Thursday, May 31, 2007
Right now I am reading The Map Makers Wife. The very interesting biography of Isabel Godin whose husband helped to map the continent of South America in the 1700s. She travelled down the Amazon River, from what is now Ecuador, to British Guiana because the Spanish refused to let her husband (Jean Godin) go back to the Andes to collect her and their children. They were apart for 20 years. The details of the mapping expedition made for some very lively and interesting history. As did her journey down the Amazon.
Technically I really should be reading one of the Books from the Non-Fiction Challenge or the Mystery Challenge or the New Notions Challenge. But this one is more interesting right now.
One more thing. The American Scripps National Spelling Bee was held in Washington DC earlier this evening. The winner was Evan O'Dorney from California. The Second Place Finisher was Nate Gatke from Alberta, Canada!!!
Sunday, May 27, 2007
This might be harder than I thought. I have read a lot of mysteries. It might be hard to find authors that I have not read and that I want to read.
This Quiz is also from Literary Feline - Musings of a Bookish Kitty
A book that made you cry: Freedom Writers Diary which I just reviewed 2 days ago.
A book that scared you: Cujo by Stephen King back when I was a teenager
A book that made you laugh: None that I can remember
A book that disgusted you: Again, none come to mind
A book you loved in elementary school: One Hundred Million Francs by Paul Berna (originally written in the 1950's. I think my English translation was published in the 1960s and I was reading it in the 1970s.)
A book (series) you loved in junior high: The Chalet School Books by Elinor M. Brent Dyer. Those books were (and still are) brilliant. There are more than 50 books in the series.
A book you loved in high school: Cant remember. I read way too many books and they all run into a blur in my mind.
A book you hated in high school: I agree with Shakespeare. I had to study Macbeth in English class for 3 years in a row and by the time I left High School, I hated Shakespeare's plays and refused to read them. Still do actually. I have seen a few at the movies though. And some 25 years later, I am now really getting into the debate about who wrote the plays.
A book you loved in college: Never went to college - at least not long enough to finish anything.
A book that challenged your identity: Holy Blood & Holy Grail. I know it was a very controversial book, but it got me thinking asbout my religious upbringing and basically answered my questions of why I was having such a hard time believing the same things my parents did. Within a year of reading this book, I had stopped going to church and spent the next 10 years reading up on other religions (mostly Buddhism) looking for a new belief. Took 20 years but I finally found it.
A series that you love: Probably the best series I ever read were the Chalet School Books by Elinor M. Brent-Dyer. I started reading these when I was a teenager and continued reading them for the next 20 years. At one point I had about 50 books but was having a lot of trouble trying to get the last few books to complete the collection. When I left NZ, I sold my collection and have not seen or read any of this series since 2000.
Comfort books: 84 Charing Cross Road. The BEST Book about Books ever written in my opinion. This is one book I can read over and over again.
Your favorite horror book: I NEVER read Horror. Got turned off by Cujo - the book and the movie.
Your favorite science fiction book: I used to buy/collect/read Star Trek novels back before I left NZ. I havent read any new ones since moving to Canada.
Your favorite fantasy book: I prefer reality series, and anything thats within the realm of possiblity. (If its possible that it might exist in the future in our reality then its acceptable to me). Therefore I cannot and do not read fantasy - especially dragons. Well ok I have read Lord of the Rings series, but thats because there are no dragons in them. And there is one sci-fi author I rather like. Anne McCaffrey, and her Singing Ships, Killishandra and Damia series. But I cannot read McCaffrey's PERN series at all. Its too unrealistic.
Your favorite mystery book: Probably Sara Paretsky and her V.I. Warshawski detective series. I really prefer action, adventure and thrillers.
Your favorite graphic novel: Havent read comics since Disney's Donald Duck.
Your favorite biography: I read far too many of these to give just one favourite. But I think my most recent favourite memoir would be Old Books, Rare Friends - Two Literary Sleuths and their Shared Passion. (1997) By Leona Rostenberg & Madeleine Stern. Which I reviewed on May 5th.
Your favorite “coming-of-age” book: Everyone says Anne Frank. I'm gonna be different and say The Outsiders for books and Dirty Dancing for movies.
