Must get round to writing something here sometime…
These are the travel guides I used on my travels during 2004 and 2005, I was pretty lucky with them to be honest. The 2003 Lonely Planet Australia was awful compared to my one! 😀
|Lonely Planet Australia, 11th edition, 2002
||Excellent, contained virtually everything I needed to know/check-out about Australia. Great maps, great guides, great ideas, great tips, seriously enhanced my trip!A truly top book is all I can say.
Pity the 2004 version wasn’t anywhere near as good, I hope the 2005 version is!
|Lonely Planet New Zealand, 11th edition, 2002
||Yet another Excellent Lonely Planet guide. It covered the entire New Zealand nation, both islands in brilliant detail. Contained everything and more that I wanted to see and do there, even how to find “Taumata whakatangi hangakoauau o tamatea turi pukakapiki maunga horo nuku pokai whenua kitanatahu” (the longest placename in the world – a childhood must-see of mine, I was told I’m one of the few non-Maoris who can say it right!)Another brilliant book.
|Rough Guide South East Asia, 2nd edition, Sept 2002
||Pretty good, though could do with a lot more detailed maps and time tables. It got very annoying turning up in a town and not knowing how to get anywhere, largely thanks to the Rough Guide’s very basic directions and/or lack of town maps. Many times it meant I had to look everything up twice on the Internet.The sections for leaving and getting to places and countries were excellent though, so was the background detail and history of places and countries.
I can see why Lonely Planet is more popular than Rough Guide. Still, the Lonely Planet Shoe String guide wasn’t as comprehensive as this one at the time.
These are the various books I’ve read whilst on my travels during 2004 and 2005. I’ve listed them in the order I read them or at least the order I think I read them in and also where I got them and my thoughts about them, as best my memory can recall.
Considering I got most of them second hand, they were surprisingly good.
If you are somewhat puzzled by my selection it may help to know that as a kid I never read any fiction books(it was a hard life), in fact I was told off at school because I hadn’t read anything in an entire term once! This meant I missed just about all the classics. So a few years ago I decided I really should start reading some of them and hence some of the choices below.
|King Solomon’s Mines by Ryder Haggard
||$3 from some second hand shop in Hobart, Tasmania, very annoying price because I saw this book selling for 50cents in a hostel in Melbourne and stupidly I didn’t buy it then and regretted that decision for about 6 weeks afterwards.||March 2004||An excellent adventure story set in Africa. Great characters, scenes and story. Was well worth the weeks of hassel of obtaining this book, virtually nowhere sold it.|
|Kidnapped by Robert Louis Stevenson
||A second hand bookshop somewhere in New Zealand, maybe Wellington or Auckland.||May 2004||Another excellent adventure story, by the Treasure Island author. About a boy who gets kidnapped by sailors and put onboard a ship. I found his Scottish miser uncle to be rather amusing, a very enjoyable read.|
|The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown
||Melbourne||June 2004||It was THE book everybody was talking about and is still talking about. Probably the best written book I’ve ever read, so easy to read, so simple to understand, yet so intriguing and keeps you hanging on and wanting to read more and turn the page after every chapter. Also a great story, even if it was ripped off from the Holy Blood & Holy Grail.|
|Angels and Demons by Dan Brown
||Melbourne||June 2004||The prequel to The Da Vinci Code, probably a better story than the Da Vinci Code to be honest, but a slightly more tedius in the long run. I liked this book very much, but I can understand why people it isn’t as popular. Well worth a read if you’ve read TDVC first, as it explains a few scenes and the background of Robert Langdon.|
|Digital Fortress by Dan Brown
||Melbourne||June 2004||A story about a man who developes an uncrackable code and how the US government would cope with such a quandry. It does contain the odd technical error, but it wasn’t a bad story, even if the geek hero is a woman and I know from personal experience you don’t actually get any women in the computer industry.|
|Deception Point by Dan Brown
||Melbourne||July 2004||This wasn’t a bad book, about a meteroite being discovered at the polar ice cap, that ‘possibly’ contains traces of life, then the scientists working there start getting murdered. To be honest after reading his other 3 books it now becomes obvious that Dan Brown has a forumla and you can almost guess what is going to happen.|
|Billionaire In Training by Bradley J. Sugars
