Saturday, January 26, 2013

5 travel books that make me want to DO ALL THE THINGS and SEE ALL THE WORLD

I'm going to keep this short: I like to travel. I want to travel more. I haven't done nearly enough. As a child I knew I would take trips, but I didn't for years and years. It wasn't until I was 33 that I realised I was waiting for SOMETHING. I don't know what. But when I realised it, I fixed it, and I booked my first ever overseas trip to New Orleans and Memphis. I haven't looked back since. This year I have a couple of small trips planned to Brisbane and Sydney (and possibly Perth but I haven't fully decided). Next year is Cape Town. The year after is back to New Orleans twice because, hey, it'll be my 40th and I'm absolutely going to do Jazz Fest and Mardi Gras. After that, who knows. I mean...I can go anywhere. Right? For today's list, I rounded up unusual/quirky/funny looking travel books that I found by happy accident in the catalogue. Now these? Are my kinda trips! Happy weekend, people.

PS: The pic above is one I took of my sibling our first night in New Orleans, standing in the middle of Bourbon Street. This was my second trip back. It was roughly 12am or 1am, and we'd spent forever on planes. Got to the Banana Courtyard (if you ever stay there say HI to Miss Mary and Mister Hugh - they tell the BEST stories), dumped our bags and headed out to see the city immediately. And this shot took place. We ended our night at Cafe du Monde at about 2am eating beignets and drinking hot chocolate. I can't wait to do it again.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

5 new erotic romances (some with covers and plots that make me giggle)

I'm not about to tell you that erotic romances are dirtybadwrong. I think anything that gets people reading - yes, even Fifty Shades - is always a good thing. (Seriously, people, stop talking about that book, though. It makes me want to cry for those who consider it 'good erotica.' It's not. I can recommend you some. I am your dealer for books with the funsexytimes that are written way more better-er. I promise). SO! As I was saying: BOOKS GOOD. I read romance novels of all kinds for one reason: the Happy Ever After. No matter what bad crap goes down between the hero/heroine (hero/hero, heroine/heroine, etc.), they're going to end up together. In the story, she is going to think he's Prince Douchetastic, and he's going to think she suffers from Sleeping Beauty Syndrome and needs True Love's Kiss to wake her hormones up, and they're going to fight, and generally treat each other hilariously (and probably badly), and someone might get murdered (because what's a little romance without a little murder, am I right?) BUT it will end happily. They are going to leave me with that feelgood feeling that I get when the Happy Ever After (yes, with capitals) takes place. That is what I need from a romance novel. Basically, I need this from an erotic romance novel, too. Just, you know, with a little more emphasis on the funsexytimes. (And fewer partners than a lot of the books below seem to have BUT I JUDGE YOU NOT, PEOPLE). I was stalking the new books lists for Top 5 ideas and spotted the Best Lesbian Erotica 2013 (which I've requested), and I realised that I don't do a lot about our erotic romance collection. I promote them in our Romance eNewsletter, but that's about it. And I felt sad because erotic romance books need love, too, right? (Although technically perhaps they have a little too much love already because, HULLO, content). And today's list is in recognition of that. Also, it allows me to share some of the plots/covers that make me facepalm, giggle and, generally, laugh out loud. Because I am forever juvenile. And now I have to wait for them to come in because, obviously, I've requested them all!

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

5 pieces of advice I wish my dad had given me

Boys will put you on a pedestal (so they can look up your skirt): a dad's advice for daughters / Philip Van Munching

"My daddy, he was somewhere between God and John Wayne." - Hank Williams, Jr.

I love my dad times infinity. He is awesome. Of course, I think he'd be pretty darn awesome even if he weren't my dad. I know, right? You're probably sitting there reading this thinking, "Whoa, baby. For a non-touchy feely person, that's awfully touchy feely." And you'd be right. It is, but I want to slide my opinion of my dad in this post right there at the start because, a little bit later on, it'll seem like I'm being Cowface McCowpants when I'm not. Now I've got you wondering, don't I? When I was a kid my dad gave me two pieces of advice that he said would steer me through life. I know what you're thinking: "What did he tell you?" It's going to make you say, "WHAT THE...?" but I'll explain it all, I promise.

