Dear subscribers,

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I’m working on getting a subscription widget happening on the new site. I’m using a theme which doesn’t include a subscription widget but I’m sure there must be a way and then you can subscribe on the new site.

Thanks for reading.


How is War and Peace treating you? Are you finding it a hard slog or racing through it? Or somewhere in between?

I’m loving it so far. I’m finding the battle scenes a little confusing at times and need to reread to work out who’s doing what but I’m getting the hang of it.

It’s not too late to join so come on and become immersed in War and Peace.

If you read only one article this week make it Liking Is For Cowards. Go for What Hurts by Jonathan Franzen.

He is an incredible thinker and writer. Wow.

A sneak peak at Jeffrey Eugenides’ upcoming novel, The Marriage Plot. Looking forward to it. Big fan of Middlesex.

This couldn’t be more off topic really but I had to share it: Style your garage

I would love, love, love one of these for our garage door but as our garage can be seen from a main road as cars come around a bend down a hill it’s perhaps not the best idea to be creating a major double-take distraction for drivers. (But it would look sooooo good.)

Thanks for reading.

GWAPIRC has begun!

I made a good start on the train commute to work this morning. Bypassed the introduction (Does anyone read introductions?) – straight to the good stuff. It’s good to be back in Tolstoy’s world.

No one describes characters like Tolstoy:

Le charmant Hippolyte was surprising by his extraordinary resemblance to his beautiful sister, but yet more by the fact that in spite of this resemblance he was exceedingly ugly. His features were like his sister’s, but while in her case everything was lit up by a joyous, selfsatisfied, youthful, and constant smile of animation, and by the wonderful classic beauty of her figure, his face on the contrary was dulled by imbecility and a constant expression of sullen self-confidence, while his body was thin and weak. His eyes, nose, and mouth all seemed puckered into a vacant, wearied grimace, and his arms and legs always fell into unnatural positions.

Happy reading.

I confess that I’ve finally taken advantage of Borders’ misfortune tonight. Only a few days left of the administrator’s sale and they’re taking 90% off. I don’t have the emotional strength to resist 90% off.

I’ve been wanting to try a Manga novel for a while so at a low-risk investment of $5 a pop I bought Free Runners and Vampire Doll. I only realised when I got them home that what I thought was the front cover is in fact the back cover, hence why it had the blurb on it. So I’ll be reading backwards which should be an interesting experience.

And I couldn’t resist Source – Nature’s Healing Role in Art and Writing by Janine Burke. Can’t wait to read it.  

I’ve just started reading The Elegance of the Hedgehog. Enjoying it so far.

I really just need another life dedicated solely to reading. I need more time. Much more time.

Did you buy a book today? Going to buy one tomorrow? Tell us about it.

One week and counting until the Great War and Peace International Reading Collective Day 1; the day GWAPIRC members will throw themselves … like a TimTam into a hot cuppa into War and Peace.

Are you as excited as I am?

Let’s get primed with a few War and Peace quotes:

“Nothing is so necessary for a young man as the company of intelligent women.”

“We can know only that we know nothing. And that is the highest degree of human wisdom.”

“The whole world is divided for me into two parts: one is she, and there is all happiness, hope, light; the other is where she is not, and there is dejection and darkness…”

Thank you Leo. We do love you.

Grab a copy of War and Peace and come join us for GWAPIRC.

Mark it in your diaries people – 1 June 2011 is GWAPIRC Day 1.

If you’ve always wanted to read War and Peace and just never got around to it then this it. Join us … well, me and my lovely This Mid 30s Life pal at least … get your hands on a copy and start reading from June 1.

No rules. No deadlines. No pressure. (It’s not a race.)

Share your reading experience – the trials, the tribulations – here at pagesetc or on your own blog and send me the link so I can post it here.

And please let me know if you’ll be joining GWAPIRC … so at least I know you’re there, reading along with us.

Spread the word.

PS – I’ll be reading the Maude translation (see pic).

Sometimes the appropriate response to reality is to go insane.

Philip K. Dick, Valis

If you’ve read any of Philip K Dick’s stories or seen any of the movies based on his novels or short stories (I’d be surprised if you haven’t) then you may be interested in this piece from The Times, The Movies, Philip K. Dick and You.

Comedian Brian Malow talks about his obsession with Philip K Dick books and takes a look at the movies that were based on his stories.

PKD wrote 44 novels and more than 100 short stories. Ten of his stories have been made into films including Blade Runner, Minority Report, Total Recall and, more recently, The Adjustment Bureau.

I’ve read only two of his books, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? and A Scanner Darkly. I really need to read more of his work. PDK was an incredible storyteller. Such an imaginaton.

Are you a PKD fan? Which is your favourite of his stories?

Official Philip K Dick site

A special Mother’s Day message
To all those people who have lost their mother in the past year, especially children, and for whom this will be the first Mother’s Day without their mum, my heart thoughts are with you.

Having lost my mother as a child I know what that first mother’s day is like; the sadness, the loss and the lonliness. It gets easier over time, but it never gets easy.