Books · reviews

WWW Wednesday 7th February 2018

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This is a meme hosted by Sam at Taking on a World of Words. It’s fun and simple, you just have to answer the three W’s: What are you currently reading? What did you recently finish reading? What do you think you’ll read next? You can also join by answering and linking your blog post back on Sam’s post here

I think this is my first for the year and I certainly wasn’t planning to write a blog today! After a busy start to the week (read tiring!) I’m now refreshed from watching an episode of a new tv favourite and happily sitting next to hubby while he’s taken over the tv for the cricket leaving me free to share –

What did you recently finish reading:

Gathering Blue by Lois Lowry, the second novel in The Giver quartet. I read the first in the series at the end of last year for my Future requirement in the When Are You Reading challenge and my interest was piqued. It was a short book which created another new dystopian world which ended with so much story left to tell. I’m so funny about YA dystopian books. I’m never a big fan but as soon as I see a movie or read a book and get just a bit of a taste I do want to find out as much as possible about the worlds the author creates. I was hoping to find out what happened next in Gathering Blue but instead was given a new world to discover. Sadly I wasn’t really taken with this book except for of course the ending which after a slow book again built pace and interest so yes I will read the third book, which from other reviews seems more well liked.

 

What are you currently reading:

For anyone who met me here last year I’m still reading Committed by Elizabeth Gilbert, well it’s still sitting on my bed side table, not sure reading is an accurate description. I did read another chapter in the summer holidays but can’t imagine getting back to it again until perhaps the next summer holidays!

After Gathering Blue I thought I was going to get myself more thoroughly into My Cousin Rachel by Daphne du Maurier. I am loving the writing style of this book and want to read more but at the same time it’s not a complete page turner, hence I was happy enough yesterday to also start Have A Little Faith by Mitch Albom which is my choice for this months bookclub. I have already made notes of a few gems I want to remember. I’m confident in my decision as Albom is a reliably good read.

I also started an audiobook this week for my 6hr plus round study trip – Between Sisters by Cathy Kelly. I’m enjoying it but getting frustrated each time the author introduces a new character narrator!

What do you think you’ll read next:

If I get through my current books it’ll be a true achievement! Next bookclub is The Bells by Richard Harvell but I have until March. I also have Tell Me I’m Here by Anne Deveson out from the library which I really want to get to having read Resilience by the same author.

 

Challenge Progress Tracker

 

1940-1959 – Chronicle of a Death Foretold by Gabriel García Márquez,

The Future – Gathering Blue by Lois Lowry

 

Any bloggers out there that can help me with spacing in my blogs? Ie between paragraphs I just can’t figure it out!

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blogging · Books · reviews

Holiday Reading

I was so excited about the interactions on my last post I forgot to get writing again…oops, and suddenly a fortnight has almost passed!

Truth is I’ve been busy spending time with the fam bam – we got back yesterday from a week interstate with friends. Lots of fun, laughs, tears and tantrums – don’t you just love holidaying with kids :p All in all however it was a great time away and we kept very busy, in fact I only finished my holiday book last night back at home! Indeed 20 days into January I have only finished 2 books (oh wait 3 – bcb*). I normally go into a reading frenzy during the summer holidays but this year I’ve been spreading my spare time between books, puzzles and tv. I’m finding lately after working on a computer, studying on a computer and catching up on so many awesome blogs my eyes have had enough reading. Anyone else have trouble balancing their reading choices?!

That said the two books I have finished are well worth sharing about:

Wish You Were Here by Sheridan Jobbins –

I loved that the author was Australian. I loved her honesty and reflections (even if at times they seemed to go round and around in circles), I enjoyed her adventures, I loved her car and the new man. In some ways a bit of a cliche post divorce memoir in others completely unique. I loved learning more about America and the life of this interesting woman.

The author herself described it as “basically a rom-com memoir” about how she met her husband. “After leaving my first marriage, I decided to buy a big red car and drive around America, I would spend six weeks driving one way, and six weeks driving back,” she said. “Halfway through I did a stopover in London to visit a friend whose husband had been sick. My friend was studying with this boy and we started to have a fling. It ended up in a bit of a misunderstanding, I thought I was saying ‘I like you’ and he thought I was saying ‘join the trip’. So our third date was four weeks in a Chevy Camaro and a tent arguing across America and that is the bulk of the story.”

