30 December, 2012

2012 - The End is Nigh!

The end of 2012 is approaching, so I thought I should make some attempt to end this year with all my reading listed! Here's what I've read since I last posted.

The Shadow of the Wind (The Cemetery of Forgotten Books, #1)
The Shadow of the Wind - Carlos Ruiz Zafon
This was another book from my list of books from other blogs. I know that at some stage I thought it would be good for a challenge I did in 2011, so it's been there awhile. I thought I was wading through this, but suddenly found myself almost at the end! A book to make you think and wonder - a love story, a mystery, pure literature and totally absorbing! I'm looking forward to the sequel which is waiting for me at home.

Small Gods (Discworld, #13)
Small Gods - Terry Pratchett
And the journey through Pratchett continues. I was half way through this when my kindle died. *sob* Thankfully my new kindle arrived just before we left for two weeks away so I was able to continue and finish it! Yay for Pratchett!

And that is basically it! I'm almost finished Wolf Hall (95% on my kindle), but it requires such concentration that I won't guarantee I'll finish before New Year's Eve.

So in the end I finish the year with 84 definite finishes, hopefully 85. You can view my 2012 list here.

I have decided to continue to blog in 2013, although it will no longer be solely a book blog. I [plan to use GoodReads a lot more to track my reading. Feel free to follow me over there.In the meantime, if I don't get back in here before New Year, I hope you have a wonderful and safe new year and your 2013 brings many, many good books.

16 December, 2012


Like many around the world I woke up yesterday to the devastating news of another school shooting in America - and like many around the world my heart broke for the victims, their families and friends and the survivors.

I can't decide if this man's look if relief at finding his child alive or appealing to a higher being to explain this.
This is relief

I quickly flicked through a few twitter posts, some online news stories - growing anger that this had happened again and once again large amounts of America did not want to talk about gun control. 
You see, I hate guns. See no reason for them to be in a suburban setting. See no reason for any civilian to possess something that can spray a large number of bullets in a very short period of time. I live in Australia and after a horrific massacre at Port Arthur in 1996,  the Australian government introduced strict gun control laws in the face of opposition from farmer and gun lobby groups. But they did it - and it worked. In the 18 years before 1996, Australia suffered 13 mass shootings. There has not been one since.
 Port Arthur, Tasmania. The site of Australia's last mass shooting
Anyway, I went through my day - kids activities, shopping, gathering of friends at my place last night for end of year drinks. But all day I checked twitter, news feeds - looking for ?? answers, I suppose.
And then last night, after our guests had gone and I sat down, I picked up my tablet one more time, to just check before bed and read that the children killed were aged between 5 and 10. My kids are 7 and 10. I broke down, I sobbed, I hurt. I tried, so hard, to imagine that those warm little bodies upstairs asleep were gone and I couldn't, I couldn't go there. How, I asked my husband, how do you go to sleep tonight? How do you reconcile that child you dropped off at school that morning with your brutal, harsh reality of now. His answer - you don't. Even now as I type this I cry. I cry for all who have suffered in this and a cry for a whole nation that is hurting, but must start taking steps, must start the conversation. . 

Victoria Soto - a teacher who died protecting her students 
 Finally - Walter Mikac who lost his children and wife at Port Arthur has, since that day refused to say or write the name of the gunman. Too often in these crimes we remember the name of the perpetrator, but not the victims. I too refuse to name the gunman -  in either of these terrible events. But here is a list of those who deserve to be remembered, both from Port Arthur and Sandy Hook, remember them, for they deserve your time and thoughts, as do all the victims of these horrific crimes.
Port Arthur Massacre - Australia 1996
Winifred Joyce Aplin, 58
Walter John Bennett, 66
Nicole Louise Burgess, 17
Sou Leng Chung, 32
Elva Rhonda Gaylard, 48
Zoe Anne Hall, 28
Elizabeth Jayne Howard, 26
Mary Elizabeth Howard, 57
Mervyn John Howard, 55
Ronald Noel Jary, 71
Tony Vadivelu Kistan, 51
Leslie Dennis Lever, 53
Sarah Kate Loughton, 15
David Martin, 72
Noelene Joyce Martin, 69
Pauline Virjeana Masters, 49
Alannah Louise Mikac, 6
Madeline Grace Mikac, 3
Nanette Patricia Mikac, 36
Andrew Bruce Mills, 49
Peter Brenton Nash, 32
Gwenda Joan Neander, 67
Moh Yee Willing Ng, 48
Anthony Nightingale, 44
Mary Rose Nixon, 60
Glen Roy Pears, 35
Russell James Pollard, 72
Janette Kathleen Quin, 50
Helene Maria Salzmann, 50
Robert Graham Salzmann, 57
Kate Elizabeth Scott, 21
Kevin Vincent Sharp, 68
Raymond John Sharp, 67
Royce William Thompson, 59
Jason Bernard Winter, 29

Sandy Hook, USA - 2012

Charlotte Bacon, 6
Daniel Barden, 7
Olivia Engel, 6

Josephine Gay, 7
Ana Marquez-Greene, 6
Dylan Hockley, 6
Madeleine Hsu, 6
Catherine Hubbard, 6
Chase Kowalski, 7
Jesse Lewis, 6
James Mattioli, 6
Grace McDonnell, 7
Emilie Parker, 6
Jack Pinto, 6
Noah Pozner, 6
Caroline Previdi, 6
Jessica Rekos, 6
Avielle Richman, 6
Benjamin Wheeler, 6
Allison Wyatt, 6
Rachel Davino, 29
Dawn Hochsprung, 47
Anne Marie Murphy, 52
Lauren Rousseau, 30
Mary Sherlach, 56
Victoria Soto, 27

14 December, 2012

I also sew!

