Tuesday, 22 July 2008

Me too! Me too!

Well the Exclusive Books Winter Sale has started, and although a bit disappointing this year, I did manage to find one little gem hidden in amongst the chaffe (yes, i know the metaphor doesn't quite fit, but I was at a loss for another word). 44 Scotland Street. It's another Alexander McCall Smith - him of the No.1 Ladies' Detective Agency fame. I haven't read it yet myself, but I have read another book in the series: The World According to Bertie, which has been light, easy reading, but quite delightful. So when I saw the first book on sale, I grabbed it up and thought I have to put it in for all our enjoyment. They're all set in Edinburgh and focus around the lives of the inhabitants of 44 Scotland Street. It was initially published as a serialised novel in The Scotsman newspaper, so the chapters are all quite short, which is why it's so nice to pick up and read short snippets at a time. Anyway, gotta go - we can chat more next time xx

Monday, 21 July 2008

I know it's not my turn... But!

I couldn't resist picking up four awesome books at a second hand book sale this weekend, girls!
Look forward to this one by Wendy Holden. I'm already halfway through and it's a lot of fun. PLUS, I picked up the follow-up novel from the guy who wrote "A curious incident..." (Mark Haddon), and a girly novel called "Four Play", AND a murder mystery / thriller novel about the death of Edgar Allan Poe.

I'll throw them into the mix at our next book club jorl!

Thursday, 17 July 2008

just some light reading…

For your reading pleasure - some very unprofessional reviews of some of the books I've read:

Hotel Babylon - Imogen Edwards–Jones & Anonymous
I love inside secrets. This is like the Kitchen Confidential of hotels.

The Call - Oriah Mountain Dreamer

Part 2 of your typical hippie bongo find yourself book.

Adrian Mole and the Weapons of Mass Destruction - Sue Townsend

Pleasant enough, but I was as entertained as I was when I read the earlier books as a teenager. I'm old and jaded now…

Yoga School Dropout - Lucy Edge
Loved this. A true story of this chicky who works in advertising and takes some time out to travel around India and visit various yoga retreats. She gives actual information on places that exist, so it makes for a good reference. I so need a reread, so that one day when I run off to India for a few months, I'll know where to head.

Lifetide - Lyall Watson

Lyall Watsons books are like textbooks for living on planet earth. Fascinating stuff.

Supernature - Lyall Watson

I love this dude. A biologist takes weird 'supernatural' stuff and tries to explain it in a logical scientific way. So friggin interesting!

Gifts of Unknown Things - Lyall Watso

A magical story, woven with science and mystery. The book covers the time the author spent on an little island in the Indonesian archipelago. I'll never get tired of reading this.

The Biology of Death - Lyall Watson

Explaining all sorts of interesting stuff about death, and all the gray areas in between.

A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian - Marina Lewycka

Nice story. Cute cover design.

The Invitation - Oriah Mountain Dreamer

Just your typical hippie bongo find yourself book.

The Sunday Philosophy Club - Alexander McCall Smith

I loved the Number 1 Ladies Detective series, and was surprised to enjoy this too. Likeable lady detectives, who'd of thought?

Running With Scissors - William Burroughs

Very entertaining. Much better than the movie.

Toast - Nigel Slater

Great memories about family and growing up all kinda related to food. So I had to like it.

Gazza - Paul Gascoigne

I like a good bio. Learnt about Gazza's life. Sheesh, he was naughty.

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time - Mark Haddon
A nice easy read, told in such a refreshing way.

Seven Types of Ambiguity - Elliot Perlman

I honestly cannot remember what this one was about. Sjoe.

The Only Black at the Dinner Party - Eric Miyeni

I really enjoyed some of the thoughts in these short articles. But I think Eric Miyeni should stick to writing. He is really not made for radio…

The Time Travellers Wife - Audrey Niffenberger

What a beautiful love story. I read this in one weekend and cried solid during the last 2 chapters.

Promiscuties - Naomi Wolf

Okay-ish. I think I preferred The Beauty Myth though.

Ageless Body, Timeless Mind - Deepak Chopra

Another winner by Deepak.

