Practical Self-help in Book Format

Self-help and practical improvement books come and go like planes at Heathrow. That might be why they are so popular at airports for the executive class to read or look like they are reading something worthy.
The desire to achieve your ambitions and goals can be helped in a practical manner if you ‘have a mind to’ take the lessons on board. This is so even if you already know most of the tricks of the trade intuitively or as a matter of commonsense.

One such book with 365 mini lessons (one a day to be taken before, after or during meals) is shown below.

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‘Achieve Anything In Just One Year: Be Inspired Daily to Live Your Dreams and Accomplish Your Goals’
need not cost you any money as the Kindle edition is available for £0.00 although amazon and Jason Harvey charge £12.95 for a paperback.
Jason Harvey, the author, is a Certified Life Coach and founder of the Limitless Institute, a non-profit organization (I have had one of those; none-profit that is!)

This practical ‘improvement text’ picks the brains of some of the world’s most respected minds, such as Mark Twain, Goethe, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Albert Einstein and many more.
Give the daily lessons a chance to work on your own modus operandi and you will have the opportunity to change for the better. All in all, if it is sometime since you went the self-help route this book is definitely worth a whirl.

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Audio Books for a Dales Father’s Day

Is your Dad struggling to see well enough to read small or LCD print? If so, then rather than a traditional book or kindle, you may want to consider an audio book for father’s day.
If your Dad is too young to be loosing his sight he might appreciate an audio book to listen to in the car when he’s stuck on the motorway or at some road works.

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Mr ‘erriot is good for a smile or two as he takes you through his entertaining reminiscences about his life as a Dales vet. There are 8 audio books in the series including the above The Lord God Made Them All which is read by Christopher Timothy.
On this site you can read more about James Herriot of Askrigg and Thirsk

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In ‘Up and Down in the Dales’ Gervase Phinn reads his own work. His other titles The Other Side of the Dale, Over Hill and Dale and Head Over Heels in the Dales have already been read on radio 4 but an audio book can be slotted into the player at any time.

Alternative Father’s Day Presents

Sit your Dad down and ask him what life was like when he was your age. He probably wont tell you but secretly he will be pleased to have been asked.
Offer to wash up to save him a job (a job that he probably delegates anyway.)
Send him a birthday card (suitably modified and cheeky) – it is what I often get as a multipurpose offering that can cover Christmas, anniversaries and other occasions.
I know Clintons and Birthdays have just gone under despite the high price of greetings which some of us can now get American style. So opt for a n’then Dad are you going to take us to the pub?

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War Years to CND a Good Yorkshire Book Companion

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Preface to Yorkshire Book Club (B2)

Something a bit different this time about one of Yorkshire’s famous literary sons John Boynton Priestley (JBP).
It is hard to know what is JBP’s most abiding legacy. ‘An Inspector Calls’ and the West Riding farce ‘When We are Married’ are plays that are regularly performed as are ‘Dangerous Corner’ and his ‘Time’ plays.
‘The Good Companions’ may be out of print but there is many a copy nestling on book lovers shelves up and down the country.
There is a special anniversary edition of ‘An English Journey’ linked to an earlier story on God’s Own County. However this time we are concerned with JBP’s wartime exploits.

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Priestley’s War Years by J.B. Priestley with contributions from his sons Tom Priestley and Nicholas Hawkes, with editing and collation by Neil Hanson with illustration by David Burrill.

Yorkshire God’s Own County Book Club Comments

I vaguely knew that JBP was a founder member of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND) but I had no inkling as to why. He started work as a clerk in Swan Arcade Bradford but quickly joined up in the infantry during the first World War where he was badly gassed in the trenches. Doubtless this influenced his feelings about ‘weapons of mass destruction’.
JBP’s famous quote “I came out of the war with a chip on my shoulder . . . probably some friend’s thigh-bone.” seems very poignant.
Returning from France he went to Cambridge University and became a writer, journalist and critic.
As one of the founders of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament he went on the famous Aldermaston march in 1958 and was a friend of Tony Benn and Michael Foot (he stood as an independent parliamentary candidate of Oxford failing to get in).

