Father’s Day Book Reviews

August 27, 2010

Father’s Day Book Reviews

War Torn, by Andy McNab and Kym Jordan

RRP: $32.95 Published by Bantam Press

Recommended for the tough dad

Andy McNab joined the infantry as a boy soldier. In 1984 he was ‘badged’ as a member of 22 SAS Regiment and was involved in both covert and overt special operations worldwide. During the Gulf War he commanded Bravo Two Zero, a patrol that, in the words of his commanding officer, ‘will remain in regimental history for ever’. Awarded both the Distinguished Conduct
Medal (DCM) and Military Medal (MM) during his military career, McNab was the British Army’s most highly decorated serving soldier when he finally left the SAS in February 1993. He wrote about his experiences in two phenomenal bestsellers, Bravo Two Zero, which was filmed in 1998 starring Sean Bean, and Immediate Action. He is also the author of ten bestselling
novels, including most recently Crossfire. Besides his writing work, he lectures to security and intelligence agencies in both the USA and UK.

War Torn tells the story of Sergeant Dave Henley and his unit, who are on a military mission in Helmand, Afghanistan – and the home-front: Jenny Henley and the other women and families left behind: As much as their loved ones are dealing with the dangers in a war-torn country, they struggle with their fear and anxiety, trying to cope with ‘being apart’ and not knowing whether their husbands are hurt…or worse. The story is told from the soldiers point of view as well as that from their spouses at home.

Theodore Boone, by John Grisham

RRP $32.99 Published by: Hachette

Recommended for the thriller dad

In the small city of Strattenburg, there are many lawyers, and though he’s only thirteen years old, Theo Boone thinks he’s one of them. Theo knows every judge, policeman, court clerk – and a lot about the law. He dreams of
being a great trial lawyer, of a life in the courtroom. But Theo finds himself in court much sooner than he expected. Because he knows so much – maybe too much – he is suddenly dragged into the middle of a sensational murder trial. A cold-blooded killer is about to go free,
and only Theo knows the truth.

The stakes are high, but Theo won’t stop until justice is served.
Brimming with the intrigue and suspense that made John Grisham a number one international bestseller and the undisputed master of the legal thriller, Theodore Boone will keep readers guessing and pages turning.

Check out the website for interview with the author: www.theodoreboone.com

After America, by John Birmingham

RRP: $32.99 Published by: Pan Macmillan

Recommended for the action dad

Our world went to hell on March 14, 2003. Four years after an inexplicable wave of energy decimated the American mainland, and then just as inexplicably disappeared a year later, US President James Kipper is no closer to explaining the catastrophe to the traumatised survivors. In a decaying New York City, an assassination attempt on the President prompts the suspicion that the looters overrunning Manhattan may be more organised and sinister than previously thought.

Working on a farm in Texas to earn his citizenship, Miguel Pieraro believes in the promise of the New America. That is until tragedy cuts through his family.

In the English countryside, Echelon agent Caitlin Monroe must once again fight for her life, a sharp reminder that her nemesis is active again.

Then out of the smoking ruin of the Middle East comes an enemy that will be Kipper’s toughest challenge yet. The battle for the Wild East is just beginning, but does this New America, and its gun-shy President, have the strength of will to destroy the past in order to save the future?

That’s What I’m Talking About, by Shane Crawford

RRP: $49.95 Published by Penguin

Recommended for sporty Dad

Whether it’s playing footy, hamming it up on television, or being a family man, one thing’s for sure – Shane Crawford will give it his all.

When Shane Crawford debuted for Hawthorn Football Club in 1993, little did he know what an amazing future awaited him. The kid from tiny Finley in New South Wales would become a champion of the game, the heart and soul of his club, and a successful media performer.

With behind-the-scenes accounts from the people who are close to Shane on and off the field, this is the candid story of a larrikin who did things his own way while always inspiring the team. Never one to shy away from the
cameras, he earned the respect of his peers for his talent, his extraordinary fitness, his generosity of spirit and his never-say-die attitude.

Crawf’s sixteen years at the club took in a decade of disappointing results, a proposed merger, controversial sackings and major injuries. But his loyalty to the brown and gold was rewarded when he finally reached
Australia’s biggest stage – grand final day at the MCG – where, against all odds, his stellar football career had a fairytale ending.

Comfort Food, by Gary Mehigan

RRP $49.95 Published by Penguin Australia

Recommended for the dad who needs some pushing into the kitchen

Gary Mehigan, popular judge from MasterChef Australia, brings us a recipe book full of the food he loves to eat – classic dishes with a modern twist. Discover the secrets of family favourites such as pancakes, pumpkin soup and spaghetti with meatballs, and learn how to transform a pork chop or beef stew with the addition of roast quince or onion marmalade.

With over 90 recipes, lively kitchen notes and detailed food photography, this is the perfect introduction to good, honest food, together with the kitchen wisdom of one of Australia’s most generous and passionate chefs.

At Home, by Bill Bryson

RRP $55.00 Published by:Random House

Recommended for the Grandpa who is handy around the house and interested in its history

The brand new Bryson for 2010. Will do for social history what A Short History of Nearly Everything did for science.

It struck Bill Bryson one day that we devote a lot more time to the Wars of the Roses or the Normandy Landings than considering what most of history really consists of: centuries upon centuries of people quietly going about their daily business – eating, sleeping, having sex, endeavouring to be amused. So he started a journey around his house, an old rectory in Norfolk, wandering from room to room considering how the ordinary things in life came to be. Along the way he allowed himself delightful digressions on the history of everything from architecture to epidemics, from food preservation to the discovery of electricity, and from crinolines to toilets. And to his dismay, he also encountered a terrifying variety of dangers to our health and happiness.

Where the prizewinning A Short History of Nearly Everything was a sweeping survey of Earth, the universe and everything, At Home is an inwards look at all human life through a domestic telescope. Because, as Bryson says, our homes aren’t refuges from history. They are where history begins and ends.

A Simpler Time, By Peter FitzSimons
RRP $35.00 Published by: Harper Collins

Recommended for the Grandpa who remembers the olden days!

A memoir of love, laughter, loss and billycarts.

It still amazes me what they allowed us to do without their supervision or help
while remaining deeply loving parents. Climb trees from the age of four or five? No problem. Drive the tractor from the age of eight or nine onwards? Good luck to you. Haul on the hoist to pull the half-ton bins filled with oranges off the trailer? Yes. Take your bike out on the Pacific Highway and ride to school? Just be careful, but okay …

Their rough reckoning was that if we thought we could do something, we probably could – and if we thought we couldn’t do something, we probably still could, if we applied ourselves.

Peter FitzSimons’s account of growing up on the rural outskirts of Sydney in the 1960s is first and foremost a tribute to family. But it is also a salute to times and generations past, when praise was understated but love unstinting; work was hard and values clear; when people stood by each other in adversity.

Above all, in the FitzSimons home, days were for doing. In this rollicking and often hilarious memoir, Peter describes a childhood of mischief, camaraderie, eccentric characters, drama – and constant love and generosity. The childhood of a simpler time.

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