Monday, 10 December 2018

That's Christmas: The Original Christmas Present

That's Christmas: The Original Christmas Present: The Original Christmas Present is a stunning a sumptuous Christmas book by Augustus Trembling. It is subtitled The Original Christmas Pres...

Monday, 26 November 2018

The Life of Sir Basil Brooke

The Life of Sir Basil Brooke tells the life story of a very extraordinary man, Sir Basil Brooke, written by Sam Logan.

His family originated in England and he was born in Ireland, into a family which had military service through its very DNA.

One of his relatives earned a VC and he himself had an amazing record during World War 1.

It was 1919 when he left the British army and took his bride back to his country estate in Ireland.

He became the County Commandant of the B Specials, in order to fight against the IRA in the area.

It was perhaps a natural progression for him to enter the world of politics and he entered Stormont in 1929, and in 1933 he was to become a member of Lord Craigavon's cabinet.

Comment in the book is made about the speech at about that time on The Twelfth that earned him no little amount of infamy, at least in some quarters. The author examines in great detail the reasons behind what some would view as Sir Basil's antipathy toward people of the Catholic faith and does go a long way to explain what may have been the root cause/

He worked tirelessly to ensure the victory of the Allies against the Axis forces, earning fulsome praise from Churchill himself. In fact Sir Basil became Prime Minister in Stormont in 1943.

The postwar peace brought him no little amount of concern, as he was very uneasy about the Labour government in Whitehall, even though the government did make some decisions that were of considerable benefit to Northern Ireland.

Eventually he was ennobled by Churchill, becoming Viscount Brookeborough of Colebrooke.

It is a very interesting book, but it might have benefited from the inclusion of some images, but this is only a minor point.

It is published by The Book Guild at £15.95 (hardback) and will make a very good Chirstmas present for those interested in the history of the British Isles.

Sunday, 25 November 2018

The Teenage Girls Survival Guide

The Teenage Girls Survival Guide is a fantastic new book from Jane Bradley who has, for a while, left off from being a top make-up artist to the stars, to produce this book.

She aims to use this book to reach girls about boys, being with them, break-up from them, and so forth.

They'll learn about how to deal with friendships and relationships, how to cope with the very real problem of bullying, what to do if a panic attack threatens, self-esteem and depression.

There's also advice on dressing yourself, fashion, how to deal with body problems from whiffy breath to whiffy bodies, make-up, periods, contraception, pregnancy, health issues, what to do or not to do when you go out, how to be 'streetwise', what to think about when faced with the possibilities of tattoos or body piercing, what to do should drugs make an appearance, etc.

There are also tips on dating, including on line dating and much more besides.

The book is aimed at teaching teenage girls how to survive and thrive during their teenage years, but it is written in a friendly, humorous and honest style.

It's available now and really should be in the top ten Christmas present list for the female teenager in your life.

It's in hardback from Matador and costs a very reasonable £15.99.

A Most Unladylike Occupation

A Most Unladylike Occupation is an absolutely brilliant and highly important book from Lisa Wright.

It details the life and times of Lucy Deane, who was one of the first female factory inspectors in Victorian Britain.

Lucy Deane was appointed to the role of Factory Inspector in 1983 by Herbert Asquith, when he was Home Secretary.

She was sent to inspect and issue reports on the condition of women workers in factories all over the British Isles.

Some of the male factory inspectors were upset and appalled by what they perceived as this encroachment by females on what they believed was a male only preserve.

Lucy had four other female Factory Inspector colleagues. There were no precedents for what they were doing and nor was any specialist training available.

Lucy's family, which was of a somewhat upper class, were in the main upset and horrified about what they considered as her "unladylike occupation."

Someone had given Lucy a very useful tip when she started her new role. They had advised her to keep her own private records on every aspect of her job, what she did, the people she met and interacted with.

She kept these notes in a total of 23 cheap exercise books. It was these notes made between 1893 to 1898 that form the basis for this biography of her life as as a female factory inspector.

Her notes cover her day-to-day working life, the factories she visited, her home life with her sister Hyacinth, the problems she had with keeping her bicycles from crashing, her travels to and from work and noting how, over time, how the opinions of her male colleagues changed toward her as they eventually realised what an  asset she was.

