Posts Tagged ‘books’

Bird books for sale

February 26, 2013

I have the following bird books for sale.  Contact me @ if you are interested:

SOLD (Parrots and Pigeons)


SOLD (except mine in 1986)
All as new or excellent condition except for the last one which is “good” condition.  I’m located in Sydney but can mail elsewhere.  What offers?


What books are next to your bed?

October 30, 2008

I found this set of questions on Sheila’s blog.

What was the last book you bought?

One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich (Russian: Один день Ивана Денисовича Odin den’ Ivana Denisovicha) – Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn.  We are reading it in book club this month and I need to finish it by Tuesday night.  I am well known for not finishing book club books.  I get to choose the book we read next.  Any recommendations?

Name a book you have read MORE than once.

The Bible.  I generally don’t reread fiction (unlike MissN who rereads everything – which makes buying books for her a pleasure as I know she will have endless hours of pleasure and that my money has been well spent.  She is currently reading LOTR for the fourth sixth time.)

Has a book ever fundamentally changed the way you see life? If yes, what was it?

What’s so Amazing about Grace by Phillip Yancey.  I was a very new Christian.  Wow.

How do you choose a book? eg. by cover design and summary, recommendations or reviews

Generally from recommendations or reviews.

Do you prefer Fiction or Non-Fiction?

I read more fiction but enjoy non-fiction too.  I read travel books, memoirs, biography.

What’s more important in a novel – beautiful writing or a gripping plot?

That’s sort of an either/or question. I prefer both/and.

Most loved/memorable character

Commissario Guido Brunetti – the hero of Donna Leon’s Venice crime novels.  I could fall in love with Guido!

What was the last book you’ve read, and when was it?

I finished The Shack by William P. Young this morning.  It was profound,  Flawed but powerful and moving. Now I can read John Mark Hicks’ blogposts on it!  Readers in the USA can order a free copy of The Shack here. I know the 2 friends I ordered it for were blessed by it, and they in turn have blessed others with it.

Have you ever given up on a book half way in?

Many times. One book I tried to read so many times (it went on every holiday I went on for at least 5 years) was Peter Carey’s Oscar and Lucinda, which C gave me for Christmas the year it was published (1988 I think). I got halfway quite a few times but could NOT finish it. Now I have enjoyed the movie and won’t ever attempt to read it again. I was relieved when I met others who had the same problem with O&L!

Which book or books can be found on your bedside table at the moment?

ESV New Testament
Wilful Behaviour – Donna Leon (I have just 2 Brunetti novels to read after this – her 2 newest.)
Five Quarters of an Orange – Joanne Harris (borrowed from a friend at least 2 years ago)
A Bunch of EverlastingsF. W. Boreham (my Boreham collection is growing)
The Lord of the Rings Location Guidebook – Ian Brodie
A Gathered PeopleJohn Mark Hicks, Johnny Melton & Bobby Valentine (we started discussing it in a Yahoo group I am in)
TNIV Bible Experience
The Scandal of the Season – Sophie Gee (one of my Christmas presents – haven’t begun it yet)

On the floor, next to my bedside table are:

The Gathering – Anne Enright (book club several months ago – I got to page 142)
The Kite Runner – Khaled Hosseini (I gave it to C for Christmas because I knew I would enjoy it too – haven’t begun it yet. He enjoyed it.)
Cover to Cover – Through the Bible as it Happened (I need to pack this away – have tried using it twice but it’s too “bitty” – jumps around too much)
An Omelette and a Glass of Wine – Elizabeth David (now back in my cookbook bookcase – I did pack something away!) Elizabeth David is a favourite.  I have most of her books.
A Suitable Boy – Vikram Seth (a signed copy I bought in 1994 when I heard him speak at Writer’s Choice at Sydney Uni – I keep intending to read it.  I took it on holiday in December.  I think I need to pack it away! Or maybe just leave it out to take on holiday this December!)

There is also a (neat) pile of magazines but let’s not go there.
Or mention the books IN the bedside cabinet.

What books are next to YOUR bed?

Another top 100 book list

October 8, 2008

I found this list on rooruu‘s blog, where I found my previous book list too.

Australian booksellers Angus and Robertson polled their customers again for their favourite books.

Here’s the 2008 list they’ve just released.  MissN is most disgusted that Tolkien has fallen off the list and almost complained in A & R yesterday.

Do you want to play along and list yours?

