This book is really lovely so far...
This book is really lovely so far...
Well, this was wonderful. Lots of magical realism, but done right. It's not twee but elemental and a bit fearsome.
The book plays with different styles, and while these are well-executed, a couple of comedic sections did 'break the spell' a bit. The second half is more consistent in tone, and as a result feels more powerful.
Robbie Arnott has invented his own mythology which is wholly original and yet feels timeless and endemic to Tasmania.
A very enjoyable read BUT not as speculative or as political as you might expect. It doesn't attempt to grapple with the broader societal consequences of criminalising abortion - but rather concentrates on just a handful of characters & their experiences.
With storylines covering marriage, pregnancy and adoption, this book is not too far from being straight up contemporary women's fiction. A good, thought-provoking read.
Thanks for tagging me @Lizpixie !
2. Neither - I don't mark my place
3. End of a chapter or whenever I fall asleep
4. Nope, my tea just goes cold if I try
6. One, I have reverted to book monogamy
8. Silently, unless reading to kids (I like doing funny voices)
9. Must. Read. Every. Word.
10. Keep it shiny and new
11. NO! Not even the ones you're *supposed* to write in 🙄
Quite a fascinating memoir about the author's childhood growing up in a family that shuns formal schooling and modern medicine, only to experience a shift in worldview when she took herself off to college at seventeen.
Really gripping in the first half, the book becomes a more emotional piece about family dynamics towards the end. 3.5 stars ✨
@readinginthedark behold the Cheezels! And the traditional method of eating them 😂
[pic is from the advertising agency]
This book is short - just five stories - but tardis-like it seems so much bigger on the inside.
Each story feels like a novel that's been honed and honed down to its bare essentials but somehow still conveys the whole experience.
My first Denis Johnson was sadly his last. I definitely want to go back and read his earlier work now.
It's Saturday here but gonna #Friyayintro anyway!
1️⃣neither? As an Aussie I'm required to say... CHEEZELS!
2️⃣The Largesse of the Sea Maiden by Denis Johnson
3️⃣Some furniture assembly and trying to beat the summer heat 🌞
Happy weekend! 😘😘
I didn't read many short story collections this year, but these three were AMAZING (although none of them were actually published this year 🤷🏼♀️)
Take some time out to de-stress!
Not book related but I wanted to share this pic from my morning walk - made getting out of bed worth it!
Lately I have found myself really drawn to the kind of novel that charts the course of a single character's life from beginning to end.
Something about them is just deeply satisfying. It feels like you come to know the central character personally, flaws and all.
Moon Tiger (1987) and Stoner (1965) were both read for #192019challenge.
As the only 'conclusion to a series' that I read in 2017, this has to be the best! But it really is an incredible trilogy & some of my fave reads of the year 👍
Doing the #192019challenge was the push I needed to finally get around to tons of amazing books, including the ones pictured.
It's so easy to get caught up in new releases (which I also love) but older books are SO worth discovering!
I managed to get through the first four books in the Dark Tower series in 2017.
Wizard and Glass, at 1041 pages was my longest book of the year, but books 1-4 combined were 2562 pages! A sizeable chunk of my reading year 😄
The best #bookwithamagicalsetting that I read this year was Deathless. Magical, lush, complicated and smart, it's a gorgeous book to sink into.
According to Goodreads, the companion book (not exactly a sequel) is due out in October 2018. Not sure how firm that date is, but here's hoping 🤞🏻
I'm not sure if Winter really is a "sequel" in the strictest sense, but I'm counting it!
It took me longer to warm to Winter (haha) but once I did I was again in awe of Ali Smith's skill. There's more verbal acrobatics on display and less compelling characters than in Autumn, hence the colder tone.
For me the wordplay is delightful and unlike anything else out there. Now the long wait for Spring...
Joining in (and catching up on) #AllTheBooksOf2017
This YA romance was my #firstreadoftheyear and it was perfect for a sweet (if a bit cheesy), undemanding read for my frazzled brain in January, post New Years.
The book name-drops some awesome 90s music and had me joyously streaming Soundgarden and Temple of the Dog on repeat. Just four months later Chris Cornell sadly passed away. So this book now holds some bittersweet connections 😢
It's December already! 😱 Officially summer here and it feels like it this morning ☀️🔥☀️
I've been a bit slack about posting reviews but November was tops reading-wise. Faves:
Winter by Ali Smith 💙
Stoner by John Williams
We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson
When Darkness Falls by John Bodey
Cat's Eye by Margaret Atwood
I could keep going 😂 So many great books!
