Reading Maze For Book Reviews

Reading for the Young & Old

A Bond-esque adventure romp

For fans of heart-stopping thrillers with more twists and turns than a snake with cramp, there’s a novel by author Bidwell Moore which should keep them perfectly satisfied and eagerly turning each intriguing page.

Caribbean Holiday‘ is a novel that sets the senses alive.  Featuring main protagonist and impossibly named Sextus Durkin, the plot is a complicated and highly imaginative weave of spy action, James Bond-style action, natural history, political intrigue, natural history and the tropical world, sci-fi and just plain dastardly deeds — a good old fashioned tale of good versus evil with plenty of humour thrown in.

Sextus is employed to find his half-brother Augustus whom has been kidnapped by thwarted Middle Eastern despots searching for his expertise in uranium for their own very naughty missile-making devious purposes.

Augustus just happens to be the proprietor of a world-class uranium mine which the envious Arabs want to get their hands on. Accompanying Sextus on his whirlwind adventure across the globe are animals that have been implanted with microchips in a laboratory using a pioneering and untested new technique. Will they help or hinder the desperate search to find Augustus?

There are some great nail-biting passages set on board a yacht, a submarine and on various Caribbean islands — the enticing pictures that the author paints of these tropical paradises which appear beautiful and serene but are filled with intrigue and secret events should help promote the excitement of holidays to Barbados.

Following the 007 blueprint, gorgeous but diverting ladies pop up regularly throughout the narrative to titillate our hero … but can he and should he trust them?

Better than just beach reading

The late spring and early summer months usually herald a rash of fiction, mainly in paperback format, aimed at the lucrative holiday reading market – particularly for women who tend to buy more fiction than men. Supermarkets and book retailers offer some great deals on such fiction too; it is often a good time to snap up some bargains to stash away in your suitcase for a lazy day by the pool or in the garden.

One author who has successfully captured this sector is Joanna Trollope, a well-known and widely published novel writer. Her work is not specifically aimed at women, but it is fair to say most of her characters are females and the topics she deals with are likely to be resonant with women readers than men.

A good example of this is the simply-entitled ‘Friday Nights’ which tells the story of a group of women, of vastly different backgrounds, circumstances and characters, who form a casual but eventually close friendship via a Friday night social evening.

After five years of meetings and getting to really know each other, their cosy circle is subtly but surely broken up by the arrival of what you could describe as an ‘alpha male’ on the scene, whom causes friction between the women and sets certain thoughts, feelings and actions in motion.

By using the device of the six different female protagonists, Trollope explores such eternal themes as love, attraction, jealousy and heart-break, but also the more unusual topic of the struggle for work-life balance for modern working women, both with and without families. This theme is explored in some depth and the author’s style is not a lecturing one, but a carefully crafted tale which encompasses all view points and allows for, ultimately, personal choice and freedom of decisions.

This may be available to purchase as a cheap paperback but it is beautifully composed, and it does not attempt to pull any cheap shots with its thought-provoking style and content.

Luxury Houses: Holiday Escapes

If you truly want to treat yourself on this year’s holiday, this book is an excellent investment.  It features stunning, high-end properties in which to enjoy a luxury holiday in some of the world’s most desirable holiday locations.

Not just aimed at travel fans, those interested in architecture, property and design will also enjoy this book and its 300+ colour photographs.  It is beautifully presented in a hardback cover, and includes all the relevant information one might need before choosing the right villa – including the sometimes jaw-dropping prices of these luxury holiday homes.

Inside the book you will find details of designer Karl Lagerfeld’s former villa, set in Monaco with six bedrooms, a private beach, a pool and Jacuzzi – available for a cool €30,000 per week.  You can also dream of visiting the Birkenhead House in Hermanus, South Africa, which has eleven bedrooms and three swimming pools and is available for around $7,000 per night; or Villa Indigo in the Caribbean, which has a private beach as well as a sandbar, should you have a spare $38,000 to spend on your holiday.

It is not just beach homes that are featured in this book – luxury ski chalets in Switzerland, modern apartments in New York and contemporary homes across the world are also included.

This book is a great source for anyone who wants to spoil themselves with a truly unforgettable holiday, or simply have a peek at how the other half lives.

