We read...

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

Friday, May 29, 2009

Friday First NOT!

sorry Friday Firsters too much life not enough living going on at We Read will be back next week…hopefully!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

take it or leave it but I know Freda so this was a MUST read


Freda: A Biography of Freda Whitlam by Noelene Martin
Length: 319 p
genre: biography
Tone: conspiracy
Rating: **Shrug**

Fav lines: For moments like this, I always kept a supply of books that I had read before on hand. They included dome children’s books, but all were books I had previously enjoyed. I knew when I read them again, they would lift my spirits. p267freda

Freda has lived an amazing life and not just because she was the sister of the Prime Minister of Australia, although she did enjoy some perks that went with that relationship. She studied at Yale, spent missionary-time in France, was the principal of PLC Croydon for 19 years, and was a leading light the Uniting Church. She speaks at least for languages, has multiple degrees including an honorary doctorate from the university she helped establish – UWS.

She has had great highs – travelling the world, meeting important people Indira Ghandi for example and great lows usually at the hands of the unscrupulous or the petty-minded. Some of the lows she’ brought on herself but equally she can claim to having made the highs happen too for if nothing else Freda is an independent woman.

Knowing all of this make me feel a voyeuristic because Freda goes to my church and sits on several committees with me. Like many who meet her I’ve at times been a bit intimidated by her intelligence and position. At other times I’ve been angered by her handling of certain situations and then again I’ve rejoiced at having her in our midst because she is wise and clever and willing to lead. But now all of these responses fall into place because, after reading this book, I feel I know her a little better (or a little too much).

Not being a fan of the genre It’s hard to judge how this book sits within the context of biography. I know the author too and while I think Noelene did a great job capturing Freda ‘warts and all’ I think her editor let her down. Maybe I have expectations too high in this day and age of texting and general mutilation of the language but the syntax is just too lax, there’s some typos and there’s some jarring subject leaps that detract from the overall cohesiveness. This is a pity because Freda’s story is an interesting one…from the jacket blurb ‘she has been a leader in education and the Church, a leader of women and a force to be reckoned with in Western Sydney…pithy, witty, intimidating, sometimes eccentric’ Freda will inspire you so I’d recommend this if you like biographies and are not too much of a pedant about the writing.

Monday, May 25, 2009

To buy or not to buy


Musing Monday is a weekly meme hosted by Becca of Just One More Page. Pop over and read lots of interesting comments & post your own.

This week Birthday-Book-Buying-Becca asks…

Do you give gift certificates to book stores as presents? If so, do you give for actual stores or online stores? Do you like to receive them yourself?

In general I’m not a big fan of the gift certificate which I regard as a lazy present giving. I like to surprise people with a gift that suits them but if I’m stuck I’d rather give up on the surprise, ask what they want and get it rather than giving a voucher and letting the receiver slog it out at the shops. This probably comes both from my loathing of shopping and living with a Mum who put a lot of thought into what she gave. She never had much money and it was always a challenge for her to get something the receiver would appreciate without wasting precious, scarce resources on something that would be admired once and quickly cast aside.

For book-lovers, however, I do break my self-imposed gift voucher ban, always for actual shops rather than online. Firstly because I can see the charm of book shopping as part of the gift and, secondly, I can appreciate the guilt-free-ness of going into a bookshop armed with the means of purchasing a much desired book (without having to dive into the grocery-shopping money).

This is not a general rule for book lovers though. For younger ones I like to buy a book for them and am honoured when they read it and are amazed. My son preferred me to choose books, rather than vouchers, for a long time because he said I knew better than he did what he’d like.

I L-O-V-E getting bookshop vouchers and can totally relate to Becca's love of just having a voucher. I feel empowered by knowing I have a voucher in my wallet because, when I’m browsing, I can pick up a book knowing I can possess it – which makes a difference even if I don’t go home with said drooled over book. I can’t manage to hold on them though, if I’ve got one I try to make it last over several shopping visits but can only stand back in awe at Becca who seems to be able to hold on to one for 12 months!

Top 3 by the C

My top 3 responses by the commenters extraordinaire on my blog.

1.Mary said: Looks like I may need to add Roger Ackroyd to my TBR list.

Mary if you’re a who-dun-it fan this is a must for your TBR shelf!

