Monday, June 30, 2014

June Book Buys!

This month, Winter came to Brisbane, and I have been reading and buying all kinds of books around at all kinds of places.

Early in the month, I went to Garden City and found my ultimate hall table for my house.  While I was there, I had a coffee at the Book Cafe and found 'The Widows of Eastwick' by John Updike and 'Killing Willis' by Todd Bridges.  Both these books were $10 each.  What great finds!  I never thought the actor who played Willis from 'Diff'rent Strokes' was still alive, but when I found this book, it seems I've been corrected.

Then on the 16th, June, I picked up two more books at the Queen Beez Craft Group I attend each Monday.  Some of the ladies bring along books they've read, and don't want anymore and they get sold for around $1.00 each.  The money goes back into the kitty for the craft group; not a bad deal really seeing we all bring along bric-a-brak to get rid of.  Anyway, I found 'Amy & Isabelle' by Elizabeth Stroud and 'Getting Even With Fran' by Christine Stinson.  Both of these are women's fiction and I hope to read them over Christmas time or when I get the chance over the big chill of Winter (which we're shivering through right now).  

So, what have you scored over the last month?  Do please let us in on your most recent purchases from anywhere you've found them.  Until my next post, happy reading. 

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Ideas Needed...

Okay, the previous post was a little on the non-fiction side, and probably a bit boring for you guys.  But this one, is going to be a bit more interactive.

I'm in the middle of a big clean-out of my house.  I've been working on my place, cleaning it out, tidying it up and giving it a 70's vibe with the right furniture and feel since February.  However, I've left the last room of this house - my home office - as it's the most difficult.  
You see, I need your help as I know quite a few of you collect books and your own way of putting them in some kind of order.  Mine are in bookcases, however, the room in this office is becoming quite cramped, and I need some assistance and ideas on how to store the books I have acquired over the last three months.  There's some in storage boxes, and then there's some in 'Green Bags' sitting around the place.  

What I'm asking is:  how do you shelve your books?  Do you cull your books at all?  Do you have more than one copy of each book - and if you do, how do you deal with the extra copies?  

I have four bookcases.  One is an average sized bookcase by the door which I've had since I was 16 and I bought it from Target.  It's actually the best one here and the best-built one too, as it sits forward when it's empty and back against the wall when it's full.  
Then, there's the Tall Boy from IKEA and that's nailed to the wall.  It almost reaches the ceiling and is stacked high with books.  I've tried working out the books in it, but to no avail. 
Next to this one is my 'saggy bookcase' I bought at Office Works.  This one sagged the moment I put a book on its shelves... but the books are what keep it from falling down - it's an oxymoron within itself.  Douglas Adams could've written this bookcase into his books as it's so weird.
Then there's the small bookcase I bought from IKEA which is overloaded with non-fiction books.  It's by the window and I've gone through it twice already and it still looks like it's going to fall down and yet I can't get to my books properly.

So, how do you shelve books that are overloading a home office?  Have you done this before?  If so, how did you work it out?  Did you add shelving to the room somehow or was there another way without throwing books out?  I don't wish my books collection to move outside this room otherwise they're 'gremlin' the whole house into something I don't want.  Until my next post, happy reading... and... um... help?

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

A Few Small Things

Okay... I've been a blogger for a while. 

Alright, since 2009 and I've noticed quite a few things have probably been missed by a fair few of you guys as followers and anyone who's bookmarked this here little blog.

Now, along the sidebar to your right there's two massive lists.  You might think they're nothing much to look at but the first list is the genres I've read; and numbers of books that I've reviewed of those genres.  This gives you an idea of which kinds of books I have read, will review and look into and have in my 1,000+ collection (which is sitting in 4 bookcases in my home office right now).  

I bet  you had a quick gander at that just as you read read the last paragraph... thought so... hehehe.

