My Favourite Books

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I have recently signed up an account over at Goodreads which is an awesome social media network for all book lovers. Get yourself over there if you haven’t already! One of the first things I needed to do was let them know my favourite books so that they could automatically generate recommendations for me based on those. Well that’s a tough question for a Scatterbooker like me,  but I have managed to come up with a short but definitely not comprehensive list.

Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll,

The Power of One by Bryce Courtney,

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee,

The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald,

Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen,

Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë ,

The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger,

Bridget Jone’s Diary by Helen Fielding,

The Other Boleyn Girl by Philippa Gregory,

The Pact by Jodi Picoult,

The Kay Scarpetta Series by Patricia Cornwell,

1984 by George Orwell

It by Stephen King.

Over at Goodreads I have also joined the Aussie Readers group. It is full of very friendly Australian readers who have some brilliant book suggestions and they run seasonal reading challenges that everyone can join in with. I definitely recommend that any Australian readers head over and say hello to the lovely people over there.

I have decided to take part in the Aussie Readers December Challenge which is to read as many Christmas or New Year themed books as possible during December. So far I have decided to read:

The Perfect Christmas by Kate Forster

Yours for Christmas by Susan Mallery

Come Home for Christmas, Cowboy by Megan Crane

Also on my current reading list are:

Gray Mountain by John Grisham

I am Pilgrim by Terry Hayes

Explicit Detail by Scarlett Finn

I will also need to be offline for around two weeks starting from Tuesday 25th of November. I have created Scatterbooker as part of an assignment for one of my university subjects at Curtin University. So that means that while the assignment is being marked I won’t be able to make changes to https://scatterbooker.wordpress.com/ or any of my social media accounts. I’m going to miss all of you so much while I am offline, but I will use the time away to work on getting some of these book reviews ready to post as soon as my assignment is graded. While I am in exile you can still contact me at scatterbooker@gmail. I would love to hear about your favourite books or any Christmas/New Year themed books that you love.

 

Image adapted from an image that was uploaded by FutUndBeidl (2012) which was sourced via Flickr and I’m am sharing under the Creative Commons License. Visit here to view the original image.

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Not That Kind of Girl: Lena Dunham

Title: Not That Kind of Girl: A Young Woman Tells You What She’s “Learned.” 7117777143_750e89853d_z

Author: Lena Dunham

Illustrator: Joana Avillez

ISBN: 978-0-8129-9499-5

E-Book ISBN: 978-0-8129-9500-8

Published: September 2014, Random House New York

My Rating: 4/5

My Thoughts:

Lena Dunham, star of HBO’s Girls first solo novel, Not That Kind of Girl, will be instantly recognizable to fans of the show as Hannah Hogarth’s book of essays.  The book almost reads like a really long series of unrelated Tweets and I can appreciate that this is something that readers in their 20’s are likely to feel more comfortable with than I was. I really did feel that I could have done without the chapter that solely consisted of Lena’s food diaries. Maybe I’m just old and don’t really get that part! What I did understand and emphasize with is the awkwardness of growing up and going through your 20’s, with all of the self doubt and hangups that go along with all of that. Lena has a knack for writing about  the gross and messy parts of life in such a self deprecating and matter of fact way that she manages me to feel positively normal. Not That Kind of Girl is incredibly self indulgent at times, but you’re meant to be self indulgent in your 20’s so that’s ok.

Lena Dunham has been dubbed ‘The Voice of her Generation’ but can an entire generation really have just one voice? I don’t think so, but I know that she is a voice, and a strong one at that. In between her sometimes inane musings she does make some pretty solid points that I wish I’d been told by someone clever and cool in my 20’s.

On love and relationships:

“When someone shows you how little you mean to them and you keep coming back for more, before you know it you start to mean less to yourself. You are not made up of compartments! You are one whole person! What gets said to you gets said to all of you, ditto what gets done. Being treated like shit is not an amusing game or a transgressive intellectual experiment. It’s something you accept, condone, and learn to believe you deserve. This is so simple. But I tried so hard to make it complicated.”

“You will find,” she says, “that there’s a certain grace to having your heart broken.”

“You’ve learned a new rule and it’s simple: don’t put yourself in situations you’d like to run away from.”

On anxiety:

“I didn’t know why this was happening. The cruel reality of anxiety is that you never quite do. At the moments it should logically strike, I am fit as a fiddle. On a lazy afternoon, I am seized by a cold dread.”

On getting naked on TV:

“It’s not brave to do something that doesn’t scare you.”

On High School:

“that’s also how I felt in high school, sure that my people were from elsewhere and going elsewhere and that they would recognize me when they saw me.”

On Barbie:

“Barbie’s disfigured. It’s fine to play with her just as long as you keep that in mind.”

On female writers: 

“There is nothing gutsier to me than a person announcing that their story is one that deserves to be told, especially if that person is a woman. As hard as we have worked and as far as we have come, there are still so many forces conspiring to tell women that our concerns are petty, our opinions aren’t needed, that we lack the gravitas necessary for our stories to matter. That personal writing by women is no more than an exercise in vanity and that we should appreciate this new world for women, sit down, and shut up.”

