Magic Ballerina: Delphie and the Magic Ballet Shoes By Darcey Bussell Review!

Delphie and the Magic Ballet Shoes (Magic Ballerina, Book 1) by [Darcey Bussell]


Magic Ballerina: Delphie and the Magic Ballet Shoes (2009) By Darcey Bussell is the first book in the author/dancer/TV judge’s series of childrens’ books.


In this first book, the protagonist Delphie is asked by Madame Zarakova to join her ballet school. Delphie and her family can’t afford to send her but Madame Zarakova sees potential and gives her these battered but magical ballet shoes. As the book unfolds, we realise that these shoes will get her to the land of Enchantia where the characters in The Nutcracker are left unable to dance by Evil King Rat. Delphie finds herself on her first mission since acquiring the ballet shoes with the help of the Sugar Plum Fairy.


I find the plot very imaginative and cleverly put together. The way the class is practicing The Nutcracker and then that leads into the situation in Enchantia is very cleverly done. I love how Delphie is working-class and loves ballet, which would probably be thought by many as ‘above our station’, how the author shows that passion and hard work can get you anywhere from any background and how the ballet shoes are battered and old instead of shiny, glossy little things. There is a lot of great messages in this book for children and for any children who love ballet and dance it will very enjoyable I’m sure. Darcey also includes some dance steps at the back of the book.


There is a few technical ballet terms which might be difficult for children to understand but I think that is probably my only tiny issue with it. It is a great read for children and quite a good read for adults too!

A great start to the series.


To purchase Magic Ballerina: Delphie and the Magic Ballet Shoes By Darcey Bussell go to:


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Vegetarian Cooking By Magna Books Review!


Vegetarian Cooking (1993) by Magna Books is a book with lots of gorgeous recipes for vegetarians.


The book contains 30 amazing recipes with gorgeous photographs of the dishes. There is dishes like soups, curries, savoury food, sweet food and much more. Finding food when someone is vegetarian can be difficult (I’ve heard numerous people say so and I used to be) but in this book there is so many tasty options such as Indian Vegetable Curry, Hot Apple Pizza, Lentil Moussaka, Sweet Bean Curry and Mushroom Stroganoff to name but a few.

A great book with an index that is well laid out for easy reference to find dishes on the regular. Most of the ingredients are easy to find in the shops which takes the stress out of cooking for yourselves or any vegetarians you know or anyone you know who likes vegetarian food in general.

An interesting, wonderful read.


I did see a few purchase options online for this book but it’s in one left in stock options so if many people are interested in this book, it isn’t widely available but I thought I would let you all know about it’s existence and what I thought about it.


For more about Magna Books and their work go to:



Poem: Pride

Cork LGBT+ Pride Festival planned to take place in September -


Happy Pride to all in my community

and outside it who are supportive,

this year has been quite hard

in many ways

on top of the usual

but we are strong,

our allies are strong

and let’s have fun,

let’s change the world,

let’s not be afraid,

fear is a killer,

I know that only too well,

fuck fear,

fuck pain,

tell it all where to go,

well try to

because you are never alone,

you are understood

and have a fucking fantastic day!

Run For Your Life By James Patterson & Michael Ledwidge Review!

Image result for michael ledwidge run for your life

Run For Your Life (2009) by James Patterson & Michael Ledwidge is an enthralling book in the Michael Bennett series.

This page-turner follows Michael Bennett as he tries to track down the mysterious killer known by the name The Teacher. New York is in chaos as The Teacher seemingly is killing people at random and Bennett must try to piece the pieces together to find out whether these murders are indeed random as suggested or if buried deep, there is a link to be found. This book has 98 chapters with three chapters in the prologue and they seem to fly by as you join Bennett on the case of solving the murders. Snappy chapters filled with pace and drama keep you reading and reading …


Another element of these books which is wonderful apart from the mystery is Bennett’s love for his family. His wife died and he is minding a whole bunch of their children himself. Well with the help of Mary Catherine, their nanny. There seems to be chemistry between Mary Catherine and Michael so I think they may get together in future books. I also like the fact that all the children are adopted. I don’t think there is enough about families where people are adopted in stories and when there is, it isn’t always dealt with right. It always seems to be that terrible line of “real family” about their birth family but in this book Patterson and Ledwidge show a family of adopted children who are loved and cared for by their father with the same level of warmth and heart that a birth father is often depicted as feeling for his children so I thought that was lovely. And if either way, that ain’t real family, I don’t know what is.


A splendid read filled with mystery and human feelings. Absolutely gripping.

To purchase Run For Your Life by James Patterson & Michael Ledwidge go to:


And for more on James Patterson and his work go to:

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Beach Road By James Patterson With Peter De Jonge Review!

Image result for beach road james patterson


Beach Road (2006) by James Patterson with Peter De Jonge is an incredibly interesting story with a fantastic twist in the tale ending.


The story is mostly told from the point of view of the protagonist Tom Dunleavy. The setting is East Hampton where it is summer and East Hampton is the summer choice of home for stars of Hollywood and billionaires. Tom is a lawyer and he represents Dante Halleyville when he is took in for the murder of three people. Enter Kate Costello who is a fellow lawyer and Tom’s former girlfriend. Together Tom and Kate must work to prove Dante’s innocence. While all this is happening, Tom secretly wishes to rekindle his relationship with Kate.

Much kudos must go to Patterson and De Jonge for an unputdownable book. Snappy chapters filled with information push the story forward with glorious ease. The dialogue is authentic and the pace of the book is excellent. A really great book. Very interesting. Very engaging and stunningly written with a great array of diverse characters. I loved it.

