Thought Economics

Thought Economics by Vikas Shah


Since 2007, entrepreneur and philanthropist Vikas Shah has been on a mission to interview the people shaping our century. Including conversations with Nobel prizewinners, business leaders, politicians, artists and Olympians, he has been in the privileged position of questioning the minds that matter on the big issues that concern us all. We often talk of war and conflict, the economy, culture, technology and revolutions as if they are something other than us. But all these things are a product of us – of our ideas, our dreams and our fears. We live in fast-moving and extraordinary times, and the changes we’re experiencing now, in these first decades of the twenty-first century, feel particularly poignant as decisions are made that will inform our existence for years to come. What started out as a personal interest in the mechanisms that inform our views of the world, and a passion for understanding, has grown into a phenomenal compilation of once-in-a-lifetime conversations. In this incredible collection, Shah shares some of his most emotive and insightful interviews to date.

Author Bio


Vikas Shah MBE is a serial entrepreneur and philanthropist. He is Visiting Professor of Entrepreneurship at MIT Sloan (The Lisbon MBA), Honorary Professor of Business at The Alliance Business School, University of Manchester and an Honorary Industry Fellow at the University of Salford Business School. Vikas started his first technology business aged just fourteen, and is currently CEO of Swiscot Group (a diversified international trading business). He is a venture investor in fast-growing technology businesses internationally and is a non-executive director and advisor to numerous organizations. Vikas was awarded an MBE for Services to Business and the Economy in Her Majesty the Queen’s 2017 New Year’s Honours List.

Thought Economics was founded by Vikas Shah MBE in 2007, and has been recognized globally for the quality of its editorial content, having been named as an official honoree at the 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016 Webby Awards (run by the International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences) for Best Writing (Editorial) alongside The New York Times, the BBC, the Paris Review, Vanity Fair, the Financial Times and National Geographic.

The Thought Economics website includes interviews on a diverse range of topics including: business and economics, culture, society and the arts, politics and policy, science and technology.

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My Review

Chapter 3 discusses: Leadership: Bringing Humanity Together. The ” tools of leadership we see are command, control and divide rather than collaborate, connect and unite”, says Jacqueline Novogratz. We should be rethinking the definition of leadership. Leaders should be filled with compassion and make decisions based on moral and ethical commitments to society. Stephen Schwarzman, of Blackstone, believes that all employees need to feel like equals. They bring them together to discuss issues and problems and everyone is free to offer their opinions. Having a team behind you is necessary, because the leader isn’t infallible. Having a personal relationship with the members of the team is also important. It’s important to connect with people and where everyone feels at home, Carlo Ancelotti believes in having mutual respect, but must be the collective voice. General Richard Meyers believes that the ego must be put aside in order to build relationships and trust.

In Chapter 7, there are discussions on democracy by many distinguished world leaders. Democracy works if the voters are well-informed and are willing to look out for others and not just themselves. Bassem Youssef talks about democracy only working if the minorities are equally protected, and not just the wealthy and powerful. Various men in this chapter discuss their reasoning about why democracy is or isn’t working in America. Leaders from other countries discuss how various types of extremism are causing problems within democratic states.

I have found these chapters to be very thought-provoking and filled with wise men who have written their sincere beliefs about many topics that touch us all in the world today.

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Joe Faber and the Optimists Book Tour

I  voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book which I received from the author. All views expressed are only my honest opinion.

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Joe Faber and the Optimists by Gill Oliver

Genre: Family, Humor


Joe Faber’s a funny guy, good with his hands, and great with words – until the stroke which leaves him severely disabled. But this is more than his story. There’s Fran, Joe’s wife, who draws up her manifesto and decides to act like an optimist; she hasn’t planned to be a carer. Their talented daughter Jess, who turns her trouble into music. While Jess’s fiancé Matt, the management trainer, innocent, positive and daft, will do his best to keep them all on target.

Art School training made Joe a close observer of the world, but once he leaves the hospital, how does the world see him? And care is erratic. So will Fran have to give up the job she loves? Can Matt’s energetic but insensitive sister be trusted to organise the wedding? There’s heartbreak and absurdity along the way, but humour is the family’s greatest asset in the drive to get Joe back on his own two feet. You’ll hear some wonderful fiddle music and visit some magical Shetland places. Besides being fiercely honest about a tough subject, which the author has seen at first hand, Gill Oliver’s second novel is marked by a zest for life and will surprise you right to the end.

