Category Archives: Books

To Hell With Commission Junction

Shortly after I first set up this blog I decided to try out the Amazon affiliate program, mostly as an experiment to learn how the program worked. It seemed to make sense that if I was going to write book reviews (or maybe the odd review of other things I’ve bought) I might as well try to get some benefit from it. I certainly never expected to make much, if any, money by putting Amazon links on my blog – and I haven’t – which especially isn’t surprising since most of the book reviews I’ve written have been fairly negative. Who’s going to want to buy a book when it’s compared unfavourably to a video of a chimpanzee urinating in it’s own mouth? Even if I’m not really earning anything it’s still an easy-to-use program, and it makes sense to add links to whatever I’m writing about – so I continue to use it.
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Book Review: The Lost Symbol by Dan Brown

The Lost Symbol
The Lost Symbol by Dan Brown
Published: 2009.09.15 by Doubleday
ISBN: 1400079144
Amazon :: Kindle Edition

My Rating: ★½☆☆☆ 

Rather than waste keystrokes writing a review of this rubbish I’m going to steal a trick from Pitchfork.com and show you a video of a chimpanzee urinating into his own mouth. It’s a better representation of this book than I could write.

Book Review: Wild Swans by Jung Chang

Wild Swans : Three Daughters of China
Wild Swans by Jung Chang
Published: 2003.08.05 by Touchstone
ISBN: 0743246985
Amazon :: Kindle Edition

My Rating: ★★★★½ 

This was another book I decided to read only because I didn’t have any other books at hand. This time I was lucky, Wild Swans is an excellent book. I’m happy I stumbled upon it because it’s not the type of book I would normally just pick up and read at random.

After a quick glance at the cover, featuring the portraits of three generations of women, I half-expected this to turn out to be a chick book – maybe a “Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe” set during the Chinese Cultural Revolution. Thankfully not. The novel is a non-fiction account of the lives of three women: a grandmother, a mother and daughter (the daughter being the author). But even though it focuses on the lives of these three women, the book really tells the story of life in China during the tumultuous events of the twentieth century, as experienced by the average people who lived through it.
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Book Review: Free Fall by Robert Crais

Free Fall (Elvis Cole)
Free Fall by Robert Crais
Published: 1994.04.01 by Crimeline
ISBN: 0553565095
Amazon :: Kindle Edition

My Rating: ★☆☆☆☆ 

It’s books like this that reaffirm my opinion that I don’t like crime fiction. This was another book that I found lying around (an autographed copy no less) that I’m sure I never would have read if I wasn’t running desperately short of books.
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Book Review: Star Island by Carl Hiaasen

Star Island
Star Island by Carl Hiaasen
Published: 2011.06.21 by Grand Central
ISBN: 0446556122
Amazon :: Kindle Edition

My Rating: ★★★½☆ 

A few weeks ago I was chatting with a friend about my ever dwindling stockpile of books. Being sympathetic to my plight she very generously bought this book from the local book shop so I could read it. A couple of our friends here on Nevis are fans of Carl Hiaasen and have been telling me how much they enjoy his books. I had never even heard of Hiaasen before, so I was happy to check him out.

Trying not to give any spoilers, it’s a story revolving around a rich and famous but dim-witted and talentless pop singer and her entourage who struggle to keep her career alive in the wake of her perpetual sex scandals and drug overdoses. The protagonist, and the only character with any redeeming qualities, is the singer’s double – a struggling actress who’s job it is to appear in public whenever the star is preoccupied with having her stomach pumped.
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Book Review: Under Orders by Dick Francis


Under Orders by Dick Francis
Published: 2007.08.07 by Berkeley
ISBN: 0425217566
Amazon :: Kindle Edition

My Rating: ★★½☆☆ 

It figures that my first book review on this blog would be for a novel I didn’t like very much. “Under Orders” is a crime fiction set in and around London, England with a strong horse racing theme pervading the story. Think Magnum PI meets Seabiscuit. Only replace Magnum with a proper English former jockey.
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To Goodreads or not to Goodreads

A little over a year ago I signed up with goodreads.com, a social networking site for bookworms (their words, not mine).  Although I don’t burn through books the way some people do, I do read a fair bit (I usually prefer to take my time and savour each book).  It’s something of an addiction really – it’s a rare night that I don’t read a book before going to sleep.  And it’s always a fantastic day when I have some free time to spend relaxing with a good book. Those nights that I don’t read are usually the nights that I struggle to get to sleep – withdrawal symptoms perhaps?
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