We owe it to each other to tell stories - Neil Gaiman

Wednesday, 30 November 2011

Time travel is possible, it happens everytime you read a book.

I just thought I would put this out there because it is something that came to me yesterday. I have been watching Fringe and it has just made me think of and look at things differently. Also, I thought I should also have a quote that I made up.

Random I know, but this is what sleep deprivation does to me.

C'est la vie

I will be very scarce for the next week or so, and it'll probably only be around the 15th or so when I am properly back online. I am in the pre-storm phase of the storm that precedes the calm so I won't even pretend that I am going to try to come online - unless ofcourse I can convince my sister to post stuff for me, but we will see how it goes.

I have been thinking alot the last few days about series vs the book. And whilst I won't delve in too deep here I want to do a comparison type of thing on the series and the book and how sometimes it is all just so much better in your head.

So when I am on holiday - I shall be dividing my time between books and series - because I have a lot to catch up on. So you can look forward to some interesting content when I do return.

I have been reading the most enthralling book - The Orchid House - but you are going to have to wait until February for my review... But the wait will be worthwhile. I am dying to have a massive reread - so I will have to schedule that into my reading plan very well, but rest assured that next year will have lots of content - more than before - I have 2012 very well planned .

But until then, happy reading... I have to get some work done.

Friday, 25 November 2011

Technological Fail

So whilst I enjoy the flexibility that is offered by an eReader I have come to realise that they too have their downfalls. So let me regale you with my story before I work out the pros and cons of paper vs screen...

On Wednesday night, I decided that I was going to really get into the story of The Orchid House... and believe me I did. I felt as though I was submerged in another world - and not in that nightmare kind of way where you cannot get out. But in that way where you feel that you are a fly on the wall in the life of someone in the past... Whilst the story had been gripping all along - it got to this part of the plot where you are literally hanging on every word on the page - taking them in quickly yet slowly because you want to savour what is about to come... And what was about to come in this story was rather monumental - as far as the book goes right now - and I was just so involved in the world of those in The Orchid house, and what happened next was most ..... My battery died. IT DIED!!!!!

Of course I could have charged it whilst reading, or made sure that the battery was in that 6 hours left mode, but I did not. I did not expect the time to go by so quickly. So what did I have to do, I had to go and charge it before I read any further - the agony of being left on the verge of a climax in the story!!!! Most vexing indeed. And this is where I realise, that having an actual book can so often be so much better. Of course my battery is fully charged now, and the story is just waiting for me, but it will be different now, going into the story again - and feeling what was going to come on. But enough of that, onto the pros and cons...

The real thing - paper between your hands...
  • A book's battery will never die - it will be there for you to pick up and go on with and will be okay with you stopping when you feel you are ready to.
  • You can put your books on display and marvel at their beauty.
  • You can smell them and get the comfort given by the physicality of a book.

The cons:

  • Books weigh a fair amount - especially when you are inbetween books, or if you are a fast reader and have many to take with you on holiday.
  • They require a lot of space - which all bibliophiles KNOW we will never have enough of.
  • They are an obsession (maybe this is not so much of a con as something that I need help for).

The electronic version

  • Your reads are only as heavy as your eReader.
  • You can have 100s of titles with you at any given time.
  • It is more travel friendly.

The cons:

  • They are battery operated.
  • Whilst they provide the same pleasure when reading a book - they are not as aesthetically pleasing.
  • It is more likely to get stolen than a book is.
  • They are battery operated (may have mentioned this before, but I think you get my point).
  • They are severely allergic to water.

So, the best advice I can give, is to have them both - and make sure that your battery is fully charged to avoid disappointment.

Wednesday, 23 November 2011

Dressing a Nation - The Little Black Dress and Zoot Suits

Going to read a book set in the 1930s to 1950s? Loved the way they dressed in Grease? And what about that dance in season 1 of The Vampire Diaries? Have a party with a theme? Then this is just the book for you!

