Tuesday, 21 September 2021

Our Moon Festival by Yobe Qiu + #Giveaway


Join us for this tour from September 7 to September 27
 
Book Details:
 
Book Title:  Our Moon Festival by Yobe Qiu
Category:  Children's Fiction (Ages 3-7),  30 pages
GenreChildren's Picture Book 
Publisher:  Yobe Qiu LLC
Release date:  January 2020
Content Rating:  G
 
Book Description:
 
"Our Moon Festival" is a beautifully illustrated children's book celebrating the unique ways the Japanese, Vietnamese, and Chinese communities celebrate the Moon Festival. The story highlights different families and their traditions as they observe Zhong Qiu Jie, Tết Trung Thu, and Tsukimi!
 
 

Meet the Author:
 
Yobe is an educator, entrepreneur and mom who lives in NYC. As an educator, she focused on teaching families to embrace love, diversity and different cultures. Through the years working in the classrooms and closely with other educators, she noticed the lack of multi-cultural resources that represented children of color. That is when Yobe decided to create multicultural children stories that feature Asian children, families and cultures!
Yobe loves spending time with her daughter, reading to children and taking long walks during the day!

Connect with the Author:  Website ~ Facebook ~ Instagram
 
Tour Schedule: 

Sep 7 – Cover Lover Book Review – book review / giveaway
Sep 7 - Gina Rae Mitchell – book review / giveaway
Sep 7 - Kam's Place – book review
Sep 8 – Splashes of Joy – book review / giveaway
Sep 8 - Rockin' Book Reviews – book review / giveaway
Sep 9 - I'm Into Books – book spotlight / giveaway
Sep 10 – Writer with Wanderlust – book review / giveaway
Sep 13 – fundinmental – book review / giveaway
Sep 14 – Locks, Hooks and Books – book review / giveaway
Sep 14 - The Adventures of a Traveler's Wife – book review / giveaway
Sep 15 – Chit Chat with Charity – book review / giveaway
Sep 15 - She Just Loves Books – book review / giveaway
Sep 16 – Deborah-Zenha Adams – book spotlight / giveaway
Sep 16 - Bound 4 Escape – book review / giveaway
Sep 17 – Nighttime Reading Center – book review / giveaway
Sep 20 – Fictional Vixen – book review
Sep 21 – A Mama's Corner of the World – book review / giveaway
Sep 21 - Literary Flits – book spotlight / giveaway
Sep 22 – 411 ON BOOKS, AUTHORS, AND PUBLISHING NEWS – book spotlight 
Sep 22 - The Momma Spot – book review / giveaway
Sep 23 – Jazzy Book Reviews – book review / giveaway
Sep 23 - Laura's Interests – book review / giveaway
Sep 24 – Westveil Publishing – book review / giveaway
Sep 27 – The Phantom Paragrapher – book review
 

Enter the Giveaway:
Win a signed copy of Our Moon Festival. Open to the USA only until the 4th October.

OUR MOON FESTIVAL Book Tour Giveaway



 

 

Etsy Find!
by Gift Boxes With Love

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Books by Yobe Qiu / Children's books / Books from America

Monday, 20 September 2021

Immigrated: A Memoir by Nadija Mujagic


Immigrated: A Memoir by Nadija Mujagic
Published by Pioneer Publising tomorrow, the 21st September 2021.

How I got this book:
Received a review copy from the publisher via NetGalley

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


At the age of 19 and newly married, fleeing from her native country and still haunted by her demons from the Bosnian War, Nadija struggles to adapt to the completely different culture of the USA. Immigrant life cannot protect her from her abusive marriage, which magnifies and extends her war trauma. Isolated and lonely, she learns new life lessons, making many mistakes along the way. Can she face her war demons head on and rise above the horrors of her past to start afresh?

Immigrated is an inspiring, poignant and occasionally humorous story of one young woman's determination to achieve the happiness she deserves in the wake of a doubly devastating past.

