When someone catches you sniffing a book, and looks at you like you are insane …

Totally relatable quotes about books, reading and book obsession ….

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We lose ourselves in books... quote books world imagination reading read real life

 

Story of my life..there aren't enough hours in the day..

 

"Some books you read. Some books you enjoy. But some books just swallow you up, heart and soul." #Books #Quote

 

Never Judge a Book by It's Movie - so many that I could apply this to ... Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, Lovely Bones come immediately to mind.

YES! WE SHALL! After I finish just ONE more chapter... ok, maybe two... or maybe another book... xD

 

One must be careful of books and what is inside them, for words have the power to change us. - Cassandra Clare

 

No known cure. Many remedies are out there, but all met with mixed results.

The Married Kama Sutra: The World’s Least Erotic Sex Manual

An illustrated “sequel” to the famous Kama Sutra: a humorous guide to the positions of married life.

For centuries, lovers have found inspiration and advice in the ancient text of the Kama Sutra.

Now, Simon Rich–“one of the funniest writers in America” (The Daily Beast)–and Farley Katz, “an inventive mind along the lines of Roz Chast” (The New York Times), have unearthed a valuable new document–a guide to the positions most common after marriage.

From “the interrupted congress” to “the beaching of the whales,” here are the poses, positions, and games married lovers play to keep the spark alive–and the dishwasher properly loaded.

Complete with four-color, full-page illustrations in the style of the original Kama Sutra, but with modern, domestic accouterments  dirty diapers, TV remotes, and wine glasses aplenty.

A brilliant gift for Xmas or pretty much any day.  I am putting my copy next to my favourite book “Go the Fuck to Sleep by Adam Mansbach” – these two should really be sold as a set.

Here are some examples from the book:

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Exclusive Books stocks The Married Kama Sutra – pop along to your closest book store and see if they carry this one.

Niki Daly 2013 winner of the IBBY SA Award with The Herd Boy ….

I realised that I do not go to Media Events.

I get invitations, but usually decline or drop them into my “things to reply to as soon as I have 35 sane seconds” and quietly sit there and “sweat” at the thought of a roomful of strangers.  And me.

The reason I avoid media events can usually be attributed to the following reasons

1.  I have little interest in going – and the only reason I appear to be invited was so that I can add it to my blog post and tell you about it.

2.  I have a serious overload of things to do, and the amount of hours in a day that remain.

3.  I really hate walking into a room full of people I do not know – can you say Social Phobia?

4.  I am bound to say something inappropriate, or will wander off and stand in the kitchen, stroke the cat, nurse my drink and avoid mingling.

I was invited to the IBBY SA Awards Lunch where they were announcing the winner for the best South African children’s book writers and illustrators.

The Exclusive Books IBBY SA Award recognises the best South African children’s book writers and illustrators and highlights Exclusive Books’ objective of bringing books and children together. IBBY SA is the South African National Section of the International Board on Books for Young People (IBBY).

IBBY SA nominates writers and illustrators for the IBBY Hans Christian Andersen Award. It also makes nominations for the Honour List of books that are presented and promoted every second year at the IBBY World Congress, in the following categories:

  • Authors in a variety of South African languages
  • Translators between various South African languages
  • Illustrators

These nominations are for writers and illustrators who have made a significant current contribution to the country’s literature for children and young people.

I made an exception for several reasons and went along to this event held on Thursday 10 October at 220 Princes in Cape Town, hosted by Exclusive Books. {yes I do realise that I am being a bit tardy with this blog post}

I was able to bring my wing-girl, Judith Cross along – she of Oxford University Press Senior Designer fame, and it seemed like a pleasant afternoon out.  I am glad to brush my teeth, and hair, change my underwear if there are books involved.

I thought it would be an awkward award event, but we all sat around a lovely table, and there were snacks – and the speeches were short, and funny and then the winner was announced.

Niki Daly said his thanks, waved his award around in a good natured manner, then we all sat down, congratulated each other and continued to eat the divine food.  More award events should you like this.

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All the food at 220 Princes Lounge as particularly nom-nom ….. great space for functions ….. .

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The winner Niki Daly as the 2013 winner of the IBBY SA Award with The Herd Boy, published by Jacana Media.  All present were lucky enough to receive a copy, which Niki Daly kindly autographed.

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 The members of the IBBY SA jury would like to make honourable mention of Ben and the Whales by Ingrid Mennen and Irene Berg (NB Publishers). According to the IBBY SA process, the winning illustrator receives R5 000.00 and the author R5 000.00, but since Niki Daly is both, he will receive a R10 000.00 cash prize!

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Long table, people eating – top hats for chandeliers.

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From left to right: Carole Broomhalll Publisher Jacana Media and Niki Daly

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From left to right: Talita van Green Events Coordinator Exclusive Books and Niki Daly

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From left to right:  Lona Gericke – Chair of the EB IBBYSA Award Jury;  Robin Malan IBBY SA; Niki Daly, writer and illustrator – Winner of IBBY SA Award 2013; Rene Brophy Marketing Manager Exclusive Books and Nonikiwe Mashologu Chair of IBBY SA.

Niki Daly has a great blog and you can see more examples of his work, and stalk him if the need arises.

