Summer is on its way.

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You can tell when summer is on the way to Tasmania because the cruise ships start arriving. They drop over 5000 people on the streets of Hobart for one day before they continue their journey up the River Derwent to the Sea.

Cruise ship passengers really stand out. Tall men with baseball caps and kelly green golfing trousers. Mature age couples in matching jackets and middle aged women with coordinated casual wear of pastel tops and bottoms. They inject a great deal of money into our economy and the locals do not complain about that. There are close to 60 ships scheduled to arrive in our downtown deep water port in the coming months.

This past week was a relaxing week with a lot of fun social activities. Wednesday night was our book group held in the lobby of the Grand Chancellor hotel on the waterfront. We eat salads, chips or creme bruleé. We sip Tassie wines or cappucinos and discuss books.  Then usually we play a book related game. The meeting goes for about 3 hours.

This week we discussed the first graphic novel the group has read. Fun Home by Alison Bechdel.snip20161030_2

As expected the group either enjoyed it or hated it. A couple of members did not enjoy the genre of “comics” at all. I enjoyed it as it was something different. As far as the couple of graphic novels I have read I thought this was one of the better ones. Alison based it on her own life of coming out gay in her teenage years. She is raised by a mother who is too engrossed in her own theatre interests to be around too much and her father who is very literary but is also gay and beginning to come out a bit in his middle age.

I am not offering any spoilers when I say the whole story seems to be about her coming to grips with her homosexuality and her father’s suicide. I had a few problems with the continuity of the story. Was it really suicide as he was hit by a car. Why did they think it was suicide? Did I miss something?  I also found errors with dates in this book. The family goes to New York City for the 1976 bicentennial when she is around 14 but she writes a letter to her family from university in 1970 when about 19 yrs old. How does that make sense?

I don’t think I will make a bee line to turn my life over to graphic novels but our group rated this one about 3 stars from 5 and I would agree with that.

The book for next mLonth is Truly, Madly, Guilty by Australian author Liane Moriarty. It has also been made into a film of which I have not seen.

I have listened to the audio version of this from Audible.com.   I must say I did not enjoy it. The premise is too close to the book by Christopher Tsiolkas The Slap but not nearly as well written.

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The narrator was extremely grating and I don’t know if that was her natural reading voice or if she was hamming it up for the story. I had to quit it about two thirds through as I did not care about the characters as nothing seemed to be happening. Everyone is waiting for the big dilemma at the BBQ to happen and evidently they all wonder would their lives have been better had they not attended. I didn’t even wait to see what happened at the BBQ because I could care less. But evidently the behaviour of that night impacts on the characters greatly. Maybe the last bit of the book picks up a bit but there are too many other books to get busy with to persevere with this one. I see readers on Good Reads had similar thoughts.

I have read another book by this author, The Husband’s Secret and I did enjoy that story much more. I think in 2017 when I devote more time to my large library of TBR books I won’t have to put up with books like this so much.

Last night our Ulysses motorbike group began the summer twilight rides. Each Saturday night those who are around come together for a 4:00 pm to 7:30 or so bike ride.  We have just changed to Daylight Savings Time. We stop somewhere and get something to eat. Last night was our first summer ride.

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We had about 18 riders who went through Hobart and up the 12 mile ascent to the top of Mt. Wellington. The road is quite narrow though paved and the views are stunning at the top. It is usually freezing and very windy but last night was perfect. After we stood around enjoying the views and chatting we then rode down the mountain and through rural farmland to Kingston Beach where we parked the bikes. Along the beach we enjoyed chips, burgers, fish, hot coffees and cold drinks. We watched the cruise ship (above) sail past and enjoyed more friendly banter. The motto of the Ulysses club (all members must be over age 50, junior members over 40) is “Growing Old Disgracefully and I can promise we are certainly doing that.

I also got the dogs out for  a run at the dog beach midweek. As I have been away for more than a month they were ready for socialising and sniffing new things t the beach.

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As an afterthought,  I am slowly getting used to wordpress and enjoying it so far. I added most of the blogroll I lost on my other blog at blogspot. If I have missed someone I will get an email the next time they post and will add it to the roll on this page.

Sunday night and another week coming up that looks interesting. Writing group, play reading class (starting Waiting for Godot), Theatre Royal to see the musical Antarctica which sounds intriguing and a few other bits and pieces. Will start a new book but not sure what yet so stay tuned. Thanks for putting up with my mischief.

Author: travellinpenguin

I live in Tasmania, Australia. I ride a 350cc Piaggio scooter as I travel the state and sometimes the world searching for vintage Penguin books to add to my archive. My goal is to keep them out of landfill as they are wonderful old books. I travel, socialise, read a lot and have my friend the Travellin' Penguin who accompanies as I traverse through life and books.

4 thoughts on “Summer is on its way.”

  1. So much to comment on here… but I love the idea of introducing your book club to graphic novels or memoirs and Fun Home seems like a good place to start. Wonder if my group would ever consider that? Think I’ll mention it at our next meeting.

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    1. Good luck. Our book group was not that keen but I enjoyed it as did one or two others. It is always fun to try something new. After all if you don’t like it then give it away. I am waiting to see if Mr. P will read it or not. He is not keen on graphic books or so he says but then he has never read one.

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  2. brave of you, reading new novels like that; i shouldn’t ignore them, i suppose, but i’ve been grossed out too many times. the bike club sure sounds like fun; i used to ride a motorcycle and remember what a gas it was. until i ended up in the hospital. it’s safer in groups, i’ll bet… wordpress calls me cedartree1 instead of mudpuddle; don’t know why, yet: research continues…

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