Footnotes

I haven’t read this particular work but may get the Kindle version when I get sometime for serious reading.
JBP interests me as a complex character who stood apart from some accepted norms but captured the spirit and ‘spoke for the common sense of the common man’.
Photo Credit for J B Priestley statue image IMG_1301 by riotcitygirl, CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

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Crime Thrillers and Writing Festival in Old Peculier Harrogate

Budding authors and active readers can join the thriller and crime writing fest in Harrogate during July as part of the Harrogate festival. Plot your time as you feast on the programme of events and you will have no time to kill.
Mass murderers, obvious suspects and serial killers need not apply for tickets

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The Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival is back at the Old Swan Hotel, Harrogate and claims (again) it could be the best yet. This year sees the grittier and true crime end of the spectrum meet with some of the biggest names in the business:

Crime Authors at Writing Festival

2012

  • Harlan Coben
  • Peter James
  • Mark Billingham
  • Kate Mosse
  • Jo Nesbo
  • John Connolly
  • Sue Townsend and almost 100 others

2011

  • David Baldacci, Linwood Barclay, Lee Child,
  • Martina Cole, Lisa Gardner, Tess Gerritsen,
  • Dennis Lehane and Howard Marks
  • As usual there will also be many lesser well known authors with many a tale to tell.

Improve Your Own Books and Scripts

Crime Writers Reference Guide: 1001 Tips for Writing the Perfect Crime above as a Kindle edition from amazon

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Crime Writers Guide to Police Practice and Procedure

Or check out the competition with the latest Crime Thrillers from amazon

Crime Books for Theakston Beer Drinkers

  • Cask & Ale by Yorkshire Muagham
  • Bitter is the Beer, Dark is the Mild by Duke O’York
  • Old Peculier Goings On By Mollie Masham
  • Danger XB by Bomber Graham
  • Black Bull the Politically Incorrect Boozer by Shep Black
  • Gottle of Geer by unknown junkie ventriloquist
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Orange Prize for Fiction – Winners 1996-2012

For the last Orange Prize for Fiction it is a first-time novelist who has scooped this women’s literature prize from under the noses of many award-winning and in some minds more suitable writers.
Madeline Miller won the 2012 Orange Prize for Literature for her novel ‘The Song of Achilles’ which tells the story of a young prince’s experiences of love and war in Ancient Greece.

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All the Winners of the Orange Prize for Fiction 1996-2012

1996 winner A Spell of Winter Helen Dunmore
1997 winner Fugitive Pieces Anne Michaels
1998 winner Larry’s Party Carol Shields
1999 winner A Crime in the Neighbourhood Suzanne Berne
2000 winner When I Lived in Modern Times Linda Grant
2001 winner The Idea of Perfection Kate Grenville
2002 winner Bel Canto Ann Patchett
2003 winner Property Valerie Martin
2004 winner Small Island Andrea Levy
2005 winner We Need to Talk About Kevin Lionel Shrive
2006 winner On Beauty Zadie Smith
2007 winner Half of a Yellow Sun Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
2008 winner The Road Home Rose Tremain
2009 winner Home Marilynne Robinson
2010 winner The Lacuna Barbara Kingsolver
2011 winner The Tiger’s Wife Téa Obreht
2012 winner The Song of Achilles Madeline Miller

The Orange Prize for Fiction was one of the United Kingdom’s most prestigious literary prizes. It has been awarded each year 1996-2012 to a female author of any nationality for the best original full-length novel written in English.

What Happens Next – The Plot Thickens

Orange are no longer enamored with their sponsorship and the award will need to find a new source of funds. Orange have squeezed the juice out of fiction and given authors the pip! What pithy organisation will take on the mantle?
Enter Kindle, Kobe or Knorr if they are really in the soup.
The chance to rename the female fiction prize is a marketing dream and with a top prize of only £30,000 there must be many footballers wives who could stump up the cash! How about naming it ‘The Cole’.

Hardback or Kindle from Yorkshire at Amazon.co.uk,  paperback for pre-ordering  (released 6 November 2012)

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Ee By Gum Book Readers

Ee by gum they now have computers or electronic devices that read your books for you, so you don’t need to bother! Well not quite, on many levels.

Lassie

Entry Level E Book Readers

The batteries do most of the work or not if you forget to recharge them.
The software can’t read at all. All software and programmes can do is represent a digital stream of binary data as letters in liquid crystal display, a bit like morse code on speed!
You still need to buy or acquire ‘the books’. Local charity shops and jumble sales are still looking for ways to get digital donations.
After learning a new language of downloads, Kobos and Kindles you are nearly set to acquire your first complete work.

