Monday, December 30, 2013

Two for the Price of One!

Okay!  Here we go!  I'm going to type this as fast as I can, because I'm working off a piddly piece of crap wi-fi here at Brunswick heads at the caravan park...

First off the ranks for reviews this holiday is 'The Wastelands' by Stephen King.  What a volume!  This is the third book of the Dark Tower Series and King kept me enthrawled again with this large volume of Roland Gilead's ventures as he and his crew walks along the beam towards the Dark Tower.  Eddie Dean and Suzannah are with him again and young Jake finds his way back to the three through a porthole - and at the same time, they find their way through to him through the same doorway!  What a spinner that was! 
Once they're all reunited, they find a dog - a Billy Bumbler - which can be taught to talk by humans, and Jake bonds with it and calls him Oy.  So, with the dog along, this crew is growing to a nice posse.  They all begin to walk across the wastelands to the mountains.

However, there's a city of Lud they come across - and have been warned about.  From a distance, drums beat at night.  The city lights up its buildings; and there's a rumour about a train called Blaine.

But as Roland, Eddie Dean, Suzannah and Jake approach Lude, it seems uninhabited... or is it?

The next book I read is a total opposite to a Stephen King book.  It's a romance novel by the girls at The Romance Bandits.  It as free and I thought to read it to see how they all went in a joint publication.

'A Grosvenor Square Christmas' by Anna Campbell, Shana Galen, Vanessa Kelly & Kate Noble. It's Christmas in London in the 1800's and Lady Lucy Winterson's Christmas Ball are the place to be on Christmas Eve.  Within the walls of No.3 Grosvenor Square, a great many wishes, dancing, romance and miracles happen around Christmas.  And with a host like Lucy throwing these Christmas Balls, who knows what will happen from one Christmas Eve to the next?  With the assistance of her dedicated butler, Philbert, Lady Lucy Winterson manages to pull off some wonderfully romantic things for everyone... however, is there romance in the air for her?

This wonderfully-produced and written book is something too precious not to review.  I'm not normally one to read romance, but this has a special feel to it... and seeing it was a free download off iTunes, I'm happy to say it is a great success in how the four authors have pulled together their imaginations and stories.  Even if you don't read romance, read it for just the excitement of knowing there's somebody out there for everyone.

So, there you go, guys!  Two reviews for this holiday... phew!  There's some fast typing there, the keyboard here is smokin'!  Only kidding! Until my next post, happy reading!

Monday, December 23, 2013

Christmas Quick Five!

I've had a few hours - and days - to myself lately because it's so hot here in Australia.  It's a matter of getting up nice and early with the birds and jumping in and getting everything done as fast as possible before the heat strikes us all down as blobs of sweat at around 10am.

Now, I thought a Quick Five Questions would be fun to add to this event this year... I want to know more about you guys as people.  So, here goes:

1.  What's your Christmas Wish? (can be anything)

2.  What is your all-time favourite Christmas Movie?

3.  Is there a gift you are hoping to receive under the tree this year?  If so, what is it?

4.   Which book/s are you reading through this time of year?

5.  How are you spending Christmas this year?

My answers to these are:

1.  My Christmas Wish would have to be that my friends and family are well and safe this year and loved.  

2.  It's a toss-up between 'Bed of Roses' and 'Bad Santa'... yeah, totally opposite movies, I know!  But they are great films in their own right.

3.  A car.  Mum and Dad are buying me a car this year... Yay!... and an iPod jack for it... so I can listen to my music when there's sports on all the stations on the weekends when I drive around. :D

4.  'The Wastelands' by Stephen King - I'm just finishing the last few chapters of that.  'The Imaginings' by Paul D. Dail is on my iPod and I've downloaded 'A Grosvenor Square Christmas' by some of the girls at The Romance Bandits.

5.  I'll be going to my brother's place on Christmas Eve where we'll have our own Orgy of Greed after using their pizza oven!  Yummo!  Then, the next day, we'll have Christmas Lunch at Mum and Dad's house, with my Aunty Helen and cousin Kate... very cool. :D

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Prompting Us Along!

At this time of year, I try not to go out too much, it's just too dangerous to be out on the roads.  People are in such a hurry to get out and do their last minute Christmas Shopping.  So, this gives me a chance to get in and do stuff around the house - or stuff-all around the house.  

Yeah, I'm a lazy kinda person, but I do enjoy writing and reading.  And so, I've been looking through my collection of books this week and found that a lot of things in my little library of books prompt me to write.  However, there were only a few books that really hit home which prompt me to get in and write properly.

'On Writing' by Stephen King was the first book where a writer actually sat down with us all and told us what to say, what not to say and how to work out our 'toolboxes' properly.  I had most of what I needed in my toolbox, but there were a few little thing still missing which were filled out by Steve... thanks, mate!  You're a fantastic writer and I'm working on my next book soon.

'The Writer's Idea Book' by Jack Heffron.  Now, if you're lucky-enough to own a copy of this book, well, don't ever let it go!  I've heard it's out of print and the publishing company he went with folded; however, you can buy it from e-bay for between $3 - $8... now, that's a bargain!  But I do recommend every writer does get a copy in their hot little hands to improve their writing as it's filled to the brim with prompts to help you with anything you're trying to work with!

'The Artist's Way' by Julia Cameron.  Now, I love this book so much I hunted down an earlier edition for my niece, Riley, for her.  I told her that I used it and thought she'd like to use some of the techniques in it to help her with her art; and she was so happy I bought it for her.  Now, this book helps clear you mind of crap you're currently thinking about to bring forward the good stuff you need to work on.  It's great to do that... and it'll work hand in hand with 'The Writer's Idea Book'... not a bad connection to have with these two books.  But if I was given the choice of which to take on holidays with me, I'd pick 'The Writer's Idea Book' each time as it's so useful anywhere you are.

So, which books are great prompts for you when you're writing.  Or have you collected books that are great in other ways and nobody has?  Until my next post, happy reading.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Sitting Down With A Few Great Writers

I love reading and writing as most of us do, but have you ever wondered what television and script writers do in their spare time?  Well, I've been looking around the net and found on 'Good Reading' Magazine's official site (which I subscribe to) a collection of interviews I thought to sort through for you to read.  I found a great interview with Fiona Wood, a script writer from great shows we all love such as 'The Secret Life of Us', 'Neighbours' and 'Home and Away'... just click on the link below to read the full interview.

