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Chelli (Yorkshire)

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Slow Coast Home: 5, 000 Miles Around the Shores of England and Wales
Slow Coast Home: 5, 000 Miles Around the Shores of England and Wales
by Josie Dew
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £17.97

4.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining, informative & amusing, 20 Feb 2011
I was disappointed that Josie's latest book was only about cycling around the English coastline because I would prefer to read about somewhere a bit more exotic than that. But despite the lack of intrepid exploration and adventure in this book Josie still manages to make this a highly entertaining, informative & amusing read.
I loved all the overheard snippets of conversation she included, the range of strange or repetitive comments she received from people who saw her cycling along on her heavily laden bike, and all the funny & intriguing conversations she had with people along her travels. This lengthy book is just packed full of eccentricity, character and humour and makes the English coastline seem a very appealing place to visit.


Just Julie
Just Julie
by Julie Goodyear
Edition: Paperback

5.0 out of 5 stars Down to earth but full of drama, 13 Feb 2011
This review is from: Just Julie (Paperback)
Julie might have been one of the most successful soap actresses ever, but in her personal life she's had a particularly long run of bad luck. Not only have all her relationships and marriages failed in the most dramatic of ways, but she's also endured a horrendous ordeal giving birth to her son, has suffered a nervous breakdown, been diagnosed with terminal cancer and been accused of fraud.
Julie writes in a very down to earth no-nonsense tone that I liked, although she does have a tendency to be a bit of a drama queen when telling a tale sometimes. Some of her tales are funny, some are very touchingly sad, but they're all fascinating enough to keep you turning the pages. Julie also writes very honestly about what goes on behind the scenes in Coronation Street which I found interesting, although there aren't really any major scandals to tell of.


My Speed King: Life with Donald Campbell
My Speed King: Life with Donald Campbell
by Anthony Hopkins
Edition: Hardcover

4.0 out of 5 stars Surprisingly fascinating, 11 Feb 2011
This is not a book I would've chosen for myself because I'm not at all interested in reading about Donald Campbell or his world speed records, but I was told it was an interesting book so I gave it a try and it really surprised me.
In it Tonia tells the tale of her very eventful 8yr relationship with Donald from their whirlwind romance to his extremely sad death. She writes very touchingly about their relationship and you really get a feel for what unique characters they both are. It was their very eventful lives full of jet-setting, life-risking speed attempts and numerous affairs that really captivated me though and Tonia's refreshing honesty in telling about them.


Tears of the Desert: One Woman's True Story of Surviving the Horrors of Darfur
Tears of the Desert: One Woman's True Story of Surviving the Horrors of Darfur
by Halima Bashir
Edition: Paperback
Price: £8.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliantly written, shocking and engrossing, 11 Feb 2011
Halima describes a very happy childhood growing up in the remote deserts of Sudan and I was intrigued by her detailed descriptions of the life and customs of the Zaghawa tribe of which she was part. She was an ambitious and talented young girl who trained to be a doctor in order to help the people of her village, but the first worrying signs of racial hatred of the Arabic people against the native Sudanese started to show during her time as a student. By the time she had qualified the country was at civil war, with the Janjaweed's sickening attacks of rape, torture and murder on the tribal people of Sudan becoming a regular occurrence. Halima herself was subjected to the most horrific attack of rape and torture and was witness to some truly shocking attacks such as the Janjaweed's mass rape of a school full of pre-adolescent girls. Halima's life was under severe threat and when she does eventually manage to escape the Sudan and arrives in the UK she complains that the asylum process is difficult and that she doesn't like life in Britain. This does seem ungrateful, but after what she's been through I suppose she's just angry at yet another injustice happening to her.
This is an extremely distressing story of the evils of genocide and racial hatred, but it's also the story of one girl's amazingly unshakable determination and courage, and a fascinating insight into the lives of a Sudanese tribe. I thought the book was brilliantly written, well detailed, shocking and engrossing.


My Name is Angel: and This is My Story
My Name is Angel: and This is My Story
by Rhea Coombs
Edition: Hardcover

4.0 out of 5 stars A brilliant insight into the shockingly harrowing life of a crack whore, 11 Feb 2011
Rhea had an unconventional unsettled hippy childhood, was a rebellious teenager and soon turned to taking drugs. She very quickly descended on a severe downward spiral to become a crack & heroin addict and turned to street prostitution to fund her habit. When she reached rock bottom and couldn't get any lower she finally made the tough decision to get some help and turn her life around.
This candid, intriguing and eye-opening book offers a brilliant insight into the shockingly harrowing life of a crack whore.