She was awarded a CBE for her efforts during World War 1 when she had the onerous task of organising the Women's Land Army.

There are also a collection of illustrations to accompany this remarkable biography.

It is published by The Book Guild at £9.99. This book will be of interest to anyone interested in Victorian history, feminist history, the early days of factory inspection or those who love a good biography. It'll make a fantastic Christmas gift.

A Journey With Brendan

A Journey With Brendan is a book by paediatrician Dr May Ng about her own personal account of life with her son Brendan who is autistic.

It's known that 1 in 60 children are somewhere on the autism spectrum.

Unfortunately in the UK there is a waiting period of anywhere between two years to 36 months for the condition to be diagnosed.

Many families of children on the autistic spectrum are bewildered by what is happening and are, understandably, desperate for help, advice and reassurance.

It is Dr Ng's hope and intention that her book will help to fill the very real gap that exists.

Based on her expertise and knowledge as an award-winning top paediatrician and her own personal experiences of raising her son, Brendan, May Ng offers readers a very helpful insight in to what it is like to  be the parent of a child on the autism spectrum, what resources are available to families and also offers some very welcome practical advice based on her own experiences.

She has tried many different forms of treatment, some mainstream, some alternative, and can offer her own tips as to what works and what doesn't work.

Thankfully, Brendan is, at 13, a happy boy and is in a school that is dedicated to teaching children who have autism.

The book is a must have for parents of children with autism, GPs, paediatricians and school teachers.

It is £8.99 and is published by The Book Guild.

The Veterinary Detectives A Vet in Peru

The Veterinary Detectives A Vet in Peru is an amazingly readable book from Roger S. Windsor.

You'll possibly have read his previous work, The Veterinary Detectives: More Sherlock Holmes Than James Herriot. Which your reviewer can also heartily recommend.

In this book we read of Roger's further adventures, this time in Peru.

It tells the story of how Roger came to be awarded a richly deserved MBE for his work as a vet in Peru, where he gathered together a team of young and highly motivated team of young Peruvian vets and how he encouraged them, under his skilled leadership, to create and establish a new veterinary service to assist farmers in an area which was the size of the whole of England.

Of course, nothing worthwhile is ever easy and the newly established team faces not only the challenges of attempting to create such a service under troubled economic circumstances, scepticism from officials in both Britain and Peru, there is also a very real threat from the Shining Path terror gang who are a threat to both the farmers and the members of the team of dedicated and highly motivated team of vets and their support workers.

However, against the odds, Roger and his team (not to mention his concert pianist wife, Maxine!) are able to succeed in achieving what they set out to achieve, to create and manage a service of benefit to farmers, animals and the country of Peru. A land which Roger came to admire and love.

The book is very well illustrated and will make a superb Christmas present for the animal lover and vet in your life.

It's published by The Book Guild in hardback at £16.95.

The Grumpy Gnome's Garden

The Grumpy Gnome's Garden is a delightful novel for children about a Gnome who is grumpy and who has a garden.

But! Into the life of the grumpy and sometimes lonely Gnome comes a Fairy Princess who has more than a touch of magic about her.

The Gnome is disappointed in his garden. He knows what he wants his garden to look like, he wants it to be a green paradise, the reality is that it is an overgrown mess and he hasn't the first idea of what  he can to to even start making it look better.

Fortunately for the Grumpy Gnome the Fairy Princess is a dab hand at gardening and when she comes to stay with him in his charming cottage she is able to help him to start to transform his messy garden into a garden to be proud of.

Whilst they are working on the garden they both benefit from learning about the changing of the seasons, the wonders of nature and the pure joys that a gardener can learn from growing their own plants.

Although this is a fun to read book for children and adults of all ages, it's also designed to help to introduce children to the pleasures and joys of gardening and it is wonderfully illustrated with some very colourful pictures. The author, Della Jayne Hayes has created a work of great charm and magic.

This book will make a great Christmas present and will be enjoyed as a book for sharing people children and adults.

It is published by Matador at £6.99.