Saturday 5 February 2022

Time gets away from me but you’ve heard that one before. I have been reading and listening to books so I’ll catch you up on that.

As I said before, I finished These Precious Days by Ann Patchett so won’t talk about it again.

I am almost finished with the book by Helen Garner, How To End A Story. I enjoyed her second diary more than this one but she does lead a very interesting life. I see her 80th birthday is approaching in November this year. Everyone is getting older.

The highlight of this month was my reading of Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurty, a Texas author who sadly died a year or so ago. I have always heard excellent things about this book but have put it off as it is more than 800 pages long, the paper in the pages is thin and the font is very small. Once I got into this book (it didn’t take long) I forgot all about the font being small. I also have new reading glasses and for the first time I can see quite clearly. I have inherited my grandmother and father’s eyes, so this is wonderful. So I jumped in and took off on a horse from Texas to Montana as part of a very large cattle drive. This book won McMurtry the 1985 Pulitzer Prize. I think the last western book I read was The Sister’s Brothers by Patrick DeWitt which I did not care for at all a few years ago. Then I read Shane by Jack Schaefer probably in the early 1970s or even the late 1960s. That book, I believe is in the 1001 Books You Must Read.….and I really enjoyed it.

Good Reads describes it as:

A love story, an adventure, and an epic of the frontier, Larry McMurtry’s Pulitzer Prize— winning classic, Lonesome Dove, the third book in the Lonesome Dove tetralogy, is the grandest novel ever written about the last defiant wilderness of America.

Journey to the dusty little Texas town of Lonesome Dove and meet an unforgettable assortment of heroes and outlaws, whores and ladies, Indians and settlers. Richly authentic, beautifully written, always dramatic, Lonesome Dove is a book to make us laugh, weep, dream, and remember.

I enjoyed this book so much. It had many twists and turns, births and deaths, blizzards, snake attacks, Indians that were wonderful and one who was incredibly evil. When you read this book, you will feel as though dust is settling on your face and you will become saddle sore. It is an epic of the last wild days of the American west and I loved it. It was wonderful to read a book where the author wasn’t afraid to kill off characters to surprise the reader, to set up weather events you could taste and feel. The twists in the plot are throughout the book. I read it one day from about 11 am in the morning 2:30 the following morning. You don’t even have to enjoy westerns to enjoy this book. The first 5 ***** read I’ve had in awhile. I will remember the characters for as long as I live.

I finished the Audible Book, Cuba: Beyond the Beach (Stories of Life in Havana) for my Lonely Planet, Armchair travel book. This was a car book. It is written by Karen Dubinsky. She isn’t actually Cuban but has spent a great deal of time there every year. The reason I chose this book is because I will not buy books for this challenge. I use either the library or Scribd which I joined recently. She is a professor at Queen’s University in Canada and teaches in the department of Global Development Studies and History. What she doesn’t know about Cuba isn’t worth knowing. Politics, history, life style, economy, music, art, sport. The book is quite dry to read but I achieved my aim by finishing it and I achieved the goal I wanted to achieve. Learning something about Cuba. Now I can randomly choose the next country.

Our book group read and discussed the Labyring by Amanda Lohrey. Actually everyone loved it too much. There was no fun polarity of issues to discuss as one member pointed out. We also ended up talking about the labyrinths to be found in Tasmania and a couple of us went out and visited them after reading the book and shared photos of them. It was a fun event.

The book for March is Nobel Prize winner Abdulrazak Gurnah’s, Afterlives. Here is the Good Reads description for those of you who might not be familiar with it. Should be an interesting read but much different from the Labyrinth.

While he was still a little boy, Ilyas was stolen from his parents by the German colonial troops. After years away, fighting in a war against his own people, he returns to his village to find his parents gone, and his sister Afiya given away.

Another young man returns at the same time. Hamza was not stolen for the war, but sold into it; he has grown up at the right hand of an officer whose protection has marked him life. With nothing but the clothes on his back, he seeks only work and security – and the love of the beautiful Afiya.

