Bookish (and not so bookish) Thoughts

01. Are we excited about the Man Booker 2017 longlist? I’ve read two (Exit West – didn’t like it much at all; Swing Time – loved some bits, other bits not so much) and have one more in the reading pile (The Underground Railroad). I’m intrigued by 4 3 2 1 and Lincoln in the Bardo. Tell me who you think will win and I’ll endeavour to read those before it’s announced so I can feel smug about being ahead of the curve 🙂 Continue reading

Bookish (and not so bookish) Thoughts

01. The Melbourne Writers Festival 2017 program was launched this week. I’m excited about Heather Rose, Jennifer Down, Christine Kenneally, Tracy Chevalier and Maxine Beneba Clarke. Also: Grenville, Tsiolkas, Laguna, Krien, Joosten. It’s going to be a busy ten days. Continue reading

Lionel Shriver at the Melbourne Writers Festival

lionel-shriver-mwf

I’m almost reluctant to write about Lionel Shriver’s closing address on Sunday night at the Melbourne Writers Festival. Reluctant because her speech was dense with insight, sound-bites, and stuff to make you really think hard, and I’d hate to misquote or misrepresent her in any way.

If you haven’t had the opportunity to hear Shriver speak, do next time she visits your neck of the woods. She is, without question, one of the most compelling and powerful authors – no, people – that I’ve ever heard speak. Continue reading

A glee of author talks

http://www.weeklytimesnow.com.au/country-living/the-dressmaker-author-rosalie-ham-calls-for-authentic-rural-storytelling/news-story/bb665b3bd4967e41c6d04f294537d862

Firstly, what’s the collective noun for a bunch of author talks? A glee? A yay? A make-Kate-very-happy? Anyway, in the past week, I’ve been to three – that deserves a collective noun.

Secondly, I have a half-a-dozen posts in my drafts folder about author talks I have attended. I never get to the ‘publish’ stage. Can’t really say why – I suspect that I leave it a week or so and then feel unsure about the fine detail of what was said – I wouldn’t want to misquote someone.

So, three author talks in one post – my favourite bits of what Rosalie Ham, Hanya Yanagihara and Jonathan Franzen had to say. Continue reading

Let’s talk (a top ten)

Last week, Katie of Bookish Tendencies wrote a post about attending her first author talk (Lauren Fox talking about Days of Awe, so I’m jealous, obvs). Katie asked fellow bloggers for a few pointers on being “…not such an awkward dork…” at book signing time (her words, not mine). I don’t have any tips but her post did make me think about author talks I’ve been to. And it’s many. Because I’m a bit of an author-event tart (I’ll blame the fact that I have lots of opportunities through events such as the Melbourne Writers Festival and regular author appearances at my local book shop, Readings).

So purely for my own records, I’ve put together a top ten list – five of the best author talks I’ve been to – Continue reading

Dave Eggers at the Melbourne Writers Festival

I managed to get to a couple of events at the Melbourne Writers Festival last week. Ideally I would have shared my thoughts immediately after each session, while all that ace-ness was still fresh in my mind but unfortunately, much of my brain space was taken up with studying for the exam I had on Monday. So, first up, here are my takeaway messages from Dave Eggers.

I love Dave Eggers a bit more than I already did previously when, slightly disoriented at the start of the talk he said he’d only arrived in Australia yesterday and it was “…a million o’clock…” for him. From that statement alone, I’m confident he also recognises eleventy-billion as a number. And just to lock-in the love, there was a baby in the audience, whose nappy he signed. Actually, the whole thing kinda felt like meeting a rock star… Continue reading