Book Reviews: ‘Heaven is For Real’ by Todd Burpo and ‘Eye Can Write’ by Jonathan Bryan

Recently two related memoirs have come into my hands within a short space of time. The first, Heaven is For Real I picked up from a secondhand book sale at a local Warwickshire Open Gardens event. The second, I bought at a writing conference in the Hayes Centre, Swanwick, just this weekend (3-5 June 2022).Continue reading “Book Reviews: ‘Heaven is For Real’ by Todd Burpo and ‘Eye Can Write’ by Jonathan Bryan”

Blog Tour: ‘Burrowed’ by Maressa Mortimer

I’m pleased to be taking part in a blog tour today for fellow author Maressa Mortimer. I’ve had the pleasure of meeting Maressa several times at different author events and conferences, and she is a lovely ebullient lady with endless energy, who despite being the wife of a Baptist pastor and the mother of fourContinue reading “Blog Tour: ‘Burrowed’ by Maressa Mortimer”

Book Review: ‘Pilgrim at Tinker Creek’ by Annie Dillard

This is a very intense, exquisitely observed book of nature observation, which took place over the course of one year at Tinker Creek in South Carolina in the USA. The author wrote ‘Pilgrim at Tinker Creek‘ back in 1972, at the age of 27. I was captivated by the way she relates her nature observationsContinue reading “Book Review: ‘Pilgrim at Tinker Creek’ by Annie Dillard”

Book Review: ‘The Secret River’ by Kate Grenville

As one who lived in Australia for nearly five years, before returning to live in England, I found this novel by Australian author Kate Grenville totally immersive. Kate Grenville takes her main protagonist William Thornhill from his life as a Thames waterman in the late 1700s out to New South Wales on a convict transport,Continue reading “Book Review: ‘The Secret River’ by Kate Grenville”

Book Review: ‘Write Well’ compiled by Amy Scott Robinson published by Instant Apostle

I have just finished this excellent anthology Write Well which I found an inspiring resource. A varied selection of writers have contributed pieces to this book, which are arranged under three main headings: Section One: Digging the Well; Section 2: Priming the Pump and Section 3: Filling the Bucket. I found the different chapters veryContinue reading “Book Review: ‘Write Well’ compiled by Amy Scott Robinson published by Instant Apostle”

The stories of people who believe they have had strange experiences

Recently I visited one of the locations in my current work-in-progress, Illustrated Tales of Warwickshire to be published by Amberley Publishing in 2022. The subject matter of the book varies widely but is largely about curious events in the physical world, based in known fact; however, the first chapter is devoted to strange and spookyContinue reading “The stories of people who believe they have had strange experiences”

A Visit to Portsmouth Historic Dockyard: HMS Victory, HMS Warrior and the Mary Rose, a perfect time capsule that transports us into another world

On a recent trip to Portsmouth, we were absorbed into the lives of the great ships there, and their rich histories. The Mary Rose Museum shone out for us with its immersive experience and its astonishing recovery of details of the sailors’ lives back in 1545. But HMS Warrior and HMS Victory also enthralled usContinue reading “A Visit to Portsmouth Historic Dockyard: HMS Victory, HMS Warrior and the Mary Rose, a perfect time capsule that transports us into another world”

Book Review: When This is All Over 2020 -2021: an anthology of writings about the Covid-19 Pandemic

I found this an immensely varied collection of pieces, both prose and poetry. It was very moving to reflect upon how differently people react to the onslaught of Covid-19 upon the world. The range of moods and outlooks among the 220 writers is fascinating: funny, sharply satirical, melancholy, fearful, heartbreaking, hopeful. Some of the livelyContinue reading “Book Review: When This is All Over 2020 -2021: an anthology of writings about the Covid-19 Pandemic”

Book Review: ‘Miss Graham’s War’ by Celia Rees

Today I share my review of ‘Miss Graham’s War‘, the latest novel by Celia Rees, which has been released in a new edition, having spent some time on sale as ‘Miss Graham’s Cold War Cookbook’. ‘Miss Graham’s War‘ is a very complex and gripping account of life in Germany in the immediate aftermath of theContinue reading “Book Review: ‘Miss Graham’s War’ by Celia Rees”

Thoughts on the Tudors and ‘The Taming of the Queen’ by Philippa Gregory

The Tudors have been popular for the last few years, in books and films and TV programmes. And whatever we think of Henry VIII as a man, he was certainly a gift to history. For he must be one of the most memorable of all characters in the story of Britain. Never mind that heContinue reading “Thoughts on the Tudors and ‘The Taming of the Queen’ by Philippa Gregory”