Sunday, December 30, 2007

2007 Reads and other time wasters

This has been a busy-ish year, what with being enrolled in a Practical Legal Diploma course that ran from 9-5, Monday to Friday then finding a temp job a week after the course wrapped. The last 2.5 weeks have been the only ones where I've had actual time to myself to catch up on reading, bake, hang out at farmer's markets and clean the permanently and incorrigibly dusty apartment I live in.

However, in between figuring practical legal work and other things in between, I did manage to get through some pretty cool reads

The Books

Hmm, 2007 would be the year I went on a fantasy kick again I think. Went off the murder mystery, P.D James and Dorothy Sayers genre that I was on last year. I mean, what with winter being particularly bitter and glum, I sort of wanted some daydreaming type lit.

Confessor by Terry Goodkind
Finally finished off the annoyingly long winded Terry Goodkind series that began with Wizard's First Rule and thankfully ended with Confessor. Umm..nothing to say except that I needed to know the ending and it wasn't badly written enough to not finish it but not so well written that I would relish paying for another of his books. Next time, I think I just won't start. Much like Terry Brooks who just keeps going on with those Shannara books that never seem to end.

P.S I love you By Cecilia Ahern.
I stupidly bought and read and then returned this book.Yes, I am aware it has been made into a major motion picture starring Hilary Swank which hopefully means that the movie has some chance of being watchable. The book was such a waste of time, badly written, whiny,full of worn out, saccharine cliches that set my teeth on edge. I'm everlastingly grateful that Myer department store let me return the book.

Equal Rites, Carpe Jugulum, Hogfather and Reaper Man by Terry Pratchett
Rediscovering the other Terry. In this case, Pratchett gave me some of the more fun reads of the year.All rather satisfyingly fun and yet with that darker edge to it that I relished. In the case of Hogfather, I rather liked the reference to older forms of folklore and magic. He brought up a common piece of folk magic that I didn't even realise I knew. That most people, at the back of their minds somewhere would know as well. Funny how these old bits of folk lore sneak through our urbanized generations. Read the first two in the thick of winter and they were nice snuggle down in bed with hot milo next to me type reads.

Hyperion saga (4 books) by Dan Simmons
Finished all of the Dan Simmons Hyperion saga which was rather good in its scope and ideas and I liked the Keats references. But honestly, if Simmons could say something in paragraph that would take most writers one line, he would. But the most fun bit was watching the Catholic church take over the universe by working together with cybernetic computer minds that had perfected the technique of resurrection.

Dune by Frank Herbert
This was lovely. Interesting in scope and concept and quite well written. Had me repeating the mantra "Fear is the mindkiller" all year which isn't a bad mantra to have, come to think of it.

There are others, most notably a massively boring and repetitive Eddings series which I bought when sick with a chest infection and regretted and the last Potter book which I assume most people would have read as well. Oh an I think I read a couple of Ishiguro books at the beginning of the year when I still had time. But overall this hasn't been a good year for reading. Mainly lacked time and energy. It was about all I could do to read the newspapers most days and have a long slow read of the Saturday papers.

Happy new year people! And may you stick to your new year resolutions!

Friday, December 14, 2007

Walk with me

I have been out of step and out of whack with everything in my life and at almost every stage of my life.

Sometimes, I think I am just happy to be still alive, still able to laugh and still healthy. And today when I read this blog entry I felt this sense of relief so huge that I am not quite able to articulate its boundaries.

I think I really just needed to know that there are people out there who haven't lived their lives according to the normalcy rules set down by religion or society. I haven't suffered a mental illness before but I've been places and done things I sincerely hope most other people will never get to experience.

This has always made me feel, will always make me feel....somewhat scarred and more than a little damaged. And the reason I try not to think about certain events, or remember too much, is because I'm always a little afraid that my darker memories will engulf whatever joy, happiness or positivity I have in my life and swallow me whole.

But recently, I've started praying and asking...for someone ( hopefully a girl someone) to help me make sense of what happened. To help me connect back the bits of what happened and walk me through accepting it.

I'm taking a few months off. The job hunt will resume when I've weighed up my priorities and figured out the next step.

Monday, December 3, 2007

You go girls!

I'm often surprised at how so few women will admit to being feminist or believing in feminist principles. Feminists and feminism seem to have earned an undeservedly bad name.

I'm not ashamed to say that I'm a feminist. No, it doesn't mean that I hate men. No it doesn't mean that I'm going to burn my bras or deliberately dress like a male. But yes, it does mean that I believe in equality between the sexes in every possible arena and yes, it also means that I believe that true equality in a world where every single important socio-economic institution has been created for and by men is difficult to achieve.

Which is why my heart leapt when Julia Gillard was sworn in as the first female deputy Prime Minister of Australia. Just like it leapt when I found out that the new Premier of Queensland was going to be Anna Bligh. I'm so glad that opportunities for women have opened up to this extent in the highly visible realm of politics. I only wish I could say the same of Singapore.