Friday, October 4, 2019

No One Is Too Small To Make A Difference by Greta Thunberg

Paperback:  68 pages                                                                                                
Genre: Non-Fiction
Publisher: Penguin Books 2019
Source: Amazon
First Sentence: Last summer, climate scientist Johan Rockstrom and some other people wrote that we have at most three years to reverse growth in greenhouse-gas emissions if we're going to reach the goals set in the Paris Agreement.
Favourite Quote: “Homo Sapiens have not yet failed. Yes, we are failing, but there is still time to turn everything around. We can still fix this. We still have everything in our own hands.”
Review Quote: The speeches of a young climate crisis activist who inspired global school strikes are sobering but tentatively hopeful. The Guardian Newspaper
Main Characters: Greta Thunberg
My Opinion: A little book of just 68 pages but with a huge message. It contains the content of the speeches that Greta has now repeated many times.

Not enough notice is being taken because of who she is and what she represents, however she is only repeating the facts she has learnt from the scientists.

About time some serious action was taken for the sake of future generations.

If you are not already aware of what this exceptional young lady has to say, then it is time you were!

Précis Courtesy of Goodreads:

The history-making, ground-breaking speeches of Greta Thunberg, the young activist who has become the voice of a generation

'Everything needs to change. And it has to start today'

In August 2018 a fifteen-year-old Swedish girl, Greta Thunberg, decided not to go to school one day. Her actions ended up sparking a global movement for action against the climate crisis, inspiring millions of pupils to go on strike for our planet, forcing governments to listen, and earning her a Nobel Peace Prize nomination.

This book brings you Greta in her own words, for the first time. Collecting her speeches that have made history across Europe, from the UN to mass street protests, No One Is Too Small to Make A Difference is a rallying cry for why we must all wake up and fight to protect the living planet, no matter how powerless we feel. Our future depends upon it.

Video Trailer for ' Greta Thunberg Rips World Leaders at the U.N. Over Climate Change     ' Courtesy of YouTube

Author Profile:  

Greta Thunberg, born January 3rd 2003, is a Swedish schoolgirl who, at age 15, began protesting outside the Swedish parliament about the need for immediate action to combat climate change and has since become an outspoken climate activist.

She is known for having initiated the school strike for climate movement that formed in November 2018 and surged globally after the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP24) in December the same year. Her personal activism began in August 2018, when her recurring and solitary Skolstrejk för klimatet ("School strike for the climate") protesting outside the Swedish parliament in Stockholm began attracting media coverage, even though Sweden has already enacted "the most ambitious climate law in the world" – to be carbon neutral by 2045.

On 15 March 2019, an estimated 1.4 million students in 112 countries around the world joined her call in striking and protesting. A similar event involving students from 125 countries took place on 24 May 2019.

Thunberg has received various prizes and awards for her activism. In March 2019, three members of the Norwegian parliament nominated Thunberg for the Nobel Peace Prize. In May 2019, at the age of 16, she featured on the cover of Time magazine. Some media have described her impact on the world stage as the Greta Thunberg effect.

Photographs, Trailer and Biographical Information courtesy of the following sites.

YouTube Videos - Greta Thunberg    Amazon Author Page    Goodreads Profile

Monday, June 3, 2019

Love Unscripted by Owen Nicholls

Paperback: 373 pages                                                                                                  

Genre: Romantic Comedy
Publisher: Headline Publishing, August 2019
Source: Headline Publicity, Advanced Proof Copy.
First Sentence: When we were eleven, Leon Woodward told me about his plan to kiss Sally Carter.
Review Quote: High Fidelity with celluloid replacing vinyl - an astutely observed romantic comedy that had me shaking with laughter and sniffing away tears. Pure pleasure. (Nev Pierce, Contributing Editor EMPIRE Magazine)
Main Characters: Nick Marcet and Ellie Brown.
Setting: London, England.
My Opinion: Owen Nicholls debut in the world of romance is a romantic comedy with many classic film references. The latter of which were mainly lost on me although I do enjoy modern cinema.  Excited to be given the opportunity to read and review the paperback edition before publication by Headline Publicity I was disappointed when it did not meet my expectations, especially with the apparent current revival and popularity in romantic comedies.
Although the story is at times warm and funny, for me this is just another love story, where the protagonist a film projectionist is trying to understand what the difference is between his passion for love on the big screen and the reality of his own love life. 
The style is in my opinion reminiscent of Nick Hornby so if you enjoy his writing you will probably enjoy this.

