Ridley Park author’s book tells story of two local baseball legends – Delco News Network

RIDLEY PARK>> When Bob McLaughlin of Ridley Park was only 9 or 10, he began to dream of someday writing a book. Even as a young boy, growing up in Chester, McLaughlin liked to write. He later became sports editor of his high school newspaper, “The Bark,” at Saint James High School in Chester. McLaughlin continued his education, graduating Widener University in 1977 and went on to a successful career in Engineering Construction, working for Bechtel Corp. and United Engineers in Philadelphia as a contract purchaser.  Along the way, McLaughlin also developed a fondness for sports, playing basketball and softball in Chester’s city leagues and later coaching Saint Madeline CYO, Ridley ABA and local men’s softball teams.

When he retired in 2012, McLaughlin tapped into his fondness for writing and for sports and combined the two, and added in his fascination and admiration for two local baseball heroes, Danny Murtaugh and Mickey Vernon.

In his very first book, Danny and Mickey, Ordinary Heroes, McLaughlin tells the story of the life-long friendship of Danny Murtaugh, Manager of the 1960 and 1971 World Series Champion Pittsburgh Pirates, and Mickey Vernon, seven-time American League All Star first baseman, and AL batting champion in 1946 and 1953. Danny and Mickey were boys when they met in 1927 playing sandlot baseball in Chester, the same city where McLaughlin grew up.  Vernon and Murtaugh’s shared passion for the game of baseball drew them closer together as friends, teammates, rivals, and finally as champions.

The new book, published by Cloud 9 Publishing in Philadelphia and with a forward written by Philadelphia Sportswriter Hall of Famer Ray Didinger, actually evolved from a screenplay the author had written. McLaughlin said the story seems made for the big screen so he initially penned a screenplay. After he was done, he decided to also write a book on the subject. On the book’s cover, along with a photo of the two legendary players are these words describing the book, “It’s a story of America throughout the first half of the twentieth century. Set amidst one of the most turbulent times in American and world history, the boys struggle for their dreams like so many other ordinary Americans. They overcome obstacles and adversities to fulfill their boyhood promise to each other (getting to the World Series), and finally achieve together, side by side, their childhood dream and become world champions at the top of the baseball world. It is the story of the powerful partnership of the American spirit and the American dream. Their story shows us the best of what we can all be, Ordinary Heroes.”

The story took McLaughlin three years to write and he had many interviews with Danny’s son, Tim Murtaugh, SJHS Class of 1961, as well as conversations with Jim Vankoski, president of the Mickey Vernon Sports Museum. Additionally, McLaughlin said he read every sports article on the two legends and talked to everyone and anyone who knew anything about the pair.

“I identify with these two kids,” McLaughlin said, referring to the two baseball legends in their earlier years. “We all came from the same background, the same place and I feel a connected spirit with them. I appreciate the values we were all raised with and held onto through life’s ups and downs. I think others, too,  can relate  and will identify with Vernon and Murtaugh, in their earlier and later years.”

McLaughlin was all smiles during an interview last week. The retiree admitted that his work is cut out for him now in promoting Danny and Mickey Ordinary Heroes.

“The purpose of this book is to evangelize Danny and Mickey, and let people outside of this east coast area get to know who they are,” he explained. “These two absolutely should have been in the Hall of Fame and the only reason they weren’t is because not enough people outside of this immediate area know about them. I hope this book can help in some way to change that.”

Soon after Danny and Mickey Ordinary Heroes came out in print, McLaughlin had a book-signing party at his home on August 30. Dozens of friends, family members and neighbors attended. The party was intended as a celebration for all those who helped McLaughlin along the way to completing his first book. McLaughlin’s wife of 50 years, Dorothy, and his three children, Stephen McLaughlin of New Jersey, Bobby McLaughlin of Middletown Township and Dr. Laura Taddei of Ridley Park, were his greatest cheerleaders, he said, encouraging and reading excerpts every step along the way. Daughter-in-law Helene McKelvey-McLaughlin designed the book cover and grandson Kevin Taddei created the book’s website (dannyandmickey.com).

Other family members, as well as many friends and acquaintances also aided in various ways to the book to fruition, including Mike Milone, Rich Westcott, Gay Vernon (Mickey’s daughter), John Mooney, Frank Wujick, Pat Brough, Bill Smeck, John and Nancy Schmidt, Mike Taddei, Mike Blair, Chris West and Ben Wilson. Continued…

Thanks to the generosity of an anonymous donor, Danny and Mickey Ordinary Heroes will be donated to all local public libraries and school libraries. The donor sent McLaughlin a check to cover the cost of the donated books with a letter saying, in part, “This book shows the power of the American spirit through the lives of two boys who become men amidst great desperation, hunger and war. Along with so many other men and women of their time, they become the ordinary heroes that inspire us. I hope everyone reads this story and finds their own proud place in the future chapters of America’s new century.”

McLaughlin said he will soon embark on a schedule of book-signings and will be happy to visit any groups to talk about the ordinary heroes and his new screenplay and book. He recently spoke at the St. James Class of ’57 luncheon at Duffers and he’ll speak Nov. 18 to the St. James Class of ’65 at the SJHS Doghouse.

McLaughlin also plans to have copies of his book available at the Sports Legends of Delaware County Museum’s “Danny Murtaugh’s History-Making Moments” gala, which will be held Oct. 8 at the Radnor Township Municipal Building, 301 Iven Avenue in Wayne. Bob Friend, who pitched for Murtaugh’s 1960 World Series champion Pittsburgh Pirates, and Bobby Shantz, a pitcher with the Pirates’ 1960 Series opponent, the New York Yankees, will be in attendance at the affair.

 McLaughlin said as soon as the dust settles, he plans to get busy writing the next book that’s been swirling around in his head. In the meantime, he’s happy to take a small breather to relish in this new hat that he’s wearing as a published author.