There is a really excellent twist in this book which I did not see coming at all. I won’t spoil anything for you all but the amazing writing throughout is not let down by the ending.

An excellent read.


To purchase Beach Road by James Patterson with Peter De Jonge go to:



And to find out more about James Patterson and his work:

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5 Videos To Watch On YouTube This Week!

Ok, it’s that time of the week! Here is some video recommendations for this week:





This Queen performance from Live Aid is a classic performance, amazing, legendary. If you haven’t seen it, you are missing out! 🙂



A modern-day classic! If you are feeling down, pop Pharrell Williams’ Happy on and you will be boogying on down in no time. The video is brilliant, very full of joy.




This was Noah’s and PJ’s first wedding dance and it was so fun! Absolutely loved it! 🙂






This is Goodful’s 5-Minute meditation. My Mum and I (and sometimes my sister) have been doing this meditation for the past how many months and it’s really great, very relaxing. Relaxing words provided by John Davisi.


Social Issues



WHO collaborate here with Matthew Johnstone who talks about how he overcame depression. The video, I had a black dog, his name was depression is written and directed by Matthew and is a deeply realistic and emotive watch.



Daniel Craig: The Biography By Sarah Marshall Review!

Image result for Daniel Craig The Biography By Sarah Marshall


Daniel Craig: The Biography (2007) by Sarah Marshall is an interesting read about the James Bond actor.


This is wonderfully intriguing into Daniel both as a person and as an actor. It is written in a very light and engrossing way like a long series of articles and shows that Daniel is very easy to like and very down-to-earth. He is a very private person and not into the whole celebrity circuit, very much a working actor who treats it simply as a job and that is very admirable. He definitely doesn’t seem to let the fame game go to his head. This book goes from his early days in London trying to make it in acting up to his massive success as James Bond in the movie franchise.


We also get to read about his support of Arthouse projects and it’s nice to see someone in his position not forgetting his roots. The book also speaks about his marriage to Fiona Loudon, from 1992-1994, who he has a daughter Ella with, and his relationships with Kate Moss and Sienna Miller.


There might not be too much in this book that is new news to a fan of Daniel’s but it is a great introduction for anyone wishing to learn more about the actor. It is also a nice trip down memory lane for fans. It is a very entertaining read which is a page-turner and makes the reader like Daniel even more. He comes across as a very ordinary man who worked hard and deserves all the luck and success he gets.
An incredibly interesting read.


To purchase Daniel Craig: The Biography by Sarah Marshall go to:



And for more about Sarah Marshall and her work go to:


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This Is a Call: The Life and Times of Dave Grohl By Paul Brannigan Review!

Image result for this is a call dave grohl



This Is a Call: The Life and Times of Dave Grohl (2011) by Paul Brannigan is an indepth and very interesting look at the life so far of the former Nirvana drummer and the frontman of Foo Fighters.


What I almost always love about the biographies or autobiographies of rock singers is that you tend to get a real, warts ‘n’ all account that you can relate to in parts. It isn’t often done in a very stylish, showbizzy way and I appreciate that as a reader. In short it feels more honest and with this biography on Grohl I felt no exception was made to that rule.


The book first and foremost is based on ten years of interviews that Brannigan, former editor of Kerrang!, did with Grohl and from talking to other people who know him well like Josh Homme, Butch Vig and Ian MacKaye. I find the style of writing very conversational like you were listening to a mate of yours talking about music over a cup of tea and I really liked that tone to the book. There is one flaw though to this book. I didn’t mind it so much because I found what Brannigan was discussing about the punk scene and Grohl’s influences very interesting but there might be a little too much about that in a book that is supposed to be about Grohl himself. So I think if someone was looking for Grohl’s story without any massive overviews this may not be the book they are looking for. But myself, I quite enjoyed it.


There is very interesting pieces in the book about Grohl’s life growing up in a suburb of Washington D.C. I love how down-to-earth these passages sound and they are parts which are so easy to relate to. Brannigan wrote very well how these early days were a great indication of his life to come in music. It was very interesting to read.


There is some very emotive moments in this book. Grohl’s pain over his former bandmate Kurt Cobain’s death at the age of 27 is hard to read. This book shows both the ups and downs in Grohl’s life and music career. There maybe isn’t enough about Foo Fighters in the book though which was a bit of a shame. Grohl comes across as a very nice person, very likable and down-to-earth with a huge passion for music and the creative process.


There isn’t maybe much new facts in this book but it is a wonderful coming together of Grohl’s career up to 2011 and I found it a very interesting and engaging read. This book is filled with musical history and has been researched incredibly well so kudos to the author for that. I really enjoyed reading it.


A very absorbing and detailed book.


To purchase This Is a Call: The Life and Times of Dave Grohl by Paul Brannigan go to:




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Burn By James Patterson & Michael Ledwidge Review!

Image result for james patterson burn


Burn (2014) by James Patterson & Michael Ledwidge is another exciting book in the Michael Bennett series. It is book 7 in the series.


Bennett and his family come back to New York City in this book after Bennett defeated the crime lord who made the family need to go into hiding in the first place. Bennett begins working for the Outreach Squad in Harlem and gets a call about a party in an old building. He doesn’t take it seriously and later a burned body is found in the building.


The plot is very interesting and it’s intriguing to find out exactly what’s going on as the book progresses. There is everything in this book from mystery to corruption, romance, humor and family life. The characters are all well-rounded and the story is a very enjoyable and riveting read. The family parts of the book are amazingly written too and show Bennett in his more softer moments and you find yourself really rooting for him and Mary Catherine. Their relationship is slowly coming along and it is lovely to see.


An exciting, enjoyable read.


To purchase Burn by James Patterson & Michael Ledwidge go to:



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