Monday, October 21, 2013

Thriller review: One Day in Budapest, by J.F.Penn

I think more than twice before I decide to read a book introduced as political and even more, conspiracy, thriller. I love to read good books on the topic, but I also know how dangerous is the topic for the healthy brains of many writers and sooner or later they end up being taken imagination as reality and preaching various real political stupidities. 
The last Saturday evening I was looking for some challenging yet short enough book that I can read in a couple of hours. Written as a novella, this book by J.F.Penn, whose knowledgeable expertise in the field of book marketing I follow for a long time, looked as a very good choice.
In addition, I am very interested in Hungary, and Hungarian politics and especially the latest unhappy news and would always spend more than one day in the beautiful city of Budapest. 
The city is an extraordinary tour de force through the 24 hours necessary to find the old hand of King Istvan stolen by an extreme right party as part of their strategy to turn the Jewish community in town into scapegoats and get massive political support. 
For those not familiar with the politics in this part of the world it may sound completely crazy, but true is that the limits between reality and fiction is frequently by-passed. 
There are many good and excellent things I loved about this book. The characters have a strong voice an personality, especially the Israel-born Morgan Sierra. Each episodes end up in suspense, leaving something for the next chapter - including the last chapter of the book, so I want to read the follow up of this story! The actions are introduced with the precise touch of a painter and at least in the case of the explosion in the Gellert bath the images described were vividly visual that had them in my mind long time after I finished the book.  
I really felt that the author herself enjoyed writing and true or not, it gave me a lot of ideas and strength to pursue with more optimism and courage my own writing projects as well. Plus, time to read the other thrillers by J.F.Penn. 

Searching for the Golden Cheese

I can't have enough of reading children books but in the last time did not have enough time and inspiration for something new. The newly released children book by Maria Ellis, the Golden Cheese, woke me up from the post-summer lethargy.
Written in verses and targeting the 3-7 yo age group, it is the story of a brave mouse who dreams about being rich and enjoying the privileges of a king. His sometimes hilarious search for happiness take some comical turns, but he is also faced with the unlucky fate of being misunderstood by his other peers from the wild kingdom. This happened including when he finally found the precious piece of golden cheese. Isolated and deeply unhappy, he decided to stay away from the laughing crowds. But as in the human life, you cannot have only bad or good things happening to you. A cute mouse journalist lady heard about his successful capture of the much praised golden cheese and is looking for him to write his story. When she finally finds her, he refuses to acknowledge the happy reality: 'I don't have any friends! Never did! I'm a fool./Found yourself someone else who is smart...and'. 
However, it is a happy ending in the mice world too and the two of them will end up learning how to 'live full time as a king'.
The author also made the illustrations that sometimes are filling and completing the story, in a very harmonious and colourful way.
The story is told in a very creative way, entertaining from the beginning till the end. The poetic form, that she chose for another children book that I have read, liked and reviewed, the Bear's Slippers
After reading it, I can say that the Middle Age-sque quest for the Golden Cheese can be full of lessons for the parents of the children as well, without a specific age target. Somehow, it is always good to know that you don't need necessarily a castle to be happy, but rather people that can speak your language and understand you.

Disclaimer: I received a free copy from the author but the opinions are, as usual, only my own