“The book, Danny and Mickey and I all became close friends through this journey,” McLaughlin admitted. “I am passionate about the subject and I wanted to share their inspirational and triumphant story with America because the story is American through and through. I really hope someday this story will become a movie so that all of America, all of the world, can see how anyone who works hard and is persistent, can realize their dream.”

(Danny and Mickey Ordinary Heroes is available through Amazon, at local libraries and book stores and at www.dannyandmickey.com/.The author can be reached at [email protected]/ or for more information on Danny and Mickey, like “Danny and Mickey Baseball Heroes 1960 World Series” on Facebook.)

RIDLEY PARK>> When Bob McLaughlin of Ridley Park was only 9 or 10, he began to dream of someday writing a book. Even as a young boy, growing up in Chester, McLaughlin liked to write. He later became sports editor of his high school newspaper, “The Bark,” at Saint James High School in Chester. McLaughlin continued his education, graduating Widener University in 1977 and went on to a successful career in Engineering Construction, working for Bechtel Corp. and United Engineers in Philadelphia as a contract purchaser.  Along the way, McLaughlin also developed a fondness for sports, playing basketball and softball in Chester’s city leagues and later coaching Saint Madeline CYO, Ridley ABA and local men’s softball teams.

When he retired in 2012, McLaughlin tapped into his fondness for writing and for sports and combined the two, and added in his fascination and admiration for two local baseball heroes, Danny Murtaugh and Mickey Vernon.

In his very first book, Danny and Mickey, Ordinary Heroes, McLaughlin tells the story of the life-long friendship of Danny Murtaugh, Manager of the 1960 and 1971 World Series Champion Pittsburgh Pirates, and Mickey Vernon, seven-time American League All Star first baseman, and AL batting champion in 1946 and 1953. Danny and Mickey were boys when they met in 1927 playing sandlot baseball in Chester, the same city where McLaughlin grew up.  Vernon and Murtaugh’s shared passion for the game of baseball drew them closer together as friends, teammates, rivals, and finally as champions.

The new book, published by Cloud 9 Publishing in Philadelphia and with a forward written by Philadelphia Sportswriter Hall of Famer Ray Didinger, actually evolved from a screenplay the author had written. McLaughlin said the story seems made for the big screen so he initially penned a screenplay. After he was done, he decided to also write a book on the subject. On the book’s cover, along with a photo of the two legendary players are these words describing the book, “It’s a story of America throughout the first half of the twentieth century. Set amidst one of the most turbulent times in American and world history, the boys struggle for their dreams like so many other ordinary Americans. They overcome obstacles and adversities to fulfill their boyhood promise to each other (getting to the World Series), and finally achieve together, side by side, their childhood dream and become world champions at the top of the baseball world. It is the story of the powerful partnership of the American spirit and the American dream. Their story shows us the best of what we can all be, Ordinary Heroes.”

The story took McLaughlin three years to write and he had many interviews with Danny’s son, Tim Murtaugh, SJHS Class of 1961, as well as conversations with Jim Vankoski, president of the Mickey Vernon Sports Museum. Additionally, McLaughlin said he read every sports article on the two legends and talked to everyone and anyone who knew anything about the pair.

“I identify with these two kids,” McLaughlin said, referring to the two baseball legends in their earlier years. “We all came from the same background, the same place and I feel a connected spirit with them. I appreciate the values we were all raised with and held onto through life’s ups and downs. I think others, too,  can relate  and will identify with Vernon and Murtaugh, in their earlier and later years.”

McLaughlin was all smiles during an interview last week. The retiree admitted that his work is cut out for him now in promoting Danny and Mickey Ordinary Heroes.

“The purpose of this book is to evangelize Danny and Mickey, and let people outside of this east coast area get to know who they are,” he explained. “These two absolutely should have been in the Hall of Fame and the only reason they weren’t is because not enough people outside of this immediate area know about them. I hope this book can help in some way to change that.”

Soon after Danny and Mickey Ordinary Heroes came out in print, McLaughlin had a book-signing party at his home on August 30. Dozens of friends, family members and neighbors attended. The party was intended as a celebration for all those who helped McLaughlin along the way to completing his first book. McLaughlin’s wife of 50 years, Dorothy, and his three children, Stephen McLaughlin of New Jersey, Bobby McLaughlin of Middletown Township and Dr. Laura Taddei of Ridley Park, were his greatest cheerleaders, he said, encouraging and reading excerpts every step along the way. Daughter-in-law Helene McKelvey-McLaughlin designed the book cover and grandson Kevin Taddei created the book’s website (dannyandmickey.com).

Other family members, as well as many friends and acquaintances also aided in various ways to the book to fruition, including Mike Milone, Rich Westcott, Gay Vernon (Mickey’s daughter), John Mooney, Frank Wujick, Pat Brough, Bill Smeck, John and Nancy Schmidt, Mike Taddei, Mike Blair, Chris West and Ben Wilson.

Thanks to the generosity of an anonymous donor, Danny and Mickey Ordinary Heroes will be donated to all local public libraries and school libraries. The donor sent McLaughlin a check to cover the cost of the donated books with a letter saying, in part, “This book shows the power of the American spirit through the lives of two boys who become men amidst great desperation, hunger and war. Along with so many other men and women of their time, they become the ordinary heroes that inspire us. I hope everyone reads this story and finds their own proud place in the future chapters of America’s new century.”

McLaughlin said he will soon embark on a schedule of book-signings and will be happy to visit any groups to talk about the ordinary heroes and his new screenplay and book. He recently spoke at the St. James Class of ’57 luncheon at Duffers and he’ll speak Nov. 18 to the St. James Class of ’65 at the SJHS Doghouse.

