Tag Archives: Reading

Going to the movies. Books. Other stuff.

Firstly, I must tell you about Paddington. I am not one to review movies and books and the like, but this was a special one.

I love Paddington because I’ve known him since I was the age my children are now. But more so, Liam brought Paddington home from the library two weeks ago and we started to read all about the bear from Darkest Peru, so it was great to see the book brought to life. Also, the movie was a really good adaptation of the book (give or take) so the fact that the kids could preempt certain scenes was sort of cool. Well, not for the other people in the cinema, who had to put up with the live narration from the second row. And when there was a scene that didn’t feature in the book, it raised lots of loud questions which I had to answer, of course. All in all, I’d give this movie a 9/10.  I think Paddington and the Brown’s were perfectly portrayed. I will record this movie when it comes out on Box Office because it’s one of those which my kids could watch a million times over and still enjoy.

Talking about a million times over… do you know my children are STILL watching Frozen? Is this normal? Never before have they been this entranced by a movie. Like they will choose to watch scenes from Frozen in the TV time they get during the week, rather than watch regular Disney Junior or whatever. And by watch, I mean they narrate the movie word by word. They could probably do Frozen on Broadway without scripts because they know all.the.words. Are your kids over Frozen yet?

Talking about books… so Liam gets to bring a book home every week from the school library and so far his choices have been awesome. So I’ll read it to them the first few nights and then Liam reads it to us the rest of the week. But guys, the novelty is wearing off. I like to read a book once, maybe twice. And then we can revisit it in like a few months maybe. Now we have to read the same book all week because he says so. We haven’t touched ANY of our other books since school started. BORED bored boreddddddd. So this week he brought home Enid Blyton’s Noddy. My most favourite childhood author. And it’s a lovely thick story book with chapters that will take us all week to read. It’s gorgeous! And spoiler alert, I never knew the beginnings of Noddy,  I just thought the story starts with Noddy in Toyland, but no it doesn’t! If you have kids around 4 / 5 / 6, I think they’ll like this book; it’s full of mischief and humour that this age group LOVE. I thought my kids had outgrown Noddy years ago, in fact, Noddy was the theme of Liam’s first birthday party, but I do believe the Noddy bug has bitten.

I’m not reading anything currently. Well, I am reading the Bible-in-a-year and doing a few other Bible plans alongside my lovely Bible Babes and let me tell you, I am behind even in that. It’s like my head hits the pillow and I am instantly comatose. If my husband was reading this, he’d say “you have time for social media but you don’t have time to read, go figure.” So I’ll just leave this topic here.

Exciting things coming up in my near future: Liam turns 6.SIX.SES on Monday. This is generating lots of excitement and dominating all conversation when they aren’t singing Frozen songs. Then work conference at Pezula in Knysna in March – you don’t even have to say it, I know you’re jelly. And Cape Town for Easter… well technically for the 2Oceans Marathon but that’s Easter weekend. So there’s enough going on to keep me out of trouble 🙂

Here’s a photo of Liam’s first Noddy birthday. Can’t believe this was 6 years ago! Also, look at my very preggy belly sticking out there 🙂 S7301299



Back on the books. For a hot minute.

Generally we enjoy a road trip. The kids are at a pleasant age where sitting in the car for 7 hours is a breeze. And thank goodness because flying anywhere for a family of four is becoming financially impossible, more so if you’re in Durban every five minutes like we are. But the best part of these long trips is that it gives me time to read. Sad state of affairs when the only time a person has to read is when they are in a moving vehicle, but hey I’ll take what I can get.

So we went down to the South Coast this weekend to spend time with my family and I found myself with approximately 14 free hours to read! Granted, I had to stop now and then to actually make conversation with the driver, to tear the kids apart when they were arguing, to answer their 565734 questions and to listen to my song when it came on the radio. But for the most, I had my head stuck in my book. Well my virtual book, thanks to e-reading devices.

I like light hearted, romantic, funny books. I don’t really read nonfiction except for the Bible and auto biographies of people I am interested in. I used to read very serious books a few years back, but I realised I could not cope. When you are still thinking about a book a week/a month / a year later and you’re freaked out by things that you read in a work of FICTION (come on, it’s not even real and you’re STILL freaked out), then you know your over analysing mind needs to stick to the light hearted stuff. I remember the very day I made this discovery about myself after reading yet another one of Lisa Gardner’s books, I just couldn’t handle it. It’s the same reason why I don’t watch horror movies.


I read The Fault in Our Stars, mainly because of all the hype around the book and movie; if you haven’t heard of this book/movie, you are surely living under a rock. I sort of knew the story line – who doesn’t – and I didn’t want to read it initially because I knew it would make me sad and miserable, but I read the first few pages and was sucked in. Yes, it is sad, and yes I was miserable after reading it. But it was beautiful. It was so… human, for want of a better word. It perfectly portrayed the humanness of dealing with illness, love and hope. I am still thinking about this book, but not in a freaked out sort of way. I think I will watch the movie too.

