We read...

To know we are not alone. ~C.S. Lewis~

Monday, December 21, 2009

2009 wrap up

all wrapped up

With just 71 days to my blogoversary I have to say I’ve enjoyed my first year in blogland. The highlight was the very unexpected welcome into a community I never even knew existed. You’ve all been so helpful and fun to be with I can’t imagine life without you now…so a big thankyou to all who have commented (I do so love to hear your opinions/reflections/ideas) and a HUGE thankyou to all who’ve joined in Friday Firsts (so::much::fun!) and and even bigger THANKYOU to my followers – can’t tell you what a thrill it is to see your faces on my blog everyday!

I’m very excited to look back on what I’ve read this year – that was the aim of WeRead after all to keep a record of what I’ve read just for the sheer pleasure of knowing…finding you all here in blogland was such a tremendous bonus!

The Best Thing Margo Lanagan
The Boy in the Stripped Pyjamas John Boyne
A Christmas Carol Charles Dickens
Cold Skin Steven Herrick
The Devil’s Brood Sharon Penman 
Disquiet Julia Leigh
Earth Abides George Stewart
Fahrenheit 451 Ray Bradbury
Freda Noelene Martin
Friday Night Knitting Club Kate Jacobs
Girl with a Pearl Earring Tracy Chevalier
God of Small Things Arundhati Roy
Good Omens Terry Pratchet
Handmaid’s Tale Margaret Attwood
Kiss Kiss Roald Dahl
Little Women Louisa May Alcott
Making Glass Beads K Jenkins
March Geraldine Brooks
Middlesex Jeffrey Eugenides
To Kill a Mockingbird Harper Lee
Mrs Dalloway Virginia Wolfe
Northern Lights Phillip Pullman
Nightfall Isaac Asimov
Romulus My Father Raimond Gaita
Tales of the Unexpected Roald Dahl
The Slap Christos Tsiolkas
Time and Chance Sharon Penman
Time Traveller’s Wife Audrey Niffenegger
Twilight Stephanie Meyer

I didn’t manage many reviews, just the ones I felt passionate about, but I’m going to try for more reviews in 2010 because, although I’m having a little blogging-break now I will definitely be back next year!


Merry Christmas everyone!

Glitter Graphics
[Glitterfy.com - *Glitter Graphics*]

Thursday, December 10, 2009

If you use a circular saw blade as a book mark I’ll waive the overdue fees.

BTT is a long running bookish meme. To join in pop over and read the 100's of interesting comments. This week’s question…
What items have you ever used as a bookmark? What is the most unusual item you’ve ever used or seen used?

Does everyone know know this blog Forgotten bookmarks? A whole blog about things that people use for bookmarks and leave behind when they sell their books (gasp) to a rare book dealer (how do I get that job?!). It’s a great blog my favourite post was this one about a 6" saw blade marking a page in Inside Every Woman, what a crack-up!

As for me I’ll use anything to mark my spot, empty cafe sugar sachets, chip packets, bobby pins, date due slips, a piece torn from a newspaper/magazine, pens, post-its, receipts, jewellery, tools, cutlery (just yesterday I was forced to use a dessert spoon). All of this is ridiculous because I have 4.ooo bookmarks – all gorgeous – that somehow are just never in the right place when I put down my book.

how about you how do you mark your place?

Monday, December 7, 2009

read the signs…please

Musing Mondays (BIG) Musing Monday is hosted by Becca of Just One More Page. Pop over and read lots of interesting comments & post your own. This week borrower-bugged Becca asks about those pesky people with whom we must share OUR library…

For the regular library patrons among us: do you have your own idea of what constitutes proper library etiquette? Is there anything you always try to do? Anything you hate when others do?

Not being a big user of my local library I'll comment on my uni library, I suspect library etiquette is slightly different from the staff’s side of the desk. Noise? It's a big niggler for some but, in a library that houses the engineering, science collection noise can be a factor. The engineering students seem to be gregarious and loud which is okay except if they're infringing on the rights of others. Complaints about noise will force me into the classic librarian-shushing-thing but I’d rather the patrons felt welcome to make the library their own and a bit of talking goes with the territory.

