Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Top Reads of 2009

This year, I have conquered last year's number of books read last year! And throughout the year, I reviewed almost all of them. So, I thought to let you all in on the ones that have stuck in my mind this year as my top reads. This list is in no particular order, here they are!

1. 'The Picture of Dorian Gray' by Oscar Wilde.
2. 'I Am Legend' by Richard Matheson
3. 'I Know Why The Cage Bird Sings' by Maya Angelou
4. 'The Uncommon Reader' by Alan Bennett
5. 'A Life in Time & Space: The David Tennant Biography' by Nigel Goodall
6. 'Watchmen' by Alan Moore & Dave Gibbons
7. 'The Perks of Being a Wallflower' by Stephen Chbosky
8. 'Blood Music' by Greg Bear
9. 'The Wave' by Todd Strasser
10.'Tuesdays With Morrie' by Mitch Albom

There you have it. My list of favourites out of twenty-seven books I've read this year. I'm currently reading 'Make Lemonade' by Virginia Euwer Wolff; and it's pretty good so far. I may yet add it to next year's list when I get going on 2010's Reading List. Otherwise, Happy Reading over the Holiday period.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

December Book Buys 2009

Wow! This month has just flown by; and I thought to get this done a week before so save me time (also because I'm taking the time off from 'My Reading List' too). December has been a very quiet month on the book purchasing calendar with only three books that I've bought this time around. And because I've been concentrating on sending out Christmas Cards, getting the right gift for the right people and packing for the coast, I'm afraid, these few are all there is. But as the saying goes: good things come in small packages... or is it numbers?

'The Circle Dreamer' by Melaina Feranda was bought at Bayer's Trading Post Pty Ltd at Redland Bay here in Queensland. It's a nice shop that sells anything and everything; but it was the books that I found were amazingly cheap, yet in very good condition. When I read the back of this one, I found it was for young adults, yet I didn't want to leave it behind; thinking it may be a good light read one day in the future.

'Finbar's Hotel' devised and edited by Dermot Bolger. I bought this one at the same place as the above book. However, I no longer have this one in my shelves. I sent this book away to a good Bookcrossing friend of mine in Maroochydore. She loves these kinds of books; so I wrapped it up with 'On The Road' by Jack Kerouac and gave it to her for Christmas (along with 3kg of other books I thought she'd love too!). Unfortunately, there's no book cover for this one; however I should have taken a photo of it before sending off for this purpose.

'Under The Dome' by Stephen King was a book I bought at QBD at Garden City. This was on of my Christmas gifts for myself; as I have always bought myself a gift for this time of year (when you live alone, you do). I have heard bad reviews about this book, however, I believe that all writers - no matter who they are or how good they are, have books that are average; and SK is no exception.

So, there you have it! My book purchases for this month; and therefore this year! This year has flown by us so quickly. But I will most definitely see you all back here in the New Year with more books to review and talk about, more authors and their books to discuss and a competition or two to tempt you with. And until then, I wish you a very Happy Holidays to you all and a Safe and Prosperous New Year! Happy Reading you to all!

Monday, December 21, 2009

The Results of Do Nothing But Read Day

I had a very dull day to work with and didn't get any reading done until the afternoon when the rain settled in. Beforehand though, as you can see, I posted which books I'll be taking with me to the coast, the washing up was done and figured out a few things to be packed for next week, then I practiced a bit of the piano and settled into the lounge and read only two of the planned four books.

In 'The Great American Bus Ride' by Irma Kurtz, she took me partway across the top of America in the dead of Winter during snow storms and blizzards. Irma was stuck in the small town of Lancing for three days until one of the locals took her to the next town to catch the next Greyhound Bus to keep her going. She met a Native Indian who had been waiting at a freezing bus station for twenty-seven hours; yet he wasn't complaining. This is where I put the book down. I had read around thirty-five pages and decided to go onto my next book.