Fiona Wood 

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Soundtracks of Our Books

When you pick up a book and have a look at it, you as a reader, might not realise that the author had music in their heads at certain scenes - much like a movie does when things happen.

However, I have found that music often sets the scene with my writing.  I've had the dreaded Writer's Block for a while now... right up until 'If I Had A Tail' by Queens of the Stoneage came out on the radio.  The moment it hit the airwaves, my block moved out of the way and the third Fry Nelson book started to write itself in my head at lightning speed!  I could barely keep up with it!

I was amazed at what this song did for me!

The problem with it was that it wasn't long enough.

In any case, my block was moved and I had to wait until I heard it again on the radio - as I didn't have a copy of it and couldn't afford to buy it on iTunes - so I've been carrying around my iPod with me so I could write down what would be happening in my head when 'If I Had A Tail' came on the stereo... and when it did, I dropped everything and began writing!  What I got out in those few minutes was fantastic!  I loved it!

I've used all kinds of music to get my brain working in a book the way I want it to.  From opera to heavy metal to golden oldies swing music, I've used it... I even used a cd of rain and storm music to set the scene when I needed a huge storm in my book and it was bright and hot and sunny outside.  I could darken my house, but we weren't going to get storms for months.  So, out came the nature/sound effects cd and I wrote the storm going on inside my home.  And yes, my neighbours thought I had a few screws loose, but it worked so well!

So, what have you done to set the scene?  And which songs have you used to make that dreaded blockage move?  I betcha it was a song as interestingly weird as mine!  And just to show you, I thought to share it with you here... it's become a bit of a favourite of mine too.  Until my next post, happy reading.

Queens of the Stoneage 

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Posthumous Reading

Last week, we lost a great man in our lives:  Nelson Mandela.  He touched our lives throughout many generations and will never be forgotten over future generations; so long we make sure our children and grand-children know who he is and what he has done for Africa and her people and anyone else who has lived in oppressive situations.
However, over the last month, we also lost Doris Lessing.  She was around the same age as Nelson Mandela and contributed to literature in such a way we will miss her as well.

I own a few of these people's books and have made plans to read some of their writings over the Christmas holidays while I'm down the coast and when I return home.  I have 'Under My Skin' and 'The Golden Notebook' by Doris Lessing.  Then, I have 'Nelson Mandela: The Authorised Book of Quotations' by Himself and 'Conversations With Myself' by Nelson Mandela.  All these books will be great additions to my Mt TBR over this coming holiday season.

I do have other books which are sitting in my bookcases of actors, singers and writers who are no longer with us as well, most of which I haven't read either.  However, seeing how recent these most interesting and important people are - and have been - in my life, I thought to add them to my suitcase to take away on holidays.  So, what are you hoping to pack on your holidays?  Are they similar reads to mine or are they a little lighter than what I've chosen?  Until my next post, happy reading!

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Summer of Fun Event?

Okay... I'm sure you're wondering if I'm doing my annual Summer of Fun event. And the answer is yes!  Now I have access to a car, I'll be driving to more book stores than ever to review them for you!  

I'm hoping to read a few books - as you can see in the posts below - and I'm going to sort through my collection and see what I need and what I've collected and forgotten.

And ya never know, there might be a few interviews of local authors too... some I haven't done yet.  So, stayed tuned.  This Summer Of Fun event might not be as full-on as previous ones, but it'll still be worth checking in... as you never know what will be posted here. 

Saturday, November 30, 2013

What November Book Buys?

Yes, what book buys indeed!  I haven't bought any books this month; and this is something I'm proud of. 

Instead, I've been rummaging around in my collection looking for books to read over Summer, books that I thought I gave away and books I'm thinking of giving away as Christmas presents (yes, I'm that broke this year!).

So, let's see... I'm still reading 'The Wastelands' and am getting through it very quickly too.  I'm racing my brother actually, so it's been fun to see who finishes it first!  Me or him!  He's only bought up to book 5, when I've got up to book 8! 

Otherwise, I'm busily trying to finish up Fry Nelson. Now, I have written in note form what the ending is going to look like, but otherwise, that's it.  The whole ending is going to take some time... and it's going to finish with a real bang!  Well, I think it is by the look of the notes.

So, what have you been reading, writing, collecting and rummaging through - and also buying as Christmas pressies?  Love to know!  Until my next post, happy reading!

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Ideas and Where They Come From...

Ideas are wonderful things to have when you're a writer.  But it's the worse thing in the world when you're halfway through a book and your fictional world grinds to a halt all because the storyline thins out; and you don't want to bore your readers.

So, where do you get ideas?  

I get asked that question all the time when I tell people I'm a writer.  And they also squeal: 'Oh! How exciting!' as well... um, no not really.  Most of the time, when I'm on a roll, I don't sleep very well because my brain is dug that deeply into the plot of the book it refuses to slow down enough to sleep.  So, I'm stuck there in the middle of the night unable to sleep with my brain running a huge race at what exactly my characters are doing inside my head... meanwhile my body is complaining that it doesn't want to get out of my nice, comfy bed and informing my brain that it's time to close down the factory for night to refuel.  A lot of the times, I have notebook by my bed for this exact reason.  I end up sitting up in bed, with a pen and paper writing down what is on my mind so I can get some sleep. 

...and more often than not, I get to sleep at around 1am.

There's other times I'll get great ideas for books.  Sometimes, I'll be hanging out the laundry... boring right? ... yeah, and the best idea comes to me while I'm listening to a neighbour fighting with their husband or I hear a siren of the fire station next door... the ideas come from pretty well anywhere when I'm outside.
And then, there's the more personal ones:  like when I'm in the shower or on the toilet... damn those times when I can't get near a notebook fast enough.  

But the ideas are great when they come thick and fast and I often find I can use them.  

Sometimes, though, I have weird ideas.  And these come in the form of a dream; and this is why I keep dream journals.  I get the best ideas from my dream journals.  The more vivid and off-beat the dream, the more likely it'll be a part of a storyline of one of my stories or books.

So, if you're a writer, what ways do you use to get ideas?  You've read about some of mine - not all of them.  Until my next post, happy reading.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Summer Reading List

This Summer is going to be one very hot one; and with storms that have hit Queensland and Brisbane already, I'm sure the heat is only going to get worse as the weeks wear on.

