Book Reviews

Book Reviews

Fantasy, quirky history, non-fiction, historical fiction books & more


Book Review: Ikigai The Japanese Secret to a Long and Happy Life by Hector Garcia and Francesc Miralles

Book Review: Ikigai The Japanese Secret to a Long and Happy Life

Book Review: Ikigai The Japanese Secret to a Long and Happy Life by Hector Garcia and Francesc Miralles Rating: 🌟🌟🌟🌟 Ikigai (生き甲斐 Reason for being, Japanese n. Having a clear purpose in one’s life that makes it worthwhile, give one a sense of satisfaction and give meaning to one’s life. Read more on Wikipedia In…

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Book Review: Widow Basquiat: A Memoir by Jennifer Clement

Book Review: Widow Basquiat: A Memoir by Jennifer Clement

A mesmerising portrayal of New York City’s art scene in the early 80s and one its luminaries: Jean-Michel Basquiat seen through the eyes of his partner Suzanne Mallouk. 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 Canongate Books 2014 If you are expecting a stock-standard art biography you are in for surprise. This is a strikingly different biography that is written in…

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Book Review: Colour A Journey by Victoria Alexander

Book Review: Colour A Journey by Victoria Alexander

Genre: Non-fiction, Reference Publisher: Murdoch Books Rating: 🌟 This book looked promising from the high-quality appearance of the cover and the imagery in this book. This could be a pleasant coffee table book if you ignore the words. Written by a former fashion editor of Vogue Australia and Cosmopolitan. There is a surface appreciation for…

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Book Review: The Birth of Venus by Sarah Dunant

Book Review: The Birth of Venus by Sarah Dunant

Genre: Fiction, Historical Fiction. Rating: ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ Publisher: Virago Press *No spoilers. This is a magnificent journey into Renaissance Florence that you can sink into like imbibing a glass of Chianti. It’s the story of Alessandra Cecci, a precocious and intelligent 15 year old girl who adores painting and lives in Renaissance…

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Olivia Laing, The Lonely City: Adventures in the Art of Being Alone

Art shows us that not all scars are ugly

Art has a strange negotiating ability between people, including people who never meet and yet who infiltrate and enrich each other’s lives. It create intimacys; it does have a way of healing wounds, and better yet of making it apparent that not all wounds need healing and not all scars are ugly.

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Book Review: Such a Fun Age by Kiley Reid

Book Review: Such a Fun Age by Kiley Reid

A thought-provoking and powerful story of race in modern America Rating: 🌟🌟🌟🌟 Bloomsbury Publishing 2019 Although I am not American, I delved deeply into this book and gained a new understanding of the subtleties of race relations in this country. There is surprising layers of depth to this book, not only about race but also…

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Book Review: Into the Silent Land by Paul Broks

Book Review: Into the Silent Land by Paul Broks

Genre: Non-fiction, Neuropsychology, psychology. Rating: ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ Publisher: Allen and Unwin *No spoilers. Into the Silent Land is a non-fiction book about neuropsychology that explores the vast and unknowable terrain of people’s minds. Paul Broks is an English neuropsychologist and writer. This book was shortlisted for the Guardian First Book award. In…

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Book Review: Circe by Madeline Miller

Book Review: Circe by Madeline Miller

A self-made witch goddess navigates through the hazy cruelty and beauty of the ancient Greek pantheon Rating: 🌟🌟🌟🌟 I have never been really into Greek mythology and preferred instead Celtic, Egyptian, Polynesian, Japanese myths. I know that’s weird, given my real name, however I always found the twisting, complex tales of Greek deities to be…

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Book Review: Words of a Kaumātua by Haare Williams

Book Review: Words of a Kaumātua by Haare Williams

A compelling, rich and lush blend of essay, poetry, reflections and personal stories by one of New Zealand’s most preeminent Māori writers. I have to admit that I didn’t know much about Haare Williams before picking up this book in Te Papa Museum in Wellington. This is a definitive collection of Māori wisdom that is…

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Book Review: Names for the Sea by Sarah Moss

Book Review: Names for the Sea by Sarah Moss

*contains a few spoilers (sorry I couldn’t resist) Iceland has always held a unique fascination for me. Driven by a love for Sigur Rós and Björk, along with the vague romance of going to a remote and icy place. In Names for the Sea by Sarah Moss, you get to actually explore the nuts and…

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Book Review: The Laws of Human Nature by Robert Greene

Book Review: The Laws of Human Nature by Robert Greene

Robert Greene has written best-selling books on seduction, power, war, self-mastery and now knowledge. Although the sum and total of his output of books gives the wrong impression about the man. He’s not an evil and Machiavellian type jockeying for power – rather his books are about understanding the lesser-known shadowy parts of ourselves to…

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