I was also traveling in 'Arthur' by Stephen Lawhead; however, we traveled by sea up the east coast of England from Londinium towards Scotland. He was hoping to talk to Lord Lot and secure himself and his warband a fleet of ships from Lot to fight the Sea Wolves and the Picts. Merlin was not happy about this as Lot's stepmother was his worst enemy and carried his fate in her hands; and his fate was death. The last scene I saw was the fleet of ships on the ocean heading out... and what a sight it was! I only got to read around twenty-five to thirty pages of this one before it was time to get in and clean up a little before dinner.

So, what books did you get into on Sunday? Let met know and and how far did you get into them? Which scene was your favourite? And did you get past any slow parts and into interesting parts?

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Holiday Reads

As we all go on the Christmas Holiday Break, I'll be thinking about what you'll all be getting your noses into in the book world. I thought to let you in on my reading list for the holidays while I'm away. You see, I'll be reading as well as purchasing books on my vacation; yes, there's plenty of second-hand places to find some really unusual books where I'm going. Last year, I took four books with me, read one, got halfway through another and didn't read the other two. But I returned with fifteen other books! That's right! You read right. I weight the back of the car down with more books than I arrived with. Dad couldn't believe it! The wonderful thing is: I gave a lot of those books to friends. And some of those books are still awaiting their turn to be read; patiently sitting on my shelves for that day when I'll pick them up and read them. So, here's what I'll be taking to the coast with me.

'Make Lemonade' by Virginia Euwer Wolff. I've already begun it; and have found it very interesting and light. However, I'll see if I can get through it this week before I take off because of the other book I'm planning to take.

'Under The Dome' by Stephen King'. This is a book that I bought for myself for Christmas and have it wrapped up under the tree. So, once it's been unwrapped on the Big Day, I'll be packing it into the suitcase to take with me to while away the hours. I have read that this book a little average for SK, but every writer has their average books. Personally, I reckon he's got something brilliant that he's pacifying us with this for now until he publishes his next big book that'll blow us out of the water!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

My Reading Plans For 20th, December 2009!

The books I mainly have half-finished are stashed next to my bed. Honestly, I'm the worst person when it comes to putting a good book down and reading a bookring from Bookcrossing. Once I've finished a bookring, I totally forget that I was reading that first book in the first place and look for something else to read! Horror of horrors! What a dreadful person I am to just abandon a book by my bed in that fashion. So, tomorrow, I'm going to pick up some of the books I've left by my bed half-finished an have a go at them; and here are their titles:

'The Great American Bus Ride' by Irma Kurtz was given to me by a Bookcrosser and I dove straight into it! I love traveling - whether it be myself through my own means or through a book - I love it. However, once I found another book that needed reading within a certain amount of time in the mail, I put this one down and by my bed it stayed. This will be a good read tomorrow.

'Adam's Navel' by Michael Sims is another book I was given by a Bookcrosser. And I find it fascinating; yet it's a little on the boring side. But at times, when I've found it hard to sleep, I've have read bits and pieces
of it. But tomorrow, I'll read a big chunk of it if I can.

'Arthur' by Stephen Lawhead has been haunting my bedhead for a long time. I have read the first two books of this series and this book has gotten me bogged for some reason; and it's the third time I've tried to read it! Tomorrow is the day I'll get past the dull part I'm in and push into some good medieval action!

'The Day It Rained Forever' By Ray Bradbury is a book of short stories that I've found on my bookshelf with a bookmark in it. And I'll be poking my nose into this one tomorrow as well!

So, there you have it. My choice of books for tomorrow. I'll be reading between the hours of roughly 10am until late afternoon hopefully. And with these books by my side, I'm sure I'll be in good company.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Do Nothing But Read For A Day!

Another blogger has had the greatest idea; and I thought to pass it on to you people to see if you'd like to take part. It's a do nothing and read for a day. Seeing you're all book lovers and readers, I think it sounds like a great challenge the get through some of the books we've gotten our noses into, read three-quarters of then put down for one reason or another.

So, how about it? On the 20th, December, we sit down and read for the whole day and don't worry about the housework, what's on television, anything else that's happening in the world that day and get our noses into our favourite thing to do!

