Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Robins Egg Blues

Just back from surfing, following my nose from Electra to Jana and this blog caught my eye.  Lots of lovely photographs from Linda's travels, and some lovely french-inspired things to reward someone among her 600+ followers.  Go over and visit, and see what you think, and you just might win the collection of goodies too.

Monday, June 28, 2010


Just started the last Millenium book (Girl who kicked a Hornet's Nest)....... may not eat, definitely wont be dusting, may have to be pushed into bed.  Can't put it down.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Friday Fill-ins #182

1. On vacation, I like to get up late, sometimes not at all, and read all day.
2. On the far side of Australia, where almost no-one lives, there are fabulous creatures to see in the ocean.
3. One of my favorite vacation spots is anywhere off the coast, on board Penrod II.
4. The kids in my school are at their most peculiar during the time of a full moon.
5. Up, up and away .... soft coils of hair and cat fur, and me chasing along behind with the vacuum cleaner.
6. Bananas should be left on the tree.
7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to hearing all about Ann's trip, tomorrow my plans include swapping some books I dont want to keep for something I might, and Sunday, I want to start the last Stieg Larsson!

Monday, June 21, 2010

Paris in July

I have so many memories of Paris - little things that pop into my head and make me smile.  If you love anything French, join in the Paris in July experience and share your thoughts with us.  For the whole story and the challenges involved, have a look at Thyme for Tea or BookBath and read it in full.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Friday Fill-ins #181

1. Y-A-W-N... its so nice here under the doona and thank goodness its Saturday and I can sleep in and...WHAT?  Its Friday and I should have been up an hour ago and its 6:58.
2. It was the reason, of course, that I was hideously late for work and didn't have breakfast and the day went downhill from there.
3. Reading to the end of every book is something I no longer feel the need to do.
4. I have another errand to run, then I'm heading for the coffee shop.
5. What do you mean its not there...just go find it
6. What were once vices are dim memories.
7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to going to the theatre with friends, tomorrow my plans include watching last week's episode of Dr Who and Sunday, I want to sleep in!

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Book Review: The Night Watch

I'm almost at the point where I don't want to open a book that has been shortlisted for the Man Booker.... its not that I only want to read light-hearted stories, or that I dont want to be challenged, or have my comfort zone upended, its just that lately I've been reading to fill spaces in my life and short-listed books take up brain power I just dont have to spare.  I should start another stack and put them all there.....for later.

Having got that off my chest.....The Night Watch by Sarah Waters (Virago 2006) took me on a journey backwards in London from 1947 to 1941.  Starting at the end of the story and going back to fill in the blanks provided some unexpected twists.  This is a story of lives unravelled by the war, the strands knotted together in sad loops where no-one has a happy ending.  Four women are linked together - Kay, Helen and Julia in a series of shortlived and ultimately unsatisfactory relationships with eachother, and Viv whose life is lived in the shadow of someone else's marriage. I found the women easy to picture because they have been seen in the background of so many wartime movies: working the jobs that men will return to reclaim, wearing clothes salvaged and darned to make them last. The backdrop of London bombings is told so well that I expected plaster dust to rise from the pages as I turned them.

Sexuality runs through the book as a longing never allowed to be satisfied for too long.  I found myself waiting for the next disaster, the next leave-taking, the next mis-interpreted glance.  Uncovering the secret of the ring came too late in the story to make me care.  Its not a book I enjoyed, but I did read it until the end.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Friday Fill-ins #180

1. I'm home in a warm room with a cat on my feet and a hot chocolate beside the keyboard, and it feels great.
2. The solution is sometimes not what you really want to be told.
3.Tonight I cant wait to fall asleep.
4. How about I make a big pot of pumpkin risotto and throw in a handful of spinach and some pine nuts at the end, and then you come over for tea?
5. Laughter is something I highly recommend!
6. Imagine being that slender again.....
7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to finishing what I started, tomorrow my plans include putting a new blanket on my sons bed and Sunday, I want to catch up with friends for lunch!

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Friday Fill-ins #179

1. Tasmania is my favorite place to travel to.
2. When I think about my childhood, I often remember things related to the gardens of my grandparents: peeling back the hairy buds of poppies, sitting under a spreading tree on the grass and trying to stay hidden for hours, being allowed to have a garden bed all my very own, climbing the oak tree, pulling up onion grass and getting smelly hands.
3. A scrumptious hot chocolate is what one makes for a good friend.
4. The wind in the trees, the rain on my skin, a wide rainbow across the sky.
5. Finding the next book in a favourite series is so exciting!
6. My best friend knows far too much.
7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to getting home, tomorrow my plans include keeping out of the rain and Sunday, I want to buy myself a birthday present.

About Book Club

I had no idea belonging to a book club was going to be so tricky.  When we started, nearly 2 years ago, it was a group made up of neighbours and the friends (and friends of friends) of one of them.  That's me, I'm a friend, and we've known eachother since starting school 50 years ago.  One of the other members started school with us too.

Anyway the routine of this book group is that we meet mostly in the same home, and that person keeps a record of what we've read and who suggested the book.  We take it in turns to suggest a book to read, and mostly we are a couple of months ahead so people can read on if they feel that way inclined, or maybe reserve the book at their library.  I generally buy a copy.

I wonder why other people joined the group?  Did they want to read new books?  Did they want to be challenged by questioning their reading, their understandings?  Did they want to read books they would never have picked up without the prompting of someone else?  Did they want to share their sort of books with like-minded readers?  Did they want the discipline of reading a book each month to give them permission to take time for themselves?

Why did I join?  First I think because I like the people, and also because I'm confident to comment on books I've read.  I also wanted to be pushed to read genres I dont usually choose.  I think I'm just a bit disgruntled because some nights the best conversation is not about the book, but around the supper table afterwards.  Perhaps I expected too much.