Villechaize/Casanunda any relationship?

Posted on 5 June 2010. Filed under: reading | Tags: , , |

I was happily working my way through my blogs today and found Tony Martin had dropped some names in his blog. A bit careless of him and I hope one day he’ll pick them up again but for the moment I’ll just link to his post so you can see which names he dropped. The Scrivener’s Fancy is a lovely blog written by four different people and I drop in a couple of times a week to read Tony Martin’s entry.

I was delighted to read about one of my favourite actors from Fantasy Island, a programme from the 1970s about a man and his dwarf assistant who owned an island and charged people exhorbitant amounts to fulfil their fantasies. It had Ricardo Montalban as Mr Roarke and Hervé Villechaize as his assistant. Martin wrote a brief passage about Hervé Villechaize and it made me realise that whenever I read about Giamo Casanunda, a character from Terry Pratchett’s Discworld series of books, I always thought of Hervé Villechaize, very strange. Villechaize described himself as a ladies man and with some quick research I found that information elsewhere, he apparently continually propositioned women on the set of Fantasy Island.

Why did I always think of Villechaize when reading about Casanunda? Well, there’s the height for a start. Villechaize was 3′ 11″ (1.19 m) and Casanunda was 3′ 9″ in his high heels. I always felt Villechaize was into the ladies and Casanuda definitely was, he described himself on his business card as The World’s Second Greatest Lover and propositioned Nanny Ogg at every opportunity. Those are the only two facts I have, the rest is just my leap of intuition and my family know my leaps of intuition.

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Dewey’s Read-a-Thon

Posted on 9 April 2010. Filed under: reading | Tags: |

I’ve just signed up to be a Cheerleader of of Dewey’s 24 hour Read-a-Thon. I know it’s going to be great fun but I do wish I’d known about it earlier.

I wish everyone the best of luck with their reading tomorrow.

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Top 10 Australian books

Posted on 5 February 2010. Filed under: Interesting websites, reading | Tags: , |

Here are the top 10 Australian books as survey by the Australian Book Review and here’s the full list of nominated novels. It’s a very interesting list spanning 290 titles with authors such as Tim Winton having several books in it. Of those 290 titles I’ve only read about 15 of them and some are very important books so I’d better get cracking. I do admit to having Lennie Lower on the shelf but I’ve never read it.

Here they are:

1. Cloudstreet, by Tim Winton
2. The Fortunes of Richard Mahony, by Henry Handel Richardson
3. Voss, by Patrick White
4. Breath, by Tim Winton
5. Oscar and Lucinda, by Peter Carey
6. My Brother Jack, by George Johnston
7. The Secret River, by Kate Grenville
8. Eucalyptus, by Murray Bail
9. The Man Who Loved Children, by Christina Stead
10. The Tree of Man, by Patrick White

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Terry Pratchett 2010 Challenge

Posted on 14 January 2010. Filed under: reading | Tags: , , , |

Terry Pratchett Reading Challenge 2010

As some of you know I’m rather excited by Terry Pratchett and his writing. So imagine my excitement when I found this reading challenge. The Terry Pratchett 2010 Challenge hosted by ReadingAdventures. Of course, I’m going to join and the way to do that is to blog about it and then go back to ReadingAdventures and comment. And this gives me an excuse to tell you about Nullus Anxietas 3, the third Australian Discworld Convention which has been scheduled for the 8th to the 10th of April 2011 at Penrith Panthers. Where is the Penrith Panthers? Somewhere in Sydney, Australia. All sorts of fun will be happening and you can keep up with the impending excitement at the NA3 website.

The challenge will start from 1 December 2009 and run through to 30 November 2010. There are several different levels of participation for you to choose from:

1-3 books – Cashier at Ankh-Morpork Mint
4-5 books – Guard of the City Watch
6-8 books – Academic at the Unseen University
9-10 books – Member of Granny Weatherwax’s Coven
10-12 books – Death’s Apprentice

You can either be reading the books for the first time, rereading, or even watching the TV adaptations if you like! Please also do not feel limited to only reading the Discworld books as any books by Terry Pratchett will count for this challenge.

For a full list of the Discworld books in publication order, check out this page on Sir Pterry’s website or his page at Fantastic Fiction. The number of books either written by Terry Pratchett or about his work is a bit mind boggling really.

Each month, ReadingAdventures will put a Mr Linky up so that you can link your reviews or Pratchett posts if you want to do more general posts say on individual characters, places, events etc.

