non-fiction

Arnie Wilson, Celebrities, Non-fiction 0

Big Name Hunting – Arnie Wilson

This is a book about celebrities – a group of people completely outside my sphere of knowledge. So, how did TSL come to re-publish Arnie Wilson’s recollections? Eagles – A chance connection between two authors with a fascination for Eagle Magazine and Dan Dare.

I was taken with the description Arnie gave to me and I actually knew many of the names he mentioned – nostalgia and intrigue got the better of me: Spike Milligan, Joanna Lumley, Morcambe and Wise, Yuri Gargarin as starters. A couple of limericks to whet my appetite and to show how human the ‘big names’ are.

In some ways, Big Name Hunting is a social and cultural history. Arnie charts the move of celebrity status from that of aristocracy to film and sport star in an era before agents became the gate keeper. In addition to shedding tales – all good natured – of some famous folk, you get a flavour of the newspaper world – how stories get discovered and end up getting into print. Different types of story having appeal to different papers.

In telling the stories collected over the years, Arnie’s honesty and openness is clear. He’s not been afraid to tell how the rift between him and Spike Milligan developed or how he was rebuffed by Michael Winner and put in his place by Robert Redford. It seems too good to be true these days, but Arnie writes with integrity – all the takes told are reproduced with permission and confidences maintained where agreed except for one or two occasions where the individual has since died.

There’s something for most people in this eclectic gathering of tales. Politics and history – Profumo, Conservative Party conferences, ambassadors and US presidents; Royalty; Music – Bowie, Old Blue Eyes; Actors galore – Greta Scacchi, Arnold Schwartzenegger, William Shatner, Liza Minelli, James Bond; Golf; Cricket and Skiing all intermingle.

Advice from Michael Winner on how to manage one’s finances and from Barbara Cartland on good healthy living. Others give their views, or not, on the value of sex, and David Gower explains how a hire car ended up at the bottom of a lake in Innsbruck. Stirling Moss shares what it was like to race cars back in the days before the big money got involved and a few skiers explain how they keep fit in anticipation of the forthcoming season.

This book makes an ideal gift for a friend, harking back to ‘the good old days’. Heard of space travel and landing on the moon? If so, then this is your era. Step back in time with a light and somewhat humorous read (I caught myself smiling on occasion).

(And the other author – Keith Howard author of Dunn and Dusted)

Originally posted on 18/01/2018 @ 20:20

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Easy Ways …

I knew Jennie Willett before TSL came into being. Jennie and I worked for the same Further Education (FE) teacher training consortium. Already then I’d read her self-published Easy Ways to Build Assertiveness and bought a copy for my sister-in-law. The book was to the point, practical and not overwhelming in size and word density. Colleagues were also very favourable about the book and Jennie’s enthusiasm.

Following a few years of going our own ways, Jennie and I met up again. By this time, TSL had come into being and Jennie had another book waiting in the wings – Easy Ways to Lift Your Mood. This she’d co-authored with Dr Peter Connell breaking the mould of self-help books by including the medical aspects backing up the practical. As with Easy Ways to Build Assertiveness, Easy Ways to Lift Your Mood was succinct, to the point and practical. The medical aspects easily understandable and accessible.

So, it’s not been surprising to get feedback from GPs about the usefulness of the book – the bonus being that they can prescribe the book rather than medication in the first instance.

Constantly listening to people she’s worked with, Jennie has now updated Easy Ways to Build Assertivesness, Confidence and Self-Esteem – which will be released on 4 February 2017. Additions include Dealing with neighbours, bullying and dating.

Reflecting on what makes Easy Ways work is that the practical advice is grounded in practice. Jennie has developed and used the techniques in group sessions and in one-to-one counselling. The exercises and suggestions are rooted in reality and what is possible. They’re books for everyone – those who need a boost and those who are supporting others.

I feel really privileged to be working with Jennie again and to be able to publish her books which have, over the years, made a huge difference to so many people.

Jennie has a blog offering some tips.

Thanks Pablo for the image

Have you seen?

Originally posted on 10/01/2017 @ 20:20