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Niki Daly wearing bookends as ears … yep, seemed all quite normal at the time.

If you are wondering what to give your child’s teacher for an end of year gift, may I suggest a copy of this book?  it will be loved, read and enjoyed long after the box of chocolates you were going to buy is eaten and the wrappers tossed aside.

It was a nice relaxing lunch – but then everyone stood up and left.  Judith and I decided to go and sit in the window seat, order more wine and relax in the afternoon sun.  Nice day out.  Well done Niki Daly, and thanks Exclusive Books.

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Inside report back on the Exclusive Books SALE!!

I am not sure I can effectively describe how brilliant this morning was.

I went along, and wanted to make sure I was there at 09h00.  I am  nerdy like that.

The glory of walking into a small warehouse with trestle tables, with more books than you could easily set fire to.  I started at the one side of one trestle table and worked my way through very systematically.

I brought along three of the canvas Woolworths bags – and thought that would be more than enough.

Who am I kidding? I filled two of them before I was even finished on trestle table one.

I loved it – everything about it.  The helpers at the SALE were phenomenally friendly and helpful – it is the first day, and possibly by day three they will be slightly jaded and less friendly.

They kept offering me cupcakes!!  Books and cupcakes – if they had swung around with a cup of tea, I might have kissed them with tongue right there and then at trestle table three.

I bought more books that I could ever read (as if!!)

I bought books for Xmas and birthday gifts.  They had Gruffalo stuff there as well – I have realised I do not buy Gruffalo stuff for the kids, I actually buy it for me.

They had lots of children books, and I totally spent the children’s university fund on those.

I bought three books on how to discuss the subject of your children growing pu.bic hair and other fun stuff – so Connor will be in for a treat, from which he will want to die shortly.

To add to the spoils, they had a lot of the things they sell at Exclusive Books – the mugs, the reading lights, the iphone covers, bookmarks, key rings, and all of those cool things there was all – also calculated by weight!  Can you say “going absolutely ape shit?”

I really really bought A LOT of stuff.

Way too much – I did get that frenzy behaviour and start to foam at the mouth —- but I am now going to start saving 10% of my salary towards the Exclusive Books SALE next year, so I am more prepared.

It is so worth a trip to the sale –  prepare before hand.

Take some bags to carry your loot, take some water as at a point you start to feel dry mouthed and a bit panicked that you will not have the strength to make it through, but focus, and keep on!!!  Do not take children with you – really they will distract you from you being able to pour over all the tables.

Have a bag that you can wear strapped across your chest or put your wallet in a fanny pack – keep your hands free, because at a certain point you will start behaving like a rabid-infected-book-monger.

I assume that they just keep bringing new stock through – while I was trying to pay, they kept arriving with STILL MORE THINGS.  It was so difficult to leave.

Exclusive Books – fabulous flipping sale!!  Definitely added as the highlight in my calendar.

If you are in Cape Town, if you can drive to Cape Town — get there —- now!!!

Find out more information about the sale here ———————>>

Books, oh glorious books …. BOOK SALE!!!

Exclusive Books Mega Warehouse Sale is HAPPENING in Cape Town: – the phrase that pays is R50 for 1 kg of books.

the incredible Exclusive Books Mega Warehouse sale is on from Friday 9 August until Sunday 1 September (including the public holidays) for the first time ever in Cape Town.

Book lovers know that this is the only sale with the lowest prices on the best books at R50 per kilo!

The warehouse can be found at Booksite Afrika, Unit 3, 9 Koets Street, Tygerberg Industrial Park, Parow Industria, 7493.

The warehouse will be open from 09h00 – 16h30 every day and credit card facilities will be available.

Exclusive Books can’t wait to welcome Cape Town to their biggest and most popular sale ever!

Details can be found on the Exclusive Books Facebook page and on Twitter at @Exclusivescoza.

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Put this in your diary IMMEDIATELY!!

 

The Unlikely Pilgrimage Of Harold Fry

I have just finished this book – The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry by Rachel Joyce.

This book unfolds and you get to know Harold, Maureen and their son David.

Soon you realise they are in a marriage that has long since stopped functioning, and both Harold and Maureen have become empty shells of who they used to be – their lives are filled with silences and moving around inside an empty house.

Untold pain, regret held close and things gone unsaid.

No one saying anything they mean.  Or meaning to say anything they say.

There is Queenie Hennessy who you are not quite sure as to where she fits in, and why Harold would decide to work 600 miles to see her – well to save her from cancer actually – why he would do something so out of character and for her, is not quite clear.

His journey starts when he receives a letter from Queenie who he has not spoken to in 20 years.  Her letters tells her she has cancer and there is nothing more they can do, and thanks him for the friendship he had shown her all those years ago.

He writes a reply, sets out on foot to post the letter, and then just keeps on walking.

And carries on walking, and it becomes his purpose to get to Queenie.  To save her – hundreds of miles away from where he lives in Devon, all the way up in a Hospice in Berwick-upon-Tweed.

On foot, in just his yachting shoes – no cell phone, no wallet, no map, no idea.

He doesn’t tell his wife, he just starts walking.