2. Nise' said about my TT: A great teaser! We have a wonderful lady at church who is in her 80', has never been married and says she never felt the need for a man. It must be a generational thing because Freda is also in her 80s, part of my church family, sister Australia’s 21st Prime Minister. Strong,  independent & happily single.

3. Whilst I lovingly refer to my good friend Becca as the Guru she, somewhat deflatingly, refers to me as ‘dork’ you didn't have to go back and edit it, you dork…of course I had to edit I’d hate to disappoint!

Friday, May 22, 2009

First-to-hand first

Friday Firsts* Copy/paste the question and button.
* leave a comment and link to your post.
* There'll a puzzle, sometimes, answers next Friday. First correct answer = 1 pt.    A prize will go out on FF 1st anniversary ! (track your progress on my sidebar)… *Lastly let me know what you think... got ideas for improvements?

I was in the bookshop last night (I know you’re all surprised & shocked) and I had 19th Wife by David Ebershoff in my hand and the first line is DDG (Drop Dead Gorgeous) r-e-a-l-l-y made me want to read it was such a great teaser. So this week, as I’m so late getting this up, let’s have an easy FF…grab the closest reading matter to hand and let us have a first line teaser. I can’t give you the  19th Wife first line because I put it back …I know… can you believe it!  Poverty has reduced me to pragmatism.

So this is mine (from my .20 purchase).                                           Still I remember that homecoming we had, when we rode back to Aber from the assembly of all the chieftains of Wales, in the spring of the year of grace, one thousand and fifty eight.

The dragon at Noonday Edith Pargeter

Last week we had a choose your-own-adventure first line and this is what the contributions from Dianne, Nise', Becca & Vicki (no link - sorry I can’t access your profile) add up to…with a bit of help from me…

Andrew was worried about the piercing because the warning gave him a terrible sinking feeling that perhaps he shouldn’t have attempted  pierce that part of his anatomy on his own.

What fun & it’s a good start which I’ll work on towards a short story.

Puzzle: who has ‘just returned from a visit with his landlord’ having found himself in desolate countryside far from the ‘stir of society’? A: Nise’ was correct, it was Mr Lockwood. Dianne was on the right track, the quote was from Wuthering Heights but as it was a ‘who’ question I’m giving the point to Nise’…ah the devil’s in the details. :-)

Thursday, May 21, 2009

I can always pretend

  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 book would you love to be able to read again for the first time?

I’ve never thought about this before, usually I’m more focused on what can I get out of a re-read that I missed the first time. The first book the comes to mind is The Booktheif . Zusak’s brilliant turn of phrase and imagery to die for (bit of a pun there) is so refreshingly different that it blew me away and I’d like to have that feeling again although it’s so good I’d probably come at it for a re-read and still be blown away.

If I was into who-dun-its then I suppose reading Christies’ The Murder of Roger Ackroyd would be a good one to read again for the first time.

Spoiler alert….

I totally did not see that ending coming and I will never completely  trust a narrator ever again. I’m not a fan of the genre, I find it a bit too formulaic.

I would like to read LOTR with fresh eyes though. It was such a great experience being in Middle Earth for the first time, ah but then it’s always good to go back – & I can always pretend I don’t know who Strider is!

image This is a great time of year to be booky in Sydney. The SWF brings all things literary into the mainstream media. You’ll hear famous authors who’ve travelled to the antipodes being interviewed on the radio & see them on the tellie.

Germaine Greer is on town, heard her on the radio yesterday what a fascinating woman she is; David Ebershoff, who wrote the international best seller 19th Wife (can’t wait to read that); Kazuo Ishiguro and a host of international clever people mix it up with our clever locals to present lectures, workshops, conversations enough to inspire anyone.

If I had my druthers I’d go and see those I’ve already mentioned and Margo Lanagan, David Malouf, Garth Nix, David Williamson. This year, as I’m not working, I promised myself a SWF emersion but it all looks good on paper. When it comes right sown to it, fitting all this culture into my Mum-schedule isn’t easy. I did go last night with my good friend Becca to listen to Catherine Jinks in discussion with Phillip Gwynne at our local library. I love listening to writers talk about their art.