Immigrated is the second volume of Nadija Mujagic's memoirs. It follows on from Ten Thousand Shells And Counting which I read in August. Though the Bosnian War has ceased and Mujagic finds herself swiftly transplanted to a new life in Boston, America, in many ways the conflict is still raging for her. Immigrated takes us through her experiences during her first few years in America, struggling to cope with unexpected culture shock, isolation and the whims of a callous husband, while also being afflicted with severe Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. I felt that this memoir gave such a vivid depiction of what it is like to live with this disorder especially as Mujagic was initially unaware of the cause of her repeated panic attacks and inability to connect with people around her. Instead of suggesting counselling and mental health support, her new American husband arranged for her to live alone on a Cape Cod island thereby probably exacerbating her problems instead of helping her to alleviate them.

I would certainly recommend reading Immigrated to anyone who wants a better understanding of how PTSD affects war survivors and how their adrenaline and survival responses can be triggered in seemingly innocent situations, miles and years from the causal events. Fortunately Mujagic does eventually find a way out of the morass - the princess rescues herself! - through dedicating herself to her education and, particularly, to her writing for which I am grateful because I would not otherwise have been able to read either of her insightful and searingly honest memoirs. 


Etsy Find!
by Sootmegs

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Books by Nadija Mujagic / Biography and memoir / Books from Bosnia

Sunday, 19 September 2021

The Seekers' Garden by Isa Pearl Ritchie


The Seekers' Garden by Isa Pearl Ritchie
First published in New Zealand by Mamakuke Collective in January 2012. Republished by Te Ra Aroha Press in August 2021.

How I got this book:
Received a review copy from the publisher via NetGalley

My rating: 3 of 5 stars


If you stand still for long enough, the past catches up with you...

Leaving behind the fragments of her old life, Marcia Reed-Wilton crosses the world to return to her dilapidated childhood home and dig up the weeds of the past.
Next door, Mrs Everglade struggles to maintain her independence in spite of her increasing frailty.
Sixteen-year-old Lea escapes into her poetry to cope with depression until meeting Alex, a much more potent distraction.
Meanwhile, Iris leaves her career on a whim to embark on an adventure of an entirely different kind, moving to a sleepy seaside town to write a book.
On the other side of the world in opposite seasons, Zane, vocalist for a popular band is haunted by cryptic dreams that lead him home.
A few twists of fate and a buried secret leave these individuals deeply and unexpectedly connected.

The Seekers' Garden is a lush and captivating exploration of loss, growth and spirituality, revealing the way connections form in unlikely places.

I was initially drawn to request a review copy of The Seekers' Garden by its gorgeous cover art, then was convinced to do so when I realised its author was Isa Pearl Ritchie. I loved her novel Fishing For Maui which I read back in 2018 and was keen to discover more of her writing. The Seeker's Garden, actually an earlier novel first published in 2012, shares themes of familial connection and being disconnected from ones heritage. It also has a fairly large multi-generation cast, the portrayals of which I feel is one of Ritchie's real strengths as an author. In fact Mrs Everglade was one of my favourite characters and I would have happily foregone sone of Lea's teenage angst poetry in order to hear more from Marcia's elderly neighbour. 

The Seeker's Garden is primarily a fictional novel, but I felt it also contained elements of a spiritual self help guide, especially in the way Marcia's workshops were presented in full to the reader. I could imagine myself joining in the guided chakra meditations had I had the story as an audiobook edition and I learned a lot about this aspect of spirituality through reading the novel. In considering connections, as it inspired me to do, I was reminded of the first essay from In Praise of Lilith by Susan Scott where her gardening also took on the role of a spiritual practice.

Unfortunately I wasn't as enamoured by The Seeker's Garden as I had hoped. The novel took a while to get into its stride as each main character took turns introducing themselves whereas the closing reconciliations seemed surprisingly quick and easy so overall I didn't think the story's structure was balanced. Also, the male characters didn't come across as authentically as the women so I struggled to accept them in the same way. However, though the book was still a diverting read that I am glad I spotted nd I could appreciate how Ritchie's talent  had developed in the years between her two novels.


Etsy Find!
by Castra Glass

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Books by Isa Pearl Ritchie / Women's fiction / Books from New Zealand

Saturday, 18 September 2021

The Judas Scar by Amanda Jennings


The Judas Scar by Amanda Jennings
Published by Cutting Edge Press in November 2014.

