15 books


I confessed to being unable to play the 30 songs game today, but have no trouble following Deborah at In A Strange Land with books:

The idea is that without thinking about it too much, and within the space of 15 minutes, you name 15 books that will always stay with you. I added a wrinkle – no more than one book per author . . .

1. For Better, For Worse and For Lunch by Christina Hindhaugh – the book I wish I’d written.

2. Grievous Bodily by Craig Harrison – it makes me laugh.

3. The Sundowners by Jon Cleary – the first book from the master of story telling.

4. Here Comes Another Vital Moment by Diane Brown – A travel book with poems or a poetry book on travel – whichever it is, it’s beautifully written.

5. Night Life of the Gods by Thorne Smith – like Grievous Bodily it makes me laugh.

6. See Ya Simon by David Hill – it makes me cry.

7. Alex by Tessa Duder – if I was 40 years younger this is who I’d want to be.

8. The Snow Goose by Paul Gallico – my parents’ copy is now mine, read and re-read regularly.

9. I Am David by Ann Holm – beautifully written account of a young boy who escapes from a concentration camp which made me see the world with fresh eyes.

10. The Best Christmas Pageant Ever by Barbara Robinson – a very fresh approach to a very old story.

11. The Book of Fame  by Lloyd Jones – almost poetic in the simplicity of its style and like good poetry it conveys much more than it seems to at first glance.

12. A Town Like Alice by Neville Shute – the story of a strong woman who survives against the odds, then uses her skills and unexpected wealth to help those who helped her.

13. Looking for Alibrandi  by Melina Marchetta – another feisty teenager.

14. Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery – I read my best friend’s mother’s copy when I was at primary school, loved it then and still enjoy re-reading it.

15. A Fence Around the Cuckoo by Ruth Park – the first volume of the autobiography. It covers here growing up during the Depression, determined to write.

I could go on very easily, but the rules say 15 so that’s it – for now.

Five by New Zealanders, four by Australians, three by Americans and one by a Canadian; eight by women, all written in the 20th century. Older books, newer books and those by British writers will have to wait for my next list.

UPDATE: Unmana is playing the book game too.

Mid-week Music


Joaquin Sabina and Joan Manuel Serrat singing Dos Pájaros de un Tiro (which I think means two birds with one shot, but I’m open to correction).

Confessions of a dinosaur


Not PC started it by listing the 30 songs which turned up when he put his MP3 player on shuffle.

Macdoctor added his 30 and Rob followed with his.

So where’s my list? Ah well that’s where the dinosaur confession comes in, I don’t have one because I don’t have an MP3 or an IPod or anything vaguely resembling one.

I never had a Discman or a Walkman either.

I do listen to music on a stereo now and then and often play CDs in the car. But the attraction of wandering round with earphones on escapes me and I have enough excuses for work-avoidance without learning how to download music on the computer.

Update: Peter pointed out I had the wrong link for Rob’s blog, I’ve now corrected it.

Update 2: Quote Unuote is playing the game even though he doesn’t have an Ipod or MP3 either.

What will they be singing


In his interview with Jamie McKay on the Farming Show yesterday, Phil Goff said David Shearer has taken a guitar on the Labour caucus bus tour.

What do you think they’ll be singing?

 Stand By Your Man, or perhaps Yesterday . . . ?

Fewer than 10,000 members


Inventory 2 at Keeping Stock more than justified the cost of buying last week’s Listener with the mirth he got at Labour’s expense, concluding here with irony from Labour MPs VII.

What struck me from reading the story was the admission from party president Andrew Little that membership has crashed to below 10,000, down from almost 50,000 in 2005.

Even if that doesn’t include unions, that is still a very small number of people paying a subscription to what is supposed to be a major party.

That is very good news for National and its allies.

It is especially good for the Maori Party which is supposed to be a minor party but claims a similar level of membership to Labour.

It is very bad for democracy which requires participation and involvement.

Democracy is supposed to be of, for and by the people not a few idealogs.

The Listener story is previewed here.

Maybe Inventory 2 could claim commission from the Listener because Kiwiblog admits it was reading snippets at Keeping Stock which prompted him to buy a copy. He gives a summary of the story here.

August 12 in history


On August 12:

30 BC – Cleopatra died.

Bust of Cleopatra VII

 1851 Isaac Singer was granted a patent for his sewing machine.


1895 baby farmer Minnie Dean was hanged.

1908 Ford  built the first Model T.

1925 Norris McWhirter and Ross McWhirter, Scottish co-foudners of the Guiness Book of records, were born.

Sourced from Wikipedia and NZ History Online.

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