While I was there, or more importantly while Becca was with me, I had to check out the sales shelves. You know how some people get all the great stuff at sale price and then get extra knocDSC_0001ked off the price because they fronted up at just the right time? Well that’s NOT me. Not only am I a terrible shopper  – I often don’t find anything at all to buy.

Not Becca! She finds all the must-have books at .20 or less, it’s okay because it couldn’t happen to a nicer person. So last night I used her shopping skills to the full and came home with 4 books for under a $1.


Victorian Literature: Selected Essays Robert O. Preyer ed.            The English Novel: Form and Function Dorothy Van Ghent.             Eat Pray Love: One Woman’s Search for Everything Elizabeth Gilbert. The Dragon at Noonday Edith Pargeter

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

who needs men? well me… but Freda stands on her own two feet!

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
* leave a link to your Teaser in my comments or pop on over to Should Be Reading and get tantalising glimpses of other reads.

My teaser

Once when asked about her single status and if she had any regrets at never marrying, Freda simply shrugged. ‘After the war there were so few men around, I decided to leave them for the women who needed them’, she said.

Freda: a Biography of Freda Whitlam by Noelene Martin.

Monday, May 18, 2009

reading rules

Musing Mondays (BIG)Musing Monday is a weekly meme hosted by Becca of Just One More Page. Pop over and read lots of interesting comments & post your own. Today’s MUSING MONDAYS post is about early reading…

Do you remember how you developed a love for reading? Was it from a particular person, or person(s)? Do you remember any books that you read, or were read to you, as a young child? (question courtesy of Diane)

My love of reading must be attributed to two firm philosophies shared by my parents:

1. you’re never alone if you have a book. As an only child growing up on an isolated dairy farm my complaint was either ‘I’m bored’ or ‘I want someone to play with’, which to both, my mother would apply the above philosophy. As a dyslexic (before it was cool or even recognised) I couldn’t understand the attraction of reading. For me books only came alive in my Mother’s hands. She read to me every night. It was a special, cosy, loving time that I treasured even then. We read Winnie the Pooh (E.H. Shepherd illustrations are still my favourite), Uncle Remus stories (Brer Rabbit was just so clever), and all the little girl classics (Heidi, Alice, Anne, Katie) and of course Peter Pan (the only time I found a Wendy in a book). She read to me long passed the ‘normal’ age which ‘babying’ caused my parents to argue. Mum persevered because she knew I couldn’t read, never mentioned it or criticised or doubted that it wouldn’t ‘work itself out in the fullness of time’ (another of Mum’s philosophies). If she hadn’t I wouldn’t be able to read now let alone embrace it with a passion.

2. words = power. Okay it wasn’t said in those terms but Dad was a journalist and very careful with language. It was important for both my parents that I understand the way words worked. Reading gave us access to news, as we didn’t have a tellie, & entertainment. There was a clear distinction drawn between the language used for news and novels, it was a priority for my Dad that I understand both what I read and how to communicate. We discussed etymology every time I asked for a definition and I was instructed to find the dictionary for spelling (the irony of which appealed to me). I was introduced to ‘good’ writing and steered away from ‘rubbish’ by my book-snob parents. It was a good many decades before I broke this habit to find virtue in all writing (well most – I still don’t like profanity).

edit: Musing Monday sponsored by baby-book-Becca

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Top 3 by the C

My top 3 responses by the commenters extraordinaire on my blog.

1. Yvette : I spent my entire afternoon eating ALL of my chocolates!!

Now that’s the way to handle chocolates – a girl after my won heart!

2. Becca You did a wonderful job! Two things:
1) how long did it take you to do that? I can imagine it would be hard
2) I'm kinda scared, seeing as I know of your cooking history? Should the family be warned...?

Answer: 1) not long to execute - did it while I was supposedly watching netball (don’t tell Em) but longer in the thinking – have been mulling of over for a couple of weeks & enjoying it too.          2) if I’m cooking …be afraid, very afraid :)

3. Friday firsters (btw - welcome to Vicki) who have created a great first line for anyone looking for inspiration. Anyone else wanting to join in just add to the comments of this week’s Friday First and pop back nest week for the spectacular result!

