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Reviewed: The Books of BH & VHM McKechnie

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About the Authors

Their profile on AMAZON states that they live on the coast in South West Scotland. As well as producing inspirational and educational articles and books, they also write, record, and produce their own original music, write poetry, and photograph all aspects of daily life especially the natural, architectural, and ancient elements.

reviewed-the-books-of-bh-vhm-mckechnie

Publications

Untimely And Tragic Deaths Of The Renowned The Celebrated The Iconic | Featuring Ordinary Individuals Who Died In Bizarre Circumstances

A Tome Of Idioms | Complemented By Some Familiar Proverbs And Sayings (Their Meanings And Origins Explained)

Revealed | The Hidden Meaning Behind The Lyrics Of 501 Classic And Popular Songs

Short Finals (Aviation Novel)

The Last Question (Science Fiction Novel)

The Little Book of Big Excuses 420 Hilarious Excuses

Hilarious Quotes | Over 2000 Witty Quotes From The Famous And Not So Famous

Bizarre Deaths | Famous Individuals And Others Who Died In Horrific Circumstances

The Little Book of Superstitions Omens & Signs | Their Meanings and Origins Explained

What Rhymes With Poetry? | 21 Original new rhyming poems

Achieving Motivational & Inspirational Inner Strength Through Words

Untimely And Tragic Deaths Of The Renowned The Celebrated The Iconic | Featuring Ordinary Individuals Who Died In Bizarre Circumstances

reviewed-the-books-of-bh-vhm-mckechnie

Untimely And Tragic Deaths Of The Renowned The Celebrated The Iconic | Featuring Ordinary Individuals Who Died In Bizarre Circumstances

This book was first published in 2020 and contains over 560 entries augmented by a bibliography, an alphabetical list of countries, locations of individuals final resting places (where known), and a day and month list in consecutive order of when an individual died.

It details the deaths of individuals, who died too early and often in tragic circumstances, from film, literature, music, theatre, and television, and the achievements they left behind. In addition, some ordinary people who died in bizarre, freak, or strange circumstances are also included.

It also mentions that there are many conspiracy theories, rumours, cover-ups, allegations, sensationalism, and myths about the cause of some individual’s deaths. Only the facts known at the time of writing are included in the book.

Interestingly the book mentions that some important information is deliberately kept secret or undisclosed. Sometimes not until 20 or even 30 years later are full details of an accident or incident released or in some cases found during extensive research. Similarly, unsolved murders can be reinvestigated years later if new information becomes known. In some cases, 50 years on, there are those who continue to investigate what they consider are alleged cover-ups.

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A very relevant additional paragraph states… It does not matter if they were famous or just celebrated by a few individuals, all the people in this book left behind family, friends and in some instances devotees who idolised them. Our heartfelt thoughts and sympathies go out to all those affected by each persons death. Whether you are concerned about yourself, a loved one, a friend, or a work colleague there are many helplines and support groups that offer confidential non-judgemental help, guidance and advice on mental health problems (such as anxiety, bereavement, depression, despair, distress, stress, substance abuse, suicidal feelings, and trauma). Support can be by phone, email, face-to-face counselling, courses, and self-help groups. Details can be found online or at your local health care organisation.

Complimentary | The numerous entries are concise but give all the relevant information without the padding you can find in some other publications dealing with this subject.

Critical | A very harrowing book, which makes uncomfortable reading at times. Definitely not for the squeamish or sensitive.

A Tome Of Idioms | Complemented By Some Familiar Proverbs And Sayings (Their Meanings And Origins Explained)

reviewed-the-books-of-bh-vhm-mckechnie

A Tome Of Idioms | Complemented By Some Familiar Proverbs And Sayings (Their Meanings And Origins Explained)

This book was first published in 2019 and contains over 900 entries in systematic order augmented by an extensive Bibliography. It provides a guide to the meanings and origins of Idioms, Proverbs, and Sayings.

I agree with the comment that ‘sometimes, without knowing, we quote idiomatical expressions in our everyday conversations’.

An explanation as to what an idiom is, is provided…’Idioms are used to communicate something that other words do not convey as clearly or as meaningfully. They tend to be colloquial and are more effective when used in spoken rather than written English.’

