Drawing a Line Under 2020 Reading – Part 1

These books deserve thorough reviews but I also really want to be done with 2020. So, for the sake of completeness, quick reviews of the books I read in November and December last year – Continue reading

The Top 50 from the Best Books of 2020 List of Lists

Presenting the 2020 Commonly-Agreed-by-the-People-Who-Publish-Best-of-2020-Book-Lists-Before-December-31 top 50 books. Continue reading

Book vs. TV Series: My Brilliant Friend – The Story of a New Name

I didn’t care for the books, but thought the first TV series (with each episode representing one chapter in the first book) was superb.

The second series – which aligns with The Story of a New Name – is so, so good. It’s demanding viewing because the actress who plays Lila (Gaia Girace), is the master of the overt and the incredibly subtle – her glances, her body language, the slightest tilt of her head says EVERYTHING. Continue reading

Sample Saturday – three very different memoirs

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. Continue reading

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°.

20 Books of Summer (except that it’s Winter)

Cathy at 746 Books is hosting the 20 Books of Summer reading challenge again this year. As Cathy states, it’s the most relaxed reading challenge you’ll participate in (swap books out, change your target, do whatever). Continue reading

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.

Six Degrees of Separation – from The Arsonist to Tin Man

It’s time for #6degrees. Start at the same place as other wonderful readers, add six books, and see where you end up!

This month we begin with The Arsonist by Chloe Hooper. It’s a fascinating account of the 2009 Black Saturday bushfires. One of the themes Hooper explores is remorse. Continue reading