A bit like where the husband goes out to the corner shop for cigarettes and never comes back.

A beautifully told story.

It is so starkly honest and strips away all of life’s complications to come back to people and how they connect with each other – and how Harold finds himself, and his life by meeting other people and realising that everyone is battling their own demons.

Unlikely Pilgrimage Of Harold Fry

“From the moment I met Harold Fry, I didn’t want to leave him. Impossible to put down” (Erica Wagner The Times)

“Deploying meticulously precise and deceptively light-as-air prose, Joyce takes Harold across the bitter wastelands of regret to the sunlit uplands of emotional redemption with a ­clarity that is at times almost unbearably moving” (Karen Robinson The Sunday Times)

“Distinguished by remarkable confidence… Polished to perfection… Joyce’s experience as a playwright shows in her ear for dialogue and eye for character diatom – even the walk-on parts stay with you as real people. She handles her material with deceptive lightness but Harold’s journey towards a better version of himself is totemic. To read about him is to be moved to follow him” (Daily Telegraph 2012-03-10)

“This cleverly done, admirably clear-sighted novel skirts the sloughs of saccharine and whimsy, coming to an almost unbearably moving conclusion. An instant book-group classic” (Daily Mail 2012-03-23)

“A terrific book, comic and sad and very honest. Harold is a wonderfully-drawn character… his story is at the same time emotionally gruelling and yet ultimately uplifting.” (Joanne Harris)

Confessions of a Sociopath by ME Thomas

I love it when I finish a book and a new one arrives in bubble wrap from Exclusive Books.

It never happens to me, but it happened today, and I got to do a little monkey dance with no co-ordination and only a tune I could hear.  True story – then the bell at the gate rang again, and I went to see who it was, maybe Exclusive Books wanted to deliver a second book.

But it was the pharmacist dropping off my medication.  Home delivery of a cool book and meds – what could be better?  Well wine delivery — have I told you before how much I am looking for a wine sponsor?

The book I have in my grubby little paws is Confessions of a Sociopath – A Life Spent in Plain Sight – by ME Thomas

I am thrilled – I have been wanting to read this book {who am I kidding, I am wanting to read nearly book out there – except Twilight, they can keep that shit} for a while.

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Thanks Exclusive Books …..

 

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When I am finished, I will pass this along to the Blogger Book Club, and someone else can get excited about bubble wrap and envelopes arriving at their door.

daddy, daddy cool …. hummed to the boney m tune ….

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Father’s Day in South Africa 2013 is on Sunday, 16 June …..

Here’s my list of what makes a daddy-daddy-cool dad

  1. Put their interests first, always.
  2. Protect them.
  3. Teach your son how to be a polite and courteous man.
  4. Teach your daughter that she is loved, and adored and does not need to gain anyone’s approval.
  5. Show them by example.
  6. Spend your spare time with them.
  7. Give them hugs.  Tell them you love them.
  8. Do the “mom” stuff – get involved in the routine stuff.
  9. Read to them.
  10. Put the iphone down, interact with them.
  11. Stand by their mom – be a united front – don’t fight in front of them.
  12. Teach them self-esteem.
  13. Teach them about finances.
  14. Be good to yourself.

It’s not a comprehensive list, but there are my 14 – feel free to add a few, or change to suit.

Exclusive Books has teamed up with Reluctant Mom, and I have a great collection of books to give away to the special dad in your life – it can be anyone’s dad.  Maybe it’s your dad, your granddad, your children’s dad, your teacher’s dad, a dad you know who is just a cool dad – someone who can be a daddy-daddy-cool dad for 2013.

He does need to know how to read, else the books are really going to be wasted on him.  So give that some consideration as you work through the possible people you want to nominate.

What is better than giving away one collection of books from Exclusive Books?

Giving away two collections!!   Yay — I am so excited, because you know how much I love books.

Nominate the dad you think could do with a lie on the couch, a pile of books, and some decent coffee or a cold beer — sorry I can’t supply the coffee or the beer — but I can supply the books.

Leave a comment, nominate your dad-person, and tell us why he is such a cool guy, and a great dad.  

Two hampers, two chances up for grabs.  These are awesome books.  No need to even get in your car and drive to the store to collect them – we will deliver them to you {entries are limited to addresses in south africa — okay, that is pretty much all the small print}

No retweet, repost or any crazy stuff –  just leave a comment.  Here on this post.  And that as they say is all.

Entries close on Monday, the 17th June 2013 – some time after sunset.    I will announce the winners of the two hampers on Friday, 21 June 2013.

Easy?  Freaking easy and awesome — nominate your person.  Done!

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The Blood of Flowers ….

I have just finished The Blood of Flowers, written by Anita Amirrezvani.

The book is set in 17th-century Persia.

A 14-year-old woman’s prospects of marriage are ruined when her beloved father dies.  She is alone with her mother, no family support and no way to survive.

With nowhere else to go, they are forced to sell the turquoise rug the young woman has woven to pay for their journey to Isfahan.

They hope to throw themselves on the mercy of the father’s brother who is a successful carpet maker, who serves the court of the legendary Shah Abbas the Great.  The uncle and aunt are a respectable, and reasonably wealthy family – who can afford to take on the support of two family members.

