Am I too old for Christmas Wish Lists?

Some seem to think that at nineteen years old I should already have a healthily developed sense of maturity and responsibility. And with this, I am certainly in accord. But….but…does this ‘maturity’ extend so far as mean that Santa Claus no longer exists? It cannot be! As a writer and a reader and therefore an accomplished imaginer, I declare that I am forever entitled to believe in whomever I like…And so to the grand point of this blog article: my Christmas Wish List. You may scoff at the fact that I still write one but I dub it as a ‘Cheers!’ to my eternal youth.

As every word addict comes to realise at one point or another, reading can be expensive. Sure you can go to the library and read books for free but if you’re a special breed of addict, the kind who adores owning books as much as actually reading them, then you’ll appreciate the significant financial impact of this literary addiction. It is for this reason that I use every opportunity, inclusive of Christmas, birthdays and congratulatory occasions, to drop hints about the deepest desires of my nerdy heart. And this year, I have so far compiled a list that reads as such:

  • The Portable Dorothy Parker – Dorothy Parker

The Portable Dorothy Parker Cover

  • A Confederacy of Dunces – John Kennedy Toole

A Confederacy of Dunces Cover

  • A Tree Grows in Brooklyn – Betty Smith

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn Cover

  • Who’s Afraid of Virginia Wolfe – Edward Albee

Who's Afraid of Virginia Wolfe Cover

  • It – Stephen King

It Cover

Have you read these books? Do you think they’re worthy of a place on my Christmas Wish List (the last on my adolescence!)? Do you have any books that you’d love for Santa to bring you this year?

BooktoberFest!

Booktoberfest

To my Ravishing Readers,

I just thought I’d share with you all an exciting little opportunity that I stumbled across! In the lead up to Christmas (is it that time of year already?!), Booktopia, an online bookstore, is running a competition in celebration of books and their publishers. With over $14000 worth of literary prizes on offer, there are dozens of chances to win yourself an early Christmas present! I got so excited when I discovered this that I actually giggled out loud while alone in my house. Jump online here and see for yourself!

All the best!

Who was your first love?

Book Love

They say your first love is intense…and this is true. I fell hard, at age eleven, and have since been irrevocably rapt by the magical world of witchcraft and wizardry. Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, my first literary love, was certainly a real book and was followed by six others, each as exquisite as their predecessors. But they have not been my only loves…my heart has been passed around the library quite a bit, its strings plucked by the likes of Life of Pi, Tomorrow When the War Began and The Five People You Meet in Heaven.

According to J.K. Rowling, whose word no one can dispute given her literary crown, “If you don’t like to read you haven’t found the right book.”

Have you fallen in love yet? Multiple times? To whom?

An Insatiable Appetite

Does this describe any of you?

Just for some shamelessly nerdy fun, rate yourself on a scale of one to ten: one meaning you shudder just imagining the taste of literature, of words, of grammar twists and plot turns; ten meaning you literally cannot shove the words down fast enough, that your appetite roars for an incessant stream of fiction and articles and poetry, that you’ve possible even considered addiction counselling to release yourself from the constant desire to read and write.

Perhaps you’re a two, you hate reading and you’ll be clicking out of this internet window as swiftly as possible. Or, perhaps you’re a five, you like a dose of bedtime reading every now and again. A seven maybe…you could spend at least an hour among the shelves of a bookstore.

One to Ten…?
Book Quote

Writers Converge!

Brisbane Writers Festival 2012Attention all Brisbanites and inhabitants of surrounding suburbs! Brisbane (the wonderful capital city of Queensland, Australia for those of you outside of the Land Down Under) is getting ready and very excited for the Brisbane Writers Festival in September! Tens of thousands of readers and writers will converge on the Cultural Centre and Brisbane Powerhouse for five solid days of  literary immersion. The festival is a melting pot of respected authors, budding writers, bookworms, students, emerging authors and playwrights and those who’ve simply succumb to their curiosity. With a program of workshops and masterclasses that really does offer something for everyone, with courses on everything from ‘The Unpredictable Plotter’ to ‘The Art and Craft of Travel Writing’, it’s the writers’ event that simply cannot be missed!

I, one of the fortunate few who live within a reasonable distance of this excellent event, will most certainly be attending and have already begun choosing the workshops and seminars that I’d like to partake in. Oh and I’ll most definitely be keeping an eye out for participating writers Wesley Enough (Artistic Director of Queensland Theatre Company), John Lanchester (regular contributor to The New Yorker magazine) and….(DRUM ROLL, PLEASE)…Joanne Harris (author of Chocolat – a book made into a film starring Johnny Depp. ‘Nough said.)

Will I see you there?

The Number 1 Literary Law

Forgive me, Book God, for I have committed the literary lover’s cardinal sin: I left home this morning without a book.

Yes, yes, I know that I should have known better. I know that there is no excuse, no occasion, no circumstance under which it could be deemed acceptable to be so shamefully unequipped as a self-proclaimed bookworm. But it happened and I’m sorry and I can honestly say that I have been thoroughly and completely punished.

Today began just like any other Wednesday. I awake at 8am, check my emails, breakfast, watch a little TV and finally dress for work. Before stepping out the door, I check my handbag to ensure I have the necessary phone, wallet and bottle of water. The Nanny Diaries lies on my bedside table. I look at it. Do I take it, do I leave it? I’m going straight to work and straight home afterwards without a lunch break in between so… my ride to work arrives and I’m out the door. The Nanny Diaries lies dejectedly on my table and the literary stars align to serve up one steaming platter of retribution…

I’m not exactly sure what they say about making assumptions but I think it’s along the lines of: DON’T DO IT. Nevertheless, I make my day’s plans assuming that I’ll be catching a ride home with one of the girls I work with. Two o’clock arrives and suddenly I’m smacked in the face by the realization that she’s working until closing time while I’m rostered to finish at four. Oh no. Oh no, no, no. I call Dad and beg to be picked up but I’m unpleasantly informed that I will have to wait at the tennis courts until six, when my brother finishes training. That is two hours. Two whole hours at a sporting ground (to which I’m quite obviously allergic)…without a book.

Two long and painful and boring and cold and hungry and lonely hours. I twiddle my thumbs, I pull at the frayed bits of my jumper, I tap my leg, I sigh and I wait. I pine for my divine little paperback world of entertainment that I so callously brushed aside this morning. I dream of its warm, dry pages and the hours of blissful distraction it could provide from the unpleasantries of sport. Fact of life: two bookless hours of boredom equate to approximately seven years of regular time.

On the one day of the year that I leave home without a book safely stored in my bag, I am struck by the unbelievably bad luck of having to waste time in a sporting ground on a cold, winter evening. Is this, or is this not a very pointed message from the literary gods?

The Number 1 Literary Law: Never, under any circumstance, leave home without a book.