Wednesday 29 January 2020

Book Review: Codebreakers and Spies by Michael Smith

Last Updated: 12 October 2021

Codebreakers and Spies by Michael Smith book cover

AD* | Codebreakers and Spies tells the astonishing story of how Britain's intelligence operatives, experts and special operations teams contributed to the Allies' victory in the Second World War. The work of the Bletchley Park codebreakers in breaking the German Enigma cypher is estimated to have cut the length of the war by around two years, saving countless lives, while the Double Cross system, in which German secret agents were 'turned' by the British to feed their Nazi agent-runners with false information, ensured the success of the D-Day landings.

Codebreakers and Spies not only reveals new details about these remarkable operations but also tells the compelling story of how MI6 turned the disaster of lost networks across Europe into triumph. The stories range from extraordinarily courageous to bizarre, with desperation driving the intelligence services to recruit astrologers and even a stage magician to help retrieve intelligence and allied aircrew from of Nazi-occupied Europe. Intelligence historian Michael Smith thrillingly recounts the daring and often moving lives of the heroes and heroines who risked their lives for victory.

Monday 27 January 2020

5 Reasons Why Thor is the Best Avenger


Marvel comics have been around since 1939 and the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) now features 23 films, a global fanbase, and a whole host of unique characters. With so many characters across all those movies, how can you possibly pick out a favourite?

For me, the answer was simple. Look to the Avengers, arguably the MCU's biggest success story, and then go from there! Now that the universe has drawn to a natural conclusion following on from the events of Avengers: Endgame, it only felt right for me to look back and reflect on the film series that accompanied me through my teenage years and into adulthood.

Thor has always been my favourite Avenger - here's why.

Wednesday 22 January 2020

Book Review: The Sherlock Holmes Handbook for the Digital Age by Alan Pearce

Last Updated: 12 October 2021

The Sherlock Holmes Handbook for the Digital Age by Alan Pearce book cover

AD* | Sherlock Holmes is the greatest detective of all time. He is driven to right the wrongs of the world. It is only natural that he should turn his attention to the Internet.

Luckily, Holmes has all the right answers. This is a cyber-security and digital counter-surveillance handbook like no other.

Our two heroes embark on a perilous journey to the Dark Side learning along the way to avoid the traps laid by their adversaries – the State, the Corporate Giants and the Criminals and Insane.

From self-destructing messages to anonymous browsing, we visit alternative Internets and discover how to employ the Dark Arts for the power of good.

This is a Call to Arms. The time has come to reclaim the Internet from the commercial interests, the scammers and the surveillance state. And – as Sherlock Holmes clearly demonstrates – it is really simplicity itself.

Wednesday 15 January 2020

Book Review: The Tudors by Siobhan Clarke and Linda Collins

Last Updated: 12 October 2021

The Tudors by Siobhan Clarke and Linda Collins book cover

AD* | Beginning on the bloody battlefield of Bosworth, when Henry Tudor seized the crown of England and ended the Wars of the Roses, The Tudors contains stories and characters that have fascinated readers for centuries. The Tudor age gave us Henry VIII, famous for his six marriages and for breaking from Rome; 'Bloody Mary' and her attempt to return England to the Catholic fold; and Elizabeth I, 'Gloriana,' who reigned in a new era of discovery and innovation.

Illustrated with contemporary artworks, photographs and documents The Tudors tells the public and private story of England's most famous royal family and the England they ruled.

Friday 10 January 2020

5 New Year's Resolutions for 2020

Last Updated: 5 September 2020
January 2020 calendar

It may be a cliche, but New Year's resolutions are a great way to encourage many people to actively make a difference and commit to changing their lives in a positive way. While, admittedly, many do fail their resolutions early on in the year, others are persistent and manage to break bad habits, set new ones, and make lasting changes to their lives and routines.

Realistically achievable New Year's resolutions are a must - especially if you want to avoid setting yourself up to fail. Break big goals down into more manageable targets and don't be afraid to try something new or tackle those things you've always wanted to do or keep putting off. After all, 2020 marks the start of not just a new year but a new decade too - the perfect opportunity to make a positive difference in your life!

Wednesday 8 January 2020

Book Review: Tales of Old Northamptonshire by Marian Pipe

Last Updated: 12 October 2021

Tales of Old Northamptonshire by Marian Pipe book cover

This book presents an illustrated collection of stories from Northamptonshire's past, full of humour, romance and drama, retold by well-known local author Marian Pipe.

Monday 6 January 2020

5 Books I Want to Read in 2020

the writing greyhound bookshelves

After (just!) managing to reach my goal of reading 50 books in 2019, I've already started to look ahead to all the books I plan on reading in 2020. I found my reading mojo again last year and I'm hoping that with the right books and setting aside dedicated reading time throughout the week, I will be able to carry my successful reading streak through into the new decade!

So, from my towering tbr pile and the stacks of books waiting to be read, which five have made it onto my to-read list for 2020?