I found this a really interesting book and certainly one that had me turning those pages; the very nature of the content and the fact it’s a true stor...moreI found this a really interesting book and certainly one that had me turning those pages; the very nature of the content and the fact it’s a true story is the books forward momentum.
The story begins in 1979 when Jacky goes on holiday to Egypt with her then boyfriend whom she gets separated from when they try to get off a bus in Cairo. Jacky finds herself alone, with a twisted ankle, in a residential area and is picked up by two young Egyptian men who escort her into the nearest appartment where she is welcomed by the family who nurse her until she can walk again. The appartment is small and Jacky can only communicate with the 15 year old daughter who is learning English at school but she is drawn to Omar, one of the older brothers and even though they can’t speak to each other there is clearly a mutual attraction. Over the next two weeks the family take Jacky on outings around Cairo and further afield and Jacky finds herslef falling in love with the family and also with Omar (they both discover that they can just about communicate to each other in French and their friendship blossoms). Before the holiday is over, Omar has not only proposed to Jacky and talked his family but they have also married.
Over the next eight years in Cairo, the once mild mannered and loving Omar changes into a controlling and angry man who beats his wife on an almost weekly basis and makes her life a living hell. The conditions and squalar that her and her children are forced to live in is a world away from the life she knew back home and rather than upset her parents she writes home about the good life that she is living and how happy she is.
The book opens with Jacky and her two children’s attempted escape back to England, from Cario to the Israeli border. There are so many challenges along the way that even though the escape has been long planned down to the minutest detail, we are still routing for her and wondering if she will actually make it. The answer doesn’t come until the end of the book.
Having lived and worked in the Middle East and spent a lot of time in Egypt, books of this nature do interest me. This is one of the better ones, I feel, as it is written in a way that is accessible to all (it sometimes has the feel of a YA book in its narrative, which I actually think is a good thing -allowing it to be read and understood by different audiences).
The book is the story of what happened to Jacky in the early 80′s and it is possible that things have changed since then (with more access to media from across the world) but even so this is a pretty stark warning to think before you act.
Ahh, yes. The Twilight series; my (not so) secret guilty pleasure. If you're a fan of this series (or a fan of Rob or Taylor) then you'll love this bo...moreAhh, yes. The Twilight series; my (not so) secret guilty pleasure. If you're a fan of this series (or a fan of Rob or Taylor) then you'll love this book.
The photos on their own are stunning as it shows how some of the scenes were shot (cliff diving, motorbike riding etc) and how the stunts were done. But not only that, there is commentary from the cast and crew and details about how the locations were chosen, how the scene was shot etc. If this had been a picture book alone I would have loved it as they are such stunning photos but for any fan of the series the commentary is a must to get behind the the film and the actors.
Oh how I love this series! This is pure comfort reading at its very best. I can't remember the last time I laughed so hard reading a book. Picking up...moreOh how I love this series! This is pure comfort reading at its very best. I can't remember the last time I laughed so hard reading a book. Picking up the books in this series is like catching up with a friend for a glass of red wine by the fire.
The characters are all so brilliantly drawn that I feel I know them all. To get to know about these burly Yorkshire farmers (with all their local dialect thrown in to boot) is a joy and a priviledge.
I was planning on a break before picking up number 3 in the series but now I'm not so sure I can resist picking it straight up and diving in - that's how addictive they are.(less)
What a wonderful trip down memory lane this book was. I remember watching the TV series back in the 70's and 80's and picking this book up for the fir...moreWhat a wonderful trip down memory lane this book was. I remember watching the TV series back in the 70's and 80's and picking this book up for the first time was like settling down by the fire with old friends.
Set in the Yorkshire Dales, this is the first book in a series by rookie vet James Herriot and his new life in the countryside and among the animals and his struggle to win over the old Yorkshire farmers and eccentric characters he meets there. There were so many times when I literally laughed out loud (once in a quiet hospital corridor while waiting for someone to come out of the theatre - which got me a few horrified looks!). The character of Mrs Pumphrey and her dog Tricki Woo had me bent over crying with laughter!
