Friday, July 31, 2015

July Book Buys!

This month has been diverse and fun in the way of book purchases; in the way that I bought books I really want to read instead of ones that I might read at some point in the future.

Yes, I'm one of those book collectors.

Well, the first book I bought was at my craft group and it was 'A Prisoner of Birth' by Jeffrey Archer. Now the blurb on the back of this book sounded great and so I grabbed this book for this reason; not because I'm a huge fan (which I'm not). And I've been past his house while I was holidaying in the UK.... and what a house he owned at that time! Well, before he had to sell it to pay for legal fees.

The second book was received through the mail - 'Coffee House Lies' by Carly Berg. It was a Bookcrossing bookray I have taken part in of flash fiction... now when it comes to short fiction, I really savour it and take my time reading it. I love to enjoy these books. So, I'm one of those who will probably take about a month to read something that will take about two weeks to read for somebody else. And being an author of flash fiction - creepy flash fiction - I find this book of light work refreshing.

I got my third book, 'Immortal Espionage' by Debbie Behan off the author herself for $20 at my writer's group. I'm up to page 50 and am savouring this book totally. I've proofread a bit of this book, so have been able to know how some of it goes; however, up until around the part of where I'm up to is all I got up to... after this, I'm on my own.

There's one Stephen King book I didn't own until around two weeks ago. 'Lisey's Story' was the book; and I had heard mixed reviews about it... really mixed reviews. So, when I found this book in a box at my craft group, in amongst a collection of Stephen King books I had already read and collected), I just had to have it. So, I scratched together $2.00 and bought it. Now, it's sitting on my shelf - along with 5 other Stephen King books - waiting for me to open its pages, waiting for me to read it.

So, there you go... my book buys this month!  How did you go this month? Did you buy books just for the sake of buying them or did you buy books you have been hankering for for years? Until my next post, happy reading.

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Animal-Loving Books To Read

I love animals - adore them - and it's always a totally different experience when it comes to reading about them in a storyline of a book.

So, here's a list on Buzz Feed of the 51 books which are must-read if you love animals... however I found there were a few which they missed out on, some I thought shouldn't have been there and the list could have been longer.

Books To Read With Animals In Mind

Until my next post, happy reading.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

My Writing World Right Now

Just before I caught this bug going around, I was running around looking at publishing places, talking to fellow writers, bought some of their writings and attended an open day at InHouse Publishers as well as a couple of book launches.

Yep, I was right into the writer's world of bliss... I love this part of my world; as well as the solitary part of it where I disappear into my home office, close that door to the rest of the outside world and build the worlds inside my books.

I know it seems easier to have a world like that to exist in - but really, it's so good to know there are people out there who are just like me, who vanish from their everyday lives into a part of their houses to work on their books - whether they are fiction or non-fiction.

However, what I'm working on now is non-fiction and very much for somebody who I care for very much: my niece, Riley. She spotted my book on my phone titled: 'Riley's Book' and she wanted to know what it was about. Being a person who has never lied to her since she was born, I told her about it; saying that now she's so settled that maybe I might stop writing it. But she surprised me and said no, keep writing it! She wanted to read what I had to say about life, its rules and how I saw it from my views. She wants to have something that was personally hers from somebody who cared enough to start something like a book on life for her.

Have you ever done this kind of thing for somebody like this? If so, did it work out, and how did it go? Until my next post, happy reading.

Friday, July 17, 2015

Reading When You're Sick

Well, yeah, I'm not well right now.  I've come down with that horrible, dreadful cold that's been going around - and this is something I don't normally catch. 

Normally, I catch this after it's gone around to everyone, and I'm the very last person in Queensland - nay, Australia - to get it!

So, this year, I thought to be different and be the first to catch it to get it over and done with.  In truth, I've been on the go with different projects, the markets, books, and other things going on in my life so much that I haven't really slowed down - and my immune system has suffered for it; so I it's all caught up with me.

