At the end of August it was my birthday and I was lucky enough to be given some books – which are always some of my favourite presents. This year all of the books I was given were non-fiction – it’s quite an eclectic mix, but gives you a good insight to my mind, interests and weird fascinations… I’ve included the blurb for each of the books below.
Grow Your Own Vegetables in Pots and Containers: A practical guide to growing food in small spaces by Paul Peacock
This book is aimed at the majority of us who live in terraced houses, high rise flats, town houses and semi-detached properties with a small garden and often nowhere to grow but the patio. It shows how to make the most of pots and planters; how to plan for a reasonable yield; and how never to run out of at least something to special eat.
You might not have all the space in the world, but you can enjoy all the flavour in the world. With the step-by-step instructions in this book you will be able to grow, nurture and harvest your own fruit, vegetables and herbs in a range of pots and containers, including recycled ones such as plastic milk bottles, and kitchen sinks.
Eat Live Go – Fresh Food Fast by Donal Skehan
EAT.LIVE.GO – Fresh Food Fast is a collection of quick and easy recipes for busy and energetic lifestyles. Donal’s healthy approach to eating provides big flavour, the optimum nutrition the body needs, plus delicious treats.
Donal offers up brilliant recipes to cook at home, from everyday eating with family and friends, to restorative meals to nurture and nourish, including dishes from Donal’s travels in Europe and South East Asia. EAT.LIVE.GO – Fresh Food Fast is a cookbook for anyone who loves good food and eating well.
The Women Who Flew For Hitler by Clare Mulley
Hanna Reitsch and Melitta von Stauffenberg were talented, courageous and strikingly attractive women who fought convention to make their names in the male-dominated field of flight in 1930s Germany. With the war, both became pioneering test pilots and both were awarded the Iron Cross for service to the Third Reich. But they could not have been more different and neither woman had a good word to say for the other.
Hanna was middle-class, vivacious and distinctly Aryan, while the darker, more self-effacing Melitta, came from an aristocratic Prussian family. Both were driven by deeply held convictions about honour and patriotism but ultimately while Hanna tried to save Hitler’s life, begging him to let her fly him to safety in April 1945, Melitta covertly supported the most famous attempt to assassinate the Führer. Their interwoven lives provide a vivid insight into Nazi Germany and its attitudes to women, class and race.
Acclaimed biographer Clare Mulley gets under the skin of these two distinctive and unconventional women, giving a full – and as yet largely unknown – account of their contrasting yet strangely parallel lives, against a changing backdrop of the 1936 Olympics, the Eastern Front, the Berlin Air Club, and Hitler’s bunker. Told with brio and great narrative flair, The Women Who Flew for Hitler is an extraordinary true story, with all the excitement and colour of the best fiction.
Spaceman by Mike Massimo
Mike Massimino’s compelling memoir takes us on a brilliant journey where the nerdiest science meets the most thrilling adventure to reveal what ‘the right stuff’ truly is. Many children dream of becoming an astronaut when they grow up, but when NASA rejected him, he kept on trying. Even being told his poor eyesigh would mean he could never make it didn’t stop him; he simply trained his eyes to be better. Finally, at the third time of asking, NASA accepted him.
So began Massimino’s 18-year career as an astronaut, and the extraordinary lengths he went to to get accepted was only the beginning. In this awe-inspiring memoir, he reveals the hard work, camaraderie and sheer guts involved in the life of an astronaut; he vividly describes what it is like to strap yourself into the Space Shuttle and blast off into space, or the sensation of walking in space, as he did when he embarked on an emergency repair of the Hubble telescope. He also talks movingly about the Columbia tragedy, and how it felt to step into the Space Shuttle again in the aftermath of that disaster.
Massimino was inspired by the film The Right Stuff, and this book is not only a tribute to those fellow astronauts he worked with, but also a stunning example of someone who had exactly those attributes himself.
Ian Brady: The Untold Story of the Moors Murders by Alan Keightley
Since May 1966 when Ian Brady and Myra Hindley were sentenced to life imprisonment at Chester Assizes the British public has been absorbed and horrified by the Moors Murders. Ian Brady has often been aptly described as `the most evil man alive’ or `the Daddy of the Devils’, while Myra Hindley, Britain’s first female serial killer, became the most hated woman in Britain. Here is the definitive account, drawing on exclusive, never-before-seen material. It changes forever our understanding of the Moors couple and their heinous crimes.
Why did they do it? What actually happened? Unlikely as it may appear to those detectives, psychiatrists, authors, criminologists, journalists and the victims’ families, who have all sought in their own ways for decades to discover it, this book is possibly as near as we shall ever get to understanding how the victims died. It proves beyond question that the parents of the victims were right all along in their claims about Hindley’s part in the murders. Did Brady give an account to anyone of his life, Myra Hindley and their crimes before he died? Yes, he did – here it is.