Author Bio
I grew up in Liverpool and yes, at heart I’m the stereotype – a warm-blooded enthusiast who likes nothing better than swinging between a good laugh and a good cry, and to whom silence is alien. People are endlessly interesting, and there’s so much about the world that I just need you to know! I studied languages as a route to reading even more books (including some really wacky stuff) and found a career in education. Joe Faber and the Optimists is my second novel, prompted by the experience of my husband’s stroke, and serious comedy is the furrow I’m still ploughing now. I’m a keen singer, and my work in progress – Amateurs – is about what happens when a slightly precious young composer collides with an amateur choir.

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My Review

When I learned that the book centered around a patient who had suffered a severe stroke, I felt like this would be a great inspirational story of someone who heroically comes back. We all love a feel-good story that shows that anything can be accomplished with hard work and support. This book isn’t exactly that story.

Joe does suffer a severe stroke and almost dies. But, he does regain consciousness and learns that half of his body isn’t working. His personality is shown to the reader gradually as he speaks about what he is experiencing and how his family is dealing with the stroke. He has many moments when humor breaks through and helps him to cope. I love that his wife and daughter are open to him about his situation. Many families just walk on egg-shells and don’t really deal with what is right before their eyes.

Joe’s daughter Jess is so worried that her dad won’t be able to walk her down the aisle, now that she’s engaged. Her fiancé Matt is always around as they are trying to plan the wedding. Zanna is organizing the wedding, but is intense and pushy. The story now seems to focus on the tension between Zanna, Jess, and Matt as the wedding plans unfold.

I love seeing Joe’s progress, but would love to have the book focused on him and not so much of the day to day lives of his daughter and her fiancé. There is some cursing in the book and a little crude humor. The very end of the book is the most interesting part as many things are resolved in the various relationships. To find out about Joe’s level of recovery, will the wedding happen, and will the family settle into a acceptance of Joe’s disability, you’ll need to read this book.

@2021, copyright Lisa Ehrman

The Ticklemore Tattler Publication Day Push

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The Ticklemore Tattler

Sometimes you have to write your own future…

The life of former journalist Juliette Seymour has been quiet and unassuming. Up until now, she’s been concentrating on running the local newspaper and raising her daughter.

But all that is about to change when Juliette is informed that the Ticklemore Tattler is to fold and that she’ll be out of a job. She begins to wonder whether she can buy the newspaper and try to make a go of it herself.

Aware that she needs some advice she contacts Oliver Pascoe, little knowing that when her old colleague re-enters her life, his help isn’t the only thing she wants him for!

As she begins to fall in love, however, what she doesn’t realise is that Oliver has something he’s keeping from her.

A gorgeously uplifting story, perfect for fans of Holly Hepburn, Heidi Swain, and Isabelle Broom.

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Author Bio –

Liz Davies writes feel-good, light-hearted stories with a hefty dose of romance, a smattering of humour, and a great deal of love.

She’s married to her best friend, has one grown-up daughter, and when she isn’t scribbling away in the notepad she carries with her everywhere (just in case inspiration strikes), you’ll find her searching for that perfect pair of shoes. She loves to cook but isn’t very good at it, and loves to eat – she’s much better at that! Liz also enjoys walking (preferably on the flat), cycling (also on the flat), and lots of sitting around in the garden on warm, sunny days.

She currently lives with her family in Wales, but would ideally love to buy a camper van and travel the world in it.


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But First, Rumi Book Tour

Chitra Ramaswami



But First, Rumi

Tour Begins March 15th

Book Summary

When Chitra discovered a stray cat in need of help, she never thought they’d wind up saving each other. Struggling to come to terms with an unexpected diagnosis, Chitra returned home to Oman seeking a sense of familiarity. What she discovered instead was a very special cat who changed her life. But First, Rumi is the story of how, day by day, Rumi and Chitra got to know one another, and as she learned to love the little stray, she began to see greater life lessons about herself, her family, her home country and her place in the world. 

What unfolds when girl and cat meet? What happens when you follow your heart? What if the world is not as it seems? Is it worth taking a chance? 

Print Length: 158 Pages

Genre: Memoir

But First, Rumi is available to purchase now on

About the Author, Chitra Ramaswami

Chitra Ramaswami was born and raised in the Middle East by Indian parents, and her childhood was spent reading every book she could lay her hands on or writing stories and lines of poetry. As a result of traveling the world extensively and being a natural linguist, she is an amalgamation of many cultures and tastes and is constantly looking for the next experience she can immerse herself in. When she isn’t writing, Chitra rides horses, climbs mountains and is a passionate advocate for the Omani Mau/ street cat. She currently lives in New York with her husband and a very spoiled cat and hamster duo. 

