#ThrowbackThursday ~ A Lion Called Christian by Anthony Bourke and John Rendall #TrueStory #Animals

My Throwback Thursday this week is one of the most extraordinary true stories I’ve read. Two young Australians arrived in London in the 1960s, went into Harrods one day and came out with a lion cub.

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#ThrowbackThursday ~ Into The Wild by Jon Krakauer ~ Life, death & #survival in the #Alaskan Wilderness #NonFiction

For this week’s Throwback Thursday, I’m revisiting an audiobook I listened to in June 2016. Into The Wild is a true story that goes back to 1992, and one that I still find incredible. 

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#Extract from The Thought Book 2 by Jay Mullings ~ ‘Striving Leads To Thriving’ #Motivational @BookPublicistUK @WrittenMirror

Today I have an extract to share from The Thought Book 2 by Jay Mullings…a book full of his inspirational thoughts and life lessons.

How To Protect Your Creative Spark

Your creative spark must be protected at all costs. Creatives are like diamonds. Rare, beautiful, timeless and resilient. They come in different sizes and with their own unique brilliance. They don’t shine out into the night like stars. Diamonds that cut into hard places with precision, reflect light magnificently and manifest art elegantly.

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Blog Tour #Spotlight & #Extract ~ Dear Mr Pop Star by Derek and Dave Philpott #NewRelease @DerekPhilpott #Humour

**Happy Release Day**

I’m delighted to be joining the blog tour for the unique Dear Mr Pop Star, which features humorous letters to pop stars about their songs with genuine witty replies.

About the Book

For nearly 10 years, ‘Team Philpott’, as their followers fondly refer to them, have been on a quite bonkers crusade, writing good old-fashioned letters to pop and rock stars (sometimes even sent to their home addresses with prior consent!), either picking up on genuine ambiguities within their lyrics or often deliberately misunderstanding them for comedic effect.

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#Interview~Rosie Wilby~debut #nonfiction #author~Is Monogamy Dead? @rosiewilby #SundayBlogShare

Welcome, Rosie, could you tell us a little about your book

Is Monogamy Dead? is my first book and draws inspiration from a trilogy of solo shows investigating love and relationships that I wrote and toured internationally over a seven-year period. Writing a book allowed me to explore the themes more deeply and include some of the science underpinning the personal anecdotes and interviews

… and the inspiration behind it.

The book takes its title from the middle part of the trilogy and that show was very much a response to a couple of friends breaking up. There was a real ambiguity as to whether one of them had been having an affair.

What research was involved?

I decided to conduct an online anonymous survey. The key question was ‘what counts as cheating?’ The responses revealed that fidelity is way less clear cut and binary than we think. For many people, emotional exclusivity was more important than the physical side. But that’s where things get really complicated. Because … how we do control what we feel?  Continue reading

Motivate Me! Weekly #Guidance for Happiness & Wellbeing by Shelley Wilson @ShelleyWilson72 #Motivational

  • 61j8oqu-8wl-_sx320_bo1204203200_Author: Shelley Wilson
  • Published: December 2016 by Zander
  • Category: Self Help, Motivational
  • four-half-stars

Your weekly guide for happiness! Designed to give you a weekly boost of motivation, this sixty-four page guidebook will offer you a positive dose of inspiration throughout the year. Listen to your inner voice, pick a page, and then take meaning from the message you receive.

Motivate Me! does exactly what it says. A lovely little book with 52 motivational prompts which can be used in various ways, either for affirmations or by opening the book at a random page after giving thought to a question/problem requiring guidance.  Continue reading

Into The Wild by Jon Krakauer #TuesdayBookBlog A true account of life, death & #survival in the #Alaskan Wilderness

  • 1390754Author: Jon Krakauer
  • Narrated by Philip Franklin
  • Published: Originally in 1998, this reprint edition in 2007 
  • Category: Non Fiction
  • four-stars

In April 1992 a young man from a well-to-do family hitchhiked to Alaska and walked alone into the wilderness north of Mt. McKinley. His name was Christopher Johnson McCandless. He had given $25,000 in savings to charity, abandoned his car and most of his possessions, burned all the cash in his wallet, and invented a new life for himself. Four months later, his decomposed body was found by a party of moose hunters. How McCandless came to die is the unforgettable story of Into the Wild.

