Tag Archives: Book Reviews


Litercurious Book Review

Ocean Planet by Ben Rothery
TitleOcean Planet: Animals of the Sea and Shore
(Part of The Rothery’s Animal Planet Series)
AuthorBen Rothery
Publisher Tilbury House Publishers (October 5, 2021)
GenreChildren’s Environment & Ecology,
Children’s Zoology, Children’s Marine Life
Language English
ISBN# 10/130884489167 / 978-0884489160



Author and Illustrator of Ocean Planet – A Marine Life Book for children aged 9-12 years. Ben lives in London and works from his small studio in the capital . See more here.


Ocean Planet, by Ben Rothery, is an exceptional work for children. Rothery’s stupendously executed illustrations bring nature to life. Although Rothery’s exquisite masterpiece is meant for children aged 9-12 years, I believe that the book has a much broader appeal.

Ocean Planet covers a diverse range of wildlife as varied as the marine birds-of-the-air to the bacteria living in hydrothermal vents in the depths of the oceans. The book covers everything from the tiniest of microscopic organisms, also known as plankton, to the largest underwater species – the Blue Whale. Although Rothery primarily focuses on the marine environment, he also includes land animals and their environments and habitats. Polar Bears, Leopard Seals, and Penguins are not neglected; nor are the Wolves of British Columbia or the Bengal Tigers of the mangroves of north-west India.

Rothery shares his enthusiasm for his subjects with large, full color, high definition plates. All the plates are accompanied by comprehensive introductions to the relevant facts, figures, and details about the individual subjects. Rothery’s unbridled enthusiasm for nature and his undeniable skill coalesce into a joyful, engaging, and edifying experience. Ocean Planet is a true work of art in every sense of the word.


Ocean Planet is a banquet for the eyes, a stimulant for the mind, and a tonic for the soul. A thing of beauty is a joy forever, and so it is with Ben Rothery’s magnificently illustrated work. It is not an over-statement to say that this book is truly epic.

The illustrations are bordering on hyperrealistic and are so well executed that they move ones soul and strain credulity. That one man could create with his primitive tools such a magnificent panoply of life like, natural subjects is truly an impressive feat.

Do you have a favorite book from your childhood? Does the thought of it even now stir your memory and take you back to more innocent, happy days? Well Ocean Planet, by Ben Rothery could be that legacy for your child. Please do not take my word for it, I encourage you to get a copy and decide for yourself.

This book makes a great gift; but take care, it is such a valuable jewel that you may well claim it for yourself. I have to admit Ocean Planet is on the top of my gift list this year, and I cannot wait to own a stunning copy.


Rating: 5 out of 5.


I would like to thank Ben Rothery, Tilbury House Publishers (October 5, 2021), and NetGalley for affording me the opportunity to review Ocean Planet: Animals of the Sea and Shore.



Litercurious Book Review

A Talent To Deceive by William Morris
TitleA Talent to Deceive: The Search for the Real
Killer of the Lindbergh Baby
AuthorWilliam Norris
PublisherCamCat Publishing, LLC (July 7, 2020)
FormatUnabridged Audiobook
Time11 hours and 52 minutes
GenreMurder True Crime


William Norris


A Talent to Deceive, by William Norris, focuses on the kidnapping of Charles Augustus Lindbergh Junior on the evening of March 1st, 1932. He was the son of the renowned aviator Charles Augustus Lindbergh Senior; the first person to fly across the Atlantic non-stop. Norris’ work is an in-depth and skillful investigation using a diverse range of contemporary sources. He seeks to enlighten us to the facts, opinions, and contemporaneous evidence he discovered through his extensive research. What he discovers has convinced him there was a miscarriage of justice.

If you are familiar with the case then buckle up because your preconceptions are about to be shaken in an avalanche of newly discovered information. Forget about what you thought you knew, try to put aside your biases and open yourself up to Norris’ detailed version of the events. 

