The Topic is … “Books”

If you were given the topic of “books” to talk about, what would you choose? I’m sure that most of us here seriously LOVE our books, but when given such a broad topic, it’s really hard to narrow it down … or maybe that was just me?

I was fortunate enough to take part in GeniAUS’s (aka Jill Ball) second Hangout on Air earlier this week, which was a whole new leaning experience for me, and I was rather nervous, but I’d tried to do all my preparations for it beforehand so there was no last minute issues … anyway I’m not going to discuss the Hangout on Air here in details – tha’tll be a post for another day.

But rather I’m wanting to discuss the topic of Books. This was the topic that Jill chose as the topic for her HoA. And it really got me thinking, and puzzled.

Do I talk about some genealogy guidebook type thing? Or a book that has influenced me in some way (that is history or genealogy related of course), or something that I think others would find useful? Or simply me fav book? I did ask Jill what the criteria was, and she simply said she left it broad on purpose.

Anyway during the course of the one hour Hangout on Air, I got to show viewers three books that I’d chosen, and I wanted to list them here as well.


1. SMOKEY: The Bear from Gumeracha
by Rocky Marshall, Illustrations by Melody Hampton, 1983, published by Artlook Books, Western Australia, ISBN 0864450257
I chose to add this book into to my ‘mentioned books’ as I was reminded of it from a post that Jill Ball did on her blog earlier that day where she mentioned a kids book. The story is about Smokey the koala bear from Gumeracha who is a tracker and rides a kangaroo, and is required to track down the bunyips who have escaped from the Adelaide Zoo. And he chases them through all the tiny places around South Australia (Hollow Log, Big Boulder Gully, Mount Barker, Monarto Plain, Tailem Bend, Coomandook, Coonalpyn, Reedy Creek, Kingston and more). It’s a fabulous kids story, and I love the way it’s taken in not only Australian wildlife as characters (excluding the bunyips), but also the localities.

This book was written when I was in primary school, and I’m stretching the memory here since that wasn’t just yesterday, but I’m sure the author came to the Gumeracha Primary School to launch the book, and that each student was given a copy.

this page from the book shows Smokey on Champ his kangaroo, chasing the bunyips

this page from the book shows Smokey on Champ his kangaroo, chasing the bunyips


2. William and Fanny Green and their Descendants including Phillips, Ridland, Bell, Sinkinson, Tucker and James
Compiled by Glenis Reid, 1999, printed by Endeavour Books, South Australia
I have to thank Deb Miller for introcuding me to this book, as she saw a picture of my grandma (Evelyn Randell), as a bridesmaid for a Sinkinson wedding that is in the book. So I looked through the book further and I found a heap of information on the Green family and “Springvale” the house they lived in, and which I grew up in. Finding this kind of set a whole lot of things in motion. I got really interested in finding out more about the house itself, so have gone through the land record fro that. I got more interested in the Green family, as well as others in the district around that era, which then led me to making a decision that it’s time to start going through my dad’s vast collection of ephemera (photos, books, documents, artifacts … you name it, he has it), and actaully documenting it.
I have started to do this in two ways. Firstly for the local history stuff, I’m putting that on my Gumeracha and District Past and Present Facebook page, and for own family heirloom stuff I’ve created my Memorabilia House website so extended family will know what exists and the stories behind them.

page 22 of the book shows 'Springvale' as it was back int he early 1900s, which is suprisingly similar to when I lived there

page 22 of the book shows ‘Springvale’ as it was back in the early 1900s, which is suprisingly similar to when I lived there


3. The Zen of Genealogy: The Lighter Side of Genealogy
by Beth Maltbie Uyehara, 2002, Heritage Books, ISBN 9780788422720
If you totally love genealogy, and have a total sense of humour you’ll dig this book. Every paragraph in it is a true giggle. And while I do love my books, there isn’t that many that I reread – but this is one of them. In this book Beth talks about combining the two latest fads “genealogy and yoga” so she’s come up with a bunch of yogealogy exercises (gen-kriyas)

Take this example for instance:

Rock Pose
Pasture: Sit in a silent, darkened room in front of a mircofilm readerm peering intently at pale, blurry handwriting. (Your eyes may soon glaze over. Don’t worry. This is normal). Lean forward at an uncomfortable angle. Hold this position for eight house.
Mudra/Action: While maintaining the posture, raise your right hand in front of you at a 45-degree angle from your body, and make slow, circular, cranking motions until you lose all feeling in your right arm.
Mantra: (Repeat silently) Please, please please, please, please.

Or the Crow Pose, or as we all know it as the Genealogy Happy Dance …

Crow Pose
Posture: Form two fists and thrust both arms upward. Throw back your head, grin maniacally, squeeze your eyes shut. This exercise can be performed either seated or standing; for maximum effect, begin in a seated position with the upward arm thrust, then leap suddenly to your feet, knocking over your chair behind you.
Mudra/Action: From time to time, drop your head to your chest, bend your right arm and pump your fist vigorously. Variation: clog dance around fallen chair.
Mantra: (Shout exultantly) Yesssss! Yessssss! Yesssss! Yessssssss! I found it! Hahahahahahahahahaha. Continue until ejected from premises.

It they got you giggling then you’re getting the gist of the book. Then there’s the Genealogy Olympics. Can you even imagine what events are included? Well here’s some of them: the Longest Research Marathon Without a Potty Break, the Four-Floor Scramble, the One-Man Lunge, the Fastest Lunchbreak; and the combined Greatest Leap of Faith/Skating on Thin Ice Short Form. An you would know by now I do love my genealogy, and love a giggle too, so the “Zen of Genealogy” is one of my all-time fav genie books.

who wouldn't want to take part in the Genealogy Olympics?

who wouldn’t want to take part in the Genealogy Olympics?

So that’s just three of the genealogy/history books that I love for various reasons.That’s not even taking into account all the reference book I have, but maybe another day.

Now whats yours?

If you wish to view the whole Hangout on Air, you can do so here:
And if you wish to see the the list of all the books that were mentioned during the HoA, Jill has kindly put them all on her blog

3 Responses to “The Topic is … “Books””

  1. I too have read The Zen of Genealogy and found it hilarious. It’s being passed around our genealogy group!

  2. Judy Lofthouse says:

    Bought The Zen of Genealogy on your recommendation and I’ve laughed until I cried and couldn’t read any more. Loved the section on calculating cousins. Thanks for sharing this one. I’m sure many others will laugh as well.

    • Alona says:

      Hi Judy, I totally know what you mean, as I’ve done exactly the same. You, know, I felt that I really didn’t convey just how fabulous the book was in the video, but I’m pleased to hear that you thought my summary was good enough to go out and buy yourself a copy. So thank you. And the good thing I find about this book is is, that whenever you want to sit and have a giggle, you can pick it up and read a few pages, and you’ll be smiling for the rest of the day. ;-D

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