Major new project about the history of Neurodiversity and Neurodivergent people, funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund

Actually, it’s not that new. I’ve been working on it since mid-August and I thought I had to get it finished by the end of this month. Happily, since I was getting a bit burnt out on the project by the pressure, I have found out I have until 31st December to complete the project and submit the report.

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TBR Pile Review: The Rabbit Factor, by Antti Tuomainen, translated by David Hackston

Hardcover, 300 pages
Published October 28th 2021 by Orenda Books (first published August 19th 2020)
Original Title: Jäniskerroin
ISBN:191319387X (ISBN13: 9781913193874)

An insurance mathematician’s carefully ordered life is turned on its head when he unexpectedly loses his job and inherits an adventure park … with a whole host of problems. A quirky, tense and warmly funny thriller from award-winning Finnish author Antti Tuomainen.

What makes life perfect? Insurance mathematician Henri Koskinen knows the answer because he calculates everything down to the very last decimal.

And then, for the first time, Henri is faced with the incalculable. After suddenly losing his job, Henri inherits an adventure park from his brother – its peculiar employees and troubling financial problems included. The worst of the financial issues appear to originate from big loans taken from criminal quarters … and some dangerous men are very keen to get their money back.

But what Henri really can’t compute is love. In the adventure park, Henri crosses paths with Laura, an artist with a chequered past, and a joie de vivre and erratic lifestyle that bewilders him. As the criminals go to extreme lengths to collect their debts and as Henri’s relationship with Laura deepens, he finds himself faced with situations and emotions that simply cannot be pinned down on his spreadsheets…

Warmly funny, rich with quirky characters and absurd situations, The Rabbit Factor is a triumph of a dark thriller, its tension matched only by its ability to make us rejoice in the beauty and random nature of life.

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Pen & Sword Review: Not So Virtuous Victorians, by Michelle Rosenberg & Sonia D. Picker

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Paperback, 80 pages
Published July 30th 2018 by Pen & Sword Books
ISBN:1526700913 (ISBN13: 9781526700919)

Blurb

What springs to mind when you think of British Victorian men and women? Manners, manners and more manners. Behaviour that was as rigid and constricted as the corsets women wore. From iron-knicker sexual prudery to men so uptight they furtively released their pent up emotions in opium dens and prostitute hot spots. All, of course, exaggerated clichés worthy of a Victorian melodrama. Each generation loves to think it is better than the last and loves to look aghast at the horrifying trends of their ancestors. But are we really any different?

This glimpse at life for Victorian men and women might make millennials think again. Men and women were expected to live very differently from one another with clearly defined roles regardless of class. However, lift the skirts a little and not only will you see that they didn’t wear knickers but they were far less repressed than the persistent stereotypes would have us believe. The Victorians were as weird and wonderful as we are today. From fatal beauty tips to truly hysterical cures for hysteria to grave robbers playing skittles with human bones, we have cherry picked some of the more entertaining glimpses into the lives led by our Victorian brothers and sisters.

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Audiobook Review: The Bone Shard Emperor, by Andrea Stewart

Narrated by Natalie Naudus, Feodor Chin and Emily Woo Zeller

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Audible Audio, Unabridged,
Published November 23rd 2021 by Orbit

In ‘THE BONE SHARD EMPEROR’, book two in the action-packed magical fantasy The Drowning Empire series, a heroine at the head of a powerful empire confronts a raging battle as she’s forced to do whatever it takes to restore peace.

The Emperor is Dead. Long live the Emperor.

Lin Sukai finally sits on the throne she won at so much cost, but her struggles are only just beginning. Her people don’t trust her. Her political alliances are weak. And in the northeast of the Empire, a rebel army of constructs is gathering, its leader determined to take the throne by force.

Yet an even greater threat is on the horizon, for the Alanga – the powerful magicians of legend – have returned to the Empire. They claim they come in peace, and Lin will need their help to defeat the rebels and restore order.

But can she trust them?

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Review: Unhinged, by Jørn Lier Horst and Thomas Enger, Translated by Megan Turney

His colleague is dead. His daughter may be next. It’s time to do things his way…

Two of Nordic Noir’s most accomplished writers return with the explosive, staggeringly complex and unbearably emotive third instalment in the international bestselling Blix & Ramm series.

When police investigator Sofia Kovic uncovers a startling connection between several Oslo cases, she attempts to contact her closest superior, Alexander Blix, before involving anyone else in the department. But before Blix has time to return her call, Kovic is shot and killed in her own home – execution style. And in the apartment below, Blix’s daughter Iselin narrowly escapes becoming the killer’s next victim.

Four days later, Blix and online crime journalist Emma Ramm are locked inside an interrogation room, facing the National Criminal Investigation Service. Blix has shot and killed a man, and Ramm saw it all happen.
As Iselin’s life hangs in the balance, under-fire Blix no longer knows who he can trust, and he’s not even certain that he’s killed the right man…

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Review: The Island of Animaux, by Milo McGivern

Blurb 

Imagine an island that shouldn’t exist. A very strange place that has never been discovered by humans and that is populated only by speaking animals, very few of whom know about the bigger world beyond. An island that somehow changes its position on the planet each day, to prevent it from being found. Welcome to the Island of Animaux!

And welcome to five different but connected tales of Aubrey the Turkey and his pals. Stories of all shapes and sizes, with large slices of fun and even bigger portions of naughtiness. See Aubrey get his comeuppance at the fair, have a disaster when he tries to open a zoo, visit a vampire and stumble across Clifford Platypus, try to win a singing competition and then fall madly in love, at least until Walli Hog arrives. See Georgina the Goat despair at Aubrey’s behaviour. Watch as Wesley the Weasel makes the turkey an offer he shouldn’t refuse. See Clifford have fun in making Aubrey do terrible things. And join in with Aubrey and Clifford as they are mesmerised by Walli’s tale of her lucky escape.

Please enjoy the stories. And don’t be afraid to laugh, particularly at Aubrey’s expense. But please, please, please – remember to keep the latest position of the island top secret!

Author Bio


Milo McGivern is the writing name for Steve Humphries. Steve has spent many years working in finance. He has travelled extensively although is most happy when he is at home in Berkshire. Steve enjoys casual story writing and the Aubrey the Turkey tales were first imagined over 30 years ago. ‘The Island of Animaux’ is the first book in the ‘Tales from Animaux’ series.  It was followed by ‘Monsieur Le Chef’ and ‘A Surprise Party’.

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