Books Monthly August 2015 Best Summer Reads!

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A superb collection of new crime blockbusters - and Skin, for the summer...

 

 

Hester Van Overbeek: Furniture Hacks

Published by Cico Books, hardback, 13th August 2015

 

Discover how to update and repurpose homeware and furniture for an effortlessly chic home. Nowadays, it is easy to find affordable furniture for your home from chain stores, but those pieces can lack character. This is where furniture hacking comes in - updating, repurposing and personalising to create stylish, unique masterpieces. Here, Hester van Overbeek shows you 35 ways to update your home accessories, soft furnishings and even wooden furniture, all with step-by-step photos to guide you along the way. Projects range from simpler ideas, such as a table made from stacked old magazines or a patchwork rug, created by sewing small inexpensive mats together, to ways to create larger pieces for a fraction of the price it would cost to buy them new. Discover how to make your own four-poster bed by combining a budget bed base and pieces of reclaimed wood, or convert a bookcase into a sideboard. There are five chapters - Living Room, Kitchen and Dining Room, Bedroom, Home Office, and Outdoor Space - and each one includes an instant update idea for beginner upcyclers, too. Why not paint cutlery handles with nail polish to update them, or make your own bedside light simply using a shelf support? Hester's philosophy is that you don't need much money or many DIY skills to make your house into a cosy, stylish home. With the right inspiration, you can create something beautiful.

More about this book on the nonfiction page...

 

 

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This month is extraordinarily strong for crime fiction, with the paperback of THIN AIR from Ann Cleeves in her Shetland series - just in time for the new TV series which starts very soon; also the latest VERA STANHOPE book, THE MOTH CATCHER, is out in September. Val McDermid has a new Tony Hill and Carol Jordan book out, SPLINTER THE SILENCE, and Peter Robinson pitches in with NO CURE FOR LOVE, a Detective Arvo Hughes of LAPD set in the 1990s, while Sophie Hannah's new psychological crime thriller, A GAME FOR ALL THE FAMILY and Lin Anderson's creepy thriller THE SPECIAL DEAD are both out mid-August - a very strong month indeed - enough to please the crime buffs amongst us! But my book of the month in terms of what has given me the most pleasure to read, is Ilka Tampke's extraordinary fantasy/historical novel SKIN. I love anything to do with Celtic Britain, and this one has class stamped all over it. Read about it on the Fantasy and Science Fiction page...

 

Post-Election Comment:

In breathtaking style, David Cameron and his tory Nazis have put into action three things which are directly against the will of the British people and Parliament. The most recent crime committed by the most right-wing government in the history of our parliament, was to authorise air raids by British RAF pilots against ISIS in Syria, something that was defeated in parliament two years ago. "I get it," Cameron said at the time, but he clearly doesn't get it. It is not the will of Parliament that this should happen, yet today (18th July) it was announced that these air strikes would continue.

 

Secondly, Fox-hunting. More than 80% of the population are opposed to this barbaric practice, yet he tried to sneak in an amendment to the ban by the back door, a move that was defeated because the SNP said they would vote against it. Cowardly Cameron withdrew the proposed amendment, knowing he couldn't win. Anyone who takes pleasure in inflicting pain on any animal is nothing short of a psychopath; for me, this includes fishing, shooting, hare-coursing, badger-baiting, and trapping.

 

Thirdly, his cabinet, having promised their evil media friends they would "tame" the BBC, have embarked on a programme of interfering with the people's broadcaster. We pay the licence fee, not the government. The BBC should be free of any political interference, and the BBC Trust should be free to govern the BBC. No one else. This is more or less how broadcasting in North Korea is controlled - by the state, and it's not acceptable in the UK, the cradle of democracy. The BBC is a beacon of light in a world of dire commercial television dominated by evil Murdoch - don't let the Nasty Party interfere with it - please!

 

With a labour party in complete disarray, a stand-in leader (Harman) who represents all that is wrong about the labour party, advocating Tory light policies, there is only Jeremy Corbyn who can effectively voice the labour party's socialist heritage. If the right-wing labourites don't like the way things are going, they should cross the floor. We don't want them. We (those of us who are real socialists) want true socialist policies for right-thinking people with a social conscience.

 

The disarray in the Labour Party continues... Harriet Harman is so completely out of touch with the core labour vote, it's hardly surprising she faced calls to "cross the floor" and join the tories. The point is this: chasing votes in order to become elected is wrong. That's what destroyed the LibDems and will hopefully continue to destroy them until they've disappeared altogether of the face of the Earth. You don't support what the tories are doing because that's the only way to get elected. No one will understand that. You support the tories only if they do something right, and that's not going to happen in our lifetime - they are fundamentally wrong, fundamentally evil, fundamentally psychopathic. Support for the Labour Party began to evaporate when it became clear that Tony Blair was going to pursue essentially right-wing policies. Labour voters are notorious for not turning out to vote, especially if they don't have a reason to, and that's what happened in 2015. There was nothing to vote for, they weren't represented by Milliband's tory-light policies. A lurch to the left might not win the next election, but the opposition would be real and genuine and might lead to the anti-austerity movement finally gaining ground. It's time we took our country back... the assets the tories are selling off belong to us. Less than 30% of the electorate voted for them in 2015 - they have no mandate for it, no right to sell off what we have paid for, what is our property!

 

Stop Press: More than a dozen books have arrived in the last couple of days - I simply don't have time to include them in this issue, but there are some splendid titles to come in the next issue; here's a taste of what's coming in September, starting with the amazing new book, The Making of Stanley Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey, which is published on 25th August, and will be my lead title for the September issue:

 

 

 

 

 

Paul Norman

Editor, publisher and author...

The small print: Books Monthly, now in its eighteenth year on the web, is published on or slightly before the first day of each month by me, Paul Norman. You can contact me here. If you wish to submit something for publication in the magazine, let me remind you there is no payment as I don't make any money from it, it's free. If you want to send me something to review, contact me via email and I'll let you know where to send it.

 

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