Top Ten Sports Novels

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In honour of what’s roughly two solid weeks of sitting on my arse watching sport, I thought it would be appropriate to list my favourite novels about sport.

I don’t read lots of sports books but felt confident that I could find novels that were of slightly higher quality than this. So, some that I have read and some that are still in the TBR stack –

01. The Art of Fielding by Chad Harbach – not only the greatest sports novel but one of the best books I’ve ever read. Continue reading

Bookish (and not so bookish) Thoughts

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01. I’ve mentioned how much I love Miffy, right? This.

02. The Melbourne Writers Festival 2016 program was announced yesterday. Tickets go on sale tomorrow, which gives me a few more hours to sort out how I’ll manage #ALLTHEEVENTS (on my radar are Shriver, Flanagan, Tsiolkas, Wood, Garner, Funder, Earls, Beneba Clarke). Continue reading

Bookish (and not so bookish) Thoughts

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01. I mentioned a couple of weeks ago that my 9yo daughter had a ‘to-do’ list. I’m pleased to report that she sat in the car yesterday knitting, blowing bubbles and listening to Cantonese CDs (thanks to my lovely friend, Sam, we’ve got the ‘knitting sticks’ out and we’re both knitting together). Continue reading

Six Degrees of Separation – from Reasons to Stay Alive to The Secret Son

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It’s six degrees of separation for books. Created by Emma Chapman and Annabel Smith. Check out the rules if you want to play along.

This month the chain begins with Matt Haig’s memoir, Reasons to Stay Alive. I haven’t read this book (and it sounds like tough reading) but I have read dozens of other memoirs. One of my favourites is Leanne Shapton’s Swimming Studies – a truly original book about one of my favourite things, swimming! 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

Top Picks for Book Groups

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I’ve mentioned my book group previously. I love them all dearly but they’re not flash at reading the book. That would drive some people mental but, after 15 years, I’m okay with it. On the upside, whenever my book group actually does talk about the book for more than a few minutes, the book was obviously a good pick.

Over the last month or so, two of my Twitter buddies have asked for book group recommendations. Here’s what I suggested (all being books that got my book group really talking) – Continue reading

Books for Australian states

Last week, Annabel Smith tweeted a link to a fantastic article, The Literary United States: A Map of the Best Book for Every State. It got me thinking about an Australian equivalent.

Strictly speaking, an Australian literary map isn’t quite as crowded (not as many states in comparison to the US). It would be nice to do an Australian one that reflected cities and regional areas but that’s a big project (and for that matter, actually put it on a map…). For the time being, here are my favourite books set in different states.

Victoria: for Melbourne, The Slap by Christos Tsiolkas. For regional Victoria, Carrie Tiffany captures the Mallee perfectly in Everyman’s Rules for Scientific Living.

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everymans-rules-for-scientific-living Continue reading