Find her online at:

Author’s website: 

– Blog Tour Dates

March 15th @ WOW! Women on Writing 

Join us at the WOW blog, The Muffin, to celebrate the launch of Chitra Ramaswami’s book But First, Rumi. You can read an interview with the author, find out more information about this touching memoir, and win a copy for yourself!

I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book which I received from the author. All views expressed are only my honest opinion.

My Review

This is a sweet story of a young lady named Chitra. She lives in New Jersey but often visits her family in Oman. She has a very close family and she loves coming back to her beautiful country. She describes all of the area surrounding her family’s apartment building. She has recently been suffering from some strange physical symptoms.

Chitra experiences dizziness and fainting-type spells. As it often happens, diagnosing her problem isn’t automatic. She has to go through a few events before the doctors test her with an EEG. It appears that she has seizure activity and she is started on Keppra for Epilepsy. My son has had the same episodes and diagnosis of partial seizures.

As she is struggling to adjust to having this disorder and the treatment, she needs rest. A visit to Oman with her family is just what is needed. They take good care of her there. While she’s resting, she notices the stray cats. There is one particular cat that seems to latch on to her and she feeds and befriends the cat. She eventually names it Rumi.

Over a long period of time the cat becomes her pet. Even though her father won’t allow animals in the house, she sets up a little bed outside the door. She tries very hard to protect Rumi from the neighborhood bullies and other cats who like to fight. Then, one day Rumi is gone. What could happen to him? Chitra finally finds him, but he is with a girl cat and becomes very aggressive. She finds that he is injured. After taking Rumi to the veterinarian, she’s told that he must come inside to recover. She keeps him inside and away from her father. But, when he discovers the cat she knows that she must find a good home for Rumi. Is anyone going to want an older cat? Chitra must return to America soon. Rumi has been a great distraction and source of comfort for Chitra. Now, you have to find out what will become of Rumi.

March 16th @ Hook of a Book 

Join Erin as she shares a guest post by the author about Omani street cats. 

March 20th @ Boots Shoes and Fashion 

Visit Linda’s blog to read her interview with author, Chitra Ramaswami about her book But First, Rumi 

March 20th @ Pages and Paws

Visit Kristine’s blog today to read her review of But First, Rumi by Chitra Ramaswami.

March 21st @ Shoe’s Seeds & Stories 

Visit Linda’s blog today to read her review and spotlight for But First, Rumi by Chitra Ramaswami.

March 25th @ Keeping it Real 

Join Lisa as she shares a guest post by the author about how to get past writer’s block.

March 26th @ Author Anthony Avina 

Visit Anthony’s blog as he shares a guest post about cats and mental health and reviews But First, Rumi by Chita Ramaswami. 

March 28th @ The Faerie Review 

Visit Lily’s blog where she interviews author Chitra Ramaswami.

March 29th @ Beverley A. Baird’s Blog 

Join Bev as she shares her thoughts about But First, Rumi by Chitra Ramaswami.

March 30th @ Lisa’s Reading 

Visit Lisa’s blog where she reviews But First, Rumi by Chitra Ramaswami. 

April 1st @ Knotty Needle 

Visit Judy’s blog and read her review of this touching memoir for pet lovers, But First, Rumi. You can also win a copy of the book too! 

April 5th @ Reviews and Interviews

Join Lisa as she interviews author Chitra Ramaswami about her book But First, Rumi.

April 5th @ Note to the World

Come by Mahnoor’s blog today and read the review of But First, Rumi by Chitra Ramaswami.

April 7th @ It’s Alanna Jean 

Join Alanna as she shares a guest post by Chitra Ramaswami about the misconceptions about cats.

April 13th @ Deborah-Zenha Adams 

Join Deborah as she shares a guest post about writing process by the author of But First, Rumi 

Girl With Secrets Book Tour

Girl with Secrets

A coming of age war story and family saga full of romance, mystery and danger in London’s East End. From the Sunday Times and ebook bestselling author of the Lizzie Flowers series and A Wartime Christmas comes a gripping NEW coming-of-age saga about love, loyalties and secrets.

