Sometimes a very, very short book is just the ticket – reading slump, testing a new genre, choosing something for your book group (because you know they don’t have the stamina for anything over 200 pages), a long train ride…
Sonya Hartnett’s Surrender is a story split in half – alternating chapters are told from the perspective of 20-year-old Gabriel, dying of an unnamed illness, and from Finnigan, the town wild-child and Gabriel’s only friend.
When the boys first meet, they make an unusual pact. Finnigan makes Gabriel swear not to do ‘bad things’ –
“I’ll do the bad things for you. Then you won’t have to. You can just do good things.” Continue reading
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
Last week, Katie of Bookish Tendencies wrote a post about attending her first author talk (Lauren Fox talking about Days of Awe, so I’m jealous, obvs). Katie asked fellow bloggers for a few pointers on being “…not such an awkward dork…” at book signing time (her words, not mine). I don’t have any tips but her post did make me think about author talks I’ve been to. And it’s many. Because I’m a bit of an author-event tart (I’ll blame the fact that I have lots of opportunities through events such as the Melbourne Writers Festival and regular author appearances at my local book shop, Readings).
So purely for my own records, I’ve put together a top ten list – five of the best author talks I’ve been to – Continue reading
1. This* is what I’ve been looking at this week. It’s driving my Mint Slice consumption up considerably.
2. So my review** of The Paris Wife attracted some thoughts. I should add to the review that Pauline was a piece of work as well. And the old saying “Marry the mistress, create a vacancy.” Continue reading
‘Out past the shallows, past the sandy-bottomed bays, comes the dark water — black and cold and roaring. Rolling out an invisible path …’
When I reviewed Favel Parrett’s second book, When the Night Comes, I made mention of the fact that Parrett understands many things, including water, very deeply. Her debut novel, Past the Shallows, is about the ocean, brothers and grief, and again, it was her delicate and careful observations that wedged a firm spot in my mind and heart.
In brief, it’s the story of two young brothers, Harry and Miles, who live with their father, an abalone fisherman, on the south-east coast of Tasmania. Their mother is dead and the boys are at the mercy of their father’s dark and violent moods. Continue reading