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Kirkus Review for Destination Dachshund

Kirkus Review for Destination Dachshund

I was so pleased to receive a positive book review for Destination Dachshund from one of the most prestigious brands in publishing – Kirkus Reviews. Servicing the book industry since the 1930’s, Kirkus Reviews ‘stands for integrity, honesty and accessible reviews written with an insider’s eye’ and the Kirkus Indie program gives self-publishers like me the chance to earn honest critical review.

STS_DD Ebook In between light and dark V5.2_mini_mini“A likable author makes for a likable, dog-centric travel book.” – Kirkus Review

“Fleetwood’s resulting chronicle of a multigenerational family trip—88 days, 15 countries, and 60 dachshund spottings—has an invitingly chatty tone that makes one feel like one is traveling with her.” – Kirkus Review

“…Fleetwood can be a sensitive observer and she has an admirable fascination with and respect for history.” – Kirkus Review

I am pretty happy with the review (read full review below). To have received a positive review from such a respected player in the book industry means a lot to me. If the only slightly negative thing they can say is that we walked past a memorial to fallen Jews and then spotted a dachshund is a jarring juxtaposition then I’m ok with that – that’s what happened and that is life. We were feeling sad at the memorial but then a dachshund scampered by – what are we to do except delight in that? Life is a series of juxtapositions like that.

Full Review:
In her debut memoir, Australia-based blogger Fleetwood shares the highs and lows of an extended family trip from Sydney to New York City. The transition from blog to book is trickier than many writers realize, but for the most part, Fleetwood has the knack. In 2010, right before Fleetwood and her family took off from Sydney, one of their dachshunds, Coco, died unexpectedly; the remaining dog, Charlie, she says, “won’t leave our side or our laps…his howls break our hearts.”

In honor of Coco, the family invents a trip-long game of dachshund sightings. Fleetwood’s resulting chronicle of a multigenerational family trip—86 days, 15 countries, and 60 dachshund spottings—has an invitingly chatty tone that makes one feel like one is traveling with her.

The family goes to Singapore; Istanbul; Moscow; Budapest, Hungary; Nuremberg, Germany; Paris; and Dublin (with numerous stops in between), before finally reaching New York in time for Christmas. There, they discover that “People are all going in different directions and are pushy, loud and rough.” But Fleetwood is otherwise delighted by almost everything else she encounters, be it a dinner cruise on Europe’s Danube River or a Christmas market in Strasbourg, France (Christmas markets are her admitted addiction).

She’s also as adept at noting what it’s like to travel with family as she is at describing cathedrals, castles, battlefields, and Roman ruins. In Turkey, for example, her 12-year-old son “barters for a fez hat that he will probably never wear again”; later, at a Paris café, she notes her recently widowed mother’s loneliness, achingly detectable under her otherwise cheerful demeanor.

Fleetwood can be a sensitive observer and she has an admirable fascination with and respect for history. But occasionally, there are jarring juxtapositions. In Krakow, Poland, for example, the family visits a monument to many thousands of Krakow Jews who died in World War II; barely a paragraph later, Fleetwood’s husband spots a miniature dachshund: “I follow his pointed finger, and sure enough ahead in the distance is a darling brown miniature dachshund. It’s so cute!”

Overall, though, the author ably conveys the fleeting pleasures of managing a trip that embraces both grandparents and grandchildren. By the time they get to Poland, for example, the kids complain they are “churched out,” and anyone who’s ever been part of a family outing will certainly relate.

A likable author makes for a likable, dog-centric travel book.

My one year Blogiversary has arrived and gone!

My one year Blogiversary has arrived and gone!

A whole year has passed since I decided to start my blog – and I forgot my own Blogiversary! Yes, it’s really a thing! And by the way – since I am relaxing and eating Easter eggs right now – Happy Easter to everyone!

As mentioned here in my Australian Women Writers 2014 Wrap-up I wasn’t quite sure where to begin when I first started my blog – I had a vague idea of connecting with other readers and writers and that was it. So I began with reviewing Australian children’s and YA novels, (which I’d never done before!), spotlighting talented Australian fiction of all genre’s, and commenting on reading, writing, literary awards, literary festivals, and writing courses. And I did it! It was scary to start – but before long, as I connected with other keen readers and lovers of all things books, I soon realised this is where I belonged – amongst the book lovers of the world.

Thank you to everyone who has read my blogs, all 72 of them, commented and shared my posts on Facebook and Twitter and generally encouraged me to keep going. It has been one of the most enjoyable things I’ve done and in doing so – I have made new friends, connected and joined a wonderful local writers group, learned more about the process of writing and the publishing industry, and enjoyed reading and reviewing great Aussie books.

