#Blogtour Discipline is Destiny by Ryan Holiday

It’s a pleasure to take part in the BlogTour Discipline is Destiny: The Power of Self-Control by Ryan Holiday. Further below there is also an extract of the book!

Ryan Holiday is the world’s best-selling living philosopher, sharing the wisdom of ancient Stoicism to help us navigate 21st century life. He has sold more than 5 million books in 40 languages. With insights that are as relevant to the boardroom as to everyday life, Ryan’s books have proved hugely influential with sports coaches, business leaders, aspiring and established entrepreneurs, and self-help and smart thinking readers.

Ryan follows an ancient school of thought but has a huge digital following: his Daily Stoic brand has 400k subscribers to its daily email. In 2019 the Instagram had 350K followers, now it has 1.5 million; its YouTube channel has over 585K subscribers and its TikTok account has 341.1k followers and over 10 million views. Since starting The Daily Dad in June 2019, Ryan has amassed 12.9k followers on the Daily Dad Twitter channel and 82.8k followers on the Daily Dad Instagram platform, and the email newsletter reaches over 50k people.

About the Author

Ryan Holiday is one of the world’s foremost writers on ancient philosophy and its place in everyday life. His books, including The Obstacle Is the Way, Ego Is the Enemy, The Daily Stoic, and the #1 New York Times bestseller Stillness Is the Key have sold millions of copies and been translated into over 40 languages. He lives outside Austin, Texas, with his wife and two boys… and cows and donkeys and goats. He founded a bookshop during the pandemic called The Painted Porch, which features a carefully curated selection of Ryan’s favourite books and a stunning fireplace display made from 2000 books. Follow @RyanHoliday on Twitter

About the book

In Discipline is Destiny bestselling philosopher and life-hacker extraordinaire Ryan Holiday explores the power of temperance, which along with courage, justice and wisdom formed the four virtues of Stoicism. Yet these other virtues would be impossible, worthless even, without self-discipline to bring them about.

Self-discipline is the moderating influence against the impulse of all other things. Cultivate it in every deed, and it will enable us to become the best that we are capable of being. With self-discipline, we can find balance, focus and fulfilment, resisting the distractions that can quickly take over our lives; without self-discipline, all our plans fall apart.

In this latest book, Ryan Holiday shows us how to cultivate willpower, moderation and self-control in our lives. From Aristotle and Marcus Aurelius to Toni Morrison and Queen Elizabeth II, he illuminates the great exemplars of its practice and what we can learn from them. Moderation is not about abstinence: it is about self-respect, focus and balance. Without it, even the most positive traits become vices. But with it, happiness and success are assured: the key is not more but finding the right amount.

Excerpt of Discipline is Destiny

Practice . . . Then Practice More

It is said that the master swordsman Nakayama Hakudo would practice drawing his sword some two thousand times a day. At the Hayashizaki temple, in one marathon of endurance training, he was recorded drawing his sword ten thousand times in a single twenty-four-hour period.

We can imagine the sheer speed required to do this . . . and also the deliberateness to do so many reps in so little time. But why would do such a thing at all? Because, as the Stoic Arius Didymus said, “Practice over a long time turns into second nature.” We don’t rise to the occasion; we fall to the level of our training.

The samurai Musashi was once challenged by a warrior named Miyake Gunbei, a man who thought himself one of the best in the world. On his third attack, frustrated by his lack of success, Gunbei charged at Musashi in an aggressive lunge. Musashi, having prepared for this exact scenario countless times, replied, “That is not what you should do,” then parried the blow with one sword and watched as the man gashed his own cheek against Musashi’s other sword. How had he known? Practice.

Cho tan seki ren was Musashi’s phrase. Training from morning to night. Oh, you’ve done that? Okay. Do it some more. And after that? More. More. More.

“A thousand days of training to develop,” Musashi would write, “ten thousand days of training to polish.” For a samurai, there was no such thing as pretty good. If a pretty good swordsman met a better fighter . . . he would die. It’s like the basketball Hall of Famer Bill Bradley observation: When you are not practicing, refining, working, somewhere, someone else is . . . and when you meet them, they will beat you. Or kill you.

Gunbei was lucky enough to learn this lesson and live to tell about it. In fact, after Musashi treated the man’s wound, Gunbei accepted that he was outmatched and became Musashi’s student, training and practicing under him until he was no longer prone to the mistakes that come from such rashness.

