Friday, December 31, 2010

December Book Buys!

Now, I didn't buy any books until late in the month; and this is because the After Christmas Sales are to die for!  I love them and do get the best bargains possible at them.  But I hate the crowds... I do think getting in amongst the crowds are worth the hassle though.
The first books I bought are from QBD at Garden City.  I bought them on a Westfield Gift Voucher and am proud to say I went by another person's opinion this time.  One of my old friends - and job search people from a few years back - recommended 'The Six Sacred Stones' by Matthew Rielly to me; and I never bought it until this week.  He's a big fan of his; and I'm going to find out why next year or so when I get to reading it.
The next book in line I bought was a strange one that I had never heard of; but I found I might like as I've never heard of the author.  And new authors can be like food you've never tasted before; fun and exciting or poor and disgusting.  So, I thought to try out an author just like this in 'The Monsters of Templeton' by Lauren Groff.  I hope it's a good read; Stephen King certainly thought it was.
Today, I while I was out with my brother - who took me out to celebrate my birthday rather late (only because he was in Asia for it and didn't get a chance to give me a pressie) - I found 'The Curious Case of Benjamin Button' by F.Scott Fitzgerald and the most gorgeous orange 'Penguin' tin with book titles on it.  so, I bought those with my Westfield Voucher.  Very cool if you ask me!  
Well, that's my December Book Buys; and just in time too!  So, until next time I hope you guys have a wonderful new year and enjoy calling in your resolutions and fun for next year.  Happy Reading and until next time, keep doing just that.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Christmas Reads

Over the Christmas and New Year period, we all get time to read; be it on the actual day, or while we're on holidays watching the time pass by.  This year, I have decided against going to the coast; therefore, I won't be picking up any new reads at Brunswick Heads; thus giving myself time to get through any books I've put aside to read.  And seeing the weather here has begun to look a little more than weird, I'm really looking forward to getting in some serious reading time.
The three main books I've gotten my nose into right now are:  'Shades of Midnight' by Lara Adrian. This is the seventh book I've been waiting to read for some time now; and now I've had it for only two days and I'm past the one hundredth page.  Then, I began reading 'Neuromancer' by William Gibson.  This is a hard book to get into to start with, but once I got past the weirdness of some of the characters and understood how the whole thing worked; I realised, I was reading something very much like 'Snowcrash'... except it wasn't in present tense.  My third book is 'He Died With A Felafel In His Hand' by John Birmingham.  This is an Australian author who has had me in stitches with his experiences of shared houses and living.  And the book is such an easy read that it doesn't matter when I put it down or pick it up, I enjoy it anytime.
Well, now you know what I'm reading at the moment over the Christmas Holiday period.  Now, I'm curious about what you're all reading.  So, let us into what you've got either planned or what you've picked up over this time to keep yourself occupied.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Australia Loses Ruth Park

Today, Ruth Park passed away aged 93.  Born in New Zealand in 1917, Ruth Park moved to Sydney in 1942 to work in a newspaper where she met and married her husband.  They had five children and struggled to live as freelance writers.
Her first book, Harp In the South was unpublished, but won her 2,000 pounds in the Sydney Morning Herald literary competition.  The book shocked readers and caused scandal as the public read about the Irish family in the slums of Surrey Hills in Sydney and their way of life amongst the poverty, adolescent sex, wife beating and murder.  Angus & Roberston published Harp In the South as part of the Park's Prize in the UK and it was translated in 37 languages.
Ruth Park wrote other books including Poor Man's Orange, Swords and Crowns and Rings which won the Miles Franklin Award in 1977.  She also wrote Playing Beatie Bow and The Muddleheaded Wombat (based on her long-running radio serial); along with two dozen childrens books. 
Most of her books remain in print and she was pleased to remove the hyphen from the Muddle-headed Wombat for the 2010 edition of the book which contains an essay that was her last piece of writing.
Apart from stints in London and Norfolk Island and visits to New Zealand, Ruth Park mainly lived in Sydney in a Mosman apartment with harbour views.  She was known as one of the greatest Australian writers who made the biggest impact on literature in this country; along with Thea Astley and legendary Beatrice Davis.  Now all of them are gone into the history books of the written word. 

Friday, December 10, 2010

Top Ten Favourites of 2010!

Just like last year, I'm putting up my top ten favourite books that I've read.  Now, these book are in no particular order - so there's no absolute favourites... just these ones stuck in my mind for this year that I loved and will most definitely read again at some point.

