Sunday, 18 November 2018
The poems in this collection are all about the many different facets of love.
There's romantic love, love which is tinged by tragedy, of loss, of the mundane, the different and the quirky and poems of joy and of healing.
Although all from the same poet, the poems are in a range of vastly different voices, from poems of love lost, love found, love regained or not regained.
At £8.99 (published by Matador) this is an ideal introduction to the world of poetry and poems and it will make a very good Christmas stocking filler.
It's more than 'just' a spy novel, as it interweaves adventure, elements of the thriller novel, heroism, romance, suspense and with a hint of political intrigue to make an extremely fulfilling read.
Carl von Menen has it all, or so it appears. Handsome, suave, wealthy, aristocratic and a high flying member of the German Foreign Office. All perfectly normal for a man of his calibre. All except for the fact that he has an utter hatred of Adolph Hitler and longs to assassinate him.
His longing for a Germany free from Hitler and his Nazi government seems to him to be an impossible dream. However, things might change from von Menen, when he is suddenly given an assignment in Argentina. The Nazis are interested in the rise to prominence in Argentina of the United Officers Group (OGU) a pro Nazi faction of the Argentinian military, under the guidance of Juan Domingo Peron.
But when he arrives in Buenos Aires, von Menen finds himself rapidly sucked into a vortex of deceit, treachery and the threat of revolution.
He meets with the apparently helpful and obliging Colonel Filipe Vidal. But what game is Vidal playing? Can he be trusted or does he have an agenda of his own, is he plotting to take the country for himself?
If so, can he trick von Menen into helping him with a honey trap?
Managing to scheme his return to Europe, von Menen is horrified to find his beloved Berlin in utter ruination and that the Gestapo are everywhere, even whilst the pitiless Red Army are closing in on the capital city of Germany.
Von Menen seeks vengeance and, at great personal risk, he works to convince the desperate Nazi leadership that Colonel Vidal can offer them a pro-Nazi deal that could save them.
All it requires is a daring robbery of the Reichsbank, a secret and highly dangerous submarine journey from Germany to Argentina and some unfinished business back in Buenos Aires.
Can von Menen succeed? Can he even survive?
At £9.99 this is an excellent adventure novel published by Matador.
The book, written by David Hills, is aimed at children aged 5 to 7.
It begins with a hedgehog called Hamish, awaking from his winter hibernation. He has tow goals. To have some fun, playing and to seek out 'the chosen one.'
A little boy called Alistair finds Hamish in his back garden. They soon become fast friends and set out on a range of adventures and Alistair learns a great deal about the lifestyle of hedgehogs, including an invitation ot a very special secret hedgehog party.
And Alistair is granted the privilege if an audience with the Queen of the Hedgehogs. And the Queen gives Alistair a very special award. Which you will be able ot find out about when you read this delightful book.
It is published by The Book Guild at £6.99 and it's a must buy Christmas gift.
His life is beset by stresses form both his work life and his personal life. His loving bond with his sister Maria is the one thing in his life that brings him joy and comfort. But Brett wishes that her boyfriend was not the abusive jerk that he is.
Brett is also bedevilled by his relationship with his ex-girlfriend, Lisa. They share the responsibility for raising their daughter (who is only four) but it is Brett's worry that Lisa is more fond of being a good time party girl rather than a mother to their child.
To make matters worse a local bully decides that he is going to goad Brett in public, trying to deliberate humiliate him informant of an ex-girlfriend in the public setting of a local public house.
Brett, somehow, keeps his cool. After all, he has his daughter to think about.
But what if the circumstances changed? What would happen then? What if a situation arose where the tables were turned and Brett decided that he was not going to take any more nonsense from bullies? Or, at least, one particular bully?
What if he were to metamorphose from a bullied care worker into an extremely dangerous nemesis?
After all, if you bully a man who has nothing to lose, what can you, actually, expect him to do?
This is an extremely well-written novel from Kelso Simon, it's gritty and gripping an although a fictional story it does carry the ring of truth.
It's published by The Book Guild at £8.99 and will make a super Christmas present for those who like gritty, slice of life novels.
Thursday, 15 November 2018
Silvers Model Circus took its creator David Hardie and his family almost 50 years to lovingly construct.
David Hardie was apprenticed to his family’s tent-making business in Sydney, Australia, and he began constructing the first part of the circus back in 1931 when he was only seventeen years of age.
Eventually David moved to the UK and with help from members of his family, they extended the circus down through the years.
It first went on public display back in 1982, after which event it toured the UK.
In 1984 it formed the centrepiece of the Christmas display in Cheltenham and was officially opened by Earl Spencer,Princess Diana's father.
The entire model is powered by a single engine. The circus is operated by a complex system of belts and pulleys all linked o a single drive-shaft.
Each item of the model was hand-crafted and is to 1:24 scale.
After David Hardie’s death in 2002, the model was stored in a variety of locations until, finally, it ended up in a storage container on a piece of wasteland next to a riding stable.
In 2017, Lucy Townsend, Hardie’s grand-daughter began researching the model and learned where it was.
Lucy said: “I persuaded my mother and uncle to take me to look at the model and see whether it was still in a condition that could be saved."
“When I first saw the container, my heart sank as it was half-buried by the dung from the stables but, eventually, we reached the boxes containing the model.
“Miraculously, much of the model was still in good condition and after months of cleaning and renovating, the circus has been restored to its former glory.”
The family have decided that they would rather see the model go to a new home than return to its container so it is going to be auctioned in London by Roseberys on 22nd November.
Wednesday, 14 November 2018
It's a fair old trek you'll be sharing with him, about 125 miles worth, from Broadstairs all the way along to Lewes.
This book is a successor volume to his two previous works Finding My Place and Walking My Patch. Combining the three books together you'll cover a very respectable 1,000+ miles of the countryside of Kent and East Susses.
The book is very sensibly broken down into four distinct chapters starting with Broadstairs to Canterbury, then Canterbury to Bethersden, Bethersden to Bexhill and the final leg of the journey, the walk from Bexhill to Lewes.
It's much more than a "mere" walking book. It's a travelogue, yes, but it also contains some of his original poetry pieces that are all inspired by particular aspects and features of his walking travels.
There are also highly detailed and well coloured walking maps (a curious omission in some walking guides, it has to be acknowledged) and there are some nice photographs taken by the author.
There's also a fund of interesting anecdotes and tales that he collected on his travels.
This well-researched and well-written book will be a welcome addition in the knapsack of anyone who is interested in walking and it will make an excellent Christmas gift for the walker in your life.
It is published by The Book Guild at £14.95.