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‘Surely one of the best saga writers of her time’ – Rosie Clarke

1938, East London. Nine year old Daisy Purbright is a country girl at heart and together with beloved brother Bobby, they’ve enjoyed the endless freedoms of rural England.

But when her father gambles the family’s fortunes on a speculative investment in London’s docklands, Daisy and her family are swept up into the intrigue, danger and excitement.Desperately the Purbrights attempt to settle to a new life in the East End, but the whisperings of war grow louder.

Then, one late afternoon in September 1940, Adolf Hitler conducts a paralysing bombardment on London and war tightens its grip. Life changes dramatically and closely guarded secrets threaten the Purbrights’ happiness.

Can Daisy and her family survive one of the most fateful events of the 20th century?

Perfect for fans of Nadine Dorries, Pam Howes, Rosie Clarke and Dilly Court.

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Author Bio

Mum and Dad were both East Enders who were born on the famous or should I say the then infamous Isle of Dogs. Their family were immigrants who travelled to the UK from Ireland and France, while others emigrated to America.

As a child I would listen to the adults spinning their colourful stories, as my cousins and I drank pop under the table.

I know the seeds of all my stories come from those far off times that feel like only yesterday. So I would like to say a big heartfelt thank you to all my family and ancestors wherever you are now … UK, Ireland, France or America, as you’ve handed down to me the magic and love of story telling.

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Web site:

Questions and Answers for Carol Rivers

Q. Have you always been a writer?

I’ve always been a storyteller – it’s in the Eastenders’ genes! I boast a huge cockney family, a tribe of East Enders, all survivors of the Blitz, evacuees, totters, costermongers, seamstresses, dockers, factory workers, you name it! Unlocking the secrets of such a vast family is my stock in trade.

Q. Have you been published for long?

I’m lucky enough to have been part of the publishing industry for over thirty years. Hales, D.C. Thompson, Harlequin Mills and Boon, Magna/Ulverscroft and Simon & Schuster. However, technically, I’m labelled a hybrid author, publishing both traditionally and independently.

Q. We know we can find your books in paperback and hardback but do they come in audio and large print too?

I’ve been published by Magna/Ulverscroft for well over a decade and have never known them to produce less than the perfect audio and large print product. Their liaison with authors is second to none, their artwork exemplary. But above all, these wonderful publishers provide books and audios for our precious libraries, the lifeblood of our reading communities. In other words everyone these days can enjoy the written word – without exception. What a joy!

Q. What are your most memorable books?

CHRISTMAS TO COME, my single ebook and LIZZIE FLOWERS AND THE FAMILY FIRM, the third book of the Lizzie Flowers trilogy, are some of my favourite works. As the late, great Jackie Collins would say, they are about feisty heroines who kick ass! I qualify this by admitting that last year’s book CHRISTMAS CHILD has blown me away. It was my first Victorian novel, a coming of age saga that I have so enjoyed writing and hope, at some point, to continue as a series.

Q. What made you decide to write this year’s book, GIRL WITH SECRETS?

I wanted a fresh challenge and a new kind of leading lady. Very soon Daisy Purbright made her presence known in my thoughts. It was then I realized my nine year old heroine was about to be caught up in a breathtakingly catastrophic moment of history, World War ll!

A Little Birdie Told Me Blog Tour


A Little Birdie Told Me…

It’s 1988. The era of young love, with Scott and Charlene melting hearts in Neighbours, and a new princess for the Royal Family. With Bros, Madonna and Wet Wet Wet in the charts, and children hoping for Ghostbusters’ toys in their stockings.

But it’s not all fun for Belinda. If her life was a board game, she’s losing at snakes and ladders. Once she’d been working her way up one of those ladders but, thanks to her snake-like polytechnic lecturer, she’s toppled from the rungs. Now she works in an old people’s home, where her chief duties involve cleaning toilets and emptying commodes.

At least her lovely colleague, Joe, offers excitement in her otherwise dreary life. But Belinda can’t believe he’d be interested in someone like her. Not when her pretty friend, Tracey, only has to glance at a man to have him fall for her.

But just when it seems things are looking up for Belinda, the residents’ precious possessions start to go missing. Then she witnesses a disturbing incident and doesn’t know what to do. Luckily, Belinda has Joe to guide her – until she discovers that he’s hiding a secret, one that forces her to make an agonising decision.

Will she continue to hide in the shadows, never speaking out – or will she put her future on the line to stand up for what is right? After all, she’s caring for a generation that’s lived through two wars. Now it’s time to fight for them.