Thank you everyone who takes the time to comment on We Read, it’s really encouraging to hear from you all and know that we are not alone.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

ABC… with me

Reading Robyn’s always informative & thought provoking My Two Blessings I bumped into this idea and slotted it away to ponder. Robyn was inspired by Davin of Literary Lab to have a go at this…

Here's an exercise that demonstrates how flexible sentence structure can be. Write a story using 26 sentences. Start each sentence with a different letter of the alphabet, using A for the first sentence, B for the second sentence, C for the third sentence, et cetera. Even though it might feel a little challenging at first, you'll realize that you can still create a logical sequence of events, even with this strict rule in place. The language and sentence patterns you'll end up using will have much more variety.

Pop over and read Robyn’s clever Alphabet Mystery which inspired me to have a go too…

Socrates’ Wife

Adriana Yates was a practical woman so she kept her hair short and suffered the persistent curls that gave her a frayed at the edges look. Before she went to her rest each night she committed her chicks to the care of a higher power but she couldn’t help wondering what the Almighty was going to do about Henry. Clearly something needed doing. Drowning as he was in his own special soup of slights and rejections and not measuring up. Every evening he arrived home with a bottle in each hand and two or three already on board, working their mischief. Fear framed Adriana’s days and forced her down into the river of quiet that ran deep and slow, to lie at the bottom and wait.

Gratefully she cultivated this well of quiet, where bruises and brakes could mend, where planning and prayer could coexist, where the real Adriana would not be lost. Henry didn’t know about Adriana’s quiet because he never looked into her grey green eyes that were once as alive as any cat’s. If he had taken the time to look at her at all he might have had some warning.

June was drifting zephyr-like into July, making days shorter and evenings longer. Knowing the status quo wouldn’t be viable for very much longer didn’t make what she had to do any easier, but she must consider the children. Leaving was not an option, he would follow. Maybe he meant it that last time, maybe there wouldn’t be another time to suffer and curl like a caterpillar poked with a pointy stick.

No – she must accept the evidence of the mirror, her marriage had failed and she was not the cause. Only one way out then.

Prepare, plan, pray.

Quietness was getting harder to find, she knew it and she also knew she could not survive without its refuge. Resisting the temptation to say what she was planning out loud, Adriana was silent. Silence is a powerful weapon and Henry was momentarily disarmed.

‘Talk damnit woman,’ he said one night when he’d had enough, ‘or are you so stupid you can’t string a sentence together to tell me what I’m having for dinner?’

Usually she’d placate him with a drink, placed gently in his hand as she shepherded him to his chair. Very quietly she’d say, chops darling, but not tonight, she must know he hated having to do this.

‘Why don’t you ever listen?’ he said, raising a fist.

Xanthippe it was who greeted his assault that evening, she’d tucked Adriana safely away in the quiet. Yielding to the frypan applied directly to his face, Henry was brought down, the back of his head neatly collecting the edge of the table on its way the floor. Zombie-like she found the phone and tried to think of what number she should dial.

Friday, May 15, 2009


Friday Firsts* Copy/paste the question & button.
* leave a comment and link to your post.
* There'll a puzzle, sometimes, answers next Friday. Most consistent first correct answer will get a prize (after the Guru shows me how I can do that).
*Lastly let me know what you think... got ideas for improvements?

I thought we’d have a bit of blog-o-sphere fun this week by creating our own first line! I’ll get it started, you contribute a word or a few (not more than three) and I’ll put them together (not necessarily in the order they arrived) and we’ll see what we get. Tell your friends to join in and we may even end up with a more than just a first line.

let’s start with

Andrew was worried…

Puzzle: who has ‘just returned from a visit with his landlord’ having found himself in desolate countryside far from the ‘stir of society’?

Book Lust

btt button

BTT is a long running bookish meme. To join in pop over and read the 100's of interesting comments. Mariel suggested this week’s question:

Book Gluttony! Are your eyes bigger than your book belly? Do you have a habit of buying up books far quicker than you could possibly read them? Have you had to curb your book buying habits until you can catch up with yourself? Or are you a controlled buyer, only purchasing books when you have run out of things to read?

Actually I call it book lust. Being in bookshops. libraries – to be surrounded by all those words crafted into sometimes gorgeous binding, is my idea of bliss. Even a Science and Engineering collection where I’m not actually interested in what’s on the inside I love just being with them. Some people find stacks creepy not me, book-lust trumps claustrophobia. My dream would be to have my own library and I know this is a dream I share with many other book-lusters.

