Future Perfect #BlogJune

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Future PerfectI’ve been a little bit slack this month. I blame the fact that I’ve started a new job, and my days have been quite full learning lots of new things, the last thing I feel like doing when I get home is writing a blog post.

Today’s post is a bit of a brag/look how talented my friends are post. Over the past few months some of my friends have been working super hard at putting together a magazine (a paper magazine…crazy I know). Yesterday it was released and I have to say I am incredibly impressed. The writing is articulate, interesting and relevant, the design is beautiful. It is an incredibly interesting magazine, as I was flicking through it last night I was blown away by the fact that some of my friends put this magazine together…when did they become so talented ;) (I kid, I’ve always known that my friends are talented).

Sooo if you want an interesting read, if you’re interested in global affairs, opinion, interviews, reviews, photospreads and more I could not recommend Future Perfect more.

If you’re in Australia you can check out their website for stockists, or you can order online: http://www.futureperfect.today/ 

Seriously, check it out, it’s a beautiful magazine.

Cooking Adventures #blogjune

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It’s Friday so this post is going to be short, I’m tired and ready to chill out.
I think I’ve mentioned before my love of cooking, so I thought I would share a picture of a delicious (if I do say so myself) meal I cooked up on Monday night. It’s based off a Jamie 15min meal recipe.
I know here in Australia Jamie isn’t the most popular person at the moment – mainly due to his over promotion in a Woolworths campaign, and the overcharging of our farmers for their produce – but he knows how to come up with an excellent recipe.
Despite taking me longer than 15min (they always do) this is a fun recipe to make, full of vibrant flavours and fresh food. Say what you will about Jamie, he knows how to make cooking enjoyable.

Writing, writing, writing #blogjune

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tumblr_static_writing450I’ve had a few conversations with colleagues over the past few days about writing. Particularly based around authors we love, and the fact that a few of them have released books on writing. A few of my colleagues love On Writing by Stephen King. I personally have never read it, but it does sound great. I actually love the idea of successful authors encouraging others to write. One of the main reasons I tried to give writing a go when I was younger because my favourite author, John Marsden, released a book on writing, I would keep a journal every day, because it was one of the tips he gave.

I may be risking this blog becoming a Neil Gaiman fanfest, but Gaiman is also an author that is excellent at encouraging his fans to write, he has a tumblr blog that is full of his answers to fans on their many questions on how to become a writer, how do you stick at writing, how do you get ideas for writing, etc. etc.

So why am I bringing all of this up? Truthfully I’m not 100% sure, my brain is so tired, and I honestly just began to write, because this year #blogjune has been hard for me, and I’ve lacked a lot of motivation and creativity, buuut one of the main things that many authors say when they are asked about writing is to just do it, begin with whatever comes into your mind, just to get the flow happening, even if you don’t use any of it at the end of the day…I however am going to use it, seeing as this is simply my blog of rambling I am happy to use whatever comes out of my tired brain (whether this is a good or bad idea is completely up to you).

Either way, I love that so many authors love their field and encourage others to get into it. I think writing (whether creatively or not) is such an important skill, and one that is often forgotten about in this day and age. So thanks to #blogjune for forcing me to do one of my favourite past times, even if I don’t love it every day, and thanks to all those amazing authors out there that continue to encourage their fans to dive right into their art.

A book you thought you wouldn’t like but ended up loving #blogjune

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Water_for_elephantsHmmm…this is a difficult one…it may be because I have been up since 4:45am, and my brain just isn’t used to that…or it may be because I have read waaaay too many books to possibly come up with an answer…thank goodness for Goodreads!

I only started using Goodreads about two years ago but I am so thankful I did. I enjoy the social aspect of it, but that’s not the main reason I use it (many people were turned off when Amazon purchased the site), the main reason I use Goodreads is to track the books I read, and my initial thoughts of these books. Although to some, I don’t read a large amount of books each year, for me it is too hard to remember all of them, and to remember my initial thoughts, so I will forever be thankful for the “Read” shelf on Goodreads.

Browsing through the books I have read over the past few years I’d say “Water for Elephants” is a book that jumps out to me as one I wasn’t too excited about reading. In fact, I honestly couldn’t tell you why I decided to not only read it, but purchase from The Strand bookstore in New York (incidentally one of my favourite bookstores I have had the pleasure of visiting). I was late to the Water for Elephants train (geddit train*) and had only heard of it because of the movie. I have to admit I have not seen the movie, because the shorts made it look laaaaame (I’m sorry if it’s not…perhaps I should give it a go). I am not a huuuge lover of chick flicks, they have to be pretty good for me to enjoy, and this movie looked like the biggest chick flick of them all, the fact that it also starred Reese Witherspoon and Robert Pattinson wasn’t really helping it’s cause, so my mind was made up about the book from the movie short…WHEN WILL I LEARN…don’t judge a book by its movie…or its movie short…so for reasons unknown I bought and read the book, and you know what, I loved it!

I really did enjoy reading it. It’s a simple read, the writing could have been a bit stronger, but it was a great story, quite sad at times, with humour thrown in there. It was such a great story that pulled me in from the prologue. I couldn’t stop reading it. A lot of the side characters made this book (including the elephant). I was satisfied by the ending (often not the way with “sadder” novels), and I actually really enjoyed reading the Author’s Note about the history of circuses, it made me want to research more about old time circuses as well.

So there you have it, lesson learnt, don’t ever judge a book by it’s movie trailer…as I often rant about, books are so often done a disservice by their movies, now I just need to remember my own opinions!

