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3096 Days – Natascha Kampusch Book Review

23 Jan

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Format – Paperback Book

Synopsis3,096 Days is the remarkable and shocking true account of the kidnap of Natascha Kampusch in 1998, who relives her traumatic experiences in this amazing true story.

On 2 March 1998 ten-year-old Natascha Kampusch was snatched off the street by a stranger and bundled into a white van. Hours later she was lying on a cold cellar floor, rolled up in a blanket. When she emerged from captivity in 2006, having endured one of the longest abductions in recent history, her childhood had gone.

in 3,096 Days Natascha tells her amazing story for the first time: her difficult childhood, what happened exactly on that fateful morning when she was on her way to school, her long imprisonment in a five-square-metre dungeon, and the physical and mental abuse she suffered from her abductor, Wolfgang Priklopil – who committed suicide by throwing himself under a train on the day she managed to make her escape.

3,096 Days is ultimately a story about the triumph of the human spirit. It describes how, in a situation of almost unbearable hopelessness, she learned how to manipulate her captor. And how, against inconceivable odds, she managed to escape unbroken.

My Thoughts – I’ve had this book on my shelves for a while and to be honest I’ve put it off a little bit due to the fact that its a true story and I cant quite imagine how traumatic it would have been for her.

Natascha was 10 when she was abducted and held captive for 8 years. Now while this is horiffic written down you you cant imagine the pain and horror she must have gone through. I have a 10 year old cousin and I just cant imagine her going through such a thing at such a young age.  I do remember this story in the newspapers – both when she disappeared and when she was found. However I wasnt aware of the cover ups that the police had done and quite how close she was to being found a couple of times.

This book was a very harrowing read – I cant imagine how she must have felt or what she had to go through at the time. It was also very shocking that her captor used to take her out in public but she couldnt do anything to leave or brake free until one day.

A very powerful read

Rating – 3/5

Strangeways: A Prison Officers Story – Neil Samworth – Book Review

17 Dec

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Format – Audiobook

Synopsis – Neil ‘Sam’ Samworth spent 11 years working as a prison officer in HMP Manchester, aka Strangeways. A tough Yorkshireman with a soft heart, Sam had to deal with it all – gangsters and gangbangers, terrorists and psychopaths, addicts and the mentally ill. Men who should not be locked up and men who should never be let out.

Strangeways is a shocking and at times darkly funny account of life in a high-security prison. Sam tackles cell fires and self-harmers and goes head to head with some of the most dangerous men in the country. He averts a Christmas Day riot after turkey is taken off the menu and replaced by fish curry and stands up to officers who abuse their position. He describes being attacked by prisoners and reveals the problems caused by radicalisation and the drugs flooding our prisons.

As staffing cuts saw Britain’s prison system descend into crisis, the stress of the job – the suicides, the inhumanity of the system and one assault too many – left Sam suffering from PTSD. This raw, searingly honest memoir is a testament to the men and women of the prison service and the incredibly difficult job we ask them to do.

My Thoughts – I downloaded this book as I enjoy reading real life non fictin but I’ve never read one that is from a Prison Officers perspective. This was a really good book – it was shocking at times the things that a Prison Officer has to go through in there jobs – somethings that they shouldnt have to deal with. He also talks about high profile prisoners that he has met – some of which I had obviously heard of – others not so much! it was a real eye opening book and really made me think about the realities of PTSD and other mental health conditions.

Rating – 4/5

The Diary of a Bookseller – Shaun Bythell *Book Review*

12 Nov

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Format – Audiobook

Synopsis – In these wry and hilarious diaries, Shaun provides an inside look at the trials and tribulations of life in the book trade, from struggles with eccentric customers to wrangles with his own staff, who include the ski-suit-wearing, bin-foraging Nicky. He takes us with him on buying trips to old estates and auction houses, recommends books (both lost classics and new discoveries), introduces us to the thrill of the unexpected find, and evokes the rhythms and charms of small-town life, always with a sharp and sympathetic eye.

