Friday 29 November 2019

My review of The Bank of Goodliness - David Luddington

The Bank of Goodliness

A recalcitrant vicar gets sacked for housing the homeless and then mysteriously gets a job offer to become the CEO of Britain’s most disreputable bank – what could possibly go wrong?
In ‘The Bank of Goodliness’ comic genius David Luddington delivers another sure-fire bestseller. As always, his research is immaculate, I can only imagine the fun he had fact-finding banks, bibles and beer all at the same time. David has always had an impressive ability to turn complicated subjects into amusing narrative, but this time he has excelled himself with an analogy of the banking crisis in a plate of stinky cheese. It’s masterful stuff.
If you you’re looking for a fun read where the dark suits get what’s coming and the good guy gets the girl, give ‘The Bank of Goodliness’ a try. I highly recommend it.

The Bank of Goodliness

Thursday 26 September 2019

My book review for 'Call Sign, White Lily'.


This is a fascinating story of wartime bravery - incredulous yet true. A well written account recounting the tragic life of the 17-year-old Russian schoolgirl Lilia Litvyak who learned to fly, became an instructor and went on to be the world's first female fighter pilot. Despite being a beautiful and diminutive woman in a mans war, she went on to lead her squadron into battle, bravely defending her homeland at Stalingrad and beyond. Hated by Hitler, Lilia became the poster-girl for Russian resistance against the invaders, flying 268 missions and achieving a personal tally of 15 confirmed 'kills'.
This forgotten story is a must read for anyone who thinks Britain and America won the war alone.

My book review of 'The Furthest Points' by Andy Hewitt

Although I'm an author by trade, I read every day. Here's my 5* review for 'The Furthest Points' by Andy Hewitt.
As a non-biker, this type of travel log wouldn't normally be my thing - but I thought I'd give it a try anyway and I must honestly say I found 'The Furthest Points' to be an enjoyable read. I've only visited Spain and Portugal on business or for a short holidays, so I wasn't expecting to find so much of interest in the narrative, but Andy's passion for the history and culture has a way of drawing the reader into the story. His love for biking and his wife Kim is infectious, although it's unclear which comes first - I think it was Kim, but only because she wins points for being a biker too! Although the storyline sometimes flaps around like washing on a windy day, changing tack to visit fascinating historic tales and witty anecdotes, these diversions only serve to enhance the readability of this captivating tale, providing something interesting for everyone. And of course there is plenty to keep the bikers turning the pages with glee, including a 42-step guide to how to mount and start a bike.
Andy Hewitt is a talented writer and 'Furthest Points' is a good read, well worth a look.

My book review of 'Touch Wood'.

Here's my review of 'Touch Wood' by Duncan Hamilton. I gave it the full 5*.
A rip-roaring tale of motor racing from back when men were men, driving on the edge at crazy speeds, and being killed was almost inevitable.
Living in Ireland, I was shocked I had never heard of Duncan Hamilton - he was Irish and a phenomenally successful racing driver with many wins, including the Le Mans 24-Hours race. 'Touch Wood' is a fascinating memoir filled with incredible scrapes and fantastic tales of daring-do, some so outrageous as to be almost unbelievable. But it's all true.
The races, close shaves and tragedies are told in such a casual conversational manner as to be both exhilarating and shocking at the same time. This book really brings home how brave - and perhaps foolhardy - racers were back before seat belts, fire suits, crash helmets and car safety cells were commonplace for race cars travelling at 200 mph.
'Touch Wood' is a great read, even if you are not a motor racing fan.

My review for Fat Dogs and French Estates book four.

My wife got her hands on 'Fat Dogs and French Estates #4' as soon as it arrived at our house, so it slipped down my reading list for a short while - something I have remedied in the last month. Here's my review. I gave it a well deserved five stars.
I have enjoyed reading this series sharing Beth and Jack's new life in rural France and was understandably excited to dive into the latest installment - I certainly wasn't disappointed.
Beth Haslam is a master story-teller, turning the apparently mundane tasks of everyday live into a gripping and enjoyable tale. Book four also brings tears and personal tragedy, a shocking insight into the horrific storm which ravaged France and a wry look at the frustrations of dealing with French bureaucracy.
More than anything, this fourth episode of this excellent memoir series reflects Beth and Jack's love for their dog Sam, the wildlife, countryside and people of France, and their wonderful home.
Fat Dogs and French Estates book four is a cracker. I look forward to reading number five.
Fat Dogs and French Estates number four