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For such a time as this by Pauline Dewberry: Book Review

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The book’s title, “ For such a time as this ”, is based on a Bible quote which is part remonstration and part piece of advice. The original quote was directed at Esther, who, it is suggested, holds her regal position at a moment of importance in history, and she must take full advantage while she can. It could be taken more generally to mean that we are all living through moments of which we should make the most. Pauline Dewberry’s creative non-fiction tome is a testament to the quote. Throughout her experiences taking on leukaemia, she finds solace in the love from her cats, and offers comfort to others undergoing treatment for cancer, in equal measure. The book is also a fascinating primer in what it’s like to undergo courses of chemotherapy while suffering through a very harrowing illness. Maintaining an awesome sense of humour throughout her ordeal, Pauline also explores her faith with respect to God's timing in answering the many prayers offered up for her. She is at

Only Human by JD Estrada

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A gladiatorial battle in a bull ring, a fight against goblins on a ship, and a struggle against a monster whose gutting results in the salvaging of a fallen soldier are three highlights in this urban fantasy novel focusing on journalist Nathaniel Runnels and the vampiric Daniel, who acts as his mentor. Runnels is struggling through life, somewhat poisoned by the cynicism of the world, it seems, when he first encounters Daniel - who's a tour de force of cynicism when he chooses to be. His dialogue with angel Sariel is a case in point. A great read that's well worth diving into. Get Only Human here . You can follow JD Estrada on Twitter and Facebook .

CTRL / ALT / DELETE: Natasha Helen Crudden Poetry Review

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Can’t we all identify as black sheep occasionally? Don’t we occasionally vent at, or declare our love for, those who don’t deserve it? Do we not engage in retail therapy? Haven’t we all stayed home instead of going to parties occasionally, due to social anxiety? Well then, Natasha Helen Crudden wants to have a quick – and powerfully eloquent – word in your ear. Much of this poetry is directed at persons. These subjects are rarely the general reader. The power of much of the work, however, lies in taking many of her admonitions, tributes, compliments and criticisms personally. The beauty of much of this talented poet’s work is in the identifiable. Trigger Warning , for instance, is directed at a (probable) female whose “killer Achilles heels” and “summer wardrobe of disorders” provide validation. It transpires that this subject doesn’t have “all that much to say”, falling back on trigger warnings as an excuse to retreat after causing the mayhem typical of somebody with (

The Weightless One by Anais Chartschenko Book Review

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A novel written in verse, Anais Chartschenko’s The Weightless One is an unconventional character portrait of a young woman who’s been sectioned due to an eating disorder. Seemingly inadvertently – and with consummate skill through the prism of convalescence and therapy – Chartschenko slowly reveals a family background and the possible rationales for the development of her heroine’s psychological issues in the series of poems. We also get an insider’s view of a mental health facility. We learn how patients shouldn’t compare care and diet plans with each other. We discover a little about how detrimental the pursuit of modelling from an early age can be on a psyche. That some airbrushed celebrities may not be the best people to place on pedestals is also hinted at. Again, showing impressive topicality, when it comes to the reasons for being placed in the care of the mental health services, there are echoes of the misogyny prevalent in the high school and college campus sexual as

Bianca Bowers: Butterfly Voyage Poetry review

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Conservative thinker Jordan Peterson occasionally cites the traditional notions of the chaos of the feminine and the order of the masculine in his work. Although precedent has been set in ancient literature, the contentious nature of these gendered attributions is undermined by an examination - for instance - at a typical male-occupied space, and a female-occupied space. Women are generally neater than men. While unfair too to attribute the feminine specifically to females and masculine to males, the conventional wisdom with respect to feminine chaos and masculine order could be construed as challenged, if not debunked entirely, by Bianca Bowers in her collection Butterfly Voyage - by virtue of her gender. Sitting astride a body of work that is more conventional, Bowers tackles the atrophy taking place around the world in a book replete with the wisdom of experience and maternal instinct. Through its poet's voice, Butterfly Voyage can be read as a brief to strive against d

An Early Childhood: Chapter World War 3

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Springing ahead from the 1920s (found elsewhere on this blog), here is an excerpt from An Early Childhood by Paddy Flanagan set in the Second World War. Continued from here . “You are CornJulio,” Bern-ard shot back in a cod Native American accent. “You need tepee for my bungee spongiform encephalitis! Welcome to die." Everyone roared laughing except for Cornjulio, who didn’t take to the word-theft of tepee for purposes of cultural misappropriation as a kind of joke. The Good Doctor withdrew a surgical glove from the breast pocket of his laboratory coat. It slowly emerged, fingers first, before the whole thing jettisoned itself across Barrel-Chested Bern-ard’s face with a snap. A red mark on the cheek flared into existence with the blink of an eye and another eye, both of them Bernie’s, and a veritable shocked silence filled the entire ward, in part because many of the patients were too unwell to say anything at all at all in the first place. You could still cross s

An Early Childhood: Chapter World War 2

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Springing ahead from the 1920s (found elsewhere on this blog), here is an excerpt from An Early Childhood by Paddy Flanagan set in the Second World War. Well, there I was now, in Compostenela del Salamanca Half Catalytic Army Hospital for the Bewildered, sharing a bed with {[(Frank O’Connor)] due to the shortage of trolleys in the medical health industry. We had been fled across the Pyrenees on a pair of rectum stretchers (sit-down-only type harnesses) after sustaining massive injuries. I don’t recall how I had been wounded myself, but before my concussion, I had watched {[(Frank O’Connor)] wander across the plains of no-man’s-land into a stockpile of German bracket mines; in the process of recovery, it would take some time and a number of operations before he would be fully compost lemsip, but he had had two sets of brackets removed already, and was in the process of getting his short and curlies taken off. The meals were the standard fare - Meeting Two Veg, as they sa