My Bookish Weekly wrap up – 24th August 2019 #bookblogger

Hello! It’s hot!!  So I’m indoors in the shade having a catch up with some reviews and seeing what’s been going on in my bookish world – and it’s been a busy one!!  Managed to finish 5 books this week so happy with that, have managed to avoid going anywhere near Netgalley… but have managed to add 5 physical books to my shelves (one of which was a book I won!) so my hauling skills may need a little working on again!

Here’s a look back at my week…. grab yourself an ice-cream and get comfy for this one!

BOOKS FINISHED

A Big Ship at the Edge of the Universe by Alex White – 4 stars

read this for the #What The Fuck Book Club’ on Twitter run by the lovely @EliAllison3 and it made for an enjoyable adventure!

Meet Me In Monaco by Hazel Gaynor/Heather Webb – 5 stars

Read this ahead of a blog tour – loved every single glamorous moment of it!!

Lanny by Max Porter  – 5 stars

Just wonderful!!

Ducks, Newburyport by Lucy Ellmann – 5 stars

Reading 1,000 pages was well worth it! Amazing!!

The Old Dragon’s Head by Justin Newland   – 4 stars

Another blog tour read, and a perfect piece of escapism

BOOK HAUL

The Bookshop on the Shore by Jenny Colgan

Won a gorgeous proof of this from MYVLF and I’m so looking forward to reading this!

A grand baronial house on Loch Ness, a quirky small-town bookseller, and a single mom looking for a fresh start all come together in this witty and warm-hearted novel by New York Times bestselling author Jenny Colgan.

Desperate to escape from London, single mother Zoe wants to build a new life for herself and her son Hari. She can barely afford the crammed studio apartment on a busy street where honking horns and shouting football fans keep them awake all night. If she doesn’t find a way out soon, Zoe knows it’s just a matter of time before she has a complete meltdown. On a whim, she answers an ad for a nanny job in the Scottish Highlands, which is about as far away from the urban crush of London as possible. It sounds heavenly!

The job description asks for someone capable of caring for three “gifted children”, two of which behave feral wolverines. The children’s widowed father is a wreck, and the kids run wild in a huge tumbledown castle on the heather-strewn banks of Loch Ness. Still, the peaceful, picturesque location is everything London is not—and Zoe rises to the challenges of the job.

With the help of Nina, the friendly local bookseller, Zoe begins to put down roots in the community. Are books, fresh air, and kindness enough to heal this broken family—and her own…?

THE STARS NOW UNCLAIMED by DREW WILLIAMS

Having recently loved A CHAIN ACROSS THE DAWN I thought I’d read book one in the series!

In an effort to save the universe, she just might destroy it. THE STARS NOW UNCLAIMED is the incredible debut by a brilliant new voice in science fiction, perfect for everyone who loves READY PLAYER ONE, STAR WARS, MASS EFFECT or just a really huge battle…

AN IMPOSSIBLE MISSION

A century ago, a mysterious pulse of energy spread across the universe. Meant to usher in a new era of peace and prosperity, it instead destroyed technology indiscriminately, leaving some worlds untouched and throwing others into total chaos.

AN UNSTOPPABLE ENEMY

The Justified, a mysterious group of super-soldiers, have spent a hundred years trying to find a way to restore order to the universe. Their greatest asset is the feared mercenary Kamali, who travels from planet to planet searching for gifted young people and bringing them to the secret world she calls home. Kamali hopes that those she rescues will be able to find a way to reverse the damage the pulse wreaked, and ensure that it never returns.

THE END OF THE UNIVERSE

But Kamali isn’t the only person looking for answers to unimaginable questions. And when her mission to rescue a grumpy teenaged girl named Esa goes off the rails, Kamali suddenly finds herself smack in the centre of an intergalactic war… that she started.

