Six Degrees of Separation – from A Christmas Carol to Tiny Beautiful Things

It’s time for #6degrees. Start at the same place as other wonderful readers, add six books, and see where you end up!

This month we begin with A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens. Continue reading

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Six Degrees of Separation – from The Signature of All Things to Disraeli Avenue

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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.

We begin with Elizabeth Gilbert’s The Signature of All Things. Apparently it’s a very different book to her first one, Eat, Pray, Love. Which is good, because Eat was self-indulgent twaddle.

Another book that is supposedly quite different to previous work is Judy Blume’s latest, In the Unlikely Event. Continue reading

What’s in a Name Challenge 2014 Wrap-up

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Of all the reading challenges, I have the most fun with What’s in a Name, hosted by The Worm Hole. I like browsing through my TBR stack to find titles that fit the challenge categories.

The challenge is simple – read one book that fits each of the five ‘categories’ – Continue reading

Jasper Jones by Craig Silvey

So I didn’t love Jasper Jones by Craig Silvey as much as I thought I would *ducks for cover as Australian-literature fans start chucking stuff at me*.

Jasper Jones is set in a small Australian mining town in 1965.  The story is told from the perspective of Charlie Bucktin, a surprisingly articulate boy of thirteen, who is startled by an urgent knock on his window one night. His visitor is Jasper Jones, a part-Aboriginal boy and a branded trouble-maker.

“Jasper Jones has a terrible reputation in Corrigan. He’s a Thief, a Liar, a Thug, a Truant. He’s lazy and unreliable. He’s a feral and an orphan, or as good as… He’s the rotten model that parents hold aloft as a warning.”

Jasper needs Charlie’s help – for what, becomes the main plot of the story.

“This night has pickpocketed me of precious things I can’t ever get back. I feel robbed, but I don’t feel cheated by Jasper Jones. It’s a curious emptiness. Like when you move to a new house and there’s no furniture nor familiar walls, the same sort of weird alloy of abandonment and upheaval.”

I ran into trouble before I’d even opened the book. There’s a testimonial on the cover that brands Jasper Jones as “…an Australian To Kill a Mockingbird…”.  I wondered how Silvey felt when his book was labelled this way. Personally, I would have been shitting myself – those Mockingbird shoes are bloody big shoes to fill. Continue reading

Top Ten Australian Books

We have an ace tv show in Australia called the First Tuesday Book Club. It’s essentially a televised book group. I like it because it’s not always agreeable (just like book group).

To celebrate the National Year of Reading, First Tuesday Book Club has compiled a list – the Ten Aussie Books You Must Read Before You Die. Everyone had a chance to put in their two-cents during the year and the results are now in. Continue reading