Blogs

Let's Start Again Book Out Now!

The wonderful wilkybarkid has put together a book of all the entries from our last 'Let's Start Again' competition. It's available, price £5.99, from: http://www.lulu.com/content/paperback-book/lets-start-again/11965815 I do hope that many of you will take this opportunity to buy a little bit of history - and see yourself in print! Many many thanks go to wilky for his sterling efforts on all of our behalfs.

The future of welfare BBC 2

John Humphries begins with a very simple story. When he was young, and I’d put him about mid 70s, everyone worked. The Beveridge Report for the reform of the welfare state was based on that premise. Humphrey went back to his old mid-terrace house, working class-respectable- to get an overview of this notion. He pointed out the house of an old neighbour to a woman that lived across the road. She agreed the man hadn’t worked and it was thought a...

Ralph is (not) a vampire or a spy

There's two great new books for kids illustrated by ABCtaler El Ashfield and written by Corinne Davies. They follow on from the magnificent Ralph is (not) a Superhero and follow much the same format. Written in rhyming couplets they trace the adventures of 8 year old nerd Ralph as he survives the pitfalls of school, ignominy and his elder sister and her friends. In 'Vampire' Ralph is fooled into going to sister's groovy party in fancy dress when...

Chelsey Flood signs major book deal

Just to let you all know that long term member Chelsey Flood has signed a major book deal with Simon and Schuster (and Arena in Germany). She's gone with them after an auction in the UK and Germany. The provisional title of the book is Silverweed and it is hoped it will be out in early 2013. You see - it does pay to be an ABCtales member! Congratulations to Chelsey, Tony Cook

BloodMining by Laura Wilkinson

A review by Tony Cook: Let me begin by stating quite clearly and unequivocably that I like this book. I thoroughly enjoyed reading it, I found the characters realistic and engaging, the storyline compelling and the writing direct and lean. BloodMining is divided into three sections. The first and third sections are set in the future Britain of around 2050 after a devastating plague has wiped out swathes of the population, the middle section is...

Harper Lee (1960) [2010] To Kill a Mockingbird.

Every word is placed down in sentences that sing and paragraphs that burn and pages that brand themselves into your mind. Pitch perfect the action unfolds at the pace of ‘bony mules hitched to Hoover carts…slowly, but sure-footedly it builds up into a crescendo and just when you thought it was finished another flash of brilliance carries you that extra page. Scout, the narrator, Atticus her father, Jem her brother and friend Dill, dance like...

The Body Farm BBC1 9pm

The Body Farm BBC 1 9pm. Forensic science is the new hairdressing and beautician kind of thing everybody kinda knows about and wants to do. We can’t all be Kathy Reichs, or the English version, Patricia Cornwall. The body farm is, as far as I can remember, a place in the US, where human bodies were left to rot, be eaten by insects and grow into the soil like any other piece of meat to see what kind of patterns emerged. With the added use of DNA...

Australia

Australia is a country, a short arsed continent and now a movie! Baz Luhmann’s (2008) epic Australia, starring Nicole Kidman as Nicole Kidman and Hugh Jackman as ‘The Drover’. Epic means, of course, it takes a longer time to get to Australia, than watch the actual movie, give or take the odd 15 or 16 hours. I didn’t have that kind of time frame, so I watched the first half hour before the ad break on Film 4. Australia had a cartoon feel as if it...

Buddha in Suburbia

Buddha in Suburbia BBC 2 7pm, but only in England. BBC 2 Scotland had Dad’s Army, you know that programme they put on when they think nobody is going to watch this, so we’ll put it on, anyway. Buddha in Suburbia was, however, well worth watching. Not many families have the eleventh Lelung Rimpoche, one of Tibet’s three highest Lamas, living in Ruslip, in their garden shed. The Dusek’s have. It beats having a tortoise, but, of course, there are...

The Whistleblower (2011)

Whistleblower starring, you guessed it, Rachel Weiz. A whistleblower is someone who informs the public or tells someone in authority about dishonest or illegal activity (lawyers always put in alleged before dishonest/illegal) that has occurred, or is occurring in a Government department, a public or private organisation, or a company. What Whistleblower shows are there is no real distinction between any of these categories. The corporation is...

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