Bookish (and not so bookish) Thoughts

1. The Stella Prize shortlist book group is up and running. We go crazy on Twitter every Monday evening. #fun

2. Read my first 5/5 book for the year – Hausfrau by Jill Alexander Essbaum. Get on it peoples.


3. The Baileys Prize 2015 longlist was announced recently. I’ve only read one… Poor show, me.

4. Related: Why the eff wasn’t Hausfrau on that longlist? #travesty Continue reading

Reading the Stella Prize shortlist – Foreign Soil by Maxine Beneba Clarke


I hardly feel qualified to review Maxine Beneba Clarke’s collection of short stories about refugees and immigrants, Foreign Soil, given my white-bread, picket-fence life. Anything I say, will (to my ears at least), sound off-hand in light of the horrors and the deep sadness that Clarke exposes in her fine stories. Continue reading

In honour of St. Patrick’s Day

I have a Patrick in my life. My first born. He’s good at lots of things but has a particular talent for doing accents. We watch this video clip every so often (and ALWAYS on St. Patrick’s Day) – for days afterward we all say “Poor Patrick…” *with the appropriate inflections* at every opportunity.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

Consuming Passions by Michael Lee West

It’s not often that I do the following:

- want to cook every single thing in a cook book*
– read aloud every single food description to whoever happens to be sitting next to me
– finish a book and move it from my bedside table to my cookery book shelf
– dream about potato salad

I did all of those things recently and all can be attributed to Michael Lee West’s memoir, Consuming Passions. Continue reading

Stella Prize 2015 shortlist


The Stella Prize 2015 shortlist has been announced. I’m always busting to see what’s included on a shortlist but this time even more so because I’ve signed up for the Stella Shortlist Book Club. You should join as well (if you’re at a loose end over the next six weeks…). Continue reading

Hausfrau by Jill Alexander Essbaum

I get a bit bossy when I really, really, really love a book. I also find it difficult to put that love into words when all I really want to say is “Just read it”. So, in the case of Hausfrau by Jill Alexander Essbaum, I’m letting the bossy takeover.

DO applaud the designers who came up with the covers for the various editions – sublime.


DO marvel at the killer opening line – “Anna was a good wife, mostly.” Continue reading

Six Degrees of Separation – from Wild to The Heart Broke In


It’s time again for my favourite meme. Based on the concept of six degrees of separation, Emma Chapman and Annabel Smith have created #6DEGREES, where bloggers share links between books in six moves. Check out the rules if you want to play along.

I haven’t read this month’s starting point – Wild by Cheryl Strayed – but I do know that Strayed penned the memoir after her mother’s death and her failed marriage prompted an epic hike along the US Pacific coast. Continue reading

Bad Behaviour by Rebecca Starford

On the back of Tsiolkas’s Barracuda and Pung’s Laurinda (both ‘fictional’) comes Rebecca Starford’s memoir, Bad Behaviour.

Starford recounts her year (at age 14) spent at a school in the bush where she lived in a house with 16 other girls. During her year, Starford experiences bullying (as both a receiver and an instigator) and uses her memoir as a means to explore how this ‘bad behaviour’ impacted her adult relationships.

“…what bothered me the most were all the gaps in the diary. So many things had been left out entirely – arguments, sadness, misbehaviour. On these pages I’d instead pasted in photographs from hikes, to make it look like something else had happened. What, I wondered, was I trying to forget?” Continue reading