I think Tegan Bennett Daylight added the subtitle ‘Reading, Love and Death’ to her memoir/essay collection, The Details, just so that I’d buy it. Obviously I did. Immediately. What’s better than reading about reading, love and death? Nothing!
I’m not particularly into fishing and nor have I ever visited the byways of Brisbane Water on the Central Coast of New South Wales (although from a hydrological point-of-view, it sounds like my kind of place), and yet, I identified with much of Vicki Hastrich’s memoir, Night Fishing.
Essays covering a range of topics from stingrays and aquariums to the acquisition of a bathyscope and her grandfather’s welding business, are loosely linked to fishing and Hastrich’s trips to the family holiday house on an inlet near Woy Woy. Each essay is overlaid with Hastrich’s elegant observations about family, nature, and writing and the result is cohesive and deeply pleasing.
At night, tucked in bed and daubed with calamine lotion, we listened to the parents having a few beers in the kitchen and playing cards; the cheerful noise of friends.Continue reading →
I did away with ‘top tens’ a few years ago, and instead I finish the reading year with a recap of the books that are still speaking to me (less about four and five-star ratings, more about what has stuck). Continue reading →
With just hours before the Stella Prize 2018 longlist is announced, I thought I’d take a stab at what I think will appear.
Apparently the judges had to work through more than 170 entries (look at that ace pic below!). Unlike the judges, I’ve only read a handful of eligible books but I’m aware of a bunch that keep crossing my radar. On that rather flimsy basis, I’m predicting the longlist*.
There’s a saying that truth is stranger than fiction and Georgia Blain’s exquisite posthumous memoir, The Museum of Words is testimony to this.
We often expect reality as we experience it to be less dramatic than fiction, and most of the time it is. But this was a perfect storm: a confluence of dark clouds gathering, all lined up in the horizon, every one of them heading my way.Continue reading →
Sure, I might squeeze in another couple of books before midnight on December 31, 2017 but I think I can safely draw a line under the reading challenges for the year.
I participated in five challenges this year – finished three; one is ongoing (I made a solid start); and I failed one – not miserably but I didn’t complete the target number of books. Continue reading →