Birds and Humans: Who are we? The Miracles of Earth by David Campbell Callender is actually written in the memory and honor of the gentle Irish Naturalist by his granddaughter Ruth Finnigan. She has used the affectionate account and the same photographs as he might’ve used. Since Ruth is an anthropologist and thus has no expert knowledge of birds, the book deliberately strays away from the use of specialist terminologies and Latin names. The book is a refreshingly different take on the usual encyclopedias about birds; rather, it talks about birds with a child-like fascination.
The book talks about the parallels and contrasts between the world of humans and birds. It draws out the idea that even though we’ve had very different ancestries, with birds being the last living species of dinosaurs and humans sharing ancestry with the apes, there is more in common between the two than one would expect.
While I enjoyed the book and found the information in it to be enlightening, I thought the book could have benefited from formatting, but otherwise the information readers will find within will more than satisfy your curiosity on the subject.
Birds and Humans: Who are we? provides a plethora of facts about birds and does it with an air of enchantment on the subject that I find rare in nonfiction books. The author’s deep connection with the birds is clear and awe-inspiring. I would recommend this book to anyone curious about birds and to readers who are looking for a light but informative book.
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Are birds like humans? What are they really like and where did they come from? Are we really so different, or, as parallel species, can both birds and humans join equally in the care of our beautiful world? A preview and reflection on the latest findings about what birds – and we – ultimately are. Prepare to be surprised, illuminated, and delighted.
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The Black Inked Pearl: A Journey of the Soul by Ruth Finnegan takes you on a dream-like adventure, wrapped with a bittersweet, spiritual romance story. The plot of the novel revolves around Kate, who had rejected her lover out of whim, but later undertakes an arduous journey to find him. Her passionate love takes her to unknown lands within and beyond the boundaries of the world. She journeys through heaven and hell to seek her lost lover and encounters some strange characters that assist her in the quest.
In one section of the novel, the author implies a parallel between Kate’s journey and that of Eve’s, rendering a universal appeal to her pursuit. In the end, Kate’s journey gets a greater meaning, as she discovers the pearl of wisdom, metaphorically implying the discovery of her true self.
The storyline is nonlinear but still engaging. There are multiple literary allusions and digressions that aptly blend into the fervor of the romance. The author compels us to dive into a dream-like trance, where we lose track of time, location, and reality.
The author’s use of dream and nightmare as literary tropes leads to a wide variety of settings. Sometimes you are at the wild Atlantic shore, sometimes you are at the dungeon of hell, and then you are standing at the gate of heaven. The settings become picturesque with poetic descriptions and vivid imagery.
The nuances of language make this work stand out from any other contemporary novels you might have read. Written in the vein of Milton or Shakespeare’s poetic art, this novel fuses verse and narrative. The heavy allusions seem to take up larger space in the novel, which I think could have been a smaller portion.
The Black Inked Pearl: A Journey of the Soul would be an enjoyable read for readers who enjoys classic literature, fairytales and mythologies. The story challenges you to break out of the norm of pedestrian fantasy stories and dive deep into the colorful world author Ruth Finnegan has created. I think a grasp of Shakespeare’s sonnets will help readers comprehend the meaning that the author is aiming to convey, but the adventure awaits anyone willing to follow.
The beautiful flow of language, the well-wrought story, the intriguing literary references, and the magical setting leave behind a deep impact in the readers’ mind.
Pages: 286 | ASIN: B0158VRF26
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Voyage of Pearl of the Seas follows two children who go on a whirlwind adventure where the boy must make an incredible sacrifice. Did the idea for the prequel to Black Inked Pearl come while you were writing that book or sometime afterwards?
Afterwards, in a dream. The idea of it being a “fairytale” comes from away back in my childhood, but also reminded, recently, by The Alchemist, a wonderful book.
I felt like the children were a symbol for something greater. Did you intend the story to portray them this way?
Yes ( though I hadn’t realised it when I was writing the book). Kate on the face of it is timid and exploring but with deep spiritual female strength which sustains them both, Christy male and on the face of it arrogant but a great skipper who is rightly humble before the waves and his beloved ship, recognises his dependence in Kate without whom he knows he wound never have voyaged at all and (her I disagree p with one reviewer’s assessment) makes the sacrifice of his young (growing-up and facing-things) life in turning back for the sake of Holly and Kate.
So the story in a way symbolises the female spiritual side of our nature and “the power of the weak” complementing male strength and expert mastery. We need both.
But forget all that – I’d say that basically it’s just a good yarn in its own right.
What were some themes that were important for you to explore in this book?
Mainly that God/Allah/Oluwa/whoever exists and is known worldwide by many names.
That fairy tales can hold deep truth.
What has been the most surprising reader reaction to your novel so far?
Not identifying insightfully with Christy ( and the Christy- dimension if OURSELVES) and so not realising the deep, well concealed, and enduring pain of his having to give up his lifelong and do-able plan to sail round the world.
