Binge reading

Unlike many I know I am not a solid reader, that is, at any given time I may not be reading a book. My intake of books is more like binge reading – I get caught on an author, or a theme, or a style and then I devour books until I am fully sated.

It can be a series, like John Marsden’s Tomorrow when the war began (10 books in all), or Stieg Larrson’s Millennium series. Or it can be fiction focused on the fight for civil rights in the USA in the 1950s and 1960s. Or it can be historical fiction, tracing the monarchs of England.

The urge to read can be triggered by a number of different sources – a good movie, a recommendation from a trusted referee, happening across the book while shopping. Whatever the origin, it can trigger indulgent behaviour where sleep, eating and interacting with others fall to the wayside while I read. I have become more socially acceptable with my reading over the years, as I know it is not appropriate to avoid family and work in favour of words. However, I am still known to occasionally miss my train stop whilst deep into a good book.

At the moment I am devouring the Phyrne Fisher murder mysteries by Kerry Greenwood. I have always meant to read these, but it has been the wonderful ABC series that finally got me into action. They are light, witty and contain enough of an adventurous twist that they hold the attention, and the Melbourne based travels hold such delights.

I will eventually tire of these. This usually means that I will seek some other interest, craft wise or other. But certainly not reading. I binge perhaps once or twice a year, and the binge can last anywhere from a month or about 3. But when the binge is finished, books hold little interest… Till the next urge hits.


Top 100 for 2010

A meme I’ve copied from Rien d’important the Angus & Robertson top 100 books for 2010.
* = Books I have read
+ = Books I have enjoyed reading
@ = Books I would like to read

1 The Twilight Saga Stephenie Meyer *+
2 Harry Potter 1-7 J.K. Rowling *+
3 The Millennium Trilogy Stieg Larsson*+
4 To Kill a Mockingbird Harper Lee * +
5 The Lovely Bones Alice Sebold *+
6 Pride and Prejudice Jane Austen *+
7 My Sister’s Keeper Jodi Picoult @
8 Sookie Stackhouse Charlaine Harris @
9 The Time Traveler’s Wife Audrey Niffenegger *+
10 The Book Thief Markus Zusak *+
11 Lunch in Paris Elizabeth Bard
12 The Kite Runner Khaled Hosseini @
13 Memoirs of a Geisha Arthur Golden *+
14 61 Hours Lee Child
15 Dragon Haven Robin Hobb
16 Vampire Academy Richelle Mead
17 The Silent Sea Clive Cussler
18 Mao’s Last Dancer Li Cunxin @
19 The Lord of the Rings J.R.R. Tolkien *
20 Tuscan Rose Belinda Alexandra
21 The Power of One Bryce Courtenay *+
22 The Notebook Nicholas Sparks *+
23 The Pacific Hugh Ambrose
24 Ransom David Malouf
25 Jane Eyre Charlotte Bronte @
26 Dear John Nicholas Sparks @
27 Magician Raymond E. Feist
28 The Catcher in the Rye J.D. Salinger @
29 House Rules Jodi Picoult
30 Wuthering Heights Emily Bronte *+
31 A Thousand Splendid Suns Khaled Hosseini
32 Marley & Me John Grogan *+
33 Pride and Prejudice and Zombies: Dawn of the Dreadfuls Jane Austen & Steve
34 Breath Tim Winton
35 The Bronze Horseman Paullina Simons
36 Cloudstreet Tim Winton *+
37 The People’s Train Thomas Keneally
38 Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland Lewis Carroll *
39 Truth Peter Temple
40 Little Women Louisa May Alcott *+
41 Eat, Pray, Love Elizabeth Gilbert *
42 The Host Stephenie Meyer
43 The Da Vinci Code Dan Brown * +
44 The Book of Emmett Deborah Forster
45 Ice Station Matthew Reilly
46 The Road Cormac Macarthy
47 The Memory Keeper’s Daughter Kim Edwards @
48 Persuasion Jane Austen *+
49 Jessica Bryce Courtenay
50 Atonement Ian McEwan @
51 Tuesdays with Morrie Mitch Albom @
52 The Pillars of the Earth Ken Follet
53 The Alchemist Paulo Coehlo
54 April Fool’s Day Bryce Courtenay *+
55 Life of Pi Yann Martel
56 Angels & Demons Dan Brown *+
57 The Pact Jodi Picoult
58 The Five People You Meet in Heaven Mitch Albom
59 Parrot and Olivier in America Peter Carey
60 Always Looking Up Michael J. Fox @
61 Seven Ancient Wonders Matthew Reilly
62 The Hobbit J.R.R. Tolkien *+
63 Nineteen Minutes Jodi Picoult @
64 The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society Mary Ann Shaffer & Annie Burrows *+
65 The Lost Symbol Dan Brown
66 Solar Ian McEwan
67 Fallen Lauren Kate
68 The Historian Elizabeth Kostova
69 P.S. I Love You Cecila Ahern @
70 The Chronicles of Narnia C.S. Lewis *+
71 Obernewtyn Isobelle Carmody
72 A Fortunate Life A.B. Facey
73 Handle with Care Jodi Picoult
74 Cross Stitch Diana Gabaldon
75 Dirt Music Tim Winton
76 It Stephen King *
77 Hourglass Claudia Gray
78 Tully Paullina Simons *+
79 The Mists of Avalon Marion Zimmer Bradley
80 Shantaram: A Novel Gregory David Roberts
81 The Princess Bride William Goldman @
82 Nineteen Eighty-Four George Orwell *
83 Requiem for a Species Clive Hamilton
84 The Other Boleyn Girl Philippa Gregory @
85 Break No Bones Kathy Reichs
86 Animal Farm George Orwell *
87 The Six Sacred Stones Matthew Reilly
88 The Five Greatest Warriors Matthew Reilly
89 Maralinga Judy Nunn
90 Fight Club Chuck Palahniuk
91 One for the Money Janet Evanovich
92 Worst Case James Patterson
93 Once in a Lifetime Cathy Kelly
94 The Stand Stephen King *
95 Anybody Out There Marian Keyes
96 The Secret Rhonda Byrne
97 Temple Matthew Reilly
98 All That Remains Patricia Cornwall *+
99 The Slap Christos Tsolkias *
100 Interview with the Vampire Anne Rice

