Simply Sunday

Today is a sunny, spring like day in Tasmania. In Australia the seasons begin on the first of the month. So September 1 was the first day of spring here. However I do not celebrate it until the equinox as I don’t think you can fool Mother Nature into thinking it’s spring when there is still bits of snow around parts of the state. In my mind spring is just around the corner.

Our state still has the bridge over the moat closed to mainland Australia due to Covid 19 so we aren’t going anywhere and neither is anyone coming here without 2 weeks of quarantine. Ho hum. We are fortunate we do not have the virus in our state but I feel for people in other parts of the world struggling with it.

On to the book I just finished yesterday. Yes it is another bit of travel writing. I think I’m almost at brain capacity with travel writing as I have been immersed in it for some time. Might be time to move on to something else for awhile.

This book is called Ghost Rider by Neil Peart. Memoir in its nature and perhaps a bit overlong. I was ready for it to end at a couple of points however it continued on.

Neil was a Canadian professional drummer working with the well known band Rush. I had not heard of but that is not unusual. He was married to Jackie with one 19 year old daughter, Selina, he was very close to.

She leaves home to begin university in Ontario and is in a car accident and killed instantly. Of course he and his wife are devastated. Then a couple of months later, Jackie is diagnosed with terminal cancer. Within a relative short amount of time he loses both his daughter and his wife. Then his dog dies. His very best friend in the world is arrested for selling drugs and goes to jail for a couple of years. What does one do in this situation?

He gets on his motorcycle and rides through Canada, the United States and into Mexico.

The book is about his travels which I found really good. He is good at describing the people he meets, the accommodation he stays in and the food he eats. I really enjoyed that.

He is also a big reader and he takes a great deal of life’s lessons from the books he has read and the books he is currently reading. He always visits a book store if one is nearby on his travels

The book also deals with the grief he feels and the loss and confusion of having to begin his life all over again in his late 40’s/early 50s. He has a small home at a lake in Quebec he spends time in and writes about the nature he observes. He is an avid bird watcher and writes of the birds.

He shuns being around many people and instead concentrates on having to keep moving as he is unable to sit still for long. He also hikes, spends time watching the beloved birds and reading a great deal. He has several good friends who live in various parts of North America that he rides his bike to in order to spend time with them.

This is his journey out of grief. I really enjoyed many things about this book.

He keeps a journal regularly and writes down everything that happens to him each day. The book is developed from this journal. He also writes long letters to his best mate in prison and to several friends.

The book is a combination of what he writes in his journal and what he writes in his letters. There isn’t very tight editing in it so it does tend to ramble, especially during the last third of the book. I became weary of the repetition at this point. However by then I was invested enough in his life I did want to know how it ended.

I do wish the editor had been a bit harsher with slashing out some paragraphs.

But overall it is a very good book and it deletes deeply into what people go through with the loss of loved ones and some of his thoughts were enlightening. However I wouldn’t wish the experience on anyone. He addresses what he does with the anger he feels as well.

If travel by motorbikes is of interest to you then there is plenty to keep you entertained in this but it does come with a lot of personal baggage as you can imagine.

The Blurb from Amazon:

On a journey of escape, exile, and exploration, he traveled from Quebec to Alaska, down the Canadian and American coasts and western regions, to Mexico and Belize, and finally back to Quebec. While riding “the Healing Road,” Neil recorded in his journals his progress and setbacks in the grieving/healing process, and the pain of constantly reliving his losses. He also recorded with dazzling, colourful, entertaining, and moving artistry, the enormous range of his travel adventures, from the mountains to the sea, from the deserts to Arctic ice, and the dozens of memorable people, characters, friends, and relatives he met along the way.

Published March 2003 by ECW Publishers. – 400 -pages

A Weekend Wander

The beginning of the path.

Last week I woke up to a beautiful, sunny day in Hobart. Ollie needed to get out as he is a live battery on wheels and had a full charge in him. He’d had a bath the day before, he was fluffy and raring to go.

