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BeatleBangs1964 (United States)

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Something Different About Dad
Something Different About Dad
by KirstiEvans
Edition: Paperback

5.0 out of 5 stars Too Much Magic Bus, 20 Dec. 2016
"Thank you, driver, for getting me here (Too much Magic Bus)
You'll be an inspector, have no fear (Too much Magic Bus)
I don't want to cause no fuss (Too much Magic Bus)
But can I buy your Magic Bus? (Too much Magic Bus)" -- The Who

This is an excellent book replete with illustrations, not unlike the Gray's "Social Stories" concept. This illustrated story about two children whose father has Asperger's Syndrome is ideal for older children up to middle school. It is also ideal for families and educators.

The illustrations are excellent. What makes this book even more effective is that the authors had themselves drawn into the story and provided comments about autistic behavior and explaining to readers why Sophie, 9 and Daniel, 12 cope with the behaviors of their father.

Mark, the father of the two children featured in this book fits the classic profile of an adult with Asperger's. His special interest is busses and he meticulously and methodically lines his model busses up and makes sure they are clean. He insists that Sophie and Mark keep their rooms neat at all times and his idea of fun is going to bus themed events. When the kids were younger, they went along, not realizing just how "different" their father was.

This became apparent by the time Sophie was 9 and her parents attended Parents' Night at her school. Mark acted a fool by berating Sophie's teacher for starting late, without realizing that some flexibility had to be allowed for another parent whose time ran over. He criticized Sophie's work and chided her for mispelling a word. His wife tries to calm him down and later passes out a leaflet about Asperger's Syndrome. Mark also gets tense and has meltdowns at family gatherings when many people are talking at the same time and when unexpected topics come up. He does not like surprises.

Mark has a tendency to talk ad infinitum about busses, down to the most minute of details. He has trouble reading people's reaction and often does not see that others don't share his passion.

"Magic Bus, Magic Bus, Magic Bus, Magic Bus
I want it, I want it, I want it...(You can't have it!)
Think how much you'll save...(You can't have it!)]
I want it, I want it, I want it, I want it ... (You can't have it!)" -- The Who

Once Sophie and Daniel learn about their father's Asperger's, they pitch in with their mother to work out ways around it. They post a calendar of schedules and talk about possible outcomes, such as why one might be late. They suggest that he retreat to his study with the bus models when he gets overwhelmed. Their most successful suggestion was to have their visiting aunt, uncle and cousins rent an adjacent cottage at a popular resort the family enjoys every year. In times past, Mark spoiled many would-be positive outings by going ballistic when his toddler niece, nephew and their dog ran and played noisily. Having separate cottages allowed both families to enjoy themselves.

The importance of "me-time" was included. Each character explained that they enjoyed doing individual things, such as Daniel had football, Sophie her CDs and their mother Spanish dancing with her friend. They had times where they could do their thing.

This is one of the best books about an adult character with Asperger's that I have ever encountered. It is an ideal teaching tool and it takes the stigma out of autism and provides the voice of tolerance instead.

*An aside: there is a George Harrison connection in this story that Beatle fans will immediately get. Mark's sister-in-law is named Louise and George was the son and brother of women named Louise. Mark is a bus conductor and George Harrison's father, Harold Sr. was a bus conductor/driver/bus union man for some 30 years. The name "Hargreaves" came up and that is an old family name on the Harrison side of George Harrison's family tree. George's father was Harold Hargreaves Harrison. Rabid, inveterate Beatle fans and Beatle fans on the spectrum will most likely pick up on this right away.

The Who's 1965 (recorded in 1965, released in 1968) classic "Magic Bus" is the soundtrack of this story.


Thursday's child
Thursday's child

1.0 out of 5 stars Turn On Your Fans! This One's a Stinker!, 4 Oct. 2016
This review is from: Thursday's child (Paperback)
This book is very poorly written and just as poorly edited.

Meara and Jan Straka are devastated because Meara had to undergo a hysterectomy at age 26 as they desperately wanted children. Five-year-old orphan Timmy became available through a local agency and the Strakas adopted him, despite his severe ADD/ADHD. Timmy, orphaned since age 2 comes with only a few clothes, a Raggedy Andy doll and a toy dump truck.

Mara is a fledgling children's author who cranks out trite, uninspiring stories such as a little thundercloud making noise "because children shouldn't be afraid of thunderstorms." Fear of danger is not a moral call and saying that people should not fear danger is foolish, sorry. Then there was her trite tale of Dinky Donkey, a midget donkey who had to try and try again to keep up with the other braying asses. Meara, after a difficult day with Timmy, reminds herself to be like her asinine character and "try, try again."

