Top 5 Children’s authors

March 25, 2009 at 12:53 am | Posted in books, Comedy | Leave a comment
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I sometimes find it difficult to sleep. So at night I listen to my iPod to kind of clear my mind. Not music, but podcasts. The most recent one I have been listening to is the Radio 4 show Banter. Essentially, it’s four comedians discussing their top 3’s to a variety of topics. I thought I’d list one of mine but extend it a little to top 5.

I still love kids books. I have tried to keep as many of my kids books as possible, but there are some that I can’t find anymore. I therefore find myself browsing the kids book section to see if I can find them again.

There are many authors that could have fit this list. Ann M. Martin (The Baby Sitters Club), J.R.R Tolkien (Lord of the Rings, duh), John Marsden (Dear Miffy), David McRobbie (Mandragora), Beatrix Potter (The Adventures of Peter Rabbit), Jacqueline Wilson (Double Act), Gary Crew (The Watertower), Margaret Clark (Care Factor Zero), Morris Gleitzman (Blabbermouth) and , ahh so many, but I can only include top 5. So here we go…

1. Roald Dahl:
A pretty obvious choice. Anyone who can write stories about giants, witches, gifted children, elevators made out of glass and enormous fruit gets a vote from me.

2. Judy Blume:
I was introduced to Judy Blume when I was in year 4 and my teacher got into the habit of reading books to us. She started reading ‘Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing’ and I absolutely loved hearing stories about Fudge. I then discovered her other books and I am sure many women can agree they were great when you were growing up.

3. Paul Jennings:
Probably my favourite Australian author. They even made my favourite Australian TV series ever (Round The Twist) based from his short stories. I got sent a graphic novel of the Round the Twist series from Paul Jennings that was signed … a highlight.

4. J.K. Rowling:
Alright, controversial because she has only written the one series unlike the other authors on my list, but what a series.

5. Diane Bates:
Probably not as well known as the ones above, but when everyone in the school library had borrowed all of the cool books, and I was too slow I had to find something else. I stumbled upon the Grandma Cadbury series, essentially about a Grandma who is still out and about and active, taking her grandson on adventures.

As my mood changes, or different things happen in my life this list will change. That’s what I find fantastic about books, they evoke different memories or feelings at the point in time that you read them. I suppose that is why I have two Australian authors in my list, because they were entwined with my childhood. As Children’s books should…


On the hunt for the perfect chair

September 11, 2007 at 1:19 pm | Posted in books | Leave a comment
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I have had a bad case of neglect. I have neglected my blog and am paying the price! The main reason (besides work), has been the fact that I am going to be moving (temporarily) into an apartment I acquired. So I have found myself become unwittingly obsessed with homewares. I am not one to dwell on the perfect frying pan, but have found myself of late attempting to do so.

As part of this, I have become obsessed with finding the perfect chair. I am trying to find a chair called a chair and a half. It reminds me of a chair that I imagine would be in Alice and Wonderland. A big chair, where if you sat on it with your back against the back, your legs would be horizontal and your feet would just hang off the end. It’s just a big comfort chair, and would be the ideal place to just sit and read. The last time I saw one, was in the movie The Aristocrats. One of the female comedians was curled up on one.

It seems a lot of furniture stores are going down the plastic, minimalist path where they are just too damn uncomfortable to sit on. So I will not rest until I find the perfect chair.

If you know the chair I am talking about… tell me where I can find it!

Harry Potter – the end

July 22, 2007 at 8:35 pm | Posted in books | 1 Comment

Just an update from my post yesterday about Harry Potter. I have actually finished the book. It actually didn’t take me that long to read (quite easy), and I think it helped that I wanted to find out what happened in the end. No I am not going to spoil it. Suffice to say that she satisfies everyone’s expectations on the fate of Harry Potter…

The question for me will be…should I read it again?

I like Harry Potter…so what are you going to do about it?

July 21, 2007 at 9:14 pm | Posted in books, Comedy | Leave a comment

As I am working through the weekend, I have sitting next to me the latest Harry Potter book. Yes I am one of those suckers who have been caught up in the hooplah. I mean I have invested a lot of time in it so I may as well see it through. I’m not a quitter. It is hilarious thinking about the 6 books and remembering exactly what happens in all of them. I have to say, I read the first 4 books to death, but the last two (the longest!) I didn’t read again. Sooo when I started to read the 7th and final, I realised what the hell is going on! I don’t remember what happens. What the hell is a horcrux, who the hell is R.A.B and why does Harry have a locket…hang on he has a thing for Ginny? Well the BBC has helped me out in this case by asking people to summarise the first 6 books in 100 words. They had more than a thousand people write in, and have published the top 6. Here are my favourites:

From Gillian Iverson, Hong Kong:

“Harry and his posse gots ta eliminate gangsta V-Man and his evil yet sexeh followers lest they destroy the world. V-Man has already got Harry’s posse members shot down (family, godfather, Dumble-D), and it’s a-time for revenge!
Harry and crew has got to cruise ’round the hood to find V-Man’s treasures to destroy, and only then can they take him on and blast his ass! Pow!

Hermione and Ron want to hook-up, but feel that Harry’s hollah is more important at the moment, which is way cool, but Harry ain’t bovvered, because he knows that luuurve will get him through.”

 From Emma Pearson, Nottingham

Harry:  : D
Harry:  : )
Harry:  : |
Harry:  : /
Harry:  : (
Harry:  : ‘  “

Bookaholics Anonymous

May 31, 2007 at 12:06 am | Posted in books | 3 Comments

Paul Colman’s blog Life in the Middle is a great read for me. And he recently blogged about books and unusual places to have them. The fact that you accumulate them as you go along. I’m a bit far from where he is at, but I can see the likeness. My bookshelf is sagging down the middle. I have had to change the layout of my books, from a normal librarian format, to face down. And they are two rows deep as well. I have them piled up in a separate smaller shelf and next to my bed. It’s funny though, when you love books and love a book you want to talk to other people about them, I guess that’s why bookclubs exist.

I can’t remember exactly how I discovered this site but there’s a network that caters to us devourers of books called Good Reads . Like every other social networking site you set up your profile, and then you have the job of

a) listing the books you have read in the past…and review them

b) list the books you are currently reading

You can look at what other people have recommended and are currently reading. So far I have only invited my colleague James and my friend Ursh, because I know they are bookaholics. But I just haven’t had the chance to invite anyone else. Mainly because I don’t really know anyone else who loves books as much as we do…

I see one major flaw with Good Reads. Now I have already explained that I have books coming out of my sock drawers etc, so reviewing each book is going to take a hell of a lot of time! Now I would be the kind of person who would do that, but I just think about whether it’s really worth it. So perhaps the benefit is not to backtrack what you have read, but to look more to the present and the future.

The site did get me thinking about what books are “worthy” for me to review. And interesting enough, a lot of my favourite books, well books I remember and have stayed with me came from when I was younger. I think it’s because I’m older, I put energy into work and therefore want to read something more light, easy to get through, easy to pick up and drop when I need to. So my top 5 reads are:

1. Mandragora by David McRobbie (this book made me stay up late as a kid, and read until the early hours of the morning)

2. The Water Tower by Gary Crew (a picture book but definitely not for kids because it freaked me out)

3. The Stephanie Plum series by Janet Evanovich (chick lit and just a great character)

4. The copy by Paul Jennings. A short story that introduced me to the “twist” in narrative.

5. Animalia and the Eleventh Hour by Graeme Base (Where’s Wally but so much better)

Now I am doing this from memory so there is bound to be so many more that I can’t think of at the moment. If I do, I will update. How about you? Favourite books or books that have stayed with people?

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