The Neruda Case – Chile, Mexico, Cuba, Germany, Bolivia – Roberto Ampuero

A fantastic review for Roberto Ampuero’s THE NERUDA CASE from the book trail!

The book trail

neruda case

Why a booktrail ?

A mystery set against the backdrop of the Chilean 1973 coup which paints an interesting portrait of the  poet Pablo Neruda

Story in a nutshell

Cayetano Brulé, is Cuban but lives in Valparaiso, Chile. At a dinner party one evening he comes across the poet Pablo Neruda who won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1971, just two years previously. As they talk, Neruda provides him with a challenge – to find a man he has not seen for many many years.

He hands him a pile of Simenon’s Maigret detective novels and tells him that these will help give him all the detective skills he needs. The only important thing is that he finds this man – Neruda is dying of cancer and this is his final wish.

Cayetano finds that this mission takes him away from Chile, to Mexico, Cuba, East Germany, and…

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Mastering the art of “baby talk”

We’ve all been there.

You’ve just got on the plane, maybe taken that complimentary glass of chilled, white wine, pressed the recline button on your chair and slipped the eye mask on. And then it begins.

Cue hours of wailing/screaming/crying, a.k.a the loudest noises you’ve ever heard, and one sleepless flight.

Sometimes we just don’t understand what’s wrong.

According to research undertaken by anthropologists at Prague’s Charles University, (published in The Times) most parents misinterpret babies’ cries.

“While the adults reliably recognised the sounds of the babies playing or crying after a vaccination jab, they correctly identified sounds associated with isolation and a full stomach less than half the time. They were even worse at pin-pointing demands for food, which were often mistaken for cries of loneliness.”

“The researchers suggested that humans had a tendency to interpret babies’ cries as calls for help more often than not because of the potentially fatal consequences of ignoring a noise that might signal distress.”

Fear not, because SP has just published Dr David Lewis’ The Secret Language of Your Child, the essential handbook for all new parents, carers and nursery staff in its revelations of the body language and the behaviour of the under-fives.

Secret Language cover

Q: Ever thought about what your toddler is trying to say by tilting his head?

A: A backwards tilted head accompanies a relaxed play-face, and is seen during very friendly and uninhibited games. It’s never seen in hostile or neutral exchanges.

Q: What does it really mean when your baby smiles at you?

A: There are a range of different smiles;
– Compressed smiles, where the lips are drawn up as in a simple smile, but pressed tightly together. These smiles signal a repressed and slightly embarrassed mirth.

– Croissant smiles are mostly seen in babies. Here, the lips are pulled up at the edges with a small aperture formed in the centre.

Bet you did’t know that, eh?

Some praise for The Secret Language of Your Child:

“Do I think it’s well worth a read, with relevant points and ideas? Yes, and I can see this being even more beneficial to parents of younger children who cannot make themselves heard yet, or should I say that they can, we just don’t know what we’re listening for. It will change your perceptions, and I am now really looking forward to my next playgroup session with Little Man to look out for his social interactions and what some of the other children are ‘saying’.” – Top family blogger, Jocelyn from the Reading Residence 

“This book is so fascinating. It’s an easy read and definitely will make you look at your toddler in a different way….I would definitely recommend it.” – Top family blogger, Sharon from TeenTweenToddler

Sharon is also giving one lucky reader the chance to WIN a copy of The Secret Language of Your Child. Click here to enter!

“A useful guide to body talk – and baby talk” – Daily Mail

“An excellent book and, what is more, fun. Yet it is a book with a serious and important purpose.” – Psychology Today

Get your copy here.

Hooray for Her Royal Highness, Princess Charlotte!

As you should probably know (unless you were hiding in a very big hole!), Her Royal Highness, Princess Charlotte was born 12 days ago, on Saturday 2nd May.

To celebrate the birth of Her Royal Highness, Princess Charlotte, we thought it might be fitting to share the prayer for ‘Charlotte’ from Reverend Andrew Tawn’s Naming and Blessing: A Book of Name Prayers. 

Naming And Blessing cover

collection of personalised name prayers for more than 500 baby names, it’s perfect for christening readings or for parents wanting to pray for their child at any stage in their life.


