Saturday, January 30, 2010

The Passing of a Great Author

Just yesterday, I was advised of the news that J.D. Salinger has passed away at the grand old age of 91. This man had written 'Catcher In The Rye' and published three books of short stories. Jerome David Salinger was born in 1919, brought up in New York, studied at New York University and Columbia. Later, he took part in WWII as a soldier. Margaret Salinger, his daughter, is currently working with a biographer on book about his life which will describe her difficult life with her father.

I've been looking around on the net, and today found out that J.D. Salinger had fifteen hidden unpublished new novels hidden in a safe he had written. It had been a very long time since Salinger had given his last interview - 1980 in fact - and he had been writing ever since; and before then as well. He said that he had been 'to have furiously bashed away at his typewriter' and has been doing this for the last 40 years.
Almost nothing is known about the author’s life since he retreated into self-imposed seclusion in 1953, in the tiny village of Cornish, New Hampshire.

Tributes to the legendary author poured in yesterday after his son, actor Matt Salinger, released a short statement that his father had died of natural causes at his home on Wednesday night.
Horror novelist Stephen King said it felt like “an eccentric, short-tempered, but often fascinating uncle had passed away” is one such fellow writer who gave his condolences publicly on the net (and I read the whole article as well and found it touching; even though King doesn't read Salinger's work, he does respect him as a fellow writer).

What will happen to Salinger's unpublished works is yet to be seen. Will they be published posthumously or will they be destroyed? Fans of the the writer haven't been told; and this has interested and distressed his loyal fans. We will have to wait and see what happens.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

January Book Purchases.

Wow! It's the end of the month already and I've only got three books to show you. But, this means I've been good and saving my money for the right books that I really do want to have on my shelves; so then, you can read the reviews - good or bad.

The first two books were purchased at the Brunswick Heads Markets in New South Wales on 2nd, January. It was a hot and brilliantly sunny day and I was dreadfully sunburnt when I bought these two great books. There's 'Danse Macabre' by Stephen King which I bought at The Big Book Van. This van is famous for having a massive variety of books and it's owned by two older-generation people who have as much of a passion for books as their customers. And when I picked up this one, the lady said she had just put it out on the stand; so it must have been fate for me to have it. I'm really looking forward to reading this book as I've heard great things about it.

The second one I bought at the same markets was 'The First Wives Club' by Olivia Goldsmith. This one was purchased at a stall which had a large number of books, sagas and series; and they were all in wonderful condition. However, seeing I had been looking for this one for some time to replace the one I had years ago which fell apart in my hands, I thought just buying this would be the best thing to do.

My third purchase was just this week - on Monday actually. I've been searching everywhere for a book on Budgerigars; on how to care for them, which breads are which, their history, feeding, breeding... the whole thing. And seeing you can get books about certain dogs, I thought budgies were the same; and I was right. I found this wonderful book titled: 'Budgerigar' by David Alderton in a half-price Publisher's Sales Store for only around $10 (it was $27.99! What a great deal I got!). Well! I've learnt a lot about my little bird and found out a few things about her breed, why she is like she is and that there's really not all that much to worry about.

So, there's my book purchases for this month. Stay tuned at the end of each month to see what I purchase and from where.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Winker Puppet Story Books

As a child, I read anything that was given to me; and my Grandparents gave me these two wonderful books. I thought they were the best things as I was still learning to read and the pictures were really colourful and pretty. Little did I know these books were also Japanese made and were going to be hard to come by in the future. These two lovely - but well-known - fairytales of 'Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs' and 'Little Red Riding Hood' became favourites of mine to read. The covers were transient as I moved them up and down; changing from one scene to another, and the thick pages are easy to turn. Mum covered these books with plastic that was used in the libraries to protect books in the 1980's; and this plastic is still on these books, keeping their looks and quality complete.
The one thing I have noticed about these books is that they were printed in 1968 and 1970, made, printed and bound in Japan by Zokeisha Publications in Tokyo and the Winker Puppet Story Books had a list of other fairytales they had printed.