Hobart has a lot of parks and reserves and though we often go to the dog beach today I decided on a 3 km bush walk. It wasn’t that long but there are hills in Hobart and they are everywhere. So Ollie was put into harness and off we went to the Knocklofty Reserve. This reserve is high on a hill and overlooks Hobart. It is very much a bush reserve with many birds. I could hear many of them but they were high in the trees and wouldn’t come down and pose for my photos.

String bark Eucalyptus trees. When fires hit these trees the strings burn, saving the rest of the tree from the flames. Very hardy trees. Nature is so clever.

There were a lot of people out walking, picnicking playing with their dogs. We came upon a woman walking five Lhasa Apsos. There are areas of water that have been set up for the frogs. We walked around the frog ponds and I heard a few but being winter there wasn’t much activity.

The view towards Hobart through the bush.

Ollie is working well as a photography dog. I drop his leash, say “Wait!” and he stands still. All the beans in this little guy stop moving and I can get the photo without my arm being pulled out of its socket.

Enjoy the photos and hope you enjoy Hobart that you visit one day. You will get a personalised tour if you do. It will include beautiful scenery and lots of cafes or pubs.

I love the texture in this tree.

You can see the casino down on the river by the yacht club. Where the fancy people live. ūüėĀūüėĀ

An overview of Hobart. It was built around the River Derwent and the city centre is off the left out of view.
Ollie turned one year two weeks ago. We celebrated his birthday with new rubber pigs.
I felt like Robin Hood out there today.

Wayfaring Wednesday 2 Sep

Today I hope you have a cup of tea or coffee. Sit down, put your feet up and enjoy the El Ateneo Grand Splendid Bookshop in Buenos Aires, Argentina. We visited their in 2012 so I am reaching back travel wise. The Guardian has rated this bookshop the second most beautiful bookshop in the world. National Geographic rated it as the most beautiful. (Wikipedia)

It was certainly the most beautiful bookshop I’ve ever been in.

“Situated on Santa Fe Avenue in Barrio Norte, the building was designed by architects Per√≥ and Torres Armengol for impresario Max Gl√ľcksmann (1875-1946), and opened as a theatre called Teatro Gran Splendid in May 1919. The building features ceiling frescoes painted by the Italian artist Nazareno Orlandi and caryatids sculpted by Troiano Troiani, whose work also graces the cornice along the Palacio de la Legislatura de la Ciudad de Buenos Aires.

The theatre had a seating capacity of 1,050, and staged a variety of performances, including appearances by the tango artists Carlos Gardel, Francisco Canaro, Roberto Firpo and Ignacio Corsini. Gl√ľcksmann started his own radio station in 1924 (Radio Splendid), which broadcast from the building where his recording company, Nacional Ode√≥n, made some of the early recordings of the great tango singers of the day. In the late twenties the theatre was converted into a cinema, and in 1929 showed the first sound films presented in Argentina.” The architect Fernando Manzone transformed it into the stunning¬†bookstore in 2000.

Okay, enough history. I have photos to share with you and I hope you enjoy them. (Mind you the photos were taken before I began photography courses so bear with me. Lumix point and shoot tiny camera. But you get the gist!

Art work on the ceiling.

Need I say anything??

There were quite a few specialty areas.

The children’s section has a very good selection and I enjoyed seeing the illustrations of the Spanish books.

The cafe was up on the stage and the food, as you can see, was beautiful.

There was one problem with this shop for us. Almost every book is in Spanish. I think that was a good thing in the end as I didn’t buy anything except maybe a notebook or some cards. I don’t remember.

Another Weekend Read

I downloaded an audible book this week and went through it fairly quickly as it isn’t overly long but what a sobering story it is.

Life can be beautiful if you make it beautiful. It is up to you. 

From Booktopia:

“Eddie Jaku always considered himself a German first, a Jew second. He was proud of his country. But all of that changed in November 1938, when he was beaten, arrested and taken to a concentration camp. 

Over the next seven years, Eddie faced unimaginable horrors every day, first in Buchenwald, then in Auschwitz, then on a Nazi death march. He lost family, friends, his country. 