Caring God, walk with Charlotte,

Heal her when she is hurt,

Accompany her when she is lonely,

Rescue her when she is in trouble,

Lead her when she is lost,

Overcome every obstacle,

Teach her your way,

Travelling with her

Every step of life’s journey.

Some reviews for Naming and Blessing: A Book of Name Prayers

“A collection of prayers which can be used so very easily and readily by a much wider range of people than simply the committed Christian.”
Bishop David Hope, former Archbishop of York

“Throughout life we receive many gifts but our name is one of the first and most precious gifts we receive…The author uses the ancient device of the acrostic to create unique and thoughtful meditations on the names of the children he has baptised.”
Anthony Russell, former Bishop of Ely

“This is a gift with many layers, unpacking the meaning of individual names and weaving into each prayer a gentle yet profound affirmation of the connection of each unique individual to God.”
Angela Ashwin, author of ‘The Book of a Thousand Prayers’

Buy a copy of Naming and Blessing: A Book of Name Prayers here.

VE Day: 70 Years On

This weekend, the UK will commemorate the 70th anniversary of VE Day.

On 8th May 1945 at 3pm (GMT), the end of the war in Europe was marked by Winston Churchill, as he addressed the nation and the Empire from the Treasury Balcony in Whitehall (quoted from The Telegraph):

“The German war is therefore at an end. After years of intense preparation Germany hurled herself on Poland at the beginning of September 1939 and, in pursuance of our guarantee to Poland, and in common action with the French Republic, Great Britain and the British Empire and the Commonwealth of Nations declared war against this foul aggression.

“After gallant France had been struck down we from this island and from our united Empire maintained the struggle single-handed for a whole year until we were joined by the military might of Soviet Russia and later by the overwhelming power and resources of the United States of America.

“Finally almost the whole world was combined against the evildoers, who are now prostrate before us. Our gratitude to our splendid Allies goes forth from all our hearts.

“We may allow ourselves a brief period of rejoicing, but let us not forget for a moment the toils and efforts that lie ahead.”

In celebration, pubs stayed open late, street parties lined once-empty roads and the public received their first weather forecast since the war began.

Though VE Day was the end of the war in Europe – it marked the final defeat of Hitler and the Nazis – it would take another three months before the Japanese surrendered and ended World War II.

Lest we forget. We will remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice for the freedom we enjoy today.

Re-discover the historic events that led up to VE Day in 1945 with Alexander McKee’s Caen: Anvil of Victory.


Today it is almost forgotten that the D-Day landings of 6 June 1944 did not bring a single, isolated victory. As this masterly book reminds us, that first foothold on enemy shores was won at enormous cost, and for two months afterwards a fierce battle raged for the control of Caen. Using the personal accounts of those who took part in the fighting, both Allied and German, and of the French civilians caught up in the conflict, McKee brilliantly reconstructs the bitter struggle that ravaged Normandy throughout the summer of 1944 before the Allied position in Europe was finally secured.

“A minor classic of Second World War historiography.”
‘New Statesman’

“An excellent series of eye-witness accounts from both sides… an excellent ‘worm’s eye view’ of the fighting.”
‘Daily Telegraph’

To see the schedule of commemoration events, visit The Royal British Legion.

To buy a copy of Alexander McKee’s Caen: Anvil of Victory, click here.

To see other Alexander McKee books, click here.

Happy Publication Day!

Joseph Emet’s Mindfulness Meditation is OUT TODAY!

Mindfulness Meditation is Joseph Emet’s step-by-step guide to integrating mindfulness meditation into your daily life, with detailed techniques, inspirational quotes and innovative mindfulness mantras that help take you from “brainfulness” to mindfulness. It is also the first book to discuss our evolutionary psychology in relation to mindfulness – or how we have been programmed to listen to the brain.

“Joseph Emet’s book describes how we can apply mindfulness to different areas of our lives, and how doing so can enrich the way we live.” – Thich Nhat Hanh

With Mindfulness Meditation, you can learn how to reduce stress in the workplace, manage depression, build better relationships and enjoy a healthier life with techniques that only take a few minutes of your day.

So, what’re you waiting for?

Mindfulness Meditation cover

Buy a copy of Mindfulness Meditation here.