Sample Saturday – a utopia, a rom-com, and a hospice

Sample Saturday is when I wade through the eleventy billion samples I have downloaded on my Kindle. I’m slowly chipping away and deciding whether it’s buy or bye. Continue reading

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Sample Saturday – picks from the eighties lit-brat-pack

Sample Saturday is when I wade through the eleventy billion samples I have downloaded on my Kindle. I’m slowly chipping away and deciding whether it’s buy or bye.

This week, all of the picks were chosen after I finished my re-read of Bright Lights, Big City by Jay McInerney, a member of the eighties lit-brat-pack. Continue reading

Bookish (and not so bookish) Thoughts

01. Saw the MTC production of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time a fortnight ago. The set (I took a sneaky pic before the show started) and the way that it was used to ‘reshape’ the stage was extraordinary, with the grid points on the box stage lighting up to show emotions, places, and movement. Continue reading

The Stella Prize 2018 Longlist

I was desperate to be at the Stella Prize 2018 longlist announcement tonight but instead I was at a school information night, surreptitiously looking at Twitter for the news. It’s here, so now I can relax (and can start reading) – Continue reading

The Stella Prize 2018 – longlist predictions

With just hours before the Stella Prize 2018 longlist is announced, I thought I’d take a stab at what I think will appear.

Apparently the judges had to work through more than 170 entries (look at that ace pic below!). Unlike the judges, I’ve only read a handful of eligible books but I’m aware of a bunch that keep crossing my radar. On that rather flimsy basis, I’m predicting the longlist*.

Continue reading

In My Mother’s Hands by Biff Ward

I have fiddled around with this review for weeks and it’s only today that I realised what was bothering me – other reviews (settle down, I won’t name names).

Biff Ward’s memoir, In My Mother’s Hands, describes her life growing up in the 40s and 50s. Biff has a younger brother, Mark, but there was also baby Alison, who drowned in her bath before Biff was born. The drowning occurred because Biff’s mother was ‘distracted’  – it was an event that would have a deep effect on their lives in many ways and would continue to haunt Biff for decades. Biff’s father, historian Russel Ward, was charismatic, strong and outspoken. He was also short-tempered and frequently unfaithful to his wife.

We may not have had ideas we could voice but we breathed it in, the irrational in her, the grief in him and the unpredictability all around. Continue reading

The long and the short of it…

If previous longlists are anything to go by, you’d have to say that short story collections get a fair crack at the Stella Prize. And because I’m going to have a go at predicting the Stella longlist this year, I figured I should read as many eligible books as I can before making a call –

Pulse Points by Jennifer Down Continue reading

Six Degrees of Separation – from Lincoln in the Bardo to Dangerous Liaisons

It’s time for #6degrees. Join in and see where your book chain takes you.

This month we begin with the book that topped the critics list in 2017 – Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders. I haven’t read it (yet) but I know that a Greek chorus is an important part of the narrative. Continue reading