Books et al's Blog

All about books, reviews, thoughts and more

Book review: Worms on Parachutes – mystical allies in my battle with cancer November 10, 2012

I have been meaning to blog for ages but life keeps getting in the way – work, part-time study, family commitments, travel and reading! My apologies readers – if I have any left!

In the end it took a very special book from a very special person to drive me to write again.

I love books and I am a huge reader, often reading more than one book at a time. Generally it’s fiction. I prefer the world of imagination  magic, discovery and wonder than the world of pampered celebrities or of real-life disturbing evil. As it’s my form of escapism from the stresses and strains of daily life, I never read what are condescendingly known as ‘Misery Memoirs’ either.

However when someone I knew, Sarah-Jane Phillips, offered me the chance to read the true story about her life and intimate struggle against her battle with two different types of cancer, in her youth and then as an adult, I was touched and resolved to read it immediately.

I was glad I did. Worms on Parachutes is a story of success and bravery through terrible adversity. Whilst it deals with struggles and familial issues as a result, during very scary and painful times, the reader is reminded throughout of the power of positive thinking.   I won’t lie, it’s a tear-jerker, but by the end you feel that even in reality, the good guys can and DO win. This is no spoiler, readers. I did say the author herself gave this to me to read. The story is not about the outcome, but about the experience Sarah went through, and how she has changed as a result.

It is an inspiring and moving personal journey fighting against a disease that sadly affects most of us, directly or indirectly.

Amazingly Sarah has written her story in order to raise money for the hospital team and the institution that got her through it all – the NHS. In Sarah’s opinion an undeservedly maligned healthcare system that we all depend upon.

Unfortunately you won’t be able to get this book in the stores yet. Sarah is still waiting on a publisher with vision and the understanding that many will want to read about the indomitable human spirit’s struggle against survival and what that teaches us. I am sure that it won’t be long before you see it on Amazon, Foyles and Waterstones. In the meantime you can hear more from Sarah-Jane Phillips herself on her Worms on Parachutes Facebook page.

I will let you know when this is available to purchase, and as always if you have been inspired by any personal memoirs or by people’s struggles, I would love to hear about them too.


Starting a book blog April 19, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized,World of Books — Books et al @ 7:58 pm
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When I first conceived of the idea of starting a blog, it was because all I wanted to do was write about all the books I read, to create my own magical world, and then share them with the world. Now that I have actually begun to write my blog, I realise it’s much more than that. I want to find people like me that I can swap experiences with on the great books they have read, who love to read and explore new worlds and be exposed to new experiences. I know I am not the only one that goes through books at a lightning pace, only to find that when I have run out of books to read (always way too soon), I need to buy more just to satiate my voracious appetite. In order to avoid the horror of being sans reading material, I make sure that I always have at least three books by my bedside, waiting to be opened and enjoyed.

I buy books from anywhere I can, online, markets, second-hand bookstores, and every time I walk past a bookstore – well, I never just walk past! I always come out with at least three books , and a mental list of other stories I want to read. My husband despairs as I have run out of space in my house to store them, there are books everywhere! You see, I could NEVER throw or give books away, as I always re-read my books. I dip in and out of them as and when I need another fix on other worlds, lives, and emotions, worlds that have become old friends to me. I still have books from when I was a girl – and yes I still delve into those magical places after 30 odd years! Books keeps me going between my own travels to see and experience all the wonderful places that I have read about.

I am eternally grateful to all those authors, publishers, and booksellers out there, who have made my life so rich from a very young age, and continue to do so. The ability to dip into other’s imaginations, and make them my own in my head, is priceless. Long may it continue.