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Tuesday, 26 April 2016

Girls' Weekend by Cara Sue Achterberg

(I received the Kindle version of this book, free of charge, from Netgalley in return for an honest independent review.)

Which character do you relate to?                                           My rating: 4 out of 5
Publication Date:  3 May 2016

A great story about Dani, Charlotte and Meg who decide to have a Girls' Weekend away by the sea, leaving behind their husbands and children. However when it is time to return they all decide that just a weekend is not enough.

If you have ever thought about "running away" from your home and family, think it's time to re-invent yourself, or re-discover the real you, then read this first. As Dani, Charlotte and Meg consider the way their lives have turned out, and whether they have any right to be unhappy about it, so they discover that the lives of their closest friends are not quite as they thought.

This is not always a comfortable read, but it is very real and completely engrossing. Reading it on Kindle I did not realise how near the end was, and was horrified to "turn a page" and find the Acknowledgements. Not because the story wasn't finished, it was, but because I was so involved in the three lives that I couldn't believe there was no more. I wonder what Dani, Charlotte and Meg are doing today.

"There are no mistakes, only lessons to be learned" Cara Sue Achterberg

Monday, 18 April 2016

Into the Black: The Extraordinary Untold Story of the First Flight of the Space Shuttle Columbia and the Astronauts Who Flew Her by Rowland White

(I received the Kindle version of this book, free of charge, from Netgalley in return for an honest independent review.)

The Excitement of Space Exploration                                 My rating: 5 out of 5

This exciting, and very readable, book takes the reader from the 1960s first ventures into space, through the creation of an early balsawood and paper model design for a space plane capable of returning to earth, to the first space shuttle launch in 1981 and right on up to the 2003 Columbia disaster. It gives all the background into space travel including why getting a man on the moon was so important. The reader is taken through the Apollo missions and through all preparation of the astronauts and the space shuttle before launch the 1981 launch of Space Shuttle Columbia.

Rowland White has included all the exciting parts of space history - and there's a lot of them, and skipped all the boring parts - or maybe his writing is just so good that it seems like that. This book is perfect for everyone who has ever watched a blast off into space, and wondered what happened before, and after, that moment, and of course is great reading for any aspiring astronauts. No need for an engineering, science or mathematical background to enjoy this book, it is gripping, with heart stopping moments. At the end of the book is a glossary of terms - which I never needed to refer to, due to the clarity of the writing, plus excellent diagrams and a great list of resources for further information.

The book took longer to read than I had anticipated, as I kept breaking off to google films of the events taking place and pictures of the people and locations involved. I have learnt so much, and been so fascinated by this book. In particular how brave the astronauts are; I had no ideas of the difficulties, and dangers, involved in getting a space shuttle into space.

An action packed history book - fantastic. Get yourself a copy, and give a friend one too.