*** my top pick on this list
** read it, a favourite
* read it
~ read it, indifferent
^ would like to read it/plan to read it

1 Harry Potter series – J.K. Rowling* (I only read HP1)
2 Twilight – Stephenie Meyer (MissN had an intense Twilight phase which is thankfully now over)
3 Pride and Prejudice – Jane Austen**
4 The Obernewtyn Chronicles – Isobelle Carmody
5 My Sister’s Keeper – Jodi Picoult
6 To Kill A Mockingbird – Harper Lee**
7 The Book Thief – Markus Zusak^
8 Breath – Tim Winton^
9 The Kite Runner – Khaled Hosseini^
10 Break No Bones – Kathy Reichs
11 The Power Of One – Bryce Courtenay*
12 Fight Club – Chuck Palahniuk
13 Magician – Raymond E. Feist
14 The Bronze Horseman – Paullina Simons
15 Mao’s Last Dancer – Li Cunxin^
16 Memoirs Of A Geisha – Arthur Golden^
17 The Lovely Bones – Alice Sebold^
18 Cross – James Patterson
19 Persuasion – Jane Austen**
20 Jane Eyre – Charlotte Bronte**
21 The Time Traveler’s Wife – Audrey Niffenegger*
22 The Secret – Rhonda Byrne
23 Marley and Me – John Grogan
24 Antony and Cleopatra – Colleen McCullough
25 April Fools Day – Bryce Courtney
26 North & South – Elizabeth Gaskell^
27 In My Skin – Kate Holden
28 Wuthering Heights – Emily Bronte**
29 A Thousand Splendid Suns – Khaled Hosseini^
30 The Other Boleyn Girl – Phillipa Gregory^  (MissN loved it.  We both loved the movie)
31 Nineteen Minutes – Jodi Picoult
32 Atonement – Ian McEwan^
33 Shantaram Gregory – David Roberts^
34 Pillars Of The Earth – Ken Follett
35 The Pact – Jodi Picoult
36 Ice Station – Matthew Reilly
37 Cloudstreet – Tim Winton*
38 Jessica – Bryce Courtenay
39 A New Earth – Eckhart Tolle
40 The Princess Bride – William Goldman
41 Running With Scissors – Augusten Burroughs^
42 Anybody Out There? – Marian Keyes
43 Life Of Pi – Yann Martel^
44 Seven Ancient Wonders – Matthew Reilly
45 People Of The Book – Geraldine Brooks^
46 Six Sacred Stones – Matthew Reilly
47 Memory Keeper’s Daughter – Kim Edwards*
48 Brother Odd – Dean Koontz
49 Tully – Paullina Simons
50 Tuesdays with Morrie – Mitch Albom
51 The Catcher in the Rye – J.D Salinger*
52 Eragon – Christopher Paolini
53 Eat, Pray, Love – Elizabeth Gilbert^
54 It’s Not About The Bike – Lance Armstrong**
55 A Tale of Two Cities – Charles Dickens*
56 A Fine Balance – Rohinton Mistry^
57 The Alchemist – Paulo Coelho
58 Nineteen Eighty Four – George Orwell*
59 A Fortunate Life – A.B. Facey**
60 The Mists of Avalon – Marion Zimmer Bradley*
61 The Notebook -Nicholas Sparks (I was seriously underwhelmed by the movie)
62 Water For Elephants – Sara Gruen
63 The Five People You Meet In Heaven – Mitch Albom
64 The Host – Stephenie Meyer
65 Dirt Music – Tim Winton^
66 Eldest – Christopher Paolini
67 The Shadow of the Wind – Carlos Ruiz Zafon^
68 It – Stephen King
69 World Without End – Ken Follett
70 Emma – Jane Austen**
71 Temple – Matthew Reilly
72 Little Women – Alcott Louisa May*
73 Lean Mean Thirteen – Janet Evanovich
74 Scarecrow – Matthew Reilly
75 American Gods – Neil Gaiman
76 Love In The Time Of Cholera – Gabriel Garcia Marquez^
77 P.S, I Love You – Cecelia Ahern
78 All That Remains – Patricia Cornwell
79 The Last Lecture – Randy Pausch
80 Past Secrets – Cathy Kelly
81 The Persimmon Tree – Bryce Courtenay
82 Husband – Dean Koontz
83 Plain Truth – Jodi Picoult*
84 Wicked – Gregory Maguire
85 Spot Of Bother – Mark Haddon
86 Always And Forever – Cathy Kelly
87 The Road – Cormac McCarthy***
88 Cents & Sensibility – Maggie Alderson*
89 Me Talk Pretty One Day – David Sedaris
90 The Shifting Fog – Kate Morton^
91 We Need To Talk About Kevin – Lionel Shriver
92 Everyone Worth Knowing – Lauren Weisberger
93 Hour Game – David Baldacci
94 Darkly Dreaming Dexter – Jeff Lindsay
95 The Woods – Harlan Coben^
96 Half of a Yellow Sun – Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie^
97 Middlesex – Jeffrey Eugenides^
98 Scar Tissue – Anthony Kiedis
99 Infidel – Ayaan Hirsi Ali^
100 Birdsong – Sebastian Faulks*
The 2007 list is still their website here.
What’s your favourite from the list above?  I was blown away by The Road which was harrowing and redemptive, sparse and rich.  I am eagerly awaiting the movie.

