Scoop Review of Books

Archive for November, 2008

Chicken Soup and the Placebo Effect

Natural Remedies that Really Work: A New Zealand Guide by Shaun Holt
Craig Potton Publishing, $40. Reviewed by :JR

natural-remedies-that-really-work-a-new-zealand-gu-9781877333804.jpgThere’s no doubt in my mind that chicken soup cures the common cold. And nothing beats royal jelly if you’re feeling rundown. Depressed? Try Vegemite.

You want evidence? Okay, I admit it, I don’t have any hard (or even soft) evidence but chicken soup isn’t called Jewish Penicillin for nothing – and I once read a brief in a newspaper that claimed scientists had confirmed its medicinal properties. As to royal jelly the doctors at the Harbin Medical School, where I taught English in 1989, swore by it. And the Vegemite? It’s got something to do with Vitamin B…

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Taupo Cycle Challenge – The Book

Media Release
The New Zealand bike ride that breaks all the records – and now the book

It started in 1977 with a bunch of friends trying to raise money for charity. Thirty-one years on, the Lake Taupo Cycle Challenge is not only New Zealand’s most popular bike ride but recognised by the UCI (International Cycling Union) as one of the top eight road-cycling events in the world.

On November 29, around 12,000 people – from family relay teams to élite cyclists – will don helmets, leap on their bikes, and set out to conquer the nearly 160-kilometre course Read more »

The Genius of Spain Rodriguez

Che: a Graphic Biography by Spain Rodriguez (edited by Paul Buhle)
Verso Books. Reviewed by RON JACOBS

rodriguez_s_che_biography.gifLike many of my contemporaries, I grew up on comic books. From the mainstream graphic fiction starring Billy Batson and Archie to the alternative realities of the Zap Comix universe and the Freak Brothers, those stories with pictures entertained me and enhanced my world. Nowadays, comic-styled tales and interpretations of classic novels claim a popular space in libraries and bookstores across much of the world. Many of the graphic novels are geared towards a youthful audience and deal with teen angst, vampires and such. Others are designed to convince the reader of a certain point of view and are often published by an organization or group with a particular point of view. Then there are those that stand alone. Read more »

Horror Stories Confront Journalist

Restless Souls: Rebels, refugees, medics and misfits on the Thai-Burma border, by Phil Thornton
Bangkok: Asia Books. Reviewed by David Robie

Phil Thornton specialises in documenting the lives of oppressed ordinary people . Eight years ago he was attached to the University of the South Pacific journalism programme during the George Speight ‘coup’ doing human rights stories that few other journalists were touching.

The Australian journalist travelled with the internal refugees from the Muaniweni valley on the ‘freedom bus’ to their temporary home at the Lautoka Girmit Centre. His stories were compelling tales of terror and tragedy. Read more »

War-Time Memoirs Published After 50 Years

Media Release

Son Completes Memoirs Of Father’s War-Time Exploits

The son of a New Zealander who played a crucial role in the 1940 Battle of Britain and 1942 Defence of Malta has published his father’s war-time exploits over 50 years after they were written.

Martin Woodhall’s father, Group Captain A B Woodhall, was the acclaimed RAF sector controller who guided Spitfire and Hurricane pilots by radio to successfully repel German and Italian air strikes. Read more »

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