And this stinging insult:

“D. J. Tanner called and she wants her wardrobe back so it can be included in a museum retrospective about the prime years of Full House.”

I particularly related to the chapter titled Girl Crush where Lena writes about her dislike for the term but admits to having girl crushes before. I have to admit that I have used the term girl crush to speak about women that I admire, but I have to agree that it really isn’t an appropriate term. Like Lena, I don’t have romantic feelings for these people and a lot them them aren’t necessarily women. But I also don’t want to be them the way that Lena describes. I think it would be more appropriate to say that they are people who I admire. Some of the people I admire are wildly rich and successful, but not all of them are. People I admire usually have a career that they enjoy doing and always know where they are heading and what they need to do to get there. When things go wrong they take it in their stride and do what they need to do to get themselves back on track. They always seem happy in their own skin and are comfortable with who they are and what they are doing. I definitely admire how brave Lena Dunham is for baring her soul (and her boobs) over and over again for the world to see and the way that she has turned her passion for writing into an extremely successful career. She obviously loves what she does and I will look forward to hearing more from her in the future. The memoir that she promised to write in her 80’s sounds like it will be hilarious.

Lena Dunham is someone that should consider following on Twitter

Visit here to purchase yourself a copy of Not That Kind of Girl. Let me know what you thought if you have a chance to read it and I’d also love to hear about what qualities you find yourself admiring in people?

Image uploaded to Flickr by Shankbone (2012) and shared under Creative Commons License. Visit here to view to original image.

My Current Reading List

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I have just finished reading Leaving Time by Jodi Picoult. Here are some of the  books that I will be reading over the next few weeks.

Not That Kind of Girl: A Young Woman Tells You What She’s “Learned” by Lena Dunham, creator and star of HBO’s Girls. I recently spent a weekend binge watching all 3 seasons of “Girls.” I can’t wait to check out this book!

I am Pilgram by Terry Hayes. A thriller about a spy who wrote the book on the perfect crime. Will it come back to haunt him? This book has been highly recommended by a friend of mine and as an added bonus the author is Australian.

Gray Mountain by John Grisham. The new thriller by the author who needs no introductions. I had a bit of a giggle when I had a look at the reviews on Goodreads and saw John’s own review: “I enjoyed writing this book very much in spite of knowing how it would end.” Sounds like it must be a good read!

I will be posting reviews of these three books over the next few weeks. Let me know which books are on your current reading list!

 Image uploaded to Flickr by Flynt (2012)  and shared under Creative Commons License. Visit here to view to original image.

Leaving Time: Jodi Picoult

Title: Leaving Time elephant

Author: Jodi Picoult

ISBN: 978-0-345-54492-6

E-Book ISBN: 978-0-345-54493-3

Published: October 14th 2014 by Ballantine Books, New York.

Rating: 4/5

My Thoughts:

Jenna Metcalfe is 13 years old and desperately wants to find her mother. Alice Metcalfe has been missing for the past 10 years after a mysterious death of one of the employees at the elephant sanctuary that she owned with her husband Thomas. Alice was taken to hospital with a head injury after the accident but checked herself out and disappeared before she was questioned by police. Thomas had a mental breakdown and was institutionalized leaving Jenna to live with her grandmother. Jenna enlists the help of Serenity Jones, a disgraced former psychic to the stars who has lost her psychic ability and Virgil Stanhope, the original detective for Alice’s case who is now an alcoholic private investigator, to help her find out what happened to Alice once and for all.

Similarly to a lot of Jodi Picoult’s books, “Leaving Time” is written by several of the main character’s point of view. This can take a little while to get used to but I find that it does get easier to keep track of everyone after a while. Alice’s entries contain some fascinating facts about elephants and Jodi has obviously done an amazing amount of research on this subject. She is also incredibly passionate about elephant conservation which I found to resonate really well with Alice’s character. I recommend a visit the website of The Elephant Sanctuary in Hohenwald, Tennessee which features in the book if you are interested in finding out more about elephant conservation.

“Leaving Time”  is about motherhood, grief, ghosts, memories and the connection between humans and animals with a lot of mystery and suspense thrown in for good measure. The more I read of this book, the more I desperately had to find out what on earth happened to Alice. I can guarantee that the twist at the end will knock your socks off!

Image uploaded to Flickr by Mara 1 and shared under Creative Commons License. Visit here to view to original image.

What is a Scatterbooker?

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A Scatterbooker reads books from far and wide, on any subject and from any genre. A Scatterbooker can never choose just one favourite book, author or even genre. If you ask them, they will probably give you a list of thousands. A Scatterbooker will usually have at least one or two books that they are currently reading at any given time and a ‘to read’ list a mile long. A Scatterbooker is well read on a wide variety of subjects which makes them exceptional conversationalists. They are up to date on current events and trends and are always the best people to ask “have you read any good books lately?”

If you are a Scatterbooker like me you might find some good books to read over at Scatterbooker on Goodreads.

Image adapted from an image that was uploaded by FutUndBeidl (2012) which was sourced via Flickr and I’m am sharing under the Creative Commons License. Visit here to view the original image.