Do I have enough Bibles?

August 11, 2008

I have

  • a KJV which I was given by my parents when I was confirmed in 1970 (and the font is too small for me to read even with my multi-focals).  The cover is white plastic and is now stained and I have never spent any time reading it.  Not because the cover is white plastic…
  • a NKJV (with a horrid plastic cover – see a theme emerging?  How shallow AM I? ) that I bought when I was doing the Alpha course in 2001 before I knew what to look for in a Bible (and before I had found a congregation/church)
  • a NIV Study Bible which I bought shortly after I joined my Bible Study Group in Feb 2002
  • a paperback ESV NT that lives in my handbag and is pretty dog-eared
  • 3, yes 3, paperback NLT NTs, one which has Psalms and Proverbs too
  • a paperback Amplified NT
  • a KJV NT (used to be my handbag Bible before I bought the ESV)
  • I HAD a NLT One Year Bible.  I took it to Europe in 2006 and left it in the library on the cruise ship
  • a TNIV Bible Experience Bible I bought this year.  It’s the text which accompanies the CD’s which my dear sister gave me as part of my 50th birthday pressie.
  • I also have access to a CEV version MissN owns (, and she has a NIV Backpack Bible I used to borrow if I wanted a portable Bible (but my TNIV fulfills that role now) and she has a school CEV too.

I think that’s all.  I may have missed one.  I would like an ESV but I haven’t found one yet which is the right price/size/font.  I was wanting one as a tote-around Bible but now I have the TNIV Bible Experience, that is my tote-around Bible.  I also have in my cupboard 2 Bibles I have bought for presents and haven’t yet mailed.  One is for my dear sister (hi there, yes I should mail it to you!) and I have had it for over 2 years… It’s gorgeous and girly.

And of course I use bible gateway daily. I have downloaded e-sword but haven’t used it!

This (thanks to the internet monk, Michael Spencer,)

is now on my wish list.

Of course, one only needs one Bible.  The thing is to immerse yourself in it, and not find excuses in the plastic cover or the archaic language or the flimsiness of the paper or the miniscule font.  So many Christians in China, India, Africa… do not a Bible at all.  But I am a bibliophile, and so I am sure I will continue to collect Bibles.  I also would like a Message (oh, I do have a NT paperback Message somewhere…)

Which is YOUR favourite Bible?

Love Wendy, off to to update her wish list…

The New Classics: Books

July 26, 2008

Entertainment Weekly lists the 100 best reads in the last 25 years.

From their list I have copied the ones I have read, or ones that I own and are waiting to be read (marked TBR on my list) or the one’s MissN has read and we own (which means I might read them some day…)
(Thanks to rooruu – I copied your post!  Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery and all that…)