Because he survived, Eddie made the vow to smile every day. He pays tribute to those who were lost by telling his story, sharing his wisdom and living his best possible life. He now believes he is the ‘happiest man on earth’. 

Published as Eddie turns 100, this is a powerful, heartbreaking and ultimately hopeful memoir of how happiness can be found even in the darkest of times.

About the Author

Eddie Jaku OAM, was born Abraham Jakubowicz in Germany in 1920. In World War 2, Eddie was imprisoned in Buchenwald and Auschwitz concentration camps. In 1945, he was sent on a ‘death march’ but escaped. Finally, he was rescued by Allied soldiers. In 1950 he moved with family to Australia where he has lived since. Eddie has volunteered at the Sydney Jewish Museum since its inception in 1992. Edie has been married to Flore for 74 years. They have two sons, grandchildren and great grandchildren. In 2020 Eddie celebrates his 100th birthday.”

**************************

This was a story I had to grit my teeth before I started it. I really hate reading about the holocaust but I know how important it is for people to learn as much as they can about. it. Also it is this man’s life goal to tell people his story. He was captured in 1938 and endured the most incredibly, mind bending horrors I have ever read. Yet he survived. Not only has he survived but he is now turning 100 years old and he continually tells people his story.

With what is currently happening in this world the time could never be better than it is now. It will always be a relevant tale I am sure.

I won’t describe it anymore than I have because I can’t do his story justice. I will say it is a story filled with hope. It is important. The author is a truly remarkable man and what can be learned from this book is that attitude is incredibly important. It puts everything people are going through now into perspective. This will most likely be my most important reads of the year. I hope others bite the bullet and read it

Having visited Auschwitz I had those images in my mind. It was such an important place to visit and reflect upon and shouldn’t be considered simply a tourist destination.

Enough said.

Wayfaring Wednesday

Tasmanian Wildlife Today:

A flock of sulphur crested cockatoos fly over head. (Tasmania)

Wayfaring Wednesday is a new feature of this blog. It will feature photography from various places from all over the globe. All the photos featured are ones I have taken as I travelled around the world over the years and also as I wander around Hobart and Tasmania in general.

I am also trying to get used to this new format on Word Press which so far I am not enjoying but I will persevere until I get the hang of it. I am not one to avoid change. So today while I practise I am going to share some eclectic animal photos I have taken in the past.

Below are a group of Tawny Frogmouth birds taken at Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary. Animals who live at Bonorong are those that are not able to be released into the wild anymore for one reason or another. Part of the Nightjar family of birds.

Next we have a Tasmanian devil. Tassie devils may look cute at times but their bite is several times stronger than that of a Pit Bull dog. They are scavengers. They are also marsupials and are found in forest and bushland here.

I caught this photo accidentally as a group of Wallabies ran by. I quite like it though it is not focused as it could be. It’s okay….I’ll keep it. These are the legs of a forester kangaroo. Check out the claws.

Last but not least I am sharing this photo of our neighbourhood cockatoo. We think he may have escaped captivity at one time as he and a friend often come by alone but also fly with the large flock. He seems a little tamer than the others. I put sunflowers out for them every few days, not so many they become dependent. Lately though, if I forget to put them out he will hang from the eaves of the house and look in through my bedroom window where I sit in my reading chair to remind me. It is very funny and I’ve become quite attached to him. Cockatoos can live well over 100 years old. There is one out at Bonorong who has been in captivity more than 100 years and was surrendered to Bonorong. His name is Fred and when he turned 100 he received a letter from the Queen of England. It hangs on his aviary wall.

That’s all for today folks…….

One More Traveller’s Tale

When the Covid 19 Lockdown started I thought, “Great! I have all of this time to catch up reading TBR books.” However I could not concentrate and from reading news items, magazine articles and other blog posts I see I wasn’t alone.

I started books. I started several books but couldn’t get past more than 20 pages or so. The mood left and I’d switch to something else. Then I just read other, shorter things. I read magazines, I studied photography you tube videos. I read articles in the Guardian. I read everything except the back of cereal boxes and books on my shelf.

