Tuesday, 25 October 2016

Tony Collins: Football Master Spy

Tony Collins: Football Master Spy tells the fascinating and enlightening story of Tony Collins who was dubbed as football's "master spy" and who was also the Football League's first black football club manager.

The book, written by Quentin Cope and Sarita Collins, tells the story of his life, his childhood, his time in the army during World War 2. particular his time serving in Italy.

It also covers his time as a professional footballer, with 47 appearances with Fourth Division Rochdale, before he was promoted to the manager of Rochdale, a position he held for seven years from 1960 until 1967.

His career as a footballer and manager was far from easy. He suffered racial prejudice and scorn, yet he was able to time and time again prove the doubters to be in error as he garnered well-deserved sobriquets such as "The Teacher" and "Football's Master Spy."

He discovered and nurtured some football players who would become some of the greatest names in this modern history of football.

He had battles with the likes of Clough and Ferguson during his 44 days as the manager of Leeds United.

However he had close relationships with the real men of English football management, such as Don Revie and Ron "Big Ron" Atkinson.

And the remarkable thing? This book is the first time the story of Tony Collins has been told!

And as Tony is 90 year old, it's a very welcome publication!

It's published by the Book Guild in paperback at £9.99.

The book is written by Tony's daughter Sarita,with the assistance of Quentin Cope.

There is also a fulsome and heartfelt introduction by "Big Ron" Atkinson, himself.

This book will make an ideal Christmas present for the footie fan in your life. You can purchase it via the That's Books and Entertainment bookshop which you can access here:- https://goo.gl/nYxiYk.

Libya, A Love Lived, A Life Betrayed

Libya, A Love Lived, A Life Betrayed is a memoir by Susan M. Sandover.

It is a real love story that spans multiple decades and several continents.

The genesis of the 320 page memoir was one blog post that Susan write after the death of her beloved husband.

With a twelve hour period that blog post had received in excess of 6,000 hits.

Many of the readers of the blog post pleaded with Susan to expand on the post to tell the story behind it.

And in 2014 Susan began to write the entire story.

Susan had chosen her spouse well, Bashir was a career diplomat i the Libyan Civil Service, who was a very enlightened and forward-thinking man.

They were there for each other, through thick and thin, living through the dangerous time of the Libyan Gaddafi regime, of dangers and traumas, of horrifying experiences brought about by Gaddafi and his government, the bombings by NATO armies including the USA.

There were also coups and a revolution and a blasphemy case, too.

But Susan does not want her readers to think that it was all bad. For Susan and her husband Bashir also enjoyed good times and good years together.

Unfortunately, Bashir fell ill and his family, who hated her and who tried to steal his lands during his illness, attempted to, unsuccessfully, destroy their relationship.

After his death Sharia law would only allow her to take one quarter of his property, the three quarters going to his siblings.

It is a truly gripping memoir and will be a wonderful Christmas gift for those people in your life who are interested in the stories of real people and the personal stories behind recent history.

It is published in paperback by Matador at £8.99 and is available from the That's Books and Entertainment book shop, the link to which is here:- https://goo.gl/nYxiYk.

Low Life Lawyer

Low Life Lawyer is the story of the rise and precipitous fall and rise again of a colourful lawyer who is also something of a talent in the world of jazz music, the clarinet being his weapon of choice.

Richard Gregory is his name and the novel is set back in the heady days of the 1950s and 1960s.

The novel comes from the pen of author and retired lawyer and journalist Michael Simmons.

Richard's career as a solicitor had been a stunningly successful one. But things hadn't gone quite to plan, well, in truth there had been a rather spectacular failure that pitched him into the different world of being down and out.

He had, by dint of hard work and a little bit of luck, managed to claw his way back up to some semblance of his previous elevated heights.

But then came a further setback and he had failed to renew his career as a successful solicitor. Well, as any type of solicitor, to be honest.

Yet he still posses his very own slightly careworn piece of paper that announced to the world that he was a Solicitor of the Supreme Court of England and Wales.

However, that would only carry a fellow so far. For if anyone were to bother to attempt to verify his credentials with the Law Society they would find that he was not a member in good standing. There was the little matter of not actually having paid his membership dues in a considerable period of time, plus there were some rather, let's say unfortunate, blots of his record at the Law Society.

This is the exceptionally well-crafted and beautifully written novel of what happened after this and what Richard "Dick" Gregory did next.

And also what happened when he met and played with Sidney Bechet.

An ideal Christmas gift for the lover of legal thrillers, it's published by The Book Guild at a rather nifty £7.99 in paperback.

You can buy a copy at the That's Books and Entertainment bookshop at this link here  https://goo.gl/nYxiYk.


The Loony Bin Blues

The Loony Bin Blues is a collection of poems from the pen of Tristram Cooke.

The subject matter is wide ranging and extremely thought-provoking.

What happens to a person if the are "sectioned" and placed in a "loony bin?"

For as the first line of his poem "The Loony Bin Blues" "There ain't no cure for the loony bin blues."

Other subjects dealt with in a lively and succinct fashion are  stigma and prejudice, what happens if people gather around the wrong flag, what it is like to be an underdog in Mexico, what the rise of Jeremy Corbyn looks like to a British person living in Mexico.

