Monday, 1 February 2016

Monday Mania and Some New Penguin Books

It has been a bit crazy in Tasmania the past couple of weeks.  We have had the western half of the state covered in bush fires, one count was as many as 80 separate fires, many in very remote areas.

Then came the water. A deluge of rain covering, wouldn't you know it, the eastern half of the state and lightning sparking 16 more fires in the west.

We have fire fighters in the state from several states on the mainland as well as some Americans who came over here with some great technology.

My favourite second hand book store, Cracked and Spineless let me know these wonderful green Penguins had been purchased by them and he set some aside for me.  Today I was in there and the flooding had come through their ceiling soaking a great many of their newer books. I always hate to see that. The books were so swollen with water Richard could not pull them off from the shelves as they appeared wedged and glued together.  Thank goodness for insurance but the loss of so many books is very sad.

I have been busy reading this month trying to get caught up on book club reads. I finished the Gilded Hour which I have spoken of previously. My Book Club book club rated Gilded Hour as 4 stars and everyone loved it. It is also the beginning of a series so we look forward to the next book that is published. We loved the characters, especially and there are lots of story lines to continue wrapping up.

I am also halfway into Magic Lobsters and Flying Tangines by J.P. Haley.
This is a fascinating book. It is translated fiction under LGBT umbrella. It takes place in Morocco and is one of the quirkiest tales I have gotten into for awhile. More to come later.

I will say the descriptive writing makes one feel as though they are in this dusty little town south of Morocco. You can smell the decay in the buildings. You can laugh at the manipulative female characters and feel exhausted by all that happens.

Then I finally finished All The Light We Cannot See, the Pulitzer Prize winning novel about WWII by Anthony Doerr.  I won't even try to review this book because I know a lot of people have done better than I could.  I will say it must be the best book I have read in a very long time. If I had to think of one word to describe the writing I would have to say, "Exquisite".  Our Fullers Shop book club will talk about it in more depth on Thursday night.

Our next books for the book clubs are The Light Between Oceans by M.L. Stedman.  Our group will see the movie once it is produced.

Also the The Lady in the Van is to be discussed. The movie will be here in March and we have set a date to see that together. It should be a lot of fun. I love Maggie Smith.

Reading I am behind with? Yes, my Spin Book was supposed to have been reviewed by 1 February. It is a vintage Penguin about New South Wales. I do still want to have a look at it and I have another short story in the Deal Me In Challenge to do TODAY!

So much to read so little time. In my defence, I did finish the Photoshop Course I signed up for. Thirteen lessons of reading, exercises, assignments and exams.  I had hoped to have it done by Christmas but me and the best laid plans of course. But that is a large chunk of time I have gotten back. Now to start all the photographic projects.

Our writing group begins this Wednesday. I am the facilitator for the next 6 month and that will be a new experience.  I need to get cracking and get some pieces turned out. We are putting together a book of our writer's work for 2015. That should be finished soon and off for printing.

Friday I have a performance to see at The Theatre Royal, which I do look forward to. Then Saturday we have a 3 day motorbike ride through the highlands of the state to the far northwest coast. A ride of more than 500 kms (300 miles). Another ride the following day from the cabin that 5 of us are staying in and then the ride home on the Monday which is a bank holiday for Regatta Day. The only state I know of that has a public holiday for boat races. That is Australia for you.

I will post up some of the travel photos that occur next week as the state is beautiful. I hope some of the fires are out and we don't end up in heavy smoke and that the flood waters have receded.

So far there has been a great start to 2016 and already it feels as though we are more than a month into it.

The Penguin is exhausted from all of the activity so we will take a couple of days this week to work on our Macro on a Tabletop challenge, due Friday for the Hobart Photographic Society.

What have you been up to this week and what book has been in your hands this week? And where has it taken you?

May the Penguin smile upon you.............

Places travelled this week through books:  Germany, France, Morocco, countryside south of Morocco.


  1. my gosh, i don't see how you can do all those things-remarkable! that was a real tragedy that happened to "cracks and spines", i don't suppose there's anyway to save them, maybe pressure with heat? except then they'd most likely warp or mold. darn... i read that wood smoke is more dangerous than cigarette smoke; hope those fires are out. the book-of-the-week was a collection of short stories by galsworthy, checkov, london, norris, crane, and lagerlof. it was the first galsworthy i've tried; it was a character study about a very old sailor who loses control of his shipping company(the stoic). kind of sad but well written.

  2. After reading all the things you've been doing and are planning to do, I think I need to go back to bed for a nap! You are certainly having an interesting and full life. The Lady in the Van has just opened at the theater up the street from us. I hope to go see that this week. I love Maggie Smith, too. I'm glad you liked All the Light We Cannot See. "Exquisite" is a very good way to describe it. My heart is breaking for the soggy books at the shop. What a shame! Have fun on your motorbike ride. That's quite a ride!

  3. That is very high praise for All the Light We Cannot See! I've borrowed it from the library twice now and returned it unread both times. Hoping the third time is the charm. The Light Between Oceans is very good and I enjoyed The Lady in the Van, too. Saw the movie previews last week and look forward to seeing it. May have to go with friends though... my husband was not impressed ;-)

  4. I am going to have to read All The Light We Cannot See. I see it over and over and over, and trusted blogging friends such as yourself have loved it. I tried it three times, and somehow couldn't get past page 30, but I will try again.

    I love hearing about your life in a different country than mine. Thanks for sharing about it. xo


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