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Canoneer "Canoneer" (North Canada)

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Solo to Sydney
Solo to Sydney
by Francis Chichester
Edition: Hardcover
10 used & new from CDN$ 7.15

4.0 out of 5 stars I rated this AS IF it were 1930 today., Oct. 11 2013
This review is from: Solo to Sydney (Hardcover)
This review is for the hardcover edition measuring 5 3/4 X 8 3/4 having 208 pages and 4 or 5 photos.
Firstly this was a hard book to review written as it was 80 odd years ago during the VERY early days of flying.
It tells the story of the author, mostly known for his solo singlehanded voyage around the globe in his sailboat Gypsy Moth.....the name of an early plane.
In today's world it would not get a very high rating as much of what he writes about would seem particularly easy and effortless to do.
If one can project back to those times when even fuel for the plane was uncertain and most often he landed his plane on grassy fields where no plane had landed before....not even knowing if the ground was level and free of obstructions, then one can enjoy it, otherwise it will read like a ancient child's story like Tom Swift or Harry Potter.
What is most interesting is that CLEARLY flying was not his fact he showed a singular lack of expertise in it and only his persistence saw him through.
Probably he saw the danger in it and transferred his adventurous spiritual needs to sailing and ultimately produced some memorable books and voyages.
Recommended as a piece of history about a truly great man.

SAS Secret War
SAS Secret War
by Tony Jeapes
Edition: Hardcover
Price: CDN$ 34.01
22 used & new from CDN$ 0.79

1.0 out of 5 stars SLOW a turtle uphill....against the wind., Oct. 11 2013
This review is from: SAS Secret War (Hardcover)
This review is for the hardcover edition measuring 9 1/2 X 6 1/4 having 253 pages and 8 photo pages.
First of all if what you were hoping for is an Andy McNab non-fiction military action story you will be DISAPPOINTED!
This man is a Major General and as such he commanded men at the sharp end who did the dirty deeds and were shot at and killed.
For the most part this book consists of his attempts to co-ordinate the British forces and the Arab guerrillas into a worthwhile fighting unit.
In this he sometimes succeeded but once again I repeat......there is VERY LITTLE fighting action sequences in this fact I remember only one near the middle of the book although truthfully there may have been a few more.
Nonetheless this is not an action-filled book about the squaddies on the ground but more about the politics of inter-cultural negotiations and I found it S L O W!!!!
Not my kind of book at all and I suspect that the lack of public knowledge and excitement about the Oman campaign is because it was not very exciting and little exciting stories have come out of it.
I would ONLY recommend this to someone wanting to know about the politics of intercultural military associations but as an action story it seriously falls short.

Grass Widow and Her Cow
Grass Widow and Her Cow
by Barbara Paynter
Edition: Hardcover
Price: CDN$ 29.95
14 used & new from CDN$ 0.78

1.0 out of 5 stars Surely only worth reading if you are under 8 years of age., Oct. 11 2013
This review is for the hardcover edition measuring 9 1/2 X 6 1/4 having 174 pages and lots of photos.
The quality of the binding and paper are absolutely top notch......sadly that's where the quality ends.
By the 3rd chapter I was questioning weather or not this book was written for an adult or a child.
She ( the author....a woman with 2 children by the way ) refers to the breeding of her cow as it's 'Marriage'.
I realize that sexual mores were somewhat 'stricter' in wartime Britain but please!
Another annoying feature is that every picture...most fairly small...take up a whole page, rather than putting several together on a single most books have done.
As well, there are 33 blank or near blank pages ( those being chapter titles ).
In a book that already is VERY short and large-fonted it felt as if it was 'PADDED' to make it seem ( and presumably sell ) like a real book.
Realistically it is a very scant 141 pages long and took me less than 3 hours to read.
The juvenile and puerile style however was what put me off the most.
I would have preferred something between an account by a REAL farmer about farming life ( A la Ruth Goodman...Wartime Farm and The Good Life with Briers and Kendall.
This book had neither the charm of Good Life nor the worthwhile information of Wartime Farm.
Save your money unless 'CUTE' is your literary requirement rather than a true farming experience in wartime Britain.