Level 2 E Book Readers

Let us get this straight you do the reading! If you don’t it isn’t reading!
Talking books have been around for ‘yonks’ and are a digital light year from e books (so the youngsters tell us).
Now you are kitted up with an ‘ebook reader’ you can load up and get browsing. (not as easy as flicking the pages to my mind nor as tactile but I am an old fashioned dinosaurs [so the youngsters tell me]).

Three E Book Readers from 57 Varieties

The all-new Kindle – Lighter smaller faster so was the last one heavy, big slow and clunky?
The ARCHOS 70 eReader is the ultimate e reader with a 7″ TFT color screen it is as big as a paperback. 10 hours of battery life, so you may be half way through your second book (or first for us slow readers).
The Sony PRS-T1 is ‘ultra slim and lightweight reader with superior paper-like touch screen and Wi-Fi. Ah paper like thats sounds like the one for me at £129 to feel like paper it is only paper money.

Ee By Gum Mild Marketing

Waterstones shops have succumbed and are now selling e readers in partnership with Amazon. Good for them, I hope it helps fund real book shops for a bit longer. GOC recommend you buy (if you must) your Kindle, Sony, Kobe or what ever from them. In the event you are not so keen remember you can make your purchases through Yorkshire at Amazon.co.uk

‘Ee By Gum’ it’s an amazing fact that Amazon now have over 1,000,000 books available in digital format so come on readers get reading.

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Yorkshire Book Festival – Leeds 2012

The Big Bookend Festival is almost upon us (13-17 June). Advertised as ‘A Rock Festival for Words’ and using the same catch phrase as last year ‘if you can read this – thank a teacher’ you will discover an interesting programme of activities.

My Choice of Events

I have got a couple of tickets to listen to Peter James or Roy Grace the ‘Not Dead Yet’ talk at the Carriageworks (Yorkshire value at £3 each)
I will miss ‘The Story of the Pogues’ on Thursday 14th June 2012 tickets from Waterstones but I will not miss Simon Jenkins, author of the ‘Great Leeds Pub Crawl’ who is hosting a tutored beer tasting.
Women, Sex and History with Jane Borodale, Gabrielle Kimm, Hallie Rubenhold and Anne O’Brien and An Audience with Joanne Harris are on Saturday and Sunday 16-17 June.
If your children are recently inspired by a teacher or yet to meet a great one get down to one of the many events designed for them (kids that is not teachers but then again).

Book Festival Sponsors Include

Virtuoso Legal – The intellectual property Lawyers. Website
Land Securities – The UK’s largest commercial property company. Website: 
Leeds Libraries Link
Waterstones Leeds, who have started selling tickets for Yorkshire Book Festival Leeds 2012 The Big Bookend, have displays of all the authors featured in the festival.

Other Yorkshire Book Festivals

The Richmond Walking & Book Festival 2012 will run from 21st – 30th September 2012 sponsored by Castle Hill bookshop.
I expect a Beverley-literature-festival in October but no details are available
Ilkley Literature Festival September 28- 14 October 2012
Yorkshire Book Day takes place in Scarborough on Thursday 2 August as part of the five-day “A Festival of Yorkshire – Scarborough”. The authors taking part include Craig Bradley, Andy Seed, Penny Dolan, Malcolm Rose and Mike Pannett.
Ryedale Book Festival 20 October in Maltonis an event featuring workshops, talks, competitions and inter-active performances by authors, poets, artists, musicians and story-tellers.
Bridlington Poetry Festival 8-10 June 2012

If you know of another Yorkshire Book Festival let us know and we will add it to our God’s Own County website

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Go North For Photography In Communities and In business

Incommunities Group Chief Executive, Geraldine Howley and a group of apprentices from the programme as photographed by Chris North.
Incommunities was established in February 2003 by the transfer of 21,000+ homes from Bradford Council. They provide affordable, high quality homes, principally for rent in neighbourhoods across the Bradford District.

Incommunities star awards 2012 are to be held at the Midland hotel Bradford on Tuesday 4th September.

‘Every person has a special talent or ability, and that is why Incommunities are celebrating their many talented and special tenants with this year’s awards. If you or someone you know has made a difference to improving lives in the communities you live in then please use the form below to make your nomination. Get your garden pics and nominations in by Friday 20th July 2012’   more info

As a professional photographer Chris North can’t enter but this competition but is well placed to take pictures of the winners for web sites and future publicity.