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The Lady and the Dragon by Ruth Finnegan is an intriguing fantasy story following a young lady, a powerful dragon, an angel, and a couple of philosophical conundrums. It’s all packaged in a delightfully poetic format and explores themes such as sin, humanity, and destruction in an easy and engaging manner.
This story seems like it was made to read aloud, with funny voices and panache. I couldn’t help myself from muttering the best bits to myself, even getting strange looks from the other occupants of my home. There’s alliterations and rhymes and repetition and onomatopoeia– basically a linguistic candy store. The book reads like classic literature, it is offbeat and charming without ever being boring. It creates a comforting atmosphere with plenty of depth and imagination.
It is hard not to smile when you reach the end– it was definitely a glimmer of hope and joy in my generally mundane days. I can easily see myself reading this book to my baby nephew or recommending it to my teenage sister. A witty story and sharp writing elevates this fantasy novel, and I personally thought it was refreshing and a good break from the intensity of the real world. The Lady and the Dragon captures the essentials of the soul, offers subtle commentary on humanity, and is written with precision and a depth of understanding that will fascinate any reader. I can’t wait for Ruthfinn Romance Book 2!
Pages: 46 | ASIN: B08XW8561P
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Pearl of the wind by Ruth Finnegan is an emotive story told in poetic verse from the perspective of the air. This story retells Ruth Finnegan’s other fairytale story, Black Inked Pearl, but with added depth as we get to hear the story from from a different soulful voice. As this book takes the reader through magnificent poems along with idyllic landscapes and characters inspired by Greek Mythology, it feels like a trip through poetry’s history adorned with the passion of a young blossoming love.
Furthermore, the connection and inspiration from Homer is quite evident, giving the whole composition an elegant literary feel throughout. Another interesting detail is the dreamlike reality of the story, which will interest even the youngest reader. As a reader keen for details, I appreciated the quality of the descriptions, the depth and heart of the poems and the intriguing story itself. This latter represents a great modernisation of Greek myths and gives the plot an interesting twist, building tension until the last chapter.
Pearl of the Wind is a collection of poems that will win the reader’s heart with its love story and its thought-provoking references to classical and modern poetry. Therefore, I would recommend it to fans of Black Inked Pearls, by the same author, and to any reader interested in poetry and oneiric voyages. And as Finnegan evokes the ancient Muse, “Sing to me Great Poet of the Winds of the wrath of deepen breathing-thinking hero here”. Beautifully fantastic.
Pages: 45 | ASIN: B08B6BQR2L
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Ruth Finnegan’s Voyage of Pearl of The Seas is more than meets the eye. It is the story of two kids and a beloved dog – Chris, Kate, and Holly. They build a boat from a log they find in the sand of a beach and embark on what they hope will be a thrilling adventure.
They face unprecedented challenges, ultimately finding themselves in a fantastical land with a King much reminiscent of God. He has many names and speaks of creation and wisdom. He particularly tells stories that seem to be related to those included in Biblical text. But what is even more intriguing about him is that he gives gifts that come in handy in some of the most unlikely of situations.
While this story is full of much of the awe and wonder that you expect from a fairytale, there are some unexpected concepts here. For instance, one of the main characters, Chris is hailed as a hero yet many of his mannerisms don’t portray him as such. He seems to be inconsiderate, entitled, and even condescending, particularly to women. Several times in the story, he has disparaging thoughts about Kate. At some point, he even forgets about her and abandons her in a “wilderness”. Yet through it all, she seems to be very concerned about his needs, putting them first in many situations. And while he did eventually sacrifice his dream to save Holly, it is not much of a voluntary grand gesture but rather a last-minute decision made in a crisis. However, it must be said that the author does a great job at weaving together the different facets of this story – the physical, emotional, and the fantastical.
That aside, the language used is poetic, adding a creative lyrical aspect to this story. There are songs, poems, and unexpected dialogue embedded within the flowery prose.
There is one thing that’s clear though- Kate’s timidity seems to increase across the narrative, most times directly proportional to Chris’ arrogance. To some extent, it feels that they are symbols. Voyage of Pearl of The Seas is an emotive and intellectually-invigorating fairy tale that is creative and deeply thought-provoking.
Pages: 134 | ASIN: B079GPQMG1
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An award-winning unput-downable tale of two children building a boat from a log they find buried in the sand and sailing off to far-off fantastic lands in a stormy sea-driven adventure with their faithful – but accident-prone – dog Holly. There they learn much wisdom from a king who, like God, has many names’. After an incredible sacrifice of his dearest dream by the boy (now growing up) they return – another dream – to a family tea with their loved ones. The tale is a prequel and companion to Ruth Finnegan’s award-winning epic romance ‘Black inked pearl’, here adapted for preteens but characterised by (in a simpler form) the same unique dream-like and enchanted style as in the original novel.
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