It’s time for some more mini reviews. I hope you enjoy reading them! 😀
Me by Elton John
From Goodreads: “In his only official autobiography, music icon Elton John writes about his extraordinary life, which is also the subject of the film Rocketman. Christened Reginald Dwight, he was a shy boy with Buddy Holly glasses who grew up in the London suburb of Pinner and dreamed of becoming a pop star. By the age of twenty-three, he was on his first tour of America, facing an astonished audience in his tight silver hot-pants, bare legs and a T-shirt with ROCK AND ROLL emblazoned across it in sequins. Elton John had arrived and the music world would never be the same again. His life has been full of drama, from the early rejection of his work with song-writing partner Bernie Taupin to spinning out of control as a chart-topping superstar; from half-heartedly trying to drown himself in his LA swimming pool to disco-dancing with the Queen; from friendships with John Lennon, Freddie Mercury and George Michael to setting up his AIDS Foundation. All the while, Elton was hiding a drug addiction that would grip him for over a decade. In Me Elton also writes about getting clean and changing his life, about finding love with David Furnish and becoming a father.
Before I read this all I really knew about Elton John was that he a very flamboyant gay pop star who had hair transplants, got married in the 80s to a woman called Renate, and had links to Watford Football Club. I learnt an awful lot more about him in this book including his addiction to cocaine, alcohol, food and his tantrums! He didn’t come across as a nice person, although I liked that he realised what a horror he was and eventually got help for his addictions. There was a lot of name dropping of people he’d met over the years, the people he idolised as wellthose he fell out with . There are some great stories throughout, but some of it did get a bit much for me at times. I loved the final chapters about his family life with his husband and two boys, it was lovely to read how settled and happy he’d become.
Wham! George & Me by Andrew Ridgeley
From Goodreads: “For the first time, Andrew Ridgeley – one half of one of the most famous bands in the world – tells the inside story of Wham!, his life-long friendship with George Michael and the formation of a band that changed the shape of the music scene in the early eighties. In 1975 Andrew took a shy new boy at school under his wing. They instantly hit it off and their boyhood escapades at Bushey Meads School built a bond that was never broken. The duo found themselves riding an astonishing rollercoaster of success, taking them all over the world. They made and broke iconic records, they were treated like gods, but they stayed true to their friendship and ultimately to themselves. It was a party that seemed as if it would never end. And then it did, in front of tens of thousands of tearful fans at Wembley Stadium in 1986. Andrew’s memoir covers in wonderful detail those years, up until that last iconic concert: the scrapes, the laughs, the relationships, the good and the bad. It’s a unique and one-and-only time to remember that era, that band and those boys.“
You’d think after reading Elton John’s book that I’d want to stay away from pop star memoirs, but actually this was the perfect book for me. I loved this book so much! It was a really lovely account about Andrew Ridgeley’s memories of his friendship with George Michael, from when he met him at school, through the teenage years starting a band, right through to becoming Wham! and afterwards. It was a really happy read which I could identify with far more than Elton John’s book. I loved Wham! in the 80s and even remember seeing their TV debut on Saturday Superstore. Their music was fun and happy and always cheers me up when I hear it, especially Club Tropicana! I definitely recommend this one if you fancy a trip back to the 80s.
Marvel’s Captain America: The Winter Soldier – The Art of The Movie by Marie Javens
From Goodreads: “Continuing their popular ART OF series of movie tie-in books, Marvel presents its latest blockbuster achievement! Featuring exclusive concept artwork, behind-the-scenes photographs, production stills, and in-depth interviews with the cast and crew, THE ART OF CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE WINTER SOLDIER provides an insider’s look into the making of the highly-anticipated film directed by Joe and Anthony Russo, and starring Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson, Samuel L. Jackson, Cobie Smulders and Sebastian Stan!“
This was a very different read for me but one that I really enjoyed. I do love the Marvel films and loved finding out about behind the scenes of The Winter Soldier especially as I’ve been watching them on Disney+ for the last few months. I read this just before watching the film for the second time so I was able to point out things I’d learnt to my husband and son whilst we were watching. I hope my library has more ebooks like this as I’d definitely read them.
Pardonable Lies (Maisie Dobbs Book 3) by Jacqueline Winspear
From Goodreads: “A deathbed plea from his wife leads Sir Cecil Lawton to seek the aid of Maisie Dobbs, psychologist and investigator. As Maisie soon learns, Agnes Lawton never accepted that her aviator son was killed in the Great War, a torment that led her not only to the edge of madness but to the doors of those who practice the dark arts and commune with the spirit world. In accepting the assignment, Maisie finds her spiritual strength tested, as well as her regard for her mentor, Maurice Blanche. The mission also brings her together once again with her college friend Priscilla Evernden, who served in France and who lost three brothers to the war one of whom, it turns out, had an intriguing connection to the missing Ralph Lawton.“
If you’ve been following my blog for a while you’ll know that I love the Maisie Dobbs series. You might also be aware that I’ve read them out of order as I normally borrow them from the library unless I’ve been approved by NetGalley. In this third book in the series I learnt a lot of things that funnily enough related to the latest book, and it tied up a lot of the loose ends that I didn’t even realised I’d missed. I enjoyed this one as it takes Maisie back to France for the first time since she was a nurse over there in the First World War. She goes on quite an emotional journey which involves secrets, subterfuge and very surprising discoveries. It was a really good story and I’m really pleased I was able to read it via the library’s Libby app.