Books · Uncategorized

WWW Wednesday 14th June

I’m back!

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.

What are you currently reading:

On the back burners Committed by Elizabeth Gilbert and Silence by Shūsaku Endō

What did you recently finish reading:

Voyager by Diana Gabaldon (book #3 in the Outlander series) – this book was my long weekend, handed in a big assignment treat. And what a treat it was. There were a few things I was perhaps a bit disappointed in but overall I just love the passion between Jamie and Claire and all the adventures they manage to find themselves in and the characters they surround themselves with. I was just mostly disappointed with how the Jenny/Laoghaire/Claire issue was resolved. Diana amazed me with her plot creativity

I also finished  The Luminaries by Eleanor Catton somewhat recently after a mammoth effort – the thing about audio books is you don’t know how big they are (page wise) when choosing and this one was a 700 pager!

What do you think you’ll read next:

The Messenger by Markus Zusak, our next bookclub book. I’m pretty keen to get into Outlander #4 too!

Plus

Which children’s book I liked:

Graeme Base’s Little Bug Books very cute, cool opening flaps and my 4 year old loved finding the bug!

 

 

I’ve also made some progress on the When are you reading Challenge

Progress Tracker

Pre 1500 – The Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett

1500-1599 

1600-1699 – in progress….Silence

1700-1799 – Outlander by Diana Gabaldon

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 

2000-Present – (big little lies?)

The Future 

Books · Uncategorized

WWW Wednesday – 29th March

WWW Wednesday is a meme hosted by Taking on a World of Words and it’s my weekly reminder to blog! No actually it’s a fun way to share my reading habits and a simple way (especially with hubby at footy training) to get something written. Anyone can participate. All you’ve got to do is answer the three Ws . Go check out other blogger’s contributions too, it’s a great way to connect.

What are you currently reading:

Making actual progress on Committed by Elizabeth Gilbert, finished a chapter on the history of marriage which has given me food for thought and inspiration for a future blog post on civil unions

Finding Fraser by K.C Dyer is officially deleted but I did start a new audio book I picked up from the library – The Luminaries by Elanor Catton. I’m not 100% taken by the writing style but the mystery and secrets will keep me listening.

What did you recently finish reading:

Snow and Shadow by Dorothy Tse – a strange book of short stories best explained by this wonderful review. My favourite story was The Love Between Leaf and Knife which I found very relatable despite the bizarre characters and actions.

What do you think you’ll read next:

I downloaded Left Neglected by Lisa Genova, same author as Still Alice but it will go back on my TBR pile I think along with A Year of Wonders from the library. I’m after a light easy read next which I think will be Coming Home by Stacy Hawkins Adams, it’s book one in a series which I already read and purchased part 2 of, a christian novel.

I’d like to add this week…

Which children’s book I’d recommend:

The Three Little Fish and the Big Bad Shark by Ken Geist and illustrated by Julia Gorton. A modern take on The Three Little Pigs with Jim, Tim, Kim  and their finny fin fins. I love the font and layout of the words, they make it so easy to do voices. Plus it has the feminist touch of Kim choosing the safest housing option.

Which tv series am I binge watching now:

I was desperately need in something worthwhile to watch on tv and am loving my introduction to Season One of A Place to Call Home. Strong characters and I just love the 1950’s time period in Australia. Also giving me food for thought in relation to marriage.

 

What’s keeping you sane this week? Feel free to add your own W questions 🙂

 

 

Books · Uncategorized

WWW Wednesday 8th March

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.

Currently reading:

I’m actually taking a leaf out of Sam’s book this week with a growing collection of books in this category! Committed by Elizabeth Gilbert is still there. I’ve been carrying it and Snow and Shadow by Dorothy Tse around everywhere lately and have finally started the second – our next bookclub book.

This week I also discovered the joy of audiobooks!! I had previously been a bit of an ageist thinking they were mostly for people with eyesight issues but with all the drives I’ve had recently I checked out Overdrive borrowing A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini, the author of Kite Runner (on my to-read list) and set in Afghanistan. It is fantastic. Sadly for today’s road trip my preferred car was out of action with the book on usb so I put Finding Fraser by K.C Dyer on my phone instead – sadly nowhere near as good and not sure I’ll get through, even if it is Outlander inspired

Finished reading:

Silly car I’m sure I would have finished Splendid Suns today if not for you!! Taking it in for a service tomorrow but with kids in tow unlikely to get much listening done.

Reading next:

Read a movie review recently of Silence based on the book by Shūsaku Endō, it’s currently in my Book Depository basket waiting for pay day.  I’m planning to use it for my When Are You Reading Challenge which you are more than welcome to join 🙂

Uni readings start in full force this week and following my son’s 4th birthday yesterday we have a party on Saturday to organise and recover from. Monday however is a public holiday so there is reading and blogging hope for this week…well a glimpse of hope at least!

