Title: One, Two, Three, Four – The Beatles in Time

Author: Craig Brown

Pages: 642 Pages

Publisher: 4th Estate

The Blurb

From the award-winning author of Ma’am Darling: 99 Glimpses of Princess Margaret comes a fascinating, hilarious, kaleidoscopic biography of the Fab Four.

On April 10th 2020, it will be exactly 50 years since Paul McCartney announced the break-up of the Beatles. At that point, we will be at the same distance in time from 1970 as 1970 was from 1920, the year Al Jolson’s ‘Swanee’ was the bestselling record and Gustav Holst composed The Planets.

The Beatles continue to occupy a position unique in popular culture. They have entered people’s minds in a way that did not occur before, and has not occurred since. Their influence extended way beyond the realm of music to fashion, politics, class, religion and ethics. Countless books have doggedly catalogued the minutiae of The Beatles. If you want to know the make of George Harrison’s first car you will always be able to find the answer (a second hand, two-door, blue Ford Anglia 105E Deluxe, purchased from Brian Epstein’s friend Terry Doran, who worked at a dealership in Warrington). Before she met John Lennon, who was the only Beatle Yoko Ono could name, and why? Ringo. Because ‘ringo’ means ‘apple’ in Japanese. All very interesting, but there is, as yet, no book about The Beatles that combines the intriguing minutiae of their day-to-day lives with broader questions about their effect – complicated and fascinating – on the world around them, their contemporaries, and generations to come.

Until now.

Craig Brown’s 1-2-3-4: The Beatles in Time is a unique, kaleidoscopic examination of The Beatles phenomenon – part biography, part anthropology, part memoir, by turns humorous and serious, elegiac and speculative. It follows the unique “exploded biography” form of his internationally bestselling, Ma’am Darling: 99 Glimpses of Princess Margaret.

(Goodreads Blurb)

The Review

It always surprises me that there can be anything new to say about a bad that split up over 50 years ago. Yet, here is another. One, Two, Three, Four is Craig Brown’s interesting take on The Beatles legacy.

Much like his previous book Ma’am Darling, Brown mixes the truth with fiction. He includes chapters to The Beatles story that didn’t happen but totally sound like they could have take place. 

What is interesting about One, Two, Three, Four is that Brown has come to telling The Beatles story from conception to end with a mix of current events thrown in. He hasn’t come at his writing from the point of view of a fan telling us what impact The Beatles had on his life. Instead, the way in which he writes his book you feel like you are listening to actual conversations between the Fab Four.

The joy of this book is trying to decipher the truth from the lies. Some are easier than others but either way it is a hell of a ride. 

One, Two, Three, Four – The Beatles in Time by Craig Brown is available now.

For more information regarding 4th Estate Books (@4thEstateBooks) please visit www.4thestate.co.uk.

Title: Sidelined

Author: Jo Cox

Pages: 27 Pages

Publisher: Self Published

The Blurb

At thirty-two, Georgie should be past behaving like a hormonal adolescent, especially when the woman who’s reducing her to lower brain function is the mother of a surly teenager from the football team she coaches. 

Find out if she can conquer her nerves in this short lesbian romance.

(AMAZON BLURB)

The Review

It is always a weird one when you read something released by someone you know. There is always the potential that you won’t like what they have written or even worse that their writing is just plain awful. Fortunately for me, I really enjoyed Sidelined by Jo Cox (I should really have prefaced this by saying that I used to write for More than the Music – a music website that Jo and her wife Lisa created).

Sidelined tells the story of Georgie, a football coach who is a little bit infatuated with one of her player’s mum, Pippa. In this short story we see the bourgeoning relationship between the two whilst dealing with the struggle of not rocking the proverbial boat with daughter Tabitha. 

What Cox does really well is build up the sexual tension between Pippa and Georgie. It is a slow build that explodes on the page and it really does make you think back to the beginning part of any relationship that you have been in, when you just desperately want to be connected somehow, whether it be a cheeky kiss, hand holding or something more. 

You really get the sense that the two characters have more to give and whilst Sidelined is a short story it has the potential to be much more especially when you factor in coaching jobs, teenage daughters, ex-partners. There is potential for Cox to explore more.

Sidelined by Jo Cox is available now.

