Tuesday, 28 February 2012

New book Eat Right for Your Personality Type will show you how to work with your personality to create the perfect diet for you

For many of us, our relationship with food is complicated, confusing and far from satisfying; just think how often you eat something whilst simultaneously feeling bad about it.

We strive to find the right diet and balance for us, hoping to one day establish healthy eating habits that will leave us looking and feeling great. Yet with so much conflicting opinion about what and what not to eat, few of us know how best to approach this, let alone find the ‘magic combination’ for ourselves - that is until now!

In her new book, Eat Right for Your Personality Type, Karen Knowler reveals that there is one dominant factor governing our relationship with food – our personality type. She explains that after a decade of coaching people about their eating habits it became clear to her that there are different types of eater and that each of these types has individual ways of thinking, feeling and acting around food. The 10 types of eater are:

The Functional Eater; The Sensual Eater; The Intellectual Eater; The Emotional Eater; The Focused Eater; The Intuitive Eater; The Conscious Eater; The Experimental Eater; The Confused Eater and The Social Eater.

In the book Knowler sets out a step-by-step process that will enable you to discover your type (or combination of types); understand the pros and cons of each type and how they impact your life; and learn how to work with your type(s) in order to create a personalised eating blueprint and the perfect diet for you.

Whether you goal is weight loss, energy gain, improved health, inner peace – or simply to create a better fit between your eating and your lifestyle – this book will help you find the best approach for you and get you where you want to go.

Eat Right for Your Personality Type: How to Work with Your Personality to Create the Perfect Diet for You by Karen Knowler is published by Hay House on 5th March 2012, £12.99 paperback (also available as an e-Book)

• A completely new take on food and eating based on your personality
 • How what you eat and drink – and why – shapes not only your body, but every single aspect of your life
• Includes a quick and easy quiz to establish what type of eater you are – available for extract
• Explains the 10 different eater types and outlines 10 different ‘possibilities’ that can be experienced through food
• Includes advice on weight loss

Karen Knowler has been a prominent figure on the international healthy eating, raw food and self-help scene since 1998. A regular in the UK media, she has appeared on TV programmes including LK Today, and has featured in numerous magazines, including Tatler, Glamour and Woman & Home.

Through coaching thousands of people around the globe for over a decade, Karen's discovery of the different eater types has fast become one of the most potent tools for self-knowledge and conscious personal change that she has utilised in her work to date.

Monday, 20 February 2012

That's Food and Drink: Welcome To Squires Kitchen Bake School, a new publ...

That's Food and Drink: Welcome To Squires Kitchen Bake School, a new publ...: SKMP, publishers of Cakes & Sugarcraft, Wedding Cakes - A Design Source, and Inspired by Food, are launching a new title for budding bakers ...

Sunday, 19 February 2012

Author uses fiction to promote real life concern over cruise ship crimes

Bringing Un-prosecuted Crimes aboard Cruise Ships to Light-In her mystery adventure series, author uses fiction to address this serious issue.

As ABC News’s 20/20 illustrated in the piece “Cruise Ship Confidential” on the January 20th episode, cruise ship safety is a growing concern. We are quickly approaching the date set by President Obama that will change the nature of luxury cruising immensely by mandating that cruise personnel must report serious crimes to the FBI and the Coast Guard, among other stipulations; however, whether or not American law will have any bearing on international cruise lines with no intention of entering American ports has yet to be seen, it is reported by the media.

In her Darcy Farthing mystery adventure series, author Arleen Alleman uses fiction to treat this series issue, bringing the unprosecuted crimes at sea to light through dynamic stories centred around her pragmatic protagonist, Darcy Farthing, and her adventures aboard the Sea Nymph. In the first novel, Currents Deep and Deadly, Darcy overhears a discussion of a murder for hire plot and members of the crew begin to die under circumstances that are nothing less than suspicious.

After confronting a vicious killer in the first novel, Darcy believes that all of the madness aboard cruise ships is behind her; however, nothing could be further from the truth. In Currents of Vengeance, Darcy and company return to the Sea Nymph to conduct a Government Accountability Office/FBI Congressional investigation of unprosecuted crimes on cruise ships.

Their investigation hopes to bring ruthless Las Vegas casino owner, Paul Denezza, to justice after eluding prosecution for the violence on the previous cruise. In the second novel, Darcy will come face to face with even more madness.

While Alleman’s stories are both fictional, they both highlight the very real possibility of a ruthless killer eluding prosecution under the current laws. Currents Deep and Deadly and Currents of Vengeance not only entertain their readers, but they also call attention to the oft-overlooked issue of crimes at sea, making a serious case for significant change.

The Darcy Farthing Mystery Adventure Series
Alleman’s series centres around Darcy Farthing, a pragmatic woman in her forties, who readers were first introduced to in Currents Deep and Deadly. After coming face to face with a vicious murderer in the first novel, she wrote a book about the madness she confronted, which completely changed her life, both personally and financially. The third instalment in this page-turning series, Current Assets, is slated for release in Autumn of 2012. To watch the book trailers, visit

Arleen Alleman spent 21 years as an analyst for the US Government Accountability Office. After retiring from the GAO, Alleman and her husband became avid cruisers, which inspired her to write stories set on cruise ships. In her two six-week cruises around Cape Horn; the first was spent writing her book and the second was spent doing book signings and promoting her books. For more about Arleen Alleman, visit her website or follow her on Twitter @AAllemanWrites.