I'm most definitely taking part; so you won't be seeing me on here or on

Friday, December 11, 2009

Good Spy Guide: Disguise & Make-Up by Rigby/Usborne Pocketbooks

For the ultimate in disguises on how to make a fake scar to making new eyebrows without having to go to the lengths of shaving your own off, this book will show you the ins and outs of being the perfect make-up artist and best kind of spy in your own home... and kids it's aimed at you! It's a funny and interesting way of whiling away the hours on a boring weekend during school holidays or trying to figure out which disguise would be the coolest for next Halloween (now there's an idea!).

I don't remember when I got this book as it's been in my possession for such a long time, I have never known my life without it. But I do remember trying out some of the scar and cut techniques in its pages; and found them pretty cool; even if my parents didn't think they weren't all that convincing. I've put this book into the database in and it didn't come up with it; so it may be out of print, or had a new title and reprint. In any case, it's a fun book for kids to fiddle around with.

At around the 1980's the popular Pocketbooks came out on the market that were fun and enjoyable to kids to get into. This one (The Good Spy Guide: Disguise & Make-Up) was published in 1978 and there were others published around 1980, 1981 and 1983 all on different subjects from 'Spotter's Guide to Flags' ,'Spotters Guide to Dinosaurs' and 'Spotters Guide to Airliners & Airlines' and also 'Fun With Electronics'. Being a company that was all for teaching kids a fun way of learning, they were popular and are now hard books to find or out of print.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Ex Libris: Confession of a Common Reader by Anne Fadiman

Now, this is a book I just had to talk about before I finished it. It's a beautiful account of woman's love for her books and what she sees them as; along with her husband, George. In each chapter is a personal and touching view of how they married their two book collections together, what happened when they went on holidays and what books she read when she was pregnant (which she found interesting as much as I did). This wonderful - yet thin - book is a must on every booklover's To Be Read list. However, I will be looking out for my own copy to add to my personal collection.

I never thought there'd be a book out there like this. And now there is, it's inspired me to write again about my passion of books through my own life; as I began a book similar to it about a year or so ago. So, I will continue with the work on it.

I'd love to tell you about Anne Fadiman; however I've been unable to find an official website about her. I'll keep on searching and keep you all posted about it when I find one; and also put it into the sidebar.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Two Books on Mozart by Two Very Different Authors

Last year, around this time of year, I bought two books in Mullumbimby at the Book Barn. This shop is actually an old bank; which still has its vault (but they took the door off for safety reasons). Every time I'm in Mullum, I find that shop and wander through its shelves to see if there's a book or two there that's begging for a home with me. And last year, I found two books that were from two different eras, yet were on the same subject. I'll begin with the oldest and most interesting one: 'Mozart: His Character, His Work' by Alfred Einstein was the one that I found first. Its red cover doesn't look much, but I look beyond that every time. On opening it, I found this book was written by Alfred Einstein (which has had people talking about whether or not both Alfred or Albert are related; and still we're not sure). I had in my hands a 1946, first edition of this book. Its red cover is faded but the spine is still in good condition with the wording still legible; with only a little wear on the top and bottom of the spine from being teased on and off a previous owner's bookshelf numerous times. I began to read it and found it wasn't too heavy in content; however, I haven't completed reading it yet once I returned home.

The next book I bought from the same place was by Robert W. Gutman
titled: 'Mozart: A Cultural Biography'. It's much thicker and was published in 1999. It's been covered in plastic and has been cared for differently than the other book. However, the difference with this book to the other is that this one covers Mozart's family and friends as with the other book, the author covers his work and character. So, I have the good fortune to own two books about the same person that cover two totally different parts of Mozart's life. I do look forward to reading about him soon and letting you know if they are worth tracking down. I'll keep you all posted.

Friday, November 27, 2009

David Copperfield's Tales of the Impossible

This lovely hard cover book is full of stories of the impossible and magic where each of them leaves you wondering how the authors came to write them; and what wonderful writers they are! I don't fully remember how I came to own this book, however, I don't ever wish to be rid of it as within its gorgeous pages are authors such as Ray Bradbury, Dean Koontz and Raymond E Feist; just to name three. Even David Copperfield writes the first story called 'Snow' and I find his words are incredible; and I see him more than just an illusionist and magician in life. He's also got a talent with words. So, if your tastes in books and reading include magic, what-if situations and the impossible, this is definitely worth tracking down for a read.