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Author Bio –

Sharley Scott is the author of the Devon Seaside Guesthouse novels – Bedlam & Breakfast and B&Bers Behaving Madly – and the Maddie Meadows series.

Sharley is a guesthouse owner in South Devon. She is thankful to have been blessed with lots of amazing and kind-hearted guests, who are nothing like some of the fictional characters featured in the Devon Seaside Guesthouse series.

The Two Lives of Maddie Meadows – and its sequel The Gift of a Rose – portray the life of a working single mum. Some of the mischief Maddie’s little one, Josh, gets up to will be familiar to all parents. In real life, Sharley has carried out the threats she made to her son decades ago and now gets her own back him by telling tales to his girlfriend (some of the incidents in the books are inspired by him), although he returns the favour by recounting utterly embarrassing stories about his mum.

Sharley’s latest novel ‘A Little Birdie Told Me…’ is being published in February 2021. This book goes back in time to the late eighties: a time of fun music, interesting fashion, strange hairstyles and no internet or mobile phones. Fancy having to talk to each other! (Says the author who frequents Facebook too often).
W ith that in mind, Sharley can be found on Facebook at:
Or follow Sharley on Twitter: @SharleyScott

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A Little Birdie Told Me… is set in a care home during the 1980s. Belinda and her colleague, Joe, have invited two of the residents out for a picnic lunch – as the ladies don’t have families to take them on outings. Several thefts have taken place at the care home while the rooms are being cleaned, but something more worrying seems to have been swept under the carpet:

Our chatter strayed from talk about the war to politics. Freda and Alice had different opinions, but they put them across without raising their voices.

“Well, I admire Margaret Thatcher,” Alice declared. “She’s given people a chance to buy their council homes. That’s a good thing.”

“But what about the next generation?” Freda said. “Where will they live? It’s all about now. Like the utilities. They’re making a fortune selling them, but there’ll be nothing left in the future.”

“I don’t know why you’re worried. It’s not as if you or I have progeny to be concerned about. However, I’ll grant you those points, although she’s done many good things too.” Alice pushed away her plate and rested her elbows on the table. “What do you think of Tony Benn’s challenge for leadership of the Labour Party? Do you think it will fail like last time?”

The conversation sallied back and forth. Joe grinned at me. We weren’t needed, but we couldn’t leave them and go for a wander. Gloria would kill me.

An hour later, Joe pointed at his watch. “We’d better head back. I need to get to the betting shop before it closes.”

“For your Sir Bart,” Alice said. “What will he do without you to keep his fire escape shenanigans secret?”

Joe’s eyebrows shot up. “You know about that?”

She tapped her nose. “There isn’t much I don’t know.”

He glanced at me and cleared his throat. I guessed what he was about to ask.

“What about the patients in the other area? Do you know about them? The ones with dementia and suchlike.”

Alice scrutinised him. “Why do you ask?”

He kept his demeanour relaxed, but his eyes were watchful. She knew something, he was sure of it.

“How about we swap confidences?”

She gave him a slight nod.

“I once saw something that made me uncomfortable. I didn’t like the way a resident was being treated,” he said.

She didn’t answer but swept some crumbs onto the ground. Freda frowned. No doubt she was thinking the same as us. What did Alice know?

“I wasn’t meant to be there,” she said. “I don’t want to get into trouble.”

The usual Alice was back. Thin-lipped, her beady eyes assessing us.

“Tell him, duck,” Freda said. “They won’t say a word. Nor will I.”

Alice sighed. “I saw one of the staff slap Cyril Axe.” She turned to Freda. “Do you remember him?”

Freda frowned. “I don’t think so.”

Freda might not have known him, but Joe leaned forward, alert.

“He must have been moved before your time,” Alice told Freda. “He deteriorated quickly. One minute he was fine up here.” She tapped the side of her head. “And the next they carted him off to the dark side. I’m telling you now, I do not want to go there. It’s run like a separate business. Gloria might be in charge, but she’s kept at arm’s length from it.”

Joe’s face remained expressionless, but watchful. “The worker who slapped Cyril – is she still working at Rockbeare?”

“Yes!” Alice’s voice quivered. “But I’m not saying anything more. She’s a nasty piece of work.”

“Julia!” Joe hissed. “It must be her.”

Alice mimed zipping her mouth and folded her arms. “That’s all you’ll get out of me. I don’t want to spend my last years like so many others.”

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