Seychelles Travellers Guide (Thomas Cook Travellers Guide. Seychelles)

I bought this book a couple of weeks before I went on Holiday in hope to get up to date and in the know about the various activities and the attractions of the island.

The book was concise and full of useful information. It contained all that I needed to know about Seychelles holidays and how to get the best out of your time on the island. I loved the way the guide was laid out with interesting images and an easy-to-read layout. The guide was also useful for stating leisure activities and local facilities such as spas and swimming pools to ensure all Seychelles holidays are luxury holidays.

Another particularly useful feature to the guidebook was the use of the maps; they helped me when trying to navigate and locate my way around the island as well as point out useful stops and attractions. The book was split into clear chapters making it easier to allocate the information that you were wanting and to skip straight to it.

The book comes from a series (122 travellers guides in total) and is written clearly and professionally by a popular travel company that is easy to trust. This guide is pocket-size and is easily portable, making it convenient to use. This is a necessary item when packing your suitcases for a holiday in Seychelles!

Cruise Confidential by Brian David Burns

If you’ve ever been on a cruise holiday you’ll know it’s one of the most relaxing and enjoyable ways to spend your precious vacation time. There’s none of the airport hassles or queuing at the baggage carousel – just a blissful two weeks on the sea without a care in the world. Over 10 million people take a cruise each year, taking in over 2000 ports of call and more people cruise to the Caribbean than any other destination in the world.

Working on a cruise ship must be one of the best jobs in the world. Or is it? This raunchy yet hilarious book tells the truth behind the glamour of working on a cruise ship – from stewards fighting over food to the seemingly non-stop sex-fest. Parts of the book are too far-fetched to be believed but if you can get past this then some of the exploits really are genuinely funny. The gist of the story is of a guy working for ‘Carnival Cruise Ships’. He wants to work with his girl friend, Bianca and eventually make Maitre’d. His grand plans are sabotaged though; the 16 hour days eventually take their toll and he quits.

Author Brian David Bruns clearly has experience in the catering side of cruising, even if it is only the 13 months he actually worked for Carnival Cruise Ships. His characters lack depth though and by the end of the book I was glad I’d finished. If you don’t mind the graphic description of the sex scenes (i.e. if you’re squeamish, give it a miss) it’s a good, easy holiday read. I’d recommend this novel if you’ve cruised in the past or if you’re planning a cruise holiday in the future; but if you’re thinking of getting a job on the cruise ships, reading this might make you think twice!

Ski School by David Anderson

This brilliant book from award-winning freelance journalist and photographer David Anderson contains everything you need to know about skiing and ski holidays. He comprehensively covers all types of skiing, as well as the essential equipment you’ll need to get started, basic techniques and turns, advanced skills and importantly, how to interpret snow conditions. If you’re looking for the fundamentals of pre-holiday fitness, he also includes tips on how to stretch and warm up before hitting the slopes.

It’s beautifully illustrated with full-colour photos that really make you wish you were there. If you’re on a budget then Anderson gives advice on travel and popular resorts in both Europe and North America (did you know you can actually ski in Iran and Morocco?). He focuses fully on the skiing experience as a whole and gives you everything you need to enjoy your holiday.

Anderson knows his stuff. He’s written articles for newspapers and magazines in the UK, USA, Canada and Australia as well as contributing to both the Rough Guide to Skiing and Snowboarding in North America and the Rough Guide to the Rocky Mountains.

If we take his advice, David Anderson believes that “modern equipment and techniques can have you skiing competently in a matter of days”, which is a relief as I need all the help I can get! The chapter on ‘Techniques’ really helped me with the basic skiing skills – if you know how to fall properly and avoid collisions, this can really help with your confidence the first time you go. This book is a great place to start if you’re considering booking a ski holiday for the first time and for me, it’s been well worth the money.

The Unofficial Guide to Cruises

“The Unofficial Guide to Cruises” is over 700 pages of information covering the best cruise deals and cruise ships from around the globe. The most popular cruise routes are covered extensively, with an impressive 500 ships and 100 cruise lines listed by value and quality of service. For anyone looking for cheap cruises, the “Unofficial Guide” also has some handy tips on how to get the lowest price tickets and free cruising days.

The book has been written by Kay Showker – a highly respected expert on cruises and the islands of the Caribbean – and Bob Sehlinger, who has also written unofficial guides for Disneyworld, Las Vegas as well as Orlando and Central Florida.

