I really am loving my kindle and now that my lighted cover has arrived, it means that when MM has me awake at 2am in the morning and my eyes are no longer sleepy and ready for slumber; I can switch on my little light, turn on the kindle and read without bothering Mr ELG.

My latest read literally had me spellbound. Not for the faint-hearted at close to 800 pages, The Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness is a combination of Harry Potter, Twilight and Bram Stoker’s classic Dracula. So with those books in mind, I confirm Vampires, Witches, Daemons and us run-of-the-mill humans play the starring roles. Like the books above and Elizabeth Kostova’s book The Historian, it again poses the question – do these creatures walk among us and if so; do they work, where do they live and what are the rules?

The story is told through the eyes of Diana Bishop, a History professor at Oxford and through her work comes across an ancient manuscript. After reading this manuscript; life as she knows it (a witch in denial of her own powers) changes dramatically as a Pandora box is opened as others fight to find and acquire this priceless item before anyone else can. The book moves through England, France and upstate New York as the author demonstrates her thorough research into these topics and winds you up in her work of fiction.

I finished this book in just under 72 hours, as it quickly became a page turner and although my sleepless in Sydney behaviour gave me a rude shock when I discovered yet again that sleep deprivation and a 10 month old do not mix; it was another book that had completely swept me away as I re-read certain parts and researched other titles Harkness had penned. The Discovery of Witches is the first book in the All Souls trilogy with the second due to be released this July. I also found out that Warner Bros have secured the rights to the screenplay so to finish off I leave you with my casting thoughts that Hugh Jackman would be brilliant as Matthew de Clermont and Natalie Portman would make a great Diana. 

Now I’m always told sleep when they sleep so this 4pm siesta isn’t looking too bad….. zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz!

the kindle, the key and Paris in a different light

I recently completed The Travel List Challenge and out of the 100 places to go before you die, I discovered I’ve already been to 27 of them. Ok, I thought – over a quarter of the way there in my 31 years of life.

A while ago now, Mr ELG and I did the Great Ocean Road in Victoria and after the memorable turns and twists of the road, we ended up at Port Fairy for the night in this gorgeous stay called Oscar’s. Bushes of lavender greeted us along the path to reception and I vividly remember the dark paneled flooring leading out to the verandah where we took breakfast the next morning which overlooked the inlet with all of its boats bobbing up and down. Over eggs and OJ, I recall having a conversation with a fellow traveler about how I could definitely come back here again to which he replied “Oh no, there are too many places to see in the world to visit them twice.”

Years later and with my new gadget in hand ~ the kindle; I am completely immersed in the book Sarah’s Key. Set mainly in Paris covering two time periods, I read about the streets of the Marais and the secrets of all the buildings. I read about Sarah and her horrific struggles during 1942 and grow fond of the character, Julia who is living a completely different life in 2004. Reading about Paris, I think of the many times I have been to the city and will continue to go back. Not using the traveler’s ethos, I have been to Paris 4 or 5 times and it was only last month that we were back there again taking BIT there for the first time. We rented out an apartment in the heart of the Marais on Rue Rambuteau giving the stroller a good run for its money as its wheels ran over and over the uneven cobblestone ground on a daily basis. Mr ELG and I love to explore the city’s arrondissements and get lost and found again and again.
Yet it was reading my new book, back home in Sydney that from afar I was seeing the city of lights in a completely different shade. Gone was the excitement and fondness I feel when I think of Paris and instead I felt sick to my stomach whilst reading a fiction piece that referenced a real-life event that took place in Paris in July, 1942. In all of my education, I had never heard or learnt of the events known as the Vel’ d’Hiv Roundup and when I asked Mr ELG if he knew about it, he said it rang a bell but he could offer no further detail. Admittedly, I have never been a WWII history buff but in the way this book was describing the numbers of people taken by the French on both 16 and 17 of July, 1942 I was in disbelief and felt ashamed of my ignorance that I had no knowledge of this topic and had to learn about it from Wikipedia instead. I finished the book in a weekend and now 10 days later, it is still on my mind. And I know that when I next go to Paris and walk through the streets of the Marais, I will stop to think about the 13, 152 people taken those mornings and feel grateful to have no such worries in life as those people did during those crazy years in our history.