McLaughlin also plans to have copies of his book available at the Sports Legends of Delaware County Museum’s “Danny Murtaugh’s History-Making Moments” gala, which will be held Oct. 8 at the Radnor Township Municipal Building, 301 Iven Avenue in Wayne. Bob Friend, who pitched for Murtaugh’s 1960 World Series champion Pittsburgh Pirates, and Bobby Shantz, a pitcher with the Pirates’ 1960 Series opponent, the New York Yankees, will be in attendance at the affair.

 McLaughlin said as soon as the dust settles, he plans to get busy writing the next book that’s been swirling around in his head. In the meantime, he’s happy to take a small breather to relish in this new hat that he’s wearing as a published author.

“The book, Danny and Mickey and I all became close friends through this journey,” McLaughlin admitted. “I am passionate about the subject and I wanted to share their inspirational and triumphant story with America because the story is American through and through. I really hope someday this story will become a movie so that all of America, all of the world, can see how anyone who works hard and is persistent, can realize their dream.”

(Danny and Mickey Ordinary Heroes is available through Amazon, at local libraries and book stores and at www.dannyandmickey.com/.The author can be reached at [email protected]/ or for more information on Danny and Mickey, like “Danny and Mickey Baseball Heroes 1960 World Series” on Facebook.)

Dare to dream differently, have crazy ideas, unlearn: author Ashwin Sanghi – YourStory.com

Hailed as the ‘Indian Dan Brown’ for his books The Rozabal Line and The Krishna Key, writer Aswin Sanghi is one of India’s bestselling conspiracy fiction writers, known for his books based on historical, theological and mythological themes. In his address at TechSparks 2016, the author took a largely tech audience on a mystical ride as he established unthought-of connects and stressed on the importance of unlearning to unleash creativity.

Ashwin began by quoting Hollywood actor Steve Jobs and said how creativity just happens by chance and that a creative person will not really have the answers for the wonders he has achieved.

According to Ashwin the process of creativity has four fundamental stages.

“It all starts with unlearning, which goes on to become connectivity and finally results in creativity.”

Recalling his childhood, Ashwin narrated how being born into a typical Marwari-Baniya family his tryst with business began quite early, at age 12, but there was also a strong creative influence.

“I went on business visits with my father and was given lessons in book-keeping by a munimji but what interested me more was the books my grandfather gave me. He sent me one book every week and gave me a total of 417 books in his lifetime.”

This introduced Ashwin to his creative side but convention was not far behind.

Munimji used to tell me how book-keeping is better than book-reading and the only book I should be reading is a Balance Sheet.

But Ashwin had decided he wanted to be a writer and confided in a friend who quoted the famous quote by W.Somerset Maugham:

There are three rules for writing a novel. Unfortunately, no one knows what they are.

Inspired, Ashwin thus began his writing journey. In the course of his 20-minute address Ashwin touched upon various instances and examples of how we have is a larger picture waiting to be seen provided we connected the dots. The instances included,

The concept of Hara and Hari

Mythological characters are a creation of larger mythical processes. The universe is ever expanding, refer to it as Vishnu; it is also continuously contracting, refer to it as Shiva (Hara) , this process of expansion and contraction creates the universe, or ‘Brahma’ as we know it. This can be applied to a lot of real-life activities.

Ashwin spoke about how real-life incidents influenced his style of writing. Recalling an instance of being awestruck on visiting a temple dedicated to Amitabh Bachchan in Kolkata, he took the audience on an imaginary ride to the future in a world where it would really be happening on a large scale.

“What if I told you most gods or things we believe in today really did exist a hundred thousand years ago and no one then knew they would be treated as gods? Believe in the power of imagination; what you think is impossible today may well happen tomorrow,” he quipped.

After going through several interesting connections from history and mythology, Ashwin concluded by saying,

We have about a 300 different types of Ramayana although only one is popularly known and followed. It is proof for how our country is famous for accepting multiple versions of something but celebrating only one. So don’t feel shy to have multiple ideas. Creativity is going beyond what is commonly explainable. Dare to dream different.

 


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In first memoir, Bruce Springsteen gets personal – Binghamton University Pipe Dream


Provided by Simon & Schuster Publishing

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Seven years after he began writing it, Bruce Springsteen released his autobiography, “Born to Run,” on Sept. 27. It’s easy to see the meditations of that near-decade within the pages of this 528-page book, and it is hard to think that it leaves any part of Springsteen’s story to the imagination. While not a tell-all in the gossipy sense of the word, “Born to Run” shares a significant amount of the artist’s life.

This is not Springsteen’s first shot at writing. He published “Bruce Springsteen: Songs,” a collection of all of his song lyrics to that point with commentary on them in 2001, and published a graphic novel “Outlaw Pete” in 2014. However, “Born to Run” is his most personal and comprehensive book by a landslide.

The book begins with the story of Springsteen’s early life in Freehold, New Jersey, growing up with two younger sisters and learning to play covers of songs on the cheapest guitar he could get his hands on. He details his family, his earliest performances with neighborhood kids and his experiences being bullied both at school by his peers and at home by his alcoholic father.

Springsteen explains that Catholicism has colored his career and informed much of his music, and the religion colors many of the stories in the book, too.

“… As I grew older, there were certain things about the way I thought, reacted, behaved,” he explains. “I came to ruefully and bemusedly understand that once you’re a Catholic, you’re always a Catholic.”

Some poignant parts of the memoir include those in which Springsteen is writing about the people he really loves. Sure, it’s interesting to see his writing and record-making process, but in the way he talks about his wife or his grandmother, the reader is shown the reflective and introspective nature of the man who has written songs about heartbreak and teen angst with equal critical and chart success.

After the birth of their son, Evan, Springsteen writes about his wife, ”Patti’s face is the weary, grace-filled face of my grammar school saints, her green eyes drifting upward, locked on something beyond me. It is final; this is my gal, bringing the rumble of life.”

