Book Tube-Part 3

I read Simon’s post earlier this week from Stuck in a Book and he introduced Rick McDonnell who presents on You Tube as Book Tube Spin. I went and had a look and it is a very easy challenge. You pick 20 books from your TBR shelf, list them and on 31 January Rick will announce a number and you have two months to read your book. Two months is quite a while so I thought I’d join. I am already devoting time to my TBR shelf so I thought I would put up four posts this week of five books each that I am choosing for my spin.

Canadian- Non fiction

11. Wisdom of the Elders by North American authors Peter Knudtson and David Suzuki. This is one of those long term TBR books picked up in 1992 when it was first published. I have handled it so many times shuffling it around but time to read it.

It explores the beliefs about the delicate relationships between humans, nature and the environment held by two traditions commonly thoght to be diametrically opposed: Western science and the age old wisdom of indigenous peoples around the world.

Australian-Indigenous Non Fiction

12. The Stranger Artist by Australian author Quentin Sprague. This book is written in gouache, acrylic, blood and tears: the story of the modern frontier, where high art, for a brief, magic time was made from the trust and tension of two worlds (Nicholas Rothwell author)

I really enjoy stories about art and indigenous artists are very interesting to me.

It takes place in the East Kimberly region of australia. An art adviser he finds himself deeply immersed in the world of a group of senior Gija artists. The bonds he forms with renowned painters Paddy Bedfort and Freddy Timms backdrop the establishment of the ground breaking Jirrawun Arts.

USA-Travel- Non fiction

13. This next book is a reread that I adored. Educating Alice: Adventures of a Curious Woman. I read this book probably in the 1990s and I never forgot it. She wrote three books before she died. She was such an interesting woman. She was a journalist and author who won the Pulitzer Prize for feature writing in 1985. She lived and worked in Baltimore, Maryland.

This is her memoir of when she took a year off to explore Euro[e and rediscover what it was like to be an independent woman again. She left her job, family, friends and routine behind. The result, Without Reservations, became a bestseller and inspired women everywhere to take that leap, if not in reality, at least in their imaginations. She focused on travelling, writing and learning. This is such an enjoyable book.

Australian- non fiction-memoir

14. Number 14 is another Text Australian classic. Nino Culotta author of They’re a Weird Mob. Just off the boat from Italy- the north- Nino Culotta is in Sydney. He thought he spoke English but he’s never heard anything like the language these people were speaking. They’re a Weird Mob is a hilarious snapshot of the immigrant experience in Menzies era Australia, by a writer with a brilliant ear for the Australian way with words.

I purchased this book as coming to Australia myself from the USA and working as a speech pathologist for many years I think I can relate to much of his experience.

Australian- non fiction-memoir-travel

15. Another Australian woman writer, Liz Byron wrote the travel memoir The Only Way Home, published in 2020. On a warm day in May 2004, the author set off from Cooktown with her two companions, donkeys Grace and Charley, on a self imposed challenge to walk 2500 kms of the Bicentennial National Trail over 9 months. It was a rite of passage to mark leaving 40 years of marriage and embarking on life as a single woman at the age of 61. She foresaw that self-reliance, physical stamina and route finding would be challenges, but she couldn’t have known how the outback environment in Queensland was to test her to the limit.

I love travel writing about lone women doing unusual things. Especially in later life. I know I won’t ever have any of these experiences but I like to vicariously follow others.

19 thoughts on “Book Tube-Part 3

  1. I read THEY’RE A WEIRD MOB many, many years ago, and reread it a mere many years ago. The first time I read it, I thought it had been written by an actual Italian immigrant and I was delighted, amused, and charmed. When I reread it as an adult, I learned what it really was I agree with wadholloway. It’s sad when something you loved turns out to be something you very much do NOT like. 😦

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    1. I had no idea of all of this so I appreciated learning of it. Just goes to show I should look into books more before I acquire them but who does to everything? I have lost my enthusiasm for reading it completely so if that book gets drawn I will choose a different one off the shelf.

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  2. I adored Without Reservations which was vastly superior to Eat, Pray, Love about which there was so much fuss. Am very excited to see there is another book by this fabulous woman. Have just ordered Educating Alice even though I’m trying to control my purchases for a few months. Just couldn’t resist…

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    1. I did not enjoy Eat Love Pray at all. I thought there was much about it that glossed over things. I have never understood the hype over it. So many better books of this type. (from one who has read a great deal of travel writing)


  3. I’m a fierce opponent of They’re a Weird Mob. It was written at a time when Italians were new and strange (in Australia). It is entirely made up by an Australian journalist who inhabits the character of an “acceptable” Italian who is of course tall and blonde. Its portrayal of southern Italians can only be described as racist. I’m disgusted that Text reprinted it.

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    1. How interesting. I had no idea. I will research that out of interest. Doesn’t seem ethical if that’s the case. Thanks for the comment.

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      1. I read up on this more. I think I’ll take this book off my list and post it back to Text. It just seems unethical to me and I notice a couple of other publishers refused to publish at one time. The things I learn from you guys!!😁

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