I managed to read 18 books over my 10 day Christmas break. Two were poetry books and three were short books for children but I still managed 13 adult novels which I thought was marvelous. I wish I could read this much all the time.
The Storyteller Speaks by Annika Perry
The Storyteller Speaks is a collection of short stories, and a couple of poems too, about life, love and death. This is the debut book of Annika Perry and she has certainly managed to write a lovely selection of very different stories.
Chillies in my handbag is a story of a woman’s gradual disillusionment with love, her married life and even her child. The Mother’s inability to protect her only son from entering the traditional boarding school attended by her husband and his father before him, sets him on the road to becoming everything she has come to dislike in her husband. The son’s gradual reshaping of himself, a round peg, to fit into the traditional square hole is interesting. Will the Mother finally rebel against the dictates of her husband and if she does where will it all end?
The man on the flying trapeze is a rather interesting poem about a trapeze artist who finds himself in an accident situation. The format of the poem was rather unique with each stanza reading almost like a limerick. I did enjoy this very much.
Smouldering Shame was another tale than fascinated me with its very likelihood in the set of circumstances. A tale of a woman whose life suddenly comes unraveled because of the secret activities of her husband. He is a man who cannot see the blessings in his life and, as many older men do, seeks more excitement in his retirement than is on offer in his home with rather disastrous consequences.
A couple of the stories could definitely have continuations. I think the author may have quite a bit more to tell us about these characters. I really enjoyed this book. I think Annika Perry has a lot of potential as a writer.
Purchase The Storyteller Speaks
The Heart’s Lullaby by Natalie Ducey
The Heart’s Lullaby: a candid portrayal of love in all it’s splendor and pain, is a collection of beautiful poems written by Natalie Ducey.
The book comprises of predominantly two types of poems, with the sections entitled Confessions, Eternal love and The Agony of Holding On & The Angst of Letting Go focusing on the best things about love and relationships and the sections entitled Journey of Becoming and the poems that form part of the Peace by Piece Puzzles being about the tides of life.
I enjoyed the poems about love, but I found some of the poems about life to be quite remarkable in their insightfulness.
A verse that remained with me from a poem called The Reckoning was as follows:
“Waves crash the rugged shoreline
Unforgiving in their furry
Relentless in their cause
To break me?
The injustice of it all.”
The poem Mighty Heart brings tears to your eyes with its words of courage and suffering. Once extraordinary verse is:
“Fear shall not cage nor define us
Here we stand on vast, shaky ground
So, let’s never doubt our courage
Dare this voyage …. both noble and proud.”
I would recommend this book to anyone who has ever felt their heart racing at the sign of another being and enjoys tributes to the nobility and greatness of the human spirit.
Purchase The Heart’s Lullaby
Three books for children by Victoria Zigler
Home Squeak Home
When Matthew’s mother takes him to the pet store to choose a pet he ends up leaving with two gerbils. The pet store assistance had told his mother that gerbils are very sociable animals and need company, so they had bought two. How wonderful.
Sooty and Scamp are a little sad to be leaving their two brothers, but they are excited to have a new, permanent home. What a home it turns out to be, so different from their old and very plain cage in the pet store.
Home Squeak Home is a lovely story for young children with a lovely subtle message about coping with change and a new environment.
A very Degu Christmas
This book was quite short, only 15 pages. It is a sweet story for children about the Degu’s first experience of Christmas. They are very interested in the coming of Santa Paws, who will bring them nibbles but for whom they must leave nibbles in return. The Degu’s make a plan to wait up and see this mysterious Santa Paws.
The Great Degu Round-Up
This is a sweet tale of a new experience for the degus when their cage is cleaned. Their cage is a place of safety and enjoyment for the degus and is where they play, eat and are entertained by their human caretakers. When they are temporarily transferred into the bathtub it is a time of anxiety for the degus who are unable to climb the slippery sides. Things get even worse when Jacob manages to launch himself onto the rim of the bath and gets lost in the forest of bottles and soups that surround it. What will happen next and will the degus ever get back to their clean and comfortable cage?
Find Victoria Zigler here:
Robbie and Michael Cheadle are the co-authors of the Sir Chocolate Book series and Robbie Cheadle is the author of Silly Willy goes to Cape Town