It had an orange cover….

This is the sentence reference librarians dread. “It had an orange cover, with a picture of a boy. And it was about this thick…” Now it’s my turn.

I have been plagued the last few days, trying to identify a book I read years ago in my teacher-librarian course at Melbourne CAE/Uni of Melb. It all started with a trend on Twitter – #booksthatchangedmylife.

The book in question was a sci-fic young adult title, which I read for an assignment on Fiction readers’ advising. The aim behind the assignment was to read outside your normal field of vision, which sci-fi was in those days. I greatly enjoyed the book, and always remembered it.

Now I can find no trace of book which is extremely FRUSTRATING!!!

From memory (which I admit is dim), the title was The Heretic or The Heresy, or something along that line.

The storyline in brief: a young boy/teenager lives in a rural community in a future time. The government/church has decreed there must be no use of water from rivers as the water is poisoned. As teenagers are want to do, the young boy questions the validity of the statement and the way in which he and his family must live. He drinks the water. He is shuned by his community and so sets forth to determine the truth. Finally (some chapters later) he discovers the truth. The Government/Church has instigated lies centuries back re the poisoning of the water – the planet’s  (Earth’s???) water supply is severely compromised, and lies had been determined the best means to control usage. The young boy eventually aligns with the Government/Church to spread the lies, as he acknowledges the need to save the world.

The book would have been written pre 1985, and I think it may have been an American writer.

As the storyline focuses on the scarcity of water and is sci-fi, many have suggested it may be the Dune series. It is definitely not.

Not only have I searched for the last few days, I have enlisted colleagues. (What else are reference librarians there for??)

No luck. If you have any idea what I’m talking about – please let me know. In the meantime, I shall ignore all future trends on Twitter – they are too exhausting!