The uncle and aunt offer them a roof over their heads.  Instead of being regarded as family, they are treated as lowly servants.

The story is focused on the young girl, and how much she learns about life in Isfahan, how she develops as a carpet designer and weaver, and how she changes from a young innocent girl, to be a provider for her family.

Her family arrange a marriage – a sigheh (a temporary, renewable “marriage” which is essentially a form of semi-respectable prostitution) – which effects the girls outlook on the world, and also makes it almost impossible for her to enter into a legitimate marriage with a respectable man/family after that.

The book focuses quite a bit of time on how the girl improves her se.xu.al prowess to be granted a renewed sigheh — which I sort of found a bit disconcerting.  Young girls being pi.mp.ed by their family, not really a favourite theme of mine I am afraid.

It did make me fall on the floor and give thanks I was not a woman in the Arabian world, who had to deal with trying to live and survive when everything (from religion, to culture, to employment) is pitted against women (consciously or not) being able to survive without a man as provider and protector.

I am sure this was not meant to be the point of the story being taken from the book – but I could not help thinking that it really was a cruel society for women and young girls if they did not have the protection of father/man in their society.

I enjoyed the book.

I did feel there was a lot of time and attention spent on how the girl became a better bride for her sigheh – which as said is really the exchange of her being a rich man’s prostitute for a few months and money changing hands.  She does not benefit from this other than getting a bag of silver – which also does not go to her – but her family who decide how it is going to be distributed.

For all the “honour” this situation is pipped as being, it really is a way for parents/family to prostitute out their girls, so I did not really warm to this aspect of it.

A 3 out of 5 star sort of book.

The story is interesting, and on the upside does not have the “everyone is happy ever after”ending ….

“Anita Amirrezvani has written a sensuous and transporting first novel filled with the colors, tastes and fragrances of life in seventeenth-century Isfahan…Amirrezvani clearly knows and loves the ways of old Iran, and brings them to life with the cadences of a skilled story-spinner.” — Geraldine Brooks, author of March 

The Blood of Flowers

 

 

 

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So Close …. give away to two Reluctant Mom readers

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I used my scientific method of pointing randomly whilst I scroll down my screen with my eyes closed, to pick the lucky recipients from the Book GiveAway Blog Post for So Close by Tertia Albertyn.

Great book, loved the read, if you would like to read by book review, please go to this link.

Results of random finger pointing at the screen goes to:

1 book I bought and read which will be sent along to

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And the second is from the very generous Tertia who said she would send a book on as well, so that goes along to:

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I hope you enjoy the books, and I hope  you will pass it forward to another reader who will have the opportunity to smile, and cry through this book as much as I did – and I hope you will.

Please send me a note via Facebook with your postal addresses, and I can arrange to get the books sent on to you.

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50 Shades of Grey ….. meet me out in the shed

The only positive thing I can say about 50 Shades is that it did for adult reading what Harry Potter did for everyone else.

No one read.  No one posted comments about books they had read. Ever.

50 Shades was released.  Every hausfrau known to man, every woman with a pulse was taking photographs of herself reading 50 Shades, or posting updates on Facebook about her reading 50 shades of grey.

I can stumble through shit books as much as the next person.

I made it through about 623 pages of Shantaram before I decided that if he was going to climb a mountain with some unknown  dudes. I decided I was starting to side with the mountain lion.  It is not a spoiler alert.  There was no mountain lion.  I seriously would re-read a rewrite that included a mountain lion who ate Lindsay Ford – there is a good chance I would give it another go.  Shantaram is the biggest waste of my time, if you exclude the time that I have spent trying to synch my new ipad (still not synched — damn you apple gods, damn you)

50 Shades of Grey is probably only good if you need about 3 – 8 minutes of light fiction so you can mas.turb.ate (yes I said it) but other than that, the book is trite shit, and just bad-ly bad-ly written.

But a few key quotes from that tomb of bad reading:-

Her curiosity oozes through the phone.  {sounds very similar to a call center operator asking me if I am having a nice day — the key is that it is going to get less nice because you just called}

Feel it baby.  {I do think in sex it helps to remind your partner that they should actually feel something …. other than say rigor mortis}

He’s my very own Christian Grey popsicle.  {I am guessing sorbet was no longer on the menu!}

Mentally girding my loins, I head into the hotel.  {I have been in several hotels, I do not think I have ever girded my loins —  but maybe I have been in the wrong hotels.}

Suppose he returns with a cane, or some weird kinky implement? {A cane OR a weird kink implement??  I really am not sure what I would think if  ***** arrived with a cane …. limp much?  Seriously, what are you meant to say?}

Anastasia when cuffed to the bed posts: ‘Holy cow, I cannot move my arms.  {Anastasia – who has for the record just spoilt my favourite name — yes, that is pretty much what happens when you are handcuffed to anything – if you can move, then pick up the box and re-read the instruction because your handcuffs are no longer working.}

50 Shades 0f Grey is really a kak read.

I am suggesting that there are thousands of women (and several very happy partners/husbands) who really enjoyed the book and no doubt Book Club pass it along must have soared.  I am not judging you for reading (or benefiting) from the book. The book is crap, you are not necessarily crap.

