The Blog Post Where I Lament About The Lack Of Blog Posts


It has all been a bit quite on the blogging front hasn’t it? The great cold/cough/throat infection crisis of 2015 notwithstanding, I have been a bit of a rubbish book blogger of late. I didn’t manage to get around to scheduling posts to cover our holiday a few weeks ago and then work became busy, and then the aforementioned quarantining of Fennell Towers has meant that blogging has been a bit lax around here. But worry ye not. I have a long list of reviews to write and post, and an even longer list of pointless ramblings from which blog posts will inevitably sprout. This weekend The Delightful Mr F and I, armed with coffee and fluffy blankets* are spending our time doing only things we enjoy, so for me I shall be reading and blogging, and blogging and reading and The Delightful Mr F will be standing in the Crane Stance for the next couple of days.** 

Happy weekend!


*Well, that’s me. The Delightful Mr F is doing his martial arts training, so is probably armed with various improvised weaponry from around the house. 

** Karate Kid fans will understand. 



The Grand Fennell Books 250th Book Review Giveaway!




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Well, it’s Friday, and it is time to launch the giveaway! As I mentioned the prize is a perfect stack of brand new & wonderful books selected by the marvellous folks at Mr B’s Emporium of Reading Delights. One favourite read from each of them, plus a copy of the two Fox, Finch and Tepper books.  Mr B has also given me some proof reads of some new novels which aren’t out yet to include in the prize. Isn’t he a nice chap?

Look how wonderfully the Mr B’s team have wrapped up the prize? This is how the books from the Reading Year gift arrive. Can you imagine coming home to one of these every month for a year?

The books you can win are:

If I Fall If I Die by Malcolm Christie

The Honours by Tim Clare

Whisky Tango Foxtrot by David Shafer

All The Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr

Villa America by Liza Klaussmann

Hunters in the Dark by Lawrence Osborne

The Islanders by Pascal Garnier

Orient by Christopher Bollen

The Shiralee by D’Arcy Niland

The Next Step In The Dance by Tim Gautreaux

So, how can you win this smorgasbord of literary loveliness? Well, it’s easy peasy.  Just email the Fennell Books address (there is an email button down on the left had side bar) with the title “Mr B’s Giveaway” and I will enter you into the draw, or leave a comment down below saying you want to enter. The closing date is Thursday 13th August 2015 at 2000 UK Time.


1. I’m afraid, due to the postage costs it is UK addresses only.  

2. Only one entry per person, you can comment as many times as you like, but you will only get one entry

3. Comments on Facebook won’t be entered.

4. No cash alternative will be offered.

5. Entries after the closing date and time will not be entered.

6. The Delightful Mr F will pick the winner at random, and his decision is final. 


The Mighty Atom : the Life and Times of Joseph L. Greenstein; Biography of a Superhuman

ISBN; 0-670-47564-5

Published by The Viking Press

As the title says, this book is about the life of Joseph L.
Greenstein, perhaps better known by his stage name “The Mighty Atom”. 

As well as being a “must read” book for anyone interested in
strength training, it gives a view from one man’s life of some of the key events
in the history of the twentieth century, including the Great Depression and the
Second World War.

For those who haven’t heard of the Mighty Atom, he was born Yosselle
Greenstein in 1893.  He grew up in Poland
as a sickly child.  He wasn’t expected to
live for long, but under the training of a circus strongman (Volanko), he grew
into a strong and healthy young man.  After
moving to America, and changing his name to Joseph, he had a life changing experience
when he survived being shot in the head by the son of a friend.  This near death experience changed his
perceptions of life, and was instrumental in setting him on the path to
learning to overcome the unconscious mental blocks that we all have, prevent us
going beyond what our mind believes are our physical limits.

The Mighty Atom went on to become a vaudeville strongman,
performing in shows throughout America. 
His feats of strength included

  • Driving nails through a 2½ inch board with his bare hands.
  • Changing a car tire without any tools.
  • Breaking chains by chest expansion.
  • Bending an iron bar or horseshoe by holding one end with his teeth while one end of the bar was held fixed in a vice.
  • Bending half-inch steel bars with his hair.
  • Biting nails in half with his teeth.
  • Resisting the pull of an airplane with his hair.

(Not the sort of things you see in your
local leisure centre gym!)

These feats seem all the more impressive
when you consider that Joseph Greenstein was 5 ft 4 inches tall, 145 pounds
bodyweight, and was able to continue performing these feats into his eighties.  It just goes to show that you don’t need to
be big to be strong.

This book is gives a detailed account of
the methods he used to train himself for these feats, and talks about how he
developed techniques to draw on his mental energies as well as the physical to
achieve the “impossible”.

The book’s style of writing is very simple,
and it’s a joy to read on many levels – whether to hear Joseph Greenstein’s
life story, to learn about strength training, or just to be inspired to try
something we might otherwise think was beyond our capabilities.

Happy reading!

(This version of the book is actually
quite rare, but was also published under the title “The Spiritual Journey of
Joseph L. Greenstein”, which is easier to get hold of)


The Delightful Mr F’s Feats Of Strength No 1: Frying Pan Rolling

As is my want on a Friday I tend to ramble on about anything that is passing through my mind. This week I thought I would share a video of the Delightful Mr F. The Delightful Mr F is into strength training and likes to turn his hand to traditional feats of strength. It’s a very handy skill when the conversation dries up at parties. For this particular stunt, a frying pan got a bit of a hard time. Mr F says it now fits in the kitchen drawer much more easily, but our omelettes haven’t been the same since…