However, I've chosen the books I want to read over the next three months or so; as I try to stay out of the boiling hot Summer sun as much as I can, and here they are:  'The Celestine Prophecy: An Adventure' by James Redfield.  I've heard a lot about this book, people have been reading since it first came out and yet I've never heard anyone talk about it fully.  So, I'm going to see what the complete of unfussiness is about this book!  
'The Golden Notebook' by Doris Lessing.  I've had this book on my shelves for over a year now, and I've yet to read it.  Actually it's been on my Mt To Be Read for the last year, and I haven't picked it up.  So, in tribute to her, I'm going to see why people have been talking about this particular book for so long; and why it's caused so much contraversy over so many decades.
'Literati' by James Phelan.  Now, this is a book I picked up at 'The Book Warehouse's last day in Springwood.  I saw it and found the blurb interesting.  It's interviews of authors and of what they wanted of their writing careers, and if what has happened to them is exactly what they expected.  I think I'm going to be surprised with this book.  

So, what are you hoping to get read over this Christmas period from wherever you are in this world?  Are you going to be snowed in and curled up by the fire reading romances with a hot chocolate by your side? Or are you going to be by the beach, under a sprawling Jacandar Tree with a nice cool ice tea in your hand and book in the sea breezes of the afternoon?  Which books are you taking on your holiday, and which books are taking you on your holiday when you're stuck at home?  Until my next post, happy reading.

Monday, November 18, 2013

The World Loses Doris Lessing

I heard today that Doris Lessing passed away aged 94.  What a great age to reach for such a brilliant author; especially one of who received the Nobel Prize for Literature in 2007.  However, not a lot of people know about her life.  So, I thought to find a site where there's a proper lot of information and write a tribute to her.

Doris Lessing was born Doris May Tayler in Persia (now Iran) on October 22, 1919. Both of her parents were British: her father, who had been crippled in World War I, was a clerk in the Imperial Bank of Persia; her mother had been a nurse. In 1925, lured by the promise of getting rich through maize farming, the family moved to the British colony in Southern Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe). 
Doris' upbringing was a mix of 'some pleasure and much pain' as she and her brother explored their world around them in Africa.  Her mother was obsessed with raising a proper daughter and so enforced rigid rules and regulations of higiene at home; then enrolled her in a convent where the nuns terrified their charges with stories of hell and damnation.  Lessing was later sent to and all-girls high school; where she dropped out of aged 13 and become a self-educated intellectual.  And she has believed that unhappy childhoods seem to produce fiction writers: 

'Yes, I think that is true. Though it wasn't apparent to me then. Of course, I wasn't thinking in terms of being a writer then - I was just thinking about how to escape, all the time.'

Parcels of books ordered from London arrived to feed her imagination and laying out worlds for her to escape into from her life of where she was living. Her early reading lists included authors such as:   Dickens, Scott, Stevenson, Kipling; later she discovered D.H. Lawrence, Stendhal, Tolstoy, DostoevskyAnd she also kept her brother awake at night spinning tales of her own as well.

At age 15, Doris left home in flight from her mother and took up a job as a nursemaid.  Her employer gave her books on sociology and politics to read; and all the while his son was sneaking into her room at night.

Lessing's life has been a challenge to her belief that people cannot resist the currents of their time, as she fought against the biological and cultural imperatives that fated her to sink without a murmur into marriage and motherhood.  

"There is a whole generation of women," she has said, speaking of her mother's era, "and it was as if their lives came to a stop when they had children. Most of them got pretty neurotic - because, I think, of the contrast between what they were taught at school they were capable of being and what actually happened to them." 

Lessing believes that she was freer than most people because she became a writer. For her, writing is a process of "setting at a distance," taking the "raw, the individual, the uncriticized, the unexamined, into the realm of the general." 

In 1937, Lessing moved to Salisbury and worked as a telephone operator for a year; and at 19, got married to Frank Wisdom and had two children to him.  However, their marriage didn't last long, with her leaving the family; feeling trapped in a persona that would destroy her if she had stayed.  She stayed in Salisbury and found the Left Book Club where she met Gottfried Lessing.  He was a central member of the group, which was a Communist group; and soon after they met, they were married and she had a son to him.  
By 1949, Lessing had left the communist group and moved to London with her son and published her first book 'The Grass Is Singing' and began her professional career as a writer.

After writing the 'Children of Violence' series (1951 - 1959), a formally buldungsroman (novel of education) about the growth in consciousness of her heroine, Martha Quest, Lessing broke new ground with 'The Golden Notebook' (1962) a daring narrative experiment, in which the multiple selves of a contemporary woman are rendered in astonishing depth and detail. 
Attacked for being "unfeminine" in her depiction of female anger and aggression, Lessing responded, "Apparently what many women were thinking, feeling, experiencing came as a great surprise." As at least one early critic noticed, Anna Wulf "tries to live with the freedom of a man" - a point Lessing seems to confirm: "These attitudes in male writers were taken for granted, accepted as sound philosophical bases, as quite normal, certainly not as woman-hating, aggressive, or neurotic."

Over her long and very interesting life, Doris Lessing has written around 60 books.  She has been a major influence on many people across the world and has left a huge mark on our world.  Her legacy of literature will leave not leave us for generations to come. 
I found all this information on her official website - and took about 3 paragraphs fully from it to paste here as there was so much information there.  And because of this, I'll leave the link for you to read it all here and you can have a look at it... and I'll also put it onto the side bar as well for future reference.  Rest In Peace, Doris Lessing.  

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Late Night Reading

Whenever I'm not working on my market stall and stock that's going to be sold in it next Sunday, and on my Facebook page of Crafty Pegs, I'm madly trying to keep my house clean... bills paid on time and other things around my house either put away or clean.

Otherwise, the only time I'm getting to read anything is when I'm in bed late at night or in a doctor's waiting room... yeah, pretty bare bones kinda stuff, isn't it?

But it's nice to read late at night when everyone else has gone to bed.  The unit complex is nice and quiet, it's dark outside and temperature is lovely and balmy with a sweet breeze filtering in through the window as the midnight thunderstorm grumbles overhead; shifting the lace of my curtain slightly.... and I have the reading lamp attached to my book and switched on just in case we lose power.

Most times, we don't lose it, but it's nice to know I'm ready for when - or if - we do.  And I usually get through around 20 pages or so in that one sitting in bed of 'The Wastelands' by Stephen King; which is pretty good when you think about it.  Tonight, I'll aim for more pages as I'm getting closer to the end of the book, so it's starting to pick up pace and show something of what's coming next soon... what it is?  I'm not sure, but I want to know.  And Sai King is just the right person to tell the story to us.  