We covet, we desire walls and walls of them, their rippling spines form myriad rainbows, their paper perfuming the air. I buy too many, way more than I will ever be able to read & there’s no way I could wait to read all I have before I bought more. It’s an addiction secreted under a thin veil of respectability and only controlled by means (or lack thereof).

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

the cutest thing ever!

DSC_0282 This is what my clever children gave me for Mother’s day. It’s a book seat which, as you can see, holds my book for me so I can tuck my arms in under the covers. So I remain toasty warm as the evenings cool down.

And I got the Long Way Around to go in it too. I know my love of books is hidden under a very thin veneer (well not really) bit I still  love it that my kids listen to me and know me well enough to organise this themselves – there was no hinting about this at all.


I also got a heap of other stuff, they framed my (disappointingly ordinary) testamur, a yoga mat (pink) and they were all home which I love. they cooked me a yummy dinner (garlic lobster!) and generally spoilt me rotten.

Cool huh.

Monday, May 11, 2009

second verse, same as the first.


Musing Monday is a weekly meme hosted by Becca of Just One More Page. Pop over and read lots of interesting comments & post your own.

This week Back –to-the-Beginning-Becca asks…

Have you ever finished a book, then turned around and immediately re-read it? Why? What book(s)? (question courtesy of MizB)

I don’t do this as often with books as with movies, I just couldn’t wait to see The Sixth Sense again to check for incongruence and logic flaws. There are many books once read I know I’ll return to again; LOTR, Lymond, TKOMB, Stewart’s Merlin cycle to name a few but I don’t think I’ve ever fronted up straight away to re-read a whole book.

For uni I would finish a book and immediately return to the first chapter and other key chapters that I needed to understand for a Tut discussion or essay. And for my own grasp of the story I have sometimes stopped and gone back to re-read for clarity. I had to do this with The God of Small things. The opening chapter is very clever but you only realise that as you go along. I found re-reading this whilst in the midst of the experience enhanced it greatly. Also the second time through I made out a family tree as I was struggling to keep all the unusual names in my head. I am really looking forward to talking this book through with my bookclub (I LOVE by bookclub!)

And I have to agree with Becca I too went back to re-read parts of The Bokktheif straight away but that was mainly because I wasn’t ready to say goodbye to that particular book.

p.s. dear Guru live writer is the gun.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Top3 (or 4) by the C

top 3 by the c

Couldn’t pick tree this week, but two are kinda the same so…

1. Cecilia from The Epic Rat said I tried to find your email address but couldn't…should I have my email address on my blog?

2. Caite from A Lovely Shore Breeze said am I the only person not anxious about my huge TBR piles, but comforted? hours and hours of future pleasure and escape.... A mantra I have adopted *my tbr is my friend*.

3. Robin of Robin of My Two Blessings said *snort* Yep, it's the book bloggers fault. You post has given me the giggles. Thankfully I wasn't drinking at the time or it would have been all over the keyboard. Which made me laugh at the mental picture…& Christina of Reading Through the Night" Right now for example my TBRA Self is shouting, "Get off the bloody internet, you've got books to read! …so funny

Saturday, May 9, 2009


Disquiet by Julia Leigh
121 pages
Genre: Family saga
Tone: quirky macabre
Rating: VPI (well not exactly pleasant but intriguing)

Fav lines: She shed her dress. Stepping forward, she incrementally immersed herself in the icy water, the lake close like a glove. Vile baptism.

First Line: They stood before the great gateway, all around an empty and open countryside, ugly countryside, flat mud-ploughed fields.

This book was on my RBF (recommended by friends) TBR pile, thanks to Renae for a 'you must read this'. It was an easy one to knock off the list, a read in one session read. It is, however, not at all easy to dismiss in a finished-one-move-on-to-the-next kind of way. Rather it’s one of those short stories that stay with you, hauntingly.