There is also a comment that ‘the origins of idioms are sometimes difficult to trace which means that finding a precise date a particular idiom came into existence is never easy.’

Interestingly… ‘A number of idioms, proverbs, and sayings originate in well-known literature and Holy texts such as, William Shakespeare (60 entries), the Bible (47 entries), John Heywood (27 entries), Aesop (15 entries), and Geoffrey Chaucer (12 entries), to name but a few. Some of these have evolved in many different forms over several years into the expressions we use today.

Complimentary | A vast record of extremely informative information that would make a perfect reference book for scholars, the curious and the inquisitive.

Critical | It is hard to imagine anyone can be critical of a book which covers its subject so extensively.

reviewed-the-books-of-bh-vhm-mckechnie

Revealed | The Hidden Meaning Behind The Lyrics Of 501 Classic And Popular Songs

This book was first published in 2021 and as stated in the introduction is definitely ‘a comprehensive, concise, compact, and efficient guide to the meanings and origins of the lyrics to familiar, well-known, and acclaimed songs. With each entry written in a clear and uncomplicated style.

Surprisingly it notes that ‘some songs have been recorded by numerous artists, such as ‘Yesterday’ by The Beatles, which has over 2,000 cover versions and ‘Hallelujah’ by Leonard Cohen, over 300. In such cases, we have made reference to the version recorded by the most well-known group or singer.’

The reviewer has to agree that ‘usually it is simple to interpret the lyrics of some great songs. With most having no profound meaning and just happen to have an appealing chorus, memorable riff, or easy to learn rhyming verses. However, many familiar songs with distinctive music have hidden meanings, which you may not be aware of, or over the years have misinterpreted. How many songs have you listened to and thought, “What is that song actually about?”’

A welcome comment was that… ‘some songs have been deliberately omitted, because their lyrics, or the meaning behind the lyrics, are rude, crude, or offensive, but be advised they do include lyrics which describe many true and fictional tragic heartbreaking events.’

Complimentary | The surprise was finding songs which I love having a very different meaning from what I always thought. Quite a revelation.

Critical | Although this book covers many well known songs there are apparently 27 million songs available worldwide so only another 53,999 volumes still to be written.

Short Finals (Aviation Novel)

reviewed-the-books-of-bh-vhm-mckechnie

Short Finals (Aviation Novel)

The authors state that they lived besides PrestwickAirport on the West coast of Scotland in the late 1960’s. The inspiration for this book came from them watching the many different aircraft that visited this once busy ‘fog free’ airport. Home to the builders of the Twin Pioneer, Scottish Aviation, and a safe haven for numerous diversions in the sixties and seventies. Whether it was crew training by BOAC 707’s and VC-10’s or BEA Tridents, scheduled flights by Pan Am, KLM, and SAS, or visits by various USN and USAF aircraft such as C-117D’s or C-141A’s there was always a, now nostalgic, variety of movements to observe.

This is a fast paced aviation novel set in the late 1960’s early 1970’s which, based on the above, definitely qualifies them to write about aviation and aviators during that time. As the write-up on Amazon states… ‘Strap yourself into the jump-seat, make sure your harnesses are pulled really tightly, and let Scott ‘Sunshine’ Gibson give you the flight of your life. Join him as he meets up with some old and new comrades, Ryan ‘shut-eye’ Davis, Lawrence ‘sticky’ LaBelle, Jack ‘crackerjack’ McCleary, Carson ‘sleepy’ Sandmann, John Edward ‘long john’ Silver, and Sebastian ‘Atlas’ Williams, aboard a Beech 18, Boeing B-29 Superfortress, Boeing 314 Clipper, and a Scottish Aviation Twin Pioneer and share in his adventures from Newfoundland to Mexico to Malaysia in the late 1960’s. Hang on to your hats boys. It’s time to fly.’

Complimentary | The writing sucks you into that moment in time and I couldn’t put this book down until I had finished it. Then I was disappointed to find myself back in the real world so I just had to read it again.

Critical | No hero’s here. Just ordinary people with extraordinary flying skills and numerous personal problems that they hide by spending most of their time in an alcohol induced state.

