Every week or two, I have to make sure I visit the local book shop, even if I don’t buy anything. Being a major bookworm can have its drawbacks, I suppose… you need a book fix, every once in a while. And only a store suffices, for me. Yes, I love being at the library, too, but it still doesn’t have the same effect.
I went to the library first, though. Had to return my latest John Marsden book, and get a reserve on the next one. Thankfully, having just finished The Third Day, The Frost, they actually had book 4, Darkness, Be My Friend, on the shelf. So I put a reserve on the book after that. I’m also having strange cravings to re-read some books by Tamora Pierce. In order to prevent myself from buying them from my Kindle (it’s so tempting to spend money on that thing!), I’m going to borrow them from the library. I am not sure, however, why they have Trickster’s Queen (second book) on the shelf, but not Trickster’s Choice. And NO, it isn’t because it was checked out, it’s because they don’t have it. Think I’m stupid? Don’t answer that.
After my library excursion, I went to McDonald’s for breakfast. Well, what I really wanted was coffee, but since cereal seemed a very dull idea, I figured I’d get something more fun for breakfast. I was looking for my usual bacon, egg, and cheese biscuit, when I remembered that they didn’t have buttermilk biscuits in Australia. So, I got the bacon, egg, and cheese muffin (English muffin), which tasted just as good, though both the egg and bacon were different than at home. But I give them brownie points…. after waiting in line to make my coffee order at the McCafe, I went to my table, and the muffin was still smoking hot. Good on them.
At the McCafe, I ordered a mochaccino, standard size. I’m still wondering what the $0.80 babycino looks like, but nobody ordered it while I was there. I also ordered a scone, which looked very much like a biscuit from home, except more uniform in size than at home. But being a scone, it tasted a good bit sweeter. I’m sorry, I forgot to bring my camera with me, so I don’t have a picture of it. But you get jam and cream with your scone, if you want it, and though the jam comes in a packet, the cream is just whipped cream, of the unsweetened variety. I tried to picture myself squirting whipped cream on a biscuit, back home. Another way to turn breakfast into dessert.
And then I was headed for Blossoms, where I wandered up every aisle, except the card aisle. As soon as I reached the children’s and young adult section, the memory game began, as usual. Not having a piece of paper, and trying to avoid spending too much money on books, I see all sorts of books that look interesting. So, by the time I leave, I have 3-4 of them that I find interesting, and I’m running either the names or authors through my head, over and over, trying to remember them when I get back here to my computer.
Last time I did this, I think I forgot to get on my computer, once I got home. But this time, I came straight up, to see what I’d gotten. If it looks like a really good book, after looking it up online, then I can put it on my wish list for after I get home. If it’s unavailable from Amazon, or in the U.S., then I will consider whether to buy it before going home. And some online descriptions will leave me better informed than the blurb on the book flap.
For example, I’ve discovered the books awarded and nominated by the Children’s Book Council of Australia. Similar to the Newbery and Caldecott awards, in the U.S., they have a few more categories for the different ages of the readers. But you’ll find many lovely children’s books with a shiny gold sticker that tells you it was shortlisted by the Book Council. One of my favorites I’ve run across is To the Top End: Our Trip Across Australia, by Roland Harvey. A short list nominee, it has fascinating and haphazard looking drawings, which faintly resemble a Where’s Waldo? book… but not as busy. The more you look at each one, the more you find. By the way, Where’s Waldo? is only called by that name in the U.S. and Canada. Everywhere else in the world, it’s Where’s Wally? Why is that? Something about name localization. How is Waldo any more common a name than Wally, in the U.S.? I still prefer Waldo, though, of course.
A book called The Shiralee caught my eye. The story of a swagman who finds his daughter a burden, and how she eventually becomes more than that to him… I think it looks like a great story. But remember, I haven’t read it, so I can’t tell you that it WILL be any good, remember.
I think I’ll be adding Helen Cooper’s books to my collection, once I get home. Once I saw Pumpkin Soup, I thought both the stories and pictures were completely adorable. The pictures remind me of the Redwall illustrations, a bit. But nothing will draw a person into a story like beautiful pictures will.
I am not hugely into poetry, but I’m always trying new authors, looking for some that will just capture me. And picking up a collection by Carol Ann Duffy, who writes poems for children, I really wondered if they would be any good. Having been raised on Shel Silverstein, as well as other good rhymes and poems, I’d love to have a new collection to read to my own children, someday.
It’s been said that you should never judge a book by its cover. You never know what treasure you may find inside of a book, no matter what’s on the outside of it. But it’s also very true that a well-drawn, intriguing cover design will get someone to buy a book, even more than a well-written blurb on the back of the book. Ok, I didn’t let any covers cause me to buy any books, but the illustration on the front of The Red Wind, by Isobelle Carmody, definitely caught my attention. And the deceptive simplicity of Fallen Grace‘s cover caused me to pick it up, while the description on the back made me want to read it. Written by Mary Hooper, I feel like that name is familiar, but after checking, I haven’t read anything by her. Maybe it’s because Hooper rhymes with Cooper, and between the Soup books and the Dark is Rising series, there are too many “ooper” names out there.
Wow, I think I actually remembered everything that I meant to remember. I now pat myself on the back. If you’ve read any of them, do tell me what you think. I’ll be keeping an eye out for them at the library, so I don’t spend more than I should.