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The BBC Book List

Posted on 4 December 2009. Filed under: reading | Tags: , , |

Just because I’m way too tired after the book stall yesterday I’m giving you another booklist. This is probably the list that started me searching for all the other book lists around and I think I got it from Facebook. Anyway, I’ve been good and tagged the ones I’ve read with an ‘x’, I’m also intensely curious how many everyone else has read so please put your total in the comments field. I really don’t know where the BBC gets their information from as I’ve read 40 of this list and there’s another few I may have read but so long ago that I don’t recall and I suspect I can’t count Shakespeare but I did manage to get halfway through. The one thing this list totally highlights for me is that I’ve read more British books than American books.

Where do you fall in the list? The BBC believes most people will have read only 6 of the 100 books here.
How about you?

Copy this. Look at the list and put an ‘x’ after those you have read. Tag other book nerds.

1 Pride and Prejudice – Jane Austen x
2 The Lord of the Rings – JRR Tolkien x
3 Jane Eyre – Charlotte Bronte X
4 Harry Potter series – JK Rowling x
5 To Kill a Mockingbird – Harper Lee
6 The Bible (The entire thing!)
7 Wuthering Heights – Emily Bronte x
8 Nineteen Eighty Four – George Orwell x
9 His Dark Materials – Philip Pullman x
10 Great Expectations – Charles Dickens
11 Little Women – Louisa M Alcott X
12 Tess of the D’Urbervilles – Thomas Hardy x
13 Catch 22 – Joseph Heller
14 Complete Works of Shakespeare
15 Rebecca – Daphne Du Maurier
16 The Hobbit – JRR Tolkien x
17 Birdsong – Sebastian Faulks
18 Catcher in the Rye – JD Salinger
19 The Time Traveler’s Wife – Audrey Niffenegger
20 Middlemarch – George Eliot
21 Gone With The Wind – Margaret Mitchell
22 The Great Gatsby – F Scott Fitzgerald x
23 Bleak House – Charles Dickens
24 War and Peace – Leo Tolstoy
25 The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy – Douglas Adams x
27 Crime and Punishment – Fyodor Dostoyevsky
28 Grapes of Wrath – John Steinbeck x
29 Alice in Wonderland – Lewis Carroll x
30 The Wind in the Willows – Kenneth Grahame x
31 Anna Karenina – Leo Tolstoy
32 David Copperfield – Charles Dickens x
33 Chronicles of Narnia – CS Lewis x
34 Emma-Jane Austen
35 Persuasion – Jane Austen
36 The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe – CS Lewis x
37 The Kite Runner – Khaled Hosseini
38 Captain Corelli’s Mandolin – Louis De Bernieres
39 Memoirs of a Geisha – Arthur Golden x
40 Winnie the Pooh – AA Milne x
41 Animal Farm – George Orwell x
42 The Da Vinci Code – Dan Brown x
43 One Hundred Years of Solitude – Gabriel Garcia Marquez
44 A Prayer for Owen Meany – John Irving
45 The Woman in White – Wilkie Collins
46 Anne of Green Gables – LM Montgomery X
47 Far From The Madding Crowd – Thomas Hardy
48 The Handmaid’s Tale – Margaret Atwood
49 Lord of the Flies – William Golding x
50 Atonement – Ian McEwan
51 Life of Pi – Yann Martel
52 Dune – Frank Herbert x
53 Cold Comfort Farm – Stella Gibbons
54 Sense and Sensibility – Jane Austen
55 A Suitable Boy – Vikram Seth
56 The Shadow of the Wind – Carlos Ruiz Zafon
57 A Tale Of Two Cities – Charles Dickens x
58 Brave New World – Aldous Huxley x
59 The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time – Mark Haddon x
60 Love In The Time Of Cholera – Gabriel Garcia Marquez
61 Of Mice and Men – John Steinbeck x
62 Lolita – Vladimir Nabokov
63 The Secret History – Donna Tartt
64 The Lovely Bones – Alice Sebold
65 Count of Monte Cristo – Alexandre Dumas
66 On The Road – Jack Kerouac
67 Jude the Obscure – Thomas Hardy
68 Bridget Jones’s Diary – Helen Fielding x
69 Midnight’s Children – Salman Rushdie
70 Moby Dick – Herman Melville
71 Oliver Twist – Charles Dickens x
72 Dracula – Bram Stoker x
73 The Secret Garden – Frances Hodgson Burnett x
74 Notes From A Small Island – Bill Bryson x
75 Ulysses – James Joyce
76 The Inferno – Dante
77 Swallows and Amazons – Arthur Ransome x
78 Germinal – Emile Zola
79 Vanity Fair – William Makepeace Thackeray
80 Possession – AS Byatt
81 A Christmas Carol – Charles Dickens
82 Cloud Atlas – David Mitchell
83 The Color Purple – Alice Walker
84 The Remains of the Day – Kazuo Ishiguro
85 Madame Bovary – Gustave Flaubert
86 A Fine Balance – Rohinton Mistr
87 Charlotte’s Web – EB White x
88 The Five People You Meet In Heaven – Mitch Albom
89 Adventures of Sherlock Holmes – Sir Arthur Conan Doyle x
90 The Faraway Tree Collection – Enid Blyton x
91 Heart of Darkness – Joseph Conrad
92 The Little Prince – Antoine De Saint-Exupery
93 The Wasp Factory – Iain Banks
94 Watership Down – Richard Adams x
95 A Confederacy of Dunces – John Kennedy Toole
96 A Town Like Alice – Nevil Shute
97 The Three Musketeers – Alexandre Dumas x
98 Hamlet – William Shakespeare
99 Charlie and the Chocolate Factory – Roald Dahl x
100 Les Miserables – Victor Hugo

