Hello there!

I have moved!
My new blog is www.midnightcaramel.com


Happy reading, and thank you for your visit!
Charlotte.

Sunday, 1 August 2010

Book Blogging Around The World (26) : Adelaide, Australia


Name : Bernadette
City / Country : Adelaide / Australia

Welcome Bernadette!

Tell us a little bit about you.
I have a busy day job that requires me to keep my personal online presence quite separate from my work online presence for fear of saying something that would make my employers cross enough to sack me. When I’m not working or reading or blogging about reading I am usually to be found walking, doing some work for the community garden that I am helping to establish, taking photographs somewhere, arguing about politics or visiting some of the several hundred wineries in South Australia.

Tell us a little bit about your blog.
I mainly write reviews of books from my personal library (with a few ARCs thrown in) and post an occasional rant. Virtually all the fiction I read these days is crime fiction so that’s what I discuss. It is my outlet and a place to write about something non-work related. The fact that other people read my ramblings and sometimes stop in to comment is still astonishing to me and is more reward than I deserve for a personal indulgence. I have no plans to do much else with it or grow or monetize the blog, it is what it is.

Have you ever lived anywhere else in the world?
I’ve only ever lived in Australia, here in South Australia and also in New South Wales (where Sydney is).



What countries have you visited?
I do love to travel and many of my trips have been for months at a time. So far I have been to Austria, Canada, Egypt, England, France, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Jamaica, Jordan, Germany, Grand Caymen Islands, Greece, Holland, Mexico, Scotland, Switzerland, Turkey, the US (a number of times, I have family there) and Wales. I have also visited every state of Australia (there are only 8 but still).

What countries would you like to visit?
Ever since reading about the fjords in Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy I’ve wanted to go to Norway and I don’t know why I haven’t done it yet. Lately I’ve read quite a few books set in Sweden so I’ve got a hankering to visit there too. I would also like to go to Peru. And China. And Northern Ireland. And Russia. And back to all the places I’ve already been (except Switzerland, I don’t mean to offend anyone but I like a bit of chaos in my life and everything was just too darned efficient in Switzerland).


Autumn in Mt Lofty
According to you, what are the positive and negative aspects of being a book blogger in Australia?
I live in a fairly small city at the bottom of the world (refer map) and there just aren’t that many people here who share my particular reading interests (there is at least one but I only met her through blogging). Having the blog has put me in touch with people all over the globe who share my tastes and obsessions and widened my reading horizons a gagillion times over. I’m even planning to go to the UK next year for a crime fiction convention and to meet some fellow bloggers. On the down side, being in Australia it can get a bit frustrating hearing about all the great conventions, author events and tweetups going on half a world away.

What Australian authors and books would you recommend?
It would depend on who asked for a recommendation. I know that sounds like a cop out but people’s tastes vary widely. If you like crime fiction I’d suggest you visit the Aussie Authors page on my blog.
I do, occasionally read things other than crime fiction and for that I’d recommend Alex Miller’s Journey to the Stone Country or Thomas Keneally’s An Angel in Australia. The Aussie Author most well known outside this country is in my house referred to as the author who shall not be named (he’s won two Booker Prizes and you’re all clever enough to work it out). I hate everything of his that I’ve read and think the guy is a prize pratt as well.



How many languages do you speak?
One and a quarter, I studied French and remember enough to get myself out of some tight spots while travelling including on a memorable night in Turkey where there was an altercation at a café and to avoid getting thrown in a Turkish prison I explained what happened in French to another patron who could speak French and Turkish who translated that to the policeman who spoke only Turkish. I’ve no idea what story he heard but I stayed out of jail.

Where do you usually buy your books?
Book Depository. It is about one-third the cost of buying a book here. My many audio books come from Audible.com

Is getting your hands on foreign books tricky or easy (not mentioning online stores)?
Our bookstores are so full of American and English books that it can be quite difficult to find Australian books (unless you’re looking for sporting biographies in which case you’ll trip over about 20 of the blasted things just inside the front door of any bookstore). I’ve never tried to buy a foreign language book here but I don’t imagine it’s terribly easy (let’s just say I don’t see a heap of them on the shelves anywhere).