The Last Question (Science Fiction Novel)

reviewed-the-books-of-bh-vhm-mckechnie

The Last Question (Science Fiction Novel)

There are many questions asked before you even start to read this very intense novel. Why are the ‘Traits’ coming? Who are ‘The Gathering’? Why is there a blue planet for sale? What is 750007500075? Who will ask the last question? What will that question be? The answers are revealed but as the write-up states ‘be warned that sometimes it is better not to know the answers to certain questions.’

I liked the fact that for once the main character was not your ‘save the planet hero’. He is a bilateral amputee, who drinks too much and spends long periods in a depression, but does have a wicked sense of humour. The book is filled with some brilliant one-liners, and without giving too much away the conversations between him and a ‘TRAIT’ are at times hilarious. The book also has a very serious message, but does not manipulate the reader, instead it leaves each individual to come to their own conclusions on why or even if the human species should be saved.

Complimentary | Making the main character an alcoholic bilateral amputee carrying unbearable guilt told me right away that this was a book that had no super hero’s who rise up against those evil aliens and try to save the world.

Critical | There is quite a sadistic pleasure the main character gets from some of the situations he finds himself in and how his ‘TRAIT’ deals with them without emotion. Those who prefer their science fiction characters to be two-dimensional and operate in a predictable Si-Fi manner will be extremely disappointed.

The Little Book of Big Excuses 420 Hilarious Excuses

reviewed-the-books-of-bh-vhm-mckechnie

The Little Book of Big Excuses 420 Hilarious Excuses

The hilarious write-up got me hooked on this book right away… ‘Excuses, excuses, excuses. We are really, really sorry and apologise profusely that this publication is not as generous as it should be but our Hamster (Hamsterdam) escaped from his cage using a nail file hidden in his cheek pouches and then proceeded to use a sizeable portion of the final written manuscript to make some additional comfy bedding. Our sincere apologies but this was due to matters outwith our control. Any other concerns you have we have made a note of and are working quickly to resolve these issues and promise to phone you back in 1 to 2… hours, days, weeks, months, years (delete whichever is not applicable). If any of this sounds familiar to you then we think that you are going to definitely maybe enjoy this book.’ This sets the tone for the contents, which are definitely a perfect companion for those always making excuses. I myself know many individuals who portray this stereotype!!!

Complimentary | Hilarious. Can’t think of anything else to add.

Critical | There may be some, bosses included, who will not be amused at the number of excuses available you can use to get out of any situation.

Hilarious Quotes | Over 2000 Witty Quotes from the Famous and Not So Famous

reviewed-the-books-of-bh-vhm-mckechnie

Hilarious Quotes | Over 2000 Witty Quotes from the Famous and Not So Famous

This is a ‘dip into’ and ‘out of’ book first published in 2020, which contains 2,043 easily readable entries detailed in 78 distinct categories.

Another welcome statement… ‘We have deliberately omitted some quotes because they are rude, crude, or offensive. We want this book to be a reference directory to be perused, and enjoyed by everyone.’

I agree with the following comment and think it is a great idea… ‘We hope you will share some of these quotes with your family, friends, colleagues, or employees. There is nothing better than starting or ending the day with a smile. In fact, there is no better feeling than making someone smile no matter what time of day it is. You could also use one or more entries to help relax your audience, and of course yourself, during a presentation, lecture, briefing, sermon, toast, or speech.’

Complimentary | I like the fact that there is nothing rude, crude or offensive included which makes it an ideal book for all the family to have a good laugh by dipping into random entries.

Critical | Wedding speeches might never be the same again!!!

Bizarre Deaths | Famous Individuals and Others Who Died In Horrific Circumstances

reviewed-the-books-of-bh-vhm-mckechnie

Bizarre Deaths | Famous Individuals and Others Who Died In Horrific Circumstances

First published in 2021 this is an abridged version of their major publication Untimely and Tragic Deaths of the Renowned The Celebrated The Iconic | Featuring Ordinary Individuals Who Died In Bizarre Circumstances. It does cover quite a fascinating area by detailing individuals from the world of film, literature, music, sport, theatre, and television, as well as many ordinary people, all of whom died in bizarre, extraordinary, peculiar, strange, or unusual circumstances.

Complimentary | The entries are concise but get straight to the point while giving all the relevant information without the padding you can find in some other publications dealing with this subject.