 

Books · Uncategorized

When are you reading – The Pillars of the Earth

when-are-you-reading-2017-final

 

Ahhh summer holidays, while the kids may drive me crazy at least I can indulge in my books. My family (finally) had holidays this week including 3 nights away with some friends in a caravan park. As always my priority on holidays (other than ensuring my kids are having a fun time) is to read, read, read – my poor friends, hope they weren’t expecting me to socialise! Thus I managed this week to finish Ken Follett’s masterpiece The Pillars of the Earth and make progress with the When are you reading? challenge by Sam.

I’ve found it hard to rate this book because although I really liked the characters, their flaws, triumphs and adventures, overall I just didn’t love it. I did love getting an insight into English history particularly the roles of churches, earls, kings and the impact on peasants. I also really appreciated how Prior Phillips faith was portrayed. In fact there was nothing really I disliked about it but nonetheless my rating is only 3.5 out of 5. I devoured this authors Century trilogy a few years ago but think my craving for more of his writing is now satisfied….would still be interested in seeing the movie though!

Progress Tracker

Pre 1500 – The Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett

1500-1599 

1600-1699 

1700-1799 –Outlander by Diana Gabaldon

1800-1899  

1900-1919

1920-1939 – The Small Woman by Alan Burgess

1940-1959

1960-1979 – In progress … Exposure

1980-1999 

2000-Present 

The Future 

Books · Uncategorized

WWW Wednesday

I’m sure it’s still Wednesday somewhere!! Instead of blogging last night, (and going straight to bed which was my first plan when I got home from work!) I read. I’ve almost finished a book so only planning to publish this when its done!

This meme was formerly hosted by MizB at A Daily Rhythm and revived by Sam @ Taking on a World of Words. Just answer the three questions below and leave a link to your post in her comments for others to look at. Here’s my weekly update:

IMG_1384-0

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

Finished reading: Outlander by Diana Gabaldon, just then! A friend passed it on to my husband via her husband at cricket training last thursday. I put my other reading on hold and was swept away into the Scottish Highlands. It was superb, just like the tv series and I am thoroughly in love with Jamie Fraser! Not only is his darn handsome, he has am amazing way with words. There are 8 books in this series….I’m not sure whether to be relieved that the story goes on or worried about how my life will handle anymore book hibernations!! I think my Outlander craving has been somewhat satisfied (for now) and I shall attempt to wait to read the next book closer to the release of the third tv series

**edit just wanted to add I was impressed with how close the series was to the book, main difference for me was the character of Alec Macmahon, who was aptly replace with Murtagh in the series. Plus I loved being able to read more about the brothers Colum and Dougal.

Currently reading: So now that’s finished I should get back to ‘Exposure’ except I’ve passed the library copy I had on to a fellow book-clubber and am still awaiting my own delivery. Instead I will start reading the book she gave me – ‘5 ways to be famous now‘ by Maurilia Meehan, January’s book club choice. I have read the first line to ensure I’m not lying in this blog!

Reading next: I’ll have to get back to Exposure and I’ve still got Contance Hall’s book but I’m thinking I might get to something else from my piles around the house or else as away on holidays next week I may broach Ken Follett’s Pillar of the Earth. I’ve read and enjoyed his Century trilogy and this would be a good pick for my When are you reading? challenge.

when-are-you-reading-2017-final

Progress Tracker

Pre 1500 

1500-1599 

1600-1699 

1700-1799 – Outlander by Diana Gabaldon

1800-1899  

1900-1919

1920-1939 – The Small Woman by Alan Burgess

1940-1959

1960-1979 – In progress … Exposure

1980-1999 

2000-Present 

The Future 

Books · Uncategorized

My first WWW Wednesday + challenge

Welcome to my first WWW Wednesday post, a weekly update on my reading. This meme is currently hosted by Sam @ Taking on a World of Words and I’m hoping it will guide my 2017 blogging plan for regular posts.

IMG_1384-0

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

W1: I’m currently reading ‘Exposure’ by Helen Dunmore. I had to choose a book with a one word title as my pick for hosting book club this year and this is it. I havn’t got very far (too distracted watching Season 2 Outlander) but the characters are developing interestingly.

W:2 I finished this week The Small Woman by Alan Burgess, based on the true life of Gladys Alyward a missionary in China during WW1. It was recommended to me by a friend, but the small book size and print put me off. The first chapter however quickly sucked me in and I loved it. Indeed I was disappointed not to find any tags on WordPress but there were some on twitter. A good book for me is one that makes me want to learn more but sadly there wasn’t much information on google either, so no answers for my question on what happened to the children she adopted.  The History Bucket  did have a post on her though! I’ll definitely be looking to watch the movie inspire by this book ‘The Inn of the Sixth Happiness’, even though Gladys apparently was rather disappointed in its cast and dramatization.

