Monday, May 31, 2010

Review: Talk to the Hand by Lynne Truss

Talk to the Hand by Lynne Truss
Read: 13-22 May 2010
Pages: 240

The full title is "Talk to the Hand: The Utter Bloody Rudeness of the World Today, or Six Good Reasons to Stay Home and Bolt the Door" and is what attracted me to this book in the first place.

The back cover says: "Talk to the Hand is not a book about manners or etiquette. It is about the rudeness of the modern world, and the sense of outrage that infects us every day as we discover that other people are - generally speaking - crass, selfish and inconsiderate.

In her follow-up to Eats, Shoots & Leaves, Lynne Truss asks why rudeness is a universal flashpoint in our increasingly alienated society, and examines specific sources of affront. What ever happened to 'please' and 'thank you'? Why does the customer have to do all the work? Why do people behave in public as id they are in private? How much swearing do we have to put up with? Whatever happened to the idea of public-spiritedness?"

Like many other people, I loved Eats, Shoots & Leaves and naturally had high hopes of this book, not only because the previous book was both funny and educational, but also because I think people are becoming more rude than I would like.

Sadly, this book was neither funny nor particularly interesting. Truss does make some valid points, but more often than not I find myself strongly disagreeing with her (especially concerning the Internet and DIY services). I don't know if this has something to do with me being 30 years younger than her or the fact that I'm not British, but a lot of the behaviour she sees as rude, I don't think twice about.

I also felt there were a lot of unnecessary references to Eats, Shoots & Leaves, which made me feel like what Truss really wanted to say was, "Buy my other book in which I rant about grammar instead of rudeness" (which is what I recommend you do).

My rating: 2

It's Monday, What Are You Reading?

It's Monday, What Are You Reading is a weekly meme hosted by Sheila at One Person's Journey Through a World of Books.
What Are You Reading is where we gather to share what we have read this past week and what we plan to read this week.

Rise and Shine by Anna Quindlen
This is an enjoyable read about the relationship between two sisters living in New York: Meghan, a famous television host, and Bridget, a social worker. I love the descriptions of life in New York City, as seen from both the glamorous and dark side, and the prose is wonderful.

Under Gemini by Rosamunde Pilcher
This is part of my BookCrossing reading challenge, and I thought it would be good to read it now as we have entered the sign of Gemini (21 May - 20 June).

Friday, May 28, 2010

Book Beginnings on Friday

Book Beginnings on Friday is a meme hosted by Becky at Page Turners. Anyone can participate; just share the opening sentence of your current read, making sure that you include the title and author so others know what you're reading. If you like, share with everyone why you do, or do not, like the sentence.

Rise and Shine by Anna Quindlen
From time to time some stranger will ask me how I can bear to live in New York City.

Not the most intriguing of opening lines, but it does a good job of showing the setting for the story (which I suspect might have been the point, as this book couldn't have been set just anywhere).

Monday, May 24, 2010

The Aussie Author Challenge

I've always loved Australia, and after visiting this wonderful country twice, I've become even more interested in reading Australian fiction. I recently came across Page Turners' The Aussie Author Challenge, and thought it would be a nice opportunity for me to read more Australian literature.

Unfortunately Aussie books aren't the easiest to find in Norway, but I do have a couple on my shelves, and I'm pretty sure I can find at least one more in my local library (it will probably have to be a Norwegian translation, but I can live with that).

I'm going for the Ankle Biter level of 4 books, and will be reading these:

1. The Secret River by Kate Grenville
2. Ice Station by Matthew Reilly
3. Summer Lightning by Tamara McKinley
4 will have to be decided later depending on what books I can find in the library, but I'll try to locate one of these authors: Tim Winton, Bryce Courtenay, Colleen McCullough, John Marsden, Peter Temple, Kate Morton, Di Morrissey.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Dymocks Top 101 (2010)

Found this at The Adventures of an Intrepid Reader: The Australian bookstore chain Dymocks has compiled a list of the 101 best books based on votes from members of their Booklovers programme (of which I am still a member - note to self: cancel that membership). Now, I would normally be a tad sceptical to a list that has The Twilight Saga as number one, but I've found that I tend to agree more with the Aussies on what the best books are, than with say, Norwegians or Brits.

