Book Reviews

December 21, 2017

Hello friends,

I was recently interviewed for an online magazine called We Art Friends (Link Here). One of the Q&A went like this:

Q. How do you promote your books?
A. I must confess that I have been rather introverted about promoting my books in the past…

Mostly because I have been been ambivalent about self-publishing and I’m prone to self-criticism. However, like many things in life, writing and publishing has been a process and I have finally reached a point of equilibrium where I realise that this is my job and I need to take a more active role in promoting myself and my work.

I have learnt through trial and error over the years that the best way to promote yourself is to be genuine. Also, to be an indie author is to actively support and promote the work of fellow authors whom you appreciate. At the end of the day indie authors rely heavily on community support, book reviews, and word of mouth. So it is very much a case of treat others how you would like to be treated.


And since then I have started doing just that. I have reviewed a number of poetry and fiction books by author friends, and I would like to mention them to you in case you are interested in checking them out.

bianca-bowers-reviewsThe first is a debut poetry book by Isabelle Kenyon, called This is not a Spectacle.
I gave it 5 Stars and said this:
I discovered Isabelle Kenyon’s poetry on Twitter, and I’m glad that I did.

In her chapbook, ‘This is not a Spectacle’, Miss Kenyon takes the reader on a poetic journey into the social ills that plague the private and public spaces in modern society.

From the street children in Mumbai with “balloon stomachs”, to the slave labour in a sweat shop where a “friendly face” becomes a “dollar sign”, to the homeless whose signs and pleas are ignored by the more fortunate, and behind closed doors, into domestic violence, where “black pints cloud his vision”.

The “Me Too” campaign is also given a voice in Section Six (the final section), aptly titled “Don’t Stare at Me — Don’t Judge Me.” My favourite lines from this section are:

“You try to claim my body for your own

with roving eyes.

I’ve worn my coat to hide my breasts –

nonetheless,

you stare regardless.”

Overall, I enjoyed this book and look forward to watching this young poet evolve in the future.

You can find Isabelle’s book on Amazon ⇒ THIS IS NOT A SPECTACLE

 

bianca-bowers-reviewsThe second book is a Literary Fiction Novel called ALL THE TOMORROWS by Nillu Nasser.

I gave the book 5 Stars and said this:

If I had to sum up this book with a quote, I would quote the protagonist, Jaya:

“When I love, I don’t give up easily. That is my weakness, and maybe my strength.”

Jaya is a woman who has been burned by love – figuratively and literally. And the scars that deform her feet, skin, and mind manifest themselves most obviously by the way she relates to potential suitors and general social situations after she catches her husband cheating and makes a decision that forever changes the trajectory of her life.

Jaya could be seen as a madding character on occasion, but, if you’re a romantic like me, you will find her to be sympathetic and easily relatable. We have all been wounded by love to some degree and erected protective defences as a result. And the Author certainly has her finger on the pulse in this regard, skilfully and lyrically writing Jaya’s deeply wounded interior world as she navigates a painful journey from lover scorned, to licking her wounds, to healing. A journey which parallels her personal journey from broken self-esteem to an empowered woman who rejects those cultural values of female subservience inherited by the women who came before her.

If you’re looking for an epic love story, set in a mystical location, then be sure to pick up Nillu Nasser’s debut novel, All The Tomorrows. You are in good hands and I highly recommend this book.

You can find ALL THE TOMORROWS on AMAZON

bianca-bowers-reviewThe third is a novel called THE PERDUROR by Richard Gibney.

I gave it 5 Stars and said this:

Just like Jack pulls Blythe into the mystery of what ‘The Perduror’ is, so too does he entice the reader.

107 year old Jack is a character reminiscent of the grandfather in Miss Peregrines Home For Peculiar Children – walking the line between loopy and deadly serious, and keeping both Blythe and the reader guessing until the end.

The reader follows Blythe, who in turn follows Jack, on an adventure steeped in historical intrigue, family feuds, and, at times, fantastical revelations.

I particularly enjoyed the humorous scenes of lost-in-translation between Blythe and Makita, (and Blythe’s newfound courage when defending her honour) but the funniest scene had to be the Willie Nelson and Sarah confrontation.

This book quickly pulled me into Blythe’s and Jack’s world, and the twists and revelations kept me reading to the end. The Perduror was an effortless read, in the best way, and I would highly recommend it to anyone interested in an unusual and humorous adventure with many unique and memorable characters.

You can find THE PERDUROR on AMAZON 

bianca-bowers-reviewAnd last, but not least, is a debut poetry book called, Charcoal Mist at Cotton Fields, by Eden Sleepwalker.

I gave the book 5 Stars and said this:

In her debut poetry book, Charcoal Mist at Cotton Fields, Eden Sleepwalker leads the reader with such a gentle hand as she writes and sketches about the duality of life, the human condition, and the concept of tabula rasa (a philosophical theory that the human mind is a blank slate at birth). To quote from the title poem:

“As every cloud lost its way

Fell on the ground

Forming cotton fields

…….

Yet a charcoal mist

is already here

to obscure our dreams…”

The composition of shadow/light in the charcoal sketches greatly added to the mood and atmosphere of the subject matter and complimented the duality of the poems dealing with life/death, found/lost, dreams/searching, and love/loss. My favourite sketch was “The Carousel of Hallucinations”, because it evoked a sense I often feel in my own life – that we humans are so much more than just body and mind, and that we are imbued with mythical elements which we are without a suitable language to describe.

Overall, I enjoyed the evocative journey this poet took me on, and if I had space I would quote many beautiful poems. Here are a few:

From BEHIND YOU:

“As I walked behind you

your backbone

sensed my blues”

From I OWN THE WATER:

“I’ve seen wet eyes

so many times

gazing

at my life’s wounds

I hush spirits

saying

‘I own the water’…”

From KARMA’S LIGHTS:

“Karma’s lights

seem to be turned off

That’s why

you can’t see

how blessed I am..”

This is a beautiful book of poems and sketches which I recommend to poetry lovers, and I look forward to future works from this talented Author/Artist.

You can find Eden’s book on AMAZON

Thanks for visiting. I’ll be reading reviewing these two novels by Julie Christine Johnson over the Christmas break.

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I am currently seeking readers to review my poetry books. If you are an Author and would like to trade reviews, please contact me via: <contact at biancabowers dot com

Thanks and have a great holiday,

Bianca xo
More about biancabowers

Bianca Bowers is the author of three poetry books: Love Is A Song She Sang From A Cage (2017), Passage (2015), and Death and Life (2014). She holds a BA in English and Film/TV/Media Studies and her poetry has appeared in Shot Glass Journal, Tongue In Your Ear, and The Art Toppling Tobacco Project. In 2017, her poem, Tree of Life, was featured in the trailer for a short-film called The Avant-Gardener. Bianca is currently fine-tuning 2 Poetry books and seeking homes for her novels, Cape of Storms (Literary Fiction), and Lawn Chairs (Womens Fiction). You can find her at www.biancabowers.com and www.lobby4love.org

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