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Paul Harris (Llantrisant, Wales)

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Lone Ranger And Tonto Fistfight In Heaven
Lone Ranger And Tonto Fistfight In Heaven
by Sherman Alexie
Edition: Paperback
Price: 6.29

4.0 out of 5 stars Great and heartfelt short stories exploring the Native American experience in modern USA., 12 Oct 2010
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Many others have reviewed this more eloquently than I can. Suffice to say - I love Alexie's writing. His turn of phrase, his humour, his portrayal of all the heartache and institutionalised prejudices, the longing and the sorrow, take me to a place i've not ever been to before. This is good heartfelt writing, and I'd put Sherman right up there with Thom Jones and Etgar Keret as one of the finest short story writers around in recent years. I will definitely be reading more of his books.


Trees: Their Natural History
Trees: Their Natural History
by P. A. Thomas
Edition: Paperback
Price: 28.85

4.0 out of 5 stars An excellent overview of the subject., 12 Oct 2010
A very good overview of how trees work and the many adaptations and modifications to their environments they can achieve. Although the writing can be quite technical and scientific, Thomas' writing skilfully engages without alienating the lay person or the expert.


Terra Nullius: A Journey Through No One's Land
Terra Nullius: A Journey Through No One's Land
by Sven Lindqvist
Edition: Paperback

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Another great book from Lindqvist., 12 Oct 2010
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Another great book from Sven Lindqvist. This is a unique blend of informed travelogue with historical analysis, social anthropolgy, and the origins of modern Australian art & literature.

Lindqvist accounts for how the white European settlement of Australia in turn resulted in the wholesale systematic dispossession of the indigenous aboriginal peoples. Of course it doesn't end there - not only were their lands and waters stolen but there was a conscious attempt to actually exterminate them altogether. Citing countless and varied sources he demonstrates how this peaked in the 1930s - one exponent even calls it 'the final solution' - and would even continue in many aspects well into the post-WW2 era.

Families are seperated, children interned in labour camps, boys made to pearl-dive, girls sent away as maids (often to repeated sexual & physical abuse), mothers would have their babies taken away, and the men would be utterly disenfranchised and often arrested, rounded-up, beaten, disappeared, and even shot. Time after time the authorities would turn a blind eye or even encourage these acts. The prison islands for supposed carriers of STDs were little more than concentration camps for the thousands...

Towards its end, Lindkvist's book explores how through art the persecuted peoples have made a sort of breakthrough into modern Australian identity and consciousness. The subject of restitution is an ongoing one and has clearly become a hot political issue in 21st century Australia.

As others will doubtless echo - all Australians should read this book, but it isn't a story unique to that country alone. We should all look at our own countries and ask ourselves did this happen here? Did we do it over there? Are we still responsible for it happening?


Irons in the Fire
Irons in the Fire
by Russell Brand
Edition: Hardcover

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining., 12 Oct 2010
This review is from: Irons in the Fire (Hardcover)
An entertaining collection of Brand's very good sports column. Largely, but not only, covering Brand's beloved West Ham United and the doolally antics down Upton Park way.


The Tree Climber's Companion: A Reference And Training Manual For Professional Tree Climbers
The Tree Climber's Companion: A Reference And Training Manual For Professional Tree Climbers
by Jeff Jepson
Edition: Paperback

12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The essential tree climbing reference., 12 Oct 2010
A valuable reference for professional tree climbers. Clearly illustrated and written in a nice style - pretty much essential for novices and a very handy reference book for experienced guys.


Collins Tree Guide
Collins Tree Guide
by David More
Edition: Hardcover
Price: 17.00

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Professionals recommend it., 12 Oct 2010
This review is from: Collins Tree Guide (Hardcover)
Very solid day-to-day reference book, for both amateur and professional use.
Superbly illustrated - my copy has become extremely well-thumbed.


The Nature Reader
The Nature Reader
by Daniel Halpern
Edition: Paperback

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very varied and very good - a must for fans of nature writing., 12 Oct 2010
This review is from: The Nature Reader (Paperback)
Very, very good. Picked this up cheap a few years back in a bargain bookshop and really enjoyed it. It is a very varied collecton of short stories, essays, poems, and excerpts from longer works with the commonality of nature as principle theme. There are different sections on historical overview, natural phenomena, American directives, creatures, and fiction. At the back is an excellent booklist - which has in turn led me to discover many other fine writers, some of whom have become firm favourites of mine such as Barry Lopez, Edward Abbey, and Richard Nelson.

These writers are among those featured within, but the book also includes work from many excellent writers including Italo Calvino, Gary Nabhan, Annie Dillard, Gary Snyder, Joyce Carol Oates, Ted Hughes, Terry Tempest Williams, Bruce CHatwin, Paul Bowles, Cormac McCarthy, Jim Crace, and Gabriel Garcia Marquez. An excellent anthology of nature writing. Should be very cheap from an online bookseller.


Father and Son
Father and Son
by Larry Brown
Edition: Paperback

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Powerful stuff. Evocative and superbly written., 12 Oct 2010
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This review is from: Father and Son (Paperback)
This is powerful stuff and superbly written. Larry Brown writes in a way that compels you to fall deep into the scene he sets. You can feel the Mississippi heat rising as the days progress...when the rains come it brings sweet relief. You can smell the coffee perking and the biscuits frying, and the whisky-breathed main antagonist Glen Davis as he spends his first days of freedom back in his home county after 3 years incarceration. We follow the compact cast of characters as a path of destruction unfolds...This novel will stay with me for a very long time. So glad I've discovered Larry Brown's writing.


Before Their Time: A Memoir
Before Their Time: A Memoir
by Robert Kotlowitz
Edition: Paperback
Price: 7.70

5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect and poignant. Very moving personal account., 12 Oct 2010
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What a perfect and poignant book. Concise, humble, utterly frank and honest, all too human. Robert Kotlowitz's story of a young man sent to war is not unique. What is, though, is the sheer heart and beauty he tells his tale with. I finished this book and thought how beautifully it had been written. Very moving.


How We Survived Communism and Even Laughed
How We Survived Communism and Even Laughed
by Slavenka Drakulic
Edition: Paperback

4.0 out of 5 stars Vivid day-to-day life behind the 'Iron Curtain'., 12 Oct 2010
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Very vivid descriptions and recollections of how day-to-day life in communist Yugoslavia, and other central European cities, actually was for people - and women in particular. Felt very sorry to come to the end as I felt that, thanks to Drakulic's sound writing and intimate style, I'd come to know just a little of a place and a time that now suddenly seems so far off. Will definately seek out other more recent works of hers as i'd like to know more of this impressive writer's take on what has been happening in her life and her part of the world in the years since this was published in the early-1990s.


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