Your favorite classic: Which ever one of Charles Dickens books has that boy Pip in it. Cant remember the title. The TV series was awesome.
Your favorite romance book: I stopped reading Mills & Boons and Harlequins many moons ago.
Favorite kids’ books: The Encyclopedia Brown Books. I thought Leroy Brown was very smart!!!
Favorite cookbook: Any of Emeril Lagasse's books.
Your favorite books not on this list: see below
My favourite action/adventure authors NOT already mentioned. James Rollins, Clive Cussler, Matthew Reilly and Steve Berry.
One is Page 161. Grab the book that is nearest to you (no cheating), turn to page 161, post the text of the fifth full sentence on the page, post the rules and tag three people. Anyone can do this - so if you are interested - please do participate.
In an empty space between two houses, two men were discussing the sale of a pig.
That's kind of boring. But the very next sentence (sentence number 6 on page 161) is much more interesting!!!
In the background a pair of girls were lazily leaning against a door, their teeth chattering, their shawls allowing a glimpse of an ample low-cut bodice; one of them said to Baudolino: "What a pretty boy you are. Why don't you come spend Christmas with me and I'll teach you how to make the beast with eight paws?"
Baudolino by Umberto Eco.
(originally published 2000 - English translation published 2002 by Harcourt)
Saturday, May 26, 2007
The main reasons I want to read these are because...
1 - Beethoven was deaf (and being somewhat hard of hearing myself, I do have some understanding) and
2 - I grew up listening to the symphonies being played on a daily basis, along with a healthy dose of Mozart & Bolero.
Mad About Beethoven
Friday, May 25, 2007
Anyway the kids wrote letters to Miep Gies - the Dutch women who helped hide Anne Frank's family in the office building. Miep was invited to America for some war related anniversary, so Ms Gruell - the kids teacher - arranged for Miep Gies to speak to the kids as well. This had a huge impact on them, so the following year, the teacher invited Zlata Filipovic to visit and speak to the kids. Another huge impact.
When the kids started High school, they were put into a "English for Dummies" class with a freshman teacher, because they were not expected to graduate. They were expected to drop out, be killed, end up in jail or on the streets. All of the 150 kids in Gruell's English classes stayed in school for the entire 4 years and they all graduated. Of course they had problems, but they stuck it out. Several of these kids were the first in their families to EVER graduate high school.
Saturday, May 19, 2007
I am still reading, but have taken a psychological detour. Right now I am reading 3 books about Sensory Intergrated Disorders - trying to understand why my son acts and behaves the way he does. Very enlightening too. But these are not the sort of books one writes reviews about.
I am currently reading The Freedom Writers Diary, and watched the movie (starring Hilary Swank) on DVD this week. My version of the book has the movie poster on the cover - including Hilary Swank and other actors.
Will post more later.
Thursday, May 17, 2007
Karen Churton, the librarian from New Zealand who appealed her 11-month jail sentence last week, must have bribed the Judge.
After she appealed, he cut her 11 months sentence down to just 4 months and with good behaviour she'll probably be out in 2 months. What kind of lesson is that? Steal some rare books and get away with it.
Yep it was a bribe all right. "It was a first offence your honour and she promises to never do it again" said with fingers crossed. As if!! I am ashamed that the justice system in my home country is susceptible to such bribery. What ever happened to slap them hard the first time so they learn their lesson?
2 months is not a lesson. Its just a free vacation.
Book Thief wins an all expenses paid 2 month vacation
Wednesday, May 16, 2007
1 - I was born and raised in New Zealand - which makes me a Kiwi.
2 - I am currently living in Canada - which does not make me a Canuck.
3 - I lived for over 3 years (as a teenager) in the Solomon Islands - and hated every minute of it.
4 - I love genealogy. Both my parents were born in New Zealand (as were all the grandparents) and are both part Scottish and part West-Country English. West country is CELTIC country!! Cornwall, Devon and Somerset.
5 - I also love the French culture - which is why I am in Canada. My spouse is French Canadian - although he doesn't speak any French. I wish I learnt to speak French too, but I was always changing schools at the wrong times.
6 - My hair has been grey since I stopped dying it when I was pregnant - that was 6 years ago.
