Book Reviews

Book Review: Happy Ever After: Financial Freedom Isn’t A Fairy Tale by The Seven Dollar Millionaire

Happy Thursday Bookish people! I’m very happy to bring you my book review for Happy Ever After: Financial Freedom Isn’t A Fairy Tale by The Seven Dollar Millionaire today as it is my stop on the book tour! Thank you to Literally PR for sending me a copy of this book.

This book review is going to be a little different to how I usually do them because there are no plots or characters to rate. So what I am going to do is write about the really great parts of the book, what some of the chapters are about and give an overall rating for the book.

I hope you enjoy this book review!

Book Review:

I don’t read a lot of nonfiction so this is not my usual genre, however I was surprised by this book. I expected a book talking exclusively about money and savings to not be very interesting. I was proved wrong by this book. I will say I didn’t enjoy this book in the usual sense of enjoying a book I am reading but I can appreciate that it had many great parts to it.

For example, the book has got a slight narrative. Throughout the book there are illustrations and chapters written like a fairy tale – it’s even being told to you by a talking frog. For me this did help with breaking up the pages of facts and information. On the topic of the facts and the information, it is written in a clear and concise way. I did find that I understood most, if not all, of what the book was trying to say. I think this is a very good thing that the author has managed to do because it easily could have been filled with mathematical terms and be difficult to understand.

Going into this book I already think about my money and the best way to save often, because I can get quite panicked about the future and having my finances sorted is a way of making me feel safer. This book taught me there is still more ways I can prepare myself for the future in terms of my savings and my spending each month.

It has a variety of chapters in this book, covering the M.I.S.S.I.O.N, income, saving, spending, investing and ownership. One of the most interesting chapters for me was about investing. Before this book I didn’t understand what investing was or what it meant, I knew of the term but I didn’t actually know what it was so I found learning about it very interesting.

I think this is an important topic because money and saving is very rarely spoken about yet it’s one of the most common worries that people have, so I think this book is something that I would recommend to anyone interested in learning more about money.

Overall I would rate this book:

Rating: 4 out of 5.

That’s it for this book review, I hope you all enjoyed it!

Where'd I Leave It Wednesday

Where’d I Leave It Wednesday: The Turquoise Zebra

Happy Wednesday bookish people! It’s Wednesday which means it’s time for another Where’d I Leave It Wednesday! I’ve decided to stick with a similar way of writing as last week’s story, let me know what you think!

Today’s story is all about swimming, of course when I go swimming (it’s rare) I have to leave my cane and glasses in the changing room… the world looks very strange without them..

On to the story!

It wasn’t blue, not completely but a turquoise colour. A turquoise with diagonal stripes of deep blue, like a turquoise and blue zebra had melted on the floor and left a puddle. An extremely deep puddle. That strangers will float around in like human versions of ducks in a bath. Usually wearing ridiculous things like bikini tops with no straps. Even though water is like a stronger version of gravity to those things. That is how I see a swimming pool – a swirling, whirling pit of green and blue merging together. I imagine jumping in would feel like catapulting myself into it’s wide open mouth. Of course, I only imagine it, I would never be stupid enough to actually jump in. Maybe one day an overzealous scientist who believes they will change the life of someone like me, for the price of a classical painting that is, will invent eyewear that stops a pool from drowning your eyes in salt at the same time as allowing me to stop imagining melted zebras at the local sports centre. Like a Gucci version of goggles. How fancy. The envy of every blind person. Until then I just can’t visit any zoos.
            Swimming and I, we’ve never gotten along too well. From the first time I waded into the blurry expanse of the pool. And by that, I mean ‘gently’ guided in by a teacher after having a tantrum, worse than a toddler told no in a supermarket, before I’d even left the changing area. I shrieked, I cried, I ended up in the water anyway. Clinging to one of those coloured pool noodles made of foam like it was the last remaining lifeboat on the Titanic. Our relationship only got worse from there. A tumultuous relationship that most recently led to an embarrassing moment with a toddler. It wasn’t even my child. When my sister asked me to go swimming with her and her friend, I didn’t realise we would be bringing along the crazed energy that is her five-year-old son. Generally, I love children. Having an uncensored, often brutally honest, conversation with them can be refreshing. But her son could make the most pious nun renounce God and never go to church again if it meant getting away from him. As soon as he clambered into his car seat with yellow armbands on, that could have fit an elephant, I knew that day was not going to be as simple as just swimming in water I couldn’t see. The armbands absorbed the top of his arms like the sleeves of a 1980s wedding dress. Each time he moved they knocked against each other and created a long drawn out squealing noise. If I had any pins in my hair, I would have used one to pop them. Oh dear, he wouldn’t have been able to go swimming. What a shame. Unfortunately I didn’t have anything so her son did end up swimming with us. By us I mean me, considering his mother disappeared to the opposite end of the pool with my sister as soon as we entered. They stayed in the deep end of the pool, swimming around like sharks drunk off mischief. Being short and well, blind, I went no further than the water skimming my hips which meant being an unwilling babysitter. He even began calling me Auntie. I am not his Auntie; he has one who lives in Wales. If I was an Auntie, and my sister had somehow reproduced, I would definitely not take them swimming. I would also make sure their parent was in close proximity so that I could hand them back quickly. I couldn’t do that when his mum was down the other end of the pool.
            I thought that perhaps he would be bored or scared after being in the pool for an extended amount of time but instead he was taking large jumps, as large as he could with toddler sized legs suspended in water. He made for an ungraceful ballerina. It was during one of these leaps that one of his curled-up feet caught on the mottled texture at the bottom of the pool. His face barely had time to crease in anticipation of a complaint before it smacked into the water and disappeared beneath the turquoise. The speed of which he fell pushed his bottom half to the floor of the pool and he bounced there for a moment. The sound echoed around and reached his mother but I had already reached under and pulled his head back out of the water. She stayed at the other end of the pool. Water cascaded down his forehead and dribbled from his chin. His eyes were squeezed shut. I was already preparing for his next move; he might begin to cry or he might make a dash for the stairs to exit the pool. Not that I would have minded had he wanted to vacate the pool as fast as possible. I thought there had been enough adrenaline for one day. Neither option was what he did. His little hands bunched up around his waist and before I had time to ask if he was okay, he pulled his swimming trunks down and let them inflate in the water. He stood there proudly naked in a public swimming pool and said “kiss it better Auntie”. I don’t think so.