Meara is like the 1966 Dave Clark Five song, "Try Too Hard." She throws a party for Timmy, even after he says he didn't want one. Sexist descriptions of the guests are included, such as "Alice was a girls' girl," and sexist stereotyping can be found throughout the book. Bruce Hanson, another child at the party has a truck exactly like the one Timmy brought from the orphanage and that led to a lifetime skirmish between the two. Meara tries to impose stories on him, but Timmy isn't interested and he just can't sit still. Even without ADD/ADHD, her stories are neither inspiring nor insightful.

Timmy's hyperactivity is especially severe. He lasted half a term in kindergarten and was educated with one other child in a classroom separate from the other children. Fast forward five years and Timmy, now nearly 11, is still suffering from extreme ADD/ADHD and it takes a toll on the Strakas' marriage. A crotchety man named Mr. Rondale served on the school board and believed errant pupils deserved to be whipped in the woodshed. Halfway into the book, Mr. Rondale had retired and moved to Florida. With no explanation, he is suddenly back on the school board towards the latter part of the book, ready to beat kids in the woodshed.

This book belongs in the toilet or the woodshed in the recycle bin. Recycle the pages and put them to good use. This book is a poorly written waste.


The Beatles: Eight Days a Week - The Touring Years - Special Edition [Blu-ray] [2016]
The Beatles: Eight Days a Week - The Touring Years - Special Edition [Blu-ray] [2016]
Dvd ~ Michael Wood
Price: £15.99

80 of 88 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beatles Forever!, 23 Sept. 2016
No Beatles' fan should be without this dvd or a chance to see it if it is being shown in their area. Ron Howard's documentary is the best work he has EVER done and he takes viewers on a Magical Mystery Tour (oops - that's 1967) with the Beatles, covering their touring career from 1963 concerts in Europe to the American concerts from 1964 - 1966 with an excerpt of their concert in Japan in 1966.

1966 was a banner year for the Beatles. John Lennon gave an interview on March 4, 1966 and was sadly taken out of context with one statement he made. The Beatles ran into danger in the Philippines the summer of 1966 and bigots in the Deep South (United States) threatened their lives if they played in certain southern U.S. cities. Radio announcements about where to have Beatle albums and memorabilia destroyed were given. The aptly named Wacky (WAQY) in Alabama was notorious for spreading anti Beatle sentiments, much to the displeasure of the groups' countless fans. The Beatles' Japanese venue, Budokan Hall was, prior to their June 30, 1966 performance reserved for martial arts. Some Japanese officials were not in favor of the Beatles performing there. After a grueling world tour in 1966 with George becoming increasingly disillusioned with touring in general and expressing great displeasure in Boston, the Beatles performed their Swan Song Concert in San Francisco on August 29, 1966.

The Beatles on the other hand were far from bigots. In fact they refused to play before a segregated audience at the Gator Bowl the summer of 1964. Interviews with the surviving Beatles from Anthology and some John Lennon interviews were interspersed throughout the documentary. Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr said with regard to the Gator Bowl 30 years later that the Beatles just played for people and race was no determining factor. They expressed general disgust for racism. Whoopi Goldberg said that the Beatles were an important part of her life and that she took some insider racist fallout from others who were black who chided her for "liking those white boys." To her, they weren't members of a race - in her own words, they were the Beatles! They "allowed her to be herself, be what SHE wanted to be and not what others told her to be." I can certainly identify with that statement! Music is for everybody and not just any given demographic. Suggesting race as a marker for who and what to like is asinine and on a mental plane with the Archie Bunker segment. By the same token, Whoopi and other fans who were not white don't make racist accusations about others telling them they are racist for not liking groups/artists who are not black. Racism is just so asinine. Whoopi is right - the Beatles did allow people to throw their inhibitions out the door and just enjoy themselves and express themselves freely and gladly.

Sigourney Weaver related how she used beer cans for rollers in her hair and how she worked hard to make herself attractive for when she saw the Beatles in 1964. She was certain they would spot her among the thousands of fans at the August 23, 1964 Hollywood Bowl concert.

Ron Howard is, I feel a far better director and film maker than he ever was an actor. This Beatles documentary is one of the best I have ever seen and I am so fortunate that it was showing in my city for a limited run. Darn shame as it is one of the best Beatles' documentaries I have EVER seen with a bonus double feature - the August 15, 1965 Shea Stadium concert film was shown right after the documentary.

Larry Kane, a reporter known for his Beatles' biographies was also interviewed. He was part of the action during the Beatles' touring years and his input was interesting and insightful. I had met Larry Kane at Beatles' conventions in 2002 and 2003 and am the proud owner of autographed copies of his books.