AND THAT’S JUST THE BEGINNING

BLONDE by JOYCE CAROL OATES

In her most ambitious work to date, Joyce Carol Oates boldly reimagines the inner, poetic, and spiritual life of Norma Jeane Baker — the child, the woman, the fated celebrity and idolized blonde the world came to know as Marilyn Monroe. In a voice startlingly intimate and rich, Norma Jeane tells her own story of an emblematic American artist — intensely conflicted and driven — who had lost her way. A powerful portrait of Hollywood’s myth and an extraordinary woman’s heartbreaking reality, “Blonde” is a sweeping epic that pays tribute to the elusive magic and devastation behind the creation of the great twentieth-century American star

THE LODGER by LOUISA TREGER

The first biographical novel about Dorothy Richardson, peer of Virginia Woolf, lover of H.G. Wells, and central figure in the emergence of modernist fiction

Dorothy exists just above the poverty line, doing secretarial work at a dentist’s surgery and living in a seedy boarding house in Bloomsbury, when she is invited to spend the weekend with a childhood friend. Jane recently married a writer who is hovering on the brink of fame. His name is H.G. Wells, or Bertie as he is known to friends.

Bertie appears unremarkable at first. But then Dorothy notices his grey-blue eyes taking her in, openly signalling approval. He tells her he and Jane have an agreement which allows them the freedom to take lovers, although Dorothy is not convinced her friend is happy with this arrangement.

Not wanting to betray Jane, yet unable to draw back, Dorothy free-falls into an affair with Bertie. Then a new boarder arrives at the house—striking unconventional Veronica Leslie-Jones, determined to live life on her own terms—and Dorothy finds herself caught between Veronica and Bertie. Amidst the personal dramas and wreckage of the militant suffragette movement, Dorothy finds her voice as a writer.

The Lodger is a beautifully intimate novel that is at once an introduction to one of the most important writers of the 20th century and a compelling story of one woman tormented by unconventional desires.

THE MUSEUM OF BROKEN PROMISES by ELIZABETH BUCHAN

received a copy from Readers First

The stunning new novel from bestselling Elizabeth Buchan. The Museum of Broken Promises is a beautiful, evocative love-story and a heart-breaking exploration of some of the darkest moments in European history.

Paris, today. The Museum of Broken Promises is a place of wonder and sadness, hope and loss. Every object in the museum has been donated – a cake tin, a wedding veil, a baby’s shoe. And each represent a moment of grief or terrible betrayal. The museum is a place where people come to speak to the ghosts of the past and, sometimes, to lay them to rest. Laure, the owner and curator, has also hidden artefacts from her own painful youth amongst the objects on display.

Prague, 1985. Recovering from the sudden death of her father, Laure flees to Prague. But life behind the Iron Curtain is a complex thing: drab and grey yet charged with danger. Laure cannot begin to comprehend the dark, political currents that run beneath the surface of this communist city. Until, that is, she meets a young dissident musician. Her love for him will have terrible and unforeseen consequences. It is only years later, having created the museum, that Laure can make finally face up to her past and celebrate the passionate love which has directed her life. 

CURRENTLY READING

Tigers In Red Weather by Liza Klaussmann

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Hope your week has been as productive book wise!! And I hope the week ahead is just as fruitful!!

HAPPY READING!!

#20BooksOfSummer A Big Ship at the Edge of the Universe by Alex White #bookreview #wtfbcthu

And on to Book 15!! Another one not on my original list – I think this a theme now!! – but one that covers the #large element of my reading challenge at 480 pages long!  Was prompted to pick this one up as the lovely author EliAllison has started a little twitter book club called #What The Fuck Book Club’ that will focus each month on weird science fiction and fantasy books so can highly recommend checking that out if it’s your thing! And if the first pick of book is anything to go by, then we’re in for some fun reads as I really enjoyed this one! What is it about a group of people in space that captures my imagination so much!!

ABOUT THE BOOK

Boots Elsworth was a famous treasure hunter in another life, but now she’s washed up. She makes her meager living faking salvage legends and selling them to the highest bidder, but this time she might have stumbled on something real–the story of the Harrow, a famous warship, capable of untold destruction.