That’s it for today’s story, I hope you all enjoyed it!

Where'd I Leave It Wednesday

Where’d I leave It Wednesday – Garden In My Bedroom

Happy Wednesday bookish people! It is that time again where I tell you about one of my experiences that may or may not be funny. Today I’m doing something a bit different, usually I just write out the story but one of the modules on my University course was Creative Non-fiction where I wrote a few pieces about my experiences. This story is about how my cane picks up leaves. I hope you enjoy it!

I have more leaves gathered in my bedroom than there are in the park that is just beyond my front door. I’m not a collector in any way. Well, I am when it comes to books and pin badges, but definitely not leaves. They sit on my purple carpet, crinkling in agony when I walk over them. Most of them are torn. Flakes of brown and orange strewn around the floor. A friend of mine asked me if I’d spilt a box of Cornflakes and not picked them up. I told her it wasn’t but at that time we were already running late and I couldn’t explain that actually it was the corpses of leaves. I’m not sure that is any less weird.

They get impaled on my cane, like meat on a skewer. I can walk along the street just fine. Well, it’s a different matter entirely when I come across a pile of leaves. By the time I get home there are so many of them, twirling around my cane like orange pole dancers, I barely notice them anymore. They have become part of my room; it would be strange to get rid of them now. “You should hoover them up” I’ve been told by many people before. I can’t bring myself to do it. The leaf that is still green got stuck to the bottom of the cane when I walked through a particularly deep puddle of leaves. It got dragged with me for miles and now it lives on my bedroom floor. The least I can do is provide good hospitality. It’s not as bad as it sounds. My carpet isn’t completely filled with leaves, I leave most of them outside the house when I shake off the cane in the same way as you would an umbrella after closing it.

Picking up leaves isn’t the only thing that happens when I use my cane outside. I usually find that there are two different types of people that notice me on the street. There are the ones who ignore the cane and continue to walk towards me; I enjoy the look of surprise on their face when I don’t move either. Their shoulder will bump into mine; it will be knocked backwards but my legs will remain strong, unmoving in the slippery pavements. They all do the same thing. They turn, mouths open and begin to say “look where you’re going” but they stop when they notice that I’m Visually Impaired. The irony of it always amuses me.

Then there is the second group of people, the ‘helpful’ ones. If a person offers me help and I need it then I will be thankful for the assistance. However, some people don’t ask before ‘helping’. I must have an expression that screams help me. The one I remember most vividly was on a cold day, it must have been Autumn because the air was cold and the metal of my cane had been turning my fingers red as I held onto it tightly. The leaves had already begun falling. They were cutting into my skin like cat’s claws on a scratching post, climbing up my boots higher and higher. I was stood at a crossing, waiting for the man to turn from red to green as I usually do. I can’t tell when there is a space to cross between cars so I wait for the green man. There is a cone on the bottom of the Pelican crossing control panel where I press the button. If I put my finger on it and wait when it turns green the cone spins. It’s useful for sunny days when I can’t see the colours of the man.

