The Week: 14th – 20th May

It was a gorgeous week here. I could go on about all the horrible things that happened in the world, but you know what they are…

We had a late lunch in Manuka yesterday afternoon. On the way home we had to drive past St Christopher’s Cathedral. Such blue sky. It looks a bit like it’s a Tuscan town in this picture! The trees around it were full of hundreds of cockatoos.

RT Book Reviews Closes

RT Book Reviews logo

Little Women 2017 – Cast

14722570-high_res-little-women-ep-2_trans_NvBQzQNjv4BqM37qcIWR9CtrqmiMdQVx7GgL7o0_ESnuLxJzSWOePQE_wdpWilla Fitzgerald little women 2017

No more library fines for most young readers in L.A. County

Libraries in Los Angeles are letting kids read off their debt.

Out Now: Dater’s Handbook

A novelisation based on a movie starring Meghan Markle, Dater's Handbook by Cara Lockwood cover

Romeo and Juliet Manga?

Manga Classics Romeo and Juliet by Crystal S. Chan (Adapter) and William Shakespeare and Julien Choy (Artist) Cover

The Best Trademark

20180517_134440

The Week: 26th February – 4th March

The National Library of Australia in Canberra last night, on the first night of the Enlighten festival. It was a gorgeous night, and I have never seen crowds like this at the event before.

Queanbeyan Lawn Cemetery near Canberra Australia Sonya Heaney 28th February 2018 Blue Sky end of Summer

Visiting my grandparents’ graves on the last day of summer.

Kangaroos Queanbeyn Canberra Australia Sonya Heaney 28th February 2018

Canberra’s kangaroo plague – a blurry picture from the car window!

Summer ended this week, but the temperatures haven’t dropped. Many people say autumn is the best season in Canberra – warm, but not too hot, and with all the autumn colours.

I cannot believe all the snow in Venice. this time a year ago we were sitting out in the piazzas in the sunshine, drinking wine. What a difference!

Russia Annexes Crimea Ukraine 2014 little-green-men russian special forces

This week marked the fourth anniversary of Russian Special Forces invading and overtaking Ukraine’s Crimea. Putin waited until his showcase event – the Sochi Olympics – was done, and then sent his troops in. Four years now, and the Crimean Tartars are experiencing the sort of persecution they suffered under Stalin, and the Russians are pulling down historic palaces on the peninsula.

My review of Hello Stranger (Ravenels #4) by Lisa Kleypas

Hello Stranger (Ravenels #4) by Lisa Kleypas

50th Anniversary of Romeo and Juliet

Franco Zeffirelli's Romeo and Juliet 1968

The Flooded Library

 The RUC at Turner was drenched in floodwater on Sunday Canberra Flood 25th February 2018

Release Day for Lisa Kleypas

Hello Stranger (Ravenels #4) by Lisa Kleypas

50th Anniversary of Romeo and Juliet

Franco Zeffirelli's Romeo and Juliet 1968

Tomorrow is the 50th anniversary of the release of Franco Zeffirelli’s Romeo and Juliet.

The movie premiered in London on the 4th of March, 1968.

When I was in Verona in February 2017 the old house that is now marketed as “Juliet’s House” had some of the costumes from the film on display, as well as Juliet’s bed. If you are ever in Verona, go *into* the house – don’t just hang out in the overpopulated, heavily touristy courtyard. It’s an incredible building in its own right.

Verona is an amazing city, and totally overlooked. The daytrippers really miss out by just glancing at Juliet’s and Romeo’s houses and then moving on to Venice.

DSC00697Juliet_s House Verona Veneto Italy Franco Zeffirelli Romeo and Juliet 1968 Costumes Bed Sonya Heaney Oksana February 2017

DSC00694Juliet_s House Verona Veneto Italy Franco Zeffirelli Romeo and Juliet 1968 Costumes Bed Sonya Heaney Oksana February 2017

DSC00696Juliet_s House Verona Veneto Italy Franco Zeffirelli Romeo and Juliet 1968 Costumes Bed Sonya Heaney Oksana February 2017

 

The Week: 5th – 11th February

Friday sunset in Canberra

Australian Parliament all wrapped up in scaffolding for refurbishment yesterday afternoon.

2018 Winter Olympic Games - Opening Ceremony

2018 Winter Olympic Games - Opening Ceremony

Kim Yuna lighting the Olympic torch.

Misty – and the end she didn’t deserve

Blind Calico Cat Canberra Australia 26th May 2017 Sonya Heaney Cute 1

We’re not a country??

Flags across the country have been lowered to honour one of Australia's former governors-general, Sir Ninian Stephen, who died on October 29. Parliament House Canberra 8th November 2017

My review of The Marquess Tames His Bride by Annie Burrows

The Marquess Tames His Bride (Brides for Bachelors) by Annie Burrows

My review of Shakespeare for Children: Romeo and Juliet

Shakespeare for Children Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare

Must monsters always be male?

Cinderella Disney.

Cover Love

Carrying the Gentleman's Secret by Helen Dickson

Shakespeare for Children: Romeo and Juliet

Shakespeare for Children Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare

Romeo and Juliet needs no introduction. Younger readers with be suitably introduced to one the greatest love stories ever to be written. Romeo and Juliet is the tragic love story of the “star-crossed lovers,” Romeo and Juliet. Set in the city of Verona, Italy, the play revolves around the feud between two affluent families, the Montagues and the Capulets. Despite the enmity, Romeo Montague and Juliet Capulet fall passionately in love and wed in secret. However, the enmity between both disapproving families overpowers and leads everything to go terribly wrong.

Shakespeare for Children: Romeo and Juliet

I was interested to see how someone could possibly tackle Romeo and Juliet to make it into something palatable for readers even younger than Juliet herself.

This highly condensed version of Shakespeare’s dramatic play focuses mostly on the title characters and devotes more time to the developing relationship than the death-fest that comes afterwards. There are some illustrations throughout.

In order to simplify things, some characters are changed a little. Paris is no longer some titled guy looking for a well-bred baby-maker, but is now a man who comes to the Capulet ball already knowing Juliet and in love with her. The nurse becomes some random servant in the background of the story.

I think the violent aspects of the story were explained as briefly and best as they could be for the target readers.

Still, it’s an extraordinary choice of story for a middle grade book!

 

Review copy provided by NetGalley.

The Week: 31st October – 6th October

spring-flowers-sonya-heaney-canberra-australia-3rd-november-2016-nature-garden

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

terremoto-norcia-basilica-san-benedetto-crolli-30-ottobre-2016-2

(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.

sonya-heaney-norcia-italy-june-2016

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

marry-in-haste-marriage-of-convenience-by-anne-gracie

Melbourne Cup Day

life-as-i-know-it-by-michelle-payne-and-john-harms

The Twentieth Anniversary of Romeo + Juliet

 romeo-juliet-1996