Gunpowder, TREason or Plot, or How We Dug Up The Ancestors

Gunpowder, TREason or Plot, or How We Dug Up The Ancestors is a new book by respected historical writer Allan Frost.

But Gunpowder, TREason or Plot, or How We Dug Up The Ancestors tends to be a little more hysterical than historical.

In this fictional book, Tim Eason, (described as an unconfirmed batchelor!) visits Priorton in pursuit of a new lead on England's infamous Gunplowder Plot, he could not have anticipated just how close his relationship would become with the pub landlady, Sarah Brewer. But an elderly juke box in he corner of the bar seemed to have some sort of an inkling!

Nor did Tim quite realise that his research work would attract the attention of bungling conspirators Frank Fiddlit (a dubious solicitor), Tom Bleak (of Bleak Homes Limited) and Nevil Strubble (hapless Council Planning Officer).

Tim digs up enough information to attend a court hearing to determine ownership of Prioton Hall. However, Judge Sir Cedric Foot-Wart seems strangely preoccupied. Until an unexpected witness appears...

This somewhat explosive novel, set in an English town ignored by progress and time itself, will keep you intrigued and interested as its thickening plot and unforgettable characters interact.

You'll be chuckling from start to finish as farcical situation follows farcical situation!

This book is released via Amazon Kindle. You can buy it via the That's Books Amazon-powered bookshop. Just look for the Amazon Search Box to the right of That's Books.

Be That Writer: Competition entry is done!

Be That Writer: Competition entry is done!: My competition entry for a novel writing competition is ready to post off. The top prize is a £20,000 advance and the chance to have my no...

Saturday, 18 February 2012

The Ten Questions to Ask For Success

The Ten Questions to Ask For Success is a very lively and helpful book by acknowledged expert Phil Parker.

What use is a self help book that doesn't give you any answers?

In his latest book, Phil points out that the most important discovery he has made in over two decades of working in the field of personal development is this: providing solutions, advice suggestions or answers does not always help everyone.

Phil opines that there can be a problem with just providing the answer to a particular problem, or set of problems. Because if people do not go through the process of finding their own solution, the next time they are faced with another problem, they will tend to turn for help again. (EDITOR: I think it is also referred to as 'learned helplessness'.)

Parker takes the position that learning the skill of creating our own solutions lets us become more independent and skilled at finding and making the right choices and decisions for ourselves, not merely relying on other people for the answers all the time.

Parker points out that it is all about learning to ask what he describes as the key questions, at the right time in order for us to reach the right solution.

He has distilled these to a list of ten key questions. Questions which will, argues Parker, prove to be powerful tools to enable you to draw on the fields of personal and spiritual development, business, psychotherapy, cognitive behavioural therapy, hostage negotiation (yes, really!) that should see you equipped to make "great decisions" in all aspects  of your life.

Parker has used these techniques to help thousands of his clients to help themselves or other people to rid them of stress, worry, feeling dis-empowered, unmotivated or frustrated and can help them identify and counter self-sabotage.

Parker feels that if you read his book you will be able to feel more motivated, be better able to motivate others, find solutions in a calm, collected manner, even when under extreme stress, design your dreams and achieve them, ensure all the relationships in your life (be they work or life related) work well, flourish and fulfil you.

You'll also be able to manage your business affairs in a more effective way. Whilst also offering assistance to others to help them, too.

The book is out now. It is published by Hay House in paperback at £10.99.

The author Phil Parker is a qualified NLP practitioner, osteopath, hypnotherapist and an executive coach.

He operates a private practice in London. You can visit his website at

Thursday, 16 February 2012

A Dictionary of Forensic Science

A Dictionary of Forensic Science is an important book on this very diverse field.

There are over 1,300 entries, some with very helpful illustrations and the book is written in a very clear and entertaining way by Dr Suzanne Bell, one of the leading experts in the field.

If you are a student of forensic science, a forensic scientist or technician, a law student, a barrister, a solicitor, a police officer (long-served or a cadet) a journalist or an author needing to do research for a novel, or even just a fan of CSI on the TV, then this book is one that must be on your bookshelf or in your work bag.

It not only covers forensic terms it also covers relevant jurisprudence terms, engineering references, case histories, biographies of leading figures from the field and gives clear and concise explanations of what the terms used mean.

It also tells you what Luminol is and how it works its apparent magic with blood stains.

It also contains a bibliography for further reading and identifies links to useful websites throughout the book, yet in a way that is totally non-intrusive.

It's out this month in paperback and costs £12.99.

Students should be aware that this is probably a book that you will use until you retire from your chosen field, it really is that good a book, in the opinion of your reviewer.

“Bird flu will remain a threat as long as factory farms exist” claims author of new book on public health

The author of a pioneering new book on animals and public health, published this month, claims that “as long as factory farms exist; we will continue to be at risk from bird flu”.

Dr Aysha Akhtar, the author of 'Animals and Public Health: Why treating animals better is critical to human welfare', considers that while Bird Flu is currently receiving much attention owing to recent deaths in Vietnam and its potential use in bio-terrorism “We don't need a terrorist to wreak havoc.  By confining billions of animals on factory farms, we have created a worldwide natural laboratory for the rapid development of a deadly and highly infectious form of the virus. The stressful and crowded conditions make a perfect breeding ground for new infectious diseases that can harm humans."