How I got this book:
Won a copy in a giveaway

My rating: 4 of 5 stars



Scars. We all carry them. Some are mere scratches. Others run deeper. 

At a school rife with bullying, Will and his best friend Luke are involved in a horrific incident that results in Luke leaving. 

Twenty-five years later their paths cross again and memories of Will's painful childhood come flooding back to haunt him. His wife, Harmony, who is struggling after a miscarriage that has hit her hard, wishes Will would open up about his experiences. But while Will withdraws further, she finds herself drawn to the charismatic stranger from her husband s past, and soon all three are caught in a tangled web of guilt, desire, betrayal and revenge.

I first blogged this book review on Stephanie Jane in November 2015 having received a copy of The Judas Scar directly from Amanda Jennings as a giveaway prize via Sophie's Reviewed The Book blog. Sophie wrote such an enthusiastic review that I was keen to read this thriller too.

The Judas Scar is a tense psychological thriller which looks at the aftermath of extreme childhood trauma and the varying ways in which adult lives are dictated by the events of the past. Jennings has created superbly real characters, both male and female, who are very believable - in a couple of cases, frighteningly so! Our 'heroes', Will and Harmony, have been happily married for twenty years. They had agreed to remain childless at Will's insistence and The Judas Scar begins by examining the emotional fallout when Harmony accidentally becomes pregnant - and then loses the baby. She is understandably devastated and bewildered by Will's apparent lack of equal distress. I suspect that readers are supposed to identify with Harmony, however I found my sympathies lay with Will. After two decades of happy marriage, I can't think I would be overjoyed at the news that something I thought was agreed upon had suddenly been completely overturned. It's certainly a thought-provoking storyline.

Jennings' uncovering of Will's paternal reluctance provides the exciting driving force of the thriller story when a blast from the past unexpectedly reappears in his life. Disturbing secrets are uncovered and I enjoyed the unpredictability of this part of the book. Perhaps the ending is too abrupt because I would have liked to have known more about what happens to everyone involved, however the whole story arc is satisfying to read.


Etsy Find!
by Myosotis Garden

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Books by Amanda Jennings / Thrillers / Books from England 

Friday, 17 September 2021

The Passing Of The Forms That We Have Loved by Christopher Boon


The Passing Of The Forms That We Have Loved by Christopher Boon
Published by Epoque Press today, the 16th September 2021.

How I got this book:
Received a review copy from the publisher 

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


A young man, dealing with his father’s terminal cancer, retreats into introspection on relationships both old and new as a past mired with failure comes back to haunt him, consuming his present and threatening to derail his future. Exploring themes of loss and repentance, The Passing Of The Forms That We Have Loved questions whether formative acts of indecisiveness can have far reaching repercussions in later years.

I've been struggling for several days to know how to review Christopher Boon's incredible debut novel, The Passing Of The Forms That We Have Loved. It is an exquisitely written exploration of memory and misunderstood communication where lives can be irrevocably altered by the seizing of an opportunity or by allowing it to pass by. However Boon portrays a young man's gradual mental disintegration with such clarity and intensity that I frequently found myself needing to set the book aside in order to recover myself from the chapter I had just read. As a reader who usually devours novels in one or two sittings, this need of space was an unfamiliar experience, but not an unwelcome one. I was always keen to reimmerse myself into this story.

I feel it should be noted that The Passing Of The Forms That We Have Loved does include graphic and, as I remember from my own mother's demise, disturbingly authentic descriptions of someone living through the final stages of cancer. I found these scenes difficult to read, but also cathartic and I appreciated Boon's understanding of the way in which relationships between family members are changed by cancer's demands. Children find themselves taking on parental roles as the sick parent reverts to childlike incapacity. 

