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review 2018-05-13 19:21
Naked Britain - Amelia Allen

A year ago, I learned about this book in a radio interview the author, an established fashion photographer, had given BBC Radio London. As someone who once tried the "naturist lifestyle" many years ago in the West Indies, I was curious to read, see, and learn about Amelia Allen's take on the naturist world in the UK. 

For Allen, "[s]hooting 'Naked Britain' was a study in mindfulness for me. I photographed this book fully naked, because I wanted to completely immerse myself in the world of naturism and understand how this way of life feels." Allen met with many of the people - of various ages and backgrounds - who practice naturism at a naturist club about 20 miles from London. The photographs - all in B&W - are of the highest quality. and show people engaged in conversation over cards, cycling, swimming, doing calisthenics, walking in the woods, playing tennis, gardening, playing billiards, sitting poolside, and standing on the shore. There is a pure and simple honesty in this book about living and being at peace with one's nakedness among one's fellow human beings similarly free of clothing. 

Two of the more memorable insights Allen said she got from the time she spent among naturists are the following --- 'Naturism changes how you feel about our body and yourself, it changes your perspective on what the body is.' AND - 'People are just people; it's liberating to just be yourself.'

"NAKED BRITAIN" is a book I would recommend to anyone who is interested in learning more about naturism and values quality photography

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text 2018-05-10 04:15
Pregnancy Photography Berkshire: 4 Tips In Finding The Most Reliable Professional Out There




   For a lot of expecting mothers, maternity is certainly a critical period - a time when they're most beautiful while bearing a new life inside their tummies. In case you happen to be one of these individuals, bear in mind that you would just be pregnant several times. Therefore, it is vital that you make each moment unforgettable and document it if you can. Thankfully, immortalising such amazing moments has become easy with the aid of people who specialises in pregnancy photography Berkshire.

   If you're currently searching for a skilled photographer for your pregnancy photo shoot, then you have visited the ideal spot. Here, you'd understand several pointers to be able to get the proper specialist to hire. They are the following:

1. Ask for recommendations from people you know

Among the easiest ways to get prospects on the talented photographers within your place is to ask suggestions from your family or colleagues. For certain, there are several of them who worked with such professionals in the past.
When obtaining guidelines from people you are friends with, do not only concentrate on remembering the names of photographers. Furthermore, you must talk to them regarding their professional experiences. By doing so, it will be easier for you to discover who among them is the most dependable pregnancy photography Berkshire located professional.

2. Familiarise yourself with the photographers through the Internet

Once you have your record of highly-suggested photographers, it is time to know these people better. In order to do this, you'd need a great deal of patience and of course, the Internet. You should perform various preliminary research to find out more about their capabilities and expertise in the industry. Every detail about them can be viewed on the websites of the photographers.
Also, you need to evaluate the training experience and the photography style of the pregnancy photography Berkshire professionals you’re interested in hiring. They have to ensure your safety throughout the photo shoot and offer you excellent and unique photos at the same time.

3. Examine the types of maternity photo sessions and their prices

An outstanding photographer understands that each client has unique preferences and requirements. As a result, this professional will surely have a vast array of offerings to fit every need there is. For instance, they might have maternity photo shoots which last from 45 minutes up to 2 hours. Each of these deals has various inclusions, and usually the lengthiest period includes changes of clothes, choice of location, a makeover and much more. Through assessing each of the offers on offer, you can identify the most suitable one for you.

4. Examine the prices available

Last but not least, understand that obtaining stunning maternity images doesn’t have to cost you too much money. It is true that you'd come across lots of photographers who demand high prices, but individuals who provide relatively-priced services are just as plenty. What you must accomplish is get the most reliable one among them so you can enjoy excellent services without using up all of your resources.
At first, finding a pregnancy photography Berkshire based expert who’s quite trustworthy can be a little tough. But if you will stick to the recommendations discussed in this article, you can certainly make this task much simpler.

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review 2018-05-06 03:14
Wiping Out (Snow-Crossed Lovers Book 2) - Carrie Quest

This is book #2, in the Snow-Crossed Lovers series.  This book can be read as a standalone novel.  For reader understanding, and to avoid spoilers, I recommend reading this great series in order.