“Born to Run” is an easy read, as Springsteen writes prose like he does his songs — with a story, but in the simplest words he can find. At times, particularly when the text becomes populated by words someone else is saying, the work becomes hard to follow. Still, it is not hard to understand the overall gist of the book. Springsteen is sharing his formative years and experiences with his audience, and the anecdotes in the book point to the content in his most popular songs.

Springsteen’s writing has a familiar appeal, even for those who haven’t listened to his music or don’t like it. Springsteen presents himself as one with his audience and as someone who went looking for fame rather than fame finding him. It is hard not to relate to and cheer for this scrappy Jersey-Shore kid, teased for his acne and femininity, who has grown into one of rock’s biggest stars and has fallen madly in love with his family. Despite its length, “Born to Run” is an accessible celebrity memoir worth reading for its honesty and encouragement.

The Lion King Is Getting the Live-Action Treatment! See Our Dream Cast List – People Magazine

09/28/2016 AT 03:45 PM EDT

We just can’t wait!

A brand-spanking new version of The Lion King is officially on the horizon. On Wednesday, Walt Disney Studios announced that the beloved 1994 animated film will be reimagined as a live-action (meaning CGI-filled) adventure lead by The Jungle Book director Jon Favreau.

The Lion King builds on Disney’s success of reimagining its classics for a contemporary audience with films like Maleficent, Cinderella, and The Jungle Book,” Disney said in a statement. “The upcoming Beauty and the Beast, starring Emma Watson as Belle, is already one of the most anticipated movies of 2017. Like Beauty and the Beast, The Lion King will include songs from the animated film. Disney and Favreau are also in development on a sequel to The Jungle Book. No release date has been announced for either film.”

While the voice actors behind the impeccably cast 1994 original will always have a special place in our hearts, we can’t help but wonder who will be taking the reins in the latest iteration of the treasured tale. Naturally, we have a few opinions about who Disney should be sending to Pride Rock:

Adult Nala: Lupita Nyong’o


Audiences are sure to feel the love if Nyong’o takes over as the brave, loyal lioness. The Oscar winner proved she can bring fierce life to a four-legged creature as wolf Raksha in The Jungle Book. And if her turn as Maz Kanata in Star Wars: The Force Awakens wasn’t enough to convince you she’s got the CGI thing down, well then we just can’t help you.

Adult Simba: John Boyega

David M. Benett / WireImage

As The Force Awakens‘ renegade Stormtrooper Finn, Boyega showed the world he can handle the pressure of a highly anticipated role and deliver a spot-on American accent to boot. We’re willing to bet Boyega could once again defy expectations as a key player in a cherished franchise.

Young Simba: Miles Brown

The Lion King Is Getting the Live-Action Treatment! See Our Dream Cast List| Walt Disney Productions, The Lion King, Walt Disney Company

Living up to the standards set by Jonathan Taylor Thomas won’t be easy, but we think the adorable black-ish star is up to the task. He’s been in the spotlight since becoming a 4-year-old hip-hop dance sensation and has since been flexing his comedic muscles on the Emmy-nominated sitcom.

Zazu: Hugh Laurie


Laurie has the perfect mix of dignified pomp and biting sarcasm to play Mufasa’s stressed-out right-hand man. Think about it: how great would it be to hear Dr. House sing about a lovely bunch of coconuts?

Rafiki: Forest Whitaker


We’d love to see what kind of spin The Last King of Scotland Oscar-winner would put on the wise baboon’s Jamaican-ish accent, and imbue Rafiki’s koans with the perfect mix of levity and gravitas.

Young Nala: Millie Bobby Brown

The Lion King Is Getting the Live-Action Treatment! See Our Dream Cast List| Walt Disney Productions, The Lion King, Walt Disney Company


The charming 12-year-old captured hearts as mysterious wonder girl Eleven in Stranger Things, so there’s no doubt she’d ease right into playing the pint-sized version of everyone’s favorite lioness. Apart from her undeniable acting prowess, Brown already has Nala’s playful spirit and instant lovability down pat.

Timon: H. Jon Benjamin


It’d be great to see a deadpan twist on the manic take Nathan Lane gave Timon. So we’ve picked the hilarious Archer and Bob’s Burgers lead, whose impassive drawl would act as a the perfect foil to …

Pumbaa: Patton Oswalt


Ratatouille pro Oswalt, who would flawlessly complete the warthog/meerkat duo. He’ll obviously bring the funny, and is dripping with likability to boot.

Scar: Idris Elba

The Lion King Is Getting the Live-Action Treatment! See Our Dream Cast List| Walt Disney Productions, The Lion King, Walt Disney Company

Mike Marsland / WireImage

Elba has taken on more than his fair share of villainous roles in films like Star Trek Beyond, and already has an “evil feline” role on his résumé (The Jungle Book). So the actor’s deep, intense voice would definitely make for a terrifying Scar, destined to haunt the dreams of a whole new generation.

Shenzi: Kristen Schaal

The Lion King Is Getting the Live-Action Treatment! See Our Dream Cast List| Walt Disney Productions, The Lion King, Walt Disney Company

Just imagine: a hyena with Louise Belcher’s always-on-10 voice. Schaal’s voiceover experience includes everything from Bob’s Burgers and Archer to Despicable Me 2, and her expertise would be an invaluable addition to the band of second rate evil-doers.

Mufasa: James Earl Jones


You can’t mess with perfection. To us, Jones will always be the voice of the ill-fated monarch-turned-mystical-cloud. Excuse us, we’re getting chills just thinking about it.

Shimon Peres urged Israel to dream and innovate – The Times of Israel

Former president Shimon Peres, who died Wednesday at the age of 93, was not one to take the easy way out, always looking for new solutions — whether fighting for peace or pushing for new technologies.

Peres urged Israel to embrace innovation, given the lack of natural resources in the so-called land of milk and honey. Even if he was polarizing as a politician — hated by some, loved by others — he was unequivocally respected for his unending energy, optimism and inquisitiveness. He believed anything could be achieved if you really tried.

