Tuesday, 16 July 2013

'Llamas and Empandas' by Eleanor Meecham..

There is absolutely positively nothing I love more than a great piece of travel writing. I honestly don't believe there are enough good travelogues in the world, and spend hours trawling libraries, bookshops and the internet trying to find newbies. Thus I was pretty excited when I saw this in the bookshop, especially since I have long decided to go to South America on my honeymoon or before.

This centres on the lovely New Zealander Eleanor and her solo bike trip around Argentina, Chile and Bolivia. She meets many interesting characters along the way, and generally narrates her love of the land and the people. Much of the work is concerned with her brother, who I initially found a little odd but eventually this element fell into place.

While I thought she could have been more vivid in her descriptions and given a little background information, I thought this was a fantastic, totally engaging, utterly inspiring read and a particularly good travelogue.

She just returned from Mexico, and I look forward to reading about that journey.

Tuesday, 31 January 2012

Giving books away: World Book Night 2012

Last year a program got underway in the UK with a simple goal: to put books into the hands of those who want to read but don’t have easy access to reading material. The reasons might vary they can’t afford to buy books, don’t live near a library, can’t leave their homes. But in the end they are simply people who need books.

This year World Book Night will take place in the U. S., the U. K., and Ireland on April 23 the UNESCO International Day of the Book.

Each country chooses its own list of books. In the U. S., the multilayer selection process was basically made by independent booksellers and librarians. In the end, 25 books were chosen; each will have 40,000 special World Book Night editions printed, for a total of 1 million book giveaways by thousands of volunteers on April 23.

Monday, 7 March 2011

Great Bookie Robbery

The Great Bookie Robbery was a crime committed in Melbourne, Australia on 21 April 1976.

A well-organized gang of six stole between $6 million and $12 million from the Victoria Club, which was located on the second floor of a building in Queen Street. The men, who included Raymond Bennett, Ian Carroll, Laurence Prendergast, Brian and Leslie Kane and Norman Lee, rented an office in the same building and hid the money there while making a fake getaway in a van. The money was never recovered and although Lee was charged he was later acquitted. None of the others were ever convicted. Lee was killed by police in 1992 during a heist at Melbourne Airport.

Lee's lawyer Phillip Dunn, QC, revealed the details of the crime in the mid-1990s, including the identities of all those involved. Prendergast disappeared in 1985 and the rest of the gang had all been murdered by the end of 1987. As no-one was ever jailed or convicted, the Great Bookie Robbery remains technically an unsolved crime.