10 Sep 2010

Holiday reads and a pressie

Early on Monday morning, when you look at A Peaceful Day, you can imagine me in Bali. If your imagination is good enough, you'll see me reclining by the pool, gaudy tropical cocktail in one hand and a book in the other. If you look even closer you'll see the title of the book, the 30+ sunscreen, the floppy hat and the rashy - and possibly even some of the wrinkles I'm trying to minimise, but those things probably cause the illusion to crumble somewhat, and so I suggest that you take a step or two backwards and survey the now more enviable scene from a distance.

If you really want to know what I'm reading, the book will be Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert, the book that everyone reads when they travel to Bali. Chick Lit, I know, but remember, Monday is the first day of my holiday and I will have been flying all night. Cattle Class too. Bleurgh. On my reading list I also have A House in Bali by Colin McPhee, and My Journey from Paris to Java by Honor de Balzac, but both of them look far to erudite for first day reading, so Gilbert it shall be.

Jemimah and her Daddy are swimming. Can you see them? When she returns to her recliner for a rest she'll be reading her very first trashy novel - a prospect she is inordinately excited about. It's Paul Jennings' Funniest Stories, and I shall probably be sorry that I bowed to presure and purchased it for her, but hey, I'm reading Eat, Pray, Love, so what do you expect of a mum who reads twaddle like that? Later when we've recovered a bit she will be reading The Ramayana as retold by Lynne Jessup and Gecko's Complaint retold by Anne Martin Bowler, and so I'm hoping that the good will outweigh the bad in her case as well as in her mother's. My Beloved has earmarked the second book of the Millennium Trilogy, The Girl who Played with Fire by Stig Larsson as his first tome, but really he plans on sleeping, not reading. You can probably see that, even from your safe distance.

It is nice to be able to contemplate some serious reading time. I haven't done enough of it lately. I found myself incredibly scatterbrained and unable to concentrate when my dear Dad was ill, and life has seemed a little out of control since then. I had been midway through The Gourmet by Muriel Barbery when he first was ill, but as he got worse I was unable to continue. A book about a dying man just wasn't my cup of tea at the time. I was also reading Alice Sebold's The Lovely Bones but I had to put it aside for the same reason. I've packed them both for Bali. I did manage to finish Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress by Dai Sijie - a short novella that I absolutely adored, as did my mother when I passed it on to her, but that is about it for me in the reading stakes recently.

To be honest, the thing I missed reading most during those weeks in Geelong was your blogs. Blog writing is different from printed writing. It is shorter, pithier, rawer and mostly more honest that stuff the publishers produce. It is also often far funnier. Personally I like the blog writing genre very much. Which was why I was rather excited to discover this book on the discount shelf at the local Borders Store:

Reading through the pages of Stephanie Pearl-McPhee's Free Range Knitter was just like reading her blog Yarn Harlot on the screen. Stephanie's blog about knitters and knitting and people in general is one of my daily reads, and with her book in hand I was able to get my daily blog fix right from he comfort of my bath or bed. I loved this book.

Only one morning I lost it. I hunted everywhere for that little book, but it had truly vanished. Kerpoof. Gone. Disappeared in a puff of smoke. I was so frustrated, let me tell you! I told you I was scatterbrained about then. Anyhow, eventually and after two whole days of looking, my irritation got the better of me and off I beetled into Borders to buy another copy. Which I finished. And then, you guessed it, the first copy turned up, squashed between the foot or the bed and the mattress. I swear that it wasn't there earlier, Officer, I swear. Somebody must have planted it there after nicking it to read in the bath.

Regardless, I now have two copies. And so while I'm away sunning myself in Bali, I'm going to give one very-slightly-used-but-not-so-you'd-know copy of Free Range Knitter away to one of you, my wonderful friends. Now I know you won't yet be able to read Stephanie's book while you're missing A Peaceful Day, but at least you'll be able to imagine my return when you'll have both Jeanne and Stephanie to read. Me on the screen and the Yarn Harlot in the bath. You proved your powers of imagination earlier, after all.

So what do you say? Keen? To enter just leave me lots of nice messages while I'm gone. Your comments make me happy. You can enter more than once by commenting on more than one post from the archive. Just follow the links to something you've not read before. It doesn't matter what you say either but it has to be nice. I'll simply count all the messages that turn up on my email notification list while I'm gone and pick a winner randomly. Sound fair? I thought so. I should get lots of nice messages as well, and knowing that you're out there waiting for me makes me happy.

So does lying by a pool in Bali, mind you.

I'll be back in a fortnight.

Love you all. Bye.

Comments begin now, and close when I first check my email on my return. Have fun!


  1. Have to admit that I'm a little envious of your trip, especially the lounging and reading! I am sure there must be lots of books in heaven and lots of time to read as much as we want without feeling guilty for not cleaning! :)

  2. Oh, have a marvelous time in Bali, Jeanne! Pretend I'm on the lounge, if not right next to you, then a few away, immersed in my own book, sipping my own cocktail. I know I'll be imagining that scenario!

    As for the book, pick someone besides me. I've crocheted a few scarves in my life, but knitting is beyond me. I'd get a migraine for sure.

    Traveling mercies! xo

  3. Prayers for safe travels! At this moment I honestly don't envy the going to Bali as much as I'm envying the leisure time to sit and read unperturbed! Please give us a review of "Eat,Pray, Love" when you finish - just for the fun of it!

  4. Have a lovely time in Bali Jeanne. I am a little envious of a number of friends and family planning holidays in the coming season while I am planning time at home nurturing a little one! However there will be many years for holidays and perhaps this might be my last bub! I will be kicking my feet up and reading a little in these last couple of weeks.



  5. I will miss you and your blog Jeanne:( enjoy your holiday and may it be refreshing for your body soul and mind! please don't enter me into your book give away coz I don't know how to knit yet, it's on my to do list for the near future:)
    also like Sue, I'd love to hear your thoughts on the "Eat pray love" book!

  6. Will miss you but hope you have a seriously nice time. ☺ I have been studiously avoiding Eat, Pray, Love but I think I want to read Balzac & the Little Chinese seamstress. Just the title intrigues me. It sounds lovely. ♥

  7. Oh, that's right, your off on a holiday, Praise God, that will be sooooo lovely for you all! I will miss you and your blog, but glad to know your relaxing.

    We continue to pray for you, your Mother and family.

    Lot's of love! xxx

  8. Blackmail! Blatant blogging blackmail!
    I will leave you a nice comment anyway....just since you are one of my faves, okay. But I will not be bought off `and I don't knit so you don't need to enter me in the draw either!
    Have a wonderful time xoxo

  9. Ooops...did I say that? A thousand pardons!

  10. the vacation looks, well, uh...


    I don't aspire too high, but I'm sure hoping to make it to Australia someday! ;)

    I'm so glad that you can go and then share the world with us :)

    amy in peru

  11. Hi Jeanne, what did you think of Eat, Pray, Love? I'd love to know. I almost bought myself a copy, but after reading a few reviews decided not to. Was it hard going? Or deliciously indulgent? Do tell. I am going to see the movie though, even if it's just for all those shots of Italy :) Mel x


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