In such a limited word count economy is necessary so, while the words tell the story, the melancholy of a deeply flawed family is deftly evoked in the silences. The opening line sets the scene anywhere, anytime providing no context for the reader to sit comfortably and thereby, positions the reader in unsettled ‘disquiet’ which is further developed in the unnerving unravelling of the narrative. Alliteration of great gateway highlights the obstacle while emotive words, ‘empty’, ‘ugly’ and ‘flat’ set the somewhat gothic mood.

In the next couple of sentences we see the children are wearing backpacks and the woman can’t access the gate’s palm-pad entry, so we recognise a modern temporal space but the place is still unknown. After forcing an entry to her family home, breaching a secret gate in somewhat heavy-handed symbolism, the woman and her children are introduced to the readers as they are introduced to her estranged family. Olivia has returned home ‘I needed to come home’ as a prodigal but her brother returns home clearly as the favourite.

Marcus comes through the front door, bringing his obviously upset wife and their dead baby with him. Yes, that’s right I said dead baby. It seems that the pair have come from the stillbirth of their child to the family estate to mourn and bury their child – Alice. So here’s were the quirky comes in…Sophie carries Alice everywhere. In the evening they make a nice bed ‘we have to make it – comfortable’ for her in the freezer (to stave off decomp), and Sophie suckles Marcus (her husband) to deal with her unnecessary lactation.

Family, the strange and glorious things we do to one anther, is a strong theme throughout this story. Husbands and wives, brothers and sisters, mothers and children all have repeating and richly symbolic storylines. One mother has come to set her affairs in order both by reconciling with her own mother thereby securing a future for the children. As a battered wife she has given up on her own future, refers to herself as ‘murdered’ rather than preparing for suicide. As readers we are distanced from her through the device of ‘the woman’. She is only ever referred to as Olivia in conversation with other characters. As the narrator interacts with reader she is simply the woman. Her melancholy stems from the thing that cannot be mourned – her dead marriage to an abusive husband who looms ominously just out of frame.

One mother has come to bury her dead baby. This is her sadness, her misery, but her melancholy is a deeper thing. Melancholy is, by definition that which cannot be mourned and for Sophie it resides in the adultery of her husband. This ‘other’ looms large too through the intrusiveness of mobile phones and the ‘crazy lady’ on the other end of the line.

The third mother must welcome home; a daughter, broken by ill-advised choices; a son, who has a child but is not a father; grandchildren 9 and 11, whom she has never met and one who is dead. Watching them all make sense of their lives is riveting reading.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

non-first-line firsts

Friday Firsts* Copy/paste the question & button.
* leave a comment and link to your post.
* There'll a puzzle, sometimes, answers next Friday. Most consistent first correct answer will get a prize (after the Guru shows me how I can do that).
*Lastly let me know what you think... got ideas for improvements?

the guru says she finds first lines a bit of a challenge so I’m going for something a bit different this week.

Barbara from Stray Thoughts got this meme from Melli who got it from Thom, who got it from… (well you know how it goes) but it looks like fun so join in if you like it too by copying and answering these questions:

First Book I Remember Reading:
First Job:
First Real Job:
First Favorite Politician:
First Car:
First Record/CD:
First Sport Played:
First Concert:
First Foreign Country Visited:
First Favorite TV Show:
First Favorite Actor:
First Favorite Actress:
First Girlfriend/Boyfriend:
First Encounter with a Famous Person:
First Brush With Death:
First House/Condo Owned:
First Film Seen:
First Favorite Recording Artist:
First Favorite Radio Station:
First Meme You Answered on Your Blog:

here are mine

First Book I Remember Reading: Milly Molly Mandy – how reading influences our lives! To this day my happy place is a ‘little white cottage with the thatched roof)
first Job: picking fruit in my boyfriend’s farm (cheap labour)
First Real Job: as a photographer’s apprentice (it felt like being the sorcerer’s apprentice the things he could do with a camera! Made everyone look like a million dollars)
First Favorite Politician: Paul Keating
First Car: sky blue Datsun 1200 (independence was sweet)
First Record/CD: Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue with a b side of An American in Paris
First Sport Played: tennis (not very successfully)
First Concert: Sherbet