For the past couple of weeks I have been revisiting those discarded tales and finishing them. Travel writing held my interest more than anything else. I notice non fiction also appealed more than fiction. It kind of feels like we’re living in fiction and I think reading non fiction makes me believe all is right with the world. Weird type of reasoning.

So I finished this little Kindle story I downloaded for next to no cost as I liked the idea of an older person (man in his 60’s) walking the Via Francigena pilgrimage in Europe. This walk begins in Canterbury, England and ends in Rome, Italy.

A Hobart couple did this walk last year and I enjoyed following their walk on Instagram very much. They have also done some talks about it in the community once returned. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to get to the one I had planned.

The name of the books I am referring to is Over the Hill and Far Away: Recollections of an Older Person’s Pilgrimage from Canterbury to Rome written by Roger Harland.

Mr. Harland is a New Zealander who is quite religious and he had a desire to do this pilgrimage for quite awhile. He and his wife decided he would do it and she would then meet him two months later in Rome.

In my mind he is a little guy wearing a very serviceable hat with his blue backpack on his back. He carries a hiking pole. What stands out the most in this story is how often he gets lost. He almost doubles the miles of walking because he back tracks so much. He is always lost. If the trail goes to the right, he goes left. If he is to climb a hill he manages to find the down slope. It amazes me he actually makes it.

The only language he speaks is English. That creates a few difficulties in France and Italy. A few people lost patience with that.

He stayed in hostels and convents, most of the time with much younger travellers than he is. I enjoyed seeing how often the young people helped him out when he needed it.

The grumpiest people he met along the trail were the priests and some of the nuns in the convent accommodations. Their lack of patience and the amount of eye rolling they did actually surprised me. However there were a couple of nuns that were lovely and did help him when needed.

He often bought food in shops, ate in cafes and enjoyed getting his lunch and eating it in town squares with the locals (though there weren’t many he could converse with) in smaller villages.

This book is a fairly quick read. He didn’t have anything terrible that happened to him and his descriptions of the trail and accommodations were embraced by this reader. He also had quite a history of the European wars of the past and he always made sure he visited and discussed the monuments and plaques he came across. He would give a brief discussion about the history of those places and what the monument meant to the locals. I found that interesting.

He would also make a point of visiting all of the small churches and a few cathedrals he came across. He enjoyed walking around the buildings, looking at their structure and would look at photographs, stained glass windows and anything else specific to the location. He attended a few services when he happened upon them.

He always bought paper maps in every village or received them from tourist information offices. He enjoyed a glass of wine at the end of the day and he carried a tablet to use in cafes that had free wi-fi.

It is an enjoyable read and he did an excellent job of completing the walk. You could feel the pride and confidence in himself once he finished this life goal.

I would recommend it as an enjoyable read though not as heart stopping as the travel book I wrote about in my last post.

Ahhh–to be able to travel again.

Miles From Nowhere-Travel

I just finished the travel book Miles From Nowhere by Barbara Savage. I think it is one of the best travel books I have ever read and I have read quite a few. Barbara and her husband Larry decide to ride their bicycles around the world in 1978 and 1979. They begin from their home in Santa Barbara, California and head north to Victoria Island in Canada. They ride across Canada, down the east coast of the USA then leave for Europe. From Europe they head to Egypt, India, Malaysia and finally New Zealand before going home again

In the end they travelled 22,000 miles. What is so interesting about this book is that it was written 40 years ago. Long before the internet and looking everything up on google. They describe hardship, joy and weather as if the reader is right beside them experiencing everything.

They don’t shy away from their extremely difficult experiences travelling, especially in Egypt at the time. They go days with little food at times, get incredibly sick; they camp out most of the time unless it wasn’t safe. They ride through extreme heat, cold and even snow.

The fact they stayed together as a married couple and actually survived this trip was admirable. Several times they were in very dangerous circumstances. They shared their joy at travelling in New Zealand.

The reader is introduced to many people, places and the most interesting owners of accommodation and cafes.