So, what book has been keeping you coming back for more... even though it's slowed in the middle... and you've kept at it for the whole year?  Until my next post, happy reading.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Decision Time!

I've made a decision... one that will change how I've been reading - or not reading - as there's been a lull in my reading at the moment; as well as my reviews.

I've had problems focusing and it's been taking up a good part of my year; and I hate it... but then, we all have this kind of problem once in a while, and mine is here to bug me.


Oh well, seeing I can't really do anything about it, I'm just going to cruise through my bout of non-focus and see how far I get through the unfinished books I have laying around my bed, then I'll let you know in due time (before Christmas) if I'm able to finish them, review them and tell you the basic plot of each one in their own private review.  Sounds good?  I thought so.  Now, that's not too unreasonable, as I think I haven't been too fair on your guys this year.

But right now, I'll let you in on what I've got my nose in on right now:  'The Wastelands' by Stephen King.  Yeah, I know, I know, I started that at the beginning of the year, but I came to a slow part and wanted to fight through it - seeing I have all 8 books of The Dark Tower Series, I didn't want to waste my money on them - and so I'm going to finish this one first and it's the one I'm the most way through.  

So, what books have you half-finished and promised to finish this year?  Mine are in next to my bed waiting with bookmarks in the pages... I'm looking forward to getting into them more; as well as the one on the sidebar too by Paul Dail... I'm up to a really brilliant part in 'The Imaginings' and - stupid me - I put it down promising myself that I'd get back to it.  Until my next post, happy reading.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

The Book Inside Us

There's a book inside us all; whether we wish to admit to it or not.  It doesn't matter what kind of book it is - a fictional book or non-fiction book - it's there waiting to be written, and yet a good percentage of us don't take any steps to write that book from of our lives, of our lives, for our lives or within our lives ever.

However, for the ones who do, it's a life long struggle to get it published... and boy, is it a long struggle!  I have been seriously writing since I was 15 years old and now I'm 40, I've yet to be taken seriously by any publishing house here in Australia.  No agents want me near them, and yet, I have people in America who are offering me agents from Chicago and Boston who want to see my work - if only I had the money to go and see them personally.

And this is a very big problem with writers.

We all have a book - or twenty - inside us; and when we do get in and write that book, edit it, nurture it, love it and watch it mature into what we want it to... then we finally let it go into the hands of some stranger to read it (and I don't mean our friends who are our biggest supporters and First Readers - you guys are fantastic!), it comes back with red pen all over it and a massive fee attached to it!  Yeah, those places where you have to send it before you post it off to a publisher are very brutal; and they cause you to wonder if you've done the right thing in actually writing the piece in the first place.

What I do is write a book.  Simple enough, right?  Wrong!  It's not simple.  I have characters I have to create.  A world to create.  Conflict to throw in there.  A pinch or two of forbidden love, love that's supposed to be there and - hey just for the hell of it - a lover's spat!  And then, there's a lot of action, gunfire, explosions and the ending... and this takes a long time to get to for me.
My current book - 'Fry Nelson - Bounty Hunter' is a 3-book series which is only coming to an end now almost 4 years after I started it.  And Fry Nelson - the character - decided to introduce himself during a war scene in my last major novel of 'Ravenstine Kingdom'... oh, yay, how wonderful was that of him?  Yes, before the last book was anywhere near finished, the next book was demanding to be started... *sigh*... I didn't mind it that I had ideas coming thick and fast, but I did mind it that he just walked in on a medi-evil scene dressed in his modern clothes with sunnies pitched on top of his head and Doc Martens strapped onto his feet.  I had to put him off to one side for a few weeks before I could interview his character for the book.

This doesn't happen very often, but when it does, I have been known to not finish writing a book and just start on the next one.  And this is what happened here, unfortunately.

So, have you had this happen to you?  Have you had that many books going all at once inside you that one took over and the other one/ones suffered?  Or do you tackle one book at a time?  I'm able to write about 3 books at any one time - most times though, I concentrate on one major book and usually have a lighter short story book being worked on the side.  Well, until my next post, happy reading!

Thursday, October 31, 2013

October Book Buys!

This month, I've been a bad, bad girl... really bad.  I bought books I wanted and really know I might not read.  And yes that's a bad thing - and a good thing too as they were book that were beautiful at the time and I wanted, but really I should not have bought.

Anyway, let's get on with this show:

Right at the beginning of this month, I wanted to buy something really special for myself.  I had a $12.00 K-Mart voucher from a refund from a few months ago, and thought to use it before it expired.  So, I drove up to Garden City and took my time with looking at new socks.  I badly needed a new pair of red socks; but they didn't have any.  They only had pink, grey and black.  Not really my favourite colours, so I left them alone and wandered around the place until I found what I wanted.  I bought two purple boxes, 'The Shining' and 'Doctor Sleep' by Stephen King.  Yes, I went out of my budget to get them, but it was well worth it.  These were bought on 2nd, October.
On 9th, October, I found 'The Pleasure of My Company' by Steve Martin.  Not only is this man an actor, but he also writes quite good mysteries; and I've yet to read some of his work... so I thought to start with this one.  And for $2.00 at Life Line, I knew it was a good deal.
On 16th, I found and early edition of 'The Artist's Way' by Julia Cameron which was also found at Life Line; like the above book.  This is a book I've been looking for for Riley - my niece - and hoping she'd like for her artistic zone; for when she's stuck and she needs to clear her mind.  I've used my own copy a few times and found it great.  Now, she's got her own copy.
Then, on 18th, October, I drove over to 'The Really Good Book Store' where I walked around the place to find a birthday present for a friend of mine, and ended up finding two for two different people!  How cool is that?  I found 'Conversations With Myself' by Nelson Mandela and 'Inside Little Britian'.  The first book was for my Bookcrossing Birthday Buddy and the latter was for my brother as he loves the comedy duo Little Britian.  And for under $20, I scored well at this store!  
Just yesterday, I was out and about for a good part of the day; mainly running around talking to banks - of all places - to get my finances in place for The Creative Markets and organised for other things in my life (as I haven't really looked at my accounts for a while; and thought it was time to fix them up).  Well, I walked into 'The Book Warehouse' at Springwood here in Queensland and found out that they were closing down today!  I can hear you guys saying:  'No way!' I'm afraid to say: 'Yeppers!' by tonight, it'll be gone!  So, I looked around the store and found myself a nice little book to add to my collection titled 'Literati' by James Phelan for $4.99.  It'll be the last book I'll purchase from there - unless I find my way to Camp Hill sometime soon... um... I have no clue where that place is... but I guess there's always that great little store at Browns Plains I can get to:  'The Really Good Little Book Store' I can drop into instead.

