Title: The Stonewall Riots

Author: Gayle E. Pitman

Pages: 224 Pages

Publisher: Abram Kids

The Blurb

This book is about the Stonewall Riots, a series of spontaneous, often violent demonstrations by members of the gay (LGBTQ+) community in reaction to a police raid that took place in the early morning hours of June 28, 1969, at the Stonewall Inn in the Greenwich Village neighborhood of Manhattan, New York City. The Riots are attributed as the spark that ignited the LGBTQ+ movement.

The author describes American gay history leading up to the Riots, the Riots themselves, and the aftermath, and includes her interviews of people involved or witnesses, including a woman who was ten at the time. Profusely illustrated, the book includes contemporary photos, newspaper clippings, and other period objects. A timely and necessary read, The Stonewall Riots helps readers to understand the history and legacy of the LGBTQ+ movement.

The Review

I read a lot of LGBT fiction but one thing that I haven’t read enough about is the history of the LGBT community. I am seriously behind on my non-fiction. From what I have learned through research after reading things in fiction I have picked up bits and pieces but I really need to expand my knowledge of the LGBT+ community and the ongoing battle for equality. This year I plan to change this. My non-fiction reading journey has begun with The Stonewall Riots by Gayle E. Pitman.

I had heard the term ‘Stonewall’ but never quite understood what it meant and its root. After reading The Stonewall Riots I now see how hard the initial fights for rights were and just how institutionalised the homophobia was…and sadly still is.

Pitman’s easy style means that the book can be read and enjoyed by all. It is a book that should be a feature of every school library and be used in PSHE lessons when discussing LGBTQIA+ issues.

If, like me, you are new to the non-fiction element of the history of LGBTQIA+ rights then The Stonewall Riots is a great book to start you off on that journey.

The Stonewall Riots by Gayle E. Pitman is available now.

For more information regarding Abram Kids (@ABRAMSbooks) please visit www.abramsbooks.com.

Title: Cunk on Everything: The Encyclopaedia Philomena

Author: Philomena Cunk

Pages: 304 Pages

Publisher: Two Roads

The Blurb

Philomena Cunk is one of the greatest thinkers of the 21st century, and in Cunk on Everything she turns her attention to our biggest issue: why are there so many books? Wouldn’t it be better if there was just one? This is that book – an encyclopedia of ALL HUMAN KNOWLEDGE, from sausages to Henry of Eight to Brush Strokes to vegetarian sausages.

Read it, and you’ll never have to read another book again.

 (AMAZON BLURB)

The Review

Cunk on Britain was the funniest program on TV last year. Diana Morgan’s character Philomena Cunk explained the history of Britain in an entertaining way…if not a little bit inaccurate.

I received a copy of Cunk on Everything from my fiancé for Christmas (coincidentally I had also bought him a copy – freaky deaky). I read it every couple of days, laughing along with the absurdity of some of the sayings but if I am completely honest it needs the deadpan tone of Philomena Cunk to really get the entertainment value up.

I think I will listen to the Audiobook and see if that makes a difference.

Cunk on Everything: The Encyclopaedia Philomena by Philomena Cunk is available now.

For more information regarding Philomena Cunk (@CunkPhilomena) please visit here Twitter page.

For more information regarding Two Roads (@TwoRoadsBooks) please visit www.tworoadsbooks.com.

Votes for WomenTitle: Votes for Women! The Pioneers and Heroines of Female Suffrage (from the pages of A History of Britain in 21 Women)

Author: Jenni Murray

Pages: 84 Pages

Publisher: One World Publications

The Blurb

Mary Wollstonecraft, Elizabeth Garrett Anderson, Millicent Fawcett, Emmeline Pankhurst, Constance Markievicz, Nancy Astor

They terrorised the establishment.

They fought for the vote.

They pushed back boundaries and revolutionised our world.

For the hundredth anniversary of the historic moment the franchise was finally extended to women, here is a selection of suffragette and suffragist activists and pioneering MPs from the pages of Jenni Murray’s bestselling A History of Britain in 21 Women. Set against the backdrop of a world where equality is still to be achieved, it is a vital reminder of the great women who fought for change.

The Review

Once again, I am getting my feminist on.

I love reading books about strong women. Women who have helped change the course of history. In some of the books that I have read about this topic I have felt myself bogged down by a lot of information, almost like the author is trying to give everything to convince you.

