contemporary · Medical · Non-Fiction · Short Stories

Dear Nhs; 100 Stories to say Thank You Edited by Adam Kay ★★★★★

Blurb; Created and edited by Adam Kay (author of multi-million best seller ‘This is Going to Hurt’), ‘DEAR NHS’ features household names telling their personal stories of the health service. Contributors include Joanna Lumley, Naomie Harris, Kate Tempest, Lee Child, Tanni Grey Thomson, Bill Bryson, Trevor McDonald, Jack Whitehall, Michael Palin, Stanley Tucci and many, many more.

All profits from this book will go to NHS Charities Together to fund vital research and projects and the Lullaby Trust which supports parents bereaved of babies and young children.

The NHS is our single greatest achievement as a country. No matter who you are, no matter what your health needs are and no matter how much money you have, the NHS is there for you. In ‘DEAR NHS’, 100 inspirational people come together to share their stories of how the National Health Service has been there for them and changed their lives in the process. By turns deeply moving, hilarious, hopeful and impassioned, these stories together become a love letter to the NHS and the 1.4 million people who go above and beyond the call of duty every single day – selflessly, generously, putting others before themselves, never more so than now.

They are all heroes, and this book is our way of saying thank you.

This audiobook features readings by: Mary Beard, Bill Bryson, Lee Child, Richard Coles, Tanni Grey-Thompson, Mark Haddon, Naomie Harris, Si King, Joanna Lumley, Alexander McCall Smith, Trevor McDonald, Michael Palin, Kate Tempest, Stanley Tucci, K.T. Tunstall, Jack Whitehall, Jacqueline Wilson, Benjamin Zephaniah and many more.

A minimum of £1.61 from the sale of each book will be paid to NHS Charities Together and £0.08 will be paid to the Lullaby Trust.

My Review; This was amazing and it raises money for the NHS too so double win. It is a new release to tie in with the pandemic we have all and are currently experiencing. Inside contains 100 short stories from our favourite authors, celebs, musicians, chefs and comedians. These range from hilarious out of this world stories, heart breaking stories, deaths, births and honest everyday stories. We get a full range and all contain a thank you message within. There are also some beautiful poems within too. It really is a beautiful read put together by Adam Kay.

The thing that stood out to me and was mentioned a lot of time in this book is the amazement of the NHS staff and how it is all free. Just makes you go wow doesn’t it? The heart of the UK. The NHS. Highly recommend. A well deserved five stars from me I’d give more if I could and a huge thank you to everyone working in our NHS. Keep going soldiers.

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Emotional · horror · Non-Fiction

The Family Next Door – John Glatt ★★★★★

Blurb; On January 14, 2018, a seventeen-year-old girl climbed out of the window of her Perris, California home and dialed 911 with shaking fingers. Struggling to stay calm, she told the operator that she and her 12 siblings–ranging in age from 2 to 29–were being abused by their parents. When the dispatcher asked for her address, the girl hesitated. “I’ve never been out,” she stammered.

To their family, neighbors, and online friends, Louise and David Turpin presented a picture of domestic bliss: dressing their thirteen children in matching outfits and buying them expensive gifts. But what police discovered when they entered the Turpin family home would eclipse the most shocking child abuse cases in history. For years, David and Louise had kept their children in increasing isolation, trapping them in a sinister world of torture, abuse, and near starvation.

In the first major account of the case, investigative journalist and author John Glatt delves into the disturbing details and recounts the bravery of the thirteen siblings in the face of unimaginable horror.

My Review; Now I must admit this book took me a while to read because I kept putting it down and reminding myself this is real, this happened and recently too. It made me tear up several times to read what happened to those thirteen children is unimaginable. Abusive. Dark. Horror. Twisted. Sick. Disturbing. The stuff of nightmares. It makes me so angry and feel sick. Not an easy read at all.

The whole family was nocturnal which leads to how they got away with it for so long. One bath a year for each child. Starved with only one meal a day. Chained up as punishment and beaten daily. It’s just awful. Cannot make this up. The parents portrayed two different lives their online bragging, happy family home and lifestyle then the offline darkest family life. Non of the children had access to education.

There was a history of family abuse (sexual) but that did not give them the right to do what they did the poor children. A heartbreaking read. John has not missed anything out of this book it has been throughally researched and presented to us. It feels wrong to give this story stars but I would give it all the stars not for the enjoyment cause its not a book to enjoy at all. But for the research, the time and indepth look into this case.

I wish all the thirteen children well, 2 years later. There story can never be forgotton and I hope they have all found peace and are enjoying their new lives.

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crime · Non-Fiction · Prison story

34 Years in Hell: My Time Inside America’s Toughest Prisons – Jamie Morgan Kane ★★★★

Blurb; In July 1983 James Morgan Kane returned home in the evening to find a corpse in his living room. Fearing that he would be blamed and sensing that his wife was somehow involved, he wanted to do all to protect his young family. Jamie worked through the night to dispose of the body all the while disbelieving the situation he found himself in. His luck ran out days later as he was arrested and sentenced to 13 years in prison. Jamie entered the U.S. prison system and was to stay there for 34 years with stints in San Quentin, Folsom State Prison and the notorious Deuel Vocational Institution (DVI) in California. He would rub shoulders with some of the world’s most infamous serial killers such as Charles Manson, Edmund Kemper, Charles Tex Watson and Herbie Mullin as well as gangs such as the Aryan Brotherhood and Mexican cartels. This book tells of his time: locked up with no hope of release, living the brutality of the unforgiving penitentiary system and finding his new purpose in life, as well as tales of his many run-ins with some of the world’s most dangerous inmates.

My Review; This is a non-fiction, real life story. It starts off more a biography of his life before the arrest and prison. He hasn’t had an easy childhood at all. Then we move on to the arrest and prison side to the story. If you’ve been following my blog a while you will know prison interests me so I love to read them and the stories within them. They’re intriguing to me.

Throughout reading this I really felt sorry for Jamie. What a brave, strong and determined man. He was moved between so many prisons in the 34 years and denied bail so many times, but he never gave up and I applaud him for that. He experienced many fights and battles along the way. It all paid off in the end. The ending we all wanted and needed. A story to tell. He hasnt let it effect his freedom now, instead after his release in 2018 he decided to share his story with us all.

I think America has a huge problem with their prison system that needs to be looked into further. An eye-opening, real read! Well deserverd four stars from me. Highly recommend. What a man. What a story.

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