It’s good etiquette to clean up after any food and drink you take into the library - which we do allow. After decades of saying 'you can't bring KFC/chips/coke in here' it did bother me to see food and drink so close to the books until I realised that the books are exposed to food an drink in the patron’s home why not in the library!

It is polite to return your books on time at assessment time and NOT to hide the in-demand texts under the shelves for your own personal use (yes we regulary check UNDER the shelves for such sneakiness).

From my point of view it’s good etiquette to be patient with the library staff who are not miracle workers. If you haven't saved the document you've been working on for the last three hours we will try and retrieve it - just be patient and understand who's at fault (even if your asignment IS due in ten minutes/the library is closing in five minutes). And PLEASE read the signs – where is the colour printer? see that sign?, how do I fix a paper-jam? read the instructions **points to sign**, how do I bind my document? read the instructions **points to sign** etc. Don’t get me wrong I am happy to help, it is after-all my job, but happier if you’ve given it a go first… Proactive self education – not too much to ask in a university library is it?

Friday, December 4, 2009

‘Tis the season

Friday Firsts* Copy/paste the question and button.
* Please leave a comment & link to your post.
* Join in with the puzzle, (answers next FF). First correct answer = 1 pt. with a prize going out on FF 1st anniversary! (track your progress on my sidebar)…

We’re all Christmassy here at no.13 so we simply must do a seasonal Friday first, please post any first line from a Christmas book, for some reason I can’t think of any Christmas novels – how strange is that, so mine is the most obvious…

Marely was dead, to begin with.

Even though it ends with a preposition (a big no-no in my house) I love this 6 word story all wrapped up in Dickens’ first line from A Christmas Carol.

Last month’s puzzle winner (via email) of 3 points is Becca for her answers: 1) Misselthwaite Manor. 2) she was most disagree-able looking. 3) from The Secret Garden - Frances Hodgeson Burnett.
I’m giving Vicki and Nise one point each for being faithful Friday Firsters, and giving the correct answers and …well… because I can :)

Puzzle: 3 points:
1) Who Stole Christmas?
2) where did he live?
3) which was just north of what town?

Edit: I gave Sandra a point too (come on how could I not!)

Thursday, December 3, 2009

a whole new world at my fingertips

BTT is a long running bookish meme. To join in pop over and read the 100's of interesting comments. This week a BTT question about BTT…

What’s your favourite part of Booking Through Thursday? Why do you participate (or not)?

You must pop over to BTT this weeks it's snowing! So pretty wish we had some snow here - wrong hemisphere, just heat haze here

I got into blogging for a number of different reasons one of which was to sort out my reading into some kind of order. What I didn’t expect was the pleasure I would find in just being part of a new community – who knew there was a whole world of people at my fingertips (excuse the pun).

I really enjoy the thinking part of answering BTT questions, have I lied about reading a book? why do I do that?; just what are the 15 books that will always stick with me …and why? etc. Sometimes the questions don’t move me to answer but I get a lot of entertainment reading what everyone else has to say.

That’s the best bit for me - everyone’s responses – it is amazing just how varied we all are and yet so often I find an answer that makes me feel ‘normal’, the ‘same’ and makes me sigh and say to myself “see someone else does that too!”

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

all about the shabby

I love this meme hosted by Marcia at The Printed Page. Pop over to The Printed Page from time to time to see if you can catch some gorgeous cover attractions over there.

anyone who’s been within cooee of me for the past couple of weeks knows that I’m all about the shabby right now.

shabby but I’m on a budget so if I could make junk look like this I’d be so having this book!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Burn baby burn

hosted by MizB @ Should be Reading.
* Grab your current read & let it fall open.
* Share 2 “teaser” sentences, somewhere between lines 7 and 12.
* Share the title of the book… remember...
**************************avoid spoilers please****************************



“Do you ever  read any of the books you burn?”
He laughed. “That’s against the law!”

Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury p15

Monday, November 30, 2009

My Christmas cunning plan

Musing Mondays (BIG) Musing Monday is hosted by Becca of Just One More Page. Pop over and read lots of interesting comments & post your own. This week Busy-Bee Becca asks about  holiday season reading/blogging…
How does your reading (or your blogging) fare in the holiday months? Do you read more or less? Do you have to actively make time to read?

It’s fair to say that we are all time-poor in the lead-up to Christmas, isn’t it? There’s so much socialising and end-of-year things to do that something has to give and for me, like the rest of you, it’s usually reading/blogging/me-time that is sacrificed to accommodate all the extra demands.

Having said that I must confess to being in the lucky situation of being on holidays as of today. Working on contract means that I go where and when I’m needed. The uni semester ended last Friday and so the library can manage with less staff for the next 3 months so, although I miss everyone, staff and students alike, I do relish the opportunity to take the 9 to 5 job out of the equation (whilst also not being too thrilled at abandoning the pack packet).

So I do actually have more time to read/blog if I can just manage to prioritise them. To do this I have a cunning plan – so cunning I could plug it in and light up the Christmas lights with it - My plan is two-fold: firstly I’ll do a list (yes Becca the one with tiny writing) that factors in time for reading and blogging; and secondly I plan to view all the ‘extra demands’ as pleasurable opportunities…

a little bit of positive thinking never hurt anyone!

what about you …how are you going keeping up with Christmas rushing?

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

christmas present potential


Cherub #2 asked me for my wish list today - he was off to do some Christmas shopping. I had 'books' on the list of course, he scanned the list and said 'books' were the only thing he felt at all confident about (and didn't require a trip inside anywhere too girly) but could I be more specific?

Yes! I said Yes I can & I pointed him towards We Read, told him to search for wish-list knowing full well he'd find his way here ...am so excited!

thankyou blogosphere, I love you.

Wicked Cover

I love this meme hosted by Marcia at The Printed Page. Pop over to The Printed Page from time to time to see if you can catch some gorgeous cover attractions over there.

Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradury - new to We Read Mt TBR

Monday, November 23, 2009

school days

Musing Mondays (BIG) Musing Monday is hosted by Becca of Just One More Page. Pop over and read lots of interesting comments & post your own.

This week brand-new-teacher Becca asks about out school reading...

What books did you read while in school? Were there any that you particularly liked, or even hated? Did any become lifelong favourites?
HA! am feeling all nostalgic for my high school years and Mr Rule – my gorgeous English teacher in my senior years – on whom I had the biggest crush of my adolescence. Details of which books I studied with him are a bit fuzzy, high school was over 30 years ago and I was focusing on other things...that lightening smile, those dreamy eyes, that seductive intelligence ... but I do remember him taking books I hated and bringing them to life. Othello, The Tempest, The Taming of the Shrew all made sense when HE read them. I began a life-long love of Shakespeare under his tutelage.

I hated To Kill a Mockingbird (I know can you believe that!) until it was brought to life in class discussion and it has since remained my all time favourite book, re-read many times. In fact, when I think about it, I really didn’t like most of my high school books until we deconstructed them in class. 1984, Lord of the Flies, Animal Farm, Great Expectations were all turned around from hated to loved under closer examination.

The standout unsalvageable was Greene’s The Power and the Glory – never conquered the wordiness or engaged witht the subject.

There’s often one teacher in your career that makes a difference and for me it was Mr Rule. While I was convinced that I was not ‘academically minded’ (the euphemism of the day for not so bright), Mr Rule, wrote in my 6th form autograph book that once I got to English at university there’d be no stopping me. University! I kept that thought alive for over 20 years. I wish there was some way that I could tell him he was right – that I loved uni when I started as an undergrad at 41 and, just between you and me, I’d love to to share my 6.0 GPA with all the ‘well meaning’ but unobservant knockers of my childhood.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

classic characters

BTT is a long running bookish meme. To join in pop over and read the 100's of interesting comments. A meaty question this week…

Do you think any current author is of the same calibre as Dickens, Austen, Bronte, or any of the classic authors? If so, who, and why do you think so? If not, why not? What books from this era might be read 100 years from now?

