Things That Are Making Me Happy This Week

01. Readers, make a beeline for MTC’s The Sound Inside – packed with literary references, and very cleverly structured. I can’t find a complete reading list, but this one includes a quote about Franzen that made me laugh out loud.

“I told her that reading Jonathan Franzen is the equivalent of eating a few servings of truck-stop-quality fruit cocktail and then going on a spirited jog down a well- appointed Upper-middle-class street with giant initials on all the garages.” Continue reading

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 explains, it’s the most relaxed reading challenge you’ll participate in (swap books out, change your target, do whatever). The challenge is straightforward – read twenty books between June 1st and September 1st. Continue reading

The Top 57 from the Best Books of 2021 List of Lists

Presenting the 2021 Commonly-Agreed-by-the-People-Who-Publish-Best-of-2021-Book-Lists-Before-December-31 top 57 books.

(This is my annual community service to book-bloggers – a list of the books that appear most frequently on the 45 lists that I listed on Best Books of 2021 – A List of Lists – enjoy!). Continue reading

Things that are making me happy this week

01. The Melbourne Theatre Company 2022 program (don’t talk to me about Opera Australia – I’m fuming). So much to look forward to at MTC, including some books transformed for the stage (Touching the Void by Joe Simpson; Fun Home by Alison Bechdel; Come Rain or Come Shine by Kazua Ishiguro; and Laurinda by Alice Pung). Continue reading

Things that are making me happy this week

Seems I’m eating and drinking my way through Lockdown 6.0…

01. Attica Chicken and Chill dinner – highlights: house smoked King Ora salmon with macadamia cream, lime oil and ciabatta; the asparagus ‘green slaw’; the silky white chocolate and yoghurt panna cotta with preserved blackberries and caramel corn. Continue reading

Bookish (and not so bookish) Thoughts

01. The picture above is of Gardiner’s Creek. The creek adjoins an oval where my kids play lacrosse (in fact I took this pic last Saturday as they were warming up before their game). The local council is planning to rip up the grass and replace it with an artificial soccer pitch (with a 1.8m fence and extensive car-parking). I can’t tell you how angry it has made me, for all sorts of reasons (environmental, hydrological, community access to open space, light pollution, provision of multi-use facilities, and I could go on). Needless to say, I’m protesting the development. Hard. Continue reading

Fresh Complaint by Jeffrey Eugenides

Curtis Sittenfeld’s You Think It, I’ll Say It is a tough act to follow on the short-story front but nonetheless, I figured Jeffrey Eugenides’s first collection, Fresh Complaint, would be a reasonable bet.

The collection opens with Complainers, a gentle story about the decades-long friendship between two women, and how their relationship changes when one is diagnosed with dementia. I feel like I’m reading about dementia at every turn at the moment, but Eugenides’s take on it from the perspective of a friend was refreshingly different.

Dementia isn’t a nice word. It sounds violent, invasive, like having a demon scooping out pieces of your brain which in fact is just what it is. Continue reading

Six Degrees of Separation – from Fates and Furies to Gould’s Book of Fish

six-degrees-fates-and-furies

It’s time for #6Degrees and it’s a cinch to play – please join in!

This month’s chain begins with Lauren Groff’s bestseller Fates and Furies. I haven’t read it (yet) but I do know it’s a story about a marriage, told from different perspectives. Continue reading