The book reveals how the link between how we treat animals and human health goes far beyond bird flu, however.  "A significant number of the most urgent health issues we face today are intricately linked with poor treatment of animals.”

The book to be published on 17 February is the sixth volume published as part of the Palgrave Macmillan Animal Ethics book series in partnership with the Oxford Centre for Animal Ethics.  In a lively manner, this book describes the link between the way we treat animals and human health across a wide range of health topics.

Dr Akhtar explores the lives of animals in violent homes, factory farms, experimental laboratories, the entertainment industry and the wildlife trade. She reveals how their treatment is related to issues as diverse as domestic violence, the obesity epidemic, the world's most ominous infectious diseases, animal attacks, high-profile drug failures and climate change.

In the first academic text to address the relationship between animals and public health, Dr Akhtar argues that "... public health has long-ignored the relationship between our health and animal treatment, largely owing to a misconception that animal welfare is in opposition to human welfare”. 

Using a wealth of scientific information, the book demonstrates that in order to best promote human health, we have to improve our treatment of animals.  Dr Akhtar hopes that this book will lead to a new public health paradigm, one that considers animals as part of the "public" in public health.

Aysha Akhtar, M.D., M.P.H., is a neurologist and public health specialist and a Fellow of the Oxford Centre for Animal Ethics. She works for the Office of Counter-terrorism and Emerging Threats of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. The book is written in her personal capacity and is the result of many years of scientific research.

The Palgrave Macmillan book series is jointly edited by the internationally known theologian the Reverend Professor Andrew Linzey, Director of the Oxford Centre for Animal Ethics, and Professor Priscilla Cohn, Emeritus Professor in Philosophy at Penn State University and Associate Director of the Centre.

Commenting on the publication of Dr Akhtar’s Animals and Public Health, Professor Linzey says, “This is a must read for all those who think caring for animals is a separate issue from human welfare. The scientific evidence marshalled in this book ought to dispel any lingering doubts that a world in which animal abuse goes unchecked is a less safe world for human beings. This first book linking animals to public health is truly ground-breaking."

'Animals and Public Health: Why treating animals better is critical to human welfare', is published on 17 February in both the U.S. and the U.K. priced $85 / £50.

Monday, 13 February 2012

Slanguage classes from a master! The Life of Slang

The Life of Slang by Julie Coleman is the type of book I adore, because it covers a subject I am passionate about, the use of language.

A quote from the book: "Slang is a subject that provokes strong emotions. If you use slang, you run the risk of being judged crass, uneducated, stupid, or hopelessly out of date, but the rewards are great: used correctly, slang will easy your entry into the social circles you want to mix in, increase your attractiveness to the opposite sex, and even save your life."

In this very interesting and  linguistically important book Julie Coleman (who is a professor of English Language at the University of Leicester) traces the development of English slang words from the earliest know records to some pretty modern examples by way of the Tweets of today.

It examines how slang is used, why it is used and where it is used. It looks at how slang developed amongst the English-speaking populations of the world.

As part of her research tools Julie Coleman has gone through the records of the Old Bailey and searched through the electronic archives of newspapers which, she points out, have provided a wealth of new information and facts about historical slang. Blogs and other online sites and tweets are a very valuable source of information for studying contemporary slang.

The Life of Slang does not make the mistake of some academic works, it does not assume that the reader is an old hand in the field. It covers slang from the Old English period down through the ages to the modern world.

It's an entertaining and informative read (though based on impeccable scholarly sources) and will teach you exactly what people are saying. You will know the "word on the street and on the tweet".  It will teach you some new and interesting words. Some of which are best not used in polite society! Unless you really want ot, of course!

The use of slang can be a jolly good show, make you seem the cat's pyjamas, which might make someone ROFL!

The book will be published on 22 March in hardback by the Oxford University Press at a modest £14.99 or  $27.95. Although it should be available for a discount through the That's Books online bookshop.

Sunday, 12 February 2012

Charles Dickens's Networks

Despite the somewhat wonky title (I was always taught that if it was something 'owned' by Dickens, it should be rendered thus: Dickens') this is a extremely readable and very interesting book by Jonathan H. Grossman.

It is an innovative examination of the novels of Charles Dickens, their interesting, multilevel and criss-crossing plots and how the burgeoning transport networks of that time impacted on the novelists of the Victorian era.

It's an original work, which employs a novel approach to literary history with a thought-provoking look at the 19th century novel from the perspective of the transport networks of that time.

It theorises how passenger networks operate and how narrative forms a part of imagining public transport networks.

The author points out that at the same time as Dickens was writing his first novel, The Pickwick Papers, the first railway line in London opened for business.

Charles Dickens's Networks examines the rise of the global, high-speed passenger transport networks of the 19th century and the important impact they made on the works of Charles Dickens.

It looks at the advent of the stagecoach network, the railways and ocean-going steam liners and how they made transport easy for everyone, but also more affordable, too. Journeys that once seemed unattainable could be made in less than a day.  And the strict timetables of the railway companies made such travel predictable and reliable, in the main part.

The railway timetables also changed how time was looked at. Before the advent of the railway, each town had its own, separate time. If it was noon in Birmingham it might be 12.15 in London and 12.10 in Manchester. But to avoid railway accidents the whole rail network must run at precisely the same time, so the standardised railway time was introduced which very quickly became the same standardised time for the whole country. We were all synchronised and are to this very day.

