I’ve had a good reading January. I’ve managed to finally make it to the bottom of the pile of books by my bed and the pile by my computer. I decided it was time to catch up on a couple of childhood favourite books I wanted to reread. I moved around a lot as a child, including moving to PNG when I was 10. There wasn’t room to take all my toys and books and many of them disappeared but having grown out of many of them, I hardly noticed. But many years later, as an adult I discovered that my books hadn’t actually been ‘disappeared’ but given to my cousin whose three daughters had read them. Her girls were done with them, so some of my favourites came home again. There were Russian Folk Tales, Tales from Eastern Lands, a bumper collection of fairy tales and a few novels. One of the books that didn’t come back was Johanna Spyri’s ‘Heidi’ although one of the sequels did.

So yesterday I went to the library and borrowed ‘Heidi’ and ‘Pippi Longstocking’ (the latter I’d never read, or didn’t recall). ‘Heidi’ I enjoyed as much as I did as a child. I was amazed to discover that it was written in 1880 (!!) and translated from the original German a few years later. ‘Pippi Longstocking’ I enjoyed too for all the humour and offbeat happenings.

Now I’m back to more recent books. I’ve got ‘Requiem for a Beast’ and ‘Flavours of Melbourne’. The former caused controversy after recognition in last year’s CBCA Awards, and the latter is a food history of Melbourne. I’m looking forward to reading about what was eaten in the 1850s Melbourne.