Commitment to reduce the TBR stack…? What commitment?
I won’t argue, there were parts of Eliza Robertson’s debut novel, Demi-Gods, that bordered on gratuitous. It’s important to mention that because some readers will abandon the book after they encounter a particular scene in the first chapter. Not me. I was hooked from page one, intrigued by the complex relationships and charmed by Robertson’s writing.
It’s 1950 and the lives of nine-year-old Willa and twelve-year-old Joan are transformed when their mother, a cocktail-swilling divorcee, invites her new lover and his two sons, Kenneth and Patrick, to stay at the family’s summer-house on Salt Spring Island, British Columbia. The attraction between Joan and Kenneth is immediate and as they pair off, Willa is left in the company of the sly and unnerving Patrick. Patrick both intrigues and repulses Willa and the story focuses on the complex power dynamic that unfolds between them during the six times they meet in the following decades.
In the intervals between, we didn’t exist. He didn’t exist to me. I didn’t exist to him. Continue reading
This is my community service to book-bloggers – a list of the books that appear most frequently on all of the lists (32 of them) I listed on Best Books of 2017 – A List of Lists.
So here it is, the 2017 Commonly-Agreed-by-the-People-Who-Publish-Best-of-2017-Book-Lists-Before-December-31 top 47 books. Continue reading
01. BEST weekend. Started with ten hours of gin on Saturday – a friend and I went on tour to the Melbourne Gin Company with the Gin Queen. We’re now BFFs with Caroline (the Gin Queen) – you know your people when you meet them – and obviously there will be more gin tours in my future. Continue reading
01. Yesterday I went to Sydney to be part of the studio audience for the ABC’s The Book Club – indulgent, 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).
Anyone who’s picked up Ottessa Moshfegh’s Eileen because they’ve heard that it’s ‘the next Gone Girl‘ should chill. It’s not Gone Girl. In fact, it’s nothing like Gone Girl. I imagine that the reference was made because both books have a female character that is not very nice. The similarities end there.
Eileen is a character study, written in the first person. The reader is quickly exposed to Eileen’s dark, repulsive and disconcerting thoughts.
Although very little happens for the first three-quarters of the book, Moshfegh manages to create exquisite tension – you know that Eileen will become unhinged and she doesn’t disappoint. When glamorous Rebecca Saint John arrives at Eileen’s workplace (Eileen is a secretary at a juvenile correctional facility for boys), Eileen is infatuated and unable to resist anything Rebecca asks of her.
Moshfegh has created a remarkable character in Eileen. Her bitterness, resentment, and her self-obsessed monologue doesn’t waver for an instant. She’s judgmental, seething, and filthy, and I couldn’t tear my eyes from the page. Continue reading
Even more exciting (and wildly popular) than my 2014 List of Lists was my post on the Best of the Best. It was the books that appeared most frequently on all of the lists I listed. So before I have to write the words ‘best of the best’ and ‘list of lists’ again, here it is, the 2015 Commonly-Agreed-by-the-People-Who-Publish-Best-of-2015-Book-Lists-in-November top 32 books to add to your To-Be-Read stack. Continue reading