Pre Publication Details Courtesy of Amazon: 

For film projectionist Nick, love should mirror what he sees on the big screen. And when he falls for Ellie on the eve of the 2008 presidential election, it finally does.
For four blissful years, Nick loved Ellie as much as he loved his job splicing film reels together in the local cinema. Life seemed... picture-perfect.
But now it's 2012, Ellie has moved out and Nick's trying to figure out where it all went wrong.
With Ellie gone and his life far from the happy ending he imagined, Nick wonders if their romance could ever again be as perfect as the night they met.
Can love really be as it is in the movies?

Author Profile:

Owen Nicholls is a screenwriter with a Masters in Scriptwriting from the University of East Anglia. His work has appeared in both Empire and the NME and earlier this year 'Love Unscripted' was selected for the Escalator Scheme run by the Writers Centre in Norwich. He lives in Norfolk with his partner and their two sons.

Photograph and Biographical Information courtesy of the following sites.

Amazon Author Page     Goodreads Page   Owen Nicholls - Twitter Profile 

Headline Publishing - Owen Nicholls

Saturday, April 27, 2019

Then She Was Gone by Lisa Jewell

Paperback:  424 pages                                                                                                
Genre: Psychological Thriller
Publisher: Arrow Books 2017
Source: Tywyn Public Library
First Sentence: Those months, the months before she disappeared were the best months.
Favourite Quote: “Poppy’s hands fall on to the book. ‘Stories’, she says, ‘are the only thing in this world that are real. Everything else is just a dream.”
Review Quote: "Jewell builds a gripping novel around a maze of dark secrets, a tautly wound psychological thriller in which the suspense builds slowly. Her storytelling is immaculate, hopping between past and present, and in and out of characters. It’s a tough read at times, but Jewell always keeps everything moving. The intrigue never flags as she pushed towards a redemptive resolution. As astute and emotionally charged read, riddled with creepiness. Fully recommended" (Irish News)
Main Characters: Laurel Mack, Ellie Mack, Paul Mack, Hanna Mack, Floyd Dunn, Poppy Dunn Sara-Jade Virtue and Noelle Donnelly.
Setting: London Suburbs
Literary Awards: Goodreads Choice Award Nominee for Mystery & Thriller (2018)
My Opinion: This months choice for my Book Club group  'Then She Was Gone' is about the disappearance of a teenage girl, some ten years previously and the effect this not unsurprisingly is still having on her parents and siblings.
A great plot that makes for compelling reading, which from every viewpoint it is heart wrenching. Although some parts may be considered a little improbable, as shocking as it may sound, most of the happenings in the story line are events with a scary ring of the truth. Considering what a strange world we appear at times to live in, this could have happened! 
A quick read but emotionally not an easy one, recommended to readers that enjoy a contemporary psychological thriller.

I have only read four previous titles from Lisa Jewell's back catalogue, the most recent was
The House We Grew Up In in 2014, also for Tywyn Book Club.

Précis Courtesy of Goodreads:

Ellie Mack was the perfect daughter. She was fifteen, the youngest of three. She was beloved by her parents, friends, and teachers. She and her boyfriend made a teenaged golden couple. She was days away from an idyllic post-exams summer vacation, with her whole life ahead of her.
And then she was gone.
Now, her mother Laurel Mack is trying to put her life back together. It’s been ten years since her daughter disappeared, seven years since her marriage ended, and only months since the last clue in Ellie’s case was unearthed. So when she meets an unexpectedly charming man in a café, no one is more surprised than Laurel at how quickly their flirtation develops into something deeper. Before she knows it, she’s meeting Floyd’s daughters—and his youngest, Poppy, takes Laurel’s breath away.

Because looking at Poppy is like looking at Ellie. And now, the unanswered questions she’s tried so hard to put to rest begin to haunt Laurel anew. Where did Ellie go? Did she really run away from home, as the police have long suspected, or was there a more sinister reason for her disappearance? Who is Floyd, really? And why does his daughter remind Laurel so viscerally of her own missing girl?

Video Trailer for Lisa Jewell reading an extract from 'Then She Was Gone' Courtesy of YouTube

Author Profile:

Lisa Jewell is the internationally bestselling author of sixteen novels, Then She Was Gone, I Found You, The Girls in the Garden, and The House We Grew Up In. Her debut novel in 1998 Ralph’s Party, was an instant bestseller. In total, her novels have sold over 2 million copies across the English speaking world. Her work has also been translated into sixteen languages. Lisa lives in London with her husband and their two daughters.

