Saturday, 31 October 2009

My Thoughts: Creole Folktales by Patrick Chamoiseau

I love folktales so when this was offerred as a bookring on bookcrossing I jumped at the chance to read it. The folk tales are from Chamoiseau's home island Martinique.

I started off loving this book and each tale, by the end I was enjoying the folktales less I'm not sure if this was the tales themselves which didn't grip me as much or if I had just overdosed in too short a space of time. I'm not going to talk about them all, I've just picked out a couple of those I loved.

'The Rainmaker' is the story of a village often suffering drought, one of the villagers brings a small boy to the village. The boy shows the villagers that with a needle he can draw the rainclouds closer and closer and make them shed their rain. He can even determine how much rain they drop. A village elder wishes for a shower not knowing that this is the only type of rain the village will now get.

'Madame Kelman' This short story reminded me very much of Hansel and Gretel and of several African folktales. A young unwanted daughter is sent into the forest each night with an impossible task to fill, the mother is hoping she will come to harm without the mother having a direct hand in her death. One day she sends the girl out with another errand and the girl searches and searched for the item which doesn't exist and ends up getting lost in the forest. She comes across a house with a witch inside, disgiused as an old lady. The witch promises her she can eat any of the lovely food on display if she brings the witch some water from the river. After drinking gallons of water and not fulfilling her promise the witch says she will feed the starving girl if the girl can find out the witches name. The girl ventures back out into the forest again and eventually discovers the witches name, when this is evealed to the witch the witch has to fulfill her promise. In a rage the witch rips off the horn of a bull, the leg of a donkey and the graceful neck of a crab leaving them all as we see them today.

This book is worth picking out, I think I'll get my own copy as it would be lovely to dip into this every now and again.

For the A-Z challenge

Do you have any particular countries folktales that you love?

Friday, 30 October 2009

Women Unbound Meme

1. What does feminism mean to you? Does it have to do with the work sphere? The social sphere? How you dress? How you act?

Feminism means to me the right for women to be equal to men in every sphere of life, to have the same rights and opportunities. It's not about how you dress or act, but the freedom to chose to dress and act how you want.

2. Do you consider yourself a feminist? Why or why not?

Yes and no. I have always felt it was important to go out and get what I want in life whether that is a job or to purchase something. I treat the girls in my class in exactly the same way as the boys, and teach them that they can do anything that the boys can do. When I have a family I will ensure that the boys and girls (if I get a mix) are treated the same.
However, I like boys to pay for the first date, I would never ask a guy out on a first date and think a girl is really brave if she can do this. I also still rely on men to come and do those things for me which I'm not strong enough to do - like changing a wheel. And I desperately want to be able to stay home when I have kids till they are in full time education. I still freak out if girls in my class burp or fart in public and can often b heard saying 'thats not very lady-like' when they are messing around with the boys. (Mainly because they are 14 and jumping around in teensy skirts).
I think I'm one of those women who want the best bits of both worlds.

3. What do you consider the biggest obstacle women face in the world today? Has that obstacle changed over time, or does it basically remain the same?

Women are now expected to be able to have it all, the family, the perfect home, a great job, to go to the gym and attend social functions. Its great that they have a much wider sphere to play in I just wonder if I'd ever be able to fit it all in with a full time job. At school we often see kids whose parents both work full time and aren't there when the kids get home from school. You sometimes get the feeling that they are trying to provide their child with everything, but what the kid really needs is a parent who is home more. That said these children are often the confident kids and often in top sets so it obviously isn't harming them too much. I think it depends on the way both the husband and wife work as a team.

See what everyone else said here

A Challenge: Woman Unbound (Nov 2009 - Nov 2010)

This is going to be one of the 6 challenges that I'm going to join for 2010, in fact this is the first one!

Women Unbound is a challenge to read books about women's studies, the books can be fiction or non fiction. Pop over to the challenge blog or to Eva's blog to get the full details and to see examples of the books which could be read for this challenge.
I've decided to participate at the higest level as a Suffragette: read at least eight books, including at least three nonfiction ones.

