Friday, 29 May 2020

Naomi Rose

In Naomi Rose, we meet Naomi Rose. She is ten and an already dedicated and avid reader.

Her mother is dead and she finds it a struggle to grieve whilst attempting to follow the guidance of her father that she must be composed and be self-restrained.

However, her father's way of coping with his grief is to climb into a bottle of alcohol and so Naomi feels abandoned and locked out by the one person in her life who should, by rights, be there to offer her their love and support.

As a result she decides to seek solace and attention outside the home and she finds happiness devising very tall tales that shock her school friends. In fact it seems to be the shock factor that she relishes?

Naomi is befriended bu Ozzy a boy of Turkish origin. He is confidant and charming and in Ozzy, she feels, she has found a person she can trust.

But Ozzy embarks on a relationship with Molly, a girl Naomi hates, so once again she feels bereft and alone.

A young English teacher, Mr Adams, recognises her creative talents and nurtures her writing abilities. Unfortunately Mr Adams is a naive young man and cannot see that Naomi's obsession with him is potentially very dangerous indeed 

Naomi has a plan. A plan that will rekindle her father's attention and also punish Mr Adams for rejecting her.

But what exactly happens when she realises that people actually do care for her? And what happens to Mr Adams, Naomi, her father and her friends?

This is a highly charged novel from Kisten Esden and writer who, I feel, we will hear more from in the future.

It is published by Matador at £9.99.

IVF Got This

IVF Got This is a compelling memoir from Colette Centeno Fox. It describes her journey to motherhood.

However, it was not so simple and straightforward as it often is. Because It describes the fertility issues that face her and husband Michael, as the struggled with the problems that infertility can brjng to a couple.

The book is an honest and moving account of the problems that they faced together. The losses of babies and the trauma that resulted, set backs and waiting times, the treatments that she had to go through.

It touches on matters of her personal faith and how she employed this to help her cope, how badly people with depression are treated, it's often, as she points out, mistaken as a sign of weakness, rather than something to be treated.

If you are looking to get IVF, then this book is a must buy. And if you are working in the field of IVF this book is al must buy, in fact, for you it is a must read as it will help you to understand your patients and what they might be going through.

How does the story of Mike and Colette end? Oh, come on! That'd spoil the surprise that Colette had!

It's a wonderful book, it's published by The Book Guild at £8.99.

Guess What I Found In The Playground!

Guess What I Found in The Playground! is a wonderful new book for children (and the adults in their lives) by first time children's author Victoria Thompson.

It's aimed at children from ages five to seven and it tells the story of what Tilly found in the playground.

But merely telling her dad what she had found in the playground would totally spoil her fun. She wants to make her poor old dad guess what she found, instead. But can he beat Tilly at her own game? Can he outfox his own daughter and guess what she found?

Did she find something to collect?

Did she find some food that had been leftover?

Her missing welly... which wasn't, actually missing in the first place?

A book?

A frog?

Can her brother help their daddy guess?

Well... can he?

This is an absolutely fantastic book with wonderful and very vibrant, impactful and colourful illustrations which children and adults will enjoy reading and looking at for a very long time indeed.

It's published by Matador at £9.99 and is in a very good large format, so is easy to share.

The Long Way to Get to Me

The Long Way to Get to Me is a coming of age novel from author Marc Lindon.

It's about Kevin. Kevin is young and he works in a betting shop. Like most young men, Kevin thinks about sex. But in that idealised way that the inexperienced young man does this.

The reality of sex doesn't seem quite so alluring. Well, at least until Laura comes into his life.

Could fantasy and reality coalesce into something that is not just magical but real?

However, there are problems that must be addressed. Vandalism and anti-social behaviour are becoming a very real nuisance in the area.

But the police don't seem to be interested in the slightest. And if the police will not address these issues. who will? Someone must! And I'm sure you will see where these ideas might lead?

This is where David comers onto the scene. David is a police officer. Actually, that's not true. David wanted, longed, to become a police officer but that wasn't possible for several reasons. But he is given a role working with the police, even though the officers don't take him seriously and subject him to derision and resentment.