Jenni Murray doesn’t do that. She knows the validity of the women she has chosen to write about and she knows the part they have played and the impact on the change of the world. She gives you enough interesting information to keep intrigued and maybe make you want to find out more. She never gives you so much that you feel bored.

The women that she has chosen to write about, some better known than others have all had a massive impact on the way we live our lives today. It was a pleasure to read about them.

Votes for Women! The Pioneers and Heroines of Female Suffrage (from the pages of A History of Britain in 21 Women) by Jenni Murray is available now.

For more information regarding Jenni Murray (@whjm) please visit www.bbc.co.uk/womanshour.

4 Stars

Love FifteenTitle: Love Fifteen

Author: Peter Nichols

Pages: 200 Pages

Publisher: Troubador Publishing

The Blurb

A bittersweet comedy about an adolescent boy’s affair with a 30-year-old woman that is set in Bristol during World War II.

Theodore Light is a young boy with rich ambition who reaches the tender age of fifteen in 1940. He’s looking forward to being sent to Canada to avoid the blitzes on his home town, Bristol. His childhood dream is to direct Hollywood films, but for now the closest he can get to them is seeing them in a cinema. Being underage, however, makes his dream near impossible – until he meets an older woman that takes a shine to him…

Page-turning drama unfolds when Theodore bunks off from school and stumbles upon a stunning older woman, Mrs Hampton, who offers to accompany him to see a film. During an air raid, Mrs. Hampton offers her flat as shelter, where their relationship intensifies and fondness for each other matures.

This is the story of their taboo affair, played out against a wartime background, as Theodore continues to dream of Hollywood fame and glory.

Love Fifteen is a captivating combination of whirlwind romance and wartime adventure that will be enjoyed by fans of historical fiction and domestic comedy. Author Peter has been inspired by acting and film production which took a prominent role in his life from a young age.

The Review

Oh dear.

I really didn’t like Love Fifteen. I’m sorry. I found this story to be an extremely tedious read. The overall plot had so much potential: Suburban Britain during the war, a young boy on the verge of manhood is shown the ways of love by a lusty older woman. So far, so good. Throw in a dysfunctional family; a mother who is having romantic dalliances whilst her husband is away for weeks on end and a golden child sister whose crown is destined to fall off sooner or later.

See this is a good plot. The writing was not. Reading Love Fifteen felt like swimming through hummus.

This really wasn’t the book for me.

Love Fifteen by Peter Nichols is available now.

For more information regarding Troubador Publishing (@matadorbooks) please visit www.troubador.co.uk.

1 star

Paris Time CapsuleThe Blurb

New York–based photographer Cat Jordan is ready to begin a new life with her successful, button-down boyfriend. But when she learns that she’s inherited the estate of a complete stranger—a woman named Isabelle de Florian—her life is turned upside down.

Cat arrives in Paris to find that she is now the owner of a perfectly preserved Belle Époque apartment in the ninth arrondissement, and that the Frenchwoman’s family knew nothing about this secret estate. Amid these strange developments, Cat is left with burning questions: Who was Isabelle de Florian? And why did she leave the inheritance to Cat instead of her own family?

As Cat travels France in search of answers, she feels her grasp on her New York life starting to slip. With long-buried secrets coming to light and an attraction to Isabelle de Florian’s grandson growing too intense to ignore, Cat will have to decide what to let go of, and what to claim as her own.

The Review

Paris Time Capsule is a stunning story with roots found in real life events. The story centres on Cat, a photographer from New York who inherits an apartment in France from a distant friend of a deceased relative. She embarks on a journey to give the rightful heirs their inheritance. Along the way she has to deal with handsome men, difficult sources and follow the trail across France to figure out the mystery of the abandoned apartment. It is such a rush.

The plot is so seamlessly interwoven with the real life historical events that you cannot help but become completely immersed in this world and indeed the mystery. You become desperate to find out some answers and it keeps you turning the pages long after you should have closed the book and turned out the lights.

Cat is a perfect heroine: giving, loyal and utterly confused – we like a few flaws – and she tries her hardest to be a good person but she cannot deny her true feelings and her emotional connection to Paris. So when things go a bit pear shaped we forgive her actions.

Overall, Paris Time Capsule is a truly escapist novel with a fascinating history attached to it and a thoroughly good read.

Paris Time Capsule by Ella Carey is available now.

35 Stars