Good Reading : December 2003
wordofmouth - nonfiction Five Months in a Leaky Boat Ben Kozel f you think five months in a leaky boat would be annoying enough, try reading a book where you’re constantly troubled by the pronunciation of one of the main character’s names – in this case a river.There I was Malachy in Angela’s Ashes,and now there’s the Yenisay. Start- ing in the hills of Mongolia and flowing north through Siberia to the Arctic, the Yenisay is the world’s fifth largest river, hold- ing the third greatest volume of water. In this travel adventure, Ben Kozel faces floods, the Ulan Baatar Bus Station (reputedly the most dangerous place in Mongolia), earth- pawing and kayak-charging bull yaks, deadly encephalitis- ridden ticks, the Russian mafia, Carcass Canyon, stinging nettle for dinner, perennially cantankerous Russian outboard engines, evil trees, bears and the need to reach the Arctic before the river freezes. I guess the correct pronunciation ofYenisay is the least of the author’s concerns in trying to become the first person to ever travel the full length of this amazing river.The fact that Kozel means ‘billygoat’ in Russian doesn’t help his cause either. An amazing adventurer’s spirit, and a talent for writing results in a superlative, if superfluous, travel story.After reading Five Months in a Leaky Boat, the next time you think of Siberia you’ll not only think Gulags and jukeboxes,but also the Yenisay (Ye-ni-say). Pan Macmillan $30.00 Reviewed by Keiran Rogers Australian Seafood Handbook: Domestic species Edited by GK Yearsley, PR Last & RD Ward B asically, there are two types of fisherman: those who fish for sport, and those who fish for a feed. The latter will absolutely adore this book. From Australian herring to Moses sea perch, saucer scallop to Gould’s squid and galaxias maculatus to rainbow trout, the Australian Seafood Handbook tells you every- thing about locating, identifying and preparing your catch. For the more scientific there’s information on protein fingerprint- ing and oil composition. It also includes a solid introduction, explanatory chapter on how to use the handbook, a concise glossary and a comprehensive index – by both scientific and marketing/common name.Truly a seafood lover’s delight. CSIRO $49.95 Reviewed by Keiran Rogers Sporty Reads for Christmas Legends of Australian Sport by Peter Meares, UQP $35.00 The Best Australian Sports Writing 2003 by Garrie Hutchinson, Black Inc $24.95 David Beckham – My Side by David Beckham & Tom Watt, HarperCollins $32.95 Lillee by Dennis Lillee, Headline $39.95 Every Second Counts by Lance Armstrong, Random House $29.95 ????????? ???????????????????????????????????????? ??????????????????