Category: Blog Tour (page 1 of 2)

Blog Tour: Salvation by Peter F. Hamilton

Welcome to my blog for the next stop on the Salvation by Peter F. Hamilton blog tour

Blurb

Know your enemy – or be defeated

AD 2204
An alien shipwreck is discovered on a planet at the very limits of human expansion – so Security Director Feriton Kayne selects a team to investigate. The ship’s sinister cargo not only raises bewildering questions, but could also foreshadow humanity’s extinction. It will be up to the team to bring back answers, and the consequences of this voyage will change everything.

Back on Earth, we can now make deserts bloom and extend lifespans indefinitely, so humanity seems invulnerable. We therefore welcomed the Olyix to Earth when they contacted us. They needed fuel for their pilgrimage across the galaxy – and in exchange they helped us advance our technology. But were the Olyix a blessing or a curse?

THE FAR FUTURE
Many light years from Earth, Dellian and his clan of genetically engineered soldiers are raised with one goal. They must confront and destroy their ancient adversary. The enemy caused mankind to flee across the galaxy and they hunt us still. If they aren’t stopped, we will be wiped out – and we’re running out of time.

 

About the Author

Peter F. Hamilton was born in Rutland in 1960. He began writing in 1987, and sold his first short story to Fear magazine in 1988. He has written many bestselling novels, including the Greg Mandel series, the Night’s Dawn trilogy, the Commonwealth Saga, the Void trilogy, short-story collections and several standalone novels including Fallen Dragon and Great North Road.

 

 

My Review

4.5 out of 5 stars

A copy of this was provided free of charge from the publisher in return for an honest review.

Callum Hepburn has just married Savi Chaudhri after a whirlwind relationship. They both work for Connexion, he as a team leader for the emergency detoxification squad and she is in the security division. After their all too brief honeymoon they both head back to work, Callum, to dig a government from the mire with an urgent material extraction and Savi heads back undercover. A week later and he hasn’t heard a thing from her, so pings her and does not get a response. Worrying about her he heads off to see her boss, Yuri Alster to see if he knows anything. The thing is, no one does; she has vanished off the face of the planet. It looks like it might be down to him to find her and in his search, he will discover more than he really wants to know about the company he works for.

Connexion Corp, the organisation that they both work for, can really be considered a government in their own right. Their quantum entangled portals is a technology that allows people to live in one part of the world and work in another and literally be there in no time at all. This technology along with most other things on Earth are powered by solarwells, that have been dropped into the sun and have allowed humanity to have unlimited power.

In 2204 and an alien ship has been discovered 90 light years from Earth. That there are aliens is not the surprise, another race, the Olyix have been known to humanity for a while now. What is shocking is the cargo that they are carrying; human beings held in suspended animation. No one knows how they got there. No one knows who took them there. Feriton Kayne, Connexion’s deputy director of security is asked to pick a team to investigate. Two of the people that he picks for this team are Yuri Alster and Callum Hepburn, who have a healthy disregard for each other after their earlier clash over Savi. What they are walking into will change everything.

Entwined in this narrative is the story of Dellian and his friends set thousands of years in the future. They have been born as soldiers and are being trained to combat an enemy who is prepared to stop at absolutely nothing to wipe humanity from the universe…

To say this is fast-paced would be a little bit of an understatement, certain scenes rocket by, in particular, the ones with the Connexion security team. The technology that Hamilton uses in the books, all sounds plausible, the web that they all use is pervasive and all-seeing, however, most people feel free and liberated in the modern society. I loved the portals and the way that they worked with people passing all over the world in the blink of an eye. The scenes with Dellian and his team, set way in the future felt like they were inspired by Enders Game. There are a plethora of characters in here, and it occasionally I had to think who was who, thankfully there is a guide and a timeline included. The only bit that I didn’t like was the way it jumped backwards and forwards between the different times and there were several ambiguities that weren’t cleared up by the ending. That is fine as there are more books to follow and threads opened here leads onto other things, but this was a brilliant start to a new series. Now have a long while to wait for the next!