The meaty bit about this question is defining 'calibre'. Dickens, Austen Bronte, those pedestal gods of ‘good’ literature, cast a long shadow. If by calibre you mean their way with language, the way they engage with and confront their culture and ideology, their status as part of the cannon then no because the old boys club of the cannon is hard to breach.

On the other hand if you’re talking about an author's way with language, engagement with and confrontation of their culture and ideology, and total disregarding the cannon…then yes! of course there are writers today who are up to the challenge.

My picks for those authors in the same league as Bronte, Austen & Dickens? Arundhati Roy, Tracy Chevalier, Margaret Attwood, Geraldine Brooks, Tim Winton, Markus Zusak, Ian McEwan…there’s seven authors just off the top of my head without even stopping to think too hard - wonderful work that will still be read a hundred years from now and hopefully contributing to a new cannon!

What about you, who do you think of as a classically great writer? - go on add to mt TBR I dare you :)

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

I love this meme hosted by Marcia at The Printed Page. Pop over to The Printed Page from time to time to see if you can catch some gorgeous cover attractions over there.

I've seen the other cover for Her Fearful Symmetry by Audrey Niffenegger but I like this one better. I loved loved loved The Time Traveller's Wife so have high expectations for this wish-list book.

Teaser Wednesday - doesn't have quite the same ring does it

hosted by MizB @ Should be Reading.
* Grab your current read & let it fall open.
* Share 2 “teaser” sentences, somewhere between lines 7 and 12.
* Share the title of the book… remember...
**************************avoid spoilers please****************************

I'd like to tell you

I'd fallen head....................................over heals in love
with Derk. I did.........................feel something, but
it wasn't the............hearts and flowers
kind of live in my

Looking back, it...............................seems I should
have been in love.......................with him. We did
all the things..................two people in
love were supposed
to do. Maybe

I love verse novels ewre form reflects meaning! This is from Burned by Ellen Hopkins P.125

Monday, November 16, 2009

Musing on Monday

Musing Mondays (BIG) Musing Monday is hosted by Becca of Just One More Page. Pop over and read lots of interesting comments & post your own.

Today Bethlehem-Becca (she really loves Christmas but I can’t call her Christmas Becca no alliteration there) asks…With the holiday season now upon us, have you left any hint – subtle or otherwise – for books family and friends might buy you for Christmas? Do you like to receive books, or do you prefer certificates so you can choose your own?

ooo this is a hard one I so love gift certificates and getting to choose for myself but you know that we've talked about gift certicates before...AND I do LOVE Christmas presents...lookin at them under the tree, Christmas morning mayhem of unwrapping so I for Christams I'd jave to go with the list over the voucher.

We’re a Christmas-list family, ever since that dreadful year when Father Christmas missed the boat in spectacular fashion. Mummy was greeted with the saddest Christmas face ever after the contents of the stocking were searched and the stocking was turned inside-out in incredulous disbelief. No coal but no pink Nintendo DS either… how could he have got it sooooooooo wrong! Quick boxing day shopping did not undo the trauma of not getting the exact right thing – apparently it’s not the same if Mum buys it, and to be fair it’s really not the same getting the ‘desired’ after the 25th!

Even though the cherubs are grown-ups now I still get them to write out a wish-list that includes specifics (not risking that Christmas disappointment ever again). I need titles from no 2 because he reads so voraciously I now have little idea of what he has/hasn't read. No 1 gives generalities 'I'd like biographies this year' and no 3? Well she's still finding her reading niche so I'll just get her some titles I think she'll like.

Thanks to blogging I now have a wish-list easily accessible for any potential present-givers but just in case this is too subtle I’ve also added titles to my paper list (which is on my bedside table in case any family happen to be reading this). I can cross one off my Dad has already got me The 19th Wife by David Ebershoff, I know this because I do his Christmas shopping (he is 90 after all).

Friday, November 13, 2009

life IS too short

BTT is a long running bookish meme. To join in pop over and read the 100's of interesting comments.

I'm bit late but nevertheless yesterday's question was an interesting one so I'm playing belatedly, this week’s question is…

Do you read everything all the way through or do you feel life really is too short to read bad books?