Nilah Brio is the top driver in the Pan Galactic Racing Federation and the darling of the racing world–until she witnesses the murder of a fellow racer. Framed for the murder and on the hunt to clear her name, Nilah only has one lead: the killer also hunts a woman named Boots.

On the wrong side of the law, the two women board a smuggler’s ship that will take them on a quest for fame, for riches, and for justice.

Published by Orbit Books

PURCHASE LINKS

Amazon UK

hive.co.uk

whsmith

MY REVIEW

Fun, feisty and frenetic! I think that sums this book up well! And though it’s not perfect, it still has a really interesting blend of characters fighting battles with themselves as well as those they meet along their way.

Nilah, is the race car driver who seems to be caught up in a conspiracy to frame her for the death of a fellow racer and she finds herself on the ship the Capricious against her will, alongside Boots who is a bit of a loner and fraudster – not someone you’d want to mess with! Boots also used to be part of the Capricious crew so when she finds herself amongst her old ‘friends’ that stirs up a few memories and it was really interesting to find out her back story. 

Boots and Nilah are very different characters but both are flawed and it’s good to see how the dynamics of their ‘relationship’ changes over time. They all soon find themselves being chased by ‘mother’ who is hellbent on destruction, and also trying to track down The Harrow ship to get answers as to what is going on!

Full of diverse characters and strong female leads, I found there to be plenty to keep me intrigued and entertained throughout – if you liked A long Way to small angry planet, or A chain across the dawn, then this will appeal to you as well as it had all the elements of a space soap opera with a bit of magic thrown in, and I’m interested in seeing how this series pans out!

★★★★

#20BooksOfSummer Lanny by Max Porter #BookReview

Time to play catch up with some reviews!!  And yet another one that wasn’t on my original list – I really don’t know why I bothered with that! – but the mood just grabbed me to pick this up on Cosy Reading Night, and it was perfect for the #little part of my challenge at around 200 pages long and all I can say is WOW!! I adored Grief is the Thing with Feathers, but loved this even more!

ABOUT THE BOOK

There’s a village sixty miles outside London. It’s no different from many other villages in England: one pub, one church, red-brick cottages, council cottages and a few bigger houses dotted about. Voices rise up, as they might do anywhere, speaking of loving and needing and working and dying and walking the dogs.

This village belongs to the people who live in it and to the people who lived in it hundreds of years ago. It belongs to England’s mysterious past and its confounding present. But it also belongs to Dead Papa Toothwort, a figure schoolchildren used to draw green and leafy, choked by tendrils growing out of his mouth. 

Dead Papa Toothwort is awake. He is listening to this twenty-first-century village, to his English symphony. He is listening, intently, for a mischievous, enchanting boy whose parents have recently made the village their home. Lanny.

published by Faber & Faber

PURCHASE LINKS

Amazon   £7.50

hive.co.uk  £10.35

Lanny by Max Porter  £9.35

MY REVIEW

What a special book! Hypnotic, weird, heartbreaking, quirky, dark, spellbinding – just a glorious reading experience.. I’m beginning to expect nothing else but these kind of stories from Max Porter.

Told from different viewpoints it’s the story of a family – a couple with a young boy who is different to the other children in the village – he seems to have his own way of dealing with the world he lives in and is happy to be amongst nature rather than in the thick of things with children his own age. His actions are overseen by the presence of Toothworth, who watches over the happenings in the village with his own narrative of how the world is changing in front of him, but with special attention given o Lanny who is his favourite. He gets him!

I loved the viewpoints of Lanny and his mother and father – they both have different outlooks on life and how to raise their child – his father is always consumed by work and his commute, his mother is a writer who suffered with depression after Lanny was born so their move to the country was them trying to live a different way. They hire a local art teacher, Pete, to teach him and there is a connection between them. When Lanny goes missing he is the first under suspicion because he’s an outsider too. Watching on as the story unravels you really get to see how the assumptions on people fall under the microscope and how perception affects the reality of the situation.

This was a beautifully written story, the use of language and the way that Toothworth listens to all the dialogue of the villagers was just wonderful and often had me laughing with the randomness of the conversations. Just brilliant!!

