Monday, 3 November 2014

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

I had no intention of blogging tonight.

We had a huge weekend away with Mr Books' 30 yr school reunion. 

Monday is also my late night shift at work. 

The most I usually do on Monday nights is check my social media, sometimes publish a previously written post, chat with Mr Books, read a few chapters of my book and fall asleep as soon as possible!

But tonight social media sucked me in. 

I had a facebook notification from Michael @Literary Explorations, on the Aussie Book Bloggers page, about the It's Monday! What Are You Reading meme, hosted by Book Journey.

In the past I have avoided most of these BIG meme's - so many participants & so little time to visit other blogs & leave thoughtful comments. It's a pressure I don't usually put myself under.

However Michael has now created a spot for Aussie participants to leave their links, so that we can all support each other. Bloody brilliant!

So, what am I reading this week?

I have just started AusReading Month, so all my books will be Australian for the next four weeks.

I finished Golden Boys by Sonya Hartnett yesterday (rave review TBW). 

It's her first book for adults, although the protagonists are still children.

This is what Linda Funnell from the SMH had to say recently about it: 

 "Spanning only a scant few weeks, Golden Boys flows as easily as a bike ride on a summer afternoon. But within its effortless unfolding are sombre themes: of the neighbourhood's acceptance of domestic violence, and its effects on children; of the way class and money can enable and protect a predator; and how resilient, vulnerable, opportunistic and courageous children can be."

I am half way through The Forgotten Rebels of Eureka by Clare Wright and about a third of the way into The Biggest Estate on Earth by Bill Gammage.

Clare Wright won this year's Stella Prize with her non-fiction work about women on the gold fields of Victoria. It's a wonderful read so far - full of fascinating details and interesting stories.

Kerryn Goldsworthy, chair of the judging panel had this to say about it:


"A rare combination of true scholarship with a warmly engaging narrative voice, along with a wealth of detail about individual characters and daily life on the goldfields, makes this book compulsively readable. It has a highly visual, almost cinematic quality, with vivid snapshots and pen-portraits of goldfields life. It also moves briskly from one scene or character to the next, with variations in pace and mood, in a way that heightens anticipation and suspense even though we know about the violence that will eventually explode as the tensions between the miners and the forces of officialdom increase to a point beyond containment."

The Biggest Estate on Earth is proving to be a much slower read, though equally as compelling and fascinating. The coloured plates used to highlight Gammage's points are also a wonderful excursion into early Australian art.

Adrian Hyland in the SMH said that this book is: 


"...history of the most readable kind: a fascinating amalgam of scientific enigma, bush lore and anecdote.

 This is a beautiful and profound piece of writing, one that has importance for us all. We live in the most fire-prone environment on Earth. It was built to burn. Aboriginal people thrived in this environment for thousands of years, their chief defences being mobility, continual burning and an intricate understanding of the bush."

 

Last night I started the 1910 coming of age classic The Getting of Wisdom by Henry Handel Richardson.

Henry Handel was the pseudonym of Ethel Florence Lindesay Richardson.

She was born in 1870 in Victoria. Her family was fairly well-off in the early days, but fell on hard times, after her father died. She attended the Presbyterian Ladies' College in Melbourne from age 13 - 17.

It was this experience that she based her boarding school story about Laura Rambotham on. 

22 comments:

  1. I have just added The Biggest Estate on Earth and The Forgotten Rebels of Eureka to my wishlist. They both sound fascinating.

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    1. I can highly recommend both so far.

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  2. Glad to convince people, good luck with the books. I look forward in seeing what you think of Eureka

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    1. I had a nice moment last night reading The Getting of Wisdom. As young Laura is being taken to boarding school, her description of driving through town mentions the Chinamen in the flats panning for gold and the big machinery working away on the hills.

      It's lovely when two of the books I'm reading suddenly dissect each other.

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  3. I like the sound of AusReadingMonth

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    1. I hope you can join in Jessica!

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  4. I've heard good things about Golden Boys! I must add it to my wish-list.

    Deb

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    1. I loved it...I just have to find time to write a review that will do it justice.

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  5. It's nice to see you here. I wish you'd come more often. I love to read good books and you are an excellent source.

    Here's my It's Monday!

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    1. Thanks Deb, when I saw your name on the linky I was pleased to see another friendly face too :-)

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  6. The Getting of Wisdom sounds interesting and I love that cover. It's nice to see you here, Brona!

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    1. I'm thoroughly enjoying The Getting of Wisdom, although also wondering how I got through my teen years without reading this classic.

      I was delighted to see your name on the linky too JoAnn - it's wonderful how we pop up in the same spots over & over again :-)

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  7. Social media can have that effect. Lol. I really should check out the AusReading Month, I had promised my friend from Perth that I would read more Australian authors this year, and I have only read one!

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    1. I hope AusReading month inspires you to try another Aussie book sooner rather than later!

      Which was the one you read?

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  8. I have read 50% Harp in the South. Reading very slowly and hope to come up with some ' surprising' comments in my review! Curious?

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    1. Very curious!!
      But then I'm always curious to see your particular take on any book Nancy :-)

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  9. AusReading Month sounds like a lot of fun! Thanks for stopping by and commenting on our Nonfiction November project -- I hope you'll be able to participate in any capacity that makes sense for you (no minimum requirements at all). Take care!

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    1. Thanks - the same goes for AuReading Month!

      We're both obviously fans of low-key as well as free-range:-)

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  10. Have fun with AusReading Month! Sounds like a great project. It's been interesting to me how many Australian novels are getting read in the US lately--we were just saying at one of my recent book club meetings that we could have a season of all Australian books! I'll keep my eye on your blog for good reads.

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    1. You can check the tabs above (esp ADULT, MILES & STELLA) for Aust book awards and bookreviews I've already done. STATE BY STATE is a work in progress where I will be adding info about Aust authors and books as time goes by (& when I work out excatly what I want to do with it all!).

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  11. I've read Golden Books which I thought was good and I want to pick a copy of The Forgotten Rebels. Have fun with Aus Reading month, most of my months seem to turn out that way these days :)

    Read on!
    Shelleyrae @ Book'd Out

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  12. The Getting of Wisdom is on my Classics list. Might try & get it read this month but I'll have to put my Dickens on the side if I do.

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