To dream is simply to be pragmatic, he’d say.

Peres served in the Knesset for nearly half a century, from 1959 until 2007, holding virtually all senior ministerial positions over the years. In 1994, he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, together with then-prime minister Yitzhak Rabin and Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat, for negotiating the Oslo Accords.

Yitzhak Rabin, left, chats with Yasser Arafat, center, and Shimon Peres after the three received the Nobel Peace Prize in Oslo in 1994. (GPO)

As prime minister in 1985, Peres presided over an economic stabilization plan that led to the birth of Israel’s modern economy. Over his long journey in defining the state he believed in, he was also instrumental in fostering the entrepreneurial culture that defines what is today known as the startup nation.

“All my life I have worked to ensure that Israel’s future is based on science and technology as well as on an unwavering moral commitment,” Peres said in a speech in July, when he laid the cornerstone for the Israeli Innovation Center, which will be part of the Peres Peace House in Jaffa. “They called me a dreamer. But today, when I look at Israel, we all can see clearly that the greater the dream, the more spectacular the results.”

From left: Reuven Rivlin, Shimon Peres, Benjamin Netanyahu try on VR headsets at innovation center event, July 21, 2016 (Courtesy)

From left: President Reuven Rivlin, right, Shimon Peres and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu try on virtual reality headsets at an innovation center event on July 21, 2016. (Courtesy)

“Start-Up Nation,” the best-selling book that documents the rise of Israel’s high-tech industry, recounts how, as chief buyer of arms in the 1950s, Peres, together with America’s Al Schwimmer, started dreaming about setting up an aeronautics industry for the fledgling country. While other ministers scoffed at the idea, saying Israel wasn’t even capable of building bicycles, Peres prevailed, and prevailed once again with the idea of starting Israel’s nuclear industry, by disregarding rules, funding it off-budget and working around established scientists.

As deputy defense minister, he injected funds into defense research and development, creating the foundation for Israel’s contemporary military technology edge.

“Peres was a unique figure in the history of the startup nation, and that is the reason why he is the most quoted person in our book,” Saul Singer, who authored the book together with Dan Senor, said in a phone interview. “His career covered the whole history of the nation, and he played a critical role in helping Israel transition from a socialist, top-down, concentrated economy to a free-market economy focused on innovation.”

“He spent his whole career in government but thought and acted like an entrepreneur in terms of building new things and looking ahead at the next. He always looked to the future and that is what kept him youthful,” Singer added.

Peres urged his fellow Israelis to join his quest for excellence, whether in striving for peace, closing social gaps or creating technologies to better the world.

“Shimon Peres will be sorely missed by Israel’s tech community,” said Jon Medved, a veteran of Israel’s high-tech industry and CEO of OurCrowd, an equity crowdfunding platform. “He was a visionary leader and statesman who represented the best of Israel’s creativity and innovation.”

Former president Shimon Peres at the launch of a new innovation center at the Peres Center for Peace in Jaffa, on July 21, 2016. (Yair Sagi/Pool/Flash90)

Former president Shimon Peres at the launch of a new innovation center at the Peres Center for Peace in Jaffa, on July 21, 2016. (Yair Sagi/Pool/Flash90)

US President Barack Obama plans to attend Peres’s funeral on Friday, the Foreign Ministry said, along with Secretary of State John Kerry. Presidential nominee Hillary Clinton will also take a break from campaigning to attend the funeral with her husband, former president Bill Clinton.

“Peres was the prophet of our high-tech nation and a man who knew how to read the technology map sometimes even better than those in the field,” said Maxine Fassberg, CEO of Intel Israel.

The aim of Peres’s innovation center is to draw guests from around the world to learn about Israel’s achievements in the high-tech sphere and to strive to close the gaps between the Arab and Jewish populations, and between rich and poor, and lead to regional innovation collaboration, Peres said in a speech in July at the launch of the center.

“We will prove that innovation has no limits and no barriers. Innovation enables dialogue between nations and between people. It will enable all young people – Jews, Muslims and Christians — to engage in science and technology equally. Here we will emphasize that we can promote peace from childhood, and we will spark the imagination of every boy and girl and enrich their dreams,” he said.

Peres also called upon Israel’s neighbors to join forces to create a “startup region.”

“Peace, innovation and science must be the realm of all. Not only Israel should benefit from the fruit of innovation, but the whole region,” he said. “Let us adopt the road to peace and innovation, which will always be better than war and terror.”

He concluded: “Finally, I have one small request – Israel is a dream that came true. Permit me to continue to dream.”

Dealing with bereavement on daily basis helped Tanya fulfil lifelong dream of publishing novel – Belfast Telegraph



Tanya Ravenswater with her debut novel Jacques, which was a lifetime ambition
Family portrait: Tanya relaxing with husband Richard and children Hanna and Rory
Tanya in her writing shed celebrating the publication of her debut novel
Signature moment: Tanya at a book signing for her novel

As a child brought up in a home where storytelling round the table was a family pastime, it is hardly surprising that Tanya Ravensworth grew up with a love for reading and creative writing. Like most authors though she initially pursued a traditional career following her mother into nursing while always yearning to return to her real passion for writing.

The chance came when she took a career break to have her two children – and this month she is celebrating the launch of her first novel, Jacques, a story about a French orphan.

Born in Bangor but now living in Cheshire with her husband Richard (54), a nurse, and two children, Hanna (20), who is studying zoology at Sheffield University, and son Rory (16), an apprentice carpenter, Tanya says it is still something of a surprise to her that she has finally realised her dream of becoming a published author.

It has taken her several years – often battling self doubt – to get to this point and she couldn’t be more delighted.

“It has all happened over a period of time and I have kind of eased into it, getting bits of work published and you do wonder at times ‘have I got what it takes to do this and is my writing good enough?'” she says.

