Wednesday, 26 March 2014

The Undesirables: Inside Nauru

Life inside Australia's offshore asylum seeker processing centres is something that very few people know about. In his book The Undesirables: Inside Nauru, Mark Issacs offers a first hand account of what he saw and experienced while working for the Salvation Army at the Nauru Regional Processing Centre. Read this one with compassion in mind.

'How long will we be here?' one man asked.

Nobody could answer him. Nobody knew. The intention was clear: this was the No Advantage policy. Take them to a distant island, lock them away, punish them, forget about them. Criminals were given a sentence to serve; these men were not even given that. Lost hope ebbed out of the men in uncontrollable sobs and tears. 

Queue jumper, boat person, illegals. Asylum seekers are contentious front-page news but obtaining information about Australia’s regional processing centres is increasingly difficult. We learn only what the government wants us to know.

Mark Isaacs worked for the Salvation Army inside the Nauru Detention Centre soon after it re-opened in 2012. He provided humanitarian aid to the men interned in the camp. What he saw there moved him to speak out.

The Undesirables chronicles his time on Nauru detailing daily life and the stories of the men held there; the self-harm, suicide attempts, and riots; the rare moments of joy; the moments of deep despair.

Mark's eyewitness account humanises a political debate usually ruled by misleading rhetoric. (from Goodreads)

Monday, 24 March 2014

My emotions! The TFIOS trailer is here!

One of my favourite books is being made into a movie and I am equal parts terrified and excited! I talk about The Fault in Our Stars all the time but if you're not sure what the heck i'm talking about see my previous blog about books that John Green has written.

I really hope they do this amazing book justice but after seeing the movie version of The Book Thief I have hope! The book is always better than the movie though so I'm not going to get my hopes up too high.

Friday, 21 March 2014

Reality Bites: An Indiana Jones Fantasy

In the AU of my life - that's Alternative Universe for those not in the know - I'd like to think that I was writer or a bookstore owner or even maybe an archaeologist.

Like Daniel Jackson from Stargate, a space traveling archaeologist or even better Bernice Summerfield from Doctor Who, a space traveling, time traveling archaeologist.

I can see myself now, covered in dust and grime, uncovering some amazing galactic discovery that would change the universe with a handsome bad boy space captain by my side.  You know the kind, the one with the sexy grin and the snarky attitude.  Hey it's my fantasy after all and if you're going to dream why not dream big.

Since I'm not an archaeologist or even a historian I have to settle to watching others.  Those that can't... watch or something like that.  And let me tell you there are some amazing documentaries around, so if you're like me and are something of a history buff with a secret yearning to carry a bull whip and act all Indiana Jones then why not check out some, if not all, of the titles below.

Vikings presented by Neil Oliver

The world of the Vikings has always intrigued me, maybe because I have my very own Viking, so learning about these warrior people was something I've always wanted to do.

Even better, presenter and archaeologist Neil Oliver really knows his stuff and makes it all come alive.

A History of Scotland by Neil Oliver

Not only an archaeologist, Neil Oliver is also a Scotsman so it was probably only natural that he would do a documentary about the land of his birth.

Personally I could listen to him all day just for his Scottish accent alone.  A man with brains and a sexy accent. Pretty much a winner really.

Andrew Marr's History of the World

A fascinating look at some of the lesser well known aspects of world history with some insightful parallels made between the past and what is happening in today's world.

This is history through a journalist's eyes and well worth watching.

Beneath the Sands : Ancient Egypt Revealed


Land of the Pharaohs. The Spinx. Lost treasures and curses. Death on the Nile

Agatha Christie is totally to blame.

Although I could do without the death & murder part.  The 1920's clothes on the other hand...

Origins of Us

Archaeology is much more than the history of the world.  It is also the history of us.

Where did we come from?

Why are we the way we are?

How did we evolve?

Mankind The Story of All of Us 

The History Channel is made for people like me.  I could, if I had the time and the access, pretty much watch it all day.  Luckily I don't because death by history overdose might just raise a few strange queries.

Instead I can drip feed myself all courtesy of the libraries dvd collection.

The Crusades

Knights and swords and battles, The crusades is an era of history that captives the imaginations of many.

