Thursday, November 10, 2011

Earth Angels are Everywhere Are You One? By Dolores Keaveney Reviewed by Lisa Redmond


Earth Angels are Everywhere Are You One? is a beautiful little book which is so hard to categorise. It is a picture book for both adults and children and would make an ideal Christmas gift. The book features illustrations, poems and quotations which celebrate the people all around us in our everyday lives who through their work, their actions and their kindness become earth angels. With different poems  and illustrations for the various different earth angels such as teachers, nurses, doctors, carers, parents, counsellors and many more.  This gift book celebrates all those who bring joy into our lives through small acts of kindness. The message is a simple one; that we can be angels here on earth by just putting more thought into our everyday acts. The book is deeply spiritual but it speaks to people of all different faiths celebrating our humanity not highlighting difference. Dolores has illustrated the book herself and the subtle watercolour paintings in various soft and pastel shades are undoubtedly influenced by her training as a healer with each angel in a different shade representing a different energy.  I would recommend this book to young and old and it would make a lovely gift for a teacher, caregiver or any earth angel in you life.

If Only You Knew By Claire Allan Reviewed by Lisa Redmond


Claire Allan’s fifth novel proves she has both the storytelling gifts of Cathy Kelly and the wit and warm humour of Marian Keyes. If Only You Knew is the story of cousins Ava Campbell; the sensible married teacher  and Hope Scott; the flighty single journalist  who are thrown together when, at the reading of their aunt’s will they discover her request that they visit her house in the South of France to pack up her belongings. The girls are bemused at first but they decide to go, for the chance of a holiday if nothing else. Through a series of letters left in various parts of the house in France Aunt Betty’s story is revealed and her reasons for asking her nieces to visit the house and raise a glass to her and to each other become clear. Through the discoveries they make both women learn to move their lives forward and to reconcile the past especially when they discover some of the shocking truths about Aunt Betty’s life and the reason why she ran away to France. Claire Allan’s story is a hilarious and life affirming tale of families, secrets and love which you won’t be able to put down. 

Spirit of the Titanic By Nicola Pierce Reviewed By Lisa Redmond


There  are many books about the Titanic but this book is unique in that it takes as it’s starting point not  14th April 1912 but 20th April 1910 because that was when Titanic claimed it’s first victim Samuel Joseph Scott a fifteen year old boy who worked on the ship at the Harland and Wolff shipyard. Samuel roams the ship as a ghost, witness to the glamour of first class and the hard work below decks. The book features a cast of both real and imagined characters including Frederick Fleet; the young lookout who spotted the iceberg, Harold Bride; the radio operator, the brave band leader and of course Captain Edward John Smith. I admit I approached this book with trepidation, I have had a lifelong fascination with Titanic and reading anything about those that perished makes me weep. I even cry reading the wiki entry. I wondered how on earth a writer would be able to create a novel which deals with such a tragic event and make it not only suitable but an enjoyable read for the 10+ age group. In this her first novel for children Nicola Pierce has done just that and her tale is compelling, even though we all know the ending the narrative is utterly engrossing. I admit I laughed I cried and I stayed up way past my usual bedtime in order to finish this poignant and beautifully written book. This is one not to be missed.


5 stars *****

Titanic by Martin Jenkins and Brian Sanders Reviewed by Lisa Doyle-Redmond


The Titanic is an eternally fascinating topic for young and old alike and this book is a brilliant way to explore the famous ocean liner and its tragic first and only journey.
The book includes a host of information about the ship, those who travelled on it, how it was built and designed and a wealth of detail about the running of the great ocean liner. There is information about some of the passengers and crew, a replica ticket for the maiden voyage and a replica of one the first news stories about the tragedy from the New York Times. Other interesting additions include a restaurant menu and plans of each deck.
However the best thing about this book is the 75cm long pop up model of the Titanic which will provide hours of fun. This book is ideal for anyone with an interest in the Titanic from 7 to 97. It is currently out of print but due to be reprinted in time for the anniversary next April.