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Italian for Tourists by Jo Lindsell

18 May



I have always wanted to learn Italian.

There are several reasons for this; but most of all because the language sounds so incredibly beautiful. I would listen to foreign films, to operas, to Italian music and think to myself: I wish I could speak in such a beautiful language.

I would wonder, though, what I would do if I ever travelled to Italy. I’ve looked at every phrase book, every guide book and found no help within their pages. They would talk of grammar, punctuation, places to visit, sites of interest. But none of them ever taught me how to speak Italian.

Until now.

Upon flipping through Italian for Tourists by Jo Lindsell, the whole book looked rather simplistic. After reading through the book several times, I realized that this was part of the books beauty.

What Jo has done is to take a language and bring it back to it’s basics, back to its beauty. She has made the impossible possible with Italian for Tourists: she has helped me to learn another language.

I often struggle with learning new languages and new phrases, but Jo makes it incredibly easy. Italian for Tourists gives you every bit of language that you could possibly need if you were on holiday in Italy.

Divided into seventeen sections, all a tourist has to do is skim the table of contents and skip to the correct section. Sections include hotels, sight seeing, food and drink, greetings and more. Even better, each word and each phrase comes with a pronunciation guide, helping you speak like a true Italian in no time.

I never knew that learning another language could be so simple, so helpful and so much fun. If ever you are going to visit Italy, this is the only book you will need!


Prelude to a Super Airplane by Brian Spaeth

22 Mar




Almost everyone has flown on an airplane at least once in their lives. They are huge and intimidating, able to conquer the skies and the power of flight. Everyone has fantasized about being able to fly, about being able to fly through the clouds.

But none of us have flown on a super airplane: 47 floors high and able to fly at incredible speeds. But it is the people concerned with the airplane that are our focus here, the ones that think about airplanes constantly that draw our attention.

The year is 2012 and America is on the verge of Civil War. One side wants flying cars to be the main method of transportation; the other wants the new super airplane to be the only method of transport. At stake in this war? The entire future of transportation.

Our world as we know it will be forever changed…

Prelude to a Super Airplane is unlike anything you have read before. More literary experiment than a novel, Prelude to a Super Airplane is essentially one hundred and seven little stories about airplanes. Some follow the plot that you’ve just read above.

Others, well…did I mention that this was unlike anything you’ve read before?

Spaeth wrote Prelude to a Super Airplane over a period of seven days. And man what a ride! Though the book zooms along and sometimes you’re wondering who you’re reading about, it doesn’t matter.

This is a book with a sense of humour that never takes itself very seriously. It’s a quick, roller coaster of a ride that is anything but boring.

In fact, I laughed out loud several times and enjoyed every word. It really is unlike anything ever before attempted and this is part of the novels strengths.

Though sometimes the stories of the characters get lost amongst the more autobiographical portions of the book, you’re holding on for sheer life as the pages seem to flip themselves.

Even though Prelude to a Super Airplane is more literary experiment than a novel, it’s one hell of a good time. I’ve never had so much fun reading a book. From the first page, I was intrigued and, by the third page, I was hooked.

Prelude to a Super Airplane promises to be the first comedy-political thriller – mystery- drama-romance-action/adventure-science fiction-showbiz insider- horror-family energy drink- industry insider- holiday autobiography, Prelude to a Super Airplane is one hell of a great ride.

At times confusing, intriguing, hilarious, bizarre and all kinds of wonderful, Prelude to a Super Airplane is THE beach book for this summer.

Read it and feel like you’re flying.

Accidential Enlightenment by Stephen Banick

25 Jul


Normally, I hate travel books. 

 I know, I know. I can hear a lot of you saying: Now wait just a minute! What’s wrong with travel logs? Well, in my opinion, they’re boring, dull and quite often have as much life to them as a day old piece of toast.  

So I will admit that I was a bit weary of Accidental Enlightenment at first. A travel book AND a self help manual? How could such a thing be possible? I opened the cover to the first page and was prepared to be sceptical of anything and everything in the book.  To my chagrin, however, I was charmed and, oddly enough, enlightened.  

From the preface (where Banick makes his own comments about travel books) to the very last page, Accidental Enlightenment was a complete and utter joy.

Imagine, if you will, being discontent with your lot in life. You wonder where you’re going, what you’re meant to be doing. Are the answers to your questions to be found inside you, or out in the real world?  After being offered a high powered job at a software company, Banick decides to drive instead of fly to his destination. This choice starts him on a journey that will change his life.

Along the way, Banick picks up hitch hikers and learns, for the first time, to really talk to people honestly. But more importantly, he learns to listen.  

When he finally arrives at his job, he’s able to listen to his heart and he knows that his heart and soul aren’t in the job; that he no longer wanted the confining walls of an office building.

So than what is a man to do? Banick decides to continue the travels he started with that innocent road trip and, like so many before him, go exploring.  But what he explores is different from so many others.

While he travels across many different lands and places in Canada, the United States and countries all over the world, what Banick explores is the different cultures he encounters, the different people.  

And still he listens. While he listens, Banick learns and begins to discover things about himself he never thought possible. By listening and learning about others, he learns hidden truths about himself that shake his world and reform it into something wonderful…. 

Accidental Enlightenment is an amazing book from start to finish. My small summarization of the plot does not even come close to describing the wonders that Banick encounters in his fellow human beings. Humanity and the world around him are present in all of Banick’s words and I believe that this is what is missing from so many other travel books.  

While other authors give us an account of what they saw, Banick gives us an account of what he felt, what he sees and hears. We are with him on his many travels, breathing in the truths of others. What is so incredible about this book are the truths, the tid bits of wisdom and knowledge that you pick up while reading it. 

 I found myself quite often reading what I thought was a simple conversation only to have parts of what I read come back to me later once they had sunk in. The truths, the power of the human spirit, is right there; we just have to keep our eyes open while reading.  

Banick’s approach is fun, simple and light. It’s never preachy, never heavy handed and as we learn about Banick’s discoveries we can’t help but learn about ourselves. Accidental Enlightenment is an absolute joy. Banick should be applauded for sharing his journey’s with us.  For as the world changed him, he has changed me and my view of the world around me.

This is an incredible book and I know I won’t ever look at my surroundings in the same way again.