We don't really get to know our narrator prior to the beginnings of his slide so I couldn't tell how predisposed he formerly was to self-destructive behaviour. In the aftermath of his loss however we see him seemingly determined, subconsciously, to destroy everything good about his life, perhaps in anger but also as a kind of guilt-ridden atonement for the way in which he feels he failed his father. It sounds like a grim read and, indeed, it is. I found my moods altered significantly by this book, recognising something of myself in the character and also, I think, gaining a greater understanding of the human compulsion to make striking life changes as a result of such situations. That our narrator's choices seem so unfulfilling and, as just a reader, being unable to step up and help him makes The Passing Of The Forms That We Have Loved such a saddening, poignant read


Etsy Find!
by Silver Blueberry

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Books by Christopher Boon / Contemporary fiction / Books from England

Thursday, 16 September 2021

Nubian Indigo by Jamal Mahjoub


Nubian Indigo by Jamal Mahjoub
First published in French by Actes Sud on the 3rd February 2006. English language edition published in September 2012.

How I got this book:
Bought the ebook from Amazon 

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


Set in the 1960's just prior to the completion of the Aswan High Dam, this novel is a fictionalised account of the last days of a small community living along the Nile in what was once the ancient kingdom of Nubia, before the area disappears beneath the floodwaters created by the dam. Based on factual accounts of the actual events and the author's knowledge of the area, Nubian Indigo is a poetic elegy to a lost world.

I love when historical fiction can completely immerse me into a time and place that I formerly knew very little about and Jamal Mahjoub's novel, Nubian Indigo, did just that. Through various characters living along the banks of a relatively short section of the Nile river in the early 1960s, I saw the disruption and disbelief they experienced on being given the news that their twenty-seven villages and one town were to be abandoned to rising floodwaters in the name of technological progress for the rest of Egypt. For these poor, rural communities, who have owned and farmed the same land for generations, the concept of the huge dam is beyond their understanding. For rich Western universities, it's a last free-for-all to plunder as many artefacts from the area as possible before the ancient tombs and archaeological sites are submerged indefinitely. And for Argin, the local District Official promoted somewhat above his ability and expected to make sure everything runs smoothly, it's all rather a nightmare.

Mahjoub obviously did a great amount of research in order to make Nubian Indigo a convincingly authentic novel, yet I appreciated that he also interspersed the history with almost magical aspects as well as hints of traditional fairytale for Buhen's narrative arc - a lame boy who yearns to join the crew of one of the river ferries. It's also a story within a story, within another story. The whole historical storyline might also just be a tale spun by Kuban, the President's valet, on a long train journey in a last ditch effort to turn that President's mind away from flooding Kuban's ancestral homeland, or it might be Kuban's nephew telling the tale, years after the dam's completion, to entertain a friends. This storytelling structure gave the whole work a timeless quality that really appealed to me.

I hadn't read any of Mahjoub's previous novels, but am now delighted that I took a chance on this one. It is a compelling story, but told with a lightness and humour that made it an easy read with memorable characters and evocative scenes.


Etsy Find!
by Portland Pandemonium

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Books by Jamal Mahjoub / Historical fiction / Books from Sudan

Wednesday, 15 September 2021

Waiting for the Waters to Rise by Maryse Condé


Waiting for the Waters to Rise by Maryse Condé
First published in French as En attendant la montée des eaux by JC Lattés in France in 2010. English language translation by Richard Philcox published by World Editions on the 3rd August 2021.

How I got this book:
Received a review copy from the publisher via NetGalley

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


Babakar is a doctor living alone, with only the memories of his childhood in Mali. In his dreams, he receives visits from his blue-eyed mother and his ex-lover Azelia, both now gone, as are the hopes and aspirations he’s carried with him since his arrival in Guadeloupe. Until, one day, the child Anaïs comes into his life, forcing him to abandon his solitude. Anaïs’s Haitian mother died in childbirth, leaving her daughter destitute—now Babakar is all she has, and he wants to offer this little girl a future. Together they fly to Haiti, a beautiful, mysterious island plagued by violence, government corruption, and rebellion. Once there, Babakar and his two friends, the Haitian Movar and the Palestinian Fouad, three different identities looking for a more compassionate world, begin a desperate search for Anaïs’s family.

