There’s all sorts of reasons why I don’t feel I’m in a position to comment on Julia Leigh’s Avalanche, an account of her experience with IVF. However, Leigh makes a statement early in her memoir that made me pause and think –
“In the public imagination – as I perceive it – there’s a qualified sympathy for IVF patients, not unlike that shown to smokers who get lung cancer. Unspoken: ‘You signed up for it, so what do you expect…?'”
“Qualified sympathy” – it’s an interesting phrase. Have I ever been guilty of qualified sympathy? Probably, although certainly not in relation to someone’s desire to have a baby. It’s these kind of gritty bits that lodged as I was reading Avalanche. Continue reading
01. After a long cloud-spotting drought, I finally logged something new – a 22° Halo. It’s an optical phenomena distinguished by the reddish tinge at the inner edge of the halo. Note: no retinas were harmed in the taking of this photo – I just aimed the camera in the general direction and hoped for the best. Continue reading
I’ve been glued to Twitter all evening, busting to hear the Stella Prize 2017 longlist announcement. It’s here, so now I can relax (and start reading and predicting) – Continue reading
Every year I vaguely think about dropping reading challenges and instead becoming a truly free-range reader. But then I find myself signing up (mostly because I like a list and I like a reason to look through lists).
I participated in five reading challenges this year and completed all of them – granted, three were of the ‘free-range’ variety. Continue reading
Around this time last year I mentioned my stupid TBR stack and the fact that I was embarking on a book-buying-ban.
Don’t want to toot my own horn but I did very, very well on the ban and I’m pleased to report that I will finish the year with fewer books in the TBR stack than I started with. Success. Continue reading
01. Another hotly contested Tomato Chutney competition at the Kyneton Show, another first prize. My greatest rival came second… Just saying. Continue reading
And the winner is…
A wonderful book and a deserving winner.
My review – The Natural Way of Things.
(Just quietly, I told you so).
Why even write this post given that I’ve been carrying on about Charlotte Wood’s The Natural Way of Things since day dot? I think it will win the 2016 Stella Prize tonight (actually, in about two hours).
The Natural Way of Things has it all – it’s relevant; it’s current; it makes you think very hard about things that are hard to think about; the sense of place is exquisite; and Wood writes with such sparing beauty that some sentences left me breathless. But the real strength is in its lasting impression – there are many elements of this book that will stay with me: rabbits, fungi, hair removal, dolls and those bloody gift bags…. The gift bags were Wood’s masterstroke. Continue reading
I finished Fiona Wright’s collection of essays, Small Acts of Disappearance, a week ago. I enjoyed it while I was reading it. Actually, ‘enjoyed’ is not the right word when you’re reading about someone’s experience with anorexia… Rather, I was interested and engaged. But now, a few days out, the guts of Wright’s message evades me. What parts of her story have lingered? Continue reading