Title: The Little Black Dress and Zoot Suits

Subtitle: Depression and Wartime fashions from the 1930s to the 1950s

Author: Alison Marie Behnke

Publisher: Lerner Publishing Group

Imprint: Twenty-First Century Books

ISBN: 9780761358923

Publication Date: 1 October 2011

Source: NetGalley

It depends on who you were:

  • Most American women in the depression era made their own daywear, including printed floral dresses and slim skirts and blouses. In wartime the government rationed fabrics, so women often remade men's suits into simple outfits.
  • For 1930s high fashion, nothing beat Coco Chanel's women's suit - a slim, straight skirt with a matching boxy jacket.
  • Casual wartime fashions brought the colourful Hawaiian shirt and khaki trousers into men's closets. Sailor suits also became popular for men.
  • Latino and African American men brought the oversized zoot suit into the mainstream for men of the 1940s.
  • The 1950s saw a shocking development - the two-piece, navel exposing bikini for women and swimming trunks for men!
  • In the postwar boom era, young men either went tough- rolled up jeans, white t-shirtsm and leather boots and jackets - or preppy - a sweater vest and sport coat over casual trousers.
  • And young bobby soxer girls of the 1950s couldn't go wrong with white ankle socks, a pink poodle skirt, and matching weater set.
  • Read more about depresion era and wartime fashions - from the form-fitting little black dress to polo shirts, stylish snoods, and chic chignons - in this fascinating book.
The Review:

I absolutely adore this series of books. The pictures are wonderful and the information so insightful - it gives you all you want to know without wanting more - and if you do want more... well there is an outstanding selection of sources at the back of this book.

The pictures selected highlight the dress mentioned, from the poodle skirt, to zoot suits, to the little black dress, to the styles of Hollywood from Greta Garbo to Audrey Hepburn. This book is the perfect guide for projects on clothes of the era and even a great go to guide for dressing up for a fancy dress party, or a theme party. I really learnt a lot from this book, and the best thing about it is that it is simple enough for school kids to understand, but not so simple that it will bore adult readers. This book provides not only pictures with information but snippets from various magazines and newspapers highlighting the thoughts on these clothes at their apex.

Reading this book was like stepping back in time and experiencing the dress made possible by the opulence before the depression - the thriftiness of the depression era and then the changes that came about with the war and the move towards luxury during the 50s. The impact of Hollywood, the bikini and sunglasses all feature in this book. So do yourself a favour and go and get it now.

Tuesday, 22 November 2011

Re-reading books

C.S. Lewis once said that he could not imagine someone really enjoying a book and only reading it once. Truer words have never been spoken - but rereading so often falls by the wayside - what with all these new books that are coming out everyday and with all the new books that you discover everyday. It is not difficult to understand why books that we enjoyed and have shelved as wanting to be reread just wait there, longing to be picked up again, wishing that you would pick it up and enter the worlds that exist in between all of those pages.

To read or to reread that is the question - as a book blogger you are always wondering what to do when it comes to reading a book that you have reviewed before. I reread the Southern Vampire Mystery Series earlier this year, and then last weekend I read two Sookie short stories and just longed to be sucked back into Bon Temps and interact with all the supes that find themselves there. But this is not the only series I long for - I want to reread Harry Potter. I want to go back to Hogwarts and re-live the wonder of Hagrid's odd collection of pets, feel the tension of Harry's first quidditch game, the genius of Fred and George's departure from Hogwarts, the Ministry of Magic ... I miss that world - and whilst I could just hire all the DVDs, it would just not be the same.

And then there is that eternally rainy place called Forks where the gorgeous Cullen's live, the epic love story of Edward and Bella. And don't get me started on The Vampire Diaries - the oh so lovely devil that is Damon Salvatore... And then there is Starcrossed that was on my mind forever after I finished it, and Gone with the Wind, Rebecca, Middlesex, I am Ozzy, Shutter Island, The Unbearable Lightness of Being, One Hundred Years of Solitude.... My list could continue forever.

