taken pictures of the important pieces and flipped through them really quickly and expected an emotional pull. For me it just didn’t work.

Love’s a Piece of Cake by Eva Jordan is available now.

For more information regarding Eva Jordan (@EvaJordanWriter) please visit www.evajordanwriter.com.

For more information regarding Endeavour Press (@EndeavourPress) please visit www.endeavourpress.com.

2 Stars

Do Geese Get GoosebumpsTitle: Do Geese Get Goose Bumps? & 199 More Perplexing Questions with Astounding Answers

Author: The Bathroom Readers’ Institute

Pages: 224 Pages

Publisher: Portable Press

The Blurb

Find the answers to hundreds of life’s most perplexing questions in this entertaining collection from the editors at Portable Press (the team behind the best-selling, award-winning Uncle John’s Bathroom Reader line). Do Geese Get Goose Bumps is 224 pages of simple explanations for complex topics—everything from “Why is air transparent?” to “Why do late-night commercials always offer to throw in a second, identical product ‘at no extra cost’?” Clearly written and thoroughly researched, this book will shed new light on science, history, politics, sports, animals, food, pop culture, and more. Some sample questions:

Can an elephant cry crocodile tears?
Why do clouds float?
Why is abbreviation such a long word?
What’s in a hot dog?
Why does Hawaii have interstate highways?
What did they call a photographic memory before the invention of photography?
Why does Superman wear his underwear on the outside?
Why do dogs come when you call them, but cats ignore you?
What’s a male ballerina called?

And much, much more!

The Review

I love knowing things. It may sound like a really random statement to make but I genuinely do like learning new things or finding out the most random factoids. This is essentially why I chose to request Do Geese Get Goose Bumps? & 199 More Perplexing Questions with Astounding Answers by The Bathroom Readers’ Institute from NetGalley. It sounded like a book that would satiate my curiosity.

And it did.

The level of things I learned from reading Do Geese Get Goose Bumps? & 199 More Perplexing Questions with Astounding Answers is incomparable. I loved it because it didn’t just tell me facts (like some other books of this ilk that I have previously read) but it told me the root of where the information came from. I felt like a sponge picking up new and interesting things. I loved it.

Do Geese Get Goose Bumps? & 199 More Perplexing Questions with Astounding Answers by The Bathroom Readers’ Institute is definitely a book for all you fact lovers out there. Plus it is a quick and easy read. If you have a short commute to work you could read one or two of the stories before you begin your shift…or like me you could consume it in one sitting and have an information overload.

Either way, Do Geese Get Goose Bumps? & 199 More Perplexing Questions with Astounding Answers by The Bathroom Readers’ Institute is a brilliant book.

Do Geese Get Goose Bumps? & 199 More Perplexing Questions with Astounding Answers by The Bathroom Readers’ Institute is available September 13th 2016

For more information regarding The Bathroom Readers’ Institute (@bathroom_reader) please visit www.thebathroomreader.com.

For more information regarding Portable Press please visit www.raincoast.com/publishers/details/portable-press/.

35 Stars

How to Save a LifeTitle: How to Save a Life

Author: Kristin Harmel

Pages: 208 Pages

Publisher: Gallery

The Blurb

Groundhog Day meets Grey’s Anatomy in this heartfelt novella with a hint of magic from the internationally bestselling author of The Sweetness of Forgetting and The Life Intended, in which a woman with only a short time to live discovers she can repeat the same day over and over until her life feels complete.

When a pediatric oncology nurse receives a devastating prognosis—she has just weeks left to live—she finds unexpected comfort from a patient. Her young friend shares a life- and death-changing secret: it is possible to live the same day over and over again until she’s experienced a truly full life. Thus begins a heartbreaking and joyful journey of love, friendship, and self-discovery, as the brave nurse only truly learns how to live in the face of death.

Kristin Harmel, whose work has been called “immersive and evocative” (Publishers Weekly), “absorbing…well-paced and warmhearted” (Kirkus Reviews), and “absolutely enthralling” (Fresh Fiction), infuses her poignant, uplifting novella with a dash of magic and a hefty dose of heart.

The Review

My review of How to Save a Life, the latest novella by Kristin Harmel, should have been cut and dried. I should have hated it. I should have.

Hear me out.

The one thing that really stresses me out beyond belief is the thought of doing something over and over and over again. It is for this reason that I cannot watch Groundhog Day and why for one episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer (Life Serial – Season 6 Episode 5) I get extremely stressed out. I don’t know why this phenomenon has such a negative effect on me but it does. Therefore, I was fully intending to dislike How to Save a Life on that principle alone.

Ooh, but that Kristin Harmel is a good egg. I’ve yet to read something by her that I have disliked and How to Save a Life is no different. It is a lovely story. The premise being that a terminally ill nurse have to try and correct the regrets in her life before she dies and with the help of some other terminally ill patients she is able to reconcile the aspects of her life with which she is unhappy.

How to Save a Life is a sweet, heart warming story that makes you question the negativity that you may be holding on to and like all good books helps us develop empathy because we all have limited time on this earth so we may as well make the most of it whilst we can.

How to Save a Life by Kristin Harmel is available now.

For more information regarding Kristin Harmel (@kristinharmel) please visit www.KristinHarmel.com.

For more information regarding Gallery (@GalleryBooks) please visit instagram.com/gallerybooks

3 Stars