Having taken to heart Amitav Ghosh's theories in Uncanny And Improbable Events about climate change themes being excluded in literary fiction, I particularly noted references to its effects on Haiti while reading Maryse Condé's heartbreaking novel, Waiting for the Waters to Rise. First published a decade ago, Condé meshes natural threats to the island with manmade threats to envelop her three protagonists - Babakar, Movar and Fouad - in a perpetual sense of uncertainty and rootlessness. I loved the structure of this novel. Its overall arc of Babakar's attempts to provide a stable home for baby Anaïs and, by extension, himself is interspersed with chapters wher each of the main characters we meet take turns in narrating their own stories of how they ended up in Haiti. Their repeated echoes of forced migration due to war and poverty, opportunity or escape, painted a disturbingly clear picture of how precarious life can be outside of affluent Western nations, and how little notice these safe nations take of future problems building up elsewhere, particularly across the relatively impoverished global south.

Babakar was an interesting character to choose as a lead for such a deep and thought-provoking novel. A medical doctor specialising in gynaecology and midwifery, his skills are always in demand, yet he is still subjected to discrimination, violence and even imprisonment simply because his Malian origins make him 'other'. In communities where resources are insufficient to fulfil everyone's needs (let alone their wants) being an outsider is dangerous and this frequently seems to result in Babakar's moving on. It took me a while to reconcile this lack of agency with Babakar's central role within the story and, personality, I'm still not sure whether I truly appreciated this dissonance. I often found his enforced passivity infuriating as I read, yet in the days since I finished Waiting for the Waters to Rise I have developed a greater understanding of how his predicament so perfectly fit the novel.


Etsy Find!
by Language Pride

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Books by Maryse Condé / Contemporary fiction / Books from Guadeloupe

Tuesday, 14 September 2021

Lead Like A Pro by Dr. Matthew Raidbard

Join Us For This Tour From September 7 to September 20
 
Book Details:

Book Title:  Lead Like a Pro: Effective Leadership Styles for Athletic Coaches by Dr. Matthew Raidbard
Category:  Adult Non-Fiction 18+, 112 pages
GenreSports/Leadership/Coaching
Publisher: Mascot
Publication Date: September 2021

Tour dates: Sep 7 to Sep 20
Content Rating: G: Suitable for all ages
 

Book Description:

Athletic coaches are asked to wear more and more hats with each passing season, and in many cases, they are not receiving the support or training necessary to help them succeed in their ever-expanding roles. Drawing on over a decade spent as a college basketball coach and original research conducted on what leadership styles and behaviors help athletic coaches be successful, Lead Like a Pro provides coaches with the resources to transform their leadership practice and reach their full potential.

​Whether you are a volunteer coaching your child’s team, a part-time high school coach who’s also a teacher, or a full-time college or professional coach, this book will teach you new ways to enhance your leadership style and become a better coach for your athletes and team. All coaches should be constantly working on improving their leadership abilities, but not all coaches have the time or opportunity to attend leadership conferences, training sessions, or classes. Lead Like a Pro provides insight into different leadership techniques, and teaches coaches how to evaluate their current practices so they can develop a strong leadership style that fits their personal values and beliefs.


 Meet the Author:

After obtaining his Bachelor of Arts in history and classical studies from Indiana University, Dr. Matthew Raidbard decided to pursue his dream of being a college basketball coach. His first college basketball coaching job was at Western New Mexico University, where he also completed his Master of Arts degree in Educational Leadership. In 2018, Dr. Raidbardconducted a study on how college basketball coaches perceived themselves as leaders, finding that many coaches were unsuccessful because they lacked the necessary tools and training to be effective leaders. His findings inspired him to write this book and dedicate himself to helping coaches at all levels improve their leadership abilities so that they can be the best and most effective leaders for the athletes they are entrusted to coach.