I've found a lot of information on David Copperfield's official website that I can't cut and paste here. So, I'll put a link to it on the sidebar so you can click on it and find the information about this book and other projects he has taken part in over his life; as well as follow where his show is going to be next.

The Day It Rained Forever by Ray Bradbury

I have to tell the truth with this one, I have never read any of his books until I received this one in the mail early this month. And the moment I began reading it later that afternoon, I found myself absolutely pulled into his style and his wonderful flexibility with his stories. Each story has a different feel and style from one to the other; and that's how a good story-teller should be. What I also found is that Ray Bradbury didn't bury me with too much detail or make his writing heavy with too many repetitive and descriptive words. And this is the magic about his work; even though I'm only just now delving into his books. Now, though, I'd like to read longer works he's written; not just his short stories, I want to see if his words have the same effect as they do in his short stories.

Ray Bradbury
was born August 22, 1920 in Waukegan, Illinois. He graduated from a Los Angeles high school in 1938. Although his formal education ended there, he became a "student of life," selling newspapers on L.A. street corners from 1938 to 1942, spending his nights in the public library and his days at the typewriter. He became a full-time writer in 1943, and contributed numerous short stories to periodicals before publishing a collection of them, Dark Carnival, in 1947.
On the occasion of his 80th birthday in August 2000, Bradbury said, "The great fun in my life has been getting up every morning and rushing to the typewriter because some new idea has hit me. The feeling I have every day is very much the same as it was when I was twelve. In any event, here I am, eighty years old, feeling no different, full of a great sense of joy, and glad for the long life that has been allowed me. I have good plans for the next ten or twenty years, and I hope you'll come along."

Thursday, November 26, 2009

The Father Christmas Letters by JRR Tolkien

When JRR Tolkien's children were young, and they wrote letters to Father Christmas, he thought to play a game with them and have Father Christmas write them back. This began when they were very young and Tolkien continued this over some years until they became too old do to it; until the fantasy wore off. However, the letters from both parties were kept as what was written in them had begun to shape into a story for the children to follow. Tolkien had included drawings and detailed descriptions of Father Christmas with his Reindeer and where he lived during the year. This is a very special book to have in any collection of a Tolkien fan; particularly if you have the hardcover green book (which is sadly out of print now). However, I've been able to find 5 copies on with prices ranging between $31.00 and $300.00 all in fine condition. But all is not lost! You can acquire a miniature 3-book lot of this book in its own case wrapped in plastic (which I received a few years ago; and I've kept it in its wrappings to keep it in good shape).

I'm a very big fan of JRR Tolkien and have been collecting his work over the last decade or so. In coming posts, I will review a few books that have been hard to find or were a limited print run so you know what to look out for in case you wish to take up the thrilling - and rather addictive - hobby of hunting for rare and out of print books.

JRR Tolkien (1892-1973) was a major scholar of the English language, specialising in Old and Middle English. Twice Professor of Anglo-Saxon (Old English) at the University of Oxford, he also wrote a number of stories, including most famously The Hobbit (1937) and The Lord of the Rings (1954-1955), which are set in a pre-historic era in an invented version of the world which he called by the Middle English name of Middle-earth. This was peopled by Men (and women), Elves, Dwarves, Trolls, Orcs (or Goblins) and of course Hobbits. He has regularly been condemned by the Eng. Lit. establishment, with honourable exceptions, but loved by literally millions of readers worldwide.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

November Book Buys

Wow! Another month's gone by so quickly; and I've been out and about purchasing books here and there and everywhere as well! And you'd be surprised what I've been getting onto my shelves lately! Have a gander!

My first purchase this month was at an Adra-Care Store of a few classics. There was 'The Invisible Man' by H.G Wells, 'The Damned and the Beautiful' by F.Scott Fitzgerald, 'Last of the Ranshai' by Mickey Zucker Reichert and 'Heathcliff: The Sequel To Wuthering Heights' by Lin haire-Sargeant; as well as 'The Dream House' by Rachel Hore. Yes. All of these came from a charity store down the road from me and at bargain basement prices too!

