The Week: 29th October – 4th November

(Post from Friday night):

I was going to start this post with some flippant comment, but instead, I left Canberra for Sydney this morning, only to discover that a massive bushfire is about to hit my part of town (much like in 2003), along with a severe heatwave and huge winds. After I arrived in Sydney I heard from my father that houses in my own suburb have had trees fall on and crush them. Other – massive – trees have fallen and blocked major roads. The fire is still out of control, and getting closer.

It’s raining in Sydney. I wish they’d send some of their rain to us.

I am flying to China in a few hours, so I guess I just hope for the best…

But – hey – climate change doesn’t exist, right?

.Halloween Canberra Australia 31st October 2018 Sonya Heaney Jack-o-Lantern Pumkpin Witches Hot Afternoon.

Halloween indoors because it was too hot outside!

On Wednesday we booked tickets to travel to a few countries next year. I’m going back to Ukraine for several weeks, and then on to Romania (I’ve been to the border on the Ukrainian side before, but never actually to Romania!), and to Georgia. So: to two of the countries currently being invaded by Russia, and one neighbour!

Goodreads Choice Awards 2018

Happy Halloween!

le-squelette-joyeux

Manga Sense and Sensibility

Manga Classics Sense and Sensibility by Po Tse (Art by) Stacy King (Story Adaptation) Jane Austen (Original Story)

Memorial to the Great Purge

To China

Goodreads Choice Awards 2018

Goodreads Choice Awards 2018

I have a long history of saying how much I despise these awards, but if you’re a member over at Goodreads you can now begin voting for the “best” books of 2018.

The awards are more a popularity contest than a measure of quality, and they notoriously snub genres favoured by women. They also exclude books released in the final two months of the year. However, if you want to vote the first round is open now, and will close in a few days.

 

Goodreads 2017

Goodreads Choicde Awards 2017

Yet again, Goodreads members can vote for the “Best Of” of the year, and yet again the voting has been opened with a sixth of the year still to go!

I have just begun Joanna Shupe’s A Daring Arrangement – released on the 31st of October – and I already know it will be one of my favourite reads of the year.

It also doesn’t have a chance to make it into the nominations, seeing as it came out hours before the voting opened… I really wish Goodreads would rethink how they do their yearly awards!

The Week: 31st October – 6th October

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Spring afternoon in Canberra.

It wasn’t actually this week, but the early Sunday morning earthquake in Italy was devastating.

Norcia Italy Sonya Oksana Heaney June 2016

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(The picture at the top is one we took in June. Note in the second picture the tower on the left is destroyed even though it has not yet fallen.)

norcia-earthquake-destruction-30th-october-2016

I am not much of a Catholic anymore, but the fact the church where Saint Benedict was allegedly born finally succumbed to the earthquakes hitting the Norcia region? That is one of the most historically devastating things to have happened to Italy in modern history. One local said that the moment she saw the closed-order nuns fleeing, (women the public never see), she knew the town was finished.

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I’m not exaggerating or being sentimental because of recent events: Norcia is one of my favourite places in the world, not just in Italy. The people, the food, the beauty of every street (before it was devastated) and of the mountains it sits in the centre of.

The whole town – and many others nearby I have spent time in – are either totally destroyed now, or severely damaged and unlikely to ever recover. I’m so shocked I was last in that part of the world only a few months ago, and we were talking about what a massive earthquake risk the area was; we never really expected it to happen.

I have seen people we’ve spoken with many times in news photos and footage, and so know they survived, but I have no idea how they can ever recover from this. These are the same families who have run the towns for centuries. One older woman, whose family owns many hotels and restaurants there – some of them in that very square – was proudly showing us a magazine article about her family’s success only in June. I still have a copy of it.

We are heading back to Italy for the better part of a month in February. I hope this horror has finished by then.

3rd-debate-putin-and-trump-together

Please, America. Do not put the whole world in danger in a few days’ time. Voting for Trump isn’t just dangerous for Americans; it’s dangerous for all of us, and especially for countries like Ukraine and Syria. We don’t get a say in the election’s outcome, but you do.

The Goodreads Choice Awards

goodreads-choice-awards-2016

My review of The Legendary Lord (Playful Brides #6) by Valerie Bowman

the-legendary-lord-playful-brides-6-by-valerie-bowman

Anne Gracie’s Upcoming Book

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Melbourne Cup Day

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The Twentieth Anniversary of Romeo + Juliet

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