Definitely a good holiday read.

Secondly, The End of the Road: Becoming a Mallee Wife by Deborah Hyde –

As a fellow farmer’s wife I really enjoyed relating to much of this memoir and recommend it to anyone interested in learning more about this way of life!

I’ve also watched Big Little Lies the HBO tv series which unfortunately was a bit disappointing. It wasn’t the bits cut or added, I think it worked quite well. I don’t even really care about the ending. It just all seemed so slow to me, a lot of angst and not much action. I think having read the book ruined the build up of tension for me. Good news is that hubby enjoyed it, yay for a accurate recommendation for him!

We have one more week until school goes back but with work, meetings and school book pick up it feels like things will be back into at least half swing. Fortunately I have book club this week reviewing Chronicle of a Death Foretold by Gabriel Garcia Marquez, a novella (*bcb).

Before I sign off I would like to say a  big special thanks to the FOUR beautiful bloggers who commented on my last post. Even without new content in the last 2 weeks I’ve been feeling super connected. My Spotlight Blogger for today is for “Bryce Warden” who was the first to comment last time. You can find her at  https://wasthatmyoutloudvoice.com – be ready to laugh out loud and experience some warm fuzzies too. She is a busy Mum of teens, business owner, hospice and charity volunteer. She likes mystery novels and lives in the USA experiencing the cold while I am once again sweltering in 40+ degree weather. She’s been a recent find for me but I am very much in love.

I’d love for Bryce (and YOU!) to share, if you wish, about your favourite things to do in your spare time?

Happy Reading!

Books · reviews

WWW Wednesday 20th Septemeber

Sooooo before I explain what this is all about about I just have to share….

I FINISHED Silence!!!!!!

WWW Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Sam at Taking on a World of Words. It’s fun and simple, you just have to answer the three W’s: What are you currently reading? What did you recently finish reading? What do you think you’ll read next? You can also join by answering and linking your blog post back on Sam’s post.

To participate, and to see how others responded, click here

What did you recently finish reading:

Silence by Shūsaku Endō, I started reading this back in May and am so excited to have finally finished. I chose it to meet a requirement in my When Are You Reading Challenge, based on a review in my church magazine of the Martin Scorsese movie adaption but I just never got into it. I never clicked with the narrator/main character and found it a struggle to get through. I wish I could go back and start it again at a time when I could finish it in just a few sittings as I think that could have made a difference but then again maybe not.

From Goodreads – It is 1640 and Father Sebastian Rodrigues, an idealistic Jesuit priest, sets sale for Japan determined to help the brutally oppressed Christians there. He is also desperate to discover the truth about his former mentor, rumoured to have renounced his faith under torture. Rodrigues cannot believe the stories about a man he so revered, but as his journey takes him deeper into Japan and then into the hands of those who would crush his faith, he finds himself forced to make an impossible choice: whether to abandon his flock or his God….As empathetic as it is powerful, it is an astonishing exploration of faith and suffering and an award-winning classic. 

Sounds pretty good doesn’t it! I was glad to read another reviewer found it started slow, for me by the time it got a bit more interesting I was already too far over it.

Another reason I struggled with this book was although a christian I’m not catholic and so concepts of confession and symbolism of images is not as important to me and somewhat rubbed the wrong way.

Most reviews however were highly positive and this page on quotes from the book is impressive.

 

Now I don’t actually have much more to say :p

 

The other adult book I finished recently was Attachments by Rainbow Rowell which I LOVED.

What are you currently reading:

Still reading text books and not much else!

What do you think you’ll read next:

I’ve got Truly, Madly, Deeply by Lianne Moriarty lying around for when I feel on top of my study. I’d also like to find a book from the 1500’s to keep on track with my challenge – any suggestions?