It was also an era that was bloody and brutal and with no true winner and the outcome of this echoes throughout history right up to today, with the implications effecting both the West and East and all over one little city, Jerusalem.

Game of Thrones Season 4

"Your joy will turn to ashes in your mouth, and you will know the debt is paid." - Cersei Lannister

"They can live in my new world, or they can die in their old one." -Daenerys Targaryen

There is a new Game of Thrones trailer for the upcoming Season 4! This is surely something to get excited about. Season 4 is based on the second half of A Storm of Swords, which is the third book in the A Song of Ice and Fire series by George R. R. Martin.

Scheduled to premiere on HBO on 6th April, only TWO weeks away!

Thursday, 20 March 2014

'18 Great Books You Probably Haven't Read'

A little while ago, John Green who is one of my favourite authors/vloggers/people ever made a video entitled '18 Great Books You Probably Haven't Read'. I watched the video enthusiastically and just as he said I haven't read any of them! But I want to and I thought you might want to as well.

I love John so I'm always going to take his book recommendations seriously and I've requested and several of the books on John's list. Unfortunately we don't have all of the books but we do have quite a lot of them so I've conveniently made a list for you below if you're interested in checking them out.

Round Ireland with a Fridge - Tony Hawks

Thirsty - MT Anderson

Boy Proof - Cecil Castellucci

The last summer of reason / Tahar Djaout

(If you don't have the book you're after in our collection John has the Amazon links to the books in the description of his video).
And here is a link to John's books if you're interested in checking them out and I wrote a blog post about them a couple of years ago if you're interested. 

Tuesday, 18 March 2014

Chelsea Handler has a new book and I'm really excited about it!

Uganda Be Kidding Me (great name) is Chelsea Handler's new book about her adventures in travel! I'm so excited to read it! Chelsea's other books are some of the funniest books I have ever read in my life and I can't wait until it get's here!

"Wherever Chelsea Handler travels, one thing is certain: she always ends up in the land of the ridiculous. Now, in this uproarious collection, she sneaks her sharp wit through airport security and delivers her most absurd and hilarious stories ever.

On safari in Africa, it's anyone's guess as to what's more dangerous: the wildlife or Chelsea. But whether she's fumbling the seduction of a guide by not knowing where tigers live (Asia, duh) or wearing a bathrobe into the bush because her clothes stopped fitting seven margaritas ago, she's always game for the next misadventure.

The situation gets down and dirty as she defiles a kayak in the Bahamas, and outright sweaty as she escapes from a German hospital on crutches. When things get truly scary, like finding herself stuck next to a passenger with bad breath, she knows she can rely on her family to make matters even worse. Thank goodness she has the devoted Chunk by her side-except for the time she loses him in Telluride.

Complete with answers to the most frequently asked traveler's questions, hot travel trips, and travel etiquette, none of which should be believed, UGANDA BE KIDDING ME has Chelsea taking on the world, one laugh-out-loud incident at a time." (from Goodreads)

Friday, 14 March 2014

What I'm listening to

I'm sick to death of all of the bad dance music that's on the radio so I've been going online to find new music. Here's some of the little treasures I've found.

Jonelle Monae - Dance Apocalyptic
I've been listening to Janelle's album Electric Lady a lot, it's really fun and energetic and doesn't really sound like anything else that's around at the moment.

Colbie Caillat - Hold On
This song is forever stuck in my head after I hear it. I like this because it's different to the beachy songs she usually does. It's a little dark and it totally works for her.

John Farnham - You're the Voice
Every time the ad for the Lionel Richie and John Farnham tour comes on I get the 'Woaaaaaaah' bit stuck in my head.

Miranda Lambert - Automatic
The nostalgic lead single from Miranda's soon to be released 5th album Platinum. I could not be more excited for this album Miranda is a true favourite.

Dierks Bentley - I Hold On
I've never really got into Dierks Bentley that much but I love the 2 singles off of his new album: I Hold On and Bourbon in Kentucky

Childish Gambino - 3005 
I'm always going to love anything Donald Glover does. He's a true genius. I also really love his song Sweatpants off of his new album Because the Internet.