April 11, 2013

Book Review - The Origins of Sex : a history of the first sexual revolution by Faramerz Dabhoiwala

Don't get too excited by the title, this is a scholarly work looking at how attitudes to sex have changed from medieval times to the present focusing particularly on English legal and social history. Did you know that at one time poor couples were prevented from marrying as it was feared their children would be a drain on the parish. How did a woman's popular image change from sexual predator to vulnerable victim? Why was there a mania for reforming prostitutes in Victorian times? I particularly liked the chapter on how the rise of cheap printing revolutionized public opinion forming and was saddened by the reminders of how class and money have affected how people behave through the centuries.


April 09, 2013

Book Review - Scandalands by Kyle Sandilands

I decided to read Kyle Sandilands biography 'Scandalands' because, to be honest, I really didn't like him and I thought this would give me a better understanding of his character and the way he thinks.I tried to read his book with an open mind, after all he continually has one of the highest rating radio segments in Sydney,so there must be something endearing about him, right?

I'll start with the positives. The book is well written and incredibly honest, it really was hard to put down.
To say he had a difficult childhood would be an understatement, having lived on the streets for over a year gave Kyle a real heart for the underdog.

I found it interesting that Kyle desperately wanted to be a policeman in his teenage years and I laughed reading about his escapades pretending to be an undercover policeman, keeping the streets of Brisbane safe from troublemakers..........until he got caught.

Kyle had even stronger ambitions to work in radio. If nothing else, Kyle is proof that if you want to achieve something with all your heart it can be done. The only obstacle was himself. ok, enough of the niceties.

I spent most of the book picking my jaw up off the floor. I learnt a number of things, if you negotiate hard enough and never back down you will get anything you want. However there seems to be a fine line between Kyle pushing himself to achieve his goals or becoming a down right bully. It appears Kyle had insulted, yelled, sworn at and belittled almost everyone in the radio world. Funnily enough, a lot of the time he got his way.

It's very difficult not to judge Kyle negatively and he certainly isn't scared of telling the warts and all truth. Chapter eleven was certainly an eye opener. As he said in his own words, I hope Nan doesn't read chapter eleven, I wish I hadn't read chapter eleven!

What conclusion did I come to at the end of the book? I'm sure Kyle has lost a lot of friends on his way to the top and I doubt he will ever obtain the respect the audiences have shown to John Laws and Alan Jones, however, I'm glad I read Kyle's biography but sadly, my opinion hasn't changed.


April 07, 2013

Book Review - The Next Always by Nora Roberts

Nora Roberts has romance writing on a string and she is in typically fine form here. A handsome trio of builder brothers are renovating an old historic and haunted hotel. Clare runs the local bookstore and has a young family. She was widowed when her childhood sweetheart was killed in Iraq. But one of the brothers has loved her from afar since school. They get together with the usual stops and starts, helped by a rambunctious cast of home town characters. The hotel ghost even gets in on the action. Its not rocket science but it's very readable and a pleasant diversion.

April 03, 2013

Book Review - Daughters by Elizabeth Buchan

Lara has 2 step-daughters and a daughter from her marriage to Bill who is now getting married to Sarah. Eve, the younger step-daughter, is also getting married. During the course of the wedding preparations, Bill and Sarah inherit a huge old house, Bill and Lara finally address the loss of their stillborn son and all three daughters learn a few things about how they want to live their lives. Very different approaches to marriage and family exist within this one blended family. Resolving where each person 'fits', is an engrossing read.