Banned Books

I’ve made the decision to stop buying books for a bit. I can hear your sharp intake of breath right now. You’re thinking

But you love buying books. You have a book depository wish list that is ten deep. What about all those awesome books that are about to be published?!

And believe me, I hear you. I pretty much buy a book every time I go out. And that’s kind of my problem. While my wish list is ten books long, so is my physical to be read pile. And they’ve been piling up since Christmas.

I’ve got the new Maria V Snyder and a new Traci Harding. Plus Sebastian Bach’s memoir (the rock one, not the classical one). Plus I’m only like a hundred sites into 1001 Historical sites you should see before you die, I haven’t even ventured out of the Americas yet.

So I’m sticking to this self imposed ban until I do some reading. Or maybe just until the new Patrick Ness is out next week.

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16. A book that’s guaranteed to bring you joy

There has been much debate in my household as to what is actually meant by this category. How do we define joy? How can it be seen and measured? As avid readers don’t all books bring us joy? 

I feel like this is a gimme category that I should perhaps be saving for later when I find a book I can’t categorise. But unlucky for me (or really lucky for me, because it’s the best book ever) I have already found that uncatergorisable book.

My mum got me this for Christmas because she knew I would love it. And I do. 

I love a book about books. I’ve got many a book which lists other books and explains why they are important. And that’s why this book brings me joy. It has shown me so many other books that I need to read, or that I need to share with other people.

Each of those post its represent another book that needs to be read. It’s the book that keeps on giving. I think.you can never have too many books. I’m moving house soon and my husband went round counting our bookshelves and right now we have 8. All full. And that’s even after I did a huge cull when I rearranged our furniture last year. I don’t even keep many of them to reread, I just keep them because I like looking at them.

They bring me joy.

30. A Book from a Non-human perspective

First of all I can’t believe there is no graphic novel on the reading challenge list this year. I don’t read many but I like the opportunity to read at least one, especially as I have this series that I need to keep up with.

This could have been my blue cover book, but I don’t want to read a book from an animal’s perspective, so fantasy is a good fit for non-human characters (no one said they couldn’t be humanoid).

My favourite characters in this series are a little seal, a lie detecting cat and a prince who has a television for a head (in fact their entire race a TV headed robots, but I like the prince best).

This is one of those Romeo and  Juliet fantasy stories set to the back drop of war. Two people not supposed to be together, let alone fall in love, and well what do you know they do and have a kid to boot. 

The whole story is told from the kid’s perspective and follows the journey of her parents, and others, as they try to find her. It’s got all your classic fantasy/sci-fi alien lessons about understanding and prejudice and war and peace. And therefore it’s also got all your non-human characters and so fits this category perfectly. There is not one human, as we are human, human characters in the whole thing.

Reading Challenge 2017

Every year I complete a reading challenge. For the past three years this challenge has been set by my colleagues at work and is based on the Read Harder model.

Reading Harder means picking up books that you never normally would. It’s not about reading more in quantity, but makes you read more widely. Because we all know if I really had the choice I would just read YA non stop all year.

So this challenges gets you to read 50 different books that are each used to fill one category on the list.

Sometimes I plan what I am going to use for each category and other times I have to do a bit of tweaking to make the book I want to read fit. This year I think there is going to need to be a lot of planning as the categories are more specific than ever.

Category

Title

Author

1

A book based on a fairy tale

2

A Young Adult bestseller

3

A book set in your home state

4

A book translated into English

5

A book set in Europe

6

A book that’s becoming a movie this year

7

A book written by a celebrity

8

A book at least 100 years older than you

9

A book recommended by a family member

10

A book with a protagonist who has your occupation

11

A book that takes place during summer

12

A book with a blue cover

13

A dystopian novel

14

A book about a road trip

15

A book that takes place on an island

16

A book that’s guaranteed to bring you joy

17

A book written by a local author

18

A book published this year

19

A book based on a true story

20

A book whose author has an X in their name

21

A ghost story

22

A book with a month in the title

23

A book by a female author

24

A book recommended by a librarian

25

A book that is a story within a story

26

A book with multiple authors

27

A book with a cat on the cover

28

A book by an author who uses a pseudonym

29

A book with a subtitle

30

A book from a non-human perspective

31

A steampunk novel

32

A book set in two different time periods

33

A book set in a hotel

34

A book that’s been mentioned in another book

35

A book from a genre you’ve never read before

36

A book with a synonym for chase in the title

37

A book by an indigenous author

38

A book of short stories

39

A book by your favourite author

40

The first book in a series

41

A book with more than 350 pages

42

A book about history or science

43

A prize winning book

44

A book by an author you’ve never read

45

A classic

46

A book of poems

47

A play

48

A book with an alliterative title

49

A book with a great first line.

50

A book you love – read it again!

And the cupboard was bare

So I’m not really one for resolutions, mostly because I don’t have the will power to stick to them. The only promise I make to myself every year is to read as many books as I possibly can (check out this year’s reading challenge in an upcoming post).

But then I saw this article on Twitter about not buying any clothes for a year and I thought 

Maybe I can do that

For those of you that know me, you know this is going to be a challenge. I see shopping as a sport, one I’d get a gold medal in at the Olympics if the world felt the same way as me about commerce. I go every weekend, and while I don’t always buy something, I’m not stopping myself from buying anything either.