★★★★★

#BlogTour Johnny Ruin by Dan Dalton #RandomThingsTours #BookReview #JohnnyRuin @wordsbydan @unbounders

Delighted to be the latest stop on the Blog tour for JOHNNY RUIND by DAN DALTON.  My thanks to the author, publisher and Anne of Random Things Tours for the copy of the book and letting me be part of the tour.

ABOUT THE BOOK

Depression can be hell. Heartbroken and lonely, the narrator has made an attempt on his own life. Whether he meant to or not he can’t say. But now he’s stuck in his own head, and time is running out. To save himself, he embarks on a journey across an imagined America, one haunted by his doomed relationship and the memory of a road trip that ended in tragedy. Help arrives in the guise of Jon Bon Jovi, rock star and childhood hero. An unlikely spirit guide, perhaps, but he’s going to give it a shot...

P R A I S E

 ‘If you found yourself in a dark wood in the middle of your life, who would you want to lead you out of it? Virgil or Jon Bon Jovi? Dan Dalton chose the latter for a guide and the result is this marvellously strange and sad novel, shot through with a dark gleaming wit’ Jenny Offill

 ‘Strange, intense, brilliant’ S. J. Watson

 ‘A great big howl from the abyss of a broken heart. Incredible’ Richard Skinner

 ‘I read Johnny Ruin with a lump in my throat. It’s raw and beautiful and odd and brokenhearted’ Ali Land

PURCHASE LINKS

Amazon UK  £8.46

hive.co.uk  £7.49

whsmith  £6.47

Author Website

MY REVIEW

Sometimes life gets tough and you need Jon Bon Jovi to see you through the darker times, and that is exactly what happens in Johnny Ruin as he’s left to mourn a relationship and all the depression and misery that may bring with it.  It’s a brilliant example of how twisted a mind can become as it processes changes and how replaying moments from the past can either clarify the situation or just muddy the waters.

I loved the way this story is told – the voice of the narrator is clearly struggling with his mental wellbeing and you’re taken along for the ride – it’s very dark, often explicit but it’s a process he needs to go through and he uses the ‘help’ of Jon Bon Jovi as that takes  him back to a happier time of his life and remembers how hearing his songs made him feel.  

I found it fascinating to hear the thoughts of a bloke going through depression and grieving the loss of loved ones – it’s not all rainbows and unicorns and seeing how dark the mind can turn when you feel there’s no hope was quite disturbing. I keep remembering the phrase ‘life is consequences’ which features and that becomes very apparent as he looks back over his life and past relationships.  It brings him comfort to remember happier times.

This was a gritty, angry, reflective book full of dark humour and I loved the raw honesty of the character throughout.

★★★★

#BookReview #PaperbackPublicationDay A BOY AND HIS DOG AT THE END OF THE WORLD by C.A.FLETCHER

Delighted to share my review again on PUBLICATION DAY for the paperback edition of this stunning read.

Here’s a little more about the book to get you in the mood!!

“My name’s Griz. I’ve never been to school, I’ve never had friends, in my whole life I’ve not met enough people to play a game of football. My parents told me how crowded the world used to be, before all the people went away, but we were never lonely on our remote island. We had each other, and our dogs.
Then the thief came.


He told stories of the deserted towns and cities beyond our horizons. I liked him – until I woke to find he had stolen my dog. So I chased him out into the ruins of the world.


I just want to get my dog back, but I found more than I ever imagined was possible. More about how the world ended. More about what my family’s real story is. More about what really matters.”