This book has been published by Pan Macmillian and is available from your local independent bookshop 

Do go and have a look at the other sites hosting the blog tour:

Blog Tour: Ladders to Heaven

Welcome to my blog for the next stop on the Ladders to Heaven: The Secret History of Fig Trees by Mike Shanahan blog tour

Fig trees have affected humanity in profound but little-known ways: they are wish fulfillers, rainforest royalty, more precious than gold. In Ladders to Heaven tells their incredible story, beautifully peppered with original hand-drawn illustrations

They fed our pre-human ancestors, influenced diverse cultures and played a key role in the birth of civilisation. More recently, they helped restore life after Krakatoa’s catastrophic eruption and proved instrumental in Kenya’s struggle for independence.

Figs now sustain more species of bird and mammal than any other fruit – in a time of falling trees and rising temperatures, they offer hope. Theirs is a story about humanity’s relationship with nature, as relevant to our past as it is to our future.

 

 

About the Author

Mike Shanahan is a freelance writer and illustrator with a doctorate in rainforest ecology. He has lived in a national park in Borneo, bred endangered penguins, investigated illegal bear farms and produced award-winning journalism. His writing includes work published by The Economist, Nature, New Scientist, BBC Earth, Scientific American and Newsweek.

 

 

My Review

It is thought that the fig was one of the earliest fruits that were eaten by mankind, but they had probably borrowed the idea from watching monkeys and primates race to the trees to get the best fruits each day. This reliance on the sweet fruits seeped into the culture and religion of humans 5000 years ago, hence why the three Abrahamic faiths consider them important fruits, and the Buddha gained enlightenment whilst meditating in the cage of a Strangler Fig.

Ficus religiosais one of 750 different varieties of this plant. They vary from the shiny leafed and normally unloved houseplant to the huge figs whose roots grow down to the ground after they have rooted in the high branches of other trees. Some encase them and kill off their host, others survive in a mutual balance but they are an essential forest plant, supporting up to 1200 other species that reply of then fruits for food.

One thing that they all have in common though is the way that they flower and fruit. The flowers are not visible, contained within the peduncle and have to be pollinated by a tiny wasp around 2mm in length. Each fig has its own specific wasp that crawls in and out of the fruit and if they are not around they there is no pollination. Except the Ancient Egyptians discovered a way of tricking the tree into thinking it had been pollinated.

Until now I had never really given two figs about the fig. Their history, their importance as a food, and the significance that they have had in all sorts of historical events and the way that we intertwine ourselves with figs and the tiny wasps that pollinate them is the untold story of our age. I really enjoyed this fascinating book by Shanahan as it is written from his direct experiences as a biologist seeking out these important trees. If there was tiny flaw though, I felt it was too short, it felt like there were chunks missing from the European history and culture and maybe a little more on the benefits of them as a food stuff. It was a shame because what Shanahan has written in here was really good. One last tip, if you are not sure about them, having suffered fig rolls perhaps, bake them for around 20 minutes and serve with a little mascarpone.

A copy of this was provided free of charge from the publisher in return for an honest review.

Thank you to Anne Cater of Random Things Through my Letterbox for organising this.

This book has been published by Unbound and is available from your local independent bookshop 

Don’t forget to visit the other bloggers on the blog tour:

 

 

#BlogTour: The Psychology of Time Travel by Kate Mascarenhas

The Psychology of Time Travel by Kate Mascarenhas

The Blurb:

1967: Four female scientists invent a time-travel machine. They are on the cusp of fame: the pioneers who opened the world to new possibilities. But then one of them suffers a breakdown and puts the whole project in peril.

2017: Ruby knows her beloved Granny Bee was a pioneer, but they never talk about the past. Though time travel is now big business, Bee has never been part of it. Then they receive a message from the future–a newspaper clipping reporting the mysterious death of an elderly lady.

2018: When Odette discovered the body, she went into shock. Blood everywhere, bullet wounds, flesh. But when the inquest fails to answer any of her questions, Odette is frustrated. Who is this dead woman that haunts her dreams? And why is everyone determined to cover up her murder?

