It has been several weeks since I last posted on here, but I have been busy doing book stuff. I’ve finished three books and am part way through another.

The first two are by the same author, Anthony Marshall, owner of Alice’s Bookshop in Carlton, inner suburban Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. Originally from the United Kingdom, where he also ran a bookshop for several years, Anthony has been a book dealer for for over thirty years. Trafficking In Old Books and Fossicking For Old Books are (mostly) light-hearted accounts of his life as a bookseller in the UK and Australia. As Anthony points out, the books don’t give a how-to-guide on becoming rich dealing in secondhand books, but are aimed at booklovers everywhere who enjoy fossicking around in piles of books. A plus for me, as a Melburnian born and raised, was the fact that many of the chapters mentioned places I’m very familiar with. I’d highly recommend both books for anyone interested in what goes on behind the scenes in the world of books.

Book number three is our book group choice for the month and is entitled The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time by Mark Haddon. The main character is Christopher John Francis Boone aged (at the beginning of the story) 15 years and 3 months and 2 days. Christopher is autistic. He doesn’t like the colour yellow and he doesn’t like people touching him. Christopher can name all the countries in the world and their capitals. One night he discovers a neighbour’s dog dead on their front lawn and decides to solve the mystery of “whodunnit”. An easy to read story, simply told from the young boy’s point of view, yet one filled with a lot of emotion, as Christopher describes his day to day life in a world he finds it hard to comprehend, while his father attempts to cope as a sole parent. One I’d definitely recommend.

Among the Gently Mad, Perspectives and Strategies for the Book Hunter in the Twenty-first Century is the fourth on the list. The author, Nicholas A. Basbanes, well known and highly regarded within the book industry has also written A Gentle Madness: Bibliophiles, Bibliomanes and the Eternal Passion for Books, and Patience and Fortitude: A Roving Chronicle of Book People, Book Places, and Book Culture. As the title suggests, Among the Gently Mad combines accepted book collecting methods with the most up to date means of locating additions to one’s collection. I’m approx. one third of the way through and enjoying it immensely.

The final book related piece that has kept me occupied over the past couple of weeks, is Book Hunter’s Holiday, Chris Lowenstein’s blog. Chris has been an Antiquarian Bookseller for just over 4 years, but boy has she come a long way. If you are at all interested in book collecting, particularly Antiquarian books, I suggest you pop on over there and take a look. Chris has documented her journey via 630 Chapters of inspirational and informative postings. And I read every one of them! As well as all of Chris’ posts there are heaps of links to many other helpful sites.

So that’s where I’ve been 🙂



Picturing Books is a delightful site sent to me via Twitter this morning. I love picture books. The illustrations can be so stunning. Being unable to draw more than a basic stick figure, I have great admiration for artists of all types, be they illustrators or any craftspeople who create items of beauty.

Do you have favourite picture books from your childhood, or even ones you read to your own children?


Pacific Centric SVG World Map

Image via Wikipedia

As I mentioned in my previous post, I was reading Jessica Watson’s True Spirit. Well I managed to get to the end with a couple of days to spare. A literary masterpiece it’s not, but still the story of Jessica Watson’s solo circumnavigation of the globe is something that I’m glad I read. It’s not a book I would have normally chosen, but as it was this month’s selection for our book discussion group, I had to make an effort. I admit that I had preconceived ideas on whether or not Jessica was adequately prepared for her sea voyage, and was surprised how much work she had put into getting herself and her equipment ready. Having said that it was still an extremely dangerous journey. However, I digress. As I said in the beginning, not a great book but easy to read. As it was basically in the form of a blog and there’s only so much that can be said about sailing off into the wild blue yonder, I felt it was somewhat repetitive and was glad to reach the end.

Edit: I’d be interested to know your opinions, whether or not you’ve read the book. It might be stale news now, but still worthy of discussion I feel.