31 December, 2008

reading target bullseye and theatre

I set myself a target of 100 books to read for the year. Last year, in April I think, I set out to read a book a day for the month. I did that, but it was a challenge. I found I wasn't absorbing as much of the book as I'd like. One hundred is still a few each week, which can be achieved if you supplement novels with picture story books, and I did it. I've read two today (The Improbable Cat by Allan Ahlberg and The Collectors by Rosanne Hawke) because I just realised that today is the last day of the year and I'm only up to chapter 19 in Inkspell. It's a brilliant book and I don't want to rush it. Truthfully, I've probably exceeded 100. I think I forgot to write some titles down in October. Oops.
Early in December I descended on the bookstore and bought the Inkspell series (after reading Inkheart and LOVING it), The Wizard of Rondo (Emily Rodda), Best Australian Stories 2008 (edited by Delia Falconer), Families: Modern Australian Short Stories (edited by Barry Oakley), Best Australian Poems 2008 (edited by Peter Rose) and Eats, Shoots and Leaves (Lynne Truss). Happy Christmas to me.
I also gave book gifts to friends, including Nadia Wheatley's My Place to Helen who is leaving her home of ten years today to live in another home, another town.
I have to wait until February for the Taronga Foundation's volume of poetry.
I won't be setting any reading targets for 2009 because I have started writing my own novel. Of course I will still be reading, and hopefully with school students, but not quite so intensely.
* special mention - I attended my first play for the year on the 27th at a community theatre for an incredibly sparky production of Roald Dahl's The BFG. Young actors, beautiful puppetry, a spot-on characterisation of The BFG and very scary Giants jumping right down at my feet (of course I had a front row seat). Brilliant. Brilliant. Makes me wish I was writing plays, or could act. Wouldn't mind being a part of it. One year I saw ten plays in one day (Townsville, early 90s) and I remember some stunners from Uni students in Toowoomba. The Gut Girls, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Most inspirational - children's plays at Out of the Box ('04 and '06): Tashi, The Red Tree, The Flying Babies, Kese Solwater, Where is the Green Sheep? etc. My new year's resolution, if I must have one, is to seek out more plays in 2009.
Enjoy your reading, and any plays, in 2009. And - happy new year!

You should be able to undertake and complete anything.

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