The Story of the Lost Child by Elena Ferrante

The Story of the Lost Child by Elena Ferrante

Lena adds more people to her list, Arseholes I Have Known.

3/5 Liked it more than the others (probably residual joy after watching My Brilliant Friend).

Find my other unhelpful reviews of the Neapolitan series here, here and here.

As part of the 20 Books of Summer reading challenge, I’m comparing the Belfast summer and Melburnian winter. The results for the day I finished this book (June 28): Belfast 15°-22° and Melbourne 13°-19°.

My Brilliant Friend – Book vs. TV Series

You might remember my feelings about the Neapolitan series (if not, read them here, here, and here). In short, I didn’t love the books. Other readers were raving. I was disappointed.

So why watch the tv series? I really just wanted some glimpses of Naples. But what I got was so much more.

I LOVED this series – for capturing the close, suffocating and violent world of Lila and Lenù. For letting the excellent cast say in a glance or a grimace what Ferrante said over endless pages. The series had tension and menace and love. You saw the insecurities and determination in the girls. Clearly this is all the stuff I missed in the books.

I’m doing what I vowed I wouldn’t – going back for the final instalment – part four, The Story of the Lost Child. And I’m already looking forward to season two.

Sample Saturday – Dublin, Iceland, and NYC

Sample Saturday is when I wade through the eleventy billion samples I have downloaded on my Kindle. I’m slowly chipping away and deciding whether it’s buy or bye. This week I’ve selected three from the last pages of my Kindle (meaning they’ve been there for years!) – I have no idea how I came across any of them. Continue reading

The Cook by Maylis de Kerangal

When you’re young, and you’re making decisions about school subjects and careers, there are inevitably pressures. For some kids, their passions line-up with family or social expectations. Lucky them. For others, expectations can steer them away from what they’d really, really like to be doing. I think we all know of that person who desperately wanted to be a carpenter or an artist or in advertising, yet they come from a ‘family of doctors’ and suddenly find their Year 12 dominated by chemistry and biology rather than graphic design. Personally speaking, I traded a Forestry degree for Environmental Planning – I think I probably would have ended up in the same place regardless but I can’t deny that my mum’s concerns about my being posted as a park ranger somewhere remote, didn’t go unheard. Continue reading

A bunch of short reviews

I am painfully behind in my reviews – the longer they go unwritten, the less likely it is to happen. These reviews hardly do justice to some of the books I’ve read (sorry Magda) but at the very least provide me with a record. Continue reading

Best books of 2018 – a list of lists

It’s that time of the year when newspapers and magazines publish their ‘Best of 2018’ lists.

Last year, lists began appearing early November – this year, editors have shown restraint, so I will keep adding as they appear.

The Best of 2018 According to #ALLTHELISTS will be coming in the next week or so – stay tuned! (See pervious lists here). Continue reading

The Postman’s Fiancée by Denis Theriault

The Postman’s Fiancée by Denis Thériault is a story about infatuation, love, haiku, and identity.

Tania moves from Bavaria to Montreal to fine-tune her French and fall in love. Waitressing at a restaurant frequented by ‘regulars’, she meets Bilodo, a shy postman who writes haiku and who is passionate about calligraphy.

He came through the door every day at noon, impeccable in his postman’s uniform. He was tall, rather thin and not exactly handsome, but his gentle eyes and timid smile made Tania go weak inside. Continue reading

Wonderful Women by the Water by Monika Fagerholm

Drifting before the wind in a boat is something Kayus has to do at least once every summer for the summer to have been a real summer.

Yes. I have a hundred similar things associated with my summers – a twilight swim, reading a book in one sitting on the beach, crispy calamari and homemade lemonade; sitting in my ‘nana chair’ in the shallows…

Wonderful Women by the Water by Monika Fagerholm is a story about the summers of the sixties in Sweden, told from the perspective of a young boy, Thomas, in stream-of-consciousness vignettes. Continue reading