Saturday, June 23, 2012

Sshhhh

Did I mention that I am in a bookclub? I am in a bookclub. Our latest book was one about introverts called Quiet by Susan Cain. It was fascinating, as was the subsequent discussion at the meeting. A few of us changed our views of where on the introvert/extrovert scale we are, and others of us found deeper understanding of the more introverted people around us.

I love book club because: we talk about stuff, Nick makes really yummy guacamole, and (depending on which household hosts the meeting) there are usually two little poodles who like to fall asleep in a floppy bundle of curls on your lap. What's not to love??!?!


There was so much info packed into the book which made me rethink myself and the people I know many times over. It is one of the most thought provoking books I have ever come across and my fellow bookclubbers seemed to agree. The other great experience that came from reading the book was how many conversations I had with family and friends as a result of telling them I was reading a book about introverts. So many stories and ideas and shared experiences. I give it 4 out of 5 for style an structure, and a whopping 5 out of 5 of content.

Boring But Important

Hello there, dear Bookerlytes! I like this blog to be all about books and am not keen on wasting too much time discussing other matters on it. However I have some news which could very well affect the way this blog is administered and received so I hope you'll be happy to bear with me and read this post. I'll try to fit in a fart joke somewhere so it isn't too boring for you. The thing is, I have a new job working for a publishing house.

Girl Booker has always been about me documenting and sharing my reading delights, but it invariably helped me along as a bookseller too. I started the blog to address the problem of my day job being quite fun but far too easy. I now have a job that is (at least in the learning stages) filling those gaps of mental laziness for me. This makes Girl Booker feel like a delicious indulgence rather than a (self imposed) requirement. So at this stage I am not sure how regular my posting will become, or if my posts will perhaps turn into wafting jumbles of adjectives and emotions with little structure or thoughtful discussion. Or, indeed, if I will stop writing altogether and instead post photos of puppies and kittens. We shall have to wait and see.


The other issue this raises is that of bias or conflict of interest. I wanted to be clear about what this blog means to me, and that I do not intend to become a spokesperson for my employer on this site. I do nevertheless feel compelled to point out that I will inevitably read a lot of books published by my employer, simply because I am cheap and lazy and their books will be cheap or free and very easy for me to access. How many people would NOT read a book that looks interesting if someone dropped it on their desk? As it happens, I read many a free promotional book when I was a bookseller, but because they came from many publishers it didn't feel like favouritism. So I am still a Girl Booker, but I will Girl Book in a slightly different way from now on. And I just farted.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Old and New

I've recently finished a couple of books that could not have been more different. I love the fact that I loved them both. A few days ago saw me complete The Mystery Of A Hansom Cab, written by Fergus Hume and first published in 1886. I think I learnt from my experience with Wilkie Collins, and only picked it up when I had lots of time and inclination for a ponderous and meandering reading experience. As a consequence, it took about three weeks for me to finish but I was happy to read it slowly. It is like a BBC Sunday night historical mystery in a book. And the cover is yellow which made me very happy.

In contrast, Shadowfell by Juliet Marillier hasn't been published at all yet, and I read it in five days. Not only is this a teen novel, it is teen fantasy. I don't tend to go in for fantasy these days but perhaps this reminded me of the times when I happily read The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe over and over again. Despite the book being a composite of two genres I rarely read, I was gripped. I put tasks aside to read, I squeezed in a paragraph or two while on the train station escalators, I thought about the story when I had to put the book down.

I love the fact that my reading experiences can be so different in terms of genre, content and my responses to the texts. What makes this even cooler is that both these books are Australian; it's nice to know such diversity can come from one place.