Yeah, I looked over my 365Project site and found I really haven't stopped for anything but to sleep and eat and - well - that's about it.

So, I've been down and out with this horrible cold/flu thingy for the last three days, haven't slept much for the first two nights and just last night, I crashed and slept for almost eight hours... this is a good change. So good in fact that when I woke up this morning, I almost jumped out of bed because of the energy I had... very cool!

But yesterday, I sat down for around 2 hours and read a book from my childhood.  It was a 'Jinty' Classic comic book and I loved it!  I felt so good in myself to just slow down and enjoyed not needing to do anything just because I was home and things needed to be done. 

Of course things need to be done.

However, I can't get everything done in one day... but reading is also very important to me as well. And to have a great reading chair in my possession and in my home is something to keep myself from rushing around so much. It's a thing to help me slow down; to help me recover from this horrible cold (well, besides eating everything not nailed down and watching hours of television in the afternoon too!). 

So, what do you do when you're down and out with a cold or flu? You know what I'm up to now I'm not well.  Until my next post, happy reading!

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Health Benefits From Reading

Don't you love it when you find out that your passion for reading and books is actually healthy for you?

Well, us readers already knew it was healthy - but some people out there who teased us for being a 'book worm' and a 'nerd' didn't.  And now, they're struggling to get into reading when we're leagues ahead of them... 

... now we won't call them any names, because we're above that, but it's a level playing field when it comes to books and reading.  However, I found out there's a list of great health benefits to being an avid reader in this article

The next best thing I've found while wandering around on that site was that I found out being an author is a job people really want to be.

But unless you've really put yourself out there, a lot of people don't know how hard it is to get published. I've been trying to put my work into print since I was 15 years old and I'm still not published and I'm in my 40's now... yep, it's hard. So, here's the great article on that topic too.

Well, I hope you enjoy those articles I dug up about writing and reading.  Until my next post, happy reading.


Sunday, July 5, 2015

Books-a Travellin' With Me

I love to travel and I love to read... thus meaning when I go on holidays, I take some books with me. However, I do come home with a box - or two - more in the boot of the car.

Last Thursday, I stayed overnight at a friend's house to work on a new painting and took a couple of books with me to read before bed. However that never happened - even though I put the Kurt Vonnegut bok on the bed with my glasses case next to it. Instead, I just snuggled down under the covers with my hand on the book and closed my eyes 'for a second' and crashed.

I woke up to my alarm at 6am the next morning in the dark with the book and my glasses case neatly on the floor next to my bed. My friend's husband had come in to turn off my light and found my attempt to read my book 'rather charming' and took it upon himself to make sure I didn't harm the book or my glasses case and put them onto the floor for me.  Yeah, I have great friends who know I love my books enough to not want to leave them where I'd probably damage them - or my glasses case.

But I do love to travel with my reading material so when I do get the time to read, I can just sit and read. What books to you love to take with you when you go on holidays? A bit of suspense and thrills? Or do you love being scared by some horror? Or are you at the other end of the scale where you're a big romantic? Me?  I love to read short stories and some non-fiction about writing and publishing. Until my next post, happy reading! 

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

June Book Buys!

I have been good... really! I didn't so much buy any books, but acquired them. Okay, I added to my collection, but I didn't spend any more money.

Alright - I did sin and get some more books, but that's not the point, I bought only one book.

One! That was it! Honestly!

Good, now we got the confession out of the way of how many I bought and ... oh wait, I didn't tell you which ones I bought... here we go.

