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The Lonely Hearts Club by Eulberg, Elizabeth (2011) Paperback
The Lonely Hearts Club by Eulberg, Elizabeth (2011) Paperback

5.0 out of 5 stars Beatles Bonanza!, 14 May 2015
"Think for yourself 'cause I won't be there with you." -- George Harrison, 1965

You've just got to love the cover, which is a spoof of the Beatles' 1969 Abbey Road album cover. They say you can't judge a book by its cover, but I think I did when I judged that this would be one I would like! It's a riot!

Penny Lane, who shares her name with a 1967 Paul McCartney with the Beatles classic is so over boys. (Her two sisters are Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds and Lovely Rita. I'm surprised one wasn't named Michelle). After a traumatic breakup with her former boyfriend Nate, she forms The Lonely Hearts Club minus Sgt. Pepper. She swears off high school boys as she feels they don't show proper respect for women. Other girls join her club in droves. Her school principal, who is a man naturally chafes at the club as do the male students. Penny Lane does have a change of lonely heart when she meets a boy with a Beatle haircut. Something in the way he moves, perhaps? "I left you far behind/The ruins of the life that you have in mind./And though you still can't see/I know your mind's made up/You're gonna cause more misery." George Harrison, 1965 from "Think For Yourself"

Penny and her Hearts are in-your face and live by John Lennon's credo in "Instant Karma" about how Instant Karma's gonna get you, gonna knock you right in the face. She is somewhat Lennonesque with her in-your-face rebellion and delightfully zany wit. Like John Lennon, she and her fellow Hearts refuse to compromise their true voices and identity and swear off pretending to agree with someone just to win them over or pacify them. Any time somebody gives up their honest voice by pretending to be something they are not and by saying they agree with something they do not, they are stifling their identity. I hate that kind of toadying behavior and Penny and her Hearts wisely empower themselves to dodge that self-defeatist behavior. John Lennon's 1971 "Crippled Inside" is a good anti-toady song. At no time do the Hearts sacrifice their voices. That makes one think of John Lennon's greeting, "John here, speaking with his voice!" from the 1963 Beatles' Christmas album. What an empowering statement!

The Hearts' theme song could be Paul McCartney's late 1977 hit, "I've Had Enough! (I can't put up with any more)." All Long & Winding Roads lead to the Beatles and that is what makes this book such a treat.

"Although your mind's opaque, try thinking more if just for your own sake.
The future still looks good and you've got time to rectify all the things that you should." -- George Harrison, 1965 from "Think For Yourself"

The sheer genius of this book, with its empowering story, strong characters and WONDERFUL plethora of Beatle references will delight readers, whether they are Beatle fans or not. Beatle fans will especially enjoy this because not only will they "get" the Beatle references, they will love them! Aspie Beatle fans will love Penny's parents who, while the word is never mentioned are plainly Aspies with the Beatles as a special interest.

Penny is delightfully funny and she bravely shares some horrific experiences. To make a good thing even better, she was born on Beatles' Day, February 7, the anniversary of the day the Beatles came to America! The daughter of two ardent inveterate Beatle fans, Penny develops a love for the Beatles early and even wants a Hey Bulldog for a pet. The social dynamics and social hierchy are given in plain terms and the story is one that pulls you in right away. You will travel down the Long & Winding Road with Penny Lane and her fellow Hearts as they get by with a little help from their friends as they learn that in the end the love you take is equal to the love you make. The Hearts convert "A Hard Day's Night" into a "Good Day Sunshine" and soon are singing "I Feel Fine." The Beatles remain a comforting presence throughout the book and a driving force that impels Penny and her fellow Hearts as well.

A heartfelt kudos and thank you to Elizabeth Eulberg. These delightful characters are wonderfully empowering and the Beatle humor brings big smiles to readers' faces. No doubt readers will take some ideas away after having read this book. If you listen to the Beatles while reading this work by this gifted Paperback Writer, you will increase your reading pleasure.

John Lennon's 1970 "Instant Karma," Paul McCartney's 1977 "I've Had Enough" and George Harrison's 1965 "Think For Yourself" underscore a good portion of this book. So do these Beatle classics: "I'll Be Back," "She Loves You," "This Boy," "It Won't Be Long" and "The Long & Winding Road" which are the soundtrack of this book together with "I Want to Tell You," a 1966 George Harrison classic. This gets a high endorsement and a hearty yeah, yeah, yeah from me! I love this book!

Beatles Forever!


The Lonely Hearts Club by Eulberg, Elizabeth ( 2011 )
The Lonely Hearts Club by Eulberg, Elizabeth ( 2011 )

5.0 out of 5 stars Beatles Bonanza!, 14 May 2015
"Think for yourself 'cause I won't be there with you." -- George Harrison, 1965

You've just got to love the cover, which is a spoof of the Beatles' 1969 Abbey Road album cover. They say you can't judge a book by its cover, but I think I did when I judged that this would be one I would like! It's a riot!