I loved the Beatles' concert footage and I could easily identify with the fans self stimming in the audience. As a rabid Beatles' fan, I "get" it. Viewers are treated to footage of the Beatles in 1964 in Australia, New Zealand, their 1963 Royal Command Performance before the Queen and their U.S. venues from 1964 - 1966. Although I have seen these concert films many times, it is always a treat to watch them and even more of a treat to watch them put together well and in a theater on a large screen with other rabid fans.

The Beatles' press conferences, their most famous being February 7, 1964 when they first came to America were exercises in wit and humor. Each Beatle gave the reporters as good as they got and the Fab Four were actually funny. They are timeless humor and talent.

I absolutely loved the historian who said she was one of countless fans who were black. She described the racial unrest and the Jim Crow (talk about a black bird with broken wings - Jim Crow was one bird who never should have flown) laws that were in place in the Deep Southern United States. She related her own experience and how the Beatles allowed many fans to step outside their usual lives and for those contending with racists, to table the repulsive racist sentiment and cruelty that were rampant during that time frame. People fortunate enough to attend the concerts were able to come together in harmony with a common love for the World's Greatest Band.

The movie is definitely a feel good experience and just what Dr. Robert (1966) ordered. The concert footage and the interviews alone make it worthwhile. The only personal tidbits about the boys that are included was when Paul said in a 1995 interview that he and John had both lost their mothers at early ages - Paul's mother died of cancer when Paul was 14 and John's mother was "killed in a road accident" in 1957 as Paul said. (Julia Lennon was killed in 1958 when an off duty officer who had been drinking ran over her when she left her sister's home to catch a bus.)

The Beatles are timeless and music is a universal unifier. As Ringo said in the 1968 movie "Yellow Submarine," nothing is Beatle proof. The Beatles cross all ethnic, nationality, racial, religious and socioeconimic barriers. Their music draws people and allows them to come together. Like the Sea of Time in "Yellow Submarine," the Beatles and their music allows fans to enjoy their timeless talent.

For those who came to the Beatles' party late and for all who postdate the boys' run in the sun, this movie is ideal for bringing the Beatles' experience to them. If you are lucky enough to live in a city where this is being shown, be sure to see it. Don't be surprised if you scream with the fans who attended the concerts; cheer for your favorite Beatle(s); sing along and if you are really hard core as a fan, quote the lines with the boys during their interviews and excerpts of the movies.

This is to date by far and away the best Beatles' documentary I have ever seen.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Sep 24, 2016 12:11 PM BST


No Title Available

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bigots Come in All Colors, 26 Aug. 2016
Rachel, 11 is biracial. Her mother is Danish and her father is black. Rachel spent her early childhood in Germany and did not give her rich racial heritage much thought. She is brown in coloring and her eyes are blue. When Rachel and her family are struck by tragedy after moving to the United States, Rachel is sent to live with her paternal grandmother in Portland, Oregon. The neighborhood in which Rachel's grandmother lives is predominantly black.

Once in Portland, Rachel is literally hung up between two sticks. She is the target of insider bigotry. Other black kids pull her hair and accuse her of having delusions of Caucasian superiority because she does not fit a racial mold. The age old racist claim of "thinking one is white" simply because they don't use bad grammar and street argot or act like an unflattering stereotype is one that irks me to no end. It is one thing to adjust one's speech accordingly, but NEVER dumb down for anyone. Using good grammar and demonstrating a good vocabulary is one good way to command respect.

While I'm at it, good grammar and a large vocabulary is not exclusive to ANY race. There is NO legitimate reason to deed over one's right to speaking the Lingua Pura to others lest they be ostracized or targeted for attack for not using street argot. I have always believed that bad grammar and street talk is a DEPLETION of language and a form of shackling oneself to stereotypes and carry overs to a bad time in history when knowledge and learning were denied to blacks. I feel very strongly about this and I will admit that I never liked street talk and feel that it does not speak to class. Trying to enforce other members of a particular group to speak and act in stereotypical ways is the modern day equivalent of slavery. Willfully choosing ignorance reflects badly on whoever makes this choice and sadly reinforces negative racial stereotypes. I don't feel these insider racist claims and demonstrations of insider bigotry is helpful to anyone. Again, since I do feel passionate about this, I believe that shackling oneself to an atrocious bygone era and upholding ignorance does nobody any favors.

Rachel naturally feels like an outsider among her family and peers. Because she is clearly biracial, she defies all stereotypes. During Rachel's early years in Germany, she was simply accepted and gave no thought to the fact that she was the daughter of an interracial couple. Most people, including those who are "identifiably" black are a mix of other races as well. Race is a congenital condition. Race has nothing to do with how one talks, dresses, speaks or what cultural influences they enjoy. Sadly, people often want to label others and that confines people into places where they just don't fit. That is ENFORCING beliefs on others and trying to categorize them in simplistic terms when people are NOT simplistic; they are complex!