Look, this is not a drill. There is no greatness without practice. Lots of practice. Repetitive practice. Exhausting, bone-crunching, soul-crushing practice.

And yet what emerges from this practice is the opposite of those three feelings. Energy. Strength. Confidence. You deserve that. Yes, your body will burn, but that’s the evidence. From that burning comes real heat, heat you can apply to your craft, to your work, to your life.

The cellist Pablo Casals practiced continually late into his life, even long after he was widely considered a master, because he believed he was still making progress. In fact, we might say that progress and practice are synonyms. You can’t have the former without the latter. And the latter is worthless without the former.

Drawing the sword from the scabbard. Thrusting. Blocking. To build up your stamina for those skills, you lift weights, you do conditioning. To put it all together, you spar. It’s the same with music. You can jam with other talented musicians; you can put all those sessions together to learn new songs. But before all that, as Casals did, you can simply practice your scales in your bedroom for hours upon hours. What are those scales for you? You better know and you better be doing them. No matter what you do, practice will make you better. 

Florence Nightingale wanted young nurses to understand that nursing was an art that required “as hard a preparation as any painter or sculptor’s work. Churchill spent many evenings practicing his “impromptu” performances.

Only you know what it will look like to train in your art like a samurai, an Olympic athlete, a master in pursuit of excellence. Only you will know what you need to practice from morning until night, what to repeat ten thousand times.

It won’t be easy, but in that burden is also freedom and confidence. The pleasure of the flow state. The rhythm of second nature. The quiet calmness of knowing that, from the practice, you’ll know exactly what to do when it counts . . . the pride and the dependability of doing it too.

Review

This is the sequel to Courage and the second book in the Stoic Virtues series. The hardcopy versions are lovely.

The can versus the should, the higher versus the lower self. Two versions in constant battle with each other. It’s any interesting concept, perhaps even more so when the inner battle is taken to an external level and the stimulus determines which one wins. In a way the external manages to circumvent the internal choice – or does it?

Are the two selves not silenced or dimmed by the external input, one more than the other. The way trauma, PTSD, depression speaks to one rather than the other. Magnifies the lower, and of course vice versa.

I thought this was slightly darker than the previous book. More introspective, but it also had a path of ups and downs. A deeper search within the folds of self, which may have been both an interesting and eye-opening experience at times.

I had a mixed reaction to the book or content. Not that the principle is wrong, and the results can equal the difference between success and being mediocre. Between succeeding and exploring full potential, perhaps most of all it’s about the perseverance in life. Teaching yourself to be focused, to find the best path, and most importantly putting thought to action to achieve your goals.

All of that is commendable, but what happens if those paths aren’t achievable depending on the person walking said path. If discipline is something that is in direct conflict with skill set, upbringing, environment, support and possible neurodiversity. Does that mean discipline and therefore success is unachievable? Either way it is a read that gives food for thought.

Buy Discipline is Destiny at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: Profile Books, pub date 27 September 2022. Buy at Amazon com.

#Blogtour Life and Death Decisions by Dr Lachlan McIver

It’s a pleasure to take part in the Blogtour – Life and Death Decisions: Fighting to save lives from disaster, disease and destruction by Dr Lachlan McIver. ‘An action-packed tale of medicine in the most remote, poverty-torn areas of the globe from a Médecins Sans Frontières doctor.’

About the Author

Dr Lachlan McIver is a rural medicine and public health specialist with a PhD in the health impacts of climate change. He currently works as the Tropical Diseases and Planetary Health Advisor at the headquarters of Médecins Sans Frontières in Geneva. Lachlan is an Associate Professor at James Cook University and is the founder and past Chair of Rocketship Pacific Ltd – an international non-profit organisation dedicated to improving health in Pacific Island countries. 

Lachlan’s work has taken him to thirty different countries, and he has published over fifty scientific articles and textbook chapters. He regularly speaks at international conferences on health. For more information, visit drlachlanmciver.com or follow @lachlan_mciver on Twitter

About the book

Lachlan was sixteen when he found his father dead on the side of a dirt road in North Queensland, Australia. He had suffered a sudden heart attack and died alone. It was this tragedy that motivated Lachlan to train as a doctor specialising in providing medical care for people living in remote, resource-deprived locations.

