Bookish (and not so bookish) thoughts, Features, Updates
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Bookish (and not so bookish) thoughts // 2 September, 2016

‘Bookish (and not so bookish) thoughts’ is hosted by Christine at Bookishly Boisterous – go say hi!

1. After reading Seven Skeletons, a book about fossils, I’m really into fossils now. So I was super excited to read about the discovery of a new extinct mammal in Australia late last week. It’s called microleo attenboroughi – which basically means it’s a small lion named in honour of Sir David Attenborough. Very cool.

Goldfinger2. Look at this amazing edition of Ian Fleming’s Goldfinger from Shakespeare and Company in Paris. I’ve never read a James Bond book and I doubt I will any time soon, but if I could have this first edition I’m sure I’d change my mind.

3. I received my copy of Michel Houellebecq’s Soumission this week, all the way from Blackwell’s Books in Oxford, England, and it reminded me of how much I love the idea of books flying halfway around the world to get to me. Needless to say, I’m a huge fan of sending and receiving postcards from far off places.

4. In more fossil news, apparently our 3.2 million-year-old ancestor, Lucy (who I read about in Seven Skeletons), died from falling out of a tree. Science has perhaps solved the coldest of cases.

5. In other science news (gosh I wish I liked science more at school), scientists believe the planet has moved into a new geological era. We’re currently in the Holocene, but they argue that the changes to the planet caused by humans marks the start of a new era – the Anthropocene – that began with the first nuclear testing back in the 1950s.

6. Two words: Wigtown, Scotland. Not only does this town have an excellent name, but it’s also Scotland’s official BOOK TOWN. A BOOK TOWN. There are TWENTY book related businesses in the one town. ALSO. There’s a bookshop in this town that has an apartment above it you can lease through Airbnb. Which is fun, sure. But while you stay in the apartment, you also get to RUN THE BOOKSHOP. They have no extended availability until August, 2019. So I guess I’ll announce now that I’ll be going to Scotland in August 2019.

7. The competition to meet one of my favourite authors that I mentioned in last week’s ‘Bookish and not so bookish thoughts’? I WON!!! I can’t even believe it. And who is the author? None other than Mr Justin Cronin, author of ‘The Passage‘ trilogy. I have a history of being really awkward when I meet authors, so I need to prepare some notes for this one. With this competition win, and last week’s win of The Museum of Modern Love, I think I need to buy a lotto ticket. Or just enter a bunch more competitions.

8. Australia got a new $5 note this week. It looks like toy money, but it’s the first bill we’ve had that will be readable by the visually impaired. Very cool and very important.

9. Scones: do you put cream first and then jam, or jam then cream? Tbh, I have no idea what I do first (I’m usually too busy salivating to think about the correct order of things), but it’s probably jam first.

10. This video of Thor made my week. #TeamThor all the way. And for sure it’s pronounced ‘Furry’.

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27 Comments

  1. Pingback: August Wrap-Up! || 2016 | Upside-Down Books

  2. Well done on your win! Exciting!

    Jam first here. I didn’t actually know people did it the other way round until recently so it might be a family/social circle thing. That and I don’t go for cream teas often.

    A sort-of recommendation because I’d say it’s like Marmite: Tahmima Anam’s The Bones Of Grace. A lot of fossil stuff in it.

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    • Thanks so much – I had the best night.

      Yes I think that jam vs cream is definitely a variable sort of thing depending on the individual. I’d really never thought about it before and I still have no idea what I do first. I’m really going to focus next time I have scones!

      Thanks for the book rec – I’ll check it out for sure πŸ™‚

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  3. SO much fun in this week’s list, especially in regards to science-y news! I’m feeling happy to say that I knew about #4 and #5 before reading about them here. It made me feel like we listened to the same BBC Global News dispatch or something, because that’s where I heard of both. πŸ˜‰ Also, a friend from high school posted the news about the Scottish bookshop to me on Facebook. I love it and could not think of anything more fun (except perhaps being able to just hang out in the closed-up bookshop and not deal with customers).

    One of my friends told me I might like Houellebecq and I tried to read The Possibility of an Island, but I just couldn’t get into it. I don’t think I was in the right mood. Do you think there’s a better one I could try again with?

    I CAN’T WAIT TO HEAR ALL ABOUT YOU AND YOUR SISTER MEETING JUSTIN CRONIN!

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    • I’ll send a proper reply to everything later, but please thank your friend for me, as I think I saw the Wigtown link on your Facebook and now I’M GOING THERE FOR REAL.

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    • I swear BBC news is the go to for science/fossil related things. Did you see last week as well that some fossils were found in Greenland that were about 3.7 billion years old? It just blows my mind to think that something (aside from the planet itself) has been around that long. We are literally the tiniest grain of sand in the hourglass of time.