Tour Schedule:

Sept 7 - Rockin' Book Reviews – book spotlight
Sept 7 - Cover Lover Book Review – book spotlight
Sept 8 – Jazzy Book Reviews – book spotlight
Sept 9 – Locks, Hooks and Books – book spotlight
Sept 10 – Splashes of Joy – book spotlight
Sept 10 - Kams's Place – book spotlight
Sept 13 – Cheryl's Book Nook – book spotlight
Sept 14 – Literary Flits – book spotlight
Sept 15 – The Adventures of a Traveler's Wife – book spotlight
Sept 16 – Gina Rae Mitchell – book spotlight
Sept 17 – Lisa's Reading – book spotlight
Sept 20 – Working Mommy Journal – book spotlight

 


 

Etsy Find!
by Lindy Pop Chocs

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Books by Matthew Raidbard / Self help books / Books from America

Sunday, 12 September 2021

Dona Barbara by Romulo Gallegos


Doña Bárbara by Rómulo Gallegos
First published in Spanish as Doña Bárbara by Editorial Araluce in Spain in 1929. English language translation by Robert Malloy published by University of Chicago Press in May 2012.

How I got this book:
Received a review copy from the publisher 

My rating: 2 of 5 stars


Rómulo Gallegos is best known for being Venezuela’s first democratically elected president. But in his native land he is equally famous as a writer responsible for one of Venezuela’s literary treasures, the novel Doña Barbara. Published in 1929 and all but forgotten by Anglophone readers, Doña Barbara is one of the first examples of magical realism, laying the groundwork for later authors such as Gabriel García Márquez and Mario Vargas Llosa.

Following the epic struggle between two cousins for an estate in Venezuela, Doña Barbara is an examination of the conflict between town and country, violence and intellect, male and female. Doña Barbara is a beautiful and mysterious woman—rumored to be a witch—with a ferocious power over men. When her cousin Santos Luzardo returns to the plains in order to reclaim his land and cattle, he reluctantly faces off against Doña Barbara, and their battle becomes simultaneously one of violence and seduction. All of the action is set against the stunning backdrop of the Venezuelan prairie, described in loving detail. Gallegos’s plains are filled with dangerous ranchers, intrepid cowboys, and damsels in distress, all broadly and vividly drawn. A masterful novel with an important role in the inception of magical realism, Doña Barbara is a suspenseful tale that blends fantasy, adventure, and romance.

I first blogged this book review on Stephanie Jane in Aug 2015.
I received a copy of Dona Barbara as a free ebook download from the University of Chicago Press after I saw their monthly book giveaway mentioned on Peggy Ann's blog

A classic in Venezuela where the book is set and written by a former president there, the novel of cowboy life on the Plains looked like it should be an interesting read. Unfortunately I often found myself struggling to keep ploughing through the book. I like Latin American fiction generally, but I couldn't get into this one. Descriptions of the landscape are nicely done and occasional scenes caught my attention which is why I did keep reading to the end. However, I thought the majority of the characters were two-dimensional and unrealistic. Perhaps a lot has been lost in the translation from the original Spanish because readers in that language seem to rave about Dona Barbara. Personally I was disappointed.


Etsy Find!
by Land Msfullhouse

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Books by Romulo Gallegos / Contemporary fiction / Books from Venezuela

Saturday, 11 September 2021

John Ball's In the Heat of the Night by Matt Pelfrey


John Ball's In the Heat of the Night by Matt Pelfrey
Published by LA Theatre Works in January 2015.

How I got this book:
Downloaded the audiobook from AudioSYNC 

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


Based on John Ball's novel which inspired the Oscar-winning film and the Emmy-winning television series, In the Heat of the Night pits a visiting black detective from California against a small Alabama town simmering with anger over desegregation. A fitting reflection of America in the 1960s, this Off-Broadway hit is provocative, timely, and uncomfortably relevant.

An L.A. Theatre Works full-cast recording, featuring Ryan Vincent Anderson, Michael Hammond, Kalen Harriman, Travis Johns, James Morrison, Darren Richardson, and Tom Virtue. Directed by Brian Kite. Recorded before a live audience by L.A. Theatre Works.

I first blogged this review on Stephanie Jane in August 2015.
John Ball's In The Heat Of The Night is my second LA Theatre Works audio play this summer, both downloaded thanks to the wonderful AudioSYNC programme. This powerful drama of racial segregation and bigotry in 1960s Alabama paired with the Victorian-era farce that was The Explorers Club really show off the versatility of the company and I am certainly interested to hear more of their work - or maybe even get to see a production one day!

