I first heard of Shaun Ellis when I watched the Natural Geographic documentary on him and his theories about how playing recordings of wolf packs can stop wolf attacks on farm animals. It worked in Poland, but Ellis has no science-biology background so his theories aren’t really accepted. Wolves have always been among my favourite animals, so I guess I was always going to be interested, like the way I’ll always watch those animal rescue shows, even when I know they’re bound to be all overly dramatic and manipulative.
In an Ancient China, that never was, Yu Lu (not to be confused with the eminent author of The Classic of Tea) sets out on a quest to save the children of his village. Everyone between the ages of 8 and 13 has been struck down by a mysterious plague. He is sent to the Peking in order to bring back a wise man who can help them solve the mystery of this plague that can count. Soon Yu Lu (also known as Number Ten Ox due to his great strength) and the wise man Li Kao are racing across China in an attempt to locate the Root of Power that just may save the afflicted children.
by Raymond Radiguet translated by Christopher Moncrieff
Although the 1930’s mini challenge has come to an end, when I spotted this book at work I thought it might fit, and wanted to read more books of that time. Of course then I read the details and discovered that it was actually written earlier than that… Oh well :)
The devil in the flesh created quite a bit of a scandal when it was published, semi-autobiographical, the author wrote it from the age of sixteen to eighteen, after his own affair with a married woman. And that, my dears, is the central theme to this book. In fact, it is the end all and the be all of everything in this book. Our 15/16 year old narrator’s affair with a married woman. And I found that incredibly off-putting.
James Reece is trying hard to become a secret agent while working at the American Embassy in Paris. He is smart, and plays chess. And he is in love with a beautiful French woman, who has just asked him to marry her, and now his dream is coming true, he is taking action in the fight against drugs and terrorism, because he has been assigned to Charlie Wax, an “unorthodox” agent who may not play by the rules but gets things done.
Before I go any further I will say one thing: Do NOT watch this film.
by Georgette Heyer
The library at Fontley Priory, like most of the principal apartments in the sprawling building, looked to the south-east, commanding a prospect of informal gardens and a plantation of poplars, which acted as a wind-break and screened from view the monotony of the fen beyond.
Adam Deveril has just left the army and the Peninsular War. Not through choice, but because his father recently died and he must assume his family responsibilities as the new Viscount Lynton. Added to his problems is the fact that his father was not the most reliable with money, and Adam finds himself hugely in debt. He may even be forced into selling the family home, as not only does he have mortgages and debts, but he will also have to support his mother and provide for his two sisters. But he is also a man of principle and honour; he does not even consider his advisor’s opinion that he find himself a wealthy bride. But he forced to reconsider when the wealthy business man Jonathan Chawleigh suggests he marries his daughter.
It’s odd, I ended up watching a music documentary last weekend, Some Kind of Monster is documentary about the making of Metallica’s …
By Marc Bekoff
Many animals display their feelings openly, publicly, for anyone to see.
Yes, I’m adding yet more to the tbr pile, I am doomed! Doomed I tells ya. But they were free so even …
Like a bird on a wire
by James Lever
I should have known from that opening paragraph that I wasn’t going to enjoy this book. It has that “amn’t I amusing and witty” narration style that, for me, simply fell flat. Perhaps it is just that I don’t know enough about the stars of the 1940s & 50s to get all the hilarious references and anecdotes. Or maybe it was just written in a style that left me uncaring. Who can say.
By Dan Simons
I really loved Ilium when I read it in June so was looking forward to this, the sequel. And it kicks off right where we left the story in the first book. Unfortunately it just didn’t work as well. All through this book I was interested in what was going on, but never gripped, never fascinated or engaged by it. Merely hmm, that’s interesting.