Tuesday, 9 June 2015

Counting by 7s by Holly Golberg Sloan

Counting by 7s

Magical in so many ways.
I laughed,
I cried,
I held my breath and I hoped.

Do any of us realise how incredibly we can touch others?
How small gestures can ripple outwards helping in ways never imagined.

It is difficult to grasp a genius mind like Willows'.
I would love to have such insight of the world,
To be able to comprehend the miraculousness of everything in such an informed way.

The beauty of this story is in how all these unlikely people and coincidences
All move towards each other and fit together.
Compassion, understanding, empathy, needs and fulfilment.

A little patience and kindness goes a long way.
Each character needed a little saving
And somehow in big and small ways
they all saved each other.

You're the kind of girl I write songs about by Daniel Herborn

You're the Kind of Girl I Write Songs About

Yeah yeah...the title got me straight away.
What girl, regardless of age, doesn't want songs written for/about her by some groovy guy?

Writing, the creative process in whichever form, is a response to life.
An experience, emotion, sensation, conversation, image, person, moment, a witness.
It requires thought, sensitivity, honesty, patience, a certain way of looking at and seeing things...
And then, courage because all creative expression makes us vulnerable.

What is in a song?
layers of music and words telling a story,
a different kind of snapshot,
that brings people together in sounds, vibrations, movement, dance.

That is a special energy,
so if someone felt so inspired as to create a piece of that around you it would (hopefully) be a huge compliment no matter how clich├ęd or corny.
Surely that means that someone has seen something more than an exterior or appearance. They have taken time to look harder and deeper to know who you are.

So I like this book for it's simple descriptions,
it's monologues marking moments of unspoken treasures.
All the things left unsaid.
We say what we shouldn't and don't say what we should.

I like the insight into how the characters think and feel about life and each other.
Life is amazing at any age but from 18 onwards new experiences are huge. Work, study, music, responsibility, reality, freedom, first love, travel, hopes and dreams...WOW, totally wonderful and overwhelming!

Mandy and Tim are young, lost and fragile.
Music brings them together, binds them, they express themselves through it with their band crushes, mix tapes, love of vinyl and for Tim his lyrics.
There is an ageless maturity in some of his thinking that is quite touching, mixed with humour and a little poetry. I like pensive minds perhaps that's why it appeals to me or the creative process, but it also takes me back.

"You can say so much without words. I guess I didn't mind before when Mandy didn't talk much because you can tell more about people during the silences. I know so many people who talk a lot and talk such a lot of shit that it's nice to have someone who doesn't say that much, but says things that are worth listening to when they do speak." - Tim

"...In those couple of seconds I try to commit every inch of the swell of her breasts to memory, every detail from the curve of her collarbone to the edge of the black lace bra under her shirt. I try to take a mental photograph of that tantalising inch between her skirt and her stockings when she walks, those acres of legs in black nylon. I'm forgetting how to breathe." - Tim

"One person, one moment, can change things forever. Perhaps I've always known this. After all, it only takes the three chords and the two and a half minutes of a great pop song to break your heart or make you feel invincible." - Mandy

Lots of cute awkwardness to love.

Monday, 8 June 2015

Raising Competent teenagers by Dr. Linda Friedland

This gives good practical advice and ideas on how to live and communicate with teens.
The question and answer approach makes it easy to find what you need and the what to do in point form is great for quick tips.
I'm always gleaning information from different sources in hope of finding some harmony over the next few years.
It is also reassuring to note that I am on the right track...so far...in theory!

Raising Competent Teenagers: . . . In an Age of Porn, Drugs and Tattoos

5 may 2015  this about sums it up (sometimes)

why is parenting so exhausting?

last minute nonsensical
bedtime bothers!

save me!
need to shake my head like a
cartoon character with all the
sound effects

just call me


anytime anywhere anywhy

A Guide to the Birds of East Africa by Nicolas Drayson

Fun, charming, touching.
The tortoise and the hare.
Secret side stories.
Wonderful birds.
Khan - surface bling, no real substance.
Malik - simple, noble...learning to see what is right in front of him,
Around him, his son, Benjamin, Petula.

Entertaining characters, sweet story for a rainy Sunday morning.

            A Guide to the Birds of East Africa. Nicholas Drayson

Looking for Alaska by John Green

First love, friendship, bonds, adolescence, questions, answers, frustrations, silliness, importance, fun, sadness, difference, acceptance, loss and pain.

All the big things are here.  The how, who, when, why and what. 
The awkwardness and ridiculousness of youth, the good and bad choices and how some of these moments can change us forever.

I liked Pudge's essay right at the end.
And this sentence, 'There is a part of her greater than the sum of her knowable parts'.

Looking for Alaska

The Guy, the Girl, the Artist and his Ex by Gabrielle Williams

Two Australian authors publish books based on the same crime around the same time.
Having read Cairo by Chris Womersley I was curious to compare angles. 
Interpretations of the same theme are often interesting.

I loved how this story unfolds, how slowly the characters come together in strange twists of fate.
There is a mix of youth, young love, family, choices, right and wrong, tragedy, death, desperation, vanity, loss, stupidity, and life in it's many forms.
There is strength and fragility and a sense of optimism despite bad choices.
Fun, well paced and entertaining.

The Guy, the Girl, the Artist and His Ex

The Keepers Trilogy by Lian Tanner

An exciting adventure into a strange and unusual world where people are almost too scared to breathe!
Interesting and courageous characters including a museum with a mind of its own.
Many suspenseful, funny and endearing moments.
We will be listening to the next part starting tomorrow.

Museum of Thieves (The Keepers, #1)

Read from May 27 to June 02, 2015
We are really enjoying this trilogy so far.
Great strong characters and wonderful reading.
An air of calm peacefulness pervades the room or car when we are listening to the story.
It's wonderful.

This adventure was just as exciting as the first.
We got to explore more of the land with Goldie, Toadspit and Bonnie and despite the dangers
It was fun.
Love Idle Cat...all these wondrous beasts are incredible.
Goldie put all her training to practice.
Looking forward to more.

City of Lies (The Keepers, #2)


The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion

This was a wonderful funny journey read in a day.
There are so many elements that make us who we are.
Empathy is an emotion we should explore and practice more often,
Then perhaps the many misunderstandings and misinterpretations we suffer from these days could be avoided.

There is often little logic involved in emotions and how can we really define love?
There is lots of specialness in this story.
We all suffer from/enjoy our own differences and uniqueness whether it is a defined condition or not.
We can all love and be loved as we are, for and despite our weirdness.

Of course it is not easy or without hurt,
But it is comforting and reassuring and beautiful knowing
That love comes in as many ways as we do.

The Rosie Project (Don Tillman #1)