Plans for 2016

As I said before, this is my Year of Reading India. The rules are I don't buy any new local or overseas fiction, with the following exceptions: my friend's book, coming out this year some time books that fit into my written by an Indian author/set in India/about India books that are necessary for my reading [...]

Reading plans for 2016 – the Year of Reading India

While I was in Ubud recently, I decided that next year will be my Year of Reading India. I plan for 2016 to be the beginning of a new type of reading approach for me. Why India? Because I have a bunch of books written by Indian authors already, including a few of Salman Rushdie's [...]

2, 2 and 2 at Amanda Curtin’s blog

The lovely Amanda Curtin (who I met at the recent Ubud Writers Festival) asked me if I'd participate in a series she runs on her blog, looking up looking down. The idea is you write about 2 things that inspired your book, 2 places connected with the book (geographical or metaphysical) and 2 favourite 'anythings' somehow connected [...]

Back from my fishing trip aka The Ubud Writers and Readers Festival 2015

It was really good and while the added six days were kind of not good, they were also good. Good. Here are some photos from my launch, which was held at the divine Sri Ratih Cottages in Ubud, which was also where I stayed. It was really fun doing a launch with a different format. First, [...]

The Secret Son, review in The Australian newspaper

Was very happy to see this review of The Secret Son (alongside Leah Kaminsky's first novel The Waiting Room) in the paper over the weekend. An author dreams of reviews, and they don't always happen, small or big, positive or negative. They don't always happen quickly, and they don't always happen at all. With 400 new [...]

How good is this?

Am catching up with an old school friend on Monday (she lives in Sydney, me in Melbourne). She texted confirmation for our coffee and then included a link to an article in which she shared her response to my book with her readers. She also tweeted about it. She didn't have to do any of this, and [...]

Sunday reading catch up including PURITY by Jonathan Franzen

But first, looky here: This is what I saw in The Age Sunday Life magazine this morning. Nice! This is what I cooked last night. I don't think anyone can make a better spaghetti marinara than me. Romeo's in Toorak? I think not. TIAMO in Carlton? Pffft. * Yesterday I spent a lot of the day [...]

Chigozie Obioma and the case for ‘audacious prose’

This week, Chigozie Obioma's debut novel The Fishermen was short-listed for the Man Booker Prize. Obioma was already on my radar, first because I'd been hearing about the book, and then because I booked into a workshop he's running at the Ubud Writers and Readers Festival next month. I booked into it so fast, it was like [...]

Happening

My book is in all good book shops. My book is quite comfortable, in a stack, as a pillow. My book is very beautiful and quite nice to read too. My book wants to be in your house, in your bookcase. My book has the most beautiful cover. Did I say that? My book is [...]

What I’ve been reading, what I stopped reading, what I want to be reading

But first, congratulations to Sofie Laguna for her Miles Franklin win, for THE EYE OF THE SHEEP. You can read more about that here at Allen & Unwin's website. I found out that Sofie had no idea she was going to win, in fact had been told not to expect a win, so what a triumph, and [...]

FALLEN

Today's post is dedicated to the 22nd book I've read this year, Fallen, a memoir, by Rochelle Siemienowicz (HURRAH, that is the first time I've been able to spell Rochelle's surname, without looking. And funnily enough, my spell check has offered 'Microeconomics' instead.) I was always going to read this book, because: DISCLOSURE, I know Rochelle in [...]

Not a review: books of strange, new things

For my final book post for the year, I have chosen recent local fiction (plus one non-local interloper) to present. These are all VERY exciting novels, especially for this reader who usually sticks to The Real. Annabel Smith's THE ARK Paddy O'Reilly's THE WONDERS Jane Rawson's A WRONG TURN AT THE OFFICE OF UNMADE LISTS [...]

Not a review, on How to Be Both by Ali Smith

This year I've tested out a couple of book clubs, run by local bookshops. I have a fairly non-existent history with book groups. I went along once to a friend's meeting. I hadn't finished the book, and felt incredibly inarticulate. I don't know whether finishing the book would have made any difference, to be honest. One [...]

Interview with author Annabel Smith about her new book THE ARK (and some other stuff)

Let me tell you a bit about writer Annabel Smith. I first 'met' her on twitter, and then I met her for real earlier this year when I went to Perth for the writers festival. I think I went galloping down to her in one of the tiered venues, after she was on a panel, [...]

