With my two hands

It’s New Year’s Eve and the bubbles are chilling. The kids are revved up, and we’re looking forward to catching up with some good friends over the next couple of days.

I’ve been giving some thought to my third, and final new year’s resolution for 2012. After some consideration, I’ve made up my mind. I’ll admit, I think this one will be the hardest to stick too.

My third resolution for 2012: I will set out to make something, with my own two hands, at least once every couple of weeks.

Having rediscovered the joy of writing for writing’s sake, this year I hope to do the same thing with art.

Creating, be it drawing, printing, painting or constructing is one of those things-to-do that so often falls off the end of the to-do-list. It’s not a necessity, so it tends to get laid by the wayside of the average day. But, it is a fabulous way to relax, almost therapeutic and therefore worthy of a little time and attention.

Keep an eye out, I might share a few things here and there. But, more likely what I come up with will be just for me, and more often for the sake of the process much more than the sake of the product.

That’s my big three, wish me luck? I reckon if I get even half-way there on these three new year’s wishes, I’ll have a pretty sweet year.

A huge thanks to everyone for reading That Book You Like this year. Every time you visit I smile, and your comments make me feel connected to a most amazing, wide-reaching community of bookish people. Watch out for big things from TBYL in 2012. As you’ve probably noticed, I’m going to be pushing the envelope and trying some new things (i.e. The Book Club, The Mini-Store) and I’d love for you to get involved. I will of course keep reading and reviewing with abandon.

Again, thank-you and a Happy New Year to you all!

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Sign up for TBYL Book Club here…

Move it baby…

My second resolution is a little unoriginal, but not before time.

As many of you know, my body has been through the ringer a bit over the last couple of years. A combination of B.C., chemo and numerous trips into surgery have slowed the old blood and bones down considerably.

At this point in time I’m feeling like my feet are rooted to ground and that I’m aged well beyond my years. And so…

My second resolution for 2012: I will endeavour to move my body more. I’ll move it daily, with vigour and commitment. 

I will do this gently but whole-heartly, and for the express purpose of feeling my blood pump strongly through my body and to feel my muscles strengthen. I look forward to reconnecting with my body…having it work with me instead of against me.

So, if you see me walking around, looking a little bit of a goose in my neglected old exercise gear, please feel free to give me a smile and a wave. I’ll need the encouragement!

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Serial resolution

I’m feeling a little cocky this year, coming up to New Year’s Eve. I’m not usually one to go in for New Year’s Resolutions, but having had some success with my resolutions for 2011, I’m thinking I might push the envelope for 2012.

You see, going into 2011 I committed to do a few things; I promised I’d try to read more widely, I promised I’d write more for pleasure, and probably most importantly, I promised myself I’d learn to take risks.

Hence, That Book You Like was born, and I’ve had one of the most entertaining and rewarding years of my life.

And so, as New Year’s Eve approaches I’ve set my mind to identifying three big-ticket items that I’ll work towards achieving this year. I’ll share the first of these today…

Today’s resolution has been inspired by the Christmas gluttony I’ve been enjoying this week, tables ladened with food, drink and sweet, sweet treats. More food than can be eaten in one sitting, being shared with the finest company. Friends (new and old) and family (near and far) catching up over seafood and meats, salads, roast vegies and wine, cider and beer and sparkling soft drinks.

My first resolution for 2012: I will endeavour to share a feastish meal with friends and/or family at least once a month.

For the fun of the catch-up, for the joy of the food I’m looking forward to a dinner party or twelve in the new year.

Do you make resolutions? What have you got in mind for 2012?

Stay tuned for my second resolution, tomorrow…

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Winning, Christmas Eve style!

I’m pleased to announce, that Jane O is the winner of That Book You Like’s Christmas Eve give-away.  Jane, I hope you’ll enjoy your bundle of bookish wonder!

Just email me your details (email address) to info@thatbookyoulike.com.au by end Saturday, 31.12.11 and arrangements will be made! If the prize isn’t claimed, I will redraw on 02.01.12

Again, to everyone, I wish you all a VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS! Thanks so much for following That Book You Like around, and getting involved in the fun and conversations. I look forward to getting to know you all even better next year when we get the first TBYL Book Club rolling.

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TBYL Xmas Eve give-away: A bundle

Ho ho ho, Merry Christmas!

Santa has popped by and left me a most delightful bundle of bookish delight, with strict instructions to give them away to one lucky winner in the last Christmassy week of Christmas.

It’s a wonderful little reading pile, a set of four books for one lucky reader. One winner will win a copy of:

 

Die, Yummy Mummy Die, by Allison Rushby (e-copy) Read More…

Defender of the Faith, by Chris Allen (e-copy) Read More…

Makeda, by Prue Sobers (paperback)  I’ll be reviewing this new release early in 2012…

Of a Boy, by Sonya Hartnett (paperback) which is of course, our very first TBYL Book Club book…

 

To go into the running to win this Christmas Bundle, all you have to do is:

1. Leave a comment on this post, or

2. Visit That Book You Like‘s Facebook page

…and tell us about what you most hope to get from Santa this year.