Really life IS too short and Mt TBR too high to force yourself to read something you’re not enjoying. When I finished my degree (actually while I was slogging it out during my degree) I promised myself to never again endure the torture of great books waiting on Mt TBR while I punished myself with mediocre.
As always this declaration has an exception in the case of bookclub. If we’ve got a book I’m not enjoying I will persevere (most often but not always) so that I can be an informed part of the discussion. Actually so I can bang on about how much I didn’t like it – with examples!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Cover attraction

I love this meme hosted by Marcia at The Printed Page. Pop over to The Printed Page from time to time to see if you can catch some gorgeous cover attractions over there.

I came upon this I happened upon Wild Thyme gorgeous blog while wondering through the web instead of paying attention to cooking dinner…as you do. I spent enough time there to burn the veg and find this beautiful book cover…

Mrs Delany Isn’t just the way that when something is brought to your attention (paper cut on your pinkie finger which finger you otherwise you never notice) you just keep bumping into it.

Since last weeks BTT I keep finding biographies I want to read, like this one about British aristocrat and artist Mary Delany. She was friend to Jonathan Swift, corresponded with Sir Joseph Banks, moved in circles that included George III and Queen Charlotte and was so expert at decoupage that some of her art survives in the British Museum.

Too many interesting books – not enough cooking (housework) –free time!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

hosted by MizB @ Should be Reading.
* Grab your current read & let it fall open.
* Share 2 “teaser” sentences, somewhere between lines 7 and 12.
* Share the title of the book… remember...
**************************avoid spoilers please****************************

I’ve tried praying.
It gives me comfort.
But not as much as a cup of tea
and a ginger nut biscuit.

Cold Skin Steven Herrick P100

Now we're talking! this book is so much more the type of book I like to read (I'm comparing it to the last Australian book I read The Slap by Christos Tsiolkas). It is gorgeous writing and the reflects an ideology with which I can engage happily.

Monday, November 9, 2009

more shelves please

Musing Mondays (BIG) Musing Monday is hosted by Becca of Just One More Page. Pop over and read lots of interesting comments & post your own. This week book-shelf Queen Becca asks…

Does your house have a communal bookshelf? If not, is your bookshelf centrally located so everyone has access to it?

We have bookshelves everywhere in our house. Each of us has one (or more) personal shelf in their room and there’s two in my study and another in the family room. These shelves are crammed with ‘overflow’. #2 and I are probably the best(?) worst(?) when it comes to shelves. We both have a TBR beside our bed and another in our bedrooms jampacked with TBR overflow and the family room shelf is often used when we cannot fit new arrivals into our rooms.

there is a common cry in our house – we need more shelves – which makes MGM groan!

Friday, November 6, 2009

10 best(?) firsts

Friday Firsts* Copy/paste the question and button.
* leave a comment and link to your post.
* Join in with the intermittent puzzle, (look for the answer the following FF). First correct answer = 1 pt.    A prize will go out on FF 1st anniversary ! (track your progress on my sidebar)…
First things first we had five points up for grabs last month and Becca got them all! straight to the top for you girl…

  • What book famously begins with what the narrator is not going to do...bang on with ‘all that David Copperfield kind of crap.’ The Catcher in the Rye
  • What is the iconic narrator’s name? Holden Caulfield
  • Who wrote it? J. D. Salinger
  • Who wrote the book referred to in the opening sentence? Charles Dickens
  • Which American punk band has a song about the book? Green Day

November’s Friday First is for my list loving friends. Below is a list of 10 Famous first lines that I copied from 100 best first lines from novels. How many have you read and how many make it onto Mt TBR on the strength of the first line alone?

1. Call me Ishmael. Herman Melville, Moby-Dick
2. It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife. Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice
3. A screaming comes across the sky. Thomas Pynchon, Gravity's Rainbow
4. Many years later, as he faced the firing squad, Colonel Aureliano Buendía was to remember that distant afternoon when his father took him to discover ice. Gabriel García Márquez, One Hundred Years of Solitude
5. Lolita, light of my life, fire of my loins. Vladimir Nabokov, Lolita
6. Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.  Leo Tolstoy, Anna Karenina
7. Riverrun, past Eve and Adam's, from swerve of shore to bend of bay, brings us by a commodious vicious of recirculation back to Howth Castle and Environs.  James Joyce, Finnegans Wake
8. It was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen. George Orwell, 1984
9. It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair. - Charles Dickens, A Tale of Two Cities
10. I am an invisible man. Ralph Ellison, Invisible Man

I’ve read four (1,2,8 and 9),  have  4, 5 & 6 already on Mt TBR and I think I’ll add 3 on the strength of this first line.

