It hadn’t occurred to me to make a list of my top ten books of the decade until I saw such lists popping up everywhere. Given that books, blogging and lists go together like sand and sea, it’s ridiculous that I haven’t been working on my list for months! Continue reading →
Sorry in advance – The Shepherd’s Hut by Tim Winton is one of those books that I can’t say much about, for fear of spoilers.
It’s the story of teenager, Jaxie Clackton. Jaxie’s mum died and his relationship with his dad is violent.
…when everyone went home after the funeral and I finished putting all them casseroles in the freezer I stood in the lounge in my good duds and the Captain sat out on the back patio drinking homebrew and rum. Arm over arm. Neither one of us said nothing. We both knew there was never gunna be anything good again.
Jaxie decides to leave, taking off across the vast saltlands of Western Australia. There he meets Fintan MacGillis, an old Irishman, on his own for very different reasons than Jaxie. What happens next changes both their lives.Continue reading →
Phew. I found The Mint Lawn by Gillian Mears intense. And dense. I was expecting to become completely absorbed (as I did with Foal’s Bread) but instead, I got bogged down in heavy prose, the shifting timeline, and emotionally taxing characters.
The story is set in the fictional town of Jacaranda, on the north coast of New South Wales (I believe Jacaranda is based on the town of Grafton). Clementine, aged twenty-five and married to her high-school music teacher, Hugh, is still living in the place where she grew up, bound by memories and her inability to make sense of past events. Told from Clementine’s point-of-view, the story rotates around her sisters, her parents (Ventry and Cairo), her grandmother, Hugh and her lover.
But it is one of those memory stories that has accumulated colours and meanings more potent than the event itself.Continue reading →
I’ve really enjoyed rewinding through my reading over the past five years. Here’s the last instalment (acknowledging that there’s a chance I’ll have to change the 2017 choice, depending on what I read in the next seven days) – Continue reading →
01. A couple of years ago I had a salad epiphany (I’m not overstating it). I realised that there was no such thing as a ‘tasty, simple salad that you could throw together at the last minute’. Instead, all the best salads appear simple but are actually quite complex and/or take time to prepare. I bought a book that became my Salad Bible. Truly, it’s the best. So I was excited to discover that the author, Hetty McKinnon, has a new book out – Neighbourhood. Continue reading →
It’s all ticker-tape parades and celebrations on Goodreads for Frew’s second novel, Hope Farm. And then there’s my two star rating, sitting alongside the glowing four and five-star reviews. Continue reading →
It’s six degrees of separation for books. Created by Emma Chapman and Annabel Smith. Check out the rules if you want to play along.
This month’s chain begins with Anthony Doerr’sAll the Light We Cannot See – it has lots of great themes that could be used as a starting point but I’m linking it to Foal’s Bread by Gillian Mears. Both were books that I read in the last few weeks of the year (2014 and 2012 respectively) – too late for me to push them on others as ‘my best book of the year’.
Strictly speaking, an Australian literary map isn’t quite as crowded (not as many states in comparison to the US). It would be nice to do an Australian one that reflected cities and regional areas but that’s a big project (and for that matter, actually put it on a map…). For the time being, here are my favourite books set in different states.