Patracat's Memories

This blog is my story. I have created it for posterity, as some of my early memories are of a way of life that many of my peers have forgotten, and the younger generations will never experience. I hope the reader enjoys it, and will be encouraged to write their own story. Once you have gone, your memories go with you and can never be recaptured unless you write them down.

Sunday, March 25, 2018

Chapter 4: What I like reading and why.

My parents had a strong influence on my choice of reading matter. They were both avid readers, but had very different tastes. Dad read two or three newspapers most days (The Herald, The Sun (when they were two separate newspapers) and The Argus until it ceased publication. After that I think he read The Age. The only magazine I can remember him reading was a monthly mag. devoted to classical and church music.
He had eclectic taste in books, and I was glad to be able to bring some of them home with me when he died a few years ago. Here are just a few of them on my shelves at the moment:

'Horrie The Wog Dog' by Ion L. Idriess
'No Room In The Ark' by Alan Moorehead
'Born Free' by Joy Adamson
'The Trials Of Life' by David Attenborough
'A Fortunate Life' by A.B. Facey
'They're A Weird Mob' by Nino Culotta (and all the books that followed)
'Atlantis: The Antediluvean World' by Egerton Sykes.
You can see by that where Dad's interests lie - natural history, biographies,etc.

Mum liked fiction and she borrowed books regularly from the library. She also read several womens' magazines a week - Women's Weekly, New Idea, Woman's Day, and some English magazines as well. They were vastly different from the magazines of today. Back in the fifties they were full of recipes, craft patterns, helpful advice on many subjects, and short stories. None of the trashy gossip like today's mags. Here are some of my mother's books that I have on my shelves and still enjoy reading:

'Harley Street Hypnotist' by Alan Mitchell
'Scalpel - Men Who Made Surgery' by Agatha Young
'Men With Golden Hands - A Book of Surgical Miracles' by E.H.G. Lutz
'Harry Price - The Biography of A Ghost Hunter' by Paul Tabori
'The Andromeda Strain' by Michael Crichton.

I don't buy books of fiction as once I've read a story, I rarely go back and read it again. Not because I don't enjoy them - I do! In fact I still have a lot of books from my childhood, such as Enid Blyton's books, classics like Pollyanna, Anne Of Green Gables and Little Women. But there are so many more books to read without repeating the ones already read! So I borrow most of them from the library, or from friends. Some of my favorite authors nowadays are Patricia Cornwell, Danielle Steel, Di Morrisey, Catherine Gaskin, Rosemunde Pilcher, Charlotte Bingham, and several others whose names escape me as I write this. The kind of books that I buy and have on my shelf to read and dip into again over time are these:

'Why Things Bite Back' by Edward Tenner
'Asleep At The Wheel' by John Nieuwenhuizen
'Minutes Of The Lead Pencil Club' by Bill Henderson
'Boomers, Xers, and Other Strangers' by Dr. Rick and Kathy Hicks
'Down Under' by Bill Bryson
'Doing Up Buttons' by Christine Durham
'The Heart's Code' by Paul Pearsall.

I'd be surprised if anyone reading this would have heard of (let alone read) many of these titles, but please post a comment if you have. I'd love to hear your opinion of them. If you are wondering what any (or all) of them are about, leave a comment and I will reply here.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

That sure is an interesting list of title you have there Gina. I am definitely a love'em and leave em type of gal these days. Not that I get the time to pickup a book. I used to read a novel a day.... back in the days before the kids arrived. Now.... it's art & craft that consume my spare time. Don't get me wrong.. I adore books and the places they take me to.. I just don't get enough time to absorb them in before I hear those famous words... "Mummy, can I...."
Lovely posts Gina... xox

Sunday, May 27, 2007  
Blogger lindsaylobe said...

An interesting journal about your mum and dad covering another era, I like your Dad’s choices such as reading several good quality newspapers. You mother also obviously was an avid reader so that it is little wonder to day you have that enthusiasm to not only read many books bit to write interesting stories yourself.

I think the quality of the popular press has decreased since those days to the extent is difficulty to find newspapers of independent worthy news, I still read the financial review each day, and it remains somewhat independent and has a sensible social commentary. I used to read the NY times week day but found the paper to be so heavily slanted to a non bias objective (usually with 2 reporters covering events ) and heavily undispersed with so many quotes it all became rather dry and sterile.
Best wishes.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007  
Blogger Helen said...

Good one, dearest. I've not been to this site before, so here I am, first thing Monday whilst the marmalade bubbles merrily along its way, and I should be getting ready to go out. Ah welll, I realise now that life wasn't meant to be too busy!

Monday, August 13, 2007  
Blogger Jamie ~ RoseCottage said...

I don't think I've ever heard of any of those, but I may have to look for them. I'm always looking for great new books to read!
Thanks for your post on my blog - yes, most of us in the U.S. are quite lacking in the electric tea kettle department, but I'm trying to convert friends and neighbors {grin}

Sunday, May 25, 2008  

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