I'm not picking a reading list at the moment as I always end up changing it. But as I had a thing about feminist takes on literature during my degree (and ended up being banned from writing anymore essays analysing books from a feminist angle) I may be picking up some books linked to that, I'd also like to read books about women who have gained power against the odds or in male dominated areas, and some which are set in other cultures. I'm not sure which fiction I'll read at all but I'm sure I'll fine plenty of suggestions from other people's reviews.

I'll be starting with Indira: The Life of Indira Nehru Gandhi by Katherine Frank as soon as I have finished my current Non-Fiction read.

Books read:
The Virago Book of Wicked Verse, ed. Jill Dawson
Afghanistan, Where God Only Comes to Weep, Siba Shakib
The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas by Gertrude Stein

Sunday, 25 October 2009

The Sunday Salon

The read-a-thon ended for me at lunchtime, I took a good long walk into town (a 3 mile all round trip) picked up some holds from the library, have lazed around a bit and have made 2 handmade bookmarks. Was thinkig I was going on a crafting binge, then got a phone call from my ex, saying he was back in the country after 6 months away. It was very unexpected as he's not due back for a month and I would have like to have been prepared, we're friends but in that uncertain way with exes. So now I'm in a funny ole mood.

Anyway, back to books. I'm going to do a very quick round up of the books I read during the read-a-thon.
Starting with my least favourite The 13 Clocks by James Thurber, I was expecting great things from this, mainly because I had heard that Neil Gaiman (one of my favs) had written the introduction for the new edition and he said it was one of his greatest reads. I was blocking out the fact that I hadn't liked The Wonderful O either. From what I can remember (i was reading it during my mega tired hour, and I was struggling with everything) this is a fairytale type story. The beautiful princess is promised to a man as a child, he sets a challenge for another man to win her hand. There was stuff about jewels and tears and some pictures which I hope were painted in the 1970s. Oh well its another one knocked off the 1001 list. One star.

Ok the rest of this post isn't going to be that whiney.
I also read The Earth Hums in B Flat by Mari Strachen. From the synopsis on the back of this I thought it was going to be the aventures of a girl who flies around the town as a detective. Wrong I was. Gwenni has a vivid imagination, she complains that she could fly as a small child but now can only fly in her sleep and she thinks the jugs on the shelf are watching her. She is also a very sensitive child, living in poverty she is fed cheep meat each night, her thoughts about the meat have put me off eatting mince for the rest of my life. She grows queasy at the sight of blood and feels sick if upset.
Her mother is scared the neighbours will think she is mad so she is constantly shouting at the child, and picking on her. Gwenni goes to visit a neighbour on the day of a disappearance, she becomes convinced that this man should be found and sent back to his wife. From this day on her mum becomes 'sensitive' and becomes more and more aggressive towards Gwenni.
It was an average book, clearly a first novel but a fairly easy read-a-thon read. 3 stars

The Farming of Bones by Edwidge Danticat this was a fab read for the read-a-thon, the chapters were short, and it was a good story. Set in Haiti in the time of the problems between the Haitians and those from Dominica. We followed a young girl who had been orphaned as a child. She was rescued by a wealthy man and went to live in his household and trained up as a maid. Her boyfriend is underpaid and treated badly in his job as a cane worker.
When her boss kills one of his friends in a car accident the feelings of oppression which have always bubbles under the surface break and evryone is suddenly pulled into the middle of a civil war. She escapes across the border hoping her boyfriend and friends will manage to make it over and avoid the bullets.
The story was good, but has that feelig of familiarity to it. 4 stars.