It is a book that is hard to put down but the most moving part of this book (and this is not a spoiler as it was stated at the very beginning) is when, once home again, after all their experiences, Barbara is training for a marathon on her bicycle, is hit by a car and dies of a head injury. It is absolutely heartbreaking.

She wrote her book once home and sent it to the publisher just before 1983, then was killed and never saw it published. Her husband Larry made sure it was published and I later learned he remarried again in 1985. This couple went through so much together I couldn’t believe it once I finished and reflected on her death.

I would give this book a 5 star rating. There is enough history but not too much, enough suspense, enough joy balanced throughout. If you like travel writing I cannot recommend this book enough.

An August Winter Day in Tasmania

2020-08-11 16.09.49
Mt. Wellington sits behind Hobart. A winter’s day. (Stock Photo)

We have had a pretty good winter this year. A few days of quite cold weather and even some snow but not enough to stay on the ground where we live. The mountainous areas have been beautiful though.

Ollie Mackers
Ollie’s first trip through McDonalds takeaway for ice cream. I eat the ice cream. He licks the container with one spoonful left. He was most interested in the person who took our payment.

I’ve been spending time with Ollie. He is coming up on his first birthday in a week’s time which is very hard to believe. ¬†He’s such a joy to live with

 

I’ve had lots of time to reorganise my book journal. It’s now electronic on a table that is easily accessible and I have deleted my Good Reads account. I grew tired of it. I also gave the blog page a bit of a clean up and put in some new colours and changed the masthead with one of my photos of a local beach.

Books read since I was here last are as follows:

I finished the audio book from the library of Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens.  I was enjoying it at night before going to sleep. I really enjoyed this story and the characters will stay with me for quite awhile.

2020-08-11 16.11.14Oliver was lovely with his love of his “finally ever after family” and his love of books. What a
terrible start to life he had. Sikes was so horrible.  Dickens was so wonderful at describing life in London during the 1800s and the poverty permeated all he touched in this tale. Evil was evil and good was good. (Narrator Wanda McCaddon was excellent with all of the voices.)

I also finished off the Diary of Samuel Pepys as I probably mentioned before. His description of life in London in the 1660s was remarkable and living through the plague and the great London fire was described as though one had travelled into the pages of the book. I really enjoyed it. (Read by Leighton Pugh with David Timson; both excellent).

2020-08-11 16.13.19
Love this cover.

More currently I really enjoyed¬†the audio version of Australian Julia Baird’s book of essays entitled Phosphorescence. Julia Baird narrates it and it is as if one is sitting down in a room with a coffee or cup of tea with her.

Isn’t the cover stunning as well. She wrote of nature, mindfulness, storm chasing photographers, her family and her battle with cancer. It is an extremely uplifting read written with honesty. I gave copies to friends and they enjoyed it as well.

Another current book I listened to, this one written by Sayaka Murata, was Convenience Store Woman. Narrated by Nancy Wu who pronounced all the Japanese vocabulary for me and translated by Editor/Translator Ginny Tapley Takemori.   A story of a young Japanese woman working in a convenience store in Tokyo who enjoys her work enormously. She enjoys the structured work place 2020-08-11 16.14.01and although she is not fitting societal norms of what a woman is supposed to be like in Japan she manages to come to terms with it, finding her own place in the world and continuing onwards.  It is an unusual story and one learns about more of the expectation upon women in Japan. She defies the traditional norms and succeeds wonderfully in getting to accept who she is and what she wants out of life, as simple as it is. I really enjoyed it.

Another surprising read I enjoyed on my Kindle (but wasn’t sure if I would) is Too Much and Never Enough by Donald Trump’s sister, Mary Trump. ¬†I thought this tale might be one of sour grapes, maybe quite vindictive or poorly written.. It wasn’t. Mary Trump has a PhD in Clinical Psychology and works as a mental health consultant with adults in her full time job. ¬†She didn’t so much as diagnose her family members as describe their behaviours over the years. (I bought the Kindle version as I didn’t want to spend money on the new hardcover version as I wasn’t sure I’d like it.ūüėĀ)

2020-08-11 16.29.20Her description of the family and especially the patriarch Fred Trump, (Donald’s father) and the siblings of Donald are as objective as one in that position can possibly be. After reading how Fred treated all of his children it is no wonder Donald is as he is. ¬†It certainly helps one to understand him but it doesn’t make me like him any better. He is a very damaged man and that is apparent to most people in this world. I am glad I read it and I liked the author very much.