      So I replied quickly about Wigtown already, but I’m BEYOND excited. And I’ve been checking out the Tumblr blog that people run while they’re staying there and everyone looks like they have the best time. There are no set operating hours for the shop and apparently it stays light over there until really late at night at that time of year, so there’s plenty of time for sightseeing. BUT! You really should come visit and I can close up the shop and we can just read all afternoon (that’s the best sentence I’ve ever written anywhere).

      This will be my first Houellebecq, but someone on Instagram recommended The Map and the Territory, which I’d like the check out after Soumission – apparently it’s pretty good. But I get the suspicion that he’s definitely not for everyone. I mean, you could say that about all authors, but I feel like it *really* applies to him. The only French author I would 100% recommend to everyone (whether I think they’d like him or not) is Patrick Modiano. His writing is just the loveliest.

      And I didn’t embarrass myself too much with Justin Cronin – lucky I had my sister there as a wing-man of sorts. I usually go to these things by myself so it was nice having someone else there.

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  4. Arrrrrrrr matey! You made me day with fossil and science news. One of the many things this Captain loves reading about. Now I have a the fossil book on me ports for plunder list. Thanks.
    x The Captain

    Liked by 1 person

    • It wasn’t too awkward at all which was a nice change. He’s so easy to talk to and ready to talk about anything. I got the impression that he genuinely likes talking to his readers, which I don’t always get from other authors (or maybe that’s just because I’m always too nervous to talk). My sister and I even managed to time it perfectly (purely by accident) to ride up in the lift with him when we arrived at the location for the event. So that was pretty exciting to meet him before anyone else.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I think I need to read the Skeletons book – sounds really interesting.

    Am I in the minority, liking the new $5 note?! If you recall, when we got the money we have now (shifting from paper), everyone thought that looked like colourful play money as well.

    Jam THEN cream, obvs.

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    • I barely even remember going from paper to plastic. One thing that stands out though is being annoyed that you couldn’t really fold the money anymore. I don’t love the design of the new $5, but the more I look at it the more I realise that it isn’t really that different to the old one. I think I might have had one yesterday and not even realised it. And I spent it.

      Still no idea what I do with the whole jam vs cream, but the more I think on it, I’m pretty sure I’m a jam first person. You need to be able to smear the jam, but if you put cream first the jam just kind of slides all over the place. If you smear the jam on first, you can then gently place a blog of cream on top and gently fluff it around so it’s all over the scone. Yes, that’s definitely how it should be done.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Omg that video πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚ literally the best thing ever! And good lord I thought they were joking about that fiver, now it’s all ugly 😭 Where did you hear about all these giveaways? I feel like I’m missing out. Also, it’s adorable that David Attenborough has an teeny tiny lion named after him now haha

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    • Yeah I think I had a new fiver yesterday and didn’t even realise – so yes it’s ugly, but in practice not really as distinguishable from the old one if you’re not paying attention!
      So the book giveaway was from Allen and Unwin on Instagram, and the Justin Cronin one was a special one just for gold level Dymocks members. They sent an email out and them you had to answer a question in 25 words or less. I usually never bother with those because I never know what to write, but I’m really glad I entered this one!

      Liked by 1 person

        • Yes. Yes I am. Although I don’t know how I’m still there. I’ve been at that level for about the last three years I think – you need to spend a minimum of $650 a year to reach that, and then keep spending that much to maintain the status. Maintaining that status is the greatest achievement of my life thus far.

          Liked by 1 person

        • Haha omg that’s so impressive. I’ve had a few issues with the BD lately so I’m going to try and buy more at Dymocks because omg if I reached that level then LIFE GOALS.

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        • Yeah I was buying from BD a lot last year (along with the $650 I spent at Dymocks omg), but I felt bad giving my money overseas. I’m happy to pay more at Dymocks if it means I’m supporting the Aussie book industry.
          And once you get to gold level, you get $10 worth of points to spend in your birthday month (instead of $5 for regular members) and you get 7 points (I think) for every dollar you spend, so you earn points to spend faster. And every now and then they have special giveaways for advanced copies of books just for gold members, plus competitions like the one I won. There are loads of perks. (Have I sold you on it yet??)

          Liked by 1 person

  7. For the record, I once had breakfast with Justin Cronin (during a table bounce at Book Blogger Con, not just because we’re breakfast buddies or anything) and he seemed nice. You’ll do fine!

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    • I did do fine – I don’t think I made too much of an idiot of myself. And he was really nice; like, I think he’d be breakfast buddies with you if you asked him to.

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