On a Spring evening 98 years ago, 20 month old Charles Lindbergh Jr. was kidnapped and murdered. Eventually, the perpetrator was tracked, tried and executed; at least that is what we thought. Norris reopens the case with a comprehensive breakdown of the people and events that led to the disappearance and subsequent death of the Lindbergh baby. He leaves no stone unturned, and his research indicates a miscarriage of justice took place and the wrong man was tried and executed. He delves into the characters surrounding the investigation and how they influenced the outcome; including how Charles Lindbergh Sr. took over the case. Norris makes a compelling case that the “Crime of the Century” still remains unsolved.


A Talent to Deceive begins as a non-fiction true crime drama but quickly evolves into a political psycho-drama with twists and turns, strong personalities and secrets. There is much to commend in A Talent To Deceive, not the least of these is the in-depth and detailed research undertaken by the author. His innate skill and deft prose are always engaging and entertaining. Norris manages to encourage the reader to empathize with the events that took place almost one hundred years ago. He quickly draws the reader into the historic case in such away that it affects you emotionally, intellectually, and psychologically. It is easy for the reader to become completely invested in Norris’ version of events. It is only with distance and hindsight that a dispassionate analysis is possible; even then a reader may still feel uneasy as to the events in those days so very long ago. 

If this is the first time you have come across the Lindbergh case, you can expect a real feast of information. Norris writes with conviction and clearly feels strongly about both the crime and the alleged unsafe-conviction. Most of all, he expresses his deep unease with regard to the motivations of the key players; including Charles Lindbergh Sr. and the State actors that conspired with, or for, Charles Lindbergh Sr.

A Talent to Deceive will live in your memory long after you have read it and certainly would stand a second or even a third read. This book is a must have for the avid true crime community and a special addition to the real crime aficionado’s library. 

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.


I would like to thank William Norris, NetGalley, and CamCat Publishing LLC. for affording me the opportunity to review A Talent to Deceive: The Search for the Real Killer of the Lindbergh Baby.


Willful Misconduct by William Norris
Willful Misconduct by William Norris


Litercurious Book Review

Mad About Meatloaf by Maureen Fergus Children's Fiction Book Review
Mad About Meatloaf by Maureen Fergus Children’s Fiction Book Review
TitleMad About Meatloaf (Weenie Featuring
Frank and Beans Book #1)
AuthorMaureen Fergus
Illustrator Alexander Bye
PublisherTundra Books (October 12, 2021)
FormatKindle, Hardcover
GenreChildren’s Fiction, Children’s Dog Books,
Children’s Cat Books, Children’s Guinea Pig Books
Language English


Maureen Fergus, is an established children’s book writer with eleven other book collaborations to her name.


Mad About Meatloaf is written by Maureen Fergus and illustrated by Alexandre Bye. This is a comic book style adventure of a dachshund dog named Weenie. Weenie shares his life with his owner Bob and Bob’s other two pets; a rotund cat named Frank and a highly intellectual guinea pig called Beans. As the title suggests, Weenie is obsessed with eating meatloaf so much that he keeps getting into trouble in his quest to obtain the ever elusive meat treat. When Weenie wants meatloaf the fun begins.

Weenie eats Bob’s meatloaf. Bob gets mad. Weenie tries to replace Bob’s meatloaf. The search for meatloaf takes the trio to the Mini-Mart and the forest where all kinds of hilarity takes place.

Who knew just how much trouble a dog, a cat, and a guinea pig could get into? Never before have a trio of pets caused so much trouble for their owner.


In Mad About Meatloaf, Maureen Fergus has created the perfect combination of a small cast of characters that work together to create havoc. The comic book style suits the tale and it quickly engages the reader into the surreal world of Weenie, Frank and Beans. Humorous throughout, expertly illustrated, exquisite in its colorful presentation, Mad About Meatloaf is the perfect gift for any young child. Every aspect of the book is child appropriate and the captivating story is sure to find favor with both children and adults. Highly recommended read. I can’t wait to review book number 2.