Then, I decided to have a 'Name That Painting; Win An Art Book' Competition when I decided to
finish one of my paintings from years ago. So, I found a great art book at QBD as the prize (which will be drawn at the end of January 2010!). It's 'Barrington Barber Drawing Class: Learn to Draw in 12 Lessons'. This was the only brand new book I bought this month... and what a book! Now, QBD have a large range of art books that cater for a wide range of artists from oil painters to chalk pastel artists. So, I thought a drawing book that taught the winner of my competition how to draw from scratch was a good idea (and would help the seasoned artist to practice the techniques they have forgotten).

Then, recently, I purchased a foreign book. It 'The Dark
Half' by Stephen King in German. I bought this little beauty from the 'Bayers Trading Post Pty Ltd' at Redland Bay here in Queensland. This place was on my way to the markets sells some of the most unusual stuff around; and has a good number of books at a very good price! It's worth checking out. The link to their site in on the sidebar.

So, there you have it! This month's purchases... not a bad lot of books, eh? Well, until next month. Happy Reading and I hope you keep looking for bargains as much as I do!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Just After Sunset by Stephen King

Each story in this book has one thing in common: they all happen within a time span of just after sunset. That is the time between the sun dipping below the horizon, the streetlights coming on and the daytime creatures and night creatures switching shifts... yeah, you know the time. And Stephen King has thought about that time and written up a good lot of stories that are guaranteed to keep you up well past your bedtime reading them; then make you rethink about turning off your light.

I bought this book some time ago and immediately read some of the stories. However, I didn't go from beginning to end; I read them all over that place - picking and choosing the ones that had interesting titles. Now, this isn't how I normally read short story books; and I'm glad I decided to read it this way because it gave me a great idea at how good this book is. The further I got into it, the creepier the stories got! So, if you like to gradually get scared more little by little, this is definitely the book for you!

Stephen King is the one of the best-selling writers and story-tellers of our generation. He's been scaring the life out of us since the early 1970's with such favourites as 'The Stand', 'IT', 'Carrie' and 'Christine'. His more recent works have still pulled the same fans ('Hearts of Atlantis', 'Bag of Bones', 'From A Buick 8' and 'Cell') and doesn't intend to stop writing. He lives in Bangor, Maine with his wife, Tabitha. His official website is on the sidebar for more information.

Friday, November 13, 2009

The New Twenty Book Treasury

There are times in my life that I just love to sit and read a few condensed books put out by Reader's Digest. And this is one of those books. When I first bought this one, I was young and didn't really know what I was buying at the time; not until I got this one home. All I read inside the front cover was 'First Edition' and paid the small price that the charity store was asking for. The next - and only other thing I wanted - from this book was the first book from it: 'The First Lady of the Seeing Eye' by Morris Frank and Blake Clark. This book is about the very first guide dog that was trained up for a visually impaired man and the difficulties he and the dog came across once they were left to their own devices in the real world.

I have a few books by Reader's Digest in my book collection that I love to read from time to time. However, I'm always hesitant to let them go.
I have yet to read more than just that first story in this particular book. If you want to good read of any book, do go out to a charity store and you will find them; all condensed books or their famous magazine.

Reader's Digest is a very popular company that publishes books, vinyls, cd's and other forms of entertainment. Check out their website on the side bar for more information.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

The Witch Book edited by Rand McNally & Company

What a wonderful book to read at any age. This gorgeous hard cover beauty is big and bold with lovely stories of all kinds about witches and their lives inside it by various authors. The pictures are lovely and well drawn; and the quality I don't see around anymore. And the stories are different from each as each are told in the great story-telling style that has vanished from the shelves of today. Even though there's only eight stories, there will be one that stay with you well after you close the covers of this rather heavy book. Mine? Well, it's 'Wanted: One Witch!'...

I'm not sure why I've kept this book; however
I read this book when I was young and haven't let it go; and don't intend to let it off my shelves. It's absolutely beautiful. I haven't found it on; however that doesn't mean it's not around. It just means it's hard to find and could possibly be out of print.

