Category Archives: Book talk

Triple Choice Tuesday at Reading Matters

Today I am featured on Triple Choice Tuesday over at Reading Matters.
I have always really enjoyed this feature of Kim’s blog and was delighted when she asked me to participate. Pop on over to see my answers to these questions:

A favourite book

A book that changed your world

A book that deserves a wider audience

Thanks again Kim!

A little blogging holiday…

Hello – I’m posting from New Zealand, I’m here for a little wedding gathering – my own!

That combined with the demise of my faithful and elderly laptop has meant little blogging opportunities over the past few weeks so I’ve decided to take a little break until later in February.

While I’m in NZ, I’m hoping to pick up two books that should be easier to find here than in the UK just now – Autumn Laing by Alex Miller and So Brilliantly Clever by Peter Graham. So Brilliantly Clever is a non fiction book about the murder in 1954 of a mother by two school girls, one of them being her daughter. The film Heavenly Creatures with a young Kate Winslet was based on this murder and the case was a huge sensation at the time. This latest book was published in 2011 and I’m interested to read Peter Graham’s take on it.

In the meantime, I wish everyone a happy few weeks of reading..

Persephone Reading Weekend

Today I am joining Claire and Verity’s Persephone Reading Weekend. Can’t wait! I am going to be reading Daddy’s Gone A-Hunting by Penelope Mortimer, courtesy of my ever faithful local library. Four chapters in and it’s already wonderful. It’s just so…. real.

Wishing everybody a happy reading weekend.

2010 Reading Plans

It’s a relief to have finally caught up on my 2009 posts. I promised myself that when that was done I could start to think about 2010 reading.

I have seen several bloggers post about their intention to read more deliberately this year and to choose the reading challenges they join with care. Hopefully this will leave more time for spontaneous reading. That is my intention too (fingers crossed and willpower permitting!)

The (relaxed) plan is to choose books from these categories:

World fiction – novels set in/by authors of different countries. Including books in translation and more New Zealand authors

Classics – I have read very few classics so have plenty to choose from. My aim to to choose books from a variety of publishing places, Penguin, Virago,Capuchin, One World classics etc. Plus the many more that I haven’t discovered yet. Also including Persephone books

Literary Fiction/Award winners – For a variety of reads generally agreed to be worthwhile reading

Spy/Political thrillers – Just because I love them and to encourage reading for fun.

Spontaneous reads – This was the area I missed out on last year. To be able to pick a book randomly or because it flows on naturally from another read or it’s discovered through another book blogger.

Newer releases – To balance the old with the new.

Hmmm – looking at that, it doesn’t sound that relaxed does it! Still, I can always see how it goes and I really can’t wait to get started.

So.. without further ado…

Touching base

Happy new year! I hadn’t disappeared off the face of the planet, just to the other side of it. We have been in New Zealand visiting family and friends for Christmas. It was a lovely time, much busier than I expected so I have been on an unplanned blogging and reading break. I hope everybody celebrating had a lovely festive season. I can’t wait to catch up on what everybody has been reading over the past few weeks. The next few posts will wrap up some challenges and chat about the two books I did manage to read!

Yellow – Janni Visman

This short novel went on to my wish list when I read Fleur Fisher’s review earlier in the year. It is the story of Stella, an agoraphobic aromatherapist. Unable to leave her apartment, she attempts to quell her anxiety by controlling every minute detail of her environment and daily routines. Even the slightest alteration such as a change in the shoes she is to wear is a momentous event. I found this aspect of her story quite fascinating. I’m not sure what it says about me but I could relate in a way to her desire to simplify everything, to know exactly what she would be doing and how at any moment.

Stella has a partner Ivan who lives with her and deals with her imposed restrictions. The trouble starts for Stella when an uncontrolled change occurs. Ivan is wearing a bracelet and Stella begins to obsess about who it is from and why he is wearing it. With the help of her sister she begins to investigate. Her paranoia and jealousy grow as she trys to control something she can’t.

I enjoyed this book a lot and have left it with my Mum to read. It’s engrossing and short and would be great to curl up with over a weekend if you can make it last that long!

This was my final read for the Colourful reading and Read your name challenges.

The Woman in Black – Play

The Woman in Black 3

A few week’s ago I read Susan Hill’s atmospheric The Woman in Black. It was my first experience of a ghost story that I can remember. It had lots of little thrills and I enjoyed it.

Last night we headed out with other Halloween creatures to see the highly acclaimed play. It was excellent! The Fortune Theatre is a fittingly atmsopheric venue – it’s old and narrow and creaky. Every time somebody moved in their seat it sounded like a squeaky door slowly opening….

The story of the story is told by just two characters (well three really..!) with minimal props and is really well done. After a slowish first half, the frights came in the second – creepy rocking chairs and music boxes… plenty of gasps and jumping in the audience. Lots of fun!

If anybody has the chance to see it – I would definitely recommend it.

BBAW – Reading Meme

Book blogger

What a wonderful idea Book Blogger Appreciation Week is. Somehow, I have only just discovered it but am looking forward to catching up on all the posts and interview swaps.

This meme encourages us to answer the questions below in a few words. A challenge! Here goes…

Do you snack while you read? If so, favorite reading snack?

No not usually as both hands are needed for reading – I like to have a drink though if at home

Do you tend to mark your books as you read, or does the idea of
writing in books horrify you?

Horrifies me but I like little stickies to mark special places or writing down a page number to go back to.

How do you keep your place while reading a book? Bookmark? Dog-ears?Laying the book flat open?

In my perfect world, pretty bookmarks only. In my real world, all of the above which is shameful I know!

Fiction, Non-fiction, or both?

Mostly fiction

Hard copy or audiobooks?

Hardcopy. I have never listened to an audio book (so far)

Are you a person who tends to read to the end of chapters, or are you able to put a book down at any point?

I like to finish at the end of a chapter but do lots of reading on the train so will just finish where the train stops and pick up again later.

If you come across an unfamiliar word, do you stop to look it up right away?

Very occasionally but I think it breaks the flow a bit much to do that. I love the idea of learning new words and sometimes write them down to check out later – whether I actually check them out later or not is another question!

What are you currently reading?

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte + slowly making my way through The Castle of Otranto by Horace Walpole.

Green Dolphin Country

What is the last book you bought?

Green Dolphin Country by Elizabeth Goudge. I visited the beautifully tempting Daunts Books last weekend and spent forever lost in the shelves. Elizabeth Goudge is an English writer, this book was written in the 1940’s, set in the Channel Islands and New Zealand. Published by Capuchin classics which I hadn’t heard of before.

Are you the type of person that only reads one book at a time or can
you read more than one at a time?

I have been thinking about this lately. I probably prefer one book at a time but since I became enchanted with the book blogging world this doesn’t happen. I usually have about three that I am dipping in and out of. One before bed, one for travelling and one other because I’m indecisive!

Do you have a favorite time of day and/or place to read?

At night usually and on the way to work. And on a winter’s Sunday – and by the pool on holiday…

Do you prefer series books or stand alone books?

I have mainly read stand alone books but am loving The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo series.

Is there a specific book or author that you find yourself recommending over and over?

Not really but off the top of my head:

Daniel Silva – spy thrillers
Rosamunde Pilcher – comfort reads
Sebastian Faulks – beautiful writing

And I think I will be adding Haruki Murakami to that list – the two books of his I have read have been magical.

How do you organize your books? (By genre, title, author’s last name, etc.?)

Right now by available bookshelf and floor space!