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Books and Reading Reviews

The Top Five Things Goethe Can Teach Us About Travel

goethesdisguiseI recently read Goethe’s Italian Journey, an account of the famous German writer’s trip to Italy in the 1780s. At the end of my review, I promised I’d share a few pieces of wisdom that I picked up from reading Goethe’s account. It’s amazing how recognisable some of his experiences are. Close your eyes, and you can almost imagine nothing has changed. This got me thinking, and I ended up going through the text looking for a few lessons Goethe might have been trying to impart on his readers. So, without further ado, I’d like to present…

The Top Five Things Goethe Can Teach Us About Travel

#1: Enjoy the Ride

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Books and Reading Prompts Memes and Other Fun Things

Classics Club Meme: Favourite Literary Period

classicsclub1This month The Classics Club asked a very interesting question: what is your favourite “classic” literary period and why?

Now, for someone who has devoted their life to studying literature, that sort of question is a little like asking a marine biologist what their favourite kind of fish is. Or asking a music lover what their favourite Beatles song is. Or asking just about anybody what their favourite episode of Friends is. (Because who doesn’t like Friends?)

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Books and Reading Prompts Memes and Other Fun Things Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday: Popular Authors I’ve Never Read

VirginiaWoolfThe lovely people over at The Broke and the Bookish clearly share my fascination with lists (seriously, I really like lists. I’m thinking of doing a ‘Why I Like Making Lists List’) because every week they run a feature called Top Ten Tuesday. There’s a new theme every time, and this week the theme is ‘Top Ten Popular Authors I’ve Never Read’. So I’ve decided to look at the ten popular (classics) authors that I have, for one reason or another, never got round to reading. Admittedly, not all of these authors could be classified as ‘popular’, but on the other hand, they’re the sort of thing people never stop talking about and always pretend they’ve read to impress their dates. So, here we go…

Top Ten Popular (Classics) Authors I’ve Never Read

  1. James Joyce. (Probably for the same reason that a lot of people haven’t read him. The thought of reading Ulysses scares the pants off us.)
  2. Fyodor Dostoyevsky. (See above re: pants.)
  3. Marcel Proust. (Ditto.)
  4. D.H. Lawrence. (I was told I wasn’t ready. That was five years ago.)
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Books and Reading

Perth Writers’ Festival 2014

IMG_0607If you’ve caught sight of my Goodreads to-read list at any time over the past few days (I know, it’s my go-to internet reading material too), you may have noticed a small flurry of new and unusual titles have appeared there over the course of a seemingly regular weekend. The books I’ve added recently might not be the sort of thing you’d expect there; they’re quite a departure from the slew of classical novels, philosophy how-to guides, and academic texts generally selected to make me seem clever and well-read in company. The authors of these newly discovered books don’t seem to have all that much in common. Their interests range from the history of maps and map-making (yes, there’s a book on that) to Australian Aboriginal myth and storytelling.

But there is, in fact, a linking factor; apart from the fact that all the authors I’ve discovered over the past weekend are interesting, well-spoken, and intelligent individuals, they were also all guests at the 2014 Perth Writers’ Festival (cue balloon drop and party poppers).