The novel In The Heat Of The Night was made famous by the Sidney Poitier film of the same which I don't think I've ever seen. For this stage production, playwright Matt Pelfry returned to the original novel and, for legal reasons, wasn't allowed to put in anything from the film that wasn't initially in the book so the two have significant differences. The interesting interviews at the end of the play discuss this issue as well as other problems caused by effectively producing theatre for radio.

I thoroughly enjoyed listening to the play. The strong characters are convincingly played by an excellent cast and it was generally easy to keep up with who was doing what. The murder investigation at the heart of the piece does take second place to the outrageous attitudes of the white townsfolk and police to the presence of a black police officer. It was interesting to hear the audience reactions to the more vicious dialogues and their uncertainty about laughing at humorous moments within the context of such a shocking play.


Etsy Find!
by The Modern First

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Books by Matt Pelfrey / Plays / Books from America

Friday, 10 September 2021

Prison Time in Sana'a by Abdulkader Al-Guneid


Prison Time in Sana'a by Abdulkader Al-Guneid
Published by Arabian Publishing Ltd on the 5th July 2021.

How I got this book:
Received a review copy from the publisher 

My rating: 4 of 5 stars



Prison Time in Sana'a tells the story of Dr Abdulkader Al-Guneid's harrowing experience inside jail in Yemen's capital shortly after it was taken over by Houthi rebels.

In his hometown of Taiz, Al-Guneid, a medical doctor, had been an outspoken figure on Yemeni politics for decades. In recent years, his social media and interviews were read around the world and attracted a global following from an audience anxious to hear an unbiased explanation of the underlying roots of the conflict. Ultimately, his activism placed him in the movement's crosshairs, leading to his abduction on 5 August 2015 and incarceration in an undisclosed Houthi jail in Sana'a. For the next 300 days, Al-Guneid shared his time with American hostages, Houthi fighters, Al Qaeda militants and ordinary Yemenis caught up in the chaos of war.

Following his release, he wrote about his experience in exhaustive and gripping detail from exile in Canada. Initially typing his entire account on his mobile phone, his story has since been distilled into a deeply personal account of his incarceration offering an extraordinarily candid perspective on the Yemen crisis from deep within Houthi-held territory.

Prison Time in Sana'a is the very first Yemeni-authored book I have read so I appreciated most of all that Al-Guneid devotes one of its three sections to an explanation of Yemen's current political situation, especially its fluid mosaic of alliances and allegiances. Understanding all this is a bewildering prospect for an outsider so Al-Guneid's clarity greatly helped me. I would echo the advice given in Stephen Day's introduction to start with the second section before reading Al-Guneid's actual prison memoir.

The memoir itself consists of Al-Guneid giving an overview of the events that led to his shocking abduction, and then his impressions of some of the men he encountered during his ten months in jail. I loved the way in which he was able to capture their personalities, making each one truly individual, whilst also portraying the grim conditions within each of the spartan - and often overcrowded - cells. Al-Guneid's ability to maintain his self-reliance and dignity is moving and it must have taken significant willpower for him to revisit the experience in order to write this insightful memoir. I'm grateful to have had the opportunity to read it and, through his words, to understand more about the grave situation in Yemen.


Etsy Find!
by Lines 4 Lives

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Books by Abdulkader Al Guneid / Biography and memoir / Books from Yemen

Thursday, 9 September 2021

Rebel Correspondent by Steve Procko + #Giveaway


Join Us For This Tour From: September 1 to September 14

Book Details:

Book Title:  Rebel Correspondent by Steve Procko
Category:  Adult Non-Fiction 18+, 356 pages
Genre Biography & Autobiography, Military and Nonfiction, History,  United States, Civil War Period
Publisher:  Steve Procko Productions, LLC
Release date:  September 2021
Tour dates: September 1 to September 14
Content Rating:  PG

 

 Book Description:
​​​
Rebel Correspondent is the true story of a young man who joined the Confederate Army days after his eighteenth birthday and served bravely until the war ended. Wounded twice, he emerged a changed person. But he wasn't just a returning veteran; he was also a writer.

