Book Reviews

Book Reviews

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


Book Review: The Book of Life by Alesha Sivratha

Book Review: The Book of Life by Alesha Sivratha

Alesha Sivartha’s enigmatic 1898 book The Book of Life: The Spiritual and Physical Constitution of Man, combines mysticism, sociology, theosophy, art and culture into a unique philosophy. Other than the obscure and bewildering ideas in this book, the illustrations and diagrams of the human body, mind and spirit are otherworldly and amazing. Sivartha was a man…

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Book Review: The Signature of all things by Elizabeth Gilbert

Book Review: The Signature of All Things

Genre: Historic fiction Publisher: Penguin Random House Rating: 🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟 *No spoilers Elizabeth Gilbert is best known for her world-wide best-selling autobiography Eat Pray Love which was about her own journey of self-discovery, spirituality and travel. This girl’s own adventure was music to the ears of many young women who were already embarking…

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Book Review: Standing Firm: Resisting The Self Improvement Craze by Svend Brinkmann

Book Review: Standing Firm: Resisting The Self Improvement Craze by Svend Brinkmann

‘Standing Firm’ in the sense of this book means to counter the incessant drive towards more, more, more of everything. It’s a call to action to resist and stand firm against ‘improvement culture’, not just self-improvement and personal development, but also the constant acceleration and growth in our economic systems, and the overuse and destruction…

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The Book of Symbols: Reflections of Archetypal Images by the Archive for Research into Archetypal Sybolism (Taschen)

My All Time Favourite Top-Ten Non-Fiction History Books

Here’s a collection of some of the non-fiction I have reviewed in the past, ranked as a top ten. The subject matter and time periods vary, but I really like the history of medicine, psychology, symbolism, medieval history, animals and more. 1. The Book of Symbols by the Archive for Research in Archetypal Symbolism (ARAS)…

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Book Review: One Good Turn by Kate Atkinson

Book Review: One Good Turn by Kate Atkinson

Genre: Fiction, Thriller, Mystery. Rating: ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ Publisher: Black Swan Publishing *No spoilers. Set in Edinburgh during the height of the Edinburgh Festival, this is a mystery where various characters are intertwined and nested together in a complex and entertaining way. It begins with a road-rage incident that is witnessed in the Cow…

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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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