Tuesday, October 28, 2008

What's on your bedside table?

It's always quite telling what has collected on your bedside table. My bedside table becomes the repository of all kinds of things, but it is mainly books. With the dark moon upon us, I thought this morning was probably as good a time as any to shift the teetering mound from my bedside and back to where it belongs - before it knocked buried me in the middle of the night by a sudden seismic shift..

After removing a dozen kids books – among them a dinosaur book about going to bed (the message has been lost on Mr D), a couple of Lola & Charlies, an alphabet book and learning system … the picture beside is what I discovered. Fairly authentic respresentation of readine material present, present and future.

50 Great eBusiness and the Minds Behind - Emily Ross & Angus Holland comes with a particularly good story. About two months ago Dave and I took our date night to Kabuki, a rather high class tepanyaki bar in Brisbane. Realising that we were going to spend the night sitting on stools and that there was going to be no room for my go-every-where back pack - I took a brisk walk back to the car. When I got back 50 Great eBusiness and the Minds Behind was sitting on the bench at my seat. It took a bit to work out that a) it wasn't a surprise gift from Dave (to advance the progress of a business idea that I've been incubating with Paul for a good slab of the year) and b) it belonged to the gentlemen sitting to my left.

It turned out that the man sitting to my left was veteran Australian TV and radio broadcaster. We got to talking, as you do when your squashed sardine style at a tepanyaki bar (that's a story just in itself!). I mentioned to him the business idea that Paul and I have been brewing and he was greatly impressed. Upon leaving he decided to gift me the book. And what a fascinating read ... how realestate.com.au started, the origins and urban myths related to Facebook, just to name two. I just have to get through it and return it to him, and perhaps talk some business as well!

Day of the Triffids - John Wyndham is a re-read in the wings and thus has an honoury position beside the bed. I must have been 12 or 13 when I read Day of the Triffids for the first time, during a school holiday stretch. Thankfully I remember little about it so it should be like reading a book for the very first time. This is more of my sci-fi reading in preparation for NaNo.

Around the World in Eighty Days - Jules Verne should technically have fallen into the 'goobah pile' of books, since it was Mr D himself who found it and asked me to read it, until he worked out it was all words and no pictures. I read a children's abridged version when I was 10 or so. If it stays long enough on my bedside table I might just delve into it again and rediscover the adventures of Phelias Fogg (what an awsome name!) I remember the huge hot air balloon and wondering a year or two later if Tony Curtis in The Great Race had anything to do with this novel.

Floor Sample is the autobiography of Julia Cameron (author of The Artist Way) and named for the fact that anything that she has written about, or taught in regards to creativity recovery and writing, was first tried and tested on herself! It seemed a natural progression having done The Artist Way twice know more of her life and it's a no holds barred insight into her life. The most profound thing I took from reading it, was my deep gratitude to Cameron not just for creating The Artist Way, but resisting her then husband, Mark Bryan's, vision to make The Artist Way a franchised idea - something along the lines of the Tony Robbins phenomena of areana style self help. Cameron wanted the book to be available to anyone who wanted it, at a price that was affordable. It shows great integrity on her part, to put creativity recovery ahead of financial gain. My respect for only grows, especially considering the catalyst role Bryan had in the creation of The Artist Way.

Hippie Hippie Shake - Richard Neville is the memoirs of Neville (found of 60's pop cult magazine 'Oz') of the 60's, of Oz, of the people who moved and shook the era. My favourite anecdote was that John and Yoko were both huge fans and financial supporters of Oz. When Oz was taken to court on obsenity charges, they actually recorded and pressed a single about the plight of Oz with all proceeds going to the legal slush fund. There was also a story about the Rolling Stones who head lined a gig in support of Oz, but who had got 'too big and famous' and did a no show at the charity gig! What I found amazing was the Neville remained an abstainer from drugs for many years, while those around him dropped acid, rolled joints and shot up. At the moment Hippie Hippie Shake is the process of being adapted for the screen - something that Germaine Greer (who features prominently in the book) if fighting, in regards to her portrayal. Greer was one of five people that Neville sent a copy of the manuscript to OK, and Greer prompty returned it unread. I guess you reap what you sow!

The Godmakers - Frank Herbert ... this is what I am currently reading (you'll see the book mark in it and it is on the bottom because I moved the pile to get better light for the photographs!) It's the second 'old sci-fi' I've immersed myself in of late. Unlike Earthlight by Arthur C Clarke, I'm really enjoying Herbert's tiny little book, the micro chapter style and the quotations that begin each chapter. And it's a cracking good yarn - I can't want to see what transpires, and with less than 30 pages to go I dont have long to wait. It has definitely made me think about religion and what place, and space religion will hold in my NaNo world, because all civilisations have invested in some type of religious behaviour.

So, what's on your bed side table? And what stories do these books have to tell, other than the one written within the cover?

I tag Annie (because she wants to procrastinate from writing her NaNo) and Paul (though I imagine it's a rather minimal list seeings he's travelling through the US at the moment) I think I need to go and find some more blog friends :)


Annie Evett said...

ohh gooddeee.. somthing to take me away from NaNo...

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