So, what books have you purchased this month?  Did you need them?  Did you fit them into the budget?  Where they gifts or did you want them for yourself?  Do leave a comment and let us know.  Until my next post, happy reading!

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

How To Scare People!

Tonight, I listened to the radio.

Nothing out the of ordinary, right?  But what would you say if I listened to the original recording of 'The War of the Worlds' by H.G Welles?  Yeah... got your attention, didn't I?

Well, I did.  And you know?  It was a little wonder people in half of America were scared to death of what he did.  He didn't introduce his radio show!  He just began reading the damned thing!

Talk about how to scare you audience!  But he was great at science fiction... and it was how to grab the public's attention which got me.  Welles' used a radio show to make his work come to life in such a way that it kept me glued to the stereo for the whole time.  It was amazing how I could visualise everything he and his crew of actors were doing - how devastating it was all coming across as.  It was absolutely heart-breaking to hear it all and yet, I didn't need to see any of it.  

This was the amazing part!  

So, instead of me blabbing away here talking about it, here's the link to youtube so you can listen to it:

The War of the Worlds broadcast 1938 

And just in case you wanted to know more, I thought to include the report about it all too.

PBS Remembers H.G Welles' Reading 'The War of the Worlds'

Until my next post, happy reading!

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

I'm Still Here!

Hey there... yeah, I'm still around, just busy as all hell.  Okay.  You're all wondering what the heck I've been doing with my time and myself if I'm not reading too many books... and look at that, only what?  Eight books read - if that? - this year!  Shame on me for being so damned slack!

But seriously, I'm not being slack, I'm just plainly exhausted every night.  And most nights, I've pushed through my barrier and just stumbled to my unmade bed and crashed after brushing my teeth, forgetting to put the toothpaste away and turning out the bathroom light, climb over the end of the bed, find my pillows and go to sleep...mmmm, yes blissful sleep.  Sleep after working my butt off on my Crafty Pegs.  I have put my hand up to go in to The Creative Markets in my area and sell my Crafty Pegs.  The one little, tiny problem is that I don't really have a lot of stock.  
So, I've been working day and night making more than enough stock to sell on the day.  Which day is that?  Oh... 24th, November.  Yes, I know, that's just under a month away, but I really do need to make sure I have enough stock to sell to people on the day.  I can't wait!  I'll be working on my own and hopefully be able to get it all going well... wish me luck!  

Otherwise, I have been writing Flash Fiction on Chuck Wendig's 'Terrible Minds' blog every Friday... here's the link to my other blog where I do write some cool stories.  

You Can't Go Back and Other Impossibilities 

I hope you enjoy reading them as much as I have creating them.  Until my next post... happy reading!

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

The Europen!

Yesterday, my folks arrived home from overseas!  They've had a wonderful time; and they were away a very long time - four very long, adventure-filled months!  They travelled around Scotland, Greece, Italia, Budapest, Turkey, Hungary, Germany... wow!... so many places!  They drove around Scotland and went on two cruises; one was on the Ruby Princess and the other was along the lochs in Europe.  There's been so many stories from both of them; and I'm sure so many more will come out too!

And the best thing I received from my folks is a Europen!  It's the cutest thing!  But it took them so long to find it.  They firstly asked around Italy, then Greece and then finally found it in Budapest!  So, very cool!  I'm totally stocked with it!  They have them for both lefties and right handed people! Until my next post, happy reading!

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Neil Gaiman and His Beliefs for the Future

I love reading articles about writers and their ideas of how our future of writing and books and reading should be like - seeing how much electronic equipment is around now to make our lives 'easier'... and many of them enjoy the iPods and computers, but on the flipside, they also love the tactile feeling of the old-fashioned books and ways of what they experienced in their childhood too.

I found this article from Neil Gaiman's point of view and found it interesting; and thought you guys would too.

Neil Gaiman's Thoughts 

So, what did you think of the article?  Do you believe the same things as Neil, or do you see the world in a different light?  Until my next post, happy reading!

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Techniques for Writers

Being a writer - as well as an avid reader - I'm always ready to try out new ways to get myself into the zone to write more of my books.  So, I'm constantly watching and reading interviews of famous writers who have revealed their ideas of how to write and keep yourself focused.

Today, I watched an interview on 'Brain Pickings' about Ray Bradbury a 30 minute interview in the 1970's where he talked about his childhood, where some of his characters came from, what he's read and how he's gotten into the zone of writing as well as where some of his characters came from.  He did tell the interviewer that he had a piece of cardboard taped to his typewriter with the words:  'Don't Think' written on it.  He sits at his typewriter and just writes whatever comes into his head, he doesn't think about what comes out of his fingers and knows that once he looks at it again, it'll be okay and he can edit it and work on it.
Ray Bradbury believes that at the typewriter or computer, you do your dreaming and it's where you write down your dreams; and away from it is where you do your thinking, never the other way around otherwise you'll fall asleep.

He also doesn't believe in reading lists but loved libraries.  He loved walking along the aisles of books and just picking one off the shelf and opening it up to read it... no planning of what to read or anything, just blindly walking up and finding a book to read was his way as it'd feel like a new adventure each time.

This interview brought a whole new light on Ray Bradbury I never knew about him as a person and a writer.  I loved it from beginning to end; as it wasn't boring and it was very interesting... he even talked about the interview itself saying that he wasn't thinking about his answers as he was being asked them.  How great is that?  

Now, I have techniques that get me into the zone of writing too.  Even though I'm not published or famous or well-known, I still enjoy the act of writing books and poetry.  And my techniques work for me.

1.  I have my desk pointed into a corner away from the door of my office.  It's the most boring idea ever!  But if you point your desk into a corner with your back to the door, it's practically closed to the world, you have to turn around to talk to anyone coming in. 

2.  I have a window, but it looks out at the back wall of my back neighbours... not a great view.  There's nothing to interest me but television antennas, tile roofs and brick walls... and that's how it should be.  Yeah I have the sky, but it's not all that exciting, we see sky every day.

