Friday, September 19, 2008

A Visit To The Library

Jack and I took a field trip to the library yesterday.

I had wanted to see if they had the Steven Toltz  book--the Aussie Booker prize prize winner.   They didn't have the book.   I was disappointed, but not surprised.   

I had a mid-size list of authors to look for--different from the usual ones I look for and rarely find.

I didn't find much from the list--except two young adult books by John Marsden.   They look interesting.  I don't think I've ever read his stuff before--at least not during my Australia obsession.

I did run into Breath--Tim Winton's new book.  I found it in the new books section.   I was excited about that and pleased that our library actually has it.

Jack loved looking up things on the computer and while I was doing my own investigating, he excitedly plugged in Tim Winton for me.   His detective work found me another Winton book--this one a young adult novel.   It's called Lockie Leonard.  Human Torpedo.   I was disappointed at first with the book because the copyright page says "modified for American readers".  I took this to mean that Australia was pretty much pumped out of the book.    I was very wrong.   It has quite a bit of Aussie culture in it.  In fact,  I hate to admit it, but I'm a bit lost on some of the language/slang.   I can figure out most of it from the context though.   I just started the book and we're already getting references to Weetbix and Vegemite.  Oh, actually Winton says Weetabix.   Maybe this is what was changed for American readers.   Maybe they figured we'd have heard of Weetabix, but not Weetbix.  But I kind of thought that Weetabix was only recently introduced into American grocery stores.   

Okay, going to google.....

Ah, here we go!   Weetbix AND Weetabix were both invented in Australia.   AND Weetabix has been in America since the 1960's.

Why is this blog entry turning into a whole Weetbix thing?   

Anyway....back to the library.

During my own computer catalog research, I found a nice list of books by plugging "Australia" into the subject line.   I was about to physically search for them, but decided I have enough books for now.   I'll get them next time.   I'm actually not doing a lot of book-reading at the moment.  I'm doing more online research--Indigenous Australia and all that.  

One of the books I might get next time is a biography on Rubert Murdoch.   I saw it awhile back and avoided it.   How much do I really want to know about that man?    But it might have some stuff about his childhood in Australia.   And plus, I do like biographies.   Who knows?   Maybe I'll find things I like about the man.    There's also a book about Nicole Kidman.  I have nothing against her.   I just get tired of her because her presence in the media is a bit saturated.   

In other news....I think I finally understand the Eora thing.   From what I read, it seems this is a name for all Indigenous people in the Sydney area.    I probably could benefit from a book called Indigenous Australia for Dummies.   Or The Idiots Guide to Indigenous Australia.    I guess eventually it will all be a little less confusing to me.    Otherwise, I might need a brain transplant or something.   


Bettina said...

Sounds like a successful book hunt!

mscherrylane said...

Can i recommend...A FORTUNATE LIFE A.B Facey.

I remember that Lockie Leonard book- it was dirty stuff back in the 3rd grade ;)

Mim said...

I love John Marsden's Tomorrow series, I've re-read them a few times now.

Dina said...

mscherrylane: The Fortunate Life book sounds good. I wonder if our library would have it. Otherwise, I'm sure I can find it in Australia. I hope.

I just finished Lockie Leonard. Even at MY age, I found the book very "dirty". I'm shocked. I'm gonna have to spend some extra time in Church tomorrow.

No seriously. It is a bit explicit. I think it had more sex than the usual YA least from the 1990's. Well, at least compared to what I've read.

I really liked the book though.

Mim: I didn't get the Tomorrow series. I got an Ellie Chronicles book and "The Night is for Hunting".

I hope I like them. I'm going to start reading the hunting book in a few minutes.

If I like these, I'll have to check out the Tomorrow books.

Do you read a lot of Australian YA books? Do you have any others you recommend?

Dina said...


Never mind. I guess I AM reading part of the tomorrow series--unfortunately not in order.

Oh well. I've done that before. I don't feel too lost yet.

Darcy said...

After reading your last few blogs I started doing some googling and found a few things. First of all, did you know that google book search will provide you with exerts from the books and links to find the books in libraries and stores?

I found this book:

The Encyclopaedia of Aboriginal Australia: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander History, Society and Culture
By David Horton, Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies
Published by Aboriginal Studies Press, 1994
ISBN 0855752343, 9780855752347
1340 pages

Unfortunately it's selling for over a hundred dollars at various places online and it looks like only university libraries will have it. (I love google books!) Maybe the WorldCat search engine doesn't include public libraries?

Do you know any students attending any college? Ask them to check it out for you. I love interlibrary loan systems, if only the world could operate in the same way.

Songlines by Bruce Chatwin also looks like a good read. A little less like a textbook and more of a travel memoir/history lesson.

I have become fascinated with Australian history because of you but I have little time to read these days. Ironic, considering I work in a bookstore.

BTW, did you ever get to start season 3?

Dina said...


We haven't seen season 3 yet. I think we MIGHT get it soon though!

Yesterday, I started watching the Man From Snowy River. It made me think of you. I'm guessing you've seen it.....????

Thanks for looking that up on google books. Such a great idea.

You know I've never used interlibrary loan before. Isn't that sad????? I need to use it. I don't know why I don't. I look on the computer catalogue and complain that it's not at OUR library. But if I get my act together, I can still get it.

I read Songlines. I liked it, but didn't get much into it. I think maybe I was distracted at the time. Do you ever do that. Read a book, but find yourself not paying attention. I did that with the Dark Tower and the Witching Hour. Then later I went back, read them, and LOVED them.

So, I'll read Songlines again.

I have another book that I loved. It's called "I The Aboriginal". It talks about being torn between two cultures.

Tors said...

You know what I used to do? Go to Half Price Books and buy up everything in their Australia section. And there was lots! That's how I found The Fatal Shore. Have you read that one yet? Very, very interesting book on the first years of colonisation and especially the whys and hows that led GB to even consider the expense.. because it WAS an expensive venture! hmmm

Dina said...


I do that too. I've gotten a lot of good stuff there. You know, I don't think I've read The Fatal Shore. I've heard of it though. It's referenced in a lot of other books.

I thought maybe I had read it and went to my bookshelf. I have "Fatal Impact". I wonder if I read it, thinking it was "Fatal Shore".

One of the best books I've read about Cook and the discovery of Australia is the one I mentioned to Darcy in another comment..."Blue Latitudes". "Fatal Impact" was good too though.

I'll keep looking out for "The Fatal Shore"