My Children! My Friend! by Athol Fugard. I added this play to the pile at the last minute as it was so tiny and looked like something which would be good for those hard hours. I ended up reading this as my final book (I'd had a nap so I wasn't tired when I got to this). The South African play involves only 3 characters, an 18yr old black boy, an 18 white girl and his teacher. It quicks off in the middle of a debate over whether women should have an equal role in their society. The boys arguing along the tradition route while the girl is saying Africa needs to catch up with the rest of the world. Both very intelligent their comments are well formed and a friendship develops.
Despite living very different lifes, not just in terms of culture but also in terms of wealth they are brought together again by their teacher for a literature quiz in which he mentors them. The teachers role is vital to the play, he asks her if she would like to participate while he just tells the boy, he justifies this by saying a teacher in a black school in Africa must demand respect and obediance.
Under the surface we are aware that a rebellion is going on and just waiting for a moment to break out.
If you haven't read this go borrow it from the library and read it. Its only 68 pages and you'll be so glad that you did. 5 stars

read-a-thon hour 24

Books read: 4
Books Finished:The Earth Hums in B Flat, The 13 Clocks, The Farming of Bones, My Children! My Africa!
Current Book:
Running total of pages read since you started: 927

I just finished reading my final book, the play My Children! My Africa! and what a fantastic way to finish. I didn't read as much as I would have hoped, but I felt ill for the most part of it - I feel fine now. I loved the atmosphere of the read-a-thon, how you are somewhere alone but still feel like you are surrounded by people. I'm going to spend the next half an hour cheering on those who are still reading.

1. Which hour was most daunting for you? Hour 13 when I was feeling poorly and sorry for myself.
2. Could you list a few high-interest books that you think could keep a Reader engaged for next year? The play My Children! My Africa! by Athol Fugard was a fantastic read and easy to follow as it only had 3 characters speaking. The ideas and story will keep you gripped and at just 68 pages its a quick read.
3. Do you have any suggestions for how to improve the Read-a-thon next year? No, it was great.
4. What do you think worked really well in this year’s Read-a-thon? As a cheerleader I knew exactly where to go and having the readers seperated into groups made it less daunting.
5. How many books did you read? 4
6. What were the names of the books you read? I finished: The Earth Hums in B Flat, The 13 Clocks, The Farming of Bones, My Children! My Africa! I also read a section of Nights at the Circus and a few short stories from The Virago Book of Witches
7. Which book did you enjoy most? My Children! My Africa!
8. Which did you enjoy least? I struggled with Nights at the Circus - mainly because of the print but also because of the high amount of speech, so I set it aside to read later in the week.
9. If you were a Cheerleader, do you have any advice for next year’s Cheerleaders? Be realistic in your targets, I thought I'd get around a lot more people than I did.
10. How likely are you to participate in the Read-a-thon again? What role would you be likely to take next time? Very likely, would like to read and cheer again. I think next time I would assign myself a group of readers - 50ish, to visit a number of times during the 24 hours rather than going to lots of blogs. I had problems opening blogs I'd never been to which for some reason made my page open 50odd tabs and then close down. I also found blogs where I couldn't comment because I didn't belong to there blogging system. Don't get me wrong I visited some great blogs and will certainly go back to many of them again. I'm also planning to blog hop this evening to see how people got on.

Thanks to those running the read-a-thon, you were fantastic!!!

Read-a-thon: The final stretch

Books read: 3
Books Finished:The Earth Hums in B Flat, The 13 Clocks, The Farming of Bones
Current Book: Up next will be a play My Children! My Africa!
Running total of pages read since you started: 859

I just finished The Farming of Bones by Edwidge Danticat, the best read by me so far. Will be posting about this one later in the day. I'm off to cheerlead for a little while then starting a play (it's tiny).

Read-a-thon Hour?

I think we're in hour 20 or 21? lol.
Books read: 2
Books Finished:The Earth Hums in B Flat, The 13 Clocks
Current Book: Up next will be The Farming of Bones
Running total of pages read since you started: 728

Managed to read 170 pages since I've woken up, plus blog hop and comment. I've also had a bath - I was getting irritated that I felt grubby, I have to wash my hair every morning to feel human again! Now I'm slathered in the Body Shop's Brazil Nut Body Butter and fresh pjs. I've eaten and watered the house plants.

The picture above was taken from my bedroom window a few hours ago when the sun came up, looks like it'll be a gorgeous day so will certainly be getting myself out of the house when this read-a-thon is over.