This is when one must decide to create some sort of balance between discovering new worlds and people and revisiting the ones we have already encountered. And well that is what I am going to do. As soon as I have thought of an awesome name I shall start a feature for rereads, because well a life without re-reads is not a life that I want.

Sunday, 20 November 2011

Plans for 2012

This year has been a very disappointing year for me blogging wise. I have not been around as much as I wanted to, I have not checked other blogs as frequently as I would have liked and I certainly have not read an impressive amount of books.

Because of all this, I have decided to plan ahead for 2012 as far as blogging goes. I have started to set up a sort of schedule, and well, when you have a bit of a plan, you stress less. This ofcourse means a lot of reading during December, and trying to steal a moment here and there to get a few pages in. But I really do hope that 2012 will be a better year for reading and blogging.

So far I only have 1 month completely planned, and that is because I was just so excited by the though that I decided that 2012 must be the year to get it done. So in September of 2012, you can look forward to an entire month dedicated to Roadl Dahl. I have 6 days left open for guest posts, so if you are interested please let me know and let us all share our love for Roald Dahl.

Also, next year September my blog turns 3 years old!!! Shocking, I totally missed my blogoversary this year. To make up for it, next year is going to be a year for celebrating so you can look forward to some giveaways in September. It ties in so well with Roald Dahl month!! I have also decided to have a different format for things around here next year. I want to mix my reviews up a little bit and not have many from one genre and just one or two of another. Watch this space, and see how change happens.

Next year will see the debut of my Original Classics feature, I thought it would be better to launch it when I am actually online a lot instead of the sporadic post that has been the norm of late.

Good news is that Monday I start something that is less draining, so you can expect to see a bit more content than you have over the past few months. I think it's Spring that is giving me all these ideas and inspiration. Let's hope it lasts.

But anyway, enough of my rambling... Happy Sunday and Happy Reading!!

Saturday, 19 November 2011

Book Loot

I need help – I have a severe compulsion to buy books. Heck – not only to buy books but to acquire more and more books. But then my blog is called Bibliophilia... so I suppose that explains it... I went crazy on Kalahari the other night when I saw all these Wordsworth Classics going for R28, 95 each. If it was not for my limited income I probably would have bought more.

So here is what I got (so far):

Anna Karenina – Leo Tolstoy

Around the World in Eighty Days – Jules Verne

Crime and Punishment – Fyodor Dostoevsky

Don Quixote - Cervantes

Dracula – Bram Stoker

Emma – Jane Austen

The Idiot – Fyodor Dostoevsky

The Little Prince – Antoine de Saint-Exupery

Madame Bovary – Gustav Flaubert

Mansfield Park – Jane Austen

Moby Dick – Herman Melville

North and South – Elizabeth Gaskell

Northanger Abbey – Jane Austen

Oliver Twist – Charles Dickens

Persuasion – Jane Austen

Pride and Prejudice – Jane Austen

Sense and Sensibility – Jane Austen

Twenty Thousand Leagues under the Sea – Jules Verne

Uncle Tom’s Cabin – Harriet Beecher

War & Peace – Leo Tolstoy

Wives and Daughters – Elizabeth Gaskell

Lady Chatterley's Lover - D.H. Lawrence

The Scarlet Letter - Nathaniel Hawthorne

The Age of Innocence - Edith Warton

Frankenstein - Mary Shelly

It does seem a bit excessive, doesn’t it? But I just could not help myself. And there were more that I wanted. More that I needed...


have a......





Okay there I said it. They say the first step to overcoming a problem is admitting that you have one... But then again, you all know what it is like...

Friday, 18 November 2011

Forthcoming Attraction: The Trylle Trilogy

For the first time ever, the million-copy best selling eBook Trylle Trilogy by Amanda Hocking will be published by Pan Macmillan! After an intense international action these books will now be available in all formats for the first time!

Good news is that the Trylle Trilogy will be released in quick succession - so that means we don't have to wait a whole year to find out what happens next!!! *Oh and some good news, the trilogy is soon to be filmed!!

