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Chelli (Yorkshire)

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My Story: Blitz: The Diary of Edie Benson, London 1940 - 1941
My Story: Blitz: The Diary of Edie Benson, London 1940 - 1941
by Vince Cross
Edition: Paperback

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great for adult readers too, 16 Feb. 2010
Although this book is aimed at teenage readers it's also a very worthwhile & interesting read for adults. I've read a few really good adults books about the Blitz but learnt far more from reading this book because of the way everything is described in clear detail.
Written in the form of a teenage girl's diary you really get a feel for how it would have been to live through them terrifying times in London and what the Londoners had to endure on a daily basis. Edie is a really likable character full of Cockney spirit and I really enjoyed reading about her life through the time of the Blitz.


My Story: The Hunger: The Diary of Phyllis McCormack, Ireland, 1845-1847
My Story: The Hunger: The Diary of Phyllis McCormack, Ireland, 1845-1847
by Carol Drinkwater
Edition: Paperback

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great for adult readers too, 12 Feb. 2010
Although this book is aimed at teenage readers it's also a very worthwhile and interesting read for adults. I learned a lot about the Irish potato famine from reading this book and really enjoyed the enthralling story that unfolded of Phyllis and her family's struggle to survive.
Written in the form of a teenage girl's diary you really get a feel for how frightening it must have been to live through them harrowing and bleak times.


Dawn of the Dumb: Dispatches from the Idiotic Frontline
Dawn of the Dumb: Dispatches from the Idiotic Frontline
by Charlie Brooker
Edition: Paperback

4.0 out of 5 stars clever and funny, 25 Oct. 2009
I really enjoyed this often funny and sometimes hilarious collection of columns written for the Guardian by Charlie Brooker. In them he reviews a wide range of TV programmes and offers his unique disgruntled take on life in general. He comes up with some very clever observations that you're bound to agree with at least some of, and amoung his very amusing and whacky ideas there's actually a few strokes of genius. A very enjoyable book.


Child Of Tibet: The story of Soname's flight to freedom
Child Of Tibet: The story of Soname's flight to freedom
by Soname Yangchen
Edition: Paperback

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Unique & fascinating, 29 Mar. 2009
This is a rare and unusual tale of a Tibetan woman's escape from a life of slavery and oppression under Chinese rule to freedom after a harrowing ordeal crossing the Himalayas on foot.
Soname gives an excellent first hand account of how life is for Tibetans under Chinese rule and clearly explains the Tibetan way of thinking and dealing with things. The part about the actual escape could have been told more captivatingly, but overall this is a fascinating and enjoyable read.


Criminal
Criminal
by Caspar Walsh
Edition: Hardcover

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Shocking story excellently written, 29 Mar. 2009
This review is from: Criminal (Hardcover)
This is the fascinating story of a boy born into a life of drugs and crime which he becomes personally involved in from an unusually young age thanks to his unconventional criminal dad. His wild and crazy childhood is quite shocking and it's an absolute miracle he ever turned his life around after such a start to life.
But Caspar definitely has a real talent for writing. His vivid and detailed descriptions are written as though they only just happened, and his accounts are brutally honest and very revealing about the world of drug addicts.


Condemned: The Transformation of a Violent Gang Leader
Condemned: The Transformation of a Violent Gang Leader
by Mark Rowan
Edition: Paperback

4 of 11 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Misleadingly subtitled, 22 Mar. 2009
The subtitle of this book is very misleading - THE TRANSFORMATION OF A VIOLENT GANG LEADER - Mark never even mentions being in a gang in this book! He's just a typical guy who's grown up in a rough area of West Yorkshire and turned to a life of drugs and crime.
Although there's no gripping storyline to this book I still found the events in his life interesting and fairly well told. I didn't really want to read the last 30 pages of Bible-bashing, but Mark does at least sound really genuine about it all and it has helped him miraculously turn his life around.


Welcome to Hell: One Man's Fight For Life Inside The Bangkok Hilton
Welcome to Hell: One Man's Fight For Life Inside The Bangkok Hilton
by Colin Martin
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.99

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gripping and shocking, 19 Mar. 2009
The true story of how an Irish businessman in Thailand is defrauded of a huge sum of money and then ends up being tortured and imprisoned for a murder he didn't commit.
This very disturbing story exposes just how sickeningly corrupt and unjust the whole Thai law and punishment system is from top to bottom. Martin's story is both shocking and fascinating throughout and I found it very hard to put the book down, even though I could guess what would happen next through most of it. I feel that Colin told the story very honestly and I really felt for him and what he went through, especially as he was totally innocent.


Laughter & Tears: Johanna's Story
Laughter & Tears: Johanna's Story
by Irene Powell
Edition: Paperback
Price: £11.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Heart-warming and positive, 12 Mar. 2009
This is the story of Johanna's very varied and interesting life. From her poor strict religious upbringing in Holland, through the hunger and hardship of WWII and her time working with refugees in Germany at the end of the war, to her work as a midwife in England. An idyllic Nazi-run holiday to Austria during the war gave her a taste for travel that she persued through her life and she includes this in her book too.
Johanna comes across as a very strong spirited woman who's insisted on living life her way, but has always done what she could to help others and her story is a heart-warming and positive one, although slightly lacking in any drama.


For a House Made of Stone: Gina's Story
For a House Made of Stone: Gina's Story
by Gina French
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £16.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Unique & intriguing, 12 Mar. 2009
The story of a girl from a poor farming village in the Philippines who, at only 11 years old, goes out to work as a live-in maid in order to help her family survive, and eventually ends up as a sex worker in Manilla. But then her years of marriage to a violent abusive Englishman who brings her to live in England lead to her stabbing him to death in a fit of rage and facing a murder charge.
You can't help but feel sorry for Gina and empathise with all what she has gone through in life. Using a ghost writer she tells her unique and intriguing tale very honestly and openly and in a way that's enjoyable to read.


NOWHERE TO RUN: Where do you go when there's nowhere left to hide?
NOWHERE TO RUN: Where do you go when there's nowhere left to hide?
by Judy Westwater
Edition: Paperback
Price: £9.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Just as tragic, well written & captivating as Street Kid., 12 Mar. 2009
After reading her first book, Street Kid, I didn't think there were any tragedies left that hadn't already been thrown at Judy, but this book is actually even more heartbreaking as she endures one horrendous ordeal after the other. She finally manages to escape her abusive childhood by running away to the circus, but then the man she marries turns out to be even more evil than her parents were, so she takes her kids and flees to South Africa, but even worse evil faces her there. Luckily Judy's fighting spirit is tougher and even more determined than ever though with her children to protect this time, and she fights her way through it all and manages to turn her life around by the time you get to the happy ending.
Just as tragic, well written and captivating as her first book.


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