The only reason I am mentioned 50 Shades of Grey, is because I have become a fan of 50 Sheds of Grey.

Now that I like!

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Terrific!

I spent Sunday with Tertia Albertyn …

On Sunday morning I finished “The Poisonwood Bible” by Barbara Kingsolver – what an incredible book.

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I am stealing a review from Amazon, which is exactly as the book is:

I read Kingsolver’s earlier “Pigs in Heaven” and “Bean Trees.” I picked up “The Poisonwood Bible” on impulse to read while on vacation. Once I started reading it, I found it hard to put down.

I have never had much interest in African history, but this book made me want to find out more. Her characters, as in her earlier books, are very well realized and fascinating.

The story begins with the arrival in the Belgian Congo of Nathan Price, fire and brimstone Baptist preacher, and his reluctant family. The family’s story is told by Nathan’s wife, Orleanna, and their five {Reluctant Mom – error here, there are four daughters, unless I am missing something} daughters – shallow teen-age Rachel, twins Leah and Adah, and five-year-old Ruth May.

The voices of the characters are authentic and believable.

Other reviewers are correct in their assessment that this is, in a sense, two books. The first is about Nathan’s clumsy and ill-advised attempts to fit Africa to his fundamentalist beliefs, and the family’s attempts to fit their lives to Africa. The second is about the way a family tragedy marks its survivors and the different ways events in Africa mark them as well. I don’t agree that Kingsolver should have “stopped writing” at the end of the first part.

I was absolutely spellbound by the way the voices changed and the way they stayed the same from the first to the last of the book.

One believes in the characters, they change and grow as the book progresses. Other reviewers found Rachel grating, but I think that was the point. Her shallowness brought home the points that Kingsolver was making even more effectively than the earnest preaching by Leah. I got the sense that in her own way, Rachel understood the events perfectly well, but that she did not care.

I felt very complete when I finished the book. It was a satisfying experience

Source:  Amazon reviewer.

Finished the book, took a look around and thought, I really need to read another book.  So Close by Tertia Albertyn was lying on my study table.  I picked it up, thought, okay, I will give this a gander.

And that was where I spent my Sunday.  I started at about 09h30 and finished it at about 16h30.  There was the usual shopping, kids, making lunch, trying to stop the kids arguing about whose turn it was to change the channel — all the normal Sunday stuff in between.

I am not sure why I have not read this book earlier.

I was captivated/engrossed/sucked in/ignored my children totally from page one.

I have never met Tertia, but I felt like I was sitting next to her, and her mom, through each scan.

The book made me cry, makes me laugh, made me smile through the snot in certain places.  It made me hold my children a bit closer (when I remembered they were there), made me shake my head and wonder how infertiles manage to survive to face another day.

I did not like the book.  I loved the book.

It is an easy read, it all feels familiar – strangely so.  It was like I was sitting with a girlfriend and having a long lunch, with lots of wine and she was telling me her story.

Tertia writes in such a genuine way, you do not feel like she is trying tooo hard, or that she is so hopelessly painful that you prefer not to look.

Her story is incredible.  Her story is human.  Her story is pain and pain, and hope, and then pain, and repeat as many times as necessary.

I cried for Hannah.  I sobbed for Luke.  I tjanked for Ben.

Would I recommend the book to you to read?  Yes, most definitely.  Tertia brings with her an energy, a humour, and a spirit that you cannot but admire.

I am in awe of her. I am in deep adoration of someone who can survive that much, and still has the energy to get out of bed.

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I have a slightly used version of the book.  Would you like to read it?  Let me know, and I will send my copy to you.

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Blogging Sisterhood of the Travelling Book

Because every sisterhood needs an image.

Feel free to use it.  Feel free not to use it.

Pass books on, it’s a great way to get us talking about books which are not 50 Shades of Grey.

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The Sisterhood of the Travelling Book ….

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I have agonised over this — really I have.

I am a people pleaser at heart, though I do come across as a total douché bag and then you wonder: “really a people pleaser, really?”

But I do.

I was earnestly contemplating how I would go out and buy 5 books and send them all out.

I really think that it is unfair to subject only one person to the happiness that is Jenny Lawson.  Really.  This is the kind of happiness that makes you fart you laugh so hard.

Unfortunately Jenny (the bloggess) has totally fkd it up for the rest of us.  Seriously if you are a blogger, and thinking about writing a book, how in gds green earth do you even start when you are faced with the book that is “Let’s Pretend This Never Happened” ? As much joy as the +331 pages brought me, it also saddened me to know that Jenny has made it impossible for mediocre bloggers to even think about putting ink to paper.

In the greater scheme of things, a small price to pay.

I do want us all to hold hands and sing happy songs around a camp fire, as we get drunker and drunker, and then we can all start talking trash talk about someone who is not at the fire, with us.  That sort of everyone getting together and being part of how wonderful this book is.

Starting fires in suburban parks without the right permits is frowned upon, and with a 5 litre box of wine does bring more boys to the yard than when I make milkshakes.