Anyway, returning to the strange incident I remember. I was stood there waiting, rolling the ball on the bottom of my cane over the bumps by the edge of the road, when I felt a hand on my arm. It pulled gently and I moved with it. My feet stumbling over each other past the pavement on the other side and across another crossing, then another and then another all at once. I didn’t have the chance to look at who was pulling on me until they stopped walking and let go. I caught my breath while looking at them. It was a lady, if I had to guess she was probably around sixty years old, and she was smiling at me. I knew I had to be polite so I said thank you and watched her walk away down the street. She was only trying to be nice is what I told myself as I slowly moved back to the crossing that the lady had just walked me across. If she had given me a chance to talk, I would have been able to tell her that I had only wanted to get across the first crossing and not the three subsequent ones.

Things like this happen to me more frequently than I would like to admit. Once I reached the street that I had originally intended I looked down at my feet. There, lounging peacefully were clumps of leaves. They were red and orange and yellow. I shook my feet forcefully. Most of the leaves spun away, dancing across the paving stones without partners. Some lay at my feet, as lifeless as if I had killed them. They were submerged in puddles of water, reflecting the colours like a spilt paint box. Curling, closing themselves up into small orange cylinders, like orange Wotsits drowning in the puddles underneath my feet. Of course, they didn’t all extract themselves from me. I carried stowaways under my boots, which I didn’t realise until I reached my house. I carefully peeled them from my soles and let them drift to the purple carpet. Becoming part of the garden in my bedroom.

That’s the end of today’s story, let me know if you liked this style or not and whether you like this style or what I usually write more!

Uncategorized

The Kitten Escapades Part 2: The Game of Cat and Mouse

Happy Sunday bookish people! and if you celebrate it – Happy Easter! I hope everyone is having a good day today so far. I knew there would end up being more stories about Shadow, my Sister’s kitten, because he’s a fluffball who loves to cause mischief. So onto part 2 of the Kitten Escapades….

It was Thursday and my Sister and I were sat in the living room doing different things. She had some sort of tv programme on about a detective because it was played by someone she’d seen in another show and she quite liked, this is literally the only reason my Sister watches programmes on tv, If she’s asked for something to be put on the first thing out of our mouths is ‘who’s on it’, annoys her to no end. I was busy working on a script for my Dramatic Writing class. Our Mum was in the kitchen – this feels like I’m going to go off into sing a song of sixpence… which I’m not but it is sounding very similar- anyway, Mum was in the kitchen and we could hear her talking to Shadow. If you have a cat I’m sure you talk to them too. She was saying all the ‘oh have you got a toy’, and ‘aren’t you a good boy playing’ then all of a sudden she went completely silent. My Sister and I didn’t think much of it, we were caught up in each of the things we were doing. Then she called us.

So, me and my Sister go out into the hallway to see what she wants. Mum is there staring into the doorway of the dining room, she had this look on her face which was like half horror and half just pure shock. We moved a bit further round until we could see in the doorway. It was Shadow, curled up on the floor in the doorway like he does when he wants us to think he’s all sweet and innocent – honestly he’s a cat that likes to cause a lot of trouble – and he had something but I couldn’t see what it was. To me it looked like he’d stolen some chocolate out of the cupboard because it was just a shapeless brown lump, to me at least. Then my Sister gasped.

Okay so it wasn’t a lump of chocolate that he’d taken from the cupboard, it was a little mouse. My Mum thinks it was a dormouse but I’m not up on my knowledge of mice breeds so I had, and still have, no idea what type of mouse it was. Other than one that was in the paws of a cat. Our cat. Our indoor cat. So he must have found the mouse somewhere in the house and I really don’t want to know where in the house he got the mouse from.

My Sister bent down and talked to Shadow trying to get him to let her take the mouse. He was patting it, the way you would pat a child on the head, but you know with claws out and thinking the mouse was a new toy. He didn’t let her take the mouse. Instead, he picked the mouse up with his teeth and ran under the dining room table with it. Oh also at this point the mouse was still alive. We got a pot from the kitchen and went back and finally got Shadow to release the mouse. I always thought that when a cat found a mouse it would be very Tom and Jerry and they would be friends but also enemies because nature has made them that way, I was sorely mistaken about this…Shadow then tried to claw my Sister which of course didn’t get her to give him the mouse back. We took the mouse in the pot to the kitchen and shut the door so Shadow couldn’t follow us.

He was crying at the door and meowing the whole time, it’s such a sad sound. He knew he’d been bad. Surprisingly the mouse was still alive. My Sister named it Mickey and we were trying to decide what to do about it. the mouse was so small sitting in the pot and my Sister noticed on it’s side that there was some injuries. So unfortunately little Mickey didn’t last long after that. This was the first, and hopefully only, time that Shadow has brought us any gifts that weren’t hair bands, elastic bands, pens, notebooks, bookmarks or spoons, oh or roast potatoes. We just couldn’t believe that he’d found a mouse, the poor little thing.

That’s it for today’s story, I hope you enjoyed it. I’m sure it won’t be long before Shadow does something else and there will be a Kitten Escapades part 3.