On 12th, June, I was out and about on a very wet week here in Brisbane.  I should have stayed home, but I didn't.  I wanted to get a few things done that Mum asked me to do, and so I drove out to a friend's house to drop off my late-Uncle's deed to his house (which this friends lives in). 
Well, he offered up some books to me, and I looked at a huge table covered in books he wanted to get rid of for nothing.  A lot of the topics weren't what I was interested in; but there were some that I am passionate about... so I took five books.
'Albatross Book of Verse: School Edition' edited by Louis Untermyer was one which Frank (our friend) had had since he was at school, and didn't mind letting go of. This book - and many like this book - are usually filled with verse you don't see anywhere else; and I love these books because of this.
'Black Gold & Intrigue: The Story of Mt Morgan' by Cyril Grabs. I don't know much about this one, but it's the story of Mount Morgan.
'Please Explain' by Karl Kruszelnicki is a book about science and about things we wonder about which sometimes we don't know the explanation to... so he's explained them to us in the best way he knows how.
'Crop Circles: Signs, Wonders and Mysteries' by Steve and Karen Alexander.  This title explains itself... and I love these things as they are mostly unexplained and very X-Files. 
'Reader's Digest Complete Guide to Home Improvement'. Now this is something I'd love to have a go at... see if it all works.
The book I bought and would love to see if it works on my stresses is 'Animal Kingdom' by Millie Margotta. It's a complex colouring book for adults with patterns and animals for us to colour in and add patterns to.  It was around $25.00 at Riot Art at Carindale Westfield here in Brisbane. I'll be photocopying some of the pages first to see how it goes... then I'll actually colour in the book.

Well, there you have it, the books I came across and now have in my collection this month.  Which ones did you get in your hot little hands this month?  Did you really wish for them, or were they bought just because they happened to be there and you wanted them on the spur of the moment?  Until my next post happy reading!

Friday, June 26, 2015

Adult Colouring-in Books

Okay... I'm jumping on the band wagon!

This is something I very rarely do, and I'm doing it because I have loved to colour in since I was very young; and have been an artist for so long that painting and colouring go hand-in-hand... 

So, yesterday, while I was out at Carindale Westfield Shopping Centre looking around at Riot Art, I bought 'Animal Kingdom' by Millie Margotta. It wasn't a cheap book but it was worth it... and really I was looking for medium-sized magnets, and they were out of stock - it seems all the stores are.

Well, I bought this book after looking at them all and haven't regretted it.  It's filled with so much and I don't want to just jump in and colour it in - as I'm not one to do that to an expensive book.  I'm going to photocopy some of the pages and colour them in and then after a while, I'll colour the originals in properly with good pencils.

I know that sounds weird, but because I don't have that much money laying around, I feel as though I have something here that needs to be savoured, relished and enjoyed to the very end... and that is just what I'm going to do.  Until my next post, happy reading.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

The Book I Have Had The Longest

I read online recently an article about books and how some people think that the old traditional hard covers and paperbacks are going to be a thing of the past... something only antiquated bookstores and hard-core collectors will have lining their walls and living rooms to show off when guests drop - kind of like works of art where nobody goes near them anymore.

However, I don't do that. My books are more than just artwork.  Yes they line the walls of my home office and yes, I do make artwork about them. But I make sure I read the books in my collection. I haven't seen books go in the direction of what people think they're going; in fact, it's the opposite.

People want the tactile feel of a real book.

They want to have that book in their hot little hands, to feel and smell the newness of the lovely new book which hasn't had its spine cracked, pages turned, or words read yet.  And many more people love the odour of the old books; the history of these wonderful tomes of where they've been of how long they've been around, what secrets they hold and whose homes, old bookstores, glory boxes and old back wardrobes they've been in for so many years before being found yet again to be read again - to reveal their beautiful secrets within their worn covers.

However, what I have said in the title is 'the book I have had the longest' ... not my oldest book - no, that's easy to point that out. Not my most out-of-print book/s... that's easier still.  I'm trying to pinpoint the book I've had in my possession the longest.

