A Strange Kind Of Brave by Sarah Moore Fitzgerald

The Blurb On The Back:

What doesn’t kill you makes you … stronger?

Jake McCormack is the villain of Clanfedden.  He’s just killed a boy – deliberately run him over with his truck, in front of everyone.  And he knows he’ll get away with it. 

Luca Spinelli, 14, is the new boy in town.  He’s looking for a fresh start after what happened at his old school.

Allie Redmond has lived in Clanfedden all her life.  Luca’s friendship is the bright spark she needs.

But more than anyone, Allie knows the danger of Jake McCormack.  She needs to warn Luca.  She needs to prevent disaster.  At least, she needs to try …

The Review (Cut For Spoilers):

Read More »

The Scientific Method by Massimiliano Di Ventra

The Blurb On The Back:

This book looks at how science investigates the natural world around us.  It is an examination of the scientific method, the foundation of science and basis on which our scientific knowledge is built.  Written in a clear, concise, and colloquial style, the book addresses all concepts pertaining to the scientific method.  It includes discussions on objective reality, hypotheses and theory, and the fundamental and inalienable role of experimental evidence in scientific knowledge.

This collection of personal reflections on the scientific methodology shows the observations and daily uses of an experienced practitioner.  Massimiliano Di Ventra also examines the limits of science and the errors we make when abusing its method in non scientific contexts.  By reflecting on the general method, the reader can critically sort through other types of scientific claims, and judge their ability to apply it in study and in practice. 

The Review (Cut For Spoilers):

Read More »

The Alice Encounter by John Gribbin

The Blurb On The Back:

There is about 10 times more dark matter (DM, also known here as Alice matter) than bright stuff in our Galaxy.

The DM is spread out in a roughly uniform sphere (a spherical distribution of Alice stars), with our flattened disk Galaxy embedded in it.  The “Alice matter”, is a kind of mirror image shadow stuff; the term “looking glass matter” has been used by some scientists.  Alice matter can be turned into ordinary matter (and vice versa) by sending it though a loop of Alice string, a naturally occurring cosmic phenomenon.

Aliens in the DM world, more advanced than we are, have discovered the trace of 10 per cent “normal” matter in “their” universe.  And have come to investigate it.

Our disk is a perturbation that they are puzzled about.

The Review (Cut For Spoilers):

Read More »

The Aunt Who Wouldn’t Die by Shirshendu Mukhopadhyay

The Blurb On The Back:

At eighteen, Somlata married into the Mitras: a once noble Bengali household whose descendants have taken to pawning off the family gold to keep up appearances.

When Pishima, the embittered matriarch, dies, Somlata is the first to discover her aunt-in-law’s body – and her sharp-tongued ghost.

First demanding that Somlata hide her gold from the family’s prying hands, Pishima’s ghost continues to wreak havoc on the Mithras.  With secrets spilt and cooking spoilt, Somlata finds herself at the centre of the chaos.  And as the family teeters on the brink of bankruptcy, it looks as though it’s up to her to fix it.

The Aunt Who Wouldn’t Die is a frenetic, funny and fresh novel about three generations of Mitra women, a jewellery box and the rickety family they hold together.  

The Review (Cut For Spoilers):

Read More »

Chernobyl: History Of A Tragedy by Serhii Plokhy

The Blurb On The Back:

There is no blurb on the back, but there are the following quotes:

”A compelling history of the 1986 disaster and its aftermath … plunges the reader into the sweaty, nervous tension of the Chernobyl control room on that fateful night when human frailty and design flaws combined to such devastating effect.”

Daniel Beer, Guardian

 

“Extraordinary, vividly written, powerful storytelling … the first full-scale history of the world’s worst nuclear disaster, one of the defining moments in the Cold War, told minute by minute.”

Victor Sebastian, Sunday Times

 

“An insightful and important book, that often reads like a good thriller, and that exposes the danger of mixing powerful technology with irresponsible politics”

Yoval Noah Harari 

 

“Haunting … near-Tolstoyan.  His voice is humane and inflected with nostalgia”

Roland Elliott Brown, Spectator

The Review (Cut For Spoilers):

Read More »

Bulletproof Problem Solving: The One Skill That Changes Everything by Charles Conn and Robert McLean

The Blurb On The Back:

7 straightforward steps to solving any problem with creativity and rigor

Complex problem solving is the core skill for twenty-first century teams.  It’s the only way to keep up with rapid change.  Winning organisations now rely on nimble, iterative problem solving, rather than traditional planning processes.  In this book you’ll learn the seven-step systematic approach to creative problem solving that will work in any field or industry.  It employs a highly visual, logic-tree method that can be applied to any problem, from strategic business decisions to global social challenges.  Charles and Rob, with decades of experience at McKinsey & Company and other institutions, provide a toolkit with 30 detailed real-world examples, so you can see exactly how the technique works in action.

The Review (Cut For Spoilers):

Read More »

The Taking Of Annie Thorne by C. J. Tudor

The Blurb On The Back:

Then

One night, my little sister went missing.  There were searches, appeals.  Everyone thought the worst.  And then, miraculously, she came back.  She couldn’t, or wouldn’t, say what had happened.  But she wasn’t the same afterwards. She wasn’t my Annie.  Sometimes my own little sister scared me to death.

Now

The email arrives in my inbox:

I know what happened to your sister.  It’s happening again … 

The Review (Cut For Spoilers):

Read More »

Afropean: Notes From Black Europe by Johny Pitts

The Blurb On The Back:

“Afropean.  Here was a space where blackness was taking part in shaping European identity … A continent of Cape Verdean favelas, Algerian flea markets, Surinamese shamanism, German reggae and Moorish castles.  Yes, all this was part of Europe too.”

Afropean is an on-the-ground documentary of the places where Europeans of African descent live their lives.  Setting off from his hometown of Sheffield, Johny Pitts makes his way through Paris, Brussels, Amsterdam, Berlin, Stockholm, Moscow, Rome, Marseille and Lisbon, through council estates, political spaces, train stations, tour groups, and underground arts scenes.

Here is an alternative map of the continent, revealing plural identities and liminal landscapes, from a Cape Verdean shantytown on the outskirts of Lisbon to RInkeby, the eighty per cent Muslim area of Stockholm, from West African students at university in Moscow to the notorious Paris suburb of Clichy-sous-Bois.  A Europe populated by Egyptian nomads, Sudanese restaurateurs, Belgo-Congolese painters.  Their voices speak to Afropean experiences that demand to be heard.

The Review (Cut For Spoilers):

Read More »

Swimming Against The Storm by Jess Butterworth

The Blurb On The Back:

Our land is sinking.  It’s disappearing into the water.  And no one knows how to save it

Twelve-year-old Eliza and her younger sister Avery have lived their entire lives in a small fishing village on the coast of Louisiana, growing up alongside turtles, pelicans and porpoises.  But now, with sea levels rising, their home is at risk of being swept away.

Determined to save the land, Eliza and Avery secretly go searching in the swamp for the dangerous, wolf-life loup-garou.  If they can prove this legendary creature exists, they’re sure that the government will have to protect its habitat – and their community.

But there’s one problem: the loup-garou has never been seen before.  And with a tropical storm approaching and the sisters deep, deep in the swampland, soon it’s not just their home at risk, but their lives as well …

The Review (Cut For Spoilers):

Read More »