I listened to the audio version of this book and Philip Franklin does a great job with the narration. I’d never heard of Chris McCandless, or read Jon Krakauer before reading Terry Tyler’s review. I enjoyed the author’s writing style and the gradual unfolding of Chris McCandless’ story, which is fascinating, tragic and scarcely credible in parts. If this had been fiction I can imagine the reader or listener berating the ‘hero’ for his lack of foresight and preparation before embarking on such a dangerous and uncertain journey. Continue reading

The Painting and the Piano ~ Excerpt. #Nonfiction #Memoir @BookPubServices #SundayBlogShare

9781234567891The Painting and The Piano, by John Lipscomb and Adrianne Lugo, is an improbable story of survival and love. 

Growing up more than a thousand miles apart and worlds away from each other, Johnny and Adrianne seemed to have all that a child could ask for. However, the demons of their respective mothers would tear their young, fragile lives apart.

Eventually, destiny would bring Johnny and Adrianne together, but first they had to endure the painful toll that alcohol, drugs, and a negligent court system would take on them. With parts of Adrianne’s story ripped from national news headlines, their story takes them from the depths of despair and near death, to their first serendipitous introduction and the moment each knew they were finally safe. Continue reading

Spotlight ~ The Bookshop Book

I hope this whets your appetite for what promises to be a unique and interesting journey, sampling some amazing bookshops around the world, with the help of some very well-known authors.

  • the bookshop bookAuthor: Jen Campbell
  • Published: October 2014 by Constable
  • Category: Non Fiction

Every bookshop has a story.

The Bookshop Book explores bookshops in barns, disused factories, converted churches and underground car parks. Bookshops on boats, on buses, and in old run-down train stations. Fold-out bookshops, undercover bookshops, this-is-the-best-place-I’ve-ever-been-to-bookshops. 

Meet Sarah and her Book Barge sailing across the sea to France; meet Sebastien, in Mongolia, who sells books to herders of the Altai mountains; meet the bookshop in Canada that’s invented the world’s first antiquarian book vending machine. 

And that’s just the beginning. 

From the oldest bookshop in the world, to the smallest you could imagine, The Bookshop Book examines the history of books, talks to authors about their favourite places, and looks at over two hundred weirdly wonderful bookshops across six continents (sadly, we’ve yet to build a bookshop down in the South Pole). 

“A good bookshop is not just about selling books from shelves, but reaching out into the world and making a difference.” David Almond

The Bookshop Book includes interviews and quotes from Ian Rankin, Tracy Chevalier, Audrey Niffenegger, Jacqueline Wilson, Jeanette Winterson and many, many others.

The Bookshop Book is a love letter to bookshops all around the world. 

About the author

Campbell JenJen Campbell grew up in the North East of England, and graduated from Edinburgh University with an MA in English Literature. She’s a published poet and short story writer and is also the author of Weird Things Customers Say in Bookshops which was a Sunday Times bestseller. She lives in North London where she works at Ripping Yarns bookshop.

Jen can be found on Twitter and Facebook



My thoughts about the book

What could be better than a book about bookshops! And who wouldn’t love to visit some of these extraordinary book shops…I could see myself spending days in the Libreria Acqua Alta. What treasures might be found there? And the idea of a barge is just perfect, the ultimate mobile library. I will definitely have  to find out more about that. I can see a trip to Lichfield might just be in my future.

