What you don’t know about me….

What you don’t know about me….

Sue CT cropI’m pretty new to blogging and many of my visitors have never met me, so inspired by one of my favourite bloggers, MrsDPlus3 who once wrote a similar post, I thought I would open up and share a few things about me…

 

  1. I am crazy about cats.
  2. I don’t like fresh strawberries – they are totally overrated.
  3. I am a qualified nurse and midwife.
  4. I was born in Zimbabwe and have also lived in South Africa and Indonesia.
  5. I married my best friend.
  6. I am terrified of snakes – yes even the harmless ones. It’s something to do with the way they move and their beady eyes.
  7. I suffered from post-natal depression.
  8. I’d like to believe in reincarnation because I can’t believe our souls have only one chance to make a difference on earth.
  9. I love to be creative – painting and art journaling, but never seem to have enough time.
  10. The highlight of my work day is reading to the children in our school and unpacking new books for our library.
  11. I am a dreamer and reading is my way of escaping reality.
  12. I am not a morning person.
  13. I love coffee and have my first cup while I am trying to wake up.
  14. I think watching sport is boring – despite growing up in a sport mad family and living in a rugby crazy country.
  15.  I have an irrational fear of army helicopters flying overhead.
  16. I really don’t like cooking and am forever grateful for my husband’s delicious meals.
  17. I love watching movies almost as much as I love reading.
  18. I hate being the centre of attention.
  19. I am not a great fan of camping – see number 6.
  20. Despite a few hair-raising experiences with planes, I love to travel and have a wish list of the countries I would still like to see.

My Favourite Books

Today is World Book Day in South Africa! While in our school library we celebrated by decorating the room with photos of students reading in their favourite or unusual places I thought I would share with you my ‘all-time’ favourite books.

I am often asked what my favourite book is. It’s really not easy to pinpoint one favourite book, but I have tried to consider books that have stood the test of time and have chosen to share those books which I still love years later.

My Favourite Children’s Picture Book

 ‘The Cat in the Hat Comes Back’ by Dr Seuss

‘The Cat in the Hat Comes Back’ by Dr SeussThis time, Sally & her brother are stuck shovelling snow: “This was no time for play./This was no time for fun./This was no time for games./There was work to be done.” But the laughing Hat Cat has other ideas, as he lets himself in to eat cake in their tub. He leaves behind “a big long pink cat ring,” which he then handily cleans with “MOTHER’S WHITE DRESS!” — Extract from Goodreads.com

I have always loved Dr Seuss’s humour,  his clever use of rhyme as well as his wacky illustrations. This book has all of that and my favourite part is where the Cat eats cake in the bath – that’s on my bucket list!

I have never lived anywhere where it snows and have only seen snow a couple of times. As a child I was totally captivated by the idea of playing in snow. As for pink snow… it blew my mind!

I read this book every year to our Grade 1’s and it always results in wonder and giggles!

My Favourite Children’s Book

‘The Game’ by Diana Wynne Jones

‘The Game’ by Diana Wynne JonesHayley’s parents disappeared when she was a baby, so she has been brought up by her grandparents. Then one day she is packed off to Ireland to live with her aunts – and a whole host of cousins she never new about! Here she is introduced to “the game” which involves adventures in the forbidden “mythosphere”. And here also is where Hayley discovers the truth about her family. — Extract from Goodreads.com

I LOVE this book and if I had to choose only one favourite book this would be it! ‘The Game’ combines Greek Mythology, action, adventure and complicated family dynamics.

The Game played in the book is a dangerous, exciting type of treasure hunt – the kind I would have loved to play as a child. Who am I kidding – I would still love to play this game!

I reread this book recently just to see if I still feel the same way about it and I got so caught up in the story again that it was like I was reading it for the first time. Don’t be put off by the uninspiring cover, this book is brilliant!

 My Favourite Young Adult (YA) Book 

‘The Catcher in the Rye’ by J.D. Salinger

‘The Catcher in the Rye’ by J.D. SalingerSince his debut in 1951 as The Catcher in the Rye, Holden Caulfield has been synonymous with “cynical adolescent.” Holden narrates the story of a couple of days in his sixteen-year-old life, just after he’s been expelled from prep school, in a slang that sounds edgy even today and keeps this novel on banned book lists. His constant wry observations about what he encounters, from teachers to phonies (the two of course are not mutually exclusive) capture the essence of the eternal teenage experience of alienation — Extract from Goodreads.com

In my experience most people have a strong reaction to this book: they either love it or hate it.