W3: I’ve borrowed a copy of Constance Hall’s Like a Queen from a friend, and although I’m not a huge fan and predict I won’t be buying into the hype, I’d still like to see what it’s like.

Now onto the challenge…..

when-are-you-reading-2017-final

Sam is also hosting the 4th annual When are you reading? challenge so I’ll be aiming to read a book set or published in 12 different time periods this year. I’m cheating a little and including 2 of my above books even though one I finished in 2016…shhhh.

Progress Tracker

Pre 1500 

1500-1599 

1600-1699 

1700-1799

1800-1899  

1900-1919

1920-1939 – The Small Woman by Alan Burgess

1940-1959

1960-1979 – In progress … Exposure

1980-1999 

2000-Present 

The Future 

 

ps Would just like to report I’m getting good at putting links in posts (woop, woop!). Next step learning to add book images….

 

 

Books · Uncategorized

Bookish mood swings – reviews of 2016

Since I finished up study for the year I have been reading like a crazy woman, kinda. I finished a book tonight that I felt was starting to put me in a funk, but fortunately I really liked the ending so I’m hopeful it’s a good vibe for tomorrow, a much needed home day.

The book was Claiming Noah by Amanda Ortlepp. Although it had a rather predictable plot line around embryo adoption and abduction, I enjoyed the story for it’s characters and the endless relate able question of mothers – am I good enough? Although I fear it got me asking the question too much the last few days when I’ve been sore and tired and not up to scratch. After a bad work day today I felt very much on the verge of a slump and was a bit wary of continuing the book, especially as part of my negative thoughts are around all the work I’m not doing at home while reading…  but as already shared it had a positive ending so instead of going to bed too-tired to do anything else, I’ve found some energy to write a blog and connect, hooray! Do you find books get you into a mood? It’s all positive when it’s a feel good book but not so healthy on depressive topics.

Some other books I’ve read recently (i.e. last year or so :p)

I had to wait to finish the Divergent series by Veronica Roth but loved the third book Allegiant – particularly the epilogue and Fours chosen career path (really appreciate authors who write epilogiues!). Two quotes I also loved/appreciated

I fell in love with him. But I don’t just stay with him by default as if there’s no one else available to me. I stay with him because I choose to, every day that I wake up, every day that we fight or lie to each other or disappoint each other. I choose him over and over again, and he chooses me.” -> so very very true of marriage.

There are so many ways to be brave in this world. Sometimes bravery involves laying down your life for something bigger than yourself…But sometimes it doesn’t. Sometimes it is nothing more than gritting your teeth through pain, and the work of every day, the slow walk toward a better life.

 

One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcí­a Márquez, I found it both very interesting and very boring! I would find myself getting caught up in the story only to find myself lost again and utterly confused (particularly by character names). It was a bookclub read and most didn’t finish it, but one girl loved it, describing the writing style as beautiful.I would have liked to have made it to the end but it was not an easy book to come back to.

And you know you should be glad by Bob Greene. A lot of it I couldn’t relate to – personal anecdotes, perhaps from an older era and of male friendships. I loved it though as it celebrated the amazing gift of friendship and gave me a wonderful excuse to think about a dear friend.

It took me awhile to finish The Walk Home by Rachel Seiffert but I think it was worth it. Set in Glasgow about a community deeply affected by the Troubles in Ireland it was interesting for it’s historical insights (although initially difficult to comprehend) and complex characters. In the end it was a story of family and hope which I enjoyed.

The Power of Bones by Keelen Mailman – a very honest story about a modern aboriginal woman and all she’s achieved despite adversity. An inspiring and sobering read.

We are all completely beside ourselves by Karen Joy Fowler – really enjoyed it by the end – her mother wanted her life to be extraordinary – but I think this is better -A Mediocre Life – http://www.alifeinprogress.ca/?p=1065

Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert I wanted to like it but it just kept going and going!!

Two I couldn’t finish were The Dressmaker (Rosalie Ham) and The Heart Goes Last (Margaret Atwood).

