Review: ‘How English became English’ by Simon Horobin

How English Became English
A Short History of a Global Language

Simon Horobin


Published by: Oxford University Press                                                                                                                       Publications date: 28th January 2016                                                                                                                       Edition: Hardback                                                                                                                                                             ISBN: 9780198754275                                                                                                                                                     Price: £10.99

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Review: ‘Benjamin Franklin in London’ by George Goodwin

Benjamin Franklin in London: The British Life of America’s Founding Father

George Goodwin

Publication Date: 16th February 2016
Edition: Hardcover
ISBN: 9780300220247
Price: $32.50


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Review: ‘Battling the Gods: Atheism in the Ancient World’ by Tim Whitmarsh

Battling the Gods

Atheism in the Ancient World

by Tim Whitmarsh

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Review: ‘Witches Protection Program’ by Michael Phillip Cash


Chelshire Inc.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       Independent Book Publishers Association (IBPA), Members’ Titles                                                                                                                                                                      Published: 14th May 2015                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Paperback                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    ISBN:9781511411349  
 Witches Protection Program is filled with adventure & suspense Michael Phillip Cash creates a tongue-in-cheek alternate reality where witches cast spells and wreak havoc in modern day New York City.

Michael Phillip Cash is an award winning and best selling author of horror, paranormal, and science fiction novels. Michael currently resides on Long Island with his wife and children.

My Review

Firstly, the plot; it has a great deal of potential and could be extended from this novella in to a full novel or even a series. I was disappointed with certain aspects – such as the explanation for Bernadette’s great conspiracy, and the reason Wes lost his original position. They just weren’t ambitious enough. If that was all I wouldn’t be too bothered but the insistent and weakly developed romantic plot irritated me.

Secondly the writing: not bad, although tension would drop in all the wrong places.

Characters: All the men are heroes of one sort or another, and all the women are horrible (either physically or psychologically) or weak. Returning to Bernadette, all her actions are predicated on the assumption that the romantic rejection by her sister’s husband would make her hate all men and want to lock them up in internment camps. Or Scarlett, who’s jealousy of Morgan should somehow drive her mad with power lust. It all tickled at something, and then I realised what it was. Straw-feminist arguments advanced by misogynists include ‘feminists hate men’, ‘women hate each other’, and ‘women compete for male attention’; I’m sure the author isn’t a misogynist, but his book read like an MRA fantasy, complete with the handsome white man coming in to save the day and get the, equally white, younger, pretty girl.

I really hope that is the ‘tongue-in-cheek’ aspect of the book.

Overall, I was underwhelmed by this book, although the idea itself has a lot of potential.


New Year’s Reflections

Good morning and happy new year.

It’s that time of year again when people make all sorts of resolutions to change their behaviour, usually in some superficial way, for the coming year. As usual, I am refusing to play along. It’s still winter(and will be for another few months), I’m in hibernation mode, so instead of making resolutions I’m reflecting on the past year and considering what I’ve learnt.

This year has been a struggle with my mental health conditions and with financial instability. I think I’ve come to the new year slightly stronger than I was a year ago. I can deal with household crises if I have a bit of back up when I have to deal with companies (thanks Elaine and Dad), and I can make my money stretch to cover the odd treat as well as the bills. I’m still struggling with social interaction. Parties and crowds overwhelm me, too much noise feels like it’s worming it’s way in to my head. I have coping strategies now though and I can apply them. I just have to remember to. I’m remembering to eat regularly and take my medication, most of the time, and I try to not go too many days without leaving the house.

I’ve learnt that there are certain things I need to do to maintain my mental health, boundaries I need to maintain and thoughts I have to question. Just because my mind is telling me my friends are ignoring me and that I’ve been abandoned, (In have massive problems with feeling abandoned by people and always have – there is nothing rational about this) that doesn’t make it real. Just because my brain is telling me I’m an inconvenience to everyone, that doesn’t make it true. I need to express how I feel rather than bottling it up and then exploding with irrational rage. Saying ‘you hurt me when you do/say/etc. this’ is not more trouble than it’s worth. People aren’t going to stop loving me because I’m being honest (and most of them are used to my randomness anyway).

I’ve learnt that I can survive pretty much anything, because I have gone through a lot in the last few years and yet, despite coming close on occasion, I am still alive. I have a job and friends, a supportive family and my meds. This year will be better than last, I’m determined that it will.

Happy New Year