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Join us for #timetravelread this month #rwpchat

December 1, 2017
Hot Wheels 1015 - Hover mode DeLorean (Back to the Future)

Hot Wheels 2015 – Hover mode DeLorean (Back to the Future), by RiveraNotario (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

This month the theme is #timetravelread.  Who hasn’t wondered what it would be like to travel back in time to a particular event in history, or forwards in time to experience the future and how you would time travel to get there?  By placing your hands on a stone in an ancient stone circle as inOutlander by Diana Gabaldon or through a time loop as in Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs.  Perhaps you wouldn’t have control over when you time travelled like Henry De Tamble in Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger, who suffers from a rare genetic disorder that makes him drift uncontrollably backwards and forwards through time.  Or would you use a vehicle that would allow you to choose when in time you wanted to travel to as in The Time Machine by H G Wells.

Maybe you would like to build your own time machine.  How to Build a Time Machine by Paul Davies will get you started.  Having A Brief History of Time by Stephen Hawking will be very useful.  Then you will need to know how to time travel, read Louis A. Del Monte’s How to Time Travel: Explore the Science, Paradoxes, and Evidence.  What happens if you encounter a black hole or time warp while time travelling?  Black Holes and Time Warps: Einstein’s Outrageous Legacy by Kip S. Thorne will inform you.

Many children’s books feature time travel: Time Riders by Alex Scarrow whose characters travel in time to protect us from people plotting to destroy the world and Day of Vengeance by Johnny O’Brien in which schoolboy time-traveller Jack Christie is thrown back to 1940s Nazi-occupied France.  OrArtemis Fowl and the Time Paradox by Eoin Colfer in which Artemis has to travel back in time to battle his younger, more evil self.

How about playing some music featuring time travel while reading your #timetravelread?  Somewhere In Time – Iron Maiden, Robert Plant singing “I am a traveller of both time and space” in Kashmir, Uriah Heep’s – Travellers in Time, Hawkwind’s Silver Machine – “It flies sideways through time” or Strange Machines – The Gathering.

Playing time travel video games is a popular past time.  Chrono Trigger in which you follow a group of adventurers who travel through time to prevent a global catastrophe, Time Splitters which has aliens using time travel to take over the earth or Singularity in which the main character acquires a time manipulation device and then travels between 1955 and 2010 to save the timeline.

Then there are films involving time travel. In Back to the Future part 2 the DeLorean is set to the future date of 21 October 2015 for Doc, Marty, and Jennifer to travel to.  Bill & Ted use a phone box as a time machine in Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure to travel to various times in the past and return with important historical people to help them complete their history homework.  It would certainly be an unusual and interesting way to learn about history.

Our favourite time lord can be seen in the cult television series Doctor Who, who explores the universe in his TARDIS, a time-travelling space ship.  Maybe you preferred to watch the interstellar adventures of Captain Kirk and the crew of the starship Enterprise in Star Trek: The Original Series.  Or perhaps you were a fan of Dr Sam Beckett from Quantum Leap, a physicist who leaps through space time during an experiment in time travel.

What will be your favourite #timetravelread this month?  While you are reading, watching or playing your #timetravelread, you might like to tweet about it using the tags #timetravelread and #rwpchat so that other people can have a conversation with you.

There will be a Twitter discussion on 19 December starting at 11am and 8.00pm Australian Eastern Standard Time, 6.00pm Singapore Standard Time, 12.00 noon Central European Summer Time, 8am – 10.30am GMT.  Note this is a staggered discussion.

join the #nordicread discussion today for #rwpchat

November 28, 2017
Hallgrímskirkja

Hallgrímskirkja, by Kris Rupp (CC BY-NC 2.0)

What will be your favourite #nordicread this month? While you are reading, watching or playing your #nordicread, you might like to tweet about it using the tags #nordicread and #rwpchat so that other people can have a conversation with you.

