Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Let's Get Organised!

If you're a fan of my other main blog - My Book-Crazy Life - you'll see I'm on an organising binge this year.  Yep, I'm cleaning up and throwing out on a major scale.

I've been finding books where they're not supposed to be and bringing them home to the office.  This means, I've just dumped them on the floor for now.  However, some have found the shelves and other places to call home.  

This also means my home office has also become a bit of a junk room for a while.  But I've accomplished quite a bit this first month of organising - just not a lot of reading unfortunately.  However, I have found a quite a few books that I was reading, put down on the lounge they got buried under a bag, jacket, a newspaper, or another thing and I lost it for a little while and wondered where it vanished to!  Have you ever done that?

Well, what are you goals this year?  You know mine is organising my home - and inbetween getting some reading done hopefully; so do tell us all yours.  Until my next post, happy reading!

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Favourite Reads of All Time!

Australia has been suffering horribly through a terrible heatwave; so I haven't done the things I've wanted to do this year for you guys.  I'm very sorry about this... but I have been thinking about what I will do next year; and that's not to bore you all over this time of year.

I thought to surf the net around Facebook and see what other bloggers are doing and found they're not writing about their favourite books of all time... from childhood right through to now.  This took me some time to pull together, but I now have thought it time to sit down and list the books I've read and loved - and still love even now.

Now, in no particular order (so these will be all over the place - from children's books to adult's and back again), here we go!

'The Never-ending Story' by Michael Ende
'The Hobbit - or There and Back Again' by JRR Tolkien
'Christine' by Stephen King
'Jigs'n'Reels' by Joanne Harris
'The Five People You Meet In Heaven' by Mitch Albom
'1001 Jokes, Puzzles & Games for Kids'
'Debbie's Birthday Party'
'Debbie Gets Sick'
'The Oak Tree'
'On Writing' by Stephen King
'Practical Magic' by Alice Hoffman
'Time & Again' by Jack Finney
'A Patch of Blue' by Elizabeth Kata
'Somewhere In Time' by Richard Matheson
'House on the Hill' by Estelle Pinney
'The Day of the Triffids' by John Wyndham
'Childhood' by Bill Cosby
'The Human Animal' by Desmond Morris
'The Art of War' by Sun Tzu
'Sabella' by Tanith Lee
'Snow Crash' by Neal Stephenson
'The Blank Page' by John Dale
'War of the Worlds' by H.G. Wells
'What the Buddha Taught' by Venerable Dr. W Rahula
'A Perfect Mess' by E Abrahamson & D.H. Freedman
'The Silver Metal Lover' by Tanith Lee
'Marley & Me' by John Grogan
'The Wave' by Moreton Rhue
'I Know Why the Cage Bird Sings' by Maya Angelou
'The Picture of Dorian Gray' by Oscar Wilde
'The Monkey's Mask' by Dorothy Porter

Woah!  There's so many more books that I love and will want to read again in my life.  I've read books here on this list from my teenaged years, and there's a few from my childhood years too (and now the 'Debbie' books writer and illustrator are now both passed away as they were in their 80's; and the books were about the writer's daughter, how sweet is that?).  So, what are your favourite books from your life?  And how have they shaped your reading?  Until my next post, happy reading.

Friday, January 17, 2014

Uh Oh! The Office Has Been Hit! Time to Organise Again!

Yep, I'm reorganising the office again... and you know what that means!  I'm going through my books to see what I'm keeping and what needs to be given away or passed onto family and friends to read.  

Sometimes I don't mind doing this, while other times it hurts to let go of books as they're such a physical thing in my life.  I spend so much time looking for the darned things only to end up getting rid of them for one reason or another.

Don't you hate that?

Yeah, me too.

Anyway, I have a huge pile of books where I've gone through them a dozen times and still won't give them away - even though common sense sayd I should.  And I think we all have a pile of those kinds of books.  
I mean, I have the 'sad'n'saggy' bookcase chock full of books... it's so weighed down that it's a metaphore in itself.  One more book and it's likely to fall down!  yeah, that's how heavy it is.  On that bookcase, I have a shelf for my Classics and a shelf for my Biographies and Autobiographies (both double-parked) and then, there's photo ablums and a few personal journals (most of those ones have been packed away in storage in another room).  Then, there's the huge pile of books on top of the bookcase that almost reaches the ceiling!  Yeah, I need a ladder to get to this to sort through this Mt Everest Pile of Reading Material... it's my Mt Everest To Be Read!  My Whale... my To-Do list of books.  And yet, there's never enough hours in a day or days in a year to read these books - nor do I wish to be rid of these wonderfully delicious items from my life.

