Yes I have been reading. Trying to get into a new crime book that's been put forward by the book group I'm in. Also someone loaned me the Language of Flowers which I'm looking forward to and I see I have 4 books that have come in at the library that I need to pick up.
But the past week has been a distraction. As people who know me know I am in a motorbike group that rides every Sunday and also participate in a lot of social activities. Well unfortunately one of our members was in a tragic accident last Sunday and sadly he did not survive it. So thoughts of this very tragic event will not leave my mind.
Yes it is a high risk sport however anyone who would have been in the same place at the same time whether they be in a car, a bike or a horse or even walking probably would have been hit by this idiot who decided to pass a slow moving caravan in front of him without adequately looking to see if anyone was coming towards him. Enough said on that.
All of us will be back to normal and riding again and most of us have already been out on our bikes this week. I remember having a very bad fall in my kitchen when I ran to answer the phone one afternoon, barefoot and one of my animals had taken the liberty of having a little accident on the lino floor and I went flying across the kitchen, knocking into all kinds of cabinets. It just shows these things can happen anywhere and one cannot live life in fear.
So I have been reading and I have wanted to put up a book post though there have been several days I thought I'd just hit the delete button and not worry about Travellin' Penguin anymore. However the little guy makes me laugh, keeps me focused and I also am reminded when I've been reading well and frequently as opposed to doing sweet bugger all and getting lazy. This week I have been lazy. However I have finished other jobs I needed to do.
On a funny note I typed up a letter for a neighbour who is fighting the city council over a tree and she doesn't have a computer. I told her I'd be happy to type up the letter and print it out for her. All of 5 minutes work really.
But the next day she arrived with a lovely bottle of red wine and this funny gift cat book. I sat down with it and had a look and it really does amaze me how many quirky, very silly gift books do get published. I think there is something about cats and cat people that they will accept anything in the name of a cat if they are in fact cat lovers which both she and we are very much. I always laugh at how many book bloggers love their animals but many seem to have cats.
So this is my book of the week. I know , I know, not a whole lot of substance but my past week hasn't had a lot of substance and I'm a firm believer we should read what makes us happy at the time. It really is quite astounding when one walks into a book shop and sees how many little gift books (as I call them) there are. No doubt people receive these types of books all of the time. Christmas, birthdays, Mother's Day, Easter....they abound. There is always a bit of a laugh involved and one realises it is nice to have friends who take the time to shop for these little things. They also come in different sizes from very small to quite tall as this cat book is. What do people think of them? They're cute and I enjoy them though I do realise once a big cull is in order from time to time some of them do quietly disappear when I know the giver may have forgotten it should be on my shelf. I guess gift books won't make it to e-Books anytime soon. Kind of defeats their purpose. Any other ideas on these?
Well, enjoy these photos of various cat patterns one is able to make for their cat if they are so inclined. Personally my cat would slap me silly if I put one of these hats on his head.
I will be back soon with a more substantial post and more of a 'real' book, whatever one's definition is of that. I have enjoyed very much reading all of the blog posts I follow regularly on this site and they have inspired me to jump back in and pick up some more substantial books. I'll get the library books on Tuesday and might share them with you. I'll also finish up this crime book I'm reading for the book group. No ideas on it yet. Until then.....
Friday, 3 May 2013
Today I'd like to share the Australian published Penguins I own. At first I didn't take much notice of them but then when I realised I kept finding books in the tip shop which is the main entrance to landfill I started picking them up.
Gathering these books is like walking along a country lane picking up stray kittens. They all get home, some I find other homes for but most of them I keep. It's when I look at them really hard, meet their author descriptions and admire their covers that make me name them (catalogue onto The Library Thing) and give them permanent homes until one of us becomes too foxed or tattered to go on.
Instead it is as if the publishers of the day decided around a table as if to say, "Okay we need some Australian Penguins and Australia having been the poor relatives of England for so many years - We're over that now you know) thought ...An Australian Pelican, An Australian Poets Book, An Australian Song Book, An Australian Fiction title, An Australian Penguin Play Book. All of this equals the Australian series.
I'm going to post up the Australian Penguin list on my blog through a link below and continue to add them as I find them. It is always a lot of fun to be in an op shop or even a lovely second hand book shop and see the little label on the spine AU with a number surrounded by the Aussie boomerang.
Hopefully I will continue to add to this collection and the information about it as I go.
If anyone knows of additional titles of these books please let me know and I will add the information to the list. This will no doubt continue to be a work in progress. Enjoy the diversity that yet again encompasses these lovely publications in so many ways.