At the beginning of the twentieth century, Arba F. Shaw was a fifty-seven-year-old farmer. On a chilly December day in 1901, he put pen to paper to write his memories of being a Rebel Private in the 4th Georgia Cavalry (Avery), C.S.A. He completed writing his account in February 1902. His local newspaper, the Walker County Messenger, in Lafayette, Georgia, published his account in more than fifty articles from 1901 to 1903. Then it was all but forgotten. Until Now. Rebel Correspondent presents Arba F. Shaw's account word-for-word, as first published in the Walker County Messenger almost 120 years ago. Procko annotates Shaw's account with in-depth research, verifying it and uncovering the back story of his life and the lives of his Rebel comrades. Procko's research offers a historical perspective on the many places and events Shaw so richly described.

BUY THE BOOK
Amazon.com / Amazon UK
Barnes & Noble ~ Books-a-Million
IndieBound
add to Goodreads


Meet the Author: 

Steve Procko never thought of himself as a Civil War history buff, let alone a biographer. He does love history, however, particularly learning about the small, everyday events in the lives of little-known people and the small towns they lived in.

A documentarian and cinematographer, Steve was sleuthing stories for a documentary series he has developed, “There’s History Around Every Bend,” currently available on YouTube, when he came across the writings of Private Arba F. Shaw.

The down-to-earth accounts of the everyday life of a lowly private just struggling to survive one of the greatest events in American history fascinated Steve. As he read the series of articles, mostly unread since they were published in a small, north Georgia newspaper in 1901-1903, he began to realize that this was a remarkable cache of history.

A native of Florida, Steve, with his Lauren and their dog Rigby, splits his time between a mountain log cabin nestled next to Stanley Creek near the town of Blue Ridge, Georgia, and a home in Ocala, Florida.

He opened a commercial film production company with a partner in 1984. In 2003 the company became Steve Procko Productions (SPP). His Emmy-award-winning financial literacy program Talkin' Money Minutes is available on over 100 Public Television stations nationwide. SPP has also won three additional Emmys over fifty Addy Awards, Telly Awards, and two Promax awards.

When he’s not behind a video camera or researching the archives for his next documentary or book, Steve explores remote areas throughout the United States and Canada as a fine art photographer. He has had work displayed at The Carnegie Institute in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, The Museum of Art in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, as well as solo and group exhibitions throughout the United States. 

Steve’s second book, Captured Liberty, another Civil War story about nine POW Union officers and their amazing escape will be published in 2022. He also plans to develop documentaries about The Rebel Correspondent and Captured Liberty.


connect with the author:  website twitter ~ facebook ~ instagram `~ goodread
 
Tour Schedule: 

Sep 1 –
Cover Lover Book Review – book spotlight / guest post / giveaway
Sep 1 – fundinmental – book spotlight / giveaway
Sep 2 – Rockin' Book Reviews – book spotlight / guest post / giveaway
Sep 2 - She Just Loves Books – book spotlight / giveaway
Sep 3 – Splashes of Joy – book spotlight / guest post / giveaway
Sep 3 - Sefina Hawke's Books – book spotlight
Sep 6 – Kam's Place – book spotlight / guest post
Sep 7 – Jazzy Book Reviews – book spotlight / guest post / giveaway
Sep 7 - Lisa's Reading – book spotlight / giveaway
Sep 8 – Locks, Hooks and Books – book spotlight / giveaway
Sep 8 - Connie's History Classroom – book spotlight / author interview / giveaway
Sep 9 – The Avid Reader – book spotlight / author interview / giveaway
Sep 9 - Literary Flits – book spotlight / giveaway
Sep 10 – Cheryl's Book Nook – book spotlight / giveaway
Sep 13 – Gina Rae Mitchell – book spotlight / author interview / giveaway
Sep 14 – Pick a Good Book – book spotlight / author interview / giveaway
Sep 14 - Books for Books – book spotlight
 

Enter the Giveaway:

Win a copy of Rebel Correspondent signed by the author, a Rebel Correspondent Bookmark, $10 Amazon Gift Card, and one-of-a-kind vintage CDV (cart-de-visit) photograph (5 winners / USA only) (ends Sep 21)

THE REBEL CORRESPONDENT Book Tour Giveaway

 


 

 

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