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Welcome to Even Butterflies Think

Hey! Welcome to Even Butterflies Think.  I'm Jazz, an avid book reader and one of the lucky people in the world working in my ideal ca...

Saturday, 25 September 2010

Review – The Sage and the Scarecrow by Daniel Clausen

The Sage and the Scarecrow It’s the early hours of the morning, around 3 a.m., and here I am all emotional writing a review of the novel that I just completed because the ending was just so incredible and it just rounded up the whole journey that the book had taken me on in a way I wasn’t expecting, so that I hadn’t noticed the journey until I reached my destination. The novel? The Sage and the Scarecrow by Daniel Clausen, an independent and highly talented author from Florida. Here is the synopsis of the book:

Six months after his father has died from cancer, Pierce Williams find himself in a deep state of ennui. The book follows the main character through a journey from his college, where everything seems dismal and empty, to a small town on the east coast of Florida to find his best friend, Jennifer, and the only person he thinks can “cure” him. Touching on themes such as the existential pain of thinking too much, love, and the politics of everyday life, Pierce’s journey takes him through the struggle and boredom of college life as he attempts to discover his place in the world, climaxing with an ending as uniquely original and unexpected as the story itself.

Monday, 20 September 2010

Wisher and the Runaway Piglet by Georgie Adams

Wisher and the Runaway Piglet: No. 1 - Railway Rabbits

Wisher and the Runaway Piglet is the first book in The Railway Rabbits series written by Georgie Adams and published by Orion Children's BooksIt is a lovely tale and great for children and after reading it I would very much like to read the rest of the series. It will be released on 21st October 2010.
The series the tale of the Longears family, a family of Rabbits living near a Railway station in The River Ripple Valley. In this first book in the series we meet Barley Longears, his wife Mellow Longears and their new family of bucks and does, Bramble, Bracken, Berry, Fern and Wisher, who will become the main protagonist in the adventures that occur in this book. We also meet their neighbours, including Blinker Badger, Sylvia Squirrel, Parsley the Mole, Burdock the Buzzard and the dreaded Red Dragon!
The language is well-developed, colourful and descriptive and, accompanied with a few well-placed illustrations, makes the story very easy to visualise. The chapters are kept short, very much in the style of short stories, which means the plot moves along quickly, keeping the reader interested, which is of course especially important for children. It is an easy book to read from start to finish, and then want to read all over again, but the short chapters also mean that a parent using this as a bed-time story can easily find places to break off.

Friday, 17 September 2010

The Kid

On Wednesday 15th September 2010 I was lucky enough to attend the premiere of The Kid, directed by Nick Moran, at the Odeon Cinemas in Leicester Square, thanks to a wonderful gesture by Penguin Books. "The Kid", which is being released in the cinemas today, is the screen adaptation of the bestselling books by Kevin Lewis, The Kid, and The Kid Moves On, which describe his life. Kevin Lewis's tale is a simultaneously sad and inspirational one. Growing up on a poor London estate he was subjected to severe abuse by his parents, in particular his mother, and then passed from foster home to foster home. His moments of relief and joy were constantly followed by more moments of pain and sadness and, above all, violence, until eventually he was able to find a way out.

The cast includes Rupert Friend, who takes the lead role as Kevin Lewis in his adult years, whilst Augustus Prew and William Fin Miller play him as a teen and a child respectively. Natascha McElhone plays Kevin's mother Gloria and Con O'Neill his father Dennis and Jodie Whittaker his wife Jackie. Then there are a whole host of other excellent actors, including Ioan Gruffudd, Bernard Hill and David O’Hara. The performances are generally convincing, and whilst there are many scenes of abuse and violence, yet I feel Nick Moran does well to present this effectively without going to extremes.

I wish I could say more about the movie, but I do not wish to give the plot away. Suffice to say that this movie, and the books that inspired them, deal with very serious issues, not for the faint of heart. Yet, what is much more important is the message of hope that this story gives to young people who may be suffering similar issues, and thus it is no surprise that the NSPCC has teamed up with the producers on this project to promote awareness of child abuse but also to promote this message of hope.

