Monday, October 14, 2013

.Book Review: The Chronicles of Zee & Zoey: A Journey of the Extraordinarily Ordinary by Deborah Barnes

Title: The Chronicles of Zee & Zoey: A Journey of the Extraordinarily Ordinary
Author: Deborah Barnes
Genre: Nonfiction
Paperback: 180
Publisher: ZZP Publishing
Language: English
ISBN-13: 978-0983440802

Combining a warm, humorous, and conversational style of writing with stunning photos and charming artwork, readers are immediately immersed into the world of Zee, a lovable male Maine Coon cat, and Zoey, a high-spirited female Bengal cat, as they share their amazing relationship and bond that formed between the two of them in The Chronicles of Zee & Zoey. What makes this story so compelling, is that the author narrates the journey of the cats through the personal trials and tribulations of her own life. Readers will easily be able to relate to the many moments the author shares and her spot on accuracy in understanding the many nuances of a cat is so realistic, one might think the author was a cat herself!  You will be certain to smile and laugh on more than one occasion as you share this incredible journey with Zee and Zoey and learn the ultimate message they teach us – to embrace the ordinary in life and dare to make it extraordinary.

I’d like to start off by saying I’m a huge animal lover.  I’ve had cats – lots of them – dogs, rabbits (well, one), hamsters, birds, you name it, so I knew I couldn’t wait to get my hands on The Chronicles of Zee & Zoey: A Journey of the Extraordinarily Ordinary by Deborah Barnes.  I can’t even begin to name all the reasons why I love this book but if I had to narrow it down to one – the pictures are breathtaking and worth the price alone.

Deborah begins her book by telling us about how her animal kingdom started and let me explain about this “animal kingdom” first.  Deborah is a very conscientious animal owner.  Throughout the book, as she’s talking about each one, you can sense this is someone who doesn’t take pet ownership lightly.  The real stars of this book are, of course, Zee, a Maine coon cat, and Zoey, Bengal cat.  Pictures cannot justify how beautiful these animals are.  But what I loved about this book was how Deborah took us on a journey in itself into her life with these cats, showing us their quirky personalities and wonderful dispositions.  If you’ve ever wondered what it’s like to buy from a cattery (which I found particularly interesting) or how these two breeds interact in a  household of other cats, you will love this book.

The photographs in this book are beyond beautiful.  Barnes’ writing style is superb and the storyline keeps you captivated.  Owners of Bengal and Main coon cats will particularly love it, but if you’ve ever wondered what it’s like to own one of these cats, this book will help guide you and show you what to expect.  I do want to also note the cover was the most beautiful cover I have ever seen – kudos to the designer!

Cat lovers everywhere will fall in love with The Chronicles of Zee & Zoey and it makes the perfect coffee table book.  The pictures alone are great conversation starters!
I would give this 5 out of 5 stars.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Book Review: Traveling for Love by Becky Due

Title: Traveling for Love: Searching for Self, Hoping for Love
Author: Becky Due
Publisher: Telemachus Press
Pages: 178
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1937698173
ISBN-13: 978-1937698171
Purchase at AMAZON

Amanda’s life is suddenly turned upside down when her husband tells her he wants a divorce. She realizes she no longer knows who she is – her life revolved around her husband. At age 40, she finds herself divorced, childless, living in an apartment with a roommate, with little education and no career path. Can Amanda heal her pain and find love again? Will she find the career of her dreams? When will Amanda realize that she deserves to be happy?

My Thoughts:
This book was AMAZING!  I had started reading Traveling for Love a week ago and could never find the time to get back to it and guess what?  I picked it up this morning and couldn’t put it down until it was finished!  I love books like that.  I have a theory about great books.  One – the storyline has to keep me going.  There was no skimming in this book. I took a couple of breaks to make sure my work online was done and I was back at it.  Two – it teaches you something.  I’ll get to this in a minute but not only am I following Amanda’s life journey with men and finding herself, but I’m learning about cruises and the various islands she stops off at as she finds herself.  This part was so enjoyable!

After being dumped by her husband, Amanda goes on a self-love journey.  She encounters various men in her life along the way and each one enables her to make one more step toward the right direction of learning who she is.  All are important in some aspect – but she doesn’t know this until the end.  I loved how Becky Due handled writing Amanda’s personality.  I really hate when some women are portrayed as victims even when they are.  I love a strong woman and I believe that Amanda was a very strong woman. I could tell so as I was reading it even though at times she had her doubts about herself and that’s what prompted her to take cruises.  By herself.  Could you take a cruise by yourself? I certain couldn’t because one I’m weenie and two I’d get upset seeing couples.  But Amanda, ho-ney, she was right out there meeting different people who were meant to come into her life.

Let’s talk about Nick, her husband and soon to be ex as the story progresses.  Oooooo….he can take a flying leap.  But he’s typical of a lot of men unfortunately.  These are men who only care about themselves.  When he wants to do something, he expects his wife to do it with him but when she wants to do something, it’s like “Go ahead with your friends.  Have fun.”  Man that makes my blood boil.  So lesson here to be learned is that there are men out there who do have the same likes you do, the trick is to find them.

The next man in Amanda’s life, I’m not sure if I liked him either.  Sam.  He wouldn’t ever talk about his personal life.  It was like he had some deep secret.  And all the guy wanted to do was have sex.  Jesus Marie Sam.  But, the sex was great according to Amanda who loved this new lifestyle of being able to finally do what she wanted and when she wanted with no strings attached.  She was getting close to Sam, then something happened but I don’t want to give it away.

The next guy was a guy she met on a cruise ship.  He seemed nice enough but there was something about him I didn’t think he was right for Amanda, but the next guy after that, I really liked him even though he did a few things that made you think he might not be right for her as well.
Amanda tended to pick guys who seemed to have hangups about the girlfriend thing until she finally…well I can’t give that away, can I?

One thing I want to mention and another reason why I loved this book so much is that I really enjoyed reading about Amanda’s cruises.  I have never been on a cruise ship before and the author made it feel as if I were right there!

You’ll have to read this book; it’s about one woman’s journey to find herself.  Reminds me a little about Love. Eat. Pray.  But so much better.

I give this book a 5 stars and can’t wait the next book by Becky Due!