I Call Myself a Feminist blogtour review

feminist book coverI Call Myself a Feminist blog tour

I am pleased to be involved in the blogtour to promote I Call Myself a Feminist.  I Call Myself a Feminist is available now in ebook format and paperback format, publisher Virago.

To buy link:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Call-Myself-Feminist-Twenty-Five-Thirty/dp/0349006555/ref=tmm_pap_title_0?ie=UTF8&qid=1447678549&sr=1-1

Product Details (as per amazon page)

Is feminism still a dirty word? We asked twenty-five of the brightest, funniest, bravest young women what being a feminist in 2015 means to them.
We hear from Laura Bates (of the Everyday Sexism Project), Reni Eddo-Lodge (award-winning journalist and author), Yas Necati (an eighteen-year-old activist), Laura Pankhurst, great-great granddaughter of Emmeline Pankhurst and an activist in her own right, comedian Sofie Hagen, engineer Naomi Mitchison and Louise O’Neill, author of the award-winning feminist Young Adult novel Only Ever Yours. Writing about a huge variety of subjects, we have Martha Mosse on how she became a feminist, Alice Stride on sexism in language, Amy Annette addressing the body politic and Samira Shackle on having her eyes opened in a hostel for survivors of acid attacks in Islamabad, while Maysa Haque thinks about the way Islam has informed her feminism and Isabel Adomakoh Young insists that women don’t have to be perfect. There are twelve other performers, politicians and writers who include Jade Anouka, Emily Benn, Abigail Matson-Phippard, Hajar Wright and Jinan Younis.
Is the word feminist still to be shunned? Is feminism still thought of as anti-men rather than pro-human? Is this generation of feminists – outspoken, funny and focused – the best we’ve had for long while? Has the internet given them a voice and power previously unknown?

Rachel Holmes’ most recent book is Eleanor Marx: A Life; Victoria Pepe is a literary scout; Amy Annette is a comedy producer currently working on festivals including Latitude; Alice Stride works for Women’s Aid and Martha Mosse is a freelance producer and artist.

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I’d like to thank the publishers for an arc in return for an honest review.

I found this book which is a collection of quotes and thoughts from 25 young women quite informative and interesting.  The 25 women came from very different backgrounds, we had journalists, activists, authors, comedians.  Reading about how Emily Benn, politician, writer and granddaughter to the late Labour MP Tony Benn, was perceived and treated by her peers was enlightening.

The individual quotes interspersed between the thoughts of the young women were great, a couple I liked were:

“The F-word is Fairness.” (Kate Mosse)

“In my understanding, the women’s movement is first and foremost about memory. It is about remembering the women who lived, who struggled, works and loved before us, including those we have never heard about.” (Elif Shafak)

I believe anyone whether they are male or female, young or old, is capable of doing any job and the person that is employed to do that job should be the one that proves the most accomplished. We should all be judged on our merits and strengths not on any preconceived idea …

The Temporary Bride by Jennifer Klinec book review

the temporary bride

The Temporary Bride by Jennifer Klinec, published by Virago, is available now in ebook format and audio download and is due out in paperback THIS WEEK on the 3rd September 2015.

To buy links:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Temporary-Bride-Memoir-Love-Food-ebook/dp/B00IA2E4W0/ref=tmm_kin_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1441006417&sr=1-1

Product Details (as per amazon page)

A relationship was a mathematical formula: the correct variables of age, beauty, morality and finances were entered and the output was a successful, peaceful marriage. It couldn’t be, therefore, that their Iranian son could feel desire for someone six years his senior, someone who didn’t come to him pure and untouched. I was an amusing visitor from another world and soon enough I should return to it, fading quietly into an anecdote …

In her thirties, Jennifer Klinec abandons a corporate job to launch a cooking school from her London flat. Raised in Canada to Hungarian-Croatian parents, she has already travelled to countries most people are fearful of, in search of ancient recipes. Her quest leads her to Iran where, hair discreetly covered and eyes modest, she is introduced to a local woman who will teach her the secrets of the Persian kitchen.

Vahid, her son, is suspicious of the strange foreigner who turns up in his mother’s kitchen; he is unused to seeing an independent woman. But a compelling attraction pulls them together and then pits them against harsh Iranian laws and customs.

Getting under the skin of one of the most complex and fascinating nations on earth, The Temporary Bride is a soaring story of being loved, being fed, and the struggle to belong.

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I’d like to thank the publishers for an arc in return for an honest review.

Jennifer Klinec was a well travelled young woman by the time she left her banking job in London to set up her own cooking school in her London flat.  Jennifer was raised in Canada to Hungarian-Croatian parents.  Jennifer’s love of global food started at an early age and her many travel adventures saw her searching for forgotten recipes from foreign lands.  One of her adventures brought her to Iran, not only is the food of interest to her but also the culture of the women in Iran how they dress, how they are perceived in public and private.  Jennifer is introduced to a local woman who invites her to her home to learn from her the art of Persian cooking.  The woman’s son, Vahid, is cautious and intrigued by this foreigner as he is not used to independent women.  A friendship of sorts starts to build between them which develops into more.

