Inspiration From The Distant Past

Inspiration From The Distant Past
Found note in an old book... warms the cockles of my bookish heart...

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Off the Beaten Page on the Tangalooma Whale Watch Cruise

Izzy is the cousin on the right.

What are you reading? Chronicles of Narnia the Magician's Nephew, and Water tales, Aquamarine by Alice Hoffman.

Why are you reading 2 books at a time? I brought two in case I finished one. Water Tales is boring in the second part. Chronicles is very interesting, and you should probably read it before you read the Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe, which everyone seems to be reading because of the movie.

What did you read before this? Ella Enchanted, which is suited to teens. Generally I read more than most of my friends.

She says, 'Reading is nice.'

By the way, on the cruise we saw these two whales above, and the one below. And about 10 of their mates. Just spectacular...

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Off the Beaten Page; Dellylu

Dellylu, eight years old, is reading Samurai Kids #2, The Owl Warrior. She sums up the story, 'drum beating signals in 10 day there will be a war in Japan. The Samurai Kids don't want to fight, so they are travelling to the Emperor where they will talk to the Emperor and see if they can silence the drum.'

The Samurai Kids are probably teenagers. Dellylu says, 'I like them because it's got lots of exciting parts and I like reading about different countries and how they are different from ours.'

These books have a glossary in the back, to explain all the different Japanese words to young readers, but personally I found it strange that the word 'samurai' isn't listed.

Adele's favourite series of picture books is Charlie and Lola, by Lauren Child. Next she will start the Wrinkle in Time series, because the third Samurai Kids book is reserved for her in the library, but she didn't bring it to Heron Island.

She says, 'Reading is cool.'

Saturday, June 26, 2010

DeLynne's Biblio-Blunder

I joined some of my dear work colleagues for dinner at a Thai restaurant near the beach. After coffee we were drawn outside by people sending off, coincidentally, Thai paper lanterns (not as many as in the photo, though!).

Walking near the water I heard one woman, a happily married mother and teacher say to another work mate, 'I have to give you that dirty pick-up book.'

I was shocked that she would own a dirty pick-up book and even discuss it in front of us. Also, I was a little curious about what it really was. They dissolved into guffaws when I asked. She had actually said, 'That Jodi Picoult book.'

Here's hoping it's only my hearing that is faulty, and I don't have a terminal case of gutter mind!

Friday, June 25, 2010

Heron Island Library

Can you imagine an island with NO INTERNET CONNECTION, NO MOBILE PHONE RECEPTION AND NO TV'S IN THE ROOMS? Hubby, my beautiful mother and I took five girls, our Aussie/American daughters and our American nieces, to Heron Island. Some expressed a bit of angst at the thought of such deprivation, but the truth is that they are great girls and great readers. I knew they would be fine.

Most people come here for the amazing sea and bird life, but personally I was also interested in the library. Guests can take and leave their books, and I was looking forward to seeing what choices people made. Have you seen other 'swapsies' collections? I have seen them in motels, hotels and other resorts, and I was keen to see what people were leaving behind in a beautiful place which mostly relied on reading for leisure-time entertainment.

The library itself is housed in the Whitstari Lounge, above the bar with a big TV and some family games. Below people might be having cocktails or playing pool, but above a book lover can be exploring another world.

First surprise was the amount of Dutch and German books. Hubby said we'd be right if only we read one of those languages.

I did find a couple of books in the other languages I speak; a copy of The Long Goodbye in Italian and Nelson Demille's Le deshonneur d'Anne Campbell in French. It's a recount of the investigation of the rape and murder of a General's daughter. With no dictionaries and no internet connection to speak of (online translators are so handy!), I have been forced to underline in pencil the words new to me and save them for later. I consider my languages other than English books to be text books, and therefore don't mind 'defacing' them in this way. Do you agree?

I took this book, which is actually in English, and a wonderful novel. More on it later!

There were naturally lots of family saga and block-busters. One that interested me was the Endless Forest by Sara Donati. It says it is a historical romance by a best-selling author. I loved the cover.

There was a well-thumbed classic, a copy of Arizona Justice by Gordon D. Shirreffs. The blurb inside says, 'Gunsmoke Showdown: A gun blossomed orange flame in the centre of the smoke. Rowan rolled to one side, ripped his Colt loose and pumped two shots into the belly of the man who had hurdled the fallen door and thrust a six-gun toward him. The man hit hard, smashed against Rowan and lay still. ' Wow, what an exciting read for lounging on a tropical island!

