This is from my journal about three years before I started to realise if I didn’t start taking my ideas about fiction writing seriously, nothing would ever happen with it. I still circled it for a few more years (the mention of Edward Said means I was doing my thesis reading and therefore all energies were going to studies, family and er journalling). It’s interesting to look back, especially the mention of the lit agent article on how hard it was to get published (back then) and my inability to spell Tsiolkas is kind of sweet-pathetic:
Three new books purchased today 1. Dead Europe – Christos Tolkas. I think he wrote Head On which was very Full On but I liked it 2. Istanbul – Memories of a City – Orhan Pamuk. Cok guzel bir yazci. 3. Tasting Life Twice – conversations with remarkable writers by Ramona Koval. Then a pile of other books, unstarted, waiting: The Great Fire, Shirley Hazzard; Life of Pi, Yann Martel; Captain Correli’s Mandolin, Louis de Bernieres; The Sheltering Sky, Paul Bowles – remember that Debra Winger movie, weird in the desert somewhere, perhaps she had a wax? – The Songlines, Bruce Chatwin; Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, John Berendt; A Fine Balance, Rohan Mistry* Snow, Orhan Pamuk. Yes I know there are two Pamuk’s here, both unread. Then there are partly-read but as yet unfinished: A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius, Dave Eggers [ this is what I’m actually reading at the moment, in between NW and The Age, and blogs]; Out of Place, Edward Said. There is also Candelo by Georgia Blain. I read it a few years ago, but want to revisit. Also the Lonely Planet Fiji guide that my ex-husband left here when he was visiting in February. How fortuitous!! Perhaps a browse and trip to Fiji needs to take place?? Also The Age Good Food Guide which they sent me for free when I signed up for home delivery. Must say it is nice to just stagger out and get paper from lawn rather than stagger up road to milk bar to get paper. Then there is the Quarterly Essay with Germaine Greer’s Whitefella Jump Up piece which is partially read. Will return to this. I’d like to write something entitled ‘There’s Something About Germaine’ or ‘Do You Fear the Greer?’ Next: 2 x New Weekly mags, the one featuring celebrity drug confessions on the cover, Angelina – HEROIN, Nicole Richie – HEROIN etc as well as Sadie Frost’s cocaine-degraded nose. Also the latest one with lovebirds Jen Aniston and Vince Vaughan. I know I’ve said it elsewhere, but his arms look really big… Inventory continues: 1 x hardback library copy of Allan Ahlberg’s The Giant Baby. Then several clipped news and magazine articles: various kid-type activities to do on school holidays [which is like now] an advertisement in melbuni postgrad newspaper for a creative writing competition. which I will never enter because I haven’t got time. Although i did have an idea of something I could knock out the other day, now what was it??? The Gwen Stefani exercise regime [NW] recipe for ‘impossible pie’, small article on potatoes leek, recipe oxtail recipe, article on English language’s “black holes” ie why don’t we have a word for the action your head makes when you are falling asleep while sitting up? > whipnap is suggested. I like it. Article by literary agent on how hard it is to publish these days, soup recipes from different cultures, tribute by Helen garner to Elizabeth Jolley.
* love love loved his other one, the one about the family, called family matters?? or something similar.
5 thoughts on “Flashback to 30 June, 2005 ‘What’s beside my bed’”
What a hoot … now I wish I hadn’t stopped keeping a journal. Did you every read A fine balance? It’s one of my all time favourites (and I still haven’t got to his Family matters but clearly I should. It’s in the pile – at least I’m pretty sure it is.)
Thanks Sue. I can’t remember if I read A Fine Balance, I think not, but it’s on my shelf. I think. What I need is a list of books I’ve read. I can’t even do it from year to year. Family Matters is wonderful. Must re-read sometime.
Yes, you do I reckon Jenny! I started keeping a spreadsheet a decade or so ago now and it’s a great help. Of course I have to remember to to enter books there. Sites like GoodReads and LibraryThing work well for that too.
I can’t do any more sites, ie WordPress and fbook and twitter are enough. I just can’t seem to summon energy to invest in goodreads and other things cause then there’s pressure to rate books and that will kill the joy for me. I have Excel spreadsheets of books on my shelves but they don’t give any idea of whether I’ve read them or not. That data remains in my brain, often inaccessible! But if I look at a cover and remind myself of blurb I can tell whether I’ve read or not. One hilarious occasion, though: I’d read Secret History (Tartt) overseas, years ago, can’t remember where I was and I think it was a borrowed copy. Anyway, about ten years later I came across it and re-read it, not realising I had already read it and really enjoyed it. The worrying thing was that I was a good way in before I realised what was going on; why it was so familiar. Very very strange feeling. Has that ever happened to you?
I know exactly what you mean re sites. I rarely do anything at GoodReads and I mainly use LibraryThing to create an inventory of my books. I just enter ISBN and up pops the book usually … You can then download LT as a spreadsheet every now and then. If you have a spreadsheet already you could just add a column for Read and enter Y for those read … As you remember them of course!
Yes, I’m not sure I’ve actually totally reread something I didn’t remember I’ve read but there are books on my shelves I remember absolutely nothing about. I reckon some would take me much reading again before I recollected them.