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Thursday, April 19, 2012

We're going on a bear hunt..........

I have decided to start a series on some of my favourite children's books. Some of these I enjoyed as a child and am rediscovering them with my own children, others are new books and authors that I love to share with my children. My two pre-schoolers have just received a book as a gift from their granny overseas and they have enjoyed reading it as much as we enjoy reading it to them. We're going on a bear hunt is retold by Michael Rosen and illustrated by Helen Oxenbury. It is a lovely read and takes me back to sitting round the campfire on youth camps, doing all the actions and shrieking with laughter. I enjoy the story as it makes  a family outing of going to go and look for the bear, with much splashing and squelching and swishing as the family traverse fields, mud puddles and streams on there expedition. The children love finding the bear and all the running back to the house, especially when their dad makes big growly noises and adds the sound effects( you can tell who the extrovert is in our family). This is a great read and is beautifully illustrated. It is published by Walker Books and is a must have for the bookshelf.

Book sculptures

Book sculpture is not what you do when that pile of unread books next to your bed reaches gravity defying heights and you try to rearrange them so that they do not all come crashing down. If the idea of taking a pair of scissors to a book horrifies you, STOP READING NOW. For those book lovers out there who can bear the thought, this beautiful work of art has been done by taking an old Boys Own manual and cutting out the inside pages to form a collage. This artwork is done by Alexander Korzer- Robinson and I think it is exquisite. He makes use of antiquarian books in his sculptures, giving us a glimpse into a forgotten past and making what is old and forgotten, new again. If you want to see some more of his work , follow this link to http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/culturepicturegalleries/9211702/Book-sculpting-by-Alexander-Korzer-Robinson.html?frame=2196639#?frame=2196646. Tell me what you think. I would personally love to have one ( or two)  of these in my Christmas stocking ( hint,hint).

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

How to show off my books

I love Book Riot. Here is a link on displaying your books, this time a bit more doable for us mortals than those libraries features in the Rich and Famous section ( see previous blog post http://bookriot.com/2012/04/18/mouth-watering-book-nooks/. I live in rented accommodation so I cannot do anything to the structure but really enjoy seeing how other people display their books and dream about what I would do with a bit of money and my own house. Which one is your favourite? Please share, I would love to hear what you think. You could even post some of your ideas here or send in photo's. I just love the bedroom book nook. I think I would never want to leave my bed, at least until all the reading is done.

Friday, April 13, 2012

A bit off topic

Dear all ( making the assumption that there is an " all" reading this blog, as I have as yet had no comments or followers) don't you just love getting mail? By this I mean the physical, letter in an envelope in your mailbox kind of mail. I love receiving letters and for years and years felt letdown every time I went to the mailbox, as there is only ever accounts or junk mail.Then I had a brainwave ( this does not often happen). If I love getting mail, then surely other people also like receiving something other than bills. So I searched the Internet for other mail mates, which is ironic considering how many people have stopped writing letters, as sending an e-mail is so much easier, cheaper and far less time consuming. I found one or two good sites, namely http://www.sassociations.net/ and http://www.sandbook.net/ and then started writing. Some people answered and some did not. I have not been as faithful a pen pal as I could be, as sometimes life just gets too busy too keep up with writing letters. Nonetheless, I am slowly building up a worldwide friendship network of like minded letter writers. I look forward to getting the post, as I never know who will be writing to me today. I know this is a book blog but anyone who loves books loves words and letters and paper and stories. Letters are just a different kind of book, a personal book written just for you, telling someone's story. Isn't that an exciting thought? How many people can say they have received a book written specifically with them in mind? If you are a bit tired of corresponding by e-mail, which is convenient but far less exciting than receiving an actual handwritten letter, why not pick up a pen, buy some pretty notepaper and join the revolution!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Katniss Everdeen

I am always wary of the hype surrounding a movie based on a book, as the movie rarely is an improvement on the written word (yes I know, I am a bit of a snob when it comes to the movie versus book debate). Having read The Hunger Games long before there was even a suggestion of a movie, I was taken in by Katniss. She is a strong, intelligent female protagonist who is not afraid to take chances to protect those that she loves and to stand up for herself. She is a complex character and does not just swoon into the arms of the leading man and expect him to save her. She also brings hope to a people who are oppressed at great cost to herself. I was intrigued by the books because they also made me think about our society's lust for reality television and how far we would  be willing to go to be entertained. Is a battlefield arena where the last person standing takes the prize so very far fetched? How far would we go to get our kicks in a society that is becoming increasingly jaded? I am not saying do not watch the movie but rather suggest that you do yourself a favour and read the book first, so that you are not so caught up in the Hollywood glitz and glamour that you forget to think and question what the movie says about our society.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Stumbled upon Library Thing

Hi fellow bibliophiles, I just had to share this link with you. I was looking for creative ways of storing books ( something I know that all book lovers battle with ) when I came across this new site. It allows you to catalogue your library, share it with others, they have free book giveaways ( yes FREE) and it allows you access to the libraries of thousands of other readers. They also have a number of groups and forums that you can join. The link is http://www.librarything.com/. Visit Library Thing and tell me what you think. Happy browsing

Friday, April 6, 2012

Jay Walkers library

http://www.wired.com/techbiz/people/magazine/16-10/ff_walker?currentPage=all

Follow this link to read the full article on Jay Walkers library

Libraries of the Rich and Famous: Part Three

Here is part three of Libraries of the rich and famous. There are no words.....Libraries of the Rich and Famous: Part Three

Elizabeth George has a new novel

I love Elisabeth George and was really excited to hear that her new novel,Living the lie, has been published. Hear her talk about it at http://www.authormagazine.org/interviews/interview_page_georgia.htm. I love her rich characterization and the way she draws you into her stories. You develop great compassion for her killers,as often their motives are never simplistic. Her detectives and their families are also complex characters and I always finish a book feeling as if I have left in the middle of a conversation. Watch this space for a review as soon as I can find a copy of Living the le

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

I am busy reading Last child in the woods and it makes fascinating if somewhat scary reading. I am only halfway through but it is eye opening in terms of the link between nature and children's growth and emotional development. Children today are being isolated from nature due to the technological growth ( Internet, games, television,Wii,Ipods to name a few) that has taken place in the past few decades as well as the physical isolation that has been imposed on them by the move to built up urban and suburban living spaces.There is either no "nature" available for children to experience or we as adults have imposed so many rules and regulations on children that they may no longer enjoy nature as we did as children. This books also looks at the link between what the author calls nature deficit disorder and ADHD. He has some very practical guidelines as to what we can do as individuals,communities and business to reintroduce this new generation to nature and help them to love and experience it as we did when we were children.If you have children this book is a must read. Even if you do not have children, it is a thought provoking look at what we as a society are doing to ourselves by isolating us from what has been for thousands of years our natural habitat. Do yourself a favour and read this book.