The books I am currently reading

It's no secret that I always have several books on the go at the same time. I always have, ever since I can remember reading seriously (from about the age of 10 or so). The only rule is to never have more than one novel going at a time - I find I get the plotlines confused if I am reading two or more novels at once. I don't know that anyone who reads or writes for a living can just devote themselves to one book at a time. At regular intervals throughout the day I have to put aside the book I am reading for pleasure and pick up something that is more instructive, that will inspire me more specifically for a particular task. that I have to get finished soon for professional reasons, or that is research for a current project. So here's what I am juggling:


Happily Ever After kind of straddles all of the above categories. I am a huge fan of Susannah Fullerton, and go along to hear her lectures whenever I can. She is a Sydney legend, and can tell literary tales and historical gossip like no other. This exquisitely produced book is a celebration of Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice, and is terrific fun. I am not, in fact, a huge Austen fan, but hearing and reading Susannah makes me want to be! Susannah will also be my guest at February's Inspirational Conversation at Ultimo Library, so I have to read all her books before we chat.


   



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I have been kind of obsessed with crystals and rocks since my young adulthood. Perhaps it is in my blood - my grandfather was a keen amateur lapidarist, and my father runs a hobby mining shop, so I have been surrounded with crystals, rocks and semi-precious stones since birth. So when I saw Touchstones for Today at the counter at Melbourne’s TS Bookshop I simply had to have it. It is an examination of the spiritual power of rocks and stones and their special arrangements in traditional culture. A provocatively fascinating book for someone like me, I am finding it absolutely intriguing, and it makes me ache to visit some of the places depicted in the book by author Alanna Moore. I have one or two very significant stones in my own garden, and this is making me want to consider their placement more carefully. And I have always wanted my own fairy circle...




    







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Tom Rath's Vital Friends looks really interesting, though I am not very far into it. I am a constant student of books about networking and I credit two of them - Keith Ferrazzi's Never Eat Alone and Monroe Mann's Guerrilla Networking - with changing the direction of my life. I think that networking is the most powerful and essential tool for getting ahead in life, so I am always desperate for a new angle. Rath is an acknowledged expert, so I look forward to reading what he says about cultivating and preserving deep friendships. What I have read so far is really interesting - about how an absence of friendships is one of the greatest indicators of unhappiness, addiction and even long-term homelessness.


    



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Dolly Parton's Dream More is a self-help memoir (an increasingly popular genre) that is as sweet and unpretentious as the lady herself. I simply had to have it as soon as I read about it. I have loved Dolly since I was a kid, and her live concert was one of the best I have ever seen. I have never read, seen or heard a bad thing about this woman, and this book certainly confirms my feelings about her. She talks frankly about her appearance, the inspirations behind her songs and how she has always struggled against self-pity. Dolly is a goddess and a saint!

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