Breaking the Dams: The Story of Dambuster David Maltby and his Crew
Breaking the Dams: The Story of Dambuster David Maltby and his Crew
by Charles Foster
Edition: Hardcover
Price: CDN$ 59.50
20 used & new from CDN$ 29.87

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Short, lackluster account of one of the dambuster's participation., Oct. 11 2013
This review is for the hardcover edition measuring 9 1/2 X 6 1/4 having 208 pages and numerous photos scattered throughout the book.
As with most Pen and Sword books the quality of the book itself is absolutely excellent....white hard paper and quality binding.
The contents, assembled and collated by a cousin of Maltby many years later suffers, as many similar accounts of other events do....from too much distance and time and not enough personal information on the subject.
The author is as diligence as he can be and takes the time to check and re-check his facts and does come up with a few minor corrections in the accounts by other authors but overall nothing new is revealed through his work.
Short and heavy on the personal side of family history ( understandable as this is the one area where he has an advantage over other authors ) he nonetheless spends a great deal of time on the minutia of David's life making the title somewhat incorrect. Perhaps it should have been " A Short Biography of David Maltby in his Role as a Dambuster"..
For someone completely unfamiliar with the dambuster story this account is sadly short of information about Barnes Wallis and Gibson's role in the attack.
On the other hand for those already familiar with the basic information regarding the raid this account adds almost nothing to any previous information.
Some 'speculative' possibilities are examined regarding the later death of David Maltby but even here it is nothing more than speculation and really has little to do with the Title of the book.
Sadly I cannot recommend this book as it really adds nothing new at all.

by Richard. Gough
Edition: Hardcover
9 used & new from CDN$ 3.78

3.0 out of 5 stars Worthwhile but perhaps not enough 'personal' information., Sept. 29 2013
This review is for the hardcover edition measuring 9 1/2 X 6 1/4 having 245 pages and 8 photo pages.
This is the story of a group within the SOE (Special Operations Executive) in Southeast Asia in 1942 called Orient Mission.
Primarily it concerns the workings of several key men, some, like Spencer Chapman and Jack Knott and others like Jim Gavin..less well known.
Perhaps not as much 'personalized' as other accounts I have read this is nonetheless an interesting and informative book.
Recommended to anyone interested in the less 'glamorous' affairs of the SOE.

The Lost Grizzlies: Search for Survivors in the Wilderness of Colorado
The Lost Grizzlies: Search for Survivors in the Wilderness of Colorado
Edition: Hardcover
8 used & new from CDN$ 12.08

1.0 out of 5 stars Amateurish, pretentious and juvenile writing style = 1 star., Sept. 29 2013
This review is for the hardcover edition measuring 8 3/4 X 5 1/2 having 239 pages and ABSOLUTELY NO PHOTOS AT ALL!
I hardly know where to start with a review of this book.
The 'expedition' to find Grizzlies is less well planned that a weekend trip with a bunch of cub scouts.
Their 'stores' seem to consist of bottled water, MANY bottles of liquor, and not much else.
First day their second vehicle breaks down and they have to go back down the mountain to get parts to fix it ....which BTW nobody can do...they abandon it, making us wonder why they brought it in the first place.
They DELIBERATELY leave garbage on the side of the road and in the author's mind equate it to a 'wolf's spoor'....hmmmm.
Maybe camping here is different that camping there.
After days of hiking....using cow trails rather than bushwhacking they finally find .....wait for it.....a GRAVEL ROAD. The author hitches a ride in a truck ( some wilderness eh? ) and catches up with his buddies at a lodge where they buy more snack food and liquor before they venture on.
No matter how far they travel they always seem to find outfitter's tents and/or people.......hummmm....WILDERNESS??
Here's an intriguing quote from early on....says a lot about Colorado to me....
"Three years later, believing that all it's grizzlies had been killed off, the state of Colorado formed the Rio Grande-San Juan Grizzly bear management area to protect grizzlies, should any be seen."
The writing skill is on a par with a high school junior and the high moral stand is what I expect from a tree-hugging cheerleader wearing a leopardskin tracksuit.
I couldn't do anything to spoil this dismal and amateurish frat-style frolic in the woods.
Clearly the author intended to find nothing and do nothing except have a good a couple of steaks and drink themselves into oblivion.
In an interesting sidelight, the author's "Vietnam vet' buddy ( he was a medic you know ...yeah..we heard 20 times ) advises them constantly of the advisability of stealth if they expect to find any lost Grizzlies......maybe they shouldn't have brought a huge barking dog with them.....what do you think?
Recommended ONLY if you wish to voluntarily contribute to the author's bottle collection.