Lachlan’s work with the World Health Organization and Médecins Sans Frontières has taken him to some of the world’s most extreme environments from the sinking islands of the Pacific to epidemics and war zones in the Middle East and sub-Saharan Africa.

In this no-holds-barred memoir, Lachlan recounts his experiences treating patients ravaged by tropical diseases, managing war wounds with drug-resistant infections, delivering babies by the light of a head torch, dealing with the devastating effects of climate change and narrowly avoiding being kidnapped by militia in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Tackling such impossible problems day in and day out inevitably takes a personal toll. Lachlan is ultimately forced to face his own battles with depression, alcohol abuse and bankruptcy.

Life and Death Decisions is a deeply human look at the personal cost of our broken global health system and a vital call to action.

Review

Lachlan presents the good, the bad and the uncomfortable in this frank memoir. It’s not just a facts, experiences and accomplishments. It’s a stripping bare of emotions, of choices, and an examination of consequence of actions.

I found the most interesting aspect of this read was the way the author relates to his achievements. It’s as if it is a never-ending race to save and help as many people as possible, and yet never feeling a true sense of accomplishment, perhaps because the underlying trauma of a death he had no way of changing always sits on his shoulders as a constant companion.

There appears to be a lack of acknowledgement of his impact on the world and the people he endeavours to help and has helped throughout the years. The drive, the selflessness and often reckless regard for his own life and his close relationships. Even the last pages are a testament to how he wants to live life by example to change the path we have created, which is at odds with saving lives at this moment in time. 

It’s a remarkable read, perhaps more so because he makes the hard work and dangerous situations look like second nature. It is food for thought – small steps for some of us, which will lead to bigger ones.

Buy Life and Death Decisions at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: Endeavour pub date 1 Sept. 2022. Buy at Amazon com.

#BlogTour The Real Prime Suspect by Jackie Malton with Hélène Mulholland

It’s a pleasure to take part in the Blogtour The Real Prime Suspect: From the Beat to the Screen. My Life as a Female Detective by Jackie Malton with Hélène Mulholland.

About the Author

Jackie Malton was a police officer for twenty-eight years. During her career she worked in the drugs squad, CID, the flying squad (famously known as The Sweeney), fraud squad and as a hostage negotiator. She rose to become one of only three female detective chief inspectors in the Metropolitan Police. 

Jackie has acted as an adviser on some of the most successful British crime dramas, including Prime Suspect, The Bill, Cracker, Life on Mars, Ashes to Ashes, Trial and Retribution and Murder Investigation Team. In 2019 she presented the documentary series, The Real Prime Suspect in which she revisited some of the most notorious murder cases. Most recently, she was interviewed for BBC 2’s documentary Bent Coppers: Crossing the Line of Duty; she appeared in Steve McQueen’s BAFTA-award-winning documentary Uprising about the New Cross Fire; and made a guest appearance on the new BBC Sounds podcast, Lady Killers with Lucy Worsley. Jackie regularly gives talks on policing and currently volunteers in a male prison supporting offenders recovering from addiction. Follow @thursley on Twitter

Hélène Mulholland has been a journalist for over twenty years and previously worked at the Guardian as a political reporter. Hélène now works on a freelance basis. The Real Prime Suspect is her first book. Follow @Inmulholland on Twitter

About the book

The Real Prime Suspect is a jaw-dropping, gritty memoir from Jackie Malton, former DCI and the inspiration for legendary TV detective Jane Tennison in Lynda La Plante’s Prime Suspect.

Jackie Malton was a no-nonsense girl from Leicestershire who joined the police force in the 1970s. It was a time of sex segregation in the police force. Male recruits were given a truncheon; female recruits received a handbag and were assigned social work duties. But Jackie desperately wanted to become a detective. 

Feisty and determined, Jackie made her way into some of the most male-dominated departments of the police force. She worked in CID and the famous flying squad before rising to become one of only three female detective chief inspectors in the Metropolitan Police. 

In The Real Prime Suspect, Malton describes the struggles she faced as an openly gay woman in the Metropolitan Police, where sexism and homophobia were rife.

Utterly compelling, the book is rich with fascinating cases and intriguing characters from Jackie’s time on the force. Jackie dealt with rapists, wife beaters, murderers, blackmailers and armed robbers but it was tackling the corruption in her own station that proved the most challenging. Ostracised and harassed by fellow officers furious that she reported the illegality of some colleagues, Malton used alcohol to curb her anxiety. A chance meeting with writer Lynda La Plante five years later changed the course of her life.

