The best thing about the Christmas holiday, for me, is the extra time I have for reading.
So today I’m sharing some of the books I’ve enjoyed reading and reviewing.
Travel: Whether you’re an arm-chair traveller or an adventurer, this book will entertain you.
Sihpromatum: I Grew My Boobs In China by Savannah Grace
Sihpromatum (Sip-row-may-tum) is a memoir series of one family’s introspective, four-year backpacking adventure. In 2005, 14-year-old Savannah Grace’s perfect world is shattered when her mother unexpectedly announces that the family would soon leave everything they know behind to travel the world. Best selling, award winning I Grew My Boobs in China takes the reader through China and Mongolia (the first of 80 countries visited).
Nibbling roasted duck tongues in China and being stranded in Mongolia’s Gobi Desert are just two experiences that contribute to Savannah’s exploration of new cultures and to the process of adapting to the world around her. AmazonUk | AmazonUS
How About Some Irish Historical Fiction?
Through The Barricades by Denise Deagan
WINNER OF THE SCBWI SPARK AWARD 2017
She was willing to sacrifice everything for her country.
He was willing to sacrifice everything for her.
‘Make a difference in the world,’ are the last words Maggie Gilligan’s father ever says to her. They form a legacy that she carries in her heart, years later when, at the age of fifteen, she tries to better the lives of Dublin’s largely forgotten poor.
‘Don’t go getting distracted, now,’ is what Daniel Healy’s father says to him after seeing him talking to the same Maggie Gilligan. Daniel is more than distracted. He is intrigued. Never has he met anyone as dismissive, argumentative… as downright infuriating.
A dare from Maggie is all it takes. Daniel volunteers at a food kitchen. There, his eyes are opened to the plight of the poor. It is 1913 and Dublin’s striking workers have been locked out of their jobs. Their families are going hungry. Daniel and Maggie do what they can. Soon, however, Maggie realises that the only way to make a difference is to take up arms.
The story of Maggie and Daniel is one of friendship, love, war and revolution, of two people who are prepared to sacrifice their lives: Maggie for her country, Daniel for Maggie. Their mutual sacrifices put them on opposite sides of a revolution. Can their love survive? AmazonUk | AmazonUS
This Was A Different Twist on a WW2 drama
Back Behind Enemy Lines by Chris Bridge
1944 and Anna is parachuted into Normandy as a special agent working with Resistance Groups, spying on the Germans and wiring the information back to the Special Operations Executive, escaping capture and the inevitable torture that would follow.
She falls in love with Pierre, another SOE agent but finds he is not what he purports to be. Then there is the little matter of the Gestapo officer who has guessed her secret. Alone, Anna has to make some terrifying decisions to survive and to ensure the impending invasion remains secret.
It is 2006 in England, where her husband has died and Anna lives alone. Her children are spying on her and plot to put her in a home so that they can sell her house for their own ends. Anna is determined to retain her independence. She falls back on her wartime skills, recruiting Nathan and his girl friend Gemma to help her and becomes close to them as she never was with her own children.
But it is only when she returns to Normandy and confronts the ghosts of her past that she realises how the war had taken its toll on her loveless marriage and her children. She makes the ultimate sacrifice and finally finds the peace and redemption that had evaded her all these years. AmazonUk | AmazonUS
Something More For Fans Of The Stargate TV Series
Stargate SG-1: A Matter Of Honor by Sally Malcolm
No one gets left behind…
Five years after Major Henry Boyd and his team, SG-10, were trapped on the edge of a black hole, Colonel Jack O’Neill discovers a device that could bring them home.
But it’s owned by the Kinahhi, an advanced and paranoid people, besieged by a ruthless foe. Unwilling to share the technology, the Kinahhi are pursuing their own agenda in the negotiations with Earth’s diplomatic delegation.
Maneuvering through a maze of tyranny, terrorism and deceit, Dr Daniel Jackson, Major Samantha Carter and Teal’c unravel a startling truth – a revelation that throws the team into chaos and forces O’Neill to face a nightmare he is determined to forget.
Resolved to rescue Boyd, O’Neill marches back into the hell he swore never to revisit. Only this time, he’s taking SG-1 with him…
A MATTER OF HONOR
“Senator Kinsey has told me a lot about you and your team, Colonel.” Crawford’s voice was thin and nasal. It suited him. “I look forward to giving him a full report on your methods.”
“You haven’t written it already?”
The ambassador’s lips compressed into a humorless smile and the silence stretched taut. Daniel rubbed at a sudden knot in the back of his neck and saw Sam’s eyes flitting carefully between the two men. Like him, she smelled trouble.
Sergeant Davis broke the moment, his voice crackling over the PA system, “Chevron seven, locked.”
Jack didn’t move, holding Crawford’s gaze. Waiting. Daniel stepped back in anticipation, but Jack was barely in the safe-zone.
He always had to push it to the limit. And then, like an undersea volcano, the silver-blue event horizon mushroomed into the ‘gate room, hitting an invisible wall mere inches from Jack’s motionless head. Crawford yelped and stumbled backward in shock, his helmet flying free and clunking heavily onto the concrete floor.
“Holy crap!” he gasped, struggling for balance and composure as the wormhole sucked back in on itself and eventually came to rest, shimmering brightly inside the Stargate.
Daniel smiled; that just never got old.
Turning his back on Crawford’s alarmed face, Jack settled his weapon firmly in his hands. “Let’s go,” he barked, striding up the ramp. “Carter, with me. Daniel, Teal’c – bring the newbie. And Crawfish? Don’t forget your hat.” AmazonUk | AmazonUS
Lastly perhaps you are looking Ahead for a New Year Inspiration?
A Year Of Doing Good by Judith O’Reilly
Fed up of New Year’s resolutions involving diets and exercise abandoned on January 2nd, Judith is attempting to be good. For one whole year.
She embarked on a mission to do one good deed every day. Some called it a social experiment. At times she called it madness.
Juggling family, friends and a variety of neighbours in the small Northumberland village she calls home, she recounts the ups, downs, moments of doubt and sheer bloody hard work of doing good.
From the small – babysitting a friend’s child, clearing up her neighbour’s dead mice and feeding her friendship cake Herman the German, to the slightly larger – trying to raise 10,000 for charity with her Jam Jar Army and teaching a severely handicapped child to write – she describes what she learns along the way: that no good deed is too small and that being good makes you happy. Well, most of the time. AmazonUk | AmazonUS