Archive for October, 2019

Tigger’s Arrival

Jacqueline De Carteret

Sarah works at the animal shelter, and Tigger is a rescue cat there.
Sarah wants to take him home to live with her and her family. Will she be allowed to?
He could get up to all sorts, with the other cats. Harley, Midnight and Pumpkin.
Tigger is a real little character and loves having fun.
Come and join him and his friends, and see what they get up to.


All About Those Cats

This is definitely a book for cat lovers as it tells the tale of how a small kitten is re-homed with a family which already has three other cats. It’s an interesting story and should definitely help with children who are adopting cats for the first time or who just enjoy being around cats. Unfortunately, aside from the story of how Tigger arrives at the house and the things that he gets up to, not much else happens in this book so I’m not sure it will entertain every child. But it will definitely entertain those cat lovers and animal lovers for sure.

Publisher: Clink Street Publishing
Publication Date: October 2019
Format: Paperback
Pages: 26
Genre: Picture Book
Age: Children
Reviewer: Faye
Source: Review Copy
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The Magical Sunglasses

Nicole McGrath

What would you do if you had one day with magical powers? This fun, bouncy read captures the imagination, and demonstrates the power of courage and self-belief. Inclusive book for early school aged children. Message for everyone.


A Vibrant and Wonderful Read

I absolutely loved this little rhyming story. It has a wonderful message at it’s core about inner belief – or what the book claims to be magic. It allows some children to put on some glasses to accomplish some of their fears that they have. Upon returning the glasses, the teacher admits that their is no magic to the glasses at all and that the children conquered their fears all on their own. I feel that this is a brilliant book to read to children and get them to talk about some of the things they’re afraid of and help them to use their own self-belief to conquer the fear. It’s also really well illustrated and rhymes in a way that simply rolls off the tongue. I give this one top marks!

Publisher: Clink Street Publishing
Publication Date: September 2019
Format: Paperback
Pages: 20
Genre: Picture Book
Age: Children
Reviewer: Faye
Source: Review Copy
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The Shell Collector

Robert Lyons

1973: the year of the oil crisis, the secondary banking collapse, the three day working week and the collapse of the stock market. In a riotous ride through the City of London we meet the characters and events that filled the social and City pages of the press in that roller-coaster year.
Guy Magnus, an ambitious young share dealer, makes a daring takeover bid in the face of opposition from the City Establishment. Will he follow their rules, or his own: never to fall in love with a deal? Will he come to repent his challenge to the powers-that-be? Is Guy’s story fiction or fact? Was a Norfolk Broads canal boat really moored in the marina of Monte Carlo? Did a Henry Moore sculpture really become the most expensive work of art in the world? And did a bet for a lunch at Maxim’s for the first to make a million, Guy or his friend and rival Harry Griffin, bring a merchant bank to the verge of collapse?
THE SHELL COLLECTOR tells a cautionary tale of the City when its buccaneering spirit was at a peak. Whether true or false, it is never less than entertaining.


Interview with Robert Lyons

What is your favourite thing about writing books?
The private satisfaction of getting something spot-on; whether a description, an observation or a joke makes no difference.

Who is your favourite character in your book and why?
It has to be “Yankee” Tate, Guy’s driver. First, the name itself: almost all of my characters are named after Romans/Britons surrounding Caligula, and I was lucky enough to hit on Incitatus, the horse the emperor is said to have made a consul. Then I loved creating his down-to-earth perspective on dealing on the stock exchange. Where others in the story may have had questionable motives, he was straightforward, honest and loyal. Only a cameo role, but great fun to write.

What is your favourite drink to consume while writing?
I’m teetotal – don’t touch a drop before teatime. I know I should keep taking fluid while writing, but I am my late father’s child: “Water’s for washing”.

Do you have any bad habits while you’re writing?
Yes; I tell my wife I’m busy when she needs me. But she is very understanding, and quite forgiving.

