Sunday, June 16, 2013

Adventure Awaits with Tahir Shah

Happy Father's Day!

In honor of Father's Day I am going to review a book that I think is perfect for a Dad or a Grandpa to share with their children/grandchildren. 

Scorpion Soup: A story in a story 

Scorpion Soup
Tahir Shah

(I do not know Mr. Shah. I received a copy of Scorpion Soup from Holly at Tribal Publishing. She asked me to read it and write an honest review of what I thought. I received no monetary compensation and all thoughts in my review are how I honestly feel. I would like to thank Holly and Tahir Shah for the beautiful book and the opportunity to review it.)

O.M.G. This book blew me away. It was so good I had to give away two copies, (not mine - they will need to rip my copy out of my cold dead hands if someone wants it). This book is amazingly beautiful. It is a book that makes a wonderful present. It is a book that if you leave it on your table your guest will have to pick it up. And they will not want to put it down. Spread throughout the book are maps. I delighted as much in these beautifully drawn maps as the stories. The stories. *insert huge sigh* Oh the stories! They are adventures that you will be drawn into. They will come alive in your mind and you may find yourself going back in time. Back to childhood where you begged just one more story. Back to a time when stories took you to lands far away where you met exotic people who had unbelievable things happen to them and had they a moral to them. You will be enthralled with Scorpion Soup, reading with eyes wide open, your mind and heart racing. You will finish a story and want another even though you have things to do. And then when you sleep, just as you had as a child, your sleep will be filled with rich dreams where you revisit the stories you read earlier. Scorpion Soup is a magical book written by a master dream weaver. I want to tell you my favorite part of this book but when I try I just keep coming up with so many things. The stories that weave a spell making it impossible to pick just one favorite. The maps you can, and will, pore over imagining the world you read about and making up your own adventures. That brings us to another best - the stories and maps incite your imagination. To me, that is the sign of a master storyteller. Not only do you get lost in his words but you begin adding to them or just dreaming a whole new adventure. True storytellers inspire and that is something Tahir Shah does well. The final "best" part of this book? It is a book to be shared. It is a book to read during family read hour or as bedtime stories. It is a book to tell friends and strangers about. If you think this is a book you will read once and then put it on a shelf to get dusty you will be proven wrong. Since I received this book I have gone back and read it again and once again. Most likely I will start it again before the summer is finished and I know, during the winter, I will probably read it again. There are very few books I do this with. After all there are thousands of books I want to read and thousands more that will be written. There is just something so comforting yet exciting about Scorpion Soup that makes me read it over and over. I hope you will get this book. If you have children read it with them. If you have grandchildren what a wonderful book to share with them, especially if you live far away. What could bring you closer, across the miles, than listening to Grandma or Grandpa reading this story over the phone or on Skype?  How wonderfully loved your grandchild will feel hearing a bedtime story from you. There is violence in the book so I would read it first to judge how the child would react. In thinking back to my children, I would have started the book with them when they were 8 or 9. 
I took these photos of the maps for you, (sorry about the quality), to give you idea of how cool they are.

I also want to tell you a few of the names of the stories to fire your imagination, ( I know after all this you will want to know where to buy the book. Don't worry links are coming). The Shop That Sold Truth, Frogland, The Clockmaker's Bride, The Man Whose Arms Grew Branches and The Singing Serpents. Yes, I know your imagination is going wild and you are going to kill me soon without the links so here they are.

Kindle Edition (which is great for grandparents who want to read to the grandchildren and send the hard copy with the impressive maps to the children).

Tahir Shah has more books, one of which I am poring over now. Here is his collection, starting with the Timbuctoo, (the book I am immersed in).


this book is available in a Kindle Edition but I highly recommend investing in the Hardback. Trust me. You will want this in hardback. 

The Caliph's House: A Year in Casablanca In Arabian Nights Sorcerer's Apprentice 
In Search of King Solomon's Mines Trail of Feathers: In Search of the Birdmen of Peru House of the Tiger King
Beyond The Devil's Teeth Travels With Myself The Middle East Bedside Book

You can find his books, (in several languages), on his Amazon page 

You can follow him at

Watch some amazing videos, (some about his books and writing. Some about things we need to know) on his YouTube page

At you can also sign up for RSS Feed and email

Thanks for stopping by and taking a look. Now go get the books and tell me what you think. 

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