7 - I love watching Star Trek - especially The Next Generation. My favourite Aliens are the Vulcans and several years ago, I made a website all about Vulcans. Yep its still there. Shirkahr of Vulcan. Warning - the email address has been deactivated.
8 - As Helene Hanff once wrote - I have an Antiquarian taste in Books. I also love Bibliographic mysteries, and the one I am currently investigating is the matter of who REALLY wrote Shakespeare's Plays. So please check out my Blogs.
Biblio Historia and Biblio Shakespeare
Now, here are the 8 people I am tagging.
You are under no obligation to carry this forward if you choose not to do so.
If you've already completed this task, you are excused.
Anyone else who wants to play, consider yourself honorarily tagged.
Jeremy at Philobiblos
Joy at Thoughts of Joy
Patricia at BookLust
Dove Grey Reader From Devon in England
Ian at Lux Mentis
Christine at Mirabilis
A Life in Books
And another Meme for A High and Hidden Place
These are the rules.
1: Each player starts with 8 random facts/habits about themselves.
2: People who are tagged, write a blog post about their own 8 random things, and post these rules.
3: At the end of your post you need to tag 8 people and include their names.
4: Don't forget to leave them a comment and tell them they're tagged, and to read your blog.
I tracked this 8 thing tag-meme as far back as The Crescent Knitter on May 11th, but she didn't link to whoever tagged her, so I lost the trail. Oh well.
However since it is now after midnight, I will return later in the day to post the 8 things "noone knows about me". And I need to choose 8 people to tag as well - that's gonna be harder.
Katherine wasn't just smart, she was a tiny bit uppity, too: she almost got herself thrown in jail for arguing with His Royal Fatness about some theological issues. After Henry croaked, Katherine dropped the prim and proper act and married Thomas Seymour, a handsome, dashing pirate kind of guy who was also as dumb as a post.
Which goes to show you that even bookworms know how to get it on.
[The above needs to be copied & pasted in manually]
Which of Henry VIII's wives are you?
this quiz was made by Lori Fury
Sunday, May 13, 2007
Psymon Web Bindery
Here is the Incunabula section. If you click on the Curiosities, you will see an entire page of Antiquarian Title pages such as those I find for my Historia Books blog. The Masterpieces and the Milestones sections are also packed full of interesting Title Pages. I wish I could have designed a website as gorgeous as this one.
Saturday, May 12, 2007
It has 64 different possible answers to just 6 questions.
It says I am obsessed with Camelot. I am not. And I am NOT a fan of Fantasy although I did read The Mists of Avalon a very long time ago.
You're The Mists of Avalon!
by Marion Zimmer Bradley
You're obsessed with Camelot in all its forms, from Arthurian legend
to the Kennedy administration. Your favorite movie from childhood was "The Sword in
the Stone". But more than tales of wizardry and Cuban missiles, you've focused on
women. You know that they truly hold all the power. You always wished you could meet
Take the Book Quiz
at the Blue Pyramid.
Sentence for books theft 'excessive'
I do like the historical parts, about Benjamin Franklin & Thomas Paine, and others, but I dont like all the modern literary parts. Probably because I seldom read anything literary after 1901 (when Queen Victoria died) except bibliographically related books & biographies, and some political biographies.
In the meantime I have found some interesting new Book Blogs - from the UK - so when they mention a quid - they mean a pound. (one pound sterling is currently around $2 US, $2.20 Canadian, $2.40 Australian and $2.70 NZL)
Dove Grey Reader from Devon
Me and My Big Mouth
I also found a new and very interesting Shakespeare website - but that has been posted to my BiblioShakespeare Blog.
Wednesday, May 9, 2007
John Baxter is an Australian Book Collector. He calls himself an Addict. This book is about John's life as a Book collecter from about 1950 when he quit school and discovered Graham Greene and Science Fiction, until around 1990 when his daughter was born in Paris. In between he drifted from country to country (mostly Australia, USA, England and France), buying books, always looking for the elusive rare modern first edition that would pay the bills, and dropping names on every page.
Baxter met a lot of authors. Even though I dont read modern fiction, and I did not recognise most of the names, he did meet authors such as Graham Greene and Kingsley Amis. I enjoyed the first half of the book, about science fiction, and how John became a book collector. But the middle of the book, was hard to get through. Partly because of the cocaine and drinking stories and the swear words liberally littered throughout the book.
