Thursday, November 29, 2012

Summer Fun Event - Only One Day To Go!

Well!  It's one day off to the Summer Fun Event here on My Reading List, and I can't wait!  I've got a couple of interviews with some great authors lined up, the history of things we use everyday, a few articles written up and I've been taking photos of things and now have to upload them onto Photobucket to make links out of them to upload them onto here.

Yep, it's going to be a stinking hot Summer here in Australia!  And I'm all prepared for you guys to settled in with either an ice tea (if you're in the Southern Hemisphere) or a hot chocolate (if you're surrounded by 6ft of snow) and to entertain you for the next 8 weeks of the Summer School Holidays.  

I'm hoping to take off into the great city of Brisbane - my home town - and find a few more bookstores to review, read up on books I've been meaning to read all year and tell you about them and get in and do some editing of my own books as well while I'm enjoying some time to myself too over this time.  Yes, I've organised this Summer Fun Event enough so I have enough time to enjoy this season as well and I'm not rushing around each day trying to figure out what's coming up next... I already know what's happening.  So, I hope you guys have your holiday shopping all finished, as this event begins on 1st, December and finishes at the end of the school holidays in January... sit back, get comfy and enjoy. 

November Book Buys!

It's been a while since I last purchased something; and I'm rather pleased with myself that I've been so good.  However, I haven't been reading all that much lately, instead, I'm preparing myself for the oncoming rush of Christmas and NYE and the Summer Fun Event.  So, there's been only a little bit of reading here and there done; and only when I can fit it in - and that's usually when I can pinch my eyelids open with toothpicks long enough to read about 4 pages.  Jeez, that sounds horrible, doesn't it?

Well, this month, I've bought only two books; both of them are second-hand too.  The first one was is 'At Home With the Templetons' by Monica McInerney.  I've read her works before and do like the way her writing just pulls me in and is so easy to get into.  And I've heard that this book is very much like 'Odd One Out' which is a book I enjoyed reading when Mum lent it to me (and strangely enough, I found I had a lot in common with the Protagonist in that book). 
The next book is 'The Naughty Book for Girls' by Candice Hill'.  This one is one I haven't heard of before, but I thought the front cover and blurb looked and sounded pretty good for a fun read.  So, I bought them both for around $15.  I'm looking forward to reading them over Christmas and NYE.  So, what have you gotten your hands on over the last few month - seeing I haven't bought anything lately - that you'd like to share with usLove to hear from you all about your buying habits and what you've bought - good or bad.  Leave a comment on your most recent book purchases.  Until my next post, happy reading!  

Friday, November 23, 2012

The World Loses Bryce Courtney

Late last night, Australia lost another great writer from her ranks - Bryce Courntey.  Born in South Africa and moving here in the 1950's, Bryce was said to have been a born story-teller and a 'latter-day Charles Dickens', with his strong and complex plots, larger-than-life characters, and his ability to appeal to a large number of readers.  Nearly every year, for the last 15, he would write a 600-page book in around six months, year in, year out. To achieve that feat he used what he called 'bum glue', sometimes writing for more than 12 hours a day.  He brought to writing his books the same determination and dedication he showed in the more than 40 marathons he ran, most of them when he was well over 50.

Courtenay, a father-of-three, soared to the top of the bestseller charts with his 1989 debut, The Power of One, which was subsequently made into a film starring Morgan Freeman.
At the time, he was married to his first wife, Benita, who he met while studying journalism in London in 1955. He followed her to Australia, the pair were married in 1959 and had three sons - Brett, Adam and Damon.

Courtenay's 1993 bestseller April Fool's Day, was a tribute to his youngest son.  Damon, contracted HIV/AIDS through an infected blood transfusion in 1991 and died at the age of 24. 
Courtenay continued to churn out bestsellers almost every year for two decades including The Potato Factory and Tommo & Hawk.
As with most of his books, his final novel, Jack of Diamonds, featured a talented young protagonist fighting the odds to reach great personal and professional heights amidst adversity. The novel - Courtenay's 21st in 24 years - drew on his love of music and his own experiences working in a Rhodesian mine as a teenager.

Courtenay  became a Member of the Order of Australia in 1995 and was also honoured with a postage stamp after being named an Australia Post Literary Legend.
Bryce Courtney will be missed by everyone here and around the world in the writing, publishing and reading world.  My heart goes out to his family and friends who are at their darkest moments now; and just know that he's out of pain. 

Herald Sun Tribute to Bryce Courtney 

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Summer of Fun Event Approaching!

It's only about a week or so away from December; and you all know what this means!  It means The Summer of Fun EventLast year, I tried it out over 3 massive months and it was fun and full of brilliant interviews, YouTube excellence, only a few book reviews and links to sites about bookstores across the world and other people's blogs as well.