Monday, 29 April 2013
Writing this review is frustrating only because my internet connection is cactus because I have exceeded my 8 gb limit for the month. Our service provider, Telstra has no infrastructure in our neighbourhood so we must rely solely on this one wi fi modem connection we are allowed. No broadband and the fancy new high speed national broadband network, a political football between our current government and most likely our next government, the opposition, quit installation 1.5 kms down the road…. never mind, onto this interesting book.
I have not read an Ann Patchett book before. It was chosen by Ali, our reading group leader at Fuller's book shop where I attend the monthly meetings. The best thing about being in a book group is it encourages me to read books I normally wouldn't choose for myself. Some I enjoy, others I don't. I have never been a fan of the "moral dilemma of the week" type of book. I read 2 books by Jodi Piccoult a couple of years back, also for book clubs, and I found I really didn't like it. So formulaic. Pick out the big cause whether it be organ donation, mass shootings in America, abortion, create a story that cocoons the issue, try to present both sides and then come up with an ending that won't scare off 50% of the readers.
Fortunately I had no idea what State of Wonder is about. I probably would have dug my heels in if I had. However, keeping an open mind is always useful, all those cliches about parachutes etc….made me continue once I realised what was going on.
Marina a young pharmaceutical researcher from Minnesota is sent by her married boss/lover to the Amazon rain forest in Brazil to find out what happened to the previous researcher once they receive a message he has died. He was working with the old stalwart researcher lecturer professor, Dr. Swenson, in the rainforest who isn't very forthcoming about the research she is undertaking. As the drug company, Vogel is funding this research they want to know what the status of it is.
Marina is sent to Manaus in Brazil to await Dr. Swenson's sporadic appearance in the city when she comes in for supplies or to attend the local opera as is the case.
She spends time exploring the city, contemplating her relationship with Mr. Fox , who is her employer and married lover and doesn't really find a great deal of satisfaction in any of these activities. She also must spend time with the young Bohemian couple who protect Dr Swenson's interruptions to her work. Once Dr. Swenson arrives the story really begins.
I won't say anything more except to say she goes into the jungle with Dr. Swenson who it turns out is studying the reproductive habits of the Lakashi people. It seems that the Lakashi women are able to conceive children throughout their entire life. It is not unusual for the 70 year old plus grandmothers to give birth to children their grandchildren will raise. The implications of finding the ' golden key' to such a feat of fertility are enormous especially monetarily to the drug companies.
Now I have a confession to make. I often write my review, thoughts and feelings of a book about 80% of the way through the book. As I don't want to spoil the ending in any way I figure if I write it up before I finish it there is no chance of making a slip up. Also whether I like the ending or not is irrelevant to my reporting of it because I'd hate to say the book ended badly and put readers off or I'd hate to say the ending was great and have people think, " What is the matter with her?!"
I can say I am really enjoying Ann Patchett's writing. I can feel the heat and the humidity of the Amazon. I almost went and got a towel during one of the rain storms. The people are clear in my mind and the issues are very interesting. There are also a couple of absolute ripper surprises (at least I was really surprised a couple of times.) There is suspense when " jungle " things happen. One of the things I really like is she writes about the insects, the birds, the smaller creatures of the jungle. You feel the swarms of insects around your head, enjoy the beauty of the river birds and the book is not all jaguars or other large animals flying out of bushes at the reader. Well most of the time. So I won't say another word about that. There are also other very interesting minor characters who have issues they need to work around. Does one take a small deaf child out of the familiar jungle to raise in the USA? Does one have an affair with the available people nearby because their partners are several thousand miles away?
I would encourage anyone who likes a good adventure yarn with some brain stopping moral values to pick this book up. I can see why it was chosen as a book group read. I think the discussion could get quite heated especially if we have any really conservative people in the group turn up. Might be fun to stir the pot a bit.
If anyone who reads this has read this book I would love to know what you thought of it.
p.s. Alex if you read this post you'll laugh to know Marina's choice of reading material for the plane trip to South America was no other than the Wings of the Dove. Of course her luggage was lost and she never does get to read it. I thought of you when I read that.
Sunday, 21 April 2013
|Sorting through the King Penguins.|
I have the main series finished and put on the bookshelves that take up an entire wall in our front room. Previously I had all the non Penguins on those shelves and the Penguins on the smaller shelves. No more. The non Penguins are going through a serious cull and several boxes are going to auction. I can read anything I like either through library books or Kindle and I don't need so much STUFF in the house. A good winter's project when it isn't so nice to be out motorbiking around the country side.