The cover says this is about Book collecting. Its more about the tricks to getting modern first editions, even if you cheat the seller because they dont realise that they have a rare book on their shelves. Its a memoir, NOT a scholarly book. There really was not even a decent ending. It was quite rushed actually. I get the impression that Mr Baxter still hasnt settled down, despite living in Paris.
If I was to rate it out of 5 - I'd give it a 2.
An Interview with John Baxter
A Pound of Paper from Amazon
Tuesday, May 8, 2007
I enjoyed reading about AJ's time at the Crossword Tournament, and the time he was on the TV game show - Who wants to be a Millionaire with Meredith from the View. I learnt a lot from AJ, without reading the Encyclopedia Britannica.
Here's AJ's website, in which he mentions some other books he is writing.
Monday, May 7, 2007
Unfortunately this book is not about books or Colorado. Its a Dick Francis novel in disguise. The major story is set in the world of Horse racing in Idaho and San Francisco.
IF you like Dick Francis, this novel will suit you fine.
If, like me you wanted a novel about rare books, you may be disappointed.
The novel starts off with Cliff being called to look at a book collection in Idaho and he discovers that some books are missing. The rest of the novel is about Cliff looking for the person who murdered the books owner 20 years previously. Since the owner was married to a horse trainer, Cliff spends all his time at a horse race track.
Only at the end of the novel does he find the murderer - who also happens to be a Bibliomaniac - A Book Thief.
Saturday, May 5, 2007
I already have all 5 of Nicholas Basbanes books, so thats a start. So I think I will start off with - Basbanes and Stern/Rostenberg plus John Dunning, and the Goldstones.
Rostenberg & Stern issued at least 84 catalogues (maybe more) for more than 40 years. I would like to document the catalogues that Stern & Rostenberg issued, maybe collect them if possible. And record everything else that Stern & Rostenberg ever wrote, including books, lectures and articles. Write a Bibliography for Rostenberg & Stern. (see below)
The Changing Rare Book Trade (PDF)
A Lecture on Louisa May Alcott by Madeleine Stern at Brigham Young University, March 1991 (PDF)
And I just found a lovely interview with Leona & Madeleine recorded in 1997.
City Arts Uncut Interview
I also have a number of books about the Shakespeare authorship debate. I'd like to write a bibliography on all the books that have been and are being written about the Shakespeare authorship question. It will be identifying those novels and biographies that support Shakespeare as the author, and those that support someone else.
See my Blog BiblioShakespeare
Oh yes, and eventually record everything on a Bibliography webpage - like this one.
A Bibliography for Book Collectors
By Leona Rostenberg & Madeleine Stern.
Finally I know what I want to do with my life. I want to be a rare bookseller and discover old and rare book treasures. And write bibliographies. I only wish I had figured this out 25 years ago when I first left school. Maybe its not too late to start, I'm only 40 something. Oh yeah - today is May 5th. Happy Birthday to me, I'm getting old at forty three.
No but seriously, I truely wish I had discovered these two ladies twenty years ago. I know I would have been compelled to go back to school and do that History degree - the one I have always regretted not doing. Then maybe I could have done an MLS, and got to work in a Rare Books room at a library, learning all about Old and Rare Books.
This book is about two forthright women who shared a passion for literature and who knew the true meaning of a lifelong friendship.
Rostenberg & Stern are two ladies from New York City who met at College during the Depression years. They discovered that they shared a love for old books. During the war, one lady worked as a high school teacher while the other worked for a grumpy German Emigre in his bookshop, selling rare books and learning everything she could about the business along the way.
In 1944, they set up shop together as Sellers of Rare Books. Actually it was the front room of their large house - since they did not own a walk-in shop front. Basically, everything was done by mail and telephone. The ladies went on buying trips to Europe, returned home, wrote catalogues (the first catalogue was issued in 1946) and sold their books mostly to Institutions, Universities and Libraries. Very exclusive.
Along the way, they wrote scholarly books, biographies and made exciting discoveries.
Leona Rostenberg wrote 5 scholarly books - one of which I really want to read. It's called The Library of Robert Hooke; The Scientific Book Trade of Restoration England. Leona was also a President of the American Antiquarian Booksellers Association. And it was these two ladies who founded and began what is probably the best known Book Fair in America - The New York Antiquarian Book Fair.
