Post Script: Paul McCartney The Biography: Philip Norman

Paul McCartney The Biography

Paul McCartney/The Biography

Philip Norman

Hachette Australia

Orion Books

ISBN: 9780297870760

 

Description:

The definitive Paul McCartney biography, written with his approval by bestselling biographer Philip Norman. Since the age of twenty-one, Paul McCartney has lived one of the ultimate rock-n-roll lives played out on the most public of stages. Now, Paul’s story is told by rock music’s foremost biographer, with McCartney’s consent and access to family members and close friends who have never spoken on the record before. PAUL McCARTNEY reveals the complex character behind the façade and sheds new light on his childhood–blighted by his mother’s death but redeemed by the father who introduced him to music. This is the first definitive account of Paul’s often troubled partnership with John Lennon, his personal trauma after the Beatles’ breakup, and his subsequent struggle to get back to the top with Wings–which nearly got him murdered in Africa and brought him nine days in a Tokyo jail. Readers will learn about his marriage to Linda, including their much-criticized musical collaboration, and a moving account of her death. Packed with new information and critical insights, PAUL MCCARTNEY will be the definitive biography of a musical legend.

 

 

My View:

I am and always will be a Beatles fan – their music is timeless, ergo I am a fan of the individual members of the group and as a fan this book did not disappoint. I really knew nothing much about the band or Paul McCartney apart from the music and the headlines – until I read this mammoth book – all 800+ pages reveals more than just the headlines.

 

This is a more than just music, more than the Beatles, more than a love story, more than a story of cancer, dying and grief,  more than a shocking divorce story…. this is an epic life story, an adventure that is not yet over.

 

My favourite images ( I wish there was more of them in this biography)  p.312 titled “ Rampant Beatlemania, held in check by the tolerant British bobbies of yesteryear” and p.503 “The Apple rooftop concert, January 1969,”  classics that tell the story of a bygone era.

 

 

Highlights From Day 2 of The Margaret River Readers & Writers Festival

Margaret River Readers and Writers Festival

Day 2 and more talented authors get my attention. The highlight of the day was undoubtedly the session named “Writing From Home”.  Natasha Lester is an author to inspire – confident, articulate, engaging and I am predicting that “A Kiss From Mr Fitzgerald” will be an award winner.

Natasha Lester

If you get an opportunity to hear Natasha Lester speak at a book launch/festival or the like – do! It is a pleasure to listen to Natasha read from her novel – a wonderful presenter!  Again Rosemary Sayer was the perfect facilitator.

 

What more could you want? A free session! Today’s free session (yes there are usually free session on the lunch tome breaks) featured Dr Liz Byrski  and Rachel Robertson discussing the book they edited – Purple Prose – a collection of fifteen works of non fiction by Australian women writers.

In Love and War

So may great sessions today, so many great authors/editors/presenters/facilitators … Andrew Daddo, Jane Monk, Mark Dapin, Kirsty McKenzie, Loretta Hill, Gretel Killeen and last but not least  Bernice Barry.

 

Bernice Barry’s session – “Flowers at Home” put the spotlight on Berncie’s new release “Georgiana Molloy -The Mind That Shines.”  An exquisitely produced book (the cover art is award winning) and meticulously researched, this is another book to add to your TBR.

 

Georgiana Molloy: the Mind that Shines’

 

There was something for everyone again today!

Spotlight On Margaret River Readers & Writers Festival – Bernice Barry

Margaret River Readers and Writers Festival

Please welcome acclaimed local author Bernice Barry to my blog and the festival.

Bernice Barry

Originally from the Atlantic coast of England’s far southwest, Bernice moved to Margaret River in 2001 and has spent the last fourteen years creating a native garden in the bush. In 2011, she closed the door on a career in international curriculum innovation, as an adviser on the teaching of literacy, to focus on her lifelong interest in writing, literature and history.

In 2012, her short story ‘Mornings Like This’ won the first regional writers’ award in the Margaret River Readers & Writers Festival short story competition. In March 2015, after eleven years of research, her biography of botanist and local settler Georgiana Molloy was self-published in Western Australia. In March 2016 the book was published by Pan Macmillan in Australia and New Zealand under the Picador imprint: ‘Georgiana Molloy: the Mind that Shines’.

Georgiana Molloy: the Mind that Shines’

 

http://www.panmacmillan.com.au/author/bernice-barry

 

Bernice will be participating in a session on SAT 4 June 5.20pm; Flowers at Home.

 

I recently caught up with Bernice and she discussed the meaning of Home: Where We Feel We Belong

 

“Some people can put a favourite book and a family photo on the bedside table and suddenly a motel room feels like home. Others need to live and grow and put down emotional roots in a place for years before the connections feel strong enough to use a word that’s so deeply associated with our sense of self. The details may be different for each of us but we all share some overlapping understandings of the concept of ‘home’.

