Saturday 13 April 2019

Stories & Shout Outs #21

What I'm Reading Right Now:

After a week of headaches and busyness, I needed some comfort reading, and I needed it fast. Maisie Dobbs #14 To Die But Once by Jacqueline Winspear has been the perfect choice. Familiar and easy to read, like spending time with an dear, old friend. I'm feeling soothed and at ease in her company once again.

Cloud Boy by Marcia Williams is my current lunch time read. I suspect some sadness will be coming my way!

New to the Pile:

City of Trees by Sophie Cunningham
Axiomatic by Maria Tumarkin
Strange Weather in Tokyo by Hiromi Kawakami

What I'm Struggling With:

Changes are on the horizon and we're currently existing in a weird middle zone of anticipation, waiting and wondering. This has been going on since about September last year. I'm exhausted with marking time.

Keeping My Eye On:

Mr Books rampart Easter egg purchases!

He turns into a chocolate fiend at this time of the year and I keep finding stashes of eggs all round the house.

Read But Not Reviewed:

The Belly of Paris by Èmile Zola
Beverly, Right Here by Kate DiCamillo - the final book about Raymie, Louisiana and Beverly.
DiCamillo says in her 'Dear Reader' letter at the front of this book,
Now that I've written all three books, I can see a connection among them. Raymie Nightingale is about the saving grace of friendship. Louisiana's Way Home is about deciding who you are. And Beverly, Right Here is about acting on that knowledge of who you are. They are all stories of becoming...the power of community - the grace of someone opening a door and welcoming you in, and maybe most of all, having the courage to walk through that door once it is open.

How do you not love a story with such big, bold, beautiful themes? I really must go back and read Raymie's story to see how it all began.

The Monsters We Deserve by Marcus Sedgwick - read during last week's readathon, because I thought it might be a light, easy read at the end!

Should have known better with Sedgwick - he is never light and easy.

A bit slow to start, but a riveting, thought-provoking piece of meta-fiction about Frankenstein...and always nice to find a kindred spirit who is also less than enamoured by this much-loved classic horror story.

On My Radar:

Two of the literary prizes that interest me the most announced their shortlists recently. The International Dublin Literary Award narrowed their HUGE longlist down to the books in the image below.

I've read, and loved, Home Fire, Lincoln in the Bardo and Exit West. I was less convinced by Midwinter Break.

And my all-time favourite prize, the Walter Scott Prize for Historical Fiction announced their shortlist, below. Now We Shall Be Entirely Free by Andrew Miller was a firm favourite of mine from last year and I have Warlight on my TBR pile. I suspect the other four are not far behind!

Shout Outs:

From the 22nd - 28th April Simon and Karen will ask readers to read books published from one particularly year. This time it is #1965club. I'm not sure if I will be able to fit it into my schedule but I have Dune by Frank Herbert and Stoner by John Williams on my TBR pile. Perhaps Dr Seuss' Fox in Socks is a more realistic goal!

My Weekend:

Dinner with my parents last night, the season launch this morning of the soccer season with Mr Books (aka as the President of our local football association), a Pokemon community day in the park this afternoon and the penultimate, season 7, Game of Thrones episode tonight. To be followed by the final episode tomorrow night in anticipation of the season 8 start on Monday (Sydney time). It's a very tricky few hours for us, as the live world wide screen time is our lunch time...we have to wait until we're all home on Monday night to watch it together and somehow avoid all social media spoilers in the meantime #canwedoit ?


  1. "I'm exhausted with marking time." What a great phrase!!!! And I have had such a work situation so I hope everything settles down, for the better, soon.

    Mr. Books stashing chocolate eggs around the house!!! I love that. Since all the yummy Cadbury Easter stuff has been on the shelves at Walmart since Jan 1, I'm so used to seeing them that I no longer SEE them. They'll be gone soon so I had better stock up this week.

    Fingers crossed that you can avoid all the GOT spoilers. I'm looking forward to watching tomorrow!

    Your weekend sounds good. Enjoy!

    1. We got through the first GoT episode without any spoilers (but not so for the easter eggs!)

  2. So glad you liked Lincoln in the Bardo. I am on a committee (one of many world-wide) that nominates for the Dublin Literary Award and that was one of my committees nominated titles!

    1. I thank you from the bottom of my heart Mary - LITB does polarise readers, but I adored it and feel that it deserves the awards and accolades it has won. What a great thing to do - helping to nominate books for a literary award!

  3. Oooh! Fox In Socks--I hadn't thought about that being a 1965 book. Does it count as a read if I recite it to myself? I have vast amounts of that book by heart without ever intending to. "Luke's duck licks lakes Luke likes."

    1. Perhaps you could do a live twitter recitation for us all :-)

  4. I didn't like Lincoln on the Bardo but now can't remember why. I'm pleased though that the HF prize is named for Walter Scott, who may have invented historical fiction with the publication of Waverley in 1814. I always remember that Scott came to Waverley by listening to the stories of "many of the old warriors of 1745, who were, like most veterans, easily induced to fight their battles over again for the benefit of a willing listener".

    1. I'm one of those that loved and adored LITB, but then themes of loss, grief and letting go are probably my favourite bookish themes.

      Adding Waverley to my wishlist thanks Bill. Not sure how I've missed it really.

  5. You'd think I would remember to append my name. Bill Holloway

    1. You are my one and only 'unknown' commentator Bill - I don't know how that works for blogger, but I do appreciate your persistence with the blogger commenting platform.

  6. Update:
    Reading: The Everlasting Sunday (R. Luikins)
    New to pile: NF 'Deep Time Dreaimng' (B. Griffiths) - uncovering ancient Australia
    Struggling with: Lost the sense of tasting 'sweet' on my tongue! How did that happen? I hope it's temporary!
    Keeping my eye on: cannot buy choc eggs (taste nothing) watching out for some tulip bargains!
    Read but not reviewed: Finished Boy Swallows Universe (T. Dalton) ...have to gather my thoughts.
    On my radar: NSW Premier's shortlist (prize announcement 29 April) looking for books for #20BooksOfSummer!
    My weekend (12-13 April)...hail, even a few snow April!

    1. Curious to hear what you think of The Everlasting Sunday - it's on my radar, but I need to get some new release reads under my belt for work, so I'm into the new Siri Hustvedt atm.

      Very keen to try Deep Time Dreaming at some point. Mr Books LOVED Boy Swallows Universe whereas I started out fine but got a little lost at the end.


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