Books and lists: 2 of my favourite things!

I’m one of those list makers. I hope I haven’t just revealed some deep psychological weirdness with that admission, but it will explain why I was so excited to see the recent ‘A-Z Bookish Survey’ going around recently. It’s not (necessarily) animal rights/vegan related, but I’m going to do it anyway, because…well, I can’t resist a list!

I first found the survey on Veganopoulous   but she’d found it on another of my favourite blogs Green Gourmet Giraffe, and Johanna had found it somewhere else…you know how it goes.

Here’s my list

(I’ve linked the books that have vegan/animal rights themes.)

Author you’ve read the most books from: Anne Tyler. I discovered Dinner at the homesick restaurant when I was in my early 20s (just before the Accidental Tourist movie came out) and Anne Tyler is still writing – I’m glad she didn’t stop writing after her husband died, as I’d heard she would. I think I like her books so much because the characters are all a bit weird and neurotic, like me.

Best sequel ever: Like everyone else, I’m choosing the Harry Potters…if you can call that a sequel. Doesn’t matter, they were all fantastic. (You can see how much I loved them in the comments of the Veganopoulous post!)

Currently reading: About a million and one things. The novel I’m reading is Ape house by Sara Gruen, but I’m also reading a heap of non-fiction books (there’s an enormous stack by my bed). Change of heart by Nic Cooney, Networking for people who hate networking by Devora Zack, Vegan for her by Ginny Messina and JL Field, Surviving year 12 by Michael Carr-Gregg, Strong women; strong bones by Miriam Nelson and Content rules by Anne Handley and CC Chapman. And that pretty much sums up my life!

Vegan for her, Why we love dogs, Networking for people who hate networking, Strong women stong bones

Drink of choice while reading: Earl Grey tea or a smooth red (vegan) wine.

E-reader or physical book: E-reader if I’m carrying it on the tram (because you can carry hundreds of book in a device the size of a thin paperback!) Physical book if I’m reading at home.

Fictional character you probably would have actually dated in high school: Severus Snape…oh, no, I’m confusing Alan Rickman with his character. Actually, I rather fancied Henry from the Time traveller’s wife. I like my men bookish.

Glad you gave this book a chance: To kill a mockingbird. I was against it, just because it was a year 12 book (the other class read it), so I assumed it would be boring. How wrong was I? I only read it because I was stuck in bed with a torn ligament and had nothing else nearby.

Hidden gem book: Ticket to ride by Sarah Darmody. Picked it up in the newsagent in Anglesea one summer (just because I liked the cover). It was hilarious and I loved it – so much that I lent it to a friend, who lost it, so I spent months tracking down another copy from ebay (that just arrived a couple of weeks ago), just because I think H would like it. And then there’s The dud avocado by Elaine Dundy. My friend lent this to me when I travelling alone around Europe. I’d never heard of it, and she’s the only person I know who’s read it, but it was really good…in fact, it was an…

Important moment in my reading life: see the last item. I was wandering around Europe, not knowing what to do with my life. In this book, Sally Jay Gorce’s parents expect her to settle down and be a librarian. She thought that was really boring, but I thought, ‘That’s it! I will be a librarian!’ and I was…for a while.

Just finished: I recently finished Animal people by Charlotte Wood. It was very weird, because the suburb the main guy lived in sounded just like where I live (although it wasn’t set in Melbourne at all). I also just finished Why we love dogs, eat pigs and wear cows by Melanie Joy.

Kinds of books you won’t read: Romance, fantasy (apart from Harry Potter and Phillip Pullman, but they’re not really “fantasy”), scary crime that will give me nightmares, and Stephen King (after a scary night alone in an Ennis backpackers’ hostel reading The dark half).

Longest book you’ve ever read: I don’t usually read long books, but The Hobbit FELT like the longest book ever, when we were forced to read it in year 7. I think that’s what put me off fantasy books. (I hate being forced to read a book.)

Major book hangover because of: The Magic faraway tree series. Why would you ever want to come back to earth when you could be in the Land of Do-As –You-Please?

Number of bookcases you own: 5 for me and my husband, and 5 in the kids’ rooms. My cookbooks include a lot of old, vegetarian classics left behind when our next-door neighbours separated. She gave away his books, and I happily adopted them.

messy cookbook shelf

My most-used bookcase – cookbooks. (Notice I cropped out the REALLY messy top shelf and the table in front that is covered with books and magazines…I really must get off the computer and clean up!)

One book you’ve read multiple times: I don’t like re-reading books – apart from picture books, when the kids were small. I think I could still recite The sailor dog (it was my son’s favourite – and, apparently Ted Baillieu’s).

Preferred place to read: In bed or lying on the couch. I like to read outside on a sunny day, but it always gives me a headache, because it’s too glary.

