Sunday 25 August 2019

Stories & Shout Outs #26

My Week:
  • Change of management at work plus renovations = stress and uncertainty.
  • A couple of much-loved colleagues left work = emotional upheaval.
  • New boss seems organised, easy to get along with and professional = huge sense of relief.
  • B18 became B19.
  • Mr Books and I enjoyed a fun night out at the theatre to see Chicago.
  • A sunny, spring-like weekend = lots of walks.
  • Empty-nesting = a Saturday afternoon in a salt soak spa with Mr Books.
  • But we still miss the boys = Sunday afternoon on the sidelines watching soccer.
  • Council clean-up = ridding the garage of all the junky, broken furniture, bibs & bobs that have collected there since last council clean-up.
  • Sunday evening = time to write a blog post = time to enjoy a beer with cheese & biscuits.
  • Halfway through writing this post, Mr Books asked me to check my Super fund for my FY19 statement = can of worms.
  • Discovered that my insurance fees were rather large = exorbitant.
  • Realised that the changes that occurred to my fund's web page earlier this year were more than skin deep = my cover reverted to default mode = me paying for a cover that was more than they would have actually paid out!
  • Lesson - even if you think you've done all the right things with your super, double-check it now. Especially if your fund has just proudly updated its web page!
  • How to kill a Sunday evening beer & cheese buzz with one click of the mouse.

I Am Reading:
  • Moby-Dick
  • The Count of Monte Cristo
  • Ordinary People by Diana Evans (plus listening to the playlist she created for the book)
  • Three Women by Lisa Taddeo
  • The Fast 800 by Michael Mosley (obviously Sunday is not one of my fast days ­čśâ

Read But Not Reviewed:
  • The Feel Good Guide to Menopause by Dr Nicola Gates

Keeping An Eye On:
  • The end date for the Archibald Prize exhibition at the Art Gallery NSW - only 2 more weeks to fit in a visit!
  • The next CC Spin due in September.
  • There are only 4 more books left to read in Liz' Great Iris Murdoch Readalong, and September's offering, The Book and the Brotherhood is the final one left on my TBR pile.

Strange, But True:

New To The Pile:
  • There Was Still Love by Favel Parrett - TBP 24th September by Hachette Australia
A tender and masterfully told story of memory, family and love.
Prague, 1938: Eva flies down the street from her sister. Suddenly a man steps out, a man wearing a hat. Eva runs into him, hits the pavement hard. His hat is in the gutter. His anger slaps Eva, but his hate will change everything, as war forces so many lives into small, brown suitcases. 
Prague, 1980: No one sees Ludek. A young boy can slip right under the heavy blanket that covers this city - the fear cannot touch him. Ludek is free. And he sees everything. The world can do what it likes. The world can go to hell for all he cares because Babi is waiting for him in the warm flat. His whole world 
Melbourne, 1980: Mala Li ka's grandma holds her hand as they climb the stairs to their third floor flat. Inside, the smell of warm pipe tobacco and homemade cakes. Here, Mana and Bill have made a life for themselves and their granddaughter. A life imbued with the spirit of Prague and the loved ones left behind. 
Favel Parrett's deep emotional insight and stellar literary talent shine through in this love letter to the strong women who bind families together, despite dislocation and distance. It is a tender and beautifully told story of memory, family and love. Because there is still love. No matter what.
  • The Immortalists by Chloe Benjamin - reading for my next book club gathering.
  • Kindred by Kirla Saunders - Indigenous poet plus gorgeous cover.
  • Quichotte by Salmon Rushdie - TBP 29th August Penguin Random House Australia. I just hope it's funnier and less monotonous than the original Don Quixote!
  • The Far Field by Madhuri Vijay plus pretty cover.
Gorgeously tactile and sweeping in historical and socio-political scope, Pushcart Prize-winner Madhuri Vijay’s The Far Field follows a complicated flaneuse across the Indian subcontinent as she reckons with her past, her desires, and the tumultuous present.
In the wake of her mother’s death, Shalini, a privileged and restless young woman from Bangalore, sets out for a remote Himalayan village in the troubled northern region of Kashmir. Certain that the loss of her mother is somehow connected to the decade-old disappearance of Bashir Ahmed, a charming Kashmiri salesman who frequented her childhood home, she is determined to confront him. But upon her arrival, Shalini is brought face to face with Kashmir’s politics, as well as the tangled history of the local family that takes her in. And when life in the village turns volatile and old hatreds threaten to erupt into violence, Shalini finds herself forced to make a series of choices that could hold dangerous repercussions for the very people she has come to love. 
With rare acumen and evocative prose, in The Far Field Madhuri Vijay masterfully examines Indian politics, class prejudice, and sexuality through the lens of an outsider, offering a profound meditation on grief, guilt, and the limits of compassion.


  1. Job uncertainty is always frightening, I think.

    We have completely loved an empty nest. Not so my sister, though. All are different.

    It would be lovely if you’d like to link up at Sunday Salon. I post a new every Saturday.

    1. Thanks Deb, I do that. I don't do a Stories & Shout Out every week or even on any particular day of the week. It tends to be me writers block post or inbetween books post :-)

      One of the things making being empty-nesters for us so enjoyable is knowing how ready and excited the boys were to set off into this next phase of their lives. We have no real anxiety about how they're going or their capabilities to deal whatever might come their way.

    2. I'm happy you joined in this week and I hope you will join the Salon whenever you can.

      Wonderful to have such confidence in your sons. Ours, 31 and 34 now, have built lives for themselves well, though each has struggled in various ways. We all have these, I suppose.


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