A Foreign Affair - Shaun Briley

I enjoyed this. I think this was the one about the troubled couple who buy a house in the middle of nowhere. Can you just see the drama unfolding…

The Book of Secrets - Deepak Chopra

I loved this book. Deepak and his metaphysics rock. I think I might buy it and add it to my textbooks for being human. I pored over each word for weeks. Every page had an aha! moment, its a lot to take in.

Smilas Sense of Snow - Peter Hoeg

Super duper kick ass interesting. At first. The second half went a little loopy. SPOILER ALERT! And then, after everything… aliens?!

By The River Piedra, I Sat Down And Wept - Paulo Coelho

I like this sort of philosophical nonsense, but they kinda gave away the morale of the story right at the start.

Mr Vertigo - Paul Auster
Started off so friggin interesting and then the second half was SO boring.

Yoga For People Who Can't Be Bothered to Do it - Geoff Dyer


Mystic River - Dennis Lehane

I never saw the movie, but I loved the book. Well written, I still have vivid images of the story in my head. Heartbreaking.

Smacked - Melinda Ferguson

Wow. This was scary. It's frightening how easy it can be to fall into the drug addict bottomless pit. You can see how this could happen to anyone.

Journey To The South - Annie Hawe

Based on actual experiences, this is funny and interesting. Good read.

Skinny Legs - Tom Robbins

Funny ha ha and funny strange. I still rate the Can o' Beans and the Spoon's discussion on why slang is bad.

Eleven Minutes - Paulo Coelho

Great philosophical slash sex book about a women who becomes a prostitute. I didn't judge her once, she had a good understanding of what she was doing. Saucy, but not gratutious.

She's Come Undone - Wally Lamb

Long, it felt like three books in one. But very readable.

How To Get What You Want, And Want What You Have - John Gray

One of my favourite self-helpish books. Interesting and useful.

London Fields - Martin Amis

I tried, I really did, but I couldn't wade through this book.

The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini

Poignant. Well written considering the subject matter.

All Families Are Psychotic - Douglas Coupland

Pleasant and funny. I borrowed this and still haven't returned it… : \

Soul Stories - Gary Zukav

More self-improvement stuff. Oprah rates Gary…

Eat Mangoes Naked - SARK

Love SARK books. Whenever I feel like my spirit needs a hug, these books are the answer.

Innocent When You Dream Tom Waits The Collected Interviews

Some interesting insights, from then to now… Damn, Tom Waits has such a sense of humour. He's a sharp guy.

Eat Pray Love - Elizabeth Gilbert

Every woman (and maybe every man) on this planet needs to own this book. There is something in here for everyone. What a special journey, that is really well written too.

Sexus - Henry Miller

Lots of sex and rambling. Sounds a lot more glamourous than it is. Honestly, 3 pages of ruminating on how he feels walking one block down a street in New York just tires me out. We geddit Henry, you're an sensitive (self absorbed) artiste.

Perfume - Patrick Suskind

After wading through Sexus, this book was like a breath of fresh (perfumed) air. Honestly, it felt like a light read. I like reading books set in the olden time.

The Power of Now - Eckhart Tolle

I've just finished this, after a good few months of absorbing each page. Again, every page is full of insights and aha! moments. It makes so much sense. Don't worry about the past, because its over. Don't worry about tomorrow, because tomorrow could never come. Just enjoy RIGHT NOW, cos its all you really have.
Next stop, A New Earth.

book club | marco paulo

We had another slightly smaller book club on wednesday, but it was no less enjoyable. We stuck to some serious conversation topics and share our thoughts an opinions on everything from adoption to charity to family weddings…

The service was so good that you don't even have to think about it. My meal was fresh and tasty, the portions were pretty substantial, and my glass of chenin blanc was delightful.

Here is some blurb on the restaurant:

Marco Nico is one of Durban’s most highly regarded restaurateurs. His Mediterranean background is reflected in, yet doesn’t dominate, the menu.
Best for: Slick service and memorable cuisine.
Don’t miss: Partner Paul Sheppard’s recommendations.
Marco Paulo: Accord House, 2 Golf Course Drive, Mt Edgecombe; tel (031) 502-2221