Monday, April 30, 2012

April Book Buys!

I've been good!  Very good... so good, fact, that I haven't bought a huge amount of books this month; only two.  These two books were by the same author and I'm proud to say they were both signed copies as well.  I found them at 'The Book Cafe' at Garden City for $10 each and they were both by a great Australian author:  Estelle Pinney.
The first one, 'The House On The Hill' is one I already have a copy of and Estelle signed that one for me personally.  So, this one was purchased for Mum.  I thought to get it as I knew we Estelle from choir and she's been such a good writer friend of mine for so long.  
Then, the second one was 'Burnt Sunshine' which was released in 2008 and I've never seen on the bookshelves.  I'm so happy these two books are now in my possession (well, one of them is; as I've given Mum the other permanently for her to read).  These are the only two books I've bought this month, and I'm happy to say, that I'm saving my money for not buying books.  So, what books have you bought this month?  Let us know what deals you picked up.  Until my next post, happy reading!

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Wet Weekends

It's a cold, wet weekend here in Brisbane; so much so, I've dressed in comfy trackpants and slippers for the whole day and my budgie has been kept nice and toasty in her cage as I've left her covers on it so she can snooze all day on her swing (such a cutie!).  
With the rest of the house closed up to keep the cold out, I've been reading a lot and knitting as well while drinking hot chocolate and eating defrosted Hot Cross Buns left over from Easter.  However, I'm reading two books right now that have been of interest to me.  There's 'Last Night In Twisted River' by John Irving who has the most brilliant ways of making you remember characters!  However, the strange thing I've found is that I have tried reading his other books without success... oh well, as least I've gotten in to this one!
Then, there's 'Death, Taxes and a French Manicure' by Diane Kelly.  This is a romance novel with a funny twist.  The main character is an IRS agent who can kick butt and yet, she gets a manicure when she needs to get on top of things.  However, her most recent case includes a drug dealer, a company that isn't legit and a hot, sexy landscape gardener who is stuck in the middle of it all who she's got the hots for... wow!  What a plot!  And seeing that within the first two pages, I got three good laugh-out-loud laughs from it, I kept reading!  And it's a great book; and yes, it's a romance novel something really not my style.  But I'm giving it a big chance seeing I haven't read all that many books this year.

So, what do you read on wet, wet days?  Do you push through a Biography or Autobiography?  Or are mystery/thrillers more like your style?  Or if you can't stand those, what about sci-fi fantasy?  Right now, I'm reading anything that keeps my interest seeing my mind's focus is so dreadful.  Until my next post, happy reading!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Deceased Collections

This past Sunday, my family lost a wonderful Uncle to Prostate Cancer.  His service is this Friday and we're all just taking this week one day at a time.  However, I've always wondered what happens to people's collections when they pass away.  I mean, what will happen to my 1,000+ books when I'm gone?  Will my niece like the books I've picked out for her to add to her collection?  Or will she send them off to have them picked up by a charity because there's just too many?
With my Uncle passed on now, I know he has some books in his house in a spare room.  But I'm not sure who will get them.  He never specified who was going to be getting what from his Will; but I'm sure we will find out soon enough.

However, I have always wondered what happens to collections of famous people once they've passed on.  Did their families split up the books and share them around?  Or were they shipped off to a charity, a school or somewhere else?  Or did the unfortunate person who passed on not have a family to give their books to and the whole collection ended up being stuck somewhere else or given to a second-hand bookstore where it was split up completely?

So, have you ever picked up books from deceased relatives and found them to be a wonderful reminder of who they are?  I have.  I picked up my Grandparents' books - which are taking up a shelf here in my office.  And I have my Grandpa's complete collection of journals from 1926 - 1984.  What a life he had.  Grandpa may not have left a big mark in Australian history, but his journals speak of what kind of life it was over those decades; and that's just remarkable in itself.  Well, until my next post, happy reading!

