Weekend Wander- What a mess…

Snip20180527_1I really don’t like to get behind with my posts but so much has been going on with everyone around me I haven’t had the energy to put up much. Bear with me, this may be long. I’ll try to put in photos for interest.

Books read, either finished or not-

I have been reading a lot with both the real thing and listening to audio. No reviews, will just give you a blurb- I’m sure that’s enough anyway.

Snip20180819_3Madness, Mayhem and Motherhood by Nikki McWatters.  No I don’t have kids, I have animals. The choices we make, but I do feel for single mothers and am very interested in how they cope. This young woman’s husband walked out leaving her with two young boys. She’s Australian and lives in the Sydney (Bondi Beach Junction) area. Trials and tribulations. A lot of joy, a lot of poverty, a lot of gumption and success and some very real heartbreak. The writing is good and the story really packs a punch with surprises. A bit of name dropping too re: the Australian music scene. I really enjoyed this and Nikki will stay with me for a long time.


Dancing Home by Paul Collis-  I read a review by one of the Australian bloggers, think it was Lisa? Sorry if wasn’t you but I loved this book but it is a tough read. Aboriginals and the police are not a happy mix in this country and the drug use, alcoholism and really tough lives of these good people was a tough read. I will never forget them.

Don’t you love this cover.

Our Hearts Were Young and Gay by Cornelia Otis Skinner (1942) on audible. Simon of Stuck in a Book talked about this American author and actress who lived from 1899 to 1979. I had never heard of her and so needed to remedy that. This was the only book I could find by her on audible so I’ve listened to her. It’s a memoir of the trip she and her friend took in their twenties to France via New York, the St Lawrence Seaway, London,  across the Atlantic on a ship in the 1920s. Although I found the two young women very tedious, especially when they bought two little dogs in a pet shop as fashion accessories, their trip did have some very good humour.  It is what I refer to as a ‘fluffy’ book. Lots of natter and nothing that will keep you awake at nights.  I was happy to finish it off though. I tired of their silliness.


I have started Educated by Tara Westover, the American woman who escaped from her family who lived as a cult against all government authority in Idaho.  Joanne reviewed it on Lakeside Musing (here).  I must agree with what she said about it. I have taped an episode of Insight on the ABC tv here about people who deal with aloneness and I noticed this author is on theachael  panel but I have yet to finish the book. I will probably read more but I’m not in a hurry.


More interesting is the story Australian journalist Rachael Brown from Victoria has written about a cold case death that happened in Melbourne in 1980. She launched the book Trace, at Fuller’s a couple of weeks ago and my friend and I went along. Fascinating. We bought the book and I have just begun it. It involves some very corrupt Victorian police from that time and the protection at all costs of a group of extremely dodgy priests from the Catholic Church. I continue to be amazed at what crawls out of the woodwork about priests and bishops these days.  A gripping story. What a professional journalist with bucketloads of integrity this young woman possesses.


The following week my friend and I went to the launch of The Nowhere Child by Christian White. It was a smaller group of attendees than Trace but we had a fun discussion of this book. The story is fiction but the events throughout the book are based on fact. Like the Pentecostal church members who have ceremonies around rattle snake handling. Australian Kim Leamy is the protagonist and she is approached by a stranger from Kentucky in America who is investigating the disappearance of a child 28 years ago.  He believes Kim is the missing child. I have not started this book yet but am looking forward to it. It goes back and forth between Australia and Kentucky.


I will also mention  Priestdaddy: A Memoir (memoirs seems to be everywhere these days) by author Patricia Lockwood.  I have just rejoined Fuller’s book club after a couple of years break and this is the book for October. I will talk more about it after the group meets in the first week.


We also finished  final play of the term in my U3A play reading class, A Taste of Honey by Shelagh Delaney. Set in the 1950’s in North West England, it tells the story of Jo a 17 year old working class girl, and her mother, who is a very crude and sexually indisriminate difficult mother. The things they get up to…. Very much enjoyed by our class reading aloud about a slice of poverty in 1950s England.


Oh Yeah, I’m also listening to A Diary of a Provincial Lady by  E. M. Delafield (1890 – 1943) now when I am in the car.  I’m getting through it quite quickly and it is gently amusing.  It was the August book for the Fuller’s book club so I decided to listen to it with one of my audible credits. It will go towards my Century of Books challenge (1930). It is largely autobiographical told through the pages of a journal, which is a format I dearly enjoy.  I heard there were mixed opinions of this novel in the book club group. I’m not sure if I will follow up with the sequels of her story.

For those of you suffering heat waves I thought I’d share a photo of what Mt. Wellington looks like this week. Beautiful snow.

This kind of catches you up on the bookish side of life in South Hobart.  I have three overseas trips coming up between now and May of 2019 and have been spending time wrapping up payments and paperwork for those. The first begins in two weeks when I am heading to the San Francisco area of California to spend three weeks with my sister.  I’m hoping photography and books play a part in this trip as well as maybe a short road trip or two.  The penguin is going with me and…..wait for this….he may be taking a couple of friends of his…..the Bald Eagle and the American Robin.  So stay tuned for that.

I have done some fun photography also and am looking forward to sharing the visit to the Raptor Refuge over the weekend with you.  We were trained in what Tasmania has to offer regarding the beautiful raptors and what to do or how to handle if finding an injured one. More on that later and I’ll share the photos of the release we observed of a rehabilitated Peregrine Falcon that is just too stunning for words.


Whew!! I hope this didn’t get too boring.  I’ll try to post up again soon and the next six weeks should have a bit of fun as well as some more books, arts, travel and photography.

Have you read any of these books?  I’d love to know if you enjoyed them or not. Back soon…gardner

12 thoughts on “Weekend Wander- What a mess…

  1. interesting selection of books; i haven’t read any of them, tho… watch out for the vehicular traffic in SF; the last time i was there, thirty years ago, it was unbelievably bad; hard to imagine what it might be like, now…


  2. Great catch-up post… so many books, so much news! I think Educated is going to be a book that sticks with me for a long time, no matter how unpleasant it was. Much like The Glass Castle. Enjoy your travels!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Cornelia Otis Skinner is a blast from my past. I read a couple of her books in my teens when I was desperately seeking non-genre books to read. I also have Diary of a provincial lady on my TBR. Dancing home and Trace sound like good reads.

    I look forward to hearing about your next trip.

    Liked by 1 person

        1. No, not tricky at all. Just an English period piece. I was surprised at how funny it is. About done with it and have really enjoyed it. Like the diary format too. 🐧🤠


  4. Not boring at all… I think you have a most interesting life, and I can’t wait to hear more about the raptors.
    PS: Yes, it was me who blogged about Dancing Home… it is a tough read, but worthwhile too. I’ll never forget the image of that supertough guy sobbing in the cemetery…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Lisa! I loved that book. It just got into my heart in a big way and you just knew from the start how it would end up. But I loved the people. The author really got into their souls. I’m so glad you introduced me to it.


Comments are closed.