But unlike his police colleagues, David is convinced that there is a dangerous gang of vigilantes operating in the local area. David is convinced that he can solve the case and prove that everyone has been wrong about him all along!

I mean, what on earth could possibly go wrong?

It's a well-crafted debut novel with angst, humour, danger, drama thrills, spills and love, too.

It's published by Matador at £8.99.

Robby: Will to Live

Robby: Will to Live is a book authored by Hugh Franks,

It tells the story of Robby and his fight against the disease Muscular Dystrophy, for which there is, as yet, no cure.

At the age of six Robby was diagnosed with the condition and it relates how he bravely faced the problems this brought to his life.

Unfortunately his birth father was unable to cope. His heavy drinking and his constant berating and beatings of Robby caused many problems and Robby's mother threatened to leave him. But she didn't, hoping that he would change. But he never did.

However, onto the scene came a former school friend of her husband, Hugh Franks. His own post-war marriage had recently ended in divorce.

Robby's father virtually abandoned his family, spending more and more time involved with his business interests in Europe. So it was natural that Robby's mother would turn to Hugh for support when Robby was diagnosed with muscular dystrophy.

The situation was worsened when Robby's father denied that he could shave any responsibility for Robby's health problems and blamed Robby's mother, Judith. He also, cruelly, refused to return to England and said that Robby must take it on the chin. At only six years of age.

The problems with the MD had, actually, been observable for some time and the only answer that Robby's father had was to severely beat the boy for accidentally smearing a small amount on jam on the banister.

Eventually Hugh and Judith fell in love, Judith divorced her husband and the story really begins in earnest.

It's a story of tragedies and of triumphs and of football games played between Robby and Hugh. Of medical assistance for a disease for which there is still no cure. And the loving bond between Juditch, Robby and Hugh.

It's a heartwarming book of love, humour and of resilience in the face of terrible odds.

The book has a forward by Sir Richard Attenborough, CBE.

It is published by Matador at £8.99. I recommend this book to any family which has a MD person as a member or a friend and also to any MD, nurse or hospital consultant or health worker who may come into contact with a person who has MD, because this book will be of immense value to you.

Sunday, 17 May 2020

After Exta Time and Penalties

After Extra Time and Penalties is the biographical memories of BBC football corespondent Mike Ingham MBE.

He was Chief Football Corespondent at the BBC for a quarter of a century and only the third person to hold this illustrious position following Brian Moore and Bryon Butler.

During his working life as a football corespondent he attended eight World Cups, gave commentaries on 28 FA Cup Finals, worked with ten different full time England managers and also introduced Sports Report.

His autobiography is an honest account of what he saw and participated in as football and football coverage changed beyond all recognition throughout his long career, as a professional onlooker and observer.

Learn why he had to drive home one night, naked from the waist down (it really wasn't his fault) find out which players he rated, which he didn't rate and players who he rated yet who, for reasons he still can't figure out, were really not given the opportunities he felt they deserved.

It's well illustrated with a nice selection of photographs and this book is absolutely perfect for any football fan, no matter what team they support.

It's published by The Book Guild at £12.99.   

Far, Far the Mountain Peak Book Three

Far, Far the Mountain Peak Book Three is the latest in this series of novels from Arthur Clifford.

When we next meet up with the protagonist, John Denby, he will soon enrol at Stirling Academy, a very prestigious seat of learning.

We have followed him through his troubled childhood, seen him struggle with his sexual identity as he suffered the education of an 'experimental' comprehensive school in a dire council estate, dealing as best he could with deliquescent and criminal pupils.

At 16 excellent exam results are propelling him toward greater and better things at Stirling Academy.

Can he make good on his academic potential? Will his homosexuality which he previously tried to hide with a succession of girl friends, really mark him out as different? Cause him any more anxious moments?

Only time will tell as we follow John on his journey through his young life.

It's another captivating read from Arthur Cliffoird, published by The Book Guild at £9.99