So, is there a pile of books you love - or anything else for that matter - which you hoped to give away or sell - and yet you couldn't?  You know my weakness in my office (which I really should sift through and yet I can't) and now I wish to know yours.  Until my next post, happy reading!

Sunday, January 12, 2014

New Technology

As the years pass so very quickly, the new technology that has been offered to us is astounding!  I've noticed that my mobile phone has gone from something representing a house brick (which has the weight of one too) to something glass and metal where, if you touch the screen, you end up deleting half your contacts by accident - whoops!

However, it's not only our phones that have been upgraded so very quickly, it's also our computers.  I'm currently sitting at my desktop computer here at home, but when I was down the coast, I was using an Android Tablet to do my writing and my iPod to read books - as well real books I had brought with me.  So, most of the time, I was using a lot of technology to entertain myself.
The tablet is my late Uncle's tablet and it's got a lot of apps on it.  I've been doing jig-saw puzzles of fruit and gorgeous scenic photos of Asia and Canada on it, as well as downloading a writing app and a writer's prompt app as well.  It's been fun to just sit down and write what I've been working on and then play a couple of games on it before I went to bed at night, as almost everyone around place was doing the same thing on their tablets around the caravan park.

So, what kinds of technology do you have at your very fingertips that have made your life that much more easier?  Be it your smart phone or tablet, how much easier has your life become over the last 5 years?  For me, it's been the tablet... I can now show my photographs to friends on a bigger screen and take amazing photos too.  Until my next post, happy reading.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Do You Remember...?

Over all the years you've read books and all the collections you've been reading, do you remember every plot of every book you've ever read?

Yeah, me neither.

However, I've come across a generation of people who will be reading a book and they won't remember what it's about from one moment to the next - which is horrendous.  I don't understand how people don't remember something they've just been reading... I do.  But I guess that's just me.

Or you get people who don't remember the basic plot, but will tell you the entire premise of the book they're reading without drawing breath... and all you asked for was basically the burb on the back of the book; a bullet-point presentation, not the entire story up until the very page they're up to.  It takes up time, insults you as a person (because you're trying to take an interest in this person, and they're just making an idiot out of you because you're putting them out by asking them about the book they're reading... and sometimes they do it to make people leave them alone), and you learn quickly never to ask them anything ever again about books or movies.

I asked somebody - who's close to me - about a book they're reading over the Christmas break.  Now, they're not normally readers and he found it hard to get through reading books - and doesn't remember plots from one day to the next of books.  So, when I asked him, he started out telling me the short version of the book's premise... suddenly he went into a 45 minute presentation about it.  I really didn't know what to do as I wished I could have stopped him, but it was the most he had ever talked about a book with me... so I let him talk.  It was difficult as I tried to interact with him as he chatted about the book to relate with the story as easily as possible (as the storyline was from an era of time I never learned about at school).  However, once he had finished, Mum said she was impressed that I didn't snap at him.  I told her that it was most he had spoken to me about something so passionately without saying a nasty word... so I let him speak.  

All she could was smile and nod in agreement with me.

Anyway, I was wondering if you've got friends or family like this.  Or have you got ones the other way around, who leave you hanging, wanting to read the book after them?  Until my next post, happy reading.

Monday, January 6, 2014

Favourite Bookstores

I love books and bookstores - as you all know.  However, I'm wondering if you have a favourite bookstore you enjoy treking back to again and again?  What makes you go back there?  Is it the idea of being able to sit in various places of the store in lovely little chairs and being able to read bits of the books you're thinking of buying?  Or is it the owners who are lovely, just as involved in their books, collections and obsession with authors as you are and they love to talk about their favourite books and titles as much as you do?  

For me, it's when you find a great bookstore and the owners love what they do, and they know exactly what you're looking for no matter how disorganised their store appears to be... they know where the book is!  I've only come across a couple of owners like this; and they are real gems when that happens. 

