Bookish (and not so bookish) Thoughts

1. Harper Lee. Wow. Just wow.

2. Reading Ireland Month – March, of course. I’ve got at least seven Irish authors in my TBR stack, so I’ll be participating.

3. I love this ‘40 page test‘. Essentially, Michael Bourne decided to look “…at the same line — the first sentence of the fifth paragraph on page 40…” to see whether it would offer a “…window onto the author’s style…”. Try it.

Nylex_Clock

4. The biggest news in Melbourne this week? The Nylex Clock is back on. Most Melburnians understand the significance and if they are/were also rowers, even more so. There was many a time I would look at the time and think “5.30am and 7 degrees… What am I doing?” Continue reading

Book Q & A

loving-frank-nancy-horan

Australian author and book blogger Annabel Smith tagged me in a fun (quick) meme last week. Yes, it’s taken me a few days to get to it but that’s because I was busy testing my nerves on roller coasters and ridiculous water-slides with the kids on the Gold Coast. I’m still recovering.

Book Q&A Rules

1. Post these rules
2. Post a photo of your favourite book cover
3. Answer the questions below
4. Tag a few people to answer them too
5. Go to their blog/twitter and tell them you’ve tagged them
6. Make sure you tell the person who tagged you that you’ve taken part! Continue reading

Top Ten Tuesday – Books I Wouldn’t Mind Santa Bringing Me

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature created and hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. Each week a new ‘top ten’ challenge is posted – anyone can join in. This week’s topic is Top Ten Books I Wouldn’t Mind Santa Bringing Me – I found this one a cinch.

Since I’ve been taking part in the Mount TBR challenge, I have curtailed my book buying dramatically (of course that doesn’t stop me obtaining new titles via NetGalley…). So, over the past few months, my Wishlists have been getting a real workout. I could fill this list ten times over with novels but usually at Christmas I ask for those big, glossy coffee-table books that cost a bomb. Here’s some I have my eye on (and I hope those responsible for buying me presents are reading) –

1. In the Spirit of Miami Beach by David Leddick – I was lucky to visit Miami last year, indulging in all things Art Deco. And I stayed at The Raleigh Hotel that is featured on the front of this book (. The Raleigh’s spectacular pool was made famous by the glamorous Esther Williams and has been touted ‘the most beautiful pool in America’ (I concur). Continue reading

Top Ten Tuesday – Authors I’m Thankful For

This is it folks – the only time you’re likely to see Henry James and Judith Krantz mentioned in the same list.

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature created and hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. Each week a new ‘top ten’ challenge is posted – anyone can join in. This week’s topic is Top Ten (or in my case, eight) Authors I’m Thankful For.

1. John Irving – master story-teller and the creator of the most memorable characters.

2. Judy Blume – for everything.

3. E. L. James – for providing my girlfriends and I with SO MANY laughs whilst reading aloud. For the record, reading FSoG in a monotone has become my girls-weekend-away-party-trick.

4. Charlotte Wood – not only a beautiful writer but an awesome recommender of books. Continue reading

‘Swimming Studies’ by Leanne Shapton

A few years ago I read a life-changing book, The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin. ‘Life-changing’ might sound somewhat over-the-top but the book prompted me to examine what made me truly happy. And my conclusion was this – reading and swimming. I especially like reading by the pool. At some stage I will put together a review of The Happiness Project (so I can document the bits that I found helpful) but in the meantime, here’s a book about swimming – the remarkably lovely Swimming Studies.

Swimming Studies is a curious little book. It’s a memoir by Canadian writer and artist Leanne Shapton, focused on the period of her life when she was training for the Olympic swimming trials. Shapton provides a unique and original perspective on  swimming, swimming pools and even bathers (that’s swimwear for my non-Aussie readers). It’s described as this –

“What do you with an all-absorbing activity once it’s passed its relevance, and yet you can’t quite give it up? Is it possible to find a new purpose for its rigours and focus? “Swimming Studies” ….explores what it is like to move from a world of competition and discipline to one of recreation and introspection.” Continue reading

Top Ten Tuesday – Books That Make You Think

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature created and hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. Each week a new ‘top ten’ challenge is posted – anyone can join in. This week’s topic is the ‘Top Ten Books That Make You Think (About The World, People, Life, etc.)’. Well,  I had a long, hard think about the books that made me think. Here’s my list (not quite ten!):

1. & 2.  Beautiful Boy by David Sheff – the most moving, terrifying (true) story I have read in years. If you are a parent, you must read Beautiful Boy – it changed my perception of drug addiction and how families manage an addict. If you can stomach it, read Nic Sheff’s companion story, Tweak (equally harrowing). Continue reading