Wednesday, 31 January 2018

Now read That's Books and Entertainment in your own language!

With the help of Google's excellent Google Translate service, you can now view and read the That's Books and Entertainment blog site in your own language.

You will find the language translate switch at the top of the blog page, just to the left.

Over the next several days there will more style changes to the blog which, it is to be hoped, help give the That's Books and Entertainment blog a bit of a makeover. In fact, it's probably the first makeover this blog has ever had!

And thanks to Louise for making these suggestions. And no, that is not Louise in the photograph!

Saturday, 27 January 2018

Living With a Jude

Living With a Jude is a remarkable book by Alice Soule.

The book describes how it is for a family that is living with a child who has severe learning disabilities.

Jude was born with Microcephaly which brought about Global Development Delay and autism which was not, immediately, diagnosed.

In her book Alice discusses, in a light and heartwarmily honest and humorous way, how Jude's issues impacted not only on Jude but also on the rest of his family, Alice included.

It deals, in a sensitive fashion, with a range of vitally important topics such as the impact of his disabilities including health and diet, social isolation, education and socialisation.

It also looks at the problems and challenges of post-16 life options and further education for children such as Jude.

The book is also very well illustrated with family photographs and will be of great benefit to people who are involved in the care, education, healthcare and treatment of people like Jude or who provide support and assistance to their families as well as to the families themselves.

It's a remarkable book and comes highly recommended by this reviewer.

The book is published by The Book Guild at £9.99 and can be obtained here

Twenty Five Million Ghosts

Twenty Five Million Ghosts is the debut novel of Steve Aitchsmith.

It tells the story of Steve. Steve is a troubled man. He is troubled by an army of persistent, organised ants. But that's only the beginning. 

After a varied range of careers, insurance followed by a stint in the army and some rather dubious but officially sanctioned joint services intelligence gathering, the police and, finally, education, Steve has retired to a secluded and somewhat tumbledown cottage in woodlands not far from Brighton.

His wife works away from home during the week, his daughter lives in university accommodation for most of the time and he is generally happy with his lot.

His mother has not long to live and he finds that, apart from his constant battle with the warrior ants in his garden and house, he is beginning to acknowledge his need or rather his desire for not only personal security and an understanding of what is happening in the world.

In his quests he is assisted by a somewhat unconventional Roan Catholic priest as he explores the war-torn past of his own family and the new world that he now occupies.

He finds himself exploriung his own past, the past of his family, the adventures that he found himself involved in, to examine the world, to break the law and  to find peace, through reading journals of the wartime activities of his forebears.

This book, although a work of fiction, is clearly based on real life events that happened to members of the author's family or people that he knew.

The book is published by Matador at £9.99 and can be bought here

Monday, 22 January 2018

Man of Two Worlds

Man of Two Worlds is a new non-fiction book from Peter Rutt.

Rutt has eschewed the usual such as religion, science and what might be described as mainstream beliefs and opinions in Man of Two Worlds.

Instead he has set out to take a refreshingly new and idiosyncratic look at the mechanics of life and of death.

He has enjoyed a journey of discovery and he is now inviting his readers to follow him on that selfsame journey.

His book covers a wide range of fascinating concepts and ideas. For example, why there are certain types of spiritual apparitions that it is impossible for mortals to communicate with, previous life experiences, the Akashick register, karma and why some people are born poor, why some people are murdered (it is all something to do with what they did or did not do in a previous life, apparently).

He debates the nature and existence of truth, including where truth actually resides.

Rutt also describes what happens to the soul after death, how he discovered when writing his book "Jack the Ripper From the Cradle to the grave" that there were a large number of "bad souls" from the Victorian era who were all congregating in the lower levels of the London Underground tube stations.

And how he was able to help hundreds of damaged souls flee to the light.

It is an interesting book published by The Book Guild at £8.99 and available for purchase here

Random Treasure

In Random Treasure, London-born but Scotish based Roger Stewart looks back at six decades of seeking out and finding objects lost and forgotten about in second-hand shops, antique shops and local auctioneers and salerooms up and down the country.

It started out as an interest and a hobby for Roger, but as his knowledge and expertise grew and increased over the years it became a very lucrative and profitable pastime, too.

Roger Stewart takes his readers through what can potentially be a minefield for the unwary. Is the object you see before you a deliberate fake, an accidentally misidentified reproduction, or is it, after all, perhaps the real deal? A genuinely valuable antique?

He covers how antiques rise and fall in value, what provenance is and if it matters, how an auction works and how to behave during an auction.

He takes a peek at how antique collectors act, what their psychological makeup is and how they behave.

How and why do some amateur antique collectors make the spectacular finds that we read about in the papers or see on the Internet?

Does it take expertise, skill and years of training and experience? Or can anyone do it?

He also has some very useful pointers to ensure that your collecting hobby remains just that, as a hobby and doesn't degenerate into an obsessive compulsion. In other words, a hoarder?

The book is also copiously illustrated with some high quality photographs. Including a press archive photograph of the dreaded Collyer Mansion of New York.

The book is exceptionally well researched and well written and will be a must buy book (or gift!) to every art and antique lover or dealer, every armchair enthusiast or anyone who is a fan of David Dickinson, The Antiques Roadshow, The Antiques Road Trip, American Pickers or Going for a Song.

It's published by The Book Guild at £12.99 and can be purchased here

Sunday, 21 January 2018

The Buzzer

What is factual is that a Russian transmitter site has been broadcasting a buzzing noise every other second for 40 years.

Reportedly, every couple of months, the buzzing cycle is interrupted with a voice that intones "U V B 7 6" followed by a series of numbers and what are believed to be coded words.

Experts and amateur theorists have come up with a number of explanations for this phenomenon over the years, ranging from a secret military communication system or even a countermeasure against nuclear war. It is the latter theory that David Mason uses as the basis for his novel.

Natalya Kovalski is a journalist who has decided to launch a research project on the mysterious shortwave Buzzer transmissions.

She teams up with computer programmer and shortwave radio enthusiast Stepan Litvin to try to get to the bottom of this mysterious transmission.

It is suspected that a deserted and abandoned former military base in Povarovo was, at one time, the host site for the transmission and so Natalya and Stepan decide to visit the site to see what they might be able to learn.

Their research work brings to their attention some mysterious links between a secret CCCP experiment, the Soviet Human Enhancement Project C-1, which was undertaken at the height of World War 2 and the city of Luga.

Are they correct in their suspicions that the transmissions and the C-1 Project were an experiment on the hapless population of the city of Luga?

They face something of a dilemma. Should they use Natalya's press contacts to expose the experiment on the people in order to save them and their city? Or would their attempts to do the right thing actually put the city into even more danger?

And what if Project C-1 was even more horrifying than anyone could have even anticipated? Would they be safe? For that matter, would anyone be safe, even again?

This is a truly terrifying thriller of a read. It's published by The Book Guild aat £8.99 and can be bought here