Together they worked on shaping Jane Tennison, one of TV’s most famous police characters, in the ground-breaking series Prime Suspect. Not long after, Malton recovered from alcoholism and now works as an AA volunteer in prison and as a TV consultant.

Jackie Malton is a true trailblazer. She forged a path in a male-dominated world and through it all she remained true to herself. Jackie has spent her life working in crime. Now she’s ready to share her story.

Review

This was absolutely fascinating and it gives readers a completely different perspective on both the character we know and love, and the life of the woman behind the character of TV detective Jane Tennison – the inspiration.

Malton gives a rare insight into the world of policing many decades ago when women were little more than glorified makers of cups of tea for the real police – the men of course. A time when being openly same-sex attracted would have had consequences, so a successful career also meant living a life half lived.

Leaving aside the difficulties of working in a male dominated career, which has a curious relationship with the law when it comes to the lawlessness and infractions of its own people and the way they turn on the police officers upholding the law against their own. One of the pivotal elements of the story is what the constant stress of interacting with the dregs of society does to police officers – the inhumanity and horrors they are faced with. How do you deal with all of that without something breaking inside, without experiencing PTSD and trauma, and being able to cope with the aforementioned?

I think it’s easy for everyone to forget that aspect of policing. Luckily for us the author has come out the other side and has been able to leave a lasting legacy of her experiences and through the character of Tennison. It was a really interesting read.

Buy The Real Prime Suspect at Amazon Uk. Published by Endeavour on 25th August 2022 / £20. Buy at Amazon com. Buy here.

#BlogTour Very Bad People by Patrick Alley

It’s a pleasure to take part in the BlogTour Very Bad People: The Inside Story of the Fight Against the World’s Network of Corruption by Patrick Alley, with a foreword by George Soros. ‘Thrilling corruption exposé by co-founder of Global Witness.’

About the Author

Patrick Alley co-founded Global Witness in 1995 with Charmian Gooch and Simon Taylor. Since then Global Witness has become a global leader in its field. Patrick has taken part in over fifty field investigations in South East Asia, Africa and Europe and in subsequent advocacy activities.

Patrick conceived several of Global Witness’ campaigns and focuses on corruption, conflict resources, forests and land, and environmental defenders. He is a board director of Global Witness and is involved in the organisation’s strategic leadership. Alongside his two co-founders, Patrick received the 2014 Skoll Award for Social Entrepreneurship. Follow @paddy_alley on Twitter, Visit globalwitness.org

About the book

Three friends, Patrick, Charmian and Simon came together in 1993 with a joint obsession with the Cambodian civil war plus a big vision, a collective naivety, a shared anarchy, anger at injustice and a love of a good time. 

Setting up a tiny office above a junk shop in old Clerkenwell, and finding their first laptop in a filing cabinet they salvaged from a skip, they came up with an improbable scheme by which they planned to help bring down the Khmer Rouge by cutting off their funding from the illegal Thai logging trade and thus help bring the war to an end. Going undercover on the Cambodian border, with basic spy equipment, and risking their lives, against all the odds they pulled it off. Global Witness was born.

Global Witness is one of the world’s leading investigative organisations dedicated to rooting out corruption and environmental abuse around the world. Patrick Alley is co-founder of Global Witness and in his book Very Bad People: The Inside Story of the Fight Against the World’s Network of Corruption, Patrick exposes how warlords, kleptocrats, banks and governments work together to maintain a corrupt status quo, with global implications. Part memoir, part exposé, it shows us how the world really works.

Review

I’m not sure how anyone else will feel about this book after reading it, but I went away feeling disappointed at the level of destruction, depravity and greed that cements our world. In equal measures I am incredibly glad there are people like Patrick and his associates who are willing to do their bit to expose, change and throw a spanner in the machinery of these criminals – and make no mistake they are are criminals.

Simultaneously the book also puts quite a few political and historical events into perspective. The manipulations and the true core of certain skirmishes, genocides, conglomerates and heads of country and state, and their offspring – well it is an eye-opener. And if there was any doubt that Global Witness are making a mark – you only have to read the testimonials at the beginning of the book. If you’re declared an enemy of the state by certain ruthless criminal political figures, then you know you’re doing your job.