As fate knots these young people together, as they live and work and fall in love, the shadow of a new war on another continent lengthens and darkens, ready to snatch them up and carry them away…

That sums up the reading part. I haven’t done a lot of photography lately. Though I have been working on a challenge for our club in the Open category. I really like street photography and urban photography. Much of Tasmania photography is a glut of trees and moss. It is beautiful, but I need something different.

Back in 2007 I was visiting my brother and mother in Tennessee. We went to a small town market. It was quite a warm day as we walked around this place. I saw this man and couldn’t help photographing him. It was an old point and shoot camera so it is not as clear as my fancier camera but the picture tells the story so I don’t believe it needs to technically perfect, though I doubt my photo club will agree. Anyway, I think with street photography, it is the story the counts so I’m submitting it anyway. It’s not like I lose a kidney if it fails to place. Here it is:

I doubt very much that this man reads my blog, or anyone from Tennessee actually so I feel safe posting it here. Tennessee is currently banning books through legislation about the Holocaust. I’ll say no more.

I have also joined the International Union of Mail Artists (IOUMA). It is site of many people around the world who share post card art with each other. You send it and you receive it. I’ve been feeling a bit unsettled after living with Covid and other things so long and my doctor wants me to do things to relax more and get away from things that I don’t enjoy. So I’ve dropped one group and picked this up. Along with the activities of Fullers and also deciding to do my own thing with the photo club. There is one member that just harps and harps at me about my photos. So I am now a non responder and will do as I well please. So there!!

Here are a couple of cards I received and sent.

A woman from Germany after reading my blog embroidered a penguin under a star for me. The little green booklet has lined paper for noting my travels no matter where they are.

This is the farm collage I’m sending off Monday. On the back I wrote down books about the land. Bruce Pascoe’s Dark Emu, Herriot’s All Creatures Great and Small, The Good Earth by Pearl Buck, Of Mice and Men by Steinbeck
A Reader lives a thousand lives before she dies.

I have one more photo to share and one more piece of bookish news from Tasmania. ABC Broadcasting put up a photo of the southern aurora we had the other night. I don’t go out alone to dark spots to take photos but there are enough others who do.

Southern Aurora or Aurora Australis

The piece of news is to share with you a new group that is being started at Fullers Book shop before too long. Here is the clip from their newsletter. “

Calling all millennials (and the millenial-ish): we’re starting a new reading group, with a focus on contemporary themes and issues, with a special focus on books by LGBTQI+ authors and authors of colour. This should start in the next few months — see below to register your interest.

Such a wonderful idea.

Well I guess I’ve carried on enough. Tassie may be small but there is a lot going on down here.

It will be the start of another week soon. I’m hoping to see the Agatha Christie film, Death On The Nile, staring 10 November at our State Cinema. Another book related activity. Stay well everyone. The penguin has been safe.

17 thoughts on “Saturday 5 February 2022

  1. You’ve inspired me to go back to Lonesome Dove. I started it a few months ago and put it aside after 200 pages. EVERYONE raves about it, so I’ll go pick up where I left off. I’m hobbling around for the next 3 weeks, so I certainly have the time for an 800 page book!

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I think I have post-surgery (my first) brain. The reason I’m hobbling around is because I had foot surgery last week. Just wanted to clarify.
        Yes, here’s to a happier, healthier 2022 for all of us!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Thank you for a wonderful post, full of interesting things. I have never read anything by Larry McMurtry, but feel I might have to. What wonderful cards you get, so nice. I always have a notebook as well with me, wherever I go. You always find interesting things around you, wherever you are. Since my memory is what it is these days, it feels safe. Love your photos, you are so gifted.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. YASSSSS! I mean, it was a long time ago and I’ve forgotten most of it, but I do remember I love, love, loved it. Should probably read it again, but too many books, not enough life.


  3. i love that “farm collage” post card… cuba must have some excellent mechanics and restorers… i read parts of “Lonesome Dove” a long time ago… i didn’t like it too well to be honest…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I can understand you not caring for Lonesome Dove. That is the joy of books. There is so much out there for everyone. You can always move on when either the time isn’t right for a book or you just don’t like it !


    1. Thank you. I am quite good at ignoring people who think they know everything. lol.
      The mail art cards are fun. At the moment though I think it will take a year for the post cards to travel but when one least expects it a card will arrive.

      Liked by 1 person

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