Saturday, 24 October 2009

Read-a-thon: I'm back

I was planning on doing the whole 24 hours but I wasn't planning on feeling ill. My cold has pretty much gone and been replaced with a sore throat and up and down temperature. So last night I decided it was better to have a few hours sleep, I went to bed at half one and got up at 6 (real time, 5 as the clocks changed in the middle of the night). And guess what I dreamed of....blogging the read-a-thon :D
I'm going to check my google reader then read for a while and get some cheerleading in later on.
Hope everyone else is still doing well x

Read-a-thon Hour 11

Books read: 2
Books Finished:The Earth Hums in B Flat, The 13 Clocks
Current Book: Up next will be The Farming of Bones
Running total of pages read since you started: 559

The last hour has been far more productive, I've read a Finnish folk tale about a witches spell and James Thurber's The 13 Clocks, as well as polishing off most of a bag of family size Walker's Sensations and I visited about 20 blogs.
I've completely lost track of the blogs I've visited in total or the total amount of reading time.

Read-a-thon Hour 9

I've finally finished my first book!!!!!!! The Earth Hums in B Flat an okay but average read. I'll be doing mini reviews of my reads early in the week. I haven't been blogging or cheerleading in the last 4 hours because the internet decided to play up earlier, and just kept freezing.

It's now half 9 at night here, I've had dinner and the moon is shining brightly through the window. I'm off to do some cheerleading and get bathed and into my pjs before I start reading again. I'm thinking a few short stories then The 13 Clocks next.

Thanks for all my comments, hopefully I'll get to catch up with what everyone is doing through my cheerleading.

Read-a-thon Hour 4

Books read: 0
Current Book: Nights at the Circus by Angela Carter
Running total of pages read since you started: 90
Running total of time spent reading since you started: 1 hr and 45 mins
Cheerleading: 28 people visited
Favourite posts:

I've read till the end of the first part of Nights at the Circus, I'll be moving on to a new book after a bit of cheerleading as although I'm enjoying the plot the type is tiny not all that comfortable to read which is slowing me down massively.

Read-a-thon the 3rd hour

Books read: 0
Current Book: Nights at the Circus by Angela Carter
Running total of pages read since you started: 46
Running total of time spent reading since you started: 55 mins
Cheerleading: 10posts
Favourite posts:

So far this hasn't been going to well, I've been figeting and not concentrating, have had phone calls to deal with and managed to stop at a ton of blogs trying to cheerlead where people haven't started posting yet. Going to try and manage a solid hour of Nights at the Circus, if I still can't concentrate going to change to another read.
Hope everyone else is doing better than I am

Read-a-Thon the Beginning

I had many plans for this morning; a stroll along the river up to the library among crunchy leaves, cleaning the whole house, making vegi bolognase and peanut butter cookies from scratch. However I woke up to the sound of heavy rain and I still have my horrid cold, so I've pottered about and generally just been waiting for the read-a-thon to start. As we're starting in England at 1pm (probably one of the best starting times) I'm starting with fish and chips for my lunch which I've just popped out for and Nights at the Circus:

When I was cleaning my bedroom this morning - crisp fresh bed covers to snuggle up on the sofa with tonight while I read - I kept gazing at the stacks of unread books and mentally picking out ones to read. After I realised I was being unrealistic I've stayed downstairs where the only books in eyesight are these ones which I picked out on Thursday evening:

(The rabbit is a camera w*ore!)
The list:
The Virago Book Of Witches (for the RIP III challenge) - which was missed out of the pic.
The 13 Clocks by James Thurber (a 1001 book)
Piecing by Ryu Murakami (for the Japanese Literature challenge)
My Children my Africa by Athol Fugard (a play)
The Farming of Bones by Edwidge Danticat
Easter Island by Jennifer Vanderbes (Both are for a bookcrossing bookbox)
Feminine Gospels by Carol Ann Duffy (for the Twelve Step Poetry Programme)
Creole Folktales by Patrick Chamoiseau
The Earth Hums in B Flat by Mari Strachan
Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel
Kate Culhane by Hague

Out of this pile the poetry, the two short story collections (Creole Folktales and The Virago Book of Witches) and Wolf Hall will be dipped into. I'm hoping to polish of 4 or 5 of the other books. Possibly more.