 

When I first arrived in the southwest, nearly fifteen years ago, it was a strong feeling of having finally arrived home that made me want to stay and never leave. I’ve never felt so connected to any place before and I believe it was this same bond that captured Georgiana Molloy’s heart, mind and spirit when she arrived in 1830.  She wrote about it far better than I do, her letters and diaries sharing in glorious words her love of the land, river, ocean, plants and trees around her. I hear from so many readers who recognise, in my book about Georgiana’s life, their own very personal bond with their West Australian home.  I think, for all of us, it’s simple. Home is the place where we feel we belong.”

 

 

 

 

Post Script: Love Your Sister – Connie and Samuel Johnson

Love Your Sister

Love Your Sister

Connie &Samuel Johnson

Hachette Australia

Audible

Unabridged audio book 10 hrs 45 mins

ISBN: 9781510008496

 

 

Description:

How far would you go for someone you love…on a unicycle?

 

Brothers and sisters often dare each other to do things – it’s what siblings do. However, when Connie Johnson dared her brother, Samuel, to embark on a one-wheeled odyssey around Australia, she knew it was a big ask. But Connie knew exactly what she was doing and was sure he wouldn’t say no. Not this time.

 

Born a year apart, Connie and Samuel Johnson have always been close. Sam was by Connie’s side when she found out she had cancer at age 12 and again when she was diagnosed at age 22. Then, at 33, Connie was diagnosed with breast cancer, but this time she was told she would not recover. As a young mum faced with her own death, Connie wanted to find some meaning in the chaos. And so she dared Sam to help her.

 

Officially there were three aims: promote breast cancer awareness, raise more than $1 million for research – and break the world record for the longest distance travelled on a unicycle. However, Connie had a secret fourth aim: to fix Sam. She had no idea if any of it would work out. Neither did he.

 

Part memoir, part travel diary, part conversation, Love Your Sister is Connie and Sam’s inspiring, moving and unforgettable journey, told in their own distinctive voices. It’s a story of love, family, cancer – and the generosity of ordinary Australians.

 

About the authors: Samuel and Connie Johnson are the powerhouse brother-and-sister team who established the Love Your Sister charity. Samuel is an Australian actor with 20 years’ experience, best known for his work on The Secret Life of Us, Crackerjack, Underbelly II and Rush. In recent times he is more proud of his work as a breast cancer advocate and determined unicyclist.

 

Connie Johnson is a wife and mother of two beautiful young boys. She has worked in the disability sector for ten years and since her most recent diagnosis spends her time with her family and advocating for breast cancer issues…when she’s not busy seeing how much torture her brother will endure before he says no.

 

Warning: This audiobook contains some moderate coarse language.

 

©2014 Connie Johnson and Samuel Johnson (P)2015 Hachette Australia Pty Ltd

 

 

My View:

Poignant, inspirational, honest…this has it all.

 

Remarkable lives; remarkable courage, honesty, strength and love. This is a wonderful story of family, love and inspiration. Multiple tragedies inspire unselfish goals and such wonderful acts of individual heroism.

This family deserves….a long life together and to see their goal of financing the science that will help find a cure for breast cancer come to fruition. Unfortunately that long life together is most definitely not going to happen but that has not stopped this family from their journey to raise the funds to help this dream come true. Over two million dollars thus far and counting… Along the way Connie and Sam make memories that their families, friends and colleagues will never forget.

 

A poignant and very personal honest story that will leave you in awe of the strength of this family bond. I wish you all the very best as you continue to make the most out of every day.

 

 

 

Meaningful Connections

It is St Valentine’s Day  – a day for sharing, showing and expressing your love for and connecting with the people you love.

If you have an opportunity to some “me” time let me suggest a few titles for your reading pleasure – all share a similar them – connecting with others (reviews to come in the near future).

 

The Lovers

The Lovers

Rod Norland

Hachette Australia

Hodder Books

ISBN: 97814736007002

Description:

She is his Juliet and he is her Romeo, her family has vowed to kill them both.

A riveting, real-life equivalent of The Kite Runner—an astonishingly powerful and profoundly moving story of a young couple willing to risk everything for love that puts a human face on the ongoing debate about women’s rights in the Muslim world.

Zakia and Ali were from different tribes, but they grew up on neighboring farms in the hinterlands of Afghanistan. By the time they were young teenagers, Zakia, strikingly beautiful and fiercely opinionated, and Ali, shy and tender, had fallen in love. Defying their families, sectarian differences, cultural conventions, and Afghan civil and Islamic law, they ran away together only to live under constant threat from Zakia’s large and vengeful family, who have vowed to kill her to restore the family’s honor. They are still in hiding.

