Part 10 – 2012 NEW YEAR, NEW LOOK

Happy New Year to you, and I hope you had an enjoyable Christmas with those close to you. On impulse I decided on a change of look for the blog, for the new year. Whether it stays like this or not who knows. Tomorrow I may decide to have a different look altogether.

Have you been fitting in lots of relaxing reading time over the holiday period? I hope so. If there has been anything outstanding please let me know as I’m always looking for new titles.

Sarah’s Key by Tatiana de Rosnay is a novel I read late last year, one on my book group’s list. The two main characters in the book are Sarah of the title, and Julia Jarmond a modern day journalist. Sarah was a child, one of the many thousands of Jews in Paris rounded up by the French police on the 16th July 1942 and then transported to Auschwitz death camp. Julia is assigned to write a story on based on this event, and through her investigations, much of Sarah’s past is revealed. Well worth reading.

I’ve recently finished The Red Tent, a fictionalised account of the life of Dinah, the only sister of Joseph (of the coat of many colours fame), daughter of Jacob and his first wife Leah. Written by Anita Diamant, this book of Genesis gives a woman’s perspective of life at that time. The red tent refers to the place where women would go when menstruating or giving birth. I would definitely recommend this one.

Currently I am part way through The Elephant Whisperer: My Life With the Herd in the African Wild. Lawrence Anthony, owner/operator of Thula Thula willdlife reserve received a request that common sense told him he should say no to. He was asked to take a herd of “rogue” elephants. But knowing that otherwise the fate of these huge beasts would be death, Lawrence felt unable to refuse. So far I am finding this one fascinating as I read of the challenges this animal lover encountered in his attempts to bond with the elephants and the things they were able to teach him.

Anyway, it’s after midnight so I’d best be off. See you soon.

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Part 5 – HOW QUICKLY WINTER HAS APPEARED

Summer wasn’t that hot, and pretty wet compared with what we’ve been used to over the past few years in particular, but Autumn seems to have passed us by completely. Apart from the odd nice day it’s been quite chilly, not that we’d expect snow or anything that drastic.

Anyway, enough of that. I’m finally back again to talk about books. I read an interesting and quite different book last week. Elizabeth Tova Bailey’s observations in “The Sound of a Wild Snail Eating” brought this reader to a greater understanding of these tiny creatures of the forest. Elizabeth became bedridden after a mystery illness hit her and the wee snail became her companion of sorts after appearing on her bedside table. The author developed a huge interest in these creatures and spent many hours learning about the many types of snail and their habits. I’d definitely recommend this one.

Last month’s book club choice was my selection.  I have to confess I had not previously read F. Scott Fitzgerald’s “The Great Gatsby”, and must admit it took me a while to get into it even though it’s quite a small book. It’s supposed to be one of the great classics isn’t it? Maybe it was because all the characters seemed so superficial that I was put off, I don’t know. I was glad I read it, anyway. Only four of us turned up for the discussion so that was possibly an indication that it wasn’t a popular selection. Coincidentally the movie was on pay TV this week. Seeing Robert Redford playing Jay Gatsby may have made a few more readers sympathetic to him.

Currently I’m reading “Caleb’s Crossing” by Geraldine Brooks. Caleb’s story is a fictional account (based on fact) of the first Native American  to graduate from Harvard, in 1665. I’ve enjoyed all Ms Brooks’ books so far, on varied subjects, and this is proving to be the same.

I attended my first ever book auction a few weeks ago. A friend came along supposedly to stop me from overspending. but she kept on nudging me and saying “Go on, bid.” Just as well I used a little self-control or there may have been a divorce in the family. 🙂 I didn’t go home empty-handed, however, having successfully bid on a small lot of books illustrated by Dorothy Wall of Blinky Bill fame. These are yet to be listed.

A week or so after the book auction, my husband (Rob) and I went to an antiques auction in Ballarat, where among the furniture and other bric-a-brac were several lots of books. We were only there about five minutes during which time I purchased several Miller’s Antiques and Collectables books and a Mrs Beeton’s cookbook. Rob decided I’d spent enough so I collected my purchases and we made a hasty exit.

Such is the life of a small town bookseller.