My review:

The year is 1967 and four women are about to achieve worldwide fame for being the first to reveal their invention to the world; a Time Machine. As the stand in front of the live television audience and demonstrate the machine, as they step out, one of the four, Barbara Hereford has a breakdown and is rushed away from the spotlight for medical attention.

Fifty-one years later and the time machines are run by the what is known as the Conclave still headed up by Margaret. The technology is now safe to use, and there have been various spin-offs, including a child’s toy called the candy box that could project the small object placed inside to a few minutes in the future. Odette is new to volunteering at the toy museum and has been asked to open up, but when she opens the door there is a strong smell of sulphur. Following the scent, she ends up in the basement and traces the smell to a locked cupboard. Unlocking it and opening it a body of a woman falls out that is bleeding profusely from gunshot wounds. More shocking is the fact that the inquest into her death fails to find any evidence or answer any of her questions.

Ruby knows that her grandmother, Barbara, was a pioneer on the time machines, but after her breakdown, she has never really spoken about it and it was something that was strongly enforced by Ruby’s mother. However, when they receive a message from the future about the mysterious death of an elderly lady it is time for Barbra to open up about the past and maybe she can help solve the mystery of the murder across time.

Time travel books are notoriously difficult to get right and in the pretty accomplished debut novel from Mascarenhas, she manages it pretty well. The story zips along pretty quickly as the story is told from different perspectives by the large number of characters in the book. The narrative jumps from the past to the future as each piece of the mystery is revealed. It is a really enjoyable story and if you liked the Fifteen Lives of Harry August then you should really give this a go too.

About the Author:

Born in 1980, she is of mixed heritage (white Irish father, brown British mother) and has family in Ireland and the Republic of Seychelles.

She studied English at Oxford and Applied Psychology at Derby. Her PhD, in literary studies and psychology, was completed at Worcester.

Since 2017 Kate has been a chartered psychologist. Previously she has been an advertising copywriter, bookbinder, and doll’s house maker. She lives in the English Midlands with her partner.

Take a moment to visit the others on the tour:

 

Thank you to Blake Brooks at Head of Zeus for sending me a signed copy of the book to read. Follow the hashtag

 

#BlogTour – The Bespokist Society Guide to… London

Welcome to my blog for today’s stop on the blog tour for Jeremy Liebster’s book, The Bespokist Society Guide to… London

The Blurb:



As the first travel book produced by the hugely influential Bespokist Society, this handy guide takes you to a London you’ve never seen: a London of challenging Etruscan restaurants, edgy branding parlours, emoji hotels and hidden Icelandic communities; a London where 8-ply toilet paper is a thing.

On the way, meet an eclectic band of inspiring Londoners – from scriveners to socialites via urban wordsmiths and coffee preachers – and see why London is now the global epicentre of Bespokist consciousness, community and culture.

My Review

London is one of the most famous cities in the world drawing visitors from all over the globe to see the sights; who take selfies in front of the sights and generally get in the way of people in London who are trying to get on with their own lives. You would have thought that there are enough guides for London, but here is a new guide for this dynamic city, one that will take you to places that you never knew existed, explore trends that you may not have come across and meet those that are at the sharpest edges of urban chic.
Feeling hungry? Then a visit to the V-Gastro will leave you amazed, but still hungry. Visit, See it, Say it, Sorted for the very best in the cultural response to the London Transport catchphrase. In need of a drink? Then a session at the Sweat Shop might be up your street; get to work an ancient Singer sewing machine and imbue the latest in graft gins. If you end up with a hangover to di for, then coffee is called for. For that, The Coffee Preachers are your people, taking the ristretto to the very pinnacle of coffee adoration. There are other gems; have a unique bespoke key made, go to the Launderette coffee shop to feel part of the community whilst still having superfast wifi and stand up desks, and experience the very latest in gyms by taking a trip to Gondoliers.
Hipsters try to set themselves apart from culture as a whole, while simultaneously remaining within the culture.
As you may have guessed by now, this book is a parody. It sets about totally ripping the piss out of the Hipster culture and their obsession with the tiniest detail, the most obscure origin for an ingredient, the perfect details in an experience and the way that they almost exclusively miss the big picture. It can kind of be summed up with this video:



That video still makes me chuckle every time I see it. If you have a hipster friend and want to understand what drives them, this is as good a place to starts as any. Expertly done, brilliantly crafted and highly amusing.