Penny Lane, who shares her name with a 1967 Paul McCartney with the Beatles classic is so over boys. (Her two sisters are Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds and Lovely Rita. I'm surprised one wasn't named Michelle). After a traumatic breakup with her former boyfriend Nate, she forms The Lonely Hearts Club minus Sgt. Pepper. She swears off high school boys as she feels they don't show proper respect for women. Other girls join her club in droves. Her school principal, who is a man naturally chafes at the club as do the male students. Penny Lane does have a change of lonely heart when she meets a boy with a Beatle haircut. Something in the way he moves, perhaps? "I left you far behind/The ruins of the life that you have in mind./And though you still can't see/I know your mind's made up/You're gonna cause more misery." George Harrison, 1965 from "Think For Yourself"

Penny and her Hearts are in-your face and live by John Lennon's credo in "Instant Karma" about how Instant Karma's gonna get you, gonna knock you right in the face. She is somewhat Lennonesque with her in-your-face rebellion and delightfully zany wit. Like John Lennon, she and her fellow Hearts refuse to compromise their true voices and identity and swear off pretending to agree with someone just to win them over or pacify them. Any time somebody gives up their honest voice by pretending to be something they are not and by saying they agree with something they do not, they are stifling their identity. I hate that kind of toadying behavior and Penny and her Hearts wisely empower themselves to dodge that self-defeatist behavior. John Lennon's 1971 "Crippled Inside" is a good anti-toady song. At no time do the Hearts sacrifice their voices. That makes one think of John Lennon's greeting, "John here, speaking with his voice!" from the 1963 Beatles' Christmas album. What an empowering statement!

The Hearts' theme song could be Paul McCartney's late 1977 hit, "I've Had Enough! (I can't put up with any more)." All Long & Winding Roads lead to the Beatles and that is what makes this book such a treat.

"Although your mind's opaque, try thinking more if just for your own sake.
The future still looks good and you've got time to rectify all the things that you should." -- George Harrison, 1965 from "Think For Yourself"

The sheer genius of this book, with its empowering story, strong characters and WONDERFUL plethora of Beatle references will delight readers, whether they are Beatle fans or not. Beatle fans will especially enjoy this because not only will they "get" the Beatle references, they will love them! Aspie Beatle fans will love Penny's parents who, while the word is never mentioned are plainly Aspies with the Beatles as a special interest.

Penny is delightfully funny and she bravely shares some horrific experiences. To make a good thing even better, she was born on Beatles' Day, February 7, the anniversary of the day the Beatles came to America! The daughter of two ardent inveterate Beatle fans, Penny develops a love for the Beatles early and even wants a Hey Bulldog for a pet. The social dynamics and social hierchy are given in plain terms and the story is one that pulls you in right away. You will travel down the Long & Winding Road with Penny Lane and her fellow Hearts as they get by with a little help from their friends as they learn that in the end the love you take is equal to the love you make. The Hearts convert "A Hard Day's Night" into a "Good Day Sunshine" and soon are singing "I Feel Fine." The Beatles remain a comforting presence throughout the book and a driving force that impels Penny and her fellow Hearts as well.

A heartfelt kudos and thank you to Elizabeth Eulberg. These delightful characters are wonderfully empowering and the Beatle humor brings big smiles to readers' faces. No doubt readers will take some ideas away after having read this book. If you listen to the Beatles while reading this work by this gifted Paperback Writer, you will increase your reading pleasure.

John Lennon's 1970 "Instant Karma," Paul McCartney's 1977 "I've Had Enough" and George Harrison's 1965 "Think For Yourself" underscore a good portion of this book. So do these Beatle classics: "I'll Be Back," "She Loves You," "This Boy," "It Won't Be Long" and "The Long & Winding Road" which are the soundtrack of this book together with "I Want to Tell You," a 1966 George Harrison classic. This gets a high endorsement and a hearty yeah, yeah, yeah from me! I love this book!

Beatles Forever!


The Girl on the Train
The Girl on the Train
by Paula Hawkins
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £6.00

16 of 19 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Train to Nowhere, 14 May 2015
This review is from: The Girl on the Train (Hardcover)
"Two of us riding nowhere/Spending someone's hard earned pay." -- Beatles, "Two of Us" 1969

The initial premise of this book is what originally drew me to it. The story opens on July 5, 2013. Rachel Watson, a genuinely tragic figure is a regular commuter who watches the world through the windows of said train. An alcoholic, Rachel often views things through a blurry lens and is incredibly self absorbed. Her life is one of shadows and periphery. Divorced and still reeling from the split, Rachel lives in a rented flat and describes herself as living on the edges of other people's lives. Cathy, her landlord tries to get her boyfriend Damian to fix Rachel up on a date, but Damian refuses, saying he doesn't know anyone desperate enough to date Rachel. Naturally Rachel overhears them.

Rachel is also an inveterate watcher. Every day she pretends to commute to and from a job she doesn't have and every day she watches for a couple who regularly sit on their terrace within view of the train. She gives them names, knowing nothing about them and believes they have a perfect golden life. Rachel passes by the home she once shared with her ex-husband Tom on her daily commute. She mourns the end of the marriage and that Tom and his current wife Anna use the furniture that once belonged to Tom and Rachel and that they have the baby she couldn't have.

Megan, the woman Rachel sees on the terrace has everything but a golden life. She disappears and Rachel is left at a loss as to how to explain her disappearance and possible whereabouts. Rachel has an alcoholic blackout and no memory of the night Megan vanished. Questions arise such as did Rachel see or hear anything connected with Megan's disappearance? More importantly, did she have anything to do with Megan's disappearance? And why do people Rachel doesn't even know bring her into their lives? While others drew the Hitchcockian parallel to "Rear Window," the riveting and intense psychological climax just wasn't present in this book. I admit to being disappointed in the plot and I felt let down as I didn't experience the literary psychological suspense. The literary technique of not sharing with readers what the characters are thinking about and Rachel's tendency to suffer from alcoholic blackouts falls flat. I found Rachel tiresome and her blackouts as well. She is a tragic figure and a cautionary tale of what not to be or be like.