There is a Twitter discussion today, 28 November starting at 11am and 8.00pm Australian Eastern Standard Time, 8am – 10.30am GMT. Note this is a staggered discussion.

This month the theme is #nordicread from the lands of ice and fire. The nights are drawing in and getting colder, perfect conditions to witness the spectacular phenomenon of the northern lights (Aurora Borealis) a curtain of coloured lights illuminating the sky.

Perhaps you would rather stay indoors reading Nordic noir to pass those long winter nights. Start with Maj Sjöwall and Per Wahlöö’s Martin Beck novels that shaped the future of Nordic crime writing. Then curl up with the latest Mari Jungstedt, Camilla Läckberg or Arnaldur Indridason for a chilling read. Or read Pippi Longstocking by Astrid Lindgren or The Moomins by Tove Jansson to your children at bedtime.

Maybe you prefer to watch your Nordic noir on television. Tune into sub-titled series such as The Bridge; which is set in Sweden and Denmark, Swedish dramas Thicker than Water and Blue Eyes or Trapped set in a remote town in Iceland. These crime dramas make compelling viewing and present a slice of Nordic life.

Do you like to watch a Nordic noir film on the big screen having read the book first? The Girl with the dragon tattoo by Stieg Larsson with his unforgettable character Lisbeth Salander comes to mind.

Perhaps you listen to music while reading Nordic crime fiction. How about the ethereal music of Sigur Rós or the electronic sounds of Röyksopp? Or maybe you prefer rock bands such as Nightwish, Thunder Mother or Christina Skjolberg. Or maybe you enjoy listening to 1970s pop group Abba. If you’re a fan pay a visit to Abba: The Museum in Stockholm.

If all that reading and watching has left you feeling that you need to be active how about playing the Swedish game of kubb. Tag, toss & run : 40 classic lawn games by Paul Boardway Tukey will give you the rules of the game. It’s traditionally an outdoor game with wooden pieces that can also be adapted for children to play indoors during the cold winter months. The aim of the game is to knock down all the pieces including the king on your opponent’s side.

Then there is Nordic food: meatballs with lingonberry jam, sampled on a visit to IKEA. Try a smorgasbord which wouldn’t be complete without pickled herring or, maybe not to everyone’s taste: sheep’s head as eaten by a character in Arnaldur Indridason’s books. Or how about trying grillimakkara – grilled sausages eaten with mustard. Finnish children grow up eating these at their summer cottages and also in the winter while playing around a campfire.

To keep warm during the cold winter days wear a Faroe Island jumper as worn by actress Sofie Gråbøl’s character Sarah Lund in Danish TV series The Killing. Maybe you’d like to have a go at knitting your own jumper? Fair Isle & Nordic knits : 25 projects inspired by traditional colourwork designs by Nicki Trench will get you started.

Visit architecturally interesting buildings such as Hallgrímskirkja which is the largest church in Iceland or Finlandia Hall designed by Finnish architect Alvar Aalto. Or wander through the medieval streets of Gamla Stan in Stockholm.

Or perhaps you enjoy looking at works of art by Nordic artists. The most famous painting being The Scream by Norwegian artist Edvard Munch. Or maybe you prefer the paintings of Finnish artist Akseli Gallen-Kallela or the sculpture of Carl Milles.

Nordic art and culture will feature at The Southbank Centre in London in 2017 with events including visual art, dance, music, performance, fashion, food and design.

 

Join us for a #nordicread discussion this month #rwpchat

November 1, 2017
Hallgrímskirkja

Hallgrímskirkja, by Kris Rupp (CC BY-NC 2.0)

This month the theme is #nordicread from the lands of ice and fire.  The nights are drawing in and getting colder, perfect conditions to witness the spectacular phenomenon of the northern lights (Aurora Borealis) a curtain of coloured lights illuminating the sky.