Hubby left a copy of Ivory by Tony Park, which I had not read, and he took Sidney Sheldon's Mistress Games. He had found Ivory amusing in a not so flattering way, reading out some particularly corny lines to me. He expects Mistress Games to be about the same.

Probably the least appealing tome in the collection is a 2009 copy of the Coletanea de Legislacao Administrative Constitulcao
Federal from Brazil. Looks to me like the laws of the country. I can just imagine a Brazilian lawyer arriving with full intention of studying, then abandoning the profession to become a dive instructor or cleaner just to stay on the island. This book probably was found on the pool deck.

What treasures have you found in a 'swapsies' library?

DeLynne's Turn

Just like the last few weeks when Lesa was flying solo, I am having my turn being sole Mrs Baja contributor for a while. Lesa will be having some time with family while I do my best. Of course, she's the boss (I'm sure she'd say she's not, but I always think of her that way!) but I will keep those posts coming. Any advice is welcome.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Off the Beaten Page at Tangalooma Resort

Eva, a staff member at Tangalooma Resort on Moreton Island was reading at a sunny picnic table during some time off.

What are you reading? A Korean book by Han Bi-ya (she had to write it for me, since it was all in Korean script). The English title is Marching Off the Map.

What will you read next? The Secret, there's a movie I want to see.

Why do you like to read? It makes me think about something else. Like this book tells about Iraq, and a woman saving the world.

I had to do some research on the net. In Korea name order is reversed, so Han is the author's family name. Han Bi-ya appears to be a very popular and influential woman in Korea. The book Eva was reading is about refugees around the world.

Are any readers familiar with The Secret? Do you think I have the book Eva was talking about? It looks like one amazing self help book!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Off the Beaten Page on Heron Island

Tucked into a corner of Bailies Bar at Heron Island were two lovely members of the Fun Over 50's tour group. They were reading, and I just had to introduce myself and ask about their books. Thus was born the first of, we hope, many 'Off the Beaten Page' Segments.

Miss Shirley said she is not a great reader, and prefers to cross stitch when she is home. She picked up her edition of Agatha Christie's The Collected Short Stories for the trip, thinking it would be a good format for the rhythm of a tour. One thing she neglected to check, however, was the length of the stories. Some are only six pages long, and she felt she had just gotten into the mystery when it was solved, leaving her wanting more. Dick Francis is an author she enjoys. She doesn't like books with romance or sex in them, and her friend nodded in enthusiastic agreement to that statement. They agreed they were 'past all that'.

Miss Mary, the reader of the two friends, was about a quarter of the way through a Jodi Picoult novel, The Pact. She wouldn't recommend it, however, since this was the third time she had attempted to read it on a trip. She just 'never got into it' because it had 'too much love'.

Ruth Park is an Australian author who started writing in the 1940's that Miss Mary recommended to Mrs. Baja readers. Has anyone heard of her? When I looked her up, I recognized the title of her most famous character, the Muddle-headed Wombat. She's now on my TBR list.

In general Miss Mary doesn't like chick lit, and prefers autobiographies. She says Aussies are the greatest readers.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Vivian Vande Velde: Stolen

Looks scary, doesn't it. Actually, the story isn't scary and is only a bit creepy-- creepy, in an old folktale sort of way. Did you read folktales as a child? Oh, I loved loved loved them. My library had collections of folktales from around the world and I devoured every one. Such fun to shiver deliciously over ghostly and witchy tales during the day then take a running leap into bed at night for safety (especially after reading about Baba-Yaga the witch in Russian folktales).

Why do witches steal children? Do they really eat them?

Stolen is about a witch who steals children but all is not as it seems. This story puts a whole new wonderful spin on witch folktales. It has a fire and pitchfork mob, a missing and presumed dead witch and baby, a mysterious twelve year old girl with amnesia found in the woods, and an evil .... can't say anymore... it would give too much away. Take my word for it there there are several unexpected twists and turns in the last chapters that will astonish you. They certainly caught me by surprise--- and the last revelation was so perfectly and delightfully folktale-ish!

The only thing that took me out of the story for a moment was the dialogue. Since I was imagining a renaissance faire type of village, I thought to myself: These people are awfully well-spoken for farmers and villagers. Didn't detract from the story and maybe only a speech/language pathologist would even think of such a thing.

If you appreciate a good folktale, give Stolen a look. It is a very quick read at only 158 pages and would be perfect for a cozy afternoon or bedtime book.

Stolen was on the young adult bookshelf at my library but it is certainly suitable for middle graders.

