Bookish (and not so bookish) Thoughts

01. Yesterday I went to Sydney to be part of the studio audience for the ABC’s The Book Clubindulgent, yes, and so much fun (spoiler: the panel ALL AGREES ON A BOOK!).

02. I didn’t have much time in Sydney other than that spent at the ABC Studio, although I did squeeze in a quick walk this morning. And I thought that people who live in Sydney must suck at cloud-spotting… (remember, it’s winter here).

sydney-1 Continue reading

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Six Degrees of Separation – from The Paying Guests to Anna Karenina

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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 The Paying Guests by Sarah Waters. It appeared in my round-up of the best books for 2014, as did The Empathy Exams by Leslie Jamison. 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

Top Ten Tuesday – Books to Make You Cry

Arm yourself with a king-sized box of tissues.

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature created and hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. Each week a new ‘top ten’ challenge is posted – anyone can join in. This week’s topic is a freebie, so I’ve picked the Top Ten Books to Make You Cry…. Nothing like a depressing start to November, hey?!

I read Jonathan Tropper’s latest release (One Last Thing Before I Go) through tears (of sadness and laughter). I happened to mention on Twitter that I had to stop reading the book a number of times because I was making a spectacle of myself whilst waiting for my son’s guitar lesson to finish (sobbing, there was snot and no tissue).

My sister-in-law revealed that she had never cried reading a book. Ever. I fired off some titles that had me bawling like a baby. Nope, has never cried. Which made me wonder, am I overly emotional? Do I get too caught up in what I’m reading?

So this list is really for my sister-in-law – I need to find the book that will move her to tears!

1. Of a Boy by Sonya Hartnett – without question the saddest, most heartbreaking book I have ever read. When I lent it to a friend she asked “Will I need counselling?”. “Yes,” I said, handing her a box of tissues. Get it on Kindle here. Continue reading