First Country Visited: Vanuatu
First Favorite TV Show: Adventure Island each episode opened with the hostess reading from a book in an enchanted forest.
First Favorite Actor: Gilligan
First Favorite Actress: Samantha Bewitched
First Boyfriend: Greg, I was 9 and he was 10. A summer romance 2 weeks at East’s beach. We didn’t even exchange addresses but my first experience of that physical attraction zing
First Encounter with a Famous Person: I was presented to Gough Whitlam (who was then Prime Minister) at my debut.
First Brush With Death: being taken in a rip when I was about 10. Those rocks looked mighty scary and I can remember absolute desolation watching my Mum turn and run away from me. She had to get help of course, she knew she was not strong enough to swim against a rip like that. She told me years later that breaking contact with my terrified eyes it was one of her hardest parenting moments.
First House Owned: the one we moved into 6 months after we married (25 yers ago) and share ownership with the bank still.
First Film Seen: The Sound of Music
First Favorite Recording Artist: Joan Baez
First Favorite Radio Station: 2sm
First Meme You Answered on Your Blog: Monday Musing

How Lucky am I!

Got the picture at last! (without the animation am determined to work this out)

I have received the Heartfelt award from Desert Rose and when I read what the award means it really made my day (which is saying a lot because I’m stuck in bed feeling miserable on the verge of the flu).
This is what the award means..

Do you reach for a cup of cocoa or tea when you’re relaxing, seeking comfort, sharing a plate of cookies with family & friends?You know that feeling you get when you drink a yummy cup of cocoa, tea ~ or a hot toddy?That is what the Heartfelt award is all about, feeling warm inside : ].I wanted to create something to express that toasty feeling.

The Rules:
1) Put the logo on your blog/post.
2) Nominate up to 9 blogs which make you feel comfy or warm inside.
3) Be sure to link to your nominees within your post.
4) Let them know that they have been nominated by commenting on their blog.
5) Remember to link to the person from whom you received your award.

So I’m sending this award off to the following five only (I’m sick remember). These are Blogs I visit regularly, that never fail to make me smile, sometimes make me laugh out loud – and let’s face it everyone needs more laughter.

Becca @ Just One More Page (the queen of fuzzy)
Marcia @ The Printed Page
MizB @ Should Be Reading
Gautami @ Everything Distils into Reading
Caite @ ALovely Shore Breeze

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

I love this meme hosted by Marcia at The Printed Page. Pop over to The Printed Page to veiw some gorgeous artwork.

This the cover of a local history of an English village called Petrockstowe if you can believe that, it looks more suited for a serious science fiction if you ask me, but is nevertheless beautiful.

How lovely

Awards are one of the nicest things about blogging. A big THANK YOU to Dianne @The Book Resort who gave me the "One Lovely Blog Award" which is given to new blogs & blogging friends discovered. Dianne's blog is a reall feast for the eyes - pop on over and see my fav - The Robot doing a little dance - what a crack-up!

You've all probably got this one but I'd still like to pass it on to these lovely blog and bloggers...

1. Caite @ A Lovely Shore Breeze
2. Melissa @ Shhh I'm Reading
3. Barbara @ Stray Thoughts
4. Kim @ Sophisticated Dorkiness
5. and all my new friends Wanda Jen Sandra Yvette Cecilia Molly Nise’ Robin Cathy Diane Alaine and Desert Rose

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

a weekly meme, hosted by MizB @ Should be Reading.

* Grab your current read & let it fall open to a random page.
* Share 2 “teaser” sentences, somewhere between lines 7 and 12.
* Share the title of the book… remember...
avoid spoilers please.
* leave a link to your Teaser in my comments or pop on over to Should Be Reading and get tantalising glimpses of other reads.

*Disclaimer: Mount TBR increases exponentially with TT.

My teaser:

From the red blotches on her skin it was clear she had been crying. She was in her late thirties and though she was big-boned — solid and wide-hipped — she had somehow made herself very small, almost to the point of disappearing.

From Disquiet by Julia Leigh (p16)

Monday, May 4, 2009

There's not enough bowel movements left...

Musing Monday is a weekly meme, hosted by Becca of Just One More Page. Pop on over to Just One More Page or leave a link to your Musing in my comments.

This week Buried-beneath-Books-Becca asks:

How many books (roughly) are in your tbr pile? Is this in increasing number or does it stay stable? Do you ever experience tbr anxiety in the face of this pile.