Published by Orbit

‘Epic in scope, enthralling, and full of human warmth’ M. R. Carey, author of The Girl with all the Gifts

‘You’ll remember A Boy and His Dog at the End of the World long after you finish reading’ Peng Shepherd, author of The Book Of M

‘Truly engrossing . . . brings hope and humanity to a cold and scary world’ Keith Stuart, author of A Boy Made of Blocks

‘This un-put-down-able story has everything-a well-imagined post-apocalyptic world, great characters, incredible suspense, and, of course, the fierce love of some very good dogs’ Kirkus (starred review)

‘A story that is as heart-warming as it is heart-breaking’ Fantasy Hive

Purchase Links

hive.co.uk  £7.89


whsmith  £6.47

waterstones  £8.99

MY REVIEW

Imagine living on a remote island with only your parents, sister and 2 dogs – there’s nobody else left in your little part of the world as the number of people is increasingly low as the birthrate has fallen dramatically.  This is the position that Griz is in – hearing stories of life in the lands beyond but never able to go there.  That is until someone steals his beloved dog, and his only thought is to jump in a boat and follow!  It just showed the bond created especially when your world is so uncomplicated and focused on those around you.

As Griz explores deserted towns and cities we get a real feeling of just how different the world is – Griz can only imagine things we took for granted and it’s brilliantly told as Griz speaks to us in each chapter of what life must have been like in our ‘crowded world’.    Griz is extremely brave in taking on this pursuit and just shows the lengths we’d all go to save those most important to us – be they human, or animals!

The innocence of Griz is the main thing I took from this book – – his wonder at hearing birdsong, wondering what life was like full of noise, cars, even seeing animals in zoos.  Being so remote on the island with his family, everything new he sees while exploring is a revelation and his time opens his eyes to a different way of seeing things .

It’s difficult to really say much more without giving away too much, but I thoroughly enjoyed being in the world of Griz and loved the twists and turns that awaited him and me as a reader! A book that takes you on a dark but memorable journey!

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My Bookish Weekly Wrap Up – 17th August 2019 #BOOKBLOGGER

Hello!! Sympathy please … I have a cold!!  It crept up on me and I’ve been sneezing and coughing my way through the past couple of days and no sign of it disappearing yt, despite the excess of vitamins, pills and potions being taken!  

But on the positive side of the past week – BOOKS!! Always there to make us feel better! And I’ve managed to read 4 books this past week, taken delivery of a ew newbies to add to the shelves and visited NetGalley a few more times for good measure! Here’s a look back!

BOOKS FINISHED

A PARIS FAIRY TALE by MARIE LAVAL – 5 stars

a lovely read! full review on blog tour soon!!

THE MAGIC TOUCH by KELLY FLORENTIA  – 4 stars

lots of fun! full review to follow on blog tour soon!

ZIPPY AND ME by RONNIE LE DREW – 5 stars

So much fun! If you love Rainbow and the Muppets you need to read this!

JOHNNY RUIN by DAN DALTON – 4 stars

a dark and often disturbing look at grief and break ups through the eyes of a man with Jon Bon Jovi as his spiritual guide!! Full review on blog tour soon!

BOOK HAUL

Over to Netgalley we go first…..

THE RIVER CAPTURE by MARY COSTELLO

published by Canongate – out October 2019

Luke O’Brien has left Dublin to live a quiet life on his family land on the bend of the River Sullane. Alone in his big house, he longs for a return to his family’s heyday and turns to books for solace.

One morning a young woman arrives at his door and enters his life with profound consequences. Her presence presents him and his family with an almost impossible dilemma.

In a novel that pays glorious homage to Joyce, The River Capture tells of one man’s descent into near madness, and the possibility of rescue. This is a novel about love, loyalty and the raging forces of nature. More than anything, it is a book about the life of the mind and the redemptive powers of art.

ESCAPE TO GIDDYWELL GRANGE by KIM NASH

published by Hera Books – out September 2019

A dog’s life is just what Maddy needs

Maddy Young thought she had it all.

Swanky city apartment? – yep. Fancy car? sorted. High-flying career? – tick.

Even if she’s lost most of her friends because of spending all her time at work, and can’t remember when she last had fun, it’s worth it.

Until she’s suddenly made redundant. Now she’s 37, jobless, and after the breakup with the former love of her life, unhappily single.

Enter Maddy’s childhood friend, Beth, the owner of Growlers, the doggy daycare centre at Giddywell Grange, on a mission to make Maddy see there’s more to life than work.

