Thursday, January 13, 2022

Tickling the Bear : How to Stay Safe in the Universe Book Review & Book Tour Giveaway

This morning, I have a rather uniquely titled piece of literary fiction to share with you! Check out Tickling the Bear: How to Stay Safe in the Universe, read my review of the book, learn about author David Wann and be sure to enter for a chance to win a prize in the book tour giveaway at the end of this post.


Book Title:  Tickling the Bear: How to Stay Safe in the Universe by David Wann
Category:  Adult Fiction 18+, 279 pages
Genre:  Literary Fiction 
Publisher:  Chokecherry Press, Golden, Colorado 
Release date:   May 2021
Content Rating:  PG13 + M: There's no offensive material but there is a tasteful, semi-comic sex scene and scene in which characters experience MDMA, a mild hallucinogenic. ​ 

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About the Book

Anthropology professor Marc Blake is on a “hero’s journey.” His challenge is to overcome a troubling medical diagnosis –a virus from a tick bite. Along the way he shares his deepest thoughts as the reader follows his courageous efforts to survive. May, an attractive Danish woman, also endures setbacks with resilience, gradually coming center stage in the story. Her husband Kai has a passion for growing herbs and healthy vegetables, marveling how gardening provides a sense of purpose, good health, direct contact with nature, and companionship. Marc’s niece, a natural beauty and ex-model, offers readers a comical, on-again, off-again romantic episode with a Silicon Valley genius she fears might outshine her. Will she prove to be his equal?

Quirky humor injects both lightness and conflict into a 30-year marriage. A six-year old’s “best summer ever” is a reminder that life’s an absolute miracle. Collectively this extended family contests a widespread belief that life is happening to us - that we are passive consumers. On the contrary, each character in this upbeat book is actively self-guided, perfecting their passions and offering generous support to family and friends.

​Though author David Wann has previously written non-fiction books about sensible, sustainable lifestyles, in his first novel these themes are woven right into a compelling story. “Our lives don’t look much different than most Americans,” the characters might say. “Really, we are not ‘doing without,’ more like doing within.” Kai enjoys investing in regional businesses, and also loves to travel effortlessly on Denver’s bike paths. Meatless Mondays or grilled-salmon Sundays are a great way for the outgoing May to bring friends together for active conversation. Each character would insist that kindness and gratitude are encoded in our genes and are far more powerful than anger. In a world that’s currently so full of disruption and confusion, they offer both a sense of direction and grounded hope.
My Review


Realistic Fiction with a Memoir Feel. Early on, I found myself researching whether the book was based on a true story or was a memoir retelling. While Tickling the Bear is a work of fiction--the author's writing style blends a combination of life experiences, realistic dialogue, current events, political narratives, a believable, relatable cast of characters, and an inspiring storyline to create a very natural feeling novel. As life unfolds for the cast of characters--and Marc faces mortality--the initial goal to "stay alive" develops into a journey of learning to live and appreciate aspects of life more fully. 


Wann Brings Together a Perfect Cast of Characters. As the author tells Marc's story of surviving a rare medical condition--he actually tells the story of Marc's connections to his community, his family, his students, his friends, and the beliefs that make his life memorable and meaningful. There are life lessons to learn and inspiration to gain from almost every character in the novel--with each character bringing their own unique insights into the world.


Would I Recommend Tickling the Bear: How to Stay Safe in the Universe by David Wann? The author tells Marc's story in a very relatable and inspiring way. Through the life lessons and realizations experienced by Marc Blake--the author connects the character's drive to fight a rare, life-threatening virus to the human need to follow passions and connect with the world around them in more meaningful ways. Some parts of the book slowed a bit--but never enough to make me put down the story or skip through because there was always something to gain from each section. Tickling the Bear: How to Stay Safe in the Universe is definitely a book that I would recommend to fans of inspirational fiction and memoirs. The author does a beautiful job keeping the story real, relevant, and meaningful. The unique title will make more sense later in the book too!

Buy the Book
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Meet the Author

David Wann has been a self-acknowledged author since second grade. He's written hundreds of articles and columns; ten books - one a best seller; and produced five TV documentaries viewed by 20 million. He's lived in a cooperative neighborhood (cohousing) for 26 years where he has been the organic gardener for 27 households. He's an amateur musician and the proud father of two. His greatest ambition is to make a difference in a world that urgently requires "all hands on deck." His books include Affluenza; Biologic; Superbia; Simple Prosperity; The Zen of Gardening; The New Normal, Reinventing Community and others.

connect with the author: website ~ twitter ~ facebook ~ instagram ~ goodreads
Enter the Giveaway



  1. Tickling the Bear sounds like a great book, thanks for sharing it with me! Thanks for sharing your review, Book Corner News and Reviews! Have a fantastic day!