Six Degrees of Separation – from The Slap to Me and You

It’s time for #6Degrees and truly, it’s easy to play (no rules, just bookish fun) – join in!

This month we begin with The Slap by Christos Tsiolkas. What can I say about this book except that if you want to start a heated debate at a dinner party, mention it! Continue reading

‘A Common Loss’ by Kirsten Tranter

I’m not sure why A Common Loss by Kirsten Tranter ended up on the top of my reading stack. My book group read Tranter’s first book, The Legacy, and whilst they were enthusiastic about it, I was less so. I found The Legacy all a little too obvious, a bit strained, characters lacking true feeling. But in the spirit of giving authors a decent go, especially Australian authors, I picked up A Common Loss.

First off, I should mention that I read the book on my Kindle, some months after a I had actually downloaded it. When I started reading, I had forgotten what the story was about (you don’t have easy access to a jacket blurb on a Kindle – this can be a good or a bad thing!). It’s essentially the story of five college friends, who reunite every year in Las Vegas. However one year they are only four – charismatic Dylan, the mediator, the man each one turned to in a time of crisis is tragically killed. The four remaining friends, sharing their ‘common loss’, meet in Vegas and question who their friend Dylan really was.

I note not revisiting the story blurb before I started the book because I was at least a chapter or two in before I realised that the narrator is a male character, Elliot. Up until that point I assumed the narrator was a female (probably because of the opening scene where an account of moving a dead deer off a road is described with many observations about physical appearances and lack of strength). Whether the narrator is male or female doesn’t really matter but when I realised my error, I had flashbacks to The Legacy, with its unconvincing characters. Were we headed down the same path? Continue reading

Reading stack confessions…

The latest Readings newsletter arrived in my letterbox this week. I dare not open it because I know I’ll find reviews and snippets about all sorts of good books that I haven’t yet read.

My pile of books waiting to be read (both physical and ‘virtual’) is embarrassingly huge. In fact, if I didn’t buy another book for two years, I would probably have enough to read. I keep making vague pledges to stop adding to the stack but then I read about a new book – for example Novel Girl’s interview with author Eowyn Ivey about her debut novel, The Snow Child – and my resolution disappears.

So here are the hard facts about my reading stack – 144 titles sitting on my Kindle (*blush*) and 47 unread books on the shelf (*blushes again*). That’s actually about three years worth of reading. Lordy.

What’s ahead? Well The Snow Child of course, The Freudian Slip by Marion von Adlerstein, A Common Loss by Kirsten Tranter, 1Q84 by Haruki Murakami and I’ll probably cave and read The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins – those and 186 other books!