Title: Letters to My Younger Self – The Big Issue Presents…100 Inspiring People on the Moments That Shaped Their Lives

Author: Jane Graham (ed.)

Pages: 448 Pages

Publisher: Blink Publishing

The Blurb

If you could write a letter to your younger self, what would it say?

Over 10 years ago, The Big Issue began to ask some of the best-known, most interesting and most successful figures in entertainment, politics, food, sport and business to give advice, offer hope and share a few jokes with their younger selves. They opened up, in ways they never had, to interviewer Jane Graham, reflecting on their lives and themselves with affection, sympathy and sometimes disbelief.

This collection of 100 of the most incredible letters includes Paul McCartney on how he found inspiration, Olivia Colman on overcoming confidence problems, Mo Farah on the importance of losing, Arianna Huffington on knowing your motivations, Jamie Oliver on trusting your instinct and many, many more, including Rod StewartMargaret AtwoodBuzz AldrinDavid CameronEddie IzzardDesmond TutuNeil GaimanRuby WaxRanulph Fiennes, Tracey EminIan McEwanMichael PalinMelanie CTim PeakeDionne Warwick and Ewan McGregor.

Letter to My Younger Self is a revelatory and profound exploration into the wit and wisdom that age brings, and of the unique insights that looking back can reveal.

Proceeds from the sales of this book go to The Big Issue to continue their work dismantling poverty and promoting social justice.


The Review

If I wrote a letter to my younger self there is so much I would tell myself. I would tell myself to get my stomach problems checked out earlier, not to obsess about silly boys so much as that will always work out, and that badger stripes in my hair is not and will never be a good look.

In Letters to My Younger Self we have letters written by 100 famous and inspiring people. The letters that have been written are a lot less glib than mine above and they were interesting to read little snippets into the lives of celebrities.

The most important thing is that a large portion of the sales of this book go to helping the homeless.

Letters to My Younger Self – The Big Issue Presents…100 Inspiring People on the Moments That Shaped Their Lives by Jane Graham is available now.

For more information regarding Jane Graham (@Janeannie) please visit her Twitter page.

For more information regarding Blink Publishing (@BlinkPublishing) please visit www.blinkpublishing.co.uk.

For more information regarding The Big Issue (@BigIssue) please visit www.bigissue.com.

Title: Truth to Power – 7 Ways to Call Time on B.S.

Author: Jess Phillips

Pages: 224 Pages

Publisher: Monoray

The Blurb


At a time when many of us feel the world isn’t listening, Jess Phillips offers inspiration to those of us who want to speak out and make a difference.

No stranger to speaking truth to power herself, she will help you dig deep and get organised, finding the courage and the tools you need to take action.

As well as bringing us hope through her own experiences Jess talks to the accidental heroes who have been brave enough to risk everything, become whistle-blowers and successfully fight back.

These inspiring people, often living everyday lives, who then found themselves at the centre of the storm and spoke truth to power include:
Zelda Perkins, the personal assistant who first called-out Harvey Weinstein;
Paul Caruana Galizia, son of murdered Maltese journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia;
Tom Watson the British MP who successfully took on the Murdoch press empire and won;
Sara Rowbotham, the sexual-health worker who uncovered the abuse of young girls by gangs of Asian men in Rochdale – and the subsequent cover-up by the authorities;
Natasha Elcock, resident of Grenfell Tower and chair of Grenfell United, the pressure group set up by families after the disaster;
Cara Sanquest from the campaign to legalise women’s right to choose abortion in Ireland.

Entertaining, empowering and uncompromising, TRUTH TO POWER is the book we all need to help us call time on the seemingly unstoppable tide of bullshit in our lives.


The Review

I really like Jess Phillips. She is ballsy, outspoken but more than anything she is all about equality. I need a lot to respect a politician because in my opinion the majority of them are corrupt and I have disliked our current government because of its disregard for the working classes.

What I loved about this book and indeed what I love about Jess Phillips she will call people on their wrong doings like then our current Prime Minister prorogued Parliament. Jess Phillips showed up because the people of her constituency needed her to. You get the feeling that she genuinely cares about the people and I am gutted that she is no longer running for the leader of the Labour Party.

This book is brilliant. For something that is relatively small it packs a massive punch. It makes you feel like you can make a difference. Sometimes the smallest things make the biggest impact. With her book, Jess Phillips makes you believe you can.

Truth to Power – 7 Ways to Call Time on B.S. by Jess Phillips is available now.

For more information regarding Jess Phillips (@jessphillips) please visit www.jessphillips.net.

Title: The Five – The Untold Lives of the Women Killed by Jack the Ripper

Author: Hallie Rubenhold

Pages: 336 Pages

Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

The Blurb

Five devastating human stories and a dark and moving portrait of Victorian London—the untold lives of the women killed by Jack the Ripper.

Polly, Annie, Elizabeth, Catherine and Mary-Jane are famous for the same thing, though they never met. They came from Fleet Street, Knightsbridge, Wolverhampton, Sweden, and Wales. They wrote ballads, ran coffee houses, lived on country estates, they breathed ink-dust from printing presses and escaped people-traffickers.

What they had in common was the year of their murders: 1888. The person responsible was never identified, but the character created by the press to fill that gap has become far more famous than any of these five women.