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Favourite Classics

I love to read classic novels of all kinds.  Some of them have been classics for a long time, others become classics in their own time as I've grown.  Over my life, I have been fortunate to acquire a collection of classic novels from my brothers ex-girlfriend; and what a collection they are!
There's 52 in the collection and they come with magazines; as they were the type you bought at a newsagents over a year.  I've read a few of them; but I've also read my own collection of classics over the years - some of them have become favourites of mine, while others have been regrets.
Here's a list of the classics I've read over the time I've been keeping a reading list.  How many have you read of them?

'A Patch of Blue' by Elizabeth Kata
'The Day of the Tiffids' by John Wyndam
'Little Women' by L. M Alcott
'On The Road' by Jack Kerouac
'The Picture of Dorian Gray' by Oscar Wilde
'I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings' by Maya Angelou
'To Kill A Mockingbird' by Harper Lee (unfinished)
'The Perks of Being a Wallflower' by Stephen Chbosky
'Blood Music' by Greg Bear
'Fahrenheit 451' by Ray Bradbury
'Old Man and the Sea' by Ernest Hemmingway
'Red Dog' by Louis De Bernieres

Some of them were great, where as some weren't so great.  I had tried to read 'To Kill a Mockingbird' when I was in high school; however, I didn't get it then, and when I tried to read it a couple of years ago, I still didn't get it.  I guess it's just how some books work.  So, which books have you read that are classics and which ones turned out to be your favourites?  Until my next post, happy reading!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Titanic's Morse Code Messages

This weekend, it's been 100 years since the sinking of the magnificent ship, Titanic.  I've been interested in this ship since I was very young; and so when this anniversary came around this year, I wondered what I could do for it.  Today, I came upon this site which translated the Morse Code Messages that had been transmitted to and from the grand ship during its maiden voyage across the Atlantic.  They are very touching and brought me to tears; and I thought to share this link with you all.

Titanic's Morse Code Messages Translated 

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Walking the Tracks

I was surfing the net and found this great four-part interview from 2009 about the movie 'Stand By Me' which was taken from the story by Stephen King 'The Body'.  

Walking The Tracks - Part 2 

Walking The Tracks - Part 3 

Walking The Tracks - Part 4 

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Getting Oranised! Part Two!

My home office isn't all that big, but tidying it up has become a larger job than I first thought.  Yesterday, I got stuck into my 4th bookcase; this is the little one by the window which is also known as my non-fiction bookcase.  This one is chock-a-block full of my books that are mainly reference books.  Some of them are too big for this bookcase and have been moved to the lower to shelves of the 3rd bookcase by the door.
I also thought to tackle Grandpa's Desk.  This is next to my 4th bookcase; so made it easier for me to tidy up.  However, moving everything out of the way was the hardest thing of all.  I had a few bits of furniture in the hall and four bags of books too before I did any real work; and the place looked like a paper factory exploded in it.  But by the end of the two hours I was here, I had the whole thing organised.  
My bulkier stationery was in the bottom of Grandpa's desk, my magazines where in a place I could lay my hands on them, as were my books.  Everything is now within easy reach.  Now, to move onto the next part of this office... the floor.  It still looks dreadful.
Have you needed to tidy up an office like this and it took longer than expected?  If so, how long did it take?  Was it worth it, or did it go back to how it looked before?  Until my next post, happy reading!

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Getting Oranised!

