Wednesday, 5 February 2014

Books, books & more books...

I love books!  I am, and have been for as long as I can remember, a voracious reader.  My preference is autobiographies, history books, Stephen King (especially the Dark Tower series, which, in my opinion, contain the best line ever written), and I absolutely loved Jeffrey Deaver's Lincoln Rhyme series.  Other favourites are Bryce Courtenay (Brother Fish is my favourite, I have it in hard cover), and L. Ron Hubbard's Mission Earth decology (Scientology is nutty, but these books are funny).

I grew up in a poor household, in a town where, for a number of reasons, which I will not go into in depth today, my education was not a top priority.  The main reasons were simple: I was a half-breed girl.  My value as any form of intellectual was less than nil.

Anyway, in this house of half-breeds, there were books.  Shelves of them; both shelves and walls were made by Dad, from timber pulled out of old houses being demolished - they looked like the picture at the top.  My mum wasn't much of a reader, but my dad was fanatical.  It's odd really, he came from a family financially better off than Mum, but her education was better.  That's not why my dad was a big reader, he was a book fanatic his entire life, possibly due to the fact that the only time he spent with his father (who had Parkinsons) was reading to him, and, when he (Pop) was capable, discussing them.

To this day, I cannot imagine a life without books.  Take away TV and the internet, I'll be fine.  Just leave me books!

I read to and with all of my children, and encouraged them to read on their own.  Sadly, only one maintained reading into adult life, being B, who is now studying bio-med research.  But they all had a good grounding in literature, it was always there for them, and they were encouraged to use libraries and book clubs.

At present, I have 3 books on the go; a Uni textbook on European historu 1648-1815.  This is interesting, well-written, and right up my alley, so I don't mind reading it.  I am stoked I got it from the library, rather than buying it - I am a cheapskate.

I'm also reading a book called City of Evil about crimes in Adelaide.  It is very averagely written (but better than Ann Rule), but nonetheless, it's a light break for my brain.  Kind of like literary junk food.

I am also reading My Love Must Wait, the story of Matthew Flinders - kind of a biography, kind of history, but not overly heavy (3rd reading), and well written.

I should add a caveat here regarding what I regard as well-written.  Jeffrey Deaver does not write well, but his stories and characters are complex and interesting.  Ditto Stephen King.  Some biographies are horribly written (a recent example was Mary Boleyn - that was hard going), and others are well written (John Hawkyns & Jacob John Astor), which, even if you are diving for the dictionary every few pages (hello JJA), keep the interest level up.  Dry facts do not a good bio make.  Neither does a tinge (or more) of  'woe is/was me' - Susan Travers.

Oh, and in other news, I have sourced the fleece-lined tights on my needs list, and found a website (Australian) with very reasonably priced cardis.  I just have to find sheath dresses, and pants that aren't skin-tight, flared or harem-y.  I think I would rather stick to European history, truth be told, because the shopping is so damn frustrating!

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