Title: Bowie’s Books – The Hundred Literary Heroes Who Changed His Life

Author: John O’Connell

Pages: 320 Pages

Publisher: Bloomsbury

The Blurb

‘What is your idea of perfect happiness?’

‘Reading.’

‘What is the quality you most like in a man?’
‘The ability to return books.’

Three years before he died, David Bowie made a list of the one hundred books that had transformed his life – a list that formed something akin to an autobiography. From Madame Bovary to A Clockwork Orange, the Iliad to the Beano, these were the publications that had fuelled his creativity and shaped who he was.

In Bowie’s Books, John O’Connell explores this list in the form of one hundred short essays, each offering a perspective on the man, performer and creator that is Bowie, his work as an artist and the era that he lived in. Bowie’s Books is much more than a list of books you should read in your lifetime: it is a unique insight into one of the greatest minds of our times, and an indispensable part of the legacy that Bowie left behind.

The Review

Of all the deaths in 2016 (and let’s face it, there was a lot) it was David Bowie’s death that probably upset me the most. I loved Bowie. He was a musician who was way before my time but he was one that I sourced myself, without parental influence. So, it is of some comfort that even nearly three years after his death that fans can still learn new things about the man or feel his influence in a new different way.

With Bowie’s Books we get an insight into the literature that shaped the man he became. We are given access to his favourite books and in turn a stepping point if we enjoy the book then what you should read next. Along the way, we get stories of David Bowie’s life and it is littered with facts and anecdotes.

It really is just a joy to read.

Plus if David Bowie thought it was cool to read then who the heck are we to argue.

Bowie’s Books – The Hundred Literary Heroes Who Changed His Life by John O’Connell is available now.

For more information regarding Bloomsbury (@BloomsburyBooks) please visit www.bloomsbury.com.

Title: Faithful

Author: Alice Hoffman

Pages: 272 Pages

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

The Blurb

From the New York Times bestselling author of The Marriage of Opposites and The Dovekeepers comes a soul-searching story about a young woman struggling to redefine herself and the power of love, family, and fate.

Growing up on Long Island, Shelby Richmond is an ordinary girl until one night an extraordinary tragedy changes her fate. Her best friend’s future is destroyed in an accident, while Shelby walks away with the burden of guilt.

What happens when a life is turned inside out? When love is something so distant it may as well be a star in the sky? Faithful is the story of a survivor, filled with emotion—from dark suffering to true happiness—a moving portrait of a young woman finding her way in the modern world. A fan of Chinese food, dogs, bookstores, and men she should stay away from, Shelby has to fight her way back to her own future. In New York City she finds a circle of lost and found souls—including an angel who’s been watching over her ever since that fateful icy night.

Here is a character you will fall in love with, so believable and real and endearing, that she captures both the ache of loneliness and the joy of finding yourself at last. For anyone who’s ever been a hurt teenager, for every mother of a daughter who has lost her way, Faithful is a roadmap.

Alice Hoffman’s “trademark alchemy” (USA TODAY) and her ability to write about the “delicate balance between the everyday world and the extraordinary” (WBUR) make this an unforgettable story. With beautifully crafted prose, Alice Hoffman spins hope from heartbreak in this profoundly moving novel.

The Review

I have never read a book by Alice Hoffman before and whilst I know she has been handed praise from all corners I still didn’t know what to expect.

I will admit, I was surprised at how much I enjoyed Faithful.

Faithful is a story of redemption. Our protagonist Shelby is seeking redemption. She blames herself for an accident that left her best friend in a comatose state. She has survivor’s guilt and she sets on a path of self destruction. Along the way she hurts herself and other people but she also grows and begins to rescue lost souls much like herself.

Faithful is a wonderful journey of self discovery and you cannot help but root for Shelby and beg her to forgive herself.

I really enjoyed Faithful. I will definitely be returning to Hoffman for more of her books.

Faithful by Alice Hoffman is available now.

For more information regarding Alice Hoffman (@ahoffmanwriter) please visit www.alicehoffman.com.

For more information regarding Simon & Schuster (@simonschusterUK) please visit www.simonandschuster.co.uk.

Dyslexia is My SuperpowerTitle: Dyslexia is My Superpower (Most of the Time)

Author: Margaret Rooke

Pages: 240 Pages

Publisher: Jessica Kingsley Publishers

The Blurb

In more than 100 interviews, children and young adults reveal their personal tips and tactics for honing the creative benefits of dyslexia, enabling them to thrive in school and beyond. Strategies include ways to develop confidence and self-belief. The contributors have outlined specific approaches they feel have helped them, and others that haven’t. The book contains stunning illustrations by 8-18 year olds with dyslexia.

The first-hand accounts are inspiring in the way they normalise dyslexia and reveal the many success stories. There is an additional section for professionals who work in education or special learning environments, with advice given by school students themselves.

The Review

I work in a high school and recently I have seen an influx of students who are dyslexic or who have dyslexic tendencies. As a teaching assistant I am meant to be able to help these students with their struggles but it has always been baffling to me to understand the struggle because reading and writing came so naturally to me. I’ve read up on dyslexia and spoke to some experts but I have found both experiences very cold and clinical.

What is brilliant about Dyslexia is My Superpower (Most of the Time) is that Margaret Rooke has gone straight to the children and young adults who are in need. She lets them explain how their brain works and how they can be helped. We see how they feel singled out at times or how too much help can lead to other distressing issues.

Dyslexia is My Superpower (Most of the Time) is truly a warm book with lots of character. It has changed my approach with the students that I work with and it has given me a fresh insight into such a complex subject. I highly recommend this book to all educators and parents of dyslexics.

Dyslexia is My Superpower (Most of the Time) by Margaret Rooke is available now.

For more information regarding Margaret Rooke (@MargsRooke) please visit her Twitter page.

For more information regarding Jessica Kingsley Publishers (@JKPautism) please visit www.jkp.com.

3 Stars