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Coconut Unlimited
Coconut Unlimited
by Nikesh Shukla
Edition: Paperback
Price: £10.00

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A light hearted and easy read which touches some interesting issues, 7 Dec. 2011
This review is from: Coconut Unlimited (Paperback)
I picked up this book for my husband who was born and bought up in Harrow and thought he would enjoy it. He didn't bother so I read it instead. He actually thought it would be full of stereotypes and not be all that funny. He was wrong and Im going to get him to read this now!

It is a kind of coming of age book about the main character, Amit, growing up in Harrow and attending a white private school. He doesn't quite fit into the rich white school but doesn't quite fit into the Asian community in Harrow either. Where he does seek solace is in music - hip hop. This is a story of a teenager facing the world, trying to find his place and fit in - oh and pull girls!

The main character, Amit, is so real and you feel his every thoughts and actions. There are so many cringing moments and times I just thought, god, he deserves all the abuse he gets at school! However, you start to understand his insecurities, turmoil and struggles of self discovery, dealing with racism, stereotypes and expectations. For an Asian person growing up in a largely white area, this can be particularly harsh. Many people may not realise the racism that exists in schools from teachers and students on a daily basis. I know my friends were shocked to hear this but I assure you, this is true and I thank Shukla for writing about this.

This is a light read but has the right balance of being descriptive in places without over doing it. Shukla can tell a great story and it shows in the writing. The book takes you back to a time when most teenagers feel lost and are still finding themselves in the world. A time when friends are so very important to you and music means everything. We can all relate to this even if you did not grow up in Harrow or like hip hop. I totally related to this book although I was brought up in another part of London and actually loved grunge instead. The principles are universal and that is why many people will enjoy this book.

Ill look forward to more from Shukla.

Life Of Pi
Life Of Pi
Price: £3.99

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An all time favourite book!, 24 Nov. 2011
This review is from: Life Of Pi (Kindle Edition)
Where do I start.... this book is just amazing. Its one of my favourite books of all time. The writing is just genius. The descriptions the feelings the emotions and the story - wow. Its just so original and the author takes you on an amazing journey. I loved the ending - it just comes together in such a way (i dont want to spoil it).

Read it!

Never Let Me Go
Never Let Me Go
by Kazuo Ishiguro
Edition: Paperback

0 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Its Ok if you have some spare time. If your prone to be easily led or over emotional, you will love it., 24 Nov. 2011
This review is from: Never Let Me Go (Paperback)
This book was OK. Not bad but then not overwhelmingly good.

Its quite simple, basic and straightforward. I get that its about human nature, our roles in society and what we box ourselves and others into. I just think other books have covered similar themes a lot better.

It was a bit over emotional and played at the heart strings (all recent books seem to do this to the extreme to get that movie deal). I personally do not like this as it seems a bit fake and contrived. For some people, this gives them that emotional outlet they love to get from reading.

Oh well.

When Broken Glass Floats: Growing Up Under the Khmer Rouge
When Broken Glass Floats: Growing Up Under the Khmer Rouge
Price: £7.12

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Inspiring and heart breaking, 24 Nov. 2011
Beginning to end you feel part of this story, yet you realise how lucky you are to have not been growing up in Cambodia during the Khymer Rouge. Stories like this are so important and need to be read by as many people - what happened should never be forgotten. This is a personal account with a lot of emotion and realism.

You wont get any answers nor will you develop a greater understanding of what happened and why. But then neither did the author which makes it even more poignant.

Nikon D5100: From Snapshots to Great Shots
Nikon D5100: From Snapshots to Great Shots
Price: £15.19

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good basis for photography - thats all., 24 Nov. 2011
Like the other reviews, this is good as a general account of how to use an DSLR but not really specific to the D5100.

It does go through some of the new automatic controls but then says to not use them anyway!

If you want a clear account of how to take better picture with a DSLR then I think its quite good. If you want to learn some new tricks with your D5100 - dont bother!

The Renegade Backpacker
The Renegade Backpacker

1.0 out of 5 stars Do not believe the reviews!, 22 Nov. 2011
I bought this book very randomly - through no recommendation nor through some random book seller/traveler/man on the street/picked up in public place....whatever. I liked the title and thought it may be interesting compared to the other travel books out there. Plus, the small number of reviews seemed good and I believe in the word of mouth.

However, unfortunately, something has happened here where there are too many over the top reviews about a 'book'. Reading the first few paragraphs it becomes clear that this is a new 'self publish with us' book by amazon where any tom dick or.... Axay can publish.