The next list down is totally different.  This second list is just as long - but is a growing list - of authors' official websites.  If you're looking for an official website of an author and can't find it anywhere - or can't be bothered looking (yeah, we've all had those moments in life), this is where you can find it.  I've done the running around for you.  And if you'd like to have an author's official website put up there, just let me know, I'll dig on up and slot it in - no probs.  Leave a comment at the bottom of the most recent post, and I'll get in and find that author's official website for you.

There's another thing there - it's really tiny and often goes ignored.  It's a Search Box.  This is situated below where the Followers are and above the Bookcrossing advertisement.  If you're looking for a book/s I might have reviewed, just type in the title of the book and the author in there and click on 'search' and it'll pop up with a box in the post area with posts from my blog and other searches from the internet.  This makes your searching around my blog (not to mention the internet) a far sight easier than it normally would be on a normally hectic day.  

So, I thought to just let you guys know what some of the things on the sidebar are for... so go and have a look around.  It's taken me years to build up the numbers of authors' sites and the reviews to make the Search Box worth its while; but it's been a lot of fun - and I'm not about to stop.  Until my next post, Happy Reading!

Monday, June 23, 2014

Stop The Bully Book Launch

Last Saturday, I was out and about at Logan North Library to attend Karen Tyrrell's book launch for 'Stop The Bully'.  

This book is a children's book about Brian, a new kid in school who is immediately picked on for having the wrong uniform, the wrong textbooks, the wrong coloured hair... well, the wrong everything.  He even gets placed beside the wrong kinda kid by the teacher; who is also picked on too for being different.  However, it's how his life changes because of this girl he's next to that makes all the difference.

And the whole launch was based around how bullying hasn't really changed over time.  Adults have been bullied in primary school, just like children are bullied now - the technology has changed, but what kids say and do hasn't.

Karen used to be a school teacher and she was bullied at her profession.  And she wrote the book 'Stop the Bully' to show that it's in every profession you can be bullied.  So, she placed in the book certain strategies people, parents and students can use in every aspect of their lives to help them deal with bullies; after all, we all deal with being bullied at some point or another throughout life - don't we?  And it's about time it's brought out in the open.

If you'd like a copy of Karen's book, just go to her website:  Karen Tyrrell and you'll be able to find a copy there.  Until my next post, happy reading!

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

The World Loses Eric Hill

I'm sad to report that I just read on Facebook that Eric Hill, the author of 'Spot the Dog' books from the early 1980's has passed away aged 86 in California.  He suffered from a brief illness before he died and was made famous for his simple design of a dog called Spot and how his books entertained children in 1980.

'Spot' is still very much a favourite amongst children from all over the world.  And the books are translated into over sixty languages.  I wasn't much of a fan of this author when I was a child, however I found a link to an article about him.

Eric Hill 

Keep The Winter Blues At Bay

It's Winter here in Australia, and we've got some very chilly weather happening here right now at night - as well as during the day.  A really bad cold has been going around (and yes, it's had a go at me, and I'm taking all the right vitamens and it's still making me feel gross!).

So, I've been eating the right foods, making home-made soups laden with garlic, sour cream and garlic bread; as well as cooking up nice hot pastas and making pizza dough and calzones too... yummo! 

But it's not what I'm putting into my stomach that's keeping my blues away - well, okay, part of it is.  I'm getting in and snuggling under the duvet and reading more; getting to bed earlier in the night, as the temperature drops to get my nose between the pages of some great books, and read my way through the colder months.  
Just last night, I ploughed through about 20 pages of 'The Eyre Affair' by Jasper Fforde.  Okay, I'm in the beginning bits of this great read, but I'm loving it, and was wishing I didn't have to put it down... but i had to as my eyes were winning the battle of wanting to go to sleep.  