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Borders Top 100 Books results

Posted on 11 October 2009. Filed under: reading, Uncategorized | Tags: , |

100 Favourite Books of All Time as voted by You!!

Ok, it’s taken some time but we’ve finally received notification of the results of the poll Borders took a couple of months ago. Funnily enough my vote didn’t make it into the top 100, I really don’t know why, Grug is highly collectable and they’ve recently reprinted the entire series so that should prove my point. The top 100 only has one little children’s books, and that’s Animalia by Graeme Base. I find this really interesting as there has been so much quality children’s writing throughout the years you’d think there’d be room for more.

There’s a lot of quality writing in this list some of which is aimed at children and some at adults. Some of the list is fact based fiction and other is just plain fiction. There is a good sprinkling of fantasy and also some science fiction. Some of my favourite books are here such as Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. I feel some of the books shouldn’t have made to the list as they are not actually good writing they just have a vast readership so that shows that this list is really made up of popular books and not necessarily good writing. I’m going to point the finger here at Harry Potter and also at The Da Vinci Code. Both books have some fabulous ideas and have the potential to be great books but just fail miserably. They do have a wide readership which doesn’t necessarily make them good.

I’ve noticed a decent spread of Australian authors, Tim Winton and John Marsden for example, both of whom are really great authors and deserve to be there.

Here’s the list so you can see it for yourself.

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Books I’ve started reading

Posted on 24 September 2009. Filed under: reading | Tags: , |

I don’t claim this post to be exciting it’s more of an explanation as to why I haven’t been reviewing many books recently. I haven’t managed to complete a book for about a month and it’s not just because I’m busy but also due to the books I’ve been starting. Anyway, here we go.

What Maisie Knew by Henry James. I didn’t even make it through the Preface of this book. If you’ve read it and would like to review it I’d appreciate hearing from you.

Owls Do Cry by Janet Frame. The problem with this book is it’s very good and needs more devotion than I have at present. Normally I only have the chance to read for a few minutes at a time and this is a book that just doesn’t lend itself to this style of reading. I really need to sit down and read it for an hour or so. I’ve decided to put it aside until our next holiday when I’ll be able to do it justice.

Billy Budd, Sailor and Other Stories by Herman Melville. An interesting choice, by the author of Moby Dick. I haven’t even made it through the introduction. I will make it through this book, might have to skip the rest of the introduction but I will get there. Sometime I’ll read Moby Dick as well.

Those Barren Leaves
by Aldous Huxley. This book is so different to Brave New World, it’s a completely different genre. There’s lots of moments where people look at themselves and each other to see if they’re doing the right thing to attact each other and this self examination can take forever. It’s really not my style of book and I struggled to get 1/4 of the way through it.

Edgar Cayce on the Dead Sea Scrolls by Glenn D Kittler. There is absolutely no way of comparing this book with any of the others in the post. It is meant to be readings and discussions of readings by Edgar Cayce, a ‘prophet’, of the people and personalities surrounding Jesus. I’ve struggled to maintain an open mind while I’ve struggled to get 3/4 of the way through the book. I think I might cave in and stop.

This last book will be my first new book review in a while. It is Dark Side of the Sun by Terry Pratchett. I’m just about 1/2 way through and am finding it much easier reading than any of the other listed books.

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