Unfortunately, I've been unable to find anything about the publishing company online. However, I'll be looking into the authors who wrote the stories in this book for you soon and adding to this post. So, keep an eye on the side bar for their official websites as well as here for more information about them; you never know, they may have written other popular fiction for children and we didn't know about this one.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Name That Painting Competition.

On one of my other blogs (A Natural Background), I have painting I'm fixing up. However, I don't have a name for it yet. It's my own art and I painted it years ago and rushed it.

I can hear you wondering what this has to do with books... well...

So, here's what I'd like you - the follower of my blog/s - to do. Help me name the painting for me. The person who I find has given it the best name will win an art book. I will post internationally and the competition will be drawn at the end of January 2010 (when the painting has been completed). So, this will give you plenty of time to think of a suitable name for this un-named piece.

You can enter as many times a you want and I'll be contacting the winner through the comments section for their address (if I don't have your e-mail address).

Good luck

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Watchmen by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons

It's 1985 and there's somebody out there killing off the masked heroes from the 1960's. One by one they're dying off from either cancer or are being murdered in cold blood. But who is doing it? The police are at a complete loss and the others who haven't been targeted yet are in hiding. There haven't been great heroes like these people since a law was passed that it was illegal to be a renegade. So, some of the retired ones are determined to find out who is killing off their friends - even if they don't socialise with them anymore - because they are the only people they can reminisce with about the good, old days when they kicked butt.
However, there's something else hovering on the horizon. This something is a war. Not the one in the Middle East that the government is concerned about; the one that is going to be waged against the population of New York... and the Earth. But can the remaining heroes figure out who is behind both the murders and the war in time to save mankind?

I have been a very big fan of graphic novels for a long time. However the ones I've read are somewhat thinner than this one; and they were sold monthly. This is one novel that I held out for to read instead of seeing the film all because I know it was going to be better than what Hollywood was going to pump out.

Alan Moore was born in Northampton in 1953. He was the oldest son of a brewery worker and a printer. Moore's childhood and youth was influenced with the poverty of his family and environment. After being expelled from a conservative secondary school in 1971, he was unemployed with no job qualifications. Moore began working with
Embryo a magazine he and his friends began publishing; which led to his involvement in the Northampton Art Lab. In 1979, Moore began working as a cartoonist for the weekly music magazine Sounds. Moore decided to focus his efforts on writing and less on arts.
In 1982 and 1983, Moore had The British Eagle Awards for Best Comics Writer. His exceptional writing skills won him his first American series Saga of the Swamp Thing. In addition to this series, he also penned several other DC titles such as Tales of the Green Lantern Corps, Batman Annual and several Superman titles. In 1986, Moore came out with Watchmen when DC was reconstructing their comic's universe.
Currently, Moore has his own imprint, America's Best Comics (ABC), under which he's once again paving new territory with several new series: The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, Promethea, Tom Strong, Tom Strong's Terrific Tales, Tomorrow Stories and Top Ten. Moore's other projects include CD's and a book or two…in addition to his desire to become a magician.

Dave Gibbons, born April 14th in 1949, has been playing a major role in the world of comics for over 30 years now. He began his comics career in 1973, when he started to contribute to the magazine 2000. Since then he has drawn and written for all the major publishers in North America and his home country Great Britain. His work has been and still is published all over the world. He has depicted the adventures of SUPERMAN, BATMAN, DR WHO, DAN DARE and GREEN LANTERN, amongst many many others.He co-created the long running ROGUE TROOPER for 2000 A.D., where he also worked on HARLEM HEROES In 1982, he began drawing the 'Green Lantern' series for a memorable run. Real big success came when he collaborated with Alan Moore on the famous'WATCHMEN' for D.C. comics in 1986/87, for which he got an Hugo award.
With Watchmen coming out as a major motion-picture from director Zack Snyder ("300") with designs tightly based on Dave's work in the comic, Dave has a book called "WATCHING THE WATCHMEN" coming out (detailing the origin of the comic, including script pages, breakdowns, early designs and lots more).
His contributions to comics are just too numerous to mention them all here, go look at the checklist to find out about all of his work. He currently lives in Britain with his wife and son and you can see him frequently at conventions there.