I think books like these should be part of political science, geography, history and the economic curriculum. Give new generations a true look behind the scenes. I’m sure the majority of people have no idea how few big companies run the world or that behind every conflict of a military nature there are always string-pullers with a hidden agenda. Money, profit, control, power – greed. It’s a fascinating and important read – I highly recommend it.

Buy Very Bad People at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher ‏: ‎Monoray pub date 17 Mar. 2022. Buy at Amazon com.

#BlogTour The Cumbria and Lake District Coast by Kevin Sene

It’s my turn on the BlogTour The Cumbria and Lake District Coast by Kevin Sene.

About the Author

Kevin Sene is a scientist and writer on water and climate themes. The idea for this guide arose from many enjoyable walks and cycle rides along the Cumbrian coast when living in Kendal and Carlisle and an interest in its history and wildlife. He has also written a book on tidal bores and a travel guide to the Mersey Estuary describing places to visit around its Liverpool, Wirral and Cheshire shores. He is a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society and has worked extensively in Europe, Africa and Asia. Follow @meteowriternews on Twitter, Visit meteowriter.com

About the book

The coastline of Cumbria stretches for almost two hundred miles from Morecambe Bay to the Solway Firth and passes through the beautiful Lake District National Park. The Cumbria and Lake District Coast provides suggestions for places to visit along the coast, including picturesque harbours, stately homes, museums and seaside resorts. Readers will also discover less well-known sights such as medieval buildings, lighthouses and stone circles. The Lancashire shores of Morecambe Bay and the Scottish shores of the Solway Firth are included too.

For those interested in the history of the coast, there is an introduction to the role of coastal trade through the centuries. Topics include the Roman coastal defences that once extended to Maryport beyond Hadrian’s Wall, how mining contributed to the growth of ports such as Barrow, Millom and Workington, and the canals that linked ports at Lancaster, Ulverston and Carlisle to the shore.

For wildlife enthusiasts, the book highlights the many nature reserves that dot the shoreline and the varied habitats that are found, such as sand dunes, lowland raised mires and spectacular sea cliffs. There are also tips on watching waterbirds, for which Morecambe Bay and the Solway Firth are famed, and on where to see seals and tidal bores such as the Arnside Bore.

With stunning colour photographs, The Cumbria and Lake District Coast is a must-read for travellers and local residents alike. It will also be of interest to walkers along the England Coast Path, a fabulous new long-distance trail which is due to be completed shortly.

Review

I think books like this have taken a bit of a hit in the last few decades, especially in the era of the internet. Nowadays if you want information or an image of an area or place you would like to visit, you can just use a search engine. Instant results. I can remember using a popular brand name guide book in the late 80s in New York. It’s a completely different experience to hold a book like this in your hands and experience Cumbria and the Lake District.

I also thinks it is the cherry on top of the sundae that the images in the book have been taken by the author himself. The result is authenticity instead of high gloss airbrushed magazine quality. It’s the person aligned with time, place and nature, which will resonate with readers who like to discover new places and indeed rediscover the area they live in.

It’s fairly easy to forget the natural beauty and historical relevance of our surroundings. The majority of us don’t take enough time to appreciate the small things in life. This book gives readers, walkers, explorers and historians the chance to do just that. It’s a detailed, riveting homage to Cumbria and the Lake District. I can only there will be many more.

Buy The Cumbria and Lake District Coast by Kevin Sene at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: Matador – Troubador Publishing. Buy at Amazon com.

#BlogTour The Moon Almanac: A Month-by-Month Guide to the Lunar Year by Judith Hurrell.

It’s a pleasure to take part of the BlogTour The Moon Almanac: A Month-by-Month Guide to the Lunar Year by Judith Hurrell.

‘A beautifully designed guide to the lunar calendar, including poetry, prose and trivia relating to each phase of the moon.’

About the Author

Judith Hurrell is a freelance writer who lives in Buckinghamshire. When she’s not writing, you’ll find her in nature, going on about the sky, the sea, the earth and the trees to her family and dogs. She was inspired to write this book after joining a women’s circle, which meets every month to mark and celebrate the 12 phases of the lunar cycle. Follow @judehurrell on Twitter

About the book

When can you spot the Hunter’s Moon, a Smiling Moon or a Pink Moon? How can the phases of the moon help your garden grow? What influence does the full moon have on hamsters, coral and skylarks?

