Sunday, February 27, 2011

A Book Connection

I must admit; I was getting a little worried for a moment there.

Before I returned to Dubbo, Popular Penguins were really easy to find. Bathurst had heaps of places that stocked them: a fantastic little independent bookshop called Books Plus, the local Post Office and I’d even seen them in Coles.

But once I got to Dubbo, my beloved wallet-friendly, orange and white classics proved to be pretty bloody scarce. In the month and a half I’ve been back in town, I’d not seen them once. Sure, I had a few in my collection at home which I could get through to bide the time until I had to buy a new one, but it was only a matter of time until I had to add another title to my personal library. And what was I to do when that time came around?

Well, my worrying was for naught, it seems, all because I had forgotten about our old friend, the independent bookstore.

I remembered The Book Connection while I was on the bus back to Bathurst. Not having been in Dubbo for any extended period of time, I had completely forgotten about the little store on Macquarie Street, where used and new books sit side by side. Surely, if anywhere in Dubbo was going to have Popular Penguins, it was Dave Pankhurst’s Book Connection.

And boy, did they have plenty of Popular Penguins!

Did you like my alliteration? I did it all by myself!

As you can see, they’ve got almost every title on my 35-page list! (And a few I was pretty sure WEREN’T on it!)

They even had a few other Penguin classics around the back for the same $9.95 price! (But they’re not orange and white, and they’re not on my list, so they’ll have to wait for another time, another blog.)

Dave was in, so I told him about my little project, and he was really encouraging, which was great! (As well as not thinking me ridiculously weird for taking a photo of his display, which makes me think it’s not the strangest request they’ve had by a mile.)

So, it looks like my challenge just got a whole lot easier!

- Noni

PS. For those keeping track, I’m up to Chapter 3 of Jane Eyre. It’s as tricky a read as I remember… Oh well, we soldier on!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

The First Book; The First Step.

Drum roll please...

Have you read this one before? What were your thoughts? What are your favourite bits? (NO SPOILERS!)

Comments are more than welcome.

Happy reading!

- Noni

Friday, February 18, 2011

Another New Beginning

I love reading, but I never get to read as much as I’d like to. Over the last few years, since finishing school, I’ve just not had the time, energy or willpower to churn through books like I did back in my school days. (Oh god, am I really old enough to use that phrase?)

The other thing I love is Popular Penguins. They have such a magnificent array of titles, and not of them all ‘classics’, and plenty of them I’ve yet to devour. And they’re AFFORDABLE.

At the moment, my job sucks. Sure, I’m in a radio station, but there’s something about doing the accounts that just KILLS MY SOUL. Oh, and did I mention I’m still in Dubbo?

So at the moment, my only escapes are my weekend trips to Bathurst (which will cease soon anyway) and reading. I’m currently in the middle of The Angel’s Game by Carlos Ruiz Zafon (about 120 pages to go, and I can't wait to get to the mystery's resolution!), having finished my re-reading of The Shadow of the Wind last week, but once that’s finished, I’m lost as to what my next read will be.

For this reason, and also because I’m not writing as much as I should, I thought I would go through ALL the titles on the Popular Penguins list, reading and reviewing each one, posting the results on this new blog.

I have no idea how long this will take, or if I will stick with it long enough for it to be worthwhile. I don’t even know how much money I’ll spend in the process. (Due to my wanting to save money, I will be borrowing from my local library when I can, unless Penguin Publishing wants to sponsor me!) There will be no time restraints and there will be no holding back on what I think. And there will be NO leaving a book unfinished.

I have already printed off the list of Popular Penguins in print at this point in time. There are 174 titles to work through, some authors I’m really looking forward to (Nick Cave, Leonard Cohen, Charles Dickens, Nick Hornby, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle) and some I’m really dreading (Jane Austen, Sigmund Freud, Virginia Woolf, Mary Shelley, Donald Horne) but all will be read as reflections of their era and tales worth telling. In return, I will give my honest opinion of the book, and whether I would read it again, or if you’ll find it on eBay next Thursday.

It will be a celebration of reading, writing and personal opinion, all at a decent price.

Now bugger off! I’ve got a book to read.

- Noni Doll

The 35-page document that I’ll be working off, complete with all the titles and synopsises. Wish me luck!