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!