My local library has a book sale going on this week. I was a little late to the party and thought that the best books had gone, but perserverance is my middle name! Besides everyone has their own tastes. I picked up 11 books for just six dollars. These are a few of my gems. Two of the books, by Hannah Kent and Emma Donoghue have already read but I am excited to add them to my collection!
Here’s a review of the fabulous Donoghue goodie, The Wonder.
An English nurse is sent to rural Ireland where a young girl has not eaten a morsel for months. Tourists have flocked to see this ‘wonder’ but is she real or is it a hoax?
Lib Wright’s role is to observe and watch her patient like a hawk:
“More water?” She offered the spoon. Anna’s eyelids flickered but didn’t open; she shook her head. “Be it done to me.” What ‘s the source of an 11 year old girl feeling resigned, powerless? Or, do those words mean something else, altogether to the child?”
This is a top class historical psychological thriller that draws the reader in from the first few pages.
For my Creative Writing course at uni, we naturally have to write creatively. This week, we have been discussing POV and perspectives, so I thought I’d share my piece of writing, which is from the point of view of my younger brother and a camping holiday taken in Scotland in the 1970s.
Climbing Ben Nevis
My sister is always reading. Anything to hand, she’s not fussy. At the moment she’s engrossed in a teenage love drama, about a girl who has a crush on a boy. So boring. My dad calls her a book worm. ‘Always nose deep in something or other,’ he tells us, turning the pages of a large newspaper.
I look out the window of our VW van. The Scottish countryside sweeps past; all greens and browns, sharp spikes of firs piercing the grey sky. My dad turns the wheel a sharp left and we trundle down a pot holed lane. A wire fence is the only barrier against a group of cows in the nearby field, watching us intently as my dad avoids another puddle. We lurch over a cattle grid, and a sign above us says ‘Ben Nevis Camp Ground. All Welcome!’ in faded yellow lettering.
My sister nudges me, shaking her head in disgust. What does she know? So far she’s barely raised her eyes from the latest Jackie magazine. I think her taste is rubbish. Dad drives on regardless, parking the van in a small enclave on the edge of the forest. The mountain looms above us, shrouded by a low lying mist on its peak. People are trailing down its side, clutching bright orange hoods that keep blowing in the wind.
‘Come on, no time to change. We can be up there before lunchtime,’ my dad encourages. ‘This mist will clear, you’ll see.’
My mum frowns. Skippy our Jack Russell licks my hand encouragingly. My sister groans.
‘I’m up to a good bit in the story! Do I have to come, really?’ she whines.
But my dad has already opened the sliding door. Skippy jumps out and scampers to the nearest thistle bush.
‘We’ll see you up there then. Come on son,’ My dad strides ahead. I zip up my jacket and pull on my hood. My ears tingle in the cold.
I follow his figure, watching as he easily climbs over a stile. There’s a youthful bounce to his step.
‘Wait up boys!’ My mum calls. ‘The weather forecast is grim. I’ve made us some tea; can the climb wait until morning?’
I had this book for my birthday recently. Being familiar with Graham Norton as a warm and witty T V presenter (a favorite on British TV) I was pleasanrly surprised to find that he’d written a book!
This is not a regular memoir about a celebrity but is a genuine fiction story. Set in Ireland, it follows an overweight policeman in a small Irish village. When the remains of a body are found in a farm, Collins discovers dark secrets and lies that go way back.
Its blurb states that it is “darkly comic, touching and profoundly sad.” It seems to have all the ingredients that I love in a book.
Today is my birthday – 12th March. I’m a Pisces; romantic, dreamy and hopefully creative!
Here are a few fun facts on a day that we love to celebrate:
Many religions celebrate with significant holidays:
Jesus Christ, the founder of Christianity has a significant birthday, celebrated on 25 December.
Prince Siddhartha Gautama the founder of Buddhism, has a birthday around April/May.
In the U S, Martin Luther King Day is a federal holiday, the third day in January.
Accordingly, the Greek historian Herodotus states that the Persian people loved their birthday celebrations. The rich celebrated with whole baked cow, horse or camel, while the poor made do with scraggy bits of the animals!
Moreover, in Japan they have the Coming of Age day at 20 years.
In Korea, the 1st birthday is significant, known as Doljanchi.
A 100 year old birthday warrants a birthday card from Queen Elizabeth ll herself, as part of the British Commonwealth.
In Judaism, 13 year old boy has a significant birthday, a bar mitzvah.
Me? I celebrated with a bottle of red and some lovely tiramisu!
Since starting the creative writing course this week, I am already spending extra time at my local library, ordering reading materials (Helen Garner books are on this course, love her style) and getting back into study mode.
But its no hardship really as the library is a new state of the faciliity that shines like a cultural beacon in its surroundings (namely old folks duplexes and a quaint shopping centre). Opening in 2013, it promised a new cultural experince with a digital media lab, 200 seating auditorium, recording studio and meeting rooms.It has extra study nooks, fab children’s area with slides and more computers – no more booking your time online!
Here are a few pics I took today, whilst browsing the YA section for my daughter. The art feature is of a very colourful koala bear – they are dotted all over the Gold Coast. ☺📚