Drawn Out

June 4, 2018

Funny People don’t always have funny lives.

Tom Scott’s life has had lots of unfunny times but in his autobiography Drawn Out his stilettos sharp observations and dry wit make for very funny reading.

Although he writes of his gauge being on full self-pity later, there is no trace of that with the light and witty touch he applies to his impoverished childhood with his angry, alcoholic father.

In his book he recounts stories of people and events which changed New Zealand and the world as well as touching on his own deprived childhood, and his student days, career and family life.

As a political columnist and cartoonist he mixed with politicians, media and other people, including Sir Edmund Hillary and John Clarke, who made, or covered, the news from New Zealand and around the world.

He also claims the line New Zealanders going to Australia raise the IQ on both sides of the Tasman as his own and says it was taken by Rob Muldoon.

The front cover describes it as a seriously funny memoir. It is and I recommend it as a must-read for anyone interested in politics, history or life.

Drawn Out published by Allen & Unwin.

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Things to do . . .

May 25, 2018

Things to do, places to be, books to sell.

This morning I’m going to be helping at the Rotary Club of Oamaru’s annual Bookarama.

It’s being held in the Loan & Merc building in the historic precinct and we’ve got books almost as old as the building as well as some published this year that look as if they’ve not been read and just about every age and category in between.

It’s a bibliophile’s paradise.


Quote of the day

February 9, 2018

 For books are more than books, they are the life, the very heart and core of ages past, the reason why men worked and died, the essence and quintessence of their lives. Amy Lowell who was born on this day in 1874.

She also said:

In science, read by preference the newest works. In literature, read the oldest. The classics are always modern.


365 days of gratitude

January 23, 2018

C.S. Lewis said if we could read only old books or new we should choose the old.

If you chose the old I guess in time the new would become old so you’d get to read them too.

But the idea that I might be dictated to so that I was able to read only one or the other feels like Hobson’s choice to me.

I have a lot of old favorites which I re-read and enjoy afresh but I also enjoy discovering new works by authors whose earlier volumes I’ve liked and encountering works by authors new to me.

I am fortunate to have the ability and, quite often, the time to read old books and new and I”m grateful for that.


The Resilient Farmer

August 31, 2017

Marlborough farmer Doug Avery had already faced more than his fair share of difficult times when successive droughts through the 1980s and 90s  struck.

It got so bad that he hated to go outside and despair turned to depression. He treated that with alcohol and anger, neither of which helped.

The turning point was a meeting addressed by  Lincoln University professor Derrick Moot.

Doug became a convert to lucerne and started working with the environment rather than against it.

He not only turned himself and his farm around, he used what he learned to help others become more resilient on their farms, in their businesses and their lives.

He’s told his story to many different audiences and now he’s written it in The Resilient Farmer, weathering the challenges of life and the land.

It’s an honest and simply written account of  his life and troubles which could have sunk him and nearly did. It’s sad in places but far from being depressing, it’s an inspirational read.

It’s one of the best stories of or by a farmer I’ve read but that doesn’t mean it will only appeal to people interested in farming and farmers.

The book would make a great gift for Fathers’ Day but that doesn’t mean it would only appeal to men.

It would  be of interest to a wide audience, men and women, country and town.

The Resilient Farmer is co-authored by Margie Thomson with a foreword by Sir John Kirwan.

It’s published by Penguin Random House with a retail price of $40.

 

Doug has a website Resilient Farmer.

Doug and Wendy are interviewed by Kathryn Ryan on Nine to Noon.

There’s more on Doug here

 


Saturday soapbox

July 1, 2017

Saturday’s soapbox is yours to use as you will – within the bounds of decency and absence of defamation. You’re welcome to look back or forward, discuss issues of the moment, to pontificate, ponder or point us to something of interest, to educate, elucidate or entertain, amuse, bemuse or simply muse, but not abuse.

who you read

You are now the main character in the last book that you read. Who are you?

(For the record: I’m Jake Bailey, in What Cancer Taught Me.


Michael Bond 13.1.26 – 27.6.17

June 29, 2017

Michael Bond, creator of Paddington Bear and author of more than 200 books has died.

What will be wanted on this voyage and will there be marmalade sandwiches when he arrives?


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