Yesterday I was getting a massage and was chatting to the girl who was doing it and she just happened to mention that there was a new Borders that had opened in Geelong which is a town about 40 minutes away from where I live. There is another Borders that is probably a bit closer but it is in a major shopping centre and the parking is a real hassle. It was also a pretty nice winter day here so I thought that it would be good to go for the drive down to Geelong and then I could pick up something. I really only had one firm idea of what book I was going to buy, and a couple of other vague ideas for other choices, but in the end I managed to spend all my birthday book money.
The books I ended up buying were:
The House of Special Purpose by John Boyne
I am not sure why but it always seems to be something of a surprise to me to hear that John Boyne has a new book out. I am not really sure why there isn't any hype around them, but I found out ages after his Mutiny on the Bounty book came out (which I have out from the library but haven't read yet). The first I knew about this book was when I saw it on the new release shelf, but given that it features the Romanovs this was a pretty easy choice for me to make.
Love at First Bite anthology
This anthology is one that my library hasn't bought yet, and it contains the next Sherrilyn Kenyon story in her Dark Hunter series so this was a good opportunity to get it.
It Happened One Night anthology
Another anthology that my library hasn't bought, although thankfully it doesn't contain any entries in series that I am reading. I mainly got this for the Mary Balogh story, although it will also be a chance for me to read Stephanie Laurens as well. How a historical romance reader like me hasn't managed to read her is something of a mystery to me!
The Angel's Game by Carlos Ruiz Zafon
This was the book that I knew I was going to get. Since the first moment I heard that there was a new Carlos Ruiz Zafon book coming out I have been excited, even when I knew that there was still a year to wait for the English translation. Then I watched as loads of bloggers got to review ARCs and there was still no sign of it here, but now, I have my own copy. Now I just need to try and clear some space in the reading schedule to fit it in!
Party in my Tummy (Yo Gabba Gabba series)
For my nephew!
And just like that $100 is gone! Books here are so expensive. The Boyne was $36.50 for the trade paperback, and that is the price that The Angel's Game should have been as well but it was reduced for this week. That's part of the reason why most times I do buy a book I will buy it from The Book Depository. Even with the exchange rates not being great, it is still usually cheaper for me to buy it from there than it is to work into a bookstore there. This time it definitely helped that I wasn't actually paying for the books really!
Not sure if I would go to the Borders at Geelong specially again as it was a pretty small store, but there are other reasons for going down there. After shopping my son and I went for a walk along the foreshore at Geelong. When I first visited Geelong about 20-25 years ago, the foreshore was a bit of a dump really but they have really done a lot of work at revitalising the area. All along the main part there are lots of public spaces, restaurants etc and it is a real pleasure to wander along there.
Something that is pretty unique to Geelong is a collection of bollards that have been taken from the former pier and wharf buildings and have been painted up by a local artist to give what the guide says is an "affectionate history" of the town. There are 46 different displays covering a couple of kilometres including over one hundred separate displays. We didn't see all of them but one day I intend to start at one end and walk (or perhaps ride) all the way along.
I am still very excited by my new phone, so may have been a little snap happy but here are photos of some of the bollards that we saw during the day (click on the images for a larger picture):
Peter Lalor is a famous Australian as he led a revolt on the goldfields known as the Eureka Stockade in the 1860s against the unfair mining regulations.
The Volunteer Rifle Band
This is an early Geelong player of Australian Rules football.
This bollard represents a dance hall and rollerskating venue that stood near the spot. One of the regular themes was dressing up and that is why this one appears as it does.