2017 Reading Challenge

Taken from the Modern Mrs Darcy website I took up the following challenge for 2017 and here is my completed list:

A book you chose for the cover:
A Vocation and a Voice: Stories by Kate Chopin

A book with a reputation for being un-put-down-able:
Silver Linings Playbook by Matthew Quick

A book set somewhere you’ve never been but would like to visit:
History of Ancient Egypt by Erik Hornung 

A book you’ve already read:
Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery

A juicy memoir:
Of Ashes and Rivers that Run to the Sea by Marie Munkara

A book about books or reading:
The Oxford Book of English Verse, 1250-1918 by Arthur Quiller-Couch

A book in a genre you usually avoid:
Meditations on First Philosophy by Rene Descaties 

A book you don’t want to admit your dying to read:
The Feminist Manifesto by Mina Loy

A book in the backlist of a new favorite author:
Transformations by Anne Sexton

A book recommended by someone with great taste:
The Yellow Wallpaper; The Wallpaper Replies by Charlotte Perkins Gilman

A book you were exited to buy or borrow but haven’t read yet:
Collected Poems: 1969-1999 by John Forbes

A book about a topic or subject you already love:
See What I Have Done by Sarah Schmidt

Melbourne Rare Book Week & Rare Book Fair

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Melbourne Rare Book Week commenced in 2012 as a partnership between ANZAAB, the University of Melbourne and eight other literary institutions. In 2015, over 44 free events were held at libraries, literary and historical societies and bookshops throughout Melbourne, attracting local, national and international visitors. Melbourne Rare Book Week is now well established in the City of Melbourne’s event calendar. It is a major attraction for book collectors, librarians and all who have a love of words, print on paper and literary heritage.

The Melbourne Rare Book week in 2017 is from 30th June to the 9th of July:

Rare Book Week

The Melbourne Rare Book Fair in 2017 is from July 7-9, 2017.

For more info go to their website by following this link:

Rare Book Fair

 

Poetry Writing Style

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I was around 21 when I showed a friend some of the poetry I had written up to that point.  We were planning on attending a poetry reading group and I wanted some feedback on my work before going “public”with it.  It was a huge deal for me, as before this I had never shown anyone my poetry.

This friend was very focused and silent, whilst she looked through my notebook of handwritten poems…mostly in neat print which at times became cursive.  After what seemed like an eon, she looked up at me and said “you write like Sylvia Plath” to which I replied “Who?“, as I had no idea who Sylvia Plath was at the time.

Like I’ve mentioned before – I wasn’t exposed to the best English literature at the working class public schools I attended growing up.  For the most part and if I am speaking frankly, I don’t ever recall being taught anything about poetry or poets for that matter.  The poets I had been exposed to were the ones I found on my own.  These tended to be poets from the Romantic era  like Byron, Shelley, Keats and Poe, as I had developed an obsession with the Victorian period as a teen.

Soon after, I found myself borrowing my friends copy of her collection of Sylvia Plath’s work and realized that my poetry did resemble her style.  This was completely unintentional and worried me so much I stopped writing for a while.  I was so fearful about not emulating that it made me stop creating any work at all!

Then, I finally read “The Bell Jar”.  I completely resonated and understood where the protagonist was coming from.  Something inside clicked.   I released the expectation and worry I had placed upon myself.

I went back to writing poetry and I write the way I am compelled to.  Whether it be free or rhyme, flowing or constructed, personal or observational –  I don’t care what I sound like. As long as I am getting my feelings out and expressing myself as I feel compelled to, I feel good about it.

Syliva’s style was autobiographical and so is mine and we deal with the same subject matter of depression, disturbances and death.  The older I get the more comfortable I get with my poetry and as long as I personally feel something when I write it, I will keep at it.

If you would like to read some of my work, here are a few poems I have written in the last year:

Poetry by Tina Altman

 

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(Image: Sylvia Plath)

“Wear your heart on your skin in this life.”
Sylvia Plath

(c) T. Altman 2017

Go Read Something…

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Other than my mother who greatly influenced my love of reading, growing up – I was surrounded by people who didn’t read for pleasure or personal growth.   I, however spent a significant amount of time reading for the love and knowledge.

I know people who say they haven’t read a book since they were forced to in school and that boggles my mind because I couldn’t imagine that myself.  A couple of these same people have then gone out and read the Twilight or 50 Shades trilogies due to the hype in the media and think its the best literary creations they have ever come across (simply because they haven’t exposed themselves to reading anything else).  I completely disagree but the way I look at it is that at least they are reading SOMETHING!

I personally believe you need to exercise your brain and reading does that.

Regardless of the book being good or not according to best seller lists, reviews, recommendations or the like – just do it – read a book and expand your mind as its never too late to do that!

 

 

2016 Reading Challenge

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Taken from the Modern Mrs Darcy website I took up the following challenge for 2016 and here is my completed list:

A book published this year:
Harry Potter and The Cursed Child by JK Rowling

A book you can finish in a day:
Alone by Beverley Farmer

A book you’ve been meaning to read:
The Hollow of the Hand by PJ Harvey

A book recommended by your local librarian or book seller:
Girl in the Dark by Anna Lyndsey

A book you should have read in school:
The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

A book chosen for you by your spouse, partner, sibling, child, or BFF:
Imajica by Clive Barker

A book published before your were born:
Aesop’s Fables by Aesop

A book that was banned at some point:
The Flowers of Evil by Charles Boudelaire

A book you previously abandoned:
The Unruly Passions of Eugenie R by Carole De Santi

A book you own but have never read:
Ordeal by Linda Lovelace

A book that intimidates you:
When the Wattles Bloom Again by Shirley W Wencke

A book you’ve already read at least once:
The Complete Words of Edgar Allan Poe

Melbourne Rare Book Week & Rare Book Fair

logo

Melbourne Rare Book Week commenced in 2012 as a partnership between ANZAAB, the University of Melbourne and eight other literary institutions. In 2015, over 44 free events were held at libraries, literary and historical societies and bookshops throughout Melbourne, attracting local, national and international visitors. Melbourne Rare Book Week is now well established in the City of Melbourne’s event calendar. It is a major attraction for book collectors, librarians and all who have a love of words, print on paper and literary heritage.

The 2016 Melbourne Rare Book Week is from July 14–24, 2016.

For more information:  Rare Book Week

As a side note The 2016 Melbourne Rare Book Week will culminate with a ANZAAB Australian Antiquarian Book Fair (Melbourne Rare Book Fair), held in the University of Melbourne’s historic Wilson Hall on the 22-24th of July.

For more information:  Rare Book Fair