Grossman takes a literary microscope to three of the so-called road novels of Charles Dickens and uses them as a sort of a lens to examine the history of how the public transport network changed how we perceive time and how this impacted on community and how the novelist played a key part in bringing this all together and helping us to have some understanding of it.

It is an extremely important book for Dickens lovers, people who enjoy finding out about how the Victorian era is still impacting on our lives today and students of transport history. 

The book will cost £25 in hardback and is published on 1 March.

In association with the Oxford University Press, readers of That's Books can have FREE access to the life of Charles Dickens in the prestigious Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Just visit This free access will last for six months.

Saturday, 11 February 2012

The Oxford Book of Parodies edited by John Gross

The Oxford Book of Parodies edited by John Gross is what it says on the tin. A collection of parodies, edited by the late John Gross and published by the Oxford University Press.

Nobody is safe from the mordant wit of the satirical parodist! There are well in excess of 120 victims,if one can use that word in this context. The parodied range from Geoffrey Chaucer to John Dryden, from Swift to Lord Chesterfield, from Wordsworth to Cobbett and in more recent times from Clive James to J. K. Rowling and from Amis (that's Martin, not Kingsley) to Leonard Cohen.

Who are the parodists? old hands at the genre like the irrepressible Sellar and Yeatman, with their witty and well-educated parodies of history teaching (1066 and All That) appear in the book as do others who might not be so well-known. There is a parody of Virginia Woolf by Mark Crick, in which he imagines how she would have handled a recipe for a dish involving black cherries and a parody by J. C. Squire of a poem in the style of G. K. Chesterton.

Some of the parodies are splendid and really do capture, but in a slightly warped form, the true essence of the subject who is being parodied, yet some seem to miss the mark and in some instances quite badly, too. The parody of Chesterton by Squire sadly falls into the latter category. 

The book is in two parts, part one starting with Anglo-Saxon and Medieval. Ezra Pound's take on Summer is Icumen In is worthy, although perhaps slightly too long, whilst Murie Song by A. Y. Campbell based on the same song is, to be honest, appallingly bad, especially when one considers that he was a poet in his own right!

Part two contains a collection of nursery rhymes, ripostes, stage and screen, and so forth.

This book will keep you amused, bemused and perhaps just a tad confused for many, many hours.  It is published in paperback at £9.99 or $17.95. It is, of course, available through the That's Books book shop.

Sadly the editor of the anthology of parodies died in January of this year.

InteractBooks Releases Bill the Fish it's Latest Interactive Book for the iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch

In the interactive children’s e-book, Bill the Fish, graphic artist Brett Curzon invites young readers to join him in a delightful journey under the sea, where Bill rides his bike and interacts (virtually!) with a wide range of quirky sea friends. Against a backdrop of beautiful acrylic paintings, the book contains a series of interactive elements and hidden treasures on each page, but with one simple message: Being different is okay.

“Bill the Fish celebrates individuality,” explains Curzon. “It teaches children through a series of wildly differing aquatic characters that we are all meant to be different. It’s okay to be yourself. Quirks and all.”

Curzon had developed a hard copy of the story in 2007 as part of a homework assignment for a graphic design class. He was to create something that could be sold, so he published Bill and brought 100 copies to a local artisan market. The books sold out within a few hours, and Curzon realised that he would need a larger platform for his creativity.

“I began searching for companies that could create an app for me,” said Curzon. “It quickly came to my attention that most companies were going to charge me a large sum of money and heavy residuals in order to send my project off to be coded by programmers in a far-away country.”

With more research, Curzon came across InteractBooks, which features the InteractBuilder tool: “I immediately recognized that there were two distinct advantages to working with InteractBooks. For one, the tool was easy to use and allowed me to retain control over the output; I was able to focus on the creative side without worrying about the technical aspect. And two, the team at InteractBooks made a concerted effort to help me however they could. It’s really more than a company; it’s a community.”

The Background
“My original intent was to write something for my kids,” explains Curzon, whose three children range in age from 10 to 14. “I wanted to help them become more confident and help them deal with challenges in school. When I developed Bill and his relationship to the other characters, I wanted to make the point that they’re all different. Feeling out of place is part of everyday life.”

Curzon is no stranger to the “fish out of water” feeling. A native Australian, he was deeply impressed by the blatant discrimination aimed at his grandmother, who was an aboriginal at a time when that wasn’t accepted: “She was treated quite terribly because of her colour.”

After moving away from home at age 16, Curzon went through an important period of discovery during his early adulthood, exploring a number of countries on several continents. Over the course of six years, Curzon found himself in Indonesia, Peru, Bolivia, Fiji, Samoa, Malayisa, Mexico, Canada, and the United States (California). He learned an important lesson along the way.

“I made friends with people who were living in abject poverty, including a close friend who lived with his mother in a cardboard box,” Curzon recalls. “They are the happiest people you meet. They aren’t concerned with accumulating wealth; they are family-orientated.”

He married his soul mate, Tracy, and moved back to Australia, settling into his role as a construction worker, despite what he describes as “miserable” circumstances. Curzon was forever changed when he was injured on a construction site where he had been a day labourer for eight years. Once a sponsored surfer, he was devastated that he could no longer surf, and he was forced to make a career change that didn’t involve manual labour.

