The Zanzibar Chest (Africa)

When I was looking at books to read for countries, I came across The Zanzibar Chest by Aiden Hartly and found that it was mostly associated with the country of Burundi. That turned out to be a lie. There are only five pages of this book that specifically talk about Burundi, and that in passing.

This book was about war in Africa, in fact the title of this post should be The Zanzibar Chest (War). I just wanted to let people out there know I am still reading, but it was not what I thought it was going to be. Now I have to find a new book for Burundi.

I did get some good quotes out of this book so I will share those.


“I felt hunted by time.”

“I saw ti as a rite of passage on the road to some kind of truth.”

“I tried to ignore the anonymous masses for so long, but in the end they all have come back to haunt me: the refuges, the injured, the starving, and the dead. And each and everyone has a name.”


The Coyote Kings at the Space-Age Bachelor Pad

First off I need to apologize that for this book there is not a photograph to go with the review. My laptop has died and is currently in the hands of a Techno-Cleric to see if it can be resurrected. If not then he is going to try and do a memory swap, so I can clone the information later. Translated-it is in the repair shop, hopeful it can be fixed.

This book was read for Canada, and I got it before I realized that to do Canada justice I would have to read a book for each providence.

The Coyote Kings of the Space-Age Bachelor Pad by Minister Faust, was such a fun book to read. I would sit and giggle as I read this one, and if I were in a coffee shop or at work people would look at me strange. Then I had a hard time telling them what I was laughing about.

Each of the main characters in this book has a character sheet, and if like me you are a nerd or have played an RPG before you know what one is. I loved this, it gave a brief overview of each person, and what their voice was like. Character development in this book was amazing. The plot was a little on the odd/weak side but the characters more than made up for that. One thing that took me a bit to get my head around was that the chapters would switch voices. There would be there or four chapters from Hamza’s point of view then a few from Yehats.

Other than saying this was a fun book I did not learn much about the culture in Canada but that is OK. I am going to need these fun book as so many books seem to be focused on war.


“I mean, that is simultaneously amazing and depressing. Monuments defaced by fossils.”

“I’m not saying Hamza’s cheap but if the only thing standg in between our solar system and a fleet of intergalactic en slavers was Hamza’s wallet crunched inside his fist, we’d all be drilling methane wells on Pluto right now.”

“But out here, no one hears it anyway. Not even the stars.”

“Human History is nothing but a pyramid of pain, topped with the capstone of ecstasy and epiphany for the most highly evolved.”


Last Rituals (Iceland)


Last Rituals by Yrsa Sigurdardottir was my look into Iceland. This is one of the countries that I would one day like to visit in real life. The pictures that I see of the country side just amaze me, and I would love to take my camera and see what I can get there.

My goal in reading the world is to learn something about each country that I happen to read about. I did learn something about the religious history of Iceland and about the witch trials there. I did not know that in Iceland that more men were accused, and killed then women.  I did not know about the Irish Monks and their caves, in fact I am going to have to do a bit of looking into on them.

A few things I liked about the book.  The author did not within the first few pages tell us who the killer is, it is not until the last chapter that is reviled. I like that in a mystery I do not want to know the “who did it” right from the start. I also did not figure out who the killer was, that for me is a bonus! What is the point in reading a mystery when it is easy to solve.

I did have a hard time liking both the main characters in the book. Thora, the lawyer did not come across as the heroin. She was childish, rude, and shallow. Matthew, the private security was just creepy.

One of the things about the book that really bothered me was the focus on appearance. I do not know if this is cultural or just something that the author is very interested in. Thora, makes fun of her secretary because she is over weight.”. . .so huge she has her own center of gravity.” Matthew, makes fun of Thora’s winter wear, and everyone who is not a friend of the murder victim comments on his appearance. His is a bit unconventional, but having spent the last few years hanging out with people who are into body modification I did not see that as strange at all. I was rather offended in this aspect of the book. I do hope that it is more of the author coming through on that then the people of Iceland.


“His great achievement was to wake up in the morning in the first place.”


True Windows

They say that the eyes are the windows to the soul. I have to disagree, I would say that it is the bookshelf that is the true window. I was looking at mine, both in  the real world  and the virtual ones on goodreads. I have realized something. My soul, my window is lacking. This needs to be in my opinion fixed.

My book case is filled with books by American and British authors. According to the U.N. there are 193 countries in the world. I know that this is not a complete list, but for now that is the one I have chosen to work off of.  My goal this year is to read on book from each of those countries. I need to have them translated into English as my language skill is sorely lacking. What I am going to be looking for are novels, biographies or memoirs.

I am hoping to be able to start on the first of the year, and reach my goal by the last day of December. I could go on this adventure silently, without involving anyone but close family. However, I do realize that for this task I am going to need help. I am going to need help in finding books, in recommendations, in accountability. I realize that I am going to want to share what I have discovered about a place, a culture, a history and a story.

Me being me I would love to start off and try to go alphabetically through the list. What list? This is the list that I am going to be using it is from the United Nations, and that is the link to the page.

Now, the next step is picking out my first book.