Perhaps you would rather stay indoors reading Nordic noir to pass those long winter nights.  Start with Maj Sjöwall and Per Wahlöö’s Martin Beck novels that shaped the future of Nordic crime writing. Then curl up with the latestMari Jungstedt, Camilla Läckberg or Arnaldur Indridason for a chilling read.  Or read Pippi Longstocking by Astrid Lindgren or The Moomins by Tove Jansson to your children at bedtime.

Maybe you prefer to watch your Nordic noir on television.  Tune into sub-titled series such as The Bridge; which is set in Sweden and Denmark, Swedish dramas Thicker than Water and Blue Eyesor Trapped set in a remote town in Iceland.  These crime dramas make compelling viewing and present a slice of Nordic life.

Do you like to watch a Nordic noir film on the big screen having read the book first?  The Girl with the dragon tattoo by Stieg Larsson with his unforgettable character Lisbeth Salander comes to mind.

Perhaps you listen to music while reading Nordic crime fiction.  How about the ethereal music of Sigur Rós or the electronic sounds of Röyksopp?  Or maybe you prefer rock bands such as Nightwish, Thunder Mother or Christina Skjolberg.  Or maybe you enjoy listening to 1970s pop group Abba.  If you’re a fan pay a visit to Abba: The Museum in Stockholm.

If all that reading and watching has left you feeling that you need to be active how about playing the Swedish game of kubb.  Tag, toss & run : 40 classic lawn games by Paul Boardway Tukey will give you the rules of the game.  It’s traditionally an outdoor game with wooden pieces that can also be adapted for children to play indoors during the cold winter months.  The aim of the game is to knock down all the pieces including the king on your opponent’s side.

Then there is Nordic food: meatballs with lingonberry jam, sampled on a visit to IKEA.  Try a smorgasbord which wouldn’t be complete without pickled herring or, maybe not to everyone’s taste: sheep’s head as eaten by a character in Arnaldur Indridason’s books.  Or how about trying grillimakkara –  grilled sausages eaten with mustard.  Finnish children grow up eating these at their summer cottages and also in the winter while playing around a campfire.

To keep warm during the cold winter days wear a Faroe Island jumper as worn by actress Sofie Gråbøl’s character Sarah Lund in Danish TV series The Killing.  Maybe you’d like to have a go at knitting your own jumper?  Fair Isle & Nordic knits : 25 projects inspired by traditional colourwork designs by Nicki Trench will get you started.

Visit architecturally interesting buildings such as Hallgrímskirkja which is the largest church in Iceland or Finlandia Hall designed by Finnish architect Alvar Aalto.  Or wander through the medieval streets of Gamla Stan in Stockholm.

Or perhaps you enjoy looking at works of art by Nordic artists.  The most famous painting being The Scream by Norwegian artist Edvard Munch.  Or maybe you prefer the paintings of Finnish artist Akseli Gallen-Kallela or the sculpture of Carl Milles.

Nordic art and culture will feature at The Southbank Centre in London in 2017 with events including visual art, dance, music, performance, fashion, food and design.

What will be your favourite #nordicread this month?  While you are reading, watching or playing your #nordicread, you might like to tweet about it using  the tags #nordicread and #rwpchat so that other people can have a conversation with you.

There will be a Twitter discussion on 28 November starting at 11am and 8.00pm Australian Eastern Standard Time, 6.00pm Singapore Standard Time, 12.00 noon Central European Summer Time, 8am – 10.30am GMT.  Note this is a staggered discussion.

Join the #twistedread discussion today for #rwpchat

October 31, 2017

#twistedread

TWISTED

This month we explore the realms of the alternative and the unusual, taking the winding road with #twistedread.

There will be a twitter discussion today, 31 October starting at 11am and 8.00pm Australian Eastern Daylight Savings (Summer) Time. 8am – 10.30am GMT. Note this is a staggered discussion.

Use the tags #twistedread and #rwpchat as you discuss the reading, watching playing that is your experience of #twistedread, so others can join in the conversation too!