It is a work in progress and once finished I will post up the final photos. I am currently putting the King Penguin series onto Library Thing and finding them their very own shelf. They are lovely old books with their interesting illustrated hard covers and they deserve their time to shine on my shelves.
I also finished an interesting book, non Penguin, I got from the library. Into the Abyss by Carol Shaben is the true story of a young Canadian bush pilot who under extreme pressure from the company he works for to keep flights on time no matter how bad the weather, crashes the small plane he is flying killing everyone except for the rookie Royal Canadian Mounted Policeman, the prisoner he is transporting, himself and a Member of Parliament.
The story is written by the daughter of the MP. The Canadian mountie is very badly injured, the MP has lost his glasses and can't see anything, the pilot is badly injured but can walk and the prisoner being transported is doing everything he can to save all of them. He becomes the real hero of the story but the repercussions for him are great.
Their main adversary was the snow storm they are trapped in and the extremely cold weather that only northern Canada can present.
The friendship that develops between the four men is very interesting as it progresses over several decades. The information related to the small airlines that employ bush pilots across northern Canada's remote areas is quite disturbing.
Found this week: Penguin No. 2012
Interesting colour if a bit worn.
I cared about all of the men and wanted to know how this accident impacted on them, some better than others.
Found this week at market:
Penguin No. 1319- an Eric Newby
I found that annoying as she appeared to lose her objectivity a bit. There is a very good section at the end of the book of notes to let the reader know how she acquired all of the information in the book. I would recommend this story to anyone who is interested in aviation and likes a good survival tale in the wilderness.
The other book I'm reading (or should say listening to) is the unabridged edition of Moby Dick. I began it a few months ago but couldn't concentrate as life was happening. Now things are slowing down I'm enjoying listening to it in the evenings on my MP3 player. I am not that far into it, maybe chapter 12 or 13 but am enjoying it so far. I didn't expect the humour in it. Parts of the story are quite amusing. There are more than 100 chapters in this book and I find I need to jot down a few words as I go to keep the stream of thought continuing so I don't forget bits of it. So far so good.
The past week has turned out to be quite productive and I've even managed to get in a few rides on the new Scooter that I have named "Penguino". I expect Penguino and I will be doing some penguin hunting once I point out where the various places are. Yes, I do anthropomorphise both my pets and my scooters. Yesterday I stopped at a country market and found two Penguins I didn't have. It is always fun to be out on the bike and finding Penguins at the same time.
I'm hoping for more bike adventures in the coming weeks and am very much looking forward to a "new" reorganised library in the house. Stay tuned.
Friday, 12 April 2013
|The Weldborough region in northeast Tasmania where|
we went camping.
|Penguin copy of Prime of Miss Jean|
|My tent is the little one in the back.|
|My new Penguin Hunter II. No doubt he will|
get me to many bookshops and op shops.
The day before yesterday I decided to take it out for an hour's ride and ended up in the south of the state at Dover Tasmania- 90 minutes away. There is a large second hand book shop there and I thought I'd do some Penguin hunting to see how this bike compares with the previous for finding these devious little orange creatures. The clouds were thick and black, but it felt balmy and the curves on the road were good, the pavement smooth and I just kept going until the road ran out. Of course the shop was closed. Never mind, I knew I would be passing another very large book shop on the way home in Huonville and they always have Penguins.
|First Penguin book published in|
France in 1941. Who would of
thought I'd find this in country Tasmania.
There was also an antique shop I dropped in on that had Penguins in appalling condition, covers torn off and paper clipped and silly prices on them like $4.00 each. I found a few I really wanted but managed to talk her into 50 cents to a dollar when I pointed out the torn covers, lack of title page in one book and lack of copyright data in another. But they were books that were definitely not going to sell to anyone except me (I was sure of that) so I bartered her down. However there was a very decent find that this odd uppity bookseller who knew nothing of books as furniture is her thing, had on the shelf. I stuck it amongst the badly injured Penguins and got it for next to nothing.
It is a first published No 1 French Penguin Publie' en 1941. The text is in French, there is a number F1 on the spine and the title is Verites Sur La France by Louis Levy. I have to say I felt quite smug walking out of the shop with this little gem. I had never seen a French Penguin before though I knew they were out there.
|Love this cover. No. 2512|
Continuing the ride home I stopped at the third book shop of the day and found a couple of later Penguins I didn't have. They were both published in 1966 and 1968. I liked the covers on them, especially the one called The Best of Beachcomber which appears to be a book of short stories.
|A cheerful looking late Penguin.|
No. 2892 or 2993 (smudging on number)
Any information on any of these books is welcomed.