March 25, 2012

The Reading Files - Dome or tome

I still giggle every time I think about dome rhyming with tome, but hey, it's true Under The Dome is quite the tome and it took me a full week to finish it. Many pages, small print, you get the idea. On the bright side, this is the second book for my Tea & Books Reading Challenge *pats herself on shoulder* which means "only" four more tomes to go, eeek!!!

Under The Dome (Stephen King)
paperback
Source: bought used
Genre: Science Fiction

On an entirely normal, beautiful fall day in Chester's Mill, Maine, the town is inexplicably and suddenly sealed off from the rest of the world by an invisible force field. Planes crash into it and fall from the sky in flaming wreckage, a gardener's hand is severed as "the dome" comes down on it, people running errands in the neighboring town are divided from their families, and cars explode on impact. No one can fathom what this barrier is, where it came from, and when -- or if -- it will go away.
Dale Barbara, Iraq vet and now a short-order cook, finds himself teamed with a few intrepid citizens -- town newspaper owner Julia Shumway, a physician's assistant at the hospital, a select-woman, and three brave kids. Against them stands Big Jim Rennie, a politician who will stop at nothing -- even murder -- to hold the reins of power, and his son, who is keeping a horrible secret in a dark pantry. But their main adversary is the Dome itself. Because time isn't just short. It's running out.


Title & Cover: There are many covers to the book, this being one of four similar themed ones showing a person (here, a girl) looking up at the invisible dome. Love how it conveys the mood!
Story: A small town trapped underneath a mysterious barrier turns into a place where the bad thrive. Intriguing plot idea with an ending quite to my liking.
Narrative: Descriptive, not to say graphic, Mr King certainly knows how to set the scene. A little wordy though.
Characters: A lot, and I mean A LOT. All very well drawn though.
Thoughts: Can you say carnage? If this were a Star Trek episode then 90% of the characters would be wearing red shirts. Overall I must say I really liked the narrative though the plot could have used a wee bit of streamlining.


Unfair Trade (Conor Woodman)
paperback
Source: Random House
Genre: Non Fiction / Economy

Why the world's poor continue to lose out in the global market -- and what can be done about it.
How is it that our favourite brands can import billions of pounds' worth of goods from the developing world every year, and yet leave the people who produce them barely scraping a living? Is it that big business is incompatible with the eradication of poverty? And, if so, are charity and fair trade initiatives the only way forward?
In Unfair Trade Conor Woodman traces a range of products back to their source to uncover who precisely is benefitting and who is losing out. He goes diving with lobster fishermen in Nicaragua who are dying in their hundreds to keep the restaurant tables of the US well stocked. He ventures into war-torn Congo to find out what the developed world's insatiable demand for tin means for local miners. And he risks falling foul of the authorities in Laos as he covertly visits the country's burgeoning rubber plantations, established to supply Chinese factories that in turn supply the West with consumer goods. In the process, he tests accepted economic wisdom on the best way to create a fairer world -- and suggests a simpler but potentially far more radical solution.

Title & Cover: Good one! Showing both sides of "your" coffee.
Story: How companies use ethical labeling as marketing tool and how people "buy" a clean conscience through purchasing certain products vs how things really are at the other end of that label.
Narrative: Comprehensible and concise!
Characters: Those who work for the ones doing so-called ethical business.
Thoughts: An important topic yet I would have wished for more than just a brief introduction to it. Also the focus on the ethical labeling of products would have deserved more exploration. That said, it is a great book though personally I found it to be a bit of a lightweight for such a serious topic.
FULL REVIEW TO FOLLOW

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