I really love Jemina’s idea of making it the Sisterhood of the Travelling Book – and it would be very cool if “the book” (said with the right amount of back music to make it sound quite dramatic) is passed along to someone else as well.

I am going to slip my slightly used, but much loved edition of  “Let’s Pretend This Never Happened {A Mostly True Memoir} by Jenny Lawson The Bloggess” into a white padded envelope tomorrow and send it off to Countess Kaz who blogs over at The Fat Dairies!

I think it would be great if she would read it, sign it and send it on to another Jenny Lawson Stalker – I can’t dictate to CountessKaz where to send the book, as she might get a list off her blog.

Enjoy the book CountessKaz – I hope it brings back a bit of your mojo.

It is brimming with mojo and all sorts of other good stuff.  Laugh hard, snort harder, and got to bed with a smile on your face — think of me!

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Let’s Pretend This Never Happened ….

While over at my local Exclusive Books, I stumbled across “Let’s Pretend This Never Happened {A Mostly True Memoir} by Jenny Lawson The Bloggess.”

I have not read many of her posts, but the one about Beyonce the Chicken stuck firmly in my mind.

I laughed and snorted out loud to that post.

If I am feeling a bit down in the dumps I always think about Beyonce the Chicken, and it perks me right up.

I am always looking for the sister/brother to Beyonce the Chicken, because I can’t think of a purchase that would make me happier.  Well, other than the biker mouse I saw on e-bay yesterday.

I thoroughly enjoyed The Bloggess’ book “Let’s Pretend This Never Happened

She really is hysterically funny, and has this dry “there is nothing to see here” style which I adore.  Enjoyed the book thoroughly.

There were so many bits of this book that I snorted at – here are two – hopefully I do not get cited on a copyright infringement :

“Anyway, my dad had just finished cleaning the deer when I made a reckless fast, ninja-turn U-turn to avoid getting tagged by my sister, and that’s when I ran.  Right. The Fuck. Inside the deer.  It took me a moment to realise what had happened, and I stood there, kind of paralyzed and not ninja-like at all.   The best way I can describe it is that it was kind of like wearing a deer sweater.  Sometimes people laugh at that, but it’s not an amused laugh. It’s more of an involuntary nervous giggle of what-the-fuckness.  Probably because you aren’t supposed to wear deer for sweaters.  You’re not supposed to throw up inside them either,but that doesn’t mean it didn’t happen.”

“Then I drove myself to work and I almost passed out from a combination of the pain and the not-breathing, and when I got there I hurt so much I couldn’t even move my mouth to talk, so I wrote ‘I HAVE BROKEN MY NECK,” on a Post-it, and my bewildered office mate drove me to the hospital.  Turns out I’d herniated a disc, and the doctor gave me a pamphlet on domestic abuse and kept asking m whether someone was hurting me at home, because apparently most people don’t herniate their discs simply from brushing their hair too hard.  I prefer to think that most people just don’t brush their hair as enthusiastically as I do.”

I enjoyed this book.  Every page of it.  Loved the photographs.  Loved the captions.

I sat and read this book in about a day and a half.  Best time ever in bed.  With a book!

So, listen, I loved the book, and I am sure you will love the book as well.

If you would like to read “Let’s Pretend this Never Happened” by Jenny Lawson, and would like a signed copy.  Signed by me.  Not by the uber talented Jenny Lawson I am afraid, then just let me have your postal address.

I have one-previously-read book that I will send on to you – I think this is the type of book you should share with anyone who needs a lie down a giggle.

What would be really cool is if you could read the book, you comment on it on your blog, you sign the book, then you pass the book on to the next person.

How does that sound?  It’s like a game of play-it-forward-fuckness in all its beauty.

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The only downside is Jenny will not be getting royalties as there is only one book doing the rounds.  But I am sure she will understand, or not.

If you have not fully experience the totally fucken hilarity that is Jenny Lawson, then this will be a good day for you.

Want the book?  Leave me your postal address — please only in South Africa.  I only have one book, so this is not an Oprah give away where everyone finds something under their seat.

Happy reading, and laughing, and all kinds of warm happiness.

Rush Home Road by Lori Lansens …

Another book that has been lying in my book shelf for ages, collecting dust and I have been meaning to read.

Book Title:  Rush Home Road

Author:  Lori Lansens

What’s the book about?  Addy Shadd is a seventy year old woman who lives in a trailer park (out of choice) and circumstances conspire that she is put in the position to take care of Sharla Cody who is a five-year old little girl living in a nearby trailer, with a somewhat unavailable mother.

The story is about how Addy and Sharla change each other’s lives, and as the book progresses, the story of Addy’s life unfolds.  There is nothing jarring or frantic in this book – though the characters and experiences are told with empathy and a real sense of “it was like I was there” quality – the story flows easily and you get carried along on its current.

The jacket describes the book as “Rush Home Road, the story of a seventy-year old woman’s journey through the unbearable sorrows of her past, in order to save an abandoned little girl, is a first novel of exquisite power, honesty, and conviction.  Its portrait of how much has changed, and how little, over nearly a century, in the realms of race, love, hate and loss, is nearly without flaws.”

Who told you about the book?  No one, it is one of those where the cover had some sort of appeal, but I was not sure what or why.

