Wednesday 25 September 2019

Spring TBR

During the week, I spotted that oodles of Northern hemisphere bloggers were sharing their autumnal reading lists for various memes. I try to not feel left out of these seasonal events by jumping in with my very own Southern hemisphere version!

So I hereby present my Spring Reading List for 2019.

I invite all other Aussies, New Zealanders, Pacific Islanders, South Africans, South Americans, Indonesians, East Timorese, New Guineans and Antarcticans to join me in sharing their Spring reading lists.

Image Source: Floriade Canberra

Which books are you looking forward to reading now that the weather is starting to warm up? Which books on your TBR pile are like blossoms and bulbs brightening your days? As the evenings lengthen, so that we're no longer coming home from work in the dark, which books invite you to linger on the verandah for one more chapter?

I could make life easy for myself and ONLY include Australian titles on this list. This would make my run into #AusReadingMonth in November full of many, many options and reviews. But I have recently been given some delicious ARC's from my reps at work and I simply had to show some of them off, regardless of country of origin.

The Breeding Season by Amanda Niehaus was a September release for Allen & Unwin. I'm always drawn to books that explore loss and grief. Sounds like this one has that going on for it in spades!

The rains come to Brisbane just as Elise and Dan descend into grief. Elise, a scientist, believes that isolation and punishing fieldwork will heal her pain. Her husband Dan, a writer, questions the truths of his life, and looks to art for answers. Worlds apart, Elise and Dan must find a way to forgive themselves and each other before it's too late. 
An astounding debut novel that forensically and poetically explores the intersections of art and science, sex and death, and the heartbreaking complexity of love. The Breeding Season marks the arrival of a thrilling new talent in Australian literature.

Olive, Again by Elizabeth Strout will be published by Penguin Books Australia in October 2019. My lovely rep knew how much I loved the original Olive Kitteridge, so he arranged for a reading copy to land on my doorstep asap. The least I can is read it asap!

Olive, Again follows the blunt, contradictory yet deeply loveable Olive Kitteridge as she grows older, navigating the second half of her life as she comes to terms with the changes - sometimes welcome, sometimes not - in her own existence and in those around her.
Olive adjusts to her new life with her second husband, challenges her estranged son and his family to accept him, experiences loss and loneliness, witnesses the triumphs and heartbreaks of her friends and neighbours in the small coastal town of Crosby, Maine - and, finally, opens herself to new lessons about life.

The Bee and the Orange Tree by Melissa Ashley is Melissa's second novel with Affirm Press and will be published in Australia, November 2019.

It’s 1699, and the salons of Paris are bursting with the creative energy of fierce, independent-minded women. But outside those doors, the patriarchal forces of Louis XIV and the Catholic Church are moving to curb their freedoms. In this battle for equality, Baroness Marie Catherine D’Aulnoy invents a powerful weapon: ‘fairy tales’.
When Marie Catherine’s daughter, Angelina, arrives in Paris for the first time, she is swept up in the glamour and sensuality of the city, where a woman may live outside the confines of the church or marriage. But this is a fragile freedom, as she discovers when Marie Catherine’s close friend Nicola Tiquet is arrested, accused of conspiring to murder her abusive husband. In the race to rescue Nicola, illusions will be shattered and dark secrets revealed as all three women learn how far they will go to preserve their liberty in a society determined to control them.

Moby-Dick by Herman Melville is my current on-going slow read readalong book. This will travel with me for the entire antipodean spring and summer.

The Wonder Child: An Australian Story is my latest CC spin book. I had thought this was one of Turner's adult fiction titles, but after searching google quite a bit trying to find a blurb, I eventually discovered this was one of her juvenile stories about a child prodigy who is taken to Europe by her mother to train and perform, leaving behind the rest of the family to get by without them for years. This is their story.

Sand Talk by Tyson Yunkaporta was published by Text Publishing earlier this month. I've started it and plan to finish it by November . It's fascuinating the little I've read so far.

This remarkable book is about everything from echidnas to evolution, cosmology to cooking, sex and science and spirits to Schr√∂dinger’s cat.
Tyson Yunkaporta looks at global systems from an Indigenous perspective. He asks how contemporary life diverges from the pattern of creation. How does this affect us? How can we do things differently?

In Love With George Eliot by Kathy O'Shaughnessy will be published in November by Scribe. It sounds very promising.