Durrow, who shares an Afro-Danish history with her character, Rachel has written a brilliant story. (Model Melyssa Ford also shares an Afro-Scandinavian ancestry.) Black, white, how about both? Most people are! Most people are the products of MORE than one race! Family secrets and family dynamics as well as the place for race are discussed candidly and realistically. Rachel is branded as "light skinned-ed" which is bad enough, but to add insult to injury her peers ride her for "talking white." Since when is it white to use good grammar and eschew street argot? That claim has always struck me as asinine to the nth degree.

Rachel herself has some similar feelings as she cringes at her grandmother's "dialectical" speech. Readers learn about Rachel's parents and their social attitudes. Although part of this story takes place in the 1980s, it remains relevant and the socioracial issues resound to this day.

I could identify with Rachel. Being branded a race is bad enough, but when it is prefaced with "light skinned," it adds insult to injury. The tacit message is that people often feel a need to define members of the black race by their skin tone. Non-blacks who use this term raise the question of if they feel that members of the black race who are less ethnic and/or lighter in appearance are more acceptable overall. I have never liked the term "light skinned" because I never saw the need to define or identify a person by their skin tone. Archie Bunker comes in all colors. Bigotry, ironically enough, is an equal opportunity form of ignorance. Bigotry is not limited to any one group and the targets are also not limited to just one group. Hair is a very trenchant issue among many blacks and Rachel learns this the hard way. Other girls pull her long hair and make catty comments about her appearance. There is also a classist assumption about hair texture: the less ethnic one's hair is, the "better off" that person is viewed. (Just watch Chris Rock's 2009 movie "Good Hair.") There is also the very real issue of internecine bigotry. Often blacks who are less ethnic in appearance are targeted by other blacks who try to pigeonhole them and charge them with having delusions of superiority. That is downright asinine! It's all bigotry, any way you toss the dice. How can anybody claim to know what another thinks? And for a group with a history of being targeted based on the color of their skin and general appearance, it is damned ironic and very upsetting that there is a faction who practice this kind of insider racism replete with ridiculous racist ideas.

This is a very good book that is serious, topical and in your face. Yeah, it will evoke strong reactions in readers. That is because it covers issues that many feel strongly about, more often than not for having lived through some of these race based targeting methods. It is something that many people can relate to, particularly if they lived with insider bigotry. Rachel herself grows and her view of the world naturally changes with time and maturation. Again, this is a book that is a much needed work as these are issues that sadly still exist.

Michael Jackson's 1991 hit "Black or White" is definitely the soundtrack of this book.


The Girl Who Fell from the Sky by Durrow, Heidi W. (2010) Paperback
The Girl Who Fell from the Sky by Durrow, Heidi W. (2010) Paperback

5.0 out of 5 stars Bigotry Comes in All Colors, 26 Aug. 2016
Rachel, 11 is biracial. Her mother is Danish and her father is black. Rachel spent her early childhood in Germany and did not give her rich racial heritage much thought. She is brown in coloring and her eyes are blue. When Rachel and her family are struck by tragedy after moving to the United States, Rachel is sent to live with her paternal grandmother in Portland, Oregon. The neighborhood in which Rachel's grandmother lives is predominantly black.

Once in Portland, Rachel is literally hung up between two sticks. She is the target of insider bigotry. Other black kids pull her hair and accuse her of having delusions of Caucasian superiority because she does not fit a racial mold. The age old racist claim of "thinking one is white" simply because they don't use bad grammar and street argot or act like an unflattering stereotype is one that irks me to no end. It is one thing to adjust one's speech accordingly, but NEVER dumb down for anyone. Using good grammar and demonstrating a good vocabulary is one good way to command respect.

While I'm at it, good grammar and a large vocabulary is not exclusive to ANY race. There is NO legitimate reason to deed over one's right to speaking the Lingua Pura to others lest they be ostracized or targeted for attack for not using street argot. I have always believed that bad grammar and street talk is a DEPLETION of language and a form of shackling oneself to stereotypes and carry overs to a bad time in history when knowledge and learning were denied to blacks. I feel very strongly about this and I will admit that I never liked street talk and feel that it does not speak to class. Trying to enforce other members of a particular group to speak and act in stereotypical ways is the modern day equivalent of slavery. Willfully choosing ignorance reflects badly on whoever makes this choice and sadly reinforces negative racial stereotypes. I don't feel these insider racist claims and demonstrations of insider bigotry is helpful to anyone. Again, since I do feel passionate about this, I believe that shackling oneself to an atrocious bygone era and upholding ignorance does nobody any favors.