True, I didn't like Rachel and Rachel didn't like herself. She berates herself constantly, all the while making extremely poor and costly decisions. Her poor decision making is a part of her personality whether or not she has had too much to drink.

Anna is the third woman featured in this dismal tale. Rachel calls them at odd hours disrupting their sleep until Anna leaves her messages telling her not to call. Anna is a rather hard edged character. As for Megan, well, time will tell. Or perhaps Megan's character will tell if you stay with this book.

Megan may or may not have the key to the series of interlocking questions that bind these characters. She is not forthcoming with much in the way of information and readers have to try to guess what her story is and how it fits in with the rest of the story. Megan is like a dangling branch, partially severed from a dying tree.

In summary, I was not fond of any of the characters and found their dialogue stilted. Others loved it and that, too drew me in. That having been said, in time the questions do get answered, but still the story falls flat for me.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: May 21, 2015 8:43 AM BST


[ THE LONELY HEARTS CLUB - GREENLIGHT ] By Eulberg, Elizabeth ( Author ) ( 2012 ) { Compact Disc }
[ THE LONELY HEARTS CLUB - GREENLIGHT ] By Eulberg, Elizabeth ( Author ) ( 2012 ) { Compact Disc }
by Elizabeth Eulberg
Edition: CD-ROM

5.0 out of 5 stars Beatle Bonanza!, 4 April 2015
"Think for yourself 'cause I won't be there with you." -- George Harrison, 1965

You've just got to love the cover, which is a spoof of the Beatles' 1969 Abbey Road album cover. They say you can't judge a book by its cover, but I think I did when I judged that this would be one I would like! It's a riot!

Penny Lane, who shares her name with a 1967 Paul McCartney with the Beatles classic is so over boys. (Her two sisters are Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds and Lovely Rita. I'm surprised one wasn't named Michelle). After a traumatic breakup with her former boyfriend Nate, she forms The Lonely Hearts Club minus Sgt. Pepper. She swears off high school boys as she feels they don't show proper respect for women. Other girls join her club in droves. Her school principal, who is a man naturally chafes at the club as do the male students. Penny Lane does have a change of lonely heart when she meets a boy with a Beatle haircut. Something in the way he moves, perhaps? "I left you far behind/The ruins of the life that you have in mind./And though you still can't see/I know your mind's made up/You're gonna cause more misery." George Harrison, 1965 from "Think For Yourself"

Penny and her Hearts are in-your face and live by John Lennon's credo in "Instant Karma" about how Instant Karma's gonna get you, gonna knock you right in the face. She is somewhat Lennonesque with her in-your-face rebellion and delightfully zany wit. Like John Lennon, she and her fellow Hearts refuse to compromise their true voices and identity and swear off pretending to agree with someone just to win them over or pacify them. Any time somebody gives up their honest voice by pretending to be something they are not and by saying they agree with something they do not, they are stifling their identity. I hate that kind of toadying behavior and Penny and her Hearts wisely empower themselves to dodge that self-defeatist behavior. John Lennon's 1971 "Crippled Inside" is a good anti-toady song. At no time do the Hearts sacrifice their voices. That makes one think of John Lennon's greeting, "John here, speaking with his voice!" from the 1963 Beatles' Christmas album. What an empowering statement!

The Hearts' theme song could be Paul McCartney's late 1977 hit, "I've Had Enough! (I can't put up with any more)." All Long & Winding Roads lead to the Beatles and that is what makes this book such a treat.

"Although your mind's opaque, try thinking more if just for your own sake.
The future still looks good and you've got time to rectify all the things that you should." -- George Harrison, 1965 from "Think For Yourself"

The sheer genius of this book, with its empowering story, strong characters and WONDERFUL plethora of Beatle references will delight readers, whether they are Beatle fans or not. Beatle fans will especially enjoy this because not only will they "get" the Beatle references, they will love them! Aspie Beatle fans will love Penny's parents who, while the word is never mentioned are plainly Aspies with the Beatles as a special interest.

Penny is delightfully funny and she bravely shares some horrific experiences. To make a good thing even better, she was born on Beatles' Day, February 7, the anniversary of the day the Beatles came to America! The daughter of two ardent inveterate Beatle fans, Penny develops a love for the Beatles early and even wants a Hey Bulldog for a pet. The social dynamics and social hierchy are given in plain terms and the story is one that pulls you in right away. You will travel down the Long & Winding Road with Penny Lane and her fellow Hearts as they get by with a little help from their friends as they learn that in the end the love you take is equal to the love you make. The Hearts convert "A Hard Day's Night" into a "Good Day Sunshine" and soon are singing "I Feel Fine." The Beatles remain a comforting presence throughout the book and a driving force that impels Penny and her fellow Hearts as well.

A heartfelt kudos and thank you to Elizabeth Eulberg. These delightful characters are wonderfully empowering and the Beatle humor brings big smiles to readers' faces. No doubt readers will take some ideas away after having read this book. If you listen to the Beatles while reading this work by this gifted Paperback Writer, you will increase your reading pleasure.

John Lennon's 1970 "Instant Karma," Paul McCartney's 1977 "I've Had Enough" and George Harrison's 1965 "Think For Yourself" underscore a good portion of this book. So do these Beatle classics: "I'll Be Back," "She Loves You," "This Boy," "It Won't Be Long" and "The Long & Winding Road" which are the soundtrack of this book together with "I Want to Tell You," a 1966 George Harrison classic. This gets a high endorsement and a hearty yeah, yeah, yeah from me! I love this book! (Since this is a CD, darn shame a Beatles' soundtrack wasn't included.)

