The American Lover by Rose Tremain

I have two summer holiday traditions when it comes to reading – tackling one really big book (because if I get engrossed I can block out the day for reading), and a short story collection or two (because I can read and doze and not lose track of where I’m at). Which is why I selected The American Lover by Rose Tremain.

I think of Tremain as a short-story-master and this collection didn’t disappoint. The theme of loneliness, or rather loners, runs through the collection. There’s regrets, ‘could-have-beens’, unfulfilled wishes and compromises – all written about in Tremain’s precise style.

Four stories stood out – Continue reading

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Reading Challenges 2017

Sure, I might squeeze in another couple of books before midnight on December 31, 2017 but I think I can safely draw a line under the reading challenges for the year.

I participated in five challenges this year – finished three; one is ongoing (I made a solid start); and I failed one – not miserably but I didn’t complete the target number of books. Continue reading

How many books do you read at once? (Not literally at once…)

I’m currently reading five books.

  • The Brain That Changes Itself by Norman Doidge (CD)
  • We Were the Mulvaneys by Joyce Carol Oates (audio)
  • The Mothers by Brit Bennett (hardcopy)
  • The Diver’s Clothes Lie Empty by Vendela Vida (Kindle)
  • War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy (hardcopy)

Is that odd? (I’m hoping I’m among friends here…) Continue reading

Antarctica on a Plate by Alexa Thomson

If you’re looking for a memoir about exploring, ice and braving the extremities of Antarctica, then Alexa Thomson’s Antarctica on a Plate is not for you. Yes, there’s ice but the focus is on the challenge of cooking large quantities of food on a small stove, and the fact that in Antarctica you never run out of freezer space. Continue reading

Bookish (and not so bookish) Thoughts

mc-crae-2017

01. We had a brilliant two weeks at the beach and although I didn’t do as much reading as I normally would, I did get to go sailing, snorkeling at lots of good spots; and swimming with the seals. And the sun shone. And we ate lots of good food, including a mountain of flatties caught by my children, and squid… so much squid (friends, squid deliveries will resume in February). And the sun shone. And we had lots of visits from friends, so it was all lovely. Continue reading

Bookish (and not so bookish) Thoughts

white-night-1

1. Last Sunday morning I woke my children up at 3.45am so that we could head into the city for White Night. It was worth it.

2. Especially because they went to bed really, really early on Sunday night, leaving me to watch War & Peace in peace…

3. If someone handed me $2530.80 today and said “You absolutely must spend $2530.80 on a handbag right now”, I’d buy this clutch from Edie Parker. Never have I known such deep bag lust as this. Continue reading