I'm hoping to read for 24 hours but will sleep if needs be, my cold has left me with achey shoulders and my eyes have felt tired since I woke up. I'll be curling up with blankets, my stripey slippers and the bunny whatever happens. Oh and I'll also be cheerleading this year!
I'll be making a donation to the Royal National Library for the Blind I've made monthly donations to this charity for years and years, but it has become more important to me since I started teaching as our school has a specialist unit for Visually and Hearing Impaired pupils who are integrated into mainstream education.

Monday, 19 October 2009

My Thoughts: Uglies by Scott Westerfeld

After whinging about having readers block I then went and read all afternoon and a lot of the evening, it was still a bit of a struggle, I kept getting figgity but I managed to read for a decent length of time. Luckily I had the rilliant Scott Westerfeld to get me through.

Near about everyone in blogland seems to have read these - although they seem pretty unheard of on English book blogging sites.
Ugles is the first book in a quartet based in a country where between the ages of 12 to 16 you become an Ugly. You leave segregated away from your parents along with all the other uglies. Everyone is normal looking, they have unsymmetrical faces, spots, greasy hair, they may be slightly to fat or a bit to thin. They all look different and therefore are deemed Ugly.
They dream of being 16 of becoming a Pretty from the day of their 16th birthday when they will be whisked off for plastic surgery to make them look perfect. In New Pretty land not only does everyone have large sensual lips and big doe eyes, but they are allowed to party all night and day until they become middle pretties and have jobs and kids and stuff.
Tally can't wait for her chance to be 16, until she meets and befriends Shay, a girl who reveals to her that not everyone wants to be a Pretty and in fact some go off and live in a hidden city over where the Rusties (us) used to live, before we screwed up the world. I was shocked at her decision at the ending, looking forward to seeing where things go next.

A great teen read, good for adults to read as well. I'm looking forward to Pretties, the next book in the series which I have siting on my desk, its fast looking like it is going to be read for the read-a-thon this weekend.

Barts YA Dystopian Chalenge
The Scott Westerfeld Mini Challenge.

Sunday, 18 October 2009

Sunday Salon - City of Glass by Paul Auster and Stuff

I'll start with the 'stuff' first. I'm still in a major reading slump, I'm barely finishing a book a week at the moment and keep gving up on books all over the place. Not sure why this is, but its not just affecting reading, also going to the gym, marking school books, crafting and studying have gone down hill.
Despite the slump I'm looking forward to the readathon next week, I'm going to pop to the library tomorrow and pick up my holds and a few grafic novels and picture books so my eyes get a break. As that weekend is the start of the autumn half term I'm going to attempt to stay up all night and cheerlead as well as read. I still haven't thought about what to read, I have tons of books out of the library, bookrings and other stuff I want to read laying around so will just have to see what I fancy on the day. Before then I have to finish Uglies by Scott Westerfeld as its due back to the library Saturday.
Have you ever had a big slump in concentration? How did you get through it?

City of Glass by Paul Auster.
This is the first Paul Auster I have ever read, and I shall certainly be reading some more in the near future. City of Glass is a novella of about 125 pages. The main character Daniel Quinn is a novellist who hides behind his writer's name not even meeting his publishers. One day he recieves a call from a mystery person looking for Paul Auster the detective. At first he passes this off as a wrong number, but when they call again he decides to pretend he is this detective.
Quinn sets off to meet his clients, finding a man in his twenties whose speech and mind are impaired as a result of his father locking him up and never speaking to him for a large portion of his childhood as a scientific experiment. The father is due to be released from prison and Quinn is hired to follow the father and report if he seems that he could become a threat to his son.
Quinn spends months followig this old eccentric man on his walks around New York and becomes more and more embedded in the case, distancing himself from his real life.