Favourite bookshop

Every country has its clichés. What cliché about Australia do you consider disproportionate?
I suspect most people who have never visited Australia think we all live in the outback/bush and hunt crocodiles before breakfast like Paul Hogan in Crocodile Dundee or Steve Irwin. The reality is the vast majority (close to 90% of us) live along a couple of coastlines and are largely concentrated into a few cities. Hardly any of us hunt crocodiles either before or after breakfast. Though we do ride kangaroos.

I read that there are 1500 species of spiders in Australia. Are you afraid of spiders? If not, what is the animal you’re the most afraid of?
Did you have to mention them? Really? I am a true arachnaphobe. A couple of years ago I made myself sick enough to be taken to hospital because I sprayed so much bug spray in our small laundry when a particularly nasty spider wouldn’t die. I can deal with pretty much anything else.

Quick Q&A :
Favourite thing about living in Australia : I’m going to get soppy here but…It affords me a lifestyle that would be difficult in lots of other parts of the world. Within an hour or so I can walk to work, shops, marvellous parks and a myriad of restaurants and markets through clean, safe streets in what is usually beautiful weather; I have a decent job and it’s in a pleasant, safe environment and pays me well enough to support living in a comfortable house, travelling occasionally and buying a crap load of books. It is indeed the lucky country.
Least favourite thing about living in Australia  : People’s obsession with sport (not playing it which I would be very supportive of but watching it and talking endlessly about it and saying stupid things like “we” won that game when in reality “we” were sitting on the damn couch with a beer while someone else did all the running around getting sweaty)
Favourite typically Australian food : vegemite spread thinly on a toasted, buttered crumpet
Favourite place in Adelaide: Mt Lofty in autumn (see photo)
Favourite bookshop: There is a new Mary Martin store inside a heritage-listed church that is a 25 minute walk from where I live. I don’t buy many books there but I do drink a lot of coffee :) (see photo)
Favourite Australian author: Leah Giarratano, Adrian Hyland, Thomas Keneally, Colleen McCullough (yes I know that’s not one, so sue me)
Favourite Australian singer/band: The Whitlams
Favourite book to read while travelling: I don’t have specific books for travelling; I just read more of what I normally like to read. My favourite book about travelling is Bill Bryson’s Notes from a Small Island.
Plane or train: Train
Boat or bus: : Boat
Bike or feet: Feet
I would never have adverts on my blog.
I’m Australian, therefore I laugh, often inappropriately.

Thank you Bernadette! It was a pleasure having you up on the hill!
Next week we'll be traveling to Brazil!
 
If you'd like to be featured, this post is for you.
Bernadette

8 comments:

  1. I love the whitlams too :) And going to every state in Australia is a big deal - it's a big country :)

    I agree the book depository has saved my life! Books here are so ridiculously expensive!

    I like your around the world blogger posts - i only just found you, but its such a cool concept.

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  2. Oh man, I so want to go to Australia someday and your post just made this so much more evident! The reasons why you love Australia made it sound so blissful!

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  3. Thanks for featuring me Charlotte, it's nice to be here

    @Nomes - what did we used to do without Book Depository eh? I have nightmares about them closing up shop :)

    @Amused - come on over - we welcome everyone but especially people who love books :)

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  4. Bernadette - What a delightful interview! How wonderful to get to learn a few things about you. I agree about the Book Depository, by the way - terrific resource : ). Oh, but I have one question: what sort of saddle does one use to ride a kangaroo? Or does one just hop on? ; )

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  5. An interesting interview, Bernadette. I hadn't come across your blog yet - will check it out. I love knowing more about your country, it sounds like an interesting and very varied place!

    I think most countries have couch potatoes that go on about how "we" won this "important" match!

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  6. Way cool!

    I giggled at this line: "Though we do ride kangaroos"

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  7. No saddle Margot - just 'hop on' as you say, or if you're small enough you can squeeze into their pouch ;)

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  8. oh I want to go to Australia! Everything (except the spiders another dangerous animals) sounds wonderful there!

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