Title: Bombed Out! Tales of ‘70s and 80s Music, Punk, Eric’s Bands and Beyond

Author: Peter Alan Lloyd

Pages: 258 Pages

Publisher: PAL Publishing

The Blurb

This is a gritty, earthy and expletive-littered Punk ‘Coming of Age’ book, about my time growing up playing in Liverpool New Wave bands and hanging around Eric’s Club and Liverpool City Centre in the late 1970s and early 1980s, and what came afterwards.

During that remarkable musical period bands such as Dead or Alive, Frankie Goes to Hollywood, Elvis Costello, Echo and the Bunnymen, The Teardrop Explodes, A flock of Seagulls, Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark, Wah! Heat, Pink Military Stand Alone and many other bands were born or nurtured in Eric’s Club on Mathew Street in Liverpool.

The book details my time playing bass in Pink Military Stand Alone, and with Pete Burns in Nightmares in Wax, which morphed into Dead or Alive, and the years I spent working in, going to and playing at Eric’s, living my life as part of Liverpool’s vibrant 1980s music scene.

After my band period finished, Margaret Thatcher’s economic policies and the 1980s recession flattened Liverpool, and I wound up on the dole, with few qualifications, no aptitude to study and with no prospects of a proper job.

Using my penniless experience of being in the bands, and a new-found confidence and determination that Punk and my time in the music business had bestowed on me, I embarked on a tough journey in an attempt to turn my life around.

This book tells what happened.

(AMAZON BLURB)

The Review

The reason I bought Bombed Out by Peter Alan Lloyd is because the book is set in Liverpool and I have lived there all my life and find the social history fascinating, and because the book is about music – one of my two biggest passions in life. After reading Bombed Out I am a bit torn with my feelings about it.

One the one hand, it is a very interesting look at the music scene. Eric’s was such an iconic bar and so many bands played there, socialised there or were even formed there. That side was all very interesting although at one point I did feel a little bit like it was an exercise in name-dropping after a while.

On the other hand, whilst I get that Bombed Out is a memoir, I found it to be quite self indulgent. Lloyd sounded whiny whilst trying to appear self deprecating at times. I found his descriptions of the ‘rough area’ he lived in laughable – Brownmoor Lane is not a rough place to live, in fact, Crosby is pretty is quite an beautiful area. I don’t know, some things just didn’t sit well with me so that was a bit disappointing.

Overall, if you were around during the punk era and you find Liverpool bands entertaining then you may enjoy this book more than I did.

Bombed Out! Tales of ‘70s and 80s Music, Punk, Eric’s Bands and Beyond is available now.

Title: I’d Rather Be Reading – The Delights and Dilemmas of the Reading Life

Author: Anne Bogel

Pages: 160 Pages

Publisher: Baker Books

The Blurb

For so many people, reading isn’t just a hobby or a way to pass the time–it’s a lifestyle. Our books shape us, define us, enchant us, and even sometimes infuriate us. Our books are a part of who we are as people, and we can’t imagine life without them.

I’d Rather Be Reading is the perfect literary companion for everyone who feels that way. In this collection of charming and relatable reflections on the reading life, beloved blogger and author Anne Bogel leads readers to remember the book that first hooked them, the place where they first fell in love with reading, and all of the moments afterward that helped make them the reader they are today. Known as a reading tastemaker through her popular podcast What Should I Read Next?, Bogel invites book lovers into a community of like-minded people to discover new ways to approach literature, learn fascinating new things about books and publishing, and reflect on the role reading plays in their lives.

The perfect gift for the bibliophile in everyone’s life, I’d Rather Be Reading will command an honored place on the overstuffed bookshelves of any book lover.

The Review

I love reading books about books. Strange really when I could just read the book that the authors of this style of book is actually talking about. I think it is because of that shared connection between booklovers or that saying that seeing a person read a book you like is like the book recommending the person. I don’t know, I just feel that if I were to write a book then it would be one like this.

I’d Rather Be Reading follows author Anne Bogel through her reading life; her time as a child, a young adult, a wife, and a mum. She talks about how books have influenced her or have been there when she needed them. We read about her love of bookshops and libraries and how she has given that gift to her children. It really is joy packaged in 160 pages.

I have read a lot of books of a similar ilk but this has to be one of my favourites. Anne Bogel did a great job with I’d Rather Be Reading.

I’d Rather Be Reading – The Delights and Dilemmas of the Reading Life by Anne Bogel is available now.

For more information regarding Anne Bogel (@AnneBogel) please visit www.modernmrsdarcy.com.

