Sunday, March 29, 2009

March Reading List

Reading has been taking up a lot of my time in the past few months. I have always been a book worm, losing entire days to a good book, or three less good ones. Reading has taken a back seat throughout my university years and the kids' early years. I kept telling myself that I didn't have time to read whole books, that it was an indulgence. That I had other, far more important things to do.

It's only been in the past couple of years that I have come to realise that reading is hugely important, both in understanding who I am and discovering who I want to be. Now I am wondering if I'll live long enough to read everything I want to.

The point of this ramble is that I have decided to start recording what I have read each month. Maybe you'll spot something interesting in there too, or you could just skip my self indulgent rambling. Either way is fine with me.

So this month I have read:

- The Anatomy of Wings The Anatomy of Wings by Karen Foxlee

My review

rating: 4 of 5 stars

I really connected with the author of this book. We're close in age, and she comes from the same outback town as my husband, the same one I lived in for a number of years. The novel is set in a fictitious mining town which bears striking similarities to that town. The story is narrated by a young girl, and covers the final year of her teenaged sister's life and the effect her sister's death had on the entire family.

Having lived in the town that was the inspiration for the fictitious, the sense of place had a strong influence on my enjoyment. Karen Foxlee has captured the strangeness and the beauty of these isolated towns, where the next decent sized city can be a full day's drive away. I was particularly struck by the description of her grandmother's back yard, where the lawn gives way to desert with no visible boundary - the thin and fragile veneer of civilisation masking the true wildness of nature.

View all my reviews.

The Sevenwaters Trilogy, Book 1: Daughter of the Forest The Sevenwaters Trilogy, Book 1: Daughter of the Forest by Juliet Marillier

My review

rating: 4 of 5 stars
Sometimes I go searching for a book, but this one found me. It was the name of the wicked step mother, Oonagh, that pushed me into buying it. I could see that it was fantasy, which is not usually my genre, but the Celtic basis for the characters tempted the historian in me. This book is set in Ireland and England in the ninth century, and is based on a fairy tale that I have loved since childhood. I am not going to say which one, but you'll figure it out once you get into the book.

The novelisation of fairy tales has been an idea that appealed to me, and I find it even more interesting after reading this novel. I am not much of a series reader, but I will be searching out the next one in this series.

View all my reviews.

Sula Sula by Toni Morrison

My review

rating: 5 of 5 stars
Wow. This book, like all of Toni Morrison's has layer upon layer of meaning. Sula and Nel are childhood friends, who grow up in a poor, African American settlement. The novel deals with friendship and love between women, between friend and mothers and daughters. Be warned, though, that Toni Morrison does not do happy endings. Her prose are wonderful to read. This is a book I see myself coming back to time and time again. There is too much in it to absorb in a single reading.

View all my reviews.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Happy Earth Hour, World!
Earth Hour is a much anticipated event in our household. We like candles! Though the lack of tv did begin to sting by minute 57.
We walked up the hill a little way, to a spot where we have a good view of the city. The lights were dimmer than usual; many of the offices had left their lights off for the weekend. It was exciting waiting for the lights of Story Bridge to be switched off, but all three kids weren't watching when it actually happened. Josh was disappointed that there were no fireworks. We strolled home and ate cheesecake by candlelight on the patio, watching bats and debating which planet is hottest.
It was lovely, without the constant noise of the television impeding every conversation, though I doubt our willing volunteers would be so amenable if we did it too often. So very different to my own childhood, which was without television until I was 11.
* The gorgeous wall sconce is from Dusk.

Monday, March 23, 2009

This little darling made his appearance at around 3 am today. I am still waiting to hear any details, but am thrilled that my sister sent me a picture.
Welcome little Ryan! We love you!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Please excuse the poor lighting; the sun has entirely deserted us today, and I am far to impatient to wait for a suitable day to photograph my little Easter critter. The jury is still out as to whether he is a bunny or an albino bilby that sadly has been born without a tail. He is very popular in our house, though.

The pattern came from Heart Strings Fibre Arts, and is incredibly simple. It uses a 6 inch square of stocking stitch, and the ears take moments to knit up. It must be easy, because I, the world's slowest knitter, managed to produce it in a matter of days. It'd take even less time if I wasn't so darn distractible.
The patchwork he sits upon is hoping to be my next completed project in the coming days.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

I had to share this song. It's been getting a heavy work out on my ipod recently. Heavenly harmonies!
I have not had my cherished laptop for a couple of weeks, so I have a bunch of photos to catch up on. This moon picture was taken the day before Cyclone Hamish started affecting our weather. It was a spectacular sky, with a halo around the moon and wind swept streaks of cloud.

It was amazing, how you could see the influence of the cyclone, even though it was hundreds of kilometres away.

This picture was taken at the same time the following night. It was a very dramatic sky.

My rosella bush flowered this week. I am looking forward to jars of delicious rosella jam. The flowers last less than a day, so I felt quite lucky to spot and photograph this pretty blossom. See the sneaky little freeloader? Lucky for him I am a soft touch when it comes to bugs!

I have no idea why they are called rosellas, but the strangely shaped fruit remind me of parrot feathers when they are made into jam.

There is craft work going on, so I'll take some more pics and update on that front tomorrow.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Hey! I am still alive, and I do remember the password for my blog ;) Here's a random update:

* New furniture has involved a massive amount of work, as I declutter (those who know me understand what a monumental task this is) and shuffle things to fit. Christopher is thrilled to finally have a desk in his room, I am delighted to have a new dining table, after way too many tv dinners, and Darling Hubby is pretty keen on the new-to-us TV he purchased from a workmate.

*We had a lovely trip into the city last week, to share a meal with my sister, her husband and their youngest baby. Maehbh is more gorgeous every time I see her! She's like a little doll, huge blue eyes, whispy red blonde hair and a constant smile.

*After all the excitement and buildup, Cyclone Hamish was a bit of a let-down. Damp windy days, but not nearly the rainfall we had been preparing for. The cooler overcast days have been very welcome, though! I know I am not the only blogger who pulled out the wool in readiness for autumn crafting.

*Less happy news: Our eldest child (10) was in strife at school yesterday. There has been a bullying situation, and yesterday, when it turned physical, our little guy struck back. The bully has been more severely punished, but sadly for Christopher, the fact that he punched the bully back has meant that he too is being punished. He will not be allowed to go to the end of term "Rewards Day". It is sad that he gets punished for defending himself when tackled to the ground by a larger kid. I feel guilty too, because I had become aware he was having trouble last week, but he didn't want me to go to the school, and I had started keeping a record of 'good days' and 'bad days', rather than taking immediate action. I wish I'd taken more action, but in my defence, I had no idea it would go so far. So now I am suppressing a desperate urge to mollycoddle my son, who seems far less scarred by the incident than I am.

*I am not receiving emails through my main account at the moment, though I can check my gmail account online, so it's cherubsmummy at gmail dot com if you need to contact me.