Category Archives: books

Cool book tee’s

Thanks to the wonderful Frankie newsletter this week I came across these awesome book tee’s courtesy of Out of Print. The concept with these is really great. Here’s what they say about themselves:

Our shirts feature iconic and often out of print book covers. Some are classics, some are just curious enough to make great t-shirts, but all are striking works of art.

We work closely with artists, authors and publishers to license the content that ends up in our collections. Each shirt is treated to feel soft and worn like a well-read book.

In addition to spreading the joy of reading through our tees, we acknowledge that many parts of the world don’t have access to books at all. We are working to change that. For each shirt we sell, one book is donated to a community in need through our partner Books For Africa.

Here’s my particular faveAnd some other cool ones:Love!

ps. I’ve posted book stuff 3 Fridays in a row now…perhaps I shall keep the trend going if you aren’t too bored? 🙂

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Siri, her writing room and more

Thanks to the magic of twitter I was alerted to this great site, A Piece of Monologue. I nearly did a cartwheel (I say nearly cos I can’t cartwheel – the splits are more my thing!) when I saw the “cover” featuring the writing room of my equal favourite author of all time (along with Jane Austen and Margaret Atwood), Siri Hustvedt’s writing room.

It’s a room much like any other “study” I guess and very much a place that I can imagine work being done. The light is gorgeous though. There’s something uber cool and exciting to me about seeing the space in which someone I admire so much does her work.

Siri’s book, What I Loved is one of my all time favourites and she has a new book, The Shaking Woman or A History of my Nerves which is a memoir (and I may have suggested to the Mr that he will be murdered if that doesn’t end up coming my way courtesy of the Birthday Fairy).

I love what she says about her writing room:

A room to write in isn’t like other rooms, because most of the time the person in it doesn’t see it. My attention is on the page in front of me, on what the people in the book are doing or saying, and my awareness of the things near me is muted, part of the vague sensual information that comes and goes as I mull over the next sentence. I do feel the light in my room, however. You can feel the light in her picture and I love the idea of her mulling over what her characters are doing and saying.

Siri’s own website has some really interesting essays if that’s the way you swing. She writes on all manner of topics and unlike some other literary authors I find her ideas and thinking accessible. Here’s an excerpt from her essay, “Notes on Seeing“:

1. To look and not see: an old problem. It usually means a lack of understanding, a inability to divine the meaning of something in the world around us.

4. Once, in an unfamiliar hallway, I mistook myself for a stranger because I did not understand I was looking in a mirror. My own form took me by surprise because I was not oriented in space. Expectation is powerful.

23. Mothers have a need to look at their children. We cannot help it.

24. Lovers have a need to look at each other. They cannot help it.

28. When I read stories, I see them. I make pictures and often they remain in my mind after I have finished a novel, along with some phrases or sentences. I ground the characters in places, real and imagined. But I always remember the feeling of a book best, unless I have forgotten it altogether.

Oh wow! The best type of writing for me is the type that reflects back to me ideas I haven’t been able to form words around and if I have, they aren’t anywhere near as powerful. Siri takes my breath away regularly.

I saw Siri and her husband and fellow author Paul Auster, speak at the Adelaide Writer’s Week Festival a few years ago. They were on the same panel as Ian McEwan – I nearly died of excitement – and they were both so fabulously real and engaging.

Now, I’m off to indulge my girl crush a bit further by checking out Siri’s New York Times blog articles – sigh! 🙂

ps. If you’re keen, you should check out the marvellously well written article by Margaret Atwood re Twitter

Dymocks 2010 Booklovers List

I’m a fan of a more boutique bookshop over the chain store. This is actually my fave bookstore in town and I walk past it on my way too and from work….do you know how much restraint it takes me not to go in every single time I walk past. They have gorgeous window displays and I often nearly crash into people on the footpath as I gaze longingly at the beauties in the window as I’m meandering past.

Having said that I’m no stranger to chain bookstores and as far as the chain bookstore goes I actually really like Dymocks. They’ve somehow still managed to retain a lovely more boutique-y feel and it smells like paper in there – never a bad thing!