Critical | Like the larger publication this is also a very harrowing book, which makes uncomfortable reading at times. Definitely not for the squeamish or sensitive.

The Little Book of Superstitions Omens & Signs | Their Meanings and Origins Explained

reviewed-the-books-of-bh-vhm-mckechnie

The Little Book of Superstitions Omens & Signs | Their Meanings and Origins Explained

First published in 2021 this book covers numerous beliefs and superstitions from around the world. Stating that despite many dating from ancient times, they are still embraced and believed or practiced today. Some are taken very serious while others are treated as being quite amusing.

The following statement is very true… well for me anyway!!! ‘Superstitious behaviour is something that many people engage in without thinking about it. Such as; knocking on wood, or not stepping on lines on the ground, or saying “bless you” after someone sneezes, or reading your horoscope, or not opening an umbrella indoors… just in case. How many people still worry they will have bad luck if they accidently walked under a ladder without having their fingers crossed, or have seen a black cat cross their path? Even today, some buildings will not have a 13th floor or room because of the association in some societies that the number will bring misfortune, tragedy, or mishap.’

In the end anyone’s belief or otherwise in these superstitions, omens and signs is most definitely up to the individual. Do what I did, just enjoy perusing the entries some of which have formed part of different cultures dating back thousands of years.

Complimentary | Being rather old I loved this book as I unconsciously do things like knocking on wood, or not stepping on lines on the ground, or saying “bless you” after someone sneezes, or not opening an umbrella indoors… just in case. I didn’t know that there were still so many superstitions believed in worldwide today.

Critical | In this age of social media and 24 hour streaming services does anyone still believe in superstitions that is under 30 years old?

What Rhymes With Poetry? | 21 Original New Rhyming Poems

reviewed-the-books-of-bh-vhm-mckechnie

What Rhymes With Poetry? | 21 Original New Rhyming Poems

A very personal book by the authors, but containing many beautiful poems that I easily and happily related to.

The wide range of subjects covered include; Christmas, The Dying Earth, Folklore, Friendship, Greek Mythology, Lost Civilisations, Love, Mythical Creatures, Nightmares, Noisy Neighbours, Nostradamus, A Planetary Auction, The Solar System, Rubbish, Sadness, Science, and War.

These poems have all been written to make the reader feel something that relates to their life, and evoke in each individual their inner feelings of emotion, passion, mood, wit, and enthusiasm.

So then, what about the question ‘what rhymes with poetry?’ well the authors state rather controversially… ‘According to the great and the good, of which we are neither, there are no exact matching words that rhyme with poetry. This is ironic, given that poetry that rhymes is always easier to remember. How about renaming poetry ‘illation’ (the action of inferring) then you could chose up to 4,125 rhyming words. This is just our own little intellection for you to muse over. Oh, and while we are on the subject, what about the twelve-letter word ‘abbreviation’, that means ‘a shortened form of a word or phrase’. This causes wry amusement amongst the wordsmiths of the world.’

Complimentary | An enjoyable wide range of subjects. Who would have thought that someone would write a poem about their noisy neighbours?

Critical | Some of the poems are very personal to the authors, although to be fair they do admit that.

Achieving Motivational & Inspirational Inner Strength Through Words

reviewed-the-books-of-bh-vhm-mckechnie

Achieving Motivational & Inspirational Inner Strength Through Words

The authors have tried to, as they themselves say, give anyone who is struggling with a problem, complication, dilemma, dispute, issue, obstacle, or worry, positive words to help them find some clear, confident, and conclusive resolutions to their issue. Their hope is that… ‘just one word, phrase, or paragraph may be enough to help someone deliberate, contemplate, or reflect on what is keeping someone from finding a solution to their problem, and then move forward in a positive, self-assured, and enthusiastic manner.’ I have to agree though it is not always simple or straightforward and as they say ‘Words sometimes do not come easy, but then again sometimes words are all that are needed to inspire and bring hope.’

Complimentary | Some will relate to the contents of this book and from its words may find the inspiration they need to discover the solution which will help them move forward with their life.

Critical | A difficult subject for the authors to try and put down in words what they wish to express, impart, and explain to try and help others.

© 2021 Brian OldWolf

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