Curzon was accepted into a graphic design program at The Hunter Institute of Technology with the help of a little white lie: “Ironically, I was applying to a school of technology, but I had never actually turned on a computer prior to joining the programme,” he recalled. Nevertheless, he completed the two-year programme successfully, ranking second in a class of 60 students.

A lifelong painter and visual artist, Curzon found graphic design a manageable trade, more in line with his creative instincts than the construction field. Yet, designing CD covers and returning commissioned art remained a profitable trade and not a source of enjoyment.

With the unflappable support of his family, Curzon discovered that writing children’s books was the best antidote for dealing with the fast-paced nature of the world. “Kids don’t complicate things. Writing these books reminds me that there’s a beautiful simplicity to life, and it’s just beneath the surface.”

The importance of individuality is equally simple, but not always obvious. “If a diver were to judge an oyster by its shell on the outside, he might never discover the beautiful pearl inside,” Curzon relates. “I like to remind my young readers of the importance of this idea, so I sign their books with this message. I say: ‘Always look a little deeper.’”

About InteractBooks, LLC.
InteractBooks provides tools for non-programmers to create high-quality e-books, and other media in an interactive format that make effective use of touch-screen tablets and smartphone devices. Currently available for the iPad, iPod Touch and iPhone devices, the app will soon be running on Android devices including the Amazon Kindle Fire, Barnes and Noble Nook Tablet. The app is also being ported to run on Windows Phone devices later this year.

The InteractBooks App is available as a free downloadfrom the Apple iTunes App Store. Browsing the InteractBooks Store directly from the App, users can download from a growing library of interactive children's e-books (also known as InteractBooks), there are a couple of free books available for download too.

The InteractBuilder is also a free software download which runs on Macs and Windows PC's that works in conjunction with the InteractBooks App allowing users to create their own interactive books. With the help of a comprehensive library of video tutorials and a network of technical support, the tool has become the most effective resource for children’s book authors, illustrators and presenters wishing to enter into the wonderful world of interactive media. In addition to featuring books in it's own interactive book store, InteractBooks also offers the ability to publish interactive books as stand alone apps.

Calling All Rugby Coaches And Players

Calling all Rugby coaches and players. Getting tired of the same old moves? Struggling to beat defences and need new ways to break down the opposition? Take a look at the latest book on attacking play, "Rugby Backs Moves", for inspiration.

This new release (colour edition) talks you through a variety of plays, ranging from the classic switch to moves that really stretch defenders, with in-depth detail on all the moves and diagrammatic illustrations of how to perform them.

The book, "Rugby Backs Moves", is designed to give players and coaches some ideas for your back-line to try out, while if you already know any of the moves then the book gives you some very helpful ‘dos and don'ts'. It's an ideal companion for use on the training ground or in team meetings.

The book has received excellent reviews:- a "superb" and "easy to read" book, which "guides you through more than 50 different moves".

Check out the book and its reviews at or purchase on-line at

'The Austerity Olympics' - When The Games Came To London In 1948

Janie Hampton's acclaimed The Austerity Olympics vividly depicts the last time the Games came to London. Her tales of teams ferried to events on double-decker buses, billeted in army camps and sewing their own kits are a world away from the lavish 2012 arenas and massive regeneration of Stratford East.

The 1948 London Olympics demonstrated what a fantastic Games could be organised on just £760,000 - and still make a profit. The main stadium was cleared of greyhound racing to allow great athletes such as Emil Zatopek and Fanny Blankers-Koen to thrill the indomitable Londoners who cheerfully overcame every obstacle, from food rationing to terrible weather.

Entertaining, revealing and highly-readable, this meticulously researched book is full of first-hand interviews, hilarious anecdotes, and spirited athletic feats. The Austerity Olympics is a fascinating book about an extraordinary event.

Published to coincide with BBC film based on the book - Bert & Dickie airing in May
Contains over 200 original interviews with entertaining anecdotes that make great material for review, extract and radio coverage.

Shortlisted for William Hill Sports Book of the Year

Janie Hampton has written over 15 books, from biography to fiction. She is the author of the critically acclaimed biography of Joyce Grenfell; and appears regularly on radio, in print and at literary festivals.

She is the leading authority on the social history of the Olympic Games in London and is Olympics Correspondent of The Oldie Magazine. She lives in Oxford.

The Austerity Olympics by Janie Hampton is published by Aurum Press on

20th February 2012 priced £8.99.

The Fall of the Berlin Wall The Revolutionary Legacy of 1989

The Fall of the Berlin Wall The Revolutionary Legacy of 1989 is a very interesting book. It is edited by Jeffrey A. Engel and is a collection of essays on the subject, written by people who are acknowledged as experts in their fields. Chen Jian, holder of the Michael J. Zak chair of history for U.S. -Chinese relations, Cornell University; Melvyn P. Leffler, Edward Stettinius Professor of American History, University of Virginia; Sventlana Savranskaya, director of Russia Programs, National Security Archive, George Washington University; James J. Sheehan, Dickason Professor in the Humanities and Professor of Modern European History, Emeritus, Stanford University; William Taubman, Bertrand Snell Professor of Political Science, Amherst College.

Two of the most momentous events of the late 20th century were  the construction of the Berlin Wall, the other was the demolition of that same wall.