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Tykes in Town for T’Jubilee

Menston had its own Tykes Jubilee events on Saturday
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Our Village Procession in Menston was well attended and should have been a warning about the numbers of revelers we were likely to meet in London town the following day.
Jubilee Menston

Her Majesty Queen Elisabeth II had a couple of extra folk from Yorkshire at the river pageant that was part of the celebrations for her Diamond Jubilee.
Taking the first local train into Leeds on Sunday morning and getting to London via Wakefield and Doncaster by 12.34pm (is the pm redundant?) we had time for a pub lunch before reaching the river. Had we known we may have hurried or skipped the pub lunch because it seemed like all 1.5 million visitors had chosen our spot on the embankment at Blackfriars to view the proceedings.

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Our best view of the River Thames from Blackfriars with the crowd.
‘With a ladder and some glasses we could have seen the Hackney Marshes if it wasn’t for the spectators in between’.

Cold, wet and unable to see much other than BBC’s big screen we also needed the loos of which there were reportedly 2,000 along the riverside (not that I saw any). So it was off back to the pub(s) and their own TV screens. Warm, drying out, but totally mobbed we could enjoy a pleasant toast to the Queen.

Then a fair step through Covent Garden took us to the site of The Big Lunch and street festival on Piccadilly just as everyone was packing up. At least we can say ‘we was there’. To get dry again we popped into Waterstones, as Fortnum and Masons were closing, and bought a couple of books on Knitting. Then it was upstairs in a typical London pub where we got Shepherds Pie and Barbecued Spare Ribs to help us on the way back to Kings Cross.
Jubilee Flags Covent Garden
Jubilee Flags in the Roof at Covent Garden

Enroute to Kings Cross people even spoke on the tube an unusual event. There is always one who has had a better view, a nice lady (for a southerner) enjoyed telling us she got a seat! on the second row at London Bridge. Then she had time to go see all the Tall Ships below Tower Bridge and walked past Buckingham Palace to hear the musicians rehearsing for ‘The Big Concert’. Well we enjoyed all the pubs
Jubilee Kings Cross Roof

The trains all ran on time and the redevelopment at Kings Cross is taking shape or at least the new roof in the departure area is looking 21st Century not 19th. We arrived back home almost sober before 00.01am, yes I know am is redundant. The Tykes were no longer in town for T’Jubilee.

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Lee Child Latest – Yorkshire Book Club Offering

Author - Lee Child

Preface to Yorkshire Book Club (A2)

Lee Child is a Yorkshire man from Leeds now living and working in the United States of America but we can’t hold that against him. So for that reason we have Lee as our second (A) choice for Yorkshire’s GOC book club.
Lee’s character Jack Reacher features in a growing series of books based on a successful formula of good triumphing over evil or at least pretty bad if not true evil.
‘The Affair’ is due out in paperback shortly but Kindle and hardback versions are now available, ‘The Wanted Man’ is due in a short while.

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With out giving the plot away or reproducing the publishers mindless hype, this is another book by Lee Childs.
Like Lee’s other fiction it features Jack Reacher a military policeman who regular readers of these books will know leaves the job to roam the United States finding trouble in most of the other books.
This book takes Jack back to his days as a Major and is all the better for true fans as it is filling in ‘the back story’ of his career.

Yorkshire God’s Own County Book Club Opinion

Amazon claim the latest Lee Child’s novel is ‘the coolest, sexiest, punch-packing Reacher’ to date but that is over hyped to sell more books.
There is a loyal following for Lee Child and rightly so. The Jack Reacher books are a fast, entertaining, escapist read where you can expect the good guy to triumph in a responsible and acceptable manner.
I like the none adherence to a strict chronology when writing and publishing the books but this prequel lacks some elan found in Killing Floor, 61 Hours or Bad Luck and Trouble.
It must be hard to invent new plots for a asset free gypsy like figure who hitchhikes into trouble in many of the other titles featuring Jack Reacher.
Given the problems with The Affair, let us hope that the next book ‘A Wanted Man’ re-establishes the Child’s brand and that the Reacher franchise has not run it’s course.

Book Club Type Questions for Consideration

Did the plot of ‘The Affair’ pull you in or did you feel you had to force yourself to read the book?
Is the title reasonable and appropriate?
Is the main character Jack Reacher a female fantasy or a man’s rough, tough, action hero. Can a character be both?
Do you think the Jack Reacher books would make good films or a TV series.

Footnotes

Photo credit Author – Lee Child by Steve_C CC BY-NC-ND 2.0
Lee Child’s next Jack Reacher novel A Wanted Man due to be published 30 August 2012 can be pre ordered from amazon

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