Bookish (and not so bookish) Thoughts

1. The Stella Prize shortlist book group is up and running. We go crazy on Twitter every Monday evening. #fun

2. Read my first 5/5 book for the year – Hausfrau by Jill Alexander Essbaum. Get on it peoples.

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3. The Baileys Prize 2015 longlist was announced recently. I’ve only read one… Poor show, me.

4. Related: Why the eff wasn’t Hausfrau on that longlist? #travesty Continue reading

Australian Women Writers Challenge 2014 Wrap-up

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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

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

The Light Between Oceans by M. L. Stedman

I accept all the criticisms of M. L. Stedman’s The Light Between Oceans – that it’s a story akin to the most melodramatic Danielle Steele; that you know what will happen  because of some clunky plot points; that the characters are unlikeable. Yes, true. But: ALL. THE. TEARS. And you know I like a good tear-jerker.

The story is set predominantly off the coast of Western Australia, on the small island of Janus Rock, where Tom Sherbourne is the lighthouse keeper.

“And Janus Rock, linked only by the store boat four times a year, dangled off the edge of the cloth like a loose button that might easily plummet to Antarctica.” Continue reading