Monday, 9 May 2011

Up In The Air, Shadow Mirror, Love and Summer, The Returners, Media Savvy, Confessions Of A Demented Housewife:The Celebrity Year, Blue Water High:The Novel

السلام عليكم & Hi :)

Up In The Air - Walter Kirn

Review from :) TQ

The hero of Walter Kirn's novel Up in the Air inhabits an entirely new state: Airworld, where the hometown paper is USA Today, the indigenous cuisine wilts under heat lamps, and the citizenry speaks a Byzantine dialect of upgrades, expense accounts, and market share. Airworld even has its own nontaxable, inflation-free currency in the shape of bonus miles, which Ryan Bingham calls "private property in its purest form." Officially, Bingham is a management consultant, specializing in the lugubrious field of career transition counseling (i.e., he fires people for a living). But what Kirn's airborne protagonist is really doing is pursuing his own private passion, his great white whale: accumulating one million miles in his frequent-flyer account. As Up in the Air opens, Bingham has set out on a final, epic traveling jag. He intends to visit eight cities in six days, thereby achieving his own vision of Nirvana somewhere over Sioux Falls, South Dakota.

Mocking the euphemisms of business speak is as easy as shooting fish in a designer barrel. But Kirn also takes on the corporate world's weirdly mystical and paranoid side, its rhetoric of personal empowerment and its messianic devotion to gurus. "Business is folk wisdom, cave-born, dark, Masonic, and the best consultants are outright shamans who sprinkle on the science like so much fairy dust," declares Bingham. (This doesn't stop him from working on his own book about "the transformational journey of one mind wholly at peace with its core competencies.") Meanwhile, his junket becomes progressively more surreal, complete with an evil nemesis as well as a mysteriously powerful firm called MythTech that's working behind the scenes. And what's worse, someone seems to have stolen his identity, assuming control of his credit cards and his all-important miles.

Is this model consumer being tracked as he makes his purchasing decisions, like an elk tagged by wildlife biologists? Or is he merely losing his mind? The ending answers these questions perhaps a little too neatly, but Kirn's disturbing satire packs a mighty wallop nonetheless. The writing is as sharp as a tack, punctuated by character sketches as brilliant as they are quick. Bingham and his ilk are modern nomads, dispossessed of physicality but not quite of their bodies. His simulated environment is not mimicking an actual place but replacing it--and that, to the author, is the scariest part of Airworld: "This is the place to see America, not down there, where the show is almost over." --Mary Park

Shadow Mirror - Richie Tankersley Cusick


Unsettling. There's no better word to describe Miranda Barnes's ability to hear the cries of the dead, feel the wind move her hair when they run by, and - dare she look into a mirror - see the reflection of a ghostly woman behind her. There's only one person to turn to for support: Etienne. As sexy as he is mysterious, Miranda can't help but be drawn to him. He believes her; he wants to help her. But there's a secret in Etienne's past, something Miranda's on the verge of discovering. As paranormal activity escalates, passion grows, and soon Miranda is caught up in both love . . . and tragedy.

Love and Summer - William Trevor

Editorial Review

Trevor is a master storyteller, and Love and Summer exhibits all the hallmarks of his most luminous works: his stark and graceful prose; his profound insight into the human heart; and his hauntingly authentic characters, precisely sketched in just a few short lines. In Trevor's provincial Ireland, every person has a story—a secret hope or a heartache—and he teases them out and weaves them together subtly and seamlessly. Gentle, naïve Ellie is the highlight of this "spare and nuanced portrayal of fragile humans dwarfed by life's circumstances" (Philadelphia Inquirer), and while Trevor offers no easy answers or tidy endings, he provides a believable and satisfying denouement. Readers, along with the critic from the Boston Globe, will "find it hard to leave Rathmoye."

The Returners - Gemma Malley


London teenager Will Hodge is miserable. His mother is dead, his father's political leanings have grown radical, and his friends barely talk to him. To top it off, he's having nightmares about things like concentration camps. Then Will notices he's being followed by a group of people who claim to know him from another time in history. It turns out they are Returners, reincarnated people who carry with them the memory of atrocities they have witnessed in the past. Will realizes that he, too, is a Returner. But something about his memories is different, and with dawning horror, Will suspects that he wasn't just a witness to the events, he was instrumental in making them happen. Set in the near future, with the world on the verge of a new wave of ethnic cleansing, Will must choose to confront the cruelty he's known in his past lives, or be doomed to repeat it…

Media Savvy - Jim Schembri

Back Description

While on work experience at Channel 3, Cobey Myles lucks into a job in front of the camera. She proves an instant hit and her burgeoning modelling career starts to skyrocket.

But when she sniffs something fishy behind the scenes at station, Cobey realises that her weakness for flattery has landed her in a crisis, and she doesn't know where to turn - or who trust.

For Cobey Myles, being young, beautiful and full of promise counts for little when the world at your feet is breaking apart ...

Only one thing stands between Cobey Myles and a successful modelling career - her brain.

Confessions Of Demented Housewife:The Celebrity Year - Niamh Greene


Before reading my private 'confessions'* please bear in mind the following:

(1) My husband Joe and I are soul-mates. Nothing - including a smouldering lone father or Joe'steeny mid-life crisis - could ever come between us. (Hopefully he won't find out about smouldering Lone Father's sexed-up exposé of our secret 'affair' last year.)

(2) Offspring Katie and Jack are well-adjusted and happy - even if Jack thinks he's a dog and Katie wants to be a Pussy Cat Doll.

(3) VBF Louise makes new motherhood appear unnaturally glamorous. It simply isn't normal to fit back into size zero jeans so soon after giving birth - and I have the jelly belly to prove it.

(4) I did not cynically engineer my close personal friendship with Celebrity Mom Angelica Law just to get invited to red carpet events. The whole newspaper-paparazzi-telly thing was NOT my fault - I can't help it if I've got star quality in bucket-loads, can I?

Blue Water High:The Novel - Shelley Birse


It's tough being the youngest member of the Solar Blue surfing academy.It's tough being friends and competitors at the same time, and combining study and training.But for 14-year-old Fly Watson, the adventure of her life has only just begun.Blue Water High: The Novel is based on the hugely popular children's television series Blue Water High, which won "most outstanding children's program" at the 2006 Logie Awards. It's the engrossing story of 12 months at the academy, seen through the eyes of Fly. Surfing is all Fly has ever wanted to do but, suddenly, there's a whole lot more that seems to be getting in the way – such as Heath, and some very buried demons that Fly is determined not to reveal.And then there's the one question that haunts them all: who will qualify to surf the pro-circuit and win a three-year sponsorship contract?

Terima kasih.

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