Rachel naturally feels like an outsider among her family and peers. Because she is clearly biracial, she defies all stereotypes. During Rachel's early years in Germany, she was simply accepted and gave no thought to the fact that she was the daughter of an interracial couple. Most people, including those who are "identifiably" black are a mix of other races as well. Race is a congenital condition. Race has nothing to do with how one talks, dresses, speaks or what cultural influences they enjoy. Sadly, people often want to label others and that confines people into places where they just don't fit. That is ENFORCING beliefs on others and trying to categorize them in simplistic terms when people are NOT simplistic; they are complex!

Durrow, who shares an Afro-Danish history with her character, Rachel has written a brilliant story. (Model Melyssa Ford also shares an Afro-Scandinavian ancestry.) Black, white, how about both? Most people are! Most people are the products of MORE than one race! Family secrets and family dynamics as well as the place for race are discussed candidly and realistically. Rachel is branded as "light skinned-ed" which is bad enough, but to add insult to injury her peers ride her for "talking white." Since when is it white to use good grammar and eschew street argot? That claim has always struck me as asinine to the nth degree.

Rachel herself has some similar feelings as she cringes at her grandmother's "dialectical" speech. Readers learn about Rachel's parents and their social attitudes. Although part of this story takes place in the 1980s, it remains relevant and the socioracial issues resound to this day.

I could identify with Rachel. Being branded a race is bad enough, but when it is prefaced with "light skinned," it adds insult to injury. The tacit message is that people often feel a need to define members of the black race by their skin tone. Non-blacks who use this term raise the question of if they feel that members of the black race who are less ethnic and/or lighter in appearance are more acceptable overall. I have never liked the term "light skinned" because I never saw the need to define or identify a person by their skin tone. Archie Bunker comes in all colors. Bigotry, ironically enough, is an equal opportunity form of ignorance. Bigotry is not limited to any one group and the targets are also not limited to just one group. Hair is a very trenchant issue among many blacks and Rachel learns this the hard way. Other girls pull her long hair and make catty comments about her appearance. There is also a classist assumption about hair texture: the less ethnic one's hair is, the "better off" that person is viewed. (Just watch Chris Rock's 2009 movie "Good Hair.") There is also the very real issue of internecine bigotry. Often blacks who are less ethnic in appearance are targeted by other blacks who try to pigeonhole them and charge them with having delusions of superiority. That is downright asinine! It's all bigotry, any way you toss the dice. How can anybody claim to know what another thinks? And for a group with a history of being targeted based on the color of their skin and general appearance, it is damned ironic and very upsetting that there is a faction who practice this kind of insider racism replete with ridiculous racist ideas.

This is a very good book that is serious, topical and in your face. Yeah, it will evoke strong reactions in readers. That is because it covers issues that many feel strongly about, more often than not for having lived through some of these race based targeting methods. It is something that many people can relate to, particularly if they lived with insider bigotry. Rachel herself grows and her view of the world naturally changes with time and maturation. Again, this is a book that is a much needed work as these are issues that sadly still exist.

Michael Jackson's 1991 hit "Black or White" is definitely the soundtrack of this book.


Basenji. Basenji Dog Complete Owners Manual. Basenji book for care, costs, feeding, grooming, health and training.
Basenji. Basenji Dog Complete Owners Manual. Basenji book for care, costs, feeding, grooming, health and training.
by George Hoppendale
Edition: Paperback
Price: £8.96

5.0 out of 5 stars Walks You Through Basenji Care, 30 Oct. 2015
This book walks readers through the care and feeding of a basenji from birth to death. The basenji, an ancient African breed is known as the "barkless" curly tailed dog. Basenjis have oddly shaped vocal chords, so they yodel instead of bark. They can also laugh and cry.

Basenjis were the cherished pets of Egyptian nobility. They were also featured in art. Paintings of basenjis by ancient Greeks and Egyptians as well as basenji shaped footstools are part of history. Anubis, the Egyptian God of the Underworld has a basenji head. The beautiful, exotic little dog with the curly tail tends to be high spirited and prone to mischief. As appealing as these curly tailed dogs are, this book will help readers make an informed decision as to whether or not the basenji is the right dog for them.