Annabel: An Unconventional Life
Annabel: An Unconventional Life
by Annabel Goldsmith
Edition: Hardcover

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great tales but a bit tiring, 1 Dec 2010
Annabel is the kind of person you hope you'll be sat next to at a dinner party. She's absolutely full of hilarious, fascinating and tragic tales. Her stories cover such a wide range of subjects too - tales of the rich & famous, royalty, glamorous parties, exotic travel, affairs and shocking accidents. You could never be bored listening to her.
But unfortunately the tales don't come across quite as well in the form of a book. There are so many different characters involved in each chapter that I was often confused as to who was who and of what order it was happening in and I found the book quite a tiring read.


The Damage Done: Twelve Years Of Hell In A Bangkok Prison
The Damage Done: Twelve Years Of Hell In A Bangkok Prison
by W Fellows
Edition: Paperback
Price: £6.39

4.0 out of 5 stars Gripping, horrifying & gory, 3 Nov 2010
The true story of how Warren came to be an international drug smuggler, how he ended up getting caught and sentenced to life in a shockingly sadistic Thai prison, and what them 12 harrowing years that he did were like for him.
Gripping, horrifying and gory. This is a fast paced, tough as it gets prison story that reveals a whole new side to the Thai character . But it's so much like a good film script I found it hard to believe that some of the stories weren't at least a bit embellished and that`s the only reason I have it 4* instead of 5*.


Foster Kid: A Liverpudlian Childhood
Foster Kid: A Liverpudlian Childhood
by Paul Barber
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.61

4.0 out of 5 stars Some great tales, 31 Oct 2010
Paul's autobiography is packed with lots of great tales, some funny and some sad, but always extremely honest. In this book he comes across as a really likeable down to earth guy with a good sense of humour who tells it exactly as it is.
Unfortunately, his childhood wasn't a happy one. He was taken into care at age 7 after both his parents died and he suffered a troubled upbringing being shifted around from one loveless sadistic foster or care home to another. His story really highlights the main problems of the care system as it was back then and how much harm it was doing to all the kids involved.
I found this book to be quite brief and to the point as Paul focuses mainly on his time in care, only touches on his career, and makes no mention at all of his personal life. I would've liked just a little bit more from him and I'm sure he could've added another 100 pages of great tales.


Cycling Home from Siberia
Cycling Home from Siberia
by Rob Lilwall
Edition: Paperback
Price: £6.99

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gripping, exciting and inspiring, 27 Oct 2010
This lengthy book about Rob's epic 3 ½ year cycle ride home to London from Siberia -going the long way round via Eastern Asia, Australia & South east Asia - is a really fascinating read. Despite the size of the book, he skims through or misses out a lot of parts of his journey and only concentrates on the most exciting & dangerous parts -Siberia, Papua New Guinea, Afghanistan, Iran, so the book is never boring.
Rob does an excellent job of recreating the tension of the most scary moments of the trip, he really had me on the edge of my seat in parts. I also enjoyed reading about all the interesting people he met along his travels, and although he seemed more concerned in asking them about their religion than about their lives he did still manage to uncover some really interesting points.
Rob doesn't always come across as the most charismatic person, but he's quick to admit his faults, and I trusted him to tell the tales without any boasting or exaggeration. I have to admire his amazing bravery and determination in doing this trip and this book has certainly inspired me.


Fierce
Fierce
by Kelly Osbourne
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.19

4.0 out of 5 stars More teenage advice than an autobiography, but still an entertaining read, 6 Oct 2010
This review is from: Fierce (Paperback)
This isn't your usual sort of autobiography. It's more a book of wise advice aimed at teenagers backed up by random stories from Kelly's life, but mainly focusing on her addiction to Vicodin. But Don't let that put you off. Kelly is a very honest and down to earth writer and has some great, and often hilarious tales to tell about herself and her family. I also found the little boxes of tips from professionals that she'd included very good.
On the down side I think she's too young to really fill an autobiography yet, even though she's had quite an unconventional and interesting upbringing and been dealing with a drug addiction for years. And I felt she went a bit overboard on the name dropping. But I do like her a lot more after reading this book and I think it would be an excellent book for any teenager to read.


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