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saliero (NSW Australia)

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Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban[ HARRY POTTER AND THE PRISONER OF AZKABAN ] By Rowling, J. K. ( Author )Oct-01-1999 Hardcover
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban[ HARRY POTTER AND THE PRISONER OF AZKABAN ] By Rowling, J. K. ( Author )Oct-01-1999 Hardcover
von J.K. Rowling
  Gebundene Ausgabe

5.0 von 5 Sternen 42 not too old to be a Harry fan!, 30. Juli 2000
Continues the successful formula, beginning with Harry's summer trials and tribulations with the Dursley's (but does finish on a rather more optimistic note!)
As in Book 2, there is an accretion of magical skills known to the youngsters, and more spells, potions, and paraphenalia available to them. Consequently, the evil is stronger too. It becomes more malevolent as the kids age and themselves become more powerful. Harry at last starts to learn, under the tutelage of professor Lupin something useful about confronting the Dark Arts.
The "baddies" in this book, the are really quite scary, the Dementors the scariest "creatures " yet. (Actually they are a bit reminiscent of a cross between something from Lord of The Rings and The Power Rangers) Harry is meant to be growing and maturing with the readership, I have read, but the only problem with this is that as the youngest readers embark on the adventure, they are going to continue on the journey. Not everyone in the future will have to wait a year between publication of each volume.
There is a really well-developed and clearly written time play in this as part of the climax, and I think some of the very young readers (say 6-7 - yes, some kids as young as that are having the series read to them. I would recommend it for bright 8 year olds up) would find much of it beyond them.
Still, a great read, and the Quidditch games are possibly the most exciting yet!
The lovely thing about the books is that despite all the hype accompanying the publication of the 4th HP book, it was bubbling along by the best possible method: word of mouth amongst kids themselves.
Here we enter the world of Enid Blyton with a very big difference - the English boarding school story suffused with magic, fun and danger. One of the delights is that instead of privation, this school is one of bounty - no need for secret midnight feasts when good food, feasting and celebration is part of the regular Hogwarts experience!
Harry and his friends Hermione and Ron are terrific creations, and will remain children's classics - deservedly so. They're terrific books to read along with the kids. I believe young people still enjoy their parents or other adults reading aloud with them even at the age where they could read these independently (the target age group is about 9 to 12). Any parent or other grown up who does so will laugh along and be as enchanted as the kids are!


Hot Six (Stephanie Plum Novels)
Hot Six (Stephanie Plum Novels)
von Janet Evanovich
  Gebundene Ausgabe

3.0 von 5 Sternen Yes, it's addictive...., 20. Juli 2000
I really think this is Book 5 Part 2. Evanovich's heroine, Stephanie is sassy and smartarsed, and a lot of fun. Reading the books is addictive.
BUT, the formula seams are starting to show. Like all 'series books' there is a huge audience to satisfy, and I am afraid that , for me, this was a bit too much 'more of the same'.
All the elements are in place: the sexual tension between Steph and Morelli, and Ranger. That Evanovich manages to spin that conundrum out so long is testament to her skill as a former romance genre writer! There's the dumb petty crims, the stoopid baddies, the slippery customer (in this case literally) who refuses to come quietly, the car explosions, Gramna's schtik, Mom still baking roast dinners and cakes, and silent Dad.
I am afraid it has become a bit too join-the-dots, and it doesn't elicit the same belly laughs I had from Books 1, 2 and 3.
There's a lot to be said for the showbiz saying "Leave them wanting more" and I think Evanovich should either let Steph have a rest for a while OR take a risk and do some major renovation. Spring some surprises - kill off a favourite character, have something really unexpected happen....might help save the series.
As it stands, I'd say you can wait for the paperback or reserve it at the library, rather than rush out and buy as the book hits the stand, which is how I felt in the early days...


In a Sunburned Country
In a Sunburned Country
von Bill Bryson
  Gebundene Ausgabe