Puzzle: for three points: Where was Mary Lennox sent to live and what did everyone say about her looks? From which book does this fabulous first come?

Thursday, November 5, 2009

It’s all about them

BTT is a long running bookish meme. To join in pop over and read the 100's of interesting comments.
Which do you prefer? Biographies written about someone? Or Autobiographies written by the actual person (and/or ghost-writer)?

I’m not a big bio fan I must admit and I don’t mind if it’s an autobiography of a biography – it’s the person that attracts me. The last bio I read was Freda: a biography of Freda Whitlam. She interested me because she is a member of my church, sister to a past Prime Minister and has lead a very interesting life. I also know the author, Noelene Martin, so I was very curious to read both about Freda's life and sample Noelene’s writing skills.

I’ve read Michael J Fox’s first (Lucky Man) and his second (Always Looking Up) is on my Christmas reading list. I love the intimacy of the first hand autobiography so I’d probably choose an autobiography over a biography, unless the writer of the biography interested me in their own right – as Noelene did.

how about you…bio or autobio, or neither?

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

I love this meme hosted by Marcia at The Printed Page. Pop over to The Printed Page from time to time to see if you can catch some gorgeous cover attractions over there.

I haven’t read this book but Becca has and I just love the cover so it’s my cover attraction for this weekLFA I like the idea of using the before/after perspective that Jessica from Reading is Sexy describes. I have often discussed this idea when trying to steer my kids away from life’s hazards. I might suggest it as a read for #3 who’s reading tastes are very eclectic – she has Alice in Wonderland  and The Killer book of true crime on her bedside table (at the same time).

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Teaser Tuesday

hosted by MizB @ Should be Reading.
* Grab your current read & let it fall open.
* Share 2 “teaser” sentences, somewhere between lines 7 and 12.
* Share the title of the book… remember...
**************************avoid spoilers please****************************

boy in the striped pjs

Handsome, did you say? You foolish girl! Is that what you consider to be of importance in the world? p 92

Monday, November 2, 2009

In the book I’m reading at the moment…

Musing Mondays (BIG) Musing Monday is hosted by Becca of Just One More Page. Pop over and read lots of interesting comments & post your own. This week Book-babbler Becca asks...How much of your reading do you share with others (outside of blogging?) Do you belong to a book or library club? Do you trade books with friends? Do you tell others what you’re reading?

So many of my conversations begin with this line, ‘in the book I’m reading right now…’ I love sharing books with others. You know when you go to an art gallery, shopping, craft show, on holidays and the experiences are so much more enriching when you can ooo and aaa with someone else? Well reading is the same for me. It’s a great joy having grown-up children for many reasons as well as the long conversations about the book we’re reading which usually begin with ‘oh …you have got to read this book…’

I’m lucky to have some really good readers as close friends, some really close friends who are also bookclubers, and some really patient friends who are willing to listen to me bang on about the fabulous book I’m reading that they are not even remotely interested in - so that my reading is always a shared experience. I’m lucky too, that my friends get excited over whatever book is currently exciting me.

A perfect example…I’ve just discovered verse novels. They’re so amazing but I couldn’t quite nail down what it was that appealed to me but Becca knew! She knows my reading habits well enough to encapsulate for me just exactly why I would be attracted to verse novels AND she suggested two more (I’m reading my first one atm – Cold Skin by Steven Herrick) AND she borrowed them from the library AND hand delivered them to me at work today – now that’s sharing with others!

and I know we’re not supposed to talk about book blogging but that’s what We Read is all about - the shared experience that is reading **smiles contentedly**.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

The Slap by Christos Tsiolkas

(yes it’s the one I cut into three pieces)
[review[7].jpg] 485 pages
Genre: Family Saga
Tone: smutty realism
Rating: NMP
Fav lines:
Nup didn’t have one
First Line:
His eyes still shut, a dream dissolving and already
impossible to recall, Hector’s hand sluggishly reached
across the bed.