“You discover it is about confidence and believing in your own voice and your work and I had brilliant support from family and friends who encouraged me to keep going, which was really important when I was flagging.

“Now that the book is published I am delighted, although it still feels a bit surreal.”

Having followed in her mum’s footsteps to train as a nurse and later becoming a bereavement counsellor, Tanya brings a wealth of life experience to her writing.

Tanya says that she enjoyed an idyllic childhood growing up in Northern Ireland in a family of two girls and two boys.

Both of her parents – dad Jack Dalzell, a school teacher and mum Margaret, who is a nurse and also ran her own nursing home – have been major influences in her life.

“I had a real people focused upbringing. Mum was a very dedicated nurse and in her early 20s ran a small nursing home. She was a very confident person to take something like that on and then in her 50s she took on another one in Newtownards,” says Tanya.

“Nursing was always really important to her and my grandmother was also a nurse. My dad taught English and both were real influences overall on my life.

“I had a great childhood with rich experience of the outdoors and nature which is still very important for me. We were a family of storytellers and we were always telling stories round the table and reading.

“My parents taught me to be an observer and to learn from people and appreciate people’s different personalities and to be open minded and not judge. I think that is what motivated me to get into counselling as I always felt people deserve to be heard and listened to.”

Tanya studied modern languages at St Andrew’s University in Scotland, but after graduating decided to change direction and trained as a nurse which is how she met her husband. She worked in hospitals in Scotland and south Wales before finally settling in Macclesfield in Cheshire.

Her first job introduced her to the extreme end of nursing when she found herself in intensive care dealing with patients with head injuries.

“I was thrown in at the deep end. There was a lot of one to one work with families who had suffered all kinds of acute loss of family members or changes in personality or disabilities that come with head injuries,” she says. “It was a background which served me well when I decided to train as a counsellor.

“I always felt when I was working in a hospital ward that there was never time to sit and talk and listen to patients and that too drew me to counselling.”

Tanya worked for a bereavement counselling agency and while she admits it was very tough work, she also found it extremely rewarding.

“It is a pretty stressful job but it is a real privilege to listen to people and how they manage to cope in really dreadful times in their lives,” she says.

“The work involved a lot of young people – quite often they had been in motorbike accidents which was a very, very sudden blow to the family.

“Then, on the other hand, I would have been dealing with elderly people who were the longest surviving members of their families which was very poignant, too.”

While her work was challenging and rewarding, the draw of creative writing never left Tanya.

She first started to write as a young girl and vividly remembers one of her proudest moments when she won a prize at a local Speech and Drama festival for her poetry while in Primary 7.

“I always loved words and knowing what they mean and I kept little notebooks and journals when I was a child and there was something magical about that,” she says. “I loved being imaginative and my sister and I would make our own little theatre productions using our toys.

“I was in my 30s when I took a break to look after my children and returned to writing with short stories and poems. I also did some workshops with children in schools putting together little collections of their work to celebrate it.”

Getting her poems published in UK poetry magazines spurred her on to continue writing and her confidence was given the boost it needed when she won the Cheshire Prize for Literature.

“That was an absolutely wonderful feeling and gave me confidence to consider my novel,” Tanya says.

Her sister Susan and her husband Paul run a very successful literary agency in Bangor called the Feldstein Agency, which has a number of successful local authors on its books.

Although it meant that Tanya did not face the usual uphill struggle to find an agent she stresses that the fact that her sister was representing her in no way influenced her publishing deal with Twenty7 Books.

“I was very lucky that my sister and brother-in-law run an agency in Bangor and agreed to take me on,” she says. “But they had to treat me like any other client. It is a very competitive business and there is lots and lots of waiting to see what is going to happen.

“When Twenty7 Books accepted my novel I was on cloud nine, but at the same time a big part of me realised it was really important to remain grounded. There is an element of me that wants to celebrate it but at the same time I wouldn’t want success to go to my head.”

Jacques is adult fiction and is described as “an uplifting and moving story of love and loss”.

The book tells the story of Jacques Lafitte, a young French boy who is orphaned and torn away from everything he knows. Forced to move to England to live with his guardian – the pompous and distant Oliver Clark – Jacques finds himself in a strange country, and a strange world. As years pass Jacques becomes part of the Clark family. But then his feelings for Oliver’s daughter Rebecca begin to surpass mere sibling affection. A development that has the power to bring them together, or tear the family apart.

Before embarking on her first novel, Tanya started writing short stories and poetry for both adults and children. She has published a collection of short stories for women, and has also been short-listed and published in the Cheshire Prize anthologies.

And in 2014/15 she was delighted when her children’s poem, Badger, picked up the Cheshire Prize for Literature in her adopted home.

Reflecting on her recent success, she says: “It is a strange feeling to finally have a novel published. It is aimed at adults although my daughter and her friends who would be in their late teens have read it.

“I had a book launch in Waterstones in Cheshire last week and my whole family were there to support me and it was just brilliant. They are all dead chuffed for me.

“It is a very nice feeling and at times an overwhelming feeling but really good.”

Tanya, who comes home for a visit every few months, was back in her home town of Bangor as a newly published author taking part in a workshop as part of the Aspects Arts Festival this month.

She is already working on her next book and is in talks about getting it and possibly a third published.

  • Her debut novel Jacques is available on Amazon

Belfast Telegraph

Vampire Dreams: UTC student releases the first book in a planned trilogy – Chattanooga Times Free Press

If you go

› What: “Ascension” book signing by Hannah Rials

› When: 4-6 p.m. Friday.

› Where: Star Line Books, 1467 Market St.

› Phone: 777-5629

Hannah Rials is not the first intern at a publishing company to work up the nerve to ask her boss to look at a manuscript she’d been working on. She’s probably not even the first to have the publisher like her work.

But that’s what happened, says Audrey Press Publisher Valarie Budayr. In fact, Audrey Press needed a Young Adult arm anyway, so she used Rials’ “Ascension” to create Aletha Press.

