Thursday, 10 July 2014

Winter Blues and Books

We are well and truly enmeshed in winter here and it is all a bit blah.  You know the feeling. Grey dreary days. A bit of drizzle but not enough wet to do the garden any good. The birds look cold outdoors. Days are short.

Books abound but having to push myself to get through them though some are much better than others.    I'm still going with Moby Dick.  I put it aside for a bit while I read Moonstone for July book group. I am on chapter 60 right now so a fair ways still to go.

On a bright note Moonstone by Wilkie Collins had enthusiastic discussion at our book club meeting. I think we talked about it for almost 2 hours plus other books we are reading.

It is a wonderful book if a bit wordy but that was what they did when it was written in the 1860's.  The book is briefly about an Indian moonstone that is supposed to be the birthday gift of an aristocratic young woman. She receives it without any problem but it goes missing the night of her birthday and the rest of the book is trying to find it. The moonstone is actually a rather large diamond so it is quite valuable.

The story is broken into parts told by various narrators that are involved in the story.  The mystery is solved and that's all I'm saying. There was a lot of humour, more than I expected, in the book.  It was most enjoyable and though long because of the wordiness (can take several pages to get up a staircase) we all enjoyed it in our group as we discussed it while eating chocolate and drinking tea.

For a totally opposite book I also read Orange Is The New Black by Piper Kerman. Many of you will know it is also a television series, one of which I am totally addicted to and am anxiously waiting for season two.  I ordered the book at the library months ago and it finally came in.  I enjoyed the book though I must say there is more action on the t.v. series.  By the time the book arrived at the library I had watched all of series one so I was very familiar with it.  I found it to be an interesting story of a woman's year spent in minimum security prison.  I found it interesting that she actually didn't get to prison until 10 years after she committed her crime by which time she was out of the drug carrying business and quite settled with her life and about to get married. I wondered by then what the point was of locking her up.  But society doesn't often explain itself sensibly so this was another example.

Another book I have just started from the library is a series of stories called Raft by author and doctor Howard Goldenberg. I read a review of this book on an Australian website, sorry, I can't remember whose.  It is the true story of a man who works with indigenous people in Australia and the review made it sound quite interesting.  I am just about to start it.

Last, but not least our August book club read is Richard Flanagan's latest, The New Road to the Deep North. This is a memoir of his uncle and his experiences during WWII. Richard Flanagan is from Tasmania and is one of Australia's top writers.  He is also quite outspoken about environmental issues which are largely ignored by our government recently and he stirs a few pots.  However the book is quite separate from that. Should be an interesting read.

That's the news from this part of Hobart and nothing too exciting happening right now.

Animals asleep in various warmest parts of the house, mainly under blankets and donnas. It is too wet and cold for scootering, we're drinking too much coffee, tea and milo because the heat is comforting and trying to sort out reading for this month.

Looking forward to spring. What are you up to this week???

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