Synopsis: Hector and his wife Aisha invite friends and family to athe slap BBQ and in the course of the backyard cricket match one small child is disciplined by an adult – not his parent – via a slap on the bum. The fall out from this event, told from the the perspectives of eight adults, is the plot of this book.

What do I think? Firstly, no one should take the disciplining of a child out of the parent’s hands even if said parent isn’t doing a good job unless, of course, they are putting the child’s life/health/well being in jeopardy. This is the main social taboo dealt with in The Slap. The others; teenage sex/drug use, adultery, smoking, homosexuality, wife beating, the nanny state, mixed in with the hot button issues of racism, dysfunctional relationships, culture clash & religion combine to create a world with which many will identify.

I didn’t like one single character in this book which made it a hard read for me. I don’t like graphic sex, expletive language or melodrama either, hence the low rating. This is not what the world is like for me and I’m grateful. This book has won a swag of awards…

  • Winner, Overall Best Book the Commonwealth Writer's Prize 2009
  • Winner, ABIA Literary Fiction Book of the Year 2009
  • Overall Book of the Year 2009Winner
  • ABA Book of the Year 2009
  • Winner, ALS Gold Medal 2009
  • Winner, Victorian Premier's Literary Awards 2009
  • Shortlisted for the Miles Franklin Prize 2009 & the Colin Roderick Award 2008
  • so maybe it’s me who’s out of touch but you know what I missed most when reading this book? Australian ideology. Where is the she’ll be right mate laconic sense of humour, where is everyone deserves a fair go? When did we start taking ourselves so seriously?

    Maybe I’m too old to read this new young stuff. I just wanted to get them all together in a room and say get over yourselves and get a bit of perspective…a kid got slapped at a barbie, the adult apologised, it happens, that’s life move on – don’t make me wade through 485 pages of filthy swearing, unattractive sex, unpleasant internal monologues only to fizzle out to everybody living unhappily ever after in soap-opera Australia in the end.

    I would not have read this if it weren’t for bookclub so bookclub is doing it’s job - forcing me outside my comfort zone. It did generate some interesting discussion many really enjoyed it – they must think like the judges who have rewarded this book so handsomely. Hey it’s not the first time I’ve been in the minority!

    Wednesday, October 28, 2009

    cover attraction

    Maria's not posting cover attractions on Wednesdays anymore - but I'm sticking with it because I love this meme hosted by Marcia at The Printed Page. Pop over to The Printed Page from time to time to see if you can catch some gorgeous cover attractions over there.

    New to mt TBR Moral Relativism Steven Lukes

    I was attracted to this book by its cover. I don't know much about Moral Realativism but Wikipedia says it 'is the position that moral or ethical propositions do not reflect universal moral truths (neither objective nor subjective). Instead, Moral Relativism makes claims relative to social, cultural, or historical circumstances.'

    Doesn't that sound interesting for our times? Well I think so and it's on my reading list now.

    Edit: With apologies to Wanda, when I say Marcia isn't posting Cover attractions any more the emphasis should have been more on the 'on Wednesdays anymore' rather than the 'not posting'. Marcia's still posting cover attractions she's just doing them randomly as they appeal to her rather than always on a Wednesday click here for the goss straight from the blogger’s mouth

    Tuesday, October 27, 2009

    hosted by MizB @ Should be Reading.
    * Grab your current read & let it fall open.
    * Share 2 “teaser” sentences, somewhere between lines 7 and 12.
    * Share the title of the book… remember...
    **************************avoid spoilers please****************************

    back to The Slap for this week's teaser...and just so you know my first two random options were too raunchy to put up on this blog. Really do we need that much sex in one book? - not my cup-of-tea at all, actually find it a bit monotonous and therefore boring, good job we’re not all the same – wouldn’t it be a lacklustre world!