We read about poets and where they might gather, our capital city (that's London) the works of William Blake, secularism, how a FE college grew into a university, exchange trips, and much more, besides, plus an interesting poem about the late Amy Winehouse.

The anthology is well-illustrated with colourful pieces of art.

It is published by Matador at £8.99.

It is available for purchase at the That's Books and Entertainment bookshop at https://goo.gl/nYxiYk.

Latest release from Penguin Books: The Obsidian Throne

Top selling writer J. D. Oswald's fantasy series is reputedly one of the best ever in the history of fantasy writing.

But now with his latest work, J. D. Oswald brings this stunning series to a truly staggering conclusion.

For the Northlands, annihilation is looming.

Will it be utter destruction by the dragons?

Or will it be utter devastation by Queen Beulah?

Either way, things are not looking too promising for the Northlands.

However, beneath the city rests a sectret that the House of Balwen have closely guarded for millennia.

It is a treasure so vast that it is beyond comprehension and beyond counting.

However, in truth only a direct descendent of the original Balwen could open the escape routes from this subterranean cavern.

However, in order to unlock the power of this treasure, Pincess Iowen must needs to claim the Obsidian throne for herself.

At the same time, Errol and Sir Benfro are discovering that their destinies are drawing ever closer together.

In fact the future of all life within the Twin Kingdoms rests in the uneasy hands of these two heroes, unlikely though that might appear.

There must be dreadful betrayals and terrible self-sacrifice. And events will forever change the lives of both boy and dragon.

But who or what will prevail?

This is a perfect conclusion to this stunning series and at only £7.99 for nearly 600 pages will make a wonderful Christmas gift for the fantasy readers in your life.

You can buy it, and the other books in this series, at the That's Books and Entertainment bookshop at this link here https://goo.gl/nYxiYk.


Monday, 24 October 2016

Titanic Rose Walsh McLean's Story

Titanic Rose Walsh McLean's Story is a novel by Walden DCaprio Carrington which takes a fictional look at the life of Rose Walsh McLean and the time that she spent on board the Titanic.

We read how Molly Brown has decided to thrown a 16th birthday party for Rose Walsh McLean. This was in the May of 1911.

Rose bumps into Cad Carnegie in the foyer of the venue and on the 4th of July, he proposes marriage to her. She accepts his proposal.

Their engagement lasts until April the following year (1912). At this point the wedding party is making the return crossing of the Atlantic from Europe to the United States of America.

Unfortunately they were travelling on the maiden voyage of the RMS Titanic.

Rose captivates a handsome steerage passenger by the name of Jake Lawnsan. He is more impecunious than pecunious, but he manages to captivate the youthful young fiancee of another man.

When disaster strikes the ship Rose makes the decision to renounce her betrothal to her fiancee and to throw her lot in with Jake.

She remains with Jake as the ship sinks to its watery grave, taking the name Rose Lawnsan when she boards the Carpathia and she makes the return trip to Denver with Molly.

But in the pocket of her overcoat she has the Blue Heart Diamond necklace that Cad had deposited in the pocket.

Many decades later Rose looks at a TV news broadcast that contains a report of the efforts of Brice Bruhaven who is in charge of the attempts to undertake an excavation of the Titanic wreck site.

Rose realises that now she must tell her story and the story of the man she has always loved.

But Rose realises that there is one more thing that she must do.

This is an interesting novelisation of the James Cameron Titanic film.

Fans of the characters will consider this to be a most excellent Christmas gift, as it goes inot more depth than the part of the story depicted in the film.

It is published by The Book Guild at £8.99 and is available from the That's Books and Entertainment book shop. You'll find it to the right of this book review.

Sunday, 23 October 2016

Rendezvous With Death

Rendezvous With Death is the latest novel by former lawyer turned novelist Gil Hogg.

A VIP in the form of a British diplomat has been abducted in Pakistan.

At first it is believed that the kidnapping is a terrorist outrage. But then evidence comes to light that this may not be the case, that the disappearance may have been engineered on behalf of a powerful tycoon with vendetta on his mind.

Nick Dyson is a London-based Barrister who decides to accept an  apparently lucrative position as the personal assistant to an old friend of his, Robert Laidlaw who is employed as a Special Envoy to the Middle East, based in Islamabad.

Unfortunately Robert and his wife Emma and also now Nick have made a bitter personal enemy of an influential tycoon who is based in the city of Islamabad, a man by the name of Gerald Macbeth.

Robert suddenly vanishes and his security guard is discovered, beheaded.

Nicks' suspicions are raised and he begins to believe that Gerald Macbeth, and not 'terrorists' are involved in the murder of the security guard and the disappearance of Robert Laidlaw.

He attempts to persuade Emma to escape from Pakistan with him.

But is Nick all that he seems? And who, exactly, are the guilty ones?

Who are the real sinners? Who the really sinned against?

And what dreadful events from the past have reached their bony fingers down to the present day?

This is a fascinating book with more than a few twists and some rather unexpected turns.

It's a welcome addition to the canon of works of Gil Hogg.

It is priced at £8.99 and is published by Matador and is an excellent stocking filler for the mystery novel fan in your life.

You can buy it from the That's Books and Entertainment book shop and gift shop. You'll find the portal to said shop just to the right hand side of this book review.