I'm off now to mark some coursework, make doughnut muffins to take into work tomorrow and attempt to get some crafting and reading done. Have a good Sunday.

Friday, 9 October 2009

My Thoughts: Secret Hour (Midnighters Series) by Scott Westerfeld

October 9th and I finished my first RIP III book, I'm so behind everyone else on this challenge. In my defense up until this week the weather here was summery and didn't feel autumnal, now in true English style it has rained and been grey and horrid every day, we haven't had a good crip autumn day yet.

The Secret Hour is my first Scott Westerfeld book, and I can't wait to read some more. I already have Uglies and Pretties from the library and Touching Darkness is reserved for me.
The Secret Hour is the first book in the Midnighters Series. The book is set in a tiny town in Oklahoma. Jessica Day is the new girl from the big city, the girl everyone wants to make friends wih because she is 'fresh meat' in a school whee everyone has known each other forever.

Jessica wakes up one night at midnight, her room is filled with an intense blue light, the moon filling the sky. What had awoken her was the sudden silence after a night of rainfall. She steps outside into a froxzen world, the raindrops just hang suspended in the air, as she walks through them those she touch fall to the ground. It sounds beautiful.

Her second night out in the midnight hour isn't quite as serene. Woken by a cat at the window he leads her outside and down the street where he quickly transforms into a panther out to attack her. On the run, Jess clambers up a metal wired fence, as the panther hits the wire it burns.

After this experience Jessica quickly finds out a few members of her school are also Midnighters, Rex, the Seer; Melanie, who can read thoughts; Dess the mathmatical genius (the number 13 and its multiples are lucky) and Jonathan who has the ability to fly during the midnight hour.

Now they just have to figure out what Jess' special charm is and why all the creepy beasts which live in the midnight hour are out to get her.

Others thoughts:
If I missed your review of this book leave a URL in the comments section and I'll add it into the body of the text.

I love the idea of walking through a frozen rain, or finding a frozen thunder bolt or falling star. What would you do if you woke up in the frozen midnight hour?

Tuesday, 6 October 2009

Library Loot

I've been avoiding the library for a while now as I was trying to tackle the books I had to read without adding more to the pile. Then this week I succumbed and reserved several books because of various read-a-longs and challenges suddenly became very attractive. I still have 5 books reserved so hopefully they will come in soon. Today I picked up these:

Uglies, Scott Westerfeld
I am a Cat, Natsume Soseki (This is for the Japan Read-a-long but I must have a different edition as mine isn't in volumes '~')
Madame Serpent, Jean Plaidy (for a new Historical Novel reading group)
The Knife of Never Letting Go, Patrick Ness (Everyone is talking about it and I hate being left out)
Watchers, Sheila Jacobs( a random grab at the library but looks perfect for Bart's challenge)

I also spent a whopping 90p in the library sale and got The Master and Margarita and The Virago Book Of Witches.

Monday, 5 October 2009

My Thoughts: The Fire-Eaters by David Almond

Hello from a very grey and dreary England, a trip to the gym is planned later but the weather is making me want to curl up in my pjs with a hot chocolate and a book rather than practicing dog pose for an hour.

Last night I grabbed a book off the tbr which has been there for ages, I needed a kids book which wouldn't be too expensive to post to South Africa (for a bookcrossing book exchange)and which I could read fairly fast. The Fire-Eaters has been lurking around the house for a good year since I brought it from the library for 10p.

David Almond is famous for Skellig a book I read every year to the 11yr olds in my class, and every year fall in love with all over again. And this book by him is even better!

The Fire-Eaters is set in a small Northern village, in an area of deprivation. Bobby Burns Spends his days with his friends Joseph, a lad just wanting to finish school ad make some money as a builder and Ailsa. Ailsa, is a gorgeous character, her family sift coal from the sea and beach in order to make a living, and at the age of just 12 she has become their carer since her mother died.
Bobby on the other hand is off to grammar school, a place his parents have dreamed of for his as it will allow him to move up the social ladder. But grammar school means changing friends, being strapped and mixing with a wealthier bunch of boys.
Bobby also has to contend with his father's ill health and the constant news of nuclear testings by Russia and America's threat of going to war with the Russians.

