Tuesday, September 26, 2006

A Baby Blog Milestone

Back from Tassie. Jeez Hobart's a beautiful town. Lovely stay with Grandma and Grandad. Will post some piccies soon.

Meanwhile, while I was away I was tagged! Oh happy day, I feel so blogafied now! Thanks Janet. She thought I probably had a bit to say about books. I do rather like them. I am too lazy to hotlink all these books so you will have to google them yourselves. At the moment I mostly use the library for reading material, though I do buy new books too - people who live in glass houses and write books need to buy books too! Garage sales, op shops, 2nd hand bookstores, books acquired through work, borrowed books, books from home...I'm not fussy about how I get my hand on them. If there's nothing else to read, I'll read cereal boxes. When I read I totally switch off to the world around me. Drove my mum batty when I was a kid, drives Martin batty now.

A book that changed my life
Well, although it seems odd to choose it, no book changed my life more than my own first novel, Undine, in a practical sense, particularly once it was contracted to the US which meant I could make a (sort of) living as an author and create a chance for Martin to study full time. By other people though (!)... the one that springs to mind is a picture book called Whose Mouse are You? which was the first book I ever 'read' all by myself (I can still quote it word for word now).

A Book I've Read More Than Once
I have many many books that I have read many many times. Some immediately memorable ones are The Secret History by Donna Tartt, Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll, The Dark is Rising sequence by Susan Cooper...though there are so many that I would say it's the exception for me to read a book only once! I have some books I read once a year or so, I am a big comfort reader. Seven Little Australians, Little Women, Wind in the Willows...

A book I'd like with me if stuck on a desert island
Poetry. It lends itself so well to being reread. And there's lots of blank space on the page so I could write my own too, or keep a diary. Maybe Birthday Letters by Ted Hughes, I've been meaning to read it again. Actually, I think I need a giant, comprehensive, 20th-21st century anthology.

A book that made me laugh
Um, there have been many but the first I thought of was The Secret World of the Irish Male by Joseph O'Connor (Sinead's brother). Oh, Kiffo and the Pitbull which I pulled out of the slush pile at Allen & Unwin. BArry Jonsberg is hilarious.

A book that made me cry
Skellig by David Almond. I cried writing the epilogue in Breathe (and again every time I read it). A few of Fred's picture books make me cry, like Jenny Angel by Margaret Wild - I can't get to the end of it dry-eyed. And Fox, also by Margaret Wild. Oh and Hello Baby by Jenni Overend (a beautiful book about a home birth that I bought for Fred when pregnant with Una, though we didn't birth at home because we lived in a house I wanted to forget).

A book I wish had been written
In a general sense, I'd love to see more poetry books for teenagers. Notoriously hard to market so it doesn't really get published, but I can't help feeling when it comes to poetry that sometimes 3000 books have to be published to create five poetry readers. It's like...a community service.

A book I wish had never been written
Weeeellll...I think writing is a highly personal act and I would never say something shouldn't have been written, but I can think of quite a few books that shouldn't have been published simply because they weren't of a high enough standard. But it seems a bit mean to name names and it's not like I'm offended by their existence.

A book I've been meaning to read
Good lord, there's a massive list. But from where I sit I can see The Book Thief by Marcus Zusak, which I did start a while ago and I drifted off to other things. Also I'd quite like to read Ship of Brides by Jojo Moyes because I like books about world war 2 that aren't actually about soldiers or fighting or extreme, violent situations, but rather how individuals were affected, how daily, ordinary things were altered.

A book I'm currently reading
I just finished The Lovely Bones. It was good, very engrossing, quite challenging in places because it made me feel as if I and my girls were vulnerable. But ultimately I have to say I was disappointed. I didn't feel that the perspective (the story is narrated by a dead girl) was explored to its full potential and the culminating scene was so frustrating, she's basically given an opportunity to revisit life (that's not strictly a spoiler because it says it in the blurb) but does nothing with the opportunity...it didn't quite ring true for me, though it was an ambitious premise to work with.
I have Maria's War by Amy Witting to read next, but I'm thinking I might go to the library and look for something else, I'm in the mood for something a bit meatier, grittier, possibly written by a bloke. I'll also be reading The Happiness of Kati over the next few days and I am really looking forward to it, it seems very light and airy and elegant (this is entirely based on the cover and the first page by the way). I have to finish writing Rise this week (eek) so I may have to ban reading for a few days. Oh I do have American Gods by Neil Gaimon to read, Martin enjoyed it immensely, that might be a good antidote to Rise.

So I guess how this works is I have to tag other people to do the same questions on their blogs. I am tagging Zoe, Dustykisses and TLSC.


  1. Oh, so it's tag like in 'tag, you're it!'? Cool, do I get to answer these questions on my blog now? Ok...here goes...

  2. Gosh you're quick off the mark. I agree Hobart is lovely, I always feel really well down there and then realise it's because I'm breathing really clean air, unlike in smelbourne. Reading about all your books, some of which I haven't heard of, much less read, just makes me want to go away for a week or two on a desert island to lie under a palm tree and just read, read, read. And I'm kind of glad someone agrees with me that Richard Flannagan is a hard read.

  3. hmmm..should I do this in my blog or lj do you think?

  4. Who me!?

    After Asha's birthday I think! If my brain can cope, it will be a fun challenge.

    Have a lovely day tomorrow and kiss Miss Una for me.


  5. oh wow.
    i thought *I* was the only one who read The Dark is Rising sequence. I was so enamoured that when i saw a cheap all-in-one paperback version printed on loo paper 4 years ago I bought and read it to make that never ending first pregnancy go faster!