Anyway (gosh I ramble don’t I?!), today Dymocks have published their 2010 Booklovers List, as voted by readers. I think these lists are always interesting. So, here’s the list:

1. The Twilight Saga by Stephenie Meyer
2. The Harry Potter Series by J.K. Rowling
3. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
4. The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger
5. The Lord of the Rings Trilogy by J.R.R. Tolkien
6. The Book Thief by Marcus Zusak
7. To Kill a Mocking Bird by Harper Lee
8. The Millennium Trilogy by Stieg Larsson
9. My Sister’s Keeper by Jodi Picoult
10. The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini
11. The Bronze Horseman by Paullina Simons
12. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
13. Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte
14. The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold
15. Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead
16. Magician by Raymond E. Feist
17. Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell
18. The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown
19. Cloudstreet by Tim Winton
20. The Host by Stephenie Meyer
21. Mao’s Last Dancer by Li Cunxin
22. Atonement by Ian McEwan
23. The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien
24. Angels and Demons by Dan Brown
25. A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini
26. Cross Stitch by Diana Gabaldon
27. Shantaram by Gregory David Roberts
28. The Slap by Christos Tsiolkas
29. Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell
30. Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden
31. The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams
32. Tomorrow When the War Began by John Marsden
33. Obernewtyn by Isobelle Carmody
34. The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas by John Boyne
35. The Inheritance Series by Christopher Paolini
36. The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde
37. Guernsey Literary & Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer
38. The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde
39. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
40. Catch-22 by Joseph Heller
41. Ice Station by Matthew Reilly
42. The Power of One by Bryce Courtenay
43. Persuasion by Jane Austen
44. Tully by Paullina Simons
45. Seven Ancient Wonders by Matthew Reilly
46. Breath by Tim Winton
47. The Mortal Instruments Series by Cassandra Clare
48. Life of Pi by Yann Martel
49. A Fine Balance by Rohinton Mistry
50. The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho
51. Emma by Jane Austen
52. The Other Boleyn Girl by Philippa Gregory
53. The Bible
54. Six Sacred Stones by Matthew Reilly
55. A Fortunate Life by A.B. Facey
56. We Need To Talk About Kevin by Lionel Shriver
57. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
58. Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery
59. The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy
60. The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon
61. People of the Book by Geraldine Brooks
62. The Lost Symbol by Dan Brown
63. The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova
64. Interview with the Vampire by Anne Rice
65. Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky
66. The Sookie Stackhouse Series by Charlaine Harris
67. Tuesdays with Morrie by Mitch Albom
68. Five Greatest Warriors by Matthew Reilly
69. On the Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta
70. The Princess Bride by William Goldman
71. The Five People You Meet in Heaven by Mitch Albom
72. Wicked by Gregory Maguire
73. Eat Pray Love by Elizabeth Gilbert
74. Audacity of Hope by Barack Obama
75. Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett
76. Dewey by Vicki Myron
77. Dirt Music by Tim Winton
78. Marley and Me by John Grogan
79. Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
80. Dune by Frank Herbert
81. The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
82. The Memory Keeper’s Daughter by Kim Edwards
83. Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
84. War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy
85. The Road by Cormac McCarthy
86. Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides
87. The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis
88. The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton
89. Possession by AS Byatt
90. Finnikin of The Rock by Melina Marchetta
91. No 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency by Alexander McCall Smith
92. Graceling by Kristin Cashore
93. The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver
94 .The Secret History by Donna Tartt
95. Silent Country by Di Morrissey
96. Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel
97. Her Fearful Symmetry by Audrey Niffenegger
98. The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd
99. Still Alice by Lisa Genova
100. The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle
101. Gallipoli by Les Carlyon

Now I’ve oft said that I’m a bit of a book snob but I do love all kinds of books and I love a list cos it gets me thinking about what I love, hate and think is kind of meh. This list is a good one cos it’s got some great “literary” fiction but also some popular stuff so is clearly a representation of what people generally like.

The list actually contains a number of my all time favourites:

The Poisonwood Bible
The Time Traveller’s Wife
Pride & Prejudice
Jane Eyre
The Road (gracious me I’m glad I read that before I had the Bebito)
The Shadow of the Wind
Cloudstreet
The Life of Pi
The Book Thief (for a review of this head over to Mrs. P’s blog – she loved it as much as I did!)
The Harry Potter series (I SO wish I wrote those books cos I know I have it in me!)
Atonement
To Kill a Mockingbird
A Fine Balance
The Secret History
Anna Karenina (oh, the tragedy!)

It’s also got some I absolutely loathed – the Twilight saga for one, and I refuse to touch the Da Vinci code or any Dan Brown – I just can’t bring myself to do it given the ridiculous amount of hype (yes I know I’m a hypocrite about this cos HP had even more hype associated with it!) a

I’ve also read some on the list that I felt very ho hum about like Pillars of the Earth and Memoirs of a Geisha and I’ve read pretty much every Bryce Courteney book but never adored any of them. I’m also really meh about Jodi Piccoult and I’ve tried reading Matthew Reilly but it’s just not my cup of tea.

It’s missing the Siri Hustvedt/Margaret Atwood/Haruki Murakami loves I have but that’s my taste and I know not what everyone else loves.

It’s got some I’m keen to add to the To Be Read list too.

What do you think of the list? Does it have some of your faves and some you loathe too? Is your absolute favourite missing?