I am just one of a few on this #RandomThingsTours Blog Tour. Please do take a few moments to have a look at the other blogs or search for the #IFoundMyTribe hash-tag on Twitter to read more about the book.
















For the very latest in artisan places follow the Bespokeist Society here:

Website: http://www.bespokistsociety.com/

Twitter: @TheBespokist

Blog Tour – I Found My Tribe – Ruth Fitzmaurice

Welcome to my blog for today’s stop on the blog tour for Ruth Fitzmaurice’s book, I Found My Tribe. 

The Blurb:


She has her husband Simon, a filmmaker with advanced Motor Neurone Disease who can only communicate with his eyes via a computer. Together they have five children under the age of 10, as well as Pappy, a cantankerous Basset Hound. They are kept afloat by relentless army of nurses and carers that flows through their house in Greystones, on the East Coast of Ireland.

And then there is Ruth’s other family – her Tribe of amazing women. Amidst the chaos and the pain that rules their lives, The Tragic Wives Swimming Club congregate together – in summer and winter, on golden afternoons and by the light of the moon – on the sea steps at Women’s Cove. Day after day, they throw themselves into the freezing Irish sea. In that moment, they are free. Later, they will share a thermos of tea, teeth chattering, hands shaking, ready to take on the world once more.

An invocation to all of us to love as hard as we can, and live even harder, I Found My Tribe is an urgent and uplifting letter to a husband, family, friends, the natural world and the brightness of life.


My Review:

Back in 2008, Ruth Fitzmaurice’s husband Simon was diagnosed with motor neurone disease. His career was just starting to lift and they had three small children so Ruth put her writing ambitions on the back burner to care for him and them. Events took a more dramatic turn when he was given four years to live and then they had had twins. Even though Simon can only communicate using his eyes and technology, he still managed to direct My Name is Emily. Ruth regularly heads to a cove in Greystones, Co. Wicklow with two close friends, Michelle and Aifric to swim in the cold seas. She calls this tribe ‘The Tragic Wives’ Swimming Club’; and gives her a necessary respite from her other tribe of children and carers for Simon.

Even in the most tragic of circumstances, she can see hope, even though she has periods of time where she feels raw and vulnerable. Ruth has a roller coaster of emotions living with Simon and his motor neurone disease. It is tough, but not as tough as the moments when she has to answer the children’s questions as what is happening with Dad, especially when she doesn’t have the answers. The sea swimming becomes those moments when she can be herself and relax with her friends. Her beautiful, sparse prose gets to the very essence of what is happening with the various tribes. It is a moving book too, with several poignant moments.


She is one tough lady. 
















Since this book was originally written Simon Fitzmaurice sadly passed away in October 2017. He was a celebrated filmmaker who even after he was diagnosed with motor neurone disease still continued to make films. My Name Is Emily was about a teenager who decides to free her father from a mental hospital and starred Evanna Lynch, Michael Smiley, and George Webster. He made a documentary about his life called It’s Not Yet Dark and it tells us how he coped with everything and how he spoke to the outside world using eye-tracking software. 


R I P Simon.


I am just one of a few on this #RandomThingsTours Blog Tour. Please do take a few moments to have a look at the other blogs or search for the #IFoundMyTribe hash-tag on Twitter to read more about the book.




#BlogTour – Why Do Birds Disappear – Lev Parikian

Welcome to my turn on the blog tour for Lev Parikian’s new book, Why Do Birds Suddenly Disappear? 200 Birds, 12 Months, 1 Lapsed Birdwatcher published today:



The picture of the cover doesn’t really do it justice. The artwork is exquisite and the title has fine copper foiling, not only that it has a nice heft to the hardback too

A little about the author first. most of the time he is not an author, rather he is a conductor. No, not the one on a bus, but the guy with a small stick who manages to coerce an unruly bunch of musicians into producing marvellous music. He even wrote a book about it called, Waving, Not Drowning. With his second book, he feels that the balance has shifted from just being a conductor to being a writer too. This book was crowdfunded by the new publisher on the block, Unbound. He is currently seeking funding and ideas for his latest venture called The Long and the Short of It where you can suggest the ideas to be written about.