How do you research your books?
In the case of The Shell Collector, the most important source of all was the official report of the affair, some 500 pages long, setting out more or less verbatim the evidence given to the Inspectors by various participants. This provided me with most of the detail for the financial side of the story.

I spent many days in the basement of the London Library trawling through back copies of The Times and The Daily Telegraph, both for information specific to my story, including share prices, and to put together a background diary so it could be set properly in its time (miners’ strikes, Watergate, Royal wedding). I also ploughed through back numbers of Private Eye, particularly the City “Slicker” pages.

Finally, I was able to persuade one of the participants to give me a couple of hours of his time to answer questions. Without his input I wouldn’t have been able to retell two of the more amusing incidents in the book.

Are you a plotter or a pantser?
Is it possible to be only one or the other? To the extent that I set out a calendar of events and dealings before I began to write, I suppose I’m a more of a plotter; but once I’m into a new chapter I tend to fly along until the time comes to put the mess into order. Certainly one of the best things I did was to take my editor’s advice to change the order of some of the early chapters. Did this make me a hindsight plotter or a bungling pantser?

If you could live in any fictional world, which would you choose and why?
What a question! It never occurred to me that such an option existed. I’m not sure I could have survived in the 19th century world described by my favourite novelists. I think I’d hate the inadequate lighting and the lack of the creature comforts of contemporary living, though listening to delightful young ladies playing the piano and singing prettily would have been some compensation. May I not just live in the here and now, please (despite the terrifying political mess that surrounds us)?

If you could befriend any fictional character, who would you choose and why?
If I chose Becky Sharp, I’d risk having my face slapped. Safer to go for Milo Minderbinder, who would make me a lot better off (financially) than my publisher ever can, and give me a fun ride on the way.

Publisher: Clink Street Publishing
Publication Date: September 2019
Format: Paperback
Pages: 340
Genre: Literary
Age: Adult
Reviewer: Faye
Source: Review Copy
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The Legend of Sidri

Rauf Khalilov

In the mythical realm of Badalonium, a young boy named Sidri lived happily with his beloved parents. But the family is shattered by an evil figure from the afar, triggering a series of events that lead Sidri on a journey of self-development, friendship, family reunions and retribution.


Rauf Khalilov’s Favourite Books

1. Sans Famille by Hector Malot.
As a child I read this book probably a thousand times. I like this book because it showed the struggles and sufferings of poor people in capitalist France and England. The protagonist was probably the same age as I and I could relate to him and his struggles. I also loved the fact that he was in the end able to overcome his impediments and triumph. Every story must have a positive ending.

2. Les Misérables by Victor Hugo.
I like this book for several reasons. This book was very popular in my household and I grew up with various elements that were taken from it. For example, my dad always called my oldest aunt Cossette. I had no idea why this was the case when I was a child. I only found out the reason when I read the book. Les Misérables is a book about human nature. It’s a book about injustice, human suffering and sacrifice. My most favourite characters are Jean Valjean and Bishop Myriel.

3. Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens
This is one of the first books I read in English. I was fascinated by it because it described the harsh realities of 19th Century England. I was fascinated by Dicken’s writing because he could describe England and the life of people there in such detail that I could picture it in my head. Years later when I arrived in England, I noticed everything I had imagined whilst reading Dickens was exactly the same.

4. Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoyevski

A masterpiece touching on a variety of moral and existential issues. One of my favourite moments is when Raskolnikov bows in front of Sonia and kisses her feet. He says “I did not bow down to you. I bowed down to all the suffering of humanity”. Of course, this sounds much better in Russian.

5. Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam
I love persian poetry especially the ones by Omar Khayyam. I find Khayyam’s poetry very interesting because he talks about deep issues through poetry. As a poet I find this fascinating because I know how difficult it is to philosophise through poetry.

Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: September 2019
Format: Paperback
Pages: 50
Genre: MG
Age: Children
Reviewer: Faye
Source: Review Copy
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