28 May 2014

Working Writers and Bloggers

My Ninth Blog Introduction is Working Writers and Bloggers by Cherie Burbach.

This is, as the name implies, a blog or a site about writing. Here you can find a large number of writing tips, interviews with writers, and news about books and writers (including reviews). As well, there is an actual blog section where you can find interesting posts by Cherie and a number of guest 'bloggers'. You are also welcome to leave comments.

Cherie is a writer who has written a number of books about lifestyle and relationships, often from the perspective of her faith, and she is very focused on helping people.

She is also an artist, and many of her works reflect the same themes as her writing.

To find out more about Cherie, you can either click on the links throughout this post, or you can visit the links here below: Working Bloggers and Bloggers,
Cherie's Art,

25 May 2014

The Locust and the Bird: My Mother's Story by Hanan al-Shaykh

I feel that the daughter, Hanan, whose relationship with her mother, Kamila, is almost a 'non-relationship', may not have been the best person to write the book, although it can perhaps be argued that her perspective reveals a side of Kamila that would not have otherwise been revealed. Stretching over more than seventy years, from the 1930s to the the end of the twentieth century, the picture of Kamila's life, set against the background of southern Lebanon and Beirut, is at times heart-wrenching, at other times humorous. Although in love with Muhammad, a poet, Kamila, not more than a child, is forcibly married off to her widower brother-in-law and, by the age of seventeen, is the mother of two small children. She cannot forget Muhammad, and she becomes the family's rebel.

It is difficult, from a Western perspective, to accept that women were (and, in many places, still are) treated in such a manner. That Kamila often comes across as an unsympathetic person could very well be because of the hardship she endured while she was growing up, or else it could be a result of the author's own problems (possibly subconscious) at being abandoned by her mother at the age of six. I would not place the book among 'The Very Best Books I Have Ever Read', but I feel that the book does have some merit, and, on the whole, it is worth reading.

Photo of Hanan al-Shaykh from

21 May 2014

Loren Kleinman

My EIGHTH BLOG INTRODUCTION is a little different. Loren has, until recently, had a blog where she introduced books and authors; however, she recently decided to concentrate on her website, but she still does interviews on the Huffington Post.

Loren is a writer and poet, and The Dark Cave Between My Ribs, published in March 2014, is her second collection of poetry. As well, she has collected a number of awards for her poetry and for her writing in general. She is at present working on a novel (to be published in June 2015) and a third collection of poetry.

Her author interviews posted on The Huffington Post are particularly evocative and interesting, giving the reader much to ponder over, not only in relation to the author being interviewed but also in relation to life itself.

Connect with Loren via The Huffington Post, or check out her delightful website.

18 May 2014

More about Perfume: The Story of a Murderer.

Before I move on to my next review, it may be of interest to know that Perfume: The Story of a Murderer was actually turned into a film in 2006. Although the production is German, produced by Bernd Eichinger and directed by Tom Tykwer, the language of the film is English, and the main actor is Ben Whishaw. I have not seen the film, so I cannot comment on it; however, photos and videos can be accessed via the following link. Click here.

Image from

14 May 2014

Morgen Bailey

Morgen (Morgen with an E) Bailey is the 

SEVENTH of my BLOG introductions.

Morgen is from Northamptonshire in England, and she is a freelance writer, editor, tutor, blogger, podcaster and speaker; she is also Chair of two writing groups. As well as having one novel published and six already in the pipeline, she has a number of short story collections to her name. She has also published some exceptionally helpful writers' workbooks where she concentrates, among other things, on writer's block.  Morgen describes herself as being 'consumed by all things literary'. 

You will have noticed that I have added a number of links to the passage above, however, to make it easier for you, I am listing them, and others, here as well:

Morgen's blog
Books and more books
About Morgen

Do check out Morgen's blog; you will not be disappointed.

11 May 2014

Perfume: The Story of a Murderer by Patrick Süskind

Patrick Süskind's novel Perfume: The Story of a Murderer is a book that warrants a mention here, even though most of the books I have been discussing are books I read in 2013. The book was written in 1985, and I read it a year or so later. It is an amazing book, reaching out and clinging on to the reader at the same time as it disturbs, revolts and even terrifies. While surrounding the reader with a barrage of images and smells from eighteenth-century Paris, it forces the reader to think about morality and even identity. The story tells of a man, Grenouille, who is born with an acute sense of smell - a sense far stronger than all his other senses combined. From the moment of his birth, Grenouille's life becomes a fight for survival, and, completely devoid of both sympathy and empathy, he meets the challenge. As a young man, he becomes apprenticed to a perfume maker where his talents regarding smell can finally be unleashed. Initially, he gathers the smells of flowers and herbs, later he moves on to inanimate objects like door handles, finally he turns his attention to beautiful, young women. Beautifully written with vibrant painterly descriptions of both images and smells, this is definitely a book that is worth reading.

 Photo of Patrick Süskind from pasiondelalectura.wordpress

07 May 2014

History from a Woman's Perspective

My Sixth Blog Introduction is a blog called History from a Woman's Perspective by Lauralee Jacks. As Lauralee says in her profile, she likes reading, especially historical fiction and history. Her blog presents a variety of books within these genres, all of which are written by women. Although most of these books are fiction, many of them are based on well-researched facts. In the last couple of years, Lauralee has reviewed many books, and her reviews are interesting and thoughtfully presented. Whether you are a man or a woman, I feel that you really should check out Lauralee's blog where, I have discovered, there is something for everyone.

04 May 2014

If You Could See Me Now by Cecelia Ahern

It IS a delightful book in many ways. I was definitely captivated right from the first page, and the dawning realization that Luke's friend Ivan was imaginary simply made me wonder in which direction Ahern would be taking the book. I loved the way ultra-correct Elizabeth is slowly pulled into this world of imagination where the lines between real and unreal become completely and utterly diffused. Later in the novel, we are introduced to more imaginary friends, which, I suppose, makes sense; after all, it is hardly feasible that only Luke should have an imaginary friend. However, I feel that the story had probably worked better without mixing in Opal and Calendula and all the others. It is, at this point in the novel, where it became difficult to discern between adult novel, YA novel and children's story. But, my own personal dislikes to one side, it is a novel worth reading. In America it is called A Silver Lining. It has been translated to a number of languages, including Swedish: Om bara du kunde se mig.

    Photo of Cecelia from

02 May 2014

Psychophilia Book Offer

Don't miss out on Michelle's great offer. Only one more day left to register for one of the free e-Books.