Anyway, back to today’s book. Here is my review of the book:

At the age of 12, Lev Parikian was an avid birdwatcher. He had a huge list of birds from the common or garden to the exotic neatly ticked off. Except he hadn’t seen some of them, in fact, he had probably only seen half of them. There has been a smidgen over six hundred species recorded as being seen in Britain, and as the bird watching bug bites again after a walk around the park in an attempt to combat middle age spread, Parikian feels that this time he needs a challenge and this time to do things properly. So there are rules; there has to be because this time it is serious.
But what sort of target should he go for? A friend of his managed 206 in a single year, but he was an avid bird watcher, 100 would be too easy and 300 would be unrealistic. A lot of birds that have appeared over here are very rare, swept in by the Atlantic storms and take a day or so to re-orientate themselves before disappearing once again. But first, he needs to create a list, because every birder needs a list. Separating the birds into four categories, already seen, will probably see, might see and no chance (one is now extinct after all) and the list has been whittled down from a vast 600 to an unmanageable 200. It should be ok, shouldn’t it?
Starting with the ubiquitous blue tit, so begins a very amusing story of trying to track down his 200 ticks. It will take him from the Dorset shorelines to the dramatic west coast of Scotland, the big skies of Norfolk and the waters of the Somerset levels. He has some spectacular finds and spends a lot of the year not seeing any owls at all; there was one here five minutes ago is not what you want to hear. Some of the trips he is accompanied by his wife and son who seem to tolerate his new obsession and he is helped by other bird watchers that are generous with their time, expertise and telescopes. Two hundred birds in one year is a big ask, can he do it? Will he actually see ll the birds? Can he stick to the rules, or will it be a project that will join the other abandoned ones alongside the discarded resolutions on the barely used yoga mat…

Parikian has written a thoroughly enjoyable book that because of his bone-dry wit had me chuckling and laughing out loud at times. I thought that it was written with genuine warmth about his feathered subjects, his cricket and spreadsheet obsession and his love of life in general. There are amusing anecdotes about him learning to become a conductor at the same place that his father worked as well as nostalgic and poignant moments about growing up and losing his father. One to read and enjoy, and maybe make you reach for the binoculars.


Thank you to Unbound for providing a review copy. 

You can follow Lev Parikian on Twitter here and his blog is here.

Don’t forget to get your copy from an independent bookshop. By doing that you support, them, the author and the publisher. Follow the others on the blog tour too:





#BlogTour for Stranger In My Heart

Welcome to Halfman, Halfbook for my stop on the blog tour for #StrangerInMyHeart. This book is about Mary Monro’s father, John and his activities in World War II.  I will be reviewing it below, but first a little about the book. This is the cover:
The blurb says:

John Monro MC never mentioned his Second World War experiences, leaving his daughter Mary with unresolved mysteries when he died in 1981. He fought at the Battle of Hong Kong, made a daring escape across Japanese-occupied China and became Assistant Military Attaché in Chongqing. Caught up in Far East war strategy, he proposed a bold plan to liberate the PoWs he’d left behind before fighting in Burma in 1944. But by the time Mary was born he’d become a Shropshire farmer, revealing nothing of his heroic past. 

Thirty years after his death and prompted by hearing him described as a ‘20th Century great’, Mary began her quest to explore this stranger she’d called ‘Dad’. Stranger In My Heart skilfully weaves poignant memoir with action-packed biography and travels in modern China in a reflective journey that answers the question we all eventually ask ourselves: ‘Who am I?’
This is Mary’s first book, but she is an accomplished writer of technical and academic articles as well as being an experienced lecturer and presenter. She is currently resident in Bath with her husband Julian and their dog, Gobi. Animals have been a big part of her life, she grew up riding horses and inevitably falling off them too, so has a raft of injuries. This has not stopped her riding though. Mary’s first job was working with Cadbury’s and had never shaken the chocolate habit, next came a spot of consultancy, but a career change meant that Mary now works as an osteopath treating animals and humans. 