Its one of those novels about life changes, growing up, understanding the world and being at peace with yourself. I haven't explained it very well, but it creates that feeling that you can only get from kids books. Its true, it reminds you that kids lifes aren't easy but also makes you yearn for that period of true friendships and sharedness which you have less time for as an adult.
A must read for kids book lovers.

Sunday, 4 October 2009

Audiobook: Good Omens by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett

A super quick review.
My love of Neil Gaiman just gets deeper and deeper. And this book has made me think perhaps I should take another look at Terry Pratchett.
Good Omens is a novel about the end of the world. A small boy, Adam is born who is prophesied to be the reason for the worlds end. The devils and angels have all been waiting for this point, for this final fatal battle to decide who really is superior while Adam just whistfully wiles away his summer with his friends.
The book is full of comical moments, as well as religious conundrums - just why would God place an apple on a tree and tell everyone not to eat it unless he meant it to be ate etc.
Stephen Briggs reading brings the whole thing to life and a joy to listen to. Read it!

YA Dystopian Read-a-Long

A few weeks ago I said I wasn't joining anymore challenges then Bart goes and announces this one, grrrr!!!!!! I can't bypass a challenge on two of my favourite genres. Readers have between October 15th and the end of the year to read between 1-5 YA Dystopian books - there are suggestions up at his site.
I'm not making a pool, although I just reserved a few books at the library! I know that I want to read Z for Zachariah which has been sitting unread upstairs for years and Tomorrow, When the War Began which I brought last week.
I'm seeing this challenge as perfect reading for Dewey's 24 hour readathon, the books will be attention grabbing and not too long and thus give a sense of satisfaction.

Saturday, 3 October 2009

Crafty Corner: All About Me

A mini update about my other love. Our challenge this month was to make a 4 inch by 4 inch fat page about ourselves to then post off to other participants in the group, we will then recieve their 4x4s and make them into a little book. Sounds easy, but then you realise how small 4inches is.
I cheated and have created a pocket to hold cards with info about me on the other side. There's a card with the meaning of my name on, a list of favourites (foods/authors/films etc), a wishlist of places I want to visit and my favourite poem decorated onto a card.
I'm looking forward to seeing what others send me.
If you click on the picture you can enlarge it.

Dewey's 24 hour read-a-thon: Sign Up

24-25th October 2009. I'm signed up, if you want to join in sign up here

The Sunday Salon: Short Story Sunday RIP III

Autumn finally seems to have arrived in the last few days, the mornings and evenings are freezing but the days are warm as long as you are stood in the sunlight. I was awoken by the winds yesterday morning t around half six and thought that it was a perfect time to start my RIP III reading with a short story.

'The Duchess at Prayer' - Edith Wharton, from The Ghost Feeler: Stories of Terror and the Supernatural SPOILER ALERT

First line:
Have you ever questioned the log shuttered front of an old Italian house, that motionless mask, smooth, mute, equivocal as the face of a priest behind which buzz the secrets of the confessional?

And so the story begins. In the Italian house a beautiful bride was once brought, a bride who was simply a possession, a being her husband saw but twice a year. She spent her days joyously dressing up, dancing, sewing and making music. At the beginnnig she had a campanion in her husbands cousin, but her jealous husband soon had him removed when he discovered her happiness. Undaunted she carried on filling her time with pleasure in the company of her serving women, and them alone. In the crypt an ancient relic, the leg of a Saint lays, the women spends her time in prayer and devotion to this relic.
One night her husband returns unexpected with a marble statue of the woman, he insists that the statue is placed over the crypt as he cannot bare the knowledge of her devotion. In a meal that evening the mistress dies, and a year later a new wife enters the home. When the husband finally dies the statue of the first wife is finally revealed, her face is tortured and has the look of a scream of pain across its face.