Well, this year, I'm thinking of making it take up only about a month or so; as last year was huge for me and very hard to do.  I've got a few great ideas that are new, and some that I'll do from last year.  There'll be a few themed ideas and other things I'll be looking into as well as digging up the history of things we take for grated... like the computer you're looking and working at right now?  Well, I'll be looking into the history of that and what I was taught to type on in high school - yep the good old typewriter; as I still own one and it's still in use!  I'll be interviewing some writers as well, just like last year.
And just like last year, I'll be here throughout the Christmas and NYE period to keep you guys up to date with everything; and to keep you entertained online when it's either too hot or too cold to head outdoors.  
So, I'll be seeing you in the next week or so with the new Summer of Fun Event!  Until my next post, happy reading!  

Saturday, November 17, 2012

What's Inside Your Collection?

Have you ever done it?  You know?  Gone through your book collection and found out just what you have in it?  I have once in a whileAnd you know, it's a big surprise to me just how many books I really do have that I don't get to read or books I picked up and wanted to read at one stage and don't want to anymore.
The shelves are stacked beautifully, all the spines are facing out.  I have books piled on top of the ones standing up properly, as well as books on the tops of the shelves where they lay down so they don't fall down.  And all of those look like mountains; where they are all leaning in on each other from the edges just so nothing falls down if I add one more book on by throwing it on top.  Or if it teeters a little, something in the way it's sitting will keep it from falling down.  Or - funnier still - at some point in the next few days or nights, I'll hear a thump, and a few seconds later, a crash and race in to find all my books from the mountain on the floor!  And this book avalanche was caused by that one book on top teetering a little when I should have found a good spot for it.  Lazy me!

But seriously, do you know what you have in your shelves?  And I don't mean a rough estimate... I mean, do you know exactly which authors you have right now?  I can honestly say that I don't.  I know a few of them, but not all of them.  And that's a good thing to know.  And here's a few of them just off-hand:

Stephen King
Paulo Coelho
Maeve Binchy
Umberto Eco
John Connolly
JRR Tolkien
Douglas Adams
Imogen Edwards-Jones
Sara Douglass
Helen Garner
Jim Morrison
Donald Stephenson
Colleen McCullough
Bill Cosby
Ray Bradbury
Mark Twaine
Alan Alda
Charles Dickens
Oscar Wilde
Hugh Lunn
John Irving
Estelle Pinney
Matthew Reilly
Peter Straub
Nigel Goodall

I have more than one book of the above authors in my shelves... and this is who I can see from where I'm sitting. So, do tell!  Who have you got in your collection?  Are you proud to have them?  Or are some authors a big, bad secret?  Like for me having a Dr. Seus book isn't my proudest moment.  But then, I guess everyone's got a few hiding in their past.  Until my next post, happy reading!          

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Another Interview!

I've been interviewed again!  How fun is this?  Not a month after I was interviewed for the Southside Bulletin, I have been asked to be interviewed for the Romance Bandits here on the net.  

I've been following their site for a some time - over a year actually - and now, one of the ladies who runs the site has asked me to be in their December Newsletter.  I was totally surprised by this when the e-mail arrived.  So, I accepted after joining their site as a Bandito and and reading some of the newsletters that had been around and were only for the members to read.  

So, I'll post the link to my interview on their site here during the Christmas/NYE break so you can all read it when it comes in.  Until my next post, happy reading!

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Wet or Cold Weather Reading

In various parts of the world, our seasons are changing.  Over in the Northern Hemisphere, it's Autumn/Fall and the leaves are changing colour, it's becoming cooler and the comfort foods are being made as well as the days are becoming shorter.  While here in the Southern Hemisphere, the days are longer, warmer and we're getting our Monsoon Season.  Either way, we are going to share one thing in common: at some point in time, we will all be stuck inside because it's either raining, too hot to go outside or too cold and snowing to go out there either.
Personally, I like to read just about anything that will take my mind off the weather or my problems.  Usually around Christmas time, I try to read lighter books so I can enjoy this time of year.  However, just before the Silly Season, I read a few heavier books to round the year out nicely.

So, what kinds of books do you get your nose into to escape these kinds of weather?  If you're in a cold climate, do you read about Summer?  And if you're in a hot climate, do you read about the chilly slopes of Aspen at Christmas?  And it's not just the topic I'm interested in, it's how you read it.  Are you an old-fashioned reader - like me - or have you traveled along with technology and kept up with an e-reader or a laptop or iPod?  
Also, where is your favourite place to curl up and read?  Is it by the fire in the family room?  In your bed before turning out the light?  In your own personal Easy-chair or beanbag or do you sit outside in a nice cool carport when it's stinking hot with a cool drink by your side and feeling the breezes on your back as the crickets and cicadas ring through the air?  Do tell us all about your reading habits at this time of year.  Until my next post, happy reading.