The winner of this month’s competition (selected at random) will receive this lovely bundle of four titles.

Entries close Friday, 23 December 2011. The winner will have seven days to claim their prize, or a redraw will be held (I’ve allowed a couple of extra days given that it’s Christmas and all!)

A very Merry Christmas to your all, I hope you all have a wonderful holiday…great times with family and friends, lots of great food and drink and of course some time to put your feet up and read awhile.

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Sign up for TBYL Book Club here…

Your summer reading sorted, winner!

I’m pleased to announce, that Steph L is the winner of That Book You Like’s December give-away.  Steph, I hope you’ll enjoy your e-copy of Chris Allen’s Defender of the Faith.

Just email me your details (email address) to info@thatbookyoulike.com.au by end Saturday, 24.12.11 and arrangements will be made! If the prize isn’t claimed, I will redraw on 27.12.11

Again, thanks so much to everyone for joining in the fun and don’t forget to follow my blog around on Facebook  and  Twitter.

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Bookends

It seemed a fitting end to a year of amazing outings. A perfect book-end to wrap up this year’s events. 2011 started with the Wheeler Centre, and so too it finishes.

One of my very first blog posts set out to describe my delight and awe at The Gala Night of Storytelling 2011: Voices from Elsewhere, at which I heard from the likes of John Birmingham, Mem Fox and Sonya Hartnett. This gala event set me on a path on which I have had the chance to listened to some most amazing story-tellers; Kate Grenville, Arnold Zable, Richard Flanagan, and Kaz Cooke, to name just a few.

Last Friday was probably my last lit event for 2011 and it was with a brimful of gratitude that I attended the Wheeler Centre’s double billing featuring Tom Stoppard and Neil Gaiman. The opportunity to see two such literary luminaries had me quite a-gush, and the fact that Neil and his partner in crime, Amanda Palmer sat a row ahead of me did nothing to still my rapidly beating heart.

In my 20s I spent a whole year reading plays. This was entirely as a result of having been introduced to the work of Tom Stoppard and it all started with Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead. Once I’d read this, I moved on to his The Real Thing and Jumpers. I read Samuel Beckett, Arthur Miller, William Shakespeare and Tennessee Williams. I watched the film adaption of Rosencrantz…, starring Tim Roth and Gary Oldman, many times over, and it remains to this day, one of my favourites.

I feel very privileged to have had the chance to hear Stoppard’s thoughts…his take on his ‘charmed life’, his attraction to language ‘for it’s own sake’ and the subtle, sometimes ‘clever’ art of playwriting. I’m also thrilled to have had the opportunity to say a very quick hello and thank-you to the man himself. I felt a little bit of a fangirl lining up at the signing, but it was worth it for what has now become one of the most treasured parts of my book collection…a signed 1970s copy of Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead. Priceless.

After farewelling Tom, half the crowd left, half stayed, and new set of fanboys and girls arrived to hear from Neil. Waiting mostly patiently, somewhat noisily in the almost too warm lobby of the Athenaeum Theatre, the slight ripples of impatiences were stilled by a very special treat. Amanda Palmer, ninja-style. Amanda’s ‘lobby take-over’ on bar with ukulele had the crowd spellbound. All legs and fishnets and jet-lagged grins, the surprise performance went down a treat.

On her last refrain the doors opened and on finding our seats we settled in for a night with Neil. What an icon, a mind full of life and ideas, dark humour and spirit. I don’t think I’d be alone in saying that I’d happily have listened to Gaiman chat all evening. With such a huge body of work, and a finger in pretty much every creative pie, he had more to say than we had time. He did, nonetheless have opportunity to share some of his thoughts on works like American Gods, The Sandman, and even Coraline.

After the obligatory chat about his episode of Doctor Who and his take on the creative process, the night drew to a close. And so too did my literary calendar of events for 2011.

But, never fear. Rest assured, I’ve plans. I’ve got my eye on a starter for 2012. How’s does the Wheeler Centre Gala 2012: Stories to Believe In sound?

It sounds pretty good to me…

***

Don’t forget to enter this month’s give-away of a copy of Chris Allen’s Defenders of the Faith. Entries close tonight, you’ll find details here.

Stay tuned too, for an extra special, Christmassy treat from TBYL. Details tomorrow!

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Sign up for TBYL Book Club here…

A tough choice, but decision made!

It was tough choice, but I’ve finally made it. I’ve chosen the first book for us to read for the TBYL Book Club.

There were so many amazing books to choose from, many of which I hope we’ll have a chance to read together over the coming year. I’ll make sure there’s a great range of different book types and genres to explore, and I’d love to hear your suggestions for future inclusions.

For this month, I’ve chosen a book that will be a pretty quick read for most of us. I’m fully aware of the fact that January can be both the best of times, and the worst of times for reading, and I didn’t want our first title to be in any way onerous.