This story follows Jennifer’s adventures around food in her childhood and growing up.  It shows the emotions of forbidden love and the struggles Jennifer and Vahid both face with the complexities of the Iranian laws and traditions.

A stunningly, beautiful story, wonderfully written with raw emotions written by only someone who could have experienced the pull of a forbidden love.  It was great to open my eyes to this new world Jennifer was discovering, the food was so different to ours and at one point I had to skip a few lines as I couldn’t face reading about how some of the food sources found themselves on their plates.  The Persian palate is very different to the English palate.  Jennifer is a very brave woman but has had this strength from a very early age.  This strength must have bolstered her in times in Iran when all were against her.  This story is a must read for foodie and romance lovers alike.  It is a testament to believing in yourself and your emotions.  4.5/5*

To find out more about Jennifer Klinec and her book please visit the following link:

http://www.jenniferklinec.com/

Circling the Sun by Paula McLain book review

circling the sun

Circling the Sun by Paula McLain, publisher Virago, is out today in ebook, hardcover and audio download format.

To buy links:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Circling-Sun-Paula-McLain/dp/1844088286/ref=tmm_hrd_title_0?ie=UTF8&qid=1440667174&sr=1-1

Product Details (as per amazon page)

As a young girl, Beryl Markham was brought to Kenya from Britain by parents dreaming of a new life. For her mother, the dream quickly turned sour, and she returned home; Beryl was brought up by her father, who switched between indulgence and heavy-handed authority, allowing her first to run wild on their farm, then incarcerating her in the classroom. The scourge of governesses and serial absconder from boarding school, by the age of sixteen Beryl had been catapulted into a disastrous marriage – but it was in facing up to this reality that she took charge of her own destiny. Scandalizing high society with her errant behaviour, she left her husband and became the first woman ever to hold a professional racehorse trainer’s licence. After falling in with the notoriously hedonistic and gin-soaked Happy Valley set, Beryl soon became embroiled in a complex love triangle with the writer Karen Blixen and big game-hunter Denys Finch Hatton (immortalized in Blixen’s memoir Out of Africa). It was this unhappy affair which set tragedy in motion, while awakening Beryl to her truest self, and to her fate: to fly.

vintage airplane

Circling the Sun by Paula McLain is a fictional story based on the real life of Beryl Markham.  It is a fascinating story on one young woman’s dream to break the mould and do and be whoever she wanted to be.

At a very early age Beryl first experienced heartache when her mother left her and Kenya to return home to England.  It wasn’t until many, many years later that Beryl would find out the truth from this heartache.  Beryl learn’t quickly from this brokenness and was a wild spirit living with her father on the farm in Kenya.  She moved around quite freely with the native villagers and built up a wonderful lasting friendship with a young boy from the village.  They learn’t how to be brave in the outbacks together and Beryl never once thought ‘no’ I can’t do this because I am a girl.  She was very stubborn and fought with her father many times.  However, when the family farm was failing and her father had to admit defeat Beryl agreed with her father to accept the marriage proposal from a neighbouring farmer.  She was only 16 and didn’t know how to love or be loved.

Another journey had begun for Beryl which brought more heartache for her.  Her strength was to be tested many times during her marriage.

During all this time from when Beryl was a young girl with her father on the farm Beryl’s love of horses grew.  She watched her father closely building the horses confidence up to become a great thoroughbred racehorse.  Beryl continued to work with horses on and off with various owners but she struggled to be recognised as an accomplished horse trainer due to her being a woman.

Beryl was a beautiful, brave, wild spirited woman in a man’s world.  She was reckless in life and controversy followed her wherever she went.  Her love life became battered and she only ever had one love but he wasn’t hers to love.

I loved discovering Africa with Beryl, it’s natural wonder, the culture surrounding it.  Paula McLain, the author, described the scenery beautifully, you could picture the sunset, the shadows in the night going about their daily business.  I was truly swept away in Beryl’s world of self discovery, her independence, her fire, her passion, her courage.  A wonderful awe inspiring story.  I am so pleased that Circling the Sun has been written so we can all discover and remember this remarkable woman … Beryl Markham wild spirited adventurer, horse trainer and first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic in 1936.

I’d like to thank the publishers Virago, an imprint of Little Brown UK, for an arc in return for an honest review.  I am so grateful to have been given this arc as I wouldn’t have known or discovered Beryl’s amazing story without it.

An awe inspiring, beautiful tale not to be forgotten.  5/5*

To find out more about Paula McLain and her books please visit the following link:

http://paulamclain.com/