Soon, Maddy is swapping spreadsheets for volunteer duty at the library, daily Starbucks for cups of tea with elderly neighbours, and her Prada handbag for doggy poo bags… And with Beth’s gorgeous brother, Alex, back from the States, Maddy starts to think that Giddywell Grange might just be her happy place.

But when her old life – and her old boyfriend – comes calling, will Maddy go back to the job she loved so much? Or will she discover that the key to happiness lies in making others happy?

A VIEW ACROSS THE ROOFTOPS by SUZANNE KELMAN

published by Bookouture – out October 2019

Would you risk your life to save just one person?

An incredible story of love, hope and friendship, and a testament to humanity and courage in history’s darkest days.

1941, Nazi-occupied Amsterdam. Professor Josef Held has never recovered from the loss of his beloved wife – and has no intention of ever letting anyone new into his quiet, safe world. It is a world where the clock ticks steadily in his mathematics classroom, where every equation has a solution. Every day he walks the same route home, past his neighbour Mrs Epstein’s, to a home inhabited only by him and a cat he refuses to even name.

But then the Nazis come for the Jews – and Mrs Epstein is killed. And Josef, in an impulsive act of courage, offers his student Michael Blum a place to hide.

Michael is everything Josef is not: spontaneous, poetic, and unafraid to love. Even though his passionate relationship with a Dutch girl called Elke strictly is forbidden by the Nazis – for he is Jewish, and she is not.

Desperate to give Michael and Elke’s love a chance to survive, Josef gives Michael refuge in his attic: an act of bravery and resistance that will change both of their lives. But as the dark days of war continue, with danger and betrayal at every turn, no-one can be trusted, and no one is safe.

If Michael is going to get back to the woman he loves, it is down to Josef – to find the hero inside himself, and do whatever it takes to keep Michael alive.

A heartbreakingly beautiful story about love, trust, and courage against the odds, perfect for fans of The Tattooist of Auschwitz, Lilac Girls, and The Nightingale.

WHAT NOT by ROSE MACAULEY

published by Handheld Press

Published in 1918, What Not was hastily withdrawn due to a number of potentially libellous pages, and was reissued in 1919, but had lost its momentum. Now republished for the first time with the suppressed pages reinstated, What Not is a lost science fiction classic of feminist protest at social engineering, and rage at media manipulation.

Kitty Grammont and Nicholas Chester are in love. Kitty is certified as an A for breeding purposes, but politically ambitious Chester has been uncertificated, and may not marry. Kitty wields power as a senior civil servant in the Ministry of Brains, which makes these classifications, but does not have the freedom to marry who she wants. They ignore the restrictions, and carry on a discreet affair. But it isn’t discreet enough for the media: the popular press, determined to smash the brutal regime of the Ministry of Brains, has found out about Kitty and Chester, and scents an opportunity for a scandalous exposure.

Aldous Huxley was a frequent guest at Macaulay’s flat while she was writing What Not. His apparently ground-breaking novel Brave New World(1932) borrowed many of Macaulay’s ideas for Huxley’s own prophetic vision.

FOLLOW ME TO GROUND by SUE RAINSFORD

In house in a wood, Ada and her father live peacefully, tending to their garden and the wildlife in it. They are not human though. Ada was made by her father from the Ground, a unique patch of earth with birthing and healing properties. Though perhaps he didn’t get her quite right. They spend their days healing the local human folk – named Cures – who visit them, suspiciously, with their ailments.

When Ada embarks on a relationship with a local Cure named Samson, and is forced to choose between her old life with her father, and a new one with her human lover. Her decision will uproot the town – and the Ground itself – for ever.

A poised and simmering tour-de-force, FOLLOW ME TO GROUND is a sinister vision of desire and freewill, voiced in earthy prose and eviscerating detail by an astoundingly original new writer.

THE GIRL WHO COULD MOVE SH*T WITH HER MIND by JACKSON FORD

 For Teagan Frost, sh*t just got real. Teagan Frost is having a hard time keeping it together. Sure, she’s got telekinetic powers—a skill that the government is all too happy to make use of, sending her on secret break-in missions that no ordinary human could carry out. But all she really wants to do is kick back, have a beer, and pretend she’s normal for once.