What resonated with you about the book?  The book is not a story with a beginning, middle and an end.  You feel you have stumbled into the lives of Addy and Sharla, and you get to walk a bit with them on this road they are on.

Time needed to read? 387 pages, 1 1/2 line spacing, not a huge commitment, probably took 3 – 4 days of reading a bit before bed each night.

Where did you purchase the book?  Books Galore, which is a discounted book store at Plattekloof Shopping Centre.

Would you save this book, pass it along to a charity store, or pass it along to a fellow avid reader?  My initial feeling was to toss it, but there is something haunting about this book.  I have it lying next to me right now, and I keep glancing at it, and the story does sit with you for a long time.  I would probably pass it along to someone – probably my mom.

Rating out of a possible 5:  3 1/2 – not a must read, but a “quite a good read.”

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Street Kid by Judy Westwater …. just read

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One of those books that have been lying in my book shelf for about three years, and I have been meaning to read it but never quite got there.  Now that I have finished Game of Throne {I cannot wait for the next installment}, and have been committed to that series since October 202.

I really did need to read something else and my eye stumbled on this book I had borrowed from a friend ages ago and just have not got to yet.

Book Title:  Street Kid – One Child’s Desperate Fight for Survival

Author:  Judy Westwater

So what’s the book about?  A child has parents who can only be described as dysfunctional on the best of days and the parents go through a divorce.  The psychotic spiritualist father {who is the perfect candidate for a bit of mob justice} takes his youngest daughter, more as a means to spite his wife than his overriding urge to be a good/even mediocre father and decides to raise her.

He is a horrendous father.  His new wife/girlfriend is abusive and hates the little girl on sight.  The “new mom” treats the little girl a bit worse than you would treat a dog with mange – and Judy spends much of her childhood locked outside in the backyard, which may not be bad if you lived in sunny South Africa, but in rather cold and grim UK it becomes an exercise in survival just to make it through a day in the backyard and survive to be let in at night.

The book is a true story based on the author’s experience.

It is obviously a fairly grim story, with very little in the way of characters to redeem it or make it likable   I was constantly amazed by this little girl’s ability to survive and to overcome.  It did remind me a bit of Dave Pelzer’s story, titled “The Lost Boy”  which I read back in 2000.

It did make me think of the incidents of abuse and neglect that must be happening within 100 meters of us every day, and not necessarily in some isolated informal out of the way place.

Who told you about the book?  No one, I had actually never heard of the book, and have not seen a review on it either.

What resonated with you about the book?  I kept comparing her age to my children, and being amazed by her ability to adapt and survive.  I think she shows that the human spirit is so resilient, and the power to overcome is often more powerful than the urge to crawl into a corner and give up.

Overall Impression?  I was not swept away by the book.  I found something about the tone, and the way it was written a bit rushed.  I did not get into the real feeling of Judy.  It did feel like I was looking at this as a third party and the details were being glissed over with very little emotion, but maybe that was the way the story was meant to be – a chronicle of her journey, rather than an in depth expose on how she coped.

Time needed to read?  A fairly thin book, so I got through this in one day over the weekend.

Where did you purchase or obtain the book? Lent to me by a friend.

Would you save this book, pass it along to a charity store, or pass it along to a fellow avid reader?  I would probably add it to the charity store pile, but in reality I need to return it to Joyce who lent me the book about three years ago.  It is not a bad book, but it is not something I would remember in 6 months time, or recommend to someone if they asked me for my top three books in the last year.  It’s sort of okay …. yes a rather lukewarm review I am afraid.

Rating out of 5 stars : * * *

Game of Thrones …. slight obsession ….

I had a few Exclusive Books vouchers from my last birthday.  Kennith also found a voucher that was so old, it was almost worth more keeping and framing.

Even though I am charging my Kindle and wiping the dust off the screen and I have great ambitions to use it  – primarily so that Kennith does not get more upset about buying me digital things that I just never seem to use – I really still feel like I am cheating on my paper-and-ink books when I read a digital book.

Even with the guilt of “I must start using my Kindle more” I trotted off to Exclusive Books and bought some delicious books.

I do love bookstores – I could while away a day there quite happily.

I saw Series One and Series Two of Game of Thrones on DSTV, and was hooked — like dribbling at the mouth, dilated pupils hooked.

There was nothing I did not like …. well I did not like that it ended and sort of left me hanging with a 1/2 a glass of wine and an unfinished bag of Chuckles.

I usually do not read books if I have seen the on-screen version.  I like to be able to picture the character and his/her voice without having the “visual” forced on me by a tv series of a movie.

Game of Thrones has become the exception.

I bought Clash of Kings by George RR Martin (it is the second book in the series, and more or less runs at the same pace as Series 2 of Game of Thrones) –  holy mother mccreadie it is brilliant.

I don’t do books I have seen the series/movies of.

I don’t do books of the genre “fantasy”.

I broke both of those rules.  I opened the book, and it was a bit like the scene from Jumanji where the drums start in the background when they open the game.  Of course it was that do-do-do-doooooo sound track from the Game of Throne series, and I could hear their voices (the wildlings always speak in an irish accent in my head for some reason).

