Tag Archives: 5 Stars

‘Twas the Night Before Christmas by Clement C. Moore

Happy Christmas Eve!

‘Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse;
The stockings were hung by the chimney with care
In hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there;

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Disabilism – The Ugly Face of Disability Hate Crime (BBC)

under the skin adam pearson scarlett JohanssonYes, that’s Scarlett Johansson. Adam Pearson in film Under the Skin (2013)

Before watching the BBC’s documentary The Ugly Face of Disability Hate Crime I had never heard of the term ‘disabilism’. Of course, I was well aware of despicable disability hate crimes reported in the news, but I’d never seen a prejudicial -ism mentioned in connection with them.

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Marguerite Patten’s Every Day Cook Book

Margeurite Patten's Every Day Cook Book Rating: 5 stars

I was really sad to hear Marguerite Patten had died ten days ago at the ripe old age of 99. She was the first celebrity chef, teaching British people how to eat a nutrient rich diet while making the most of their rations during World War Two, going on to have her own TV show in 1947. She wrote over 170 cookbooks which sold over 17 million copies worldwide. I last saw her on TV doing an interview on the BBC’s The One Show in 2007 when she would’ve been in her early 90s. Clearly she was a hardworking woman with a passion for food. Her love of butter and lard obviously did her no harm.

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Can’t We Talk about Something More Pleasant? by Roz Chast

Can't We Talk About Something More Pleasant? Roz ChastRating:  

As Chast’s parents aged, she recognised the need to care for them, and she did, until they died. Graphic novel memoir Can’t We Talk about Something More Pleasant? details her uncensored journey with humour and poignancy, examining her changing relationships with them along the way.

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Bad Feminist by Roxane Gay

Bad Feminist Roxane GayRating: 

Bad Feminist is an anthology of witty and confessional essays mixing personal experience; opinions on race, politics, media, gender and sexuality; and reviews of books, TV and film – sometimes all in the same essay. Roxane Gay lays out what it is to be a feminist. That there’s no such thing as a ‘perfect’ one. Being human precludes us from perfection. We’re complex creatures. We can enjoy something even if we don’t agree with the ideas behind them. That’s the very definition of cognitive dissonance.

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The History of Mary Prince: A West Indian Slave by Mary Prince

The History of Mary Prince: A West Indian Slave by Mary PrinceRating:

Oh the horrors of slavery!—How the thought of it pains my heart! But the truth ought to be told of it; and what my eyes have seen I think it is my duty to relate; for few people in England know what slavery is. I have been a slave—I have felt what a slave feels, and I know what a slave knows; and I would have all the good people in England to know it too, that they may break our chains, and set us free.

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Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

My read for Banned Books Week was certainly apropos. Fahrenheit 451 shows you the results of a book banning society. A scary, ignorant and shallow world where brutality and casual violence are everyday events done in the name of entertainment; a regressive and disabling move in social evolution, handicapping progression by limiting knowledge and encouraging selfishness.

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Sold by Patricia McCormick


Sold is a lyrically beautiful and graphically descriptive story of an innocent 13-year-old Nepalese girl from the mountains, sold by her oppressive gambling addict step-father and trafficked into India to become a prostitute in a brothel run by a woman with no morals. There, Lakshmi’s body is sold for the price of a Coca-Cola – a luxury she’d once cherished as a poor country girl. When she’d left home, she’d believed she was to become a maid in a rich woman’s household in the big city where she could save and send money home to her beloved mother and her baby brother. The reality is soul-crushing. She’s told so many lies she doesn’t know what to believe.

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Everyday Sexism by Laura Bates

Everyday Sexism

Laura Bates brings issues of harassment, assault and abuse of both men and women to light, after being deluged with submissions to her website and Twitter accounts. Seemingly small incidents of off-hand remarks can feel like the death of a thousand cuts when they happen everyday in every facet of your life.

These sexist ouccrences happen so often and are so insidious and pervasive in Western society that they’ve become normalised to the point we feel silly for being upset about instances others brush off and disheartened when our complaints are ignored. All of this undermines confidence and erodes self-esteem. Even if we don’t realise it, we’ve all witnessed sexism – on the street, in the media, at school and work, and now online with social media and comment forums. As Bates says, ‘Enough is enough‘.

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In Rude Health: The funniest and most explicit stories from the NHS by Robbie Guillory

In Rude Health: The funniest and most explicit stories from the NHSRating:

Get ready to laugh your f*cking arse off. Actually “Sexy and I Know it” is the perfect soundtrack for this one. Brace yourself.

Cat and Mouse

An unconscious 30-year-old man was brought in to us by ambulance. His girlfriend had found him lying naked on the floor of his bathroom and called 999. Upon examination, he was found to have a large lump on his forehead and, strangely, several scratches on his scrotum. The lump was obviously from a fall of some kind, but we couldn’t work out the cause of the scratches until he’d woken up. He said he had been cleaning his bathtub while naked, kneeling on the floor beside the tub. His cat, apparently transfixed by the rhythmic swaying of his scrotum, lunged forward, sinking its claws into this deliciously pendulous target. The man wasn’t sure what had happened next, but clearly he’d jerked forward to protect his package and cracked his skull on the edge of the bath.

Chilli-filled vagina, unchoreographed slapstick, some harmless bestiality, many an ESA (Embarrassing Sexual Accident), fat nurse gets comeuppance, battered woman not actually battered… by a human – nothing is what it appears. You can’t make this shit up.

Continue reading In Rude Health: The funniest and most explicit stories from the NHS by Robbie Guillory