Whilst ‘P’ is away I have planned a lot of reading for myself to do, otherwise I will just get bored and waste time on Facebook or get myself outraged by reading the warped views of Andrew Bolt and his loyal goons readers. Here is just some of the reading that I have planned for myself.

Crashed and Byrned – The Greatest Racing Driver You Never Saw, by Tommy Byrne with Mark Hughes.

I picked this book up for just $5 a couple of weeks ago. It had been previously recommended to be by Everso Biggyballies at the Australian Autosport Community message board. I have started to read it and can see just how talented Irishman Byrne was as a racing driver, but the guy’s ego is out of control, even for a racing driver, and he seems like an arrogant prick with a huge chip on his shoulders. I can see why he never made it big in Formula 1 even if he can’t. So far I have only read up to the part where he decided to give up motor racing for drink and drugs.

Does The Noise In My Head Bother You? by Steven Tyler.

I am a big Aerosmith fan and love reading rock ‘n’ roll biographies. I have read a few excerpts of this is various magazines and newspapers and am very interested in knowing about the various excesses that Steven has experienced. From what I have read just by flicking through the book, he tells a little bit about the process that Aerosmith uses when writing songs. I guess there will also be mention of sex and drugs and all the other things we associate with the rock ‘n’ roll lifestyle. I bought this yesterday from Target for $22.

Life by Keith Richards

Ronnie by Ronnie Wood

I have two books on order from Amazon. Both books I have read bits and pieces of in the shops, but never the complete books from start to finish. Both books are by members of the greatest rock ‘n’ roll band in the world, The Rolling Stones. These books are Life by Keith Richards and Ronnie by Ronnie Wood. Currently Borders in Melbourne Central, which is going out of business very soon, has Life on sale for $30, which is 40% off their rrp of $50. Both Life and Woody have cost me just $25 from Amazon. Add the shipping fee of $13 and you can clearly see why I chose to buy from here. Of course Borders and other retailers in Australia like Gerry Harvey of Harvey Norman will call me un-Australian and say it’s unfair because I don’t pay the 10% GST when I buy from Amazon, yet if the book was just 10% more expensive at a local bookseller I would have no qualms about buying it there. I am one of those impatient people who like to have an item in my hands as soon as I have bought it and don’t like to wait. Paying just 10% does not bother me, as this would probably just be the cost of shipping anyway. But of course we do pay much more than 10% more than Amazon when we buy something in Australia. Mmm, how did this turn into a rant about the price of books in Australia? Anyway, from the little I have read these are very good, interesting books.

Not everything I have planned to read is autobiographies. I have a number of Penguin Classics that I have bought over the last few months that I really should start reading. I’m not someone who’s big on fiction for some reason, although last year I read a couple of books by Jules Verne (Around The World In 80 Days and 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea) and I thought that I would get some more. With the release of a number of Penguin Classics with a rrp of just $10 (20% cheaper in Target and Kmart if they stock them) I thought I would buy a few. The Thirty-Nine Steps by John Buchan is the book which the Hitchcock film is based off. I have read the first two chapters and can say that it is very exciting, except that the little bit of anti-Semitism that I have seen (it’s all a big Jewish conspiracy you know?) has put me off a bit. I think that Hitchcock did a better job by replacing the Jews with Nazis as the bad guys. This is just my opinion. The War Of The Worlds by H. G. Wells. I am a sucker for science fiction. The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle is a book ‘P’ bought at the end of last year and I have never gotten around to reading it. Of Mice And Men by John Steinbeck. I liked the film version of this is one of Steinbeck’s most acclaimed novellas after The Grapes of Wrath. Finally I have Gulliver’s Travels by Jonathon Swift. I bought the hard cover version of this from Borders for $14.

 I do have one more book that I plan to read but unlike the others it’s not really a serious book that I need to spend hours concentrating on. Instead it’s a book I can pick up and read a little bit and put down again. That book is The 100 Greatest Looney Tunes by Jerry Beck. I guess the best way to read this is to do so whilst watching the cartoons. From what I have read it gives a very thorough insight into all the cartoons reviewed in the book although I do have one complaint, Frank Tashlin’s Puss ‘N’ Booty, which is one of my favourite cartoons, did not make the cut as one of the 100 Greatest Looney Tune cartoons. Oh well, perhaps when Jerry gets around to writing the 2nd 100 Greatest Looney Tunes it will get a mention.

This looks like a lot of reading and it is, but I have four weeks off work with nothing to do and no ‘P’ here to talk to or muck around with. I don’t really watch much TV because Australian TV is such crap, even when you add the fact that I subscribe to Foxtel there’s not much worth watching at all. (I have to get around to cancelling my subscription!) The only other option is to go out and spend (waste) money, which is something I am loath to do as I need to save up for some things.

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