Wednesday 26 February 2020

The Hen Who Dreamed She Could Fly by Sun-mi Hwang - A Review

It's been a while since I read this little story and it still makes me a little bit sad when I think about it. I am talking about the book The Hen Who Dreamed She Could Fly by Sun-mi Hwang

This book was originally published in 2000 in Korean and was translated in English in 2013 ( I've read the Greek translation by Dioptra Publications). 

In this little book (only 160 pages) we follow a little hen named Sprout. Her dream is to hatch an egg of her own and raise her little chicken. She no longer wants to lay eggs on command. When she finally succeeds then her problems begin. she doesn't find the approval she expected and the dangers for her and her baby are a lot. 

The story of Sprout is very beautiful and emotional. As with her other book, The Dog Who Dared to Dream, the author manages to tell us the story with a very unique way that makes it look like a fairy tale. A fairy tale with a deeper meaning. 

It is an anthem for freedom, individuality and motherhood featuring a plucky, spirited heroine who rebels against the tradition-bound world of the barnyard. A hen who dares to dream...

Rating : 4 Stars

See you in the next post and don't forget to keep reading!!!


You can buy this book from Book Depository using this link (affiliate link)

Wednesday 19 February 2020

Tips to read more books this year

Every year I ask myself the same question. 
How many books can I manage to read this year? Could it be more than last year, or less?

In 2019 I barely managed to reach my goal of 100 books and the reasons are many. The most important one is that in the middle of the year our baby girl came to our lives so reading wasn't at the front.  In 2020 I set my goal lower at 52 books, one for every week of the year and so far it is going very well.

I have many friends who ask me how I can read so many books , how I find the time for reading. The simple answer is that you do not find the time, you just simply make time for reading.

I always  liked to read articles with tips and tricks on how to read more books. That's why I decided to gather together in this post some tips that I found very helpful  and try to use in my own reading life. (For full disclosure I didn't think of those tips, I am just gathering them in one post for my and your convenience).

Let's start...

Fist, try to make reading a part of your routine. 
Integrate reading time into your routine. You can wake up a little bit earlier to read (I find this one a little difficult, because you know... sleep!) or you can dedicate half an hour before bed to read. That's what I am doing and it's working very well so far. You can also read during your lunch break or with your coffee in the morning.

Second,  try audiobooks.
With audiobooks you can multitask. You can read/listen your book while driving, working out, cleaning or cooking. Do not forget that listening to a book is not cheating. Audiobooks count as books obviously.  

Third, always have a book with you either physical or in ebook form. 
I think this one is the more helpful tip. You can squeeze some reading while waiting for the bus, at the bank or at the doctor's office.  

Fourth, try to mix the genres you read.
This way you won't suffer from book hungover after finishing a great book.  It will help you to avoid direct comparisons between books in the same genre and it will eliminate confusion between similar plot lines or characters.

Fifth, join a book club or buddy read books.
Book clubs are always a great idea because they will encourage you to finish a book by a certain date for your scheduled meeting and if it's a monthly one you will add 12 books towards your goal. 
Buddy reading books and discussing what you’re reading with a friend can give you encouragement to read through to the end. 

Sixth, read more books at once.
This is one I do all the time. Usually I read three books at once but I try to be of different genres so I won't confuse the plots. 

I have a dedicated post for this one. It's an older one. Check it out here.

Seventh, participate in readathons.
Readathons can easily help you to read more. Many bloggers and bookstagrammers host readathons throughout the year, where you read for a set period. Some readathons even come with a theme or book recommendations.

Eighth, dnf (did-not-finish) a book if you don't like it.
Forcing yourself to finish a book you hate is not a good way to reach your reading goals. Sticking with books you’re not enjoying will take all of the fun out of your reading time and will slow down your progress. 

These are some tips that I think will help you to read more books this year. I tried them all, except audiobooks  and I find that they do work.  Now I want to try listening to audiobooks as well to see if they suit me.

Have you got any other tips you can share with us?

See you in the next post and don't forget to keep reading!!!


Wednesday 12 February 2020

Little People, Big Dreams by Maria Isabel Sanchez Vegara (Series Review)

Recently while I was browsing Netgalley for new books, I stumbled across this series of non fiction picture books that I though were very interesting. The series in question is Little People, Big Dreams by Maria Isabel Sanchez Vegara and it's published by Frances Lincoln Children's Books
As we speak the series has many books and there are more coming in February and March. 

Little People, Big Dreams by Isabel Sanchez Vegara is one of  the world’s most inspiring biography series. Through them children can discover the lives of outstanding people, from designers and artists to scientists. All of them achieved incredible things, yet each began life as a child with a dream. Told as a story, with a facts and photos section at the back, this best-selling series celebrates triumph over adversity through some of history’s favourite characters. 

I have already read nine of them and I find them fascinating. They are perfect for little children. They are written in simple sentences, which are perfect for the little ones and they offer them inspiring messages. I also love how quirky and beautiful the illustrations are.

Astrid Lindgren

This one introduces the little readers to the incredible life of the famous children's author Astrid Lindgren who wrote the Pippi Longstocking books.

Publication Date: March 3rd

Evonne Goolagong

This one introduces the little readers to the incredible life of the inspiring indigenous Australian tennis player who despite the difficulties she faced she managed to make her dreams come true.

Publication Date: March 3rd

Martin Luther King Jr.

It introduces the little ones to the incredible life of the inspiring minister and civil rights activist, Martin Luther King Jr.

David Attenborough

In this beautiful picture book we discover the life of the inspiring broadcaster and conservationist, David Attenborough.