    His face brightened and he turned around to face them.
    Watch the road, Aisha wanted to scream at him. p 376

    Monday, October 26, 2009

    Musing Mondays (BIG) Musing Monday is hosted by Becca of Just One More Page. Pop over and read lots of interesting comments & post your own. This week Book-note Becca asks...Do you take notes while reading – either for your reviews or for yourself? How/where do you make these notes (on the page, post-its, scrap paper, notebooks etc)?

    Becca she doesn't take many notes now but I don't believe her. Let me tell you she is never without a note book, is totally addicted to buying them and cannot resist the urge to ‘write it down’ while she thinks of it so I’m a little sceptical about ‘just stick in a post-it for any interesting passages to come back to later.’

    That said I’m hopeless at note taking. Becca will tell you that I take notes in margins, in any blank spaces on the cover or the fly page and much to Becca’s chagrin I do it in pen. As my recent vandalism of books with a knife shows I am not at all precious about books which comes as a surprise to me because I thought I was.

    I do love them passionately but I also am happy to make them mine with notes, tearing them into sections or altering them and I suppose this is where my dishonouring of the book as a distinct entity began. Altered books is a derivation of scrapbooking that I have grown to love. Once you’ve given a book new life by altering it you never look at the same way. The fist one I did was rescued from a reject bin at reverse garbage. It was a beautiful Catholic prayer book with rice paper pages and guilt edging. I remade it into a keepsake for a friends 40th. The first time I cut into those beautiful pages I went weak at the knees but the end result was a new lease on life for a book too beautiful to recycle to pulp.

    Books should be living things. Notes, artistic rendering, inscriptions only increase the living of a book I say go for it ...note it up! (maybe not so much of the cutting into pieces though I may not do that ever again).>

    Friday, October 23, 2009

    Reading or the book

    What’s more important? This week I have done two things that, in hindsight, prioritise reading over the book.

    The first is not so radical…I loaned out a time of my lifevirgin read. Yes that’s right I lent a friend a brand-new (my latest acquisition in fact), straight-from-the-new bookshop-never-been-read book. I was telling my work friends about Time of my Life by Allison Winn Scotch and one of them was really interested in reading it with her book club. When I saw it all pristine, perched precariously on the summit of Mt TBR I thought I should take it in for her. Everything rebelled. It’s mine, it’s new, it’s never been read …then I thought… that’s ridiculous! It’s beautiful, it has a great premise, it should be read. So I took it in for Annette to read and I feel better knowing that someone else will enjoy it while I’m whittling down Mt TBR a bit.

    The second thing may freak you out a bit. the slapThe BookFreaks (my bookclub) are reading The Slap by Christos Tsiolkas. Three members of my family part of BookFreaks and generally we pass the book amongst usually starting with me (the purchser) but at 483 pages I’m struggling to finish it in time pass it on and the poor third person in line will be still reading it in the car on the way to bookclub with NO hope of finishing. My solution? cut the book into three and give each person a section to get started. This book lends itself to reading like this because each section tells a different point of view of the same event. I broached the topic at work today over lunch to a vastly mixed response. Becca leapt straight into apoplexy, while Renae did a bit of excited laughing and hand clapping and Sarah told us all to get over being so precious about books - ‘they’re tools ‘she said ‘use them as you will.’

    So after discussing this with MGM, and being roundly condemned for even thinking of it (and he’s not even a reader!), #1 and I decided to go ahead … if you’re squeamish avert your eyes…DSC_0030

    It’s like the little boy on the cover can see the knife!


    me at my MOST attractive




    here we go knife to book!



    Oh No!!! I did it! 








                                              A bit for me, a bit for #1 and a bit for #2

    DSC_0040#1 in shock ‘Did my mother (the librarian) really just do that’ ?!? 

    This way three people will read a book instead of one. Was it worthwhile? I don’t know yet. This book is distasteful, so far there is no character with whom I can relate or even like,  but it does deal with some hot button topics. It will generate some heated discussion along age and possibly gender lines in which, thanks to my vandalism, all AllanFreaks can now participate.

    what do you think am I a sacrilegious vandal or inspired rebel?