My dad said to me: "All men are animals; driving is psychological warfare." I was four the first time he told me this, and I would hear it, regular as clockwork, every year after, until I was in my mid-twenties. Let me put his words in context. I'm one of seven girls in our family. That means that there were seven reasons for my dad to fear his daughters ending up with husbands/partners/boyfriends/girlfriends who didn't treat them well. It weighed on his mind quite heavily. Even more so because I suspect he had lots and lots of girlfriends before meeting mum. It's not anything he'll ever confirm. I think that because he would often tell me, "I don't trust boys. I was one. I know exactly what they're thinking." For sure it's strange advice to give anybody, let alone your daughters, but we humoured him over the years and would dutifully repeat his words back to him when asked to.

Confession: I ignored both parts of his advice because they're not useful to me, they're illogical and, I believe, nonsensical. (See? Now I look like Cowface McCowpants because I blatantly admit that I don't listen to my dad and I think that he gives me silly advice). My sisters ignored the first part only and, as far as driving goes, cut up on the roads like it's all a game of chess. Much the way my dad does. Because my dad gave me such strange advice, I've always been fascinated by books where other fathers do the same. And this one by Van Munching - Boys will put you on a pedestal (so they can look up your skirt) - has some great gems! Not surprisingly, a couple that my dad would wholeheartedly approve of. (Yes, the ones involving the safety of daughters - this must be a father thing).

Sunday, January 6, 2013

5 bookish/reading-ish resolutions for 2013

I don't make meaningful yearly resolutions for one very simple reason: I suck at them. From past experience, I know that I break them as quickly as I make them. I used to have two standard resolutions - to be more patient, and to swear less. I'd chuck a few more on top - things like 'Drink less' and 'Be kind to people,' you know the sort of thing. I've never managed to consistently keep them. A few years back I stopped making them altogether. This year, though, I decided that if Justin Timberlake could bring sexy back (I'm still not 100% certain that he totally did, but okay), then I could bring resolutions back. Kinda. I think where I failed before is that all of my previous resolutions were about things that I don't think I really wanted to achieve. Surely, if they were, I'd have made more of an effort? This time, I'm keeping it simple. My goals for this year are going to be based only around things that 1) I really want to do and that 2) interest me, which is what prompted my fandom resolutions post from the other day and, now, these bookish resolutions. Both of these activities - indulging my fangirl and reading like a fiend - are things I do everyday, and with great enjoyment, so I think that extending those just a little isn't going to be a hardship. If anything, I think it'll increase my love of them (and for them). This is going to sound ridiculously dorky but I'm going to say it, anyway. I am forever grateful to my parents for teaching me to read, for encouraging me to make up stories as a child, for not once telling me what I should/shouldn't be reading (I know that you know that I read Judy Blume's Forever at 10 and that I really wasn't ready for it but you didn't judge me for it or make a federal case out of it), and for allowing me to fangirl over Bromhead's cartoon editorials at the dinner table. Et voilĂ , here are my 5 bookish resolutions for 2013!

Friday, January 4, 2013

5 fandom New Year resolutions I've made

"New Year's Resolution: To tolerate fools more gladly, provided this does not encourage them to take up more of my time."
- James Agate

I abhor most resolution making. Things like 'Lose weight' and 'Spend less time online' and 'Watch less tv' and 'Spend quality time with family' and 'Have meaningful conversations' are a waste of time for me. I enjoy food, I heart being online, I adore tv, I share a house with siblings and quality time happens to be whatever we're doing at that moment, and I challenge you to define 'meaningful conversations.' Resolutions like that are just another thing I won't keep/maintain/follow. It's because I lack discipline, probably. Well, that and I could care less about any of those. I'd wager that at 37, that attitude isn't going to change much at all. I'm okay with that. The kind of resolutions I've decided I am making this year, though, are ones that I can 1) easily keep and that 2) hold my interest because they 3) speak to the fangirl in me. Truly. Like today's list that is made up of 5 fandom New Year resolutions I'm setting down for 2013. Bring it!