Missing Pieces (by Laura Pearson)

[star rating="5" max="5"] What a superb debut from Laura Pearson – she is going to be an author to look out for. Her tragic story about a family who try to cope with two deaths is sad but poignant and uplifting.


How to Benefit from P2P (Peer to Peer) Phenomenon

With saving rates so low - where else can you put your savings for a decent return? We have looked at investment trusts with good dividends in excess of 4% in How to Live Well in Retirement but  of course the value of trusts can go down as well as up! Well, P2P or Peer to Peer is an alternative with a warning! Your capital is at risk too - no protection from FSCS. The peer to peer model has…


Oldies but Goldies

In the beginning ... In the 60s a Dansette Record Player with my first vinyl album from Cat Stevens through to the digital age and streaming services, it has been a wild ride! Do you remember the tangled cassette tapes and trying to tape the Top 20 from the radio! Then CDs and the mini CDs,were the vogue, advances with  ipods, and USB sticks and now back to vinyl and streaming. .. to Streaming Music Services I must admit I…


Greeks Bearing Gifts (by Philip Kerr)

[star rating="4" max="5"] Bernie Gunther is now an insurance loss adjuster. He is the same uncouth character with a nose for solving a crime. This time he has to investigate the sinking of a boat that is supposedly seeking Greek relics. Mossad, corrupt politicians, and Nazis all add to the intrigue.


Consistent Dividend or Growth – a conundrum?

In the article "How to Live Well in Retirement?", I favoured a dividend approach with some growth stocks to beat inflationary effects. Of course, this is just one strategy to provide a monthly income. Alternatively, you might favour a more conservative approach to growth with some dividends. If you are not a stock picker, then a more comfortable approach is to rely on fund or investment trust managers who have more experience. But even these managers do not always beat…


30 Days of Justis (by John Ellsworth)

[star rating="5" max="5"] In 30 Days of Justis attorney Michael Gresham discovers that a daughter (he never knew he had) is on death row for the murder of a Judge. There are just 30 days to save her, and he is fighting cronyism and the prejudice against sex workers. The suspense builds as we approach the final days.


Tips for Living (by Renée Shafransky)

[star rating="4" max="5"] Nora has escaped from New York City to small town Pequod after her now ex-husband's (Hugh) affair resulting in pregnancy! She has started re-building her life as a journalist on the local rag until her life is shattered by Hugh's purchase of a property in the town.


Things We Never Said (by Nick Alexander)

[star rating="5" max="5"] It is a sad, funny but uplifting read. It is a roller coaster emotional journey as we follow life for Sean after his wife Catherine has died following a long fight against cancer. Compelling and thoroughly enjoyable.


God Delusion or Not? Trouble with Religion!

Stephen Hawking and Mortality The sad news about the death of the world's greatest contemporary scientist - Stephen Hawking - last week , and some of the following press coverage raised thoughts about Mortality and Religion. Stephen was an atheist and held strong views: “I regard the brain as a computer which will stop working when its components fail,” he told the Guardian. “There is no heaven or afterlife for broken down computers; that is a fairy story for people…


A Dark so Deadly (by Stuart MacBride)

[star rating="3" max="5"] This standalone crime thriller depicts a dark community haunted by a serial killer, who likes to mummify his victims, in Scotland. The crime is investigated by a motley squad of misfits. Excellent dialogue. An entertaining read but probably instantly forgettable.


How to Live Well in Retirement? Top Portfolio!

How many of us have thought about Retirement Income planning, planned ahead and invested in pensions and savings for a wealthy retirement (sorry senior Gap Years)? Not too many for sure! So how do you STRETCH savings and investments for possibly 30 plus years? First I am not a financial advisor so please don't think this retirement income planning is advice - just a personal opinion!! I have the State Pension, a small Teacher's Pension, a SIPP with Hargreaves Lansdown and…


Free Books to Download or Read

In retirement (or as my partner says: "Gap Years"), you inevitably have more time to read! In the digital age visits to the library become less frequent so how can you read for free? Free Books Online There are a number of sites where you can read books online but they tend to the older public domain books. There are sites where you can read modern novels online (or download them): For example, ReadanyBook.com where I discovered books by Philip…

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