3.  I have no other electronic thing in my office.  No television, no radio, no other works.  Yes, I have a phone or two (landline and mobile) and my iPod, but I'm too lazy to get up and go to the next room to pick up the phone if it rings.

4.  Nobody else uses my office without asking me first... it's where my book collection is and where I get my ideas, so if they just walk in here without asking, I feel kind of violated as though they don't care it's my private lair.

5.  I have a collection of toys and weird things where the printer used to be above the monitor.  I no longer own a printer as I don't print out stuff anymore - well not as much - and I don't move those things much.  There's a stuffed toy there I call Mr PeaBody who I can't write anything without him being around.  He's a weird-looking critter with round blue glasses - looks like a cross between a skunk and a badger... but he's cute... and if he'd gone from his spot, I draw a blank when I sit down at my desk.

What things and rituals do you have as a writer - if you are one?  And if you're a reader, are there funny things you do to get into the zone of reading?  Do you read with your cat, dog or a favourite piece of music playing on a loop?  Do you have to have a cup of peppermint tea next to you (whether you drink it or not) just to keep you transfixed?  Do tell... we'd love to know your ideas and rituals - now you know mine.  Until my next post, happy reading.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

My New Favourite Place to Read!

I have it!  It's absolute bliss!  It's a new favourite reading spot in my backyard; and it took me a long time to create!  
Over the last 4 months, I've been working on The Four Month Makeover in my home and garden and it's finally coming to an end very soon; so much so, I'm just adding on the finishing touches - well for now anyway.  Since July, I've had access to a car - my Mum's - and anyone who knows me offline, knows I haven't driven a car in over 10 years.  Now, before you guys all swear yourselves off the footpaths and the roads, I'm not that bad at driving... actually it all came back to me pretty darned quick!  And yes, I gotta say, there's more nuts, idjits and a.... umm.. I can't say that word here!  Well, you get the jist.
And just now, it's only 2 weeks from my folks returning from overseas, and my backyard has had a major makeover!  A lot of plants have been repotted, an outdoor setting has been thrown out (being replaced with a new one) and I've bought some statues, a garden mirror and I've had some fun with the front garden too.  However I've created a lovely new place to chill out and read while sipping on coffee, tea or Hank's Root Beer this Summer.. and boy is it heating up here Brisbane!  We've had some really hot days!
So, where is your favourite reading place when the weather warms up?  Seeing I've now created the ideal one in my backyard, I'm hoping to chill out under the trees and read in the afternoons there.  Oh!  And, of course, it's not good enough just telling you guys about this place, I must show you the lovely little haven I've created!  Until my next post, happy reading!

Outdoor Haven1 

Outdoor Haven2 

Outdoor Haven3

Sunday, October 6, 2013

My Birthday!

Yesterday was my milestone birthday of 40!  Yep, I turned an age where it ended in a zero and not worried about it.  Anyway, I had received a couple of parcels in the mail and they were from family and friends for my big day on Saturday... so I waited to open them yesterday.

I enjoy opening parcels - big ones - which I've been sent and have to wait for the right time to open... it's like waiting for Christmas.  Anyway, I thought to share with you guys what I scored.  My Bookcrossing Birthday Buddy - froggirlwendy - sent me a heavy box filled with some great stuff... and that included some books and a BIG COFFEE MUG so I can drink some great coffee or tea while I read... very cool, and not to mention good thinking!  The books I received are:  'Hello Darkness' by Sandra Brown, 'A Painted House' by John Grisham and 'The Dream Life of Sukhanov' by Olga Grushin.  And the main title I found wrapped up with my coffee mug and tea cannister was 'Joyland' by Stephen King!  How cool is that?  And here's a photo of my birthday pressie!

I had a great day with some friends coming over to hang out, listen to music, eat food and scoff into a home-made cake while we got into some serious drawing and sketching... a great day to turn 40!  Until my next post, happy reading!

Friday, October 4, 2013

What Star Wars Taught Us

Movies can teach us great things.  They can teach us that sharks have a really bad temper and can scared the crap out of us.  They can teach us that you can become the belle of the ball when the snob at a ballroom dancing studio gets into a car accident and hot guy you've wanted your whole life needs a partner; and he picks you!  Movies can teach us a lot about space too... like there's some really ugly aliens out there that can scare you horribly; and yes nobody in space can hear you scream.  And then, there's Star Wars... it's taught writers all kinds of things about writing.  As people who love to read, would you like to know about how writers get into their writing?  

Sure you do!

So, here's the list of 8 things that Star Wars taught writers about their craft.  I read it and thought it was great, funny and pretty true.  Until my next post, happy reading... and writing...!

The Essentials

Have you ever wondered where certain words we use everyday came from?  A good part of our language is derived from Latin, Spanish and a few other languages all mixed in together and handed down through a few thousand years.  This is why our parents and grandparents went and took up Latin, German and other such languages when they went to school and were found to have great vocabularies and then wondered why we don't - seeing we don't have the same lessons taught to us in our high schools.  

However, literature has given us some great words that have made it into our dictionaries and our everyday life.  Have you wondered which ones?  Well, I found out on the Huffington Post... and here they are!

Words From Literature 

Until my next post, happy reading!

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

The King of Horror On My Mind

I've been doing more writing and art lately than reading.  But when I look at what's next to my bed, I've found that I'm getting my nose into Stephen King books a lot more than I did two years ago.  When I began this blog a little over 3 years ago, I was a huge Stephen King reader and found myself in a massive rut where I couldn't find much else to read.

However, as the years have passed, I have pushed past those boundaries and read other books.  Some were good, some great and some downright dreadful... but I've always come back to my staple of the King of Horror to get my kicks.  Yeah, if you're reading this post, Stephen, you scare the crap outa me, but your writing is addictive.  I love it.  
I love Stephen King's writing for a reason.  I'm a writer as well, and if it wasn't for him, I wouldn't have learned the things I have about writing and editing that I have.  This great author writes great, adverbless writing that pulls you long and keeps you turning the pages even though your brain is telling you it's time to turn out the light.  What makes Stephen King the best in story-telling is that you feel as though you're sitting at a campfire in the middle of a forest and he's telling you a good, old-fashioned ghost-story... with his own twist at the end which will keep you from sleeping for months to come.  How he does this is beyond me, and I really admire him for it, but it's something I'd love to learn to do.