For more information regarding Baker Books (@ReadBakerBooks) please visit www.bakerpublishinggroup.com/bakerbooks.

Title: Outside

Author: Sarah Ann Juckes

Pages: 288 Pages

Publisher: Penguin

The Blurb

Here’s the thing about being Inside. Ain’t no one believes that they are.

Ele has never been Outside, but she knows it exists – she just has to prove it.

Her whole world is Inside. Trapped with her books and the Others and Him.
She has never seen a tree or felt the rain but that’s about to change. Ele’s getting out. For good.

(AMAZON BLURB)

The Review

Outside by Sarah Ann Juckes was a really engaging but shocking book. It is a book that borders the line of young adult and adult fiction. It has been described as being similar to Room by Emma Donoghue and whilst I have never read that book from what I have heard about it then Outside could be its sister novel.

The story focuses on Ele. She has lived inside for as long as she can remember but she knows that there is an outside and she is determined to get to it. Except how can someone who has grown up knowing only the four walls around her able to survive in the big bad world?

Outside is a book that makes you hungry to read. You have to read on and you have to know how it ends. It isn’t a book that you sit and savour and plod through because you want to be part of that world. Juckes makes you feel uncomfortable. She makes you want to not be there but she does it in such a brilliantly written way.

This is a book that will make you feel at once: sad, uncomfortable, happy and uplifted. Read it.

Outside by Sarah Ann Juckes is available now.

For more information regarding Sarah Ann Juckes (@sarahannjuckes) please visit www.sarahannjuckes.com.

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

Title: The Seventh Train

Author: Jackie Carreira

Pages: 153 Pages

Publisher: Troubador Publishing Limited

The Blurb

What if you can’t stand where you are because there’s nothing there? What if you don’t want to end up anywhere else in case that’s empty too? When life has lost its road map, sometimes the only way to get back on track is to get back on the rails.

The Seventh Train is a ride – a ‘road movie’ on the railways. It’s a journey that Elizabeth invented; the only original thought she has ever had in her previously uneventful life. Unbeknown to her, she is not travelling alone. If only she’d pretended that the spare seat was taken.

With a wonderfully eclectic cast of characters, The Seventh Train takes its passengers on a journey from the tragic to the strange, arriving finally at hope. By turns heart-breaking, thought-provoking and hilarious, this tale is a life-affirming exploration of the human spirit via the British railway timetable!

The Review

The Seventh Train is a clever circular book that mixes a colourful cast of characters with weird and wonderful stories. They all take place on trains or in train stations which, personally, I find fascinating and oddly romantic.

Our protagonist, Elizabeth, is a little bit closed off but she finds her wall of safety penetrated by others who without even knowing it have saved her from herself.

I really enjoyed The Seventh Train. It is a perfect one sitting read.

The Seventh Train by Jackie Carreira is available now.

For more information regarding Jackie Carreira (@JCarreiraWriter) please visit www.jackiecarreira.co.uk.

Title: The Dollmaker of Krakow

Author: RM Romero

Pages: 288 Pages

Publisher: Walker Books

The Blurb

A timeless fantasy set in the Second World War that weaves together magic, folklore and history, perfect for fans of The Book ThiefThe Boy in the Striped Pyjamas and Goodnight Mister Tom.

One night a little doll named Karolina comes to life in a toyshop in Krakow, Poland, in 1939 and changes the life of the gruff, broken-hearted Dollmaker. And when the darkness of the Nazi occupation sweeps over the city, Karolina and the Dollmaker must bravely use their magic to save their Jewish friends from a terrible danger, no matter what the risks. This powerful story is about finding friendship in the darkest of places and the importance of love in times of great pain.

(AMAZON BLURB)

The Review

This is not my normal kind of book but once again it is one of the Carnegie nominees and I want to read as many as I can.

The Dollmaker fo Krakow is set in Poland at the onset of World War Two and it sees us through the occupation of Poland by the Nazis. It is the story of Karolina – a doll that comes alive for the dollmaker – think mannequin but without romance or a great 80s soundtrack.

It is through their friendship that they try to help the Jewish people who are sent to the ghettos in Poland before being sent to concentration camps.

This story has a magical realism aspect which if I am completely honest, as a reader I am not entirely comfortable with but the charm that exudes from each page makes it a worthwhile read.

The Dollmaker of Krakow is available now.

For more information regarding RM Romero (@rmromeroauthor) please visit www.rmromero.com.

For more information regarding Walker Books (@WalkerBooksUK) please visit www.walker.co.uk.