Overall its been a great year and I’m looking forward to many more! Thanks for stopping by!

This is where you’ll usually find me:

One of my favourite places - my library
One of favourite my places – my library!

 Some of my most viewed blog posts (not including Book Reviews):


Book Reviews:

I’ve had a great response to my book reviews and have enjoyed the reading of the books, and the writing of the reviews – and the process has not only introduced me to the talent of Aussie writers but will (hopefully) help improve my own writing. I can only hope….;-)

Check out all my children’s, YA and Speculative Fiction Book Reviews, and for adult fiction, covering all genres, literary and memoir – have a look at Angela Long’s Book Reviews. Angela has recently joined me at Welcome to my Library to share her fabulous reviews with me and my readers. There are too many great Aussie books to review – one reviewer is just not enough!


 Look out for my upcoming posts:

  • It is almost time for the Aurealis Awards (Australian Speculative Fiction Awards). The winners are announced Saturday 11th in Canberra. I will be there and hopefully make it home without a hang over this year (Hint: Lisa stay away from the champagne). Find out the shortlisted books HERE.
  • The Sydney Writers Festival is coming up soon! And who is excited? ME & ANGELA. And no, we are not the only two people looking forward to it – tickets are on sale now so get in and buy them here: Sydney Writers’ Festival. Blog posts to come about some of the best events to go to.
  • More reviews from Angela Long from the 2015 Stella Prize Shortlist. The winner is announced soon! See the shortlist HERE and the reviews by Angela HERE.

Flower

Book Review: These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman & Meagan Spooner

Book Review: These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman & Meagan Spooner

These Broken StarsTitle: These Broken Stars (Starbound Book 1)

Author: Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner

Category: Young Adult / Sci-Fi / Romance

Publisher: Disney Hyperion Books 2013

Awards: Winner Aurealis Award for Best Young Adult Novel, Short-listed for Best Fantasy Aurealis Awards 2013.

My Rating: 4 broken stars


My Review: I was a little nervous about writing this review as I haven’t read a Sci-Fi book in a long time – about 20 years at least, so I am a little light on the specifics that make a good sci-fi novel but I know this – I couldn’t put These Broken Stars down and was totally swept up from the moment I picked it up.

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Book Club Review & Discussion: just_a_girl by Kirsten Krauth

Book Club Review & Discussion: just_a_girl by Kirsten Krauth

Bookclub SharynsI’ve been in a Book Club for almost ten years with a wonderful group of ladies who love a laugh, a nice champagne or two and a good discussion.

After seeing Kirsten Krauth speak at the Sydney Writers Festival about her novel just_a_girl, Angela (founder of this book club) and I each grabbed a copy. A couple of months later when it was Angela’s turn to choose our monthly read, she chose just_a_girl, and I’m so glad she did. It was great book to read in itself, but also an interesting, complex and very current book to discuss in a group.

I had planned to do a review of just_a_girl myself but as Angela was the chairperson of the book club meeting and had thoroughly researched the different themes of the novel, (as she always does!) I just knew she would be far better to do the review than me.

We discussed the lyrics of No Doubts song ‘Just a Girl’, learnt the symbolism of the transformative moth and talked about the dangers of the internet and of girls growing up to fast. Layla, Kirsten’s protagonist was a particularly interesting character to discuss, as was her mother Margo and the intriguing man Tadashi.

Tune in to Radio National on Friday 8th August at 9am to hear Kirsten Krauth talk about just_a_girl.


For the first ‘Guest Post’ on Welcome to My Library – I welcome Angela Long and her review of just_a_girl by Kirsten Krauth.


just_a_girlTitle: just_a_girl

Author: Kirsten Krauth

Publisher: University of Western Australia Publishing 2013

Category: Adult / YA

Pages: 272

 


Summaryjust_a_girl tears into the fabric of contemporary culture. A Puberty Blues for the digital age, a Lolita with a webcam, it’s what happens when young girls are forced to grow up too fast. Or never get the chance to grow up at all. Layla is only 14. She cruises online. She catches trains to meet strangers. Her mother, Margot, never suspects. Even when Layla brings a man into their home. Margot’s caught in her own web: an evangelical church and a charismatic pastor. Meanwhile, downtown, a man opens a suitcase and tenderly places his young lover inside.

just_a_girl is a novel about being isolated and searching for a sense of connection, faith, friendship and healing, and explores what it’s like to grow up negotiating the digital world of facebook, webcams, internet porn, mobile phones and cyberbullying – a world where the line between public and private is increasingly being eroded.