My Thoughts – I downloaded this book as it was on the daily deal and I’d already got this book on my wishlist. This book is basically a year in the life of a man who owns a bookshop in Scotland. I found this book funny, sad, interesting, compelling all in equal measure. As a self-confessed bookworm I could see myself spending lots of money in a shop such as his. I found all of his anecdotes about his various customers and staff really funny.

It has made me think a lot about how I use Amazon though. Currently if I feel like ordering a book I tend to go on Amazon and order it through Amazon Prime. Having read this book I’m going to hunt out some local bookshops to me (I’ve just moved to a new area so not too sure whats about yet!) and browse their shelves more. He also runs The Random Book Club and I’m really tempted to join this too!

We are planning a trip to Scotland and I think that The Bookshop is definitely a place that I want to visit while we are there!

Overall an absolutely fantastic book that I was very sorry that had ended. I could have listened to many more years of this!

Rating – 5/5

This is Going to Hurt: Secret Diary of a Junior Doctor – Adam Kay

6 Sep

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Format – Audiobook

Synopsis – Welcome to ninety-seven-hour weeks. Welcome to life-and-death decisions. Welcome to a constant tsunami of bodily fluids. Welcome to earning less than the hospital parking meter. Wave goodbye to your friends and relationships . . .

Welcome to the life of a junior doctor.

Scribbled in secret after endless days, sleepless nights and missed weekends, Adam Kay’s diaries provide a no-holds-barred account of his time on the NHS front line. Hilarious, horrifying and heartbreaking by turns, this is everything you wanted to know – and more than a few things you didn’t – about life on and off the hospital ward. And yes, it may leave a scar.

My Thoughts – I downloaded this on audible as I enjoy confession type books and I’d never/read or listened to one by a junior doctor. I found this book a wide range of emotions – some parts had me laughing out loud – the author has such a dry sense of humour that its amazing really. Also totally horrifinging in places realising how under stretched the NHS actually is and the horrific conditions that the NHS staff have to work in.

Also there is the detail of the medical processes that the doctor carries out – I’m due to have a C-section within the next 4 weeks and dont think that I should have listened to this book just before – but I’m sure mine will go ok!

Also there is te ending – I dont want to spoil it for anyone but it was totally heartbreaking and sad.

This audiobook was read by the author too which I felt was really good as you really got a feel for how he actually throught and felt. Overall a really good book that I would recommend.

Rating – 4/5

The Secret Barrister – The Secret Barrister Audiobook Review

28 Aug

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Synopsis -“I’m a barrister, a job which requires the skills of a social worker, relationship counsellor, arm-twister, hostage negotiator, named driver, bus fare-provider, accountant, suicide watchman, coffee-supplier, surrogate parent and, on one memorable occasion, whatever the official term is for someone tasked with breaking the news to a prisoner that his girlfriend has been diagnosed with gonorrhoea.”

Welcome to the world of the Secret Barrister. These are the stories of life inside the courtroom. They are sometimes funny, often moving and ultimately life-changing.

How can you defend a child-abuser you suspect to be guilty? What do you say to someone sentenced to ten years who you believe to be innocent? What is the law and why do we need it?

And why do they wear those stupid wigs?

From the criminals to the lawyers, the victims, witnesses and officers of the law, here is the best and worst of humanity, all struggling within a broken system which would never be off the front pages if the public knew what it was really like.

Both a searing first-hand account of the human cost of the criminal justice system, and a guide to how we got into this mess, The Secret Barrister wants to show you what it’s really like and why it really matters.

My Thoughts – I’ve recently got into listening to audiobooks as I travel a lot for work at the minute and this is probably the first one thats hooked me in.

This book is about a barrister who is almost blowing the whistle on what happens during the court and the justice system in the United Kingdom. I really found this fascinating as I had many of the misconseptions that were stated in the book. For example, that a barrister could lie if they knew there defendant was guilty. (They cant!)

It was also fascinating learning about the history of the justice system and how it has become what it has today. It was also very shocking the examples of miscarages of justice that have happened and probably will continue to happen due to budget cuts and people not doing there jobs properly.

This was a really good book and one that I would recommend. It was really well read too and I really enjoyed it.