Shadow Creek by Fielding, Joy ( AUTHOR ) Dec-31-2012 Paperback
Shadow Creek by Fielding, Joy ( AUTHOR ) Dec-31-2012 Paperback
by Joy Fielding
Edition: Paperback

1.0 out of 5 stars Not My Cup of Tea, 30 Oct. 2015
Val, a divorced mother of a 16-year-old girl, Brianne decides it's time to do something new. Sick of her cheating ex Evan's ways, she plans a camping trip in upstate New York with her friends James and Melissa, Evan's fiancee Jennifer and Brianne. Brianne at 16 is having a sexual relationship with a man named Tyler who is some 5 years her senior. When she leaves evidence of their affair, it is hard to believe that Val was that clueless. Add to it Brianne has an older friend named Sasha who is nothing more than an alley cat. James and Melissa are at least likable characters.

*Note: one glaring error in the middle of the book has Jennifer likening James to Toto in "The Wizard of Oz" when it was James himself who made that statement.

Joy Fielding has written a wide spectrum of books ranging from truly atrocious such as "Whispers and Lies," which was singularly abominable; "Lost;" "Puppet" and "Missing Pieces" to excellent like "Kiss Mommy Goodbye;" "Good Intentions" and "Heartstopper" which was really good. So were "See Jane Run" and "Don't Cry Now." However, this one is not. In fact it is atrocious. As other U.S. reviewers noted, it is "disgusting and brutal" and the killers who were introduced in the prologue are downright vile. The plot is transparent enough to see a television screen and the characters are not well fleshed out. Brianne is also an unlikable character. Many is the time when you want to kick her in the a** and shins. You also want to punch her in the face. She has a real sense of entitlement and you just can't like her. She's sneaky; manipulative; deceptive and once on the trip slips off to meet Tyler. Brianne is jail bait. Sex offender status, anyone?

The painfully detailed descriptions of the killers' homicidal rampages in the Adirondacks and the Berkshires are repulsive. It was also sad that a poor Honda Civic was left in a ditch thanks to the killers. You felt more for that poor Honda Civic (an especially wonderful car) than you did any of the characters. The book goes into graphic detail about how they mutilated and dismembered the people they killed and their quasi-necrophiliac tendencies as they have sex near the corpses, whose condition is described in gruesome, grisly and very graphic detail.


Shadow Creek by Fielding, Joy (2013) Paperback
Shadow Creek by Fielding, Joy (2013) Paperback

1.0 out of 5 stars Not My Cup of Tea, 30 Oct. 2015
Val, a divorced mother of a 16-year-old girl, Brianne decides it's time to do something new. Sick of her cheating ex Evan's ways, she plans a camping trip in upstate New York with her friends James and Melissa, Evan's fiancee Jennifer and Brianne. Brianne at 16 is having a sexual relationship with a man named Tyler who is some 5 years her senior. When she leaves evidence of their affair, it is hard to believe that Val was that clueless. Add to it Brianne has an older friend named Sasha who is nothing more than an alley cat. James and Melissa are at least likable characters.

*Note: one glaring error in the middle of the book has Jennifer likening James to Toto in "The Wizard of Oz" when it was James himself who made that statement.

Joy Fielding has written a wide spectrum of books ranging from truly atrocious such as Whispers and Lies, which was singularly abominable; Lost (Fielding, Joy);Puppet and Missing Pieces to excellent like Kiss Mommy Goodbye and By Joy Fielding Good Intentions [Mass Market Paperback]. "Heartstopper" was really good. So were "See Jane Run" and "Don't Cry Now." However, this one is not. As other U.S. reviewers noted, it is "disgusting and brutal" and the killers who were introduced in the prologue are downright vile. The plot is transparent enough to see a television screen and the characters are not well fleshed out. Brianne is also an unlikable character. Many is the time when you want to kick her in the a** and shins. You also want to punch her in the face. She has a real sense of entitlement and you just can't like her. She's sneaky; manipulative; deceptive and once on the trip slips off to meet Tyler. Brianne is jail bait. Sex offender status, anyone?

The painfully detailed descriptions of the killers' homicidal rampages in the Adirondacks and the Berkshires are repulsive. It was also sad that a poor Honda Civic was left in a ditch thanks to the killers. You felt more for that poor Honda Civic (an especially wonderful car) than you did any of the characters. The book goes into graphic detail about how they mutilated and dismembered the people they killed and their quasi-necrophiliac tendencies as they have sex near the corpses, whose condition is described in gruesome, grisly and very graphic detail.


Shadow Creek: The perfect holiday retreat - where no one can hear you scream ...
Shadow Creek: The perfect holiday retreat - where no one can hear you scream ...
Price: £2.99

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Not My Cup of Tea, 30 Oct. 2015
Val, a divorced mother of a 16-year-old girl, Brianne decides it's time to do something new. Sick of her cheating ex Evan's ways, she plans a camping trip in upstate New York with her friends James and Melissa, Evan's fiancee Jennifer and Brianne. Brianne at 16 is having a sexual relationship with a man named Tyler who is some 5 years her senior. When she leaves evidence of their affair, it is hard to believe that Val was that clueless. Add to it Brianne has an older friend named Sasha who is nothing more than an alley cat. James and Melissa are at least likable characters.

