Friday, 26 January 2018

Messages from Beyond the Veil - Reginald H. Gray

                I was really looking forward to reading Messages from Beyond the Veil because I like to read about spirituality and spirit messages that supposedly provide information about what God is and the concept of Heaven. This book sounded like something I would enjoy. However, it is not easy to read and this is not because of the content but because of the style of writing. I can’t quite put my finger on why I found the flow of the text to be a bit stilted but, for me, it made sticking with the book a bit difficult. The information is quite in-depth and spiritual but the style of writing made finishing the book that much harder. This isn’t to say that I didn’t find Messages from Beyond the Veil interesting because if you enjoy this sort of book then it has a lot of interesting concepts and thoughts.
                The idea behind this book is that a group of men and women who, in the 1930s, met regularly to discuss spirituality, one day discovered that they were being contacted by entities known as Messengers who over the next few years told them about what happens after death, what our lives are really meant to be, who or what God is, and many other ideas. Throughout the book, actual writings from the individuals in the group, as told to them by the Messengers, appear in italics. Explanations from the authors of this book are interspersed in between these messages. There are a lot of interesting concepts, such as one that says life on Earth is merely an illusion and what is beyond life is our real existence. Also, evil is not a result of the devil but comes from poor life choices. There is a lot of emphasis put on free will and our being in control of our own fate. A couple of sections that I really enjoyed were the role of Jesus and another that talked about various things in our everyday life and how best we should live in order to achieve the highest enlightenment we can from life on Earth. The author also added, in a chapter about death, a beautiful sermon regarding the end of life that was said for King Edward VII at his funeral.
                This is a great book for those who enjoy exploring spirituality and aren’t strictly bible followers, whom it may offend. It is a bit difficult to read but worth the effort.
                I read the book on my ereader and it formatted well. The cover had a mysterious feel which fit the content of the book perfectly.

Friday, 19 January 2018

Hombo the Tortoise: Going to School with Loud Animals - Godwin Temisa

When I look for a children’s book that would interest my nieces and nephew, I look for three things that I feel are important for all children’s books to have. Hombo the Tortoise: Going to School with Loud Animals has all of these three things as well as some other factors that make it exactly the type of book that a little one would enjoy.
                First, there has to be pictures of good quality. Hombo the Tortoise is full of lovely, cartoon-like pictures that are bright and colourful which will help hold a child’s attention. As well, because they have a cartoon-like quality and resemble something that a child may see on their favourite television show, the pictures help the child comprehend the story a little easier because they are used to this type of illustration.
                Second, the story itself must be on a child’s level. Hombo the Tortoise is about a group of small animals who try to build a school because they find the larger animals too noisy in the current school. There are lessons for the child to learn in the story about feelings getting hurt and helping each other which made the book a great learning tool for my six year old niece. The characters are a lot of fun and it would be nice to see all of them used in other books so as to keep the series going. Although some of the vocabulary may be a bit advanced, older children will be able to read the book with help or even on their own.
                Finally, the writing style has to be one that flows well. Anybody who has read a book to a child knows that children love there to be a rhythm as you read. Hombo has a great rhythm with a story that allows you to emphasize the dialogue and actions of all of the characters.

                Hombo the Tortoise is really a fun little book and both of my nieces and my nephew thoroughly enjoyed my reading of it. In fact, it has been read a few times since I bought it and each time was as enjoyable as the previous one. Usually, I say that a children’s book is better read in print format but in this case, it downloaded really well onto my tablet and the pictures are as bright and colourful as they would be in print. The cover is as delightful as the pictures inside the book. This is a great book for kids!

Monday, 8 January 2018

Captive for Christmas - Claire Hadleigh

                Captive for Christmas is meant to be a fast, fun and light read and that is exactly what it is. It’s a guilty pleasure book that I thoroughly enjoyed as I passed a Christmas day storm without power. I found myself forgetting the cold and, instead, enjoying the elegant and sumptuously entertaining world created by Ms. Hadleigh.
                Rhys and Felicity are at loggerheads from the start but only because there is so much chemistry between them that the sparks are flying constantly. If they aren’t throwing insults at each other (dunderhead was my favourite), then they are flirting to the point of almost ripping each other’s clothing off, if that were appropriate for the time period. The book is set in a time where ladies wore long dresses and corsets and would never dally with a gentleman whom they aren’t married to and the gentlemen are respectable and would never do more than kiss a young lady’s hand. At least, that is the way it was in theory. Except for Rhys and Felicity who are older and experienced enough to know what and whom they want to have a dalliance with. These two characters are well written and fun to read about. Although the reader doesn’t learn a whole lot about their backgrounds, this is probably because the novella is short and the story works so well because it’s happy and light. Dark areas of their pasts, which are hinted at, would take away from the pure fun of the story. There is a wonderful supply of supporting characters that are delightfully quirky and odd in a most amusing way. The author has a style of writing that really brings everything alive in my imagination and gives all of the little details colour. Another nice thing is that even though it is a romance, for those readers who aren’t interested in a lot of graphic sex scenes, the author has left a fair amount to the imagination. Of course, there are some sex scenes but nothing that is overly descriptive. This is just a really lovely novella that is nothing but pure pleasure to read and no deep thinking is needed.
                I really liked the cover. It’s bright and colourful and really draws the eye. I read this on my ereader and it formatted well.