Madeleine Stern wrote several biographies - Margaret Fuller, Mrs Frank Leslie (Miriam Squier), Dr Isabel Barrows, and Stephen Pearl Andrews. But Madeleine will always be remembered as the Biographer of Louisa May Alcott. These two ladies discovered the dark side of Louisa May Alcott. The author whom we all know as the writer of those wholesome family stories - Little Women, Little Men, Eight Cousins and Jo's Boys - also wrote thrillers and horror stories under a pseudonym - A. M. Barnard. Such titles include The Mysterious Key and What It Opened, Pauline's Passion and Punishment, Behind a Mask or a Woman's Power, and several others. Most of which are available for reading online at the Gutenberg Project.
Leona Rostenberg died in March 2005. She was 96 years old. She will always been known as a Rare Book seller, a Literary Detective, a Scholarly Author and a major force in the Antiquarian business of the twentieth century.
Now thats the life I want.
Friday, May 4, 2007
Naturally I went on another spending spree. I did buy some goodies for the son, gave some money to the spouse to get something for himself, and of course bought the following books for me!!!
Three Bookman novels by John Dunning
(including the newest one)
The Bookwoman's Last Fling
The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova
because everyone has been raving about it.
and Book Finds by Ian Ellis
(How to find, buy and sell used and rare books)
Thursday, May 3, 2007
This Book has a great list despite whether you agree with all of Boxall’s choices or not. I’ve been using it to guide (not dictate!) my reading for nearly a year now and have explored some real wonders. As I read, I’ve designed a spreadsheet to monitor my progress and you’ll all be chuffed to know I’m going to make the spreadsheet public. It’s a fancy one too. Feel free to pass it around to whoever might like it. Just go to the above blog link and download the Excel (xls) file.
These are all Fiction Books - so far I've read 60 out of 1001.
I dont read Fiction - I prefer Non-Fiction.
Most of what I read is non-fiction, and I have read a lot of stuff, so I am already fairly open-minded about ideas, politics and beliefs. So for me, this challenge is going to be more on reading Authors I have never read - because that will be outside my comfort zone.
One of the books I am choosing for this challenge is The Hacienda by Lisa St Aubin de Teran. I have never read anything by her before, and so this book will definitely be outside my comfort zone.
ETA (May 5th)
I have decided to read the following 4 authors (as well as Lisa St Aubin de Teran) for this challenge.
The Historian by Elisabeth Kostova, because I am not a Dracula fan, and this looks an interesting view on Vlad Tepes (the man behind the Dracula legend)
Shakespeare's Sonnets (I have never read any of these before at all - and in all the Shakespeare author debate books I have - the sonnets are mentioned a lot!!)
The Carpet Wars - From Kabul to Baghdad by Christopher Kremmer - so I can have some understanding of the Middle East Situation according to their carpets.
And lastly I really must read at least one book by Margaret Atwood, since I have never read any of her books, and I do live in Canada.
I did read House of Spirits by Isabel Allende a few years ago, so she gets disqualified. LOL
Wednesday, May 2, 2007
A Pound of Paper - Confessions of a Book Addict - by John Baxter
Out of the Flames by Lawrence & Nancy Goldstone
The Golden Thread by Bruce Meyer (left)
The Book Of Lost Books, by Stuart Kelly
From Love Field by Nellie Connally
Unknown Shore by Robert Ruby
The Hacienda by Lisa St Aubin de Teran
The Missing Gospels by Darrell Bock
Tuesday, May 1, 2007
The Non Fiction Five Challenge officially starts today. However, I cant start reading any of the books on my list, until I finish reading the Know-It-All. Shouldn't take me too long as I am currently reading the J's.
This is my list of books for the challenge - Minus the Jigsaw Puzzle (already read that) and adding 2 others - The Queens Slave Trader and The Ambassadors.
Edited to add at 7am - Oh Dear.
I forgot to turn the alarm clock off when I got up. It started its very strident beeping at 6 am and woke my son up. When I first heard it, I thought it was a car reversing outside. But then it went on for several minutes, before I figured out what it was. My son usually gets up at 7.