I just loved this book. I live in Yorkshire, about an hour from the Dales, and it has made me want to jump in my car and head off to Herriot country; the whole place just came alive with his passion for the region. I am really looking forward to reading the rest in the series - this is the sort of comfort reading that I know I can look forward to if I need a break from real life. In the words of James Herriot while describing his beloved countryside - I felt like I could breathe. This book is a real tonic - highly recommended. (less)
I read this book in 1999, coming up to the millenium. It was a really fascinating look at Britain in the year 0 (obviously - hence the title) with all...moreI read this book in 1999, coming up to the millenium. It was a really fascinating look at Britain in the year 0 (obviously - hence the title) with all the different place names and daily lives etc. (less)
From monkey prostitution to raising a terrorist......
I found this book interesting, frustrating, fascinating and infuriating (mostly at the same time)...moreFrom monkey prostitution to raising a terrorist......
I found this book interesting, frustrating, fascinating and infuriating (mostly at the same time). The duo that brought Freakonomics with answers to why drug dealers live with their mothers and how the name that your parents gave you can determine which job you end up getting have now given us Superfreakonomics.
To rogue economists or mad scientists this books meanderings may be make perfect sense, but to the likes of me I had a job trying to fathom how we got from one subject to another and then back to the original one at times. It almost seemed like a couple of kids that get so excited about their school project that they just want to tell you everything all about it all at once. That said, some of the themes and questions posed I found fascinating:
Why should suicide bombers buy life insurance? Why is May the worst month for a baby in Uganda and Michigan, USA to be born? How did 9/11 start the trickle down effect of the credit crunch? Why could eating kangaroo meat help save the planet? Why did 38 people watch Kitty Genovese be murdered and say nothing?
When I read Freakonomics a few years ago I gave it 2 stars. It attempted to tell us that teachers cheat, estate agents lie and black kids are usually given different names to white kids. You don't say! After having read this second offering I have decided to accept it for what it is - fun and light entertainment. Some of the findings are really fascinating and some are pretty banal and even confusing (the global warming section had my eyes glazing over).
However, to end on a positive note, the epilogue was genius! If you have ever wondered if monkey prostitution exists, wonder no more..... (less)
I loathe cooking but I love books (and food!). My husband loathes reading but loves cooking - et voila! I read the book and tell him what yummy foods...moreI loathe cooking but I love books (and food!). My husband loathes reading but loves cooking - et voila! I read the book and tell him what yummy foods I want him to cook and he gets down and dirty in the kitchen while I bark orders. Perfect!
Did I mention I hate cooking? Well, I really do. I am totally crap at it. However, I can spend many an hour drooling over a good cook book like Jamie's latest offering. In this one he has toured America and experienced local cooking for himself and in true Jamie style added a few twists of his own. There are sections on food from New York, Louisiana, Arizona, Georgia, Los Angeles etc and each section comes with at least a 2 page spread about his time there and who he met that inspired him, complete with lots of pictures. He then dedicates each section to dishes from that region, which all look totally scrummy, and tells us how to cook them rather than just listing the ingredients and bullet point instructions.
I have had 3 dishes from this book now, all lovingly prepared while I sit with my feet up, and I can give it a huge thumbs up so far. (less)
I just love these Eyewitness guides, they are so colourful and vibrant. I bought this prior to my latest trip to Paris and found it so much better and...moreI just love these Eyewitness guides, they are so colourful and vibrant. I bought this prior to my latest trip to Paris and found it so much better and more useful that other giudes I have used in the past. There is so much history and detail in it that I found places that I didn't know about despite several previous visits.
The book is split into really easy to follow sections - basically the diffrerent quarters (i.e. The Latin Quarter, Le Marais, Monmartre, The Opera Quarter etc). At the beginning of each section there is a small map of Paris at the bottom of the page highlighting where it is in relation to the other areas and then over the page a more detailed map of the sites in that area with snippets of info. The following pages go into more detail about various sites, buildings etc. It's choc full of so many things I wanted to cram into my weekend but alas some will have to be saved for another trip (any excuse!).
There is also loads of info on the best places to eat (again by area, and also price), different types of shops, markets etc as well as all the practical info about getting around and underground and overground maps. I read the whole things from start to finish before I left for Paris becuase I found it so interesting as a book as well as just a city guide.
I highly recommend this book - perfect for planning and drooling over.(less)