20 Books of Summer (Winter) 2021 – Challenge Complete(ish)

The 20 Books of Summer reading challenge drew to a close yesterday, on Melbourne’s first distinctly-Spring-like day (it was 22 degrees and glorious). Continue reading

Things that are making me happy this week

01. Wah! We had a special dinner booked at Farmer’s Daughters but had to pivot for Lockdown 6.0. Thank goodness for our Florentino feast from Providoor. Highlight was the Baccalà, but the arancini; duck tortellini with caramelised pear; slow-cooked beef cheek; Tiramisu; and cannoli were also delicious. Continue reading

Things that are making me happy this week

01. I was supposed to be at Philip Island this weekend… which would have meant I missed out on the Yarra Valley Writers Festival – so the silver lining of Lockdown 5.0 is that I got to ‘attend’ (virtually) the Festival (and my trip has been rescheduled). I’m classing it as a win, okay?!

02. Related: When Meg Mason was talking about Sorrow & Bliss, she said that in the first version the story, Ingrid was going to be in Martha’s imagination i.e. how Martha might be without her mental illness – WHAT?! I’m glad she made Ingrid a real person. Continue reading

Kokomo by Victoria Hannan

I really, really wish Victoria Hannan hadn’t started Kokomo with a sex scene. The tone of the scene is not representative of the remaining 294 pages, which are insightful, subtle, and wonderfully atmospheric.

On the other hand, maybe that sex scene is exactly representative of the book – that all is not as it appears. The book takes it’s name from the Beach Boys song. Apt, because while we think Kokomo is a song about a tropical island paradise, it is in fact “…not even a real place … Well, it is, but it’s an industrial city in Indiana…” And like the song, the characters in Hannan’s novel appear one way, but their inner lives reveal something quite different – full of complexities, insecurities, desires. Continue reading