My Review:

When her father died, Mary was only 18. She never really knew him as a person, just as a slightly remote father figure who had loved running the farm where she and her three siblings lived. She had a happy childhood, grown up fairly self-reliant, had a love of horses and freedom, but his death left a void in all their lives. Mary would never have the opportunity to ask the questions that she wanted too. It was a few years after when she was at a party an old family friend of hers said that he was one of the great war heroes, that she realised that she knew so little about him. This book is the answer to the question; who is my father.
John Monro was born in 1914, at the dawn of the Great War and was schooled in Switzerland of all places. He joined the army as a Gentleman cadet in 1932 and was commissioned in 1934. In 1937 he was posted to the British colony of Hong Kong in the 8th Heavy Brigade of the Royal Artillery and was put in command of a troop of Chinese men. He had an interpreter called Cheung Yan-Lun who was born in Guangdong. They got on so well they were to become lifelong friends. Further appointments and promotions were made and he ended up at the HQ in Hong Kong with the rank of Brigade Major. This was early in 1941 and with the war in Europe there were even more rumours about a possible conflict in the far east but nothing had happened so far.
By the end of the year everything had changed; Japan had invaded and Monro was heavily involved in defending Hong Kong, but it was to no avail and the colony surrendered to the Japanese. Monro was one of those captured and sent to a POW camp. It classic English fashion, it wasn’t long before he escaped by swimming over to the mainland. This was the first in a series of dramatic events as he takes a long and convoluted route over 1200 miles to reach China’s wartime capital at Chongqing where he was once again involved again in the war effort.
All of these details Mary found out in the large envelope of letters and other documentation that was forthcoming from her mother. It was quite a job to collate and organise it, but possibly slightly harder to read his handwriting! To really get a feel for the places that he travelled through whilst evading capture would mean a trip out to China. Even though China is far more open than it used to be and there are the well-worn tourist trails to the Great Wall and the Forbidden Palace, there are parts of it that are still not easy to travel around, but thankfully she found a company and guide who were willing to help her see the place that her father once travelled through and her mother paid towards the trip as she was equally curious as to what had happened in his past life.
These personal histories of family members add so much more to history than the slightly tedious and dry military reports and official histories of events. Not only do you get to see the person in a different light, but the author’s emotional involvement makes for much better reading. It is the same with this journey to uncover the stories of her father John, a private man who like so many of his generation, did his duty and thought no more of it, let alone want to talk about it.

We are all geniuses with hindsight, you can sense her regret about not taking the time when she could to get to know him and understand what he went through during the war. This story of his life is her tribute to her father for all he stood for and all that he meant to all of his family. If you liked Dadland about Tom Carew’s escapades in World War II then this is another book that will appeal and that fills in the patchwork of personal stories about a war that changed the world.

Stranger in my Heart will be available from the 9th June in Kindle and paperback and is published by Unbound.

This tour was arranged by Anne of #RandomThingsTours 

Thank you for stopping by. Don’t forget to visit the others on the tour to see what they had to say about the book.








Wellcome Book Prize #BlogTour #WBP2018

Welcome to my blog for the third stop on the tour for the Wellcome Book Prize #BlogTour. Follow the hashtag #WBP2018 on twitter to find the others participating in this:















The Wellcome Book Prize is focused centred on science and celebrates the best new books that illuminate our encounters with health, medicine and illness. This means that the subjects covered by the prize do not always make the easiest of reading. This year we have a fictional book on the pressures of continuing the family line in Nigeria, there is a book that considers the future of humanity and the possibilities of trans-human development. Most of us reading this would not be alive if it were not for the pioneering work of Joseph Lister, or the work that has taken place in vaccine research, subjects brilliantly covered by two of the shortlisted books. The drug culture in Western societies is now endemic, but how it affects families is often glossed over; one of the books on the shortlist talks about just how it can affect anyone at any level of society. There are three things guaranteed in life: your computer crashing, taxes and death, the final book on the shortlist is prepared to tackle the taboo subject of death. 