Beatles Forever!


My Kid Brother’s Band a.k.a. the Beatles
My Kid Brother’s Band a.k.a. the Beatles
by Louise Harrison
Edition: Hardcover

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars With Love From Lou to You, 10 Sept. 2014
I pre-ordered this book in February and it finally arrived on 9/3/2014. I have long awaited this book and was beyond delighted when it arrived!

Louise Harrison, born in 1931 is the oldest of the 4 Harrison children. In addition to Louise, there is Harold, b. 1934, Peter (1940-2007) and George (1943-2001), of Beatles fame.

Lou's book is not so much about George, but mostly about the Harrison and French families and the dyamics within the Harrison household. Kevin Roach's book "George Harrison: That's the Way God Planned It" about the French and Harrison families is a rare gem and Louise helped considerably by providing photographs and documents.

It was in Kevin Roach's book George Harrison That's The Way God Planned It and The Beatles - All These Years - Extended Special Edition: Volume one that readers first learn that the senior Harrisons did not get married in 1930 as has been widely reported; they married in 1931 just three months before their daughter Louise arrived in time for tea. Louise herself said that when the senior Harrisons were "courting," many people were in the dark about reproduction. Louise French, on realizing she was with child or "on the nest/in the family way" as the "quaint" sayings were during that time was not sure how her baby would leave her body. Once fully prepared, she made good and sure to inform Lou so that Lou would have a good understanding and know what to expect when expecting. Harold in turn had talks with the Harrison boys.

Peter Harrison, nearly 12 pounds at birth was, according to Lou the first baby in England to have successfully survived an operation to correct his intestines which had extended into the umbilical cord. (Louise French told fans in her son's fan club newsletter in 1965-66 that Lou was a reasonable 7 pounds, Harry 9, Peter 12 and George 10 pounds.) Peter and Harry were 6 years to the day apart, sharing a birth date. Sadly, Lou was not present when her brother Peter was born. She was in a convalescent home recovering from an illness and to make a bad thing worse, suffered cruelties and indignities from nursing staff. On the plus side, Lou named her brother. She returned home when he was a month old in August, 1940 just in time for her 9th birthday.

George's boyhood has been reported in countless biographies as having dodged many a traumatic experience. Paul's mother died when he was 14; John was raised by his aunt; Ringo and his single mother lived in a dangerous neighborhood and Ringo suffered multiple traumatic illnesses as a boy. Lou talks of the traumas during WWII. After much deliberation the senior Harrisons sent Lou, then 10 and Harry, 7 to stay with families in Wales during the Evacuation Period. People feared for the safety of their children's lives, so it was not uncommon to send their children by train to rural Wales to stay in safe houses with families for some months at a time. Harry enjoyed his stay in Wales with a family who had two teenage sons and Lou stayed with a family with no other children. However, another girl did stay briefly but left as she had lice.

The Harrison children were in Wales from 1942-43. Harry returned home that winter and Lou arrived shortly before he did.

I loved the parts about the Harrison household when Lou talks about how she and her family spent time together and it was plain the Harrison house was one filled with love. Her brother Harold would say in George Harrison: Living in the Material World that there was enough love in the Harrison house to fill 10 houses and I have always believed that to be the case. Harold Sr. was described by all as a pleasant, reasonable man and one with a very strong work ethic. Lou related stories about Harold that had not previously been shared, such as his success as a Union official during his tenure with the Liverpool Corporation Passenger Transport. An extremely intelligent man, Harold passed much of his reasoning abilities to his 4 children. Lou said that he was plainly a gifted man, but unfortunately not many doors were being held open for him. Louise French passed on, among many good traits her humor and ready laugh. I love the story about how Lou, 6 and Harry, 3 got around Louise with a funny bath time story.

Yes, this book is underscored in love by one who was there and knew the story from the start. It was a bonus treat to see young pictures of Harold and Louise when they were "courting" and to see pictures of the French and Harrison families which had not seen the public light of day until now. You can see that George bears a strong resemblance to Louise and the men in her family. His Uncle Eddy French left his stamp on George as well. George was Harrison from the eyes up; he was French from the nose down. Lou, as many took note of "the piercing Harrison eyes" and said the worst punishment she incurred was a strong glare of reproach from Harold.

Intelligence ran rampant among the Harrison and French families. Lou excelled in school and even earned a scholarship to attend high school. She had some funny anecdotes about her high spirited "Ramona Quimby" like personality as a girl. Who couldn't love Lou? Her stories were really funny.

Thanks to Lou, Beatle records were played in the United States in 1963. Lou literally banged on the drum for her brother and got local disc jockeys in Benton, Illinois where she was then living and nearby towns to play Beatle records. In 1964 when the Beatles came to America, George was quite ill with fever and strep. Lou came through like the Cavalry for her brother and between Lou's ministrations and the doctor's prescriptions, George rallied in time to perform on Ed Sullivan. We all know the Beatles without George is like Chrysler without Dodge and the West Coast without California. You have to have George! It's as simple as that. Also, the world at large was spared the hideous sight of Ed Sullivan acting a fool by donning a Beatle wig and threatening to go on television so attired if George didn't recover in time for the February 9, 1964 show.

Lou, seated in the fourth row from the front said she was one of the fortunate few who saw the Beatles perform in color on February 9, 1964! Thanks to Lou, the show went on!

