Tag: Vibe

Terry Deary – Rotten Rulers | Review

Title: Rotten Rulers

Author: Terry Deary

Type: Non-Fiction

Page Count: 176

Rating: 4/5

I actually learned a surprising amount from this book. For example, in the AD 900s, the grand vizier of Persia travelled with a library of 117,000 books carried by camels that were trained to walk in alphabetical order. Although he also said that the earth is flat, which I’m hoping was a joke but which either way is a dangerous one to make, especially when educating kids.

So basically, the main vibe that I was left with here was that there were a lot of cool facts and information that would definitely keep a kid entertained, but at the same time I’m not too sure how much we can trust it. It’s a shame, because I’ve always found the information to be spot on in Horrible History books before.

Mostly, though, it’s just a timely reminder that power corrupts and that people are terrible. After all, there are quite a few rotten rulers still knocking around today. Sinister.

Learn more about Rotten Rulers.

 


Kurt Vonnegut – Jailbird | Review

Title: Jailbird

Author: Kurt Vonnegut

Type: Fiction

Page Count: 240

Rating: 3/5

This book is a satirical novel that ties back in with the Watergate scandal, and because of that I struggled with it from time to time purely because I’m not particularly familiar with that particular part of American history. I’ve never liked Nixon, but he was also in power a long time before I was born and so it almost feels like it doesn’t matter.

Still, there was some fun stuff here, mostly revolving around Vonnegut’s wry observations and his occasional excellent one-liners. Because it’s also a sort of fictionalised biography of sorts, it also reminded me quite a lot of my own current work-in-progress, which follows the career of a fictional band. It has that same vibe where you have to optimise between showing and telling because while showing is an understandably good practice to have, you also need to tell sometimes to progress the narrative.

I’d say that I mostly appreciated this book from a writing point of view rather than because I particularly enjoyed it, but I think there’s a place for books like that on my shelves and I’m glad that I finally read this, especially considering it’s been on my shelves for several years now just waiting for me to finally tick it off. And to think that it took less than 48 hours. I feel kinda silly now!

Learn more about Jailbird.

 


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