The New Classics: Books

The 100 Best Reads from 1983-2008

1. The Road , Cormac McCarthy (2006) (C and I both loved it – it was a bookclub choice)
2. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, J.K. Rowling (2000) (MissN has read – she has all the HP’s)
6. Mystic River, Dennis Lehane (2001) (TBR – started it.  I have the movie too)
9. Cold Mountain, Charles Frazier (1997) (TBR)
16. The Handmaid’s Tale, Margaret Atwood (1986)
17. Love in the Time of Cholera, Gabriel García Márquez (1988 )  (TBR)
20. Bridget Jones’s Diary, Helen Fielding (1998 ) (we have both books and the movies)
27. Possession, A.S. Byatt (1990)
36. Angela’s Ashes, Frank McCourt (1996)
40. His Dark Materials, Philip Pullman (1995-2000) (TBR) (I loved “The Golden Compass” movie)
48. The Poisonwood Bible, Barbara Kingsolver (1998 )
50. The Corrections, Jonathan Franzen (2001) (TBR)
56. The Night Manager, John le Carré (1993) (TBR)
57. The Bonfire of the Vanities, Tom Wolfe (1987) (TBR)
67. The Kite Runner, Khaled Hosseini (2003) (TBR) (I gave this to C last Christmas, knowing that if he didn’t enjoy it, I would!)
72. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, Mark Haddon (2003) (MIssN has read)
77. The Remains of the Day, Kazuo Ishiguro (1989) (Loved the movie too)
82. Atonement, Ian McEwan (2002)
83. The Stone Diaries, Carol Shields (1994) (Can I boast and say I have a signed copy?)
84. Holes, Louis Sachar (1998 ) (MissN has read)
88. High Fidelity, Nick Hornby (1995)
92. Presumed Innocent, Scott Turow (1987) (TBR)
93. A Thousand Acres, Jane Smiley (1991) (TBR)
96. The Da Vinci Code, Dan Brown (2003)

My favourites were

The Road , Cormac McCarthy (2006)

Possession, A.S. Byatt (1990)

The Stone Diaries, Carol Shields (1994)

I guess what all the TBR’s tell me is I don’t need to buy ANY books for a VERY LONG time!

The list also gives me some ideas for bookclub – it’s my choice next month.

At the moment, I am reading an old classic- The Warden by Anthony Trollope (1855).  I loved Barchester Towers, and enjoyed the BBC series Barchester Chronicles (with a young Alan Rickman!) which was an adaptation of both books, so now I am enjoying The Warden.

What are you reading?

What do you plan reading next?

Mushrooms on the Moor

April 22, 2008

I love mushrooms.  Porcini and shitake, enoki, swiss browns, the huge pine mushrooms you can coat in oil and spices and bbq like a burger, oyster mushrooms and the common and garden (though I would never harvest garden ones) mushrooms that I buy and use every week.  Truffles too!  I still remember a truffle pizza we ate in Spoleto in 1993 and an omelette with shaved black truffle in Gubbio the same trip.  I have yet to taste a white truffle but if it’s exotic and yummy, I will search it out (this blog is not called “Food from Afar” in vain) so I will get to try one sometime.

I currently own three F.W. Boreham books.  Two I have in my possession, one is on its way from ebay, and one I will be sending on when I have digested it.  A writer friend of mine, Steven Clark Goad, introduced me to Boreham.  He reads them, like Ravi Zacharias does, a chapter a day.  He collects them too, first editions if possible.  My first Boreham – “Wisps of Wildfire” – is a first edition.  I just missed out on a first edition of “A Bunch of Everlastings” on ebay a week or two ago because it went too high – A$34.  Silly me.  Paperbacks cost that!

“Mushrooms on the Moor” is not a first edition but it is an 1930 (year my mom was born!) elegant pocket edition.  It is compact and sleek and a comfortable size and I love the way it fits in my hand and into my handbag to be taken with me so I can read it while I wait to pick up my daughter.   “Wisps of Wildfire” sits on the edge of my bath and gets dipped into (but it has stayed dry!) most mornings (the days I have to rush and shower instead are Boreham-deprived.)

Why do I relish reading Boreham?  Why does he feed my soul?  

His writing celebrates the ordinary but he sees in the everyday and the mundane (envelopes, a collar stud, parcels) connections to and metaphors for the sublime and the divine.  He has an uncanny knack of perceiving truth and delivering a lesson in the most elegant manner.  His first book dates back to 1891, six years before my grandfather was born, and his last was published in 1961, after my birth and his death, but his truths are timeless.

Boreham is spiritual food from afar.  He was first published the century before last.  He emigrated from England to the Antipodes (he preached in New Zealand, Tasmania and Melbourne) but although  that makes him “local” to me, he is almost unknown here in Australia now.  I learned of him via my friend in California.  How global is that?

Of course, I may have just spoiled my chances of winning Borehams on ebay if anyone else is inspired to read him too.  Oh well.  I just can’t NOT share Boreham. (yes, that’s a grammatical rule I broke but it’s MY blog!)