Rating – 4.5/5

What is it About Yorkies? – Dr Harry Jay

2 Apr

Started – 28/3/13

Finished – 30/3/13

Format – Kindle e-book

 

Synopsis – Dog Training Yorkies – What Is It About Yorkies is about how to potty train a yorkie and training your yorkie puppy. The dog training methods are not different than others but there are some unique dog training tips regarding Yorkies you need to know. So this book offers you the complete Yorkie information. For those of you that follow my writing, my subject matter is usually of a more serious nature. Every once in a while I like to write about a subject that isn’t so serious and my dog is one such subject. But I must add, I usually end of writing about some behavioral science traits that are applicable to the subject matter (I can’t help it; it’s a living.). My dog is a Yorkie and his name is Gage. He weighs all of about 7-pounds and he thinks he is a guard dog. For his size, he literally is not afraid of anything (I live in Southern Utah and watched Gage charge a full grown 14-point stag deer that had to weight about 800 lbs.). He makes me laugh (and cry sometimes) and he has more idiosyncrasies than a manic person or as I like to say, “He has issues!”…

 

My Thoughts – I downloaded this book last year when it was free for a day on the kindle. I have a little yorkshire terrier cross bred dog who at best could be described as challenging but i love him all the same.

 

This book is very short only 33 pages according to Amazon so it is quite hard to write some thoughts down on it. It is basically a man writing down his thoughts on his dog that he loves very much.

 

I enjoyed this book very much as i could relate to it and i did wish it could be longer so i could enjoy more of his thoughts about his dog.

 

Rating – 3/5

Ground Truth – Patrick Bishop

28 Mar

Started – 16/3/13

Finished – 28/3/13

Format – Paperback Book

 

Synopsis –  Afghanistan, 2008. After their eighteen-month epic tour of Helmand Province, the troops of 3 Para are back. This time, the weight of experience weighs heavily on their shoulders.

In April 2006 the elite 3 Para Battle Group was despatched to Helmand Province, Afghanistan, on a tour that has become a legend. All that summer the Paras were subjected to relentless Taliban attacks in one of the most gruelling campaigns fought by British troops in modern times.

 

Two years later the Paras are back in the pounding heat of the Afghanistan front lines. The conflict has changed. The enemy has been forced to adopt new weaponry and tactics. But how much progress are we really making in the war against the insurgents? And is there an end in sight?

 

In this searing account of 3 Para’s return, bestselling author Patrick Bishop combines gripping, first-person accounts of front-line action with an unflinching look at the hard realities of our involvement in Afghanistan. Writing from a position of exclusive access alongside the Paras, he reveals the ‘ground truth’ of the mission our soldiers have been given. It’s a sombre picture. But shining out from it are stories of courage, comradeship and humour, as well as a gripping account of an
epic humanitarian operation through Taliban-infested country to deliver a vitally needed turbine to the Kajaki Dam.

 

My Thoughts – I have read a couple of this authors books before, Fighter Boys and 3 Para and really enjoyed them so when i saw this book i thought i would give it a go. This book follows on from 3 Para which i loved so i was hoping this book was as good.

 

It tells the story of 3 Para Battle Group who are deployed to Afghanistan during the war. Although most of the heavy fighting is over with they still have a duty to flush out the Taliban and protect the people of Afghanistan while fighting against the newest weapons against them, IEDs.

 

I thought the writing of this book was really good. Although the war in Afghanistan is sometimes in the news mostly when a young serviceman or woman is killed you dont tend to think about the fighting going on on a day to day basis. I have had friends who are in the RAF and Army go out there and they say of the horrors that are out there and it always upsets me to think of all the people that are loosing there lives out there. In this book people are unfortunatly killed and as this is a true account its sometimes hard to realise that these are real people and the young people that were killed were under the age of 25-30.

 

There are lots of technical aspects to this book like the weapons systems and the living conditions and to people that are interested in this sort of thing i think they would find it enjoyable.

 

I did enjoy this book and although it made me cry i think that it is a very good book that brings home the harsh reality of war.

 

Rating – 3.5/5