Sunday, 4 June 2017

Autism Supporting Difficulties

Autism Supporting Difficulties is a highly valuable and very worthwhile book by Gaynor M Jackson.

Gaynor has worked in a professional capacity in mainstream schools as an advisory teacher and has worked with children who have Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD).

During her studies she specialised in the field of working with ASD children.

She has worked with numerous parents of children who are ASD and over the years she has discovered that there are a considerable number of common problems that are faced, especially by parents of children who have had a recent ASD diagnosis.

The subtitle of her book is "Handbook of ideas to reduce anxiety in everyday situations" and this is the aim of the book, to help guide parents and professionals who find themselves involved with an ASD child to offer ideas and point out how common many problems are and how these can be dealt with.

It offers informative and easy to implement tips on how ASD children can be supported by both their parents and professionals to help the children better cope with their problems and anxieties.

Gaynor has come up with a range of interventions and strategic initiatives that are designed at helping children cope with the problems they face in everyday life.

The book contains real life examples of how the techniques can be employed.

The book is very practical and is a must have book for parents of children who are ASD, teachers, doctors and paediatricians and social workers who work with children. It is this reviewer's opinion that at least two copies should be in every school and public library in the country.

It is published by Matador at £8.99 and is available for purchase here

Brazilian Tequila a Journey Into the Interior

In his book Brazilian Tequila a Journey Into the Interior, published author an experienced journalist Augustus Young takes his readers for an interesting ride the the Brazil of his memories and of his travel diaries.

It's part travel biography and part fictionalised account of a trip into the heart of Brazil.

We follow Gus, a middle-aged Irish writer and journalist, as he leaves his old and humdrum life in London to move a a warmer climate. And Brazil is the country to which he decides to move.

Gus arrives in Brazil with certain preconceptions, as all travellers do to one extent or another, but as he flies round the country Gus learns things that shake his preconceived ideas.

For example, corruption is seen as the norm in Brazil and everyone accepts it, and it is plainly obvious that the first democratic elections in many decades are, in fact, not free, democratic elections in the accepted sense of the term, as it is clearly obvious that the elections were being rigged.

During his Brazilian travels Gus meets many people who he perceives to be victims of Brazilian society, such as the young and the poor, yet he is nonplussed to discover that they do not, necessarily, see themselves as being victims.

Yet there are times when his conviction that his European ideals are the correct ones are brought inot question.

He hopes to visit his hero the Brazilian writer Ubaldo Ribeiro to seek guidance. He finds the island that is where Ribeiro has his home, he even sees him form a distance several times, but loses his nerve and never actually approaches him.

Instead he writes him a letter.

It's a fascinating insight not only into Brazil but also into a protagonist, Gus.

It is also illustrated with a number of photographs and images.

It is published by Matador at £10.99 and is available for purchase at

Return to Camlann

This is the last part in the three part thriller series by writing team Richard and John Wilson, featuring their character Hardington "Hardtack" Tachman.

We catch up with Hardtack as recent history catches up with him. Well, not his history, exactly, but it is a history that will impinge greatly on his own life.

Because, suddenly, Hardtack is becoming the victim of a number of cases of mistaken identity.

This is because he is being mistaken for his twin brother, the existence of which he was completely ignorant.

The book starts at breakneck speed which rarely, if ever, falters.

After events that can only be described as truly horrifying, Hardtack makes his way back to America.

His wife, Mei Li, who has lost her memory, is now living with her lover in Italy.

Eventually he is reunited in America with his wife and they take a trip down to Mexico with Maria, who he has began to have an affair with.

However, in Mexico they are seen by Cartel members who mistake Hardtack for a DEA agent, Hardtack's mysterious twin brother.

There are fatal consequences fro some members of the group.

Subsequently Hardtack finds himself in the southwest of America where he is slated to attend a conference.

Because he still has doubts about the fidelity of his wife, he begins a relationship with another woman.

However, it transpires that the conference is a sham and that his new lover was not what she appeared to be.

In the town of Camlann true identities became known and stunning secrets are revealed as there is an utterly shocking denouement when the reality of what has been planned is revealed.

But what, exactly, has happened? And to whom?

The book is published bv Matador at £9.99 and is available (with the first two books in the series) from

That's Home and Household: The Wind on His Back

That's Home and Household: The Wind on His Back: The Wind on His Back is a collection of short stories by author Mary Alexander. They are six of the most perfect short stories that I ha...