At the same time as being a quick read, it is still one of great substance…it will give us plenty to talk about at the end of the month.

Lastly, I was really keen to choose an Australian author to start off the TBYL Book Club with, and the author of this novel is one of the best authors Australia has to offer.

So, with no further ado I’m pleased to be able to announce the first book as being…


Of a Boy
, by Sonya Harnett

Please visit our website at www.thatbookyoulike.com.au to find out more about this special novel.

 

 

Join the club!
Read the review…
Buy the book!

I can’t wait to see you all online!

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Almost…

I’m beyond excited…

All going well this evening, tomorrow I’ll be able to let you all in on what the very first TBYL Book Club read will be.

A couple of hints: it’s short and sweet; it’s Australian; and it’ll give us plenty to talk about.

If you’re interested in a book club that will let you connect with other bookish people, without leaving the comfort of your own lounge room, the TBYL Book Club is for you. Please pop on by my website to join our online community.

You can opt in and opt out of the groups as you like, so you’ll only ever have to read the books that you want to read. There’s no pressure to read fast, and it’s free and fun to join.

Before the big announcement tomorrow, here are few answers to some of the questions that I’ve been asked about the club itself…

***

Does it cost anything to join up?
Nope, it’s free to join the TBYL Book Club.

If we don’t meet face to face, how will we be able to chat about the book?
When you join the club, you’ll become part of the TBYL online community. Once you’re a part of the gang, you’ll be able to make friends, post status updates and join networks…much the same as Facebook but much, much cosier.

Once you’ve set up a profile you’ll be able to join the ‘group’ which will be created each month, and which will house the forum discussions about the book. The forum will include general, open discussion about the book and also more structured questions or points for discussion designed to tease out some of the bigger issues of the novel.

Inside the group we’ll chat about the novel and you’ll also find information about any special offers or events that relate to the book of the month.

How long will I have to read the book?
You’ll have about a month to read each book. We’ll announce the title, and then six weeks later we’ll post the structured questions and discussions in the forum. We’d expect that the book will be discussed for about a week. You can of course contribute to the forum during the month, discussing the novel as you’re reading it.

Is there only one book to choose from?
Initially, there will be only one book to choose from, but as the club gets bigger we hope to be able to run a couple of different titles each month.

Do I have to buy the book?
Although you will be able to buy a copy of the book through That Book You Like… (our Mini-Store launches tomorrow) if you’d like, you don’t have to. If you’ve got a copy at home or would prefer to borrow it from the library or a friend, that’s fine too.

Are there any rules?
The main thing that we ask in regards to the club, and the discussion forums is that people stay respectful. We welcome discussion, argument even, but we won’t be very tolerant of abusive or offensive behaviour. TBYL will try and avoid deleting posts where-ever possible, but we reserve the right to do so if it is clearly, unnecessarily effecting the enjoyment of the club by others. At the end of the day, we ask you all to remember that you are speaking to real people, in the real world.

***

I can’t tell you how much I’m looking forward to being able to chat with you all about some of the great books out there. I hope you’ll join us!

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Sign up for TBYL Book Club here…

December give-away: Summer action

Having enjoyed and reviewed a wonderfully wide range of books in 2011, I’m finishing the year off with some summer action. I’ve just started reading Chris Allen’s action thriller Defender of the Faith and I’m completely sucked in. I can’t wait to have a bit of extra reading time over the Chrissy break to really get into this well constructed, very compelling adventure.

“A British agent is brutally murdered, a President is in danger and the fate of the small West African nation, Malfajiri, lies in the balance.

Enter Alex Morgan, the new star agent of INTERPOL’s ‘Intelligence, Recovery, Protection & Infiltration Division’: INTREPID. Part-policeman, part-soldier, part-spy, Morgan and his fellow INTREPID operatives are the faceless, unassailable strangers among us; serving the world and operating beyond the influence of the most powerful nations.

In Defender of the Faith, Alex Morgan is sent on his first solo mission to hunt down the source of soviet surplus weapons haemorrhaging into Africa and Asia, but gets more than he bargained for, unraveling a complex web of deceit with links to the very heart of the British diplomatic community.

A heart-pounding, no-holds-barred chase, spanning the dark continent of Africa to the crystalline waters of Sydney, culminates in a fight to the end to stop vicious renegade intelligence officer Victor Lundt and uncover the ultimate power behind him.

If only Morgan can stay alive long enough to bring them all to justice.”

I’m thinking that this novel will take me through to the end of the year, and so I’ll post my review of the book early in the new year. In the meantime, you’ve got a chance to win a copy of the e-book (for Kindle).

To go into the running to win, all you have to do is:

1. Leave a comment on this post, or

2. Visit That Book You Like‘s Facebook page

…and tell us about your reading plans for the Christmas/Summer break.

The winner of this month’s competition (selected at random) will receive a free e-copy of Defender of the Faith.

Entries close Monday, 19 December 2011. The winner will have four days to claim their prize, or a redraw will be held.

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Sign up for TBYL Book Club here…

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