Wednesday, 8 September 2010

International Literacy Day – a time to be grateful & reflect

Today, 8th September, is International Literacy Day, a celebration of literacy but also a reminder of the problem of illiteracy that still exists for billions of people around the world. According to UNESCO, one in five adults is illiterate, approximately two-thirds of which are women. Also, 67.4 million children around the world are not receiving formal education.
The importance of literacy for the entire human nation cannot be stressed enough. Unfortunately, I cannot help but feel that for many people, especially young people and those blessed enough to live in ‘first world’ countries, there is not enough appreciation of the immense importance that literacy has for the world community. UNESCO sums up beautifully the importance of literacy for all:
Literacy is a human right, a tool of personal empowerment and a means for social and human development. Educational opportunities depend on literacy.
Literacy is at the heart of basic education for all, and essential for eradicating poverty, reducing child mortality, curbing population growth, achieving gender equality and ensuring sustainable development, peace and democracy. There are good reasons why literacy is at the core of Education for All (EFA).
A good quality basic education equips pupils with literacy skills for life and further learning; literate parents are more likely to send their children to school; literate people are better able to access continuing educational opportunities; and literate societies are better geared to meet pressing development.

Tuesday, 7 September 2010

Man Booker Prize Shortlist Announced

Here we are fellow book-lovers, The Man Booker Prize Shortlist has just been announced. Those chosen are:

• Parrot and Olivier in America by Peter Carey
• Room by Emma Donoghue
• The Betrayal by Helen Dunmore
• In a Strange Room by Dalmon Galgut
• The Finkler Question by Howard Jacobson
• The Long Song by Andrea Levy
• C by Tom McCarthy

Congratulations to all these authors for making the list. What a wonderful selection. So, were your predictions right? What do you think about the selection? Anyone not on the list you were expecting? Would love to hear your views.

The Man Booker Prize

Like me, I expect that many of you have been following this year’s Man Booker Prize Award. So, you must also all be very excited to know that today the Shortlist is due to be announced. In fact, Man Booker on Twitter has just tweeted that the shortlist will be announced in less than an hour. While I wait, I will give a brief overview of the Man Booker Prize on the highly unlikely off-chance that some of you do not know what the Man Booker Prize is.

The Man Booker Prize is an award designed to promote the best literary fiction. The award is given to the best novel of the year written by a citizen of the Commonwealth or the Republic of Ireland. The winner of this prestigious award receives £50,000 as well as incredible amount of publicity for his or her novel.

Even if you are not, somehow, familiar with the prize, no doubt you will have heard of some of the past prize winners, such as Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel (2009), The White Tiger by Aravind Adiga (2008) or The Gathering by Anne Enright (2007). This long-standing award (it is 42 years old) has helped to make the careers of a number of well-known, quality authors.

Monday, 6 September 2010

The Broke & The Bookish blog & giveaway

It would probably be the understatement of the year to say that my blog here is coming along very slowly. I know I need to procrastinate and criticise less, and actually start posting more. Looking at other blogs has given me inspiration, but nothing has made me want to pull my act together more than what I have just found.

The Broke and the Bookish is a blog run by college aged young men and women with a love for reading. The blog is very cool, I must admit, with a good variety of regular contributors. And get this, in just two months the blog has gained OVER 200 FOLLOWERS! I was so put to shame. I started my blog a month ago now and I am nowhere near achieving this number. So I have made this post to congratulate The Broke and the Bookish on this wonderful achievement, and to support a wonderful fellow book blog (not that they need my support, really. Totally the other way around).

The good news doesn't stop there, however. To celebrate their wonderful achievement the Broke and Bookish bloggers are holding a 200 FOLLOWER GIVEAWAY! You only have until 7TH SEPTEMBER to enter so pay attention:

There are FIVE PRIZES to be won. Each prize consists of a set of books, and you may enter for more than one prize, but only once per prize. AND the contest is INTERNATIONAL. Great isn't it? So what are you still doing here then? get over to their site, congratulate them on their followers and enter now for your chance to win!