Bookish (and not so bookish) Thoughts

01. It’s school holidays in Australia. We spent a few days with family in Kyneton (with some mountain-biking in Harcourt and a hike to the summit of Hanging Rock).

02. I attended the #atwoodlive event last week. The combination of documentary clips, readings from The Testaments, and the interview with Margaret was fantastic.

I was reminded that everything in Atwood’s stories has happened in real life, and that she finds the roots of her stories in history books and the Bible. She spoke extensively about how she wrote The Testaments, particularly about interviewing people who were part of the WWII resistance movement. She quoted one man who said, “Pray you’re not a hero…”, with Atwood adding, “You only need dragon-slayers if there’s a dragon.”

Margaret was asked why she connects climate change/natural disasters and the restriction of women’s rights. She said that they were clearly connected, “Any large tipping point crisis is a fulcrum allowing those with power to put people under the yoke in exchange for survival, and/or an opportunity to extirpate their foes.”

03. The 100 best books of the 21st century – thoughts? (I’ve read 17, own another seven, and intend to read a further seven). Agree with inclusion of Life After Life and A Little Life but the top ten wouldn’t be my choices. Check out this Twitter thread regarding the list.

04. I’ve been looking everywhere for some yellow shoes but I’m so reluctant to buy shoes online…

05. Counting down to S3 of The Crown.

06. Three movies I’m planning on seeing – The Goldfinch (yeah, not great reviews but I loved the book); Anne Frank Parallel Stories; and Animals (based on the book by Emma Jane Unsworth).

07. Like a 24 hour gym but way, way better.

08. One of the great joys of living in Melbourne is the Wheeler Centre (host to public talks on books, writing, and ideas, most of which are free). Last week, the Wheeler Centre announced a new event, Broadside, billed as ‘two days of an unapologetically feminist agenda’. The line up is INSANE – Monica Lewinsky, Zadie Smith, Helen Garner, Curtis Sittenfeld, Ariel Levy, Clare Wright, Sarah Krasnostein, Maria Tumarkin and many more. Needless to say, I’ve booked my tickets.

09. And just a reminder of Lewinsky’s TED talk about shame. It’s exceptional.

Bookish Thoughts is hosted by Christine at Bookishly Boisterous. Pop by, say hi.

15 responses

  1. No.2 sounds amazing but that quote at the end is properly terrifying. Mainly because she’s right.
    3. I didn’t count up how many I read but many of the ones I had read I thought were ‘meh’ and I kind of stopped reading the article. The twitter thread is much more interesting. Even Zadie Smith says White Teeth isn’t that good!
    8. Speaking of Zadie Smith… what a line-up! I really hope you’ll blog about – pleeeeease? 🙂

  2. Damn, you made me go and look at the Guardian list. These lists are always so dull, and this one is no exception. I’ve read 28 of them, and abandoned two, and wouldn’t give most of them my time.
    Agree about that Lewinsky TED talk. I reckon it should be shown in every secondary school there is.

    • I’m constantly impressed by Lewinsky (her writing and her public speaking) and I can’t wait to hear her speak.
      Such big names t the Broadside event – how did they secure them?! How did they fund them?! I think I’m more excited by the program than I was about this year’s Melbourne Writers Festival.

      • I’ll be looking to you to tell us all about it. (I’m still not up to much in the way of gadding about, I’m not even sure that I should have lashed out and bought tickets for the NF festival in Geelong, and that’s not until November.)

  3. I’m at 52 read (or at least skimmed) on that Guardian list, with another few DNFs and a few on the shelf to read. It’s a really bizarre mix, though I guess it’s nice that it includes lots of genres.

  4. That list. It’s not great, but not terrible. I don’t agree with some of the selections (naturally). I scrolled through the twitter thread, I’d add (without overthinking) Empire Falls by Richard Russo, The Good Lord Bird by James McBride, and The Devil All the Time by Donald Ray Pollock. That’s just fiction. Nonfiction and memoir would have to be three more each…

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