||Melbourne||July 2004||Saw this in the bookshop many times on the way to work before actually buying it, but was well worth it. Very inspiring and helpful regarding business strategies and ideas.|
|A Scandal in Bohemia from The Complete Adventures of Sherlocks Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle||Blue Mountains YHA Hostel, 2 hours from Sydney||September 2004||I was exceptionally tired, completely on my lonesome in a 6 bed dorm, in a hostel where everybody had gone to bed that night and suddenly I found a volume of The Complete Adventures of Sherlocks Holmes. I’ve always been a Sherlock Holmes fan (Basil Rathbone was my favourite) despite never reading one story and I actually fell asleep reading it and woke up and finished it off. Most excellent.|
|Paradise Alley by Sylvester Stallone||One of the 3 books I bought from the second hand shop for 50cents each somewhere on the East Coast.||September 2004||This was a quick and easy read, but pretty entertaining and I enjoyed it. About 3 brothers who live in the Bronx and have to look out for each other. Involves a bit of fighting, romance and gang rivalry. I liked the characters and story, wouldn’t mind seeing the film.|
|Think & Grow Rich by Napolean Hill
||One of the 3 books I bought from the second hand shop for 50cents each somewhere on the East Coast.||October 2005||THE original business book, absolutely fantastic stuff. Exceptionally inspiring!|
|Tom Cruise – A Biography||One of the 3 books I bought from the second hand shop for 50cents each somewhere on the East Coast.||November 2004||A short biography about Tom Cruise’s rise to fame and fortune from literally rags. My friend Gemma is now the proud owner of this fine book about the great man!|
|The Last Nazi – by Stan Pottinger
||Borrowed this from Melbourne Central Library.||November 2004||About this old nutter who acts all innocent and friendly to everyone, yet is trying to invent a virus that kills only Jews! Ending isn’t bad, but the whole thing is a bit stupid to be honest.|
|Winston Churchill by ?||2nd hand shop, Laura, South Australia||December 2004||This was a hardback book detailing the life of Winston Churchill, it mainly had various fact/articles about Churchill by various authors and an excert by himself from his autobiography.|
|Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe.
||Swapped the Chruchill Book hardcover I think for this, I think.||December 2004||Yes, the one about the man ship wrecked on an island. Took me ages to read, but is a brilliant story when you’re travelling on your own and lounging around on various beaches, also since this was an original full length copy that used the original language that Defoe used I found there was a bit more to the story than most people know.|
|Be An Entrepreneur by Dr.Michael Leong
||Singapore||January 2005||Read this very quickly, all about starting a business, the perils that go with it and the successes that can be had as an Internet finance entrepreneur.|
|Hell’s Angel by Sonny Barger
||Given to me by my friend Mark in Thailand, who didn’t like it!||February 2005||This book is quality. It’s about the life and times of the Hell’s Angels and their leader Sonny Barger. Some of these guys are true thugs and nutters and I really enjoyed this one. Reading it made me want to buy a motorbike! I’ll give you a tip, never diss an Angel! here’s my fave quote of all time (talking about the Rolling Stones Free Concert of 1969 where Hell’s Angels were used as security) “(Keith) Richards walked over to me after finishing ‘Love in Vain’ and told me the band wasn’t going to play anymore until we stopped the violence. ‘Either these cats cool it, man, or we don’t play’, he announced to the crowd. I stood next to him and stuck my pistol into his side and told him to start playing his guitar or he was dead. He played like a motherf***er.” HAHAHA!|
|The Quiet American by Graham Greene.
||From the amputee book seller in Siem Reap, Cambodia||March 2006||A must read if you go to Vietnam and Ho Chi Minh City. The scenes and characters are very descriptive, the story is a strange prophetic one. I actually went back to Ho Chi Minh City and did the Cao Dai Temple tour because of this book! Bit of a strange ending but great stuff.|
|The Killing Fields by Christopher Hudson.
||From the amputee book seller in Siem Reap, Cambodia||March 2006||A harrowing true-ish story about a Cambodian journalist living before and his survival after Pol Pot seizes power with his Kamer Rouge regime in 1975. This story and characters are powerful, interesting, thrilling and moving. In fact it’s one of the best books I think I’ve ever read. I’m not sure you can appreciate what it was like in Cambodia during those times if you visit there and haven’t read this book. It is way, way better than the award winning film.|
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