I have another blog which focuses on my quilting.  I'm thinking of merging the two - sewing and reading. To see how it goes, for the rest of this year I will be posting my sewing here as well as over on my other blog.

Recently I participated in a Doll's Quilt swap where I made a small, doll sized quilt for someone and another quilter made one for me. Here's the results.

I thought I should blog the doll's quilt I sent and the one I received!

I sent this little number to Caz over at The Accidental Quilter

Rainbow Dreams

I used this tutorial from One flew Over and I loved how it came together. I'm always scared of sending something off to someone else so was very happy when Caz was pleased with it.

The quilt I received came from the lovely and talented Carmel over at Solomon Sewing

Poppy Breeze

I love the colours and the light breezy feel of it. The quilting is exquisite and it now hangs at the bottom of my stairs where I get to look at it every morning as I come down - it never fails to make me smile!

I really enjoyed this swap and hopefully may participate in a few more next year...might even run one myself...

Another two reads

Instead of posting individual reviews, I'm just going to do posts that list what I have finished recently. As I said before, I'm not sure where I'm going with the blog, but want to track my reading until the end of 2012 at least.

So recently I have finished:

Room - Emma Donoghue
It took me a bit to get use to the writing style of Donoghue, but once I got into the swing of it this book sucked me right in. Would love to see it made into a movie.

Yummy: The Last Days of a Southside Shorty - G Neri and Randy DuBurke
This graphic novel is based on the violent death of Robert "Yummy" Sandifer, an eleven year old Chicago gang member who shot and killed a young girl and then was hunted and killed by his own gang. It's confronting and it's heart breaking. Told through the eyes of one of Yummy's class mates, it's an attempt to make sense of the events that happened and how an eleven year old boy ends up a killer. Gut wrenching.

My First Challenge for 2013

A friend of mine, who writes the gorgeous blog Little White Dove was disappointed with her lack of reading this year. Now before you say (think) any thing - she is a writer, prolific crafter, photographer and mum - not surprised she hasn't had much reading time! Anyway, to challenge herself to read more she has started the 13 in'13 reading challenge. Put quite simply, read 13 books ( of the no-pictures-not-for-small-people variety) in 2013.

Now when I said I might sign up for this challenge I could hear the cyber snickers.

I think you'll leave the rest of us in your dust!! 

Kylie will kick our butts.

(Quotes from FB!)

So to make it more interesting, I (and anyone else who choose to) will have to read 13 books from 13 different genres. The list is:
Graphic novel

I'm putting in my own condition that they cannot be re-reads - nothing I have read before! I am open to suggestions for any of the categories - especially motivational and spiritual - not books I naturally choose. Please give me some ideas!


11 December, 2012

Long Time No Blog

Well it's been awhile since I blogged, but I'm still reading. Truth be told I'm not sure what is going to happen with the blog - may take a break, may stop, may change it's purpose. I know however that I am not enjoying it as much - seeing it more as a chore and that's not what it's suppose to be about. So from now until the end of the year, I will pop in, update my reading list - maybe post a review (or not) and then in the new year. who knows! I'm not blogging on my craft blog either and I think part of it is trying to maintain two, so I might merge them into one! If you are one of my few followers, stay around, until Feb/ Mar next year at least and I should have a decision!

So, I'm not going to post reviews, but here is what I have been reading.

Various Positions - Martha Schabas
 I really enjoyed this but was confused by reviews on GoodReads that suggested it was a YA book.  I never saw it as such and my library has it shelved in the adult fiction area so I'm not sure where the idea came from. It's dark and it's nasty - definitely not YA!

Fifty Shades Darker - E L James
I promised myself I wouldn't, but I find it so hard to read only one in a series! Slightly better written than the first, Ana slightly less annoying, but I still don't get the huge attraction of these books or of Mr Grey. Yes he is rich and gorgeous, but he is also controlling and totally unreasonable in some of his demands

Reaper Man - Terry Prtachett
 Ah, my beloved Pratchett, what more can I say!

The Vanishing Point - Val McDermid
 The first of McDermid's I've read that didn't have Tony Hill as the lead character. I enjoyed it and finished it in less than 24 hours - been a long time since I've done that!

The Interrogation of Ashala Wolf - Ambelin Kwaymullina
So we went camping the other weekend and someone (most probably one of the kids) I think sat on my kindle and broke it! So while I am waiting for Amazon to send a replacement (their customer service is pretty good!) I've decided to start going through this list of books I've take from other bloggers. Basically working through it, using the library. This was first cab off the rank - not bad. Has potential.

Afterwards - Rosamund Lupton
Took me a little while to get into it, but really enjoyed it in the end. Interesting idea really.

Fifty Shades Freed - E L James
See comment above on Fifty Shades Darker. Every time I see that #1 New York Times Bestseller tag I think - really??

Witches Abroad - Terry Pratchett
Pure Pratchett!