I have, over time, collected together books by him and about him.  I'm currently reading 'The Dark Tower' Series (I'm up to 'The Wastelands' book 3) and there's 8 books in the series; and I love it.  The first book I ever read of his was 'Christine'; which scared the crap out of me at the tender age of 16... and I had to con my parents into letting me read it.  I next read 'Salem's Lot' then, 'Carrie'... and I knew I was hooked on his style.

More recently - today in fact - I bought 'The Shining' and 'Doctor Sleep' from K-Mart.  I'm looking forward to reading the old with the new soon; as they ought to be a great comparison of what has taken place in his writing over time and how it's matured like a good wine since he wrote 'The Shining'.  I haven't seen the movie, but then, I'd rather read the book first before a screen-writer and director changes a book and misses points a writer puts into a book on purpose for readers to notice.  I think that's why I much prefer books to movies, don't you?  Until my next post, happy reading.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

September Book Buys!

This month has been crazy-busy and I haven't been on here as much as I had hoped.  But I have been out buying books more than ever!  Have you?  Let's have a look at my list, then you can let me see yours, okay?

I started my book-buying on 11th, September, while out grocery shopping.  I bought 'Centaur Aisle' and 'Source of Magic' by Piers Anthony - both Young Adult books - and then, I spotted 'Out of Phase' by the same author as well.  At the back of the Life Line, there's a $3.00 bookcase to look through, so I looked in that and found 'Halfway to Hollywood: Diaries 1980 - 1988' by Michael Palin.  What a great haul of books I bought in one day!  Thank goodness I had the car with me!

Then, I was around Garden City on 20/9 for a few art supplies and other bits and pieces when I walked past QBD and spotted a book there: 'One Hundred Names' by Celia Ahern.  Well, I didn't think anything of it, not until I couldn't get the darned title out of my head. So, I went back and bought it for $7.99.  I'm not sure why I bought it, except it looked like a good read.

Five days later, I was back at Life Line and bought myself 'The Lollipop Shoes' by Joanne Harris.  This is the sequel to 'Chocolat', which I've read.  So, it'll be good to see what happens next.
The next day, I was back at Life Line and found two more books: 'Wild Animus' by Rich Shaperd is a self-published book (just by the weight of it, I could tell) and then there was 'The Artist's Way' by Julia Cameron.  This copy was a 3rd edition, and I'm glad I got this one; as I've been looking for one for my niece.  And now I have one, I can give it to her for her birthday as part of her present.  Well, that's my book buying for this month!  Until my next post, happy reading!

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Art Books On Review

Seeing I'm getting back into my art, I thought to review some books on the subject.  And I also have some great books in my collection on artists and particular ways to get into the arty way as well.  So, where to begin!  

I traveled to the UK and had a wonderful time being shown all the arty places throughout their art galleries in 1997.  Even though I wasn't really into art then, I found the places fantastic, full of brilliant pieces and books on art I could read when I was stuck at the hotel with nothing to do on days when I wanted to be alone... which weren't many.  Or better still - when I wanted to read something interesting before bed.  So, when the tour group hit Scotland, I found their old Celtic art was brilliantly carved, and each piece had a meaning.  Even though our tour guides in the galleries went through it all briefly with us, I just couldn't remember anything (as recall is one of my failures when it came to classroom type activities); so instead, of asking every question that popped into my head, I bought these wonderful books on Celtic Art by Aidan Meehan.  What wonderful books they are; and they weren't that much to buy either from one of the galleries in Glasgow.  

The next book I've bought and used a lot in my art world is 'The Artist's Way' by Julia Cameron.  Now, this woman is a wonderful public speaker and in my early days as an artist, I listened to her cassette tapes on how artists are seen by people on the outside of the art world; and how they really are.  This book is an absolute must for people who want to tap into their artistic side and find it difficult sometimes.  The exercises are fanstatic and I love how she has set out this book - so much so I have hunted around for another copy for my niece for her birthday to hone her skills for the art world.

Then, there's some great art books I love to just look at for the sake of the beauty of them.  There's the Vincent Van Gogh one... it's a tiny book filled with his art and what each painting meant and how he painted it; in full colour!  Fantastic!
The other book I've chosen is 'Michael Whelan's Works of Wonder'.  This man is a cover artist for writers and he mainly did sci-fi and sci-fi fantasy art!  He's a wonderful artist even now he's retired from the world; and once in a while, I'll find a calendar of his being sold and I'll buy it just for the images he's created.  This book, however, is out of print and I only found it by pure chance in a charity store.  If you ever find a copy, don't let it go... it's a great book to have in your collection.

So, there's my books on art and artists.  Great pieces to have in any collection for any reason at all.  Which art books have you picked up and found they are a must-have and never knew why?  Until my next post, happy reading! 

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Slow Month

It's been a slow month in the way of posting - as you can see, there's only around 6 posts here.  However, it doesn't mean I'm not busily working away on something.

I've been reading two books and totally enjoying them.  And then, there's my writing; which I'm working on to get my last 'Fry Nelson: Bounty Hunter' book finished.  This is taking some time as I've kinda hit a bit of a lull in that due to creative problems.  I don't have Writers' Block, but I do have problems in how to finish it exactly.  I've wondered if I should leave the ending open or tie up all the ends and make it into a nice'n'neat ending leaving no doubts of what happens to my characters... I'm not sure.  That is still in the works - and there's still around 7 chapters to go until the last chapter is finished up.
I'm still buying books - but I'm trying to keep the collection under control; which is hard.  I still buy books and then I receive books in the mail too. 

And then, I've had an external project I've been working on over the last 4 months.  That project is my house.  I've had access to a car and it's been fun working on my place; making it look and feel the way I want it to.  And it's only a few weeks from completion, and I still have plans to get my place up to scratch.  I still have things I want to do with it that will cost me a bit of money, but those things will come.

But between the writing, reading and blogging and fixing up of my yard (where I'll be able to get out there and read more once it's finished), I'm really hoping to get back into this blog and review more books for you great people soon.  Until my next post, happy reading.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Stephen King Talks About 'Dr Sleep'

I have been looking around the net lately and found an interview with Stephen King chatting candidly about 'Dr. Sleep' - sequel to 'The Shining'.  Here, he talks about the vast differences between the book 'The Shining' and the film adaptation by Stanley Kubrick.  

Dr Sleep Interview 

On the same page, I found another smaller interview about writers and if they have their own version of 'The Shining' as they write books.  This interview is between Mr. King and the same interviewer while they walk and is only about a minute or so long, but I enjoyed it nonetheless.

