Bookish (and not so bookish) Thoughts

miffy-jumper

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

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My Brilliant Friend by Elena Ferrante

my-brilliant-friend-elena-ferrante

Dear Book-Blogging-Corner-of-the-Interwebs,

I respect and trust your opinion on almost #ALLTHEBOOKS* but I feel like you’ve let me down on the Ferrante-front. You know what I’m talking about. You loved it. You promised a sinuous, immersive tale of life in Naples, of violence and fierce love, of female friendship and deep loyalty. You didn’t tell me it would be such a wretched slog. But I pushed through, trusting you. Continue reading

Reading in the danger zone

kenny-loggins

Do you start singing a certain Kenny Loggins hit when you hear the words ‘comfort zone’? I do. Even though comfort and danger are pretty much opposites… Anyhoo, my comfort zone is contemporary literature. I don’t stray often but there have been some notable (and excellent) exceptions in the last year or so –

Speculative Fiction Continue reading

Stella Prize 2015 shortlist

stella-prize-2015-shortlist

The Stella Prize 2015 shortlist has been announced. I’m always busting to see what’s included on a shortlist but this time even more so because I’ve signed up for the Stella Shortlist Book Club. You should join as well (if you’re at a loose end over the next six weeks…). Continue reading

Bookish (and not so bookish) Thoughts

stella-prize-longlist-2015

1. Stella Prize 2015 longlist announced today. I’ve read four of them (Hartnett, Pung, Garner and Laguna) and have a couple of others in my very-near-reading-future.

2. I’d like to see Hartnett win.

3. But can’t believe Favel Parrett’s When the Night Comes didn’t make the longlist. Continue reading

Australian Women Writers Challenge 2014 Wrap-up

awwbadge_2014

I enjoy the Australian Women Writers Challenge – it goes a little way to addressing the gender bias in literary review pages, plus I try to buy my AWW titles from an independent book shop (doing my bit for the Australian publishing industry and independent booksellers).

This year, I upped the ante and signed up for the Franklin level (read ten books, review at least six). I romped it in. Continue reading

Top Picks for Book Groups

book club

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

This House of Grief by Helen Garner

this-house-of-grief-helen-garner

Here’s the thing when I read true crime: I struggle to withhold my own verdict. I struggle not to cast myself as judge, jury, observer. At the same time, I really try to keep an open mind, willing the author to show me aspects of the story that haven’t already been cemented by the newspapers, 60 Minutes or similar. I’m actively avoiding sharing my own judgement in regards to the Farquharson case, the subject of Helen Garner’s latest, This House of Grief, short of saying that it’s a deeply tragic story. Continue reading

Bookish (and not so bookish) Thoughts

melbourne-writers-festival-2014

It’s more on the ‘bookish’ side of things this week…

1. It’s almost time for the Melbourne Writers Festival. I’ve got tickets for Sonya Hartnett, Dave Eggers and some stuff for the kids. My wishlist is also eleventy billion miles long, so I’m just working out how I can put life on hold for two weeks while I go to #ALLTHEEVENTS.

2. The Man Booker Prize Longlist 2014 has been announced. There’s a couple on the list that I intend to read (the Hustvedt and the Nicholls) but I already know what I’m cheering for. Continue reading