However, the majority of the book’s content will not be of benefit to the seasoned cruise-ship traveller. It is more of a guide for newcomers to the world of cruising and the type of advice it gives will normally not be anything new to the experienced cruise traveller – there is no inside knowledge to be gained from reading this book.

That having been said, the easy-to-follow content and clear and comprehensive information has made it widely regarded as a must for novices. The Chicago-Sun Times hailed it as an “A tourist′s best friend!”, while the New York Times described it as “indispensible”.

If you are planning your first cruise holiday, this book is highly recommended.

The Unofficial Guide to Cruises

Lonely Planet Travel Guides

Whether you are booking flights to Tehran, searching for the best cruise deals in the Bahamas, or planning your ski holiday in North America, the Lonely Planet series of travel guides will provide you with all the information you need. They have covered an extensive list of destinations across the world, and as well as their comprehensive guide books on cities like London, Paris and New York, you can also find guides that span each continent.

One of the main reasons why the Lonely Planet travel guides have become so popular is the friendly and easy to follow nature of the content. Although these books are written by professionals with plenty of experience and familiarity with their destination, they still know exactly what the complete newcomer is looking for. The standard of travel writing is held in high regard, and the authors have even collaborated on a “Lonely Planet Guide to Travel Writing”. They also know that their books have to appeal to a wide variety of holidaymakers, and no matter what your reasons may be for visiting your destination, you are sure to find some indispensible advice.

What’s more is that they have also released travel guides that are specific to popular types of holidays, such as the “Thailand’s Islands and Beaches” edition. Everything is categorised in a logical and simple manner, so you will never be scanning through pages and pages of information you don’t need. This is easily one holiday item that you will not want to leave behind.

Complete Guide to Cruising and Cruise Ships 2010

The “Complete Guide to Cruising and Cruise Ships 2010” is the latest up-to-date cruise guide from the popular travel publisher, Berlitz. Everything you need to know about the latest cruise deals and cheap cruises from around the world will be found in this book. This is their 25th anniversary edition on cruise ships and is written by one of the most noted experts on cruising, Douglas Ward. It also claims that it is the only independent cruise guide on the market.

It would be fair to say that they are definitely not biased in any way. The main purpose of this guide is to help you find the cruise deals that will best meet your needs and it covers an impressive 270 cruise ships. Also included in this 2010 edition is the largest cruise ship in the world, the “Oasis of the Seas”, which recently made its maiden voyage.

Ward’s style of writing has made this book something of a bible for cruise sailors everywhere. He is unashamedly frank in his review of every ship (the Melbourne publication The Age described him as “The most feared man on the seven seas”) and he is never afraid to highlight weaker points. His chapter titled “50 Ways in Which Cruise Lines Exasperate Passengers” is a perfect example, and is full of handy advice for beginners.

Berltiz’s “Complete Guide to Cruising and Cruise Ships” has been an indispensible reference for the world of cruising for years, and is really the only real guide book out there that will help you find the right cruise holiday.

Complete Guide to Cruising and Cruise Ships 2010

All-Mountain Skier: The Way to Expert Skiing

“All-Mountain Skier: The Way to Expert Skiing” is a highly recommended book for anyone preparing for a ski holiday. It has earned rave reviews from a list of winter sports publications and has been described by Ski Magazine as being more informative than a “week’s worth of private lessons.” The book is filled with advice on how to tackle the deadliest of black runs and extreme skiing slopes.

The author, R. Mark Elling, is a seasoned professional skier and has developed some truly innovative skiing techniques throughout his career. It is never easy to follow instructions in a sports manual, as many people find it so hard to bring the advice laid out on the page into their technique. However, by using easy-to-follow content and clear illustrations, Elling has made his instruction as simple as possible for the reader to understand.

However, it would be fair to say that this manual is not for the beginner skier, but is more focused towards the intermediate that is looking to move on to an advanced level. When you take the cost of this book against the cost of private lessons into consideration, you can see how much money it could save you. Granted, one-to-one tuition may be needed at certain stages of your development, but this book will be your best teacher and will be an invaluable asset every step of the way.

The “All-Mountain Skier: The Way to Expert Skiing” is published by McGraw-Hill Contemporary and is available in paperback. It is easily a must-have for your ski holidays.

All-Mountain Skier: The Way to Expert Skiing