I have no problem with this - I welcome any open medium that gets people's work out there and avoids the middle-man who often doesn't have a clue. If its good then it will do well. If not, then fair game. HOWEVER - do NOT try and fool us! Some of the reviews are so ridiculous that its either the author himself writing them or his mates who are not doing him any favors at all. You can't succeed with fake or biased reviews - you get found out in the end and then you get even worse reviews from people like me who feel cheated and insulted by this.

The thing is, its not even any good. Its not good at all. May be its an interesting read to the author or his mates he met along the way or his friends and family who want to know what he got up to - but then shouldn't it just be a blog? Why sell this and try and make a very small amount of money? Why not write this and send out to his friends for free instead and see where it goes? If he wanted to put it out there for a wider audience then fine - but again, do it with some honesty and dignity!

Anyway, the book review itself: From someone who doesn't know the author, he sounds like a very normal 20-something London guy who went travelling and went to the usual places and did the usual things. All well and good and its nice that the author got to go travelling but for me as the reader, its not that interesting. I learnt nothing, I went away the same as when I started reading, I didn't really care that much what happened - even the 'tips' given were lame and slightly patronizing.

There is no story here or journey on any literal or subtle level for the reader. That is the crux of why I did not enjoy this book at all.

There are so many amazing stories out there - spend your time reading them and don't waste even the small amount of money this book cost.

I don't want to mention that its pretty badly written - I will be here all day otherwise. Again, its fine for a blog, your own diary or something to put out there free of charge on the internet. As a written book that you are charging people to read - its terrible.
Comment Comments (3) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Nov 24, 2011 8:00 PM GMT

The Lost Executioner
The Lost Executioner
Price: £5.40

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wow - the best book Ive read on Cambodia/SE Asia!, 29 Aug. 2011
This book is a must read to anyone interested in or about to visit SE Asia. Ive read some awful books before this - trust me, this is the book to read!

Thought provoking, balanced and good use of personal accounts and factual sources. You are left feeling exhausted and astonished and a little confused! Most books on this subject can simplify what went on in Cambodia but this does not paint a picture of good V evil but presents the complex psychological and historical points that need to be made.This book leaves you feeling that your eyes have been opened!

We need more of these books being written and read by people!

Lonely Planet Cambodia  (Country Guide) (Country Travel Guide)
Lonely Planet Cambodia (Country Guide) (Country Travel Guide)

1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Where's the sense of adventure?!?!, 29 Aug. 2011
As with most LP books, too much detail! Its a real shame to see so many travellers who clutch their copy of the LP like it is a lifeline. The world is out there and there are so many people to speak to! They should be the source of the information - not the LP! So much in the LP is out of date and prices are wrong. Plus, u go to where it recommends and its full of tourists! Thats not good and is sooo boring!! Ditch the LP! Only good for reading the history bits.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Oct 14, 2011 1:11 AM BST

River Of Time
River Of Time
Price: £4.68

6 of 9 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Western eye view - hmmm??, 29 Aug. 2011
This review is from: River Of Time (Kindle Edition)
Travelling through SE Asia, I thought this book would resonate with me (like it has with others). I was expecting (rightly or wrongly) an account of some of the historical key moments that have affected this part of the world so drastically. I did not feel this book really gave me that. Although this is a personal account and I respect that it is the authors own experience, I found that it was too romanticised. The balance between a personal account, emotional content and historical facts just wasnt there for me to enjoy this book.

It is also very much a westerners view of SE Asia and there are fairly consistent references to the beautiful exotic looking women and the opium smoking and staying in plush hotels. This just reminds me too much of the many westerners who visit SE Asia and spend their relatively modest western wages and live like kings and treat this part of the world as their playground. To me, this isnt true to what is actually happening and going on - and thats what I feel with this book. It is a western journalists rather detached view on a tragic and fascinating time.

Its not bad, its just not good either. There is much better - just look for the many books containing personal accounts written by Vietnamese/Cambodians/Thais/Laotian.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Nov 22, 2011 11:13 AM GMT

Tyrants in Our Time: Lives of Fourteen Dictators
Tyrants in Our Time: Lives of Fourteen Dictators
Price: £3.73

1.0 out of 5 stars GCSE level essay published into a book!!, 29 Aug. 2011
Oh dear. Unfortunately, the author of this book has tacked a complex and controversial subject matter with astounding simplicity and as such, really gives nothing to the reader who required a more thought provoking and indepth discussion on this subject. The author presents very tenuous arguments for why these atrocities are committed and does not provide adequate references or sources. This reads like a GCSE level essay where they author is asked to pick out vague psychological constructs that each dictator may share and present a basic analysis. No depth, no real psychological analysis, no good!!!

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