Monday 20 July 2015

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

I should be doing lots of other things rather than blogging tonight. But here I am, hunched up in front of the fire trying to keep warm, ignoring all the boxes that need packing and trying to pretend that the magic packing fairies will turn up in my sleep, wave their magic wands and sprinkle their magic dust and all the hard will be done!

Except I've moved enough times before to know that the magic packing fairies do not exist, or at least, they always forget to come to my place!

My dad was a Bankie, which meant that we moved every 4-7 years for his work. Curiously, as an adult, thanks to Uni, work and love, I have continued to move house every 4-7 years. Often it's just to another area of the town or suburb I'm currently in, but seven times, so far in this lifetime, it has meant a complete change of town/city.

The good thing about this is that I have fabulous friends all over Australia. The hard part for me though, is making those friends in the first place.

I am an introvert; it takes a while for me to form deep, close personal relationships. So the downside of moving is how much I miss those fabulous friends who live all over Australia.

Fortunately this move is basically just around the corner. No friend farewells required. We will miss our lovely neighbours, but we're already making coffee and dinner plans.

Moving is also great for decluttering.

It forces me to throw out old clothes and sort through my books and papers.
Going through the kitchen cupboards has revealed a whole kitchen shop of unused wine glasses, salad bowls, vases and be donated to the local op shop.
And what's with that drawer in the bathroom full of those tiny shampoo, conditioner and hand lotion bottles from holiday hotels and resorts?

When did I turn into my Nan?

(when Nan died and we were cleaning out her house, we found one whole kitchen drawer devoted to those silver tops on the old glass milk bottles (thankfully all washed and cleaned!) and another drawer full of the plastic square clips from bread bags! The laundry also revealed a muslin bag full of all the odd little leftover bits of soap.)

But this isn't getting any more boxes packed.

One of the things that I've really started reassessing with this move is photos.

Seven years ago when we moved in here, we had a digital camera and we were just starting to store photos on our computer and external drives, but mostly, I printed out whole packets of photos and put them in albums and photo frames.

It has now been two years since I ordered a print of a photo.
All our pics are digital. I've created a shuffle screen saver on all the family computers so we see these pics randomly throughout our days. As I've been packing up the photo frames, I've realised just how tatty and discoloured most of the photos have become. Why am I keeping them?
Is sentimental value enough?
Do I even look at them during my daily life?
If nobody is looking at them, then why do I keep them?

Obviously, I shouldn't be planning a reading week. All my thoughts and energies should be focused on getting those damn books packed instead!
Except my brain doesn't work that way.

I need to reward myself for each box packed. I need to know there is a little something pleasurable waiting for me at the end of the roll of packing tape. I need something to look forward to at the end of each trip to the car.

So far I have rewarded myself with a binge evening home alone with Olive Kitteridge - watching all four episodes in one heart-wrenching go. Last night Mr Books and I finally watched the last two episodes of Game of Thrones (season five) - OMG!!!! I'm not sure I want to or care to go on to season six after that final scene!!

I've also eaten my way through a pack of Magnum icecreams, got my hair done and had a massage.

There seem to more treats and rewards than boxes packed - slight flaw in plan! Time to reassess packing strategy.

This week, I hope to read ten more chapters of Gone With the Wind (only 13 to go!)
I may also finally get started on The Tenant of Wildfell Hall (the title seems appropriate somehow!)

However, I suspect I may get sidetracked by the wonderful treat that turned up at work today... very own, shiny, new, months before publication date, reading copy of Geraldine Brook's lastest book, The Secret Chord (Hachette Australia release date October 2015).

Brooks takes on one of literature’s richest and most enigmatic figures: a man who shimmers between history and legend. Peeling away the myth to bring David to life in Second Iron Age Israel, Brooks traces the arc of his journey from obscurity to fame, from shepherd to soldier, from hero to traitor, from beloved king to murderous despot and into his remorseful and diminished dotage.

The Secret Chord provides new context for some of the best-known episodes of David’s life while also focusing on others, even more remarkable and emotionally intense, that have been neglected.  We see David through the eyes of those who love him or fear him—from the prophet Natan, voice of his conscience, to his wives Mikal, Avigail, and Batsheva, and finally to Solomon, the late-born son who redeems his Lear-like old age. Brooks has an uncanny ability to hear and transform characters from history, and this beautifully written, unvarnished saga of faith, desire, family, ambition, betrayal, and power will enthrall her many fans.