The book follows Lou's life trajectory from two marriages; the birth of her son Gordon Jr. in 1957 and her daughter Leslie Louise in 1959 and her extensive travels. Lou even had a radio career in the 1960s and was a good contact person for Beatle fans in the United States. Meanwhile, back in England, "way back in England," as Paul McCartney would say in early 1964, the senior Harrisons made themselves ready and accessible to their son's countless hordes of fans. It was not uncommon for them to sit up late into the wee hours of the morning answering fan letters and Louise was known to offer fans some tea when they made the pilgrimage to the Harrison home in Liverpool from points around the world.

Yes, this book is a genuine treasure. Lou herself is a treasure, very much their mother's daughter. She's such a delightful little French girl, she is! Lou has lived in the United States since early 1963 and at the time of this review has been an avid, active environmentalist for many years and has for the past several years managed a Beatles' tribute band called Liverpool Legends.

Let's raise our glasses to Lou!


Festhaltetherapie bei Kindern mit Autismus: Sinnvolle Hilfe oder unnötige Misshandlung? (German Edition)
Festhaltetherapie bei Kindern mit Autismus: Sinnvolle Hilfe oder unnötige Misshandlung? (German Edition)
Price: £10.99

1.0 out of 5 stars Caveat Emptor!, 8 Aug. 2014
What I said about Martha Welch's treatise on enforcing holding which has been challenged by many and with bad effects, I will say in full and equal measure about this work. DON'T assume that this method will cure autism as it won't. Donna Williams wrote an excellent treatise on just this by saying that people, autism and neurotypical alike will just outwardly go along so as to be set free. This is a method I would never wish on anybody. Again, my feelings on this whole concept can be found below:

If it looks like a duck...it's a QUACK!

This is one of the worst books I have EVER read!

One size does not fit all. While the benefits of hugging have been proven and documented, there is the very real flip side of misapplied hugs and unwanted hugs.

Dr. Welch has banged on the drum for years about what she calls "holding time," but there are the very real needs of those for whom this treatment is undesirable. For example, many people with autism dislike hugs/holding because of a) the sensory onslaught, e.g. body and/or perfume odors; b) hugs can be too tight and therefore unpleasant and c) in many cases involving severely autistic individuals, hugs are often viewed as punitive restraint.

Another thing that bothers me about this is Dr. Welch has long advocated this "holding time," but scant attention has been paid to the downside this can have. In Catherine Maurice's book, "Let Me Hear Your Voice," she chronicles the problems with this method. In many instances, children as young as pre-school age were brought in for "holding," all the while being shouted at and told how they [the children] placed unreasonable demands; wanted their way (who doesn't) and, in effect were hurting the family. That kind of thing made me want to run for cover! The premise of this being to choreograph anger (the parents were actually TOLD to be angry at their children and scream these kinds of things at them), all the while inflicting these restrictive hugs.

Welch's method smacks of quackery to me. I was also repelled by people following the order to lick their children like dogs do their pups. Welch, along with the Tinbergens and Bettelheim claim that restraint and unnatural hugs will "cure" autism. That most emphatically is not true! Being autistic has nothing to do with unresolved issues in a parent/caretaker-child relationship. Autism is a neurobiological condition. All the enforced hugs in the world won't cure autism. The enforced hugs were bad enough, but in some cases, Dr. Welch had people "straitjacketing" their children by rolling them up firmly in blankets, further restraining them. That sounded atrocious and appalling to me. To add insult to injury, she all but blames parents for causing their children to have autism! Her "followers" sound like they've been sold a bill of goods. Since there is no scientific evidence to support Welch's claims, the whole concept seems very dubious to me.

I knew a boy who survived this treatment and hated it. He would say, "no more hug," "hate hug" and "Not there! [to the place where this treatment was dispensed] No more yell and no more hug." To him, hugs were "when you get yelled at when you're not bad," and to this day he avoids hugs. Imagine explaining to well intentioned relatives why a child tries avoid being hugged. At 10, the boy said he'd rather have been spanked than subjected to this treatment. Now, nearing adulthood, he says, "I'm still autistic. I still like to study weather patterns. I'm still an expert on jeeps and military planes and I still hate hugs."

As a survivor of enforced hugging, I can say that it was not for me and backfired - instead of resolving anything, it turned me off to hugs all the more. To this day, the very thought of enduring this dreadful treatment repels me. I found it punitive and abhorred it. Who wants to be yelled at and told to look at somebody while being subdued by force?! Who wants to be the recipient of false accusations with no recourse or defense?! Who would want to be forced to sit with someone and endure hugs to appease others?! It is the neurotypical (NT) population who got their way and at the expense of the clients!

Enforced hugging does NOT engender love - it often impresses me as being a staged tableau designed to meet everybody else's needs at the expense of the client being forced to endure it. Yelling at people and hurling accusations does not sound like loving resolution to me. Donna Williams' brilliant work, "Autism: An Inside-Out Approach" addresses this very real issue and said that enforced hugs only teach the lesson of "give the desired response." The videos of these "holding" sessions seem to depict just that - enduring hugs under the most adverse of conditions, replete with accusations and yelling. People with autism (this treatment was directed primarily at the autistic population) usually have acute hearing, so yelling can be especially painful. Subjecting pre-schoolers, some of whom are nonverbal to this kind of treatment is something I find atrocious and appalling. I would never wish this form of treatment on anyone.