Adam has been avoiding people and places since his injury.  He has been avoiding his girl, and his best friend too.  The adjustment to not being able to compete is nearly killing him.  How do you explain that to those who love you?


Piper has her life mapped out.  Only problem is she wants Adam in it.  No other man has made her feel more alive.  The future is within reach now that Adam is home.  


This story was so beautiful and sexy!  I love these characters and have been rooting for them since the first book in this amazing series.  The fire that burns with both of them in the room nearly burns everyone around.  I love how the author handled the sensitive subject of the brain injury.  I give this story a 4/5 Kitty's Paws UP!



***This copy was given in exchange for an honest review only.

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review 2018-04-26 12:17
A book for those who are not afraid to ask uncomfortable questions and are willing to challenge the status quo.
Memory Battles of the Spanish Civil War: History, Fiction, Photography - Sebastiaan Faber

Thanks to Edelweiss and to the publishers (Vanderbilt University Press) for providing me a copy of the book that I freely chose to review.

I was drawn to this book because although I was born and grew up in Spain, I have spent the last 25 years of my life in the UK, and between the time invested in education and work, I know I have missed some of the big debates about the past that have taken place in the country. From personal experience, I know that living abroad gives you a different perspective, usually wider, on a country’s history and society, and I was interested to learn the opinions of a foreign Hispanist on the controversial topic of the book.

This book was illuminating for me. I’ve discovered that I need to catch up and read books, watch documentaries, and explore the memory movement in Spain. I know some details thanks to my mother’s family, but it is a drop in the ocean compared to the many initiatives and projects that have been implemented. I learned about laws (helpful and, mostly, unhelpful), about controversy and debates, about the origin of well-known photographs and documents (including the fact that photographers shared cameras and subjects during the Spanish Civil War, and no matter what their intent, those photographs also had, even at the time, a commercial value), about the uneasy relationship between Culture, cultural objects, and History. Is fiction less valuable when it comes to documenting the reception and the collective memory of a historical event? Or more?

Although I am not an expert in History, I have read some History books over the years and one of the things I found more refreshing about this volume, which collects a variety of essays on topics that fit in well together, is the fact that rather than offering an authoritative version of events or pontificating about the right or wrong way of looking at a particular period in history, it asks questions. On relevancy: how can an academic book written in English discussing events and recent debates about Spanish history and politics reach a wider audience? Are academics simply talking to themselves without ever reaching the general public (unless given an “official” status)? On the approach and the position historians should take when researching and writing their findings: Can historical essays and books ever be “neutral”? And should they be “neutral”? Isn’t it better to be open about one’s point of view and allegiances? (As the author observes, WWII historians are clearly positioned when writing about the war, but in Spain, this is frowned upon). On comparative studies and the risks of conflating similar events in different countries and eras, thereby missing the most interesting and fruitful aspects for analysis: Is it legitimate to apply international models (like those developed through the Holocaust studies) to the Spanish Civil War and the Francoist repression?  On the position of the intellectuals and how politics and affiliations affect even those who try hardest to be rigorous. How can those intellectuals who were heavily invested in the Transition open up to other opinions and not consider them a personal criticism? On the memory movement, the hurdles faced by those trying to find out more about relatives or friends, and about the resistance of historians to see any value in memory narratives. Is forgetting the past the best option, or do the unhealed wounds and traumas that have been festering, no matter how long for, always find a way to resurface? About the boom in historical fiction novels about the Civil War and what they tell us about society and popular opinion. Although the author’s opinions are clearly stated, the questions hang there and readers can take them up and find their own answers.

As I said, I cannot claim to any expertise on the topic, and I suspect experts will have much to take issue with in this book, but for me, it helps provide the tools to answer some of the questions that inform the author’s work and that are the same that a large part of the Spanish population are asking. Quoting from the book:

How have history, fiction, and photography shaped Spanish memory? How has democratic Spain dealt with the legacy of the Civil War, the Franco dictatorship, and the Transition? And how have academics, writers, filmmakers, photographers, and journalists in Spain and elsewhere engaged with a collective process that is central to the country’s future as a unified, functioning democracy?

In view of recent events, these questions are more pressing and relevant than ever, and I hope this book reaches as wide an audience as possible. I recommend it to anybody who is open to fresh perspectives on the subject and is up for a challenging — but ultimately rewarding— read.

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