David Bowie

This one tells the story of David Bowie, the starman who dazzled audiences with his music.

There are also board books in the series and they are perfect for smaller hands.

Maria Montessori: My first Maria Montessori

This one is a board book that introduces the little readers to the incredible life of the pioneering teacher and researcher that is Maria Montessori.

Publication Date: March 3rd

Muhammad Ali: My First Muhammad Ali

It introduces the little readers to the incredible life of the famous boxer Muhammad Ali

Stephen Hawking: My first Stephen Hawking

This one  introduces the little readers to the incredible life of the genius physicist and author Stephen Hawking.

Vivienne Westwood: My First Vivienne Westwood

It introduces the youngest dreamers to the incredible life of the flame-haired fashion designer and impresario, Vivienne Westwood.

Publication Date: March 3rd

These are some of the books I read and I think I cannot stop now. 

Little People, Big Dreams is a well worth it  best-selling series of books and educational games.
This empowering series offers inspiring messages to children of all ages, in a range of formats. The board books are told in simple sentences, perfect for reading aloud to babies and toddlers. The hardcover versions present expanded stories for beginning readers. Boxed gift sets allow you to collect a selection of the books by theme. Paper dolls, learning cards, matching games, and other fun learning tools provide even more ways to make the lives of these role models accessible to children.

See you in the next post and don't forget to keep reading!!!


P.S. I received  eARCs of these books via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Wednesday 5 February 2020

January 2020 Wrap up

January, the first month of 2020, has passed and here we are again to talk about the books I read in it. This month I focused on finishing books that I had left in the middle of from the previous year and also on catching up on my arcs. 

Let's see them in more detail.

Astrid Lindgren (Little People, Big Dreams) - Maria Isabel Sanchez Vegara & Linzie Hunter

By now you might have figured it out, that I love these picture books that Maria Isabel Sanchez Vegara does. They are very inspiring for little children and you also learn something from them.
This one is about the famous author of Pippi Longstockings.

I received an ARC of this book via Netgalley
Release Date: March 3rd 2020

Evonne Goolagong (Little People, Big Dreams) - Maria Isabel Sanchez Vegara

Another picture book from the same series as the previous one. This one is about the tennis player Evonne Goolagong who didn't stop from following her dreams.

I received an ARC of this book via Netgalley
Release Date: March 3rd 2020

Obelix & Co (Asterix #23) - Rene Goscinny & Albert Uderzo (ill.)

It's been a while since I last read an Asterix comic book and I can say that I missed it.
This one focuses on Obelix and the attempts of the Romans to corrupt his village. It wasn't one of my favorites and the reason is that I wanted more action in the story.

Maria Montessori: My first Maria Montessori (Little People, Big Dreams) - Maria Isabel Sanchez Vegara

Because I don't want to repeat myself, I will only say one thing. I love these picture books/board books. They are perfect and very inspiring for the little ones.
I will continue reading them.

I received an ARC of this book via Netgalley
Release Date: March 3rd 2020

Keystone - Katie Delahanty

This is a young adult science fiction dystopian book with a very unique concept that is very apt for our days. In this not so distant future social media is above everything and in a way controls everything.

Keystone is full of plot twists and secrets until the very end and that made it even more enjoyable for me. Did I mention there is also a heist?

I received an ARC of this book via Netgalley
Check my full review here

Blood and Sand  - C. V. Wyk

This book takes place in ancient Rome and its story focuses on the premise of Spartacus being a woman and not a man.
I liked this book and I wish they would continue the series.

Full review to come pretty soon.

Read to your toddler every day - Lucy Brownridge & Chloe Giordano (ill.)

This is a beautifully illustrated collection of stories and tales from around the world that you can read aloud to your little kid. It's perfect to read before bed as they are short enough for that.
There is also a good selection of stories from traditional folk tales to fairy tales and fables. Some are well-known and others not so much, but every one has a message to tell us.
Highly recommend it!

I received an ARC of this book via Netgalley
                                               Release Date: March 3rd 2020
The Titanic and the City of Widows It Left Behind: The Forgotten Victims of the Fatal Voyage - Julie Cook

This non-fiction book talks about the widows that Titanic left behind. It's an interesting perspective and it's different from what we are used to when we talk about the Titanic.
As interesting and different the concept of this book is, it was repetitive a lot of the times and that bothered me

I received an ARC of this book via Netgalley
Release Date: June 19th 2020

The Princess and the Pawn - Kaitlyn Davis

This prequel novella was a very good taste of what will follow in The Raven and the Dove. Now I can't wait to read the book. Thankfully I have an ARC from Netgalley for it.

Gifted from the author

Release Date of The Raven and the Dove: March 9th 2020
The Starless Sea - Erin Morgenstern

I was expecting a lot from this book and thankfully it didn't disappoint. The reviews on this one are controversial but I liked it. I loved the way Erin Morgenstern writes.

There will be a review pretty soon.

The Good Man Jesus and the Scoundrel Christ - Philip Pullman
This is a unique interpretation of the life of Jesus by the amazing storyteller that is Philip Pullman. As the synopsis of the book says, "This book is, above all, about how stories become stories" and I couldn't agree more.

The Writer's Map: An Atlas of Imaginary lands - Huw Lewis - Jones

I love books like this one. Books about books and imaginary lands. This is a collection of essays regarding imaginary lands  from famous authors and map designers. It's full of images of maps, old and new, that belong to fictional lands, lands from some of our favorite books.

That's it for January's wrap up!
Have you read any of these? If yes, what do you think about them?
I would love to know!

See you in the next post and don't forget to keep reading!!!