In fact, I think this method and this book are for the birds. The very expression "for the birds" came about from birds pecking at seeds horses passed into their manure. "For the birds" means of minimal value and from a very questionable source indeed.


L'abbraccio che guarisce
L'abbraccio che guarisce
by Martha G. Welch
Edition: Perfect Paperback
Price: £9.32

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars If it Looks Like a Duck..., 8 Aug. 2014
...it's a QUACK!

This is one of the worst books I have EVER read!

One size does not fit all. While the benefits of hugging have been proven and documented, there is the very real flip side of misapplied hugs and unwanted hugs.

Dr. Welch has banged on the drum for years about what she calls "holding time," but there are the very real needs of those for whom this treatment is undesirable. For example, many people with autism dislike hugs/holding because of a) the sensory onslaught, e.g. body and/or perfume odors; b) hugs can be too tight and therefore unpleasant and c) in many cases involving severely autistic individuals, hugs are often viewed as punitive restraint.

Another thing that bothers me about this is Dr. Welch has long advocated this "holding time," but scant attention has been paid to the downside this can have. In Catherine Maurice's book, "Let Me Hear Your Voice," she chronicles the problems with this method. In many instances, children as young as pre-school age were brought in for "holding," all the while being shouted at and told how they [the children] placed unreasonable demands; wanted their way (who doesn't) and, in effect were hurting the family. That kind of thing made me want to run for cover! The premise of this being to choreograph anger (the parents were actually TOLD to be angry at their children and scream these kinds of things at them), all the while inflicting these restrictive hugs.

Welch's method smacks of quackery to me. I was also repelled by people following the order to lick their children like dogs do their pups. Welch, along with the Tinbergens and Bettelheim claim that restraint and unnatural hugs will "cure" autism. That most emphatically is not true! Being autistic has nothing to do with unresolved issues in a parent/caretaker-child relationship. Autism is a neurobiological condition. All the enforced hugs in the world won't cure autism. The enforced hugs were bad enough, but in some cases, Dr. Welch had people "straitjacketing" their children by rolling them up firmly in blankets, further restraining them. That sounded atrocious and appalling to me. To add insult to injury, she all but blames parents for causing their children to have autism! Her "followers" sound like they've been sold a bill of goods. Since there is no scientific evidence to support Welch's claims, the whole concept seems very dubious to me.

I knew a boy who survived this treatment and hated it. He would say, "no more hug," "hate hug" and "Not there! [to the place where this treatment was dispensed] No more yell and no more hug." To him, hugs were "when you get yelled at when you're not bad," and to this day he avoids hugs. Imagine explaining to well intentioned relatives why a child tries avoid being hugged. At 10, the boy said he'd rather have been spanked than subjected to this treatment. Now, nearing adulthood, he says, "I'm still autistic. I still like to study weather patterns. I'm still an expert on jeeps and military planes and I still hate hugs."

As a survivor of enforced hugging, I can say that it was not for me and backfired - instead of resolving anything, it turned me off to hugs all the more. To this day, the very thought of enduring this dreadful treatment repels me. I found it punitive and abhorred it. Who wants to be yelled at and told to look at somebody while being subdued by force?! Who wants to be the recipient of false accusations with no recourse or defense?! Who would want to be forced to sit with someone and endure hugs to appease others?! It is the neurotypical (NT) population who got their way and at the expense of the clients!

Enforced hugging does NOT engender love - it often impresses me as being a staged tableau designed to meet everybody else's needs at the expense of the client being forced to endure it. Yelling at people and hurling accusations does not sound like loving resolution to me. Donna Williams' brilliant work, "Autism: An Inside-Out Approach" addresses this very real issue and said that enforced hugs only teach the lesson of "give the desired response." The videos of these "holding" sessions seem to depict just that - enduring hugs under the most adverse of conditions, replete with accusations and yelling. People with autism (this treatment was directed primarily at the autistic population) usually have acute hearing, so yelling can be especially painful. Subjecting pre-schoolers, some of whom are nonverbal to this kind of treatment is something I find atrocious and appalling. I would never wish this form of treatment on anyone.

In fact, I think this method and this book are for the birds. The very expression "for the birds" came about from birds pecking at seeds horses passed into their manure. "For the birds" means of minimal value and from a very questionable source indeed.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jan 27, 2015 9:40 PM GMT


Little Mercies
Little Mercies
Price: £3.66

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sheer Brilliance!, 23 July 2014
This review is from: Little Mercies (Kindle Edition)
Heather Gudenkauf could no more write a bad book than Paul McCartney could write a bad love song or Honda make a bad car. She is a master story teller, simple as that.

This book, as with her others is told from more than one character's point of view. In this book, we have Ellen Moore, a mother and social worker who is passionate about ALL children, hers and those of others. Her life mission is to place children in as safe a home as humanly possible.

Ellen is married to a truly good man and is blessed with Leah, 9, Lucas, 6 and Avery, 11 months. Their home is a far cry from the abuse, cruelty and domestic violence that the children on Ellen's case list endure. Some of her young clients have become casualties.

Jenny Braird, 10 is a challenge to Ellen. Her mother abandoned her family for life with a male friend. Jenny, then 4 was placed in foster care, which for her was a bad experience. Her father has custody of her and he tells her to board a Greyhound bus before he does. Shortly after boarding that bus, Jenny's father is being questioned by the police. Jenny remains on the bus, en route to her maternal grandmother's house. Her father is subsequently arrested.