I loved the book.  Love might not be doing it justice.

I will confess that I might not have been able to follow the book without having seen the series on television – there are a lot of characters, they have long names and each chapter jumps to a different character/kingdom.

The books do not always move in chronological order, and sometimes run side by side to an earlier book. If you are not awake and all your brain cells functioning, these books can get a bit confusing.

The book order for George RR Martin’s Game of Thrones book order runs like this:

A Game of Thrones, Book 1

A Clash of Kings, Book 2

A Storm of Swords, Book 3 – Part 1 – Steel and Sow

A Storm of Swords, Book 3 – Part 2 – Blood and Gold

A Feast for Crows, Book 4

A Dance with Dragons – Part 1 – Dreams and Dust, Book 5 

A Dance with Dragons – Part 2 – After the Feast, Book 5

The Winds of Winter, Book 6 – Not released yet

A Dream of Spring, Book 7 – Not released yet

There are a shit load of character and no one is named Bill or Shawn.  They are all Cersei Baratheon, Queen of the Seven Kingdoms of Westeros, is the wife of King Robert Baratheon and after a while the names start to wash over you leaving you a bit dumb, and you stop worrying who individual people are, and get swept away in the story.

I tried to stick to remembering the key characters, and nodding in ignorance when I read anyone who was not the 10 or 20 I had committed to memory.

I picked up Clash of Kings which is pretty much Season 2 – it was brilliant.  I could barely contain myself and I scampered off  to purchase the next book in the series.

I keep thinking, well these books are thick lumbering fantasy epics – I am sure I will get bored …. it has not happened yet.

I am busy reading A Dance with Dragons – Part 1 – Dreams and Dust, Book 5 at the moment, and it is totally engrossing.

The thing that carries me through the last few weeks of hectic work, and the running around is that at the end of it all, once all is said and done, and I have a shower and brush my teeth, I have Game of Thrones waiting for me even if it is for 15 minutes or two hours – however long I can stay awake.

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Like Game of Thrones?

I am a bit of “take it or leave it” television sort of gal.  There is little on television – I only refer to DSTV as television, anything less than that is a bit of a sad state of affairs.

My two favourite series are without a doubt the BBC Sherlock, I cannot get enough of the series, which is a tricky as there is a bit of a limited supply.

The other is Game of Thrones.

Oh my giddy aunt I adore like verging into obsessed about the show.  The characters, the story – my favourite character is Tyrion Lannister – generally described as the clever dwarf!  After I was retrenched I lay on the couch for a month and watched Series 1 and 2 of Game of Thrones and loved every moment.

Recently I stumbled across A Clash of Kings by George RR Martin.  I picked it up at Exclusive Books, sort of got the gist that it was The Game of Thrones author and took it along to the cash register.

Anyway it turns out it is the second season of Game of Thrones.

I am loving the book – it is written EXACTLY like the show, granted I am only a few dozen pages in.  But it is gorgeous.  If you liked Game of Thrones at all, grab the book.  Divine.

Jodi Picoult made me cry snot bubbles ….

I used to be in a book club.

The book club members tended to dash into Exclusive Books/Wordsworth at 4pm on the day of the book club meet, with the result that we often ended up with Douglas Kennedy and Jodi Picoult books – what ever was popular and available, and recommended by the person at the help desk of Exclusive Books/Wordsworth.

I felt peer pressure and even bought a Jodi Picoult book – My Sister’s Keeper – for the book club to read.

I never read it.  I had read three Jodi Picoult’s and sensed a trend/writing formula, and unfortunately was able to easily gauge the story by chapter 3 in each case.  This made the stories interesting in concept, but highly forgettable in execution.

The result was that I built up a fair loathing for Jodi Picoult and her work.  I cannot argue that she has many fans and I am in no way saying she is not a great wordsmith, but her books have zero appeal to me.

On Friday I was doing some work, and flicked the television on – I saw My Sister’s Keeper was the movie and it was starting.

I thought, well that is fine I have work to do, so I will leave it playing in the background.  You know, glance up at it from time to time.

Great plan – again, great in idea, not so much in the execution.

To say I cried would not be doing it justice.  I did ugly-mouth-agape-in-gulping-crying whilst large pools of tears ran down my face.  I stopped working and just sat there engrossed and wiping snot up my shirt sleeve.

My water-resistant mascara and eyeliner proved once again it was water-resistant and not water proof.  I did panda-bear eyes.

I missed the end as I had to dash to a meeting, but I cried for about 45 minutes after I had turned the movie off.

Today I flicked the television on, and caught the last 20 minutes of it.

I had snot bubbles coming out of my nose within minutes.  I think the last time I cried so hard was when I lost a tampon and knew the only way to retrieve it was to visit my GP.  Who was a male!

It really was an epic cry!   It was a totally get caught up in this family sort of movie.  I cried for all of them, I cried all the time.

How do people cope when a child of theirs is dying, and they are powerless to change it?

I say a quiet prayer in hope that I will never be faced with this experience.  I have no idea where parents (and siblings) find the strength.

PS:  Jodi Picoult if you had anything to do with this screen play or the writing of this movie, I apologise for thinking your books were crap.  I seriously misjudged you.