Follows the hopes and dreams of a young boy into realisation as an adult. A pretty inspirational story.
The darkness of the illustrations of Li Cunxin's time as a poor young boy in Qingdao hint at the Anne Spudvilas's previous work Woolvs in the Sitee. The change in format as Li arrives in the US is dramatic - and really changes the mood of the book....more
About half way through this book I was getting very irritated by Heidi's preoccupation with creating a kiss-and-tell chronicle of he sexual exploits aAbout half way through this book I was getting very irritated by Heidi's preoccupation with creating a kiss-and-tell chronicle of he sexual exploits across the globe. Then the "Black Hawk Down" occurred, and genocides in Rwanda and Bosnia left 100,000s dead and gruesome stories of depraved violence.
Probably the most memorable quote from the book is from Andrew: "If blue-helmeted U.N. peacekeepers show up in your town or village and offer to protect you, run. Or else get weapons. Your lives are worth so much less than theirs."...more
This book provides a background on the life of esteemed Australian children's book author/illustrator Graeme Base. There are very interesting insightsThis book provides a background on the life of esteemed Australian children's book author/illustrator Graeme Base. There are very interesting insights in the the stories behind the creation of his amazing children's books. Who knew that he had to remove Disney characters from Animalia at the last minute, or that much of Eleventh Hour was inspired by a year-long world-wide post-Animalia jaunt?
This is hardly an objective view - the author Julie Watts was responsible for publishing many of Graeme's books.
As Ben Ely from Regurgitator put it - "I like your old stuff better than your new stuff" - I loved Animalia and Eleventh Hour and these sections of this book were pretty exciting. Once he became an established talent this book becomes a little formulaic - Came up with idea, put it to publishers, worked the idea a bit, published and it was reasonably successful. ...more
A spectacular adventure story - with the bonus that it is true!
The fate of those on the Endurance holds the most interest, the story of their ship beiA spectacular adventure story - with the bonus that it is true!
The fate of those on the Endurance holds the most interest, the story of their ship being trapped in the ice over winter, the inability to escape during the following summer, the crushing of the ship, the second winter on the ice out in tents, the mad dash in the lifeboats, the amazing sea journey and the final climb over the South Georgian mountain ranges - followed by the desperate attempts at rescue. I felt the Aurora/Ross Sea story was a little disappointing after the Endurance tale. The story suffered for Shackleton being reliant on other's journals to recreate the story. You never develop the same empathy for the people - partially because of the occasional sniping from Shackleton, for example
It is to be regretted that though there was a good deal of literature available, especially on this particular district, the leaders of the various parties had not taken advantage of it and so supplemented their knowledge.
The extensive preparations, the detailed knowledge displayed by Shackleton, and the nod to scientific discovery through this expedition all set this book apart from some of the modern real-life adventure stories (eg the disgraceful Between a Rock and a Hard Place by the irresponsible Aron Ralston).
I've recently read Robinson Crusoe and frankly South is a much better tale. While Robinson was living it up, admittedly all alone, with corn, grapes, goats in a climate where "there was no need for clothes", Shackleton and co are stuck in -30 C temperatures with clothes that are falling apart, primarily surviving on seal meat. While the protagonists in South are Christian, Shackleton doesn't need to ramble on about Providence for 3/4 of the book - a simple reference here and there is all that is really required.
A shortcoming of the book is the maps provided are woefully inadequate. There are numerous references to geographic features not featured on the map, also latitudes and longitudes are commonly referenced - which are impossible to interpret using the maps provided. I would recommend using pm77's Google Earth kmz file in conjunction with the book - it is extremely well done and contains all the geographic information you could need.
A fictionalised biography of Harriet Tubman, a conductor on the Underground Railroad.
The illustrations are amazing, the depth of feeling Kadir NelsonA fictionalised biography of Harriet Tubman, a conductor on the Underground Railroad.
The illustrations are amazing, the depth of feeling Kadir Nelson is able to portray in faces makes this book a deserving winner of the Coretta Scott King Award for Illustration for 2007.
The story itself is deeply religious (you may have guessed with the title and the front cover illustration!). I'm not religious at all, but the power of religion shines through in this book - with Harriet obtaining courage and strength through her faith.
I must have been living under a rock - my first introduction to David Sedaris was last year when my wife began reading his books.
Her review of all sheI must have been living under a rock - my first introduction to David Sedaris was last year when my wife began reading his books.
Her review of all she has read to date: "a bit hit and miss", and I have to agree with her. I felt this book started well, was pretty ho-hum in the middle, and finished with a bang. If he was performing at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival I would have thought: $20 and 90 minutes well spent.
I'm not sure I'll be rushing out to read his other books - but if I'm bored, and there is nothing else to read it would be a painless way to spend a couple of hours....more
A heart wrenching but ultimately inspirational story of the refugee experience. What suprised me was that the post-settlement period was perhaps evenA heart wrenching but ultimately inspirational story of the refugee experience. What suprised me was that the post-settlement period was perhaps even more heart wrenching than the difficult times as a refugee.
The recipes look fantastic - and will certainly be making an appearance on our dining table soon! I love the stories behind the recipes - by eating the food you almost become part of the continuation of the narrative.
An interesting look at a selection of 12 African women.
Unfortunately the selection of women reflect a troubled continent - a former slave, genocide suAn interesting look at a selection of 12 African women.
Unfortunately the selection of women reflect a troubled continent - a former slave, genocide survivor, female genital mutilation advocate, child soldier... The heavy going is leavened by a singer and a belly dancer but overwhelmingly the subjects are not happy.
The writing was interesting - not simply providing the stories of the women Sally incorporates herself, her journey, into the stories. At times it forms an almost travelogue of some interesting areas of the continent.
Loved Sally's work through Africa as an ABC foreign correspondent, and currently enjoying her work in South Asia. Could I hope for a similar work through Pakistan, Afghanistan, India, Bangladesh?...more