We start with a brief history of the world of books which leads on to descriptions and fabulous photos of bookshops around the world. Interspersed with which are interesting, and sometimes amazing, bookish facts and quotes. Also sprinkled throughout are chats with authors such as Ian Rankin, Rachel Joyce, Bill Bryson and Jacqueline Wilson to name but a few, and encompassing wonderful stories from booksellers across the globe. Filled with a wealth of fascinating information for the book lover, this is one well worth adding to  your bookshelf. Long live the bookshop!

Some of the wonderfully evocative images from the book

The Bookshop, Wigtown, Scotland

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The Book Barge, Lichfield, UK

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Tell A Story, Portugal

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Libreria Acqua Alta, Venice, Italy

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Gotta Find A Home

  • GottaFindAHomeAuthor: Dennis Cardiff
  • Published: June 2014 by Gotta Find A Home
  • Category: Non Fiction
  • four-stars

Rosie's Book Review Challengers 1

Many thanks to Dennis Cardiff for supplying me with a copy as part of Rosie Amber’s book review team.

Writing about the homeless and helping the homeless, has given my life a purpose that it didn’t have before. Documenting their stories will, I hope, introduce them to the public in a non-threatening way. Some panhandlers look intimidating, but that disappears when one sees them laugh.

When I met Joy I was going through an emotional crisis. Meeting her and her friends – worrying about them and whether or not they would be able to eat and find a place to sleep – took my mind off my problems, that then, seemed insignificant. 

This is a non fictional story of a group of homeless people in a Canadian city from the perspective of the man who befriended them. Documented in diary format Dennis Cardiff catalogues the conversations he has with the various panhandlers, which brings home the reality of people who are forced, for one reason or another, into a life on the streets. These accounts show just how people’s lives and personalities can be and are formed by past traumas in the form of abuse, addiction and mental and physical disorders. 

The conversations throughout the book demonstrate the sense of community among the group and the very noticeably differing personalities, each having their own stories and set of circumstances, and all the while helping the reader to see them as people in their own right, with real feelings and needs, struggling to survive against the odds.

Ian – “I didn’t know what to do. I was homeless and didn’t have any way to get to the hospital, so I phoned Alcoholics Anonymous. They said they would send someone to pick me up and stay with me in the hospital. I was unconscious for three days.”

Shark – “I’ve been sick. I’ve had a lot of pain in my legs, my right hip and my shoulders from my HIV. Morphine makes me sick. I take the pills and sometimes they stay down, most time they come right back up. Marijuana and booze work better than the morphine.”

Hippo – “I slept outside last night, under the bridge. There is an exhaust fan overhead, I’ve got a good sleeping bag, the weather was mild so it wasn’t too bad.I’ve had it with the shelters. It’s really bad there now, mostly crack heads. Things get stolen, it’s noisy, fights start, there are bedbugs. I’d like to get a clean place that’s quiet, no bugs and a lock on the door.”

This book tells it like it is, with no frills, and it is a challenging read. Not only because of the plight of the street people but also the way they are viewed and judged by the general public and more often than not, ignored. It’s something I imagine most of us, including myself, are guilty of. Dennis Cardiff tackles the issue in a completely constructive way by offering food, a bus ticket or coffee on daily basis and gradually getting to know the street people. It all started one morning as he was walking to work and saw a woman sitting on the sidewalk. He didn’t know quite what he should do, if anything. A friend advised him to offer her food and coffee and so began a morning ritual which evolved into a life changing experience for the author. 

Joy fell on hard times. She slept behind a dumpster in back of the coffee shop. I saw her with blackened eyes, bruised legs, cracked ribs, cut and swollen lips.

Joy – “My boyfriend punched me in the face. I’m covered in bruises, my ribs are in bad shape and I’ve been coughing blood….He’s ok when he’s sober, but when he drinks he gets crazy.”

This is a unique insight into homelessness and the views of some of the people who live on the streets. Dennis Cardiff doesn’t try to explain why they are homeless or suggest solutions, he just offers his time, friendship and a willingness to listen.