Tag Archives: #ThePigeonhole

Review: Did Your Mother Never Teach You How To Catch A Man?

Did  Your Mother Never Teach You How To Catch A Man? by Ruby Mayer
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Source: complete digital copy courtesy of publisher

Book blurb

“A Good man can break your heart but a bad man should never have the right.”

When Jasmine’s crappy relationship with a crappy man falls apart, she goes on an adventure.  An adventure to Tel Aviv.  What follows is a passionate and wonderful journey, filled with food, love, bombs, and Shula.

Ruby Mayer moved to London from the Middle East at six, but returned to Israel in her twenties.  There she worked in a war survivors’ charity while learning the 1950s feminist approach to life from her indomitable grandmother.  These experiences form the basis of her first book.

My blurb

This is the second book I’m reviewing for thepigeonhole and I am ever so grateful for being given this second chance.  Did Your Mother Never Teach You How To Catch A Man? was an absolute delight to read.  It was funny.  It was sad.  It was light-hearted.  It was serious.  I’ve had a most wonderful journey, thanks to Ruby Mayer & thepigeonhole.

If you’re not familiar with thepigeonhole, they publish books online but in parts (‘staves’).  The first stave of this particular read was set in London and described the emptiness of Jasmine’s life.  Whilst the reader can sympathise with Jasmine’s frustration, there were many moments of hilarity especially in relation to her parents and two colleagues.  I just love her colleagues!  They were not what you’d call BFF but they should be, seeing the things they get away with!  I truly adore these two and was sorry that they weren’t anywhere else in the book.

As the book’s blurb mentioned, Jasmine went off to Tel Aviv… Stave II.  She’s staying with her adorable grandmother, Shulla, who is determined that she should be married as soon as possible.  Henceforth, Shulla’s lessons…

‘Number one,’ she says, ‘be beautiful from your insides to your outsides.’ …

‘You need all your fingers to catch a man – it helps.’ …

‘Number two,’ she says with renewed vigour. ‘Write this down! The most important person to be beautiful for is you.’

Jasmine proceeded to discover herself and Tel Aviv in Staves III & IV.  There were many laughter and just as much tears were shed.

Did Your Mother Never Teach You How To Catch A Man? was a well balanced read.  It was brilliantly written to continually engage in the reader in a variety of ways: humour, heartbreak, grief, love, etc.  It felt like a light and fun sort of read but at the same time, I also felt I have learnt so much!  I’d highly recommend this to everyone to read!

PS: Shulla is based on author’s real grandmother, check out Q+A with Ruby Mayer for more on Shulla

You can also stalk follow Ruby Mayer on twitter

Thanks to The Pigeonhole for copy of book in exchange of honest review

Review: Fable

Fable Image 2

Ashenputtel ~illustration by Ricardo Jorge

Fable by various authors
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Source: complete digital copy courtesy of publisher

When I was first approached for a review for this collection of stories, I’ve not heard of The Pigeonhole previously.  It’s an interesting concept of serialised books accompanied with rich illustrations and the capability to discuss, with readers and authors, one’s thoughts on margins.  A stave is released per week so you’d have something to look forward to, in the week; just like looking forward on receiving that shiny new mags.  I couldn’t say no since Kate Forsyth, one of my favourite authors, was contributing to this particular book.

This collection of short stories (or fables) are divided into 8 staves.  The first stave contained 2 classics: Ashenputtel by Brothers Grimm (better known these days as Cinderella) and The LIttle Mermaid by Hans Christian Anderson.  Both are very well known stories featuring intelligent and courageous girls with a happy and an unhappy ending each.  And so, the tone of the book is set… all stories featured bright, resourceful girls each unique with their own real struggles of life (whether it be identity, love, equality, justice, etc.) and some emerged victorious.

‘I fear you not, I shall hold fast,’ she said.  ‘You are my one true love and I shall not leg you go.’ ~Heart of Flesh, Heart of Stone: a Retelling of ‘The Ballad of Tam Lin’ by Kate Forsyth

Fable Image

The Farmer and the Badger ~illustration by Ricardo Jorge

Typically, fables are short in length but clear in its message, utilising mythical beings or nature to illustrate their meanings.  The stories in these collections (the old, the new, the new but old stories) have set forward life lessons but have also incorporate some modern (even recent) issues.  These are stories that will never age… no matter how old you are, which century you live in, there are lessons to be learnt.

Whilst I’m familiar with Kate Forsyth’s works (many fantasy novels and a few fairy tale retellings), I don’t know any of the other authors.  I loved Forsyth’s wonderful characters here (was a little sad that the stories were short!) but was gratified with the array of talent in the proceeding staves.  I’m looking forward to getting to know these new authors better.  Do check out these stories, there are so many things to be dissected and discussed!

Thanks to The Pigeonhole for copy of book in exchange of honest review