Welcome to Feathered Quill Book Reviews, a place for readers to find their next treasure.
Along with reviews of many well-known titles, this site also searches out unique books
from small, independent presses.
Feathered Quill Book Reviews prides itself on giving the reader an honest, unbiased critique of each and every book on its website.
So slip off your shoes, pour yourself a cup of coffee, explore our pages,
and discover many wonderful gems in the world of books.
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God, Grace, Dumb Luck
By: Phloyd Knucklez
Publisher: Philip Gaber
Publication Date: September 2016
Reviewed by: Amy Lignor
Review Date: October 17, 2016
There are so many “golden” lessons earlier generations handed down to us: A bird in the hand...Make the best out of a bad situation...and the list goes on. In this collection of poems, short stories and ponderous prose, readers see the world through the eyes of humans who have chosen to believe that those past lessons are nothing but myths.
The reader gets on board with mainly male narrators expelling their tales. The speakers represent a large number of people across the globe: working at a job that is not what they wanted to “be when they grew up,” bored, harboring anger, and speaking frequently about disappointment. Perhaps this sounds depressing right off the bat, but the writer makes sure that the upside of the downsides that come from being that “categorical human” is shown right off the bat. If you’re normal and not a “star,” so to speak, you’ll never have to be bothered by others who want something from you. If you’re never a leader in any respect, than people will never want to waste their time finding a way to bring you down.
“Keeping My Vigil” is a tale of a man being tempted and then falling for temptation (much like falling for an apple given by a serpent in a garden.) This man is now condemned to live an ordinary, human life. “Escaping from Adolescence” shows a man out of work and how he must deal with a collection agent on the phone. You know, those guys who call to harass you night after night even when they know you have no money in the coffers. In these stories, as well as many others, readers will identify with how demoralizing life’s moments can be and how they can be made to feel bad by strangers who simply don’t care about their particular predicament.
Yet...the most difficult part of these stories comes from those missing “golden” statements handed down. You learn those. You believe in them. In fact, some of those words are what get you through the toughest of times. They also make you understand that being a normal, ordinary human – if you’re doing something you have a passion for, or are part of a bigger picture, like a family you love with all your heart – is not a negative at all.
Life is filled with humiliations. It’s filled with monsters, bigots, and others in the crowd who gain more than the hardworking, ordinary folk. However, if you go through life believing if you need help it will never be offered, than chances are it won’t be. Everything is stated clearly and concisely, which is a huge positive in this world of cover-ups and empty smiles. From losing yourself in alcohol, drugs, or simply in the inane banter all around you, the annoyances of life are told in a way that all of us can easily understand. But the after-effects of this compilation won’t bring the depressed out of a stupor. In the end, the stupor will only grow deeper.
Quill says: Life is a combination of good and evil, drama and comedy. Yet this collection leans heavily towards the darker side of the aisle.
Tuktuk: Tundra Tale
By: Robin Currie
Illustrated by: Phyllis Saroff
Publisher: Arbordale Publishing
Publication Date: August 2016
Reviewed by: Holly Connors
Review Date: October 12, 2016
Winter is coming and the arctic animals have to get ready. Soon the sun will go down for three months and it will get very, very cold. Like the other animals, Tuktuk the collared lemming needs to find a way to stay warm. What will he do?
One day, Tuktuk hears a commotion outside his burrow. Poking his head out of his hole, he sees a sled, pulled by dogs rushing by. As it glides along, it hits a bump and a furry kamik (waterproof boot) falls off the sled. Tuktuk waits for the dogs and sled to disappear across the snow and then he hurries over to the boot. The fur-lined boot will be perfect in his nest and will keep him warm and cozy all winter. But as he starts to drag the boot toward his burrow, Putak the polar bear spots him and declares that the boot will be perfect for him. How will Tuktuk outwit the big, powerful polar bear? And what about the other animals getting ready for winter? They too, will want the boot. Tuktuk will have to think quickly if he wants to keep the boot for his burrow.
Arbordale Publishing has become synonymous with quality, educational books that are carefully wrapped up in fun stories that children will want to read. Tuktuk is no exception to this and like the other books from this publisher, the illustrations are amazing and add so much to the story. Children will love following along with Tuktuk to see if he can outwit the polar bear, fox and caribou. At the back of the book are four pages “For Creative Minds” that include information on “Polar Seasons,” “Arctic Skies,” “Arctic Vocabulary” and “Life in the Cold.” If you haven’t yet checked out these books, be sure to pick up Tuktuk for your little one or classroom – I’m sure you’ll be hooked.
Quill says: A beautiful book full of facts and entertainment.
Christmas in Paris
By: Anita Hughes
Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin
Publication Date: October 2016
Reviewed by: Diana Hettinger
Review Date: October 7, 2016
Isabel Lawson and her fiance Neil can’t agree on anything for their wedding. They are to be married in a week and are getting nowhere. When Neil makes the choice to take over his family farm, Isabel freezes. Being a successful financial professional, she can’t imagine throwing the career away that she worked so hard for. So, with this in mind, a week before the wedding, she calls it off. With the honeymoon being booked and paid for, he suggests that she go on a vacation herself, after all, she had always wanted to go to Paris at Christmas. With a successful career behind her and a past of failed relationships, she takes it upon herself to see and do as much as she can until she throws herself back into her career. With a renewed sense of independence and some light heartache, she sets off for Paris. Upon arrival at the luxurious Crillon, she finds that she got much more than she bargained for.
In the rush of excitement to see the Champs-Élysées, she locks herself out on the balcony. With nothing else to do, she throws her shoe to a nearby balcony where handsome Alec, a children’s book author and illustrator, finds her and rescues her. Alec’s fiance, ironically, left him for another man before their wedding. As a poor writer, he was not successful enough or good enough for his fiance and she leaves for Australia with a more handsome Cricket player. Both of these newly single people, being alone in Paris at Christmas, and wanting to make the most of it, set off to explore the city and leave as much of the past behind as they can. As their adventures begin, they wind up at the Christmas markets. It is at the Christmas markets that they meet a fortune teller who reads Isabel’s fortune. As someone who relies solely on numbers and reason, it does not make sense how the fortune teller’s predictions keep coming true. As time goes on, she believes more and more, but is everything always what it seems?
I absolutely devoured this book in three days, however, I could have easily consumed it in one afternoon had I had the time. Not only is every detail descriptive enough to picture the surroundings and feel as if you are there, but it is just magical enough to make you feel like it’s Christmas no matter what time of year you read it. With twists, turns and magical predictions, you will find yourself believing in magic, no matter how much you also rely on reason. I finished Christmas in Paris wanting more and feeling as if the story was unfinished and I am dying for a part two.
Quill says: Christmas in Paris is a warm and romantic read that will leave you with hope in your heart and a spirit of wanderlust.