Bold: Read (26/101)
Italics: On my TBR list (13/101)
Striked through: Started, but never finished (2/101)

1 The Twilight Saga by Stephenie Meyer
2 The Harry Potter Series by J.K. Rowling (5 out of 7)
3 Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen (I fully intend to finish this some day)
4 The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger
5 The Lord of the Rings Trilogy by J.R.R. Tolkien
6 The Book Thief by Marcus Zusak
7 To Kill a Mocking Bird by Harper Lee
8 The Millennium Trilogy by Stieg Larsson
9 My Sister's Keeper by Jodi Picoult
10 The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini
11 The Bronze Horseman by Paullina Simons
12 Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë
13 Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë
14 The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold
15 Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead
16 Magician by Raymond E. Feist
17 Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell
18 The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown
19 Cloudstreet by Tim Winton
20 The Host by Stephenie Meyer
21 Mao's Last Dancer by Li Cunxin
22 Atonement by Ian McEwan
23 The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien
24 Angels and Demons by Dan Brown
25 A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini
26 Cross Stitch by Diana Gabaldon
27 Shantaram by Gregory David Roberts
28 The Slap by Christos Tsiolkas
29 Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell
30 Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden
31 The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams
32 Tomorrow When the War Began by John Marsden
33 Obernewtyn by Isobelle Carmody
34 The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas by John Boyne
35 The Inheritance Series by Christopher Paolini
36 The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde
37 Guernsey Literary & Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer
38 The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde
39 The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
40 Catch-22 by Joseph Heller
41 Ice Station by Matthew Reilly
42 The Power of One by Bryce Courtenay
43 Persuasion by Jane Austen
44 Tully by Paullina Simons
45 Seven Ancient Wonders by Matthew Reilly
46 Breath by Tim Winton
47 The Mortal Instruments Series by Cassandra Clare
48 Life of Pi by Yann Martel
49 A Fine Balance by Rohinton Mistry
50 The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho
51 Emma by Jane Austen
52 The Other Boleyn Girl by Philippa Gregory
53 The Bible
54 Six Sacred Stones by Matthew Reilly
55 A Fortunate Life by A.B. Facey
56 We Need To Talk About Kevin by Lionel Shriver
57 The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
58 Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery
59 The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy
60 The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon
61 People of the Book by Geraldine Brooks
62 The Lost Symbol by Dan Brown
63 The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova
64 Interview with the Vampire by Anne Rice
65 Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky
66 The Sookie Stackhouse Series by Charlaine Harris
67 Tuesdays with Morrie by Mitch Albom
68 Five Greatest Warriors by Matthew Reilly
69 On the Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta
70 The Princess Bride by William Goldman
71 The Five People You Meet in Heaven by Mitch Albom
72 Wicked by Gregory Maguire
73 Eat Pray Love by Elizabeth Gilbert
74 Audacity of Hope by Barack Obama
75 Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett
76 Dewey by Vicki Myron
77 Dirt Music by Tim Winton
78 Marley and Me by John Grogan
79 Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
80 Dune by Frank Herbert
81 The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
82 The Memory Keeper's Daughter by Kim Edwards
83 Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
84 War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy
85 The Road by Cormac McCarthy
86 Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides
87 The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis
88 The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton
89 Possession by AS Byatt
90 Finnikin of The Rock by Melina Marchetta
91 No 1 Ladies' Detective Agency by Alexander McCall Smith
92 Graceling by Kristin Cashore
93 The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver
94 The Secret History by Donna Tartt
95 Silent Country by Di Morrissey
96 Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel
97 Her Fearful Symmetry by Audrey Niffenegger
98 The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd
99 Still Alice by Lisa Genova
100 The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle
101 Gallipoli by Les Carlyon
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