Friday, November 27, 2009

Signspotting by Lonely Planet

Absurd and amusing signs from around the globe!
Anyone who has spent time on the road knows that you often have to depend on signs... to navigate through a town, locate your hotel, even obey the law. A scary thought if you've ever come across any of the publicly posted absurdities that appear in this book. Signs about as easy to understand as a Swahili auctioneer (to a non-Swahili speaker) or as well-planned as the dance steps in a mosh pit.
With the help of signspotters around the globe, we've assembled a collection of some of the most unintentionally entertaining postings on the planet - we hope they confuse and amuse you
(from the publisher)!
I'm sure we have all seen these types of signs over the years on shows like Hey Hey it's Saturday and Rove. Many meanings can really be lost in translation. Or some things just haven't been thought through properly - an open house fun day at a funeral home for example.
Rating - I give this 5/5 GREAT!!
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Reviewed by Michelle @ admin

Friday, November 20, 2009

The Mascot by Mark Kurzem

As a five-year-old during the Second World War, Alex Kurzem had watched from a tree as the entire Jewish population of his village, including his family, were murdered by a German-led execution squad. He scavenged in the forests of Russia for several months before falling into the hands of a Latvian police brigade that later became an SS company. After one soldier discovered this young boy was actually Jewish, Alex was made to promise never to reveal his true identity - to forget his old life, his family, and even his name. The young boy became the company's mascot and part of the Nazi propaganda machine responsible for killing his own people. After fifty years of holding onto this childhood secret, Alex had an overwhelming need to share the remarkable truth about his past (from the publisher).
An amazing story of survival considering his age when he was taken in by the Latvian army. He only had two words from his old life that he could remember - Panok and Koidanov - but he did not know what they meant. The way that these two words opened the door to his past before the war is unbelievable, considering the setbacks along the way - the 'warnings' from some of the Latvian community, and the belief by some experts that he was making the whole thing up.
Rating - I give this 4.5/5 GREAT!!
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Reviewed by Michelle @ admin

Friday, November 13, 2009

Scurvy by Stephen R. Bown

In the days of tall ships, scurvy killed more mariners than any other illness. James Lind, James Cook and Sir Gilbert Blane undertook to solve the riddle of Scurvy. Their achievements heralded a new age and cracked the greatest medical mystery of the Age of Sail (from the publisher).
Apparently, in the days of tall ships, scurvy killed more mariners than any other illness, wartime period, shipwrecks and man-over-boards combined. I'm not sure what compelled me to read a book of this topic but this is a very interesting book. Every time a ship set off on a long voyage, the number of men was doubled as it was expected that they would lose at least 50% of them to scurvy. There is one story of 3 ships setting off together, and only one made it back - 90% of the men had died from scurvy. Scary stuff. Interesting reading through all the 'cures' too (sea water was one), and how the politics of the time influenced such cures. The idea and proof of oranges and lemons as a preventative and cure faced a difficult time of being accepted.
Rating - I give this 4/5 Not bad!
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Reviewed by Michelle @ admin

Friday, November 6, 2009

Better Homes and Gardens (magazine)

That’s right it’s almost that time of year again. The time of year when we deck our halls, put partridges up pear trees and make sure all of our mice are good and quiet. Christmas. To help you get things ready we have released our December issue, which is packed full over 70 fabulous festive ideas for food, gifts and decorations for you to try (from the publisher).
This magazine covers a huge range of topics from recipes and garden ideas to pet tips. The magazine pictured is the December issue and naturally has Christmas information, but the last few years there has been a special Christmas edition as well. If they continue with that this year, no doubt it will be full of great tips, ideas and recipes.
Rating - I give this 4/5 GREAT!!
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Reviewed by Staff name @ library name