I have looked around on the net and haven't found anyone else with these books. However, I have found the site of the publishing company; and they are still going strong, entertaining children all over Japan and the world with their books. I've put a link on the side bar for more information.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Natural Magic - A Seasonal Guide by Paddy Slade

This is a lovely, large, hard covered book on pagan rituals and rites throughout the year; beginning in October - as it does for the Northern Hemisphere. It's full of information about where these traditions came from, old-fashioned pictures, photographs of ivy, mistletoe and animals; as well as spells, potions and sayings for each season and Sabbath of the year. If you are a beginner at the Craft, this is most certainly a book you must track down and use as a reference in your first year or so as it's full of the information I wished I had when I was starting out and didn't have.

I have a section in my bookcase dedicated to the Craft and its traditions. However, this book is a much simpler way of looking at it; in its layout and feel. All the information I have collected through my books is inside this one; and is perfect for the beginner; as I have said.

Paddy Slade was born Patricia Harlow, 29th September 1931 and lived in Canterbury, Kent, and was the youngest of seven children. Her Mother as she was of Scottish decent and practiced the old ways of the village Witch or Wise Woman; and Patricia picked up on the traditional ways quickly and carried them on.
For her education Paddy went on to study at Cambridge University, from where she graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Medieval History and English. After leaving collage she joined the signals branch of the Women’s Royal Air Force (WRAF). In 1955 while still serving in the air force, Paddy married her husband Philip (Pete) Slade and a year later gave birth to their first son Robert, a second son Peter followed in 1957. Most of their time with the RAF was spent serving overseas, mainly in Singapore and Fiji, and only returned to England after leaving the Force in the early 1960’s.
As time passed Paddy became known for her knowledge of herbal and magical remedies, and soon had a steady stream of students waiting to join her teaching courses, what she called “the Old Wild Magic. In them she would stress the need for individuals to experience the powers of nature and the elements for themselves, and before even trying to employ the use of spells or magic. With the sudden growth and interest in modern witchcraft as practiced as a religion and inspired by those above, Paddy felt that much of the basics of real magic was being lost.
If your looking for an “Occult book of Ritual and Magic”, then her books are not for you, but if you want a down-to-earth real book of Kitchen Witchery, her books are easy, fun and compulsive reading. I might mention however, that while her earlier book “Natural Magic” is beautifully illustrated, her later book “Seasonal Magic” is a re-write and basically the same, it has a few bits of added material and of course contains her now famous “Rite of Chocolate”.
If you'd like to know more about Paddy Slade, I've put a link to her website on the sidebar.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

Guy Montag is a fireman who lives in a futurist America; however firemen of this time don't work in the same way they do today. Instead of putting out fires, they create them. In the futurist American city Montag lives in, people don't talk to each other, admire nature, read books, spend time on their own or think independently. Instead, they watch wall-sized televisions called 'The Family' and listen to the radio called 'Seashell Radio' which is attached to their ear. In fact, in this time, anyone who owns a book - or library of them - is known as a 'minority' and the books must be handed in to be burnt. And this is exactly what the firemen of this time do; as the houses of the future are all fireproof. However, Guy begins to talk to a young Clarisse McClellan who is seventeen and sees the world in a totally different light. She opens his eyes to how empty his life really is and over time, Guy experiences a series of events that changes his way of looking at his job, his life and makes him question exactly why firemen are burning books and not helping people the way they used to in the past (as he had rumours about). In one night, Guy's mind is made up when a job turns bad; when a woman whose house full of books is burnt to the ground with her inside as she refused to leave it. He decides it's time to find out the truth about why books were turned into the enemy. He remembers that he met an old English Professor once; and so he goes in search for him again. Will his friendship with retired English Professor, Faber, change his life for the better or will it get him killed?

I received this book for Christmas and couldn't get my nose out of it over the holidays - also because it rained for a good part of the time too! And so, it made for good reading weather. I love this book and most definitely will read it again.

Ray Bradbury has been writing for a good majority of his life; and has a massive fan base ranging across all age groups. His writing is brilliantly sculpted without weighing a reader down. As with his shorter works, his longer works are just wonderful and a joy to read. Check out more about this brilliant writer on the side bar.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

What I Plan To Get My Nose Into.

I've received so many books over the last six months that my Mt TBR shelves are bowing! Honestly, they are. So, here are just some of the books I'm planning on reading this year; well, it looks like a good pile, but really, I'm looking forward to getting my nose between their pages.