Quote that inspires you/gives you all the feels from a book you’ve read: I couldn’t remember any, of course, but I remember that my favourite book, Pigs in Heaven by Barbara Kingsolver had LOTS, so I Googled them, and these are two of my favourite:

  • “Let’s go take a walk down to the blue hole. You need to look at some water.” I’d always thought it was only me who needed to look at water sometimes.
  • “But kids don’t stay with you if you do it right. It’s the one job where, the better you are, the more surely you won’t be needed in the long run.” (I keep trying to remember this as my kids get older!)

Reading regret: I wasted so much time trying to read Illywhacker by Peter Carey, then halfway through I realised I just hated it and should put it down and read something else.

Series you started and need to finish: Well, I never read all the Narnia books, and always meant to…but I probably won’t. 🙂

Three of your all-time favourite books:

  1. Pigs in heaven by Barbara Kingsolver
  2. Holy cow! By Sarah McDonald
  3. The stone diaries by Carole Shields
  4. Breathing lessons by Anne Tyler (OK, that’s 4, but I couldn’t leave that out.)

Weirdly, all my favourite fiction writers are women. I didn’t plan it that way; it’s just how it turned out.  I do make an exception for Mark Twain though.

Unapologetic fangirl for: No particular genre or author, but I spend too much money on books about animal rights, vegan food and web content and design.

Vegan table, Vegan for life, Uncheese cookbook and Veganomics

Some of the cookbook shelf overflow.

Very excited for this release: there are 3 coming up I’m looking forward to reading.

  1. Isa does it, Isa Chandra Moskowitz’s new cookbook due out next month.
  2. Veganomics, Nic Cooney’s new book, due out in January.
  3. Bleating heart, Mark Hawthorne’s new book, due out soon?

Worst bookish habit: Piling up mountains of books by my bed, reading bits and pieces of them every night, but hardly ever finishing them in a reasonable period of time.

X marks the spot (Go to a bookcase and select the 24th book across): The elements of style by Strunk and White (I’m at my desk). On the next-nearest bookcase I got Lessons in letting go by Corinne Grant (excellent book that helped me reduce the crap in my house. Looking at my house now, I think I might need to read it again).

Work books on web content and design.

My other weakness…

Your latest book purchase: The gift of kindness by Pam Ahern from Edgar’s Mission. I gave it to my mum for her birthday. It’s full of great stories and lots of gorgeous photos taken by Kyle from Edgar’s Mission.

ZZZ-snatcher book (last book that kept you up WAY late): That would probably have to be Quiet: the power of introverts by Susan Cain. I realised I wasn’t the only one!


So, now I’ve revealed that I’m an introverted list-maker who likes bookish men. Probably way more than you needed to know, so I’ll stop now.

I showed you mine…

If you’ve done the list, post your link in the comments. Or if you don’t have a blog, post your list! 🙂

Post Punk Kitchen all grown up

If you haven’t already seen it, Isa Chandra Moskowitz has a new vegan cooking video series on YouTube, called Make it Vegan. It’s great! Have a look:


6 thoughts on “Books and lists: 2 of my favourite things!

  1. What a fantastic read to look at some of your books and hear about your discoveries – I did quite a lot of Me too Me too as I read it – harry potter, travelling around europe solo, to kill a mockingbird, though I did love the hobbit (which I read in my 20s). My sister loved anne tyler and carol shields but I never got into them like she did but I have read a few of them and enjoyed them. I love love love barbara kingsolver but haven’t read pigs in heaven – think I might need to seek that one out. And I think I would like to read a few more of the books about veg diets. I read quite a few of them when I first went veg years ago.

    • Johanna, I probably would have loved The Hobbit too if I hadn’t been forced to read it! Pigs in Heaven is the sequel to The Bean Trees, which came out a long time ago. If you like Barbara Kingsolver, you should love it, it’s all about family and community. I read lots of veg diet stuff when I first stopped eating meat, but since we went vegan this year there is a whole lot more to learn – luckily I find it all fascinating.

  2. What a great list! I haven’t been reading nearly enough lately, so I’ll probably do that before I get around to completing this kind of list. But, for the record:
    -I hate re-reading books too (or re-watching tv/movies).
    -My reading regret is definitely anything by Jorge Luis Borges; should have just given up.
    -I’ve just bought Savage Beauty, a bio of ESVM.

  3. Great blog and great list. I love hearing what other people have been reading. I think I shall have to do this myself! I too find it hard to resist buying animal rights books – but there’s still a whole bunch I want to read but haven’t yet, including Mark Hawthorne’s Striking at the Roots, Nick Cooney and Melanie Joy. I was lucky enough to hear Melanie Joy speak when she came to Melbourne recently and also Nick Cooney’s skype talk at the Animal Activists Forum a couple of weeks ago though so can’t complain.

    • Wow Liz, I probably saw you! I was at Melanie Joy’s daytime talk in Melbourne (on the second day) and also saw Nic Cooney’s Skype talk at the Animal Activists Forum! (spooky!) They are both fantastic, aren’t they? I have Striking at the Roots too, so I can’t wait for the new books to come out.

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