The erudite and well-argued essays examines how the Berlin Wall came to be removed all at once in 1989, and why nobody had foreseen this epoch making event.

The book details how the events of the days and weeks leading up to the fall occurred, how a frightened and desperate DDR leader Erich Honecker ordered his troops to open fire on the generally good natured but vocal crowds of demonstrators that were protesting against Honecker's autocratic rule. They declined to accept his order. Something that would have been utterly unthinkable, even months earlier. The party sacked Honecker and thus was the beginning of the end of not only the cursed wall. but of the entire DDR itself.

The book points out that these results came about as a result of the changes that had swept through neighbouring Poland and Hungary. Soon, revolt and revolution took not only the Communist Party of East Germany but also the rest of the Warsaw Pact member states.

The book looks at what happened next, and raises issues about what could happen in the future in this, the Post Wall period.

This book is a must have for any serious student of political or social history.

It is published by the Oxford University Press in paperback at $19.95.

Shakespeare, Sex and Love

In his book Shakespeare, Sex and Love noted Shakespearean expert and author Stanley Wells takes on a fairly big task.

He examines how Shakespeare dealt with the subjects of sex and romantic love in his plays and his other written works.

In doing this, Wells undertakes a detailed analysis of the works of Shakespeare, which, of course, one would expect.

But Wells does more than this. He examines the sexual morays of the times in which William Shakespeare lived. How the contemporary folk of the day viewed sex and sexual matters.

He explores the use of sexual imagery in Elizabethan poetry, how some apparently innocent phrases would have possibly had another, more titillating meaning that would have been all too clear to the groundlings who attended the performances of the plays.  

Wells also points out that some modern critics simply do not 'get' Shakespeare, failing to understand some of the points he was making, or at least, illustrating.

The text is assisted by some photographs of the plays of Shakespeare, which are most helpful.

A very interesting book from dramatical and historical viewpoints.

It is published by the Oxford University Press in paperback at £10.99 or $17.95.  However, it might well be available at a discount through the That's Books bookshop, which is powered by Amazon.

The Aztecs, A Very Short Introduction

Who were the Aztecs? In this riveting little book David Carrasco takes us back to the time of the Aztecs. Although the book is short, it is very heavy on content,  drawing on a wide variety of sources.

From contemporary accounts by the Aztecs themselves (although they attempted to destroy all of the pictorial records of the Aztecs the Spaniards failed in this aim) from the Spanish invaders, from archaeological excavations, etc, Carrasco is able to provide detailed accounts of how the Aztecs lived, their religious practices including ritual sacrifices of humans and the ritualistic consumption of human flesh.  

He explores the rich cultural heritage of the Aztecs (tracing them back through earlier kingdoms such as the Toltecs) their history, their religious ceremonies, their foods, the banqueting habits of their rulers, their agriculture, their understanding of and use of astronomical phenomena and so forth. It also contains interesting snippets of information. For example we find out that the first Spaniards to arrive their were not who we have probably have been taught. And that there was at least one example of a Spanish soldier who fought on the side of the Aztecs, against his fellow Spaniards. 

He explores how and why the empire failed and died.

Carrasco also takes time to look at the Aztecs of today, and how there is even something of a return of the Aztecs.

The book contains many useful and interesting drawings and photographs. Curiously, all are rendered in black and white.

The book is published by the Oxford University Press in paperback and costs £7.99 or £11.95.

How to Think Like a Neandertal by Wynn and Coolidge

How to Think Like a Neandertal by Thomas Wynn and Frederick L. Coolidge is an extremely interesting book.

"Oh,your such as Neandertal!" Will shriek some man or woman when they are criticising the behaviour of someone they know.

Yet if they were challenged and asked: "OK, who were the Neandertals? Where did they live? How did they live? How did they treat sick members of their group? Did they have any concept of religion?" they would be utterly and entirely clueless, as their views on Neantertal society were probably based on a hodgepodge of vague ideas from seeing a model of a caveman in a dusty, somewhat grim museum, and Raquel Welch  in a fur bikini.

Wynn and Coolidge have examined many branches of science to work out how Neandertals lived, worked, played and prayed. Or at least, how they dealt with the death of a family member or of a member of their group.

The book is fascinating and very readable. Unlike many other books of the academic rigour of How to Think Like a Neandertal, the authors want to share their discoveries with their readers. This is no dry as dust worth tome! It's a highly readable worthy tome!

They explore and explain how and what Neandertals ate, how they hunted, the types of work they did, the average length of their lives, how they reacted and inter-reacted with each other, their concepts of an afterlife, how they tended the sick and the elderly, how they thought, how they communicated, etc. They also showed that although Neantdertals and humans did intermarry, that the relationship between humans and Neandertals was not always a happy one.

They also explore several interesting concepts. For example, did Neandertals have a sense of humour? Did they dream? What happened to them?

The book is published by the Oxford University Press in hardback. It is, of course, available from the That's Books bookshop.

I can heartily recommend it to academic and general reader.

Eminent Victorians on American Democracy, The View From Albion, by Frank Prochaska

What, exactly, DID eminent Victorians think of the American democracy?

In this likely and thought provoking book, Frank Prochaska explores how things looked in this fledgling democracy. Or rather, how they looked to outsiders, many of whom had firm views of how government should work in the modern, Victorian era.

I had hoped that the book would be a collection of essays, perhaps with notes and an explanation of  each essay, how the author of the book understood the eminent Victorian to mean.