'The Gargoyle' by Andrew Davidson
was given to me on my birthday; and it had been on my Wish List on and so seeing I've begun it, I've promised myself to finish it.
'The King of Cats: And Other Feline Fairytales' edited by John Richard Stephens is one I picked out from a book swap down in Bangalow, NSW while Mum and I met with another Bookcrosser. In return, I gave her a book off her Wish List. This book looked fascinating; so I thought to try it out.
'He Died With a Felafel In His Hand' by John Birmingham. This was written by an Australian man who has rented a lot of places around Brisbane. And seeing I love to read about my country - and at times about my hometown - I thought buy this one from 'The Book Barn' in Mullumbimby while I had the chance.
'Old Man And The Sea' by Ernest Hemmingway. Now, I didn't just buy this one for the story; this book is a 2nd Edition... and that's the other reason why I purchased it; to give it a good home.
'Under The Dome' by Stephen King.
Yep, I read the book the people either love or hate. No middle of the road with tastes on this one; but I've yet to decide whether I like it yet as I'm a third of the way through it and I'm waiting - still - for something big'n'exitin' to happen!

'Danse Macabre' by Stephen King. And other one I have in this pile; but I've heard it's great. I got this one from the Brunswick Markets and intend to get my nose into it this year too!
'So Many Books, So Little Time' by Sara Nelson.
I received this one for Christmas from Mum. She saw it at Redland Bay at Bayers Trading Post and bought it for me. I hope it's as good as the front cover shows it is.

Well, there's my reading plans... and as with all plans, they don't always go to the way we want. I still have my Chunky Reads Challenge to work this into as well. So, I have a busy year of reading ahead of me. What are you getting your noses into for 2010? Leave a comment and let us know.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Fred Astaire by Roy Pickard

Now, I'll let you all in on a little secret. I absolutely adore Fred Astaire... honestly I do. He could dance like nobody's business! And I just loved it. I own some of his films and when I want to watch a film where there's little to no violence, fantastic music by the best Big Band composers and people wearing glorious ball gowns, I pull out one of his dvds from my collection and put it on; and I'm back in the 1950's lost in the world of dance, song and tap.

Mum and I picked up this glorious hard cover edition at Bangalow in a place called 'Heath's' on the day we visited. It was miserable, sultry day and finding this book in amongst others on the shelves in a old tin shed was like finding a diamond in a coal mine. As I pulled it from the shelf, my eyes widened at the beautiful condition it was in; I was astounded at how wonderful the pages were too! Just look at those photos! The pages are white and clean - not a yellowed one amongst them! - and aren't the pictures pristine? Well, Mum knew I wouldn't leave without it and said she'd buy it for me; and I thanked her over and over for it.

I'm afraid to say that there's not a lot on Roy Pickard on the net. However, he did write a lot about Hollywood stars and what made them famous. If anyone knows of a site that can point us in the direction of where we can find out more about this man, please do leave a comment here and I'll add it on to the sidebar for all of us to use. Thanks guys.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Oh! My First Award! Now It's Other People's Turns!

The rules are:
Accept the award, post it on your blog together with the name of the person who has granted the award, and his or her blog link. Pass the award to 15 other blogs that you've newly discovered. Remember to contact the bloggers to let them know they have been chosen for this award.

I won my first ever award from :

I will now pass this award onto these wonderful blogs I have discovered:

betty's books

How Books Got Their Titles

JDP News

Lotus Reads

Notes From A Hospital Bed

Reading My Life Away

Science Fiction and Other ODDysseys


Shaunie's Happy Place

The New Dork Review of Books

The Ranting Teenager

Thoughts of A Fancy Horse

Last Page Turned

Turned Pages' Books

Misfit Salon

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Christmas Presents!

Now, you know what I bought over the New Year period. Here are the books I received for Christmas! I thought to wait until now to let you in on which ones I gotten; so that I didn't bombard you with too many all at once.

We celebrated Christmas on Christmas Eve... so yes, we had our Orgy of Greed (in other words, our day of opening presents) on the Eve of the day instead of the actual day. this is because the whole family wasn't going to be together on Christmas Day; and it was easier for us. The first book I opened was from Mum and called 'So Many Books, So Little Time' by Sara Nelson. And doesn't the front cover look like all of us at times! Well, if not you, it certainly feels like my life sometimes!