Do Writers Have The Shining?

Enjoy!  Until my next post, happy reading!

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Tiny Reads of Big Authors

A Scottish library has put on display tiny books of some of the best-known authors and classic poets around.  Just check it out!  It's amazing how small these books are of the greatest authors of our times!

Tiny Books On Display 

Until my next post, happy reading!

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Influential Reading

I've been very quiet this month.  However, I haven't forgotten you guys; it's only because I've been busy with a few other things on my plate and these things have taken up my time.

But today, I looked onto another writer's blog because the title mention J.D Salinger and was pulled into the plot of 'The Salinger Contract' on The New Dork Review of Books site.  What he writes there is very interesting about authors; and poses a great question about something.  Is it right to blame authors for what our readers do which is wrong?  It's okay to praise us writers when readers are inspired to get out there and do what is right, or to get their lives in order, or to help others in situations that nobody else will help them out of.  But when fans and readers who follow authors go and do something they've seen in books - fictional books - is it right to blame the author for putting that thought into the reader's mind in the first place?
I think not.  If the reader can't make up their mind of what is right or wrong in real life - and can't see what's right and wrong from what they're reading is actually just a story made up from another's mind - well, it's not the author who is to blame.  Authors write something from their imaginations in such a way that readers are invited to enjoy themselves in the story - and only the story.  It's not an invite to go out and do what authors have written down; it's not a How-To manual to do something... it's a novel, a book... it's fiction, and should be taken as such that it's not real...

...just like vampires, werewolves and wendigos aren't real, and neither are demons or anything you see on 'The Vampire Diaries', 'Supernatural' or 'Fringe'.  It's all just good television which has some great writers to suck us all in for an hour or so.  Books are very much the same way, but more detailed, less physically visual and more likely to take the time to explain things to you because it's just how writers have to be.

So, what do you think?  I'd love to know what you all think about this subject.  Leave a comment or two and we can discuss it... and remember, no flaming... it's just a dicussion.  Until my next post, happy reading.

Friday, September 13, 2013

They're Everywhere!

I've been noticing that when I'm not looking a particular author's work will pop up everywhere!  And I mean everywhere!  I've been finding Piers Anthony books throughout my local Life Line Charity store lately; and they're going for $3.00ea... what a steal!  Quite a few of them are First Editions and they're in great condition too!

Have you found any books from a particular author which has suddenly just popped up somewhere and you can't seem to stop finding them?  Until my next post, happy reading!

Saturday, September 7, 2013

What I'm Reading

It's been a while since I posted here; and I thought to let you all know that I'm okay.  I've been working on a project to pull in a bit of money for myself - a small business to cushion my disability pension and help me with some little luxuries I'd like to have.  

Otherwise, I've been reading a little.  Every few days, I've been sitting out in the nice warm Spring sunlight in the afternoons with a home made ice coffee, drying my hair after washing it (as I don't own a hair dryer) and reading the last part of 'The Wastelands' by Stephen King from The Dark Tower Series.  
Then, I opened the first chapters of 'The Blue Blazes' by Chuck Wendig.  He's a great Canadian writer who I've been following the blog of lately; and I really wanted to get in and read some of his stuff before this year became too much older.  
Besides these two books, I haven't been reading anything else.  I've been writing flash fiction, designs for my Crafty Pegs and journal entries in my offline journal; as well as writing the last parts of 'Fry Nelson: Bounty Hunter' but really I've been out and about working on my house and garden to make it look good and checking on my parents' house while they're away on holidays.  Over the next few weeks, I have to get there and fix up the gardens, mow the lawns and do some shopping for them... and make the house live again.  But otherwise, I'm working on reading, it's just that other things are taking over right now.

Are you having the same problems?  Where life is taking on bigger and better plans of its own?  What books are you reading at the moment?  How far are you through them?  Until my next post, happy reading!

Saturday, August 31, 2013

August Book Buys!

I've been a bad, bad reader!  Yep, I've fallen off the budget wagon, tried to get back on it, but kept on happily jumping off it just to get those bargain buys.  And it's awful when you do that and you come home only to find that you have to figure out where to put the new purchases.  This is why I have tried not to buy too many books this year - and have been failing terribly.  So, let's see what I've done to the budget this month!

I went okay for the first half of the month... seriously I did!  Right up until the 19th, August, I was good.  I kept my purse tied and inside my handbag and away from the sales. I happened to drop into the Book Warehouse at Springwood and found 'How to Survive the Titanic or The Sinking of J Bruce Ismay' by Frances Wilson for only $8.00.  On the same day, I off to my Craft Afternoon and found 'Tara Road' by Maeve Binchy and '44 Charles Street' by Danielle Steel to bring home with me too.

Over the next few days, I found books I wanted and found myself buying them as though I had no willpower of my own!  How disgusting of me.  I bought 'Black Ties, Red Carpets, Green Rooms' by Richard Wilkins which was found at the Book Warehouse for $6.00 on 20th, August.  Then, two days later, I was off to Garden City to pick up two books I had ordered in off QBD's website:  'The Blue Blazes' and 'Blackbirds' by Chuck Wendig.  I had paid half of it when I order and the rest when they showed up.  And if I hadn't already bought too many books this month, I found 'The Dark Tower - Book VII' by Stephen King (from his Dark Tower Series) so I have the whole series now, in QBD as well.

Less than a week later - 6 days later actually - I was off doing my grocery shopping when I dropped into Life Line to look around and found a nice little necklace.  I thought: 'Yay!  I didn't buy any books!' But then I had to look to my left when I walked out the door and found a collection of hard cover books of Piers Anthony works.  So, I sorted through them and found first editions of:  'Firefly', 'Tatham Mound - A Novel', 'Ghost' and 'Secret Spring' the last one of which he wrote with Jo Ann Thruesh.  Another book I found was a biography 'Patrick White: A Life' by David Marr.  I scored all of these books for $15!  And they are all first editions.  Two of the Piers Anthony books are printed in the USA and say so on the dust cover and inside the first few pages.  

This has left me with a heck of a collection of books I have bought over the last month; and feeling kinda bad I bought them all and yet I'm struggling to find places for them as yet; and I haven't read any of them.  
So, what have you purchased this month?  Great deals like me?  Ordered off the net or have you been better controled than me and reading just what you have in your collection?  Until my next post, happy reading!