As for Ellen, one split second error in judgment proved costly. She absentmindedly leaves her 11-month old daughter in a very hot car which results in the child suffering from heat stroke. Fortunately, a trip to the Emergency Room saves the girl's life, but Ellen is left questioning herself and her line of work. Her two older children fear they'll never see their sister.

Enter Maudene, Ellen's delightful mother. Maudene recognizes abuse when she sees it and immediately takes Jenny into her heart and home. Ellen, in an ironic flip side of her own profession receives a court order to stay away from her daughter and receives additional legal threats to have her other two children taken out of her home.

Questions crop up. Were there any legal grounds to the neglect charges Ellen is facing? And what of Jenny's grandmother? What charges were brought against Jenny's father? Will they be reunited? What of Jenny's mother? And will Ellen be able to restore her reputation?

This is a beautiful, sad, tender, tough, gentle, heartwarming story all in one. The characters are very plausible and readers are immediately drawn into their literary world. This is a book readers will want to stay with to the very last page. At the risk of sounding mawkish, I am going to miss these characters. If I could rate this 10 plus stars, I would happily do so.


Good Ol' Freda [DVD]
Good Ol' Freda [DVD]
Dvd ~ Freda Kelly
Price: £12.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Kudos to Freda!, 7 Jun. 2014
This review is from: Good Ol' Freda [DVD] (DVD)
This film got some warm-up showings at Austin Texas' annual South by Southwest (SXSW) in March of 2013. It was met with rave reviews and from there was shown nationwide at the annual Fests for Beatles Fans. I saw it and love it!

Like the Scorcese documentary "Living In The Material World" and the Cirque du Soleil's "Love" tribute to the Beatles, the two surviving Beatles and their spouses as well as their bandmates' widows were approached and "Good Ol' Freda" got the nod from all directly involved. Ryan White who directed this stellar work did his homework and did it well. Nobody can argue with the high level of research that went into making this film.

What distinguishes this film from the myriad of films about the Beatles including documentaries is that it is not the cliche exposé that so many purporting to be documentaries are. Freda Kelly, the Beatles' secretary has lived privately and quietly and has only just come forward with her observations about her job. Freda is a very likable and sincere person and when she speaks, she really has something to say. Her children and grandson are also in the film and they all were in deep respect for this humble woman who chose not to cash in on the Beatles' name to fame.

Viewers get a fresh look at the Beatles as well as enjoying a damn good soundtrack. Freda shares photos of members of the Beatles' familes that had previously been unpublished. She was friends with Elsie Gleave Starkey, who viewed her as the daughter she wished she had and the sister she wished her son Ritchie (Ringo) had. I loved these accounts; one that was especially delightful was when she met the Harrisons and George's father Harry wanted to teach her how to do ballroom dancing. (Makes you think of their son George singing "I'm Happy Just to Dance With You" in 1964.) Harry and Louise Harrison taught ballroom dancing for years and in the book "Living in the Material World," there is a picture of Harry and Louise going out dancing. There is a lovely picture of Harry dancing with Freda in this film. I had a bit of a giggle at that. Freda describes Harry and Louise much as George's first wife did - short in stature and delightfully Liverpudlian. The Harrisons were known to be extremely cordial and appreciative of their fans and made no bones about their appreciation for Freda's work with and for the Beatles.

"Good Ol' Freda" treats viewers to an array of lovely images. I especially loved the ones of Freda herself, then and currently taking walks by old stomping grounds and landmarks throughout Liverpool. As an added treat, Tony Barrow, who was the Beatles' press secretary was interviewed along with others who traveled that Long & Winding Road throughout the Beatles' careers.

Freda, solid and dependable was not one to act a fool and go wild over the Beatles. She kept a level head and a professional demeanor and took her job seriously and did it well. She became the "go-to" person where the Beatles were concerned; Pat Kinzer Mancuso even mentions Freda Kelly in her book, Do You Want to Know a Secret?: The Story of the Official George Harrison Fan Club. Freda was a regular guest in the Beatles' homes; she remained a welcome guest in the houses of Harrison and Starkey for years.

George Harrison's sister Louise has said on numerous interviews in recent years (you can catch her on LouTube) that most Britons are humble and not apt to bang on their own drum. That certainly is true on Freda's case. She has refused to write a tell all memoir after years of being asked to to so. Ten years after the Beatles came to America, she parted with her massive Beatles' collection. Darn shame, really. The collection alone would have been worth keeping.

Freda Kelly has rightfully earned a place of high respect. She has wisely chosen not to engage in "Devil's Radio," as George Harrison would have said. George, described by Louise from the time he was a very young boy was one who detested gossip and this was never more true than when he recorded the above mentioned song. Freda is a Godsend; by NOT downgrading anybody or telling titillating tales out of school, she has set a good tone and good example. This has reflected well on her and makes her all the more somebody you can respect. She is a far cry from Francie Schwartz!

Freda's own immediate family were not aware of her job and her contacts with the Beatles for many years. Her daughter Rachel was impressed with what she learned from watching the film as it was, as she said, mostly new and fresh information for her. Freda has shielded her family from the public eye and her current disclosures have sparked interests, which is natural. At no time does she compromise her standards.

The 1965 John Lennon classic is very a propos in re this film. "Some are dead and some are living/in my life, I've loved them all." The senior Harrisons, John's Aunt Mimi who raised him; Julia Stanley Lennon and Freddie ("that Alf Lennon" as the Stanley Sisters called him), Elsie Starkey Graves and Harry Graves, Richard Starkey Sr. and Mary and Jim McCartney as well as John Lennon and George Harrison are sadly no longer with us. The Beatles' manager Brian Epstein died in 1967. The deaths of these key players make the 1965 classic "In My Life" all the more poignant and fitting for this film.