QBD Bookstores at Garden City are a great place to find a bargain, order in books you can't get anywhere and you don't have to go anywhere close to Brisbane City to get what you're looking for... and this bookstore has no competition in the place.  Well, it might soon, but not currently.

Folio's Books in the city is a very interesting bookstore.  This bookstore works on books that aren't around anymore, and they are about to be shredded to be recycled... now if you have a book in mind, and they can find it in that huge warehouse in Canada before it gets mulshed, you're on the right track!

Bent Books Bookstore is another bookstore to have a look at if you don't mind trekking into West End.  It's a truly original bookstore on Boundary Street and I love it!  Its colourful awning will attract you first and then the gorgeous books in the windows too!  Inside it's crammed chock full of books from wall to wall, ceiling to floor with books!  New, old, out of print, second-hand... whatever the deal is, this place has got it.

Archives Bookstore is the place to go if Folio's or Bent Books Bookstores can't help you.  This bookstore has been around for over 40 years and I've been haunting this place as much as the five ghosts have in the back building.  Yes, you read right, the place is haunted up to the gills.  It's next to one of big police stations where it's been said a couple of murders happened in the back alley and they were never solved!  So, the spirits can't rest.  Every time a few people who are little on the sensitive side enter the back building (which was renovated into a huge and beautiful reading room), they get bugged by a few - or all of the ghosts.  Not a nice feeling, I'm telling you!  

The Really Good Book Store is at Browns Plains, and it's so filled with books, it's just bursting at the seams!  It's not just a bookstore though, it's an old-fashioned book exchange!  Now, how cool is that?  Yes, I love these places as you get more bang for your buck in the reading stacks... and it's a lot more fun to bring in a nice book and be able to leave with three!  

I couldn't tell you which one is my absolute favourite as that would mean putting one or the others down.  I don't do any online store shopping, and so it's a matter of me actually going out to the stores phyically... which I love. 

So, what about you?  Do you love the musty smell and feel of a bookstore?  Or are you more comfy at home in you P.J's and ordering your books in front of your home computer on Amazon?  Until my next post, happy reading.

Saturday, January 4, 2014

2014 Reading Goals!

Do you have them, or not? 

Reading goals that is... 

Me?  I do, but I don't.  I'll read whatever makes me happy.  But I'm also working my way through 'The Dark Tower Series by Stephen King.  Right now, I'm up to book 4, but that one is over at my parents' house.  I left it there by accident yesterday in my rush to get some shopping done to get home before this stinker of a day showed up on my doorstep.

So... I'll read whatever takes my fancy really.  No matter how thick or thin the book is, so long it keeps my attention, I'll get my nose between its pages and indulge in its infinite beauty as it pulls me along on a bona fide invitation to reside in the author's mind for just a fleeting moment while they tell me a story.

So, how about you?  Do you plan your reading over a year?  Or do you roughly plan it, and then find other things and books jump in and tell you to work on them instead?  Until my next post, happy reading.

Holiday Purchases

Happy New Year to you all!  I must first give you all a big apology for the little to no posts over the last few days.  I've been away at Brunswick Heads where the wi-fi generally just sucks... okay, it's almost non-existent.

But I spent over 3 hours on a bus yesterday, got off at the Springwood Bus Station, was busting to go to the toilet, raced to the nearest shopping centre with my luggage where two old people took forever to use the wheelchair toilet (and never came out of it) and then, I raced off to my folks' house, locked my luggage under the house and let myself in upstairs!  What took those people so long wasn't any concern of mine, but really, did they they have to take as long as teenagers in a public shower after going to the beach?

Anyway, I had a wonderful time at Brunswick Heads.  There was a lot of reading done, seeing we didn't have any television down there.  And I listened to my iPod a lot too, as there was talk radio or easy-listening country radio (yuk to both for my ears) to listen too.  So, I finished on book, and read another then went on the search for another book to read while I was there.
'The Wastelands' by Stephen King and 'A Grosvenor Square Christmas' by four wonderful authors from the Romance Bandits have been reviewed below.  However, I'm now reading 'Freedom' by Jonathan Franzen and Mum bought me a copy of the revised and updated biography of 'Margaret Olley'.  How cool is that?  The only problem with the big thick books you buy on holidays is getting them home!  I got these home fortunately by squeezing two in my suitcase and one in my handluggage to read... but wow!  Was is heavy to drag home!  Until my next post, happy reading!