However, the book in question is not that book. The author of the book tells the reader what HE thinks -for example- Bagehot, Mill, Bryce, etc., meant, rather than letting the eminent Victorians actually say it in their own words and allowing the reader to form their own conclusions. Guided with footnotes, etc.

It is a good book, but it could have been a great book. However, students of modern politics and of history of the Victorian era will find it eminently useful.

It is published by the Oxford University Press in hardback. 

A Child of the Jago by Arthur Morrison

Look at any map or Atlas of the Victorian era and you will not find The Jago. However, every large city and town and even some smaller towns throughout Britain had their own Jago, an area of streets for which the word "mean" really comes nowhere near descriptive enough.

The Jago of Arthur Morrison in his work A Child of the Jago is based very closely on the worst part of the East End of London.

His description of the hovels the people of the East end occupied, of the filth, the dirt and the squalor are very well realised.

There are certain little facts that he salts his novel with that make its reading even more compelling. For example, did you know that people residing in slum areas such as the Jago often had to keep a light on all night, to ensure that their sleep was not disturbed by being attacked by rats?

Morrison tells the tale of young Dicky Perrott, who is the child of the Jago. His mother reminds him that they are not like the other people of The Jago, although when his father returns home with a cosh covered in the blood and hair of a victim of a coshing robbery, the reader is forced to conclude that perhaps she is not really even fooling herself. Street robberies and urders punctuate the book like grimy comas.

Dicky knows what he wants out of life. He wants to become a leading criminal, in the parlance of the area, a High Mobsman.

But due to the herculean efforts of Father Sturt, it eventually becomes clear to Dicky that perhaps there is another way? Another path that might not lead him ever downwards to the prison cell or even the gallows? Or worse?

Some novels that told of the life of the Victorian working classes were sentimental and mawkish. This novel, however, is not. Its attention to detail and its realism set it high above novels by Morrisons well-meaning but lesser fellow contemporaries.

Although Morrison gives a warts and all description of what was the worst part of the East End of London, a place where even some criminals would fear to visit, let alone the police officers who would only ever visit it in threes, he also showed that the denizens were capable of normal acts of human kindness. One example of this is the obvious love that Dicky Perrott showed to his baby sister, early in the novel.

This edition caries a very good introduction which gives a background to the area upon which The Jago is based. It also provides as much biographical detail of the author as is to hand. Which is not much. Morrison was an extremely private man whose desire for privacy seemed deep-rooted. He felt that he had enemies who would use information from his past against him.

The book also contains a very helpful glossary of terms used in the book.

The Appendix also includes a chapter on Morrison and his Critics, 

It is published by the Oxford University Press in paperback at £8.99 and is available via the That's Books bookshop and all good bookshops.

Friday, 10 February 2012

Virgin To Veteran: How To Get Cooking With Confidence - New Release From our Most Prolific Young Culinary Writer

From mastering the basics to insider tips and techniques, this book will teach you everything you need to become a confident cook. From fast food to slow, food to go or eat in, healthy to greedy, there's something in the over 100 Masterclass recipes featured to match every mood, budget and lifestyle.

Core dishes are accompanied with advice on saving cash, time, and delicious and wide-ranging variations that will expand your cooking repertoire in the blink of an eye - if the exotic Hot Mixed Mushroom Bruschetta is not to your taste, you can opt for the more homely topping of Broad Bean and Wensleydale instead. If a formal dinner isn't your style, convert your refined fillet steak into a fast and fabulous BBQ treat. The possibilities are endless.

Sam's passion for making the kitchen accessible to all is reflected through diagrams, step-by-step guides and the Virgin Kitchen Set-Up (the stuff you need to know to set up a workable kitchen). In no time at all, relevant skills such as knife work, sauce making and baking can be picked up with ease and placed at your disposal, while such necessities as sourcing and substituting ingredients, seasonality and the secrets of great presentation are also covered.

This wealth of information, accompanied by stunning photography that gets right to the heart of Sam's delicious cooking, is presented in such an engaging way that it will have you turning out brilliant meals without too much fuss, cost or effort before you know it.

20-year-old Sam Stern is studying Politics, Sociology and Business at Edinburgh University. He is also the author of 5 bestselling cookbooks which currently dominate the teenage market, and has been cooking for as long as he can remember.

What started as a personal passion for cooking (and fierce kitchen competition with his older brother) turned into a mission to inspire his generation to cook. Cooking Up A Storm (2005), Real Food Real Fast (2006), Get Cooking (2007), Sam Stern's Student Cookbook (2008) and Eat Vegetarian (2010) were published by Walker Books to great critical acclaim while Sam was studying for his GCSE's and A levels.

Cooking up a Storm has been translated into 14 languages, with worldwide sales nudging 700,000 copies. The books and associated activity have attracted global media attention and have given Sam a unique status as the voice for aspiring young cooks.

Wednesday, 8 February 2012

Mridula Baljekar Launches Her Latest Book

Mridula Baljekar's latest book, The Food and Cooking of India, has been published by Lorenz Books (an imprint of Anness Publishing).

In this book, Mridula takes the reader on a gastronomic journey through India, explaining along the way, the culture, history, geography, religious and social customs and uncovers unknown territories of this fascinating country.