Navigate the rhythms of the night sky with this evocative collection of poetry, prose and precious wisdom. Illuminating the moon’s influence on the natural world and its depiction in folklore and the arts, The Moon Almanac will open your eyes to the wonders of our brightest celestial neighbour.

Review

When I first picked this up I was already thinking about who I can buy one for, this is the perfect gift for moon worshippers, and anyone curious about the moon in general. It’s a beautiful small hardback with lovely illustrations. Chapters on the moon in female archetypes, sky wolves and demons, moon gardens, the moon and nature or phases of the moon.

How the moon is connected to biological rhythms – to your sleep patterns and your circadian rhythm. The way the moon is linked intrinsically to folklore, mythology, history and is part of our language.

It’s a fascinating homage to the moon, to the myths attached, to the science and physics, and of course the importance it plays in our lives. The moon in religion and folklore. It has been the object of attention for centuries, and I’m guessing nothing will change that any time soon.

It’s a lovely book I wouldn’t hesitate to buy for others or recommend.

Buy The Moon Almanac at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Published by Summersdale in Hardback on 23 August 2021, priced £9.99. Buy at Amazon comBuy at Summersdale.

#BlogTour Courage is Calling: Fortune Favors the Brave by Ryan Holiday

 It’s a pleasure to take part in the BlogTour Courage is Calling: Fortune Favors the Brave by Ryan Holiday. Courage is Calling will be the first in his highly anticipated four book series on the four Stoic virtues.

About the Author

Ryan Holiday is one of the world’s foremost writers on ancient philosophy and its place in everyday life. His books, including The Obstacle Is the Way, Ego Is the Enemy, The Daily Stoic, and the #1 New York Times bestseller Stillness Is the Key have sold millions of copies and been translated into over 40 languages. He lives outside Austin, Texas, with his wife and two boys… and cows and donkeys and goats. Follow @RyanHoliday on Twitter, Visit ryanholiday.net

About the book

Fortune favours the bold. All great leaders of history have known this, and were successful because of the risks they dared to take. But today so many of us are paralysed by fear. 

Drawing on ancient Stoic wisdom and examples across history and around the world, Ryan Holiday shows why courage is so important, and how to cultivate it in our own lives. Courage is not simply physical bravery but also doing the right thing and standing up for what you believe; it’s creativity, generosity and perseverance. And it is the only way to live an extraordinary, fulfilled and effective life. 

Everything in life begins with courage. This book will equip you with the bravery to begin.

Review

The hardcopy of this book is small, compact and beautiful. The kind of book a bookworm collects, so the fact this is the first in a series of four is great news. Courage, Temperance, Justice and Wisdom. Beginning with Courage.

In a time and era where being courageous enough to swim against the current and not toe the line, especially when it usually means the possible loss of status, means and power – it’s not to be lightly dismissed. In a time where we have a term for people who fear to get involved when a crime is committed in front of them, the brave should be acknowledged and not pitied for the consequences of involvement.

Having spent many years talking philosophy, albeit many decades ago when I was younger and less cynical about life and the meaning of it, I group philosophers into certain groups. You have the bog standard historical figures you studied at school or uni, the academics who teach and debate, those who enjoy the thought process regardless of academic status, and the ones who distort the essence of philosophy for fame and financial gain. Sam Harris is one of the last.

Holiday takes the stoic virtue of courage and evaluates it from every angle, both historically and in our present situations. How do we react to acts of courage or treat the person who dares to act with boldness, whilst others don’t? Which emotions does it awaken in us, why do we differentiate when it comes to the why, when and where?

I really enjoyed this. It’s a riveting and engaging read, but it is also food for thought and conversation. In fact I need to think about who I can buy it for in order to discuss the content. I’m looking forward to the rest of the series.

Buy Courage is Calling at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher ‏: ‎Profile Books; pub date 28 Sept. 2021. Buy at Amazon com.

#BlogTour What Lies Buried by Kerry Daynes

It’s my turn on the BlogTour What Lies Buried by Kerry Daynes.

About the Author

Kerry Daynes is a registered Consultant Forensic Psychologist with over twenty years’ experience of working on the frontline of forensic psychology. She was often invited to act as psychological specialist in major police investigations and as a trusted advisor to the British government regarding the safe management of high-risk individuals. 