For more information regarding Jo Cox (@jocoxbooks) please visit www.jocoxbooks.co.uk.

Title: September Love

Author: Lang Leav

Pages: 224 Pages

Publisher: Andrews McMeel Publishing

The Blurb

A book that will change the way you think about love, relationships, heartbreak, and self-empowerment. Breaking the rules, challenging perceptions, and exploring the secret desires we keep hidden from the world.

Beautifully composed and written by international bestselling author Lang Leav, this new collection of poetry and prose will positively influence your life.

 

September Love captures the magic of each passing season, a pearl of wisdom waiting to be discovered with every page turned. A book that will inspire you to reach for the stars.

The Review

I like reading poetry books. I will admit that it isn’t my favourite genre but I like trying to dissect and understand poetry. What I find from personal collections is that they can sometimes be a little self indulgent especially if the writer is a little green. Lang Leav’s latest collection September Love shows a writer in her prime, a writer who knows who she is and produces work that is readable, enjoyable and that doesn’t seem like it is just word regurgitation on a page. 

September Love is a stunning collection. Personally, I preferred her free verse but the collection as a whole is very accomplished.

September Love by Lang Leav is available now.

For more information regarding Lang Leav (@langleav) please visit www.langleav.com/poemsia.

For more information regarding Andrews McMeel (@AndrewsMcMeel) please visit www.andrewsmcmeel.com.

Title: Callum

Author: Malorie Blackman

Pages: 61 Pages

Publisher: Penguin

The Blurb

In a hostile alternative society, the pale-skinned noughts are treated as inferiors by the ruling dark-skinned Crosses. Callum’s a nought. Sephy’s a Cross. In their world, they simply don’t fit – it’s as clear as black and white. But their childhood friendship has grown into intense, burning love. They have to find a way to be together. Then Sephy’s kidnapped, and Callum’s faced with a choice– his love for Sephy or his loyalty to his brother. Once that choice is made, there can be no looking back. An explosive and passionate short story, set during the timeline of Malorie Blackman’s original dystopian bestseller, Noughts and Crosses.

The World Book Day App is available for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch and is absolutely FREE!

(GOODREADS BLURB)

The Review

Callum is the short story that shows us more of Sephy and Callum’s final moments together. Following on from Noughts and Crosses we get access to the more intimate moments between the pair and we see how they used to be together before all the social politics and racism got in the way. 

This short story reminded me of the scene in Romeo and Juliet when they consulate their marriage and then have to part. It is the last time that they see each other alive. It is similar for Sephy and Callum. Sephy survives but the tragedy is still painful.

Since reading the wonderful Noughts and Crosses I have becomes determined to read the whole series. Even Malorie Blackman’s short story about Callum and Sephy has managed to pack an emotional punch and keep me hooked.

Callum by Malorie Blackman is available now.

For more information regarding Malorie Blackman (@malorieblackman) please visit www.malorieblackman.co.uk.

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

Title: I Work at a Public Library

Author: Gina Sheridan

Pages: 160 Pages

Publisher: Adams Media

The Blurb

Straight from the library–the strange and bizarre, ready to be checked out!

From a patron’s missing wetsuit to the scent of crab cakes wafting through the stacks, I Work at a Public Library showcases the oddities that have come across Gina Sheridan’s circulation desk. Throughout these pages, she catalogs her encounters with local eccentrics as well as the questions that plague her, such as, “What is the standard length of eyebrow hairs?” Whether she’s helping someone scan his face onto an online dating site or explaining why the library doesn’t have any dragon autobiographies, Sheridan’s bizarre tales prove that she’s truly seen it all.

Stacked high with hundreds of strange-but-true stories, I Work at a Public Library celebrates librarians and the unforgettable patrons that roam the stacks every day.

(GOODREADS BLURB)

The Review

I love books like I Work at a Public Library. They put me in mind of Jen Campbell’s two part book series Weird Things People Say in Bookshops. And since I work in a library – a school library that is – I am well versed in hearing the funny conversations around me and being asked random questions. 

The quirkiness of this book is very endearing. The chapters are broken down to numbers within the Dewey-Decimal system and the stories are catalogued alphabetically. 

As you read along – an inevitably snort with laughter – I swear it will make you want to work in a library.

Such a great book.

I Work at a Public Library by Gina Sheridan is available now.