This year's Tournament of Books long list is up! I don't always follow #TheRooster but I enjoy checking out the selections. Soooo beyond happy that Augustown is on the list - one of my faves from this year but it's gone under the radar a bit.
Here it is: https://themorningnews.org/article/the-year-in-fiction-2017
#ToB #ToB2018 #tournamentofbooks
Timing on this one could not have been more perfect - I finished reading it just hours before announcement of Australia's marriage equality results (a resounding YES vote! YAY!!)
This book really makes you think about how much attitudes can change over the course of just one lifetime.
I'm feeling relieved & grateful & a bit wrung out emotionally right now. Not to mention our Socceroos just qualified for the World Cup!!! What a day.
This was pretty great - well written, well paced, engrossing.
The MC is kind of like Jessica Jones with a law degree instead of superpowers. She's sad and damaged, drinks too much and makes bad choices but dammit she's going to keep investigating until the truth comes out.
I didn't love the ending though. It's not a throw-the-book-against-the-wall ending, just a slight letdown when the rest of the book is so strong.
The U.S. election campaign was only last year, and I'm sure most people remember - all too well - the appalling details. Still, to hear Katy Tur tell her story of covering the circus was entertaining and an interesting time capsule of events.
Glad I went with the audio for this one, Katy's narration really lifted it for me.
A little bit Who Do You Think You Are, a little bit Vikings, plus some tidbits of Icelandic history, Saga Land has cemented Iceland's place on my bucket list.
A couple of chapters (chess great Bobby Fischer's story & the Cold War Reykjavik summit between Reagan & Gorbachev), while interesting, felt tacked on.
The book's highlight is the sagas themselves - just an intro here but I'm keen to read more!
Long, slow, reflective, Cat's Eye doesn't sound like my cup of tea.
Yet somehow I adored it. This is the kind of book you can sink into and inhabit. It beautifully captures the nebulous recollections of a life. Tiny details can have massive significance, then fade away, forgotten, only to re-emerge later as half-remembered distortions. Books rarely depict this waxing and waning of memories in such a true way.
1. Don't do thanksgiving but I'm deeply suspicious of any dish that combines sweet potato and marshmallows 🤢
2. Sci fi wins by a proboscis
3. Instagram maybe?
October wrap up! A couple of duds this month but mostly great reads. Highlights:
🔸A Long Way from Verona - deserves to be as well-loved as I Capture the Castle
🔸The Trauma Cleaner - I keep recommending this to anyone who will listen
🔸Ghost Empire - fab intro to History of Byzantine Empire, can't wait to read his new one, Saga Land
🔸Dr Jekyll & Mr Hyde - reread of an old fave
🔸The Halloween Tree - a new fave & a classic
Sort of A-Christmas-Carol-but-for-Halloween meets the Goonies, this is really fun and cute, and surprisingly wise. Deserves to be an annual tradition.
Artwork is by Glen Brogan on Tumblr.
A litfluence milestone! It's a Halloween miracle 🎃
Also spells BOOOB on your pocket calculator 🤓
HAPPY HALLOWEEN all you beautiful little monsters!
What does everyone think of the Goodreads Choice Awards? This year's nominees are up 📚📚📚
EDIT: so, there are three rounds of voting (seems like overkill 🤷🏼♀️) and winners are announced on December 5th!
This started with some potential to be a spooky gothic chiller, but declined sharply at the halfway point, getting ever stupider by the page. By the end it was somehow both ridiculous AND boring.
Thin plot, one-dimensional characters (all brainless idiots) and flat prose that conveys zero atmosphere - glowing GR reviews led me astray on this one.
At least I can tick off 1980 on my #192019challenge 🤷🏼♀️
My #HalloweenHaiku attempt☝🏼Thanks for tagging me @Sue 🎃
Halloween is much less of a thing here, although it's become a bit more popular recently. I have never trick-or-treated or carved a pumpkin etc. I'm reading a few spooky books to get into the spirit though!
Mattie Ross is a terrific protagonist and her distinctive matter-of-fact voice comes through from the #FirstSentence.