I haven't read any other works by Vivian Van Velde but I want too. Hopefully, I can find Being Dead, a book of ghost stories reviewed
here by Kathy (The Literary Amnesiac).

Who is DeLynne?

And where, oh where, could she be? My lovely co-blogger has gone missing and I'm considering issuing an APB. Just kidding! DeLynne hasn't abandoned Mrs. BG... she has family from Texas visiting for three weeks. Living in Australia means she doesn't see family very often, so she is absolutely thrilled. How do I know this? From DeLynne's Facebook status updates. Oh, and the photos from Heron Island and the Great Barrier Reef are stunning. I say we all pack up and go visit DeLynne!

It recently came to my attention that there may still be confusion among our readers regarding who the players are here at Mrs. BG. Some readers did get us mixed up in the beginning but no one has mentioned it in so long, that I had forgotten about it. But when I met Kathy from The Literary Amnesiac in real life one of the first things she asked was: Who is DeLynne? She is in Australia, right? Are you sisters?

So let me explain: DeLynne and I are not related; we have just been friends for thirty years. We met at age thirteen and are both native Texans. DeLynne has lived in Australia for the last twenty years.

Even though we are not sisters, we do share a psychic bond of sorts. So many times in high school with absolutely no planning, both of us would arrive at school wearing identical outfits... seriously. Lots of weird incidents have happened over the years but one of the weirdest happened just this week. DeLynne emailed me with an idea for a new blog feature. Freaked me plumb out!! I had just been developing the same idea. Completely independent of each other, we were even considering the same title for the feature! Now is that far out or what!

By the way, the new feature is not biblio-blooper. The new one will be a cozy yet adventurous feature and all will be revealed soon.

Also, if you ever have any questions for either of us, don't stay in the dark, just ask!

Friday, June 18, 2010

biblio-blooper: The Sea of Monsters

News and movie bloopers are a hoot and print bloopers can be hysterical... especially the ones in Headlines on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno.

But what about typos, punctuation mistakes and all around bad editing in the text of the book you are immersed in reading?

Hmm, not as amusing, is it. In fact, biblio-bloopers can be quite jarring... ripping the reader out of the story at the speed of light. Such an unpleasant jolt. At least for me... what about you?

A bit irritating since I have to read the sentence over and over-- sometimes flipping back to the page just to read it again. And I am not OCD, really! Biblio-bloopers just prey on my mind. Even a chapter away, I know it is there... lurking.

Seriously though, how some biblio-bloopers make it past the copy editors boggles the mind. And whenever I spot one I always wonder two things: Have other readers noticed it? Does it appear in other editions?

To banish these bogeys from my mind, I've decided to start a recurring very randomly scheduled feature titled Biblio-blooper. I'll post the biblio-blooper with page and edition number. Hopefully, a bloggy friend or two will check their copies.

Today's biblio-blooper is brought to you by Rick Riordan's The Sea of Monsters, first edition, page 270, third paragraph:

Grover told me he could dissolve the empathy link between us, now that we were face to face, but I told him I'd just assume keep it if that was okay with him.

Hey, that was quite cathartic! If you discover a biblio-blooper and need to banish it from your mind, feel free to post them with the biblio-blooper title and credit back to Mrs. BG. :o)

Edit: Carin from Caroline Bookbinder suggested I remind participants that it is not kosher to post biblio-bloopers from an ARC since that is not the final copy of the book. I don't read ARCs so that never occurred to me. By the way, Carin has an amazing series called Careers in Publishing that you should check out if you haven't already.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

A Tale of Two Bookbloggers (meeting IRL)

What a fantastic adventure! Last week, Kathy from The Literary Amnesiac and I met in real life at Silver Dollar City (SDC), a pioneer themed amusement park in the Ozarks near Branson, Missouri.

How did such a meeting come to be? Simple really. Kathy commented on my recent SDC post that she would be there the following week. Since I'd be there as well, I replied wouldn't it be funny if we ran into each other. Serendipitously, of course. Hey, it could have happened! I mean, really, how hard could it be to recognize someone from a thumbnail photo in a crowded theme park. Thankfully, Kathy had the brilliant idea for us to not rely on serendipity but to actually meet intentionally.

So exciting! I couldn't wait to meet Kathy but my little boy was even more excited. He wanted kids to ride and play with so each time he spotted a family with three kids he asked: Is that them? All I could say was: I don't know! We are meeting strangers! I have no idea what they look like! Guess that wasn't the best message to send a child:

Never talk to strangers. Hey, let's go meet a whole crew of strangers

But bloggy friends aren't complete strangers-- they are more like penpals, aren't they.

