Title: How to Own the Room – Women and the Art of Brilliant Speaking

Author: Viv Groskop

Pages: 214 Pages

Publisher: Transworld Digital

The Blurb

Most books about public speaking don’t tell you what to do when you open your mouth and nothing comes out. And they don’t tell you how to get over the anxiety about performance that most people naturally have. They don’t tell you what to do in the moments when you are made, as a woman, to feel small. They don’t tell you how to own the room. This book does.

From the way Michelle Obama projects ‘happy high status’, and the power of J.K.Rowling’s understated speaking style, to Virginia Woolf’s leisurely pacing and Oprah Winfrey’s mastery of inner conviction, what is it that our heroines do to make us sit up and listen – really listen – to their every word? And how can you achieve that impact in your own life? Here’s how.

(Goodreads Blurb)

The Review

Speaking in public is hard. It can be made even harder when your gender is an additional factor into why you may be judged, not listened to or respected. Viv Groskop’s brilliant book How to Own the Room is a powerhouse of a book. It is empowering and give amazing information, advice and real life stories on how to build up your confidence and to be able to give amazing speeches. 

I took a lot from this book. I work in a school and I don’t really have a problem with speaking to my students but I  know I would feel very different if I was speaking to my peers. If I am ever asked to address people on my level or higher I know I will return to How to Own a Room to help me with the delivery of my speech.

Additionally, it is the stories of well known people and how they deal with making speeches that makes you feel a little bit better about your own nerves. How to Own a Room is a practical guide and an enjoyable read.

How to Own the Room – Women and the Art of Brilliant Speaking by Viv Groskop is available now.

For more information regarding Viv Groskop (@VivGroskop) please visit her Twitter page.

For more information regarding Transworld Digital (@TransworldBooks) please visit the Twitter page.

Title: The Thursday Murder Club

Author: Richard Osman

Pages: 336 Pages

Publisher: Penguin

The Blurb

In a peaceful retirement village, four unlikely friends meet up once a week to investigate unsolved killings.

But when a local property developer shows up dead, ‘The Thursday Murder Club’ find themselves in the middle of their first live case.

The four friends, Elizabeth, Joyce, Ibrahim and Ron, might be pushing eighty but they still have a few tricks up their sleeves. Can our unorthodox but brilliant gang catch the killer before it’s too late?

The Review

What an absolute gem of a book!

I will admit that it was curiosity that led me to read The Thursday Murder Club. I love Richard Osman on his various television shows and I wondered if he would be as brilliant on page as he is on TV. 

The short answer is yes. More so.

The story centres on four residents of sheltered accommodation who attend a club every Thursday to discuss unsolved crime case files but when a real life crime happens on their doorstep they set about trying to solve it.

The Thursday Murder Club is joyous. I wanted to be old and part of their gang of crime fighters. This novel helps to remind us that we should never underestimate pensioners. They have lived longer and know more so let’s give them a fair chance. 

What is marvellous about this story is that Osman has you guessing to the very last page. I genuinely didn’t see it coming and made various guesses with very sound arguments for all of my suspects throughout. I didn’t even come close.

The Thursday Murder Club has a lot of heart, humour and page turning cliffhangers. I bloody loved it and I hope it gets commissioned to become a TV drama so those who are not readers get to enjoy the story as well.

The Thursday Murder Club by Richard Osman is available now.

For more information regarding Richard Osman (@richardosman) please visit his Twitter page.

For more information regarding Penguin (@PenguinUKBooks) please visit www.penguin.co.uk.

Title: On Her Majesty’s Secret Service

Author: Ian Fleming

Pages: 326 Pages

Publisher: Penguin

The Blurb

The eleventh novel in Ian Fleming’s James Bond series.

In the aftermath of Operation Thunderball, Ernst Stavro Blofeld’s trail has gone cold-and so has 007’s love for his job. The only thing that can rekindle his passion is Contessa Teresa ‘Tracy’ di Vicenzo, a troubled young woman who shares his taste for fast cars and danger.

She’s the daughter of a powerful crime boss, and he thinks Bond’s hand in marriage may be the solution to all her problems. Bond’s not ready to settle down-yet-but if Tracy’s father can lead him to Blofeld, he’ll consider it.

After tracking the SPECTRE chief to a stronghold in the Swiss Alps, Bond uncovers the details of Blofeld’s latest plot: a biological warfare scheme more audacious than anything the fiend has tried before. Now Bond must save the world once again-and survive Blofeld’s last, very personal, act of vengeance. 

(Goodreads Blurb)

The Review

I’m not a fan of the James Bond movies. Actually, if I am really honest, I have never watched one in its entirety but I get the feeling that they are not for me. However, I decided to give one of the books a try because I didn’t want to be too judgemental without cause to back it up. Maybe I just prefer books to movies.