As for Freda, her willingness to come forward now after nearly half a century has enriched and touched many lives. That would certainly include those of viewers and hard core inveterate Beatles' fans as well as the Beatles themselves. Freda is even given a nod on the boys' Christmas albums. Kudos to Rachel Kelly Norris and her son who, as the newer generations encouraged Freda to reconsider coming forward and sharing her experiences during the Swinging Sixties, a time of Ford Falcons and wonderful music.

Ringo Starr, the Beatle whose mother bonded with Freda thanks her during the credits and Paul McCartney, the other living Beatle supported this film. Angie McCartney, Paul's stepmother agreed to do a short interview and Paul's younger brother Michael agreed to supply some early photographs for the film as well.

In just under an hour and a half, you will go on the Magical Mystery Tour of your life and one you will never forget or regret. This is a film I cannot recommend highly enough and it is a must have for all Beatles' fans and for all who are interested in the Beatles. Freda is a vital key player and without her help and input, who knows how history would have played out. Thanks to Freda, we can now give her the kudos she richly deserves.


Dear Killer
Dear Killer
by Katherine Ewell
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £12.03

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Bloody Atrocious!, 6 Jun. 2014
This review is from: Dear Killer (Hardcover)
This review is from: Dear Killer (Kindle Edition)

"She was just 17, you know what I mean..." -- Paul McCartney from "I Saw Her Standing There" 1963

I have to agree with the other 1-star reviewers, especially the U.S. reviewer who was upset at having "wasted time with this garbage!" I hated every damn single character and the story as well. There was absolutely NO sense in this implausible tale. This atrocious book is just as bad as Caroline Cooney's execrable and farcical Mummy. Emlyn of Mummy infamy was bad enough, but Kit tops the charts! This is one of the worst books I have EVER read!

This story is beyond asinine. A teenage serial killer who is called The Perfect Killer because she's never gotten caught? PUH-LEEASE! How ridiculous can you get? This idiotic tale makes one wonder if the author, herself very young and only at the time of this review slightly older than Kit, her loathsome protagonist intended this to be a farce. Farcical and fanciful are too kind to be applied to this book. I truly hate it with an Aries passion.

Kit was morally bankrupt. She was a genuine psychopath and so is her equally depraved mother. Kit has been killing people for nearly half of her life. She started on her killing career at the tender age of 9. Yes, 9! You also have to wonder about the killer's mother, herself skilled in homicide who brings in a detective who is working hard on unmasking the Perfect Killer. Kit's mother was every bit as evil and depraved as Kit and actually taught and trained Kit to follow in her footsteps. Kit was jailbait and the detective was taking a cliche interest in her...oh, for Pete's sake! She was just 17, you know what I mean...Jailbait! Sex offender status, anyone?

Kit kept banging on her own drum and singing her own praises about how perfect and wonderful she was. I didn't see her that way. I saw her as a loathsome psychopath and bore who was in dire need of a good a** kicking. I kept waiting to see evidence of just how brilliant she was and never once was given reason to share Kit's highly inflated and delusional opinion of herself.

This story is just so darn asinine and riddled with holes big enough for you to drive a fleet of trucks through. Come on, gang! Here is this minor, this underaged girl teaming up with the detective who is almost twice her age. She's the killer leading him on in every sense of the term. Now get this: the detective confides in Kit. How implausible is that? Surely the guy has to know how old Kit is unless he is a pedophile and/or willing to risk jail time for jailbait. Is she even worth it? A resounding NO!!!!

This just gets more and more ridiculous. The local police allow Kit to view a crime scene; Kit contaminates evidence by being allowed to handle it and gets Addled Alex the Jailbait Chasing detective to provide her with graphic descriptions of carnage and murder. Now that is just plain sick, sorry.

If you want to ratchet up the sheer asininity, how about THIS: people write Kit wanting those who have crossed them killed. Even her classmates put in requests. How is it this highly suspicious activity is not investigated? And how do people even know how to contact her to place hits on people? That is veering off into an area beyond asinine to the nth degree!

Then, here is the capper: Kit leaves the death request letters with the people who have been killed. She's like Hansel leaving a trail to be found. How is it that the police are too damn obtuse to follow that trail and find her?

It is as plain as day that Kit has no conscience and has no more remorse for her crime spree than Charles Manson or Jack the Ripper. Then, to make a bad story even worse, shortly after killing somebody, Kit turns on the waterworks and screams that the victim didn't deserve to die. What made her put on that little demo? Had to get into character for an audience? Trying to throw people off her trail? Crying in her beer because this hit was on the house meaning she didn't get paid for this one? All of the above, most likely. Kit had no moral compass and was every bit as disgusting as some of the real life killers who have killed with no remorse.

This just was not a good or convincing story and the characters had nothing to recommend them. Yes, I know I am wording this review strongly, but few books have angered and disgusted me to the extent that this one did. Yes, I admit reading this because it was like a train crash - you stare in horrified fascination. With this lousy book, you can't help but think, "this damn book could ONLY get better." Sadly, that was an overestimation.

The ending was just too weird, stupid and completely implausible. If you feel you have to read this or if your curiosity was piqued like mine was, read this in the library or a local bookstore. DO NOT waste your money on this. And yes, I agree with the reviewer who described this atrocious drivel as manure. Well said.


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