But then a body turns up at the site of her last job—murdered in a way that only someone like Teagan could have pulled off. She’s got 24 hours to clear her name—and it’s not just her life at stake. If she can’t unravel the conspiracy in time, her hometown of Los Angeles will be in the crosshairs of an underground battle that’s on the brink of exploding…

Full of imagination, wit and random sh*t flying through the air, this insane adventure from an irreverent new voice will blow your tiny mind.

MEET ME IN MONACO by HAZEL GAYNOR/HEATHER WEBB

copy for review ahead of blog tour

Set in the 1950s against the backdrop of Grace Kelly’s whirlwind romance and glamourous wedding to Prince Rainier of Monaco, New York Times bestselling author Hazel Gaynor and Heather Webb take the reader on an evocative sun-drenched journey along the Côte d’Azur in this page-turning novel of passion, fate, and second-chances.

Movie stars and paparazzi flock to Cannes for the glamorous film festival, but Grace Kelly, the biggest star of all, wants only to escape from the flash-bulbs. When struggling perfumer Sophie Duval shelters Miss Kelly in her boutique, fending off a persistent British press photographer, James Henderson, a bond is forged between the two women and sets in motion a chain of events that stretches across thirty years of friendship, love, and tragedy.

James Henderson cannot forget his brief encounter with Sophie Duval. Despite his guilt at being away from his daughter, he takes an assignment to cover the wedding of the century, sailing with Grace Kelly’s wedding party on the SS Constitution from New York. In Monaco, as wedding fever soars and passions and tempers escalate, James and Sophie—like Princess Grace—must ultimately decide what they are prepared to give up for love

CURRENTLY READING

DUCKS, NEWBURYPORT by LUCY ELLMAN

I’m still reading!!

THE OLD DRAGON’S HEAD by JUSTIN NEWLAND

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HAPPY READING!!

#BookReview Zippy and Me by Ronnie Le Drew

ABOUT THE BOOK

Over the course of almost half a century, puppeteer Ronnie Le Drew has worked with the greats – from David Bowie in Labyrinth to Michael Caine in The Muppet Christmas Carol. But the role that defined his career was Rainbow’s Zippy, who he operated for more than twenty years.

Zippy and Me is the first time a Rainbow insider has told the true story of what went on under the counter and inside the suits: the petty squabbles between performers, wrangling with TV executives, and scandals such as the ‘love triangle’ between musicians Rod, Jane and Freddy. Not to mention the now infamous X-rated episode shot for an ITV Christmas party, which subsequently found its way to the Sun.

Interweaved with the dirt on what really went on behind the scenes is the story of Rainbow’s heyday in the 1970s and 80s, when its stars found themselves catapulted into an exciting showbiz world – scooping a BAFTA award and even performing for the queen – and the story of a young lad from a south London council estate who defied his parents’ protests to became one of the most respected puppeteers of all time.

Published by Unbound

PURCHASE LINKS

Amazon UK

hive.co.uk

whsmith

MY REVIEW

I really love the way the UNBOUND site works – a crowd funding site to get books off the ground – and this is how Zippy and Me came to be, and I’m so pleased to have been part of it and now have my name in the book as one of the supporters!

Any excuse to walk down memory lane is fine by me, and this was a perfect example of an entertaining and enjoyable read which has me pining for the past and fun kids TV shows that I grew up with!!

Ronnie Le Drew is the puppeteer behind Zippy, one of the most loved UK puppets, and in his memoir he talks about his time on Rainbow – the good and the bad! – as well as how he got into the world of puppets, his childhood and the other work he used to do in TV, theatre and film. I loved how funny his stories are alongside some pretty tragic ones too that really affected him and those around him.

It was also fascinating to hear his stories about his time working on the Muppet films too and I’m now just itching to re-watch all of those alongside old episodes of Rainbow to see Zippy, Bungle and George again! A lovely memoir and one that was so much fun to read!

★★★★★