Still the same-old as before: our stuff hasn’t arrived from Canada yet; I’m not able to find a job yet because of I can’t put Hugh into daycare until we sort out some government bureaucratic business that’s been dragging on for weeks now and is the cause of most of my stress; we’ve been billed $300 to connect our landline and now it’s stopped working – typical!; we’ve supposedly been connected to broadband internet but we wouldn’t know because the modem hasn’t turned up yet! So I have to make another call on my mobile, which has to be sent back to be repaired because it constantly drops calls and tells me I don’t have a SIM card (that’s another $50 deposit for a temporary replacement phone). I’ve always known that technology doesn’t like me – if something can go wrong, it will – and this just reinforces that idea. I would like for something to go right for once!
At least the weather has improved; that is to say, real summer has finally arrived here, and we’ve been having nice hot, sunny days. On Sunday we took advantage of the clear skies and drove to the top of Mount Wellington, which sits to the west of Hobart (the capital of Tasmania, second-oldest city in Australia) and dominates the landscape. Here are some shots from the top:
The Drake Equation by Heather Walsh (4/5)
The House on the Cliff by Charlotte Williams (3/5)
Ophelia and the Marvelous Boy by Karen Foxlee (5/5)
I’ve Got Your Number by Sophie Kinsella (5/5)
Me, Who Dove into the Heart of the World
by Sabina Berman
The hardback and other editions have much nicer covers – I like this cover, but it’s not really all that pretty is it? I bought this last year because the blurb interested me, and I’m reading it now for the Around the World challenge, for Mexico. I’m really, really loving it so far! Here’s the blurb:
When Isabelle Nieto comes to Mexico to take over the family business, a failing tuna cannery on the coast, she finds a wild young girl wandering the beaches near her family’s home. So begins a miraculous journey for autistic savant Karen Nieto, who finds freedom not only in the love and patient instruction of her aunt Isabelle, but eventually at the bottom of the ocean swimming among the creatures of the sea. Her gifts with animals are finally put to good use at the family’s fishery, and her plan to revolutionize the company is brilliant: Consolation Tuna will become the first humane tuna fishery on the planet. Greenpeace approves and fame and fortune follow, and Karen is swept on a global journey that defies even her wildest expectations. As intimate as it is profound, as clear-eyed as it is warmhearted, Sabina Berman’s Me, Who Dove into the Heart of the World plunges us to inspiring depths, and we resurface with a new wonder for our world —and for all the creatures living in it.
The year is 1792 and it’s winter in Berkeley Square. As the city sleeps, the night-watchman keeps a cautious eye over the streets, and another eye in the back doors of the great and the good. Then one fateful night he comes across the body of Pierre Renard, the eponymous silversmith, lying dead, his throat cut and his valuables missing. It could be common theft, committed by one of the many villains who stalk the square, but as news of the murder spreads, it soon becomes clear that Renard had more than a few enemies, all with their own secrets to hide. At the centre of this web is Mary, the silversmith’s wife. Ostensibly theirs was an excellent pairing, but behind closed doors their relationship was a dark and at times sadistic one and when we meet her, Mary is withdrawn and weak, haunted by her past and near-mad with guilt. Will she attain the redemption she seeks and what, exactly, does she need redemption for…? Rich, intricate and beautifully told, this is a story of murder, love and buried secrets.
The secrets, struggles, and self-redemption of a Depression-era coal miner’s wife and three daughters play out against a turbulent historical backdrop of Ku Klux Klan intimidation and the 1933 Pennsylvania Mine War. Their intertwined lives eerily mirror the 7th century legend of St. Barbara, patroness of miners, reenacted annually in the town pageant. Tested by scandal, heartbreak, and tragedy, each woman will write her own courageous ending to St. Barbara’s story.
When the family business collapses, Beauty and her two sisters are forced to leave the city and begin a new life in the countryside. However, when their father accepts hospitality from the elusive and magical Beast, he is forced to make a terrible promise – to send one daughter to the Beast’s castle, with no guarantee that she will be seen again. Beauty accepts the challenge, and there begins an extraordinary story of magic and love that overcomes all boundaries. This is another spellbinding and emotional tale embroidered around a fairytale from Robin McKinley, an award-winning American author.
Two years ago, the aliens made contact. Now Cara Sweeney is going to be sharing a bathroom with one of them.
Handpicked to host the first-ever L’eihr exchange student, Cara thinks her future is set. Not only does she get a free ride to her dream college, she’ll have inside information about the mysterious L’eihrs that every journalist would kill for. Cara’s blog following is about to skyrocket.
Still, Cara isn’t sure what to think when she meets Aelyx. Humans and L’eihrs have nearly identical DNA, but cold, infuriatingly brilliant Aelyx couldn’t seem more alien. She’s certain about one thing, though: no human boy is this good-looking.
But when Cara’s classmates get swept up by anti-L’eihr paranoia, Midtown High School suddenly isn’t safe anymore. Threatening notes appear in Cara’s locker, and a police officer has to escort her and Aelyx to class.
Cara finds support in the last person she expected. She realizes that Aelyx isn’t just her only friend; she’s fallen hard for him. But Aelyx has been hiding the truth about the purpose of his exchange, and its potentially deadly consequences. Soon Cara will be in for the fight of her life — not just for herself and the boy she loves, but for the future of her planet.