Thursday, 21 January 2016

The Cat Who Came In From the Cold by Deric Longden

A white kitten sits on an upturned bucket and waits for the right human.

A few months ago I received a couple of boxes of books for free and I've only read a couple of them so far.  Most of them are obviously not my cup of tea and some of them look plain awful. But as I was struggling to find some inspiration I gingerly plucked this one out of one box.

I wasn't expecting it to be very good, let alone entertaining. But guess what? It's brilliant!

It tells the story of how Author and broadcaster Deric Longden's life gets turned upside down by the arrival of a little white kitten. His house is never the same again with hilarious consequences around every corner. It's wonderfully written with a gentle wit that I haven't come across very often as a reader.

This was so easy to read, the pages literally turned themselves. It's so sad that this talented Author isn't with us any more but I am looking forwards to devouring the rest of his books. If you like to have a laugh and you love cats, you have to read this one.


Thursday, 14 January 2016

The Team That Wouldn't Die by John Roberts

As a lifelong supporter of Manchester United I have always known a little bit about the team's history and the Munich Air Disaster but I have learned so much more from reading this,

Before I turned the first page I wasn't expecting it to be that good of a read but I was wrong. First published in 1975 and with subsequent updates, it is a fascinating look back at the events of February 6, 1958 and the repercussions it had on Manchester United Football Club, the fans and Manchester itself.

Well researched and including first hand accounts, I'd go as far as saying that this is essential reading for any Manchester United fan, young or old. It is not only an educational book but also a terrific tribute to The Busby Babes and all those injured and lost during the crash, including the players, the coaching staff, those working for the airline and other passengers. I actually feel like I now know each and every one of the players that we lost. Not just how good they were but what they were like as people.

               'What we have lost they have gained in respect and immortality.'

                                                         Jackie Blanchflower


Friday, 8 January 2016

White Fang by Jack london

A story about a birth, a journey and the struggle to survive in the frozen north.

This, my first read of 2016, is like a mirror image of Jack London's The Call of the Wild.

It's a great story and I felt emotionally attached to it. It grabs you and sucks you in. This is one of those books that you don't just read, you feel like you are living it. The story is at times dark and gritty and it isn't always an easy read. There is a lot of prose and not a lot of dialogue and that does slow things down a tad.

I'd encourage anybody to read this but I don't think it quite reaches the heights of The Call of the Wild. It maybe lacks a bit of excitement and suspense and the addition of the escaped convict towards the end felt a bit contrived and unnecessary to an already decent story.

But overall it's a really good read.