Happy Christmas everyone! I hope you're having a lovely day. We're having a quiet family day, thunder is rumbling in the distance, so hoping for a good downpour to cool things down before I put the chicken in the oven!!
I've just updated my 'books read 2014' list in the side-bar, which I hadn't filled in for about 6 months.
My favourite novel this year was The Book Thief by Marcus Zusak, it's been out for a few years and very popular, but I'd judged the book by the cover, it looked too gothic for me !! Luckily it was a book group selection and I loved it, loved the characters, it's worth reading for the two handmade books that are incorporated into the story, and so much more.
Other than that I've had a really bad run with book group books this year, very few are listed because I didn't finish them - we were reading Gone Girl when the movie came out, I was hating it, hating feeling so manipulated and that there wasn't one sympathetic character in there, and every time I turned on the tv or radio someone was reviewing the movie saying how good it was and how great the book was. I think I read half and then read the ending (sacrilege) which wasn't believable to me, so I didn't bother reading the second half...it got some very good reviews from my book group, so just goes to show how different tastes can be!
Nearly half my list this year is non-fiction, and my favourite (other than the Matisse book!) would be David and Goliath by Malcolm Gladwell. I'd recommend anything he writes, it's always interesting and thought provoking, always turning what's accepted on it's head.
I also loved Margaret Atwood's short story collection 'Stone Mattress', and so glad I finally got round to 'The Great Gatsby', I want to watch the movies now!
As I have no art deadlines to work towards at the moment, I'm trying to take some time to play, here are some gouaches I've been doing, trying not to worry about subject too much and enjoy colour.
Some weeks there isn't a lot to show, a tiny sketchbook drawing...
and a handful of cards...
On Friday I went into my kids school for the end of year assembly, it was lovely, the school band played and the choir sang, and lots of awards were given out. It's an emotional time of year for me, as my twins finish primary school in 4 days time, and our 13 year connection with the school ends (since my oldest started there.) I struggle with change, hate leaving behind teachers we know and love, feel sad that many of the kids' friends will be going to different schools or moving interstate, and at the same time try not to pass this on to my kids, so that they'll face the changes with open minds and even enthusiasm!
So there's been little time for art, and with all my xmas shopping still to do and xmas cards to write it might take a back seat for a couple more weeks...
Around the net - Kat McNally is running reverb, 21 days of blogging/journalling prompts to look back on the year. I'm especially enjoying the responses of Sarah's Heart Writes, so glad to have discovered her blog!
Think Like a Freak by Steven D Levitt and Stephen J Dubner
The Tell-tale Heart by Jill Dawson
The Railwayman's Wife by Ashley Hay
The Book Thief by Marcus Zusak
The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Schaffer and Annie Barrows
David and Goliath - Underdogs, misfits... by Malcolm Gladwell
Matisse the master by Hilary Spurling
A Long Way from Verona by Jane Gardam
A Million Miles in a Thousand Years by Donald Miller
Good News Bad News by Maggie Groff
The Examined Life by Stephen Grosz
Giving up the ghost - memoir by Hilary Mantel The Elegance of the Hedgehog by Muriel Barbery
Books I'm reading 2013
The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg
Noah's Compass by Anne Tyler
Burial Rites by Hannah Kent
The Cuckoo's Calling by Robert Galbraith (JK Rowling)
The Unknown Matisse by Hilary Spurling
The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion
Life after life by Kate Atkinson
Astray by Emma Donoghue
The Scottish Prisoner by Diana Gabaldon
The Hare With Amber Eyes by Edmund De Waal
Mindset by Dr Carole Dweck
Caleb's Crossing by Geraldine Brooks The South Bank Show - final cut (interviews) by Melvyn Bragg The Fifth Witness by Michael Connelly The Charming Quirks of Others by Alexander McCall Smith Creole Belle by James Lee Burke
Books I'm reading 2012
The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd
Peaches for Monsieur Le Cure by Joanne Harris
When god was a rabbit by Sarah Winman
The Mind and Times of Reg Mombassa by Murray Waldren
Believing the lie by Elizabeth George
All that I am by Anna Funder
Paper Bliss (craftin!) by Skye Rogers
Obliquity (non-fiction) by John Kay
Lone Wolf by Jodi Picoult
Night Street by Kristel Thornell
It takes a village by Christine Stinson
The New Republic by Lionel Shriver
Bird by Bird - some instructions on writing and life by Anne Lamott (again already!)
An awkward truth - the bombing of Darwin by Peter Grose
Talking about Detective Ficiton by PD James
Room by Emma Donoghue
The Lady and the Unicorn by Tracy Chevalier
Failure is an option by Terry Robson
The Snowman by Jo Nesbo
Thirty-Three Teeth by Colin Cotterill
Haiku Mind by Patricia Donegan
Bird by Bird - some instructions on writing and life by Anne Lamott
Lessons in letting go - Confessions of a hoarder by Corinne Grant
Books I'm reading
Tuesdays with Morrie by Mitch Albom The Happiest Refugee by Anh Do The Stranger's Child by Alan Hollinghurst
The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin The Road by Cormac McCarthy
Margaret Olley Far From A Still Life by Meg Stewart
Bird Cloud a memoir by Annie Proulx
The Shifting Fog by Kate Morton Solo by Rana Dasgupta
The 100 Thing Challenge by Dave Bruno
Animal Vegetable Mineral (again) by Barbara Kingsolver The Lacuna by Barbara Kingsolver Adrienne Rich's Poetry and Prose Blink by Malcolm Gladwell Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell 2010
To Heaven by Water by Justin Cartwright
The Outsider by Albert Camus
Prodigal Summer by Barbara Kingsolver
The Secret River by Kate Grenville
Dirt Music by Tim Winton
Started Early, Took My Dog by Kate Atkinson
The Time Traveller's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger
The Anger of Aubergines (short stories) by Bulbul Sharma
The Weather Makers by Tim Flannery
Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel
Emily Carr a biography by Maria Tippett
High Tide In Tucson (essays) by Barbara Kingsolver