 

Challenge Progress Tracker

Pre 1500 – The Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett

1500-1599 

1600-1699 – Silence by Shūsaku Endō

1700-1799 – Outlander by Diana Gabaldon, An Almond for a Parrot by Wray Delaney

1800-1899  The Luminaries – Eleanor Catton

1900-1919

1920-1939 – The Small Woman by Alan Burgess

1940-1959

1960-1979 – Exposure by Helen Dunmore

1980-1999 – Attachments by Rainbow Rowel

2000-Present – Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty

The Future 

reviews · Uncategorized

Amazing Matilda

I returned from a morning smoko this week with hubby, utterly disappointed with my truly uninterested audience’s response to my review from having attended Matilda the Musical the night before! Fortunately I have a blog to express my views on too – so here is take 2 on my ravings, fingers crossed you are more appreciative 😛

Roald Dahl’s Matilda the Musical as performed at the Adelaide Festival Theatre – *spoilers abound*

Walking into the theatre and seeing the set, was a bit like the Beast leading Belle into the castle’s library.

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Then came the first song, SO. MUCH. ENERGY. It was phenomenal, particularly the choreography.  The next highlight for me was the School Song, the lyrics to this (and again the dancing!) blew me away.

“So you think you’re a (A)ble
To survive this mess by be (B) ing a Prince or a Princess
You will soon see(C)
There’s no escaping tragedy (D)
And e (E) ven (E)
If you put in heaps of eff (F)ort
You’re just wasting energy(G)
‘Cause your life as you know it is an (H) cient  history

All the way through to … Just you wait for Phys-ed (Z)” (from Matilda London Cast – School Song Lyrics | MetroLyrics)

We soon meet Miss Trunchball – character perfection! First her (his) twirling baton in the first act but so much more spectacularly and hilariously in the song The Smell of Rebellion. The second act started with an almost comedic routine by Matilda’s Dad Mr. Wormwood. He started with the hallmarks of a ‘don’t try this at home’ warning, quite relevant for all the gymnastic moves we’d seen so far, but instead directed at reading. My niece was giving off death stares, how dare he speak against books and poor Nicole who put her hand up!

I can’t say enough how much the cast amazed me with their dancing. Favourites for me included Bruce, When I Grow Up (the swings!) and Revolting Children (particularly Bruce’s centre stage!)

All the characters were so well performed, Mrs Wormwood, Matilda’s brother Michael, Miss Honey, Miss Phelps and the Russian Boss with his pink lolly pop  – just to name a limited few. And to end it all off they came out for the finale riding colourful scooters.

It truly a masterpiece. Thank you to my family for taking me.

Within the program (which, yes I read cover to cover!) comments by the music and lyric and script writer’s (Dennis Kelly and Tim Minchin) were written under the title Books vs Stories. Dennis Kelly suggested a very good research direction – ‘do chimps tell stories’ and do animals have imagination? For he proposed our imaginations are a ‘vibrant necessary part of being alive’ and ‘without stories we’re just eating machines with shoes’. I’ve just shared a video on FB in response to Pauline Hanson’s* hideous comments regarding (I believe) segregation of children on the autism disorder spectrum. Matilda the Musical demonstrates that there are two types of people – those who love stories and those who don’t. It is clear to me which group Ms Hanson is in – the mean, irritating and stupid. So unlike the Miss Honey’s of the world; kind generous, alive and loving. ‘Denying stories is denying the most human part of being a human.’ Much like Ms Hanson is deny the lived experience/story of all people with disabilities.

I also took away from this show not so much the message to be A Little Bit Naughty although Matilda taught it well but something I prefer to tell my children that

Just because you find that life’s not fair it
Doesn’t mean that you just have to grin and bear it!
If you always take it on the chin and wear it
You might as well be saying
You think that it’s okay
And that’s not right!
And if its not right!
You have to put it right!

But nobody else is gonna put it right for me
nobody but me is gonna change my story

Tim Minchin wrote that ‘stories are best when… like a rollercoaster, with highs and lows, twists and turns, a good bit of fear and the significant risk that someone may vomit, ‘ which indeed Matilda had all, with music to accentuate all of these experiences.

After attending events like this I suddenly have a great desire to become a leading supporter of the Arts, unfortunately this like my dream job of being a philanthropist tends to go by the way side. But I do go a little bit crazy on Wikipedia and FB like-ing.  While as a christian I don’t think I can fully support Tim Minchin (renound atheist), his talent is undeniable and Matilda and Me his DVD is officially on my wishlist.

To finish off – interesting fact, Roald Dahl began writing Matilda when he was 70