Proving that I don’t actually care about my never-really-shrinking-TBR-list is this list of new releases that are on my radar for 2020.
There’s nothing new on my list (other bloggers have posted curated lists of 2020 releases and there are loads of comprehensive lists floating around, such as SMH) – I’m posting it simply to have a record of books to follow-up during the year.
So I didn’t love Jasper Jones by Craig Silvey as much as I thought I would *ducks for cover as Australian-literature fans start chucking stuff at me*.
Jasper Jones is set in a small Australian mining town in 1965. The story is told from the perspective of Charlie Bucktin, a surprisingly articulate boy of thirteen, who is startled by an urgent knock on his window one night. His visitor is Jasper Jones, a part-Aboriginal boy and a branded trouble-maker.
“Jasper Jones has a terrible reputation in Corrigan. He’s a Thief, a Liar, a Thug, a Truant. He’s lazy and unreliable. He’s a feral and an orphan, or as good as… He’s the rotten model that parents hold aloft as a warning.”
Jasper needs Charlie’s help – for what, becomes the main plot of the story.
“This night has pickpocketed me of precious things I can’t ever get back. I feel robbed, but I don’t feel cheated by Jasper Jones. It’s a curious emptiness. Like when you move to a new house and there’s no furniture nor familiar walls, the same sort of weird alloy of abandonment and upheaval.”
I ran into trouble before I’d even opened the book. There’s a testimonial on the cover that brands Jasper Jones as “…an Australian To Kill a Mockingbird…”. I wondered how Silvey felt when his book was labelled this way. Personally, I would have been shitting myself – those Mockingbird shoes are bloody big shoes to fill. Continue reading →