Part of her day job still involves acting as an expert witness in court, for parole boards and training the police. But rather than feeling compromised and frustrated within the system, she now spends the majority of her time trying to affect change from the outside – as an engaging speaker and as an advocate for better conversations around crime, justice and mental health. She is a patron of the National Centre for Domestic Violence and Talking2Minds and, as a victim of stalking herself, acts as a spokeswoman for the Suzy Lamplugh Trust’s stalking related campaigns.

Kerry is the person the TV networks turn to for expert commentary. Highly respected and known for her knowledgeable but personable delivery and sparky personality, she has contributed to numerous high-profile documentaries. These have been shown on BBC, ITV, C5, The History Channel, Discovery, CBS Reality, The Crime & Investigation Network, BBC International and more. She is also ‘The Profiler’ in the award-nominated series Faking It.

Follow @KerryDaynes on Twitter, Visit kerrydaynes.online

About the book

Kerry Daynes, leading forensic psychologist, takes us into the murky world of psychological investigation to uncover what lies buried. Each of her clients is classed as a ‘mentally disordered criminal offender’ whose psychological problems have contributed to them breaking the law.

Whether she is dealing with a young murderer who says he has heard voices telling him to kill, a teacher who daubs children in red paint and threatens to abduct them, or an aspiring serial killer who faints at the sight of blood, Kerry’s quest is to delve beyond the classic question asked of forensic psychologists: ‘Are they mad or are they bad?’

In her new book, Kerry provides an unflinching, enlightening and provocative insight into the minds of her clients, shedding light on the root causes of their behaviour.

Review

Daynes shines a really bright light on the glaring inadequacies of the justice system, especially when it comes to femicide. The provocation angle seems to be lopsided – oh wait let me rephrase that – it is stacked against women and for men, which is yet another product of a patriarchal society. The hard fought for change in legislation still isn’t adequate enough when the systemic abuse and violation of one gender is ingrained and excused in equal measures in our society.

The truth is that despite changes there are real failings in the system when it comes to violence and abuse against women and children. There can be no real justice if perpetrators are getting slaps on the wrist and go on to reoffend, especially when there is scope for defense in the form of victim blaming. 

I enjoyed The Dark Side of the Mind, but I thought this one really hit a nerve. It made me feel powerless and angry all at the same time – it is a compelling read. I agree that the narrative surrounding mental health has to change, the way health professionals view, deal with, diagnose and engage with mental health. Including rephrasing and perhaps embracing new terminology. I can’t wait for the next book, Daynes lifts the veil on a world hidden beneath many misconceptions.

Buy What Lies Buried at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher ‏: ‎Endeavour pub date 19 Aug. 2021‎. Buy at Amazon com.

#Blogtour Raiders of the Hidden Ark: The Story of the Parker Expedition to Jerusalem by Graham Addison

It’s my turn on the BlogTour Raiders of the Hidden Ark by Graham Addison .

About the Author

Graham Addison – BIO: My first love is history, which is what I obtained my degree in from Leeds University. I am married with two children, who are no longer children, have lived in Scotland and France and now reside in Berkshire in the south of England.

History may be my first love but I have spent the last thirty-five years helping create the modern world. If you love the world of mobile communications, personal computing, spreadsheets, instantly being able to search for any answer in the world and online financial transactions then I played a small part in its creation. If you hate a world in which people spent all their time on their phones, can’t be bothered to remember anything because they can always look it up, you are asked to fill in yet another spreadsheet and can’t deal with an individual because you are always dealing with a computer then I am sorry, it wasn’t all my fault.

A few years ago I decided that wanted to do something different. I came back to my first love and have now written a book, which seeks to shed new flight on an almost forgotten episode. I hope you will enjoy it. Follow @GrahamAddison7 on Twitter, Visit www.grahamaddison.com

About the book

The mystery surrounding the Ark of the Covenant’s location is among the world’s greatest and most enduring. One of the Bible’s most sacred and powerful objects has not been seen for over 2,500 years. The missing Ark has inspired many quests and even a famous film.

Perhaps the most remarkable of the quests to find the Ark is the Parker expedition. Its story seems stranger than fiction and includes aristocrats, poets, psychics, secret cyphers in the Bible, a deadly curse, bribery, gun-running, riots, and madness. It sounds unbelievable but the Parker expedition is real. Rudyard Kipling, who knew several expedition members, wrote ‘Talk of fiction! Fiction isn’t in it’.