Another book from my shelves I really enjoyed was Ten Years a Nomad by Mathew Kepnes. Raised in Boston, having finished university and not wanting to settle down with a 9 to 5 job he conquers the fear that many Americans have related to travel and goes to the Caribbean on a holiday and later to Asia.  He then decides he is going to travel and live in various parts of the world for the next eight years. This happens more as he continues to extend his travelling.  Many Americans, myself included are raised to believe America is the only country worth travelling in. My father continually had us believing we would be mugged, taken advantage of, probably killed if we travelled anywhere outside of the U.S. When actually the U.S is probably the most dangerous place to travel with all the weapons around.

This young man explains it wonderfully. Another thing we have noticed that Americans 2020-08-11 16.14.45do is that when one returns from an extensive trip nobody takes any interest in it. Questions aren’t really asked and instead family are more interested in what you had for dinner last night or have you seen such and such on Netflix. ¬†Friends often say, “Did you have a good time?” and that is the end of the conversation. The author explains this is his experience also and he can’t get over how life just on as normal as if he was never away.

They either don’t know what questions to ask, are just happy you survived the experience that must have been traumatic at times and let’s move on.

I enjoyed this author’s comments on his entire experience and when he did decide to settle down he was well and truly ready.

I am currently reading another travel tale but will talk about that one when finished. I’m 60% through another tale, this time an older British man undertaking the pilgrimage from Canterbury to Rome.

I hope this catches everyone up. I will have some photography to put up before long as I’ve spent a good deal of time watching photography lessons on You Tube and undertaking a Master Class on line from Annie Leibovitz I really enjoyed.

I am undertaking a fitness program too but more on that later as bits of it are quite unusual. More to catch up on but this post is long enough so will go hunt up some photos of the above named books and finish off with the Penguin, who by the way has a new shirt. (South American art work on a t shirt is new). All the best to my online friends. I’ve enjoyed your posts in the last month though I don’t always comment. Too many to comment on, but you know who you are and I do read them.

As my friends and I always say to each other…..cheers dears!

2020-08-05 12.51.45
A bit of South American art work.

 

 

 

 

A Short Reprieve

Roo
Just a hop and a skip away. Photo taken at Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary Tasmania

 

I’m having a winter’s break this month from blogging and commenting on too many blogs. I’ve been blogging now for 10 years and I’ve lost a bit of motivation but do not want to stop. ¬†It’s winter and to keep my mood and motivation going I’m walking, devoting my time to photography and spending time with Ollie. ¬†I still enjoy reading the blogs of people I follow and will continue to do so. You don’t leave friends in a hurry. I’m enjoying winter and just being well.

When I return to blogging the first week of August I’m going to be trying to only post once or twice a month. I will share the posts between books, photography and travels though most travels will be within Southern Tasmania either on the motorbike or on foot. I will tie that in with photography.

I hope everyone is staying well and doing the right thing by this Covid mess the world is dealing with. In the meantime don’t lose hope. There is so much of interest in the world with and without it. We just have to look for it.

I’ll be back with some books I’ve finished, some interesting photos and maybe a new wardrobe for the Penguin. All the best.2020-05-31 11.24.50

Two Books for Mention on a Sunday

41057294._UY2115_SS2115_After several days of absolute pouring rain we are finally having a couple of lovely winter days with full sunshine.  Ollie and I went to the dog beach yesterday and he had a lovely time.