Now, around mid-last year, I wrote an article here about how many books I had in my collection; and surprised myself when I found I was nearing the 1,000 mark.  Now I have over that number, and it's 2012, it's time to organise this office so that I can accommodate more books if need be.
Yesterday afternoon, I worked in here for two hours figuring out the best way to fit my books in, sort out books I didn't want anymore and throwing out some that weren't needed.  And I found that it was as matter of placing certain books in their own sections and making sure I had the space for others.
I have had my late-Grandparents' books sitting around in a corner of their own for a long time; and thought it was time to let them have the entire shelf.  And now, they have that shelf.  They are double parked but look good! 
My journals had to swap shelves with the photo albums as albums just didn't physically fit the bottom shelf of the saggy bookcase.  Now, they look good; and there's only two albums that need more space because they are massive and can't fit anywhere else but on a very tall bookcase near the door.
I had to re-organise the top of the saggy bookcase because I found the books that were there were organised badly; with the small books on the bottom an big ones teetering on the top.  With this bookcase leaning about two inches from the wall (through its own dynamics and no fault of my own), I really needed to fix how the books were organised on it.  So, I pulled them all down and did exactly what I hoped I wasn't going to do:  I bumped one and it fell down the back of the bookcase, getting stuck halfway down!  I had to unload the rest of the top of the bookcase, pull out the doorstop under the front right leg and rock it forward so the book slid down and over my way.  Once out, and I had the doorstop back under it, I stacked the larger books on the bottom and made my way to the top  with the smaller books up against the wall.  It looks a lot more stable and better now.
I've still got a long way to go on this collection this weekend; as I only got about a quarter way through re-organising them.  But I did make a difference in how it looks and how this home office feels.  And this place doesn't feel so cluttered and crowded anymore - and that's a great feeling.  
Have you ever had a problem with storing your books and found a solution without throwing any out?  If so, share your great solution with us.  Until my next post, happy reading.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Queensland Literary Awards Axed!

Recently, we had our state elections to elect a new Premier for Queensland.  This is a person who will run our state and finance it.  It was a landslide win to the Liberal Party and we all thought Campbell Newman was going to be helpful and straighten out what the last political party couldn't.  However we didn't think he'd start shredding into the arts; like he did today.

No Apologies for Axing The Queensland Literary Awards

So, leave a comment and us know what you think of this dreadful decision.  Otherwise until my next post.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

....and The Plot Thickens!

As with anyone who has a book collection, I have a collection of cook books.  So, it got me thinking to ask you all if you had any notable cook books you'd like to mention here.
I have a few Asian cook books where you can cook just about anything that can fit in a wok.  And most of the sauces they use are the same three ingredients:  sugar, oyster sauce and soy sauce.  A tablespoon or so of each, mix and add it to the stirfry; and yummo!
Other books in my kitchen are ones I either look up as reference books or I use all the time.  There's two I use all the time which are 'Symply Too Good To Be True'.  Now, this was a successful weight loss magazine that Annette Syms put out and she had tried every diet there was; until she began writing her own diet just cooked up everything low fat and the weight dropped off her.  So, she thought to share it with everyone.  I met her last year at the Logan Central Library where she signed my magazines; and she was amazed that some people still had the first editions of her magazines.
The other cook book I cook out of all the time is one I have written myself - just like Annette - and it's one Mum gave me when I moved out of home.  This one is for my own recipes that I create.  Being a vegetarian, I create a lot of my own dishes; some work, some don't.  But being one who lives on their own, I have found that I have plenty of time to experiment with food and have fun with it.  So, making sure something is perfected is a good idea before putting it into my cook book.
I've also got a great reference book that Mum bought me from a Book Club at her school.  It's title is 'What Food Is That?'  It's a fantastic book filled to the brim with information about food, where it comes from, how to serve it, what kinds of vitamins and minerals and carbohydrates are in it and how to store it as well as where it comes from in the world originally.  I love this book and will never part with it.
I have one funny book I found in a thrift store of a 'Young and the Restless Cook Book'.  This book contains all the food and recipes that are used on the set of this daytime soap opera and how to make it.  I tell ya!  The amount of fat, salt and sugar in the food that's served up in this book is amazingly high!  I haven't tried any of the recipes; as I wouldn't know where to start.  But they all do sound interesting.  It does make me wonder if there's cook books that have been put out from each soap opera that's been on television... or did 'Young and the Restless' only do it for a giggle?
So, which cook books live in your kitchen?  Are they useful, hand-written, handed down from generation to generation?  Or do you have any that are funny - like I do - and bought them just for a laugh?  Until my next post, happy reading. 

Monday, April 2, 2012

It's All A Mystery

Every now and then, we all love to delve into a good mystery novel.  And I thought to find a link to some interviews you guys would be interested in.  So, while surfing around Youtube, I found one where they listed all the mystery writers interviewed from one day ago to over three years ago.  And here they are:


Until my next post, happy reading!