5.0 von 5 Sternen Another Bryson winner, 14. Juni 2000
Rezension bezieht sich auf: In a Sunburned Country (Gebundene Ausgabe)
I am an unreserved Bryson fan. I love "Made In America" about the English language, and, as an Australian living in England for an extended time, thought he captured perfectly both the expat experience, and the endearing and irritating qualities of the Brits in "Notes from a small island" . This book is factually correct. That might sound inane, but there is nothing more irritating than reading about your own place and finding it tritely stereotypical or factually incorrect. Bill scores well on both counts.
Bill's take on the Australian Prime Minister of the day (a small, invisible and colourless entity) is a reasonably brave thing to say in a sense - an outsider commenting on a political identity invites derision, but he captures the essence of the man so well.
The other special moment for me is his discovery of cricket on the radio...when all other stations fade out to static, there is the mighty game. Somehow or other, despite writing nonsense words, he captures the rhythm and cadences of radio cricket commentary PERFECTLY. To me, cricket on the radio is as much about summer as cicadas, running under the sprinkler and crackling heat. Beautifully pulled off!
A good read, and for the first time since leaving school I actually engaged with some of the stories of explorers! A wry but never cynical tone makes for an entertaining read. I am glad he pays "homage" to that other good 'outsider's book' - "Sydney" by Jan Morris.
Bill Bryson covers much of the same terrain as the other great US travel writer, Paul Theroux, and seems to meet as many odd or intersting characters. Bill's disposition, however, makes him far more open to LIKING a place, and enormously less self-absorbed.
Recommended.


Corelli's Mandolin: A Novel (Vintage International)
Corelli's Mandolin: A Novel (Vintage International)
von Louis de Bernieres
  Taschenbuch
Preis: EUR 12,14

5.0 von 5 Sternen A book to fall in love with, 14. Juni 2000
I have just finished reading this book, and am in love with the characters. I actually read two other books in parallel with this one, NOT because it was boring, but because I wanted the characters to stay with me, to be alongside me on my daily journeys to and from work on the train.
The characters are so beautifully realised, so fleshed out as to be real. I love the multi-person viewpoints from which the book is written. From one character we learn some very personal perspectives about the grim humour and brutality of war, before he actually comes to interact with any of the main characters.
The coming together of the protagonists is like a slow dance at first. They edge closer, then circle and then their fate is sealed, explosively.
There are some gloriously hilarious passages (the detonation of a mine on the beach comes to mind), and beautiful, sensuous prose.
We are, after all, left in no doubt as to the author's viewpoint on the protagonists in the war, his attitude toward Mussolini explodes onto the page. It conveys the Duce as madman so convincingly, very early on, through a stream of consciusness technique.
A terrific read, this has gone onto my list of favourite books.


France (EYEWITNESS TRAVEL GUIDE)
France (EYEWITNESS TRAVEL GUIDE)
von Paul Hines
  Taschenbuch
Preis: EUR 20,66

5.0 von 5 Sternen La belle France, 21. Mai 2000
This book is certainly comprehensive, and was a fine companion through many parts of France, some not receiving very much coverage in some other guidebooks. The glossy paper and high quality colour reproductions are the usual Eyewitness standard.
I have used a variety of guidebooks in France - let's Go, The Rough Guide, Baedeker's, michelin, and this combines the best of them all.
To contrast one place, two books: Chartres. The Baedeker's includes a photo of the cathedral, and a smallish diagram showing the main structures internally and descriptions of the Royal Doorway and stained glass. There is some brief locational and historical material about the city of Chartres and mentions the well-regarded Museum of Fine Arts. Eyewitness, by contrast, gives the address, phone no and opening times of the museum (might or might not be helpful, depending on accuracy!) as well as its main attractions, as well as some brief info about Chartres. Then follow two double pages on the cathedral - one containing a 3-D type photo with cut-away, discussing all the important features (with some pictured), and a double-page spread on the stained glasses, including a colour diagram and key to all the windows. Eyewitness wins hands down. It is the same story with the general Michelin Guide to France, which also tends to be quite dry. Nevertheless, the regional Michelin guides are good if you are going to spend a lengthy time in one region. The cutaways, diagrams and maps in Eyewitness make it really special.
Eyewitness also includes great information about aspects of French culture and history, listings on where to stay and eat. If you want budget accommodation, it's a good idea to carry a Let's Go , Rough Guide or Lonely Planet type guide as well. The Practical information section is really a treat in Eyewitness guides, and this one does not disappoint : pictures of money, a pic of a standard French electrical plug even, how to operate one of the automatic, self-cleaning toilets (don't allow children under 10 to use them alone!), using phone card telephone, or a coin-operated one, and really useful for the driving tourist, typical road signs etc.
It' easy to rave about Eyewitness, with good cause. I cannot imagine anyone being disappointed with it (as long as you aren't using it as a prime source for accommodation, unless you have money to spare).