Saturday, 3 June 2017

The Whimsical Fashion Colouring Book

The Whimsical Fashion Colouring Book is a wonderful publication book by fashion designer Natasha Itzcovitz.

Although an experienced and highly skilled fashion designer, this is Natasha's debut colouring book, which consists of 100 utterly stunning all totally hand-drawn fashion illustrations.

The book is filled with a wide variety of designs that are both whacky and innovative, featuring historically-themed designs to more recent designs including modern street styles.

You can colour the designs in and also draw inspiration for your own drawings and also for your own fashioned creations, if you are handy with needle and thread and are able to produce your own clothing.

Natasha also makes clothing accessories and pies of art that she offers for sale at markets and also online.

It's an ideal book for fashion lovers, artists, designers and those who love a good, quirky adult colouring book.

The book -in large format-  is published by Matador at a remarkably reasonable £8.99, you can purchase it online at

You can follow Natasha on Twitter

She is a member of the following social community for artists, Deviant Art at

Undiplomatic Episodes

Wouldn't it be good to have an insider's view of the world of diplomacy?

To find out what it's really like?

Fortunately,  now we can, with Undiplomatic Episodes, the memoirs of retired diplomat Martin Berthoud.

After gaining a university degree and a spell in the army, Martin Berthoud decided that a career in the British Diplomatic Service was what he wanted to do.

He served in a wide variety and range of diplomatic missions in all sorts of places, some exotic and some not quite so exotic. Places like Ulan Bator, Iran, South Africa, Australia, Finland and the Philippines.

He became British High Commissioner in Trinidad and Tobago and received his Knighthood on the Royal Yacht in 1985.

After retirement he served for many years as director of the charity the Water Foundation, which he retired from in 2000.

In his first role he served in the embassy in Tehran as Third Secretary from 1956, taking the intriguing and fairly novel decision to drive the entire journey of 4,446 miles from his home in Bishops Stortford, Hertfordshire all the way to Iran.

He points out the differences between life in Iran now and during the 1950s. Changes which seem not to have been a improvement for most people in that country.

After spending a two year term in Iran he returned to London where he was stationed for a time.

In 1961 he and his wife Marguerite arrived in the Philippines for what was to be their first married posting.

We follow Martin through postings in a variety of places in the world, Argentina, South Africa, Australia, to name a few.

In one of his latter postings he joined the EU monitoring team, members of which group were overseeing the ceasefire in the former Yugoslavia.

The book is a fascinating insight into the world of diplomacy as it existed in the recent past.

It is well illustrated with a range of images.

It is published by Matador at £8.99 and is available from good bookshops or online at

A Life Lived Memories of the Famous and Infamous

A Life Lived Memories of the Famous and Infamous is one of those books that is always very popular.

It is written by Liz Parker. It begins, as all good books must do, at the very beginning, with Liz' childhood in  the India in which she was born.

When she was four years of age she was packed of to England where she had to attend a boarding school.

She always knew that acting was what she wanted to do and so she studied at RADA. Whilst she was learning her craft there, she fell in love with a well known actor, Ronald Fraser.

After seven years of marriage they divorced and Liz had the unenviable task of bringing up their two daughters as a single mother.

Eventually she remarried and had a son with her second husband. Tragically, her husband died and she was left to look after her son, this time as a widow.

Liz developed cancer but benefited from a course of treatment that was both unorthodox and alao successful.

She was then 59 years of age and decided that she needed a change so she decided to purchase a somewhat down on its luck yacht club and taverna on a rather small Green island, assisted by her middle daughter.  

However, tragedy befell Liz again and she was again, left alone. 

It is filled with humorous events and events of great tragedy. It is extremely readable and very well written. 

It's ruthlessly honest and utterly charming, giving glimpses of the lives and loves of a whole post war generation of  actors and actresses the likes of whom we will probably never see again.

Liz never namedrops, but the way she casually mentions famous people she met is truly delightful.

For example, she would often breakfast with Michael Foot eating sausages, baked beans and croissants at his favourite small restaurant in Curzon Street.

She also met a number of people who, although not actually famous when she met them, would become famous later in life. Names that crop up in that context include Peter O'Toole, Albert Finney and Timothy West.

The book is well illustrated with a range of photographs. 

It is published by The Book Guild at £9.99 and is available for purchase from good bookshops and online at