Bookish (and not so bookish) Thoughts

01. I’ve had so much fun over the last two weeks – Home, I’m Darling (the sets! The costumes!); a long lunch at Moondog (I can highly recommend the avocado dip paired with a Moondog pale ale); Pseudo Echo, Rick Astley, and a-ha in concert at Rockford Winery (a-ha had the top billing but really, it was all Rick), and… Continue reading

Melbourne Writers Festival 2019 – the first bit

Can you see Tayari Jones in the pic above? She looks tiny but I had to show off the magnificent Capitol Theatre, one of the venues for this year’s Melbourne Writers Festival.

I managed four sessions on my first Festival day. The highlights: Continue reading

My Salinger Year by Joanna Rakoff

New York, 1995, and newly graduated 23-year-old Joanna Rakoff has deserted her ‘nice college boyfriend’ and has moved into a slope-floored, unheated apartment in New York with domineering Don – a Marxist, aspiring writer, and everyday arsehole.

Although she dreams of becoming a poet, Rakoff takes a job as an assistant at the literary agency that represents J. D. Salinger. The ‘Agency’ is from another era – plush wood-panelled offices complete with Dictaphones and typewriters; old-time agents doing business their way, including martini lunches and afternoon naps; and a boss (‘swathed in a whiskey mink, her eyes covered with enormous dark glasses, her head with a silk scarf in an equestrian pattern’) who keeps track of her authors on specially printed index cards. Her boss notes –

‘…agents used to be upstanding. None of these multiple submissions…no auctions, with publishers bidding against each other. It’s uncouth. That’s not the Agency way. We send things out to one editor at a time. We match writers with editors. We have morals.’ Continue reading

My childhood champions

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This week, the crew behind Top Ten Tuesday suggested we revisit our favourite childhood characters and speculate on where they might be now. I’m flouting the rules and leaving my favourites JUST THE WAY THEY ARE. Continue reading

Six Degrees of Separation – from My Brilliant Friend to Swimming Home

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It’s time for #6Degrees (and as the new-ish host, I’m asking you in the loveliest possible way to join in!).

We begin this month with the first book in Elena Ferrante’s Neapolitan quartet, My Brilliant Friend. I’ve only just started reading it, but the story focuses on two young girls who remain friends until adulthood. Continue reading

Finished the Summer Reading Challenge on a strong note

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Today marks the end of the 20 Books of Summer reading challenge, hosted by Cathy at 746 Books. After a slow start, I romped it in with days to spare, although haven’t written detailed reviews of my final two books – Our Endless Numbered Days by Claire Fuller and Whiskey and Charlie by Annabel Smith. It was a strong finish. Continue reading