Melbourne Writers Festival 2018 – the last few days

The final few days of the 2018 Melbourne Writers Festival were brilliant. Continue reading

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Book groups – monogamous or polygamous?

I’ve been with the same book group for almost twenty years (I know, longer than some marriages).

I’ve mentioned my group and their reading habits before – essentially, they’re not great at actually reading the book. Or discussing it in-depth. Sometimes the discussion is only “Did you like it? Should I read it?” (ummm…you should have read it before we got together…). But I’m fine with that because I love my book group.

However. Continue reading

Bookish (and not so bookish) Thoughts

01. So it really has been ages since I did a Bookish post… Over the last two months I’ve had a terrific holiday in Hong Kong; had a tense wait for results after having three more moles removed (all clear. Get your skin checked everyone); wrote eleventy-billion words for uni; and moved house. Our new house has a superb Crepe Myrtle in the backyard. I can’t wait to see it flower. Continue reading

Bookish (and not so bookish) Thoughts

01. I went to a Melbourne Food and Wine Festival class last weekend – we made punch (I think that’s a responsible way of saying ‘big batch cocktails’). Anyway, now I need a retro punch bowl and a new Pinterest board so that I can start collecting punch recipes. Continue reading

Quick! I need to read a whole book.

Sometimes a very, very short book is just the ticket – reading slump, testing a new genre, choosing something for your book group (because you know they don’t have the stamina for anything over 200 pages), a long train ride…

Here’s a list of my favourite very short books. Continue reading

An Isolated Incident by Emily Maguire

Emily Maguire’s An Isolated Incident is the story of a brutal murder in a rural Australian town. The victim, Bella Michaels, was a much-loved member of the community and her death stuns not only those that knew her but the whole nation. Her sister, Chris, is left to grieve, search for answers, and deal with the growing media interest in Bella’s death.

I’ll get straight to the point – I didn’t care for this book at all. Am I wrong to have immediately thought that the story exploited the Jill Meagher case? And that there was a hint of treading the same path as Charlotte Wood’s The Natural Way of Things? Continue reading

The Lover by Marguerite Duras

Marguerite Duras’s The Lover is the second book I’ve read in as many weeks that’s a memoir, thinly disguised as a novel (the other being by Lily Brett).

The story is set in Saigon in the 1930s, and describes the tumultuous affair between a relatively poor adolescent French girl and her wealthy, older Chinese lover. Interspersed between details of their clandestine meetings are descriptions of the unnamed narrator’s mother – headmistress of a girls’ high school and prone to bouts of depression, and her wayward brothers. Continue reading