 Then I read The Pact by Jodi Picoult. Hmm. Um. I don’t know where to start. Firstly, I was gripped by the story so it must have been good, no? But perhaps it was like a car accident on the highway. No matter how much you don’t want to look, you still slow down and look. It was too intense. It freaked me out about having a teenager in the next few years, it freaked me out about jail, it freaked me out about the legal system – even though technically this was the American legal system, but still. I am still thinking about this book, VERY much in a freaked out sort of way. And I am still so heartbroken for the teenage boy in this book, as if he is real. Utterly gutted like I knew him!

 This post is not a book review, it’s more about the type of books that are good for me. I know I must not read books that are too close to home… so no books about children been kidnapped or abused or anything like that. No books about the boogey-man and murders and people being unfairly treated. Basically I need to stick to soppy romantic novels which all end with the words “and they all lived happily ever after.”

Am I sad that this would exclude almost all of the books on the New York Time’s Best Sellers list? Am I sad that I’m probably missing out on some of the best literature of our generation? Am I embarrassed that I am a sucker for a fairytale ending? Am I angry about the fact that I am a feeler and that even made up stories affect me?  Not at all! I’d much rather leave a book feeling warm and fuzzy inside, than  not sleeping at night and looking over my shoulder like a lunatic for something that isn’t even real.

So, any other warm and fuzzies out there? Which warm and fussy novelists can you recommend for a pushover like myself?

Joining the library…

So for the longest time I have been trying to get Liam and Hannah registered at a library. One of my fondest memories from my childhood was visiting the library with my mom, choosing my own books and getting to take them home after the lady stamped them at the door. I can still “smell” the library in my mind – if that makes sense. The smell of hundreds and hundreds of books. Other than the smell of new money (or petrol, I love the smell of petrol), there is nothing quite like it. A trip to the library was a treat, having to be extra quiet and getting to page through many books before making your final choice. Holding tightly onto my library card which I safely kept in my BOB wallet – come on, who had an FNB BOB account? And then stressing if my books were even one day late because it meant I was going to have to put my money in that fancy little money box thingy to pay the fine. But more than the library experience which in itself is motive enough for me to get my kids signed up – my love of reading and my adoration for words, definitely stemmed from my trips to the library. Maybe Liam and Hannah won’t grow up to be readers, which would make me sad but there are worse things in life I guess, but I at least want them to experience the joy of losing yourself in a book. The joy of escaping into lands and fantasies that you may never visit or experience in real life. Empowering yourself through knowledge, gleamed only from reading. It’s AWESOME! I buy books as often as I can for them (but, boy books are expensive), and this year I requested only books for birthday gifts for Liam and will do the same for Hannah when her birthday comes around – but the library will give us a chance to have more books, more frequently, passing through our house.

I called our local library earlier in the year. I was a bit taken aback at the admin related to becoming a member. It’s easier to get a home loan or a credit card than it is to join the library – birth certificates, proof of residential address, blood samples and fingerprints. Well almost. I got the kids in the car after explaining what the library was and how exciting it was going to be and off we went. I started to doubt my Google Map when I went down one dodgy alley which led to another dodgy road which brought me out to Dodgeville. Turns out I live a few roads down from Dodgeville and I didn’t even know. I was alone with the two kids, and I just didn’t feel comfortable so we left. Of course my explanation of why we weren’t going to the library anymore was met with a huge outcry of how horrible I was so I had to make another plan and took them to Exclusive Books instead. Talk about a FAIL.

Since then, my cousin has informed me that there’s a library in Nelson Mandela Square in Sandton, so this Saturday I’m going to take the kids through and try this again. Hopefully I’ll have more success! While others think that the library has become an outdated relic (partly due to the World Wide Web), good only for pensioners and people who need to make photocopies of their CVs, I still think it’s one of the nicest excursions for people with little kids. You may not find the latest bestseller, but there will be enough to entice a small mind into a world unimaginable – it’s bloody exciting! I think it’s a free outing that you and your little ones can enjoy over and over again, and one that will leave a lasting impression and hopefully create an avid reader.

“The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.”  – Dr Seuss

“The best moments in reading are when you come across something – a thought, a feeling, a way of looking at things – which you had thought special and particular to you. And now, here it is, set down by someone else, a person you have never met, someone even who is long dead. And it is as if a hand has come out, and taken yours”  –  Alan BennettThe History Boys

“A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies, said Jojen. The man who never reads lives only one.”  – George R.R Martin, A Dance with Dragons