Who was the real George Eliot? In Love with George Eliot is a glorious debut novel which tells the compelling story of England’s greatest woman novelist as you’ve never read it before.
Marian Evans is a scandalous figure, living in sin with a married man, George Henry Lewes. She has shocked polite society, and women rarely deign to visit her. In secret, though, she has begun writing fiction under the pseudonym George Eliot. As Adam Bede’s fame grows, curiosity rises as to the identity of its mysterious writer. Gradually it becomes apparent that the moral genius Eliot is none other than the disgraced woman living with Lewes.

Inner Worlds Outer Space by Ceridwen Dovey will be published by Penguin Australia in December. I adored her earlier short story collection Only the Animals so I'm keen to try her non-fiction.

What does it feel like to be passionate about your daily work? How do people find their way into fascinating, unusually fulfilling careers, even against the odds? 
Space lawyers and bibliotherapists; euthanasia activists and women’s rugby champions; shark experts and solar power visionaries; a master perfumer and a moon dust maven, among many others. What all of these people have in common is the courage to pursue their dreams and obsessions, no matter how niche or particular, and transform them into their life’s work. In the process, they’ve enacted lasting change in the world around them.

A People's History of Heaven by Mathangi Subramanian is a OneWorld book, published this month. It sounds uplifting and joyful - the perfect spring time read.

A dazzling tribute to the resilience and determination of a remarkable community of women. 
Nestled between the luxury high-rise blocks of Bangalore is an ironically named slum called Heaven. It's here that five girls - Muslim, Christian and Hindu; gay and straight - forge a binding friendship. 
But when Heaven is threatened by government bulldozers, the girls must come together to save the home they've built from nothing.
Sparkling with passion and humour, A People's History of Heaven is the story of these unforgettable young women and their determination, not only to survive, but to triumph in a city that would prefer to forget them.

Axiomatic by Maria Tumarkin was published by Brow Books. They are a local, not-for-profit, literary organisation that promises to publish ‘writers whose work sits in the literary margins’. It first came to my attention when it was shortlisted for this year's Stella Prize. I've been meaning to read it ever since.
Maria Tumarkin's Axiomatic is a boundary-shifting fusion of thinking, storytelling, reportage and meditation. It takes as its starting point five axioms:

‘Give Me a Child Before the Age of Seven and I’ll Give You the Woman’

‘History Repeats Itself…’

‘Those Who Forget the Past are Condemned to Repeat It’

‘You Can’t Enter The Same River Twice’

‘Time Heals All Wounds’
These beliefs—or intuitions—about the role the past plays in our present are often evoked as if they are timeless and self-evident truths. It is precisely because they are neither, yet still we are persuaded by them, that they tell us a great deal about the forces that shape our culture and the way we live.

What will you be reading this season?
Spring, autumn, wet or dry, I hope you've enjoyed browsing through my seasonal selection.


  1. I love lists!!
    I've read 2 of your selections.
    At the moment I'm in middle of a cooking session
    (preparing meals for October(!)
    for the freezer.
    I'll look at all your books as soon as my black and kidney
    bean, quinoa Chili is finished!
    You've inspired me to make my third 50 book classic booklist for Classics Club.

    1. Ohhhh a third CC list from Nancy - now that's something I'd like to see :-)

  2. A great list! I do love the cover of The Bee and the Orange Tree! And Ethel Turner! I keep meaning to read some of her books so thanks for jogging my memory. Ah, spring! I wish I was there! Have a good one! :-)

  3. When my library finally coughs it up, I'm planning on Olive, Again. (Ahem. I didn't put my name in very quick...) Otherwise, Moby Dick!

    The rest are all new to me, but several of them look interesting.

  4. Olive, Again sounds wonderful and I hope to get my hands on a copy. I wish dearly that I were in your Spring time!

  5. Oh wow, The Bee and the Orange Tree sounds brilliant - that's going straight on my TBR!

  6. What a great list! Inner Worlds, Outer Spaces is the one I'm most interested in there. And I'll check the TBR to see if I have any Australian writers for November ...

    1. I'd love to have you with us for #AusReadingMonth Liz.

      I'm still halfway through The Book and the Brotherhood - I keep seesawing between loving it and being in utter awe of Murdoch's writing to being so annoyed with these self-important characters fluffing around on the sidelines of life!


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