Bookish (and not so bookish) Thoughts


01. I know it’s not nice to play favourites but I got two Christmas presents that I particularly love – a StoryTile and this friendly little guy.

02. I reviewed Zadie Smith’s Swing Time last week and although there was no appropriate place for the following quote about judging books, it has stayed with me (because who doesn’t like a book rating system?). Anyway, it comes via the character of Judy, a no-nonsense, self-proclaimed bogan from Bendigo (a large rural town not far from Melbourne) –

“She never read more than a third – ‘I get the basic idea’ – and when she’d finished she would give one of four possible judgements. ‘Zippy’ – which was good; ‘Important’ – which was very good; ‘Controversial’ – which could be either good or bad, you never knew; or ‘Lidderary’, which was pronounced with a sigh and an eye roll and was very bad.”

03. This article about the most controversial books of 2016 is interesting. How did I not know the JT LeRoy story?!

04. “Memoir doesn’t get you in people’s heads unfiltered. It doesn’t deliver that level of complexity. Only fiction can allow you to assign feelings.” Agree or disagree? (I don’t agree but I’m a memoir fan).

05. Isn’t it nice when you meet the lovely friends of your lovely friends? That happened this week and it was just a big extension of lovely friends.

06. This week I learnt how to crotchet. And I’m also going sailing. All these new things are sounding like I’m into New Year’s resolutions or something (I’m not).

07. I won’t rest until The Fitness Marshall is my BFF.

08. These are the salads* I made for our NYE party (a fab night with dear friends, a large quantity of gin cocktails consumed, fireworks watched and glow sticks worn) – both are from Hetty McKinnon’s books. She’s the Salad Queen.


*Roasted beetroot, turnips, edamame and radish with wasabi mayonnaise; Harissa, chickpea, roasted sweet potato and spinach.

Bookish Thoughts is hosted by Christine at Bookishly Boisterous. Swing by, say g’day.








15 responses

    • 4) At first I thought I’d read that article incorrectly because I think the opposite – memoirs are complex because they are personal – yes, ‘unfiltered’ but isn’t that the point? I basically gave up alcohol when I was reading Augusten Burroughs’s Dry; wept with Elizabeth McCracken over her heartbreaking loss of a baby and don’t even start me on the rafts of memoirs I’ve read about the Holocaust, growing up in Ireland in the 70s and being the daughter in a Chinese family (a la Wild Swans). Anyway, it struck me as a very odd article.

  1. “The failures of other genres to provide an emotional connection with some of their characters and narratives gives memoir a toehold.”– Mary Karr

    • YES! And honestly, Smith NAILED the Australian characters (there are two – the pop star and Judy, the assistant. Both are from Bendigo). I could only conclude that Smith loves Kylie Minogue and Angelina Jolie, as the pop star character is a combo of both. 😁

  2. I love The Fitness Marshall and need to get myself organised to stream his videos on YouTube via my TV so I can do some dance workouts…

    I don’t ‘do’ memoirs so can’t comment on that element but do think it’s surprising how much complexity fiction can deliver.

  3. I have never heard of The Fitness Marshall before but omg that video was so much fun to watch. Going to have to subscribe now. 🙂

  4. Just found you through BookerTalk! I noted that quote in Swing Time, too! I’m only a third of the way into the book. Your salads look great, and I’ll have to look up the cookbooks by the Salad Queen!

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