*A pun that hopefully any Water for Elephant readers will get

Most Over-rated Book #blogjune

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220px-Rye_catcherFor the next part of my book meme I am asked to discuss, in my opinion, the most over-rated book. I have to admit, a few classics ran through my mind when I saw this day…In fact, I was surprised at how many books did run through my mind. I think classics, in particular have the tendency to become over-rated. They are put on a pedistool, they are continually discussed, they always come up in “100 books to read before you die lists” and everyone expects them to be amazing. However. they are still subjective, just because 50 people love one book and decide to rate it as a “classic” doesn’t mean the next 50 people will enjoy it.

Always an interesting thing to consider…the whole “what makes a classic”. I have never been a huge fan of the ‘title’ of classic, although obviously if a book has stood the test of time it definitely needs to be recognised, I guess what really bugs me is when people are shocked and horrified if you haven’t read a certain book, or if you did read the book and didn’t enjoy it. Just because a book has the title of “classic” doesn’t mean all tastes will be removed and everyone will read it and love it.

For me, there is one book/classic that stands out above the rest, and that has to be “The Catcher in the Rye”. I know many people that will *gasp* at what I just stated, but I actually hated this book. I hated the main character, his constant whining grated me like no other character I had ever read. Perhaps there are some other redeeming qualities to the book, but my hatred for Holden Caulfield over-ran any other redeeming qualities. I know he is constantly deemed as an icon of teen rebellion, but seriously, stop whining and get your act together!

Have I completely missed the point? Have I made any-one mad by my hate for Caulfied/the book? Let me know what you think.

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Sinking Friendships – Jonsi #blogjune

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This song will always, always have a special place in my heart. On the 24th of August 2013 at 3pm I walked down to the isle to marry my bestfriend with this song playing.
Whenever I hear it I am automatically taken back to the moment I walked out of the doors, down the isle with only B in my sight. What an amazing day, and what a wonderful journey we began that day.

Day 07 – An underrated book #blogjune

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Knife_of_Never_letting_Go_coverFor the 12th day of Blog June I’ve decided to get back into my book meme and dicuss an underrated book.

Young Adult dystopian fiction is definitely a guilty pleasure of mine (actually scrap guilty, I don’t feel guilty at all about my enjoyment). Many people have heard of Patrick Ness and his Chaos Walking series, particularly the first ‘The Knife of Never Letting Go’, but when you compare this series with other young adult dystopian series such as ‘The Hunger Games’ and Divergent there is a lot less interest. I had heard of Patrick Ness but for his book “More Than This” which was released last year. I stumbled across The Knife of Never Letting Go by accident, trolling a Lifeline bookfair earlier this year I took notice of the cover, saw that it was by Patrick Ness and thought “why not, I’ll give this book ago”. I was certainly glad of this 2 second decision.

The Knife of Never Letting Go is an excellent Young Adult dystopian novel. While the main character, Todd Hewitt, can be annoying at times (when I think about it most main characters in YA dystopian are) one of the main things I loved about this book is that it is set in a much different dystopian world then many we see these days. The world is ‘backwards’ in a lot of ways, lots of agriculture, and very little technology – although there are people who arrive by spaceships, and alien-like creatures to remind us that this is a dystopian fiction. I couldn’t put this book down, I got sucked into the story line, Ness develops a fast-paced story that keeps you intrigued the whole time, he provides strong male and female characters and even includes an amazing side-kick through a dog called Manchee.

While I really enjoy series such as ‘The Hunger Games’ and the Divergent Series, I feel The Knife of Never Letting Go is underrated as Ness brings something different to dystopian fiction. He is an extremley creative writer, and although the Chaos Walking series is popular, I think it deserves more, I want to hear people still talking about it. If you enjoy YA dystopian I highly recommend this book/series.

What do you guys think? Am I way off here? Have you read the series? What did you think?

New…and old? Beginnings #blogjune

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Stock images always make me laugh.

Stock images always make me laugh.

Yesterday seemed to fly past too quickly, and the opportunity to keep up with Blog June once again went by…never mind, here I am today, still trying to keep up.

Yesterday was my first day at an old work place. After a year and a half in another job, I was given the opportunity to return to the univeristy library I began my career in, and I jumped at the chance. Yesterday was my first day back and I have to say it was quite a nice experience. I have touched on the fact that I was feeling fairly isolated at my newer job and it was wonderful walking into a fairly large university library, full of staff members greeting me, and interested to hear what had been happening in my life. In fact that was one of the things that really stuck out to me yesterday, despite the fact that most staff members sit down and work incredibly hard they are also interested in each others lives, there is a want to hear about people’s plans, what they’ve been up to, genuine concern of an injured staff member, and jokes happening throughout the day, and for me this was refreshing.

This made me realise the type of workplace I want to be in. I believe I am a hard worker, and when things need to be done I will plug my music in and get things done. However, I am also someone who loves people, I like to know what is going on in my colleagues lives and how they are progressing with different problems and situations that may have arisen. I think a close, friendly, working relationship is important for workplace morale, and one that may sometimes be ignored.

Relaxxxeeeed #blogjune

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Pretty much how I looked the whole holiday.

Pretty much how I looked the whole holiday.

I have just recently arrived home from a 5 day relaxing holiday with friends in the Blue Mountains. My mind and body are refreshed, I have spent a great 5 days hanging with some wonderful friends, chatting about life, reading a lot, drinking a lot of coffee and enjoying some amazing creation. I couldn’t have asked for more from a holiday. I feel so refreshed and ready to take on this next week, ready for a new job and what that will bring…

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