End of the Beginning
End of the Beginning
Edition: Hardcover
33 used & new from CDN$ 0.78

5.0 out of 5 stars One of the finest GENERAL coverage accounts of the North African Campaign., Sept. 29 2013
This review is from: End of the Beginning (Hardcover)
This review is for the hardcover edition measuring 9 1/2 X 6 1/4 having 438 pages and 32 photo pages.
I was somewhat amused to read a review by a previous reviewer describing this book as 'short'. At 438 pages it would not be short to me although there are certainly longer ones.
I felt the recitation of the events were very skilfully blended with first hand accounts of soldiers on the line.
Many writers, commenting on the events in North Africa in 1942, see Rommel as a military genius and I was happy to see these authors paint him in a more realistic light.
He was an opportunist and a good strategist but pitted against a leader like Monty who himself, was, in my opinion, cut from much the same cloth, his weaknesses showed.
Unable to deal with an enemy who behaved in a non-British way and wouldn't mindlessly advance to his waiting 88's, his previous 'winning' tactics played against him.
Poorly supplied and having unwisely extended his cutting edge too far, Rommel is behaviorally incapable of retreating in a timely fashion...and pays the price for his arrogance.
Auchinleck as well is usually portrayed as a weak and wooden leader and I think Clayton and Craig have showed his strengths as well as his weaknesses.
As always, on the front line doing the dirty work are the, VERY well documented by the authors in a way that neither glorifies their courage nor disguises their weaknesses.
All in all a VERY creditable account of the North African campaign from May to November 1942.
VERY highly recommended.

From the Field: A Collection of Writings from National Geographic
From the Field: A Collection of Writings from National Geographic
by National Geographic Society
Edition: Hardcover
18 used & new from CDN$ 1.70

3.0 out of 5 stars Choice of stories could have been better., Sept. 29 2013
This review is for thew hardcover edition measuring 9 1/2 X 6 1/4 having 444 pages but absolutely NO PHOTOS!
To say I was a little disappointed is a severe understatement.
Although I had not expected it to be the usual coffee table sized book resplendent with a glossy photo spread every second page I did expect some pictures.
After all....75 different writers and a long history of photo reportage about a huge variety of world subjects....and no photos.
The stories themselves were quite good....but not excellent and I found the choice of stories to lean heavily on the side of America....perhaps understandably but nonetheless not what i wanted.
Some were just plain flag-waving and less than what i had hoped for in this almost international publication.
The paper and binding were good...not excellent and the overall look of the book was good.
I would recommend it but all in all I was a little disappointed in the choice of stories.

Look Behind the Ranges: Mountaineer's Selection of Adventures and Expeditions
Look Behind the Ranges: Mountaineer's Selection of Adventures and Expeditions
by Hamish MacInnes
Edition: Hardcover
9 used & new from CDN$ 7.67

5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent collection of the author's climbing adventures., Sept. 29 2013
This review is for the hardcover edition measuring 9 1/2 X 6 1/4 having 271 pages and 24 photo pages.
This book is a collection of the author's climbing adventures with some of the famous and the not so famous climbers around the world.
Consisting of personal stories of triumph and disasters the author writes comfortably and entertainingly about his climbing experiences.
Very readable and enjoyable.
Highly recommended.

Strictly Murder
Strictly Murder
by Tom Tullett
Edition: Hardcover
9 used & new from CDN$ 4.10

5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Scotland Yard Murder Squad cases....28 in all!, Sept. 12 2013
This review is from: Strictly Murder (Hardcover)
This review is for the hardcover edition measuring 8 3/4 X 5 1/2 having 302 pages and 16 B/W period photo pages.
Once again Mr Tullett has done a splendid job.
Here, he presents us with 28 of Scotland Yard's Murder Squad's most famous cases.
I won't bother to name any of them because they will mostly be known to any crime buff.
His writing is concise and accurate and the presentation of each case is accompanied by a brief introduction and in most cases the verdict as rendered by the jury.
Very entertaining and informative the author has selected only the cream of the crop and each case is handled both interestingly and entertainingly.
Highly recommended

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