*Note: one glaring error in the middle of the book has Jennifer likening James to Toto in "The Wizard of Oz" when it was James himself who made that statement.

Joy Fielding has written a wide spectrum of books ranging from truly atrocious such as Whispers and Lies, which was singularly abominable; Lost (Fielding, Joy);Puppet and Missing Pieces to excellent like Kiss Mommy Goodbye and By Joy Fielding Good Intentions [Mass Market Paperback]. "Heartstopper" was really good. So were "See Jane Run" and "Don't Cry Now." However, this one is not. As other U.S. reviewers noted, it is "disgusting and brutal" and the killers who were introduced in the prologue are downright vile. The plot is transparent enough to see a television screen and the characters are not well fleshed out. Brianne is also an unlikable character. Many is the time when you want to kick her in the a** and shins. You also want to punch her in the face. She has a real sense of entitlement and you just can't like her. She's sneaky; manipulative; deceptive and once on the trip slips off to meet Tyler. Brianne is jail bait. Sex offender status, anyone?

The painfully detailed descriptions of the killers' homicidal rampages in the Adirondacks and the Berkshires are repulsive. It was also sad that a poor Honda Civic was left in a ditch thanks to the killers. You felt more for that poor Honda Civic (an especially wonderful car) than you did any of the characters. The book goes into graphic detail about how they mutilated and dismembered the people they killed and their quasi-necrophiliac tendencies as they have sex near the corpses, whose condition is described in gruesome, grisly and very graphic detail.


Ringo: With a Little Help by Michael Starr (July 23, 2015) Hardcover
Ringo: With a Little Help by Michael Starr (July 23, 2015) Hardcover

5.0 out of 5 stars Diamond Starr, 30 Oct. 2015
Richard Starkey, most famously known as Ringo Starr, drummer extraordinaire has celebrated his diamond birthday, his 75th. It seems like only "Yesterday" Ringo was our lil moptop who made music history with the Beatles!

This is without a doubt the best biography of Ringo Starr I have read and it is well researched. It is a work this author can be justly proud of and the Beatle Literati are quite impressed. It is long past time a good, repeat, a GOOD and well researched biography of Ringo Starr was made available and this one is it. Alan Clayson's biography is good too, but this one is extraordinary.

Ringo's song 1975 "Snookeroo" and 2010's "Other Side of Liverpool" are very autobiographical and readers will certainly want to listen to those to heighten their reading experience. Ringo was indeed a product of working class Liverpool, born in the North of England and fortunate enough to have music as his ticket out. Ringo was indeed a working class hero. Ringo was raised by his single mother in a tough neighborhood run by gangs. Elsie Starkey, a barmaid took several jobs to make ends meet. Ringo, then known as Richy suffered from serious illnesses (peritonitis and appendicitis at age 6 and pleurisy and TB at 13) and served long hospital sentences. Starkey Sr. left the family in 1943 when Richy turned 3. From all accounts he was disinterested in his only child and had almost no contact with him. In time, Starkey Sr. would remarry and leave the area. Interestingly enough, other members of the Starkey family stepped up to the plate for Elsie and her son, the future Beatle.

Mark Lewisohn, an exceptional and extraordinary Beatles' biographer in the eyes of the Beatle Literati has gone into incredible detail about each Beatle's boyhood, his life experiences and his influences. Yes, it does seem that Michael Seth Starr (no relation to Ringo) did draw from Lewisohn's book, but all the same this is a good effort and does give our favorite drummer his long overdue turn at bat.

Ringo's musical trajectory which started during his convalescent period when he had pleurisy/TB is closely followed. From there, his loving stepfather ("stepladder" as Ringo would call Harry Graves, a kind man from Romford) provided Ringo with his first drum kit and encouraged his growing musical talent and interest. Elsie Starkey played piano and sang. Ringo's musicality was matrilineal as was that of John Lennon's. Julia Stanley Lennon sang and played banjo. However, musical ability ran on both sides of John's family - his paternal grandfather also named John Lennon and for whom the Chief Beatle was named was musical. George and Paul's musical talents were patrilineal - Harry Harrison Sr. played some guitar as a young man and Louise Harrison reportedly liked to sing loudly, but other than that did not demonstrate any unsual musical talents. Jim McCartney was a musician and in the 1920s was a member of an eponymous jazz band he created.

