Bookish (and not so bookish) Thoughts

messina

1. I have a saying – “Gelato Messina is on the way home from everywhere.” Think you can handle 40 flavours? Knock yourself out.

2. While we’re on Gelato Messina, last night I had their special of the week – Old Gregg. It was sublime.

3. Which is the perfect segue into the Baileys Prize. If you haven’t connected the dots, watch this (and laugh). Continue reading

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I’ve got a problem and it’s called ‘Send Sample Now’

My problem looks like this:

send-sample-now-amazon

Because having a free sample sent to my Kindle is not the same as buying books willy-nilly. And I might not like the book – that’s why there’s samples. You read the sample and, if you want to keep reading, buy the book. Read the sample…. Oh wait. That’s my problem. The reading the sample bit.

I’ve got to either start reading the samples or stop requesting them. And I certainly can’t buy all the books I have samples for (because that would be #ALLTHEBOOKS). So I declare 2015 the Year of the Samples. Each Saturday (let’s call it Sample Saturday), I’ll read a couple of samples and seek your advice on what I should I pursue and what I should ditch. A problem shared is a problem halved. Thanks in advance.

I’ll start tomorrow. Brace yourselves.

Bookish (And Not So Bookish) Thoughts

best books of 2013

It’s a bunch of random thoughts. Some are about books. Others are about beds, vague-booking and same-sex marriage. Join in the fun at Bookishly Boisterous.

1. Further to my Best Books of 2013 List of Lists last week, I spotted this nifty infograph (above) on Twitter that rounds up the book titles that most critics have cited in their 2013 Best-of lists (via @Angelo85) Continue reading

Is this love that I’m feeling? The Kindle Paperwhite

A month ago I mentioned I was having issues with my Kindle. I couldn’t solve the problem easily and decided that reading is simply too big and too important in my life to be pissing around with devices that don’t work to my satisfaction (and yes, e-book naysayers will be chiming in with ‘Books never malfunction!’ but I won’t enter into a debate on that issue as I enjoy both e-books and paper books for different reasons).

Yesterday my new Kindle Paperwhite arrived. And the question is this (in the words of eighties legend, Alison Moyet) –

And the answer is yes, yes it is love. But let me qualify that. Continue reading

First Chapter First Paragraph Tuesday – ‘Me and You’ by Niccolo Ammaniti

me-and-you-niccolo-ammaniti

First Chapter, First Paragraph Tuesday is hosted by Diane at Bibliophile by the Sea – it’s is a weekly meme where you share the first paragraph (or two) from a book you are considering reading.

I was browsing the virtual aisles for some enticing fiction for the 2013 Translation Reading Challenge when I came across Me and You by Italian author, Niccolò Ammaniti. Here’s the first paragraph – Continue reading

Emma’s Reading List

My friend Emma and her family are about to head off on a long road trip. They’ll be camping. When the sun goes down each night there won’t be any modern distractions (television, iPads, playing on phones). She’s bought herself a Kindle and asked me “So, what should I read?”. This is Emma’s list (in no particular order of fabulousness).

Contemporary Literature

The Cider House Rules by John Irving
Last Night in Twisted River by John Irving
We Need to Talk About Kevin by Lionel Shriver
Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer
The Art of Fielding by Chad Harbach
Less Than Zero by Brett Easton Ellis
Bee Season by Myla Goldberg Continue reading

Kindle #fail

the-childhood-of-jesus

Small problem – Kindle fail. My trusty old Kindle won’t sync.

I still have the very first Kindle – the ‘chunky’ white one with a keyboard and only one ‘Prev Page’ button. In fact, I was probably one of the first Australian customers to have a Kindle – I ordered it the nano-second it was released internationally and it arrived three days later! I still remember the wonder of turning it on for the first time to be greeted by the words ‘Kate’s Kindle’. The books that I’d bought while the device was in transit were magically there, waiting to be read. In those days, people approached me in cafes to ask me what I was reading on… to think no one had seen e-readers a few years ago! Continue reading

First Chapter First Paragraph Tuesday – ‘Mrs Robinson’s Disgrace’ by Kate Summerscale

mrs-robinsons-disgrace-the-private-diary-of-a-victorian-lady

First Chapter First Paragraph Tuesday, hosted by Diane at Bibliophile by the Sea, is a weekly meme where you share the first paragraph (or two) from a book you are considering reading.

My choice this week is from Mrs Robinson’s Disgrace by Kate Summerscale. I’m not normally attracted to books heavy on historical fact but this work of non-fiction apparently reads like a story. Continue reading

First Chapter First Paragraph Tuesday

You could really spend a lot of time blogging, couldn’t you? I refer to my blog as a ‘fabulous time-waster’ because it is. It’s ace fun but the fact remains that while I’m busy writing book reviews, it’s time not spent on writing the stuff I’m paid to write. Which doesn’t matter because it’s my hobby and hobbies are meant to be fun, fabulous time-wasters. That said, if I participated in everything that the book-blogging world had to offer (memes, reading challenges, read-alongs, online book groups), my arse would become permanently affixed to my computer chair.

Until now, Tuesday has been ‘Top Ten Tuesday‘ for me. But it’s a new year and I thought I might just dabble in a few other memes (but limiting myself to just one a week because of the whole arse/ computer chair thing).

First Chapter First Paragraph Tuesday, hosted by Diane at Bibliophile by the Sea caught my eye. You basically post the opening paragraph or two of a book you’re considering reading. I really like the idea of this because – Kindle. Samples. My samples are out of control. I have more than a hundred. I think of them as my ‘reading transit lounge’ – books that haven’t made it to my shelf but also haven’t been ignored. No one likes being in a state of limbo.

So every few weeks, I’m going to actually read a couple of those samples, participate in First Chapter First Paragraph Tuesday and decide whether to buy or bin the book. Continue reading