1.  'So Many Books, So Little Time' by Sara Nelson
2.  'Love Is A Mixed Tape' by Rob Sheffield
3.  'Fahrenheit 451' by Ray Bradbury
4.  'The Brain That Changes Itself' by Dr. Norman Doidge, MD
5.  'The Monkey's Mask' by Dorothy Porter
6.  'Midnight Kiss' by Lara Adrian (Book 1 Midnight Breed Series)
7.  'How To Be A Villain' by Neil Zawacki
8.  'Johnathon Livingston Seagull: A Story' by Richard Bach
9.  'The Florabama Ladies' Auxiliary & Sewing Circle' by Lois Battle
10. 'Veil of Midnight' by Lara Adrian (Book 6 Midnight Breed Series)
So, there you have it, my top ten.  I know I have included books one and six of a series, but they really are great... and I find that the first book of a series had to kick butt to get the reader in; so does the last book.  So, I absolutely enjoyed them both.  I'm currently reading 'He Died With A Felafel In His Hand' by John Birmingham.  There's some stories in that book have had me giggling and laughing out loud!  And yes, I'll be reviewing it soon along with a few others I plan to read over the Christmas New Year period.

So, did you enjoy any books this year that really stuck in your mind?  If so, share their titles with us.  Otherwise, I wish you all a very Merry Christmas, hope Santa has brought you all the books, book vouchers you have wished for and you have the time to read as much as I have.  Here in Brisbane, we are in for a very wet Summer and so, there'll be plenty of time to read and review for you all.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

How To Be A Vilain by Neil Zawacki

Have you ever dreamt of world domination?  When you were little, were your goals to be a Supreme dark overlord or a lawyer?  Do you find Unicorns, rainbows, puppies and cute things your worst nightmare?  Well, this could be the book for you... this book is how to be an absolute villain in the present day; and to make sure you don't make the same mistakes the bad guys in the movies do.
From picking out your evil name (which is a lot of fun really) to choosing where you underground lair will be, your main career to what kind evil laugh you decide on, this is a complete - if not funny - guide to finding your evil self. You're told about the heroes, death traps, tools of the trade and you're advised about evil henchmen too; even if you wish you didn't need them.  It also talks about dress and style... and which one you pick could really make or break your evil self.  

Personally, I enjoyed this book.  If the illustrations didn't have me giggling it was the funny types of ways to be evil that did.  I loved picking out my evil name... that's always the most fun (which by the way is: 'Mistress Death Hammer'.  It was from one of the ones in the book... but you can always make your own up).  I decided to get my nose into this book for two reasons:  for one thing it broke me away from the vampire romance I had my head into lately and it was a very quick and light read to zoom through for a day or two.  Otherwise, it got me laughing and isn't a book to be taken too seriously.

I've looked up Neil Zawacki, however I can't find an official website for him; not even Wikipedia is coughing up anything.  So, I'm afraid, he'll be an author we'll have to keep our evil eyes out for, eh?  Well, I will for you all.  Until I find another book he's written and try to get a website of his on here, I apologise for not being able to find him. 

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Ashes of Midnight by Lara Adrian

Andreas Reichen is a Breed Vampire from Germany who out for revenge.  He has lost everything from the human woman he loves - Helene - to the Darkhaven he ran which was full of every last person who he was related to down to his nephew who had just been born.  Somebody had turned Helene into a Minion and he had to kill her to put her out of her misery; knowing he'd never get her back.  And the same person ordered the massacre of his people; leaving him with not only an empty mansion, but nobody to leave his Darkhaven to.  So, Andreas did the only thing he knew, he used the power he was born with to burn the place to the ground.  Then, used the same power to find the man who ordered his family's death,Wilhelm Roth.  However, when he was destroying his country home, he nearly destroyed Roth's breedmate, Claire, who was Andrea's first love.  After a few ups and downs, he knows he wants her back, but stealing another Breed's mate is against all the rules.  But will they find out a way to get around them and be together without them both being destroyed by the same man; and putting the Order in danger as well?

I began reading the Midnight Breed series about a month ago; and seeing I'm a moderate reader, reading six books in about a month and half is better than I usually do.  From the first page of book one, I was hooked; and seeing I was sent all six books in one box, I could just finish one book and begin the next one immediately.  This one is the last one thus far.  And it was only the other day I was contacted by the person who sent me the box of books and she told me that there was a seventh book... oh!  I can't wait to see where that one takes me!
Lara Adrian writes vampire romance.  I have written a piece about her a few posts down and included her link on the side bar; so I won't repeat myself here.  Just click and read more at your leisure.