I will confess to some mild concerns. Would Kathy and I hit it off? Would two gals who have only talked books online have much in common or much to talk about (beyond books)? Were my concerns warranted? You'll see...

After a bit of phone tag to coordinate schedules (Kathy was caving and I was salooning), it was finally time to meet. Armed with clothing descriptions, we trekked uphill to her location keeping an eye out for a funnel cake eating family. Kathy spotted us first and the rest is history!

If you've ever wondered what two bookworms would look like after a day of rides, wonder no more. A bit tired and bedraggled but we're happy! This photo was taken just after riding the Lost River ride on day one. Lots of fun but it is a soaker!

Oh yes, my concerns... Ha, I feel so silly... Kathy and I never stopped talking and laughing! It's a wonder we didn't pass out from lack of oxygen. So much fun... and we didn't even discuss books till the next day!

Here we are on day two after a long lovely ride-free chat.

What can I say about Kathy The Literary Amnesiac? She is fun, friendly, clever, energetic and has a great sense of humor. Or would that be a quirky sense of humor... Well, she seemed to appreciate my own brand of nuttiness. Kathy, hope you were laughing with me and not at me!! ;o)

Here are a few things Kathy and I have in common besides loving to talk, laugh, read and blog. Both of us grew up in cities but now live in rural locations with no visible neighbors. I grew up in East Texas and Kathy who is orginally from-- Shhh *whisper*-- North of the Mason-Dixon Line now lives in East Texas. (Her hubby is a good ol' E. Tx boy and he is great fun too) Both of us read a variety of
genres. Both of us are annoyed by contrived emotional/tear jerker books.

Our conversations ran the gamut and I loved every minute. Never in a million years did I expect to actually meet a bloggy friend in real life but what a rewarding experience! Have you ever met a bloggy friend in real life? Do you want to? If you are ever traveling in my region (E. Ok/NW Ark), give me a holler!

Wheee! Kathy riding the Grand Exposition roller coaster in the Victorian World's Fair area of SDC.

And You Too Can Be a Princess!

During our bedtime routine last night, my little boy said: You look beautiful like a princess.

Just as my heart melted from an overload of precious sweetness, he added these qualifiers:

Well, if you had on make-up... and if you had a ponytail... and if you had yellow hair...

What a toot!! I can't match Belle's princessly beauty but I can manage make-up and a ponytail.

However I draw the line at 'yellow' hair!

By the way, I have indulged his StarWars obsession by fighting the darkside as Princess Leia with over the ear hair buns-- teeny tiny hair buns but my little one was absolutely thrilled.

But really, I do draw the line at 'yellow' hair... maybe I can find a wig...

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Capricious Book Gods

Those capricious book gods have been taunting and tormenting this poor bookless waif for the last week and a half. Actually, I could never be a bookless waif since I am loaded with books to read--- but when I want a book I want it now! Sounds a bit Scarlett-esque doesn't it-- maybe I am just a spoiled book brat but really I can not believe my awful book luck lately.

On top of the outlet mall bookstore no longer existing, my favorite little county library gave the new Special Agent Pendergast novel to someone else while I was on hold for it.

Another disappointment but kind of my fault. After a long meandering drive home from the Ozarks, I was too exhausted to go back to town for it when the voicemail came in that Pendergast was available. Went into town the next day forgetting that the library closes at 5 pm on friday. Drat! When I finally get there at a proper time the book is gone-- to supposedly a fast reader. Better be a speedreader is all I can say!

As if that wasn't enough, last Saturday we visit a library in a nearby county. Of course we arrive ten minutes before the 12:30 closing time-- Er!! I quickly glanced at the newbooks and spotted The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton.

Never heard of it or the author but the cover was beautiful and the first lines of the synopsis captivated me: A tiny girl is abandoned on a ship headed for Australia in 1913. She arrives completely alone with nothing but a small suitcase containing a few clothes and a single book-- a beautiful volume of fairy tales.

A multi-generational mystery, garden, fairy tales, Australia to Cornwall. How intriguing! My reading material has been ho-hum lately-- not even blogworthy so you can imagine my excitement at discovering this book.

Couldn't wait to start reading it so asked hubby to check it out for me--- he has a card for that library. Hubby dutifully took out his wallet and to my horror reported no card!! Apparently, it was still in his old funky wallet-- I was completely stunned.

What to do? Panic? Stomp and scream? No, I politely, charmingly and desperately asked the librarian if she could possibly check it out for me via computer. My charm did the trick or maybe the librarian was just alarmed by my wildeyed desperation-- no matter-- she gave it the good ol' college try. All to no avail-- couldn't find hubby in the computer!!!

