Saturday, May 14, 2011

30 Days of Books - Day 17

Well, who enjoyed the great Blogger-pocalypse of 2011? O.o Yeah, me neither... Has anyone ever had to buy a birthday present for a nearly six year old girl who can't read yet and hates pink? (Next weekend is Little Miss A's 6th birthday) Holy HELL... I went on an epic quest for ideas after work last night, and when I had a couple, I phoned my mum to test run them. She vetoed all of them (*sigh*), and then we had the following conversation:

Mum: Just think about what you would have wanted at the same age and work from that!
Me: Um...for my sixth birthday, I got the complete works of Laura Ingalls Wilder and my ears pierced... I don't think that's much help here.
Mum: Oh yeah... How about an iPod Shuffle?

Yeah, no... I wound up buying her a whole lot of crafty stuff and a bag of pirate gold (iron pyrite, obviously). Hopefully something amongst it all will be a success... Things will be so much easier when I move back to Melbourne and can remind her that I'm awesome because I let her eat macaroni cheese and cupcakes for dinner... *sigh*

Day 17 - Favourite quote(s) from your favourite book(s)

Yeesh. For some reason, I found this one surprisingly difficult. Quotes from movies and TV shows stick with me much better than quotes from books. Seriously. I can probably give you a quote from pretty much every Buffy episode ever off the top of my head, but books? Not so much. Anyway, I looked up some of my favourite books on Wikiquote flicked through a couple of my favourite books and came up with the following:

"The pen is mightier than the sword...if the sword is very short, and the pen is very sharp." Terry Pratchett, The Light Fantastic

"All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us." J.R.R. Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring

"The truth isn't easily pinned to the page. In the bathtub of history the truth is harder to hold than the soap, and much more difficult to find." Terry Pratchett, Sorcery

"The person, gentleman or lady, who has not pleasure in a good novel, must be intolerably stupid." Jane Austen, Northanger Abbey

And finally, something that's insanely long, but makes me laugh until I cry every time I read it:

"Under the sink, my mother kept an enormous collection of jars, including one known as the toity jar. 'Toity' in our house was the term for a pee, and throughout my early years the toity jar was called into service whenever a need to leave the house inconveniently coincided with a sudden need by someone - and when I say 'someone', I mean of course the youngest child: me - to pee.

'Oh, you'll just have to go in the toity jar then,' my mother would say with just a hint of exasperation and a worried glance at the kitchen clock. It took me a long time to realize that the toity jar was not always - or even - the same jar twice. In so far as I thought about it at all, I suppose I guessed that the toity jar was routinely discarded and replaced with a fresh jar - we had hundreds after all.

So you may imagine my consternation, succeeded by varying degrees of dismay, when I went to the fridge one evening for a second helping of halved peaches and realized that we were all eating from a jar that had, only days before, held my urine. I recognized the jar at one because it had a Z-shaped strip of label adhering to it that uncannily recalled the mark of Zorro - a fact that I had cheerfully remarked upon as I had filled the jar with my precious bodily nectars, not that anyone had listed of course. Now here is was holding our dessert peaches. I couldn't have been more surprised if I had just been handed a packet of photos showing my mother in flagrante with, let's say, the guys at the gas station.

'Mom,' I said, coming to the dining-room doorway and holding up my find, 'this is the toity jar.'
'No honey,' she replied smoothly without looking up. 'The toity jar's a special jar.'
'What's the toity jar?' asked my father with an amused air, spooning peach into his mouth.
'It's the jar I toity in,' I explained. 'And this is it.'
'Billy toities in a jar?' said my father, with very slight difficulty, as he was no longer eating the peach half he had just taken in, but resting it on his tongue pending receipt of further information concerning its recent history.
'Just occasionally,' my mother said.
My father's mystification was now nearly total, but his mouth was so full of unswallowed peach juice that he could not meaningfully speak. He asked, I believe, why I didn't just go upstairs to the bathroom like a normal person. It was a fair question in the circumstances.
'Well, sometimes we're in a hurry,' my mother went on, a touch uncomfortably. 'So I keep a jar under the sink - a special jar.'
I reappeared from the fridge, cradling more jars - as many as I could carry. 'I'm pretty sure I've used all these too,' I announced.
'That can't be right,' my mother said, but there was a kind of question mark hanging off the edge of it. Then she added, perhaps a touch self-destructively: 'Anyway, I always rinse all jars thoroughly before reuse.'
My father rose and walked to the kitchen, inclined over the waste bin and allowed the peach half to fall into it, along with about half a litre of goo. 'Perhaps a toity jar's not such a good idea,' he suggested." Bill Bryson, The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid

God, I wish I could write like that...

K xx

Day 01 - The best book you read last year
Day 02 - A book you've read more than 3 times
Day 03 - Your favourite series
Day 04 - Your favourite book of your favourite series
Day 05 - A book that makes you happy
Day 06 - A book that makes you sad
Day 07 - Most underrated book
Day 08 - Most overrated book
Day 09 - A book you thought you wouldn't like but ended up loving
Day 10 - Favourite classic book
Day 11 - A book you hated
Day 12 - A book you used to love but don't any more
Day 13 - Your favourite writer
Day 14 - Favourite book of your favourite writer
Day 15 - Favourite male character
Day 16 - Favourite female character
Day 17 - Favourite quote from your favourite book
Day 18 - A book that disappointed you
Day 19 - Favourite book turned into a movie
Day 20 - Favourite romance book
Day 21 - Favourite book from your childhood
Day 22 - Favourite book you own
Day 23 - A book you wanted to read for a long time but still haven't
Day 24 - A book you wish more people would've read
Day 25 - A character you can relate to the most
Day 26 - A book that changed your opinion about something
Day 27 - The most surprising plot twist or ending
Day 28 - Favourite title
Day 29 - A book everyone hated but you liked
Day 30 - Your favourite book of all time


  1. Woohoo! I can comment again!!

    I love this one from Pride and Prejudice (it's out of context, but no less good because of it):
    "—A glass of wine;—shall I get you one?—You are very ill." (Darcy)

    I love that as Elizabeth is feeling unwell, his first suggestion is to pour her a glass of wine ;-)

  2. Clearly a match made in heaven!! Also, I'm so proud that I've turned you into a P&P fan. Apparently I won't have to retract your woman card after all!! ;)

  3. As long as she's not a Wurthering Heights fan, too!

    Gotta love the good ol' days when the obvious solution to all of life's problems was to have a drink. Small, lost, hungry, probably dehydrated child (Gaskell's Wives & Daughters)? Why, have a drink!

  4. Ugh no, not Wuthering Heights. What a pack of emos.

    Yah, I also like when ye olde books suggest ale for breast-feeding mothers :-D

  5. Ha ha ha, they really are emo in WH, aren't they?!

    It really is amazing/terrifying the things they recommended alcohol for in the past...


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