The exploration of twisted characters is a perennial favourite with classics like Robert Louis Stevenson’s “Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll & Me. Hyde”, Marcel Allain & Pierre Souvestre’s Fantômas series or Brett Easton Ellis’ “American Psycho” raising reader’s hair, as well as the endless supply of true crime stories, like “Helter Skelter: the true story of the Manson Murders” or “Sins of the Brother: the definitive story of Ivan Milat and the backpacker murders”, proving that fact is more twisted than fiction.

With the publishing boom in cookery books you can easily find a twist on a favourite recipe. Nigella Lawson, Heston Blumenthal & Donna Hay are just a couple of perennial cookery favourites that stand out from the crowd. Toffee & bread experimentation to get those crazy flavour mixes and knotted loaves is perfect for #twistedread! For the drinkers, you could add some flair to an old favourite with a title like “Tequila Mockingbird: cocktails with a literary twist” by Tim Federle or get your alchemist on with “Experimental Homebrewing: mad science in the pursuit of great beer” by Drew Beechum & Denny Conn.

Twisted kids reads abound with obvious favourites Paul Jenning’s “Round the Twist” series, the entertaining work’s of Roald Dahl (very popular with adults as well!) and the amazing fractured fairytales of “Grim Tales”, which featured the late, great Rik Mayall reading the Brothers Grimm’s classic works.

For fitness fans #twistedread could be about yoga or dancing, abseiling or boat sailing (anything with ropes…). Hairdressing to get those “100 Awesome Hair Days”. Relive your Souting/Girl Guides days relearning a sheet bend or a sheepshank with “The Complete Book of Knots & Ropework”. Horticulture & landscaping to create a meandering hedge or secret garden nook down a mysterious, winding garden path. Electronics with circuit bending to create crazy sounds. Take it to the streets with some break dancing or street poetry, rapping and tongue twisting lyricism!

In the area of the sciences there is a wide selection for #twistedread with stories of DNA like “The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks” by Rebecca Skloot, intense weather like Hurricane Katrina with “Nine Lives: death & life in New Orleans” by Dan Baum and the mind bending works of the great mathematicians with “God Created the Integers” by Stephen Hawking.

 

Join the #twistedread discussion this month for #rwpchat

October 1, 2017

#twistedread

TWISTED

This month we explore the realms of the alternative and the unusual, taking the winding road with #twistedread.

The exploration of twisted characters is a perennial favourite with classics like Robert Louis Stevenson’s “Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll & Me. Hyde”, Marcel Allain & Pierre Souvestre’s Fantômas series or Brett Easton Ellis’ “American Psycho” raising reader’s hair, as well as the endless supply of true crime stories, like “Helter Skelter: the true story of the Manson Murders” or “Sins of the Brother: the definitive story of Ivan Milat and the backpacker murders”, proving that fact is more twisted than fiction.

With the publishing boom in cookery books you can easily find a twist on a favourite recipe. Nigella Lawson, Heston Blumenthal & Donna Hay are just a couple of perennial cookery favourites that stand out from the crowd. Toffee & bread experimentation to get those crazy flavour mixes and knotted loaves is perfect for #twistedread! For the drinkers, you could add some flair to an old favourite with a title like “Tequila Mockingbird: cocktails with a literary twist” by Tim Federle or get your alchemist on with “Experimental Homebrewing: mad science in the pursuit of great beer” by Drew Beechum & Denny Conn.

Twisted kids reads abound with obvious favourites Paul Jenning’s “Round the Twist” series, the entertaining work’s of Roald Dahl (very popular with adults as well!) and the amazing fractured fairytales of “Grim Tales”, which featured the late, great Rik Mayall reading the Brothers Grimm’s classic works.