“She put her manuscript on my desk at 17 when she was in high school doing an internship for us,” Budayr says. “Four hundred and fifty pages. I know adults who can’t do that. I looked at it, and it had good bones, and we decided what she needed was a mentor more than an editor. She and [mentor/editor] Mallory [Leonard] took a wonderful journey.”

Rials, 20, started writing “Ascension” as a 12-year-old middle-school student in Maryville, Tenn. It was her second effort.

“I started one at 10 about a dog, but it never went anywhere,” she says.

Then Stephenie Meyer’s “Twilight” series of books about young vampires came out, “and I read those in about a week, and I woke up from a dream and said, ‘I’m going to write a book,'” Rials says.

She worked on the book while a student at Maryville High School, enlisting the help of Pam Hix, a tutor who helped develop her writing as well as the story.

“I went through four drafts,” Rials says. “The story grew up as I did and matured, and the writing matured. When I started, it was about my own angst. I got over that.”

Rials, a junior at UTC, says the finished “Ascension” is quite a bit different than the original draft, though it still centers around a teenage vampire.

“The main character was named Macy at first, and now she is Cheyenne Lane,” Rials says. “The original title was ‘Macy the Teenage Vampire.’ The content matured and not in a bad way. It went beyond, ‘I hate my parents and I hate high school.'”

Rials, who will sign copies of “Ascension” on Friday at Star Line Books, has finished writing the second book, which is now in the editing process.

Budayr says when she began reading “Ascension” she couldn’t put it down and knew right away that not only would she publish it for the Maryville-based Audrey Press, she knew the book needed to be a trilogy.

The book was released on Aug. 27 with an initial run of 1,500 copies. Budayr says two-thirds of those have sold.

“After just a few days, people Hannah didn’t know were buying them and asking when the second would be out,” Budayr says.

The book is set in New Orleans and Rials, who was born in Louisiana, visited the city with her family while writing the book. She wrote down every street name and landmark she saw.

While she originally had 450 pages to give to Budayr, they weren’t perfect. Rials and Leonard worked for more than a year on the book, then it went to a copy editor.

“She sent it back with 17 pages of plot holes,” Rials says. “I spent the summer fixing those. The process can be heartbreaking, cutting scenes that you really like, but I have wonderful editors and wonderful support.”

And she admits that her writing improved while she plowed through different drafts of the book.

“I was one of those people whose character said so much and didn’t need to. When I was younger, I thought exclamation marks could go anywhere. People get really mad when you do that.”

Contact Barry Courter at [email protected] or 423-757-6354.

Dundee teacher’s superhero dreams come true with new book – The Courier

A Tayside teacher is hoping to put the region  on the map after writing a superhero adventure book set in Dundee and Fife.

Mark Smith, who works at Glebeland Primary School, will have his children’s book Slugboy Saves the World distributed to shops around the UK, Australia and the USA.

The 31-year-old’s answer to the traditional slick superhero is Murdo McLeod, whose unorthodox powers include sliding up walls and secreting slippery slime from his skin – thanks to eating a radioactive garden slug.

© Supplied
The book cover.In a competitive superhero world, Slugboy is so underrated that he doesn’t even make the list when an evil mastermind devises a plan to capture all the other superheroes.

In a competitive superhero world, Slugboy is so underrated that he doesn’t even make the list when an evil mastermind devises a plan to capture all the other superheroes.

It is now up to Murdo to use his not-so-super powers to free the others and save the word.

Mark, who won the Kelpies children’s writing prize for his work last year, explained that he hoped to encourage kids who don’t normally read books to try them out.

He said: “I was brought up on superhero comics and have always wanted to write a book so when I decided to do it, it made sense to stick to what I know.

“The process of writing the book and getting it out there has been long, and now we’re finally at the stage where it’s being published – it really is a dream come true.

“I’m proud to be from Dundee, so it will be great for people further afield to learn more about the city and Scotland as a whole.

“Murdo’s adventure starts in Dundee, and he also moves on to St Andrew’s and Edinburgh.

“Normally superheroes are big and flashy, with great looks and powers, so I wanted to do something a bit different.

“Instead of being bitten by a radioactive spider fr example, Murdo eats a big, grotty slug and then constantly messes up.

“I think it’s important to teach kids that they don’t have to be perfect all the time and that it’s OK to make mistakes as long as you’re trying your best.

“There are kids who don’t read many books, instead preferring comics, so I hope that this book will reach out to them and encourage them to read more.”

Mark said that although some of the pupils at his school know about the book, it will be a surprise for others.

He added: “I haven’t really talked much about it.

“I don’t want the kids to feel like they have to go out and buy it just because their teacher has written it, but I guess they’ll find out about it soon.”

Mark will be holding a free children’s event at the Dundee Literary Festival at Bonar Hall on October 20, with children (and adults!) encouraged to dress up as superheroes.

The Season’s Biggest Novel Has 1.3 Million Words and Outweighs a Bowling Ball – Wall Street Journal

An experimental German novel first published in 1970 is set to be one of the biggest books of the season. The publisher hopes you can’t put it down.

At more than 13 pounds, it is not easy to pick up.

The first English-language release of “Bottom’s Dream,” all 1,496 pages, weighs as much as a bowling ball. With a 14-inch spine, the weighty hardcover tome could topple a flimsy nightstand.


“It’s a monster in all ways,” said Stephen Sparks, a book buyer and seller at Green Apple Books in San Francisco.

Written by German author Arno Schmidt, who died in 1979, the novel tells the story of two translators and their teenage daughter who visit a scholar as they try to interpret the writings of Edgar Allan Poe. Inspired by James Joyce’s “ Finnegans Wake,” it chronicles events of a single day with lewd jokes and linguistic cartwheels.