Summer Harvest

Summer Harvest

Georgina Penney

Penguin Books

ISBN: 9780143797081

Description:

English dog trainer Beth Poole is having trouble getting her life back together after beating a life-threatening illness and divorcing her husband. When her Aussie-soap-obsessed grandma sends her to Australia to recover, it seems a great opportunity for some rest and relaxation while she figures out what’s next…

Our Song

Our Song

Dani Atkins

Simon & Schuster Australia

ISBN: 9781471153297

Description:

The stunning new emotional drama from ebook phenomenon Dani Atkins, author of Fractured – perfect for fans of Jojo Moyes and Dorothy Koomson.

This is the story of Ally and Charlotte, whose paths have intersected over the years though they’ve never really been close friends. Charlotte married Ally’s ex and first true love, David. Fate is about to bring them together one last, dramatic time and change their lives forever.

Entry Island

Entry Island

Peter May

 Quercus

ISBN: 9781782062202

Description:

When Detective Sime Mackenzie boards a light aircraft at Montreal’s St. Hubert airfield, he does so without looking back. For Sime, the 850-mile journey ahead represents an opportunity to escape the bitter blend of loneliness and regret that has come to characterise his life in the city.

Travelling as part of an eight-officer investigation team, Sime’s destination lies in the Gulf of St. Lawrence. Only two kilometres wide and three long, Entry Island is home to a population of around 130 inhabitants – the wealthiest of which has just been discovered murdered in his home.

The investigation itself appears little more than a formality. The evidence points to a crime of passion: the victim’s wife the vengeful culprit. But for Sime the investigation is turned on its head when he comes face to face with the prime suspect, and is convinced that he knows her – even though they have never met.

Haunted by this certainty his insomnia becomes punctuated by dreams of a distant past on a Scottish island 3,000 miles away. Dreams in which the widow plays a leading role. Sime’s conviction becomes an obsession. And in spite of mounting evidence of her guilt he finds himself convinced of her innocence, leading to a conflict between the professonal duty he must fulfil, and the personal destiny that awaits him.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Post Script: Tragedy The Sad Ballad of The Gibb Brothers – Jeff Apter

Tragedy

Tragedy

The Sad Ballad of the Gibb Brothers

Jeff Apter

Echo Publishing

ISBN: 9781760060183

 

Description:

The rise and fall of the brothers Gibb is perhaps the greatest saga in Australian, even world, music history. As ubiquitous as the falsetto harmonies, flares and multi-platinum record sales were the tragedies: the highs, the lows, the highs again. And then the brothers fell, one by one.

 

Not long before his death, Robin made it clear that he believed the Gibbs had been forced to pay the highest possible cost for their success. ‘All the tragedies my family has suffered . . . is a kind of karmic price we are paying for all the fame and fortune we’ve had.’

 

This is the story of all four brothers’ incredible careers, lives and influence. It captures the incredible highs, and the terrible lows: divorce, drunkenness and death.

 

It is a beautifully drawn examination of the Gibb ‘curse’ and an all-too-human look at the rollercoaster ride of fame.

 

 

My View:

 

What an incredible story! Did I even realise when I was in primary school and we were singing “Words” with Mr Dickinson, music teacher and piano player that we were singing a Bee Gees hit? No. I had little knowledge of the Bee Gees early days. I am amazed to discover how young these musicians were when they first sampled success; they were barely our out their teens. Astonishing really.

 

When I was a teenager and listening to the sounds of the Saturday Night Fever (yes I admit to it I did have the album) I still wasn’t really away of the Gibb’s early days or their more narrative (ballad style) earlier music – like New York Mining Disaster, I’ve Gotta Get a Message to You, Lonely Days Lonely Nights…these I “discovered” later and they still remain firm favourites today. In fact I have been playing these songs not stop – in my head and on my mp3 player all the time I was reading this biography. What a talent – I don’t think I have reflected on the body of work these guys produced before – it is amazing – thank you Jeff Apter for alerting me to this.

 

And what terribly tragic story the Bee Gees life was. More than a few times I had tears in my eyes. It is even sadder to think that Robin Gibb believed the family deserved to pay such a high price for their success and fame. I don’t believe he was right – they were just unfortunate and maybe a little too young and inexperienced when fame initially found them. Barry Gibb I wish you joy and peace and hope that you are still sharing your talent by writing and producing music for others.

 

A moving, memorable and well researched story.

 

Goodreads Reading Challenge 2015

completed challenge

 

Congrats! You have read 200 books of a goal of 200!

Now that wasn’t so hard was it? It is the reviewing 200 books that is the hard work.