Friday 18 August 2017

A Wintry A to Z

Jane over @Eden Rock Beyond hosts a semi-regular, when the mood takes her, A-Z of all things bookish and bloggish.

After an unseasonal, glorious run of spring-like days, another bout of wintry weather has just blown into Sydney town. So I thought I'd stay inside by the fire and have a go at finding 26 bookish things to list.

  • A is for ABOUT ME. A little while back there was a flurry of blogging activity around what we book bloggers actually do on our blogs. Is it reviewing or is it book journalling or something in between? At the time it seemed important that I work it out. The problem was, all that reflecting and navel gazing put me off my game! I may never get around to writing an ABOUT ME page. But for the record, I consider myself to be a book journaller. I write about how a book makes me feel, what connections I made whilst reading it and any research I may have felt compelled to do to understand the book or the author at a deeper level. I don't write straight book reviews. I don't read book reviews either. I always skip over any book synopsis to get to the bit where the reader tells me what they thought of the book or what they discovered while they were reading the book. I usually select my next read based on a mix of mood, gut feeling and zeitgeist. Therefore what you think about a book and how it made you feel influences me more than anything else.

  • B is for BALI. Our next holiday destination. Wahoo! I can't wait to wear my summer dresses, laze by the pool and drink cocktails! Binge reading, massages and eating out for every meal may also be on the cards!

  • C is for CUBA. I've been asked to put together a photographic exhibition at our local library of my Cuba pics. The only problem is that I took all my photos on my smartphone and every time I've tried to print so far, I hit resolution issues. HELP! One friend suggested that I just do a postcard size exhibition - an up close and personal approach perhaps?

  • D is for DRINKY-POO. It's 6 pm on Friday evening in Sydney town. I've had a busy week at work and a nice cold beer is lubricating this post quite nicely!

  • E is for ERDRICH. I'm very excited to have an ARC of Louise Erdrich's new book. Future Home of the Living God is due for November publication in Australia by Hachette Australia.

  • F is for FOOTBALL. The soccer season is finished for the year once again. B20's team made it to the first final round while B16 (about to turn 17) got through to the second round of finals. Mr Books is heavily involved in the local football committee so he will still have things to do, but for the next few months at least, we have no major demands on our weekend time. What will we do with all this free time I hear you ask? A week in Bali is one, a trip to the Blue Mountains another. I'm also hoping for some bush walking and city exploring adventures.

  • G is for GRACE. My One Word has been a real battle all year. I'm struggling to feel good about it right now.

  • H is for HONOURING Jessica Anderson. For the past few years a friend of mine has organised an honouring event at the State Library of NSW where like-minded souls gather to celebrate the life and work of an Australian author who may have been forgotten or fallen off the radar.

  • I is for INSTAGRAM. I'm hooked. I take pics of our holidays, out walking around my local area, of books, flowers and art exhibitions. There are occasional food shots! My tag is brona68.

  • J is for JAPAN. When Mr Books turned 50 he wanted to go to Cuba. For my 50th I want to go to Japan. Let the planning begin!

  • K is for KIDS. Not sure if I can still call them kids now that they're B20 and almost B17. Living with adults in the making is very different to living with kids. Still adjusting. I miss the primary school years.

  • L is for LOVE. Despite issues with grace and change and periods of adjustment and perimenopause, love still abounds in our home.

  • M is for MILLER, Alex. His new book, The Passage of Love is due out in October, published by Allen & Unwin. Yet another ARC by my bed calling out 'pick me, pick me!'

  • N is for NOVEMBER and AusReadingMonth. This will be my fifth year of hosting AusReadingMonth and I'm trying to work out how to take it on a road trip around all the states and territories of Australia....I'll keep you posted.

  • O is for ORWELL. I have this fascinating new release on my TBR pile called The Last Man in Europe by Dennis Glover. It's a fictionalised account of the last days of George Orwell as he wrote 1984 on a remote Scottish island. Mr Books and I recently saw a brilliant production of 1984 at the STC. It has been on my mind a lot.

  • P is for POKEMON. My guilty secret! I started pokemoning with B16, when he was B15. It started off as a bonding thing. He quickly moved on, as teenagers do, but I was hooked. Okay obsessed. I love walking. It's my main form of exercise. Walking also allows me to indulge in my other obsession - photography & Instagramming. Before Pokemon go, I used to use a WalkMe app to track how far I walked and for how long. Now it's how many km's I need to walk to hatch an egg. Sad but true.