Previously untold in English in its entirety, Graham Addison has uncovered many new details during his research. He skilfully weaves these together in the amazing story of the individuals who sailed on a private yacht bound for Jerusalem in 1909 to retrieve the Ark. He examines who the adventurers were, why they went, what really happened while they were in Jerusalem and what happened to them afterwards.

Review

This is the story of the Parker Expedition, an expedition mounted by a peculiar bunch, who weren’t experts per se, but certainly enthusiastic and meticulous in their attempt to find the Ark of the Covenant. From the research, the motives, the dismissive attitude towards the looting of antiquities and the historical importance and legacy of said research – the author covers it all.

I was sceptical about this read in a sense that I thought it would be a tale of religious zealots or passionate historians trying to find a mythical boat. Even now the tale of the Ark inspires many for a multitude of reasons, often spiritual and of course there is the element of infamy plus possible financial gains.

It’s exactly those reasons for the Parker Expedition that the author goes into in details. I can honestly say by the end that Addison had drawn me in hook, line and sinker. I do love a well-researched venture into history, especially when the object in question holds such power in religion, and yet the author gives facts without playing into the aspect of religion other than written references left throughout history.

I found the political and historical implications of the Parker Expedition absolutely fascinating – certainly in regards to the last few decades. Follow the money couldn’t be any more accurate, and of course why said money sources have an invested interest in this particular hotbed area of contention.

Buy Raiders of the Hidden Ark at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher ‏: ‎Edgcumbe Press pub date 13 Aug. 2021. Buy at Amazon com

#BlogTour Clothes… and Other Things that Matter by Alexandra Shulman

 It’s my turn on the BlogTour Clothes…and Other Things that Matter by Alexandra Shulman

About the Author

Alexandra Shulman is a journalist, consultant and commentator. She was Editor-in-Chief of British Vogue from 1992–2017, the magazine’s longest serving editor. She has been Trustee of the National Portrait Gallery and The Royal Marsden Cancer Charity and is an honorary fellow of the University of the Arts. She won 2017 Periodical Publisher’s Association Editor’s Editor Award and The Drapers Award 2017 for Outstanding Contribution to Fashion. 

She is Vice President of The London Library and was awarded the CBE in the 2017 New Year’s Honours List. She has a weekly column in the Mail on Sunday, is a contributor to other national newspapers and has written two novels: Can We Still Be Friends? (2012) and The Parrots (2015). Inside Vogue: The Diary of My 100th Year was published by Fig Tree in October 2016 and sold more than 30,000 copies in hardback and paperback (Nielsen TCM). Alexandra was featured in a three-part primetime BBC series on Vogue’s centenary year in 2016. Follow @AShulman2 on Twitter, 

About the book 

In Clothes… and other things that matter, Alexandra Shulman delves into her own life to look at the emotions, ambitions, expectations and meanings behind the way we dress. From the bra to the bikini, the trench coat to trainers, the slip dress to the suit, she explores their meaning in women’s lives and how our wardrobes intersect with the larger world – the career ladder, motherhood, romance, sexual identity, ambition, failure, body image and celebrity.

By turns funny, refreshingly self-deprecating and often very moving, this startlingly honest memoir from the ex-Editor of British Vogue will encourage women of all ages to consider what their own clothes mean to them, the life they live in them and the stories they tell. Shulman explores the person our clothes allow us to be – and sometimes the person they turn us into.

Review

Not sure how many other bookworms do this, but I often think about who I am going to recommend a book to, both during and after the read. For the majority of books it’s not hard, and I love it when I can introduce someone to a genre or author they might not have ever considered reading. I think this book is more than just a lifetime of experiences or a history of fashion viewed through a leader and influencer in the world of clothes and fashion.

You can feel the awe, emotions and pride Shulman feels when she speaks about certain combinations, outfits, pieces and also accessories, such as bags and jewellery. Then she connects the aforementioned with our sense of self, being, our presence and statement to the world.

It made me think about my own relationship with clothes, which if I am quite honest has been two things – a way to define my individuality and my reluctance to conform to the norm and fashion trends has been a way to cement that over the decades.

At times I thought Shulman never really loosens the reins or lets the public facade slip to reveal the true person behind the incredible lifetime of experiences, which is why it’s a little dry in places and less of a memoir and more of an homage to the beauty of fashion items and accessories. Definitely a memorable read.

Buy Clothes… and Other Things that Matter at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Published by Octopus Books – Cassell, pub date 10 June 2021 | £9.99 | Paperback. Buy at Amazon com.