Actually apparently I asked this question – I can’t remember asking it but it does sound like me because I do suffer from TBRA (To Be Read Anxiety). My TBR is NOT stable, is definately increasing (can you sense the panic?). Once upon a time I could manage my TBR by stacking everything I had ready to read on my bedside table. Now I have a bedside book-shelf which is chokers and I have to admit it does fret me a bit when I look at it for too long, so I am not counting how any books are on it to answer this question!.

But I have a cunning plan - it's as cunning as a fox who's just been appointed Professor of Cunning at Oxford University (HA! I love Blackadder!). You might have noticed I have two current reads on my side-bar. One is for Book Club (a must-read for each month) and the other is from the TBR shelf. And further to that the one from the TBR shelf will be one that has been given to me by a friend as a you-must-read-this book.

And further to that even, I’m not sticking with the ones I don’t like just because they’ve been recommended to me. As my friend Renae, says life’s too short to be forcing yourself to read something you’re not enjoying and giving up on a book is a luxury I can afford now that uni is finished. I ploughed through some hideous stuff all in the name of good grades but, to be fair, I did usually come to see the virtue of these books after being led through them by the nose, as it were, by my very clever teachers.

Just last weekend a friend asked if I still had the book she loaned me (and was I enjoying it?). I had to confess I’d not even looked at it but I have moved it to the top of the pile. The danger of this cunning plan is that I loose control of my reading, allowing it to be dictated by kind and generous reading-devoted friends so I’m not going to be too rigid but it does help the TBRA to have a plan at all.

Has anyone seen that Two and a half Men episode where Alan has a meltdown in the bookshop? He’s talking about all the great books he hasn’t read and Charlie tells him you just need a system – put a book by the loo and every couple of weeks you knock off a classic...Alan dielivers this one line which sums up my TBRA...

There’s not enough bowel movements left...

What a crack-up such clever writing on that show...

**edit: I've just read the Musing Monday coments on Becca's blog and I agree Blogging has increased my TBR pile exponentially so ...I blame Becca...of course!

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Top 3 by the C

My top 3 responses by the commenters extraordinaire on my blog.

1. Nise’ I am sorry about your dad's emphysema, it is hard, not only on the patient, but on the family as well.
Now Nise’ strikes me as being a very compassionate person. Her comments are always encouraging and I’m still amazed at this blogging-world where people I haven’t met are so kind and thoughtful.

2. Gautami Tripathy over at Everything Distils Into Reading has lost her blog due to Malware. As new as I am to blogging this sounds disastrous (and a little scary) but she's bouncing back and says to everyone Please do visit it, subscribe to it or follow it! Do help me spread the word so pop on over to see her new blog grow.

3. Dianne said Way to go on your 1st review :).Looking forward to many more which was very nice of her becasue I've since found a great book review guideline, thanks to Gautami, and I didn't even think of half the things on the list... hehehe never mind, Dianne's encouragement was most appreciated especially as her Book Resort is awesome!

Friday, May 1, 2009

Fascinating Firsts

* Copy/paste the question & button.
* leave a comment and link to your post, include author/title.
* There'll a puzzle, sometimes, answers next Friday. Most consistant first correct answer will get a prize (after the Guru shows me how I can do that).
*Lastly let me know what you think... got ideas for improvements?

Sandra was right on the money 'Mrs. Dalloway said she would buy the flowers herself.' Virginia Wolfe's fascinating first line of Mrs Dalloway.

This is one of those first lines I carry around in my head. It's fascinating for some reason and I don't know why. Perhaps it's because we are dropped straight into Mrs Dalloway's day, but also because it sets up a lot of questions. Why did she need flowers? Why buy them herself? who is this person anyway?

I haven't finished Mrs Dalloway yet, will let you know if I ever get the answers to these questions, but the fact that I haven't read it yet begs another question...how do I know the first line at all? Some iconic pieces of literature filter their way into the collective unconscious carrying with them a certain social capital so perhaps this is why I know this first line. Moving in literary/education circles, is it possible I’ve picked up this line and use it to my advantage — look how much I know? I hope not. That’s one of the reasons I’m reading it now so that I can ‘own’ the capital.

So to my question for you...

Do you find this line interesting if so why? Do you have any first lines that you find fascinating for no particular reason?