What a fabulous book feast I’ve had this year so far! An eclectic mind-stimulating mix of books by some of my favourite authors and others previously unknown to me.
This latest reading year started off with a Christmas present from my husband Richard – who likes to challenge my more usual reading list with titles I might not otherwise buy – and these included such books as Liane Moriaty’s Big Little Lies, Philippa Gregory’s Dark Tides, Brenda Davies’ The Girl Behind the Gates and Sally Hepworth’s The Good Sister – all of which I found stretched my mind, imagination and awareness in different ways.
Other print books I’ve purchased since then include Elena Ferrante’s The Lying Life of Adults – I find Ferrante’s books unputdownable – and Deputy Lord Mayor of Sydney Jess Scully’s Glimpses of Utopia. And, oh wow, this last should be compulsory reading for anyone remotely interested in politics, economics or pure humanity. A brilliant well-rehearsed look at the world we live in and the wide-open possibility for change where change is well overdue. I’m not sure why it brings to mind Behrouz Boochani’s excellent No Friend But the Mountain, but it does. Completely different books in style and tone — but both highlighting the need for change.
I’m ashamed to admit I hadn’t read Jane Harper until we went to see the film The Dry in late January – and while I thoroughly enjoyed the movie, I found the book terrific. Although I’ve never been a great crime fan until now (apart from Peter Temple’s The Broken Shore) I have to say it set me off to read her other titles. I’ve lived in a number of country towns from north to the south and east to west of our country and I find her writing so impressively and honestly Australian, the characters so realistically human, that in more than one instance I found myself stepping into the story to add my piece to the debate. Hmm. Short trip, I hear you say.
And so to what I have lined up for the next month or so: Trent Dalton’s All Our Shimmering Skies (what a beginning!), Craig Silvey’s Honeybee, Glenda Adams’ Dancing on Coral and my former editor Rebecca Starford’s The Imitator.
It’s a wonder I get time to write, but writing I am. I’m getting bites with my two completed manuscripts and hope to have another book or two out before too long. Meanwhile I very much enjoy giving book club talks and have a number lined up over the next three months, so if you’d like me to talk about one of my books, please contact me.
I’d love to get your feedback on some of the books I’ve mentioned here. And any recommendations of your own. Happy reading and writing.