What I found was this: the books haven’t aged aged well. They are quite mysogenistic and I really don’t think glib conversations about rape really endear a reader to the characters.

However, taken as an action thriller and removing sexual abuse I can see why the books (and I guess the movies) have such a following. They are fast paced, have clear discernible villains and heroes and as a reader you have the clear knowledge that you know the hero will win.  It is is the knowledge that you know that the story will end well that makes readers (and viewers) enjoy the stories. The knowledge that they good guy will win that makes it quite satisfying.

I have surprised myself by acknowledging that I would be willing to read more of the Bond, James Bond series.

On Her Majesty’s Secret Service by Ian Fleming is available now.

For more information regarding Ian Fleming (@TheIanFleming) please visit www.ianfleming.com.

For more information regarding Penguin (@PenguinUKBooks) please visit wwww.penguin.co.uk.

Title: Happily Imperfect – Living Life Your Own Way

Author: Stacey Solomon

Pages: 288 Pages

Publisher: Harper Collins

The Blurb

Renowned and loved for her refreshing candour on everyday issues, social, domestic and intimate, Stacey Solomon reminds us how important it is to embrace ourselves; the good, bad and the ugly.

Stacey’s authenticity and her courage to say what others daren’t opens discussions on sensitive but significant topics; her lack of sex drive after having kids, her battles with anxiety, the lows of motherhood and even the importance of hairy legs.

In Happily Imperfect, be moved to tears and laughter by joining Stacey in her journey so far, as she reveals how to stay positive despite the everyday pressure to be and look perfect. Told through hilarious, sometimes moving, and always charming anecdotes, discover how to get the best out of life by being positive, not following the crowd, and trusting your gut instincts.

Covering how to navigate motherhood, deal with anxiety and prejudice, as well as the experience of getting older, Stacey has plenty of words of wisdom to share. With tips and tricks on how to apply a positive mindset within your own day-to-day life, become emotionally freer and happier with Stacey by your side.

(Goodreads Blurb)

The Review

My love for Stacey Solomon knows no bounds. I love her Instagram feed, I love her attitude to live and I love here on Loose Women. I think she is a boss role model for just being yourself. 

Her book Happily Imperfect addresses people’s need to be perfect and how we are all perfectly imperfect. She discusses her formative years, her X Factor journey, her growth as a young girl, becoming a mother and finding love.

You get the feeling that yes, she is human and she does get down by the negative comments but she also has such a positive attitude towards life. This is the kind of book that you can read more than once because it is so positive. 

Personally, I would love Stacey Solomon to bring out a craft book. Actually, if I am wanting for anything I kind of want to be best friends with Stacey Solomon but I would settle for a craft book (hint hint) because she is boss. Happily imperfect is the perfect tonic and helps you appreciate all the good things you have.

Happily Imperfect by Stacey Solomon is available now.

For more information regarding Stacey Solomon (@StaceySolomon) please visit www.staceyxsolomon.com.

For more information regarding Harper Collins (@HarperCollinsUK) please visit the Twitter page.

Title: Bunny Vs Monkey Book One

Author: Jamie Smart

Pages: 256 Pages

Publisher: David Fickling Books

The Blurb

This brand new remastered book collects together Bunny vs Monkey 1: Let the Mayhem Begin and Bunny vs Monkey 2: Journey to the Centre of the Eurg-th for the first time. Smaller easy-to-read format! 256 hilarious pages! FAST AND FURRY-OUS! 

Welcome to the woods. It’s chaos in there! Bunny and his friends Weenie the Squirrel, Pig (the pig), Action Beaver and Skunky the Inventor lived a peaceful life in the forest – until Monkey’s rocket crash-landed and he decided to take over! Now Monkey is causing mayhem, Bunny is determined to put a stop to it, and… what’s that? It’s an out of control shark tank, ruining a lovely picnic! 

Join bestselling comics sensation Jamie Smart for this hilarious collection of stories, available in a new chunky format!

(Amazon Blurb)

The Review

Oh I haven’t chuckled this much in ages. Bunny Vs Monkey is a graphic novel about the acrimonious relationship between a bunny and a monkey. Monkey believes he has been sent to another planet to colonise the land. Little does he know is that the scientists who sent him away didn’t quite reach outer space and his is in fact still on earth in the woods. 

The relationship between Bunny and Monkey is brilliant. It is like Roadrunner and Wiley Coyote yet they both have more elements of Wiley Coyote than anyone. Along with a colourful cast of characters such as Pig, Weenie the Squirrel and Skunk and my personal favourite – Le Fox – this graphic novel is chock full of silliness and I, for one, salute the silliness.

A brilliant distraction from life, Bunny vs Monkey is a must read for anyone who loves a good laugh.

Bunny Vs Monkey Book One by Jamie Smart is available now,

For more information regarding David Fickling Books (@DFB_storyhouse) please visit www.davidficklingbooks.com.