More than 100 buildings have been destroyed and the air is thick with smoke. Big heavy billowy clouds of smoke. This morning I laid in bed reading a bit and tears ran down my cheeks from the smoke burning my eyes. I don't like it at all.
It is a catastrophe here and there are many very devastated families. Even Julia Gillard, our Prime Minister came yesterday and was near tears standing by the school that has been destroyed in Dunalley on the east coast at the top of the Tasman Peninsula. One small village with only three buildings left standing on their main road. The Tasman Peninsula has always had a dark history. Stories from the penal settlement of Port Arthur were dire. The mass shooting at Port Arthur was a nightmare some people have never awakened from and now the entire peninsula is on fire.
I also learned on Saturday a dear friend of mine died from her illness she has been battling for two years. Her funeral was yesterday. However, ironically she died a few days before the house burned her home to the ground as she lived in Dunalley. Strangely enough the only thing that survived on the entire property was a tree she bonsai-ed (sp?) that was 30 years old. It was as if her spirit survived in a small way. Like they say, "It never rains but it pours. "
So as much as I have been reading I find I am re-reading pages of the Penguin book of Four Stories from American Women. I am half way through the Sarah Orne Jewett novella and find myself having to flip back two or three pages to re-read because I am simply not concentrating. So I am reading Michael Connelly's latest crime book, The Black Box I gave my husband for Christmas. We like him and have read all of his books and it is really good escapism. I will continue with that as well as the Penguin Classic.
Each Sunday morning is the big market north of Hobart in Glenorchy. I often go there and have a walk around. There is a lot of junk, lots of plants that sell cheaply and quite a few books. I thought I'd get on the scooter and have a ride and do a bit of Penguin hunting as well as see if I could find anything else I just liked.
|The Sunday Glenorchy Market - runs every Sunday year round|
These are the books I came home with.
Island Affair by Eleanor Alliston: This was a complete surprise. Years ago I read the first book by this couple, Escape to an Island. It is the ongoing story about Eleanor and John Alliston who sold everything they had after World War II, leaving England and settling on Three Hummock Island. This island is thirty miles off the north coast of Tasmania and they struggle yet survive making a new, quieter, if extremely isolated life for themselves and their family. I had no idea the story continued in a second book.
|I have had Escape to an island for years, Island Affair is the sequel |
I found that I didn't know existed.
A vintage Penguin book of Italian Short Stories- Racconti Italiani, Penguin number 2196 published in 1965.
Hey, it's a Penguin. Of course I would pick it up.
The next book I found was They Called Me The Wildman: The Prison Diary of Henricke Nelson by Robert Hollingworth. The inside flap of the dust jacket describes it as "Australian identity has been shaped as much by obscure minorities trying to make their way in a harsh colonial environment as by grand historical figures and events. In They Called Me The Wildman author R. Hollingworth vividly relates a previously untold fragment of this nation's history through the captivating voice of Swedish immigrant Henricke Nelsen.
I also found two books of Natural History. I always find it hard to pass by books about birds. Not so much the identification guides but a book that tells me something about finding the birds, or describing their behaviours. This one is called Bird Wonders of Australia and looks to have interesting stories of the quirky things birds do whilst mating or nest building. Good to dip into and some nice colour photographs. Published in 1956.
|How on earth and why did this bird evolve with these colours?!|
The final book I picked up I bought for 50 cents because it had the V of Vintage Publishers on the spine, it's not too long and it sounds interesting. Published 1995. The Unloved by Deborah Levy is described as "set in a French chateau (in a subversion of the English country house murder mystery), it begins with an inquiry into the death of an Englishwoman during a game of Murder in the Dark. An international group of tourists has been celebrating Christmas together, an experience that has involved a great deal of brooding intensity, glimpses of skeletons in cupboards and sexual versatility...Levy attempts to convey the loneliness at the heart of human existence and the damage wrought by the absence of love. It is apparently the novelist's third book.
When I got it home and looked through it more closely I saw it has a lengthy inscription on the inside front cover. I always find inscriptions, especially long ones quite intriguing to read and this one was no different. It made me wonder about the sender of the book as well as the receiver and how it came to end up in a junky book stall at a very dodgy market. I always want to know their tales.
The inscription reads: "My oldest and dearest friend, The present is late, unwrapped, no longer a surprise, and pretty damn average!! I apologise for all of these things, and in doing so, have just realised that the indelible words I print on this page also mean if you hate it you'll have to learn to live with it- cos you can't return it!......sorry!
Anyway, I hope you had an excellent Christmas, and your New Year is loaded with Kick-Arse fun!
I love you, and despite the fact I'm an outcast, I hope you love back (me that is!)
May you worship James Bond eternally , king of sex and cool. Love and sexual fantasies, (her name which I blocked out) xxxx(a.k.a. Pussy Galore!)
**************************************************Lots of exclamation marks. Well I hope you enjoy perusing this strange acquisition of yet more books to be put onto the TBR pile. Which one would you read first??