Next I’ve been given a very thick Judy Nunn book….or perhaps it’s time to get to those guilt evoking jobs…

 

 

 

life · Uncategorized

Things I Like

I wasn’t sure what to blog about today so checked out Discover for some inspiration and found it straight away…

Jessica Gross’ Things We Like started as a simple idea: Each post featured 10 specific things the author enjoys. It’s now an exhibit at the New York Public Library.

via List-Making Love: A Conversation with Things We Like Creator Jessica Gross — Discover

Things Gee Jen likes

  1. When my children hold hands and giggle
  2. Going in to check on the kids before going to bed, realising she does love them even after all they put her through
  3. Reading, reading and reading – books, blogs, articles…
  4. The satisfying feeling when finishing a good book or movie
  5. When either of the above compels me to learn more
  6. Indulging in an hour massage
  7. Staying away from home with my husband
  8. Taking a moment to enjoy the natural environment around me – i.e. a sunset, changing colours of crops
  9. Making a difference in a person’s life – through work, random acts of kindness or just being there
  10. Checking out my sexy husband

And cos I could think of more…

  1. Experiencing the sense of home i.e. driving back into my hometown, re-reading a childhood novel
  2. Eating dessert prepared just for me (thanks Mum!)
  3. Feeling productive – realising at the end of the day I have actually completed what i needed to
  4. Reading over old letters/diary entries/facebook memories
  5. Being on top of my to do list i.e. having bought and sent a card for a friends upcoming birthday
  6. Writing our annual Christmas letter in my head
  7. Stealing moments for myself when my children are happily engaged in an activity
  8. Listening to my children playing nicely together or with a special friend/ family member
  9. Napping
  10. Feeling proud of my childrens, husbands, friends achievements

That’ll do, would you like to share some of yours?

Books · life · Uncategorized

New Laptop

I’ve actually enjoyed this last month when I’ve been computer less (well still had hubby’s desktop and my phone!). Of course it all started at a time when a had a million assignments due – thanks Microsoft for updating to your latest version – not. But the forced break gave me time to appreciate mother nature’s beautiful mornings, green green paddock and time with friends.

But now I’ve got my new shiny laptop? I am sooo over technology. I mean I love it, I love social media, wordpress, google all these things I use virtually everyday but I hate it too.

I hate my dependence and how much it ruins ‘everything’ when something goes wrong – maybe because my troubleshooting skills are minimal.

I hate constant internet issues. I hate what my obsession to technology is doing to my back and neck. It’s frustrating that so many of my activities of choice are done in front of a screen.

And I especially hate when I check social media and there is nothing interesting to read!! Facebooks algorithms have been very off for me lately. I miss my interesting news articles and inspiring opinion pieces. Anyone know how I can find them again?

Have read a few articles today saying Pokémon Go is the start of a new era in social media, could be exciting times ahead. Possibly I should check out snapchat but at 29 I’m such an old-fart and consider it a thing for younger hip kids!

For this cold sunday afternoon I’m going to resort/escape to re-reading an old favourite book (and will neglect to mention I’m using an ereader as lost the hard copy somewhere in this dear mess infested house of mine!).

What are your feelings on technology? Hope you find an interesting way to occupy your day whether on screen or off 🙂

 

 

 

life · parenting · Uncategorized

Just a normal today

Today was just a normal day in as much as each different day can be…

I was home mostly which was lovely and pretty well up to date with study. Dishes were done and the sky started out too cloudy for washing. It was just me and my son. Plus I didn’t check facebook until this evening (big achievement).

Tidied up this morning especially the kitchen table. Made a to-do list, although didn’t check it so more things to do tomorrow.

Tried really hard to make time just to play with my boy. Managed to clean the lounge room while playing cowboys. Got distracted about sun finally peeking through while playing cricket outside but came back after putting on a load. Had cuddles and read a book.

I seem to remember spending more time on the floor with my older daughter but while I would like to make more time for my son I also appreciate that I have more direction now and it makes me feel good to get housework-y stuff done (i.e. I swept the floor!). Now to find the balance. Struggle to spend more than 5 minutes playing though.

Finished off some work notes, planned my calendar and realised I’d need to do more work.

Had a counselling session as part of my counselling study. We are looking at Acceptance and Commitment Therapy and working on my values. It’s been a bit hard as I don’t feel I need counselling right now, life is mostly good but it’s part of my course. Feel for my counsellor who has to work with me and add skype and bad connections to that….well enough said! Today’s session was pretty ok though. Felt I got to tell more about myself, the counsellor commented on a theme of people in my values (career, education, recreation, fun, spirituality, community). Next week we’ll look at relationships I feel I may be putting thinking about that off.

Washing out and into town. Was hoping to catch up with a friend which didn’t work out but for me a good thing as did some more of my college readings. Picked up my daughter from school. Dropped into the bank. Hearing appointment for daughter – it actually made me quite proud, she was answering the audiologists questions and being quite independent. We will be getting a FM system for her to use at school. Errands down the street, including walking and somewhat minimal complaining!

Home, unpacked groceries, brought in washing, cooked tea, ate tea, reader and piano practise with daughter (first time I’d sat with her at piano, she’s obviously taking things in well) bedtime.

Finished my readings, did the quiz (100%!). Really up to date with study now and another home day tomorrow. Think I’ll start a novel tonight.

Just a normal day….

 

ps Just to add that last totally normal parenting moment – my son peed at the dinner table – ahh the joys!