But the article made me stop and think about why I buy new things at all. It’s not like I desperately need them. My wardrobe spans to one of my kids bedrooms and takes up half the space under my bed. Even with that much stuff to choose from I still end up wearing the same few things over and over. So then I thought maybe I should just stop buying things. The same day I read the article I went to the shops again (no surprises there) but I didn’t buy anything. Not because I didn’t see anything I liked, but because I chose not to. And it was totally liberating. 

Walking through those shops knowing I wasn’t going to buy anything just made it so much more stress free. I didn’t have to worry about.whay was on sale, or try anything on only to feel not good in it. I was simply at the shops.

Now don’t think I’ve completely lost my head. It’s only clothes shopping I’ve given up. On January 1 I was in IKEA purchasing up a storm. And there is no way in the world I would.ever stop buying books. But a smaller wardrobe starts with a single step away from the shopping centre.

(inter)national tourist

We seem to be starting a tradition on my family where every new born kid gets taken on a trip to Canberra around the time they are six months old. In 2015 I went during July, and last year (which is only really yesterday) I went between Christmas and New Year. 

I wasn’t really going to take the new kid. It’s not like a five month old really gets a lot out of a trip to the museum. Rather is went to see two spectacular exhibitions and he just had to come along because basically wherever I go he goes. 

The whole point of the visit was to see the treasures of Versailles exhibition at the national gallery. 

I have been to Versailles and seen everything in situ, but there is something really nice about not having to travel for twenty four hours to see important and interesting historical objects.

We lined up outside the gallery before it opened and as a result were the first ones to walk through. I can also tell you that that is a lot nicer than following an umbrella around the palace which is all you can see of your guide as she holds it above her head as there are just so many people there with you.

Some of my favourite things from the exhibition were the etchings.

Seing artwork like this always make me wish I could draw. Or that I had an art studio at the back of my house that I could retreat to to paint when it took my fancy. But alas, I have neither the talent nor the studio.

Because we were staying two nights the time needed to be filled and lucky for me the British Museum’s 100 objects was still open at the national museum.

I had seen this before also, and read the book. But again, there is something about getting to see these mind boggling objects in one’s own country that is just a little bit special. 

Got 2G o

So it is with a heavy heart that I write this post. The universe is forcing my hand. Forcing it to drop my beloved flip phone 

And to pick up a smart phone. 

I’ve resisted for a long time. I’ve always been a strictly texting type of person and didn’t need to be on the internet on my phone or take pictures or anything else really. But the world is moving on and apparently I have to move on with it.

And honestly, I didn’t know what I was missing.

I spent all yesterday glued to my new screen. So much so that o almost made myself car sick because I was looking at it so much.
I’m not sure if having the internet in my hands 24/7 is going to be the best thing. Every thought or question I have I turn straight to the phone to fact check and research.

It’s possible I’ll never look up again.

The Removalist

So I did say to myself, and you, that the plan was to start blogging again regularly. And you may have noticed that that didn’t quite happen. This is for a few reasons:

  1. I rediscovered my Veronica Mars DVDs. She is the best. And I can’t watch TV and write, I’m just no good at multitasking. So she won out.
  2. I was reading awesome books. If you didn’t know Garth Nix had another Old Kingdom novel out and if you haven’t read it already, shame on you.
  3. I decided to rearrange the furniture in the lounge. I am currently house hunting (and watching a lot of House Hunters) and this has put me in an antsy mood re: my own living situation. So I did some heavy lifting.

   
 

It’s only half done and you probably needed some before shots to be truly wowed but it is what it is.

Survivors Ready?

  
I both love and loathe Australian Survivor. 

I only manage to watch about one in three episodes, because really Channel 10, who wants to watch the same formulaic plot three nights in a row. I don’t care about the people enough to see them outwitting and outplaying over multiple nights. At the beginning, when it was only two nights back to back, that was ok. As personalities emerged I didn’t mind seeing them undo themselves. Though tribal council is always the most cringeworthy part and therefore the worst of any episode.

There have been a lot of problems this season. 

Three tribes is too many for starters. Kind of has the same problem as the three episode a week format; I don’t care by the time we get to the last one. Swapping people from tribe to tribe so many times is also daft. You want some of the favourites to get through, so many changes makes that almost impossible.

How many hidden immunity idols can there be? One per tribe, fine. One every second week, not fine. 

The thing that most bothers me is the pretty girl clique that has formed and seems to be running the show. It’s like a really bad version of Mean Girls. The sheer joy they seem to derive from the manipulating and plotting is particularly nasty. It makes me mad that they are getting ahead and if they win it will ruin the whole series.

What has made survivor a worthwhile watch this time is Twitter. I don’t know how I managed to watch TV like this before its invention (though survivor was a lot less gimmicky (and less produced) back in its beginnings and therefore I didn’t need the commentary of complete strangers). What I need is a TV that can have the show playing on the left hand side of the screen and the Twitter hashtag feed down the right. Could someone get on inventing that please?

The tribe has spoken.