For more biographical information check out her Goodreads Profile

Photograph, Trailer and Biographical Information courtesy of the following sites.

Amazon Author Page     Lisa Jewell - Official Facebook Page     Wikipedia - Lisa Jewell

Twitter Profile    Goodreads Author Profile

Friday, April 26, 2019

The Courageous Witness by Oliver Richbell

Paperback: 65 pages                                                                                                 
Genre: Novella Nostalgia Series, Thriller,
Publisher:  City Fiction (28 Feb. 2019)
Source: The publishers and author, in return for an honest and unbiased review.
First Sentences: It was a size too big for her. That was why she was wearing it. Amanda wrapped the pink-flowered cheongsam around her naked body.
Main Characters: Amanda Buckingham, Sara Tomkins, 
Setting: London, England
My Opinion: This is the seventh volume in the Novella Nostalgia Series, which links cinema classics with modern stories, it is the second in the series to be written by Oliver Richbell. His last one 'Gloriana' is a very topical read, which I enjoyed, however I found this one to be more to my liking.
The protagonist, Amanda Buckingham first appeared very briefly in 'Twelve Troubled Jurors' so I was delighted to discover her character has been developed into one of the main characters for 'The Courageous Witness'. I think we may well hear more of this character in forthcoming publications, as the back of this novella includes a potted life history of Amanda Buckingham. Is she I wonder going to feature in the author's forthcoming novel? We will just have to wait and see, I personally hope so because as much as I am happy to read and review this series I much prefer to have longer stories to immerse myself in.
In my opinion ' The Courageous Witness' is a well written and engrossing legal novella which I devoured in one evening. An office party goes terribly wrong, leaving the female protagonist Sara accusing her colleagues of rape!
For those looking for quick reads, then I certainly recommend not just this title but the entire series, Novella Nostalgia is certainly a name to look out for as more titles are added to the collection.

Précis Courtesy of Goodreads:

A rising star at The Bar, barrister, Amanda Buckingham is persuaded by the Head of Hartington Chambers to take on a case that she instinctively would have preferred not to. The defence counsel, as the Trial neared its denouement, had surely done enough to cast sufficient doubt in the minds of the jury. Amanda was hurtling towards a career defining loss. There was something though that Amanda just couldn’t reconcile – something she had forgotten in the evidence that had been put before the Court which had reopened memories of her own traumatic past. To turn an acquittal into a conviction Amanda needed to delve deep into her own personal nightmare as well as finding the key evidence before it was too late for her and Sarah.

Notes on The Story of  'The Accused' : From the Book 'The Courageous Witness'
This 1988 American drama was one of the first Hollyworld films to include a rape incident of unimaginable graphic realism.

The storyline of  The Accused was loosely based on the 1983 gang rape of Cheryl Araujo in New Bedford, Massachusetts and the resulting trial.
This film is set in Washington State but was filmed in Vancouver, Canada. Sarah Tobais (played by Jodie Foster is gang raped in a bar.
Assistant DA, Kathryn Murphy (played by Kellie McGillis), agrees a plea bargain with the legal representatives of the three men accused. They plead guilty to a charge of 'reckless endangerment' which carries a lesser prison sentence and the chance of parole. Sarah is incensed, not least because she was denied the opportunity to testify in court.

Kathryn opts to prosecute three witnesses identified by a friend of sarah. They are charged with criminal solicitation. The evidence in court is partly overlaid with a visual reproduction of the whole of the rape scene. Another bystander gives evidence and the three men are convicted. One consequence is that the perpetrators, now in prison, will serve longer sentences and not be eligible for parole.

The final scene is a display, by Sarah and Kathryn, of mutual respect as they go their separate ways.

Author Profile:

Oliver was born in 1977 and qualified as a Solicitor in 2007. He worked in London for a litigation and sports law practice before a brief stint in two regional firms. In 2010 he married in his sweetheart and in 2014 he became a father. in 2015 Oliver took a leap of faith and formed his own dispute resolution consultancy. Oliver loves to write and has now achieved one of his many ambitions in life in becoming a published author. His first work, Gloriana, was published in September 2018 and inspired by the movie Valkyrie, Gloriana tells a story of a band of conspirators intent on assassinating The Prime Minister in the aftermath of the Brexit Referendum. My review may be read here Oliver's first novel will be published later this year.

Photographs, Biographical Information and film details courtesy of the following sites.

IMDb - The Accused - Plot Summary   Wikipedia - The Accused 

Amazon Author Page - Oliver Richbell     Goodreads - Oliver Richbell