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Inspiring Stories

On Stage: In Fog and Falling Snow (George Stephenson)

What do you do when your theatre is closed for nearly a year for a major refurb? Build another (temporary) one of course: the show must go on…! At least, that was the York Theatre Royal’s approach, constructing the Signal Box Theatre in a huge insulated marquee with a railway track down the middle at the back of the National Railway Museum. Continue reading “On Stage: In Fog and Falling Snow (George Stephenson)”

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The Courageous State by Richard Murphy

Following the release of the Panama Papers, now feels like an excellent time to review my favourite book about tax, money and the common good: The Courageous State: Rethinking Economics, Society and The Role of Government by Richard Murphy. Continue reading “The Courageous State by Richard Murphy”

At Least It’s Not Raining by Stephen Redman

Childhood cancer is rare, affecting just a few thousand families each year in the UK, and of those, 80% of children diagnosed with cancer survive. But what if your family is in the 20%? Continue reading “At Least It’s Not Raining by Stephen Redman”

In Grief and Hope: God On Mute by Pete Greig

What do you do when God is silent? This book is dedicated to people who are hurting and secretly wondering “Where is God? Why’s this happening to me? And how come my prayers aren’t working?” Continue reading “In Grief and Hope: God On Mute by Pete Greig”

Short But Stunning: Moranifesto by Caitlin Moran

Turning to short prose, I’ll finish this series on short but stunning writing by reviewing an eagerly awaited recent addition to our bookshelves: Caitlin Moran’s new book Moranifesto, a collection of her columns and opinion pieces for the Times and others. Arranged loosely by theme, this is a delightful combination of humour, pop culture and reviews and heartfelt opinion, particularly on issues affecting poverty and feminism. Continue reading “Short But Stunning: Moranifesto by Caitlin Moran”

Inspiring People: Elaine Storkey

Scars Across Humanity: Understanding and Overcoming Violence Against Women by Elaine Storkey

This week I went to the launch of Elaine Storkey’s new book Scars Across Humanity, a study of the global drivers  and impacts of violence against women.

Elaine Storkey is one of my all-time heroes, who has spoken up for justice time and time again, through her 16 years as President of the international development charity Tearfund and through her research and writing as an academic. I have heard her speak at big conferences, including Greenbelt and the SPEAK Network (a campaigns network for students and young people which is another of the charities she supports and encourages). So it was a pleasant surprise to discover she was coming to my local library on a Saturday afternoon as part of York International Women’s Festival! Continue reading “Inspiring People: Elaine Storkey”

Inspiring People: Waris Dirie #2

Desert Dawn by Waris Dirie and Jeanne D’Haem

After her rise to fame described in Desert Flower, what happened next?
Waris Dirie’s second book is an honest account of a life split between two cultures: her husband in America and her family in Somalia. After so many years in the West, she returns home for an extended visit to her village and describes the culture shock in both directions: her family’s expectations and her own.

Continue reading “Inspiring People: Waris Dirie #2”

Inspiring People: Waris Dirie #1

Desert Flower: The Extraordinary Story of A Desert Nomad

by Waris Dirie and Cathleen Miller

This book tells the story of Waris Dirie, from Somalia to England, from servant to international model, from a victim of violence to healing and eventually becoming a UN ambassador challenging the practice of FGM, in a world where 3 million women and girls are cut every year.

Continue reading “Inspiring People: Waris Dirie #1”

Inspiring People: I Am Malala

I Am Malala by Malala Yousafzai and Christina Lamb

Malala Yousafzai has become a familiar face in recent years, and her story is an adventure of principled youth against oppression. Having become a campaigner for girls like herself to be educated like the boys in Pakistan, aged 15 she was shot on her way to school by the Taliban. Continue reading “Inspiring People: I Am Malala”

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