The next book was 'Fahrenheit 451' by Ray Bradbury. This book was on my Wish List on Bookcrossing for such a long time; and I did mention in one of the posts earlier that I wanted to get my nose into some of his longer work to see how it panned out. Well! I read it over the holidays - because it rained for a good part of the time while I was at the coast - and I gotta say, his work is absolutely addictive! This one was from a Secret Santa on Bookcrossing... along with a whole lot of other books! What a wonderful person!

The next book is one I bought for myself. I've thought nobody would buy it for me, so I went out and bought 'Under The Dome' by Stephen King and put it as from my budgie! haha... yeah, funny. But still, I've gotten my nose into that one over the holidays too. A good read so far! You'll have to excuse my finger being in the picture. The cover of my book curls up as it's a paperback; not a hard cover. Bummer, eh?

New Year Holiday Purchases!

Well, hello to you all again! And I see that two more people have jumped on and began following this little reviewing thing I've got going. Welcome and thank you for taking the time for have a look in here; I hope you stay on and enjoy the reviews and books I show you from my own bookshelves.

So, I had a great time down the coast at Brunswick Heads, NSW... and if you'd like to have a look at what I got up to just look at my other blog that I manage and you'll able to keep up with the whole holiday there. Otherwise, let's get on with the show! The following books I've got here are the ones I got my hot little hands on over the New Year period; and I hope you guys have either read them or have heard of them, because there's some titles I've never heard of and yet I bought!

The Op-Shops weren't open until this week... so I was without any real places to frequent to buy books. The main book exchange (which made a lot of money) was closed and had bought the newsagency and so I had to hunt around for books instead and found that a real clunker of a shop
called 'Clem's Cargo' was still running from last year (yay!). And this is where I found these two streamline romances and 'The Grail' by Stephen Lawhead in hardcover (which is out of print in this format). However, I'm not going to read the romances, they are for a competition on Bookcrossing that I'm hosting.

The next time I was out and about book-buying was when I was off in Mullumbimby on the 28th, December 2009. While my folks did something else I went to 'The Book Barn'. I've
spoken about this place before; and have recommended it to anyone who wants to find any kind of book they want to read - collector or not - to add to their own reading list. I bought six books here including a 2nd edition of 'Old Man And The Sea' by Hemmingway, 'Animal Farm' by George Orwell, 'African Queen' by C.S Forester, 'As I Lay Dying' by William Faulkner, 'He Died With a Felafel In His Hand' by John Birmingham and 'The Picture of Dorian Gray' by Oscar Wilde. All great books and got them all for around $40! Not a bad price either! Now, you're all going to say that I've already read the last one; well, I ended up giving that one away to a friend of mine while I was down there.... yep, another bookcrosser! She was thrilled to have received it.

And while Mum and I met her in Bangalow on the 29th, December, she offered up some great books to us. These were: 'Candy' by Luke Davies, 'The Bazaar Death of Karla Borsch' by Ken Cotterill, 'The King of Cats: And Other Feline Fairytales' edited by John Richards Stephens, 'She's Come Undone' by Wally Lamb, 'Orfe' by Cynthia Voigt. Mum chose out a few books for herself however I don't have the photos for it here; just the ones for mine unfortunately.

Then, came the markets on last Saturday; which come on the first Saturday of each month to Brunswick Heads. I love them; and try not to miss them when I'm in town. And these ones were huge! Unfortunately, I got badly burnt but I didn't let that bother me! I had books to buy! The first one was 'The First Wive's Club' by Olivia Goldsmith. My last copy was being held together with a rubber band and when I opened it to read it the whole thing fell apart! So, I was on the hunt for another copy! And here it was at the market! Then, I bought a nice big, oversized copy of 'Damse Macabre' by Stephen King. I have found this book in a smaller size, but the writing has been so darn little, I just feel like it's trying to intimidate me... this one doesn't look so bad!

So, there you have it! My New Year Holiday Purchases! There's a lot to pick from to read isn't there? My main problem now is: which one to start with!