December 30th, 2016

The Good Enough Mother by Anoushka Beazley

The Blurb On The Back:

The good enough mother.


Gatlin – a leafy, affluent town: Chelsea tractors and ladies who lunch.

However, all is not as it seems. Drea, a most unnatural mother, struggles to find private school fees for her step-daughter Ava after her boyfriend leaves her for another woman.

Watching the yummy mummies she becomes inspired, hatching a daring and criminal plan … unleashing all hell in the quiet town of Gatlin.

Can Drea survive the fallout and the wrath of the PTA? A satirical black comedy about love, motherhood and the human condition.


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The Verdict:

Anoushka Beazley’s debut novel is a satirical black comedy with some sharp observations about the wealthy upper classes and a warm relationship between Drea and Ava but it suffers from being over-written in places, Drea is so erratic that it’s difficult to sympathise with her at times, the developing romance is completely unbelievable and there’s a suicide theme that only comes up when needed to move the plot. I really enjoyed the relationship between Drea and Ava, which is warm and fierce and gave a believable motivation for Drea’s somewhat extreme actions but I wished that the same had been true of Drea and her father (who barely features). Drea herself is such an extreme character (veering from extreme depression to incredible aggression) that I found it difficult to relate to her, but Beazley gives her some sharp one-liners and I enjoyed her caustic observations on Gatlin’s yummy mummies and their pretensions. The attraction between Drea and DC Rodman seems to exist solely to serve the plot and never feels earned and I found the ending rather stretched possibility. All that said though, there’s a lot of potential here that promises good things in future books and I would definitely check out Beazley’s next book.

$uperhubs: How The Financial Elite & Their Networks Rule Our World by Sandra Navidi

The Blurb On The Back:

$uperhubs is a rare, behind-the-scenes look at how the world’s most powerful titans pull the levers of our global financial system. Sandra Navidi reveals how these “SuperHubs” build their powerful networks and how their decisions impact all our lives

Learn what happens at the exclusive, invitation-only platforms – The World Economic Forum in Davos, the meetings of the International Monetary Fund, think-tank gatherings, and galas. This is the most vivid portrait to date of the global elite: the bank CEOs, fund managers, billionaire financiers, and politicians who, through their interlocking relationships and collective influence are transforming our increasingly fragile financial system and societies.


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The Verdict:

Sandra Navidi runs her own management consultancy with personal connections that have taken her to some of the most exclusive gatherings of the financial world, providing her with an up-close view of how these networks work. In this book, she purports to reveal how these networks developed and grew their power and how the decisions taken by those networks impact on global finance and the lives of everyday 99% like her readers. Unfortunately what she delivers is a slick but superficial summary of social network and regulatory theory, some anecdotes ripped from other sources about the financial crisis of 2007/2008, precious little analysis of how these networks actually operate or implement discussions, a grudging acknowledgement that the networks are a big part of the problem in social and financial inequality and a total failure to offer any solutions to the same.

$uperhubs: How The Financial Elite & Their Networks Rule Our World will be released in the United Kingdom on 26th January 2016. Thanks to the Amazon Vine Programme for the ARC of this book.

The Ladybird Book Of The Zombie Apocalypse by J. A. Hazeley and J. P. Morris

The Blurb On The Back:

This delightful book is the latest in the series of Ladybird books which have been specially planned to help grown-ups with the world about them.

As in the other books in this series, the large clear script, the careful choice of words, the frequent repetition and the thoughtful matching of text with pictures all enable grown-ups to think they have taught themselves to cope. The subject of the book will greatly appeal to grown-ups.


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The Verdict:

J. A. Hazeley and J. P. Morris have written a brief but illuminating guide on what to expect in a zombie apocalypse written in simple language that even the dimmest of grown-ups should be able to understand. It’s a short book that uses illustrations from previous Ladybird guides to good effect and I found the section on how to deal with looters particularly useful. It’s a very short book but has plenty of laughs and is perfect for those of a certain age nostalgic for the non-fiction of their youth or for those keen to know what a zombie apocalypse may involve.