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How beautiful is this image? It’s a photograph by Chris Friel, you can see his work here. I’m thinking this is what I have in my head when I think about my next book.


Well, I kind of snapped last night and started reading Karl Ove’s fifth book which I’ve had sitting on shelf since earlier this year, when I kind of snapped and bought it.

But I have almost finished Interpreter of Maladies. And have really loved it.

I will finish Buddha of Suburbia. And I will read more from my list, the year is still new.

I cheated with – true confessions – James Patterson’s Along Came a Spider (it’s a long story, you’ll just have to trust me when I say it’s the first one of his I’ve ever read, and will likely be the last. I didn’t think it could be as god-awful as everyone says. But it was.) Part of the reason is I’m doing his Masterclass online (a series of short videos where he expounds on different aspects of writing. Costs USD $90 and is kind of helpful. Doesn’t matter what you write, the principles of storytelling are common across all genres.)

So why Knausgaaard right now? Because last night I watched a 2014 interview he did with Andrew O’Hagan, you can watch it here. And it reminded me of how wonderful it is to immerse myself in his books, and I’d read that book 5 is concerned with him going to a writer’s academy in continuation of his ‘coming to art’ process and I thought to myself: you’re the one who’s put these ridiculous constraints on your reading, who will care if you read Karl Ove?

If nothing else, the challenge has taught me not to set such stringent challenges for myself, because all that happens is I end up feeling I’m doing the wrong thing. Who needs that in life, as a self-imposed thing, when there are all the external things that can make you feel like that?

But I’m not going to crack and just start buying books all over the place. I’m still going to refuse myself the ones I want – Maestra, The Last Painting of Sara de Vos, City on Fire by Garth Risk Hallberg, Preparation for the Next Life, the rest of the Ferrantes, and others – until next year.


I’m super annoyed because I have a ticket to Hanya Yanigahara who will be talking at a Wheeler Centre event next month but I’ve managed to book a work thing that night, where I’ll be speaking at a school in Frankston. If anyone wants the ticket please let me know and I can email it to you. I don’t want payment would just be good for the ticket to be used. But I’m okay for Jonathan Franzen later the same week.


I’m up to the Paper stage of Mari Kondo’s tidying method and it’s proving harder than clothes or books. It’s sucking the life out of me, seriously.


How is this glorious Melbourne weather?