Can you imagine how awful it was to leave the book? At least they put it on hold but I had to wait till Tuesday to get it-- libraries are closed on Memorial Day.

Tuesday, the Cozy Book Nooks scurried to the library with our non-bookish company in tow. At first the librarian (a different one) couldn't find my book but I marched right behind the circulation desk and pointed it out. Sometimes a bookworm has gotta do what a bookworm has gotta do-- and I was not going to be thwarted again!

Guess the book gods were appeased by my bookish dedication because they finally smiled on me. I couldn't linger long (company) but I glanced again at the new book shelf and found another book. Yippee!

I've never read a Heather Graham novel but I recently read a very suspenseful shortstory by her in my Thriller book.

Home in time for Christmas isn't a thriller but a magical time travel romantic novel. Another intriguing synopsis and the rest is history...

Couldn't wait so I'm reading both simultaneaously. The garden one is my upstairs bed book and the Christmas one is my downstairs dining/avoiding work book.

Both stories are compelling and enthralling. Just can't express how positively and absolutely delighted and thrilled-- yes, I know-- over the top gushing but I'm trying to keep those capricious book gods appeased! ;o)

Friday, June 4, 2010

Find Your Nearest Half-Price Books!

Rachel Lehrberger, the manager of Half-Price Books in Oklahoma City, kindly informed me that her bookstore is still in biz. Woohoo! And very tactfully informed me that I had been shopping at the 75% off bookstore in OKC all this time-- that is the store that closed. Doh! Another bookish goofy doofus moment to add to my coffer of goofy doofus moments.

What a ditz! Now I am so mixed up-- Was the Branson outlet bookstore a Half-Price or a 75off store? Which one did I go to in Plano, Tx? An online search shows both are in Plano. My bookish in-laws always squire us around so maybe I've been in both stores. You know what is really bad? I've been in all these stores multiple times.

Despite my mix-up, Half-Price Books is a great bookstore for deals. They are located in sixteen states. Please check the
store locator--- maybe there will be a Half-Price Books in your neighborhood.

If you are wondering about the 75% Off bookstore, it seems they are only in Texas? But please don't hold me to that! ;o) I couldn't find a company website-- just one website for the Plano store and few addresses on google for other locations.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Half-Price Books?

My Memorial Day company left today so here I am getting in my long overdue book blogging fix. Oh my, so many bookish thoughts crowding my mind-- just like in my pre-bookblogging days. Honestly, I must not go over a week without talking books again-- my head may explode!

Last week, the CozyBookNook family spent a few days in the Ozarks at a resort on the shores of beautiful TableRock Lake near Branson, Missouri.

Fun-filled days at Silver Dollar CityNo, it isn't the setting of a slasher film or Steven King novel! It is a pioneer themed amusement park!

After overdosing on hair-raising rides, artisans, banjos and barbeque, our evenings were spent on nature walks and cooling off at the resort's Island Oasis.

Perfect kingdom for a mer-mama and mer-boy! Plenty of unruly and unsuspecting subjects were transformed into sea cucumbers by the Neptune infused power of our trusty noodles!

Branson is mainly traffic and jam-packed touristy tackiness so only one day of our trip was devoted to town fun. Go-carts, Shrek and shopping! Wonderful wonderful shopping! Why am I so excited about shopping? Because sad to say, locally, I only have access to Walmart-- So getting to visit not one, but two, outlet malls made me quite dizzy with delight.

Can you guess my favorite store at the outlet mall?

What a disappointment that it is no longer in business! I have such fond memories of that store. The running special was always four paperbacks for ten dollars and I always took advantage of it... especially back in my historical romance reading days. I also discovered one of my favorite thriller authors, James Rollins, there. I read my copy of Subterranean several times before passing it on to DeLynne's hubby.

It is always sad when a bookstore closes but I'm actually quite perturbed. You see, I noticed on my last trip to Oklahoma City that the Half-Price Books I shop in while hubby visits Guitar Center is also out of business. Are your Half-Price bookstores closing down too? Or is it just mine? Have I offended the book gods? If my Half-Price Books in Texas has closed, I am going to get worried!

What a relief! I do have more bookish adventures and musings to share but my mind already feels better! So out I go to tie up tomato plants and rip weeds out by the roots... and add to my expanding chigger bite collection... over twenty at last count. If none of my bloggy friends have ever experienced chiggers, I am more than happy to share. ;o)

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...