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Search tags: general-fiction-books
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review 2019-06-17 11:14
The Travelling Cat Chronicles by Hiro Arikawa
The Travelling Cat Chronicles - Hiro Arikawa

TITLE:  The Travelling Cat Chronicles


AUTHOR:  Hiro Arikawa


TRANSLATOR:  Philip Gabriel




"It's not the journey that counts, but who's at your side.

Nana, a cat, is devoted to Satoru, his owner. So when Satoru decides to go on a roadtrip one day to find him a new home, Nana is perplexed. They visit Satoru's old friends from his school days and early youth. His friends may have untidy emotional lives but they are all animal lovers, and they also wonder why Satoru is trying to give his beloved cat away. Until the day Nana suddenly understands a long-held secret about his much-loved owner, and his heart begins to break.

Narrated in turns by Nana and by his owner, this funny, uplifting, heartrending story of a cat is nothing if not profoundly human."




I cannot write a review that does this book justice without providing spoilers or sounding soppy or silly.  It's a lovely, poignant book about relationships between people and animals (especially the cat) written from a cat's perspective and set in Japan. 


A more detailed review can be found here:  Portable Magic's Review


I believe this ended up a movie also.



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review 2019-05-22 08:58
Mastering Memory by Chester Santos
Mastering Memory: Techniques to Turn Your Brain from a Sieve to a Sponge - Chester Santos

Interesting, but too USA-centric.

The methods described in this book also seem a bit long-winded to me.

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review 2019-05-03 11:33
The Lost Art of Sleep by Michael McGirr
The Lost Art of Sleep - Michael McGirr

TITLE:   The Lost Art of Sleep


AUTHOR:  Michael McGirr




FORMAT:  Paperback


ISBN-13:  9780330424912



"Bed is the most dangerous place on earth. More people die there than anywhere else. Maybe that's why each passing generation spends less time in bed than the one before.
The arrival of baby twins sent Michael McGirr in search of an ancient practice for which bed is the ideal setting. It's called sleep."




This book wasn't what I expected and I'm not quite sure what I read, but it was interesting enough for me to finish it.  It is NOT a science book or a how-to book.  "The Lost Art of Sleep" is a mish-mash of author anecdotes, random thoughts and bits of everything else sleep related - or rather things related to trying to get to sleep.  We get to read about McGirr's personal struggles with sleep apnea, his attempts to catch some shut-eye with 3 toddlers in the house, about Shakespeare, Thomas Edison & Florence Nightingales' (amongst others) sleep habits, about the Odyssey (Odysseus attempts to get home to his bed), and a whole hodgepodge of other ruminations.  Some of it was interesting, some amusing, and some thought-provoking.  

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review 2019-02-19 09:00
The Girl of the Sea of Cortez by Peter Benchley
The Girl of the Sea of Cortez: A Novel - Peter Benchley


"On an island in the Gulf of California, an intrepid young woman named Paloma carries a special legacy from her father—a deep understanding of the sea and a sixth sense about the need to protect it.

Every day, Paloma paddles her tiny boat into the ocean and anchors over a seamount—a submerged volcanic peak sixty feet underwater that is clustered with spectacular sea animals and a wondrous web of marine life.

It is there that an astonishing event takes place, when on one of her dives Paloma is shadowed by a manta ray—an animal so large it blocks the sun. She develops an extraordinary relationship with this luminous, gentle creature, but instinctively knows its existence is a secret she must fiercely protect.

Benchley’s novel paints a poignant picture of humanity’s precarious relationship with the ocean, which unfolds alongside a heartrending story of familial bonds, often revealing that the ignorance of man is far more dangerous than the sea. Full of beauty, danger, and adventure, The Girl of the Sea of Cortez is triumphant—a novel to fall in love with.



This is not a horror novel in the tradition of Jaws (also written by Benchley) - no blood, guts or corpses (except the fish). This is a lyrical and beautiful piece of writing.  Educational without preaching.  The novel is a rather plain story of Paloma, her love of the Sea, her desire to protect it and her relationship with her family - especially her brother who is more interested in the economic benefits to be gained from the sea regardless of how destructive they are to the local ecosystem.  The giant manta ray bits were delightful!  Benchley makes you feel like you are in the water with Paloma. The author also explores various conflicting themes such as gender roles, conservation, survival, human nature and the relationship between man and ocean life.  A lovely book, suitable for younger and older readers.


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review 2019-02-06 08:00
7 Rules of Marketing that Get Results: Discard the Myths, Follow the Facts by Temel Aksoy
7 Rules of Marketing that Get Results: Discard the Myths, Follow the Facts - Temel Aksoy

Interesting but repetitive.

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