Learning to Talk, Talking to Learn (Parenting Series)
Learning to Talk, Talking to Learn (Parenting Series)
von Linda Clarke
  Taschenbuch

4.0 von 5 Sternen The importance of talk, 21. Mai 2000
This book is pitched at parents wishing to 'boost your child's language and learning abilities'. I found it a very useful introduction to the way language capacity develops - written such that an intelligent lay person can easily understand it. It covers aspects such as why talking is important, how children learn to talk, the role of "babbling", influences other than parents such as music and books. It also covers growing up bilingual, and multiple birth scenarios. It emphasises the role of adults in encouraging positive behaviour through the type of language used.
I recommend this book for parents who want to know more about language development, high school students studying courses in child development and as a resource for parenting courses and classes.
If "language is power" (and I believe it is), who doesn't want to give their child the best possible start?


Toddler Taming: A Survival Guide for Parents
Toddler Taming: A Survival Guide for Parents
von Dr. Christopher Green
  Taschenbuch

1 von 3 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
1.0 von 5 Sternen Not a philosophy I endorse, 20. Mai 2000
I read this when I was pregnant, and found it mildly amusing. HOWEVER, I found it of little use when I had the baby. It is glib, and patronising, I thought.
As for the 'controlled crying' technique advocated here, I find it cruel and heartless. I couldn't listen to my baby cry for up to 10 or 15 minutes without offering comfort and presence. As for tying a door shut when a child has been sent to their room, again, I couldn't do it.
I would recommend T Berry Brazelton's 'Touchpoints' as a better book for parents of young children.


What to Expect, The Toddler Years
What to Expect, The Toddler Years
von Arlene Eisenberg
  Taschenbuch

3 von 3 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
3.0 von 5 Sternen Fairly useful, 20. Mai 2000
This is very comprehensive. Thank goodness there is a comprehensive index, becuase the arrangement is a bit off-putting.
The chapters are broken down "chronologically" - The Thirteenth Month, The 25th to 27th Month etc etc.
Within each section it contains "milestones" type information - carefully labelled 'what your child MIGHT be doing' (it reinforces that children develop at different rates, but it still does encourage you to compare 'your child' with some 'norm'.
After that there are sections on 'What You May Be Concerned About' - for example, at the 19th month it might be 'night wandering, 'underactivity' or 'unclear speech' amongst other things. Thing is, these are not necessarily chronologically-linked. So you need to read right through the Table of Contents and use the index (some page refs are wrong, by the way)to find the topic you are interested in. Then follow sections on 'What You Need To Know' and 'What Your Child Needs To Know', again int he age-specific sections.
I think it would be much better arranged thematically. Perhaps a short section on things that really are age-specific. There are subsequent sections on things such as special needs children, toilet learning, feeding.
I have found the information on illness particularly useful and at other times much other information useful, interesting or reassurring.
I think this book earns its place in a parent's reference library. Its usefulness extends well beyond the toddler years, and for some things is still good in the early years of school (by which time life is so busy there isn't a lot of time for consulting books!)


Touchpoints: Your Child's Emotional and Behavioral Development
Touchpoints: Your Child's Emotional and Behavioral Development
von T. Berry Brazelton
  Taschenbuch

5.0 von 5 Sternen Sensible, down to earth "advice", 20. Mai 2000
Being a "nervous" first-time parent of a premature baby (who isn't!) I was recommended this by the community early childhood nurse. In the plethora of child-rearing books on the shelves, I would recommend this as the pick of the bunch. Brazelton discusses all sorts of issues to do with children in their early years, always from the child's point of view, but never talking down to parents.
I found his words enormously helpful in getting thtough some tough times with colic - it didn't make it any less stressful, but I was able to hang on and get through it, knowing a bit more about it and what was happening to that little person.
Brazelton sounds like a wonderfully caring and compassionate pediatrician - I wish he could be cloned! At least you can get his book. I have bought it as a gift for a couple of new-parent friends, and they too have found it enormously useful.


Great Britain (EYEWITNESS TRAVEL GUIDE)
Great Britain (EYEWITNESS TRAVEL GUIDE)
von Michael Leapman
  Taschenbuch

4.0 von 5 Sternen Vast, 18. Mai 2000
There is enormous coverage in this book. Maybe that is its main drawback. There is just so MUCH to Great Britain, that it is impossible to go into great depth. HOWEVER, what it does it does extremely well.
The house style of the Eyewitness guides is very attractive - beautiful pictures, cutaways and good maps.
It is not the sort of guide that is very comprehensive in restaurant and hotel suggestions - but in the UK there is such a good network of tourist offices that you rarely need a huge accommodation listings book. Each tourist office will book accommodation in any price range or category.
I wrote a rave review of the London guide. I suggest if you are spending an extensive time in London, it is worthwhile buying that book instead. And if you are spending significant time in Scotland, consider that book.


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