Today I am sharing an extract from The Vaccine Race by Meredith Wadman. She is a  reporter at Science and has written for NatureFortune, the New York Times, and the Wall Street Journal. A graduate of Stanford and Columbia, she began medical school at the University of British Columbia and completed her medical degree as a Rhodes scholar at the University of Oxford and has covered biomedical research politics from Washington for two decades. She lives in suburban Washington with her husband, two sons and two dogs.  She loves walking the dogs, talking with friends and reading histories and biographies.



To remove the history of human exploitation from vaccines and medicines that were developed in the postwar era is impossible. The knowledge that allowed their development is woven into them. Should we therefore shun them? Definitely not. Take rubella as a case in point. As I write this in the summer of 2016, 1,700 babies in a dozen countries have been born with abnormally small heads or other brain malformations; their mothers were infected with the Zika virus while pregnant. Zika’s emergence is a vivid reminder of what life was like in the United States in 1964. Then, there was no rubella vaccine and tens of thousands of American babies were born gravely damaged by the rubella virus, which selectively harms fetuses in the womb. Like Zika, rubella homes in on the brains of fetuses; it also ravages their eyes, ears, and hearts. But today, thanks to the vaccine that was perfected in experiments on institutionalized orphans and intellectually disabled children, indigenous rubella has been wiped out in the Western Hemisphere. Cases occur only when they are imported from other countries. We can’t turn the clock back. The only way we can partially make it up to these children and untold others is to honor their contributions by making them meaningful – by continuing to vaccinate against rubella and the other diseases that made childhood a perilous journey before vaccines against them existed. We also need to strive constantly to enforce and improve the regulations and laws that protect research subjects so that in the future such abuses never happen again. We might also remember, when judging the men who took advantage of vulnerable human beings in order to advance both human health and their own careers, that they were creatures of their time, just as we are of ours. Rather than training our criticism on them, it might be more useful to ask ourselves this: what are we doing or accepting or averting our eyes from today that will cause our grandchildren to look at us and ask, How could you have let that happen?


It is a fascinating book about the development of the vaccines that have saved us all. 
My review for The Vaccine Race is hereI have read all the others on the shortlist too, click on the title to see the reviews.

Stay With Me by Ayọ̀bámi Adébáyọ̀
The Butchering Art by Lindsey Fitzharris
With the End in Mind by Kathryn Mannix
To Be a Machine by Mark O’Connell
Mayhem: A memoir by Sigrid Rausing 

Don’t forget to visit the other blogs to see what they are saying about the other books on the shortlist:



Wellcome Book Prize Blog Tour

#BlogTour for All her Starry Fates

Welcome to my blog as the final stop on the blog tour for All her Starry Fates. Thank you to Anne Cater for inviting me to take part in the tour and for sending a copy of this book to read

























Normally my go-to reading is non-fiction as for me it can entertain and educate at the same time, but it is nice to stretch the mind and indulge in something else every now and again so I do occasionally read poetry. In the past, I have read Kathleen Jamie and Carol Ann Duffy, and Edward Ragg was generous enough to send me his two published works that I am intending to read later this year.

However, back to this small volume. Lady Grey sets out to explore just how the otherworldly relates to the every day, with short and sometimes abstract poems about subjects that are close to her heart, so we have musings and prose on subjects as varied as love and belonging, books and freedom, magic and the intimacy of a partnership.

There were poems in here that I liked a lot, they spoke to me on many different levels and had elements that appealed deep in my psyche. The prose is sparse, as she seeks to elicit meaning from the simplicity of the words rather than the complexity of language. Some of the poems are quite raw as they have been written from the heart. Some evoke the natural world, and other venture into otherworldly realms. There were a number of other poems I found harder to fathom, but that is as much my fault as they do need to be read and read to sink in. There are some lovely verses in here and it is one to return to another time.

Poetry has a way of reaching into your very soul that fiction doesn’t always seem to manage and this is a collection that has the capacity to do just that. 
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