I'm also reading a bit of 'Good Reading' Magazine.  A great monthly magazine that I've subscribed to.  I love how it just shows up in my PO Box and I can delve into it any time I want.  I've been leafing through that when there's an advert break on the tv... just to pass the time during my favourite television show.  
And I don't watch television until very late anymore - only until around 9:30pm or so.  Seeing it feels later than it really is, I'm off to bed by around 10:30pm, with my nose between the pages of a book.  So, I'm reading more in Winter.  It's great!

So, what are you reading now?  I know that in other parts of the world, it's Summer - and a real boiler right now too! Do leave a comment below and let us all in on what books you've gotten your nose into?  Might give us some ideas to read new things over the next few months.  Until my next post, happy reading!

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Is This Really Going On?

I've read today on another site that there's a certain shaming that goes on about what genres people read.  

I simply can't believe this goes on.  Are we still in high school, where we are shamed for hanging out with the wrong people, hanging out with the geeks instead of the popular people?  No, I think not people.  Genres are there to let us know what is out there and what we read is totally up to us.

If I didn't read horror in high school, instead of 'Sweet Valley High' - like most of what the other girls read - I wouldn't be writing the works I write now.  I loved Stephen King when I was 16 years old, he scared me brilliantly as a teen, and still does today.  However, I was ridiculed for reading his work because it was for adults; not for teens to read.  My teachers thought I was ahead of my time; and didn't stop me from reading what I wanted - and my parents didn't either (well, okay, they had their limits).

But this was way back in the late 1980's.  I didn't think that this kind of genre shaming would be still occuring now.  And you know, I don't believe in telling people what they should be reading.  If they are happy reading what they love, let them read what what makes them happy.

In other words people, don't try and change somebody who has already happy.  This is also known as Tall Poppy Syndrome... it's happened to me too many times, and you know, I've cut off people simply because of how they make sure I'm miserable in life.  Sounds cruel - sure - but it's something I believe is best for me.

So, do tell... do you judge people on what they read?  Do you tell them to stop reading those silly little Young Adult books and to grow up and read something that's 'more their style' or do you leave those people alone and let them jump into 'Harry Potter' and 'Twilight' and allow them to enjoy the adventure they want and love?  So, you're not into the same genre as them... if we followed the same things, we'd be sheep, guys.  Please do leave your opinion on this subject, I'd love to know what you think.  Until my next post, happy reading.... whatever you want to read.   

Thursday, June 5, 2014

May Book Buys!

It's been a while coming, I know.  But I've been really busy around my house.  I've been cleaning out the living room and looking for a hall table (better known as a sofa table - why do they change the way we say things?  So confusing!). 

Well, anyway, here are some of the books I bought last month.... better late than never, right?

First off, I went well.  I didn't buy any; well right up until I took Mum to The Really Good Book Shop at Browns Plains... and you all know how that turned out.  She loves the place.  And I scored a copy of 'The Slaughterhouse 5' by Kurt Vonnegut out of the visit; on her as I didn't have the cash.

Then I visited another time on my own to look around for gardening books; as I had inherited a terrarium.  Okay, for all of you who don't know what that is, I've done mine up and it's this picture here.  Isn't is lovely?  Yeah, I think so too.  Well, I went in search for a book only on these things; and failed.  However, I found a book on indoor gardening and gardening from the 1970's and they had 3 pages on terrariums.  So, there you go!  It was titled 'Reader's Digest Complete Book of the Garden'... well, they'd know everything there is about anything to do with what we need, right?  Yep, I thought so too.  I bought it with some store credit and got going with my research on terrariums.

Then, later on that week, I bought some white pillowcases and thought to do some embroidery on them; but had no idea about how to go about that!  So, off to the bookstore at Browns Plains I went again!  I found so many books about that particular subject; but I wanted one on beginners stuff, and I found one!  'Decorative Home Embroidery' was just the one I was looking for with basic stitches, telling what I'd need and how to get the designs I'd need in it.  How cool!  Now I can stitch just about anything onto anything.  Well, that's all I had bought for May.  I wonder what I'll be doing for June?  Who knows?  Until my next post, happy reading!