Things That Are Making Me Happy This Week

01. Started the week with a visit to Aurora Bathhouse in Sorrento – it was so good. Hard to say which bits I liked best but the salt scrub; cold plunge pool; mineral pool with tonnes of room to float; and the glacial mist room were all outstanding. Continue reading

Ransom by David Malouf

I usually try to read the texts my kids are studying at school, so that I can engage them in long and immersive discussions about books. As you can imagine, they loathe my interference input. Most often, the books are ones I’ve read but this year, something new to me – Ransom by David Malouf.

In summary, it’s a reimagination of the ancient story of Achilles’s slaughter and desecration of Hector, and Hector’s father, Priam’s attempt to pay a ransom for his son’s body. Continue reading

What I’d Rather Not Think About by Jente Posthuma

When I read the first line of the blurb to What I’d Rather Not Think About by Jente Posthuma, I laughed –

By my twenty-seventh birthday, I owned 142 sweaters, and it was high time I saw a therapist.

And then I stopped laughing, because the next bit of the blurb read –

What if one half of a pair of twins no longer wants to live? What if the other can’t live without them? Continue reading

Antarctica by Claire Keegan

I was completely seduced by Claire Keegan’s novellas last year, so obviously I didn’t need much convincing to read her debut collection of short stories, Antarctica.

The titular story, Antarctica, is startling, and sets the tone for the rest of the collection. And I’d describe that tone as violent. The stories explore violence in what are predominantly domestic settings, and the focus is on women, and themes of fidelity and retribution. But before Antarctica takes its frightening turn, it begins with a brilliant first line –

Every time the happily married woman went away she wondered how it would feel to sleep with another man. Continue reading