The Corfu Trilogy by Gerald Durrell: Review
Feb27

The Corfu Trilogy by Gerald Durrell: Review

The Corfu Trilogy by Gerald Durrell: Review In later life, Gerald Durrell was a respected naturalist and conservationist but in 1935 he was a ten year old boy when he and his somewhat eccentric family went to live in the Greek Island of Corfu. He was the youngest child of the family and, even though life in  the Durrell household was bizarre enough, introduced various creature and animals into the home with disastrous – and...

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Mystic Sweet Communion: The Stranahans of Fort Lauderdale
Feb24

Mystic Sweet Communion: The Stranahans of Fort Lauderdale

Mystic Sweet Communion: The Stranahans of Fort Lauderdale. Almost hidden away, flanked by enormous high-rise buildings, is the Stranahan House on Las Olas Boulevard in Fort Lauderdale. The house itself – now a museum –  is fascinating but what’s even more interesting is the story of its original owners, Frank and Ivy Stranahan. Ivy Cromartie was still a teenager in when she first went to a tiny South Florida...

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Art Matters: L.S. Lowry on Match Day
Feb23

Art Matters: L.S. Lowry on Match Day

Andy Royston’s back on the terraces with one of England’s most beloved painters, L.S. Lowry. One cold and rainy evening in West London I found myself wandering towards a set of bright floodlights shining above the houses. Brentford FC were playing Gillingham in some cup game and Griffin Park was offering tickets on the turnstiles. So in I went, picked up a cup of Bovril from the Ealing Road end and, as the drizzle faded...

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1964: The Year of Royal Babies
Feb23

1964: The Year of Royal Babies

Four royal babies: 1964. Today there is a media frenzy when a royal baby is born. This wasn’t always the case in the previous century because the media hadn’t become quite as intrusive and the general population was more inclined to allow the royal family more privacy than they do today. Yet imagine what today’s media would have made of the news in 1964 when four royal babies were born, including one to Queen...

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Book Spotlight: Snap!  By Gary Small and Gigi Vorgan
Feb22

Book Spotlight: Snap! By Gary Small and Gigi Vorgan

On Tour With Gary Small, M.D. and Gigi Vorgan You won’t want to miss Dr. Gary Small’s new book, Snap! Change Your Personality in 30 Days.  Co-written with Gigi Vorgan, the book is bound to change lives and minds. Scientists have discovered that it IS possible to change some of our long held personality traits, and in far less time than you would expect. It’s a book we should all have since it provides a clear path to...

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The Oscars: Harold Russell
Feb22

The Oscars: Harold Russell

Who was Harold Russell? Harold Russell was the only actor to win two Oscars for the same role. He also caused controversy by selling one of the statuettes. And despite winning two Oscars, he wasn’t a professional actor. But his story is much more interesting than that. If you look closely at the photograph above you’ll see why. Harold Russell had no hands He had been born in Canada and when he was a boy, his family moved...

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A Circle of Sisters: The MacDonalds
Feb21

A Circle of Sisters: The MacDonalds

 A Circle of Sisters: The MacDonalds Remarkably, four daughters of a nineteenth century Methodist minister became powerful and feted by Victorian society – against all odds. The girls were born into a relatively impoverished family; their father being a minister who moved around the country and their mother the daughter of a wholesale grocer. The had few advantages. They weren’t particularly educated. In that society in...

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Last Meals: Death Row
Feb19

Last Meals: Death Row

Last Meals: Death Row How differently do men and women eat? Maybe a food psychologist could tell us,or even a restaurateur, but evidently the difference are plain even on death row. It’s customary for people who are about to be executed to have whatever they wish for their final meal and,it seems, jails are pretty good when it comes to satisfying their choices. But what surprises me is: Even on death row, women eat salads...

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Twofer Murder, by Lauren Carr
Feb18

Twofer Murder, by Lauren Carr

On Tour with Lauren Carr and “Twofer Murder” Another wonderful mystery from bestselling author Lauren Carr. It’s a fun and adventurous treat as always. Well written. Fast paced. Humorous, of course. Complex and twisting reaches a new high with this one. Many of our favorite series characters are on hand for Twofer Murder, including those from the Mac Faraday Series, the Lovers-in-Crime series, and the Thorny Rose series....

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Rufus Estes – the first African-American Cookbook
Feb02

Rufus Estes – the first African-American Cookbook

Rufus Estes – author of the first African-American Cookbook   In 1911, Rufus Estes published cookbook. There is nothing particularly unusual in that except Estes is believed to be the first African-American chef to publish his recipes. Rufus was born in 1857 in Tennessee and given the last name of his master; the man who ‘owned’ Rufus’ mother, a slave. When civil war broke out he said that most of the male...

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Boy soldiers in the Congo
Feb02

Boy soldiers in the Congo

Boy soldiers: The Congo, 1967 Children have been used for military services for almost as long as mankind has existed. In 1967, two men were driving through the Congo where they had the most frightening encounter with a couple of boy soldiers who held them at gunpoint. Read on. The two men were rally drivers, Eric Jackson and Ken Chambers, and they were racing – of all things – an ocean liner from Cape Town to Southampton....

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The Yorkshireman and the Sahara
Feb02

The Yorkshireman and the Sahara

Eric Jackson: Petrol in My Blood If you’re looking for a great read, full of adventure, humour and history, then I definitely recommend Petrol in My Blood by Eric Jackson. This is the autobiography of a Yorkshireman, born in a gipsy caravan in 1924, who started life with humble origins. Written when the author was in his eighties, the book spans generations and it’s a miracle that, because of his adventures, that he...

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