Books:

I finished Normal People by Sally Rooney. Our book group was to have discussed it last month but we are not meeting now so I was late reading it. I didn’t really want to read it as I’ve heard both negative and positive reviews about it. It’s not a long book so I picked it up to see what all the fuss is about it since I had it. I have to say it was not a book I loved but I can see why some others loved it. The story is about Marianne who is a rich high school/college girl who lives in Sligo, Ireland then goes to Trinity college in Dublin. She comes from a wealthy family of her mother who ignores her and her older brother who is quite abusive. She lives in her own world and has no friends and states she doesn’t need them. She doesn’t care of about high school or the people in it but she is very bright. ¬†She meets Connor. Connor’s mother Lorraine cleans for Marianne’s household. Because Marianne is so ostracised at school Connor does not let on they know ¬†each other much less see each other. ¬†They develop a very long standing intimate relationship but nobody knows about it except Connor’s mother who likes Marianne and leaves him to it.

dog beach
There are two sections to dog beach separated by a thin stream of water. However we have had so much rain there was water everywhere.

The story continues. Both are well read and exceedingly bright and though Connor comes from a poorer background he gets a scholarship to go to Trinity and their saga continues in Dublin. Then we get new boyfriends and new girlfriends although the two of them always seem to love each other.

I grew very weary of this relationship. ¬†Some of the positive points of the book to me were I liked Connor’s character and his mother Lorraine. I think they were the best developed characters. ¬†Marianne annoyed me beyond belief. ¬†We begin to see her mental instability as the book continues and even understanding that I didn’t feel anything for her. I could say the book is plot driven because all of the other characters including friends at Trinity and back in Sligo were not really developed. ¬†It becomes more apparent as we continue Marianne wants to be physically and mentally hurt by her boyfriends and then by others as well. She doesn’t have much self esteem by the end.

The main things that bothered me about this book:

dog beach 2
This is the far end of the dog beach. I like all the rocks. This beach is on the Derwent River that runs out to the Tasman sea on the east side of Tasmania.

The writing in the first half of the book was poor. I kept thinking “where on earth was the editor” with these sentences? ¬† I thought the writing became stronger towards the last of the book. It settled. There were so many inconsistencies with the book. Marianne seemed strong in herself at the beginning. By the end she is like an entirely different person. I know everyone changes during that age group but her basic nature wasn’t the same.

The store of the relationship of Marianne and Connor drags…..and drags…..and drags….. It is very repetitious. It is very predictable. I was going to give it up about 60 or 70% of the way through but I was curious how this book would end. When the ending came it is incredibly unsatisfying and open to interpretation as to how one feels about the entire story. I kind of thought, “right, they have left the way open for a sequel.” ¬†That was my first thought. My second thought is if there is a sequel I won’t be looking at it.

A series has evidently been made of this book and some viewers in the United States have viewed it. I haven’t seen it here on any thing I have access to but I don’t think I could bare to watch it.

My other thought was if I was in the ages between 16 and 25 I’d probably have loved the angst of this story and the relationship and wondering about all the options available to them and how it would work out. I wouldn’t have cared that the writing wasn’t that great. There are a couple of vloggers I came across on You Tube that are in their 20’s and they rave about it. In fact three of them got together and had a Normal People day where they all sat down in their respective homes one day and read it together then talked about it that evening.

But as an older person I found the book tedious and done before a hundred different ways and I expect and enjoy better writing these days. I guess you could say I’m much more discerning as you might expect a person to be who’s been reading more than 60+ years.

dog beach 3
We are at the far end of the beach. In the distant horizon is where the location of the first photo I posted is. In the sun. A lovely sandy beach.

Would I recommend this book to others? ¬†No. There is plenty more out there to read that’s enjoyable unless you’re 16 and having boyfriend problems as there are many lessons one that age could learn as to what a relationship should be about. As there are so many examples in this book about what a relationship shouldn’t be about. ¬†If that makes sense.

I was going to share a second book with you today but I won’t as I think this post is long enough and I don’t like to make them too long.

Instead I will post up a couple of photos from Ollie and I at the beach yesterday. I’ll write about the second book I received from the library this week in a day or two. I hope everyone is having a good weekend.

Screenshot 5
Now! Off to find another book to read.