When I first read this book Holden Caulfield’s cynical look at life as a teenager I identified with him so much so that I felt like he was my only friend, but then I was a mixed up, anxious teen who used sarcasm as a defence against anyone who might judge me… and I thought everyone was judging me.

Today I have ‘slightly’ more self confidence and hold back on the sarcasm – or at least I seldom share the sarcastic dialogue in my mind realising it can be more hurtful than funny, but I can’t ignore that it was this book that helped me through a very difficult adolescence.

My Favourite ‘Grown-Up’ Book

I didn’t want to label this category as ‘adult’ book as these days that conjures up images that I don’t want on my blog! But yes, I do read ‘grown-up’ books in-between my insatiable appetite for YA books, but rarely do I find a book I love, so this one is very special!

‘Five Quarters of the Orange’ by Joanne Harris

5 Quarters of an OrangeWhen Framboise Simon returns to a small village on the banks of the Loire, the locals do not recognize her as the daughter of the infamous Mirabelle Dartigen – the woman they still hold responsible for a terrible tragedy that took place during the German occupation decades before. Althrough Framboise hopes for a new beginning. She quickly discovers that past and present are inextricably intertwined. Nowhere is this truth more apparent than in the scrap book of recipes she has inherited from her dead mother. — Extract from Goodreads.com

This is a dark, honest and beautifully written account of relationships, especially between mother and daughter, reflection of childhood decisions and their ultimate affect.

I love France – although I have never been there (sigh…one day…!) and I love reading books set in France, especially during the Second World War where people’s real personalities come to the fore in the choices they make. I have often wondered how I would have handled living in Occupied Europe during this time.  I suspect I would not have been as brave as I would have liked.

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Top 10 Things on My Bookish Bucket List

Top 10 Things on My Bookish Bucket List

(Not necessarily in order of preference)

1.I found my first geocache a few weeks ago, geocaching is my new hobby inspired by the amazing YA book North of Beautiful by Justina Chen, and would love the opportunity to travel so I can discover more. I wish I knew about geocaching when we lived overseas.

North of Beautiful by Justina Chen Headley

2.

I would love see South Africa through Bill Bryson’s eyes. I love his humour and have collected all his travel books. I hope that he can be persuaded to write a book about my country one day.

 

sunburned country

 

3.I would like to meet author Alexandra Fuller who wrote the memoir Don’t Let’s Go to the Dogs Tonight. Her story of her childhood in Rhodesia during the war was so close to my own childhood that I feel as though I already know her. A beautiful book that made me so nostalgic.

Don't Let's Go to the Dogs Tonight by Alexandra Fuller

4.I have always wanted to join in the mythosphere treasure hunt game in my favourite children’s book The Game by Diana Wynne Jones. I would love a chance to retrieve a golden apple!

 

‘The Game’ by Diana Wynne Jones

5.I would love to see my favourite South African YA fantasy book The Faerie Guardian by Rachel Morgan be made into a movie.

 

Faerie Guardian

6.I am in awe of illustrators. I wish I had the artistic talent to illustrate children’s picture books.

 

big hungry bear

7.I know this sounds naive, but I would like to find a way to rid the world of illegal drugs. As a parent it is the one thing that concerns me the most. If you haven’t read Crank by Ellen Hopkins, based on a true story, try it. It is a very powerful story.

Crank

 

8.I wish I could have attended Hogwarts as a student. I went to boarding school, and it was nothing like that!

 

Harry Potter

9.

I have always been fascinated by Occupied France during the Second World War and have devoured books set in these times. I would love to spend time in France discovering all the villages I have read about.

Thinhs we did for love

10.

Few people know this… last year I was challenged to write a children’s picture book for a charity which I did, maybe I will be brave enough to share it here one day :-), but I also wrote another  story and it is my ‘secret’ wish to see it illustrated and published one day…

What’s on your bookish bucket list?

This post is also linked to 50 Bookish Things You Must Do Before You Die  created by Love at First Book

toptentuesday

 

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created by The Broke and the Bookish.

This week’s task is to list the 10 book related things I would like to do.

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