The man who lives with wolves

ISBN: 9780007327157
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.

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Bridge of birds

ISBN: 0345321383

In an Ancient China, that never was, Yu Lu (not to be confused with the eminent author of The Classic of Tea)[1] 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[2] are racing across China in an attempt to locate the Root of Power that just may save the afflicted children.

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Linknotes:

  1. this is his catchphrase of sorts
  2. who has a slight flaw in his character

The devil in the flesh

ISBN: 9781906548254
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.

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From Paris with love

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.

A civil contract

ISBN: 0330235192

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.

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I’m a criminal!

It’s odd, I ended up watching a music documentary last weekend, Some Kind of Monster is documentary about the making of Metallica’s[1] St. Anger album, or at least that is what it was initially supposed to be about. But over the course of creating the album the band went through therapy, rehab, and countless fascinating[2] conversations.

Course that is all beside the point, I only brought it up because there is one scene of all these journalists listening to the album and getting ready to write their articles, and as I watched I couldn’t help but say, “I have no idea how people write about music” I can’t even really discuss what it is I like about a song[3] I mean, yes, you can investigate and analyse the lyrics, but music is much more than that, and I have absolutely no knowledge about the theory of music. I either like it, or I don’t.

But I still found this discussion on metafilter all about Eminem & Rihanna’s Love the way you lie.

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Linknotes:

  1. Himself is a fan
  2. despite my total lack of interest in Metallica I actually did enjoy the documentary
  3. In case I am not making sense, this is the point of the whole Metallica documentary mention

Me Cheeta: the autobiography

ISBN: 9780007280162

On my last day in motion pictures I found myself at the top of a monkey-puzzle tree in England, helping to settle a wager between that marvellous light comedian and wit Rex Harrison and his wife, the actress Rachel Roberts, and thinking, This is gonna look great in the obituaries, isn’t it? Fell out of a fucking tree.

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.

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Olympos

ISBN: 0575072628

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.

That being said there are some great reasons for reading this book. Ilium is a great read, and this continues that story and brings it to conclusion. I quite liked the banter between the two morevacs. And there is a lot more explanation of who and what characters are, as well as where they came from, so you can know if you figured it all our correctly in Ilium. And the idea is a great one.

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