It may be a tad more religious than my usual fare, but I'm hoping that Brooks' storytelling ability will keep me enthralled. (Teeny weeny boasting moment - before moving to the States, Brooks was a local resident of my suburb and a regular in my bookshop. I had the good fortune to meet her during her last visit home :-)

This week's shout-out goes to:

Lisa @ANZ LitLovers Blog for highlighting the exciting new LoveOzYA initiative.

and to the host of bloggers that have helped to convince me that, yes, I will (when the unpacking is over and done with at the other end) read Go Set A Watchman - Melinda @ WestMetroMommy, Adam @RoofBeamReader, Melissa @AvidReadersMusings and Allie @ALiteraryOdyssey. Thank you.

Procrastination time is now officially over.

Note to self - packing a few more boxes will warm me up...but so will a generous glass of wine - hmmmmmm!

Twitter #IMWAYR
I'm also linking this post to Sunday Post hosted by Caffeinated Book Reviewer.


  1. Anonymous20/7/15

    Haha! Good luck with the packing - sounds like you'll need it! ;)

  2. Ugh I hate moving, the last time I was 6 months pregnant with a 7 yr old and a 1 year old so my parents paid for professional movers and packers to do it all. That's the way to go!
    Enjoy those rewards :)

    Shelleyrae @ Book'd Out

    1. Tempting, but I think I would struggle handing over control to someone else...despite all my complaining and procrastinating, I like to know it's all been way :-)

  3. I hate to move. In fact, I refuse to move. My husband is a rockhound and I'm a bookie....who wants to move tons (literally) of rocks and books?

    Good luck to you with all this moving.

    1. Fortunately we don't have the rock problem, but the books are bad enough and I seem to have collected a stunning array of salad servers!!

  4. Best of luck with all the preparations. I didn't mind our last move, but the thought of doing it again the older I get is frightening:)

  5. If only those packing fairies were real... good luck with your move!

  6. I completed a move a couple of months ago and hated it. I had to choose items for two separate houses - one is a countryside home and the other in the city. I now find I am missing so much of stuff. Good luck with the move.

  7. Anonymous21/7/15

    Good luck, Brona. In case it makes you feel any better, the magic box-packing fairies have never showed up at my house either. As a sentimental introvert who likes things packed and put away a certain way, I can totally understand how you feel these days!

  8. Good luck packing! Moving is possibly my least favorite activity ever! And - I've been hearing about this new Geraldine Brooks...believe it or not, I've never read her. Hope you enjoy it!

  9. Moving is Tough. I dont envy you but it doesnt sound like you are moving far this time. I haven't moved too much. It seems a good opportunity to pare down stuff. Wish you the best with it.

  10. I do a reward system for myself, too, when there's a task I don't want to do. It can quickly get out of hand, though! :) Hope the rest of your moving gets done as easily as possible!

  11. Ugh, how I hate moving, and I've done it too many times for my taste. Good luck with the packing! It's so boring. And so difficult not to read books you love while packing or unpacking them.

    The fifth season of Game of Thrones was awful, but to be fair it was on par with the books. The worst part is that I know I will keep on watching and reading only because I've spent a long time with the characters. I started reading this when the third book had just came out!

    1. You have had to endure some very long GoT waits!
      Mr Books has now read all the books, but the ending of season five was a shock for him too!!

  12. Anonymous21/7/15

    Good luck on the move - we're doing the same in about three weeks so I feel your pain. Emma @onceuponalittefield

    1. Somehow knowing that someone else is also sharing the pain, has made it a little easier :-)

      Thanks you all for your best wishes and kind words of encouragement.

  13. Moving can be so difficult! We've been in our current house for 6 years this fall. That's longer than I've lived anywhere else and part of me thinks we will probably end up moving soon just out of habit. I feel like moving also throws everything else off kilter. All your normal routines go out the window. I hope it goes well and you find lovely new neighbors to connect with soon!

  14. After 15 years in the one house, I'm ready for a move but OMG book hoarder and IT geek hoarder means a whole lot of moving pain. So I decide once again ... I love my house, why would I want to move lol. Last year I even wrapped 2 dozen new books for the KMart christmas tree ... it didn't even make a noticeable dent :(
    I have Go Set A Watchman on audio, just not ready to listen to it yet. Scared of being disappointed.
    Good luck with your move, if I see those fairies I'll send them your way :)

  15. Best of luck with the move. At least not going far and hopefully you can move a carload at a time of all the smaller stuff. Those moves are the easiest, I think... Best of luck and I'll be sending all that 'packing fairy dust' and positive energy your way!


This blog has now moved to Wordpress.
Please visit This Reading Life to comment.

Note: only a member of this blog may post a comment.