Wednesday, 13 March 2013

Books, Cats and Housework

Today was just a mish mash of things to catch up on.  I have finished two books recently that fall into Crime-Time.  After all it is summer, people drop in, dogs need to run and jobs around the house never go away. It's too hot some days to think.

I am a Michael Connelly fan. I read everything he writes and his latest book The Black Box was one of his better ones (or so I thought.)

Yes, I will also admit to reading James Patterson. Now everyone knows he turns out books like the local butcher churns out sausages but years ago I began the Alex Cross Detective series and it just goes on and on. The latest one,book number 20 in the series is Alex Cross Run.  It is on Kindle so I downloaded it as T. , my husband also reads them. Kindle is good value for a book you don't wish to keep and when there are two readers of the book in the same house and the wait at the library is more than 100 days.

I was disappointed with the last Alex Cross book but this one, although again kind of gory kept me turning the pages and I finished it in two sittings.  All I can say about both of these books is if you like Alex Cross this is one of the better ones.

I find most of these mass market crime books are formulaic with perhaps an odd twist but that isn't anything I ever expect. They are pure escapism and I enjoy them.

I am also part way through Gillian Mears' book Foal's Bread.  It is an Australian book and was short listed for the Miles Franklin Award in 2012 although it didn't win it. I will probably do a separate post on this book as I am enjoying it so far. It is going to be discussed at our Book Group meeting the first week of April so I will put up a post about it after that meeting. It certainly has a lot more substance though than the other two pictured above.

As mentioned in yesterday's post I thought I'd do a quick chat about the books I found in the Red Cross Op shop yesterday.  I started this summer in a bit of a reading slump. I think my own expectations were just too high of deep, chunky obscure classic books and it was just too hard when I attempted it. That is a winter project.  So I have been reading shorter, quicker books of different varieties and this is what I look for on my own shelves as well as the ones in the Op shops. I need to get my reading mojo back and I think it's happening.  I want something I can read in a couple of sittings and then move it on.  I quite enjoy releasing books into the wild on cafe chairs hidden under tables or bus stops.

The first book I picked up was by Clive James. I have never been a great fan of Clive James regarding his televised interviews. I think it is because he sounds too rehearsed, as though he is reading tele-prompters too much. But everyone I know who has read his writing swears by him. No idea if this is one of his better books or not but the topic appealed to me.  I also feel bad I have not read anything by him and I know he is very ill. According to the Guardian's blurb on the back it is his collection of unashamed first reactions to cities and countries after you get off the plane. Having travelled a fair bit I can understand the first impressions one gets as they drive in from the airport to their first port of call in the back of a bus or taxi. It sounds entertaining.

The Chinese Literature book is a 1987 compilation of fiction, poetry and art as can be seen on the photo of the front cover. I like the cover. I haven't read much Chinese Lit so thought this might be fun to dip into. At the cost of 50 cents, it's in good condition and I can flog it on eBay when I finish with it.

The next three books I picked up are classics. The first one is Around the World in 80 Days. I hesitate to say I have never read this book. I remember seeing the Walt Disney film years ago but it is something I have always wanted to tick off on a list. The other book I picked up on the same shelf is called The Four Beauties by H.E. Bates. I'm sure many book bloggers have read him but I haven't. I have a couple of his books in my vintage Penguin Book collection but this is a pretty sturdy copy and I can release it into the wild once finished. This copy is Penguin published book published in 1972 and that will fit nicely into my Century of Books challenge for that year. The book contains four novellas by someone who is well known for his short stories. I am looking forward to reading about these women. The last classic I picked up is called The Egoist by George Meredith. I know nothing of old George, never having read him but I liked the cover. It appears to be a bit dense in its format and evidently discusses ideas on egoism as the great enemy of truth, feeling and progress and comedy as the great dissolver of artifice. It states on the back that the theme of the book is, "the defeat of egoism by the power of comedy".  No doubt the British bloggers will know a lot more about Mr. Meredith than I do so any comments would be welcome if you have read it. It's part of Penguin's English Library series.

Last but not least I picked up a short book of John  Mortimer's plays.  Again I am not familiar with Mr. Mortimer but the three plays in the book are:  "A Voyage Round My Father"; "The Dock Brief"; "What Shall We Tell Caroline".  My play reading class has certainly spruiked my interest in plays outside the mainstream although if I lived in a large city perhaps these aren't so obscure. I have no idea but they appeal and that is a good enough reason to donate a dollar to the Red Cross.

Now I must finish up with a pet story. As most people know (who know me) we have 5 animals who share our lives. Four of them are rescue animals and the fifth was purchased 12 years ago from a used car salesman. Wally was in a box of 10 puppies. Same dad, two mums. He's another story.  Today I had jobs to do. After the tidying up and the laundry it was time to strip down the bed. Whenever I strip down the bed, Koko our beautiful oriental cross cat who we rescued several years ago loves to help change bedding.

He can be in a coma anywhere in the house but pull a sheet off a bed and he's there. He simply appears. His eyes go wide, his legs get longer and he races as fast as he can from corner to corner of the bed. Sometimes I put the sheet right over the top of him and just watch the bump run. This usually gets one of the dogs going as they love to watch him play out. It's usually them who are in the dog house so they like to see a cat get get into trouble.  However I can't scold him because he is just too funny.  Today I grabbed the camera that I haven't had out of my hands now for two weeks since I bought it and started snapping. It took ages to finish the bed because we were all having such a good time. Dogs barking at him, tails wagging, cat racing and I just laughed out loud and snapped photos. Hope you enjoy his effort... and mine!  Until next time.


  1. Isn't Koko gorgeous! - beautiful markings. I'm a Connelly fan too, but I gave up Patterson - it became so formulaic. I'm pleased he's back on form (is he really one person still?!).

    1. I heard him interviewed on the radio. He still co writes with lots of other people for various books. The interviewer asked him if he minded his reputation not being "literary"and he replied, "others do it much better than I can, I am not able to write great things so I do what I know how to" and makes millions. I quite respected him after that acknowledging there is room for all kinds of writers.

  2. I had to send your cat story to my cousin in Texas. She just got a cat named Felix from the pound. He drives her crazy. Likes to help her when she types letters on her desktop. I sort of feel sorry for him since she can't take him outside. She is in a wheelchair and is pretty much housebound. He's good company for her.

    1. Our cats are indoor cats and they are happy. They're much safer being indoors and devastate the wildlife population of small animals and birds. I'm glad she has him.

  3. Koko is a beauty, indeed! And a very helpful one with beddings, too. ;)
    Glad you had a great time with your animals. Time spent with them can be so therapeutic.

    1. I would have so much more money and time if I didn't have the 5 of them but they've all been rescued and we love them dearly and they return that love many times over. Thank you for your lovely comment.


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