Friday, 13 November 2015

Looking Ahead to 2016

Our first book read for
the Fuller's Group
Feb 2016
I am looking ahead to 2016 because I am trying to ignore Christmas. I am wondering if it can sneak past me and not be noticed. Wish me luck.

I have been thinking a lot about  next year's reading goals. Since I seem to finally be  succeeding at some of my goals after 6 decades no sense in stopping now.

I have some TBR books on the shelves and of course all of my Penguin books stare at me.  I am in a book club at Fuller's book shop so that will keep me up on some of the modern literature going around.

I also have not done any Read-Alongs before.  So I am not putting up any lists yet for the coming year but I am going to dig deeper into the ideas.  I am starting with a trial run with Jane Austen's Emma in December this  year. I am looking forward to it.

Lots of penguins
marching around my house.
Some of the ideas floating around my head are.   * Read the Penguins.  Especially the ones from the 50's and 60's.  I need to fill in my Century of Books challenge more. This will be a good way to do it.

*Read the books for the book group and enjoy the discussions. This always ensures I read books I normally wouldn't choose which is always interesting.

*Join in some of the Read-A-Longs.  There are many of these that happen throughout the year from people on my Blogroll.  I have subscribed to all those listed on my blogroll so I get the emails immediately telling me when a post has come. I am finding it easier to keep up with people, allowing me to make more comments on their blog. That in turn increases visitors and conversation and that is fun.

Then I think there will be a category called Accidental Finds. These are the books you read about in someone else's blog, a review in a book, some book that flies down from the clouds and hits you in the face. The books that are "accidentally in your life".  That will offer spontaneity. 
Cousin Eddie is having his
second birthday on Sunday.
He will be 2 years old.

I think these three areas are a good starting point.

I will also continue to post up any posts re: Penguin Hunting excursions and finds.  

Of course I will keep people up on my cats and dogs as that seems to be a drawing card of interest. We all love each other's pets. 

I might put up the odd photo-art I am working on developing skills in this new found interest.  I think that sums it.

I'll include book happenings and miscellaneous events happening around me in Tasmania as I love people to learn about this state and my life here. Maybe you'll visit and allow me to show you parts of it.
Always finding something to do.

So here's for fine tuning these goals as we get closer to that magical date of 1 January, 2016.


* Book Club Books
* Accidental Books

Sunday, 8 November 2015

Springtime in Tasmania

All ready to ride off into summer
It is springtime in Tasmania and  lots of things are going on.  My reading has picked up even though I said it probably wouldn't until after Christmas. The reading mood has finally hit after being pretty dormant for awhile.

I am looking ahead to 2016 to reading and blogging much more than I did this year.  This year has been the Year of the Student and the decluttered house.  The student being ME.

I am more than halfway through the Photoshop course I am taking and seem to be picking it up quite easily with only a couple of real stumbling blocks to pick through. Our Photographic Society has challenges each month that I have completed and also several training sessions.  I want to get this photography skill level well and truly under my belt by Christmas so it has been a priority over everything else.

Our last play of the year for
Play Reading class in U3A
I am still doing the Play Reading sessions and we have had great fun with Electra by Sophocles and The Wasps by Aristophanes.  When I learned this is what we would be reading I had a bit of a panic thinking I would be completely bored as I know nothing of these early classics.  But it was so much fun. Our class divided up into the choruses and adapted our voices to fit the characters. I found both of these plays really entertaining, not to mention how relevant they remain to today's society.

We are still working on Electra and will finish up the term with it in another couple of weeks. Then summer holidays kick in and we will pick up the class again in March next year.

I have a 6 week photography class beginning next Tuesday evening to really understand all the little buttons on  my DSLR Canon 600D.  I have been enjoying learning about the different lenses available on eBay. I do wish I was wealthy at times. Camera equipment is like anything else......expensive!

On Wednesday afternoon I am spending my time with a small writer's group and we are busily compiling a publication to feature the member's writing.  I will only put one or two pieces in as I have not been writing all year like the others.

A remarkable journey.
Books read:  I finished up Walking the Nile by Levison Wood. I understand the BBC or someone made a TV series of it. I would really like to watch it.  I loved the book as I learned a tremendous amount of history of the countries that border the Nile River.  I thought at times the author was rather careless with his life especially when traipsing into a desert without enough water. He did experience very high and low points including a tragedy that probably could most likely have been avoided.  He certainly had a Guardian Angel sitting on his shoulder at times. The characters that accompanied him were fun and interesting. I liked the camels. They had their own personalities also.

A lightweight Australian
whaling tale.
I read Rush Oh by Australian writer, Shirley Barrett  for our Fuller's Book Group read. Half of the group enjoyed it and the other half didn't. The reviews on Good Reads seems to reflect this as well.  It was a first time novel for the author after winning awards for her previous screenwriting.  It was based on the history of whaling at the beginning of the 20th century in Eden, New South Wales.  The only thing I knew about Eden previously is it is the location where sailors in the Sydney to Hobart yacht race every Boxing Day pull into before crossing Bass Strait if something goes wrong.

The information of how the Orcas helped the whalers round up the whales they were hunting was quite fascinating.  The writing was irritating to begin (in my humble opinion) as I thought there were too many brackets, where the author talks to the reader. She also used very lengthy sentences with a million commas which also bothered me a bit. That had settled though by the halfway mark. I enjoyed the characters and the story though it is a bit light weight.  I found it kept my interest and the family in the book.  The father was based on a real man who lived in Eden during that time.

Tom, the orca whale who featured in the book was also based on a real whale and his story can be seen in the whale museum in Eden.  The information about the skill of the Aboriginal whalers was also interesting.  I would recommend this book if you want something light and a little different.
Reading my new Penguin
in the December readalong.

I have a couple of credits waiting for me on for audio books. I think I will use them for classic books.  I enjoy listening to a classic book while following along the pages at the same time. I can see the writing but I get to hear the voices which I enjoy. I did this with Moby Dick and Middlemarch and enjoyed both experiences very much. I find I also remembered the stories much more with both visual and auditory input. After all you know what they say about the short term memory of older people.  

I haven't worked out plans for 2016 yet though I did volunteer to participate in a group reading with Dolce Bellaza in December of Emma.  I have a nice Penguin cloth bound copy of the book on my shelf and I think I will enjoy the commentary from others as we progress through the book. 
Our dog Odie is still goofy
 and we love him.

That pretty much sums up what is happening in my small part of the world.  I mention I did follow the Marie Kondo decluttering book chapter by chapter and got rid of many clothes, 1000 books, kitchen paraphernalia in the backs of closets, paper work I thought I needed but didn't and my husband got into the spirit of things and had one of his mates come with a trailer and cleaned out the garage.  It all seems to be happening this year.

I look forward to reading, blogging, scooter riding, photography, writing and play reading and Penguin hunting in 2016 and I hope you enjoy coming along on the journey with the Penguin (who might have a fancier wardrobe next year due to my new photoshop skills.)
Mr Travellin' Penguin
is feeling quite casual these