  • Q is for QUEENS (and kings and thrones). Yes, I am one of those hanging out for each episode of Game of Thrones. Who will be the one to rule them all? Who are Jon's parents? Why on earth do they need to catch a white walker for f*#k sake?! When will Little Finger get his comeuppance? So many loose threads: so little time!

  • R is for (RE)READING. I've always been a re-reader, but working in an Indy bookshop has made this difficult to maintain.  +Deb Nance recently made a comment on one of my posts about hosting a (re)readathon...I'm thinking about it. 

  • S is for SYDNEY. My home town now for 9 years. I'm a country girl at heart, but I've learnt to love the buzz of city life. The art exhibitions, the diversity in food, the opportunities for exploring new places, our history and our beautiful harbour.

  • T is for TEA. My new favourite is a delicious white tea called Silver Needles or Baihao Yinzhen.

  • U is for UNDER the blankets. I'm looking forward to a lazy weekend of snuggling up and reading.

  • V is for VIETNAMESE food. This cooler weather has me craving beef pho and nom hua chuoi (banana flower salad). 

  • W is for WEEKEND. TGIF.

  • X is for XIAOLU GUO and her Orange Prize shortlisted book A Concise Chinese-English Dictionary for Lovers. This a recently acquired addition to my TBR pile.

  • Y is for YES! I've finally found a Book Club to join. My first meeting will be in a month and our first book together will be Steven Amsterdam's, Miles Franklin 2017 longlisted book, The Easy Way Out.

  • Z is for ZADIE Smith. I like to read some of the Man Booker longlist each year. Swing Time will probably be my next read.
If you'd like to have a go at your own A-Z, make sure you pop over to Jane's blog to leave a link to your post.


  1. Anonymous19/8/17

    I am so with you on may of these: A, I, N, R, W and I am looking for a Y!

    And hey, you might consider this to be your ABOUT ME page!

    1. Great idea Laurie!
      Hope you enjoy your weekend and good luck with finding a book club to join.

  2. My husband introduced me to pho last year, and I'm addicted! Can't wait for our cooler weather, too, so my husband will say, "Want to go get some pho?" : D

    Love your photos on your Instagram. Beautiful. What kind of camera do you use?

    I used to belong to a book club, but we disbanded. : ( Book clubs sure do make book discussions interesting.

    1. All that Insta magic is done via my smartphone!

      I also used to belong to a bookclub, but when I moved to Sydney I had to let it go (before smart phones - now I could probably just face time or skype!!) I miss the bookish camaraderie.

  3. Nicely done - and your letter A really resonates with me.

  4. I did not get around to making my I thought I'd try to
    do some of yours (again...the fellowship!)
    Letter T: At the moment I'm drinking your tea (orderedd from Germany Amazon) Baihao Yinzhen! (Silver Needles)I am following the newest trend: drinking tea instead of wine with dinner! Less calories....and my mind slowly glides into a feeling of 'Zen'.
    Letter V: No Vietnamese food in my I ordered a book by an immigrant from Vietnam to Canada retelling her experiences. Aki Shamizaki wrote 5 short novella's about her journey and I am starting with Tsubaki (1999). Watch for the review!
    I'll keep adding a soon as I tackle another letter!

    1. Green (& white) Tea is meant to aid digestion but I just love the way these needles float in the pot!

      I'm currently eating lots of yummy nasi goreng & gado gado washed down with a nice cold Bintang!

      I can't wait to see what you get up to with the other 24 letters šŸ˜Š

  5. Letter F: the football (soccer) World Cup dreams are just about over for The Netherlands. They crashed and burned against the superiour French (0-4, ouch!). In 2014 NL was 3rd in overall we can't even qualify!
    Letter U: We went from 28 C in a sweltering heat wave on Tuesday to a shivering 8 C last night. I do as you do....under the flannel sheets at night!
    Letter W: TGIF the weekend is the same all over the world!

  6. Letter P: Never in my life will I have anything to do with I have to find smth else with 'P'. I decided to read a 'P'lay 'The Perisians by Aeschylus. It was a quick read.
    Letter Z: Zadie said to be one of the 10 most inspiring female writers one needs to read. So thank you for bring her to my attention with your ABC. I was looking for a book of short stories by ZS but can't find them in book form. I did find 12 in issues of The New Yorker Magazine written between 2002 - 2017! So I'm looking forward to these reads!


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