About the author:

Amanda Hocking is 26 years old and lives in Minnesota. Before 15 April 2010 she had never sold a single book. She has now sold over a million. The Observer says that her books are a self-publishing phenomenon! And, Amanda is the most spectacular example of an author striking gold through eBooks. She has a huge social media presence, so follow her on twitter, find her on facebook and check her out on Good Reads and go on over to her blog for all things Amanda.

"Her character-driven books which feature trolls, hobgoblins and fairy-tale elements keep the pages turning, and have generated an excitement not felt in the industry since Stephenie Meyer or perhaps even J.K. Rowling" - The NEW YORK TIMES

Switched - 6 January

Torn - beginning February

Ascend - beginning April

Watersong, the first book in a brand new series will be launched in September 2012. So look out for that. Be sure to come back in January to check out my review of Switched!

Wednesday, 9 November 2011

a lotus grows in the mud - Goldie Hawn

Title: A lotus grows in the mud

Author: Goldie Hawn

Date of Publication: 2005

Publisher: Bantam Press

Pages: 521

Source: bought

“No one speaks the same language, but we all share this common language: the language of laughter” P 341

The blurb:

In a lotus grows in the mud Goldie Hawn takes us on an inspiring odyssey and, with her trademark effervescent humour, reveals the lessons she’s learned and the wisdom she’s gained along the way. This is her chance to talk about everything from anger and fear, to love, compassion, friendship and the many challenges she’s faced in her career.


“The lotus is the most beautiful flower, whose petals open one by one. But it will only grow in mud. In order to grow and gain wisdom, first you must have the mud – the obstacles of life and its suffering... The mud speaks of the common ground that we humans share, no matter what our stations in life... Whether we have it all or we have nothing, we are all faced with the same obstacles: sadness, loss, illness, dying and death. If we are to strive as human beings to gain more wisdom, more kindness and more compassion, we must have the intention to grow as a lotus and open each petal one by one”

I found out about this marvellous book when Goldie Hawn was on Oprah. I cannot tell you how many books I have learnt about thanks to Oprah, (this however is a topic for another day) and all of these books have changed my life; including this gem by the vibrant legend Goldie Hawn.

A smile is an indication of a happy heart, and when you smile it changes your perception" p25

In a sentence, my summary of this book would be “A life well lived and well examined.” But that is too short to give this book any credit, it is simply inept. I will start by saying that autobiographies are my favourite book genre – and well this beauty has just deepened my love for the genre. In a lotus grows in the mud Goldie Hawn does what people rarely do in their autobiographies, and that is what makes this one so exceptional. Goldie tells us of one of her memories or life experience and then tells us what she has learnt from that experience. There

is a great deal of introspection occurring on the pages of this book.

Your joy can be measured only by the depth of your sorrow

One of the reasons why I really appreciated this particular book is because it gave me such great insight – it gave me many of Oprah’s AHA moments. What I found was that Ms Hawn put into words her findings on many of the things that I have been thinking about. Verbalising the answers to questions that have been floating around in my head; it is very rare that a book does that for me as fully as a lotus grows in the mud has done for me.

It is what we don’t know that frightens us, and nothing stifles joy like fear.”

Goldie Hawn’s life has been a full life, and I do hope that she will write another book on the next years of her life. She speaks so candidly about her earliest memories and her spiritual experiences, the difficulties she faced early in her career, her marriages, her heartaches, her joys and her triumphs. This book is a must for anyone who is a fan of Ms Hawn or the person who is looking for answers to certain things in life such as joy, being different, fear and so many other life experiences.

If you don’t take responsibility, then you’ll never grow. You will never learn. And you will only repeat your mistakes. P375”

So if you are looking for a book that will shine great insight on life, this is the book for you. Goldie Hawn does a great job of not only telling us about her life, but of examining her life on the page so that she gets so much more out of it and so do we.

Don’t forsake your own wisdom because you fear you will lose something p 367