Good Reading : February 2007
book trivia Win one of 10 copies of The Villa in Italy by Elizabeth Edmondson valued at $32.99 each. Four unhappy people are summoned to a villa in Italy, to discover why they have been mentioned in the will of the deceased owner, and what they will inherit. For the chance to win tell us in 25 words or less why you’d like to win this book. To enter send your answer to ‘The Villa in Italy Competition’, GPO Box 3835, Sydney NSW 2001 (remem- ber to write your details and the answer on the back of the envelope) or enter online at http://www.goodread- ingmagazine.com.au/comp.cfm Win one of 5 copies oftheDVDofMy Family and Other Animals valued at $19.95 each. This adaptation of Gerald Durrell’s delightful autobiography follows the eccentric and bohemian Durrell family as they uproot and ship themselves off to the sun- drenched Greek island of Corfu, escaping the dreary wet weather and atmosphere of 1930s England. For the chance to win tell us in 25 words or less why you’d like to win this DVD. To enter send your answer to ‘My Family and Other Animals Competition’, GPO Box 3835, Sydney NSW 2001 (remember to write your details and the answer on the back of the envelope) or enter online at http://www.goodreadingmagazine.com. au/comp.cfm Win! Win! crunching the numbers Readers of the Sydney Morning Herald and Melbourne’s Age will be familiar with John S Croucher’s ‘Number Crunch’ column on Saturdays, an eclectic list of facts and figures involving numbers. Now Number Crunch, a collection of the best pieces from the column, has been published by Pan Macmillan, rrp $19.95. Croucher, Professor of Statistics (what else?) at Macquarie University, is sure to please trivia buffs with such obscure but fascinating facts as the longest recorded life span of a slug (18 months); the number of curtain calls received by Pavarotti at the Berlin Opera in February 1988 (165!); and the average number of cells that die in your body every minute (about 300 million). Crikey, no wonder we feel a bit unwell! TERMS AND CONDITIONS 1. Information on how to enter and prizes form part of these conditions. 2. The promoter is Good Reading Magazine Pty Ltd. 3. Entry is open to all residents of Australia who are readers of Good Reading magazine or visitors to www.goodreadingmagazine.com 4. Entries must be made between 1/2/07 and 28/02/07 and be sent to Good Reading Magazine, GPO Box 3835, Sydney NSW 2001 or entries can be made at http://www.goodreadingmagazine.com.au/comp.cfm 5. The draw will take place on 1/3/07. 6. Prizes cannot be transferred or redeemed for cash. 7. The promoter accepts no responsibility for late, lost or misdirected mail. 8. Any change in the value of the prize between the publishing date and the date the prize is claimed is not the responsibility of the promoter. 9. The Judges’ decision is final and no correspondence will be entered into. 10. The winners will be notified by mail and the winners will be published in the April issue ofGood Reading and also on the Good Reading website during March 2007. much ado about something Subtitled ‘Up and down the bizarre byways of a fascinating language’, Much Ado About English by Richard Watson Todd gives a taste of its contents on the front cover: an asterisk next to the word ‘bizarre’ leads to the explanation of the word’s provenance. ‘Bearded Spanish soldiers fighting in France made a strange impression on the locals, who used the Basque word bizar, meaning beard, to show how odd these soldiers looked. Bizarre was then borrowed from French into English, and a word which originally meant beard came to mean strange.’ Another favourite word origin gleaned from this amusing and informative tome is penguin, which comes, as unlikely as it sounds, from the Welsh for white head, pen gwyn. It was originally used by Welsh sailors for the great auk, a now- extinct bird resembling the penguin found in Newfoundland. Todd also examines politically correct language, abbreviations, ostrobogulous words (you’ll have to read the book for that one!) and puns, among countless other linguistic oddities. And he quizzes his readers throughout (‘Can you match the following animals with the appro- priate collective nouns?’ and so on), making it great fun to test your own knowledge of English as she is spoke and writ. It’s published by Nicholas Brealey Publishing, rrp $29.95. GED C A O L D E N E N S A W C E AZ R M DR W I I RNO 23 N I R FR ME 16ICE N G SN E I L A N G VI AR 21 A V VEA A 26 C T EO L ST RHR O F OO O S R PEU NO C 35 T TI A OR ND E C D L O OO R EE FRTAM GANTDS EYENID N T A H BTH S P LY C O O C T ERT 1 2 3 4 5 6 8 7 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 18 17 16 19 20 21 22 23 24 27 26 25 28 December/January crossword solution A book is a ticket to travel in space and in time, leaving whenever you wish. Sir David Attenborough cop this! The left-wing council of Nezahualcoyotl, a city of 2 million people and mean streets just north-east of Mexico City, has come up with a novel way to raise the morale, accountability and educa- tional level of its 1200-strong police force. All policemen must attend fort- nightly book groups and study reading and writing, under the principle that ‘a police officer who is cultured is in a better position to be a better police officer’. The officers study authors as diverse as Balzac and Ruth Rendell.
December / January 2007