For more than a century, newspapers have been keen to tell us that “the Ripper” preyed on prostitutes. Not only is this untrue, as historian Hallie Rubenhold has discovered, it has prevented the real stories of these fascinating women from being told. Now, in this devastating narrative of five lives, Rubenhold finally sets the record straight, revealing a world not just of Dickens and Queen Victoria, but of poverty, homelessness and rampant misogyny. They died because they were in the wrong place at the wrong time—but their greatest misfortune was to be born a woman.

The Review

I stand accused. I stand accused of being guilty of the exact thing that Hallie Rubenhold has written about in her fabulous book The Five – The Untold Lives of the Women Killed by Jack the Ripper. I, myself, have only ever known them to be prostitutes and never once have I thought to consider these women as actual people. They are almost myth and legend. Nowadays we are titillated over the gruesome crimes of a serial killer. You have to ask yourself, if this crime happened today would we celebrate a murderer? Probably not.

What this wonderful book does is delve into the history of these women and show how their lives were shaped by the environment they were living in. Victorian England was harsh to a lot of people – working class women in particular. Rubenhold gives you a glimpse in to a world that you wouldn’t even want to imagine.

What I have taken from this book is that these women had a life beyond their death and I will now remember them for who they are: Polly, Annie, Elizabeth, Catherine ,and Mary-Jane.

The Five – The Untold Lives of the Women Killed by Jack the Ripper by Hallie Rubenhold is available now.

For more information regarding Hallie Rubenhold (@HallieRubenhold) please visit www.hallierubenhold.com.

For more information regarding Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (@HMHCo) please visit www.hmhco.com.

Title: Adults

Author: Emma Jane Unsworth

Pages: 400 Pages

Publisher: Harper Collins

The Blurb

Jenny is unloved, unemployable and emotionally unfiltered. Her long-suffering friends seem sick of her and whilst her social media portrays her life as a bed of roses, it is more of a dying succulent.

Adults is what you want it to be. A misadventure of maturity, a satire on our age of self-promotion, a tender look at the impossibility of womanhood, a love story, a riot. And Emma Jane Unsworth is the only voice to hear it from. Adults is excruciating, a gut punch of hilarity and a book laden with truth that you will read again and again.

The Review

Adults is a fanastic look at how we value life in the age of Instagram. Emma Jane Unsworth has almost created a sociological study of how we see someone living a good life by the amount of likes that they get on various social platforms but shown through a fictional account.

In this story we meet Jenny. Jenny has aspirations. She follows people who present their “best” lives and wishes hers could be the same. Whilst doing this she is also dealing with a break up and measuring her life against the expectations of what it means to be 30-something, single, unmarried without children: all of the things that are expected goals to have reached by that time. Jenny is failing miserably and is falling into a pit of despair.

Unsworth brilliantly captures the sense of desperation some people can be made to feel at certain points in their life whilst also highlighting the hypocrisy of a life “online”. Rarely people post the bad times, they show their highlights real which in turn makes others feel bad. Adults calls BS on this.

Adults is a really good book. It is funny – not the laugh out loud kind of funny but the self chuckling kind when you recognise yourself and your bad points amongst the characters. I really enjoyed reading it.

Adults by Emma Jane Unsworth is available now.

For more information regarding Emma Jane Unsworth (@emjaneunsworth) please visit her Twitter page.

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

Title: The First Time Lauren Pailing Died

Author: Alyson Rudd

Pages: 384 Pages

Publisher: HQ

The Blurb

Lauren Pailing is born in the sixties, and a child of the seventies. She is thirteen years old the first time she dies.

Lauren Pailing is a teenager in the eighties, becomes a Londoner in the nineties. And each time she dies, new lives begin for the people who loved her – while Lauren enters a brand new life, too.

But in each of Lauren’s lives, a man called Peter Stanning disappears. And, in each of her lives, Lauren sets out to find him.

And so it is that every ending is also a beginning. And so it is that, with each new beginning, Peter Stanning inches closer to finally being found…

Perfect for fans of Kate Atkinson and Maggie O’Farrell, The First Time Lauren Pailing Died is a book about loss, grief – and how, despite it not always feeling that way, every ending marks the start of something new.

The Review

I tried to describe the story of The First Time Lauren Pailing Died to my fiancé the other day and I made a right pig’s ear of it so I apologise if this fails to make sense. The First Time Lauren Pailing Died is the story of a girl who lives many strands of the same life. She is a young teenager in one, an adult in another and in another she is dead. Yes. The story seems to apply itself to the belief of parallel lives but with differences. See already I am veering off into the grey area where I begin to get confused.

With that confusion in mind The First Time Lauren Pailing Died did confuse me. That is nothing to do with the writing. Alyson Rudd managed to keep me engaged in spite of my confusion because her writing is very good. Personally, I have issues with Groundhog Day-esque storylines because my little brain cannot keep up. However, The First Time Lauren Pailing Died is very good and I implore you to give it a try.

The First Time Lauren Pailing Died by Alyson Rudd is available now.

For more information regarding Alyson Rudd (@allyrudd_times) please visit her Twitter page.

For more information regarding HQ (@HQDigitalUK) please visit www.hqstories.co.uk.