Check out these guy's fan sites I've put on the sidebar for more info!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

The Pinkish, Purplish, Bluish Egg by Bill Peet

Myrtle is a dove whose nest is empty and she's very depressed about it. So, she goes in search for some eggs to sit on so she feels useful. She searches far and wide to find the right kind of eggs to take to her nest and finds a massive one in a cave one day. However, she wonders how she's going to get it back to the nest; until some playful squirrels roll it around and up the tree and put there for her.
It's not long until the other birds and animals notice that pinkish, purplish, bluish egg dominating Myrtle's rather small nest and her sitting on it to keep it warm. And even sooner that the birds and animals voice their opinions of how ridiculous she looks atop of that egg. Even the owl says that egg will never hatch because it's too cold and she's not big enough to keep it warm.
But the egg does hatch; and what comes out of it isn't a bird... in fact, it's far from anything that looks like it.

Bill Peet is famous for working with Walt Disney and writing and illustrating many children's books. There's so much to look at and read on his website that I think I'll let you have a look at it on the sidebar yourself; as I don't really know what to put in here.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Spooky October Halloween Reads!

In the last month, I've gotten my nose into a few really great reads; and not just any reads, spooky reads. I thought to share with you these titles as good or bad recommendations. So, here goes:

'Twilight' by Stephenie Meyers was my first read. I began it in late September and finished it in a week. I found it very light on, but still an interesting look into vampire lore; with a different take on how they act and what they are all about. Some of the older lores have been brought into it, yet some of the ones she wrote about are newer. A good light read for a teenager or Young Adult. My second book was the next book in the series: 'New Moon'. This one is thicker and has a few more story twists. The way she has established Bella's depression in the early stages of the book was brilliant; how the chapters didn't have to be written and they just had the month names on them was well-done. It took me a little longer to get into though as new characters were introduced and themes from the first book were being brought forward.
'Single White Vampire' by Lynsay Sands. Well, I've just written a review about this below. So, I won't say too much about it; except that it's typical Lynsay. It's funny, romantic and darkly wonderful all the way through. It also points out the dangers of being a vampire loving a human.

'Bloodline' by Maggie Shayne. I received this book from a friend of
mine in Bookcrossing when I met up with her and her Mum here in Brisbane. However, I have never heard of this author; and so was willing to give this one a try. The storyline was great, the subplots were good enough to make this book stand alone and I enjoyed the way it bounced from first person to third quite easily without confusing me too much. However, it was Lilith who was the downer. She pulled the story down with her internal thoughts and groanings about everything from not trusting Ethan to The Farm. If you can put up with this in a character, by all means, read it, if not, well, I'd skip it.

So, there they are, my Spooky Reads for October. Join me next year around this time when I'll be reviewing another lot of spooky reads again. And next month, I'll try and read more different books to pick up the pace and feel of the book reviews.

Single White Vampire by Lynsay Sands

Lucern Argeneau is the best-selling writer and biographer of his family, books that were just pigeon-holed as 'paranormal romance'. He's reclusive, quiet and doesn't wish to be disturbed by the outside world too much. All he wishes for is to write his family biography in peace. His new editor Kate C. Leever of Roundhouse Publishing has just discovered a legacy author dying to be broken out. Actually her whole career depends on it. In her opinion, this very tall, sensually handsome and extremely rude man needs to have a reality check.
Lucern really doesn't want to be dragged from his very comfortable home in Toronto to a Romance Convention all in the name of publicity. His books are doing just fine in his opinion. And he wishes he could do something to get rid of Kate; yet whenever she's not around him, he misses her like crazy.

This very funny and erotic vampire romance had me laughing and remembering the frustrations of how the relationships between men and women haven't changed; even if those particular relationships and age groups span a few centuries. 'Single White Vampire' is well worth a read over a good dreary weekend when there's nothing on the television; as it's a great one to sink your teeth into.