The illustrator, Alexandra Bye, has created a beautiful colorful world for Weenie and friends to inhabit. The stories are easy to follow and are engaging, entertaining, and above all amusing.

Rating: 4 out of 5.


I would like to thank Maureen Fergus, Netgalley, and Tundra Books for affording me the opportunity to review Mad About Meatloaf.


Competing in the Age of AI – REVIEW

Litercurious Book Reviews

Competing in the age of AI by By Marco Iansiti & Karim R. Lakhani  
Competing in the age of AI by By Marco Iansiti & Karim R. Lakhani        
TitleCompeting in the age of AI                                     
AuthorMarco Iansiti & Karim R. Lakhani                    
PublisherHarvard Business Review Press (January 7, 2020)     
FormatKindle, Hardcover          

Author’s Bio

Marco Iansiti is a Professor of Business Administration at Harvard Business School. His special expertise revolves around Technology and Operations Management. He advises Blue Chip companies globally on operational transition, and technological transformation for the 21st Century. Iansiti and Lakhani posit workable solutions and invaluable insights into the infinite utility of AI.   

I studied Managerial Cybernetics, Systems Analysis, and Systems Development under the tutelage of Stafford Beer for both my B.Sc., and M.Sc. I am currently evaluating how the synthesis of a variety of recent technologies can be applied to extend the economic potential of large distributed networks and International organizations. Much of my work includes related issues raised in Competing in The Age of AI. My experience and my academic credentials, I believe afford me a unique perspective on this manuscript.

Iansiti is a prolific author of publications based on a particular area of expertise. Some of his works include: Digital Ubiquity, The Truth About Blockchain (Iansiti & Lakhani), The Keystone Advantage (Roy Levine), and Managing Our Hub Economy. Those looking for advice on establishing digital advantage or operational model transformation of a global organization need look no further than Competing in The Age of AI. 

Karim R. Lakhani is a Business Administration Professor at Harvard Business School. Lakhani is the co-director of the Laboratory of Innovation Science at Harvard’s Institute of Quantitative Social Science, as well as the Chair of the Harvard Business School’s Analytics Program. His area of expertise is innovation and technology management. He is the author of numerous articles and case studies on technology, digital commerce, and digital innovation. He has been published in a myriad of significant publications that include: The Economist, The Wall Street Journal, and Business Week among many others.  

Who is the target audience?

This is probably the most important book on business application of digital innovations this decade. This thesis is suitable for those who want or need to understand the potential for the increased span, scope, and scale afforded by the appropriate utilization of digital innovations, particularly artificial intelligence as applied to business models. Iansiti and Lakhani’s concept provides a most important tool for Captains of industry, investors, CEOs, entrepreneurs, and students of business and technology. Iansiti and Lakhani’s publication is a must read for all those who want to improve their understanding of the application of AI in organizations. Competing in the Age of AI should be compulsory reading for all those involved in leveraging competitive advantage in the new business world underpinned by artificial intelligence.


The discussions herein include the question of ethics in application and distribution of technology. Iansiti and Lakhani’s have provided a map for the exploitation of the technical advances provided by new technology. The authors have given practical advice on the strengths, limitations, and challenges of employing artificial intelligence to support and augment a company’s strategy.


Competing in The Age of AI is a seminal work, containing all the key ingredients for global companies to explore in order to improve competitive advantage.  Iansiti and Lakhani have provided sensible, practical jargon-free explanations for the application of advanced technology strategies and advice on the potential effects on span, scope, and scale across the organization. 


My sincere thanks go to: NetGalley, and Harvard Business Review Press for affording me the opportunity to review of Competing in the Age of AI.