Review by Angela Long: If you feel that the contemporary novel has a responsibility to reflect on the culture and issues of the time and place it is set, then you would agree that ‘just_a_girl’ by Kirsten Krauth, has more than fulfilled it’s brief.

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Book Giveaway! Share post to enter the draw!

Book Giveaway! Share post to enter the draw!

 Enter to win signed copies of Jamie Reign: The Last Spirit Warrior & Jamie Reign: The Hidden Dragon (August release) – See below to enter! 

Featuring soon on Welcome to my Library – My interview with Australian author P.J Tierney.

Jamie Reign

Summary: Jamie Reign can’t read a word, but he can handle a tugboat better than most. All his life he’s dreamed of becoming a kung fu expert, like the legendary Master Wu. But that sort of kung fu, the sort that draws on the ancient and mystical force called the Way, is only for the Chinese boys & Jamie isn’t Chinese enough for that. While diving on an uncharted reef, Jamie discovers a terrible force that exposes his connection to ancient warriors and the warlord intent on destroying them all. He must learn kung fu and the secret skills of the Warriors of the Way. Jamie’s past and the future of these ancient warriors are inexplicably linked. And as the two collide, Jamie and his new friends set off on a desperate mission to save them all.

Read my review and Book Club discussion HERE

 


Jamie ReignENTER HERE TO WIN!9780732295202

Don’t forget to enter to win signed copies of Jamie Reign: The Last Spirit Warrior & the sequel Jamie Reign: The Hidden Dragon.

For your chance to win: Share this review via Twitter or Facebook, WordPress, or other social media and let me know on by commenting on this page, tag me on Twitter @LisaFleetwood, Facebook or via my Contact page.  Each share is one entry. Entries close 31st July. (The winner will be drawn randomly and prize posted in August. Worldwide entry). 


Book Giveaway & Book Club Review: Jamie Reign-The Last Spirit Warrior

Book Giveaway & Book Club Review: Jamie Reign-The Last Spirit Warrior

 Enter to win signed copies of Jamie Reign: The Last Spirit Warrior & Jamie Reign: The Hidden Dragon (August release) – See below to enter! 
Featuring soon on Welcome to my Library – My interview with Australian author P.J Tierney.

I would love to hear your thoughts about Jamie Reign: The Last Spirit Warrior. Please leave your comment on this page, visit my Book Club Group on Goodreads or tweet me @LisaFleetwood

Jamie Reign

Title: Jamie Reign: The Last Spirit Warrior

Category: Children’s Fiction / Fantasy

Author: P.J Tierney

Publisher: Harper Collins Australia

Pages: 385 Pages

Short-list: Readings Children’s Prize for Children 2014

My Rating: 4 stars

The set-up of kung-fu fantasy adventure Jamie Reign by PJ Tierney had us all hooked and we admired Jamie’s character.’ Judges for the Readings Children’s Book Prize.


Summary: Jamie Reign can’t read a word, but he can handle a tugboat better than most. All his life he has dreamed of becoming a kung fu expert, like the legendary Master Wu. But that sort of kung fu, the sort that draws on the ancient and mystical force called the Way, is only for the Chinese boys and Jamie isn’t Chinese enough for that. While diving on an uncharted reef, Jamie discovers a terrible force that exposes his connection to these ancient warriors and to the warlord intent on destroying them all. He must quickly learn kung fu and the secret skills of the Warriors of the Way. Jamie’s past and the future of these ancient warriors are inexplicably linked. And as the two collide, Jamie and his new friends set off on a desperate mission to save them all.

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Book Review: My Life as an Alphabet by Barry Jonsberg

Book Review: My Life as an Alphabet by Barry Jonsberg

MyLifeAsAnAlphabetCategory: Children’s Fiction

Title: My Life as an Alphabet

Author: Barry Jonsberg

Publisher: Allen and Unwin 2013

Winner: The Gold Inky 2013, Children’s Peace Prize 2013, Victorian Premier’s Award for YA Fiction 2013, Territory Read Award 2014

Short-list NSW Premier’s Literary Awards 2014

Short-list Children’s Book Council of Australia Book of the Year: Younger Readers

Short-list Koala Awards 2014


Summary: Introducing Candice Phee: twelve years old, hilariously honest and a little … odd. But she has a big heart, the very best of intentions and an unwavering determination to ensure everyone is happy. So she sets about trying to ‘fix’ all the problems of all the people (and pets) in her life. Laugh-out-loud funny and wonderfully touching, My Life as an Alphabet is a delightful novel about an unusual girl who goes to great lengths to bring love and laughter into the lives of everyone she cares about.

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