Tony Messenger, a 53-year-old book blogger in Australia, received “Bottom’s Dream” last week. He planned to read five pages a day, which would take him about a year to finish. Then he opened it. “I now realize that was overly ambitious,” he said, and decided on two years.

The book contains layers of complex language and a multitude of allusions to Joyce, Poe, Shakespeare and other literary giants. Heavy stuff. For reference, Mr. Messenger keeps an iPad and Poe’s collected works nearby.

“You spend more time googling and finding other books than you do actually reading,” he said.

Mr. Schmidt’s oversize novel is a standout in the e-reader age. There is no Kindle version. The volume isn’t likely to fit in purses or briefcases; a backpack, maybe, or something with wheels. At 1,325,000 words, it is more than double the length of “War and Peace” and “Atlas Shrugged.”


“Bottom’s Dream” is also proving a weighty challenge for booksellers. Green Apple ordered 30 copies for a coming event with the book’s translator, John E. Woods: 15 boxes showed up, two books per box. Mr. Sparks said he had to “play a little Tetris” to squeeze just two copies onto the New Fiction table. The store has sold two; 16 line the top of a bookshelf; 10 remain in boxes.

The single copy of “Bottom’s Dream” at Brazos Bookstore in Houston sometimes joins the staff recommendation display, where it fits only on the top shelf, towering over the competition. The rest of the time it sits with the art books, said Benjamin Rybeck, the store’s marketing director. The fiction shelves are too small.


Big books can be big business. German art book publisher Taschen is known for signed, limited editions that often come with a book stand. One release, “GOAT: A Tribute to Muhammad Ali,” weighs 75 pounds.

Such heft isn’t common for literary fiction. The 1996 hardcover edition of David Foster Wallace’s “Infinite Jest,” a benchmark of the contemporary mega-novel, is 2 inches thick and weighs 2.6 pounds, according to Amazon.com.
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A 1992 edition three-book box set of Leo Tolstoy’s “War and Peace” tips the scales at 4.1 pounds—less than a third the weight of “Bottom’s Dream.”

Shipping delivers another plot twist. Green Apple in San Francisco offers 99-cent flat-rate shipping. That means the store will eat about $8 for every delivered copy of “Bottom’s Dream.” Mr. Sparks said he doesn’t mind, given the novelty of the massive book, which was released Friday with a $70 list price.

Readers who preordered “Bottom’s Dream” expressed excitement and surprise when it thudded on their doorsteps in the past weeks.

“My 5-year-old daughter can usually lift packages that come to our house,” said David Auerbach, a tech columnist for Slate. “She couldn’t lift this one.”

Mr. Auerbach says he reads it on the floor.

Thomas Sweterlitsch, a fiction writer in Pittsburgh, mistook the Amazon package for a three-pack of laundry detergent he had ordered. “I knew it was a longer book,” he said, “but I had no idea.”

German literature fans may wonder where they will keep the book. “It will probably stay put on the dining room table, like a weird centerpiece,” Mr. Sweterlitsch said.


Others wonder whether they will be able to finish it. The curator of the literary blog “The Untranslated” said he planned to read the English version after he recovers from the “shell-shock” of trying to read the original in German.

“I don’t think there are that many people in the world who can confidently say that they’re going to read it…and deliver on the promise,” said the curator, who gave his name only as Andrei.

He might have a point. From the novel’s first page:

“(P had mutterd meanwhile. He towerd,

above & belo, from out his hiking britches; He, tall=thin & hairy). / :

»’dYou even listen ? To what I said ?«”

More than 1,000 copies of “Bottom’s Dream” have been ordered by U.S. bookstores, said John O’Brien, founder of Dalkey Archive Press, the book’s publisher; 2,000 were printed.

Mr. O’Brien said the idea of an electronic version was raised with the Arno Schmidt Foundation, which has the final say.

For all but hard-core Schmidt fans, “Bottom’s Dream” is likely to be little more than an art object, according to those who have seen it.

“I suspect it will mainly be a conversation piece,” said Michael Orthofer, founder of Complete Review, a literary website. “I’m not sure about a coffee-table addition—it would crush mine.”

Write to Steven Norton at [email protected]

Dream of every self-published author comes true for Ann Campanella – Charlotte Observer (blog)

When writers choose to self-publish a book, it can be for a number of reasons.

Sometimes it’s for control of the final product. Sometimes it’s because it feels as if time is running out, and the search for a mainstream publisher can be lengthy. Sometimes it’s for no reason other than that’s what the author wants to do.

In rare cases, a writer who self-publishes will be discovered by a mainstream publisher.

That dream happened to Ann Campanella of Huntersville, whose memoir, “Motherhood: Lost and Found,” came out in 2014. Recently, that book was picked up by Divine Phoenix Books in conjunction with Pegasus Books. That company has publishing rights to Campanella’s E-book which is scheduled for release this week.

The book, set against the backdrop of Campanella’s love of horses, tells the story of her mother’s descent into Alzheimer’s when Campanella was trying to become a mother herself. She paints a vivid picture of her mother as the disease progresses:

“Daddy, who used to rush to get off the phone, now lingers. He needs to talk to someone,” Campanella writes. “But there aren’t words to explain this to Mom without upsetting her. She knows she feels different, but she’s insulted if I use the words Alzheimer’s or dementia. The times I have gently explained her condition, she nods with a questioning look in her eyes. Thirty seconds later she asks, ‘What did you say my problem was?’ I sit quietly, stroking the lines of her palm.”

The memoir was a finalist for The Next Generation Book Awards. This fall or early next year, the book will also be released as an audiobook with ACX, Audible and iTunes.

November is National Alzheimer’s Awareness month, and Campanella will be hosting an event at Main Street Books in Davidson, “A Conversation about Alzheimer’s and Dementia.” It’s her hope to reach out to those who have loved ones who are struggling with this disease. She is donating a portion of the proceeds from book sales to nonprofit organizations that support those with Alzheimer’s.