Friday, January 29, 2010

Australia Day

We have really been out and about this month, in spite of the sweltering heat. Last weekend we spent a few days in the bush, only an hour or so down the road from our place. We enjoyed the opportunity to explore a little further than a day trip allows.

We paddled in creeks filled with guppies and water skaters. Josh was disappointed to discover that this version of paddling did not involve canoes. It was so hot, and our car airconditioner is once more on strike, so any accesible creeks were considered fair game to cool ourselves off.

My favourite spot was Natural Bridge, a fascinating arch and cave caused by a creek eroding the sand stone. There are glow worms, but they are not visible during daylight hours.

Outside looking into the cave.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Birthday Drive

Another birthday out of the way. This year we took the kidlets, crammed them into the car and forced them to endure some aimless wandering through the mountains behind Brisbane. The 'are we there yet's started about ten minutes in, while we were barely through to the other side of the city. The above photo was taken at Jolly's Lookout, on the way to Mount Nebo. We meandered up the mountains, drove in to Bellbird Grove to see if we could hear bellbirds (we didn't) then up through Boombana and Mount Nebo (so many bellbirds, as well as a whip bird!! Follow the links to hear their calls.) before having lunch at Mount Glorious. So aptly named!

Exploring a creek at Bellbird Grove

Some of the picnic grounds at Bellbird Grove.

Monday, January 11, 2010

100 Books I have to read ...
Revisiting my 100 books list. I have been making progress. I have read far more books than the list implies, because this list is merely a guideline. I am inclined to make another, which shows all the other books that have caught my interest since making this list two years ago. It has been a great way to find some new favourites. Wally Lamb and Margaret Atwood spring to mind as two authors I had not really broached, but now read avidly. The Bookfest is coming up soon, and that always is a great spree!

For my 100th post celebration I have decided to branch out a little from the traditional '100 things about me' posts. Instead I have been working on a list of books I really want to read. This is not a finite list, obviously, and there are other books that I will be reading simply because I have them! The list is composed of books that I have always wanted to read, and books that have been recommended to me from various sources. Some of them are already sitting on my shelves (lucky me!), and I will mark them with an *.

1. Anna Karenina - Leo Tolstoy

2. Candide - Voltaire

3. White Oleander - Janet Fitch

4. I Know This Much is True - Wally Lamb*

5. The Handmaid's Tale - Margaret Atwood*

6. Love in the Time of Cholera - Gabriel Garcia Marquez*

7. Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy - John LeCarre

8. She's Come Undone - Wally Lamb

9. The Inferno - Dante

10. The Canterbury Tales - Geoffrey Chaucer

11. Paradise Lost - John Milton

12. Vanity Fair - William Makepeace Thackery

13. Tess of the D'Urbevilles - Thomas Hardy

14. The Portrait of a Lady - Henry James*

15. Bleak House - Charles Dickens

16. The Great Gatsby - F. Scott Fitzgerald*

17. Sons and Lovers - D. H. Lawrence *

18. The Power and the Glory - Grahame Greene

19. Decline and Fall - Evelyn Waugh

20. Scoop - Evelyn Waugh

21. Brideshead Revisited - Evelyn Waugh*

22. The Catcher in the Rye - J. D. Salinger

23. Madame Bovary - Gustaye Flaubert *

24. The Plague - Albert Camus

25. Middlemarch - George Elliot*

26. The Brothers Karamazov - Fyodor Dostoevsky

27. One Hundred Years of Solitude - Gabriel Garcia Marquez *

28. The Age of Innocence - Edith Wharton

29. Beloved - Toni Morrison*

30. Catch 22 - Joseph Heller

31. Far From the Madding Crowd - Thomas Hardy

32. The Shell Seekers - Rosamunde Pilcher

33. Anne of Green Gables - L. M. Montgomery*

34. Rebecca - Daphne du Maurier

35. Swallows And Amazons - Arthur Ransome

36. Ulysses - James Joyce

37. The Sound and the Fury - William Faulkner

38. A Passage to India - E. M. Forster

39. A Farewell to Arms - Ernest Hemmingway

40. The Old Wives' Tale - Arnold Bennett

41. The Epic of Gilgamesh - Maureen Gallery Kovacs

42. Mrs Dalloway - Virginia Woolf*

43. Memoirs of Hadrian - Marguerite Yourcenar

44. The Pilot's Wife - Anita Shreve*

45. The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini *

46. Don Quixote - Miguel de Cervantes

47. Walden - Henry David Thoreau*

48. Tale of Two Cities - Charles Dickens

49. Picture of Dorian Gray - Oscar Wilde*

50. Journal of the Plague Year - Daniel Dafoe *

51. The Color Purple - Alice Walker

52. Lolita - Vladimir Nabokov

53. Hornblower - C. S. Forester*

54. The Forsyte Saga - John Galsworthy *

55. The Warden - Anthony Trollope

56. Barchester Towers - Anthony Trollope

57. Like Water For Chocolate - Laura Esquivel

58. The Tale of Genji - Lady Murasaki

59. Feast - Nigella Lawson

60. How to be a Domestic Goddess - Nigella Lawson*

61. Cook With Jamie - Jamie Oliver*

62. The Writer's Book of Hope: Getting from Frustration to Publication - Ralph Keyes

63. The Secret River - Kate Grenville*

64. My Sister's Keeper - Jodi Picoult

65. Everyday - Bill Granger

66. The Memory Keeper's Daughter - Kim Edwards

67. The Sixth Wife - Suzannah Dunn

68. The Poisonwood Bible - Barbara Kingsolver*

69. A Perfect Day - Richard Evans

70. The Opposite of Fate: A Book of Musings - Amy Tan

71. The Sacrifice - Beverly Lewis

72. The Emperor's Children - Claire Messud

73. Birdsong - Sebastion Faulks

74. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time - Mark Haddon

75. The Wind in the Willows - Kenneth Graham (read years ago, but want to reread)

76. The Time Traveller's Wife - Audrey Niffenegger

77. The Alchemist - Paulo Coelho

78. The Life of Pi - Yann Martel

79. A Clockwork Orange - Anthony Burgess

80. The Penelopiad: The Myth of Penelope and Odysseus - Margaret Atwood*

81. The Heart is a Lonely Hunter - Carson McCullers

82. I, Claudius - Robert Graves

83. In a Sunburned Country - Bill Bryson

84. The History of Tom Jones, a Foundling - Henry Fielding*

85. Uncle Tom's Cabin - Harriet Beecher Stowe

86. The Unbearable Lightness of Being - Milan Kundera

87. Heart of Darkness - Joseph Conrad

88. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings - Maya Angelou

89. Slaughterhouse Five - Kurt Vonnegut

90. Aspects of the Novel - E. M. Forster

91. Reading Like a Writer: A Guide For People who love Books and for those who want to write them - Francine Prose*

92. On Becoming a Novelist - John Gardiner

93. Clarissa - Samuel Richardson

94. The Scarlet Letter - Nathaniel Hawthorne

95. Three Men in a Boat - Jerome K. Jerome

96. Brave New World - Aldous Huxley

97. The Quiet American - Graham Greene

98. Housekeeping - Marilynne Robinson

99. Lanark - Alasdair Gray

100. Oscar and Lucinde - Peter Carey

Here I am, a whole day after I started this post. I have read more book reviews than I thought possible and perused more top 100 lists than I dreamed of. I love books with a passion, but found this list a struggle, because I was avoiding books that I have already read, and trying not to list books that I just wasn't interested in.

If you're one of those people who is obligated to buy me a gift from time to time this would be a brilliant place to start ;)