For fitness fans #twistedread could be about yoga or dancing, abseiling or boat sailing (anything with ropes…). Hairdressing to get those “100 Awesome Hair Days”. Relive your Souting/Girl Guides days relearning a sheet bend or a sheepshank with “The Complete Book of Knots & Ropework”. Horticulture & landscaping to create a meandering hedge or secret garden nook down a mysterious, winding garden path. Electronics with circuit bending to create crazy sounds. Take it to the streets with some break dancing or street poetry, rapping and tongue twisting lyricism!

In the area of the sciences there is a wide selection for #twistedread with stories of DNA like “The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks” by Rebecca Skloot, intense weather like Hurricane Katrina with “Nine Lives: death & life in New Orleans” by Dan Baum and the mind bending works of the great mathematicians with “God Created the Integers” by Stephen Hawking.

There will be a twitter discussion on 31 October starting at 11am and 8.00pm Australian Eastern Daylight Savings (Summer) Time. 6.00pm Singapore Standard Time, 12.00 noon Central European Summer Time, 8am – 10.30am GMT. Note this is a staggered discussion.

Use the tags #twistedread and #rwpchat as you discuss the reading, watching playing that is your experience of #twistedread, so others can join in the conversation too!

Join the #comfortread discussion today for #rwpchat

September 26, 2017

#comfortread

Reading is tiring

Reading is tiring, but books are comfortable by Jerzy Kociatkiewicz Flickr Commons

Join the Twitter discussion today 26 September, starting at 11.00am and 8.00pm Australian Eastern Standard Time,   8am – 10.30am GMT. Note this is a staggered discussion.

While you are reading, playing or watching your #comfortread this month, you might like to tweet about it using hashtags #comfortread #rwpchat so that other people can have a conversation with you about it. You can add to the discussion on Pinterest too. You might like to post your photographs to Instagram or Flickr and use #comfortread #rwpchat so others can share in your reading, watching and playing.

The very act of reading is a comfort to book lovers, regardless of what is being read. Reading itself reduces stress quickly and reliably, but sometimes we need to go straight to our old favourites for ultimate comfort. Jane Eyre, of course, is a beloved happy place, whether in book or film/television form, and many classics act in the same way. Re-reading can be very comforting, for children and adults, so don’t be afraid to revisit childhood favourites. Perhaps an afternoon of childhood games would be just the ticket.

Nigella Lawson finds cooking itself comforting, and has many recipes for bolstering food. Jamie Oliver also understands the power of food to comfort. If cooking is more a chore than a hobby for you, you may like to knit a scarf, some socks or something from Star Wars.

In times of grief we have an especial need for comfort, and books about grief, such as those by C.S. Lewis and Joan Didion, can help. Books filled with beautiful photography can also soothe without the need for text, or you could go for feel good stories, films or games – mood boosting books, perhaps.

Be comfortable while you read with these gorgeous ideas for reading nooks, or you could read about making your home cosy with interior decorating. Binge watch Grand Designs, or borrow stacks of gardening/building/crafting books and videos to spur you on with your hobbies.

Don’t let anyone tell you what you ought to be reading; you know what you enjoy and you can read it guilt free! You could also try getting out of your comfort zone; read a genre you usually don’t like. Let your reading, watching and playing bring you comfort this month.

 

Hobbits are all about comfort

September 22, 2017

Today is Hobbit Day, the day we celebrate Bilbo and Frodo’s birthday, and all that we love about the Shire folk, and the one who created them. Tolkien’s beloved books are comfort reads for many, and hobbits, of course, are comfort-loving folk. Food, drink, more food, a crackling fire and a nap before a party with dancing and fireworks are how they would choose to fill their days, and who could argue with the wisdom in that?

Middle-earth would have been a very different place, if hobbits were the only folk to live there, but how the hobbits deal with the dramas of the elves, men, dwarves and wizards, shows us their great strength, loyalty and resilience – qualities we need in abundance through the uncertainties of our own world.

So, you might like to eat seven meals today, go barefoot, have a huge, outdoor party, or just curl up with a copy of The Hobbit or The Lord of the Rings, and revel in #comfortreading at its best.

Happy Hobbit Day.