An authoritative explanation unites the myriad strands of Indian culinary heritage and offers you the ultimate taste of this world-famous cuisine in 150 exquisite recipes accompanied by 850 stunning colour illustrations.

Ranging from simple street foods to luxurious curries fit for a Maharaja's table, delectable marinades, exquisite kebabs and exotic vegetables, the book captures the diversity of Indian cuisine in an evocative and enticing manner.

Mridula will be officially launching her book at the prestigious Wentworth Club in Virginia Water, Surrey on 21st February 2011. Wentworth is famous not just for golf championships; it also offers excellent facilities for fitness, social events, tennis and fabulous cuisine influenced by London's renowned Caprice Group.

Sunday, 5 February 2012

The Battle of Midway by Craig L. Symonds

A great deal has been written on the Battle of Midway, some good and some not so good. The Battle of Midway by Craig L. Symonds has to be one of the most definitive works on the Battle of Midway. And one of the better books on this subject by a long way.

The Battle of Midway. Was it a miraculous event, as some see it? Or a culmination of tactics and weapons?

Craig L. Symonds takes a long view of this key battle in World War 2. He traces the origins of some of the points that would be of vital importance, back to the latter years of the 19th century and the early years of the 20th century.

He examines the military careers of the Japanese officers and the American officers from their earliest days at their military academies, teasing out facts that would prove important in the roles they played in the battle of Midway.

He also examined how blunders on both sides cost many lives and could have impacted on the outcome of not only the Battle of Midway but on the outcome of the war itself.

He points out that the decisions of Japanese officers was often coloured by their very real fear of being murdered by their subordinates, of how hundreds of US pilots were sent to their deaths because their planes had dreadful design  faults or their torpedoes just did not work.

Apparently the US government in pre-war days did not want to 'waste money' on testing the new design of torpedo, so the many faults in the design were not discovered in a timely manner and corrected. Instead they chose to blame the pilots, many of whom lost their lives attempting to launch useless, inert torpedoes. The torpedoes used by the US Navy submarines were just as bad.

The Japanese side was no better. They failed to provide adequate damage control facilities on their warships, so that a fairly minor explosion or fire could result in the loss of a ship and the subsequent unnecessary loss of many lives. Symonds also points out that the Japanese were doomed to fail by their desire for quality in pilot training and the construction of ships, planes, etc.

Symonds looks afresh at what we thought we knew about the progress of the battle, and has discovered that some of it was flawed due to error and that other information was simply wrong due to what appeared to be covering up by some persons involved.

The book is superbly illustrated with battle maps and photographs. These appear throughout the text, so do help to tell the story.

Although very readable indeed, the book will make a most suitable textbook for students of World War 2. The footnotes,  appendixes, notes and index are worth their weight in gold.

It is 452 pages long and published in hardback by the Oxford University Press at $27.95.

I can heartily recommend this book to old servicemen, their families, students of military history and serving forces personnel.

Thursday, 2 February 2012

Explore the Humorous Side of Life with “Close Your Eyes the Future Has Just Begun” A Collection of Aphorisms and Cartoons

Can people handle the truth or will it be too painful? When faced with the easy or hard decision, do people take the easy way out even though it doesn’t give them their desired result? Aleksandar Krzavac releases his new book, “Close Your Eyes the Future Has Just Begun”.

Are you a person who always sees the bright side of every challenge? Are you the person who is seen as the one who always makes lemonade out of lemons?

For the individual who likes to think and live outside of the box, Aleksandar Krzavac has just the e-book for you, “Close Your Eyes the Future Has Just Begun” which is humorous and illustrated with cartoons.

Krzavac says he wrote “Close Your Eyes the Future Has Just Begun” to challenge people to think out of everyday convenient life. However, a  result is achieved even if readers have great fun reading the book.

Some of the aphorisms contained in the book are: “Survival skills have nothing to do with morals. Force is a side effect of ruling. Fight for the future, do not adopt it.”

“Close Your Eyes the Future Has Just Begun” contains 401 aphorisms and approximately 77 cartoons.

“Close Your Eyes the Future Has Just Begun” addresses almost all issues people are annoyed with, no matter what their economic status, education level or race. Sub-genre but not sub-culture, that keeps our eyes wide open revealing the extent of self-delusion in everyday life we are exposed to.

Author Krzavac states, “Once you read this e-book, the reader will figure out what the side effect of sex is, what real engine of revolution could be and even why communism failed or the real reason we vote for democracy.

In “Close Your Eyes the Future Has Just Begun”, each single aphorism or cartoon is a world unto itself. It will literally draw the reader in and expand their thinking about the circumstances and world around them. Readers are encouraged to face the truth, no matter how painful it can be.

About Aleksandar Krzavac

Aleksandar Krzavac was born in 1959 in Belgrade, the former Yugoslavian capital, where he spent his teenage years and his thirties in what is referred to in the West as a Communist dictatorship. Holder of a University degree in economics, e-book author Aleksandar Krzavac does not object to wasting his time writing aphorisms and drawing cartoons.

Krzavac has published his aphorisms and cartoons in highly regarded Belgrade newspapers and magazines and a selection of Krzavac's cartoons are published on the Aydin Dogan Vakfi website. Aphorisms of Aleksandar Krzavac have appeared in the New York Times bestselling author James Geary's website at

Close Your Eyes the Future Has Just Begun can be purchased at Amazon Kindle, Barnes & Noble, iTunes, and Lulu.