Monday, October 26, 2009

October Book Buys

This month, I've been busily purchasing books for all kinds of things. One of those things was a meet-up with two lovely Bookcrossers from interstate; and so I went book-hunting at a newly-opened Life Line Super Store on Wembley Road at Logan Central. And what a shop! It doesn't have much of a book section, but it had a huge variety there of books; and I dove in and bought up big!
'Oxygen' by Andrew Miller was a nice-looking hardcover that caught my eye and I thought I'd read it over the warmer months (I do try to read less-challenging books over Christmas as it's the time we do kick back and have fun). Then, there was 'The Year of Dangerous Loving' by John Gordon Davis; which is set in China. So, this one is being sent off to a good friend of mine who lives South Korea who loves reading books based in Asia. 'The Booke of Days' by Stephen J. Rivelle is another that caught my eye. I did own a copy of this one last year, however, I let it go out into the wild via a Bookcrossing Mass Release; and I absolutely regret it! Now, I'll read this one before doing anything with it. I found 'London - A Novel' by Edward Rutherfurd in paperback! And what a huge book! I have a copy of this one in hardcover; so I'll be using this one to post off next year for a competition or something. Then, I found 'Two Moons by Jennifer Johnston and 'Tullulahland' by Lyn Messina which I sent off to my two Bookcrossing friends who I met up with here in Brisbane. I finally found a book at another store which I fell in love with titled: 'The Touch of Twilight' by Vicki Petterson. A few weeks before - around the beginning of October - I bought two books at Angus & Robertson. They were situated behind the counter and were half price. There was: 'Sage-ing While Age-ing' by Shirley MacLaine and 'After River' by Donna Milner. So, I had a brilliant month budget book buying; and seeing a good lot of them have ended up being presents, I don't feel too guilty about spending the money. So, until next month's guilty pleasures... Happy Reading!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

The Oak by Geoffrey Patterson

Oaks are amazing trees; and they can grow almost anywhere in the world. We have some here in Brisbane's Botanical Garden; and they are magnificent! This book is a gorgeously illustrated book that tells the story of one oak that begins from the acorn when it fell from the parent tree and it grew. This Oak Tree grew and it witnessed the goings-on of the township around it from its beginnings as a village to a bustling, industrial city. The Oak survived all kinds of weather through the years as time passed, carnivals came and went and the many people walked around it.
However, it's not just the illustrations that can tell the story, the way Geoffrey Patterson has written book is brilliant. It's suitable for all ages and keeps us interested to the very end. And he says the same thing every time: Oak Trees are the most beautiful and long-lasting trees. They stand the test of time and are worth growing if you have the space.

Geoffrey Patterson was born and brought up in Wimbledon and left school to work for the interior designer, John Siddeley. he then moved to BBC Television where he spent 10 years working as set designer and now he lives and works in Suffolk as a free-lance illustrator. The Oak is largely a result of Geoffrey's particular passion for trees.
Geoffrey Patterson is a published author and an illustrator of children's books. Some of the published credits of Geoffrey Patterson include The Elephant's Child, The Lion and the Gypsy (Windy Edge).

Thursday, October 22, 2009

The Great Cities: San Francisco

I love this city; absolutely adore it to the very core! From the Golden Gate Bridge to Coit Tower to Lombard Street and the infamous prison 'The Rock' Alcatraz in the middle of the bay, I have had a love affair with this city for a long time... however, I've never been there.
There have been films and television shows I've watched just to see the gorgeous views and I've taken in educational shows about the San Andreas Fault that is the biggest of its kind.
However, it's the city I'd love to live in and see and delve myself into; and this book get me lost in it every time. It doesn't matter that it's an old one, it's the beauty of the parks, the streets, the people and those cable cars that get me every time. And just like the song, I have lost my heart to San Francisco and would love to see her sights and smells and journey around her hilly surrounds to find out more about her.

This book may be published in 1979, however, I don't mind. I know this city has changed a lot. And since, my parents have been there to see it (and strangely enough, every time we talked over the phone, I kept suggesting places for them to and see and when they did, they were surprised I knew about them!). Mum said she could see me living in San Fran quite easily because it was an easy place to get around, the people were lovely, food was gorgeous and there were so many art galleries, I'd be there for a few years just to see them all.