27 July 2010

It’s Tuesday, Where Are You? / Teaser Tuesdays

It’s Tuesday, Where Are You?

I’m taking a non-fiction tour through Europe with James Holman, the Blind Traveller of the early 1800s.

A Sense of the World by Jason Roberts.

Teaser Tuesdays TEASER TUESDAYS asks you to:

  • Grab your current read.
  • Let the book fall open to a random page.
  • Share with us two (2) “teaser” sentences from that page, somewhere between lines 7 and 12.
  • You also need to share the title of the book that you’re getting your “teaser” from - that way people can have some great book recommendations if they like the teaser you’ve given!

Behind him, revolutions were breaking out in Nice and Genoa. Before him lay the Neapolitan States, which the Austrians were now invading.

From A Sense of the World by Jason Roberts, p. 130.

23 July 2010

Library Loot

Library Loot











Clean
A Natural History of Unicorns
A Sense of the World
Shades of Grey
The Vow on the Heron

Clean: An Unsanitised History of Washing - Katherine Ashenburg
The Natural History of Unicorns - Chris Lavers (who could resist a title like that?)
A Sense of the World - Jason Roberts
Shades of Grey - Jasper Fforde
The Vow on the Heron - Jean Plaidy (for the Historical Fiction Challenge)

And on top of all that....

Love and Louis XIV
....Book sale loot! I always stop for a peek at the discounted books out the front of QBD whenever I happen to be passing by, and yesterday I got the bargain of the year. Love and Louis XIV: The Women in the Life of the Sun King by Antonia Fraser, in hardcover, reduced from $69.99 to $12.99. I am now one very happy history fan.

Library Loot is a weekly event co-hosted by Eva and Marg.

Fractal Friday: Cyclone Rose

Cyclone Rose


16 July 2010

Eight Absolutely Impossible Things

Today’s my 26th birthday, which got me thinking. Or rather, yesterday’s arrival of a card from my father did. Sure, books are great, and I won’t turn down a nice pair of earrings. But if I could have anything for my 27th ... if some really generous genie came along ... what would I choose?

In no particular order:

1. For my father to acquire taste in birthday cards. This year’s was a particularly awful piece of frou-frou floral hideousness. I think I preferred Christmas, when he forgot me.

2. The ability to cook things more complicated than stir-fry without needing a recipe in front of me. How do the contestants on MasterChef Australia do it? And why is it that I can list every British monarch since the Norman Conquest but can’t remember how to make pancakes?

3. The magical vanishing of all additional structures in the yard next door. First, they put up a whacking great double garage. Then they put a carport in front of it. Now they’ve gone and enclosed the carport, so when you look south from our place all you can see is an ocean of cream steel.

4. More hours in the day!

5. Legs long enough that I no longer have to cut great swathes of fabric off the bottoms of jeans, skirts, dresses, etc. And I’d want this extension to take place without my gaining so much as a gram of extra weight, so they’d be not only longer, but thinner.

6. The ability to draw people. I’m okay with inanimate objects, but for some reason portraiture defeats me. Not good when you’re feeling artistically ambitious and want to produce a drawing of those upcoming NaNoWriMo characters who’ve taken over your imagination.

7. Clichéd but worthy: World peace.

8. A meerkat in the garden. They’re so cute!

Meerkats


Fractal Friday: Vertebrae

Vertebrae


15 July 2010

Booking Through Thursday: Hot!

Well, folks, I don’t know about where you are, but right here, it’s HOT.

So … when you think about “hot reading,” what does that make you think of? Beach reading? Steamy romances? Books that take place in hot climates? Or cold ones?

Where I am it’s the middle of winter. Which is not to say it’s cold - it is the subtropics, after all - but still too chilly for my preferred form of “hot reading”....

Scary stuff! When even the weeds have wilted, and the humidity makes anything more strenuous than turning the next page just too much effort, there’s nothing like a few shivers down the spine to take my mind off the heat. It helps, too, that spooky stories are generally set in suitably eerie locations - amid the chill of autumn and winter, as far from a Brisbane summer as you can get.

13 July 2010

It’s Tuesday, Where Are You? / Teaser Tuesdays

It’s Tuesday, Where Are You?

I’m in England during the lead-up to the Jacobite rebellion of 1745.

Waverley by Sir Walter Scott.

Teaser Tuesdays TEASER TUESDAYS asks you to:

  • Grab your current read.
  • Let the book fall open to a random page.
  • Share with us two (2) “teaser” sentences from that page, somewhere between lines 7 and 12.
  • You also need to share the title of the book that you’re getting your “teaser” from - that way people can have some great book recommendations if they like the teaser you’ve given!

Here Mr Pembroke, with some difficulty, stopped a torrent of interrogations, eked out with signs, nods, and winks; and, having at length convinced the bookseller that he did him too much honour in supposing him an emissary of exiled royalty, he explained his actual business.

The man of books, with a much more composed air, proceeded to examine the manuscripts.

From Waverley by Sir Walter Scott, p. 69.

06 July 2010

It’s Tuesday, Where Are You? / Teaser Tuesdays

It’s Tuesday, Where Are You?

I’m making a non-fiction foray into the history of prostitution in London from mediaeval times to the present day - and feeling very glad I was born into modern middle-class security.

London: The Wicked City by Fergus Linnane.

Teaser Tuesdays TEASER TUESDAYS asks you to:

  • Grab your current read.
  • Let the book fall open to a random page.
  • Share with us two (2) “teaser” sentences from that page, somewhere between lines 7 and 12.
  • You also need to share the title of the book that you’re getting your “teaser” from - that way people can have some great book recommendations if they like the teaser you’ve given!

Plate 3 of Hogarth's Rake’s Progress shows the room at the tavern as the act is about to begin. The posture woman is stripping off in the foreground and in the background a porter known as Leathercoat or Lethercote is bringing in the platter and the candle.

From London: The Wicked City by Fergus Linnane, p. 105.

01 July 2010

Booking Through Thursday: Disappointment

Name a book or author that you truly wanted to love but left you disappointed. (And, of course, explain why.)

I wanted to love The Crimson Petal and the White by Michel Faber. I read a feature on it in the paper and thought it sounded fabulous. I waited ages to get my hands on a copy from the library, during which time I cast many wistful glances at the shiny new copies in the bookstores. Finally I borrowed it, and if you actually could judge a book by its cover it should have been wonderful. I couldn’t wait to curl up and enjoy it.

Several days later, I was thoroughly fed up by spending so much time with such unpleasant characters. I hardly liked any of them! Big historical novels are the sort of book I usually love but the people in this one ruined it for me.

My review of the disappointing book is here.

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Header image shows detail of A Young Girl Reading by Jean-Honoré Fragonard, c. 1776