A Date With The Hangman – REVIEW

A Litercurious Book Review

A Date With The Hangman By Gary Dobbs
A Date with The Hangman by Gary Dobbs
Title A Date With The Hangman
Author Gary M. Dobbs
Publisher Pen & Sword Ltd. (February 19, 2020)
Format Hardcover
Pages 152
Language English
ISBN # 152674743X (ISBN-13: 978-1526747433)

The Author

Gary Martin Dobbs may not be familiar to you; however, Gary has a long track record of writing books, starting when he was just 15 years old. Mr. Dobbs also writes under the pen name of Jack Martin; perhaps some of you have read his western novels and crime fictions. If you enjoy the Western Genre, you can find more on his work at The Fantastic Fiction site. A couple of his notable crime fiction novels include: Granny Smith, and Deadly Frogs. He also has an online blog where you can find out more about the author and see some of the book reviews he’s written. Not only is he an accomplished author, but he is an actor as well; more information can be found on IMDB (International Movie Database). He comes across as a very personable and engaging character which makes reading A Date With The Hangman more like a talk with a friend, rather than a cold retelling of horror. I enjoyed how concisely Gary recounted ancient traditions, methods of executions, and the slow integration of newer technologies for killing. I consider myself well-read when it comes to the subject of true crime; but I still learned new details, facts, and other information from A Date With The Hangman that were overlooked in similar books.

The Target Audience

You will enjoy this book if you’re interested in: true crime, history, non-fiction, or if you are an avid consumer of literature that has: macabre themes, strong adult content, detailed descriptions of death, murder, and Judicial executions. Whilst the subject matter is gritty, the author Gary Dobbs manages to engage the readers interest immediately. A Date With The Hangman is one of those books you will quickly know if it appeals to you, and if it does you are in for an engrossing sojourn.

My Synopsis

A Date With The Hangman could be considered a primer for anyone who wants to understand the context, methods, and atmosphere of historic Judicial executions. The book begins by introducing the contextual factors upon which to build an understanding of ancient crime and punishment. The central theme of the book is the nature, methods, reputations, and the personal history of some of England’s most notorious hangmen. The descriptions of some of the executions are so detailed that you can imagine standing there and witnessing the event yourself.

Once the vivid descriptions of the executions are complete, we are provided with a plethora of small paragraphs detailing briefly the date of execution, name and age of the offender, the name and age of the victim (if available), their conviction, where the execution took place, and their executioner. Portions of the book are referenced to a tedious degree yet leaves no doubt as to the authenticity of the material used. Toward the end of the book, I was very pleased to see that Gary had included the intensity to which the ethics of execution became a political hot potato. He describes the years leading up to the termination of Capital Punishment in the late 20th Century, as society became disillusioned with the execution of people that were later found to be innocent.


This book is well written, with good prose, and produced in an uncomplicated but concise manner from an author who researched his subject. The subject matter is gripping, sometimes terrifying, but most of all educating.


Gary Dobbs will soon be releasing another in the long line of books called: The Reluctant Terrorist, part of the successful Granny Smith Series. Available at the time of writing on KindleUnlimited – Read for free.

Why not pre-order yours and get to the front of the line. Pen & Sword Ltd., are offering a special price for: A Date With The Hangman, ending soon.



John Boessenecker has breathed new life into an old case; the case of Lillie N. Davy known by the sobriquets of Pearl Hart. Drawing upon his research skills, he’s removed the fallacies, the myths, the damn lies and revealed in extraordinary detail the life and times of Pearl Hart. She was one of the most notorious late…

The Falcon Thief – REVIEW

The suspense builds as Andy McWilliam; the investigating detective uses all his acumen, resources, and cunning in the hunt for the buyers of illegal birds of prey. Hammer transports us from the gritty streets of Liverpool, in Great Britain to the opulent abodes in the desert heat of the Middle East, and then farther on…


On a Spring evening 98 years ago, 20 month old Charles Lindbergh Jr. was kidnapped and murdered. Eventually, the perpetrator was tracked down, tried and executed; at least that is what we thought. Norris reopens the case with a comprehensive breakdown of the people and events that led to the disappearance and subsequent death of…