Salman ‘Let’s drop the Sir shit’ Rushdie, at MWF 2014 (28 August)

Rushdie, sans zoom   Almost done with my catch-up posts. I went to see Salman Rushdie speak at what I call Dallas Brooks Hall but which I think now has another name. I can't move with the times which is why it's always 'Spencer Street Station', 'Telstra Dome' and 'Kardinia Park'. I had a good [...]

‘Hemingway Keeper’ Michael Katakis talks to Laura Jean McKay

The Wheeler Centre has a fabulous program of events throughout the year, including the occasional 'lunch time treat' such as yesterday's chat with writer and photographer Michael Katakis, and author Laura Jean McKay. The name of the event was 'Hemingway's Keeper' and it caught my eye, bien sur. I have a love for Hemingway that [...]

Helen Garner’s opening at the 2014 Melbourne Writers Festival

  I went along to the Melbourne Town Hall to see Helen Garner talking to Romana Koval. it was a buzzy night, lots of people, and I'd booked my ticket using the 'select seat yourself' button, instead of the 'best available.' This meant I got a ticket in the first row and as I walked [...]

MWF14 catch-up post MORNING READ W/ THUY ON, & Philip Hensher

Thuy On with novelist Mark Henshaw I first met Thuy when The Big Issue published my story 'Dead Man's Cake' last year. I perched awkwardly at the team's table in the Optic bar after the launch. To be fair, they called me over, and I was introduced to everyone else. Thuy said she really liked [...]

Qaisra Shahraz @ Readings Hawthorn PEN event

My friend Athi and I went along to see my twitter friend Qaisra earlier this month, to hear her speak about her work. Qaisra has been very warm and friendly on twitter, and when I read last year that she was Australia-bound for the Byron Bay Writers Festival, I thought I might make the trip [...]

PWF2014 catch-up: The Luminaries, Eleanor Catton speaks with Susan Wyndham

On the Saturday (22 Feb) I went to listen to Eleanor Catton talk with Susan Wyndham about The Luminaries. I think this was the day I wore my new navy skirt I had bought in the op-shop at Freo the day before, when we went to find the Eyrie building. This is a skirt which [...]

Messages from 2004 – no one is taking a punt any more

I have several large ring binder folders that are stuffed with clipped newspaper articles, book reviews, my handwritten notes from courses and other printed material, mainly pieces on writing that I've found online. Sometimes when my mind is too buzzy to settle on fiction when I'm in bed at night, before sleeping, I pull out [...]

Obsessions

My mother loves Dickens's works, and loves to read about his life. This morning on twitter among a conversational back-and-forth on Dickens, there was a link to an article about Dickens and his children. From the London Review of Books How Does he Come to Be Mine? by Tim Parks, which is a review of [...]

During the whilst

While looking for pictures to use in the review section, I found this:Annotations on Hemingway's A Moveable Feast which contain page references, links to youtube clips, photos and extra quotations.It's quite simply extraordinary.I know Ernest Hemingway is passé and a lot of people bag him and/or his writing but if anyone wanted a taster, A [...]

So my dear ones

I was going to write my first review on Jill Stark's High Sobriety. No, it's not a novel, yes it's like a memoir of a year without alcohol. But it was so important, I lent it to a friend this morning to read. So, I'm thinking The Great Gatsby will be my first review. Why [...]

While I’m cogitating on the next ‘How-to’ book review post…

I wanted to quickly list the books that I have on my shelves that I have found (variously) helpful in improving my writing skills but thought I'd also write a bit about my beliefs for revising work. Editing Knowing and clearly understanding what the different types of revision are is a first step and this [...]

Scattered

I remember a few years ago feeling I had reached the point where I was so stuffed with fiction I couldn't read it anymore, and turned to NF. I am wondering whether it's not happening again. I feel like my reading is flighty, agitated and skittish. I can't commit, I flit around, looking for something [...]

Tracing influence

I'm reading an interview with Michel Houellebecq in The Paris Review. These interviews are marvellous; along with First Tuesday Book Club catch ups on iView, these Paris interviews I think will take up much of my eyeball time over summer. I've never read any of Houellebecq's novels; I can barely spell his surname, there's a [...]