And you know something? I don't know... It could be 'The Sly Old Cat' by Enid Blyton in a little white hardcover that Mum gave me when I was little about a horrible little cat who tricked a mouse into being its meal (I mean, who writes this stuff?).
It could be 'Dips'n'Doodles' which is about a young girl who gets snow skis for her birthday, but is too scared to go on her first skiing lesson - especially when she finds out that the biggest thing stopping her is herself.
It could any of my 'Debbie' books... oh they're real collector's items.  They've been with me since I was around ten years old; and the illustrator passed away only a few years ago. The books were about the writer's daughter - I found out recently - and she looks just like the little girl in the book! They are lovely stories with a moral in the end.
So, any of those books were my first, and longest-kept books in my collection.  Which book has been with you the longest? Please do tell us by leaving a comment below, we'd love to know.  Until my next post, happy reading.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

'Harry Helps Grandpa Remember' Book Launch

Yesterday, I was at the book launch of 'Harry Helps Grandpa Remember' by Karen Tyrrell at the Logan North Library.  

There were families and children there from all backgrounds and fun was had by everyone as it was launched by a pantomime of the story!  The characters were loved by all as they took on the stage at the children's section in the library and the author herself, Karen Tyrrell, read out the book the all the children.

This book does have a serious message though. It carries a message that Grandparents get old, slow-moving - and sometimes - they have memory problems.  These memory problems can become very serious if they don't keep up with their favourite things, like reading, crosswords, Sudoku and socialising with others as well as cooking, gardening and dancing. 

If you'd like a copy of this book, go to Karen Tyrrell's site here and you buy yourself a copy, and you can find her other books there as well. Until my next post, happy reading.

Monday, June 15, 2015

Slowly, But Surely...

Over the last few months or so, I've had a few problems with writing - and reading - books.  It's been annoying the crap out of me to no end, but I can feel the block now loosening and see the tiny, growing light at the end of the tunnel.  That light is called 'Creativity' and my Muse.

Yeah, us writers have Muses and mine has been sulking somewhere and I have finally been able to not think about my work long enough to get in and do some creative work.

Now, I'm not writing, but I've gotten back into my painting.  Okay, it's not the written word, but it's the visual arts; which is similar, because I do book art, and it's great... I love painting about books and doing works on books.

Well, I've been working on two little paintings of books; and just yesterday, I placed a creepy eye behind some of those painted books, and left it alone for a bit to see how it goes - I hope it works out for me and I'll see how to put a nice eye on the other one.

Now, I'm thinking of going back over some of my flash fiction and working on editing some of my work there... yep, my creative side is coming back from the desert of Writer's Block - but it's a slow process, a really slow process - as I haven't been completely blocked for this long in both ways (reading books and writing them).  Usually, it's one or the other, not both.  Well, until my next post, happy reading.

Friday, June 12, 2015

Book Score!

Yesterday, I was out and about in the rainy day here in Brisbane, and I found myself at Holland Park West at a friend's house.  He's been cleaning out his house - calling out to friends on Facebook to come and get things he doesn't want - and I called him to see if he was home.  Fortunately he was, and I so dropped around to give him something Mum asked me to drop off.

Well, what started out as a general conversation turned into us going into the downstairs basement area looking at his books he no longer needed or wanted.

A lot of them were from his naturopath days when he ran a business at Stones Corner; but being retired now, he finds he no longer needs them. But there were other books there too.  From anatomy to herbs, to gardening and meditation, he had books on pretty much everything!  I picked out a few books to bring home with me that I am extremely happy with!

'Albatross Book of Verse: School Edition'
'Gold: Black Gold The Story of Intrigue - the Story of Mount Morgan' by Cyril Grabs
'Please Explain' by Karl Kruszelnicki
'Crop Circles: Signs, Wonders and Mysteries' by Steve and Karen Alexander
'Reader's Digest Complete Guide to Home Improvement'

Now, there were many more books piled up there under his house, but I only chose those six... which I think is quite good of me; seeing how I really can't control myself around books normally. 

Well, that was my score for the day... what have you been getting your nose into lately? Until my next post, happy reading!