The first part of this book covers Ringo's life up to the point where the Beatles disbanded in 1970. Readers familiar with Ringo's story will recognize his musical footsteps as he traveled down his Long & Winding Road from the skiffle scene in the late 1950s to the All Starr band who is still currently performing. Fans and "Ringologists" will not encounter much in the way of fresh information regarding Ringo's musical journey, but it is still fun and interesting to read.

Ringo, as the world knows replaced Pete Best the summer of 1962. On August 16, 1962, which also happened to be George's sister Louise Harrison's 31st birthday, Ringo officially became a Beatle. This was a good business move on the part of the other Beatles as the chemistry and "musical magic" or "magical music" was completed once Ringo joined the group.

Despite the few factual errors, I enjoyed this book. That having been said, I think Mark Lewisohn's book "Tune In" covers the material in this book in much greater depth and detail. Ringo is an important part of rock history and will always be an important part of rock history. He was recently inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. The Beatles without Ringo is like Chrysler without Dodge. You have to have all 4 or it just isn't the Beatles! Pity the fans who missed seeing Ringo in 1964 when Jimmy Nichol filled in for him due to Ringo's tonsillectomy.

Ringo, who had always wanted siblings and mourned the fact that he had nobody to talk to when it was raining at last found his niche. The oldest member of the Beatles, Ringo was also an accomplished actor. He was literally the Starr in both "A Hard Day's Night" and "Help!" He stole the scenes he was in and he was the Beatle the films most prominently featured.

Ringo's two marriages, the first to Maureen "Mo" Cox in 1965 is touched on briefly. Ringo was the first Beatle to become a grandfather when his son Zak (b. 1965) became a first-time father to Tatiana in 1985. Ringo's daughter Lee (b. 1970) is the mother of triplets. Oldest son Zak is a drummer for the current line up of the Who and son Jason (b. 1967) married in 2010.

Although Maureen "Mo" (1946 - 1994) gets little press, she has been immortalized in Paul McCartney's beautiful 1997 song "Little Willow." Ironically, Mo and Paul dated briefly and during the latter part of the Beatles' career George professed his love for Mo and they allegedly had an affair. Maureen is a vital part of Beatles' history and indeed Ringo's life as she is the mother of their children and she did travel with the other Beatle couples during their heyday.

I would have liked to see more coverage of how Mo and Ringo interacted with their children and their general relationship with them. Even so, the Beatles loomed large in their legend. George has been credited with first announcing the end of the Beatles - after a tumultuous concert in Boston in 1966 he reportedly said that he was no longer a Beatle. Ironically, the group would soldier on until 1970. Ringo was actually the first Beatle to break ties with the group. During the latter phase of the Beatles, Ringo was stressed out by the internecine friction and reportedly did not get along with Yoko. The other Beatles implored Ringo to return and when he did, his drum kit and the studio were bedecked with hundreds of flowers. As nice as that was, the friction continued to wear away at the group to the point where Paul forcibly ejected Ringo from his home. Ironically, the skirmish was over the release of Ringo's first post-Beatles album as Paul had released the eponymous McCartney album one week after the Beatles had officially disbanded.

Ringo suffered from alcoholism and after the Beatles broke up, his drinking became a serious matter. Starkey Sr. reportedly had alcohol issues and Ringo as a young boy became "crawling drunk" upon visiting someone and taking advantage of a chance to drink the host's liquor. It was a problem he would later have to conquer. By the 1980s, Ringo would act a fool and be "liable to strike" if anybody mentioned the Beatles to him. He wanted it understood that he was a solo performer and wanted to be recognized for his solo work and not just during his glory days with the Beatles.

In 1981 Ringo Starred in the execrable farce "Caveman" with Dennis Quaid and Shelley Long. Another Starr who had a leading role in that movie was Barbara Bach, who later became his wife. The new Starkeys married on April 27, 1981. George and Paul were in attendance. This marks a stable period on the lives of the three living Beatles - Paul and Linda had a loving, rock solid marriage; George, who met Olivia Arias in 1974 would later marry her in 1978 and remain her life's partner until his death in 2001. John, unfortunately killed in 1980 remained with Yoko until his death.

The Barbara-Richy marriage appears to be rock solid and they stayed for better or for worse; in richer and in poorer and in sickness and in health. They dried out at the Ford clinic which was proof positive of their committment to taking on a healthy way of living and remaining committed to each other.

Now a croptop as opposed to a beautifully haired moptop, Ringo has celebrated his diamond birthday, his 75th on July 7, 2015. Paul inducted him into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame where he can rightfully take his place with other rock institutions. Ringo is now an elder statesman of rock.


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