Monday, August 30, 2010

August Book Buys!

Well, it's been a relatively plain ol' month of me buying things this month; but also a month of buying a brand new book too!  What a great thing that is!  I had been eying off a book for a long time; and finally, I bought it at the more expensive price!  Yay!
Now, I only bought three books this month; but they were well worth forking out the money for.  And I only bought them because I want to read them at some point.
The first book I purchased was 'The Lost Diary of Don Juan' by James Carlton Brams.  It's a look at the man behind the myth of Don Juan and how the name became so famous throughout history and the world.  I've yet to read it, but I do have it on my Mt To Be Read.
The next book was purchased a few days after the first (on 8th, August) and it is 'The Brain That Changes Itself' by Norman Doidge, MD.  This book was turned into a television series that interested me greatly.  It's about how people with average intelligence - or other things mentally wrong with them - can form new pathways in their brains and learn new things.  It's called Neuroplasicity; and it's something that's been working for some time now for a lot of people with disabilities ranging from Autism to Stroke Victims; and it works.  When I saw the book on the shelves, I wanted and bought it with a book voucher; and now I'm reading it.  Very interesting stuff!
The third book is something I'm absolutely obsessed with:  being left-handed.  It's titled: 'The Left-Handed History of the World' by Ed Wright.  It's about the people throughout history who have been known left-handers and have change the world in some way.  It's a very interesting book; and I look forward to reading it soon.

So, there you have it.  My book purchases for this month!  Until next month's book purchases, I hope you keep reading as much as I am.  I'll be back doing more reviews soon; my reading schedule has been a little slow for a few weeks as I've been busy with another project.  Once that's finished, I'll be back doing what I love best.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell

From the back cover:  'Six interlocking lives - one amazing adventure.  In a narrative that circles the globe and reaches from the 19th Century to a post-apocalyptic future, David Mitchell erases the boundaries of time, genre and language to offer an enthralling vision of humanity's will to power, and where it will lead us.'

I love reading unusual books; but this one just hasn't done it for me.  It's got all the hooks and wonderful bits I'd expect from an usual text but it took too long to pull me in with too many characters to keep a track of.  I found myself feeling dragged down and not wanting to read it when I really did need to get going with it.  So, I haven't finished this book and moved onto another.

Born in Southport in 1969, David Mitchell grew up in Malvern, Worcestershire, studying for a degree in English and American Literature followed by an MA in Comparative Literature, at the University of Kent. He lived for a year in Sicily before moving to Hiroshima, Japan, where he taught English to technical students for eight years, before returning to England.
His first novel, Ghostwritten (1999).  His second novel, number9dream (2001), was shortlisted for the 2002 Man Booker Prize for fiction.  His third novel, Cloud Atlas (2004) was shortlisted for the 2004 Man Booker Prize for Fiction, and was followed by Black Swan Green (2006).

David Mitchell lives in Ireland. His most recent book is The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet (2010).

Monday, August 16, 2010

Night Owl Sessions

I do love getting my nose into a good book; but then, don't we all?  For me, the best time is before bed or in the afternoons just before the kids come home from school (here in Australia, that's around 3pm).

I find that reading at night is something that relaxes me and I can enjoy the activity of reading more than I do in the daytime where noises and people being around are the main distractions.  At night, there's not really all that much to distract me from the pages and I enjoy a book more; so thus I'm a night owl when I really need to get into a book or when I do want to get through a book for the sheer pleasure of it.
But my night-time sessions can go until really late and I forget to look at my watch to turn out the light.  Last night, was one of those nights with 'Cloud Atlas' where I was planning on getting to bed at a good reasonable hour and hoped to read just a little bit, however the book turned out to be better than I thought.
I began reading at 10:50pm and the next time I looked at my watch, it was midnight!  Wow!  Where'd that time go?  The best thing about that was the storyline just pulled me along and I loved where it was going.
And since I have so many books to get my nose into - and these are books that I will be reviewing in the future for you all - I do try and keep my reading as varied as possible.  But I am becoming a fan of David Mitchell's as I get further into 'Cloud Atlas'.  

So, what time of the day do you read better?  Are you daytime reader?  Do you read over lunch or afternoon tea? Or are you like me and burn the midnight oil; reading when everyone else in the house is sound asleep?

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Best Laid Plans...

This Winter, I had the best intentions to read up a storm and get through a fair bit of my Mt To Be Read.  But that just didn't happen.  Instead, I ended up on here; online e-mailing people and playing Farmville.  It's so addictive!
Don't get me wrong, I'm reading; but not as much as I had hoped.  I have been outside my unit reading on the curb in the sun to keep warm (as the unit can get quite cold at this time of the year) and then I'll get my nose into the books before I turn out the light late at night.  But then, I've also been out and about attending gigs of my brother's bands and visiting family too.  It's like that saying:  The best laid plans never work out... or something like that.
I guess John Lennon was right:  'Life is what happens when you're busy making other plans.' I actually have a broken keyring with that one it by my bed so I don't feel so bad when I can't do something I've planned to.

So, what's gone astray when you've planned to do it?  For me, it was my Winter reading.  I've got so many books to get through and more coming in the mail from across the miles.  What have you been feeling guilty about lately in your part of the world that you wish you had gotten done at this time of the year? 

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Back On My Feet!

I'm back on my reading feet again... there's no more headaches!   Yay!  Last night was the first time I could read without thinking my head was going to explode; actually, last night was the first time in three days I had cracked open 'Cloud Atlas'... so I had some catching up to do!  And I did some of it just before turning out the light and promptly crashing blissfully into a wonderful nights' sleep.
My chiropractor told me yesterday - when I paid him a visit - that the bone at the base of my skull that supports it (the neck bit that is) was pushing on my skull in such a way that I would have had symptoms of dizziness, nausea and a thumping headache; which I did.  So, once he fixed that, I was relieved of the most of the pain.  And this morning, I woke to a lovely, bright day where my eyes didn't hurt, I was starving like you wouldn't believe and I didn't feel like I had a constant hangover.
And today, I've been on the computer since around 9:30am and there's been no problems with the glare... wonderful!  So, I thought to let you guys know, I'm getting back into reading faster and more books now I'm feeling better.

Friday, August 6, 2010

A Short Lull In Words

For the last week, I haven't been reading all that much.  And the reason why?  Well, I've been suffering through some of the worst headaches I've ever encountered.
Now, I know what the problem is; it's my neck.  It's not the strongest thing on me and once in a while it'll get out of line and I'll need to head off to the chiropractor and get it put straight again.  And today's the day I'll be doing that.  So, this is why I haven't been writing much here of late.  But once I've been to see him, I'll be back on here writing about what you all love... books and related subjects.
Otherwise, right now, I'm partway through 'Cloud Atlas' by David Mitchell and have just bought the current issue of 'Good Reading' Magazine for August.  It looks wonderful!  I'll be back on my feet again this weekend, for sure, doing what I love doing... reading all day.