Sunday, December 27, 2009

Train trips and Christmas morning

Took a trip into town on the train the other weekend. Mr 6 was delighted! Had the most delicious gelato from Valentino's in the Ferry Building.

Thought this sequence of photos was quite amusing...

The night before Christmas

Mr 6 wakes up at 6am - starts sorting his into a pile...

Mum persuades him to just open one while waiting for Missy Moo to wake up. ('Scuse the jammies). *yawn*

Mummy gets dressed and caffeinated...

Missy Moo modeling her front pack I made (needs some adjustments) while picking her nose... charming.

I'm busy relaxing.... toodle pip.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

a bit of sewing

My machine saw the light of day!
Got some other projects planned for the days I'm off work :-)

Both these are for Missy Moo.  She seems to like them - especially the "arphalents" on the apron.

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

November Reading Round Up

The Indian clerk : a novel / David Leavitt.
Based on the true story of the strange and ultimately tragic relationship between an esteemed British mathematician and an unknown - and unschooled - mathematical genius. ~from the blurb
Okay, I will state right up that the bits covering the math theories got skimmed by me because they went right over my head.  But I did enjoy the fictionalisation of this relationship.  I felt the portrayal of the various characters were entirely genuine and typical of the time.  The tensions between them kept me agog.

Where memories lie / Deborah Crombie.
Detective Inspector Gemma James and her partner, Duncan Kincaid, must navigate the shadowy and secretive world of London's monied society to discover a jewelry piece's connection to a murderer and a pair of refugees from Nazi Germany.~ from the blurb.
This was great - very much enjoyed the crime story, back story and development of the main character's relationship through the chapters.  Will be looking for more of her work.

Home : a memoir of my early years / Julie Andrews.
Since her first appearance on screen in Mary Poppins, Julie Andrews has played a series of memorable roles that have endeared her to generations. But she has never told the story of her life before fame. Until now. ~ from the blurb.
Ms Andrews tells her story with honesty, dignity and gentle humor.  I hope she continues with further books because I'd like to read them.  Well worth the read.  Interestingly, I made an attempt at Christopher Plummer's autobiography and gave up - he writes in a unique way that I just couldn't stick at.  Might try again when I've got less going on.

The law of dreams : a novel / Peter Behrens.
The Law of Dreams tells the story of a young man's passage from innocence to experience during the Irish Famine of 1847. He embarks on an epic journey through Ireland and Britain and across the Atlantic to 'the Boston states'. ~from the blurb
Some of the events in this story I found harrowing but this was a terrible time in Irish history so the author is no doubt pulling on historical truth.  Some interesting relationships develop through the book and it has a slightly unexpected ending.  Not a bad read.

October's Book of the Month: Dewey : the small-town library-cat who touched the world / Vicki Myron, with Bret Witter.

Well, I finally got my copy to read!  November's book is still coming (I'm 400 out of 647 - think I might have to succumb and pay to read the BestSeller copy).

Summary from the blurb
How much of an impact can an animal have? How many lives can one cat touch? How is it possible for an abandoned kitten to transform a small library, save a classic American town, and eventually become famous around the world? You can't even begin to answer those questions until you hear the charming story of Dewey Readmore Books, the beloved library cat of Spencer, Iowa. Dewey's story starts in the worst possible way. Only a few weeks old, on the coldest night of the year, he was stuffed into the returned book slot at the Spencer Public Library. He was found the next morning by library director, Vicki Myron, a single mother who had survived the loss of her family farm, a breast cancer scare, and an alcoholic husband. Dewey won her heart, and the hearts of the staff, by pulling himself up and hobbling on frostbitten feet to nudge each of them in a gesture of thanks and love. For the next nineteen years, he never stopped charming the people of Spencer with his enthusiasm, warmth, humility, (for a cat) and, above all, his sixth sense about who needed him most. As his fame grew from town to town, then state to state, and finally, amazingly, worldwide, Dewey became more than just a friend; he became a source of pride for an extraordinary Heartland farming town pulling its way slowly back from the greatest crisis in its long history.

I enjoyed reading about the cat and what he got up to in the library. Libraries (and bookshops) have a long traditional relationship with cats, including some from New Zealand.

I did feel the author was a bit heavy handed with the anthropomorphism and imbuing Dewey with feelings/emotions that perhaps were a bit OTT. But still, it's clear he filled an important role in her life in particular as she seemed to have more than her fair share of Bad Things Happening. Not sure I'd really recommend it, except perhaps to cat lovers like my mum. :-)

Message to Book Circle Members, Current and Potential

We've got 2 more months to go before we finish our 12 months of books. There are a couple of things to consider as we get near the end of the cycle.

1. Do you want to continue?
       I'd be keen.

2. What books would you like to put forward for consideration?
        Have a think about it and be ready to send me some suggestions that we can put up for voting.

If you have been watching and would like to join the book circle, then feel free to email me.  There is no cost to join.

I'd like to make a suggestion though.  I haven't made any hard and fast rules for this Blogosphere Book Circle because I didn't want to make it a chore or huge obligation.  However, I do have a list of "members" in my side bar so if you're going to be part of the book circle, I think it's fair to ask you to commit to reading at least half of the books on the list.  (That would be 6 if we do another 12 months from Feb 2010).  I don't mind which 6.

I think it's disappointing to have the links to members who aren't active.  I know life interferes with good intentions and I'm not making some judgement about folks who haven't participated - but if you say you're coming to play and then don't ... well, it makes me want to go and sit in a corner and sulk. ;-)  I hope that isn't too draconian to put people off.

I'm curious to know the following (and this is where I would really like the poll function of Wordpress).
If you follow these reading round ups, do you go out and read any that have been reviewed?  Let me know in the comments.